Guild Wars Guru GvG Tournament (That’s a lot of G’s)

Sharpen those blades, hone those skills, and read up on those builds. It’s GvG time!

The folks over at Guild Wars Guru announced last week that they’ll be hosting a wide-scale GvG tournament this spring, with an explicit focus on making the championship accessible to as many players as possible.

The tourney will have four divisions: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Casual, and each boasts some great prizes to give away to top players.

On top of the tiered divisions, they are offering a mentorship program to help casual guilds and players with little to no GvG experience in order to teach them the ways of the wise. Guild will be able to pick a mentor once they register for the casual division.

Dates to note are as follows:
Registration: March 19th – April 4th
Bronze & Casual Division: April 9th
Gold & Silver Division: April 16th

And the prizes:
Gold Division – NVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti (retail value: $250)
Silver Division – Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard & G930 Wireless Gaming Headset (combined retail value: $223.98)
Bronze Division – Rude Gameware Fierce 5000 DPI Laser Gaming Mouse v. 2 & Fierce Teflon ® & Steel Mouse Surface (combined retail value: $79.90)
Casual Division – Bigfoot Killer NIC (retail value: $89.99)

This is a great opportunity to get this feat under your belt. If you’ve always wanted to give GvG a real go and never had a chance, this is the time to do it!

Check out the thread and official pages on Guru. Feel free to register and ask questions, hop in the Guru IRC, or follow GuildWarsGuru on twitter to keep updated as new information comes out!

Spread the news and hope to see you on the battlefield!

Prizes are courtesy of NVidia, Logitech, Rude Gameware, and Bigfoot. Image courtesy of Guru and BlueXIV.

Comment Corner: What do you guys think? Excited for the tournament? Thinking of joining in the fray?

Is there a change in Anet’s PR strategy?

The last big information release by Anet was about the fifth profession: the Guardian. Although Anet once again failed at disappointing us with another amazing profession, this time the reveal followed a completely different procedure, let’s take a look at what happened…

We are used not to get any bit of information about any new aspect of GW2 from any other source but the official Guild Wars 2 website, yet much of the information about the Guardian had been “leaked” all over the web… or had it not? Continue reading

The Guardian – Predictions, Predilections, and Prognostications

Most people who keep an eye cracked for Guild Wars 2 news have heard about the PC Gamer article that did some name-dropping in the caption of a GW2 image.  The “Blue Mace Lady” that we have all come to know and love has an official name: the guardian.

Until this coming Thursday, the newly-named profession remains shrouded in mystery.  Since speculation about this heavy-armor magic-user has run rampant for quite some time, however, the faithful (and frequently rabid) GW2 community has come up with plenty of hopes and theories.

Comparisons to other games have, naturally, cropped up ( – as well as cross-medium references to such heroes as the Green Lantern!)
Many forum-members across the fansites have been quick to point out the existence of a Guardian class in Lord of the Rings Online, a highly-defensive heavy tank that focuses on keeping aggro.  Since GW2 is hoping to do away with the conventional idea of tanking and replace it with an emphasis on control, the analogy couldn’t be perfect, but the defense (or support, to use GW2 verbiage) aspect of the LotRO Guardian has inspired comparisons.
NCSoft’s Aion has a moderately well-armoured melee magic-user called the Chanter, to whom tentative comparisons have also been drawn. Wielding a staff offensively and switching to a mace and shield for more defensive play, the Chanter offers effective DPS (and debuffs), player-based AoE buffs, and only minor direct healing.  Since many fans have long speculated that the BML is one of the options that will cater to those who enjoyed Monks in the original Guild Wars, the Chanter’s support-oriented blend seems like a likely parallel to the guardian’s theoretical role.
(In support of the guardian-Monk relation, folks have pointed out that the Monk skill “Guardian” seems to fit right in with what we’re expecting from the support in GW2.)
And, of course, one cannot talk about a heavy-armor support class without suddenly being hip-deep in references to WoW’s Paladin.  These gentlefolk are popular for their ability to withstand heavy damage, as well as providing support through their auras, blessings, and seals.
There are others. So many others.

Continue reading

Guild Wars Community Projects Update

One thing that has kept Guild Wars so alive is this fantabulous community of ours. While we do have our fair share of healthy competition, the amount of support and bro-ing out that goes on with everyone is pretty awesome. In light of the love and fever of a new year, I thought I’d give a mention to some changes going on out there right now.

