Sunday, November 27, 2016

Arah Hell

Arah is no piece of cake and it definitely hasn't been one these last few days. I moved on to it after finishing Crucible of Eternity, and it has proven to be the most difficult dungeon of all so far. Finding a party is a challenge all by itself, and maintaining one is even tougher.

This isn't Arah, it's an area near the dungeon. I liked the screenshot, so I felt like posting it.

I had done part 2 a long time ago with my friends, but I still had parts 1, 3 and 4 left to do. I began part 4 first, as it was the first party I found in LFG. It was difficult, but we persevered at first. We got along well, and were determined to get through the dungeon. It worked at first.

It was at Giganticus Lupicus that things started going south. We had no clue how to do it, and couldn't figure out how exactly to get him stuck. His phase 2 kept sweeping our party, and after well over an hour of tries we became too tired to go on. Our party disbanded in good terms.

I eventually found a new party, this time with two experienced players who knew all the tricks to this dungeon. We got through part 4 impressively fast, with little to no difficulty. It was fun, although I missed the camaraderie from the last party.

I'm currently trying to find a new party for parts 1 and 3. I have been unsuccessful so far. The only party I found had three French players who refused to speak a word of English to anyone, and who lacked any teamwork mentality. They did not help anyone who was downed, refused to learn the correct strategies for bosses, interrupted us as we were trying to get Lupicus stuck, and were very sensitive to any form of criticism. My experience with the majority of French players online has never been good, and this was no exception.

Well, what better way to end the day than daily events? I love the new ones, they make us explore jumping puzzles and mini dungeons. They are truly lovely; I recommend them to anyone who hasn't tried them yet.

Hoping for better luck with dungeons tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


In today's blog post I'll talk about the new legendary shield and the debate over its design, but first I'll sum up my past two or three days in game.

The last few days have been grindy, but rewarding. I've been doing one explorable dungeon per day in order to get the Dungeon Master title, and after I'm done with Crucible of Eternity all I'll have left to do is Arah. We have recruited more members for the guild, and we can now do dungeons together more frequently.

Those were part one and three, respectively. This dungeon has been amazing for farming the materials I need for my ascended armor set.

Anet has released the new legendary shield, Shooshadoo, just yesterday. I'm far from having it, so here's what it looks like, straight from the wiki:

It's a fish tank with a Quaggan, and it received some backlash on the forums. I think it's a nice shield, although it would have made a much better backpack. Lately on the forums, people have been criticizing Anet for their design choices: long clothing, too many outfits, large shoulder pads, extravagant designs, but I disagree.
I think designs like these are really what Guild Wars 2's theme is about. It's fantasy at its finest. Medieval humans coexist with sci-fi Asura and steampunk Charr. Swords and shields coexist with swords, tanks and airships. It's meant to be eccentric.
And regarding "large clothing", I think we have way more than enough games with skimpy armor out there, Anet has every right to make its game an exception if they want to. I'm glad they do so.

For next time, I might finally make the "gold making tips" guide I've been intending to do. Let's see how it turns out.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Friends & Foes

Today's daily events involved a jumping puzzle, and since people were helping each other out it got me thinking about the quality of the community in Guild Wars 2. It has its ups and downs, and I'll try to cover both in this post.

The screenshots I took today really ain't the best, but I still caught some of the chat that was going on. Essentially, two players were helping others out; one by repeating the jumping puzzle over and over again, and the other by keeping a portal up for those who wanted to skip past the puzzle. Mighty kind of them.

It's no heroic deed, but I've seen this kind of gesture more often in Guild Wars 2 than in the other online games I have played before. Not that there were no kind people on other games, but it happens more frequently in Guild Wars 2. Players also seem to be more capable of taking a joke both in game and on the forums. I remember this post of mine which got hundreds of replies until a moderator shut it down:

I think this has a lot to do with the gameplay. Guild Wars 2 is designed to make people work together. PvE and PvP are strictly separate, you can hardly disturb others in what they are doing, and you're often better off in a team than by yourself.

Another aspect to consider is the language: a great amount of people in this game speak English. The baguettes and bretzels who generally don't like to learn it have their own servers, therefore there is less of a language barrier than in games such as League of Legends.

However, there are still some aspects of this game that create distance, if not conflict, among players. For instance, we're allowed to join multiple guilds and leave them at any given time without any consequence. This makes guild relationships a lot more volatile than they would be if we could only join one guild at a time and received penalties for leaving it. 
In dungeons and fractals, the "zerk meta" has always been seen as a form of elitism by the Timmys and Johnnys who want to build their character differently.
Finally, among the most deplorable things I've seen, in rare occasions massive communities flood into a map during an event, like Tequatl or the Silverwastes, and demand of all the already existing commanders to tag down and for people to follow their command. Their minions sometimes go as far as flaming you for not listening to them.

In spite of all that, GW2 certainly offers a good community experience, and it shows just how much impact gameplay can have over it. In short, the more the merrier!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dungeons & Oozes

Lately I've been doing some dungeons, specifically the ones I still haven't done before. I am aiming for the Dungeon Master title. And I'll be damned, that Aether path in Twilight Harbor was a huge pain in the ass. It was the last path I needed to obtain the achievement.

I have also taken the time to finally complete the Silverwastes map, which frankly isn't all that exciting except for its Breach event.

Honor of the Waves is another dungeon for which I now have the achievement: all I needed was its story mode, which I completed with a few friendly people from map chat in Frostgorge Sound.

When I played in early 2015, AP meant something to the community, but I'm not sure how it is nowadays. People seem to be more focused on the mastery points. A fresh new player who joined only a few months ago, who has over 100 mastery points, mistook me for a novice only for having 5 mastery points, when in reality I've been on this game since its beta stage. But I'm not sure how I should be working on that, as I haven't really paid much attention to it and it doesn't seem to be going up at all.

Questions for another time.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Southsun Day

There's one map I never really paid attention to in this game: Southsun Cove. In these last few days, one of the daily events brought me there, and since the map does look nice I decided to give it a shot.

I had never really bothered exploring this map before. The game doesn't give you any reason to: it's not part of the main questline, and it doesn't have all that much going on like any other map in Guild Wars 2: it barely has six waypoints and the same number of points of interest, all of which are fairly easy to obtain. There is a world boss that is relatively easy to take down, the Karka Queen. To get to this map, you need to use an Asura gate in Lion's Arch.

It's home to the Passiflora, from which you can harvest passion fruit... but then again, those are barely worth ten copper. There is an interesting jumping puzzle, which I haven't finished yet. I might make a Youtube video on it, if my old computer can still handle it. Regardless of this map being a little too empty in content, it's still a beautiful map nonetheless.

The Jumping Puzzle
In other news I've been trying to recruit members for my new guild, but it's been difficult so far. This is nothing new though: the first days of a guild's existence are always the toughest, as nobody wants to join a three member guild. I've had the chance to do some CoF with one of the first guild members, and I hope soon we can have a full party of our own. I'm hoping for better luck in the next few days.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Why I love Guild Wars 2

There are very few online games that catch my attention and get me playing for a long time. Those that do keep me playing have always been those with the most diversity in content and the most freedom of choice. Guild Wars 2 is one of them. Unlike the vast majority of MMOs out there, which are very linear and far too PvP oriented, in GW2 I truly feel like I can choose what I want to do every time I log in. No matter what I choose to do, it's almost always a viable way of developing my character.

I can do world bosses, dungeons, gather resources, raids, explore the new maps or finish jumping puzzles. Even helping out new players in low level maps will always be beneficial to me, because I can hunt resources while doing so and earn some gold out of it. And that's what a MMO needs most: freedom.

Lately I've been doing Season 2 achievements, daily events and some SW farming here and there. I've been helping out my fiancée at leveling up and showing her how to play the game, which feels great. I've also opened up a new guild, Phasmantys. It's supposed to be a small guild, hope it gets somewhere.

I also plan to build a full ascended armor set. My engineer is the only character I love playing. I'm currently undecided between Celestial, Viper or Berzerker stats. If you have any advice, feel free to leave a comment down below.

Happy gaming!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Some catching up to do...

This dusty old blog is getting its first post in years. It used to be my Skyrim blog, but times have changed. I would like to make it about Guild Wars 2 from here on.

I have bought GW2 back in 2012 when it was still in beta testing. Since then, it's the only MMORPG I can enjoy playing. To me it feels different from other games of the same genre. It's a very artistic game: it merges elements from sci-fi and fantasy almost seamlessly, it encourages PvE and map exploration, it has a great variety of activities to do, the community isn't so bad and it just feels like a really polished game that has been created with passion, something you don't find in other online games that much.

I haven't really played that many characters at all. I've focussed most of my time on my engineer, Armathyx. I've been through many memorable moments in game with this character, and it feels wrong to be playing anything else. I'll list a few screenshots to illustrate her evolution over the years.

They're generally in chronological order, although I may have made a mistake. I had to chose only a few out of over a thousand, so it wasn't all that easy to pick. 

As of today, my character still wears this same gear. My main goal is to build myself an ascended medium armor set, but that will take a while. In the meantime, I'm working on achievements, and especially on those of the Season 2 questline as of right now.

This post was mostly a summary of what I've been up to. Tomorrow I'll be talking about my goals and ambitions. Thank you for reading!