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.

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


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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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A walk in Divinity’s Reach, European District


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The amazing “Human week” that Anet offered us these past days has spread some light on the most known -yet to be discovered- race of all Tyria; all Guild Wars players are very familiar with humans, some are even bored of playing them and look forward to pass to the “enemy lines” and try some furry fighting. To a humans enthusiast like myself though, the last week represented another reason to like even more this race and learn something new about it: mix that with my european origins and some writing inspiration and you’ll see where we are going here…I’ll do my best to guide you through some places in the human capital of Divinity’s Reach, being them real places in Italy, Europe, or just in my mind.

First stop: Divinity’s Reach


France, Mont Saint Michelle...or should I say Kryta?

Another day gone...will centaurs attack tomorrow as well?

The shape…the colours…this sight is breath-taking, something worth fighting for! It shines in the Krytan planes, spreading hope and warming hearts with courage…there’s never enough courage when it’s down to fighting centaurs

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Drawing Guild Wars #001 : Norn Initiate


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Drawing is a bit of a process for me. I have no set style for some reason. I used to do comissions for in-game gold. That worked out pretty well but in the end I realized I could just farm Zkeys and make money way faster.

Anyway, I’ve been back and forth with the drawing bit. It’s hard to get inspired sometimes, since I’m a designer by profession and it sucks the creative juice out of me.
I generally do fanart one of two ways. Style a) I sketch in a light colored pencil, ink over with pens, scan, photoshop out the sketch, and digitally color. 2nd way is sketching and then doing the lines and colors all digitally.

I’ve been working on a teenaged norn drawing for months now. I thought I’d show the progress.

It starts with a basic pencil sketch. Usually goes through a few changes.  I decided she looked a little too much like Jora, so when I went in to add detail I fixed her hair to make her look a little different.

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Character Comissions Examples


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Full Color Bust

B/W Bust

Full Color Chibi

B/W Chibi

Sketches:

Arts


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I’ve had art stuff for a while, but never bothered to post it. so here goes.

First off, my attempt at doing a complete armor set, based on roman/middle eastern/ south asian styles for the most part. I have tons of sketches and a few digitally rendered pieces, so here goes.

First set: ranger/elementalist/monk

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The ranger’s getting a tweak soon enough. Her chest design is going to be changed to look something more like the male ranger I have (posted below) to get out of the canthan-feel, and the grey will be brown to keep with the natrual/leathery motif for rangers.

Monk and Ele staying pretty much. Ele, trying to go with sexy but not skanky. The holes on the side still kinda make it revealing but compared to the

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Male ranger and elementalist. I had a tough time with the ele, in trying to figure out a “male version” design of the female outfit. In the end, it’s totally getting scrapped