The Power of Choice


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Guild Wars 2 Thief

I choose YOU!

Choice is incredibly important in all facets of life. Ranging from simple choices, like what to eat for lunch, to complex and life-changing decisions, like getting a new job or buying a house, our lives are dominated by choice. Many computer games (notably recent RPGs such as the Mass Effect series or The Witcher series) give players important choices to make, each of which can affect the outcome of the game. I am a big fan of having choice in games. The power to choose where you want to go, what you want to do, and how you go about doing it. Freedom of choice, I believe, is vital for a game to thrive, especially an MMORPG. Luckily, Guild Wars 2 has choices in abundance. Follow along after the break for a brief breakdown of choice in Guild Wars 2Continue reading

Beta Weekend Engineer Changes: For Better or Worse?


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This Engineer is decked out in some gear from the Mists.

If you’ve played the Engineer over the course of all 3 Beta Weekend Events, you might have noticed changes to some of your favorite Engineer skills. ArenaNet has done some behind-the-scenes number balancing as well as complete skill reworks. I’m going to look at four previously lacking aspects of the Engineer’s arsenal and what the developers have done to revamp them!

1) Elixirs

Elixirs have been a major source of grief for many an Engineer. While I love the cool effects you can get through the elixirs, the randomness prevented them from making it into my arsenal. For example, the tool belt skill for Elixir B (Toss Elixir B)  used to randomly give protection, regeneration, or swiftness. When I was in World vs World trying to move across the map, I would always want swiftness, so it was frustrating to not be able get that boon when I wanted it. I’m not going to say that all randomness is bad, but as a player you want to be able to react to different situations appropriately; having each effect be extremely situational and also be random is not going to be the best

ArenaNet acknowledged this criticism from it’s playerbase and made some nice changes for the better. They took Toss Elixir B and made it always grant Might, Fury, Swiftness, and Retaliation to allies in the area.  Elixir U was changed to always grant Quickness but additionally grant a negative effect, which can be either 50% additional damage taken, being unable to be healed, or inability to regenerate endurance. They also changed Elixir X to only choose between Tornado and Rampage and not Plague. I think Elixirs for the Engineer are now definitely viable in all modes! I used them and rarely felt like I was rolling the dice to get the effect I wanted. I think that Toss Elixir S could still use a slight change, however.

Continue reading

The World of Tyria; Meet your Guild Wars 2 Lore Heroes.


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As an avid explorer (no, my name’s not Dora, I’m talking Guild Wars 2, here), I find it captivating to walk around Tyria and discover places I recognize from the Lore – ruins from Guild Wars 1, villages rebuilt, cities still standing. I think it’s worth mentioning how far ArenaNet has gone to really make us fanboys and fangirls squee with happiness when we see one single character we used to know in Guild Wars 1 or even some we’ve read about in Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny. During the last beta weekend, I managed to get one of those moments for myself to keep and immortalize into a screenshot that is now my desktop background.

Dougal Keane

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dougal Keane, Ghosts of Ascalon’s main character. I’m not going to explain in depth who he is and what he did, because I’m sure there are people out there who do not want any spoilers, but I will tell you this; he’s a major character in the book and is hired to retrieve the Claw of Khan-Ur from Ascalon City. With one of each race (Riona Grady a human, Gullik Oddsson the norn, Killeen the sylvari, Ember Doomforge the charr and Kranxx the asura), he travels across Tyria to the city of Ascalon, now ran by ghosts ever since the Foefire. I was going around Lion’s Arch with my asura and when I saw his name, I instantly “eeek”ed and immediately told my guildies through a Ventrilo conversation which typically went like this; “OH. MY. GOD. GUYS. EEEEEK!”. Major fangirlism? Check. Needless to say, I took several screenshots, one of which is displayed on the left. Compared to an asura, he is pretty tall! But then again, who isn’t, when compared to the asura. Continue reading

What’s in a Name?


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What's in a name?For me, naming my characters can be one of the most tricky aspects of character creation. I know that I’ll be spending many, many hours with my characters in game, so I want them to have a unique name that I can be proud of. With the launch of Guild Wars 2 rapidly approaching, I’ve already started to plan out my characters, deciding which race, profession, and name each of them will have. Choosing races and professions is easy. Choosing names is tough. So, dear readers, what’s in a name?

What style of name do you go for? Do you choose a funny name or a lore-friendly name? Do you dream up your own names? I literally dreamt up a name I’m going to use; a cloud of bats spelt it out in the night sky, it was awesome! Perchance you pick modified versions of well-known names, such as Drizzzzt or X Legolas X. Do you perhaps use a variant of your own name? Or use names from characters in a movie / novel / comic book?

If you’ve played Guild Wars 1, you have the ability to reserve your GW1 character names for GW2. Will you name your new GW2 characters after your GW1 characters? Maybe you role-play them as direct descendants? With the ability to now use single names for your characters, will you be taking advantage of that, or sticking with two or more names?

As an extra discussion point, does another player’s character name influence (subconsciously or not) whether or not you’ll group up with them? Are you more likely to group up and chat with a character with a lore-friendly name, or a funny / silly name? Does this factor into your thoughts at all?

Many questions! Let me know your thoughts on names in the comments below!

