Ghosts of Ascalon: Live Blog!

August 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Posted in Books, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 15 Comments
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Adelbern you so crazy!

I guess when you do a Live Blog, you’re supposed to let people know when you’re doing it ahead of time. So points against me for that. Another thing about a live blogging is it helps if everyone is following along at the same time, like with a live television event, normally. More points against me for that.

However I just got my copy about a half hour ago, and I want to comment on the book as I’m reading it. A more accurate review will come later, but for now commenting as I go seems like something I want to try.

Spoilers of course, and I will be checking comments, making food, using the washroom, and otherwise busy with things, so don’t expect me to be reading at a normal rate. Also don’t spoil anything for me if you happen to comment please.

4:28pm AST – I just read through the timeline, it’s interesting what they choose to highlight and gloss over. Virtually no mention of Cantha, or Mursaat. Destiny’s Edge breaks up at the same time the Vigil is founded? Interesting.

4:34 AST – Little doubt in my mind that the Skull Gate will be a much traveled location in Guild Wars 2. Some of the phrases in the first chapter are a little overly descriptive. “The sweltering summer heat that enveloped Divinity’s Reach above had stolen deep into the bowels of these hidden burial grounds where it festered like a hidden wound.”

4:42 AST – Pllen drifting off sylvari when they walk. I wonder if that could be an in-game effect. I’d like it.

4:45 AST – I like how Clagg fiddles with the crystals like a Star Fleet officer would fiddle with his control panel.

4:53 AST – Didn’t take long for the action to get started.

4:56 AST – More mentions of potions, like the one for breathing underwater, or the one you can see used in the Races trailer.

5:00 AST – Blimm’s tomb. What are we after his redline stapler?

5:06 – Asura traditionally burn their dead? Didn’t know. Snow leopard form is two legged? Wasn’t expecting that. I suppose I envisioned more of a shapeshifter.

5:14 – The various nods to history and the game are pretty good. The banter could be better, as a human I keep wishing Dougal would get in more one liners.

5:21 – I really don’t like Gyda. I think thats a sign the book isn’t badly written, at least so far.

5:28 – As soon as they started mentioning Blimm was a golemancer and necromancer, not to mention the description of the floor in his tomb it was pretty clear what was going to happen. Telegraphed but, I think they pulled it off.

5:44 – Really, Gyda bites the dust and little to nothing is said about it? Even I liked her more than that.

5:53 – What’s a wrecker? I’m still on the verge of being impressed the writing isn’t terrible.

5:56 – north of the city? I had pictured DR as being on the south coast of the basin. Finally, finally somebody refers to Destiny’s Edge as a *guild*. Not an adventuring group or circus act, a guild in the game of Guild Wars 2.

6:02 – Ahh confirmation of ghettos. Cool.

6:10 – i like the idea of giving a brief history lesson via the shadow puppet show. Clever way getting in some exposition without boring people too much. Do they emphasize the elder part of elder dragon? I wonder how many lesser dragons we’ll be running into.

6:18 – Modern human swords suck, so I’m presuming most of the finer blades come from crypts and dungeons. A charr appears to lead the vigil but I haven’t gotten that far yet. If each race has a couple problems, then centaurs and bandits appear to be the human problems. I was sort of hoping for something more exotic, i’ve had my fill of centaurs over the years and bandits are just human thieves, but whatever.

6:24 – An actual reason for a character to be honest, instead of some arbitrary reasoning. Sylvari aren’t so much naive as they have found in their recent experience that honesty works best.

6:38 – Starting to get bored of the constant references to the “dragon haunted days”. yes I get it, dragon problems.

6:43 – Enjoying the descriptions of Lion’s Arch. Not sure how charr aren’t quite as massive as norn, since in Guild Wars Original virtually every charr you see at the very least has more girth if not height.

6:50 – Ooooh golden blood. So I haven’t read how Clagg got released yet, but, it is a little far too coincidental that each one of them was released from jail with no problems.

7:00 – Kileen uses a nice healing skill, absorbing health from the fallen golem.

7:07 – Is a four bladed weapon really that effective? Why on earth would anyone fight with such a thing. Is there any real world equivalent?

7:21 – Ogres and the flame legion. That’s a trend. An enemy that is a reflection of your race, and one other. I guess all those videos with ogres really were in the charr territories, like I had guessed. The description of the dragonbrand is pretty good. I’m officially ok with the writing of the novel.

7:33 – Oh my god it’s a total chewie on the death star moment.

7:39 – I’m liking the sense of humour. The jokes about dougal’s swords, the norn threatening the bedpost. It’s pretty good fun.

7:44 – Sort of saw the whole Gullik thing coming from a mile away, I wouldn’t say much here is subtle or unpredictable.

7:51 – The whole norn fight is kind of bizarre but at least Gullik has a point, why hasn’t anyone said anything about Gyda’s death? Nobody even asks about it afterward.

8:03 – Finally getting into the bits where they trade stories, and you see things from various race perspectives.

8:22 – The storytelling is a bit on the nose. While the shadow show was short and interesting, the retelling of history in this part of the book is less so. Drags on a bit, kind of obviously exposition.

8:30 – Killeen is really starting to remind me of Eve. “Just wondering what your bones will look like.”

8:38 – Another telegraphed plot point. Gullik? No way! Facepalm.

8:46 – LoL gwen the goremonger. That’s hilarious.

9:00 – I do so like big large lovable buffoon characters for some reason. Except when they’re being obnoxious. Gullik is growing on me.

I’m tired and hungry now. I will continue this tomorrow. Nearly 5 hours of live blogging is enough for one stretch. To be Continued.

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15 Comments

  1. Woo hoo! Glad you got a copy. I’m about a hundred pages in and enjoying it quite a lot.

    • good to know. I’m finding it better written the 2nd time (read the excerpt) even though i’m still in the first chapter and getting distracted by every small thing.

  2. A pollen-dropping Sylvari would be awesome! Aura of Pollen 😛

    • I’d really like that sort of aura or trail of pollen as you walk around. It’d be cool.

  3. Thanks for letting me know about spoilers nice and early. That was the last bit I read as my copy hasnt made it across the ocean yet. I look forward to read this soon.

    • Cool. yeah i mean, you can hardly to a live blog without spoiling a lot of things. I am semi-sort of avoiding big things but there are definitely some spoilers, so maybe consider reading this post after you’ve read the book?

  4. On page 258 myself. The writing is pretty good, surprisingly.

    Also, if you look at the map, DR is kinda…in the middle-ish of the little peninsula. Anyway, enjoy, it’s a pretty good book so far.

    • yeah i’m on page 82, not that anybody is following along. it being on the coast in my mind was before the map was released. now its fairly obvious where its situated but it still sort of suprised me.

  5. LOL you are so funny. I’m going to be reading this at a later date, so I’m not going to read your play-by-play, but I find myself doing the same when I’m reading, just taking notes about how I feel etc. Kinda weird because I just wrote my review for Fatal Alliance, and the notes came in handy. No spoilers though!

    • Cool. i’ll check it out once i take a break from live blogging this. i’m still outraged its only available in hardcover though. ugh.

      • Wait, you got the book in hardcover? They only sold soft at my Borders…

        • no that part we’re talking about Fatal Alliance, a star wars book.

          • Yeah, they are such dicks about that. And still no Kindle edition! This is clearly the publisher being stubborn.

            I think it’s cool some game books release in softcover, like GoA or the STO book. Definitely saves someone like me a few bucks, since I don’t really care about hardcover, i just want to read!

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