Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 10)

Exercise caution around anyone carrying a snowball.

It’s been a while since we’ve been back in Tyria. Why, I do believe it was during the Shadow of the Mad King events! Which is slightly ironic as the only reason I’m back there (temporarily) is to do the A Very Merry Wintersday events. I do enjoy these seasonal events quite a bit. Probably more than I should. We’ve traded off candy corn for snowballs and gift bags for wrapped presents but we’re still hunting for new achievements.

Which A Very Merry Wintersday seems to have by the score.

There’s no less than eighteen new (or repeated) achievements up for grabs. Everything from opening presents, to fighting crazy toys, to destroying dioramas, to a new instance available just for the festivities. That said, I feel this set of events/achievements is not as all inclusive as the Shadow of the Mad King. Mostly due to one requiring an item that you need a Lvl 35-40 character to acquire. It’s character bound and can’t be found/made elsewhere. However, it’s a minor annoyance in an otherwise enjoyable season.

It’s also nice that this set of events will take you to various parts of Tyria rather than leaving to do everything from within the confines of Lion’s Arch. There’s a travelling chef you need to track down who can appear in several locations, the main event takes place in Divinity’s Reach, and you even need to return to your home instance to face the Grawnch.

While most of the achievements can only be earned during A Very Merry Wintersday I’ve heard tell some are all year long.

Beware the toypocalypse!

Beware the toypocalypse!

I’ve also heard that the repeatable achievement can now contribute to the main achievement that awards you the title. However, there are several titles available throughout the various achievements. I’ll be trying to get as many as I can but I get the feeling I’ll be playing another 150 rounds of Toypocalypse to make up for the ones I don’t (or can’t) get. Like the PvP achievements. Which I can get, but, to be honest, PvP has never been my thing. This one is very fun, though.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the content on offer. I wasn’t really expecting something quite as large as this but it’s nice that they’ve taken the time to develop something enjoyable, thematic to Guild Wars 2, and (most importantly) festive. I’m not one to push too hard/farm for days with these kind of things- so it’s nice that a dozen hours of investment will actually yield results.

Good luck to any and all who are going for the higher requirement achievements, too!

I didn’t actually know the event was going on right now. I’ve been checking the launcher every few days to see any mention of it but I missed the first few days and so, unlike the Shadow of the Mad King events, where I was mostly finished before the post, I’m still actively playing for those achievements at the moment. Still it’s a nice end to the year, no? I had a few ideas of what I’d like to do for this particular post and this one fits almost perfectly. Now if only I could throw snowballs via a WordPress post this really would be the best post I could’ve done.

Still, I’ve always been a fan of seasonal events in any MMO. I do believe that I got quite a few- if not all- of the achievements for the World of Warcraft Christmas events. Which was called… something. It’s been about three-four years so you’ll have to forgive me there.

Have a nice Christmas, all!

Moggie

Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 9)

Have you noticed Lion’s Arch looking a little spookier than usual recently?

On top of the festivities surrounding the Shadow of the Mad King we’ve also seen the release of Heart of Thorns on the 23rd of October. While I don’t own the expansion (yet) I still get to see other characters using the new Masteries, the new class (the Revenant), and many mechanics have been rebalanced. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a fan of some of the changes to guilds and how they progress/grow in Heart of Thorns.

Mostly surrounding the new system of Favor (which replaces Influence).

While I would agree that personal bank guilds were probably not intended I do wonder why they have removed the small Influence gain from dynamic events. Or, rather, why there isn’t a small Favor gain from dynamic events. As, from what I can tell, though I could be wrong about this, the only way to gain Favor is now to do guild missions. From a social/PvP/PvE/WvW perspective I feel that the changes are positive in that you get missions per type of content. They definitely seem to be moving towards a system of progression in which different guilds can achieve success through different aims. However, it does perplex me why they haven’t replaced a small Influence gain with a small Favor gain. It’s still PvE doing content, right?

