My phone was on shuffle as I got dresed and in between the Kate Bush & SoM tracks the theme for Divinity’s Reach started and I had a gut-deep longing to return to the city one more as my mind replayed the sights & sounds of my long-ago wanderings there. Most peculiar.
Category Archives: Guild Wars 2
Over the last month or so the final nail in the gaming PC’s coffin was driven home by the good lady. She bought Minecraft Pocket Edition for The Boy and in my attempt to know more about it to help him I have become addicted to the damn thing to the total exclusion of everything else. I haven’t logged into Guild Wars 2 since the start of December – I even missed the whole of the Winterfest and although it sounded fun I can honestly say I don’t mind.
You see, Xmas was a great break from a very busy & highly pressured workplace and I wanted to spend add much time with the kids as possible so I didn’t want to lock myself away in my tiny computer room. Therefore to find a game I could play on my tablet with the family was perfect and it’s become increasingly obvious I’m in a gaming phase where I can share my time with the brood.
So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, the answer is in a mine somewhere on my tablet. That and zipping all over the county for work. Hell, I’ve stopped listening to gaming podcasts (except the always wonderful Contains Moderate Peril) and have little energy to blog or tweet. I’m sure this will change at some point, but until then I’m not pushing it
Yes, yes, yes The Lost Shores has come and gone and is old news but after seeing Dontain’s latest video today I decided I’d have my say too.
I liked it. There, I’ve said it. Sue me.
Sure the first event was laggy (maybe being spread out throughout Lion’s Arch rather than just around one area would have helped) but after coming from years in Second Life the kind of laggy I experienced in that event was nothing compared to the klusterfokken of lag Linden Lab inflicted upon us again and again and abloodygain. There was a lot of whiny QQing about Arenanet being a bunch of under-skilled simpletons with carnal knowledge of their mothers and that annoyed me greatly. Sure some folks couldn’t play it for various reasons, but this was the first time an event of that size has been tried in that way and it was always going to be somewhat of a test – now if in twelve months the events are still a mess of low FPS and skills that stop working you can call the devs fit to burn all you like but for now stop with the mewling and just enjoy the experience of newness I say!
After that the treasure hunt was a damp squib for me, mainly because I didn’t know it was going on so I missed it all. Had I have known I would loved to have have done it but I hear the events were largely bugged so it couldn’t be finished and that would have ticked me off. Actually this does worry me about not only these large showcase events, but the whole system of dynamic events the game is built on, after all they do seem to crap out a hell of a lot and that is really not good.
Anyhoo, the next day saw the building of the trebuchet, the defending of Lion’s Arch again and the sailing off to the new island to secure the shores and camps there. I missed the first part but the sailing off and forging a path through the new land-mass was great fun! My one gripe – and this I share with Dontain – is the sheer fucking hardness of the Karka! Even normal ‘young karka’ are pretty hard to tackle on their own, never mind the Veteran young and upwards! Oy Vey! It’s hard to pick one thing that makes them so tough as it really is a combination – they shoot shit out of their tail near the start of the attack that is hard to dodge completely due to the length of time they continue to shoot it and whatever it is hurts and it hurts a lot. Add to that their ability to mitigate a lot of attacks and the need to burn down their health bar twice (once for their shell, once for their yummy tasty flesh) and pretty soon you are on a fairly tough battle for little reward (they almost never drop anything!). Still I really enjoyed this phase and there was noticably less QQing (that or I stopped noticing it).
Now the final day was a curious mix of the previous two. Lag was evident, although nowhere near as bad as the first day, but the fun of running with a zerg was intoxicating. We had to escort some Lionguard sappers into the HUUUGE karka nest and lay bombs and then leave the nest to find the king daddy Ancient Karka so we could drive him back into the nest and blow the bugger up. HOLY CRAP this was a marathon! Three bloody hours it took me! I was knackered! I’m not, have never been and will never be a hardcore gamer and that kind of session is gruelling. Still, it was also great fun (excluding the two grinds when the King Karka called up reinforcements) and the stand out parts were some of the mechanics used to drive the brute to the next, the nest itself which was just amazing looking, the mass-wipes when the Karkas would barrel-roll 90% of the players into the downed state (brilliant fun!), the epic ending with lava & squeeing and the loot from the chest at the end. All in all I thought it was a bloody brilliant evening and you can shove that in yer pipe and smoke it.
Have I been back to the island since? Once and it was both boring and hard. The karka are too tough and the loot is too thin on the ground and the gathering mats are crap so there is no reason to go back – hell, it cost me more in in repair bills than I made from the visit! Hopefully Arenanet will do something about this zone that makes it worthwhile visiting but until then I still have the memories of a great weekend-long event. That and a cool 20-slot box! Hoohar!
