The day has finally come for Guild Wars 2 players who have been anticipating the release of the much talked about April Feature Pack. With today’s update comes a ton of changes to many core game features, and this update should represent significant quality-of-life changes for GW2 players of all types.
Today’s update brings with it the first stages of the new Guild Wars 2 megaserver system. World shards and the players within are being brought together by a system that dynamically opens and closes maps in order to bring the world to life and fill it with players who are interested in doing the same things you are. You will still have a home world shard, but the megaserver system will bring PvE players together and remove the barriers that world shards can bring.
The megaserver system is going to be rolled out slowly over time, beginning in low level zones, but as testing is done and tweaks are made, the system will end up across the whole of Tyria, bringing players together and allowing them to easily play with others.
New traits are coming to Guild Wars 2, and the way we get them is being tweaked. Gone are the days of paying to unlock trait tiers, as are the days of paying to respec. The new system allows for more freedom in trying different builds in different situations, and also awards traits for acts of bravery and daring. Explore the world, conquer challenges, and improve your abilities.
Account Bound The Way You Want It
One of the best aspects of Guild Wars 2 has long been the way your game is centralized around your account, and in turn you, instead of each individual character. ArenaNet has continued to expand upon that idea as it evolves, and now we are taking another giant step in the right direction as more of the things you do and enjoy can help all your characters in GW2.
The wardrobe system is getting an overhaul with a panel somewhat similar to that of the crafting bank. Every time one of your characters acquires a new piece of gear, it unlocks that style for use across all characters on that account through the account bound wardrobe system.
To make things even better, dyes are now account bound and available to all your characters on your account. One of your alts have just the perfect color you need on another? Now they both have it!
Add to that the fact that legendary items are now account bound, and all of your alts can rejoice knowing that just because you’re not currently playing them, it doesn’t mean they aren’t getting cool stuff.
PvP For The Rewards You Want
The new PvP rewards track allows players who don’t necessarily enjoy doing PvE dungeon content to earn the same rewards by doing what they love, PvPing. Choose the reward you want to work towards, then PvP your days away until you unlock your reward. This update unifies PvP and PvE gear, so the new system allows PvP players to still be able to get the best gear out there, without having to do content they aren’t interested in.
It’s All About Playing The Way You Want
At the end of the day, the new Guild Wars 2 feature pack is geared toward letting you play the way you want, on the character you want, every time you log in, without the worry of missing out on progressing something else. It’s a huge step in the right direction, and a step more MMOs should take a look at as an example of doing it right.
Areanet conducted a livestream yesterday to answer a lot of questions players have about the Features Patch on April 15th. John Corpening (Associate Game Designer), Kate Welsh (UI Designer), and Ryan Diederich (Gameplay Designer) were the three people at the helm answering questions.
One thing they clarified, which I know a lot of people were wondering about, is armor weights will still matter and cultural armor will still only be usable by the appropriate race. So for example I won’t be able to make it look like my Norn Ranger is wearing the Human Cultural Light armor because that character is neither human or a light armor wearer. Also transmutation charges will still be a reward for exploring.
Definitely watch the whole video. There are a lot of answers to many questions people have been wondering about.
A few weeks ago I pre-purchased the Warlords of Dreanor expansion and boosted my baby monk up to level 90. After a few weeks of gearing up and learning the rotation/priority list for Windwalker I have a few thoughts about the boosting experience which relates to MMOs on a broad scale. But first, just so you know where I am coming from on this…
A brief history of my time in WoW…
For people who are used to seeing me write about Guild Wars 2 it might seem weird to be writing about World of Warcraft now. However, when it comes to MMOs, WoW was in a lot of ways my first love. It wasn’t the first MMO I ever played but it was the first one I really stuck with.
I made my first character back in February 2005, a Night Elf Warrior. From the first moments the game gripped me and I was caught up in everything about Teldrassil. It’s even still my favorite area in the game. I mostly played Fury back then, but I did switch to Arms when I got really into PvP (though I always wanted to be Fury).
Unfortunately right after I attained the Commander rank, Blizzard opened up server transfers. While most people would say this was a good thing, it unfortunately ruined PvP for me. I suddenly found instead of being able to leisurely PvP when I wanted to (which admittedly was most of the time), I suddenly found I had to PvP 24/7 just to have a chance of ranking up. Unfortunately it wasn’t really possible since I also had a full time job and was getting ready to go back to college. I tried even though I knew it was futile and quickly burnt myself out so badly that even now the prospect of taking part in PvP in any game generally gets a firm ‘meh’ from me.
At this point I transitioned into raiding, which was a lot of fun. I mean I got to be Fury again and that was awesome. I slowly worked through the ranks and before long I was the Warrior Class Lead, in charge of Recruitment, and the main Raid Leader in my guild. It was pretty much all around awesome. We had trouble transitioning from a 20 man guild into a solid 40 man guild, so we partnered up with another guild in similar circumstances. That partnership was pretty awesome. We jointly tore through Molten Core and one shot Onyxia on our first try. Like I said it was pretty grand.
Then as we were getting ready to move on to BWL/AQ40 The Burning Crusade was announced… And it’s pretty fair to say everyone playing WoW lost their minds for awhile. I actually learned to love Warrior Tanking in TBC (Heroic Shattered Halls was my favorite dungeon) but unfortunately my guild got torn apart by internal politics a good ways into the expansion. Then the next Guild I joined, was awesome and more progressed… Well that guild fell apart due to the Guild Master and the assistant GM getting divorced.
So it was going into Wrath of the Lich King I made my own guild with only friends and we decided to focus on only doing 10 man raiding. It was also at this point I rerolled to be a Shadow Priest. We did well until Trial of the Crusader pushed us and the divide between the people who really wanted to progress and be top raiders and the people who just wanted to play with friends fractured us.
From there I went through a few guilds, and all of them ended up splitting for one reason or another. One had a spit because the guild leader was an asshole, another fell apart because they decided to switch from 25 man to 10, another because the GM was clueless. On it went until finally in MoP as I was getting ready to be married and having just moved I decided to take a break. Also I didn’t want to find another group of friends just to watch it all crumble again. All in all I felt tired.
