Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons testers can play with the Vindicator, Bladesworn, Catalyst, and DX11 update now

    
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Hear that hum? It’s the distant rumbling of the hype train to Cantha, and it’s getting a little bit closer with this week’s Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons beta event. As of this afternoon and running through September 25th, Guild Wars 2 players – yes, even freemium players – can log in and roll up a temporary Vindicator, Bladesworn, or Catalyst to test out, though do note that you can’t share everything with your real toons and won’t be saved after the event.

“The second playable beta for Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons arrives today with three new elite specializations, which enhance gameplay and provide new ways to experience character professions. Logging in to Guild Wars 2 will grant players the ability to create up to three new characters automatically powered to the level 80 cap, with the ability to choose the new Bladesworn, Vindicator and Catalyst elite specializations for the Warrior, Revenant and Elementalist professions. The beta will run through September 25 and be available to everyone, including play-for-free accounts.”

The DirectX11 beta also kicks off today; players will need to opt-in in the options panel in-game and then restart to check out the expected graphical and performance improvements.

Also worth noting is that the next free episode in the living world seasonal repromotion is live today for the claiming, along with its new achievements; that’d be season four’s All or Nothing episode.

Starting Friday, players will also be testing out the WvW world restructuring via yet another beta, followed by two more beta events in October and November.

Source: Official site, patch notes, press release
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Arktouros

Still waiting for a few of the mods to get updated before I switch/change over to give it a try. I’ve never gotten that bad FPS wise so hasn’t bugged me. I dip for sure but still playable in most cases.

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styopa

Unfortunately the hype train isn’t going anywhere. A lot of steam and motion…but I don’t see a ton of progress.

What I see generally is a heartfelt “meh” for the new specs, calling them uninteresting, unbalanced, untested, and largely unfinished. They bring nothing really new to the table, when they even work.

I see some enthusiasm for the boats and fishing from fans of that, but a yawn from everyone else “that’s it?”

Worst, the boats and specs hint at a sloppiness uncharacteristic of Arena Net, and with this expansion coming quite late (the others were two years apart, but this is a 4 year gap) there are reasonable concerns that it’s still feeling like it’s not quite finished.

They’ve said/shown us really NOTHING about Cantha itself, the zones, the plot, etc. For an expansion driven by nostalgia that’s a surprise.

No, far from the usual hype train, I’ve seen excitement drop to optimism, drop to guarded optimism, to (in some cases) anxiety.

My bar of expectations has certainly fallen from where it was. Last night I was finally going to pre-buy as I hadn’t gotten around to it but…I just couldn’t bring myself to click purchase.

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Bruno Brito

To be fair, the criticism to specs is always expected this early. The GW2 forums and reddit always go rampant trying to see how the e-specs break the meta, but when they actually get released, you’ll truly see how they fit.

I do agree tho that these specs are particularly weird, in a “they had to go outside the box to find interesting concepts and they kinda met halfway.”

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Kickstarter Donor
Peregrine Falcon

I tried both the DX11 test and Vidicator.

I logged in, turned on DX11, shut down the game. Then I emptied the GW2 cache. Logged back in.

Game still looks great, no change. I went to the Claw of Jormag world boss event. No stuttering when a large group of players and enemies suddenly came within range. No change in FPS at all in fact.

Sorry to hear that some folks are having an issue with it. For me it just kept the game running smoothly no matter how many players were on the screen.

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Dug From The Earth

So my DX11 experience so far

Logged into Lions Arch with it OFF, was getting about 40 fps.
Logged out
Enabled DX11
Exited game
Started the game and logged back into the same spot in Lions Arch. Still getting about 40 FPS.. maybe 41.

Big frown

Until I started to move around

I no longer get ANY frame drops when spinning the camera around like I normally do. So while im not really getting overall higher FPS, Im also no longer getting drastic drops to framerates when moving around.

This is a huge win for me.

GTX 1070, i7 7700, win 10

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Dug From The Earth

So unfortunately, dx11 seems rather unstable. Game is crashing quite frequently in specific areas, or even doing things like changing video settings (like reflections from “none” to “everything”).

I do hope they can sort things out because crashing isnt acceptable.

Beef Bologna
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Beef Bologna

DX11 is actually working well for me! First time I can do 1440p max settings without dipping below 100FPS! The draw distance bottle neck when you rotate the camera seems to be better!

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TheDarkrayne

Well, performance is worse for me using DX11 Beta. They have work to do. General gameplay is about the same but loading times are worse and there’s noticable texture/asset popin when loading into an area ‘for the first time’. Scrolling on the world map is also a bit choppy and less “smooth”. So, for now, it’s not an improvement for me at least. FPS still tanks when there’s lots of players around which is the game’s main performance issue.

… but I know beta is beta. It could get better.

Plus, using the DX11 Beta breaks the Radial Mount Menu addon for now (addon’s Author said they won’t be updating it for the beta). You know how essential it is once you’re used to using it lol.

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Dug From The Earth

DX11 is going to need to rebuild is shader cache the first time loading, so there is going to be longer load times and graphical issues related to that. The game actually has the cache installed outside of your game install folder, so even if you uninstalled the game, and reinstalled using the old dx9, you wouldnt see it doing this because it was already done long ago when you first started playing.

Overlays, such as the radial mount, are unfortunately a potential casualty for the upgrade however.

Ill personally take the improved performance over having to bind a set of keys to all my mounts though

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TheDarkrayne

No, it’s not that. I’ve tested it quite a bit and it does it every time I move zones, reenter zones I’ve already been to with DX11 on or teleport a large distance across a zone. You can just toggle between DX9 and 11 and restart the client. It doesn’t do it when I’m using DX9.

That wouldn’t explain why the world map performance is worse either.

I might just be an unlucky one. I’m not concerned about it though. Just going to keep using DX9 for now and see how it works out later.

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Dug From The Earth

It might be worth manually deleting the shader cache still, anet recommended doing so. The new shaders might not be caching properly in the existing cache file,

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TheDarkrayne

This just the cache folder in AppData – Local – Temp?

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Dug From The Earth

yes

just remove the folder all together.

Might not change anything, but others have reported it helping

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TheDarkrayne

I’ll give it a go.

They do say “The goals for the initial implementation of DirectX 11 are stability, visual, and performance parity with DirectX 9. Most players will likely see negligible performance improvements at this time.”

So, it’s an ongoing process anyway.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

If Willbender is still playable I might tinker around with that a bit since I missed the last beta, and maybe a bit of Bladesworn because GUNBLADE.

Mostly interested in the first rollout of DX11 and if it has any actual impact on performance so far.

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blah blazh

It is only for the three newest Elite specs. Supposedly there will be a beta in November that will have all specs available.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Welp, quick testing in Mistlock is impressive. Went from a fairly choppy and inconsistent 40ish to 80-90+fps. Seems like character models still crater the framerate a bit, but not linearly. Going form “lowest” character models shown to “low” drops it to 60, and then even going to “highest” only drops it to 40.

Just a single quick test, and Mistlock isn’t the best testing ground, but if the rest of the world is even a fraction to as close in terms of the performance benefit the game will be much more enjoyable.

Edit: Game still doesn’t like turning the camera, but I’m sitting here waiting around for a world boss with “Medium” players shown at like 80+fps…that’s solid as hell

Edit 2: Yeah…players still crater framerate during world bosses. Still keeping it to “lowest”, but having world bosses be 60+fps for once is a nice change.

And lame, only the 3 newest specs are playable in this round of the beta, oh well : (

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Best of luck with everything players and devs! Here’s to hoping DX11 goes off without a hitch!