Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
The new Guild Wars 2 Atlas is a beautiful and finely made example of a modern website. It capitalizes on the popularity, functionality, and usefulness of Google Maps. And while I feel it is well made, one thing I find it doesn’t do is what it’s supposed to do.
The Atlas is supposed to be a resource for recapping the storyline.
Through the “Living World Atlas,” users explore this storyline as it unfolded in the game through videos, art, screenshots, audio clips and other content.
But for the most part, it doesn’t do that. There are a number of flaws I’ll touch on briefly to illustrate why.
- No information. Only the most basic details are given. Descriptions beneath concept art and screenshots consist of a singular sentence to describe what they’re showing.
- No context. Why is this location important or notable?
- No relevance. Some locations do not correlate with their dot.
- Chronology. There is little to no indication of time.
So how do we make the Atlas something people might actually want to spend time on?
I’d start with the obvious, like features that Google Maps uses. Where google maps uses roads to draw a line from point A to point B, I’d use a timeline that is colour coded by release and draw that line between relevant dots. The Tyrian calendar, real world dates, or just release titles would be great.
I’d also add much more detail. The specific people involved, why they were there, why the location is important. The point of a website meant to recap living story is to recap the living story so lets make sure to recap the living story on the living story recap website.
I think I’d also be much more thorough, there seem to be just a few sections in the library for the past few updates and then one big section for every release before Edge of the Mists. I think there should be a section for each release. It doesn’t have to be large, just a few screenshots with detailed descriptions of why they’re important. I’m not asking for every pesky detail like Scarlet having a rocket powered yak drawing in her lair, but the fact that we found her lair and got much loots? Sure.
Some updates are entirely left out. No Halloween, Wintersday, Super Adventure Box? They had storylines, why do they not get any mention? I’d love a way to remember which Halloween had what events at some point in the distant future.
Altogether I’m not a big fan of the Atlas. I’d much more like for there to be some form of in game implementation for this kind of thing. A menu option alike to Personal Story, book items we can read short stories in instead of at GuildWars2.com, longer NPC dialogue trees. All of that is superior to some out of game resource (excepting the wiki, all hail the glorious wiki) that takes me outside the game.
And I know it’s not quite the same thing but how about some work put into features like a web-based guild chat or other cool apps that may or may not have been mentioned in the distant past.
Maybe some people like this thing, I don’t know. I like that they released a screen shot this way, and I understand why they stopped doing the upcoming release pages (to drive traffic to MMO fan sites and recapture a little publicity from those places) but for me this thing doesn’t fly. Not everything has to be for me though.
Honestly I got more enjoyment out of this poster Arenanet put on their Flickr page.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
What is this whole Scarlet thing about anyway? I’ve got my silly theory about Ellen Kiel, but it didn’t really dig into what Scarlet is attempting to do. There are a few different possibilities and I haven’t read any spoilers or much of any other theories, so I’m sure I’ll be wrong in the end, but it’s fun to try to figure things out.
Yeah it’s another completely speculation filled post based on lore, but what are you going to do? Spoilers ahead? Maybe?
I guess we start as far back as we can go. I don’t mean all the training Scarlet partook in however, we can skip that. That’s all just to illustrate the point that she’s quite clever. I’m more interested in other evidence like the Journal you got from the code fragments during Origins of Madness. She doesn’t seem to have completely rejected the pale tree at this point, as she is seeing a mender about her nightmares, but she somehow has drawn the attention of a powerful entity.
I wake from nightmares—screaming, confused, and scared. It’s getting wOrse. I’ve decided to talk to a mender. I’ve probably just been working too hard.
Every night, the same terrors. It never changes. The mender was unable to help Me, and I feel like I’m losing control of myself.
When the nightmare starts, an entity calls to me. I run—run into a sea of dArkness. But no matter how hard I try to escape, it keeps calling me.
I’m trying not to sleep—too scareD to even close my eyes… So scared. Whispers come from the forest all night long, calling me, taunting me, possessing me.
