Beta Weekend Engineer Changes: For Better or Worse?

 

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.

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Exploring Tyria; where no games have gone before.

 

Submerged Lion’s Arch

Guild Wars 2 has some breathtaking sceneries. From cities to charred fields, even the sewers under Lion’s Arch offer a great view, so much so that you can actually smell those Oozes attacking you. Yuck. But did you know that you can also see what stood in those places, 250 years ago? I’m talking about Guild Wars 1, of course.

Players are familiar with the story, accustomed to places, and it’s those settings that will get Guild Wars 1 players emotional when they see it, and new players wondering what’s behind it. The screenshot above was taken in the waters of Lion’s Arch by an avid player. This is Old LA, folks. Statues of lions now keep company with the fish and underwater residents, old steps leading the crabs to what used to be a bridge, now a forest of colorful algae.

A Guild Wars 1 & 2 enthusiast has gone even further than simply exploring what used to be. On her fan blog, ProjectTyria, she put up a few pictures of the “before and afters” of Tyria. One thing I absolutely love about Guild Wars 2 is the exploring aspect (you would think that’s obvious, being one of the exploration writers!). So when she showed me what she has done with those, I was floored… In a good way, of course! Continue reading

TalkTyria Guild Wars 2 Video Bonanza!

It doesn’t need to be said that since the first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event, the floodgates, as they say, have been opened. And by opened, I mean busted down with a swelling tidal wave of chatter, media, rants, and raves. But most of all, media. In the lull between events, fans are eagerly devouring everything the ‘net has to offer to ease the pain (I know I am).

Our lovely resident videographer, LoremasterKaae (you may have heard of this fine lass before) was hard at work filming and editing some of her adventures over the weekend.

Thanks to her efforts, we’ve (finally) got some fun videos on our youtube channel. I thought I’d point out a few of my personal favorites for you guys to take a look at, if you haven’t already:

Guild Wars 2 Crafting – Leatherworking
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GuildWars2 Machinima: Thoughts and Suggestions

A game’s community consists of a wide variety of aspects. Today I want to talk about a part of the extended experience offered by a game’s community: player-made videos. Otherwise known as Machinima. For years now YouTube and other video sites have been swarmed by videos of gaming footage, music video’s, series and even South Park episodes entirely created in-game. It allows players to enjoy the game in new ways as a self-sustaining part of community plus it offers free promotion to get your game out there.

Now the current development of GuildWars2 had me worried for a bit. There’s no way to unlock the camera angle at the moment and even other features such as spectator mode are still early in development or just under discussion. Wouldn’t it be cool to receive some freedom with the camera so you can really enjoy the environments around you, or get that perfect angle for your scene? Or maybe you want to show off a great kill you scored in a recent PvP match.

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Guild Wars 2 September 2011 Desktop Calendar

And now for something a little different:

Enjoy! Good luck in the new semester, students!

1920 x 1080
1680 x 1050
1440 x 900
1366 x 786
1280 x 1024
1280 x 800
1024 x 768
800 x 600 

(sizes based on top resolutions via analytics. request a different size in comments)
(ps: we’ll try to get one every month. no promises XD)

Is ArenaNet doing enough?

This is actually a reaction post to episode 55 of TWIMMO where Gary talks about the GW2 panel at SDCC with Pokket and Mike B.

Yeah, I know this post is very late but I do hope you’ll read it anyway.

So you guys must be wondering, what has this got to do with whether ArenaNet is doing enough, and enough of what? These are good and valid questions and I’ll address those at the end. But for now, join me as I walk through possibly the most painful 25 minutes of my life as a GW2 fan.

I want to clarify beforehand that as much as I’m a GW2 fan, I don’t think I can be considered very hardcore because I tend to forget the source of my information and I only vaguely remember so-and-so saying such-and-such in some interview. I can’t compare to veterans like Izzie or Rubi from GuildCast where they have photographic memory where GW2 is concerned.

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“Our intention creates our reality.” The art of ArenaNet.

One of the things that hasn’t really gotten much attention, in the flurry of excitement about the recent Fan Day, is the building itself that ArenaNet now inhabits, which is both beautiful and superbly functional.

By way of explanation, I should mention: I spend most of my time surrounded by architecture and industrial design folk, which means that my ears are constantly full of mantras about the importance of ‘form following function’ and other specious-sounding slogans about the importance of intentional design. After a while, one begins to notice that type of thing, especially when it’s being done so very right.  As a result, I was very impressed indeed by the (quite nearly literal) nuts and bolts of ArenaNet HQ and how it has been set up.

Izzy C. is not standing in a small room. But he could be! He could be standing in one of several small rooms, if they deemed it necessary!

The company makes much of their open and collaborative design method, which is quite visibly upheld in the layout of the office – a good portion of the content design, tool design, and story teams are in one long room – not crammed or cramped, certainly, and with evident structure and purpose, but very obviously accessible to one another all the same. If at any point rearrangements need to be made, however, their two floors of the building have been excellently thought out to accommodate any resettling or shuffling which the rooms might go through: with superbly mobile desks, mutable wall-sections, independently reprogrammable ceiling lights (which, might I add, seem to dynamically adjust based on the amount of natural light available – which I was just tickled pink to discover, as it would be such a shame to waste those huge windows and that impressive view they have), and sectional-style air-conditioning, they are truly set up to make switching up teams or locations as hassle-free as possible.  This thorough preparedness extends to their internal server room and the newly furbished sound recording space, the design of both of which we got to learn about in great detail.

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