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Category Archives: Guild Wars 2

Life in Tyria: Meet Ups and Clan Runs – Come One, Come All!

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The Good Guys Gaming Google+ community guild (All the Gs) I set up a month or so ago is going strong with group runs each night so far, but we are aiming to be a little more… adventurous in the future but to do so we need more members and higher level characters so we are trying a few of things:

1) If you are stuck on a tough personal story mission of a hard quest line or if you need to get to a vista or POI that’s in a rough neighborhood then you can call us to come and help you.

2) If you are looking for a group to run a dungeon with you, call us. Brad in mind we are inexperienced at dungeons but what we lack in experience we make up for with raw enthusiasm and friendly chat over Teamspeak :D

3) We are holding an open event this Friday, 28th August at 7pm UTC (8pm in the UK). We are meeting up at Morgan’s Spiral in Caledon Forest with the aim of fighting the undead and completing the two jumping puzzles there. Bring a new or low level character (try to get to the Spiral ahead of time or you’ll spend ages running there on the night and miss it).

4) We’ve set up a Thief Clan Run for Sunday nights (7pm to 9pm UTC – 8 to 10 in the UK) and you are welcome to join. You have to be a human Thief and we are aiming to level together. Right now we are at 10 and still in Queensdale. Come and join us – here some guidelines to help you: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11RkS_iHSQhyMMGqyDF4fpZ6P3uaPEz9PPayy4oMu4SY/edit?usp=docslist_api

All the Gs is a casual and friendly guild – come and join us if you are curious about Guild Wars 2 or are looking to get back into it after a long absence.

 
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Posted by on 26 August, 2015 in Guild Wars 2

 

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Life in Tyria: Several funny things happened to me on the way to the way point…

Last night in #GuildWars2 was really good fun yet I got nothing done and don’t care that I didn’t. Let me explain.

I logged in later than normal due to family stuff and found there were only three of the “All the Gs” guild online, me, +Cmdr Paws & +Alex Hartmann. We chatted in TS for a while and it was apparent we were all doing our own things. I wanted to start the next part of my personal story and both guildies offered to join me for back up, an offer I was delighted to accept as I knew I’d be walking into a fight in the next step.

But we never got to that step and here’s why.

The guys came to me but neither had been to my area before so they had a fun run through a lot of bad guys to get to me. Once they reached me in the Skritt caves we decided to explore and found a Hero Point guarded by a Veteran spider and lots of rapidly re-spawning spider minions so we had a blast stomping them before we found a small Skitt camp with a spider-stomping training stage complete with painted wooden spiders that drop down :-D

On the way out we decided to cut across a mountain to get to my personal story entry point and ran slap bang into a Jotun camp with another Hero Point and Vet. Commence a serious fight as Jotun are a lot tougher than spiders and both Paws and Alex were under powered for the zone, but we won! We then exited by leaping down a cliff face like three drug-fueled goats and dashed off to climb another mountain guarded by griffins. We did this because at the top was a Vista that afforded us a lovely cinematic of the area. At this point Alex and I became part-goat again but Paws decided to see if he could survive the fall. He couldn’t but by the Six Gods the dent he left ion the road was impressive!

At last we could set off for the personal story point… except I saw a lonely Charr by a cave so went to investigate instead. He asked us to go inside and help his colleagues save the Skriitt from the demons so we did – we are heroic and noble like that, you see. In the caves we found the whole area full of foul yellow mist and glowing crystals and the poor Skritt were under attack by Imps galore! We set about smacking down the wee winged swine and soon came across a Sylvari scholar, a colleague of the Charr outside, who needed us to gather some of the crystals so she could open a portal to send the imps back. Only the portal then started to spew lots of them out along with a Veteran Imp. Cue another damn big fight!

On the way out of the caves and finally heading towards the personal story point we go split up and Paws & Alex began to fight for their lives as they fled some big Bad Nasties crossing a huge rope bridge. I also found myself in hot water as I stupidly took on a column of Grawl bad guys who were trying to break into a Priory camp. I fought them off as best I could (mostly by setting the buggers on fire and applying my mace to their skulls) but had not Paws, ales and several other passing heroes joined in and turned the tide I would have been Grawl food!

