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

I Want a Norn Girlfriend…


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Where you lead, I shall follow my lady...

Does this shock you yet? Or are you simply rolling your eyes and saying- here we go again. The real life irony is the woman I was married to, her maiden name was Noernberg.  One would think that would remind me of her, but hardly. It is merely an interesting bit of trivia…

At any rate, I want a norn girlfriend.

Throughout my research I have actually come to embrace the norn, to the point where I am seriously thinking the norn character I end up making may well be my main. This will be a grand departure for me, since I ALWAYS play the “human” in MMORPGs. The norn are close enough, however, that they count as human to me, if not larger than life.  Now one thing that is noticeable in ArenaNet’s canon of Guild Wars 2, is the dearth of information about the norn origins.  I am certain ArenaNet will fill in the blanks when the time comes… But where as a race did they evolve from? Are they, as some speculate, descended from the Kodan (giant polar bears), or a mutation of human over the years, adapting the strongest of their genomes to survive in their hardy climate? Were they magically created like the Sylvari? Thus far little is known about how they came into being, only that their civilization has been around for a while, and they are a very proud folk whose tales are about as epic as their daily lives aspire to be.

So why WOULD I want a norn girlfriend anyway? Well, perhaps this sampling of what I have learned about the race might clue you in as to why I have taken a liking to them. Thirteen seems like a good number, since there are 13 cycles of the moon (often tied to women). Here we go then, 13 reasons why I want a norn girlfriend:
Continue reading

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


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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

Nerd Rage: Trolling Guild Wars Co-Op


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Gonna change it up a bit in light of a hellish 3 weeks at work. Silly post ahead.

As a disclaimer, I’m not a vicious or mean person. However, I can’t resist screwing with idiots in games, especially Guild Wars because you can talk to the opposing team. Sometimes they are just really asking for it.

Now, in GW you can switch sides in co-op, which I do depending on what faction I want. I feel no loyalty to either side and because it’s so easy to choose whichever one you want, I find it hilarious when players take their allegiance seriously.

So here I’m doing some Fort Aspenwood as Kurzick, and we’re winning when someone from the opposing team (Ashes of Nature) starts bitching about how imbalanced the game is in favor of Kurzick.
I try to humor him by asking exactly how (because it’s not true at all) and he goes on a rampage.

I make a sarcastic comment (Guild Wars is Serious Fucking Business) which Ashes thought I was seriously saying. I reply with “Anybody who says that seriously is at tool” in regards to my statement.
Then he jumps down my throat about how full of hatred I am  when, clearly, he was the one flipping a shit.

And apparently I’m an arrogant asshole because I didn’t feel like explaining to him what “Kettle calling the pot black” meant. Something tells me he probably wouldn’t know what “Hypocrite” meant either.

After the game I couldn’t resist egging him on (I’m Drea Velaso in the screens):


So after all that -he- ignored -me- which to this day is a point of hilarity beyond reason.

The Races of Guild Wars 2 and Who Will Play Them


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Disclaimer – This post was written before we knew about the final profession line-up. It’s also kind of dumb / silly. Please take it as humorous satire and nothing more. 

 

As if it wasn’t already obvious, I’ve been playing video games and trolling the internet for a looongggg time (12 year veteran on the latter). Having been active in many online communities including RPs, forums, Live Journal, and MMOs, I’ve got a lot of experience with the different types of … *personalities* you will often find lurking around the web. And I’m being kind, here.

Every MMO that offers multiple races/classes, which is the majority of them, will find that certain demographics of players will stereotypically be attracted to a certain type of character or role. A common gaming stereotype, for example, is that females tend to be healers or casters, while males are more likely to take tanking and melee damage roles.

Now before I get chewed out for saying this, I’m more than aware that these are generalities and do not apply to everyone. But the same way Asians usually are smart, and lawyers usually are soul-less, we have to keep in mind that stereotypes are generally based on observable tendencies within certain demographics.

So anyway, this post is pretty much about this. Guild Wars 2 will offer five races, and here I’ve ranked them in the order of which I predict will be most popular, when, and who will be the people playing them. These predictions are based on an “assumption” that each race can play any profession and that there will be no racial affinities/passives (IE Sylvari have improved bow usage), both of which have a high possibility of being implemented and could change the demographics.