Boosting to level 90
Ok, that wasn’t very brief but keep in mind that’s 9 years of history there. After the announcements at Blizzcon I was once again excited about playing WoW. The announcement of the boosting process also piqued my interest as it made the possibility of re-rolling much simpler, which I needed to do because I realized I missed tanking.
I won’t bore you with all the details of why I settled on Monk, but a big part of the decision was because the guild I had found already had a Bear tank and they had no Monks of any spec. However, before I could earn a tanking spot I needed to prove myself as a solid DPSer (which is completely fair for any raiding guild).
So it was I found myself running around Timeless Isle and running LFRs to gear up and settle into the rotation/priority list for Windwalker. Overall it’s been fun, though it was really weird being in melee again after playing ranged DPS for so long, but it felt a bit like a sort of homecoming to me. I’m not even exaggerating. It hit me during one LFR run, Windwalker Monk feels a lot like the old Vanilla Fury Warrior spec.
One of the things people had a hard time grasping with Fury back in Vanilla was it wasn’t bursty at all. It was just consistent DPS, but had the drawback if you didn’t hit your abilities in the right order you would have really low DPS. In a way Fury was a demanding spec because there was little room for error. Windwalker functions the same way. In fact if an execute was added in, it would be pretty near identical.
I had previously made a few other Monks before the one I boosted. I spec’ed Windwalker on all of them because in general it’s easiest to level as a DPS spec. However I never realized what Windwalker had in common with the old Fury Warrior. Granted I never got particularly far in leveling, even with all the BoA gear. It’s not that it was hard, just it was boring. And I liked playing Monk but I didn’t love it.
The reason I never realized how much I would love playing a Windwalker Monk is due to a fact I have been aware of for a long time but it just never hit home to me how silly it is. Play style for leveling and end game are completely different. I know nothing groundbreaking or surprising there, but it’s absolutely true. I would never have realized I should be playing a Monk if it weren’t for the lvl 90 boost.
Since how a class is played at max level is completely different for the two phases of the game, it sort of renders leveling as pointless. You aren’t learning how to play your class. You might learn about some of the game systems, but there’s no real reason why those systems can’t be learned about at max level.
Even the argument leveling is about learning how to play your role correctly falls away in WoW’s current form. Even when done on level appropriate characters most leveling dungeons are done in one big crazy zerg. Occasionally a healer might need to toss out a heal or two, but for the most part even the healers tend to spend a fair amount of time DPSing instead of healing. And tanks definitely rarely learn anything about how to build and keep aggro.
Leveling just feels like wasted time. A part of the game players take part in before the real game starts.
Next Generation MMOs
Leveling is an artifact of the RPG part of MMORPG, but it’s really outlived it’s usefulness. At endgame the most common way of giving the feeling of progression is by doing harder and harder objectives (often raids) to obtain better and better gear. This is enough motivation for people they often rush through leveling content and barely pay attention to what’s going on.
One of the hallmarks of the next generation of MMOs (the real next generation not the ones who are basically doing the same old thing) will get rid the old leveling system and will let players form up and start on normal “endgame” content right away. There can still be quest chains and content which is normally associated with leveling for people who like things like that. This also allows Devs to focus their time on content a large part of the player base won’t just rush through.
Another positive upshot of moving towards a model without levels is those dang tutorial starter areas could finally be made optional. For people who have been playing MMOs for a decade or more those “hey let’s teach you about how a MMO works” areas are extremely tiresome and really don’t serve much purpose. Heck they could even institute something similar to what LoL does and ask players how much MMO experience they have. Then based on the answers have more or less training wheels on to start.
Anyway, that’s how the boost to 90 experiment has changed my perspective on leveling. I have now gone completely 180 in my opinion. What are your thoughts about the function of leveling in WoW and other MMOs?
On a day of fun and frivolity Arenanet brings us… Bobble heads! For an example check out this Vine which features a bobble head Eir, Logan, Zojja, Caithe, and Rytlock dancing together. Additionally players will get to experience being a bobble head today as well when they log on today. Check out this infographic about the bobble heads.
In mostly unrelated news Dulfy has announced that she is taking over the official GW2 Wiki in a $2 million deal which includes $400 thousand in gems and 23.1 thousand gold. There is also a potential bonus of $300 thousand gems depending on if certain goals are reached. The Wiki has already been updated to match the look and feel of Dulfy’s main site.
This week on TWIMMO: Elder Scrolls Online endgame, Guild Wars 2 Features update, Rift PvP Dimension tools and more!
The official launch of Elder Scrolls Online is near and Zenimax has released some info on endgame, which is kind of important for players to know about before launch. Weird that they left the post to go out practically a week before launch but at least it’s out. We’ve got some news on the Guild Wars 2 and Rift front as well!
ESO Veteran Content
Yes, endgame for Elder Scrolls Online is called Veteran Content. First off there’s Cyrodiil PvP content such as Solo Play, Duo Play, Small Group Party and Large Group Party. That’s quite a bit Cyrodiil has to offer. For PvE fans, there are Veteran Rank Zones for Solo and Duo Play. When you reach level 50, you go into another faction’s zone and do it all over gain. You earn Veteran ranks instead of levels. There are Six 4-person veteran dungeons at launch. There’s the Craglorn Adventure zone which is a regular zone but made for groups of four, but this may not make the official launch. There’s 12-person group content called Trials which sounds like a horde mode or a gauntlet of some sort. Hopefully that will be a good amount of content endgame wise.
Guild Wars 2 Features Patch
ArenaNet is releasing a patch on April 15th with a ton of features such as free repair costs, free trait resets, account bound world vs world xp, account bound legendaries and ascended armor, account wide dyes, a wardrobe system, better LFG tool, new traits and a ton of balance and bug fixes. That’s quite a lot of features!
Rift PvP Dimension Tools
Player housing just got more fun. Trion has released PvP tools for dimensions aka Rift‘s player housing. Essentially this means that players can build their own arenas! Can’t wait to see what creative stuff Rift players will make!