I love Guild Wars 2, let’s not pretend. Everything about it so far has amused, delighted and even titillated me in wondrous ways and not least amongst these has been the subscription price – to wit, nowt. Bugger all. Gratis. Free. Nada. Nothing. Boy do I love that.
In the end the subscription is what drove me away from LOTRO, not directly but in so much a series of bad decisions (in my eyes) made me wonder why the hell I was paying for something that made me so mad. Easy solution to that – stop paying and feel better. Stop playing and feel *much* better. Goodbye LOTRO.
Now with Guild Wars 2 I have paid for the game and now need to pay for no more. Except I’m loving the game so much I actually want to pay them something akin to a subscription to ensure they stay afloat and keep the game going. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to pay them an actual subscription because I never, ever want to pay another game company a recurring monthly fee – I feel it damages the relationship between developer & community by making the company complacent (if not down right hostile) towards the players whilst making the players into entitled QQers. No, the subscription model is a very unhealthy way to fund a game and I’m much happier with micro-transactions and an in-game cash shop than I am with a funnel from my wallet.
Obviously cash shops and the micro-payment model also has problems (*cough* SWTOR *cough*) and can slip from a convenient & flexible way to support your game to a rather unpalatable pay-to-play rip-off (*hack* SWTOR *hack*) but when done right they can be a beautiful thing. Except when not quite done right. Guild Wars 2 I’m looking at you.
Fuck a duck but the GW2 cash shop/gem store is dull. Apart from extra bank & inventory space and the extra character slots there is literally nothing I want to buy from it and that irks me. Look Arenanet, I bloody well want to give you my money but you have to put something of value in your shop first! Aviators and boxing gloves are, sadly enough, not floating my boat so instead of expensive, dull outfits why not offer a shit load of clothes piecemeal for a few quid each that I can tailor to my needs. There is no way I’m spending a tenner on an outfit unless I customise the crap out it otherwise I’d just look like the doofus who spent a tenner on an outfit that makes me look exactly like the other 15 doofuses (doofi?) who bought it too. For the love of all that is holy open up the town clothes options and offer a good range of role playing gear (and the stoopid aviator & boxing gloves kind of crap too if you must) that I can buy from in a mix’n'match style. Do that and make them cheap enough that I will drop you some moolah without thinking about it and you will have cracked it. If you are going to charge me over £2 for a bloody hat I’m not likely to spend another £8 or more buying the rest of the outfit. Ten quid for one outfit? Do me a lemon! £5 for a complete cosmetic outfit is cheap enough that I’ll buy the bugger and then probably another one as well. £2 for just fucking bunny ears I can’t ever role play in (at least not in any way I care to imagine) and I’m not buying anything from you. And that just covers town clothes! What about armour & weapon skins? What about facial & body scars? Holy crap, the list of stuff I would buy is huge and if a tight fisted get like me would part with hard cash for it, you can bet your life other players would too!
So for gawd’s sake Arenanet, get some good stuff in the gem store & drop the prices. I want to give you some money to keep your amazing game going, but you have to meet me half way.
They seek him here… they seek him there… all a bit daft really because he’s at work! Ah work, such an evil mistress… my work is super busy right now and that has left me little time to play anything and next to no time to blog, which is lucky because I’ve had nothing to blog about because I’ve not been playing… The Circle of Liiiife!
Still, little time play is not no time to play and I have been dipping in and out of Tyria when I can and I can confirm that I’m as in love with this game today and I was the first day I played it. God Almighty it’s good! I mean, really, really good. Just fun and more fun stuck together and decorated with fun! So much to tell you though, where do I start?
First off I’m now at level cap (80) and still haven’t finished the personal story with my main (I’m still only playing him) and it’s still bloody good fun! Halloween has come and gone and was a total blast (the first holiday event I’ve actually enjoyed and got good gear out of!) and now The Lost Shores expansion is upon us – it’s a good time to start playing if you haven’t yet
… it makes completing a daily in Guild Wars 2 a sinch. I had a great time in the wee small hours of this morning just idly wandering from Lion’s Arch (where I had upgraded my armour, weapons and runes the night before) back into Timberline Falls. There are so many fun events in that area such as the Norn moot where you have to protect the ale from thieving skirtt (don’t let anyone tell you the Norn are tough – they get the crapola kicked out of them by a handful of pissed rats!). Or how about the drunken skritt. Or how about the amazing Assurans who fear the local skritt are becoming too clever and they drag you into a schlomp across the valley and into the skritt caves to stop them – I won’t spoil the story, but trust me it’s brilliant!
Now I’m knackered and seemed to have the inherited the face of a corpse, but by god if I can’t sleep again tonight I know where I’ll be – Tyria
…is that playing it seems to swallow up all the time I have planned for writing about it. Fair enough, I’m as busy as hell at work (soon to have added trips to London – boo!) but I know I could spare the odd hour in an evening to pop out even a small post about some gorgeous location or amazing dynamic event but when I start to plan it I find my fingers mysteriously clicking on the GW2 button and not the Google Docs link… spooky!
Seriously, I have *never* had as more fun in a game . The initial days of LOTRO, my fondest memories of SL and just about any time in L4D(1&2), Max Payne (all of them), Portal (both) & Half Life (just the first – the second was like watching the film Children of Men, amazing but ultimately bloody depressing) have all grabbed me in the same way, but something about Guild Wars 2 feels different. Something about the non-competitive nature of the play combined with the sheer repeatability of the world just makes me want to log in and play again and again and again… Damn you Arenanet, you’ve made me a junkie!
See you sometime in 2013. Maybe.
After work yesterday my head was mashed & by the time I had got home, had my tea, seen the nippers off to bed and had a brew with the good lady I was in no fit state to play GW2 to any degree other than collecting a few mats and learning a little more about buy & sell orders. Both DropDeadGuides and Markco are keen on using buy & sell orders smartly – playing the long game rather than buying & selling immediately.
To begin with I’m starting with sell orders and rather than just choosing an immediate sale, I’m looking at how many items are on order and if there aren’t too many I’m placing mine further in the queue by giving them a slightly higher price. If it takes a week, it takes a week but they will sell at some point and I’ll make a few more copper (or several more silver in some cases) than just selling them for the basic price.
In the latest DDG video the host explains something I have been trying out in a very small way in the last day or two – refining basic materials and selling the results for a higher overall profit. Where DDG differs is the scale of his efforts and this is where I need to expand my use of buy orders. I’ll be sure to try this when I get home tonight as I figure even if this gains me 20 to 50 silver every day or two then if I can keep that up I’ll be laughing in a week or two.
So far, using the ‘sell everything I have collected’ method, I have made and now banked 4 gold pieces and this morning I logged in to see I had 20 silver waiting for collection after I placed last night’s sell orders. Baby steps, but steps all the same
I tell you something for nothing, making money in Guild Wars 2 is hard. This is down to the simple fact that if you make a stack of gold pieces you can trade these for gems and use those to buy things from the cash shop such as character slots, storage upgrades and cosmetic items – the very same character slots, storage upgrades and cosmetic items you can buy with real money and not make-believe coins which is quite obviously the preferred option for Arenanet. Still, it *is* possible to make enough gold in game to buy things from the cash shop and that’s what I’ve set to trying this week.
I now have the bruises to prove it.
Ye gods! I’ve never been much good with money so to find out that the trading post really is not an auction house like the one in LOTRO but much more like our real world stock market has fried my brain a little. Add to that the fact that Arenanet have been very good at closing off any market opportunities such as wide spreads or over-valued demand spikes and you quickly get to the place that this fella got to – GW2 really is not an easy game to make money in and probably always will be.
Still, by eschewing crafting I had managed to save up a lot of mats and I found some of them were going for a few silver on the TP so in a mad splurge I made about 5 gold pieces which I have been hoarding jealously. I have looked for spreads but there are none (at least none I can see – I think you’d have to have a lot of time and money to either observe them happening or create them artificially). I have tried salvage and only ever broken even. My only money making scheme that works is mat farming, and only then for a very select few items (sesame seeds for instance).
Sigh. I hope you have better luck than me. And if you do, send a tip this way won’t you?
Where is the Burro? In the middle of BusyTown, that’s where! Ye gods, work is insanely busy and on top of that all my brain can cope with in an evening is playing Guild Wars 2 as opposed to blogging about it. Once again I find myself glad I don’t write this thing for a living
Ahhh, Guild Wars 2. The tales I’ve wanted to tell you, the blog posts I’ve started in my head and never taken any further in favour of playing “just a little bit more”. I don’t know where to begin with telling you just how amazing GW2 is and just how much fun I’m having playing it, so instead I’ll leave you with a small scene that I witnessed last night.
Whilst running through Centaur contested lands I found a small hollow in which several Dolyak corpses lay. For those not playing GW2, Dolyaks are large, shaggy, loveable beasts of burden who easily fit names like Daisy & Wooly so to see several of them dead was a shock. Not as much of a shock as I got next when a live one wandered past me into the hollow. It circled a patch of ground a few times as I noticed it seemed slow, grey & old before it lay down with a sigh. Suddenly a flock of crows appeared and I thought for one horrible minute they were going to attack it, but instead they circled it, silent as if they were waiting for something. The huge beast took one last juddering breath and died right there in front of me – at the same time the crows let out a cry and took to the air again as the ghostly form of the Doylak rose from its now lifeless body and walked ponderously off along an age old path to a hidden cave. I followed it in and saw the spirit walk up to, and then vanish at, a beautiful pool in the cave’s depths. As this was happening a small boy watched with his granddad who explained to the child how this was something that had gone on since time before memory.
Now come on, how bloody lovely is that?