Tonight, I saw it. I started into the abyss, anD it stared back at me. So much power. I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t anymore.
Control of my world, of myself, is slipping through my hands. And yet, I’m no longer scared.
It communicated with me through images of death, destruction, and destiny. I must know more. I must confront it and put an end to this madness.
That’s when she goes off to confront said entity via Omadd in What Scarlet Saw.
There’s a couple conclusions we can draw from the short story.
What Scarlet craves most is independence, to forge her own destiny.
“My people don’t have to take what we’re given, or be what we were “born to be.” No people do. We can change the rules… well, I can. And I’m going to.”
The prevailing theory is that the Pale Tree is much alike to Glint, in that it is a minion of a dragon that has broken free of its control. And that the Pale Tree created sylvari to fight dragons. Sylvari resistance to corruption being evidence towards this.
An insurmountable challenge is rising, and my people have been called to meet it. We are compelled by our creator to do so.
“But I reject that call. I reject the notion that that I must choose the Dream or be lost to Nightmare. The forces that push us this way or that can be redirected. They can be set against one another to the detriment of both, and now I know how.”
She doesn’t want to be for the dragons or against them, but set both sides against each other. Can she maintain her sanity and her independence after confronting the entity? Marjory doesn’t think so after reviewing some of the evidence gathered at the Dead End Bar.
Scarlet Briar: Ever since I came out of Omadd’s machine, you’ve been taking credit for my ideas. They are mine! Not yours.
Scarlet Briar: Let me be clear. I’m not doing this for you; I’m doing it for me. Nobody tells me what to do. Not ever.
Scarlet Briar: It’s not true. None of it. I don’t have to listen to you. Get out of my head!
Marjory Delaqua: I wonder if the voices in her head are real? What if what she saw in Omadd’s machine grabbed hold of her?
Marjory Delaqua: Scarlet rejected the Pale Tree because she wanted independence. What if Omadd’s machine cost her that?
Marjory Delaqua: Ironic that she rejected the Pale Tree to exert her independence, only to lose it to something else.
Scarlet and the entities endgame seem to align with each other. Is that because the entity has manipulated her or because they seek the same thing?
Okay so obviously, spoiler alert, the entity must be a dragon. Obviously. We know that powerful entities like the Pale Tree have a cognitive presence in the Eternal Alchemy and we already suspect that the Pale Tree is a dragon minion. So what other creatures could be found and confronted there but dragons?
And what do dragons want? They want to consume magic. The Zhaitan storyline made that very clear, particularly the mouths that fed the dragon, and the asura professor that proved that magic levels are lower due to dragons. Thaumanova helped her figure out where the ley lines were, and the probes helped her figure out where the magic was most powerful. So this entity wants Scarlet to drill into Lion’s Arch towards a crossing of ley lines, a source of powerful magic. The dragon wants to eat Lion’s Arch, for lack of a better description. But what does Scarlet want?
Is she so far gone that she can’t see that the dragon is manipulating her, or does she have plans of her own? Does she want to tap that power herself? Use it to become all powerful, perhaps a dragon herself? Or does she want to use it to destroy the dragons, and therefore end the cycle of destruction that they have wrought?
And which dragon is this? I think the answer can be sussed out. Which dragon would have more of a connection with a sylvari than any other? The dragon that created the Pale Tree, the dragon of forests and jungles. Scarlet even mentions that “whispers come from the forest”. So in a word, Mordremoth.
So yeah. Scarlet. I think she seems like she wants to change the world, maybe even for the better, but she doesn’t give a fig if anybody dies in order for her to achieve her goals. She’s crazy, but I don’t like to dismiss characters motivations just because they’re crazy. Sometimes crazy people think they’re the hero, or that they’re doing the right thing. Maybe Scarlet thinks that. Or maybe the dragon, whichever one it is, is in full control.
