Welcome to the Desert of the Real

March 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 2 Comments
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The new WvW Borderlands map, showcased on Twitch during EGX Rezzed, look incredible. So much so that it kind of makes the old Borderlands map and the Eternal Battlegrounds map look generic and boring. What they’re now capable of creating in WvW is very impressive and I find myself thinking it will be a long time after Heart of Thorns hits before I venture back to EB or Edge of the Mists even after the new car smell wears off. Obviously the art is what first catches the eye, spectacularly good looking settings and visuals, but what really makes the map interesting are a lot of potential game changing…. changes… to layouts and terrain.

Hopefully the towers will channel players past them, forcing them to stop and take the tower or spend extra time getting around them instead of just breezing by ignoring them. While I still feel zergs will do exactly that, skip towers where possible if they’re inconvenient or to gain the element of surprise, at least there will be consequences, at least it seems possible that it will be as equally inconvenient to go around.

If you own a tower or a keep you can move past and get to areas a lot faster than say the enemy team who has to walk all the way around. – Tirzah Bauer

wvwtower

Where we start to run into trouble is with defending. Ravious points out that there was simply no mention of rewarding defenders, or rewarding scouts for… scouting. That’s been a big gripe with players from the beginning and has fostered an environment where zergs will actually avoid each other and concentrate on taking objectives instead of defending them.

I don’t think that’s the whole story though, the bonuses to keeping… keeps… are quite interesting. Over powered even. Highly seductive in some respects to taking on enemy zergs through ambush, front line bonuses, and terrain use. While I don’t think that’s enough, it’s a big step in the right direction in encouraging people to actually fight with each other more.

What I don’t think is a step in the right direction is the super weapon event that happens every 3 hours. After completing the event a team can destroy the outer defenses of every enemy objective. While that seems great for teams that aren’t doing well (if they manage to complete it) to me it only seems like a punishment for people who have been successfully defending up until that point. Why bother defending if in 20 minutes or in an hour somebody’s going to be able to take the objective you’ve devoted yourself to? As well, Arenanet describes it as a comeback mechanic, but what if the team that is already doing really well wins the event? They just get to walk over what little resistance remains? I would bet this happens far more often than its supposed goal of turning the tables.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for defenders because I think the new siege weapon is going to be one of my favourites, while also perhaps being one of the hardest to master. Figuring out where and when to properly place walls and using the knockdowns at just the right time should be difficult. I’m honestly quite curious if there will be serious differences between how it’s used on the new map versus the old maps. The shield generator is great for defending…. defenders… and I can easily see more of these on walls than ballistas or catapults. Hopefully the supply requirements aren’t too bad.

I guess what I’m most looking forward to aside from the shiny new map is the diversity of play. It seems like there are a lot more goals, more options, more things to look out for, avoid, or pursue. I’m sure that there will still be that eleement of PlayersVsDoor but with more encouragement to break out of just being penned up inside a wall or knocking it down. There is going to be a steep learning curve for casual WvW players like myself when we go up against pro players looking to capitalize on the unknown new mechanics.

The Desert Borderlands map is a definitive example of how Arenanet learns and evolves. Not content to just reskin a map and move things around, they’ve attempted to fix some of the problems with WvW and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Feature Pack 2: The Re-Featuring

August 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE, PvP, WvW | Comments Off on Feature Pack 2: The Re-Featuring
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Back in March Arenanet released a feature pack and they led up to that release with a series of blog posts. I commented on and tried to predict what those blog posts would be about based on the previewed titles. I got a lot right in that post, but plenty wrong as well. In any case they’ve gone and done it again, a list of future misleading blog post titles and topics that they’ll probably reschedule, rename, and reorganize a day after I’ve written this. On to the new predictions.

13 Aug
Announcing the Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series
We’re bringing competitive play in Guild Wars 2 to a whole new level.

Week 1: Competitive Week
From new tools for coordinating your tactics to new rewards for your valor, Competitive Week is all about our support for and improvements to competitive play in Guild Wars 2!