And while I hate to do it, I will be referencing WoW since it has the largest population of players and has been my main source of experience in the past.


Sylvari


Popularity Rank : 1
Player Gender: Majority Female
Popular Professions: Mesmer, Ranger, Ritualist, Monk
Naming Trends: Those related to the mystical, nature, gods, and pointing out that the player is female.
-Melandrus Daughter, Keeper of Wolves, M A L I N A, Hexual Healing, Short Skirt Double DD
Likely Personalities:
-Old School GW players who care about lore.
-15-year-old attention whores
-New GW Players
-Gay Men
It was a toss up between Sylvari and Human for #1, but Sylvari beat them out for several key reasons.
Old school guild wars players are very interested in the Sylvari because they are the only race we haven’t encountered in Guild Wars 1. We’ve played humans for five years, so it’s time for a change.
Gamers who have done MMORPG but aren’t familiar with Guild Wars will likely be intrigued by the Sylvari since they are mystical and unique yet not a generic elf race.
Teen and early college-age attention whores will likely roll Sylvari because they’re pretty with British accents. That would also include the bitchy ones who complain in PvP when you’re losing by 2 points, are offended by “Yo Momma” and “That’s what she said” jokes, and have character names like “Cutey Babe IRL.”

However, I think Sylvari will NOT be the Blood/Night Elves of GW2 because they don’t have much to cater to male players. While they are pretty, they don’t strike me as being “hot”, a big reason guys make female toons. The customization options are a little too out there and the males are too thin and lanky to attract many male players who’d rather play hulking, buff manly men (if you think I’m joking, google why Blizz made blood elf males more built, when they were originally much thinner).
I figure Sylvari to be the most popular at first, but expect them to get eclipsed by Humans with time.


Humans

Popularity Rank : 2
Player Gender: Fairly Even, leaning towards male.
Popular Professions: Warrior, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer
Naming Trends: Generic First/Last names, as well as ones suggesting deep personality. Most likely to be named after existing NPC’s.
-Gerad Omalley, Elena Watson, Cynns Daughter, The Lone Hero, Legend Of Tyria, I Like Swords And Pizza
Likely Personalities:
-Role Players
-New MMO Players
-Lonely Housewives
-Guidos
-Guys who play girl characters.
There really isn’t much to say about Humans. They’re a staple in any MMO, and the most familiar, but kind of generic and boring. Many Role Players will roll Humans because of the familiarity. GW-RPers have often said the descendants of their current toons should be human, and being any of the other races would not make sense. RPers who are new to GW will lean towards humans since they have no idea about the lore of the other races. New mmo players choosing GW2 to pop their cherry will probably go for the “saftey” of being something familiar.
Lonely Housewives and cougars looking for some young, impressionable 20 somethings to make their husbands jealous will probably roll human. Psychologically, people are most likely to fall for a personality behind an avatar they can relate with.
Guidos will be humans cause that’s how they roll.

Charr

Popularity Rank : 3
Player Gender: Mostly Male
Popular Professions: Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist, Assassin
Naming Trends: Many last names compounded with weaponry, attempts at being badass/threatening, taunts, rappers and LoLcat references.
-Cheza Swiftarrow, Thulo Axesmash, Oh Noes Ur Dead, Jay Z Fo Reel, I Can Haz Meow Mix.
Likely Personalities:
-Olllld School GW Players
-Thugs
-Jocks
-Gold Farmers
-12-year-old boys
-Girls who play FPS/RTS
The Charr come in at a close 3rd on the list by a small margin. Old School GW players will love playing the race that, quite literally, shook their world 5 years ago when the game first started. They have a great, war-ridden background story and are likely to attract “Horde”-ish players.
Being the angry beast-race, the Charr will attract lots of the macho-men who like to tear shit up (and who wouldn’t?). 12-year-old boys will also like Charr because either (wrongly) think they are or wish they were as badass as the Charr. Girls who play FPS/RTS games are also likely to play Charr, because they are violent in nature and like bossing guys around.