Obviously there are some big spoilers floating around the ether, I’ve avoided them as best I can, but I’m sure some of this is already known to be wrong. But personally I think this is a lot more fun than already knowing the answers.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I was thinking about ascended crafting the other day and it seems pretty likely we’ll have ascended jewelry before too long, we’ve had the Xunlai Electrum Ingot storage space for ages. What I haven’t seen a hint of is ascended cooking. Surely there will be some form of ascended foods right?
Well the short answer is not necessarily. There are no ascended potions from artificer, and no ascended crafting storage spaces for anything that looks like food. Which is a damn shame really, ascended potions and foods could be a way of fixing a bunch of things that I don’t like or are missing from foods and potions.
For instance I want longer lasting food and potions. Most level 80 items last 30 minutes, but I think the majority of content in Guild Wars 2 tends to last longer than a half hour. I’d like to see more foods with 45 minute and 1 hour timers. This could be a way to progress cooking up to 500, with 45 minute recipes helping people get to 450, and 1 hour recipes at 500.
Then again I wonder what effect the Metabolic Primer cash shop item would have on that idea. It specifically makes foods last longer. Great for those 12 hour gameplay sessions. I joke, but yeah, I’ve done that.
Another thing I’d like to see foods and potions do is shed the experience gain. The vast majority give you +10% experience, +15% experience, no experience gain at all, or a very few give +5% karma. I think there is a lot of room to grow here.
First of all why not open up the number of foods that boost karma? The few that do universally also give +Healing Power. There are plenty of stats people might want to use with a karma food. Not to mention with significant nerfs to karma gain, there would be no harm in more karma foods.
And why not expand on the number of things these foods might boost. Omnomberry Bars boost gold find, along with a small number of other foods. But we could also add percentage gains to such things as World XP, Guild Influence, a Gathering Bonus maybe even agony resistance. I’m sure there’s quite a few other stat combinations and proc possibilities that could be used as well. There is no lack of experience in Guild Wars 2 so I’d definitely like to see more variety.
On a more speculative note, most high level foods have 2 stats and an xp boost. Would there be more room for celestial foods, for 3 stats and a boost, other combinations? More Dragon’s Revelry Starcake please.
Finally I think trays, pots, and feasts could probably be cleaned up a bit, with more affordable recipes, and a larger variety of choice. Not to mention so little documentation, I can’t even find Pot of Meat and Winter Vegetable Stew on the wiki. Can we throw some of the recipes out as a reward once in a while? The recipe for Pot of Orrian Truffle Soup costs over 4g for the Bottles of Elonian Wine alone.
And of course, why are there no kegs for potions? Why can’t I share my potion wealth without having to organize who sends what potion to who due to in game mail suppression. And why don’t potions count towards the Thirst Slayer achievement? And Metabolic Primer doesn’t work on potions? Potions really get the short end of the stick. Ridiculous.
I don’t see any reason cooking shouldn’t be given the ascended treatment, or why potions have been left out.
There are plenty of food and potions that could use a kick in the pants in the demand department. Ascended cooking would certainly mean an opportunity to start consuming cooking materials. For example I think potions could use a daily feast type daily. There must be hundreds of thousands of potions selling below the costs of their production, he said without having done a single minute of any actual research at all. Although I doubt higher grade potion ingredients really need a jump start to their prices.
I’m sure lovers of this particular crafting profession are keen to see some action. To be honest I’m keen to make some money off of price spikes since my cooking tab is nearly full. That doesn’t mean I’m not 100% behind it on principle of course. Come on Arenanet, don’t forget about cooking and potions.
Final post script, perfect opportunity to add Fishing to the game!? Probably not.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’m not really the type of person who like to talk about themselves. That’s probably why I’ve never really indulged in blog posts about my characters, what armour they’re wearing, what builds they’re using, their race, whether they have a back story, or anything else.