About the author: Wedge is an avid Guild Wars 1 fan (with far too many hours sunk into it), & has been eagerly awaiting Guild Wars 2 since it was first announced. His heart lies in the dark ways of the Necromancer, although the raw power of the Elementalist is doing a great job of luring him away! Having recently completed a DPhil in Immunology, this new Dr keeps a blog over at www.richerramblings.wordpress.com. 

New Krytan; the language of Tyria


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Running around Tyria, exploring hidden places, jumping puzzles and overhearing NPC conversations are some of the things that make Guild Wars 2 such a great game. The world of Tyria is filled with details, most of which we walk by and leave unnoticed. Not because we don’t care, but because they are so very well camouflaged into the world that we don’t pay attention. Just like “in real life”. So much to see, so much to do, so very little time to get everything done!

One thing I’ve grown to absolutely love in the game is New Krytan. For those who don’t know, New Krytan is a language of Tyria, used by many cultures and races. It’s the equivalent of the ‘real world’’s English. If you were to travel many places, this is the language you would use to have a better chance at being understood by others.

Here’s a little bit of history concerning New Krytan, as written on GW2 Wiki:

New Krytan alphabet as seen on GW2 Wiki

New Krytan was designed by the Durmand Priory as a compromise between the Old Ascalonian and Old Krytan alphabets and accepted as an official language in 1105 AE.

Over the past 220 years, New Krytan has become the standard writing system in Tyria and is used widely throughout the human kingdom, the asura colleges, and by the norn. The Durmand Priory set out to promote literacy and make the use of the new alphabet commonplace, so that all intelligent beings could understand the new language appearing all around them.

The New Krytan alphabet can be found everywhere in game; from street signs to engravings on shields, even spending time in the cemeteries found in Tyria can be fun! It’s another facet of exploring this gigantic world; several layers of terrain, tiny details everywhere. Those who love exploring will be satisfied just by spending a single day in Divinity’s Reach: Libraries, book stands, signs and NPC clothing, all of those have New Krytan waiting to be deciphered.

Now, you don’t have to learn New Krytan to be able to play Guild Wars 2. That said, as the language lover that I am, I couldn’t help but notice that the world of Tyria was filled with New Krytan content and was compelled to translate everything I could find. I have deciphered so many signs that I can now read New Krytan! A little geeky, or very dedicated? Who knows! What I know is that I can share some of the findings I, along with other players, have found through the world of Tyria. Continue reading

Dyeing From The Colors


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Of the countless features in Guild Wars 2, there are those which receive nought but praise, of these there are some that are easily missed until presented in front of the players. Almost everyone thinks about WvW, or Dynamic Events, or the ever branching Personal Story, but what about armor dye? The dye system introduced in Guild Wars 2 has come a long way from the original system in Guild Wars; having been over hauled completely in the first game to the point of being unrecognizable, similarly this new system is constantly being changed with every step towards the game’s final release. Still, the changes to the dye system in Guild Wars 2, hasn’t been the first time players of Guild Wars have seen changes to the way they dye their equipment.

The amount of dye combinations available to players meant that anyone could find just about any shade they needed.

Firstly, each vial of dye is still treated as an individual item, and as such still takes up slots in a player’s inventory. With the addition of three colors, then a fourth later on in the form of pink dye, the total number of base color dyes available in Guild Wars is twelve (luckily additional storage options have had been made available to players in the form of buy-able storage panels). Secondly, and this can be subjective from player to player, most armor sets in Guild Wars tend to limit the way a player can dye their armor set as a whole. While most sets, such as some found on mesmers and rangers, allow for flexibility by having pieces appear to be separate from one another (such as coats, pants, boots, etc.); several sets available to professions such as the warrior, assassin, and dervish tend to appear as if pieces of a set were meant to be one large part. That is to say those players can easily dye these parts differently, but visually they would stand out oddly. This limitation makes dying armor in Guild Wars rather dull in terms of customization options for players. Luckily, with the reboot of the system in Guild Wars 2, players will be able to expand the way they dye their armor in ways that are not possible in Guild Wars. Continue reading

Belenos’ Engineering How To: Item Transmutation


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Greetings fellow Tyrians! It has been a little while since I have chimed in on a subject, but I had the opportunity to play around with this particular game mechanic in the recent BWE2, during June 8-10, and came away impressed. The mechanic I am referring to is, of course, item transmutation.

 

While certainly not a totally new mechanic to the MMORPG world, it is most definitely one of the most intriguing mechanics; both in its innate simplicity, and its ability to give us – the end user, what we REALLY want! What exactly IS item transmutation, you say? Well, let me elucidate-

Safely tucked away in my bank at Divinity First Credit Union

In your travels on Tyria, you may loot, or otherwise obtain a weapon that looks amazing… or perhaps armor that makes you look like you have “just that look” for your roleplaying character. By their very nature, MMO items are meant to be outgrown. That same item you found several levels ago might be outclassed by higher level items you find later, and while it pains you to have to ditch the super cool looking item in favor of the one with better statistics, often times we will do this in order to keep up with the higher damage output and hitpoints of the mobs we encounter. Item transmutation allows you to use a special item called a Transmutation Stone (a depletable item), in order to have the best of both worlds! You can have the look of the item you want (which you have outgrown the stats for), combined with the raw power of the better statted item, to make an essentially upgraded item that you can continue to use, and feel good about using!

 

How is it done, you wonder? Continue reading