Guild Wars fans have been seriously busy bees this winter. Several new sites, forums, and projects have sprung up, a few of which have gone live. In the process of updating my community list, I thought I’d give a heads up on what everyone should be looking out for. There’s a lot to cover, and this is all really exciting news for the community. So lets check it out!

Guild Wars Database
This is a really ambitious project headed by the awesome Karasu (Poeffie on twitter). The idea is to have an interactive and fully customizable tracking system for everything Guild Wars. Karasu is taking up the challenge to test for a similar project when Guild Wars 2 releases. So then, what exactly can you do with it? There are a ton of ridiculous features that are sure to keep you busy and make achivements and end-game missions tons easier.
List your titles, vanquishing progress, Guild information, mission / bonus progress, characters and alts…and find others with the same goals.  You name it, it’s there.
GWDB is currently in closed alpha and you can apply for a chance to beta on their site. No word yet on when it will go to beta or go live, but you can check out their preview screenshots here. Also keep an eye on their site, blog, and twitter for updates on progress and when it will move on to the beta stage. I can’t wait to see this to be released!

Quaggan.com
Nox (author of ConjurePhantasm) has been working his bum off on several innovative projects. His current “baby”, so to speak, is Quaggan.com. It’s another forum, and one he pledges to deliver an experience like no other Guild Wars forum you’ve been to. And I have to say, judging by what I’ve seen so far he’s making good on that promise.
Specific features that will set Quaggan apart:
•  Integrated Karma system (for reputation)
• A fun and graphically appealing award badge system.
• Completely unique and non-conventional style and design.
The site is currently in “beta” with Nox accepting limited applications for testing and quality control by experienced community members. I expect it to go live  soon, though. Keep an eye on Nox’s twitter / blog for updates!

GuildMag
GuildMag may have been around for a while, but it’s in the works of some major overhauls, specifically on our website. In order to supplement our bi-monthly digital publication (the latest issue can be found here), the site will be featuring much more content including opinion pieces, reviews, more blogging and other special features. No launch date just yet, but fans of Guild Mag old and new should be very excited for the changes. Jonny and Dutch are both working hard, as well as the rest of the staff, to bring some awesome creative and informative content to the masses.
And after a holiday hiatus, Sabre Wolf, Malchior Devenholmn, and myself have returned to our weekly live pod-cast schedule! Check out GuildMag.com or follow us at @GuildMag on twitter.

GuildFans
Launched by Dan/JR, Guild Fans is made up of and run by many familiar faces. The site boasts contests, interviews, a built-in wiki, and wonderfully organized media galleries for the pleasure of the masses. Their forums aim to provide a more intimate and less chaotic setting than the usual fare.
GuildFans continues to achieve a lot of what we have come to expect and love from the guys that brought us some of the greatest communities that have ever existed in the Guild Wars universe. With a continued focus on member experience and interaction, GuildFans has a promising and exciting future as more and more fans, new and old alike, begin to gather en-masse in excitment for the sequel. Follow them on twitter and don’t forget to sign up for their live-feed from their site!

GuildSearch
Another brilliant project by Nox. It’s currently on the back burner but still deserves a mention for the work already put in. Nox’s savvy eye for design and simplicity meets function in this Guild Recruitment search engine that aims to make finding the perfect home or the perfect members easier and streamlined. With filters to search by content (PvE vs PvP, for instance) and server, this site seems a godsend, and one that could easily be applied to GW1 and 2 alike. What I’ve gathered from comments and replies is that Quaggan and GuildSearch will be combined somehow in the future, something that’s very exciting and sure to make Quaggan an even more awesome place. Until then, keep an eye on Nox’s blog, twitter, and Quaggan forums and check out the development preview here.

Guild Wars Skill Reference
No geeky fandom is fully complete without a little go-go-gadget fun. That’s were GWSR comes in. It’s a currently functional but still developing Android app that lets you look up any skill in the game right from your phone. The filters are smooth and the layout is easy on the eyes. You can find out anything about the skill in question: recharge time, cost, effects, and descriptions. Search by profession, toggle PvP / PvE, and look up other skills with similar effects.
If you’re a droid owner and a Guild Wars fan, you’ve got to get this on your phone.  Follow the development process on twitter, check out the app developer’s official site, or take a search for Guild Wars Skill Reference on the market.

Guild Wars 2 Character Creator
This is probably one of the most impressive projects yet, because of the sheer awesomeness of it all. It’s a Guild Wars 2 build creation site. Yes, you heard right. Guild Wars 2. What the masterminds behind the project have done is vigorously research everything we’ve learned so far about skills and weapons for the current four professions that have been released and created an interactive applet that allows you to effectively create a build.
This must have been a lot of work, but it’s unbelievably awesome as the first site to implement the Guild Wars 2 data into something of this caliber. We can expect great things to come of it in the future as more information is released.

So there you have it. I’m sure there are tons more to cover in the future, and I can’t wait. I’m always amazed at the sort of creativity and dedication that comes from this wonderful community. Sometimes I am astounded at what we can do when we really love something to this degree. It’s awesome.

To the readers: What do you guys think of all the projects coming out? Are you impressed? Got a favorite?  Have any ideas for something you’d like to see? Did I miss anything? <3

*edit* 1-7-10 9:45am: Added the 2nd paragraph to GuildFans that somehow disappeared when imported. Edited Guild Wars Data Base to more accurately reflect the project’s goals. Added Guild Wars Skill Reference’s official site link. Minor edit, grammar, and spelling fixes.

Talk Tyria is live!

DUN DUN DUN! Finally, I got this thing working!

As I threatened promised many moons ago, I had planned on getting myself parked in a domain with my own hosting and all that. Glad to say it’s finally here…TalkTyria.net! (again, sorry to a few of you who were getting ping-back spam every time I tried to re-import…)

The site is about 95% up and done… the biggest project I’m tackling right now is editing each entry to fix the images. Between a sloppy import and new, more advanced layout, many images have broken or resized themselves to make babies cry.

But other than that, everything should be golden.

What’s the same!
Pretty much all the old entries about Guild Wars or that had at least 60% Guild Wars talk have been dragged over. Yes, even the stupid screenshot posts from 2006. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, my tags and comments came for the ride, too.

What’s New!
A few things. The main point was splitting off from my main blog, Izziebytes, which I’ll still be updating / working on independently. But I wanted to dedicate a space to Guild Wars. I’ve hyper-organized the categories to make it easier to find specific topics. Ironically I probably have more cats and tags than I do entries at this point, but that will change with time.
One big thing is that I activated a mobile version of the site. Modern inernets dictates that something like 40% of americans have a smartphone or other mobile device to go online with. So that small but much needed addition is worth it.
Lastly I’m working on getting this deal more web 2.0 friendly. So all those feeds and sharing buttons should work out in that area.

What’s Coming!
A lot. I plan on doing a few video series, more community events / involvements, a little bit of news coverage (in the talk-show reactive style, not reporting. I’ll leave that to GuildMag <3) and a few other secret projects I’m excited about but too tech-retarded to do right away.
There’s a lot more to explore when Guild Wars 2 comes closer, too. Just have to wait and see what comes, right?

All in all at the core this is a blog and will continue to be one. Just hopefully now more fun and fabulousness will be had. Enjoy, and feel free to leave comments / complaints / suggestions or e-mail me at izziebytes[a]gmail.com.
Cheers!

AnitLurk Q&A: So what do you guys think? Comments? Suggestions? Complaints? Rage? Let me know if anything’s broken or looks horrible. I’d love to fix it. XD

Guild Wars 2 Hall of Monuments Rewards Revealed!

So Arena-Net released the Guild Wars Hall of Monuments calculator deal today.
This feature is so ridiculously amazing, it’s not even funny.

You input your character name and it tallies up your achievements. Each one is given a certain point value.
There’s a total of 50 points, and each level from 1-30 unlocks an in-game reward. There are titles every 5 levels and a pet, mini-pet, piece of armor, or weapon. Many of these rewards are major tips of the hat to Guild Wars One, like the Black Moa and Fiery Dragon Sword. After level 30, there are only 4 more titles to get at 35, 40, 45, and 50. The cool thing with the tool is that it also shows you a to-do list in case you wanna try to advance your score, and makes it print-able!

What this does is make all the psychical vanity stuff accessible to everybody who plays through the game a decent amount. Most are at least at 15 points, so halfway there alerady.
It’s account-bound it would seem. I have my HoM shared and so all my characters show up as having the same rewards, which is great.

Another cool feature: The heritage armor will be transmutable without needing to purchase the stones from the in-game store, as quoted by Regina:

For the Hall of Monuments rewards, we will provide players the means by which they can transmute the stats/appearance of these particular items without having to purchase transmutation stones in the in-game store. The development team is still working out the exact mechanics of this, though.

I’m at 22/50. 8 more points and I’ve got all the unlock-able stuff, and then it’s just titles after that that I may or may-not go for. Who knows!

But this is definitely going to make me play Guild Wars again for the coming months! Great planning on ANet’s part, especially after all the upset over transmutation stones last week. I must say. I’m very, very happy about this.

If you’ve got a Hall of Monuments and a few achievements, go check out their calculator here. Join the excited chatter at Guild Wars 2 Guru and Guild Wars 2 Forums as well!

PAX Recap: More Guild Wars Madness!

Well Saturday morning I met up with Malibu of G.W.E.N and went to ArenaNet’s Dynamic Event panel which was chuck-full of crazy amounts of information. We were given a great surprise when Eric Flannum said we’d be designing a dynamic event chain that would eventually be implemented into the game.

Eric, Jeff, and Colin!

The first chunk of the panel was a brief rundown on Dynamic events. It was a lot of stuff we already knew, but the most interesting part was that they gave us a map with a dynamic event quest list, which I unfortunately didn’t get a good image of. We learned a few tidbits of gameplay and new info on races. Dynamic events are made to be successes: there’s no incentive to failing one. Furthermore, they are meant to promote teamwork. All other players are allies, not enemies, when in the persistent PvE world. They also discourage completionism in the events system: there’s no reason to go back and purposely fail an event.
The tengu are back! Ogres are beast-masters who usually have pets. The quaggan are a new, passive race that get bullied by the krait, who are vicious and slave-driving. Not all races are black and white; some will be allies or enemies depending on the situation. Others are always bad and others, always good. We learn that the Norn and Slyvari have a lot of interaction, as well, and the Norn like to mess with them by tricking them into doing weird things: “Go kick the hive over there!” “Ok!”

Maps = <3

After the run-down, Eric starts with explaining how we’d create our event: first he gives us three locations, explains the terrain, races, and major hubs in the area. The group chooses Timberline Falls, a 50-60 zone, as the setting and the conflict between the Quaggan and Krait as a basis.
We cover a lot of ideas over the panel with Eric and Jeff Grubb explaining how and why they will work and won’t work. Some were silly (MEGASHARK > INSERT WALRUS), epic (Underwater Super Weapon), and downright wonky (Tricking the Slyvari into raiding the krait towers?). I started zoning out by the end, but we eventually got a solid basis that involved training the quaggan to fight and commissioning a super weapon. After the event chain is complete, the Vigil will likely step in to recruit and continue training the quaggan.

Right after the panel, which ran over by 20 minutes or so, we met up with a handful of people from Guild Wars 2 Guru. Sadly, JR, Neo, and a few others had bailed right after (jerks!) and we didn’t get a chance to say hi! Due to time and trivia contests, we split instead of going to lunch.

I met up with Jess and we ran around playing games, grabbing shirts, hitting up the LAN, sneaking in lunch, and relaxing at the hotel before heading out to the ArenaNet fan party at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Martin never smiles in pictures.

The party was such an awesome experience. We got to mix and mingle with a slew of ArenaNet employees, from familiar faces to completely new ones. Malibu and I made the rounds taking pictures and introducing ourselves to whoever we didn’t know. Eventually, Jess and I got into a lengthy chat with Stephen Hwang, a level designer who was extremely awesome to talk to. We ran down a whole bunch of topics, starting out with introducing GuildMag (he hadn’t heard of us!), what it’s like working with A-Net, and the general reception of GW2 from old fans and new. It was really awesome hearing about the game from another designer. Likewise, he explained how seeing the game from the view of the fans puts things in perspective. We all know what it’s like when you stare at your own piece of work for so long, it’s difficult to see it objectively.

I think the most important information I got out of that conversation, though, was just the amount of passion about working on this game that Anet has. We always hear these guys say how much they are gamers like us and are doing this because they love it. But to hear it in person, and not him directly saying it but just the way he talked about being a part of this team, it’s really humbling. It’s easy to see why this game is shaping up to be as awesome as it has lately when the minds behind it believe so much in what they’re doing.

Tix~!

Stephen was nice enough to give me a better run-down on the other employees people might not hear about as often but are just as important to the success of the company. He also introduced us to a few of them who walked by, and I tried my hand at convincing everybody to go to Pax-East (rumor has it they are!) and learned they will be having a small presence at New York Comic-Con next month, which I’ll try to go to.

All-in-all…it was a great experience. The connection Anet has with their fans is undeniably a huge reason they are doing and will continue to do well in the future. Dorkishly enough, I am really proud to be a part of this community.

Check out Jess’s recap on the weekend and Guild Wars at Paladin-Bias, Kaae’s thoughts on Way Too Serious, and the GW2G Pax10 Megathread for more!

The full album is here, and a few of my favs down below:
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