I guess I think of online games as a chance to hang out with people, not as a way to lose myself in a fantasy world. My characters, generally speaking, are me. Carrowmore, is my dps warrior, not a male sylvari with a heart of gold seeking vengeance against the Lychcroft Mere lich.
But I see a lot of people who make posts about their main or alt, and they seem to enjoy it, so I figure I may as well. This should be the first part of an 8 part series, probably taking place over the course of several months.
This is Carrowmore. He’s a male sylvari with a heart of gold seeking vengeance against the Lychcroft Mere lich. No, I’m kidding. I named him after the ancient Irish crypt of the same name. I already have a ranger with carrow in the name, Rosecarrow, so when I stumbled upon the name of this crypt it seemed appropriate.
His armour is from Twilight Arbor and I’m pretty terrible about dying armour so he’s dyed along the same lines as his skin, a light blue with white tinge. I had to have a sylvari with all TA armour didn’t I? I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement. That’s the Mystic Claymore he’s wielding. I suppose I should start work on a legendary greatsword for him, or an ascended, but since I can’t decide between those two options right now, an exotic is fine. Come on precursor crafting.
I said I don’t indulge in giving my characters much personality but that’s not entirely true. In Carrowmore’s case he’s constantly talking about “gaining adrenaline”, particularly when he’s losing adrenaline. That makes me think of him as a bit of a nut, or a dolt. Constantly getting things wrong, but not in any way that matters.
I promised a post on inventory, so I figured I’d combine that with this character series. To start with, ignore the angry bird in the upper left corner of the screenshot.
My personal ideal of bag space is 88 spaces. It’s the square size of the inventory UI that fits perfectly for me. Two 20 slot bags, two 15 slot bags, and an 18 slot bag. One invisible bag to protect things I wouldn’t want to accidentally sell.
Starting in the upper left, my salvage kits. A must for proper inventory maintenance. Luck essences really require a great deal of salvaging these days, not to mention the need for silk or other materials.
Then there’s the long list of food consumables. I like a good range from cheap, to utility, to expensive. Steak and Asparagus used to be so ridiculously cheap, I’m going to have to find a similar but more affordable alternative. Superior Sharpening Stones is one of only a couple viable options for potions so I don’t skimp on price. Meat and Winter Vegetable Stew is great for dodging, always bring that for emergency dodging situations, even to the point where I started buying the Pot of Meat and Winter Vegetable Stew for group situations. Dragonfly Cupcakes for magic find, cheaper than Omnomberry Bars. Dragon’s Breath Buns for critical strike damage on a critical strike warrior.
Then we have 2 environmental weapons. The Fire Elemental Powder for emergency DPS, and the Experimental Teleportation Gun for emergency teleporting.
To finish out the top World XP boosters and 25 quartz waiting to be made into 1 charged quartz crystal.
Beginning the bottom portion of the inventory, gathering tools are self explanatory, such a pain to be gathering and run out. A Hall of Monuments portal stone, probably unnecessary but I do occasionally go up there. The Lightning Kite from the Zephyr Sanctum living story content. A 2 week golem banker that you get from the Digital Deluxe edition of Guild Wars 2, don’t ask me why I haven’t used it, I don’t know.
Then there’s the weapons. All level 80 exotics, some named, some crafted. Siren’s Call, Arc, Pearl Sabre, Fractal Mace, Scorchrazor’s Fist, Pearl Reaver, Beacon of Light, Pearl Shell. I imagine the HoM skins might replace some of the pearl stuff.
Then there’s an exotic earring bought with karma, can’t salvage so I may as well keep it around if I need to switch up some stats for some reason, same for the ascended ring, and the Galea helm you get from character creation.
So yeah. That’s Carrowmore. I typically play him in dungeons these days, though I’m concerned for the upcoming changes to critical damage.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’m trying to get back into the regular swing of posting so I suppose I should comment on the new WvW map Edge of the Mists.