14 Aug
Do You Feel Glorious?

18 Aug
Balancing Act

19 Aug
Tricks and Explosive Finales

20 Aug
Command the Rainbow

21 Aug
Prepare to Fight

Week 2: A Fresh Start
Our second week of September 2014 Feature Pack reveals is focused on improving the Guild Wars 2 experience for new and veteran players alike!

Week 3: Collecting and Trading
In the September 2014 Feature Pack, we’re rethinking the way you collect and trade items

Okay so today’s blog post is already up. It’s a new tournament culminating in a 50k cash prize in December. Nothing to sneeze at yet yadda yadda yadda I’m not going to pretend to care.

Since week 1 is all about PvP, “Do you feel glorious?” should be pretty easy to guess at. The new tournie is named the Tournament of Glory, so either further details on the new tournament will be uncovered or maybe they’ll talk more about the new PvP reward tracks they’ve hinted at on Zam and Massively.

Balancing Act has to be pretty obvious. They’ve been previewing balance changes on their streaming PvP orientated Twitch show on a bi-weekly basis. Here’s their youtube channel as well. There’s still plenty to see I’m sure.

I don’t know what Tricks and Explosive Finales would be. Tricks and traps are rarely used in WvW as far as I know, but it’s not impossible that they’d implement some new ones that are specifically designed to deter some of the more cheap and lazy ways to play the game. A trap that specifically targets zergs would be amazing but I’m not hopeful. Personally I’ve often wanted a more concussive finale to breaking down a door in WvW but it could be more likely a new finisher of some type. Or a more intensive way to end the week long match? Could be anything.

I would predict that Command the Rainbow is going to be changes to the commander pin except that’s exactly what I predicted for the last feature pack and was completely wrong. I guess I can’t come up with anything else, so yeah, more options and features for the commander pin including new coloured pin options as data-mined by that_shaman.

Edit: Apparently Zam is all over this.

As hinted at in a recent dev post on the oficial forums, I think Prepare to Fight is probably the unveiling of a new PvP format. I couldn’t hazard a guess at what type of PvP format, there are a lot of options to choose from. Some form of Guild versus Guild is called for a lot, and a lot of different types of PvP are popular in other types of games, but it’s hard to say what is right for an MMO of this type.

Week 2: A Fresh Start likely has to do with the new player experience in China, if I had to guess, and further refining the western version of Guild Wars 2 to be more like the Eastern. Although again, I did predict this exact change last time and failed miserably. Beyond further hand holding and babysitting new players who can’t figure out these complicated and new fangled games called MMOs I’m not sure what they’ll change exactly. Likely a bunch of stuff that will annoy the crap out of people and send them into a rage.

Week 3: Collecting and Trading probably has to do with the trading post. I envision filters for searching different armour classes for one. Perhaps some UI changes? I remember Guild Wars changed our User Interface a few times but I’ve yet to see any major UI changes in Guild Wars 2. Beyond that I don’t have any real guesses. I enjoy the way collections work right now so I’m slightly apprehensive about it.

And I’ll think I’ll end there as I don’t have any further predictions beyond wild speculation based on zero evidence.

The Coward’s Guide to Getting Your WvW Meta

April 9, 2014 at 12:03 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 3 Comments
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I don’t play a lot of World vs World but I probably play more than most PvE players. The first time the WvW season came around I was pretty interested in getting the meta achievements done for it. Unfortunately my interest wore out pretty quickly. A lot of the achievements were quite a grind, even for regular players, and I get pretty bored with all the running around so it didn’t end up getting completed.

This time around, I’m already verging on completion and know a few people who’ve finished already. The achievements are far less grindy, you need fewer of them, and the rewards are better too.

The thing is I’m not a roamer, I don’t seek out battle. I’d rather warp back to my keep then be caught out on my own and have to fight. So this is a guide for those who don’t PvP or PvDoor and still want those sweet sweet achievement points.

Step One: Log in

You have now completed the easiest WvW Tournament Season 2 achievement. Okay maybe I’m overstating it a bit, but you only have to kill 10 people to complete Mists Invasion Defender. In a zerg that will take less than 10 minutes if you’re unlucky. Just find a commander, and start killing people.