As the small Influence gain from dynamic events is what was fuelling the Bovine Appreciation Association I will likely have to abandon the guild. Or keep it but know there will be few chances (if any) for me to make any kind of progression. I’ve heard tell of possibly being able to exchange Influence for Favor but I likely won’t have enough to get anything worthwhile.

Full of sugary goodness!

Full of sugary goodness!

Shadow of the Mad King is a lot of fun, though.

Once again Guild Wars 2 has surprised me (in a good way) and has allowed me to access the content on all of my characters. For any of the characters that haven’t reached Lvl 80 they’ll be scaled up to the level cap while in the festive areas. I’m not restricted to just bringing my Mesmer if I want to make any solid progression. Equally as surprising is that you can either do the PvE or PvP portion for the last part of the A Sweet Friend achievement. It’s these little things that make such a difference.

In World of Warcraft many of the required achievements also required a character at level cap. Not a problem now as I have (or had) several- but when you first start playing it’s a lot more penalising to get involved in the events. As, even if you want to, you know you’re pretty much unable to as you won’t be allowed to enter the area(s).

Over the weekend I spent a good while collecting up Trick or Treat Bags (probably somewhere in the region of 350-400 bags), gathering candy corn (somewhere in the region of 3000+), and running through the Mad King’s Labyrinth more times than I can count. Got the Hexed Outfit for my troubles, too. Which I wanted to give to my Necromancer but is freely available (I do believe) on all of my characters should they wish to use it. That will probably do it for me. I know many of the other miniatures and whatnot are in the region of 6000-18000 candy corn and I don’t really want them that much. Or do I? No, no, I don’t- don’t start thinking you’re going to collect all that candy corn, Kairn.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Massively Multiplayer Online Moggie

It’s kind of funny to think back to when I first started playing Guild Wars.

Y’see, back then, while co-op and online multiplayer existed, it certainly didn’t exist in quite the same way. You couldn’t log into a video game and suddenly be met with hundreds of other players who were real people just like you. Most of the time when met with hundreds of players in video games they were NPCs or server spawned entities. So the idea that, simultaneously and in real time, other players were in the game with you was an odd concept. Of course, as time has progressed, and technology has advanced, this is a pretty standard thing nowadays.

I’m still amazed by that progression in technology, though.

Even though MMOs are far more common these days and you have millions of people playing them- the base technological advancements that made them possible are still fascinating. To think, in my lifetime alone, we’ve gone from sprites on cartridges to full 3D models delivered through digital channels. It’s crazy. Kind of makes you wonder where it’ll go next.

It also makes me sound a lot older than I actually am. But, back on point, Guild Wars was an experience as I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into at the time. I didn’t think that I’d be actively working with other people, helping other people, and completing objectives with other people. Having played a number of single player titles up until that point I was only slightly used to cooperative play. These experiences led onto the years to come when I would take on World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2.

I’m certainly more used to MMOs these days. Many single player titles have taken inspiration and inherited mechanics from MMOs (mostly around crafting systems), while they’re more abundant than they were, and there are more for different universes. Many major titles or series end up trying the MMO market once or twice in their time too. Final Fantasy has put out two now and I don’t think XIV will be their last, either. Equally some titles (like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning) were apparently built as MMOs originally and then converted to single player. That and the fact that most single player titles feature either full campaign multiplayer, arena style multiplayer, or mission based multiplayer as well.

However, the reason I’m putting out this post is to inform you all of what’s happening next with the two MMO related series on Moggie @ WordPress. The first, SW:TOR The Jal’Frezi Legacy, will likely be on hold for some time to come as I don’t know when I’m next going to pick it up. I fully intend to go back to it, but when I do, and if I start posting about it immediately, are open to interpretation. Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels while far from over is slowing down with many of the characters moving into straight levelling.