Overall I’m honestly surprised at the quality of it. It addresses a lot of my personal concerns regarding WvW, has plenty of new mechanics to make things more interesting, it’s beautiful and fun to explore, and I think it makes the PvP more interesting in a few ways.
To start with, my long term gripe with WvW is all the running. You run here, you run there, depending on what’s going on you won’t necessarily run into other zergs. Just take camp, take tower, take camp, take tower. The distances between locations alone are enough to drive me crazy.
In EOTM everything seems much closer together. I can’t exactly measure out the distances but it certainly feels like less of a chore. A lot of the supply generators are much closer to towers or keeps. Not that that is even a concern most of the time since if you own the generator that is closest, it feeds the supply depot inside the tower or keep with supply automagically.
And as someone who likes defending things that means a huge improvement over other WvW maps since siege weapons can be built quickly. Not only that but cannon and mortar emplacements appear when you take a location and can be built if you haven’t brought blueprints. It’s a great way to encourage defense. I hate being inside a BL or EB tower with no siege or supply and being able to do absolutely nothing. With these new mechanics one person can build multiple siege before an enemy zerg shows up, and with multiple doors to most places, allies can get in and help out while a place is under attack.
Another change that makes things interesting is the inability to upgrade doors and walls. That really pushes the responsibility for defense on to building siege and keeping scouts and defenders at the locations you want to keep. What does upgrading doors really do but make people spend more time butting their heads against a wall. PvDoor as they say.
And I really enjoy some of the special mechanics in each respective area, though some could be more useful. For instance I don’t think the Air Grenades from the airport are particularly great but I like the Altar’s tranformation into a ball of lightning that can knock people around. I haven’t had as much of a chance to check out the devourer transformation or wurm tunnels from Badlands to comment, but I do like all of the Overgrowth mechanics and virtually none of the Frostreach ones. Koda’s Armour (a 10% reduction in damage acquired at forge) is nice but I feel like it’s such a pain to go collect.
And I guess that leads into a bunch of other things I don’t like, mostly small things, mostly stuff that doesn’t detract from the fact that I really like the map overall.
I don’t like how the keep waypoint is both never available and not useful anyway. It’s way too easy to make the thing contested, a few roamers just wandering by the vicinity of the walls sets it off. It may as well not even be there, at least in the case of Frostreach. In that part of the map if you’re going to collect supply and get Koda’s Armour it ends up being pretty much the same distance from either wp.
I realize that red team is usually the low scorer, needs the most help, but I feel like they have a big advantage on this map. More so than in the other WvW maps. Better unique mechanics, easier to defend, and a simplistic layout. Frostreach is like the minotaur’s labyrinth compared to Overgrowth. Part of me applauds that move, red typically needs help, but part of me is annoyed by the momentary lapses I have in sense of direction while in Frostreach. I actually really like Frostreach, it’s way more interesting, but organizing elsewhere must be so much easier.
Another thing I’m not a fan of is just how often you can get knocked off the side. It just bugs me that one person with one skill can take out multiple people if they so wish and in so many places.
Also some places are insanely easy to defend. As an example Inferno’s Needle with proper siege and an organized group has little hope of being taken, and the walk around leaves such ample time to prepare that I’ve seen groups fight over it for an hour, the only way to take the place is by surprise.
Which sort of leads into my final gripe, the layout. I’m not talking about the confusing aspect of some paths here, I’m talking about stuff like Frostreach keep. God forbid you lose Frostreach, because retaking it might not be worth your effort. Anyone holding that keep has better access to supply than you do, and it takes them less time to get to it. They can destroy access points to the keep easily, and they can make you go through 3 doors on the most direct route inside, unless you want to go through the zig zag layout that is a death trap. In my opinion you should always have some form of advantage to retake your own keep, but the number of times I’ve seen a pro group just dominating it is silly.
It’s a great map with big improvements for WvW that I hope are transferred over to the other maps or into new maps as soon as possible. Unfortunately I think we all know that won’t come for a while, which is a damn shame.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
The one thing we can count on 100% going forward in Guild Wars 2 is new zones, whether in an expansion or not. There’s nothing like an expansion to hit players in the feels, but as I’ve said I’m not sure we’ll get one.