Step Two: Spend Badges

The number of badges you have to spend is actually quite low. 250. If you’ve got any amount of achievements you’ve probably gained thousands of badges of honor, and hopefully you haven’t already spent them. The perfect achievement for cowards, spend your way out of danger.

My advice, get an exotic piece of gear or two for an alt.

You get a lot of badges of honor in the new World vs World casual map Edge of the Mists, from chests and drops, so stick to that if you need to save up.

Step Three: Jump

Shinies in the Sky requires you to complete one of the borderlands jumping puzzles. There are numerous ways to do this with as little frustration as possible. Personally I wait for there to be as little activity on my home borderlands as possible, with as much territory taken by my server as possible. A sea of friendly objectives would likely deter enemies from camping a borderlands JP, and obviously means there are few invaders on the map anyway.

You could always grab some friends or your guild and go en masse as well.

The BL JPs are pretty inactive most of the time, so just don’t go during prime time and you’ll be fine.

Step Four: Also Jump

Obsidian Leaper in the Mists is the other jumping puzzle achievement.

My favourite thing to do here is to hang out in Obsidian Sanctum and just wait for a friendly mesmer to start porting people up from the water to near the end of the puzzle. It’s a long puzzle and a favourite of trolls so the likelihood of getting ganked here is higher than in a borderlands puzzle.

If you insist on going through the hard way, there are a few things that can mitigate difficulty. There are 3 stealth fountains you can use that give you 4 minutes of stealth. That will get you through large portions of the puzzle without trouble. Here’s a video showing the locations of the fountains.

Generally speaking I always let canaries run ahead of me to see if there will be trouble. And safety in numbers, do this with people.

Step Five: Ruin Things

This is great if your server has full control of your Borderlands Garrison, the keep directly south of spawn. Ruins are pretty dead most of the time, they’re seeing a bit of action now due to the achievement, but generally speaking you can make your way to these capture points with impunity.

The best part is you can see people coming from a mile away for the most part, and simply warp back to Garrison. From Garrison you can exit directly south and jump in the water just a stone’s throw to 2 nearby ruin locations.

Another bonus is that you can kill sentries along the way, if you’re working on that achievement.

One downside is how immensely boring it is, although that might be better than seeing some action for us cowards.

Step Six: Join a Zerg

I’m sorry, I know you’re a corward, but at some point to get this meta you are going to have to kill a whole whack of people. The best way to do that is to follow a zerg. My recommendation is to use whatever weapon and character you are most comfortable with but you would be helped if you choose to use an AoE skill set or a ranged weapon of some sort.

Tagging enemy players is the name of this game, so don’t be too proud or or too noble to tag a player who is already downed.

You only need 300 players total, which really isn’t that much overall. I could see a novice WvW player getting 300 kills in a few days at maximum if they devoted their time.

Step Seven: Edge of the Mists

If you’re going to zerg I’d recommend starting with Edge of the Mists. You can snag Towers, sentries, supply generators, invaders and most importantly for cowards like you and I, special objectives. Special objectives only require that you defeat a champion to capture the point, so even under the worst circumstances where an enemy zerg has taken all your objectives, you simply wait for the zerg to leave, Righteous Indignation to wear off, and capture 3 special objectives.

You only need 40, and if you’ve got a good zerg you’ll be capturing special objectives all the time in Edge of the Mists along with other possible achievement tracks.

Step Eight: NPC Killer

We’re cowards so we don’t like fighting other players, so what is the next best thing? Killing guards for the Guard Slayer achievement. It’s really easy in EOTM with probably twice the number of roaming guards, champions, and sentries, as anywhere else, though you probably won’t have an issue in WvW proper either.

Step Nine: Choose Your Own Adventure

Whilst cowering in a corner and completing all these other achievements you’ll likely gain a lot of progress on several different tracks. So it’ll be up to you to bravely choose which final achievement to go after.

Towers will likely be as easy to gain as special objectives, you need the same number and would likely get plenty of towers while going after special objectives.

