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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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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! 😀
  • 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.