Forgetting that for a second, where would new zones be, what would be in them and how many? Hold on to your hats as I regale you with some incredibly mundane and obvious conclusions!
I think Arenanet probably want to have all their zones connected to their already existing world, which would probably rule out Cantha. It would mean a lot of undersea zones just to get to Cantha and underwater is not popular with the playerbase.
But aside from that is something I commented on in the blog not too long ago. The Desert. There are precious few traditional desert settings in Guild Wars 2. It’s almost as if it were being avoided on purpose. I think the lore changes that made the Maguuma Jungle of the original Guild Wars into the Maguuma Wastes is a clue to that. I think they set aside these areas in case they decided not to go to the Crystal Desert when they finally started working on an expansion. A second desert, in a different area is a nice backup if you have already decided on a desert setting.
The new maps we’ve been introduced to can be looked at as evidence. Southsun Cove, the Labrythine Cliffs, and the upcoming Edge of the Mists all have rocky, arid, desert-like settings. I have no doubt Arenanet won’t shy away from creating more familiar zones that are arctic, tropical, or other settings, but a true desert isn’t a place we’ve explored in Tyria yet.
Desert would also provide a vast change in visuals and atmosphere, a palette cleanser. We have 6 icy mountain zones, 6 jungle zones, 6 in ascalon, 4 in kryta. Arenanet has been pretty uniform about the number of zones per climate it uses. Arenanet can build 5 or 6 desert zones, red rock canyons, savannah grasslands, rolling sand dunes without it starting to feel samey.
So whether its west through the Maguuma Wastes or south to the Crystal Desert, it’s going to be desert. And of course in either direction, we’ll focus on a specific dragon.
If we’re going to the Crystal Desert there is Kralkatorrik. The Dragonbrand is an excellent fantasy concept when you think about it, very audacious, and visually stunning at times. It’s used in parts of 3 zones (one of which, Iron Marches, is probably the most empty zone in the game) so I would say it’s actually got a lot of room to be fleshed out and expanded upon. Perhaps we could even expect to see an entire zone dominated by the Dragonbrand.
If we go west, Mordremoth. A dragon we know little about. A perfect opportunity for Arenanet to push their hype train.
But then not all new zones would be in the desert. I think we could easily see various zones around the map, the pact advancing into new territories dominated by any of the dragons. I don’t think new content would ignore Jormag, Primordus, etc. So I think we can count on more variations on climate/regions that we’ve already seen.
Arenanet has said off-handedly at one point or another that they’re pretty much done with hearts. High level open world PvE content is stuff like Orr, which is all event based. I think we have to use zones like Cursed Shore, Malchor’s Leap, Straits of Devestation, Southsun Cove and Hirathi Hinterlands to judge what new zones would be like, along with various aspects of the living story.
For instance the rolling battlefields of Straits and Hirathi, the beachhead situations in Malchors and Cursed. Zones very much designed around events that lead into one another more than in lower levels. Events in Guild Wars 2 often act like a chain, but I would be so happy to see them act more like a tree, branching off. I’m not sure there are many other ways to progress the mechanic of event chains in this game.
Also, I think world bosses will often be more fully integrated in to the zone as a whole, hopefully with rewards designed to be integral and important like obsidian shards from Balthazar. I would think there would have to be a need to go there and interact in these zones beyond the reward of a couple of rares. CoE and CoF both have event chains you have to do to access the dungeon, could world bosses play into a new dungeon?
I think Arenanet needs to push what their events can do in an expansion. So world bosses and other events would have to be something aside from a pure dps race. The changes made to the Grenth event, the new Great Jungle Wurm event, Tequatl, Karka queen, they’re using some pretty distinct mechanics. I’m sure there will be plenty of defense, escort, and attack events but I think we all need to see a lot more diversity at this point. I don’t think events will be as hard as Tequatl but I think we’ll definitely see something that requires more than auto-attack.
