MS Toga Party 2011 Re-Cap

As per TT tradition, we’re coming in with this a little late. But better late than never!

We tweeted / spammed a few weeks back about the charity fundraiser run by Gamers Giving back for multiple sclerosis awareness. Although the turnout was smaller than expected, we were still pleased to meet and surpass our goal of $1337! In fact, we ended up totaling around $1700+ !

A HUGE thank you to everybody who attended, volunteered, and donated. You guys are awesome.
And of course, many props to Gaming World Entertainment Network for all the work you guys do to make the world a better place.

Here are some highlights from the event:

[nggallery id=3]

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).

Continue reading

Guild Wars 2 Charr Week

ArenaNet charrged up the hype machine this week with a look into another one of Guild Wars 2’s featured races: the fearsome charr.  As promised in Monday morning’s post, they took a spin through many of the aspects of the charr: their starter area, their voice-work, the visual design behind their race, and some exciting new lore accompanied by images and an epic video of the Black Citadel.

The week kicked off with a post by Devon Carver, a member of the content design team who has contributed to the charr starter map, talking yet again about the benefits of ArenaNet’s iterative process and how their willingness to go back and change things has really strengthened the design of the game.  Very little of what he said about the process of feedback and iteration is new to people following the game’s development, but it still gave readers a nice glimpse of what to look forward to as a charr.

Continue reading

Build Wars: Zaishen Elite Dream Team (Because 4 traps is *so* 2006)

Today we’re going to talk about the mysterious Zaishen Elite, what it’s about, what builds to use, and why more people ought to be doing it. I’m seriously surprised at how relatively unpopular the ZE farm is considering its rewards and being pretty easy to learn and do.

Overview | History | Current Technique
Builds
Trappers | Finisher Elementalist | Spirit Spammer

Overview of the Zaishen missions
Zaishen Elite is an un-lockable faux PvP mission available on Battle Isles. It’s accessible to PvP and PvE characters alike after completing the Zaishen Challenge. A successful full run of the mission will net you 6000 Balthazar faction, which is why it’s popular among Z-Key farmers. The run is also handy for unlocking skills for PvP and/or heroes. After you’ve reached 6k, you will stop earning faction from the ZE missions for the next 24 hours. You can, however, continue to gain faction from other PvP zones like alliance battles and random arenas.

Both missions are styled to mimic the Random / Team Arena environment, accept you’re fighting against set teams of AI. In Z-Challenge, you and your team faces off against AI Teams on a one-on-one basis that you choose. There are five NPC teams to beat: Iway Warriors, Trap Rangers, Illusionary Weaponry Mesmers, Obsidian Flame spike Eles, and the mixed degen / hex team. To unlock Zaishen Elite, you need to defeat each team at least once.

Z-elite works similarly, except you keep going (like Random Arena) until you lose. Each game increases the number of opponents until it caps at some point, although I’m not entirely sure when. Runs usually take 15-20 minutes. With no deaths (all flawless victories), 15 consecutive wins will cap you out on faction. Most teams will go for the 16 just to be sure.

History
Traditionally, the favored team build was four trappers. At least 2 usually brought Frozen Soil, a spirit that prevents res since all AI bring res signet. The execution was simple; stack the traps at the door with one ranger putting down Frozen Soil in the back and wait for the AI to inevitably  run into them. 90% of the time this was flawless. The issue, though, is with ranged groups or groups that unstack, you end up with a pretty difficult fight on your hands. Because of this, over the years the teams have evolved to vary a bit more. Another popular build includes 3 traps and either a spirit spammer or “finisher” elementalist with meteor shower.

95 wins = leetsauce?

Back in the days of yore when the 4 trap team was -it-, a friend of mine and I ran an experiment to mix it up. At the time, using a Spirit Spammer was still fairly rare but it was gaining popularity. The two of us took up the mission; he ran as a trap ranger, myself as a spirit spammer, and we hero’d a monk healer and a meteor shower ele.

After getting flawless victory after flawless victory, we decided to keep going to see how far we could go. We ended at 95 wins. I can’t remember how long that took, but I know we were so tired and delusional we lost on purpose.

Continue reading

The Skritt

The latest in-depth lore post on A-net blog was about the rat-like race called the Skritt and wow, it was a good one!

 

The Skritt are a race of rat-people who was forced out in the open world from their homes underneath, like the Asura. What is not like the Asura though, is the Skritt’s brain and intelligence, the actual way it works: while the short sharp toothed geniuses are the smartest race in Tyria (each one of them is as smart alone as in team) the Skritt’s intelligence is positive correlated to the dimension of the group…the more Skritt there are, the more intelligent they get!

Their unique way of trasmitting information between race members allows large groups of Skritt to better and faster understand their surroundings, it is like if their faster comunication techniques would allow them to gain more benefits from information shared in a limited time than any other race, therefore the more Skritt are gathering and sharing info, the more the group’s intelligence will be precise and brilliant. At the point where even an Asura would risk entering one of the Skritt’s camps.

Skritt weapon carrier = Skritt Warrior

Their body form pushes them towards sneaky combat styles, the Skritt are no match in physical strength to anybody but what they lack in personal power, as for their intelligence, they gain within a group: Skritt attack in large groups and, like mice, with their high birth rate they have to be killed fast in order not to give them time to create larger armies.

Asura and Skritt were at war during the time they both lived underground, a war that has been revitalized on a different battlefield when the Dragons awakened.

While Asura adapted perfectly to the new life, Skritt had some trouble due to the loss of unified big groups that are so crucial for them, due to their escape from the Dragons.

A race with such a high rat-like birth rate (a female Skritt can give birth 3 to 5 times during a lifetime) will surely start to threathen others as long as they have enough time to multiply; I can easily see them playing a not-so-secondary role in the event chain. The true danger of this race is the combination of their fast growth and ever growing strenght to the almost total lack of a true leadership with a unifying political strategy. These rats are like a virus that spread throughout Tyria without a path, they multiply and steal technology from whatever they can land their hands on, quickly becoming as powerful as other “bigger” races.

Their strength though, is very delicate: as soon as the group is divided, their power is greatly reduced. The key to defeating the Skritt is to take down the head in order to let the body parts scatter: once divided they won’t put up much of a fight anymore.

The whole idea of their powerful group intelligence being able to understand even advanced technologies it’s fascinating: what if a skritt colony invades an outpost and lay its hands on some weapons and armors for enough time to understand how to replicate it? We would then end up with a high number of mice well equipped with a random leadership. A lot of awesome dynamic events coming up!!!!!

Skritt bike riders...no mercy...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author:  Ubi Maior is a student from Italy, long time GW player and fan. He found in TT a place where he can contribute to the community by sharing his ideas and opinions, and he hopes you enjoy his thoughts! He’d love to hear yours. He can also be found on twitter.

 

In-Game MS Fundraiser by Gamers Giving Back!

The lovely folks over at Gaming World Entertainment Network / Gamers Giving Back are holding another large charity fundraiser this month on April 16th for multiple sclerosis awareness.

It’s less than two weeks away, so it’s time to spread the word.  These are the same guys and gals that brought us the Pink Day in LA fundraiser back in the fall, collectively raising over $10,000 for breast cancer research! GW-EN and friends are hoping to repeat another great success this spring.

The in-game festivities will be held in Chabek “Alex Trebeck” Village, international districts staring at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 5pm GMT for six hours! But you don’t have to be in-game or even play Guild Wars to donate and still enter to win great prizes: so definitely get your friends and families involved to join a wonderful cause.

Events
There are tons of events happening at the party; costume contests, on-air givaways, and trivia with some amazing in-game prizes like entire elite / obsidian armors, zkeys, weapons, tonics, and more! Even better: those who donate will be eligible for some amazing real life prizes. Be sure to listen-in on GW-EN’s live stream all day for your chance to win.

Getting There
Requires the Nightfall campaign. All newbie Nightfall characters after going through or skipping the tutorial will be in Chabek Village! Any characters from other campaigns need to do the Nightfall quest (from Lion’s Arch or Kaineng Center). Once completed and in Kamadan, you can simply talk to Second Spear Binah, enter the tutorial area, and head over to Chabek Village to join in.

Sponsors
GW-EN is officially sponsoring the first 10 districts, with Guild Wars Guru hosting D9, GuildMag hosting D7, Elixabeth and TalkTyria in D11 (and live streaming on GuildWars2Live), and the YaWn Guild in D12. Other sponsors include Yugs, Ct Pound and Fire Reignz, Crossing Tyria, Nox Audio, and more! Sponsored districts will have bartenders and trivia, so don’t forget to brush-up on your knowledge. Also keep an eye on twitter and the forums in case Districts get last minute changes.

Don’t forget to listen in on GW-EN Radio for chances to win prizes, musics, and heartfelt messages about the fund-raising effort. Hope to see you guys there! (Feel free to post any questions and I’ll relay them to the organizers).

Futher Reading:
Official GW-EN Page | Guild Wars Guru Thread | Crossing Tyria “The Hunt for the Cure” Storyline

Guild Wars 2 Profession Repsonse : The Commando. Why not?

ArenaNET threw us for a loop today when they surprised everybody with a full blown profession reveal of the Commando for Guild Wars 2. With the goal to make GW2 a genre-breaking redefinition of what it means to MMO, the Commando aims to seduce the FPS crowd, a notoriously hard to please demographic. Despite the challenge, Anet is confident that fans of games like Mass Effect, Call of Duty, Angry Birds, and Counter Strike will  find a home in this one profession alone.

The SkillZ:

The commando, as one would expect, is well versed in technological warfare of the highest degree. With his finely honed skills, he can use advanced weaponry that the other professions can barely comprehend (and one might worry about the prowess of an Asuran commando). His cache includes a vast collection of varied hand grenades that can do everything from blind, blow stuff up, and explode into an army of kittens. His night vision goggles enhance his already super-human perception into hi-def, useful for night-time fighting, deep subterranean redstone farming, and other unsavory uses. Lastly, his impressive arsenal of vehicles ensures that the commando and his allies will be able to traverse any terrain the world can throw at him. Unnatural blizzards? Creepy forests of crystallized vegetation? Unforgiving whirlpools of impending demise? No problem, officer.

Continue reading