Guild Missions and Stuff

February 22, 2013 at 9:24 am | Posted in Dungeons, Guild Wars 2, PvE, video | 2 Comments
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I’ve spent most of the past couple months relentlessly running dungeons. January’s update allowing people to run FotM together inspired a bit of a binge on that dungeon and at this point I’ve got a few ascended items, backpiece, two rings, and amulet. None are infused as of yet, but it struck me that I wasn’t sure I wanted to bother getting them infused.

I’m kind of sick of fractals and I don’t see the point of getting more agony resistance if I don’t want to run fractals. Not only that but what is up with the stat sets? Why do no ascended items match any previous stat set? The more ascended gear I get the more it pushes me away from the stats I want to use, which I guess is the point, they want us to diversify our builds. But there are so few ascended items that simply don’t have magic find, let alone useful stats for me. The problem is it’s pushing me to change other gear to adjust for the stats I’m losing and I don’t think I should have to replace unrelated gear just so I can wear ascended. As a workaround I’ve been storing ascended gear in my inventory unless I’m doing fractals but the more ascended gear they release the less that is going to work.

The January release was great for such a small update but February looks far more promising. A lot of content that isn’t dungeons. That should make me happy. Guild Missions could help solve a lot of problems with cohesive group activities. I’m a little disappointed that from interviews it sounds like you get split up into different zones for some of the content, a guild flooding a particular zone sounds far more interesting to me, but generally speaking it looks and sounds really fun and the below video is very impressive.

From the Arenanet article linked above, I think I’m most interested in the jumping puzzle. I can only think of a few jumping puzzles where a little group coordination is helpful, Caledon Forest for example, and those puzzles tend to be some of the most memorable.

One thing I’m looking forward to is finding out about the rewards for all this content. I feel like the reduced waypoint costs and other guild tree rewards are just the tip of the iceberg, I haven’t seen much mentioned about more personal rewards, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

Guild Wars 2 Epic Rap

October 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 1 Comment
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I am unfamiliar with Verse Academy but this is a good track and video.

I Podcasteded

September 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 1 Comment
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I appeared on the 50th episode of Relics of Orr. It’s my first time on a podcast and I had some technical difficulties throughout the beginning of the show but it turned out well. I don’t really like the sound of my voice, but does anyone?

The Guild Wars 2 Launch Trailer

September 10, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 16 Comments
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First of all, if you don’t like spoilers, don’t watch it. Arenanet has made the same mistake that a thousand movie trailers have made and kind of spoiled the ending. Even after they did such a good job teasing it.

I’m kind of a zealot when it comes to spoilers. Maybe not compared to some, but I don’t think if you should go around telling people about Luke’s father in Star Wars if they haven’t seen it. Sure it’s been out a while, what does that matter? If you expect people to enjoy something on the same level you did, try not to ruin the surprise for them.

But that isn’t even the big controversy with this trailer for most people. The big controversy is the seemingly non-sensical live action content of the trailer.

It starts with a man caked in mud watching television. I guess this is supposed to be someone set in their ways, living a sedentary life. Possibly representative of how gamers are sick of MMOs being so cookie cutter, possibly representative of our frustration with the mundane aspects of real life. The riots on television are suggestive of something quite possibly political.

But beneath the surface of that caked on mud is something trying to break free. Something fiery, hot, burning through. Guild Wars 2 or perhaps just our own desires and motivations to break free.

This is all re-enforced by the voice over. A shadow grips the land but we’re too scared to try something new, but now is the time to seize the day.

Overall it comes off a little broad and ham-fisted if you ask me. Going for some kind of artistic merit is fine but this is a video game commercial, let’s keep it simple guys. We’re evoking a lot of things here already and very little of it has anything to do with video games.

Then we see one rioter running down a back alley with a gas mask on. Perhaps they’re trying to evoke something of the Occupy movement here. A certain amount of rebelliousness. And oh look he jumps a fence in one leap! He’s superman! “Parkour is so cool!” said the hipster. “We can exploit that in our next project.” said the film studies student.

Then the rioter spray paints “Our Time is Now” on a wall, only to reveal that she’s not actually a rioter but a model with a fake nose ring! Wow!

So far the trailer is just playing on very tired themes such as opression and youthful rebellion. Fine.

Then a crowd forms and they’re all going to walk on hot coals in some back alley. So, guy covered with mud in his living room, Riot Alice parkouring before she graffitis a wall, and now hot coals in a back alley. All things we do every day right?

I don’t get the coals metaphor. Are we supposed to believe that trying Guild Wars 2 is some form of bravery? That playing video games is a really difficult and painful decision? Video games are like walking on hot coals everybody!

Then comes the only part of the trailer I like.

A woman swims through her submerged living room in a flowing red gown, swimming to the surface. She emerges and transforms into her avatar.

This is what MMOs are about. Sometimes we feel inundated by our normal inane lives. Perhaps we sometimes even feel like we’re drowning in it. Water is typically used as a metaphor for transformation and a barrier between worlds, so when she breaks through the surface of the water she’s entering Tyria. She transforms from her old boring life to a life as an adventurer. It’s just too bad she’s insanely (and I mean insanely) gorgeous. Then again I don’t think anyone but models could live up to the in game character designs Arenanet comes up with.

I just kind of wish they had gone with this theme throughout. A fat bearded man sitting in his living room chair, breaks through to Tyria and transforms into a beautiful norn woman. Real life, you know? It would have been more representative of what we’re doing in Guild Wars 2. Suspending our disbelief, escaping to another world, socializing in that world.

Instead we have messages about seizing the day, overcoming hardship and suffering, taking action to fight for a better tomorrow. It’s practically an ad for Obama, lets face it.

The funny thing is I don’t hate this trailer, not as much as Syp does, or various people on twitter and forums. I think it’s okay. It just could have been so much better.

Eye See What You Did There

August 20, 2012 at 1:57 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 7 Comments
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The eye as presented on facebook.

Arenanet is known to play a bit with hinting at upcoming events and I guess they’re at it again.

Fans have noticed a number of recurring images in well placed positions in videos and on facebook. The following images were found in this album uploaded on the 15th.

I believe this photo came from facebook as well.

Very subtle guys, every monitor turned off, except these guys.

Jeff Grubb also likes to conspire against fans.

And at gamescom Martin Kerstein, community manager, recorded a quick video where the eye and above images come up on a monitor behind him.

Now in the video, the image of the eye transitions to a figure seemingly swimming upwards towards the light. Following that another quick image that many claim is of burning coals.

This was later posted on facebook.

Not exactly a clear image.

And I guess that’s pretty much where we stand. These were all posted during gamescom and gamescom is now over with nothing really having come of it.

Obviously the game launches in a few days so most people are predicting a launch trailer, which is a pretty good hunch really. The question is what kind of trailer? Arenanet are known to be pretty anti-CGI since the Factions trailer saying they’d rather spend money on the game and not 500k on a trailer.

Have things changed?

The eye itself looks to be real, with grey paint. Some form of live action trailer? A commercial? Will they go the same route as their concept art animations as in the original trailer? Have a mix of animations, live action, and gameplay?

A lot of people are connecting the swimming figure to Eir, one of the 5 archetype heroes of Guild Wars 2. There are definite signs of red and Eir has red hair. There definitely seems like some similarities between that image and the concept art below.

An underwater discovery by Eir.

Whatever it ends up being, it’s going to come soon. Perhaps within hours of this post but at least by the 25th.

Mini-Rytlock and Mistfire Wolf

August 20, 2012 at 12:34 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 1 Comment

I neglected to post this the past couple days because I had other coals in the fire but Arenanet released this video at gamescom a few days ago.

I really like how the Mistfire Wolf turned out, it was the main reason I even bought the DD, I’ll be hauling it out in towns constantly. It’s not quite worth the $20 I paid but I wasn’t going to be stuck without it like with the dances in the original Guild Wars.

I like the presentation of the mini in the video, great use of perspective, but I’m no big fan of Rytlock or minis, he’ll likely be put in storage.

Anyway. Enjoy.

Tapestries of Orr

August 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Community, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 5 Comments
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The Relics of Orr podcast seems like it’s slowly winding up to be on a more regular schedule, which would be great. There are a few quality podcasts out now but RoO remains a favourite.

With the growing amount of activity comes a new face to RoO’s ranks. Shongaqu. And he has created a fairly interesting feature for Relics, a video series that focuses on fan projects. Tapestries of Orr.

While I’m not sure how I feel about the name, the idea is a solid one and I like the execution. There aren’t a whole lot of other video series featuring fan art, blogs, community works etc.

Full disclosure, I’m featured in the first episode and have been known to associate with people from Relics.

Lore Nerds Rejoice!

August 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 5 Comments
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Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb did a live broadcast on Twitch.tv earlier today. They’re Arenanet’s lore scribes, the demi-gods of continuity.

I didn’t know what to expect when I tuned in but I was treated to a rather in depth discussion of Guild Wars 2 lore, where the game fits in to the fantasy genre, influences, perspectives and all kinds of cool junk.

Anyway I would have loved to have embedded the clip but some types of players don’t work with wordpress.

Fan Song Ruins of Orr

July 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 4 Comments
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Set to the tune of Scarborough Fair, Twitter superstar and TalkTyria contributor @Loremasterkaae recorded herself singing Ruins of Orr. She devised the lyrics and uploaded the song to youtube.

I really like fan songs. Remember that Skyrim cover of an in-game song? I hope someone covers some of the songs I’ve heard in Guild Wars 2. Like that one pirate song in Gendarran Fields or that quaggan in Lion’s Arch that sings at least 3 different songs. My favourite? Swimming, swimming, swimming, all summer long. Swimming, swimming, swimming, makes your flippers strong! Somebody cover that.

Useful Tips Video

July 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 5 Comments
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Just happened by this video from Equinox that has 10 useful tips on playing Guild Wars 2. I thought it was decent and as it happens I’m thinking about doing something similar closer to launch but he seemed to have a few tips I hadn’t thought of. Anyway, enjoy.

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