Hopefully these zones would utilize the karma system more fully, with more unique rewards in each zone. For me, the orrian jewelry boxes in Orr were a missed opportunity. They should have only been available from outposts that you had to attack, maintain, and defend.
But is that enough? Can Arenanet rest on what they’re already doing?
I feel like an expansion would probably have plenty of new features, some twist on what they’re already doing to draw people in. All the things people ask for reliably like housing, polymock, guild halls, etc. Dare I suggest mounts before being kicked in the teeth by mount haters? No but seriously I’d love mounts. You know you want money Arenanet. You like the money. Smell that mount money. Smell it!
Few games release expansions that have as many zones as the original launch. I mean the only example I can think of is… oh. Right. Guild Wars. Har har.
Even so I don’t think an expansion would approach what Guild Wars did.
Obviously we’d probably get new zones for a new race, a city to tell their personal story, give that race flavour, history, and a background. Would there be new leveling zones? A new race would need new leveling zones to keep people entertained (you don’t introduce a new race and then force people into old and busted zones) but the bulk of the original Guild Wars was focused on max level characters. Perhaps as few as 4 zones could be added to level a new race, while the rest would be targeted at max level characters.
How many max level zones? That’s impossible to say considering the down leveling mechanic. Straits of Devestation isn’t even technically a max level zone. Then there’s the whole question of increasing the level cap which I’m not going to get into, this whole area is a big question mark.
However, I think there would have to be zones that focus on and feature any new terrain, settings, wildlife, foliage, etc, so we can make a few guesses at how many zones.
- Classic sand/rocks desert. I’ll be bold and say 6 new desert type zones of various climate and level range. There are a myriad number of different desert landscapes on Earth, I have no doubt Arenanet could make them look as diverse as they have their jungle areas. Arenanet really likes that half dozen number.
- Ice and snow. Do we completely ignore the other dragons in an expansion? Probably not. judging by a lot of the art used in edge of the mists I’d expect a fair amount of kodan, maybe even an entire zone dedicated to them. Frankly the whole Frostreach area tends to make me rethink kodan as a stronger contender for a new race than I had before. They’re still behind tengu though.
- The number of Krytan zones messes with my OCD. I could understand another one being added. At least one that advances against the centaurs, or perhaps that would take place in a more snowy Modiniir climate. We don’t fight high level centaurs anywhere, you can fight undead from level 5 to 80, but not centaurs or a few other enemy types. Honestly hope I’m wrong about this one. I hate those flea bags.
- Tengu. The tengu need at least one zone tailored and inspired by their race and lore. I’d imagine a lot of inspiration from Cantha in architecture, some kind of vertical aerie would be great to see for their city. Ultimately it would probably be a jungle zone as well. The Overgrowth areas of EOTM could be seen as pointing to the tengu possibly. Lots of overgrowth on those dominion walls in Caledon/Kessex.
- That said, there are a few models in the overgrowth areas of EOTM that remind me of things found in the west of the orignial Guild Wars. In any case I would guess there would be one jungle zone aside from tengu.
- Underwater. I know I said a lot of people don’t like underwater, but I do, and maybe this is just wishful thinking but one entire zone of underwater would be pretty cool.
- Dragonbrand.* It’s used in 3 previous zones but if we’re going after Kralkatorrik then I would have to expect an entirely warped and crystallized zone.
- Mordremoth inspired.* I expect since Zhaitan had 3 zones of unique undead ruins, and Kralkatorrik has the brand, each dragon will most likely have some kind of unique landscape to corrupt.
*One or the other or maybe both? Who can say.
