Elementalist 101 – Utility

Zojja: Famed elementalist and former member of Destiny’s Edge.

“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” – The Joker, Batman

Elementalist Profession Series Part 2

In the first installment of the series I talked about the weapon skill bar with the intent of giving you, the reader, a sense of what each weapon and attunement felt like to wield. Today I will be talking about the utility skill bar, which allows for a lot of versatility in play style and complements the strengths and weaknesses of the weapon skill bar. My goal for this article is to give you a quick and dirty understanding of the different types of utility skills, make a case for when to use which ones, and offer a bit of advice on how to maximize the benefit of many of these skills by using traits. Follow along below for more information.

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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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The World of Tyria; Meet your Guild Wars 2 Lore Heroes.

As an avid explorer (no, my name’s not Dora, I’m talking Guild Wars 2, here), I find it captivating to walk around Tyria and discover places I recognize from the Lore – ruins from Guild Wars 1, villages rebuilt, cities still standing. I think it’s worth mentioning how far ArenaNet has gone to really make us fanboys and fangirls squee with happiness when we see one single character we used to know in Guild Wars 1 or even some we’ve read about in Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny. During the last beta weekend, I managed to get one of those moments for myself to keep and immortalize into a screenshot that is now my desktop background.

Dougal Keane

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dougal Keane, Ghosts of Ascalon’s main character. I’m not going to explain in depth who he is and what he did, because I’m sure there are people out there who do not want any spoilers, but I will tell you this; he’s a major character in the book and is hired to retrieve the Claw of Khan-Ur from Ascalon City. With one of each race (Riona Grady a human, Gullik Oddsson the norn, Killeen the sylvari, Ember Doomforge the charr and Kranxx the asura), he travels across Tyria to the city of Ascalon, now ran by ghosts ever since the Foefire. I was going around Lion’s Arch with my asura and when I saw his name, I instantly “eeek”ed and immediately told my guildies through a Ventrilo conversation which typically went like this; “OH. MY. GOD. GUYS. EEEEEK!”. Major fangirlism? Check. Needless to say, I took several screenshots, one of which is displayed on the left. Compared to an asura, he is pretty tall! But then again, who isn’t, when compared to the asura. Continue reading

The Memoirs of Klaine; a Mesmer – Chapter I

I was a noble, a fancy Memser, and a vision in pink and purple. I was the most flamboyant man in Tyria – really, a Mesmer in pink/purple armor, you think you can top that? – and I was gorgeous. I slicked my hair back as I admired my reflection in the mirror. No, I wasn’t going to go all cray cray and ask the mirror who the fairest of them all was because I knew in my heart that it was me. Period.

 

 

Though I was born to riches and a silver spoon – literally – in my mouth, I knew I didn’t want to become one of those fat, jolly men who bathed in gold and didn’t give a tinker’s toot to the plight of the less fortunate. Yeah sure, we were rich now and could afford all kinds of luxurious fabrics and exotic meat from the land of Tyria but we should never ever tempt Fate because the cosmic universe just loves to throw you a curveball when you least expect it. And what that happens, all you horrible human beings who’ve never known hardship will be thrown out on your asses and starve to death.

And seriously, dolyak meat? Really? What the hell is wrong with you people?

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I swung a sword, I swung a sword again, I gained a new skill!

Pardon my obvious Colin reference, but I feel this new skill acquisition needs to be brought into further review even before the Gamescom demos begin.  Allow me to further quote the man with the golden smile.

“We just don’t want players to grind in Guild Wars 2.  Noone enjoys that, noone finds it fun; we want to change the way that people view combat.” – Colin Johanson, GW2 Manifesto

If this is the case, then why does this new skill system exist?

I got mad skills! No, really. I do.

The old system

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I miss the pug

Wait, hear me out. I am not missing the pug that made you weep and run to Guru’s cursing out that stupid player that over agroed everything, cursed in chat, and then quit right when you were about to finish causing all those minions he had up to go wild and attack you along with those last 4 groups he pulled on to the group. I also wish that I was making that up.

Raeya Sun and the Lich

Raeya Sun and the Lich

No, I am missing the group you found in Vizunah Square, and you stuck together working as a team until you found yourself at Gyala Hatchery running the mission the front way because no one knew about the back way yet, and you found yourself finishing with expert because one turtle died, and you are proud of the great work you did. The pug you hated to leave but well you had been playing for way to long and your wife is giving you that look that if you try and continue you will be sleeping on the couch. And for a moment you think one night way be worth it. That is the pug I miss and the pug I am afraid I will never again see in my beloved Guild Wars.

And here is why:

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Guild Wars 2 Demo Review and the Guardian

Months behind, I know, I know, but I wanted to dedicate lots of time and effort to this article because it most certainly deserved it.

Back at Pax East 2011, I finally got a chance to try out the new re-hashed demo. After comically standing in line for a small eternity, it was like that first sip of peyote after wandering the Sahara for days. I seriously could not believe I was actually playing Guild Wars 2.

Ridiculous gloating aside… wow. Pretty much everything I have heard and read about this demo turned out to be true. At first glance, the game is visually stunning. Of course we can attribute bad-ass hardware for a lot of that, too. Like many of you out there, I am still curious to see how the game will play on older computers with less of the bells and whistles. Still, Guild Wars 2 is a feast for the eyes, combining art and immersion with gameplay in a way that echos its predecessor.

Facing your opponent is key.

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