Taking your own keep in EOTM after the map has become a karma train at night for wvw players is pretty easy. No effort is spent on defense most of the time so it gets taken pretty easily! We are not the only cowards! Hooray!

And of course you’ll take any number of sentries, supply camps, supply generators throughout your zerg, so really you have a lot of options here.

Step Ten: We All Gotta Die Someday

Death is a constant for living beings, and we have to come to terms with that. So I’m sorry but you’re going to have to take StoneMist Castle. It is the easiest way. You only need to take SM 3 times and for some servers that will happen in just one play session.

For low population servers which have been matched up against a bunch of dicks who decided to abandon their high ranking server because they weren’t doing so great and go beat up on smaller servers, it will be slightly harder.

Be sure to tailor your 10 achievements to your own taste. Enjoy the WvW tournament from the safety of skulking around, hiding, using others as human shields and generally running away!

Finish Him!

March 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Posted in Gem Store, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE, PvP, WvW | 2 Comments
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I’ve had a lot of complaints about Guild Wars 2’s gem store over the past year and a half. There’s the weird pricing structures, expensive temporary items, and the potential power creep of some items becoming more useful than comparable older items. One thing I’m becoming more and more tempted by however are the finishers.

Finishers are mostly for PvP. It’s basically a little animation when you stomp someone in WvW, Structured PvP, and increasingly in PvE as well. There are 12 available in the gem store ranging in price from about 500 gems to 800. And I really want to buy one.

I have some temporary finishers ready to go, 10 or 20 collected from festivals and other rewards from playing the game. Not to mention the default finisher which is basically just a spear driven into the ground, and my PvP rank finisher which is just the cutest wittle bunny wabbit family hopping around a banner. None of the temporary ones would really last long, certainly not in WvW, so I’m definitely looking at something more permanent.

With the Toxic Alliance living story arc however a lot of PvE mobs suddenly had a downed phase. I don’t know if that was specifically put in to drive up the sale of finishers but it has certainly worked on me. I’ve been looking through youtube trying to figure out which finisher is best finisher.

For instance, while I find the Permanent Quaggan Finisher (see video below) amusing, I don’t think I want a permanent one. A lot of the finishers are pretty cool, and there a number of them that aren’t currently on sale like the Permanent Super Explosive Finisher, and numerous festival-related finishers.

Anyway I just thought I’d give credit where it’s due, finishers are a great cosmetic item in the gem shop. Now I just have to figure out which way I want to send players and mobs into the mists. Whumped by a giant maybe? Straddled by a spectre of death?

Let’s see more PvE downed state guys.

Edge of the Mists

February 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | Comments Off on Edge of the Mists
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eotm

I’m trying to get back into the regular swing of posting so I suppose I should comment on the new WvW map Edge of the Mists.

Overall I’m honestly surprised at the quality of it. It addresses a lot of my personal concerns regarding WvW, has plenty of new mechanics to make things more interesting, it’s beautiful and fun to explore, and I think it makes the PvP more interesting in a few ways.

To start with, my long term gripe with WvW is all the running. You run here, you run there, depending on what’s going on you won’t necessarily run into other zergs. Just take camp, take tower, take camp, take tower. The distances between locations alone are enough to drive me crazy.

In EOTM everything seems much closer together. I can’t exactly measure out the distances but it certainly feels like less of a chore. A lot of the supply generators are much closer to towers or keeps. Not that that is even a concern most of the time since if you own the generator that is closest, it feeds the supply depot inside the tower or keep with supply automagically.

And as someone who likes defending things that means a huge improvement over other WvW maps since siege weapons can be built quickly. Not only that but cannon and mortar emplacements appear when you take a location and can be built if you haven’t brought blueprints. It’s a great way to encourage defense. I hate being inside a BL or EB tower with no siege or supply and being able to do absolutely nothing. With these new mechanics one person can build multiple siege before an enemy zerg shows up, and with multiple doors to most places, allies can get in and help out while a place is under attack.

