Monday, February 27, 2017

The Restless Ghost

The Restless Ghost is a classical Runescape quest. It's about helping a ghost find rest by retrieving his stolen skull. I've become more involved in Guild Wars 2 roleplaying recently, and had the opportunity of organizing a re-enactment of this quest with people who didn't knew what it was about.

For this event, we had roleplayers XerlentaAsmoudai, Farawy Gearbreaker, Lolivia Angelfall, Mizkk and Cassio Cicciareli. As for me, I used my mesmer, Iona Sunfire, a character for whom I wrote a profile here.

Many roleplayers in GW2 stick to taverns, which can get boring, but going out on quests like these is quite fun. The quests I'm organizing are lighthearted in nature and allow for some camaraderie among us.

They also help give meaning to some forgotten areas, like that shack in Queensdale's swamp.

We even had some great improvisations! The event truly exceeded my expectations. Everyone brought a touch of originality to their role, which is the best outcome I could've imagined.

Some of the characters became recurring and may show up in future quests. There will be one of these every Saturday. I might change it to Wednesday eventually. The event thread can be found at the following link:

Most roles for the next quest, the Wizard's Tower, are still open. I have no doubt that with everyone there it will be just as good as the first quest!

In fact, all this might even have encouraged me to play Runescape again... could Iona's adventures go beyond GW2? Is it time for a change?

Sunday, February 19, 2017


I thought I was done with dungeons after I unlocked my Dungeon Master title. Oh, how wrong I was. There's nothing better for a casual guild party than a quick dungeon run, and with a guild like this it's easy to enjoy just about any kind of dungeon. So yesterday we chose Ascalonian Catacombs and went for a full run.

It ended up not being a full run however, as we decided to leave Detha's path out. Even then, a bug made her spawn in that gigantic hall where she sets up her traps to kill the ghost graveling boss. She was visibly unhappy about being left out.

The dungeon run wasn't without accidents, but it was great fun. We hadn't done this in a long time. Most bosses felt noticeably easier to kill thanks to our improved character builds and knowledge of the dungeon, but it was still challenging to get past certain parts, which kept the run interesting.

Today we started out with a guild event. Dragon Stand no less, a map event our guild commanders handled smoothly. It's the first time I've had the opportunity to successfully complete the huge event chain, and it has helped a lot with experience, materials and map completion.

Here's our squad, led by commander Shiroiki Mei, going through the North lane.

We moved on to guild missions. These were great for some extra loot, and we had some good laughs. I really enjoy the atmosphere in PSDH, it's easygoing as far as I can tell, which a relief from the tense atmosphere in my previous guild NRH.

We're all tiny!
And I finally finished my ascended gear! It was about time, I just bought the remaining elonian leather squares I needed and crafted the last parts. Sadly, I really disliked the armor's appearance, so I changed its skin to Carapace Armor, which is one of my favorites.

It's a relief to finally be done with all this crafting. It took me three months and a lot of gold and materials to finish this set. I don't think I'll ever want to craft another one, but perhaps I'll prove myself wrong. One thing is for sure: I now have the correct gear to be doing high level fractals later on!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Weaving deception

I don't know why I've never tried out a Mesmer in GW2, but I sure have been missing out on something. Along with the Engineer and the Revenant, they're one of the game's unique classes and they sure are a blast to play. As with all my characters, I decided to take my time and enjoy the grind, except this time I'm going as far as crafting my own armor all the way through.

I gave Iona here an edgy haircut, a skimpy top and some bronze sword to start with, and just rolled with it, nothing short of what a real MMO is supposed to be like!

 And honestly, I've grown really fond of this character. The class is extremely fun to play. It's strategic and rewarding. It challenges me to become a better player and punishes me every time I make a mistake. It doesn't feel cheap. It feels like when I started playing my Engineer in the beginning.

I've gone through all weapons and all utility skills one by one as of the writing of this post. I've tested them all for long enough to know what they're about, but I haven't mastered them yet of course.

 Even while still being in the process of crafting my ascended armor, I found enough materials in my storage to level Tailoring and Weaponsmithing, with some extra materials I found on the way as I completed maps. I made it to 200 Mystic Coins this week and sold them all for roughly 190 gold, minus the trading fees (I can't understand why these trading fees even exist in the first place).

I've been through Queensdale, Kessex Hills and Fields of Ruin so far, and I'm planning to do Timberline Falls and Mount Maelstrom next, two of my favorite maps. I've found that farming events earns quite a bit of experience, and I've been using that to get more levels than usual out of maps.

Thanks to crafting and some karma vendors, I've discovered some great new armor sets. A lot of players complain about there being too many skirts and "trenchcoats" in GW2, but I really don't understand what that is all about. My character is currently wearing a full set of Dry Bones light armor, which is my favorite so far.

I spent some time in Ascalonian Catacombs with my guild, Piken Square Dragon Hunters, in order to gain some more levels while having fun with friends, but as this post is already long enough I'll keep that for the next one.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lost in the Sands

I was in the Silverwastes yesterday, doing daily events with my guild, when I heard of the map's jumping puzzle and decided to give it a try. Little did I know, I was getting myself into one of the longest and craziest jumping puzzles out there.

The guild event
The puzzle begins in Drydock Grotto, on the South end of the upside down ship, which by itself is a sight to see. The ship seemingly fell into this gigantic sinkhole and got stuck halfway through; a group of friendly Skritt have made it their home, and built a few bridges, but it's still a dangerous area for anyone not wearing a glider.

At first there's no real jumping involved. It's a really long path through a fascinating sandstone cavern, decorated with a few distractions such as this boiling cauldron. It wasn't particularly difficult to find the correct path, as it's quite intuitive.

 The path took me to the plateaus above the Silverwastes, from which I could get a unique view of the area... and some screenshots. It's a very quiet place, I didn't happen across anyone on my way to the final jumping puzzle.

There's various checkpoints, and the real fun begins by the 8th checkpoint. I reached a huge cavern with many hidden Skritt tunnels. From there, I had to figure out the correct order of the tunnels so that I could get to the top of the cavern. It's quite a sight from up there.

The puzzle has a generous reward at the end: a Magnificent Chest and a mastery point for Tyria. It took me over two hours to get there, but what a journey it was! 

There's also a diving spot there, if you go further up a little. You get to jump from above the ship and have to land on a small pool at the bottom of the sinkhole. Sadly I missed the jump and landed just next to it, dying instantly with over 5 million fall damage!

This was easily my favorite jumping puzzle for how adventurous it felt. I usually don't like the tedious ones. Hoping to see more of these!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

One too many toons

In previous games you'd be satisfied to own one character and stick with it all the way to the end. It used to be the norm in the previous MMORPGs I played, as those old school games were very grindy and required commitment to one character in order to be successful.
I've been doing the same thing up until now in Guild Wars 2. I've almost exclusively played my engineer since I began and I never felt the need to change. However, after spending 500 hours on it, I felt like trying other classes in depth and it's been a great experience overall.
Why owning multiple characters and belonging to multiple guilds are being encouraged in this game, I don't know, but I don't really mind the former.

I haven't had much time to play over this last week, but I managed to get my two new characters to level 80! They were both past level 70, so it didn't require all that much effort.

Both my elementalist and my ranger are now fully geared for dungeons and low level fractals; I tried condition damage gear on my Ranger, but I didn't like the build very much so far, so I'll probably go for the classic berserker gear in the future. I don't play either of these characters all that often.

And what else could I have done after getting two characters to level 80, if not getting yet another one? I deleted my warrior, and after some thought I went with a Mesmer. Wanted to make it a Charr just so that I could have one character of each race, but I frankly don't like that race very much and went with another human instead. Playing Mesmer as a human female just feels right for whatever reason.

I'm taking my time with it and trying out all the weapons and utility skills one by one to get a good idea on how to play this class. This "illusionist jedi class" is quite strategic, which is what I enjoy the most about it, and it gets to use some of my favorite weapons, such as sword and board, the focus and the greatsword.

I have some gear objectives for this character. They are Ornate Guild Armor, Accursed Chains, and most importantly, Twilight, which will be my first legendary. I don't plan to craft it, however, as I believe that I can obtain it more quickly by farming the gold to purchase it directly.

Finally, this weekend I'm organizing a Silkroad Online party. It requires 8 people and so far there's only me and a friend, so I'm looking for 6 people who would like to join us. It's only meant to last a few hours and it's purely for the fun of it, as it's an easy to get, easy to learn and very action packed game. If you're interested in joining, leave a comment below!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Fractal Team

Every now and then I'll come across someone in GW2 reminding me that raids and fractals are the ultimate PvE content for the most talented players. I like difficult team content, but not with random players I'll never see afterward. I've played Starcraft and League of Legends for years and I found that constantly changing teams isn't a very fruitful experience; you don't get to build a good team and make friends.

So this last weekend, I organized a fractal run with members of the guild I'm currently in, and it went very smoothly.

The first fractal we chose was Swamp, as it is considered one of the easiest. The idea was to start from the easiest and work our way up to higher levels. This is so as to give everyone time to complete their ascended armor. It's also to ensure we did not fail on the first try, something that could have discouraged team members from coming back again.

Enjoying our success, we went on to do the Thaumanova Reactor fractal. This is the one that takes place in Metrica Province. I dislike having to see Scarlett again; she's a poorly written Mary Sue that should've never been added to this game's story, but overall it's an interesting fractal with a good boss fight.

It was a pleasant event with a great team. I noticed one guild member, Cassryn, was very helpful throughout the event, which was great on his part. It's what I've been looking for, a simple guild dungeon or fractal run. We used to do these almost every day in my old guild, up until most of us quit more than a year ago.

Looking-For-Group and other automatic party matching tools are very convenient in MMO's, but sadly they're also really bad for forming long lasting groups and friendships. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep running these events!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Triple Trouble

As I was mapping Bloodtide Coast, I saw some announcements on map chat for Triple Trouble and decided to give it a try, as I had never participated in a successful event for this world boss. It's commonly believed to be the toughest, and I can see why, as it takes a lot of coordination and the time limit leaves no breathing space.

It was organized by Piken Square Dragon Hunters, a PvE guild that proved its talent during the event and was exceptionally communicative with those who weren't members of their community.

The event started off well, I hit the 4500 achievement points mark thanks to all the achievements I missed at this world boss.

However, the event failed the first time, as we couldn't kill it before the time ran out. Luckily, PSDH were able to respawn the Wurm, something I didn't know was possible.

There's three Wurms: Amber, Crimson and Cobalt. Here I was at Crimson, led by commander Ardi Veftvohl; the event involved charging three batteries with colored phytotoxins and attacking the Wurm once it became vulnerable.

 When each Wurm is slain, their heads are ripped off the ground and all there is left to do is finish them off, which is easier said than done.

 After the event was over, players gathered near the coast where it began and thanked the commanders and PSDH for organizing it. It was a lively chat all the way through; for me it's a reminder of how much I love open world content above anything else in this game.

The event's reward is 2 gold along with various drops, similarily to Tequatl. If it happened to be organized like this more often, I'd participate every day, but as it is I guess I'll have it as a weekend event from now on.