We have a lot more content to look forward to on future TWIMMO episodes with the highly anticipated MMO games getting closer to release. So be sure to return next week for your weekly dose of MMO news.
The last couple of weeks have seen a ton of announced changes for the upcoming Features Patch. Now seemed like a good time to compile a list of everything which has been announced so far. Keep in mind we still have the post about “A Solid Foundation” and three more blog posts about “Facilitating Friendly Play” to get through, so this is only listing changes and Features already announced.
Number of trait points is being reduced from 70 to 14
From level 30 to 60 players will gain 1 trait point every six levels
At level 66, 72, and 78 players will gain 2 trait points
Refunding trait points is free
Traits can be refunded anytime a player is out of combat or not in a PvP match
Minus button has been added to the UI
Major Traits will be unlocked by using an item called a Trait Guide which can be obtain by completing various types of content or they can be bought from Profession trainers
40 new Grandmaster Traits
Runes and Sigils
Rune set bonuses being adjusted to make getting four, five, and six set bonus more attractive
Updated rune sets to fill some of the niches that were currently unfilled
The six-rune bonus proc for superior rune sets will have a 50% likelihood
Removing the divide between PvE and PvP Rune Sets
Will only equip one Rune in PvP and will receive all the bonuses as if you had put in six Runes
Sigils of the same type will trigger the recharge for each other, even if they are different tiers.
Recharges for Sigils of different types will be separate
On kill Sigils will reward one stack for killing a monster and 5 stacks for killing a player
Won’t be able to gain 25 stacks from an “on kill” Sigil and then unequip it
Two handed weapons will have two Sigils
Balancing pass to make more Sigils viable
Sigils of Ice, Purity, Frailty, and Water will grant their bonus on hit (instead of on critical hit)
Elementalists with a dagger in their main hand will gain an extra evasion on their Burning Speed and a blast finisher on their Frozen Burst.
Elementalists in PvP the skill split on Signet of Restoration and the Cleansing Water grandmaster trait is removed
Engineers will find that there have been quite a few bug fixes for their turrets, as well as new trait functionality to help support your team with them
Engineers skills like A.E.D. are having their cast time reduced in order to make them easier to execute in battle
Warrior Healing Signet will be reduced by 8% and Pin Down will be moving from a ¼ second cast time to a ¾ second cast time
The Necromancer Major Trait Dhuumfire is being unified for PvE and PvP and moved to Life Blast instead of requiring the Necro to critically hit an enemy
Minions are no longer a required element of the Death Magic line
Adding Armored Shroud, which grants bonus toughness while in Death Shroud
Adding Soul Comprehension which increases the base life-force gain from surrounding deaths
Rangers commanding their pet to use a skill or attack will happen immediately
The skill activated by Keen Edge is now considered a Survival skill and will benefit from other traits that impact this skill type
Thief’s poison duration of Choking Gas will be slightly reduced
Mesmer clones and phantasms will receive some updates and bug fixes, including the repair of the Illusionary Warden
Renamed to Ferocity
Reduction in total amount Critical Damage attainable
At level 80 15 ferocity will equal 1% Crit Damage
Skin Wardrobe which gives access to all skins a player has discovered on any character
Use Transmutation charges to transmute gear
3 Transmutation Stones will convert to 1 charge, 1 Transmutation Crystal will give you 1 charge, 1 Transmutation Splitter will give you 5 charges
Town clothes will be usable on armor, but if it’s part of an outfit you have to use the entire thing
Individual town clothes (like the reading glasses) will still only take one slot.
All Dyes are account wide
New preview option for dyes so you know you are putting the color in the right spot
Unidentified Dyes won’t drop as loot anymore
Ascended Equipment will be Account Bound
Legendary Weapons will become account bound once they are equipped for the first time
Account WXP is going live
Each character on an account can distribute their World Ability Points differently
All World Ability Points will be reset
Repairing gear will be free
Raw gold which drops from Champion loot bags and events will be reduced
The variety of rare and exotic items which the Mysitic forge will produce is being increased (precursors are not affected)
In today’s first blog post about the Features Patch, Arenanet announced we would finally see account wide WXP go into effect. After the patch players will just need to log into each character once to add their WXp to their total. Also all spent points will be refunded with the patch as well. The surprise announcement is, all existing and future Legendary and Ascended equipment will be Account Bound instead of Soulbound. Legendaries will still be sellable on the TP until they have been equipped once, at that point they’ll become Account Bound.
The second update today had more of a mixed bag. Repair Costs are going away as are the costs to reset traits. The flipside of those two changes is raw gold which drops from champion loot bags and events will be decreased. The variation of exotics and rares dropped from the mystic forge will also be increased (precursors excluded).
Today’s dev blogs for the upcoming Features Patch on April 15th addresses two things fans of Guild Wars 2 have been asking for since the game launched.
The first change is account wide dye unlocks. This is a huge thing we have been asking for since it can be quite frustrating unlocking colors on different characters and definitely makes alts less exciting. Also as a part of the implementation and copies of a color players have on different characters will yield one unidentified dye per repeated color. The only sort of downside is unidentified dyes won’t drop as loot anymore.
The second, and much bigger change, is the introduction of the Account Wide Wardrobe system. After the patch players will just have to log on to each of their characters to open every skin that character has across the account. These skins are then placed in the account wardrobe and will be usable as much as a player wants. Transmutation crystals and stones will be converted into transmutation charges (freeing up more bank space) and transmuting looks will now cost charges instead of those stones.
For a demonstration of how everything works there is a new video with Matt Wuerffel going over these changes.
Want to know what the rest of the new Guild Wars 2 traits are before the patch in April? We’ve got you covered.
A recent blog post by ArenaNet told us of the new trait changes coming and that there are 40 new Grandmaster traits in the Feature Pack in April. The Guild Wars 2 Ready Up (episode 8) developer stream explain each of the 40 new traits in detail so here they are for your viewing and theory crafting pleasure. Note that any numbers for the traits could change between now and the features patch.
Fire - Binding Ashes - Burning foes also blinds them for 5 seconds (5 second cooldown)
Air - Lightning Rod - When you interrupt a target, shoot a lightning bolt on the target that weakens them for 5 seconds
Earth - Stone Heart - Cannot get critically hit while attuned to earth
Water - Aquatic Benevolence - Healing towards other allies is increased by 25% (doesn’t apply to self)
Arcane - Elemental Contingency - Being struck will result in defense boons based on your current attunement:
Fire: 3.5 seconds of Retaliation
Air: 5 seconds of Fury
Earth: 2.5 seconds of Protection
Water: 3 seconds of Vigor
Explosives - Synaptic Overload - Gain 3 seconds of quickness when using a knockback on a foe (20 second cooldown)
Firearms - Bunker Down - When you critically hit, you create a mine that lasts 10 seconds at your location (2 second cooldown)
Inventions - Fortified Turrets - Creates a reflective shield for 4 seconds on newly spawned turrets. Shield ends if turret is picked up or destroyed
Alchemy - Experimental Turrets - Turrets apply boons to allies every 10 seconds based on the turret:
Thumper Turret: 3 seconds of Protection
Net Turret: 10 seconds of Swiftness
Rifle Turret: 5 seconds of Fury
Healing Turret: 3 seconds of Vigor
Rocket Turret: 3 seconds of Retaliation
Flame Turret: 3 stacks of Might for 10 seconds
Tools - Gadgeteer - Gadgets applies boons upon use based on the gadget:
A.E.D.: 3.5 seconds of Retaliation
Personal Battering Ram: 5 seconds of Fury
Rocket Boots: 4 seconds of Vigor
Slick Shoes: 8 seconds of Regeneration
Throw Mine: 6 seconds of Aegis
Utility Goggles: 5 stacks of Might for 8 seconds
Zeal - Amplified Wrath - Burning damage increased by 33%
Radiance - Radiant Retaliation - Retaliation damage scales from condition damage instead of power
Valor - Communal Defenses - Grant Aegis for 5 seconds to allies when you block an attack (360 range)
Honor - Force of Will - Gain up to 300 Vitality, based on your level
Virtues - Purity of Body - Resolve‘s passive effect increases endurance regeneration by 15%
Domination - Power Block - Enemy skills interrupted increases the cooldown of the interrupted skill by 10 seconds
Dueling - Triumphant Distortion - Gain 3 seconds of Distortion upon defeating an enemy
Chaos - Bountiful Disillusionment - Gain boons every time a shatter skill is used:
Mind Wrack: 3 seconds of Retaliation
Cry of Frustration: 3 stacks of Might for 15 seconds
Diversion: 5 seconds of Fury
Distortion: 8 seconds of Regeneration
Inspiration - Disruptor’s Sustainment - Gain 1000 Healing Power for 5 seconds when you interrupt a foe
Illusions - Maim the Disillusioned - Enemies hit by a shatter skill are inflicted with Torment
Spite - Parasitic Contagion - 5% of your Condition Damage heals you (does not scale with Healing Power)
Curses - Path of Corruption - Dark Path additionally converts 2 boons into conditions
Death Magic - Unholy Sanctuary - Regenerate health while in Death Shroud
Blood Magic - Unholy Martyr - While in Death Shroud, draw 1 condition every 3 seconds from allies. Gain 5% life force for each condition drawn
Soul Reaping - Renewing Blast - Life Blast heals allies that it passes through
Marksmanship - Read the Wind - Longbow and Harpoon Gun projectile velocity increased by 100%
Skirmishing - Strider’s Defense - 15% chance to block ranged attacks while in melee
Wilderness - Poison Master - Poison Damage increased by 50% and the first attack by a swapped in pet applies Poison
Nature Magic - Survival of the Fittest - Remove 2 conditions and gain Fury when using a survival skill
Beastmastery - Invigorating Bond - Pets heal in an area when using the command ability (F2 skill)
Deadly Arts - Revealed Training - Gain up to 200 extra Power when you are Revealed, based your on level
Critical Strikes - Invigorating Precision - You are healed by 5% of critical strike damage you inflict
Shadow Arts - Resilience of Shadows - Stealth you apply reduces incoming attack damage by 50%
Acrobatics - Assassin’s Equilibrium - Gain 1 second of stability when you are Revealed
Trickery - Bewildering Ambush - Stealing applies 5 stacks of confusion on the target for 5 seconds
Strength - Burst Precision - Burst skills critically hit
Arms - Duel Wield Agility - Attack speed increased by 10% when wielding an offhand sword, mace, or axe
Defense - Rousing Resilience - Gain up to 1000 toughness for 4 seconds when you break out of a stun, based on your level
Tactics - Phalanx Strength - Grant 6 seconds of might to allies when you grant yourself Might
Discipline - Brawler’s Recovery - Remove blindness when you swap weapons
If you want to find out more about the new PvP map, the rune and sigil changes or about the profession balances, you can check out the Ready Up video on Guild Wars 2′s Twitch channel or you can check out Dulfy’s notes about the livestream. If you have any questions or comments about the traits, feel free to share your thoughts below!
Following up on yesterday’s Feature Pack announcement, Guild Wars 2 Dev Roy Cronacher has penned an in-depth post on the changes coming to critical damage. According to the post, one of the things being introduced is a brand new stat named “Ferocity” which will affect critical damage.
The idea is to make bonus critical damage more easily understood and scaled across the whole game.
Living Story Season 1 has come to a close and it’s now time to focus back on World vs. World. In the last patch before WvW Season 2 Arenanet tossed in a few changes to how this season will function. Most of these changes were expected, but not all of them will really fix the issues we saw during Season 1.
Transferring Worlds During A Tournament In the previous season players were locked to their worlds for WvW even if they paid for a transfer. The good part of this is it prevented people from transferring to a winning server right before the end to get the “phat lootz”. The downside unfortunately made it so returning players couldn’t play with friends in WvW if their friends were on a different server. During Season 2 players will be allowed to transfer to different servers anytime during the season, with some restrictions.
Once a player transfers to the new server they will be unable to participate in Eternal Battlegrounds and the Boarderlands for the remainder of the current match-up and all of the next match-up. Additionally the world which is considered your home server for WvW is dependant on how active a player is in WvW for that server. However, we don’t really know much about how activity is determined yet.
Here’s an example. I currently play on Yak’s Bend and let’s say I go through all of the season right up until two weeks are left there. And let’s say I only go into WvW a few times, enough to get achievements done and that’s it. Then I transfer to Blackgate right at the end and spend all of my time in Edge of the Mists. Would that count to making my home WvW server Blackgate? Does only time spent in Eternal Battleground or the Boarderlands count? What if I finish the meta achievement on Blackgate? Or get more parts of the meta achievement done on Blackgate?
We aren’t really sure right now and all of the options have downsides. The worst option would be if you just had to have the most actual time in WvW on your new server. If that’s the case hello WvW afkers.
The Meta Achievement
In order for people to qualify for the rewards at the end of this Season players need to get the meta achievement, which is just 10 achievements out of the 18 new ones added. This in itself will prevent afkers right? Maybe for a little bit.
I’m sure there will be a flurry of people trying to get the meta right away in the early weeks of the Season. Once people get those done the people who just wanted the achievement points and the chest at the end will probably stop playing WvW; while the people who love it will just keep on keeping on.
Remember the part where I was wondering what happens if just time spent in any WvW zone matters for your home server? This is where it matters. If I get the meta quickly, I could just transfer to Blackgate and afk in WvW enough to get their rewards at the end of the season. Not at all optimal. Also if Arenanet does something similar with this meta as they did for the Living Story updates getting the meta achievement might be as simple as doing a daily everyday for ten days.
The New Tournament Set-up
One of the issues I talked about in my review of Season 1, was how on the surface it seemed like a lot of servers had a chance to win their league but how most of them really never stood a chance. Though the point spread was generally pretty close, the individual matches were more often than not hugely lopsided and for the most part it was a forgone conclusion who would win each week (and who would win each league).
The way Arenanet is trying to combat this issue is by having how teams perform each week affect who they’ll be matched up against the next week. However since who is matched up the next week is based on points earned in the tournament instead of say some metric based if the match was a blowout or close will probably net us the same result as last season. Let’s go through an example real quick.
As of today the Gold league for NA region would be Jade Quarry, Tarnished Coast, Blackgate, Sea of Sarrows, Maguuma, and Fort Aspenwood. The first match-up (since it’s based on world ranking) would be the first three against each other and the second three against each other. Also let’s say they finish in the order listed as well. Going into the second week the two winners (Jade Quarry and Sea of Sarrows) would be matched up against one of the second place finishers; while the other matchup would have one second place finisher against two servers which finished in third place. In this example it seems like the most likely winner (for the season) would be Jade Quarry… with very little real competition because of the point system for coming in first second and third.
Season 2 Results
First obviously my example was theoretical. I am not saying Jade Quarry is guaranteed to win, but the odds favor whoever wins the first week in each league. This is one area I really hope I am wrong because having a truly competitive WvW season would be amazing. I also wonder if fewer people might take part (because they figure their server has no chance at winning) which would only make these issues worse.
Even with all of these conerns I am REALLY looking forward to this season. The rewards look awesome (I mean have you seen those weapon skins??) and either way I know I’ll have fun fighting for my server.
The battle with Scarlet is over, but it seems that the war is not. And there’s a huge mess to clean up.
And while there are things like Scarlet’s enormous airship continuing to drill into the landscape, it seems like something has also woken up, and it’s angry. You can get a glimpse of that something in the video above. And, snag the full resolution “Aftermath” poster below… just in case you’ve been looking for a new desktop background.
Back at the end of January Guild Wars 2 started the beginning of the end of Scarlet Brair. Now after some pretty exciting events and the destruction and evacuation of Lion’s Arch, players will finally be able to focus on fighting back.
“Players will engage in a desperate struggle to take back one of the game’s most important cities and a major hub for players. The city of Lion’s Arch has fallen to a vicious surprise attack from sylvari super villain Scarlet Briar, backed by her army of Tyria’s dark forces and an arsenal of war machines. Her weapons of war include the massive airship drill Breachmaker, which continues to bore deep beneath the city’s harbor. Under the shadow of this mechanical monstrosity, players must now rally to reenter Lion’s Arch to challenge Scarlet’s army, and perhaps face the villain herself.“
Everything since the first Flame and Frost patch back in January 2013 has been building to this epic showdown. Let’s show Scarlet what we are made of and get her to finally give some straight answers about what she’s been up to! Though the question I am most curious about is, will Scarlet survive the onslaught?
[button type="link" link="http://www.gamebreaker.tv/news/guild-wars-2-hits-china-march-11/" size="btn-large" variation="btn-success" block="btn-block"]Guild Wars 2 Hits China March 11[/button]
ArenaNet’s buy-to-play MMO, Guild Wars 2 will be launching a closed beta in China starting march 11, according to an press release. The game will feature the same business model in China as it does in North America and Europe with players only needing to buy a copy of the game.
China’s operation general manager for Guild Wars 2, Atlantis Lai had this to say about the upcoming release:
“Given the game’s high quality and beautiful design, compared with free-to-play and time-based pay-to-play games, this business model, where players purchase the game once and then play it for as long as they wish with no subscription fee, has the highest chance to appeal to the broadest base of players in China. As the most important and famous product in the 2014 China PC market, we believe Chinese players will also recognize Guild Wars 2 globally renowned quality.”
[button type="link" link="http://www.gamebreaker.tv/features/guild-wars-2-expansion-work/" size="btn-large" variation="btn-success" block="btn-block"]How Would A Guild Wars 2 Expansion Work?[/button]
Let’s explore how ArenaNet could possibly deliver a Guild Wars 2 expansion
Hello all! During your break in helping to save citizens from the utter carnage in Lion’s Arch, I’d like to drop this question onto you: How would a Guild Wars 2 expansion work? I’m hoping we’ll hear something about expansions if ArenaNet are at PAX East this year. Before discussing GW2 expansion possibilities, let’s first look at GW1‘s expansions.
Guild Wars 1 Expansions
You could say there are two types of “expansions”. The first type of expansion is the campaign. There are three GW1 campaigns: Prophecies (The very first GW1 campaign) for the continent of Tyria, Factions for Cantha and Nightfall for Elona. They act like traditional expansions but the interesting part is that each campaign could be played as a standalone title.
The second type of expansion is the traditional kind. There was only one boxed expansion called Eye of the North. You have the traditional expansion stuff like skills, quests, dungeons and, in GW1‘s case, hero mercenaries. You needed at least one of the three campaigns to play EotN. Other than that there was a Bonus Mission Pack players could buy online and a few free content updates collectively called Guild Wars Beyond.
Possible Guild Wars 2 Professions and Races
Assuming ArenaNet go more the traditional route for expansions, there are a few races that exist in the world of Tyria that could become playable in the future. I see Tengu coming as a possible future race first, especially if Cantha comes out. The Kodan are another possible race that players have brought up. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of visual diversity between each Kodan in my opinion so ArenaNet may needed to work on that a bit.
New weapons, skills and professions are pretty much a given for expansion material. For now, let’s look at the remaining GW1 professions ArenaNet didn’t use for launch to be possibly brought into GW2:
GW1 Dervishes are basically devoted priests to the Six Human Gods. The other races don’t pray to these gods, especially the Charr. So the lore would have to be worked out somehow to bring in the profession.
GW2 Monks I can see as more melee/fighting type of monk rather than the healing type.
GW1 Assassins are pretty much GW2 Thieves.
GW1 Ritualists and Paragons share some similarities to GW2 Mesmers and Guardians respectively and are different from the norm profession-wise in MMO games. A rework would probably be in order.
Tell Me A Story ArenaNet
Let’s talk a bit about personal story. The Zhaitan fight at the end of GW2 personal story wasn’t that great in my opinion. Based on my experience in GW1, I was hoping for a more of an engaging fight against Zhaitan but I didn’t feel that at all. Also, I felt as if I was a secondary character in my personal story after Traherne was the designated as the “chosen one”. For personal story I feel that you, the player, should be an important center piece of the history taking place. I think being more of an observer of history in the making is better suited for living story.
Speaking of living story, I think that’s the hardest part of making a GW2 expansion. Love it or hate it, living story is going to stick around; at least for another season. If an expansion comes out, how does living story work? I’d assume that each continent would have it’s own living story. If that’s the case, then would that be too much living story for a player to do for all the achievements? Is their any interconnection between expansions and the base game for living story? If so, by how much since not everyone will necessary buy the expansions. There’s quite a lot of factors ArenaNet have to consider.
So I dropped a few concerns and possibilities I have for expansions, how about you? What would you like to see in a Guild Wars 2 expansion? You probably have an idea or two, or seven. So by all means, share them in the comments below!
We’ve almost made it to the end of Living Story Season One, and what a long crazy journey it has been! Just one more patch to go before we get all the answers… Well probably not all of them, but hopefully most questions will be answered. For right now though we have a pretty thoroughly destroyed Lion’s Arch and crazy crazy Scarlet drilling in the harbor. How’s this patch stacking up?
Moving the Living Story along
There isn’t a whole lot of “story” presented in this patch. We’ve known for sure since the last patch Scarlet was going to invade Lion’s Arch though we’ve known it was the likely target longer than that. Despite knowing what was coming there are some interesting story tidbits to be found along with some further developing of a couple of characters and fully fleshing out the feeling of having a major city destroyed.
I was afraid after watching the opening cutscene Evon Gnashblade might have died because there was one part where it looked like he had been blown-up. Much to my surprise, I was quite sad at the thought of him being dead. Thankfully I quickly found him in Vigil Keep being informed, much to his chagrin, that not only was Ellen Kiel still alive but she was also conscripting him into the Lionguard to run the supply trains. His interactions with the Asura delivering this news was quite amusing. In fact he now has one of my favorite conversations in Guild Wars 2 thus far.
There is also a bit of interesting flavor text on the new backpack players can make. It takes the form of a note from Scarlet to Caithe which reads “Caithe, someday you’ll see. Tyria needs me.” This could just be more Scarlet raving, but I feel like it could be a bit more than that. If nothing else it does seem like Scarlet does believe what she does is for the benefit of the world as a whole. I wonder if in the long run it might turnout she is right? She’s certainly not the sort of villain who is out to do bad things just because, so I could see it being possible there might be some good which could potentially come from her actions.
During one of the evacuation events I took a minute to converse with Marjory and Kasmeer. For anyone who didn’t talk to Kiel in the last patch Kasmeer reveals Kiel tried to get the Captain’s Council to fortify the city and prepare for Scarlet’s attack. However in Kasmeere’s words they “pooh poohed her”. Which leads to the question of if Gnashblade had been elected would the Captain’s Council have listened to him? Sadly it looks like it wouldn’t have mattered because during a conversation with him he explains how he also tried to warn the Captain’s Council but they ignored him. I do hope someone looks into how the Council could be so negligent. Maybe once Marjory figures out the “Mr. E” thing she can investigate the incompetence of the Captain’s Council.
Good old Hobo-Tron is back again this time as Heal-O-Tron. As always there is some great dialogue coming from this little golem. However, there is also a Seraph around trying to drag him back to Divinity’s Reach with claims the bot is still helping Scarlet. As a result the healer Heal-O-Tron has been helping kicks him out. All of this leads to a conversation with Heal-O-Tron talking to Gnashblade and, unless I have completely misunderstood the dialogue (it relates back to an earlier conversation), I think he’s got an idea about getting rid of the miasma.
It’s not all fun stuff, there are a number of sad conversations going on around the camps. Including one citizen players can talk to who will talk about how they came through the portal with Rollan but as soon as they got through Rollan was taken away to a mass grave and she didn’t even get to say goodbye. There’s a number of things like that which make it feel a just a bit more real, players just have to wander around and listen to the NPCs and sometimes interact with them directly. As the sort of person who always wants to get the most out of every experience the extra interactions are well worth it.
It’s all just one giant zergfest!