We’re ahead of the curve a little on crafting disciplines now so I can afford to make equipment for my characters, to spend less time farming materials, and to spend more time moving towards whatever goals I have in store for them. In either case they’re not over and they will return- I just don’t know/can’t say when that will be.

As always, I try to balance the content I put out so there’s a little of something for everyone. I also try not to sit on topics for too long (they might melt).

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 8)

“Now you see me, now you don’t- now you’re on fire.” -Kairn

While we’ve spoken at length about the current state of (and future plans for) the guild, the locations I’ve searched for while levelling, the character professions I’ve chosen, and many other things while on these most humble Tyrian Travels there’s one thing missing- the characters themselves. So, let’s get to know the various builds I’ve chosen for the characters who have been making the push to Lvl 40 (and beyond) where they will be starting their personal story chapters soon.

Kairn (the Mesmer) uses a scepter and torch to provide mid-long range offence, which, with the Illusions traits, allows for chain shattering to blanket foes with AoE condition damage. His affixes afford him greater health and toughness allowing him to switch to a sword and trade blows toe to toe. Likewise, Auri (the Guardian) uses a staff for decent AoE damage and pairs this with her Virtues to cause severe burning damage. However, she also has bonuses to healing power and her buffing capabilities allowing her to fill a support role. Gaen (the Ranger) pairs a longbow with pet related skills to allow them to fight as one, taking slight advantage of condition damage, but going straight damage mostly with increased power and precision.

Daxi (the Elementalist) has shuffled her weapons around a lot. However, I finally settled on a combination of Earth and Water with a scepter and dagger. She also employs two different elementals along with a whole heaping of buffing capability. Kaendar (the Warrior) employs a mixture of close-long range brute force. His hammer skills allow for control of opponents, and, with the Defense traits, he becomes even tougher and harder to kill. Likewise his second set rifle gives him the ability to snipe enemies from a distance. Both are built for straight damage output.

"This far, no further."

“This far, no further.”

The above builds only apply to the five core character slots so far.

I’m still in the process of levelling the Necromancer and figuring out what I want from that profession. The Thief falls somewhere between the five core characters and the Necromancer, in that, I know what I want from her, but I need to spend a little longer with the profession building that same confidence and rhythm the others have. Still, not bad so far.

Other major developments include the Chef crafting discipline reaching its maximum level recently. Now I can cook anything I want! If only I knew what I wanted to cook. Then again, upon reaching 400, a lot of recipes still exist but they’re all for you to discover by bringing together maximum level crafting ingredients. While the other crafting disciplines all fall between 250-375 with the Jeweler nearly at maximum level as well. Most of these recipes (and the ingredients required) are now Lvl 60 which sets up nicely for the next levelling runs.

Kairn reached Lvl 80 recently, too.

Equally, I’m nearly done with his personal story. However, for the time being, I am going to hold off until I can either make or buy a full Lvl 80 set of armour and weapons as I think going in to the final chapter with my current gear would be a mistake. Not a little one, either. But that’s a pretty big development as I can finally farm any material found in levelling zones now. Which is going to be incredibly beneficial to levelling the remainder of the crafting disciplines to 400, as, to be honest, I think 400 is a good stopping point as I’m pretty sure after that there’s only ascended recipes.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 7)

I wonder how much ectoplasm (in weight) it takes to make up one Glob of Ectoplasm.

I’m thinking that it’d take quite a bit. Then again, they do seem somewhat plentiful and they seem to be in all manner of things- so maybe not so much. Maybe they don’t conform to the same definitions of weight we would use in the physical realms. Maybe they do. Maybe I’m thinking too hard about this and should just indulge in their purple-y goodness.

Crafting is something that continues ever onwards for the patrons and contributors of the Bovine Appreciation Association. For those unaware, as I haven’t exactly referred to it by name before, that’s the name of my guild. One of my guilds (another personal guild) in Guild Wars was named after my love of cats, so, it felt only right that this one should be related to cows, as another cat related guild would have been too simple to do. These are the kinds of decisions that I never want to make, though. Just in case I don’t like the end result.

