Caramelldansen – Fan Video

April 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 2 Comments
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Just about one of the strangest fan videos I’ve ever seen, save ascalon boy. Huginn over at Guild Wars 2 Guru made a video containing the likenesses of various of Arenanet devs. It appears to be in honor of the upcoming 6 year anniversary of Guild Wars.

The music is horrific, so you’re forgiven for only watching the first few moments. I watched the entire thing for you, just to tell you the animation is the same all the way through.

You’re welcome.

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Katy Hargrove Posts 3D Models

April 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 2 Comments
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Arenanet artist Katy Hargrove keeps a blog she mostly uses for art unrelated to Guild Wars. However she sometimes puts up interesting and beautiful pieces, which is why I keep tabs on it.

Yesterday she posted a treasure trove of 3d models from the original Guild Wars. Everything from a Certaradon to a Hippo.

Now as she says on the blog, obviously various artists had a hand in creating these 3d models, so they’re not all her work.

There are dozens of models in the post, so go check it out.

I believe in game this is the Auroch Beserker

The Big Chicken

April 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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So do we call this guy the shatner or the big chicken now?

I really have to commend Arenanet on this years April Fool’s Day. A lot of time and effort went into it, and it wasn’t just some tossed off joke that has been done before. It was original, funny, and was probably one of the best gaming industry pranks in the past couple years. I mean they really committed with interviews, webpages, and of course the Guild Wars quest that was added.

That’s why the blog post up at Arenanets blog caught my attention today. It was interesting to get a peak inside how it all came together.

It answered a few peoples questions, some were commenting that Arenanet should spend more time working on the game, and less on superfluous nonsense. My first reaction was ‘Killjoys’. Nothing good happens without someone complaining about it. Which sounds funny coming from me, but anyhow, the blog in no uncertain terms stipulates that the prank was worked on in the free time of various employees.

Which seems like common sense, but even before the blog post Community Manager Martin Kerstein had commented.

because we have fun doing something like this in our spare time?

With the blog post today, people started commenting that the complaints must have prompted it. Martin responded with this.

we have been in this industry long enough, we knew those comments would come up. We had this planned from the start.

I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about this. Happy that Arenanets community team is on the ball, or sad that they knew all the quality work they put into something would end up causing some kind of stupid backlash. Humanity fail.

I just want to put my personal thanks out there to the people that worked on the project. It was a genuine surprise and a good laugh.

QFT: April 1st Edition

April 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
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Welcome to the Guild Wars 2 universe Commando

On past April Fools, Arenanet has typically done a few specific things. They reskinned your character so that you looked different. A sex change, stick figure, chibi gwen, or the size of a mini (with your mini’s being the size of you). They also usually had a humourous Guild Wars skill update, which fooled more than a few people over the years.

This year they went all out, releasing one of the most impressive game industry jokes I’ve seen this year. Check out the trailer below.

That’s right! The 8th and final profession turns out to be the Commando! Swing by the Guild Wars 2 homepage, to check out the profession page. I think my favourite part here was definitely either the commando being able to wield a scepter in its main hand, or the vehicles.

A commando can opt for an armored personnel carrier (APC) or a tank for land travel, a helicopter for air travel, or a submarine for undersea travel.

They didn’t just stop with a simple video either. They ganged up with PCGamer, Games On Net, OnlineWelten, and Game Reactor to release interviews about the Commando. Well worth the read.

He can do a lot of damage, he can be a healer, and then, quite literally, a tank, when he hops into his tank.

Jeez, even in fantasy land we get stone walled on details.

PC Gamer: Can the Commando go commando?

Jon Peters: That’s something we’re not talking about yet.

At least the items that the thief can steal from a commando seem pretty cool.

The list of things that the thief can steal from a commando in order of most common to least common is as follows: MRE, Grenade, Tank, Aircraft Carrier, and Nuclear Missile.

It’s good to know that the commando will have at least one major weakness.

Their one weakness is fear of commitment. A commando doesn’t like to get too involved. Of course they are overpowered in PvP, just like all other professions.

Just ask to keep a drawer in their apartment and bam, break up city.

But why a commando?

“Most massively multiplayer online RPG’s only appeal to fans of the fantasy genre, so our primary objective in creating this class has been to reach all the gamers out there who are only interested in games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield,”

It all makes sense now.

Sheer brilliance involved in putting this screen shot together

But wait! What happened to the 7th profession? Well it can be found here.

Therefore, by level 13, the shadowmancer is effectively immune to damage. This ability comes with a price however. Because this ability makes most of PvE rather easy, a shadowmancer only receives a small portion of experience from all sources.

Who knew they’d blow out the last two professions on the same day?

But Wait! You thought there would only be 8 professions? Wrong! Here is the 9th profession of Guild Wars 2.

The German to English translation here is not the best, so I’ll wait for Arenanet to release an English version of our 9th profession.

Profession news wasn’t the only thing we got today though because Guild Wars 2 Guru acquired an exclusive interview with Arenanet that reveals some shockingly awesome information.

Given that the GW2 beta is scheduled for late August 2012, ArenaNet wanted to give everyone a head start on purchasing their iPads. Wait, what did you just say? That’s right, folks. Guild Wars 2 will be releasing exclusively to the iPad!

I wasn’t going to go out and get an iPad but now I have to.

Arenanet didn’t concentrate on Guild Wars 2 of course, they still have a little game called Guild Wars to pay attention to and they did not disappoint. Although this year they didn’t have any reskinning, They did have a new quest. In the quest you get to play as, wait for it, a commando!

It all started with this brief entertainment in chat. Thanks to IncGamers and Scutilla.

At which point, an update was added to Guild Wars and a new quest became available from Embark Beach. It’s all much more entertaining to go see it for yourself of course, but to sum up it is a very funny quest in the style of the Keiran quests from Hearts of the North. It also functions as a parody of a very well known movie. So go have fun with that, read the dialogue and quest text when you have a chance, and then go websurfing because we’re not done.

Guild Wars also added a skill update, as is tradition.

Highlights include:

Mind Craft: “For the next 4…15 seconds, your attacks deal Earth damage. Deals +40 bonus damage and knocks down if you have a pickaxe equipped.”

Generous Spirit: “Create a level 1…18 Generous Spirit. Whenever a foe nearby the spirit uses a skill, that foe and all foes in the area donate 250 gold to your party.”

The Black Beast of Arrgh now appears only on Friday when the next day is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.

Players can now preview the jumping mechanic from Guild Wars 2 by typing “/jump” in the chat panel.

And, that for the most part, is that. There are plenty of other little things to be found here and there, including my own post, which at least one person was completely fooled by, or masterfully responded to.

Developer Appreciation Week

March 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 5 Comments
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I’ve read blogs about MMOs for years now, lurked, left comments under various aliases, all while mostly playing MMOs that nobody ever blogged about. Guild Wars or a plethora of free to play or supposedly free to play games.

One thing you’ll notice right away is that there is pretty much a constant stream of negativity. It’s easier to write about what bothers you than what pleasures you I suppose.

Last year, ScaryBooster took action against such negativity by instituting something he calls Developer Appreciation Week. It was his opinion that developers tend to take a lot of abuse from bloggers, and perhaps some counter weight could be added to the mix.

In honor of DAW I thought I’d add some praise.

Who'd of thunk it?

First of all I’d like to thank and give kudos to the Guild Wars Live Team. John Stumme and the unsung other developers currently working on the game have lately breathed quite a bit of life into the game. After the Eye Of The North expansion was released, it felt like there was little to look forward to.

That changed with Linsey Murdock pushing forward with things like War in Kryta. Without such new content, there would have been little reason for me to get back into Guild Wars, and connect or reconnect with a lot of Guild Wars friends.

I’ll also give a brief shout out to the team that put together the War In Kryta viral campaign to promote it. It drew me in and I was quite impressed. I’m not sure who at Arenanet can be particularly credited with designing it, my impression was the community team (and if I recall correctly from Regina Buenaobra’s blog, she had a particular fascination with ARG’s) but in any case it was a good job.

Of course, how could I even attempt to appreciate developers on my primarily Guild Wars 2 blog, without addressing Guild Wars 2 developers.

I’m glad Arenanet is trying to be different. Trying new things. Innovating. A lot of the MMO blogosphere (ugh shoot me for using that word) sees something different and just craps all over it. Screw those guys.

I like everything that you’re doing. I like the story, lore, skills, events, weapon systems, traits, activities, skill effects, underwater, dungeons, jumping, armour, crafting, and transmutation stones. I like the emphasis on everything from the art down to needing a mathematical equation to figure out how many different colours I can dye something. I like that they had the balls to say their own game (Guild Wars which has sold something like nearly 7 million copies) just wasn’t good enough.

I like all that stuff and the game isn’t even out yet. So to Mike O’Brien and everyone underneath him, thanks. I appreciate it.

I should probably move on to non-Arenanet developers.

A very unpredictable addition I'm sure

Thank you Bioware for making the best game I played in 2010, Mass Effect 2. I can not believe how much I love and appreciate that game. I literally know next to nothing about Bioware developers by name, but I know one thing. They know how implement, visualize, and write a story. Part of what makes me anticipate Star Wars: The Old Republic so much is Bioware’s other work.

I can leave any misgivings, any hesitation, any thoughts of dread that perhaps SWTOR might not be any good, at the door because Bioware is so reliable. Even if I only end up enjoying the story for a few months, it will be well worth the time and money.

Perhaps this one is slightly surprising

I’d also like to acknowledge Trion. There is plenty to like about Rift and I give full credit to the studio for attempting, and succeeding, at new things. Rifts are a well thought out and completely realized concept. The game as a whole is very well polished, I haven’t encountered a bug of any kind. Indeed, much of the game is beautiful and a pleasure to play. I must say Scott Hartsman’s reputation rose considerably with me.

You know, it is actually quite hard to praise game developers without delivering a few backhanded compliments. I was quite tempted to add an addendum here or there containing phrases like “this is great, except for this!”

Back to crapping on the games I play in the next post.

The Arthritic Dog

March 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 24 Comments
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I’ve had a few discussions over the past few months revolving around one simple thought of mine. I’m not going to play Guild Wars ever again once Guild Wars 2 comes out.

I have played Guild Wars a lot, and have enjoyed my time immensely, meeting so many different people. Unfortunately, if I have to play this game one second longer than I really have to, I am going to gouge my eyes out.

A lot of people seem to think I’m crazy. Tigerfeet, for one, has voiced her opinion that she will be playing Guild Wars consistently after Guild Wars 2 is released. I’m not sure whether that is motivated by the Guild Wars 2 Hall of Monuments Calculator or by her true love for the game, but I have no sympathy.

I feel slightly sad for John Stumme and the Live Crew, for it is their livelihood. Yet, I have no sympathy for those who won’t be able to upgrade their systems right away, those who can’t get their hands on the game at launch, or those who have nostalgia for old times. Nor will I be helping out anyone with their titles, their armours, or their minis.

When I am done with Guild Wars, I am done.

‘Why?’ you may ask. Well, the ridiculous number of hours in game is one solid reason. It’s embarrassing. We were comparing /age in our alliance chat, with quite a few people participating, and I was only beaten out by one person. I have to play something different. Thousands of hours is just too much.

Another reason might be a lack of new content. I’ve literally done everything. The War In Kryta was the first new real content in years, and it only kept me busy for a couple months. It really did surprise me that even though Arenanet set out to make Guild Wars 2, they left Guild Wars to rot. Their prerogative, but it definitely left me bored.

Another reason, though I’m loathe to say it, is jumping. It’s 2011 and I want to jump and fall, and twirl like a ballerina! The lack of a z-axis is getting really ancient. It just feels old. I can’t fathom picking up an MMO today that has no jumping. I hate to be that guy, and I’ll defend Guild Wars for having no jumping when it came out in 2005, but the transition between going back and forth to Guild Wars 2 will be too harsh.