Asura

Popularity Rank : 4
Player Gender: Fairly Even, leaning towards male.
Popular Professions: Elementalist, Mesmer, Ritualist
Naming Trends: Abusive names challenging the TOS, geeky/nerdy references, phrases of self importance, Engrish, Asian Characters.
-Horney Was Your Mom, Naga Stole My Focus, H A X X E R, Yodas Sister, Rove U Rong Time, 流感吮
Likely Personalities:
-Trolls
-Attention whores pretending to not be attention whores.
-College kids with IT degrees.
-Misguided Felica Day fanboys.
-Asians
The Asura are predicted to be the annoying, short race that the Gnomes have been to WoW, and as such most likely to attract trolls. It’s ironic because they also, as a race, have an unjustified superiority complex to everybody else, most likely compensation for their lack of real credibility shortness. Asura will be the ones dancing on your body in PvP, taunting in general chat, and starting fights in trade/forums.
Attention whores pretending to not be attention whores will be attracted to this race. Asura are cute enough to satiate their need for vanity but ‘different’ enough that they won’t seem like the generic pointy-eared loving facerollers. These are the most dangerous brand of attention whores because they are manipulative and cunning. Most likely the ones to act cool in public but then cry about how their boyfriend left them in WoW for some asian chick who rolled Druid in an attempt to draw you into their trap.

College kids with IT degrees and Asians will like Asura because they will feel a kindred connection to those with an affinity to technology and giant mecha.

Norn

Popularity Rank : 5
Player Gender: Fairly Even, Leaning Towards Male
Naming Trends: Animal references, Nordic/Viking influenced nominers, annoying foreign lettering, references to literature and mythological deities.
-Keeper of Ravens, Cnaiür urs Skiötha, Beowulf From Toronto, The Fist Of Zeus, Woof Bears, Izzies Bank Alt
Popular Professions: Ranger, warrior, dervish, paragon
Likely Personalities:
-Chill Players
-Bored Players
-Canadians
-BankAlts
-Goofballs / Fake RPers
-Short People
I think Norn will be the least played characters because, ascetically, they are just overgrown humans and other than shape shifting they don’t have anything that I feel would attract any specific group of people. Because of this, they will also be the race with the chillest players. They have that “kinda human, but just different enough” feel. People will roll them just to try and then find they’re kinda cool/fun and stick with it.
I feel many bank alts will be Norn, as well as general goofballs because they are such a serious, viking race and it’s funny to imagine them dancing on mailboxes.
Short people will play Norn for the obvious reasons.
I feel like the Norn will be the Tauren of GW2, with a player base that’s laid back and generally liked by everyone, except the Asura because they hate everybody.

Well, with Guild Wars 2 still well over a year off, it’s going to be a long time before I get to see whether I’m right or wrong.
It will be well worth the wait.

Guild Wars: Tale of the Rainbow Chicken


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For anybody who’s a ranger/completionist/charmable pet collector in Guild Wars, the holy grail takes the form of the Rainbow Pheonix.

The Rainbow Phoenix, as depicted by Arenanet and Zbrush

This feathery ball of shiny is arguably the rarest / hardest pet to obtain, although some may say the coveted Moss Spider is a close contender. It’s also considered one of the best looking (and it had better be, considering what you have to go through to get it.) Of course, I’m one of the above mentioned people so I decided to do the (rough) math and figure out what would be the best / easiest / fastest way to get it. Or, in the words of Kellus Anasûrimbor, “What is the shortest path?”

There are three main ways to get this guy, all of which are a righteous pain in the behind. I shall cover them and other tips on obtaining this beaut in order of plausible ridiculousness:

 

The pet shall be mine, for I am the right hand of Balthazar himself!
The Rainbow Phoenix, as depicted by Color by Numbers

Firstly, he can be unlocked in the Zaishen menagerie for 80,000 Balthazar faction. That’s a big number. But the hard part isn’t farming the points, but rather, farming the titles to be able to hold that much at one time. Let’s face it: you can’t put down monthly payments on the bird like you could on your Honda Civic. The Majority of all GW players can hold a max of 10,000 Balth faction at once. In order to up that cap, you need the “equivalent of 14 ranks in the Gladiator, Hero, Champion or Commander title tracks.”
And that, my friends, is no easy feat.