Another change that makes things interesting is the inability to upgrade doors and walls. That really pushes the responsibility for defense on to building siege and keeping scouts and defenders at the locations you want to keep. What does upgrading doors really do but make people spend more time butting their heads against a wall. PvDoor as they say.

And I really enjoy some of the special mechanics in each respective area, though some could be more useful. For instance I don’t think the Air Grenades from the airport are particularly great but I like the Altar’s tranformation into a ball of lightning that can knock people around. I haven’t had as much of a chance to check out the devourer transformation or wurm tunnels from Badlands to comment, but I do like all of the Overgrowth mechanics and virtually none of the Frostreach ones. Koda’s Armour (a 10% reduction in damage acquired at forge) is nice but I feel like it’s such a pain to go collect.

And I guess that leads into a bunch of other things I don’t like, mostly small things, mostly stuff that doesn’t detract from the fact that I really like the map overall.

I don’t like how the keep waypoint is both never available and not useful anyway. It’s way too easy to make the thing contested, a few roamers just wandering by the vicinity of the walls sets it off. It may as well not even be there, at least in the case of Frostreach. In that part of the map if you’re going to collect supply and get Koda’s Armour it ends up being pretty much the same distance from either wp.

I realize that red team is usually the low scorer, needs the most help, but I feel like they have a big advantage on this map. More so than in the other WvW maps. Better unique mechanics, easier to defend, and a simplistic layout. Frostreach is like the minotaur’s labyrinth compared to Overgrowth. Part of me applauds that move, red typically needs help, but part of me is annoyed by the momentary lapses I have in sense of direction while in Frostreach. I actually really like Frostreach, it’s way more interesting, but organizing elsewhere must be so much easier.

Another thing I’m not a fan of is just how often you can get knocked off the side. It just bugs me that one person with one skill can take out multiple people if they so wish and in so many places.

Also some places are insanely easy to defend. As an example Inferno’s Needle with proper siege and an organized group has little hope of being taken, and the walk around leaves such ample time to prepare that I’ve seen groups fight over it for an hour, the only way to take the place is by surprise.

Which sort of leads into my final gripe, the layout. I’m not talking about the confusing aspect of some paths here, I’m talking about stuff like Frostreach keep. God forbid you lose Frostreach, because retaking it might not be worth your effort. Anyone holding that keep has better access to supply than you do, and it takes them less time to get to it. They can destroy access points to the keep easily, and they can make you go through 3 doors on the most direct route inside, unless you want to go through the zig zag layout that is a death trap. In my opinion you should always have some form of advantage to retake your own keep, but the number of times I’ve seen a pro group just dominating it is silly.

It’s a great map with big improvements for WvW that I hope are transferred over to the other maps or into new maps as soon as possible. Unfortunately I think we all know that won’t come for a while, which is a damn shame.

WvW Guild Missions Question Mark

January 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | Comments Off on WvW Guild Missions Question Mark
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Tillion from Dragon Season tweeted that he might start playing in WvW if this link comes true. Essentially it’s a plea for Arenanet to better motivate people to defend objectives, instead of just zerging around and taking them. It’s probably the biggest problem with WvW. A lack of diverse tactics, play-styles or options. Nothing beats the zerg and the zerg doesn’t defend.

And while I could drone on about how to fix the zerg, or how you can’t really fix the zerg, I’d rather talk about Guild Missions in WvW, and how they don’t exist.

There is a whole section of guild upgrades devoted to WvW and most hardcore WvW players don’t even go to PvE, so they don’t have access to guild commendations or anything of the sort. Why aren’t there guild missions in WvW to take/hold a keep, tower, or camp? Certainly this could help address the problem of defending objectives, though obviously it would not be anything close to a full solution. As an added bonus however, I think it would encourage more people from PvE to explore WvW.

To get into specifics, I think you would design these WvW missions similar to the other guild missions. Lower tiers would have simple objectives, e.g. take a camp and hold it for ten minutes. Higher tiers would have much more difficult objectives, e.g. take a keep and hold it for an hour.

Some of the mechanics for this already exist. You can “claim” towers and keeps, and there are events for defending towers and keeps. Seems like a no-brainer really.

I’m sure there are all kinds of potential problems with it. If the mechanic were to rest on Guild Claiming, how do you stop people from tagging along and claiming the objective before you do? How does one guild defend against the above mentioned dreaded zerg? If a camp is the objective, doesn’t that make it even harder to defend with no walls? What if nobody even attacks the tower you’ve taken, how boring would that be, and wouldn’t you just be handing out guild commendations for nothing? Which towers should be the objectives, and which camps/keeps? If it’s made to be any camp or keep the guild chooses it could lead to some fairly easy objectives.

Aside from Guild Missions motivating people to hold objectives instead of just waiting for the zerg to leave, I’d say you could have a Daily Defend for WvW, maybe improve the rewards, or perhaps somehow make it easier to defend against zergs.

The Desert

November 13, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 8 Comments
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One thing I’ve noticed since launch is that despite all previous MMOs that I’ve ever played, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t really have a traditional desert setting. It’s got the pastoral settings of Kryta, the jungle settings of Maguuma, the mountainous Shiverpeaks and the arid plains of Ascalon.

Of course if you go to Orr and take in the view, if you didn’t know Orr had been beneath the waves, you might think it was desert. Very little living vegetation, rocks and sand everywhere, and overall a barren landscape that is in effect a desert. The big change that make it less of a desert, for me, would be the colour palettes. Cursed Shore is red and black, Malchor’s Leap is entirely blue, and Straights of Devestation is Orange. Those colour choices actually distracted me at first, it didn’t have me thinking of Orr as a desert, which was probably the intent.

Over time I began to wonder why that is. There are desert like environments in Guild Wars 2, but nothing you could solidly call a traditional desert setting. And interestingly with the addition of Southsun Cove or the Labrythine Cliffs or the Skyhammer PvP map, I noticed that some of these have areas that resemble desert or arid landscapes. So is Guild Wars 2 planning on desert landscapes in the future I wonder? Or are they just using resources they’ve already built but haven’t used extensively?

I think that’s why I’m super curious about the desert areas of the upcoming Edge of the Mists map. For those that don’t know, it looks to be a fairly extensive WvW map, a waiting area (with PvP and objectives) for those who can’t actually get into WvW due to the queue. The map will have 3 distinct areas, jungle, arctic, and desert.

Someone pieced together the full map from the video below. Thanks to awesome mccoolname.

Putting aside the questionable amount of manpower put into creating something that everyone inevitably wants to leave, and an area that some servers (eg. my own server is perpetually Outnumbered, forget about a queue) won’t use, just how much of this desert area is brand new textures and art? How much is Arenanet putting into it?

I would say that Arenanet is well known for reusing what they can so I’m very interested in seeing this new desert area. It could speak to the future of Guild Wars 2. Everyone speculates about where we’ll go next. Will we tackle Primordus, Jormag, Bubbles, or Kralkatorrik? Will we venture to Cantha or a completely new continent?

I don’t think there is any real lore suggesting we absolutely will go to the desert, or anywhere else. Just a lot of open doors left in place in case they ever decide to. For me a real clue would be manpower put into art, models, textures, creatures and other resources.

Here’s a video showing off some of the landscapes.

One final thing I’ll add is that despite running across 3 zones, one of the least used settings in the game is The Brand. Gotta wonder if we’ll see more of that.

Outnumbered and Bloodlust

November 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 6 Comments
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I’ve been in world versus world a lot lately. I’m not a big pvp type. I’ve gotten rank 4 mostly through doing the Mad King’s jumping puzzle and waiting to get Daily Participation and what little rank I can get through that, hilariously. However I do have a few thousand kills in WvW due to it being more random, less of an intense duel.

One thing that really bothers me though is that Northern Shiverpeaks, my server, is chronically Outnumbered. We are a low population server and even against other low population servers we have a tough time fielding enough people to put up a fight on more than one or two maps.

This has all been emphasized by WvW season 1. We got bumped into the Silver league in North America when Kaineng took a dive and we won our match, moving them down to Bronze, and us up. As such we have been up against some behemoths (by NSP standards) and Outnumbered (AKA Outmanned) constantly.

