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Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure - Realm of Dreams Preview

Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure - Realm of Dreams Preview

I was lucky enough to be invited into a sneak-peek event that showed off the latest content update in Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure, titled Realm of Dreams. Though the event gave a fair overview of the newly added area of Inner Nayos, I decided to give it a proper look afterwards, as the devs were kind enough to give us access over the weekend! As I had played a Necromancer before some time ago, I selected this class from the roster of the premade characters.

First things first, Inner Nayos itself is an interesting area; while small in size, it makes up for it in both activity and use of vertical space! There are a few areas, but anything outside of them is immediately deadly, with many creatures, both big and small, biding their time before they attack, in addition to the many events and small missions active in the area. Design-wise, the landscape is a mix of dream-like woodland and horrific and, for lack of a better word, moist nightmarish flesh constructs and glowing portals. The home of the Kryptis is not exactly pleasant, though neither is it meant to be! Exploring was made fun by the use of vertical space, requiring the player to use their flying mount to reach higher locations and find everything on offer.


There's even treasure to find!!

Guild Wars 2 handles flight slightly differently from the genre standard: you are not able to fly freely as such but can fly and gain altitude for a while, after which you slowly glide down to terra firma unless you find an updraft. This adds a bit of weight and challenge to the flying, making it more dynamic. I was surprised to find that some of the world events even featured active use of the mount to destroy floating turrets! While probably nothing new to series veterans, this change in gameplay was refreshing.

Playing a Necromancer after years of absence felt like putting on an old pair of boots, as the skills, while slightly different, had remained close enough to what I knew well. Being a fan of minion-master characters, I quickly summoned my hoard and set off to try out the new weapon proficiency the class had gained: main- and off-hand swords. Since Necromancers are more inclined towards ranged combat, I was a bit unsure of how the melee weapons would work, but these worries were quickly quieted as I started sending out crescents of green energy at my foes! While there are a few abilities that close the gap between you and whatever you are hitting, the skill sets and style of the moves really fit well with the overall theme of the profession. The fact that I had access to both the very high-tier Obsidian armour and some spectacular swords helped, naturally. Thanks, ArenaNet!


The gang's all here

Now, onto the story. Though we had cleared the first of three story missions in the event, I wanted to try it out by myself and see how it differed. Though the general strokes were mostly the same, I got a better feel for the combat; being excellently armed, I had little trouble with the general minions, but when facing a stronger foe, I had to relearn how to dodge very quickly! The flying combat could be a bit clunky, as I often dashed my way out of the available part of the map only to be flung off of my mount, but this may also be due to me just being new to the mechanic. The fights were fun and dynamic, requiring me to keep on my feet lest I get hit with a nasty bit of AoE. After the first mission concluded, I headed on to the next few. I’ll avoid spoilers here, but all in all, I found the plotline interesting, even though I had few points of reference, and would have gladly kept going. If nothing else, this small taste made me miss my time with the game.


I was not prepared to play "The floor is death-magma" today

In summary, I found Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure — Realm of Dreams a fun time. There may not be much in terms of story, but the addition of new and challenging Strike Missions (which I daren’t attempt with my skill level) and Convergences bosses, is sure to provide some entertainment for players as they await the culmination of the story! Realm of Dreams is out now and available for everyone with the Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure expansion.

Martin Heath

Martin Heath

Staff Writer

Professional Bungler

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