The Future of Guild Wars 2 From The Future

If you are reading this, then the scientists working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have finally developed the ability to send small packets of information via a telepathic link back in time to any person. Sadly, no DeLorian is involved. It’s all very complicated, but you’ll have to take my word for it, but, I digress, for the information I bear concerns the future of Guild Wars 2!

The year is 2016 and Guild Wars 2 is still going strong for 4 years (Guild Wars 2 is released on April 26 2012) with over 7 million active accounts which is slowly increasing every day. After 3 years, Guild Wars: Utopia was finally released as a GW2 expansion. It allows players with linked Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 accounts to travel through both games as a Chronomancer and it adds a lot of unique “what-if” campaign quests (What if the mursaat were actually pretty cool dudes?). However, over the 4 years, the game has become…different. Different in that it’s now a carbon-copy of Guild Wars. And what I mean by that, is that the Guild Wars 2 has become a mindless routine rather than a game boasting grand explorations and adventures with your comrades. Continue reading

The VQ Blues: Creating a Hero Team

Over the past few months I’ve been very casually working towards my Vanquisher titles, focusing on Cantha first since I know the continent quite well. With the recent update allowing for seven hero teams and mercenaries, I revived my efforts and have been doing one or two clears a night on the weekend (well, until minecraft stole my soul). I’ve been streaming the VQs over on GuildWars2Live.com more often than not. While in chat, I’ve been asked to share my team build. I promised a video but since time and my lack of editing skills haven’t allowed it, we’ll start with ye ol’ text.

Now, I do run a personalized discordway, but not a full 7 hero team of it. I inquired on twitter as I’m ought to do and Hunter suggested that more than 3 discord heroes was a bit of a waste. After a few runs with 5 discords I was apt to agree. After thinking on skills and synergy, I came up with a build that worked nicely for me.

As a disclaimer, though, this is deviation from the usual builds you’ll find online (I’m not a fan of just copy pasta without thought, so 90% of the time I tweak builds that are suggested by friends or on pvx wiki). So it may not entirely work for you. I’ve had gleaming success with it, though, so here goes.

Overview:

I run as an SoS ranger. If you’re a rit, even better. Most professions can run a decent SoS easy if you’ve got good energy management: necros, mesmers, eles, and rangers are your best bet. Dervs and Monks can pull it off with some major tweaking. You’ll struggle as a warrior, sin, or paragon, however.

If you’re not an SoS, no worries. The team build I use allots for one.

So the core damage comes from the 3 discord necros; one curses, one prot, one mm. My forth necro runs SS and has extra hexes / conditions for Discord. I bring a support rit for heals and blood ritual (for me, mostly) and an interrupt mesmer with condition spreading. The final slot is wild-card. If I’m alone I’ll throw in a 3rd healer or 4th discord. Sometimes I’ll bring a friend.
Otherwise, take a hero to fill a void based on your area. A dervish makes a great AoE tank for VQs. A hammer warrior works here just as well. If you’re in an area with lots of AoE damage, a wards ele or prot monk can also be a good choice.

If you wanna see the team build in action, check out GW2Live’s on-demand video of my Unwaking Waters VQ.

The Custom Builds:

• Player: Ranger SoS | OggicxiMdN5D2JWOBNVNRDexA

This is what I run 99% of the time as a ranger SoS. The spirit choices are pretty typical: vampirism heals, agony does some serious degen, bloodsong has a nice life span. Painful bond is great for extra damage / hex req for discord. Armor of Unfeeling is typical for later in campaigns, but in certain early and easier areas can be replaced with a damage skill (I like spirit boon strike, or lamentation).
If you’re Rit primary, it’s business as usual. The issue of being a ranger is the energy management. Spirits will cost next to nothing, but PB will drain you fast in longer fights. I counter this by bringing a Blood Ritual hero. Ele SoS stock up on the energy storage, mesmers can trade in PB or Agony for their energy regen of choice. Necros should be ok with soul reaping, but you can bring Signet of Lost Souls / Necrosis if you feel it will be an issue.
Fill resto with whatever leftover points you have.

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‘Hyleket,’ Anyone?

This is about a rather trivial change in the language of Guild Wars 2, the name-change of the race of frog people from “heket” to “hylek,” and why it pleases me.

One word has changed. The nature of the hylek really hasn’t changed at all. They are a sentient people with which we as player characters may have peaceable relations or full-on warfare. We see that they still look very much like the frog-men we’ve all come to love stomping on. Their tribal culture seems relatively unaltered. They are still more or less behind on the technology curve, since they have to trade with other sentients for weapons and other goods. The hylek are in most ways indistinguishable from the heket – which leads many people to beg the question “why change the name at all?” What purpose does this serve?

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Thief in the Night

Thieves, oh how we despise them. Always out to steal some lady’s purse and get away with it. They are harbingers of evil! Or at least some people like to think so. A lot of complaints have been flying around about the upcoming profession’s name. People think the name ‘Thief’ is too demeaning and symbolizes it as doing things that aren’t necessarily for the greater good, unlike what ArenaNet has said about our characters being heroes.

But think about it. How is a name like ‘Necromancer’ any less demeaning than ‘Thief’ is? The act of raising the dead (or at least trying to) is grotesque in our world, and just as despised, if not more, as thievery is. You have to think of it from ArenaNet’s mind. And if I am thinking straight the reason why they chose a name like this is because it describes how the profession acts and plays like. If it plays like a thief, then call it a thief.

Picture of the Thief

The Thief! OMG!

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The Iterative Process, or “how we plan to bring you the best game possible”

Iteration, or the iterative process, is something ANet has discussed many times. It accounts for changes between versions of their games. Each GW update involves iteration and iteration accounts for the content and mechanic changes we see between GW2 status updates. Put simply, the iterative process is simultaneously responsible for what makes the Guild Wars franchise worth playing and what is delaying the release of GW2. Over the past years and coming months (I refuse to think of GW2 as over a year away) we have enjoyed teasers, concept art, videos, updates, interviews, profession reveals, and demos of GW2. One thing has remained constant about the information we receive about GW2: nothing is set in stone.

Isaiah "Izzy" Cartwright (left) and Martin Kerstein (right) at Gamescom in 2010 (from ANet's Flickr)

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Pax-East Pre-Show | TalkTyria, Guild Mag, and Friends!

Well as you guys know, Pax-East is coming in less than a week. The fabulous team over at ArenaNet will be attending, and the east coast rejoiced!

I’ll be heading up to my sister city to the north for the weekend to enjoy the festivities and try to get in on the new Guild Wars demo. I’ll be representing GuildMag &  TalkTyria. I’m extremely excited to see what they’ll have to offer this time around and hope to get as many images and as much info to you guys as possible.

Here’s a quick low-down on the whos, what’s, where, when, and why, gods, why’s of the convention! Continue reading

A Love Letter to ArenaNet

Dear ArenaNet,

I don’t want to waste your time, as I’m sure you’re busy working on making Guild Wars a better game before the release of Guild Wars 2. But as a veteran to Guild Wars, I feel I need to speak my mind, and hopefully you’ll take solace in the opinions of an older player who has been with you since the days of Beta and beyond.  I feel as I should also give you the short version first, which I’m sure will entice you to read my reasons for this letter. So, here it goes.

In short, ArenaNet, so long, and thanks for all the fish. Continue reading