However, the only thing I wish different for this guild is an actual cow emblem. But that’s a minor detail.

Chef is still the most successful discipline and just shy of 400, now. While the Weaponsmith and Jeweler both edged over 300. With the Tailor, Armorsmith, Leatherworker, and Huntsman all trailing just shy of 200. Three of the latter four are trailing due to Cotton Scraps, which, like Jute Scraps before them, are proving to be quite elusive. Huntsman is trailing due to a lack of Seasoned Wood Logs which is mostly due to me not being in those zones recently. That said, I’ve got a good number of characters who can go out to collect those materials while levelling soon. So I don’t really worry too much about Huntsman as it requires two things that are abundantly available.

Once the majority edge past 400 (apart from Chef and Jeweler who stop there) I’ll be happy with the crafting. The last points seem to be mostly related to either exotic or ascended gear, while new materials are not usually used, and those that are are parts of the crafting discipline itself, so we’ll have covered the bulk of the work by then.

The Mesmer, Kairn, recently passed Lvl 70 and is now working towards varied objectives in some of the highest level zones available.

He also went through five chapters of his personal story (in a chunk) which net him nearly six levels. This was an unexpected experience gain on his part and it changes the way I’ll approach the personal story with the others. I’ll probably start their personal story around Lvl 40-45. Get them some experience, items, and a bit of help along the levelling process. However, it was a happy unexpected occurrence. Unlike falling down that chasm in Mount Maelstrom, which, while it didn’t kill me, brought several elementals out to play. (Which also didn’t kill me.)

We’ve also welcomed the last of the characters (the Necromancer) into the fold recently. While I originally hoped for him to be a minion master I wasn’t too impressed with the minions, or their abilities, and so he’s testing out a close range AoE build. Inflicting several conditions but also hitting like a freight train at the same time.

Finally, regarding the above recording, I figured it would be more effective (and a little more explanatory) than another screenshot. Recorded it Saturday afternoon so it’s not fully up to date (like Kairn being pre-Lvl 70) but still relevant.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 6)

It’s time for a shake up!

Though, if I were you, I wouldn’t put Charr into a bag and shake them up- that would probably lead to several bouts of mauling and maiming. Unfortunately, the Guardian that has been so prominently featured in the Tyrian Travels series will be leaving us soon. It’s a tough call to make as she is one of my Lvl 50 characters but I feel it needs to be done. I’m not usually one to delete characters (especially the very first ones I make) but server limits, her current set of traits and skills, and other factors make this a slightly necessary action.

This means that the Mesmer will take the place of the original (and best) of my characters now.

The reasons for the shake up are few but valid (in my opinion). I’ve spent a day or so collecting materials and building her a whole new set of gear, then another day testing out a solid skill set, and then (after taking her out to a Lvl 50 area) realised it didn’t really work out. I’m not entirely sure what is wrong with her (but I could guess) but there’s something wrong.

It comes to something when, even with the range bonuses, a lightly armoured Mesmer can take down several Lvl 54s at Lvl 51, yet a Guardian struggles to fight more than one thing at a time without some degree of difficulty. I suspect, as the class is solid, that the problem lies with the way I’ve built her. Most likely due to the fact that I made several (likely poor) decisions about her traits and skills over time and so she’s kind of watered down. She could be doing more- but she isn’t- and it’s likely I could salvage her but I wonder if it is really worth it. To bring her into the realms of staff wielding (the only weapon she hasn’t tried) is possible, but, unless I collect every Hero Point on the map, it’s going to hinder her for quite some time to come.

Getting to Piken Square was half the battle after the Searing. Getting away from it again was the other half.

Getting to Piken Square was half the battle after the Searing. Getting away from it again was the other half.

That said, there will be a replacement Guardian.

