Death Rising: The Guild Wars 2 Necromancer & Underwater Combat

Like many of the fans this past weekend, I brazenly walked into the gaming lab on Friday determined to play every single profession at least once. Needless to say, that sure as heck didn’t happen. While I dabbled with the thief and engineer at most 20 minutes each, when it came down to the dungeon run I found myself lured to an age-old favorite; the necromancer.

After taking a small while to check out my skills and come up with a “build” of sorts, it was time to get down and dirty with the undead. A current minion master fan, I selected three to take with me: the blood fiend, bone fiend, and bone minions. Ghost armor and well of suffering rounded out my last five skills. The weapons of choice were scepter/focus, occasional dagger/dagger, and staff.

Getting the hang of the minions was actually a bit tough; the mentality to simply summon and forget is hard to shake. In fact, minions in GW2 are extremely different than GW and require some thinking and strategy. Given that their destruction has great utility, it was a shame I didn’t make more use of them. By the end of my time with the necro (technical difficulties forced me to switch computers / instances), I was finally getting the hang of using the minions as more than just extra damage but actually taking advantage of their toggle skills. Putrid explosion for AoE (normally when a group of mobs are low on health) and rigor mortis to hold off on an enemy if I was getting mauled in the face.
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Welcome to the Dungeons – #GW2FanDay

My experience of going through the Catacombs dungeon at ArenaNet’s recent Fan Day was perhaps the single most enlightening experience of the entire wonderful day . It had everything – the companionship, the fun, and the visible fulfillment of many promises and bold statements on behalf of the developers. It was, effectively, a microcosm of the event as a whole: in it, one could find all the elements which defined the success of the entire venture.

also: everything was gorgeous

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Guild Wars 2 Expansions: New Professions vs New Races vs New Content

This is a pretty hot-topic that’s been coming out again and again over the past few months and got a little buzz recently due to some confusion over a “no stand-alone compaign” comment.

We’ve known ANet plans on adding expansions in one form or another for Guild Wars 2. Those sorts of things come naturally with most in this genre of gaming. But with their plans on bending MMO conventions, it’s fun to think about what exactly would an expansion entail. What sort of shiny, new gifts under the tree can we expect, or dare we desire, for future content? And how, exactly, should they be released?

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Guild Wars 2 Demo Review and the Guardian

Months behind, I know, I know, but I wanted to dedicate lots of time and effort to this article because it most certainly deserved it.

Back at Pax East 2011, I finally got a chance to try out the new re-hashed demo. After comically standing in line for a small eternity, it was like that first sip of peyote after wandering the Sahara for days. I seriously could not believe I was actually playing Guild Wars 2.

Ridiculous gloating aside… wow. Pretty much everything I have heard and read about this demo turned out to be true. At first glance, the game is visually stunning. Of course we can attribute bad-ass hardware for a lot of that, too. Like many of you out there, I am still curious to see how the game will play on older computers with less of the bells and whistles. Still, Guild Wars 2 is a feast for the eyes, combining art and immersion with gameplay in a way that echos its predecessor.

Facing your opponent is key.

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GW2 Profession Response: Engineer (Boom goes the dy-na-mite!)

I was pleasantly surprised to find my twitter feed buzzing with excitement over the engineer profession release today, a fitting addition after discussing the idea of advanced vs standard gameplay mechanics. Fans have been predicting the 3rd adventurer class for years; as it turns out, pretty much everybody was right. The most common guesses were engineer, gunner, and alchemist. Lo and behold, it would seem we got all three jam packed into one.

Overview:
The same way the mesmer was iconic to what made Guild Wars unique, I believe the engineer will become the icon of Guild Wars 2 (sorry Nox-hexwise). It’s as though the very style of the new engineer profession embodies the key changes that make GW2’s gameplay revolutionary, but at the same time pays homage to the classic Guild Wars mechanics we love so much, such as trapping and spirits.

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Guild Wars 1 & 2 Profession Playstyles: Standard vs Advanced

Guild Wars offers a total of ten carefully fashioned professions that cover just about all your standard MMO needs, and then some. One thing you’ll notice when reading descriptions in the original manual is that some of these offer what ANet considers more advanced play-styles, a factor that attracted me to make a mesmer as my first character. What does that mean, though? Exactly how do you define standard and advanced, and how would such concepts fit, if at all, in Guild Wars 2? Let’s explore.

First off, we need to get rid of the notion that standard classes in Guild Wars are “ez mode”. What I consider standard is something that is accessible to new players, straight forward in their play, and flexible. This isn’t to say they take no skill to learn or that they don’t offer something for those with experience; the use of four sometimes very different attributes and the ability to combine your skills with a secondary profession are the bread and butter of what makes Guild Wars such a fantastic game to play. Generally speaking, the warrior and elementalist are most commonly referred to as standard.

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To RP or not to RP? Is it even a question? (With Poll!)

What open world RP might look like.

This is kind of been a hot topic all around since the dawn of gaming. In general, there’s always been a sort of unspoken rivalry between people who play MMOs for the game and those who play for the RP (and then of course those who do both) which has led to some pretty interesting / entertaining conflicts.

At the very least, the idea is that in any RPG video game, you are a playing as someone else (or an incarnation of yourself), and in some sort of role. So in essence, everybody is already technically doing it. Many like to take this to the next level, though, and actually act out as their character. Some do it jokingly, some seriously, and many somewhere in-between. And lets be honest, most of us, dedicated RPers or not, have dabbled in it at least once (don’t lie).

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