Getting to the point, the Outnumbered buff is bloody useless.

+20% Magic find
+33% Experience
+10% World Experience
Take no Armor damage on death

There isn’t a player in WvW that appreciates this buff. A food buff would eclipse the magic find, experience isn’t important unless you’re on an alt and we all know how alt friendly the game is, 10% world experience is small, and no armour damage is practically a slap in the face. It’s like they’re saying upfront “There is nothing we are willing to do to help, but hey I hope you’re mollified by this horse**** buff.”

You know what would be useful? Bloodlust.

Bloodlust is a buff you originally got through an Orb of Power, but now you get through conquering points of control or “ruins” in the various borderlands maps.

Minor Bloodlust

Everyone in your realm gains 30 bonus points to power, precision, toughness, vitality, condition damage, and healing power for holding 3 ruins in 1 Borderland. Invaders killed by finishers reward your realm with 1 War Score.

I think Outnumbered and Bloodlust should either be combined or switched. It just makes too much sense to me. Why not encourage players to get in there and actually fight with a little confidence from a stat boost? Surely that would be far superior. Outnumbered practically serves as a warning for players to go elsewhere, as it surely isn’t an enticement to continue.

Making a change would address a complaint against Bloodlust that has been around since the early days of GW2, that it only exists to allow a winning server to continue winning, but with more ease. On larger servers Bloodlust probably doesn’t have much effect but I think on a low pop it is more of a problem.

I’m sure Arenanets argument against any change would be something along the lines of not wanting to encourage people to be Outnumbered in order to get the buff. But the buff is designed firstly to not be that much of a benefit and secondly everyone knows that zergs trump stat boosts in WvW anyway. Getting more people in WvW is what is important, and Outnumbered just doesn’t do that.

Or at least that’s my perspective as a casual WvWer on a low population server trying to punch way above its weight.

Still Waiting

November 13, 2012 at 1:26 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 19 Comments
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It was clear from the beginning that Arenanet didn’t want people hopping servers solely for the purpose of joining a successful WvW team. It’s just too bad they failed to put in place any sort of deterrent. Here we are months later and entire guilds are still free to jump ship and add their weight to already successful worlds.

This is the result of free transfers which I was under the impression would end within weeks of launch. 2 and a half months later the only deterrent seems to be a 7 day wait before you can return to your old server, as if that’s likely.

We’ve already seen large alliances shifting around to the already successful servers. What a difference they make moving 5th place servers up to 3rd place contenders! Meanwhile my own server is absolutely outnumbered by every server we go up against. We lose more and more people every day to other servers. I’ve never been a big fan of the PvP personality type and this is why. We do okay in WvW matches but it only takes one week of losses to set the tears flowing and have guilds migrate elsewhere. Which only leads to even lower morale and worse showings.

One of my main concerns is that servers that are already successful are getting plenty of players to continue that success. Meanwhile my own server will continue to sink in the rankings. All because Arenanet have essentially twiddled their thumbs on this issue even when they knew far in advance it would be a problem.

This all stems to guesting not having come in, but at this point I’d be far more willing to wait on guesting and have a cost associated with moving servers than continue to allow rats to abandon the various sinking ships. If I recall correctly the idea was that full servers would cost more gems while unpopulated servers would cost less. Let’s get on that Arenanet.

World Versus Me

September 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, WvW | 1 Comment
Tags: , ,

Despite having a mass desertion from our server because World versus World queues were too long, I helped take Stonemist a couple days ago. It really wasn’t much of an accomplishment, I barely saw anyone defending it.

It was my first time in WvW since launch. I have to admit that yes, the queues really were that bad. Having patience worked out for me, however. I can now WvW at will.

So I went in merely to see if the puzzle I had added from the southwest Eternal Battleground keep had been converted to a vista since beta. I can confirm it is now a vista and will probably remove it from the guide. Once inside WvW I couldn’t help wandering around.

That’s when I ended up at Stonemist helping to take the keep. There were maybe a dozen defenders but they were definitely unprepared and no reinforcements came to back them up.

I spent my time outside the wall targeting people trying to cast spells from the ramparts. My pistols do AoE damage, and if I can manage to hit one player, I can hit others, and make small groups back away from their viable range. Even if my shots were obstructed by the wall, my AoE still goes off and I sometimes am still able to do damage. This worked really well for the people attacking the door. Wall defenders rushed back and forth along the wall never able to focus on one player. I ended up using this tactic quite a bit.

Once defending it was me on the wall shooting down at enemies. I ended up changing my engineer firearms trait to one that improves pistol range for just this purpose, and changing my healing skill to a turret so that our players could withstand the AoE return fire.

While not defending most of the players in the area would venture out to just north east of Stonemist. We tried to take the tower in that area but that must be one of the easiest towers to defend in the entire game. A choke point bridge that runs right under a high wall, a river that prevents easy access from another angle, oakhearts that are triggered by defending players so that attacking players have to deal with it. And good luck if the other server happens to come up behind you.

The other server came behind us. Which is fine, it’s meant to be that way. Actually, we ended up taking advantage of this a couple of times. Instead of staying out there to get sandwiched, we noted the next time the other server came up behind us and fled. This led to the two other servers, who both outnumbered our own, fighting amongst themselves. As we had Stonemist to rally at, we ended up preying upon both sides as they engaged within battles in sight of Stonemist.

I ended up chasing one guy, melee, who had come in alone from the north. He noticed me and started to attack, so I laid down some turrets and did a bunch of damage, at which point he backed out of turret range. I chased him for a bit, but in the distance I could see red names and started to return to the area outside Stonemist’s gate. His two friends ran through the area but ignored me and continued to that bridge I spoke of earlier. Meanwhile this guy was still hanging around so we went at it again. Unfortunately he began to run off a second time. I chased him but he had too much of a lead this time and I discovered to my dismay one of his friends had left behind turrets of their own. So again I backed off. Only yet again he came back at me, not having learned his lesson about my turrets, blind, glue shot, ranged weapons and dodging ability. He ran off a third time, at which point I was pretty bored and decided to ignore the guy from that point forward, only as I was running away, I noticed he once again was headed straight for me. Only this time it was a big mistake, two friendlies happened to be going in that direction and though he turned to run away a fourth time we made short work of him.

That’s the thing about WvW. Do not play alone. It is much more fun in a group as I found out in the numerous ways that I myself was killed. The fight will turn when you’re not looking, people will ambush you, and nobody will be around to res you. You’ll have to then make the long, tedious, boring, tedious (tediously tedious), TEDIOUS, tedious, tedious, run back to the fight. Tedious.

Speaking of tedious I was making a run back to Stonemist which nobody had bothered to put a waypoint in and I noticed in the distance friendlies chasing something. What it was I couldn’t see, it was too far off, but I was in a position to possibly head this person off so I went off in that direction and found four people chasing one lone enemy player. Great, this should be short work I thought. I managed to get in range and started firing off shots, I crippled him, and got him down to half health but the guy had several speed buffs on him so that he had swiftness 90% of the time and I could only damage him for that 10%, which wasn’t enough to kill him before he ran off. So after 5 minutes of chasing him it suddenly dawned on me that I was the only person damaging him. Huh? Of the four other people in the group, none were ranged. None had thought to bring a ranged weapon, none could keep up with this guy, none could cripple him. I left.

Anyway, eventually the other servers got wise to our pitting them against each other. They started assaulting two gates. While our resistance was fairly good, we repelled two assaults on one gate before it gave to a third, we eventually collapsed and I called it a night.

I ended up with credit for over 60 kills, easily fulfilling my monthly achievement in around 3 hours, but I probably only finished a half dozen people. Meanwhile I died around 10 times making the tedious journey back each time. It was fun, frustrating, tedious, and the entire time our server was doing really badly. The only success story was that we held our own and Stonemist in Eternal Battlegrounds. But I did my part, I just wish I had gone in with friends.

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