As we left the scene of our victory-snatched-from-defeat we passed another Priory camp called Camp Landslide Lee. It was named after their colleague who camped there despite advice to the contrary and seemingly enjoyed a good yodel of a morning. He is missed by his fellow scholars to this day.

Now we were definitely on the road to the personal story point. Except we saw a Svanir running into a cave and decided to investigate. Turns out we’d found a hidden camp full of the objectionable sods and set about showing them the error of the ways with gusto. Any chests of loot we found in the cave were legally seized and can be considered spoils of war, so don’t go starting that!

We left the cave, determined to get to the personal story point… but first a slight detour to a camp to collect a reward and sell some junk in order to lighten my load.

At which point it we all realised it was time to log off as we are all old men with jobs to go to the next day! So we never got into the personal story and yet managed to have an entire session of fun just zooming around responding to the dynamically running world around us. And that, ladies and gentlebumps, is why #GuildWars2 is so bloody amazing :)

 
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Posted by on 20 August, 2015 in Games, Guild Wars 2

 

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Life in Tyria: A Guild Wars 2 Primer for joining in the fun!

Over in the Google+ community “Good Guys Gaming” I have tempted a few people into playing GW2 and buying the Heart of Thorns expansion and so to help those totally new to the game I wrote this very brief primer on getting started – I thought I’d re-post it here just in case anyone wants to check out #GW2HOT and join in :)


 

A Guild Wars 2 Primer for the Good Guys Gaming G+ Community (updated 27th July 2015 – originally written 21st July 2015)

Buying the game. First thing to know is that the game is buy-to-play so you buy the game and never have to pay a sub. Ever. Most updates are free with only Expansions requiring payment (also the Living Story episodes if you miss them when they are released) as Arenanet make money from their cash shop which sells cosmetics and ‘quality of life’ items. When you are looking at buying the game there are currently two main options each with three sub-options:

1) The Core Game only – this will give you everything you need to play up to the Heart of Thorns Expansion that is currently in beta. The only exception is that you won’t have access to the Living Story Season 1 (no one does as they haven’t yet found a way of making it available) or Season 2 (you can buy access to the story episodes in the store for a couple of quid each). The three variations of this version offer additional cosmetic and QoL items that are nice but you don’t need – if you are a budget get the cheapest one (currently about £15 via http://www.g2a.com). Last thing to note is that is you buy this version you will have to buy the Heart of Thorns Expansion separately (which has the core game bundled in – see next).

2) Heart of Thorns Expansion – this bundles in the Core Game (see above) and grants access to the HOT content once released. As above there are three versions offering increasing levels of cosmetic and QoL items but the bottom line is if you can afford £35 then the HoT Standard edition represents the best base content value for money as you get Core & HOT together. You can get it from here:http://buy.guildwars2.com/

Choosing a Server. As we have just found out (sorry Max!) you can’t play together across the Pond – EU & US servers are totally segregated and so if you want to play with the GGG players and join the GGG “All the Gs” guild you need to select Piken Square in the EU server farm as your home server. This might give US players a 100ms to 500ms lag according to various Reddit posts, but many GW2 players play across the divide with no lag effects at all. One thing to note is that changing servers can cost about £20 so choose wisely.

Joining the GGG Guild. Simply whisper one of us in game or ask to join in the GGG G+ community and we’ll add you to the list – once added you need to open your guild panel and accept the invitation with a small button at the bottom. The GGG guild is called “All the Gs” and once you accept and ensure you are representing the guild (you can be in 5 guilds but only represent one at a time – again see the guild panel for the represent button) you’ll have the following tag after your name [GGG].

Choosing a race and profession and crafting skill and… ARGH! It’s a wee bit beyond the scope of this post to advise you on that so I would suggest you check out the following resources first but bear in mind the game is well balanced so race doesn’t give you any real benefits and professions and skills are going to be situationally useful rather than over-powered. Choose what you like and enjoy 

Story Telling. When you start you will be in a small story instance that sets you off on your quest to save the world. After that you are treated to a new episode in your Personal Story each 10 levels or so – the Personal Story can be great at times and totally awful at others but Arenanet have learnt a lot about story telling in the three years the game has been live and it does get a lot better. Arenanet release a season of “Living Story” each year (or more) and these are episodes released each two weeks or so over a two to three month period. You are free to ignore all aspects of the story and just adventure through the world, but you’ll need to complete the Personal Story to defeat the big bad boss of the core game.