Of course, i’m going on the assumtion that the majority of GW players haven’t even stepped foot into Heroes Ascent. And let me tell you, unless you’ve got a good guild/alliance backing you up, getting your foot in the door in this highly competitive PvP arena is nearly impossible as a pug, let alone WIN anything.

For the .0045% of GW who are/were lucky enough to already have the capacity, though, getting 80,000 faction is just a matter of having the patience to spend a week or two farming it, and with ranks that high, I’m going to assume they’re half decent at PvP and can win enough.

 

The pet shall be mine, for I am a glutton for punishment and  masochistic tendencies.
The Rainbow Phoenix, as depicted by Vikings after a night of pillage and destruction.

The second, and more traditional means, is by meeting a set of requirements that will cause the Phoenix to spawn in your hall of monuments. The straightforward requirement is having rank 2 of the “Big Deal” title, which is obtained by having at least 10 maxed out titles. This can be a bit difficult to achieve, but many regular or semi-regular players of the game will probably find that they already have a few, or are close to obtaining them.

Furthermore, discussion amongst several communities are showing that with rank 1 of the Big Deal title (5 maxed titles), and a certain amount of filled monuments are also spawning the phoenix, which could mean it’s a lot easier to get him than previously thought. The exact math of it is still hotly debated but the consensus seems to be that having each monument filled to display capacity along with Rank 1 of GWAMM could be another way of getting him. That’s about 5 achievement statues, 5 heroes/pets, 5 sets of elite gear and something like ~5-8 of the destroyer weapons and ~15-20 dedicated minipets. It’s been claimed by a handful of people that they do not have minipets/destroyer weapons maxed by are somehow spawning the turkey.

Depending on each player’s individual progress, which way is easier varies.
For me, personally, i’m already close to filling my displays, so i’m eager to test out whether or not I can get him earlier than I had planned. The destroyer weapons will be the hardest to obtain, but I’ve got some gold to blow, so we’ll see.

Either way, you need at least 5 max titles, so what should you be going for? Protector of Elona/Tyria/Cantha (which is successfully completely all missions and bonus objectives from each campaign) on normal mode is simple enough, especially with guildies/friends. That’s 3 titles right there. Guardian  is the hard-mode equivalent (and considerably more difficult) and completing all six will yield a 7th title, Legendary Guardian.

Legendary survivor is simple but time consuming.

For farmers, reputation titles for Kurzick/Luxon, Sunspears, Lightbringer, Asura, Norn, Vangaurd, etc. can be easy to get, especially with the introduction of the Dungeon Master books that keep track of your progress (these can be turned in for ridiculous amounts of rep). More often than not you can double farming rep with vanquishing.
All the other crap is much more elusive/annoying but it’s best to check what progress you have already and aim to completing those first.

 

The pet shall be mine, for I find comfort in repetitive actions.
The Rainbow Phoenix, bringer of the End of Days, as depicted by ancient Mayans

Lastly, and what I’ve decided is the easiest/most casual friendly method is by unlocking him via Zaishen coins.
The Zaishen challenges are essentially dailies that you can do on your PvE characters. There’s a Mission, Bounty, and Combat challenge each day, and they all vary in difficulty, and the rewards scale with that.

So, here come the numbers.

Completing all 3 objectives (including the bonus’ which are in hard-mode) will yield an average of 450 copper coins per day. The phoenix requires 15 gold zaishen coins, which boils down to 7,500 copper coins, plus some pocket change. With my trusty Windows Calculator, one can conclude it would take about 15-18 days of completing each objective to get the coins to unlock him, which is under a month consecutively. *see note

But don’t get TOO excited, there are a few, likely account-wide requirements that you as a player/person have to have before being able to successfully do these.

~Owning the appropriate campaigns: You can’t do the missions/bounties in games you don’t own. You need to have Factions in order to do a good chunk of the PvP challenges, as well.
~Progressed though PvE. Obviously, you can’t do Bounties/Missions in areas you’ve yet to visit.
~Furthermore, hard-mode can only be unlocked once successfully beating a game in normal mode, and only for THAT campaign. And it’s the hard-mode bonus’ for each challenge that yields the most coins.
~Time/Patience to deal with it. Cause let me tell you, the harder missions/bounties can be a pain to do in hard-mode.

Logically speaking, most of us can’t or simply can’t be arsed to do this.

But, before you cry emo tears of sadness, there are even more factors to consider before committing digital suicide.

~Coins are account-wide. So assuming you have at least ONE character who’s beaten every game, you can do hard-mode on any other of your characters as well. Obvious answer, to up your daily copper intake, complete the challenges on as many toons as you can.
~You can hold up to 3 quests at a time, so if you can’t do them every day, don’t fret. Collect them over time and save them all for one idle Tuesday.
~PvP quests are repeatable, which is good news for anybody who enjoys a good face pounding. It’s also helpful to turn it in once, and then grab it agai
n to wor
k on the bonus (which will usually be something like winning 9 games overall) and work on it over time.
~PvP quests from the Battle Isles are available to any PvE character you have, and the faction missions (AB/JQ/FA) are open to PvE characters who have advanced that far, making them highly worth getting even ANY of your toons and do them over time.

Final Thoughts:

The pet shall be mine, for I… whoa.
The Rainbow Phoenix, as depicted by a night of photoshop filter abuse and portobellos.

So while I did rank these in order of ‘difficulty”, if you do want to eventually get this pet, which method you choose is really up to you. You have to consider what you enjoy most and what you already have completed so far. That will likely have a huge impact on what direction to go.

I’ll leave this off with a “quick guide” of sorts to figure out which meathod is best for you.

If you solely/mostly PvP…
…the best option would be to work on your hero titles and grind out the 80,000 balth faction.

If you solely/mostly PvE …
…with one advanced character, you’re best bet is to go for the five titles and fill your monument, or go for the ten max titles. Chances are you’re close to getting there.
…with several characters, none of which have progressed too far, you might do well by unlocking hard-mode on at least one and working on collecting zaishen coins accross your account.

*As of the March 3, 2011 update, the addition of the Zaishen vanquish and 7-hero teams makes grinding out Zaishen coins about 3,000 times easier. The math is now off (likely an underestimation) and I’ll get around to updating the number once there’s been enough time to come up with averages.

Guild Wars 2!!!


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This past weekend saw some major announcements in the gaming community, what with Gamecom and Blizzcon going on. So much to babble about, so I’ll start with Guild Wars.

I noticed a lot of hustle and bustle around the Guild Wars 2 facebook page over earlier parts of the week, mostly concept art. Low and behold, Friday the folks over at ArenaNet graced us with the first official Guild Wars 2 trailer.

Needless to say, I had a moment.

The trailer itself is a gorgeous mix of animated concept art that transitions into actual gameplay footage. Arenanet has done a great job of keeping this project under wraps. The whole Guild Wars community was pleasantly surprised to find that the game has indeed been under development over the past 2 years since its initial announcement, and much further along than we expected.

We see the first view of the Sylvari as a playable race in what looks like Mesmer, Dervish, and Elementalist garb . The Asura look amazing with the updated models and graphics, too. A lot less evil bunny! The Humans, Norn, and Charr so far all look great as well. It’s hard to really say much, though, at this point. Lots of eye candy, though, and true to the original game, we have breathtaking landscapes that add to the beauty of the Guild Wars world.

No beta has been announced yet, as the developers want to dazzle players when they take their first steps through the new world. There has been a rumored Q4 2010 release has been circulating around the net, though, so we may see beta coming spring 2010.

I’ll be sacrificing goats to the gods of Beta in hopes for a chance to test run the game.

With this new surge of eye candy and information, the Guild Wars community has also seen a surge in activity. There are tons of places to go to share in the glory of all this media, so have a look at it.

http://guildwars2.com/en/
Official site with the trailer, available for download or stream. Links to the site’s facebook, twitter,

http://www.guildwars2guru.com/
GuildWars Guru has always managed to be a center for community and a link between the Arenanet Team and Players. Without fail they’ve launched a GW2 version of their site, and Arena reps have also registered to be a part of the community. I imagine Guru will edge it’s way as the #1 unofficial center for the new game.

Definitely join and jump in on the discussions!
Check out the trailer, too: