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.

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Point of OMfGBLOODSTONE!

October 21, 2014 at 7:31 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 1 Comment
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portal2

One of the few things we know about the November 4th update, the first notable update in 3 months, is a screen shot of a zone portal near the Brisban Wildland’s Fort Vandal. So where is that going to take us? I’m sure someone else out there has gone through the possibilities of where we’re going, if not recently then just before Dry Top was released. In any case I thought I’d briefly cover it myself.

So what are our possibilities here? The last time a screen shot of a portal was posted by Arenanet we were given Dry Top. The only other firm clue we have is a blurb from their latest post.

As we go on this journey we’ll learn dark secrets of Tyria’s past, venture into stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore, and visit places that have only been rumored to exist.

That last part is what gets everyone’s attention. A lot of clear allusions to things we probably saw in the original Guild Wars. But what are we talking about? Mursaat cities? We never saw anything of the sort in GW1, but that last cutscene sure seemed to reference a city of some sort. Or does it allude to settlements we’ve seen before? Here’s the old Guild Wars map and the new.

drytop

drytop2

So the only thing close by that deeply relates to Tyrian lore and otherwise fit our criteria as a place that we’d likely be interested in going to, is probably the Bloodstone. And a dragon would assuredly be drawn to that.

So that leaves a few questions if we are indeed going to be visiting the Bloodstone. Is it another part of Dry Top being released just as previous areas in the zone were gradually unlocked? Maybe it’s not even a zone, perhaps its a dungeon however unlikely. Perhaps it is in fact an entirely new zone. What form is this content going to take?

The Silverwood was lush, green, and hilled. Bloodstone Fen was partially desert and somewhat swampy. But the Maguuma Wastes are named that for a reason and the current fogged map in that area is pretty brown with a blue splotch. So I would guess more desert, less red rock canyons, less verticality, with a watery oasis in there. Or hell, I don’t know, it could be completely underground, I have no idea.

The content, as acknowledged in a recent Points of Interest episode, would likely follow a similar pattern to Dry Top. The zone would have to work together completing events to drive a central goal for all players. In Dry Top that’s a set of rewards involving a weapon set, cooking recipes, lockpicks for chests, and other related items. I could guess that any new zone could have something similar, although I think Arenanet tends to be original enough that it won’t be an exact copy. An NPC with favour unlocking new items and discounts is done. I assume they’ve got a twist in mind, perhaps involving unlocking some World Boss once a certain plateau is achieved or something of that nature. Can you imagine if everyone who showed up to defeat Tequatl first had to participate in 20 minutes of completing various events? It’s not as though people don’t already wait around for a half hour just to be in a good zone with Teq.

I could be completely wrong. Maybe they’re going to delve into Shining Blade history, as their initial headquarters was in the Maguuma Jungle. Maybe Quarrel Falls is the locations of legend. I doubt we’ll see Mursaat, but who knows. Ultimately I have no clue. A new zone seems likely and visiting the Bloodstone seems inevitable. Beyond that, I’ll have to wait 2 weeks.

I wonder what’s been going on at the Bloodstone for 250 years?

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.

Crafting Junk

September 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Crafting, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 15 Comments
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I’ve been noticing something about crafted goods in Guild Wars 2. They’re worthless to other people. They don’t sell on the auction house, there is a big supply/low demand, you can play and do well with gear well below your level and people level past items really quickly. There is no profit to be made.

Despite it all, everyone is still crafting.

Tobold seems to dislike all this. To paraphrase him, “what’s wrong with getting rich off crafting?” Well no, there isn’t anything wrong with that, but I’d ask what’s wrong with not getting rich off crafting? Tobold finishes by exclaiming “There simply doesn’t appear to be a point to crafting in Guild Wars 2.”

Yeah, no point at all.

The experience gain off gathering is decent even if you’re just going for the daily achievement. The insignia/inscription items are common enough to make crafting plausible to even the most lazy, and yet those items are also quite profitable on the auction house. Crafting itself provides levels worth of experience. You can quickly catch up to your own level to supply yourself with gear. You can increase your storage space. You can easily make things for friends at little cost to yourself. You can craft items with specific stats for your unique build. You can craft skins that so far I’ve only seen come from crafting. Finally I’d go so far as to say it’s kind of fun, or at least nowhere near as tedious and useless as crafting in some other games.

But there are drawbacks, yes.

You can’t profit from crafting. At least not right now. The economy is just flooded with “cheap mass-produced junk.” Junk that is better than the merchant can provide, can have a variety of helpful stats, can sometimes look damn good, and is better than my old gear.

I expect when people start reaching 80, or when people begin to tire of crafting, those that actually max their crafting level may be able to make a profit on rare items. Guild Wars was the type of game where you didn’t really begin playing until you reached max level. I’m hoping that holds at least partially true in Guild Wars 2 crafting, but I’m not going to be gutted if it’s not.

Hall of Monument Guides

July 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 7 Comments
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The Arenanet Blog just posted a guide from John Stumme, the live team lead on the original Guild Wars. It’s a little late. The Hall of Monuments Calculator was released in October 2010 and I posted my own guide a few days later.

Here’s are some screenshots of the revealed rewards from the video.

Heritage armour, the heavy version.

The Ice Breaker, a version of a rare Guild Wars green weapon.

An undead Orrian baby chick.

To explain the HoM, go ahead and watch this video or read the paragraph below.

Briefly, the Hall of Monuments in Guild Wars was built to reward players of the original game with in game items in the sequel. You complete titles, collect minis, craft weapons and armour sets, and outfit your heroes with elite armour. Then you add these things to the monument for points, and keep track of your progress on the calculator. The calculator tells us what we’ve acquired for Guild Wars 2.

Unfortunately though, a month before Guild Wars 2 launches is not the best time to be starting out in Guild Wars solely for the purpose of getting Guild Wars 2 swag. It is a time intensive process and requires a lot of cash to buy things from players, crafting materials, and general items you need for progression.

Stumme writes his for brand new players but even then I can’t recommend getting into Guild Wars out of the blue. Even the most hardcore players would only be able to acquire a few points before launch.

That isn’t to say you’d have to stop once Guild Wars 2 launches, you can continue accruing points until Guild Wars retires, but I can’t imagine many will feel too motivated to continue after this month.

Getting to the guide itself, I find most of the advice pretty straight-forward and our guides agree on most points. However, one thing Stumme suggests, that I just plain think is a bad idea, are the cartographer titles. I actually put them on my list of things to avoid, and Stumme doesn’t even mention the easiest way to go about doing them, with the texmod add-on.

That isn’t to say my guide is perfect. Looking back I’d change a few things. I wouldn’t recommend the Zaishen PvP title that grants 3 points. It’s time intensive or expensive depending on how you go about getting it. I’d also focus more on hero armours, buying more weapons, and I’d reconsider the Vanquisher titles so that you have more cash on hand to buy things.

So to conclude, here’s a list of useful guides.

The Easy 30 – My own guide linked at the top. It’s nearly 2 years old now so it’s a little dated. Designed only to get you to 30 points in the HoM. When I wrote my guide it was directed at players who had finished campaigns and had money at hand, veterans of the game.

John Stumme’s Guide to the Hall of Monuments – Very up to date and with the perspective of Arenanet’s own Guild Wars Live Team lead. Directed at brand new players. Solid advice but doesn’t go into depth.

Guild Wars Wiki Guide to Earning Hall of Monuments Rewards – Very well referenced and linked. Lots of alternative methods. Brief with little commentary.

How to: Easily collect 30 points in Hall of Monuments – Nicely organized and presented. A short but useful FAQ. One of the better guides, could go deeper.

The Road to 50 – Massively has a series of articles penned by Rubi Bayer that thoroughly details various methods for filling your HoM. Like my guide it was released within days of the calculator so it’s possible it might be a little outdated. It’s also quite long and the majority of it is directed at getting all 50 points. There is one article that addresses that problem however.

Comprehensive Hall of Monuments Guide – I’m not overly familiar with this guide but I can attest to the quality of the forums. Guild Wars 2 Guru is the fan forum you want to go to (at least before official forums open up) for Guild Wars 2. There are a lot of good player tips, tips from devs, explanations on how things work, etc. Also goes into depth past 30 points.

Ten Ton Hammer’s A Complete Guide to the Hall of Monuments – What I like about this guide is that it starts with the very basics, just unlocking the monuments where you’ll be adding things. Great for beginners.

Tuesday, August 28th

June 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, video | 16 Comments
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When it’s ready. Those are the persistent words of Arenanet. Superfans are pretty tired of hearing them. Thankfully, for the time being we won’t have to hear them anymore. Guild Wars 2 launches on Tuesday, August 28th.

Nearly 3 years of blogging about a game that hasn’t been released yet. It seems hard to comprehend. Of course I’ll be in 3 days early, having pre-purchased the digital deluxe edition.

The next beta weekend has also been announced as July 20th through 22nd.

That Rare Art Post

April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 9 Comments
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I haven’t posted any art in a long time. Truthfully Arenanet is pretty good about dumping their art into the public square so new art has been few and far between.