Resources:
Arenanet’s introduction videos to GW2 (a little dated now but still good):https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3mGOwjcP9FgfYH89UIiOh6d

Arenanet’s Living Story videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3kbJT9ljubaYM15p34suHnr

Arenanet’s Heart of Thorns videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3nGKOHQs_7mq9ipI13bpnCm

Arenanet’s Points of View (PvE) videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3nCrcluAuZPGIsF_ygcbnJk

Arenanet’s Ready Up (PvP) videos:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3nmdmYoblp6T3Pz44t5bCI4

Arenanet’s profession guides videos (again, dated but good for an overview):https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDCvogxNKN3mUgCRQ2CuOLpNq57ARjvHj

Wooden Potatoes – UK YouTuber who’s played GW for 10 years now so knows it inside out and provides tones of lore and insights as well as updates, news, views and comment:https://www.youtube.com/user/WoodenPotatoes

Guild Wars Reporter – Under the MMO Rorter banner, a great and friendly weekly podcast about the state of the game:http://mmoreporter.com/category/podcast/gwreporter-podcast/

Races of Tyria: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bestiary

Official GW2 News feed: https://www.guildwars2.com/en-gb/news/

 
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Posted by on 3 August, 2015 in Games, Google, Guild Wars 2

 

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Life in Tyria: Like I’ve never been away… only better!

A Quagan ate my Charr!

A Quagan ate my Charr!

Like a warm embrace from a lovely aunt or the the sound of your own kettle boiling after a long holiday, Guild Wars 2 have welcomed me back as if I’d never been away, only this time it’s better because I bring friends!

Friends make GW2. I never thought I’d be in a game where having people to talk to and game with would significantly alter the enjoyment factor but then I go and play two that absolutely need them to get the best experience possible. Imagine a chicken sandwich without a sprinkling of salt. Shudder.

In GW2 I’ve seen the “All the Gs” Guild slow grow from three active people (me, Ian J and Paws) to about 10 and last night I did something I’ve never done before – I stayed online just to chat to the guildies who were in the teamspeak channel. I actually ran around doing I can’t recall what just so I could speak with Susie and Eldaeriel and it was fun! I am beginning to think that as long as the impetus to play doesn’t wane with members of our fledgling family then we could be heading towards having a great deal of group fun once the Heart of Thorns improvements come to guilds – hell! we might even have enough of us to go and claim a guild hall!

From a character viewpoint, I’m really enjoying levelling up my Sylvari ranger and Norn guardian, the latter will prove useful in dungeons, something I got to try out again last weekend with an experienced player who was very patient with Ian and I (thanks Gary!) and I can honestly say I really enjoyed the way we pulled together to coordinate and strengthen our efforts rather than just stand in a huddle and DPS a kneecap to death. More dungeonering is called for, I think :)

If you fancy joining us then it can cost you as little as £15 (although the £35 Heart of Thorns version is probably a better investment) and I wrote a guide here: https://plus.google.com/+HeadBurroAntfarm/posts/gnr6MaUE6GY

 
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Posted by on 3 August, 2015 in Guild Wars 2

 

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Life in Tyria: Welcome back, Mr Antfarm…

So I’m back playing Guild Wars 2 and it took exactly 30 seconds for the addiction to flare up and flood my bloodstream with the delicious chemicals of total control again. Just how deeply must I love this game that I can walk away for an entire year and come back still enjoy everything about it including all the changes I have no idea about and events I now have no connection with? This game is obviously my soul mate and we are in a romcom where the two leads spend a lifetime drifting apart and back together again and the sex is always wonderful. Sigh, I love you Guild Wars 2.

Sorry. Where was I? So yeah, I blame Gitbot over on Google+. You see I was the one of first of the Elite Dangerous players in the ED G+ Community to state I was going to take an extended break from the game. Gitbot was concerned that the great work the community had done to foster such a pleasant place to chat and debate would be lost so he started up his own G+ Community for gamers who wanted nothing to do with the aggressive eco-systems that many forums descend into – hence Good Guys Gaming was created. It’s not just a way for us to keep in touch when not playing Elite Dangerous, but rather a place for us to discuss, share and enthuse about any games we are playing and it was here I posted I was considering restarting GW2. To my surprise a few of the members, both old GW2 players like me and people who’d never played it at all, were interested in joining me.

So now we have a guild in game (my first ever!) and have spent a week running about trying to learn or re-learn just how to play this amazing game. Every event, every location, every NPC conversation just delights me and I find myself wondering why I wandered away in the first place. I suspect this will ever be my pattern with games – fall in love, become consumed, grow restless, wander away, play another in the same way, drift back, fall in love again*.

Our guild, “All the Gs” if you are interested, is small and we haven’t even looked at guild issues yet as we are a tiny group of players struggling to remember how to play or rolling a character for the very first time, but we are having a blast with it. It’s especially nice for me to finally get people to play in a game with me as I’ve tried for years to get friends into games and so far the only one to follow has been Justin but with him being in America we rarely get time online together. But now with GW2 there are a small handful of players joining me and suddenly the game feels more alive and fun :)

There have been so many changes to GW2 in the year I’ve been away that most of the last few days have felt like ramming a toilet roll into my ear hole but I’m getting there:

  • Builds are very different now so I’m starting to learn how to build from the ground up.
  • Levelling up is vastly different with access to things I took for granted with Jurak now locked behind progression. Luckily levelling is still just as quick.
  • I have bought my son his own version of the game and deleted all but one of his characters from mine – if he wants to make a new one he has start at the bottom on his account now :)
  • This has freed up a lot of character slots for me and I’m expanding my family out to:
    • Jurak Gearwright L80 human engineer
    • Bercolwyn L30 Sylvari Ranger
    • Raketooth Longclaw L10 Charr Warrior
    • Twilk L10 Asura Elementalist
    • Ulfryk the Penitent L1 Norn Guardian
  • I’m saving one slot for the new type, the Revenant, but I would still like to try a Thief and a Memser at some point (Not too fussed by the Necro – just too… goth looking for me)..
  • I’m really looking forward to completing the Living Story Season 2 with Jurak, especially now that the locations visited will be as they were at the time of the LS and not as they are post-LS (this means I should see the village in Dry Top free of tendrils).
  • Speaking of story – I hear that the final acts of beating Zhaitan are now solo-friendly so maybe I can finally get Jurak over that finishing line and actually have one character kill the big boss a mere 3 years after launch! :-D
  • I’d like to think we (either “All the Gs” or “The Gearwrights”) can grab a Guild Hall when the expansion is released but I don’t don’t if we’ll have enough characters of high enough level to do so. Hell, in the case of The Gearwrights, there is only me and my son in that guild so there is only one level 80 character.

So that’s me for a while, back into Tyria I go and I’ll see you in a few months when Elite Dangerous does something to turn me back on after Power Play doused me in cold piss…

HBA – somewhere in Tyria.

P.S. Want to know more about GW2? Check out these videos from Arenanet on YouTube.

P.P.S Interested in trying out GW2? You can buy it here for £35 and never pay a penny more (and it includes the core game *and* the upcoming expansion!): http://buy.guildwars2.com/

*Not with LOTRO though. I’ll never go back there. That grind heavy, time stealing, money grabbing bastard will never get its claws into me again, no matter how much I would love to see Bree again. Some sins are unforgivable.

 
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Posted by on 20 July, 2015 in Guild Wars 2

 

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What a Burro’s playing – June 2015 update

It’s been over a year since I last wrote one of these posts and in that year my gaming life has really shrunk, both in terms of time and scope. You see, my work has been horribly busy over the last twelve months (continuing the trend of the last four years, if I’m honest, and I can’t see it getting any better) and most of my free time is taken up with family time, very important when you have little kids. In that time I bought into the premium beta of Elite Dangerous and that became the all encompassing obsession I knew it would, although I did find time to play a few other games and a year after first piloting a Sidewinder my love of Elite is on the decline. So, what am I playing?

Elite Dangerous: After a year of playing and finding myself taking short breaks throughout I think I’m finally at a point where I’m not going to go back for quite some time. It was the recent Powerplay update that broke me because it showed me that the kind of gameplay I’d like to see isn’t likely to be implemented anytime soon. Of course I’ll probably go back but only once Frontier add multiple character slots (so I can experience different types of gameplay without locking myself into one form for extended periods), planetary landings (I want to explore alien worlds, not just take screen shots of them from orbit), and a more immersive mission structure (to give me a sense of purpose in the galaxy without drinking the Koolaid of Powerplay). It’s still a good game but just one still awaiting many key features that will raise it to a great one. Hopefully ED will flesh out enough in 2015 for me to go back, but for now… meh.

Guild Wars 2: I started Elite just as the Festival of The Winds came to an end and Living World season 2 started. I logged in enough to get each of the season 2 episodes but I have yet to play a single one of them. Now there is an expansion, Great of Thorns, and I’ve not read a thing that makes me want to play it, let alone play it.

MCPE: Update 0.11.0 came out at the start of June and it continued the run of strong, feature packed updates released in the last couple of years. Mojang have taken on three more devs devoted to the pocket edition and the pace of updates is likely to increase dramatically, especially if the additional features they added to 0.11.0 in just a few weeks of being hired is anything to go by! This continues to be the most fun when playing alongside my kids on tablets :)

Transmission and Hook: Both of these are mobile logic puzzle games (I use Android but it’s a fair assumption they will be available for iOS too) and both are totally recommended as they are both beautiful and fiendish in equal measure.

These are the games that are available now but there is at least one other upcoming game I’m now pinning my hopes on…

No Man’s Sky: If Elite Dangerous is all hard sci fi and stark, uncaring beauty, the upcoming No Man’s Sky is a throw back to the eye-popping wonder of the 1970s sci fi heyday. Both offer an immense procedurally generated universe. Both offer open gameplay and the freedom to explore and play in whatever way you choose. But NMS seems to offer a more complete offering of fun over ED’s patchwork of genius and boredom. NMS may also prove to be a big but dull game too, but until it does I’ll be keeping a hopeful eye on it…

Unfortunately that’s it for games and me. A combination of little time and even less interest means I’m facing a bleak few months on the gaming front. What about you? What are you playing, enjoying, not enjoying, waiting for? Leave a comment below.

 

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MMOs and the weirdness of raiding…

I’ve been chewing over this post for a couple of months now, ever since I undertook my first dungeons runs in Guild Wars 2 earlier this year but I’ve been meaning to write something about raiding since I began to tag along with raids in LOTRO back in 2011. Now there are huge differences between those two games but there is also a striking similarity, at least for me, and that is that I find raiding not only profoundly boring but also confusing in its stylistic switch from the rest of the gameplay.

GW2 is probably the best example of this. The game itself is anything but boring with the heart and soul of it engineered to allow you to play pretty much alone whilst giving you something to do all the time. Wherever you are you are never more than a few minutes from an event chain and you are encouraged to use the various weapon and profession skills to complete them. As an engineer I know I have certain rifle skills that work well with turret skills and I need to use both, as well as constant movement and healing, to win the fight and this feels right, it feels like the game Arenanet designed. But when it comes to raiding it all changes.

From a position of knowing your skills and understanding how to dance around an enemy in order to survive, you are thrust into a game mode where all you have to do is stack, i.e. all stand on exactly the same spot and mash attack, heal & rez skills, and that is mind-numbingly dull. Not only is the game play style dull, but what it does to your experience of the world is criminal! Do you know what I see of most fights in raids? A firework display of particle effects centered on a strange multi-limbed beast and nothing else – none of the amazing wotk the devs have put into the area because we are all stood in a crush hitting and healing and checking out emails on your phone instead of concentrating on the fight.

I would love to experience more of the dungeons and areas built by Arenanet but not stood in a clump. I want to use the skills I’ve learnt in the game, not be forced to play a whack-a-mole. I want to take the awesome moves I pull fighting a group of Tamini Centaurs and apply them to fighting a dungeon boss so that when I bring it down I look awesome, not like a strange mutant-blob-thing!

Sigh. Maybe I’m missing something obvious but for the life of me I can’t think what it is. Raiding is boring.

 
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Posted by on 15 July, 2014 in Games, Guild Wars 2, LOTRO

 

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