I’ve managed to get the new Guardian to nearly the same crafting discipline levels as the old one right out of the gate (with about 20-50 points difference overall). So her crafting disciplines are fine, she managed to get to Lvl 15 just by crafting items from creation, and she’s wielding a staff which is actually working out quite well.

On the brighter side of the news- the Mesmer finally found Piken Square! Or what was left of it. It wasn’t really as impressive as I’d expected, it also seems a little more southward than anticipated, and a bit smaller. Still, at least I know it exists. He’s also up to Lvl 60 so he’ll be doing all of his personal story bits and pieces soon! I’ve also been lurking in the Gem Store after getting a good price on a 2000 Gem card. Bought the Living World Season Two pack while it was on sale and picked up the seventh, and final, character slot reserved for a Necromancer.

While my other classes (the Ranger, Elementalist, Warrior, and Thief) are all at Lvl 31, too.

This is the first soft cap for their levelling process as they’ll unlock their Elite skills around then. Which means, if nothing else, their build will be solid and they’ll have access to their entire build options. The Necromancer will likely be made a little later after the Guardian reaches at least Lvl 31 as well. Hoping to get her to Lvl 50 rather quickly to replace the lost Guardian.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 5)

The collection is almost complete.

With the acquisition of a character slot from the Gem Store I’ve added a sixth (and almost final) character to my account- the Thief! It was a tough call between a Thief and an Engineer as they’re both solid classes, both wear medium armour, and both have a great deal of utility. But they have profession mechanics which work somewhat differently to the other professions. The Thief employs the Initiative system, for instance. Each of their skills costs an amount of Initiative to use but few if any feature cooldowns- so they can be chained together to deadly effect- but you might leave yourself unable to act if you use too many.

Likewise, the Engineer features the Tool Belt mechanic. This allows all of their equipped non-weapon skills to be used with a slightly different effect in addition to their usual use, which, while it provides a lot of utility, is a system that’s slightly confusing to anticipate how it would work. I’m sure that explanation made no sense, either!

For those who’ve read Guild Wars 2: Tyrian Travels (Pt. 3) you might be wondering why I went without Heart of Thorns.

It's important to stay hydrated.

It’s important to stay hydrated.

Well, the reasons are many fold. I bought my copy of Guild Wars 2 as a digital key and I was lucky to find a retailer that still held keys for the core game (as I assume they’re going to disappear eventually once Heart of Thorns becomes the edition to have). Secondly, access to the bulk of the content is in Maguuma Jungle after Lvl 80. Thirdly there is the Living World Season Two. The last two reasons are tied together, as, without completing all of the existing content, I won’t be able to access content in the correct order. So there really isn’t a rush to get Heart of Thorns.

That and the preorder bonuses don’t really appeal to me. Access to the beta events leaves me wondering if I would be able to actually do the events, as, again, I have no characters currently at Lvl 80. Got two around Lvl 50 but that’s about it. The title would be nice- but I hardly consider it an essential purchase. While I can upgrade to the Deluxe Edition via the Gem Store later if I want.

There are a few things I would like from the Gem Store, however. Like the aforementioned Living World Season Two (which was on sale recently). As I see it, even if I were to spend £60 on there, which I probably couldn’t as I don’t think I want that much, that’s still only the equivalent of six months of subscription costs on a usual subscription based MMO. When I think about how much I spent on World of Warcraft subscription costs (which I don’t begrudge spending)- £60 seems like peanuts. Still, I would likely only pick up a couple more things. Like the extra content and maybe one more character slot. I really enjoy the look of the Necromancer. One of those professions from the first Guild Wars that was a pleasant surprise for me.

This is a different type of post for this series, as, while it hasn’t delved into the adventures of our fine folks, it has talked about what goes on under the hood as it were. Also, as noted in the first post, it is to be expected that eventually things will slow down. Not to say that the series is dying- far from it- just that we’ll have slower laid back posts at times, too.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie