Guild Wars 2: My Pre-Beta Worries…

So the date of the next beta weekend has been announced and between 8pm GMT Friday 8th June and sometime on Monday 11th I’ll be able to once more explore Tyria. Let the streets ring with the w00ts! of the interwebz. Let there be joy unbound across the land. Let… well, let me explain why instead of elation, joy and excitement I feel nothing a deep-rooted sense of worry.

As I pondered my strange reaction last night I listed off my reasons:

  1. Will I actually be able to play using the expensive & untested set up I now have? I have tried it a little with LOTRO but that just led to another problem – oh the set up worked, more or less it’s just that…
  2. I seem to have totally lost the spark that playing an MMO once gave me. Even logging into LOTRO sets off a deep feeling of irritation and boredom. I recognise this from my last days in Second Life and I don’t like it. What if, even given all of GW2’s wonderful innovations & differences, I just don’t like playing MMOs any more?
  3. And let’s not forget the elephant in the room that is my shoulder. About 10 years ago I partially tore my right supraspinatus and now find that any prolonged activity with my right hand (keep your current imaginings clean, you mucky buggers) results in the worst headaches I’ve ever experienced. I’ve moved my work mouse to my left hand and this reduced the headache attacks by 90% overnight but I can’t seem to manage to do the same with my gaming mouse – my left hand lacks the fine control that 42 years of muscle memory has granted to my right. The end result is, if I can’t find a set up that both works *and* reduces the strain on my shoulder I might have to give games up altogether.

So it’s not with loud yeehaws that I find myself approaching the next GW2 Beta weekend, but rather with a sense of apprehension. I better make sure I have some Tramadol in.


  1. sounds like you need a break? 🙂 I felt very similar recently and I took a break from pretty much all games and now I’m playing lotro and vanguard again – and really enjoying it. I have to say though, I’m not gaming as much (from hmm 5ish evenings to 2-3 I guess) but its also summer and who wants to sit in front of a pc when its hot and there are things like picnics and bbqs and birthdays and weddings and days out and and and 🙂

    really hope your setup works though and your shoulder bears up though 😦

    1. Yeah, I wondered about a break but I really don’t feel as though I’ve burnt out or anything – I think it’s more I’ve lost faith in MMOs after LOTRO made me grind so much. I guess I *did* burn out there, but that was waaaay back in Dec to Feb and I’ve not played much since then.

      This feels as though maybe MMOs aren’t for me, but I’m not sure. I rather think an enjoyable beta will help but if this proves to be an unplayable experience I think I might call it a day and try Max Payne 3 🙂

      1. hmm yeah, i’m in a curious solo phase of MMOs lol Not grouping much at the mo – that may change or may not… I think we’ve had our hey-day of MMOs if I’m honest. if we’re ever in the same game though we should all meet up on the same server 😉

        1. You know… once GW2 launches and folks can “visit” other servers with ease, I would certainly welcome the opportunity to group with you folks.
          Intelligent players with good humor and wit always make for the most enjoyable grouping experiences for me. Accomplishing goals in a game is pretty much a given… actually being able to have fun and laugh during that process is what sets a great playing experience apart from the ordinary.
          After all, that is one of the things about MMOs that makes them such a different playing experience – the people.

          1. Hell yes! I’d love to meet up and fight side by side with you guys. Of all the features of GW2, this is the sleeping giant for me – I don’t come from the walled gardens of an MMO background but rather the wide open plains of Second Life where every single one of the 1 million players are in the same world at the same time. This led to some wonderful friendships being formed and amazing experiences such as the live vaudeville show called The Show Must Go On ( I took part in. I’ve found the lack of casual friendships (as opposed to highly organised raiding guilds) one of the strangest things in LOTRO so hooking up with you guys will be great fun 🙂

  2. Getting old isn’t for wimps, is it? I can sympathize with those physical problems that make keyboard use painful. All you can do is spend your time on-line wisely.

  3. Hey HeadBurro this is Brian from Contains Moderate Peril. Just started my own MMO blog and wanted to let you know who this is.

    MMOs are rough from a time persecutive — they take up way too much of it! As much as I love the genre I find myself playing less and less. I now appreciate being able to jump in and out of a game more than I had in the past.

    GW2 beta is concerning for me too. I worry about burning out before the game even ships. This has happened to me in the past and I’m considering skipping the beta weekends (or severely limiting them).

    1. Hiya Brian – great news about your blog, I’ll be checking it out & adding it to my rss reader.

      In your comment you hit a major concern of mine squarely on the head. Although I enjoyed the first beta, i found myself not wanting to progess my personal story or exposure to dynamic events any further as I knew doing so would spoil my enjoyment of the actual game when it is released. I decided to stick to WvW in the stress test & in doing so exposed my inability to actually play the damn thing which masked my deeper concern of, well not so much burn out as premature consumption. Now the second beta looms I have the same feeling about it that I had when I exhausted the things I wanted to do in SL. Although the reasons are different, the effect is the same – because I don’t want to ruin the final game, I can’t really look forward to the betas and that in turn leaves me feeling glum.

      Gah, this is supposed to be a hobby, not yet another source of stress! 😀

      1. I’m with you on the control issue (or lack of it if you prefer). Playing the GW2 beta exposed some major flaws in my control setup.

        For example, I had a hard time with the whole dodge mechanic. It was more of a technical limitation of how to fit it into my setup than it was of getting used to it. Still don’t have a good solution. Quite frustrating.

        1. Oh christ yes! The dodge mechanic just adds a button too far, both in terms of my hands but also in terms of my poor brain trying to factor it in – that’s what’s going to take some serious work I reckon.

  4. I switched mouse hands a while ago after a very bad bout of RSI hit and you can do it, but regaining the fine motor control does take a while. I now have my work mouse on my left side and my home mouse on my right. It spreads the load nicely and interestingly, I’m left handed but after working hard at using the mouse right-handed, I found it now has finer control than the left 🙂

    Regarding GW2 I desperately want to dive into this second weekend, but it seems like a ‘waste’ to play too much as its not for real (so to speak). So I’m trying out different classes and races that I’m less likely to play in the live game. It means repeating the newbie stuff ad infinitum, but at least I’m keeping plenty of content for when the game goes live.


    1. Aye, that’s what I’m going to do as well – plenty of newbie stuff (level 10 tops) and lots of new characters such as an Engineer which I’m really looking forward to playing. Hopefully that way both my set up and basic skills will be honed in time for the actual release whilst leaving the vast majority of the game to still be discovered 🙂

      I don’t think I’ll be able to try my left hand on the mouse for gaming though – not after getting the ruddy G13 😀

  5. First, it seems like the steps you recently took (purchase of some tech usable by the left hand) could help this situation, but as we discussed in some earlier posts, human beings are incredible inertia machines, and it definitely takes time and willpower to make changes stick.

    However, I’m wondering if something else altogether might be in order?
    I am well aquainted with both injury and age (unfortunately.) A little over ten years ago my left leg was severely damaged. Both bones in the lower leg and eight bones in the ankle and foot were broken, along with considerable connective and soft tissue damage (because, if you’re gonna do a thing, don’t half-ass it right?) This resulted in reliance on crutches or wheelchair for mobility (if you can call it that) for approximately 3 years, and after just that short amount of time (no, seriously!) I was finally able to get the point in my “rehab” where I could manage to hobble around with the aid of a cane for brief periods.
    Now, after more than a decade, I’ve actually gotten back to the point where I can walk (with a limp) without the use of even the cane, however, not a day goes by that I don’t deal with some level of pain from that limb… it simply varies in degree.

    Also a little over a decade ago, I started playing MMO games (coincidence? I think not!) You see, for someone who used to scare the fuck out of bears as he went casually hiking all over kingdom come, the reduction of mobility down to the level of your average blue-haired old bitty was a bit rough on the ol psyche.

    Sometime about the point where innocent bystanders were beginning to truly fear for their wellbeing in my presence as I loudly complained about “cabin-fever” robbing me of my mind, one of them deftly tossed a copy of EverQuest at me as a diversionary tactic to save themselves.

    The possibilites of escaping from my confinement via virtual exploration and travel were immediately evident, however, the pain from my injured leg (especially in those early days) if it was left “down” for very long would quickly rise to the point where it was impossible to deal with without the use of narcotics (which I despise the use of due to the “numb” zombie-like state they induce) so another solution was needed.

    Lay Z Boy

    Most folks would probably look askance at my “gaming setup” but it permits me to stay logged on for the numerous hours that MMOs demand. My recliner is set parallel to my desk… the keyboard tray extends out from the desk to bump up against the right hand arm rest of the recliner, and this is where the mouse is kept… the keyboard itself rests in my lap when in use… the foot rest of the recliner is of course extended, and my legs are comfortably elevated while I’m playing… a “tv tray” is set to the left side for various supplies.

    I rest back, head and spine fully supported and legs elevated, and “hike” all over fields and mountains, and through forests and cave systems… and am generally much easier to deal with on a regular basis instead of the crazzed cabin-fever maniac I was.

    All of which is to say; a) I completely sympathize with the discomfort and pain you have to deal with.
    b) Have you considered indulging in what might otherwise be thought of as “extravagant” arrangements to accomodate your physical injury instead of sitting hunched in a office chair as many gamers do?

    The TL;DR non long-winded, gasbaggery version:
    Relax, let your anxiety go… your new logitech controller will probably help you to use your left hand more effectively and rest your injured right, and if you still find it too uncomfortable, before you give up an enjoyable hobby, look into possible ways to take stress off of your right shoulder and give yourself a more relaxed position to game from.


    1. Christ on a bike mate! That sounds you dropped you leg into a branch chipper! I’ll certainly take the advice on board, unfortunately I have a very small computer room so I doubt I can really do much with it, but slap my thighs and call me Susan if a comfy chair doesn’t sound like it’s exactly what i bloody well need… if only I could get the missus out of the house for a day & sell the kids on ebay…

      1. Hmmm… how much are those going for these days? Years ago you could hardly turn a profit, what with the expense of feed and such…
        How many have you got to work with? Maybe she wouldn’t notice if just one of them has gone missing? Females do tend to get downright stubborn on this particular issue…

        I looked at the chair in the same light that I do a proper mattress… I’m going to spend a LOT of time there, and it’s worth the expense to get something that is going to make that time more comfortable.

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