One of the biggest complaints about these sorts of events is they are often a big old zergfest, and this event seems to mostly be following that pattern; this despite the fact the event is worse off if everyone just follows one big zerg. What you don’t believe the Lion’s Arch event is better if people don’t just go into one big zerg? Well let’s look at the objectives and how they are accomplished.
Luckily the Game Update Notes actually explain how this event should happen. The whole point of the event is to help evacuate as many citizens as possible. The more people evacuated the better the rewards are. Throughout Lion’s Arch there are citizens marked with an orange fist over them who you can shout at to get them to leave the city. Each citizen saved in this way adds 1 to the count. As the miasma levels rise champions will spawn at Fort Mariner and Lion’s Shadow Inn and elites will spawn at the Grand Piazza. Completing each of these events adds 10 citizens to the count. There are also smaller events which are escorting various groups out of the city, these events each add 5 citizens to the count. The biggie though is the miasma deployments. For each of these which are stopped 5 citizens are saved. Additionally if all three are stopped within 10 minutes of each other 35 citizens are saved.
Given all these things, the obvious answer to maximize rewards is to have a bunch of different groups working on the various escort events individually, then come together to make three groups to deal with the miasma deployments, and then separate out again to take care of the various other events. While players might initially all group up into a big group to roam around in, it’s likely as the event goes on (and they workout the bugs with the citizen counter) groups will divide up more and the event will feel less like a giant zergfest.
There is one issue which seems to have not gotten better and is an old one I have to bring up yet again. It’s all well and good to have big world events. And it’s fine to participate with other people I don’t know. However, one of the things I like about playing MMOs is playing with my friends. However, in this update I’ve seen the problem where even people who are grouped together and enter at the same time get put in different instances of the event and can’t switch over because both are full. What’s worse is when four of the people get in and one person is stuck away from their friends. It’s a pretty big issue when the intention is to play with your friends. I’d still love real larger than five person groups, but getting these events working properly with five man groups should be a priority.
I never expected this patch to be particularly heavy with story since the set-up was all with Scarlet attacking and we sort of have an idea of why. The atmosphere of everything and the camps that were set-up and the utter destruction of Lion’s Arch is pretty amazing. But issues with getting in with friends and getting the citizen counter working properly should definitely be a priority. Overall I am having a lot of fun with this event, though it’ll probably get really old by the end of next week. My hope for the next patch is there will be a greater variety of things to do, and perhaps a story instance or two. Oh and lots of answers, since the next patch is supposed to wrap up everything with Scarlet. Happy hunting, err, I mean Happy citizen evacuating!
[button type="link" link="[button type="link" link="http://www.gamebreaker.tv/news/7-minutes-of-elder-scrolls-online-face-bashing..." size="btn-large" variation="btn-success" block="btn-block"]Is Guild Wars 2 Ascended Armor The First Step In A Gear Grind?[/button]
Today Guild Wars 2 releases the penultimate chapter in the saga of super villain Scarlet Briar with the arrival of the ‘Escape from Lion’s Arch’ update.
The great city of Lion’s Arch is no stranger to devastation, and now Scarlet’s minions descend upon the multicultural center of trade and look to raze the city once again.
Players must battle alongside the Lionguard to take on Scarlet’s dark allies and help evacuate as many allies as possible before Lion’s Arch falls. Only they stand between Scarlet and the total destruction of the most important city in Tyria.
[button type="link" link="http://www.gamebreaker.tv/features/guild-wars-2-and-ascended-armor/" size="btn-large" variation="btn-success" block="btn-block"]Is Guild Wars 2 Ascended Armor The First Step In A Gear Grind?[/button]
Recently Ed Park aka Taugrim posted on his blog about the one thing he would change in his favorite MMOs. In the Guild Wars 2 section he mentioned the one thing he would change is Ascended Armor. Specifically the incredible grind it takes to obtain not just Ascended weapons but also armor pieces. He also theorizes part of the reason for the addition of Ascended armor was to provide a way for players to remain actively engaged and playing.
I disagree slightly on that point. First, Arenanet has stated a few times that they had always intended to implement Ascended weapons and armor but they just weren’t ready when GW2 launched. Secondly, while new gear might be a carrot that will keep some people playing, I don’t think that would really work with how GW2 is structured. WvW aside there is no content in the game where a player has to have Ascended anything. Sure having it will make things easier, but it’s not required. Also you don’t need to do specific content to acquire it either. It’s not as if the only way to get an Ascended helm is to keep killing The Shatterer until it drops. The last point is that Arenanet doesn’t make money just by keeping people playing the way sub games do, they need people to buy things with gems to sustain. Keeping people around crafting things and not buying gems doesn’t really help them.
What seems much more likely to keep players engaged is keeping the Living Story going and improving on their storytelling skills. That coupled with continuing to improve how WvW, SPvP, and new fractals would go much further to keep people engaged. After all, with Ascended gear crafting players are only engaged while they are crafting the gear, not after. It’s very limited.
I do however agree crafting Ascended armor is extremely grindy and not at all fun. I don’t at all have an issue with gear being difficult to obtain or taking a few weeks to make, but even I have to admit the restraints seem a bit extreme. I could tolerate the slow crafting time if after I made my Ascended gear the crafting time for alts would be reduced. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself “but after you level the crafting skill to 500 you don’t have to do that again and that’s a time saver” and you’d be right to think this way. However, there is still a fair amount of time that needs to be put into making a whole armor set.
Let’s use the medium armor as an example and say I already have my leather working leveled to 500. To make a full set the list of materials needed is:
6 Gossamer Insignas
30 Globs of Dark Matter
120 Piles of Crystalline Dust
6 Augur’s Stone
15 Dragonite Ingot
15 Empyreal Star
15 Bloodstone Brick
24 Bolt of Damask
18 Elonian Leather Squares
720 Spools of Gossamer Thread
That’s a lot of materials. Add the fact a number of these items or the things needed to make them have cooldowns and are account bound, means there is an inherent amount of time needed which can’t be avoided. For a game which is supposedly really alt friendly it’s a bit prohibitive.