Recently they added to facebook a very nice looking pice of Eir art. They’re trying to get to 500k likes and doing it with an amazing piece of art.

An underwater discovery by Eir.

I also picked up on hyojin ahn’s art gallery. They’ve posted a few images marked as Guild Wars 2 but I loved this one.

Destroyed City. By mother effing dragons!

LFG In GW2

December 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 16 Comments
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Could be any number of games.

I don’t find group tools to be very useful. I think this mostly stems from bad experiences with Pick Up Groups. Guild Wars did have a basic group tool, but does Guild Wars 2 need one?

I can’t recall if they’ve ever mentioned one.

I prefer playing with friends. If I stop playing your MMO it’s probably because I didn’t really connect with anyone in it. For that reason alone I’m sure most MMO studios seriously consider a Looking For Group tool.

Unfortunately every group tool out there is essentially a PUG, and PUGs suck. Whiners, bossy pants, negative nancys, leavers, and jerks make up the vast majority of these groups. It’s a theory of mine that since they can’t make friends of their own, they resort to PUGs.

Now from what I’ve heard, in WoW for instance, the dungeon finder tool has improved the atmosphere and there is much less time wasted. It is more convenient, less personal, (and therefore in WoW) treasured.

If Arenanet is right and you can play through a dungeon with 5 people of the same class, do you really even need a dungeon finder?

Certainly it’s their goal to make every class able to play every role. Putting that aside, how hard is it to find 4 other people? The group size of Guild Wars 2 is 5, whether that is for PvP or PvE. This already goes a long way towards ensuring you don’t desperately need a LFG tool, it’s just easier to find a group.

Admittedly, this doesn’t eliminate the need completely. But what about guilds? A small guild might have trouble fielding 5 people, but in Guild Wars 2 you can belong to several guilds. Pop into your secondary guild, maybe you belong to a guild called LFG which people join when they want to do dungeons. Maybe you’re social enough that you can recruit those other 4 people from 4 different guilds that you belong to.

Lets not forget that people of inappropriate levels are either scaled up or scaled down to be appropriate for the dungeon. This makes more people more able to participate in any dungeon you like.

And you know what? Guild Wars 2 is no longer instanced. If you want to do a specific dungeon, hop down to the zone it’s in, stand outside the entrance and ask in local chat if anyone is interested. Sure, it’s a pug, but it would certainly capture the attention of anyone with the same goals as you in the same zone. Not as convenient as a LFG tool, but already more personal.

I do have a couple of things to say that might suggest a LFG tool is likely. I’ll just rip them straight out of the reddit thread I read them in.

For one, if each class is as useful as another then a LFG tool would find dungeon groups more quickly than any other game.

The PvP menu could easily (by a bloggers standards, not a programmers standards) be converted for use by people looking for a dungeon group instead of a PvP match.

Finally, Arenanet have said here and there that they’re looking to expand options in Guild Wars 2, not go backwards. As I’ve said before, there is a basic tool in Guild Wars.

So does Guild Wars 2 need a LFG tool? Personally I don’t think it’s needed, it’s not essential. But I would welcome it as anyone welcomes something useful. More ways to meet more people in an online game could never be undesirable.

Winds Of Part 2

October 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 2 Comments
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The official Winds of Change webpage.

After a summer of waiting, Winds of Change Part Two finally came out on Thursday. I immediately set about to see if the same problems that plagued part one continued.

I’m happy to say that Part Two is a much better experience. The grind of “go here, kill stuff” is an ever-present Guild Wars staple but it is softened somewhat in the 12 quests released on the 29th.

The first quest (or quest 18 here) means for you to run away from your problems instead of fighting it out, the second quest has you rush to the aid of NPCs, while the third quest has an interesting game mechanic that frustrated some, but provided a nice surprise for all.

Instantly I was having more fun here than in the first 17 quests. Cleanse this, cleanse that, benign dialogue that leads up to a sudden twist. I could be less impressed by Part One, but not by much.

Even the story in Part Two ramps up. There is more going on, there is more danger. It’s a little bit akin to our history with the White Mantle but certainly has its own momentum and justification. To be honest a lot of the story in Part Two owes its interesting turns to what was set up in Part One, despite its overlong telling. Credit where it’s due.

Quests 4 through 6 set up a subplot mystery involving the gangs of Kaineng. Just what are they up to? We don’t find out in Part Two. The fights they involve are pretty straightforward. It was nice to see enemy mobs purposefully set against one another however.

That’s followed by The Rescue Attempt, which is very reminiscent of the Tahnakai Temple mission, seeing as it takes place in the same spot in the same way, but does add a small mechanic that makes the quest more interesting if you don’t notice it.

In the end though the middle quests, while at times having interesting story, are mostly filler. The final quests involving the tengu are much more interesting. We’re finally starting to get an idea of what will happen to them before Guild Wars 2 where apparently they’ve either been kicked out of Cantha or massacred.

You get a nice readable quest item that adds a bit of credibility to the quest with Warning the Angchu, a bit of a challenge since it’s a 4 person group, and then we move into a bit of a subplot which has a somewhat surprising ending. I think I enjoyed the story here more than anywhere else in Winds of Change.

The rewards for the tengu quests are better too. Most previous quests have little but imperial commendations, ministerial commendations, or requisition forms. There isn’t even anything to turn forms in for yet, and the only new rewards are Factions weapons that had yet to have inscription slots available. Faction skins in a more usable form are great, but I’m hoping rewards end up matching War In Kryta or even improving upon them. Getting a Royal Gift with useless xp scrolls was disappointing.

I’ve recently noticed a disparity between the availability of affordable sweet points and affordable booze or party points Live Team.

I guess Part One was really just getting things out of the way. It still feels boring and grindy, but now that I’m in Part Two I feel like I’m well on my way, the foundations have been laid and I can look forward to just exactly how this mess is going to end up before Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars Lately

September 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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Lately in Guild Wars I’ve been relegated to doing some pretty boring stuff. It all started back when the Hall of Monuments Calculator was released about 11 months ago.

So this will be kind of a long post.

The first time I looked myself up, I already had around 36 points. Very quickly I got that to around 40 and since I was helping people get their points, I figured I might as well go to 45. Upon reaching 45, I found I was accidentally still gaining points through things like War in Kryta and the opressor weapons, and finally I came to a point where all I really needed were a few minis to get to 50.

At 50 points I thought I was done. I was wrong.

I had 26 titles at this point, only 4 titles away from the God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals title which also carries over to Guild Wars 2.

Unfortunately the easiest titles appeared to be sweets, party points, booze and survivor. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue.

I started looking around at prices, availability, and the easiest way to get survivor.

Life of the Party is by far the easiest consumable title to get. Availability for purchase far outstretches booze or sweets. There’s always someone selling tonics or other items in Kamadan, not to mention there are more festivals giving out more party points than the other titles.

Booze is also available in Kama but I could never find affordable sweet points. This caused me to start looking at other options.

Along with doing the weekly Nicholas scavenger hunt, I quickly realized that the most productive way to work on your consumable title is to start a character in pre searing. This paid many dividends. Pre searing has a collector. He takes 25 collectible items in return for 5 gifts of the huntsmen daily. A single GOTH can return as much as 20 sweet points or 30 booze points. Worst case scenario is 10 party, booze, or sweet points for a single gift. I bought GOTH, traded dyes for GOTH, gave collectible items away in hopes of receiving GOTH as a thank you, I was a whore for GOTH.

I now have a level 18 character in Pre sear.

Booze title done, Party title done. Which leads me to believe there is some kind of crazy imbalance with sweet points compared to the other two.

I’m still working on the sweets title, but I also managed to finish off my survivor, which I was beginning to give up hope on.

I guess I’m just not good at staying alive full time. When you’re in a party with a bunch of chickens all working on their survivor title and they’d rather heal themselves than you, that means you have to first make a note of who you’ll need vengeance against later, and second look out for yourself.

I made around 500k from doing campaign books. It takes a while to finish these off unless you really apply yourself. The survivor title is something like 1.3 million xp so I had a long way to go until someone convinced me to try out the Vaettir farming in hard mode out in Jaga Moraine.

I’d only ever heard of people doing it with Shadowform or gimmicky builds and honestly didn’t see myself pulling it off. Not without dying once in a while. Then someone in vent described it as “easy”. Challenge Accepted.

I threw together an obsidian flesh build, not the one I found on youtube since it seemed to be too focused on speed with little room for error. I figured I’d have more patience if I wasn’t dying all the time, so I put in some safety measures.

Anyway, inside of a day I had the survivor title. So now I’m just farming out GOTH and GOTT from nick, doing War in Kryta quests since war supplies give sweet points (no matter what the wiki says) and waiting on Halloween. There is a repeatable quest I believe I’m about to bang my head against until I get the title.

The only other thing I’ve been up to is Hamstorm! Every time Alliance Battles comes up as the Zaishen Combat, expect to see a party of 4 people with pets shouting HAMSTORM! No it is not firestorm and hamstring.

Aside from Winds of Change content which I’ve blogged about before and will be blogging about part 2 soon, that’s about it. Pretty effing boring. To sum up, it was a bunch of farming. My own fault really, for not moving on to another game by now.

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