If people want to go back to Guild Wars, that’s fine. I’m not saying that you can’t or don’t. I’m saying I’m not going back. I once mentioned a similar sentiment. It got picked up in a thread on Guild Wars 2 Guru, where I was subsequently trash talked by some fanboys. I was accused of hating Guild Wars, but they just didn’t get it. I loved Guild Wars. Past tense.

Isn’t there a time where you just have to say enough? It’s time to walk away from this relationship, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s time to put the arthritic dog down, it’s in too much pain.

When Guild Wars 2 comes out, it’ll be time to walk away from Guild Wars. It’s just not that fun anymore.

PAX East Gets Updated Demo

February 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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Closer but still too far away

A couple days ago in a blog post, Arenanet announced that not only were they going to PAX East in Boston, they’d be bringing an updated demo as well.

That’s pretty fantastic. Not a whole lot of information has been released since the demo at gamescom, PAX, and other conventions. Generally, I’d just say that they’re putting the guardian in it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they added anything else they’d managed to finish up. There are a number of likely and unlikely possibilities of what will be updated for the demo. PAX starts March 11th, so they have some time.

My gut says it’ll just have the guardian, but Tigerfeet was excited about the possibility of another new profession being announced in conjunction with the convention. I’m sure we could all guess and speculate about numerous in game systems we’d like to see in action, but personally I’d like to see stuff like the Bar Brawl and Shooting Gallery activities we’ve heard so much about in Divinity’s Reach.

Unfortunately I won’t get to see PAX East with my own two eyes. Although Halifax, Nova Scotia may seem geographically close to Boston, Massachusettes, in a straight line it’s about 650km. Expedia says I’d have to pay about $650 to fly there, not to mention other expenses. I could drive but, Google Maps says it’s 1100km. That is far.

Aside from the demo I would also have liked to see at least one panel, most likely “Guild Wars 2 – Fantasy MMO Redefined”. Not to mention meet a few fellow bloggers and Guild Wars 2 fans.

Oh well. At least I don’t have to cross the border and get my junk molested.

The Unsung Summoning Stone

January 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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Since I’ve been playing Guild Wars a lot after the release of the Hall of Monuments Calculator, and therefore a lot of Hard Mode vanquishes, dungeons, missions and the like, I’ve been using a lot more summoning stones.

They’ve been in the game a long time now and I’ve had occasion to build up around 100 Mysterious Summoning Stones, a couple dozen Automaton, Mischievous, Frosty, Mercantile, and numerous other types.

For those who don’t know, they are essentially an NPC that does a little fighting for you.

With all the Hard Mode situations I’ve been getting into, I’ve got damned familiar with using them. Not such a great thing, considering how difficult they are to come by. Crafting them can be expensive, so the best way is often through Nicholas The Traveler. A once a week hand-in for random gifts isn’t exactly reliable though, so I’ve also done Zinn’s Task quite a bit, farmed up some festival quests for the things, and collected a few Royal Gifts to beef up my supply.

Saying all that though, you might think they’re worth it. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re worthless. Drop a summoning stone in Hard Mode and you may as well count on it dying within 30 seconds. If they catch aggro, they don’t last long.

Attack of the killer bees

Take for instance the summoning stone I hate the most. Swarm of Bees. It attacks in melee with most of its damage being done through Whirling Defense, and personally I can’t even keep track of its location due to it being a swarm of bees. Its attacks are worthless, and every time I’ve gotten it, it has died soon after.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about them dying quickly is that they leave you with summoning sickness. You’ll be unable to summon another stone for 60 minutes with that debuff on you, conveniently just long enough to finish most instances.

Their only other fault that I would bother complaining about is perhaps their aggro and our inability to control them. They attack who they want, and can often lead to bad pulls, and even wipes.

Not all summons are like Swarm of Bees however.

Many like different summons for different reasons. For instance I like the Juggernaut for the energy bonus when standing near him, but others despise him for being a bit of a body block and having so few attack skills. Some people like the Oni for its assassin damage output, but I think due to their long range shadowstepping and constant unwanted aggro collection that they suck. Replace your Oni summoning stones with Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support people.