Time consumption aside, I don’t really mind the addition of Ascended gear. I do wish it had been put in the game originally so players never would have thought all they needed to do was get exotic. Additionally, there has been some talk of the possibility of Legendary armor which sort of muddies the whole issue. Sure legendary weapons have the same stats as Ascended weapons so there isn’t the issue of the gear being more powerful. Instead the benefits would be more along the lines of quality of life improvements. Players would be able to switch the stats on their gear easily which would be useful in the future if Berserker gear stopped being the dominant gear set.
As it stands, Ascended armor is cool and it gives people something to work towards, but Arenanet is definitely walking a fine line with it. And, if they were to add another gear level above it, then people would be justified in claiming they turned their backs on the “no gear treadmill” concept. Heck, I’d be right there with everyone else complaining about it.
After several attempts at the Great Jungle Wurm and hearing experiences from others, here’s a conclusion of why this boss is hard to beat
So chances are that if you’re reading this is that you’re a Guild Wars 2 player. Which would also mean is that you’ve probably tried to attempt the Jungle Wurm world boss in Bloodtide Coast in these past few weeks. Up till now there have been a few confirmed kills; at least ones that I know of. However, it’s most likely that you’ve attended failed attempts quite a bit. I’m here to explain why I think that is.
The Boss Mechanics
For those who don’t know, I’ll explain the mechanics for this fight. First you separate into 3 large groups for the escort event which asks you to escort 3 Asurans to 3 different locations. Afterwards each group has to fight a wurm and each wurm becomes vulnerable with a specific mechanic. The Amber jungle wurm requires players to be eaten and attack the wurm from the inside with a harpoon. The Cobalt jungle wurm requires powder kegs to make it vulnerable to attack. The Crimson jungle wurm requires the extractors in the area to be full to make it vulnerable to attack. All three wurms must die within a minute of each other. Afterwards there’s a final phase where you have to kill the three wurm heads within 2 minutes of each other.
The main reason few can beat this boss is because of one of the mechanics being difficult due to communication problems. All three wurms must die within a minute of each other. So let’s dissect this mechanic a bit.
The first issue is not everyone uses the server’s voice chat. A majority, if not all, of the servers or large guilds have a voice chat that residences of the server can coordinate for World vs World or world boss events. You don’t have to talk or even have a microphone, you just need to listen to how the plan to beat the jungle wurm is being carried out. You’ll see a majority of commanders in the area use voice chat to explain the plan and so on but a lot of players won’t use the voice chat and would just follow what the majority of players are doing.
Of course, voice chat isn’t mandatory for this. You can also read chat to know the plan because most commanders would type out things as well if there’s a hoard of players present. Sadly, a majority of players aren’t really paying attention to chat. Probably because any misstep during the fight could result in death. Or maybe they tunnel too much into the fight against the hard hitting mobs in the area; a lot of players usually scatter into smaller skirmishes during a wurm fight due to this as well. The communication via voice and text of when to stop attacking the 3 different wurms at a certain point, if it gets to that point in the fight, isn’t fully present so setting up a final attack on all three wurms simultaneously isn’t possible.
The second issue is frustration. After weeks of failed Jungle wurm attempts, people get upset and their frustration rises if they really want to beat the boss. You can see this even with some of the commanders. This frustration is reflected back towards other players attending the event. Note that each attempt starts every 2 hours. So that’s basically an hour and a half wait for the next attempt. Granted, this frustration wouldn’t exist as badly if servers were successful at times.
The increasing frustration leads to the third issue: decrease in interest. Let’s be real. In any online game if you got told off by someone because you’re apparently a “noob” or that you “suck” it makes you, at the very least, less inclined to play with that person. Well that’s how some players, including some of the commanders, have been acting. It’s especially bad for commanders to do so because they’re suppose to be a leader figure. Also, players are now more inclined to beat just one wurm nowadays to get a few rewards out the event or earn some of the meta or daily achievements.
The last issue is that it’s genuinely hard to down all the bosses within a minute of each other. A good and organized attempt for the wurm boss still has to deal with taking down the wurms around the same time. This can be difficult given each of the different mechanics to make a wurm vulnerable. Some mechanics make the wurm vulnerable faster, some are slower. This obviously results in the wurms having different health bars so an extra round of making the wurm vulnerable may be needed for one of the three groups. This all being said, these attempts are way better and have a better chance at success due to the good organization.
What Can ArenaNet Do?
Well let me ask you think first: does ArenaNet have to do anything? I mean outside of bugs if there’s any obviously. The mechanics I find are quite simple but just really hard to execute due to communication issues or for burning a wurm down too quickly. I feel that ArenaNet is trying to find out how far they can take the mechanics of world bosses. Tequatl was taken down in, I believe, within a day and multiple servers followed suit with kills. Up till now, I only know that Desolation was the first server to take the wurm down and they’ve only done so twice. Blackgate, as far as I know, were able to take out the wurm at least once.
If the wurm boss is still really troublesome, the only reasonable thing I think ArenaNet could do is maybe give some more leniency with the wurm kill timers. This would to allow some servers to actually beat the wurm boss event. The way I see the timer adjusted, it’d be a bit of a nerf to make it easier but hopefully just enough to make it hard so that servers can’t down the wurm every two hours.
What do you think of the Great Jungle Wurm world boss? Too hard and needs a nerf or is it fine the way it is? Most importantly, do you like the state of world bosses as they are now? Do you thing world bosses should be implemented in accordance to a likely lack of communication from players or maybe in an entirely different way? Let me know in the comments!
The forces of Scarlet Briar’s army are descending upon Lion’s Arch in the next chapter of the Guild Wars 2 living story, and today Arenanet is releasing a new trailer for the upcoming Escape from Lion’s Arch update.
The great city of Lion’s Arch has been a focal point for Tyria since the original Guild Wars, and now it is in danger of being destroyed once again. Aetherblade airships darken the skies while the krait and dredge siege the city and terrorize its citizens.
The Guild Wars 2 trailer climaxes with a scene of the famed nautical architecture of the city burning as innocents try to flee the devastation and escape from Lion’s Arch.
The next Guild Wars 2 update goes live on Tuesday, February 18.