Bank Account

December 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Crafting, Festival, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 6 Comments
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What do people keep in their banks? How many bank slots do you guys have?

I bought the maximum (at the time) amount of bank slots early on, 8, by converting all my gold in the early days into gems. Back when you could buy hundreds of gems for a couple gold. I knew eventually trading gold for gems would be an exorbitant cost (little did I know quite how exorbitant) so one of my first in game goals was to get bank slots.

The truth is though, I’ve never really needed 8. For long stretches of time some bank panels have remained empty or filled with garbage.

In any case I thought I’d dissect what I keep in my bank.

First panel.

firstpanel

I’ll move from top left to bottom right. I have some leftover mysterious keys from the toxic living story events. Probably should delete them as I don’t plan on buying/farming a completed trio. Some Aetherkey pieces for the new Twighlight Arbor dungeon path. Hard to find people who want to put in the time for that one after the living story passed. Then some of the Wintersday items, I’ll probably trade them in soon for a few last Giant Wintersday gifts, not that the likelihood of getting anything is very good. Then I’ve got quartz crystals waiting to become charged crystals whenever I get around to it. And 180 Queen’s Gambit tickets that I never really got around to using because I wasn’t really into the gambit.

On the second row, over the past few weeks, I’ve got three Black Lion Salvage Kits from my dailies. Most of my characters have one on them so until those are used up, these ones are going to sit around.

On the third row I’ve got a royal pass. Kudos to Arenanet for making them drop, but thumbs down on making them only last two weeks, and personally I’d like them to work like a Hall of Monuments stone. As such I’ve never felt compelled to actually use it. From there I’ve got Pristine Toxic Spore Samples, most of which I farmed but some I bought. I figure once the toxic events go away, if there is no other source for them, I’ll have no trouble making a little money off them. Now, I did have the same idea with Watchwork Sprockets, as you can see. The price for those hasn’t exactly been a rocket to the moon (possibly because Scarlet still attacks zones every day) but the price has been increasing. As of this writing they’re at 94c which means a stack is over 2g. A far cry from when they were selling at 30 or 40c. Finally you’ll see Scrolls of Knowledge, a rare Scroll of Knowledge, and a Tome of Knowledge. Partially hanging on to them in the hopes I’ll get up the energy to convert skill points to cash, partially hanging on to them because, one day, #Tengu.

Second panel.

secondpanel

To be honest I’m not very good at remembering to use the free stuff I get. As a result it stacks up in my bank. I’ve got several Fine Transmutation sitting around from back when they actually dropped from dailies, and way too many basic T-stones from zone completion. It’s getting a little ridiculous, but seeing as I have 8 level 80’s and no other characters, well, I don’t know what to do with them. A transmutation splitter I acquired because I have a legendary IIRC, the birthday buffs you get in the mail, some leftover Kite Fortunes I supposedly keep around because I’ll use the buffs one day, 9 experience scrolls that will get me to level 20 because #Tengu. 182 Mystic Forge Stones from all the achievement chests I’ve opened. Frankly, those are one of the only things I make sure to use in this panel. Mystic Salvage Kits are the best, and one of the only uses for those anyway. Crystals and Philosopher Stones round out the top row, usually have extras and it seems wasteful to throw them away. These ones are mostly left over from Mystic Clover creation.

The second row of this panel is almost all stuff I got from daily rewards or achievement chests. There is a small stack of Black Lion Chests, a relic from the past, way back when Black Lion keys actually came from daily rewards or dropped in the world.

The bottom row is much the same. The first item is a leftover Gift of Exploration, but everything else is boosters. Quest rewards, dailies, achievement chests, I would rarely think to use xp boosts while leveling, and never think to use stat boosts while playing, but magic find, karma, and crafting boosts have all seen their fair amount of use even though I still have plenty. I used to save up the karma jugs, etc, and pop the karma boost quite a bit. Gave me an actual use for a booster. Not so much any more. Maybe some day I’ll use the bonfire for a Twit Guild thing.

Third panel.

thirdpanel

This panel is a bit of a mix. I’ve been saving up ectos, obviously, for the shiney fractal capacitor backpiece. Technically I could have it right now, just haven’t gotten around to mystic forging it. All the other crafting materials in this panel are essentially saved up to help level various crafting professions to 500. Moving on to Koi Cake and Kralkachocolate Bars, I had saved these because essentailly they’re pretty good foods. Koi Cake makes for an excellent addition to a condition damage build, and Kralka Bars add +5% karma, which would have been great if that still effected Karma Jugs etc. On the end of this row are Black Lion ticket scraps, not enough to get anything, some Kite Fortunes which will hopefully be useful again some day, and 53 Mystic Clovers. I’m very slowly building up to getting a second legendary. The one problem being I’m not particularly inspired to get any of the current legendaries.

On the second row the only things of note are the Pristine Fractal Relics and the Dragons Jade Claim Ticket. I’m not in urgent need of ascended rings right now. I could slap one on an alt pretty easily, I guess I’m waiting to have an actual reason to use them. As it stands the characters I want to have ascended rings have them. Anything else is superfluous. Now the Jade ticket, I’m not going to lie, its worth a bit of cash at this point. I could probably get 45 to 50g by trading it in and selling the item. But who knows, maybe my #Tengu will want a dragon weapon? Maybe.

On the bottom row I’ve got a lot of siege weapons. I don’t typically think to bring them, and usually there are plenty anyway. I’ve been meaning to donate them to some kind mist warriors on my server who are fighting the good fight. Aside from the traps anyway, I’m going to use those, I’ve never seen anyone bother with them so I’m definitely going to see what happens. Aside from that I’ve got a few agony infusions, not really a fan of the new system for that, kind of tedious. And a couple weeks ago I got an ascended weapon box in fractals, soldier stats. Haven’t decided what to do with it yet, guardian greatsword maybe? Not really in deep need of a weapon right now. Same situation as ascended rings really.

Fourth panel.

Fourthpanel

I’ve been hanging on to these tier 5 materials because I vaguely thought they might spike in price at some point. And while they have done so, it’s only ever been fairly mild spikes. Should probably just sell them. I bought a couple stacks of linen a couple months ago in anticipation of ascended tailoring, back when it was a reasonable price. Never realized how insane prices for linen would be. I just did the math on what would happen if I sold every last scrap and bolt of linen I have. 60g. Not bad.

The rest of the panel are sigils and runes I’ve been keeping around to throw on alt exotic gear, whether temporary or permanent. Some of these are pretty good, others very specific to builds, others pretty useless. Could probably get rid of most of them without a second thought.

Fifth panel.

fifthpanel

I had been using almost this entire panel for one purpose. Mystic Forge Dailies. I’d save up greens, the remaining few of which you can see, throw them in the mystic forge, nab the daily and hopefully come out of it with a rare or two. I have had pretty good luck with getting rares so I had incentive up until the changes to magic find. Which means I’m much more likely to salvage just about everything I get leaving nothing for the daily. Thankfully the dailies have expanded a bit by adding a lot of living story dailies so I’m not hard up for quick ways to do them.

Sixth panel.

sixthpanel

Cultural armours. Seemed like a shame to just throw them away. That’s asura tier 1 light to begin with, which I didn’t really like. Followed by human tier 1 light on the right, which is kind of meh. Norn tier 1 light on the 2nd row, which I would still be using now if Necronomnomnomicon didn’t look insanely crazy in the Aetherblade gem store armour. And finally the charr tier 1 heavy, which could plausibly go back on my guardian.

Seventh panel.

seventhpanel

I could probably lose most of the stuff in the cultural armour bank panel and this bank panel pretty quickly. The first two rows are essentially just alt gear. I saved a rare ring and amulet to possibly put on an alt, but I’m pretty sure I’m full up on rare jewelry. I got an exotic speargun out of a champion box, but I don’t need it, so that is either going on sale or going to be salvaged for dark matter. The next item is a Durmand Priory skin I saved for my ranger, it’s an exotic, but has bad stats. It will probably end up being salvaged. The next 3 items are exotics I got out of Fractals but don’t have uses for, and the Aetherized shoulders everyone got with the healing power on them. So yeah. Looking to get rid of these at some point I guess.

The second row is an alt set of gear for my guardian that I made when I was leveling armoursmith to 500. Don’t know if I’m going to bother keeping them yet. Beside that is a rabid insignia that I salvaged off of something. Can’t remember what.

Bottom row consists of insignia and inscriptions (which I’m saving to help level crafting professions) I’ve gotten off the Karka Queen, a host of worthless Giver’s and Celestial recipes that I’ve been adding to all of my alts, 2 Shadow of Grenth Ascended backpiece recipes, and the recipe for the leatherworker superior rune of antitoxin. I’ll probably sell one of the Shadow of Grenth recipes at some point down the line, they’re worth 3g right now, but in 6 months? I don’t know. The question is what to do with the antitoxin. The price is pretty high right now, 18g. But the price of a stack of pristine spore samples is about 12g, plus the additional 1g cost is 13g, which makes me think there are a lot of people doing exactly what I’m doing, getting the runes and waiting for them to go away to make a killer profit, which is probably going to backfire for all of us. I should sell now, but, I’ll play it out.

Eighth panel.

eigthpanel

I had gotten it into my head that I was going to save up all the festival stuff. But I’m probably going to do something about the candy corn you can see in the top row soon, this window is getting crowded. The two most recent skins from living world are next, the gas mask and antitoxin injector, then Tassi’s Relay Golem which I kept for some reason, I’ll probably end up destroying it (editor’s note: I took it out of the bank, double-clicked it and it disappeared, problem solved?). The infinite watchknight tonic, flames of kryta, twisted shoulder skins, and mask of the night skins round out the top row.

On the second row are the dragon wings skin, the Zephyr rucksack that I just had to get for my engineer but never use even though it has a freaking bird, the desert rose skin which is now worth around 25g, the fervid censor, sclerite karka shell, and Super Adventure Box backpacks, baubles and continue coins.

Final row, so glad I decided not to capitalize every single thing in this post, my fingers are tired. The Mad Memories flaming book backpiece. I keep promising myself I’m going to make it my engi’s permanent backpiece but I never do. Spooky and Mysterious tonics, account bound so I can’t sell them. Might trash them if I need the room. The Zephyr Sanctum model and Marjory’s Journal. Two oddities so far in GW2’s history, you can tell Anet was experimenting with them. Polla, a low level accessory for newbies, its a sweet reference to the Sea of Sorrow’s novel and I suppose I could end up using it on a new character, like a #Tengu maybe? And finally, a bunch of stuff I thought might come in handy from last years Wintersday. No such luck. Pretty much all worthless, with no way to get more cogs, there’s no way to make mini’s out of these toy frames, and I already acquired one of the ones I didn’t have from this year’s rewards. So those will be in the trash soon I guess.

And that is a way too thorough overlook of everything that is in my bank. I’m the only one who will ever read this far into the post, muwhahahahahaha.

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Wintersday

December 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Festival, Guild Wars 2, Jumping Puzzle, mmorpg, PvE | 14 Comments
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I love this golem.

I love this golem.

Wintersday was the biggest and most popular festival in Guild Wars so Guild Wars 2 had a lot to live up to with Wintersday 2. I’m glad to say that the festivals so far have blown the original game out of the water.

It seems surprising that they’ve actually managed to put together so much content in such a seemingly small amount of time since Southsun Cove was released. Their production teams must be running on all cylinders. Guild Wars festivals had a lot of content but typically they were built up over the course of years, I feel like Guild Wars 2 has trumped them on Halloween and Wintersday their first time out.

Fully original set-pieces for the mini-dungeon, snowball fight, jumping puzzle, and bell choir. Decorations strung up everywhere, skins, and cash shop items available aplenty. Very little of it is disappointing.

The things I like the most are probably that we get to build our own mini, although I’m saddened that seemingly we don’t get build each one, unless I’m misinformed. Some of the skins are really great, like the slingshot. The slingshot is genius. The earmuffs as well.

As usual the chests are not worth buying. While I’m sure there are a ton of things in them to entice people to buy them, the vast majority of people who do will be disappointed. With the gem exchange becoming virtually useless for changing gold to gems for the average user, it’s best just to avoid random number generators.

As for the activities. I like them a lot actually, but I’m much better at describing faults than pointing out victories.

A long time ago, years before Guild Wars 2 was released, I blogged about the musical instruments of Lord of the Rings. Players there can learn songs and play them for others on various musical instruments. I had wanted Guild Wars 2 to incorporate the same thing. I can’t find the post. In any case I was lead to believe that wouldn’t happen, and, pleasantly surprised during the 3rd beta weekend when I came across an organ in Caledon Forest that you can play. And now with Wintersday we have both bells that you can acquire and play songs with, and the Bell Choir.

Bell Choir is a bit of fun similar to a Guitar Hero like game. And if you like that you’ll like this, but I’ve never been a fan of those types of games. I did play it enough to get the achievement and a few extra rounds for gifts so I do have some observations.

I thought the wait times were too long. Nothing more interminable than having to wait and wait and wait just to be bad at something.

I kind of thought rewards could have been handed out after each round as well, so that I could come and go as I please.

As for the difficulty, it does take a lot of practice just to get to a point where you’re not making a fool of yourself. I thought the timing of when you’re supposed to hit the notes could use some work as well. It seemed counter-intuitive to hit the notes after the lights disappear rather than at the point they cross the line. Took me a while to figure that out.

The free play portion is great, for anyone who can play or understands music. I do not. That’s a full minute of wasted time for the vast majority of people.

Winter Wonderland is a fantastic contrast to the Mad King’s Clocktower of Halloween. It really shows off what is good and bad about both.

Probably the worst thing about the MKC was that the vast majority of your time was spent in that first 5% of the puzzle. So if you’re not any good at jumping puzzles you were stuck with the same aggravating problems over and over. With WW that problem is thrown out the window with 3 different paths and the timing gets tighter at the end of the puzzle, not at the very beginning.

The difficulty is a lot easier for Wonderland too, while MKC threw in a few twists in difficulty throughout the puzzle (some intentional, some not) WW has a few specific hurdles that you can quickly get a grip on. I think that’s also reflected in the rewards. MKC gave up exotic boots, but the most you should hope for from WW is 3 ugly wool sweaters, one of the currencies at the Wintersday vendor. Fair enough.

The snowball fight is really well done and I would say one of the best festival PvP schemes they’ve put together, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have gripes.

For one I think the scout skillset needs some work. It’s tied to some of the regular games issues with longbow on ranger not being accurate enough. It’s just too easy to dodge the scout making the class weaker than the others.

Another complaint is just the starting area. I really despise having to face plant or take falling damage the moment the game starts. You can avoid it most times through some extra effort but I don’t see why you can’t just start running to the gift.

Which is another thing, the achievements get in the way of a good game. It’s hard enough to be paired up with a competent team, you’ll likely either dominate or be dominated when in snowball fight, but if half your teams motivation is either to bring gifts back or stop gifts from being brought back, not to wait for the next gift or play strategically, then we’ve got an annoying problem.

Finally Tixx’s mini dungeon. It’s actually pretty spectacular. The destructible model houses are obviously the best part as the actual objectives are fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. I thought the end boss could be more complicated, there’s really only one boss move you have to avoid, but it was fine with decent rewards. I have to wonder if any of that will change up for its future locations but at least the setting is amazing. As with the rest of the festival.

The Maddening Clock Tower

October 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Festival, Guild Wars 2, Jumping Puzzle, mmorpg, PvE | 15 Comments
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That lightning has to be a Back to the Future reference right?

There are a lot of negative vibes going around in regards to the Mad King’s Clock Tower in Guild Wars 2. It’s the Halloween themed jumping puzzle you can find after talking to an NPC inside the Mad King’s Realm. It’s got an achievement and rewards a pair of exotic boots for your armour class.

There are a lot of complaints.

– The time limit.
– The cinematic plays too often.
– Unclear edges.
– Camera movement.
– Difficulty.
– Length of time to make a successful run.
– Other players obscure view.
– Other players can troll you with various skills.

I’m sure there are other problems, but that’s the bulk of it. Zubon even goes on to say that it is “a new contender for the worst piece of content ever put into a game” which I have a hard time agreeing with. Frustration leads to hyperbole I guess.

My own experience does happen to find most of the above problems to be realistic however. The first portion of the puzzle, up until around that first jump down to a cube is entirely too difficult for all the stated reasons. My camera jumped in and out, I tripped up all too often on impossible to see bumps and edges. I couldn’t see myself due to all the other players, don’t even get me started on norn and charr. And it took me far too long to do a festival activity. Over two hours, maybe longer, doing the exact same thing over and over. That seems to be strange theme Arenanet has going on this festival. Pumpkin Carving anyone? Crafting Halloween themed weapons? Festivals should not be a grind.

But my only real problems with the puzzle are other players obscuring my view, and the miasmic goo rising too quickly during the first half of the puzzle. Remove these two obstacles and the puzzle would become much less of a giant pain in the ass. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a jump because someone was in my way. I counted the number of times I died on the exact same spot, that little jump down to the cube. 19 times.

Here’s the thing. I get the impression the designer wanted it to be difficult. That’s a good thing in my opinion, I like a good challenge. I don’t even have a problem with designing something so that only a certain elite few can complete it. And hey if you’re going to pour a lot of company resources into content it should provide hours of play time, not minutes of farm.

My problem is if something is a piece of festival content it should be for everyone. That’s why you make it available in low level areas, with low level mobs, where everyone can go. That’s why you make it accessible from the big hubs that everyone can get to.

You don’t design festival content that some people will never be able to finish.

It’s a long way up in more ways than one.

That said I’d like to take a moment to discuss some of the finer points of the puzzle. Visually and thematically it is fantastic. The opening cinematic, the voice-over work, the little rhyme at the beginning are all great atmospheric set pieces. The effects as well are well done, the hands grabbing up at you, the goo rising up, the lightning at the end, I even like the spinning. Plenty of cool jumps and misleading paths as well.

I also like the second half of the puzzle much better than the first. Maybe because there are far fewer people, but there is definitely a better pace being set once you make it past that one big drop. It’s less of a mad dash. The reward is pretty good too. An exotic pair of level 80 Mad King’s Slippers. Best piece of loot I’ve gotten in Guild Wars 2 yet.

And yeah the end is pretty great, the jump in and the satisfaction of knowing. Not knowing that you’ve completed a difficult challenge, but knowing that you won’t ever have to do this again. There is a big difference there, and I hope the designer learns that difference.

On a final note, at least go in and check it out, it is worth the look.

Yes, I did it a second time on my alt, but I chose to do that. I didn’t have to.

One Time Only Post

October 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Posted in Festival, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 14 Comments
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This post will be readable one time only to the people who happen to be around when it is posted. I’m not going to say why I’m doing this but it will be a big event! If you can’t be around to read my post at the time of posting hopefully you can read it later on youtube. Also reading it on youtube would spoil it for you, so I hope you don’t have to do that but you will since you are spineless nerds. I know some of you can’t be here when I post it but I’m doing this anyway. Yes, this sucks, but trying to accommodate everyone would suck more! I know reading my blog from someones fraps video isn’t quite the same as reading it on my blog but this is necessary to achieve…. some as yet unidentifiable dumb idea I had.

Okay, I ran out of steam at the end there, but this is the same reasoning Arenanet is using to justify why there will be a one time only event, “the pinnacle of the Halloween event (Act 3)”, in Guild Wars 2.

As some of you noticed, we have published the time of the special event which will occur on Sunday, October the 28th at 12:00 PM Pacific Time/19:00 GMT.

On the holiday team, we are fully aware of the fact that not everyone can be logged into the game at specific time. We’re also aware that people live in different time zones, and those times can potentially fall on different calendar days. This is why each act is a phase, or a period of time, rather than a moment in time.

The one major exception is the beginning of Act 3, which is something that I think most people will want to be around to see. The choice of 12:00 PM Pacific Time/19:00 GMT on Sunday was a very informed, calculated decision. It was primarily based on the fact that it’s pretty much the peak of our weekly concurrency, which means it satisfies the highest possible percentage of our users. It also means that it’s the same calendar date whether you’re American or European.

For those of you wondering, having the event at separate times for separate zones is actually one of the worst options. Whatever happens is going to be on livestreams instantly and then on YouTube about five minutes later. At least this way, everyone has a chance to experience it in the game, without having it spoiled by the rapid availability of video on the Internet.

One of the things I don’t like about this is how they don’t really address any of the complaints. They know one time events don’t really work. They know they’re upsetting large numbers of people. They know that timed events worked much better in the past with Guild Wars.

One time only events in MMOs are usually big disappointments. I can’t think of one that was a big success.

I honestly do hope this decision turns out well, I hope it’s a big success, and I know you can’t please all the people all the time, and far be it from me to tell Arenanet what things they can try and can’t try, but yeah, I will not be surprised if this doesn’t turn out well.

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