There are some stones that have few faults. The Dream Rider has an extensive and useful mesmer bar, and its only fault lies in the same easy to kill flaw other stones have. The Gaki is a fairly useful buff for monks in an instance, it’s only fault being that it tends to send dorks in to convulsions of laughter.

I’ve even found myself preferring one type over all others. A stone that is derided and mocked, ignored and unused, brought out only before zoning into another instance to empty ones inventory.

Use Splinter Weapon on a Merchant to awesome effect.

The Mercantile Summoning Stone.

Not only are they in supply, Nicholas seems to give them out as much as Mysterious Summoning Stones, they are useful. I don’t think people realize how useful because often they are only used to sell things, and forgotten.

I myself put them aside until one day I was out solo farming. I had forgotten to sell some of my items upon last entering the outpost, and summoned the Merchant instead. I cleared some inventory space, and continued on with the farm, only to make a silly mistake and die. I ressed and traveled a fair distance back to the fight, only to discover the Merchant was still there. Not just that, but he had killed one of the 4 beasts assaulting him and was about to kill another. I rushed in to only have 2 left to kill. I was actually kind of shocked. The Merchant has Healing Signet, an interrupt, and I Will Survive? What the hell?

I had built up some 30 Mercantile stones, and began using them often. Sure he died sometimes, they all do, but the Merchant ended up being quite impressive to me. It is certainly no worse than most summoning stones, and I would say a damned sight more useful than the majority.

What are your favourite summoning stones?

Fan Music Of Guild Wars

January 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 2 Comments
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I believe I’ve posted about fan music and machinima before, but today I realized, after reading tweets from @poeffie and @tasha_darke that I’d never heard or seen the following two songs.

Some fairly adult language included.

Not really a fan of inserting some of the most offensive language in the English language as though it were the key to being funny, but worth listening to.

As far as Guild Wars rap goes, I’m still in YTCracker’s corner.

Made Of Honour

December 28, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | Comments Off on Made Of Honour
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I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Goremonger

Oh yeah, I went with a lame pun. It seems I’m getting quite well known for that. I’m sorry if I’ve reminded anyone of the Patrick Dempsey movie. It was traumatic, I know. Anyway I would be quite remiss without mentioning that along with the beginning of the Wintersday Festival last week, the final quests of the Hearts of the North Mini-campaign were finally added.

We last left off with Reunion, a dialogue activated in Anvil Rock between Gwen and Thackeray. They got all mushy with the feelings and then head back to the Eye.

Funnily enough, a couple of weeks later and I’m not particularly sure how to continue. I’m certain it was probably just going to the Eye of the North to activate a dialogue.

In any case you end up with the quest Norn Catering. It’s pretty straightforward but does require Elona and Cantha to complete. If anyone has been doing the Guild Wars Beyond campaign without those continents up until now, they are out of luck.

The quest itself has you running down the ingredients for the feast. Spicy Black Moa Wings, Tyrannus Fillet, and Ibolga salad for all you vegetarian adventurers.

The Black Moa is simple enough if you have the Aspenwood Gate outpost, it makes short work of that part of the quest. The other two ingredients can be much more time consuming. Rata Sum seemed to be the closest outpost, and one of my group didn’t have Tarnished Haven, but those spiders along the way tend to slow down your progress. In Elona, the 3 locations you have to travel in Garden of Seborhin are spread across the zone, making for a slightly extended session as well.

Otherwise I’d say my group blew through the quest. We had numerous real people and IIRC did it in Hard Mode. Why HM when there is no extra benefit? I don’t know. My friends like to irritate me? We did half wipe on Tyrannus, but killed him and resigned mid fight. It is not without challenge.

That all leads to The Wedding.

No large mobs to kill here, no desperate fight to the death, just sit back and watch some dialogues, first in the Eye and then in Olafstead. You’ll have to speak on behalf of Gwen, champion her virtues as a rite of the wedding, but beyond that the fun part was actually talkign to the NPCs standing around afterward.

Part of me wishes a throng of Destroyers had ambushed the party or more appropriately a warband of charr who get slaughtered therefore earning Gwen’s goremonger nickname. We can’t have it all right?

On to Winds of Change.

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