Overall, and obviously I’m just guessing, I’d say 10 to 14 new zones, with an emphasis on desert, but plenty of other climates too. I know Arenanet can generate content really fast, but if you think about it, Southsun must’ve taken at least a couple months and at launch there was really very little to it, and there still isn’t much to do there, about 10 events total. I don’t expect Arenanet to be able to pump out as many zones as the original Guild Wars mostly because most Guild Wars 2 zones have way more content in them. I think I’ve kept my expectations reasonable, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they surpass my hopes.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
In case I’m right, spoiler alert. But what are the chances really.
So I was reading Will’s post about E and how we should definitely be seeing a resolution to just who this person is and realized I have my own theories I should probably blog about. Of course I’m a bit more speculative and like to predict things so I guess I’m more interested in figuring out who E is before it’s revealed.
I’ve been thinking for a while that E must be either Evon Gnashblade or Ellen Kiel, that much must be pretty obvious to everyone. What I don’t think is obvious is that up until the election of Ellen it was probably an open question to Arenanet as to who E would turn out to be. As someone on reddit put it, it’s a veritable shroedinger’s cat situation, E was both possibilities, until the election.
The election isn’t just important because we chose a candidate though, it’s important due to the machinations of Scarlet. Scarlet’s plan, as made more clear during the Dead End Bar instance recently, was to create an opening on the council and fill that spot with Mai Trin, her lackey. Mai Trin would have gone on to weaken Lion’s Arch defenses and otherwise cause disruption. And so Theo Ashford was killed, but Mai Trin was captured and her plans foiled, supposedly.
But what if Scarlet is one step ahead? She succeeded in creating an open spot on the council, and a new captain was elected. Ellen was in charge of security at Dragon’s Bash, where Theo Ashford was killed, and she now captains a commandeered Aetherblade ship. Now we’re moving towards endgame which seems to be centered around Lion’s Arch. Pretty convenient.
And Evon? Well he’s plenty skeptical of Ellen Kiel’s priorities. “Kiel’s playing in the Mists while her leash-holder, Magnus, has the best Lionguard out in Caledon Forest. We’re undefended here.” Has Ellen used her influence to leave Lion’s Arch wide open? Evon’s concern is for Lion’s Arch, it seems pretty likely to me that he is E.
As Will says, why write something into the story without using it. E served one purpose, to start an independent investigation into Scarlet, one that operated outside the scope of the Lionguard perhaps? Evon might have to operate anonymously due to his status as head of the Black Lion Trading Company to avoid a conflict of interest or avoid endangering himself.
I don’t know if any of this is right. Frankly Arenanet has to keep things relatively simple because a lot of players miss plot points that the rest of us take for granted. They could be broadcasting their story from a loudspeaker in game and it would still go over many peoples heads. It would be nice if the living story were as complex as I’m giving it credit for, but in all likelihood Ellen is as she seems, a hero. But it would be so awesome if she weren’t.
As for Scarlet, I’ve got my own theories about who or what is in her head.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Arenanet has been pretty standoffish when it comes to saying they’ll have an expansion or not. All the while they’ve been very bullish with their living story content, and it seems more and more to me that they’d like to release expansion type content piecemeal to keep players on the hook. The original Guild Wars had an amazing business model and personally I’d like to see that continue. It was an amazing amount of content released all at once, but I do understand the problems it caused. People owning one campaign and not another, the dry spells in between boxes, and maintaining player base between boxes.
But with the six gods blessing perhaps we will see a classic expansion of some type. So with my next few posts maybe I’ll speculate wildly. In this post, what new race or races would we see?
I sincerely doubt Arenanet would roll out more than one race. I think people underestimate the complications of rolling out new race models with a host of other factors such as, dozens of armour skins, emotes, skill animations, customizations, etc. For a community that is constantly
bitching about criticizing armour clipping issues I imagine it would be a concern. Couple that with a new racial city, a new starter zone, and I’m left wondering if they’d want to do more than one new race. After all they aren’t Blizzard and aren’t trying to be Blizzard. They have no obligation to fill a horde or alliance slot at the very least. People are pretty used to getting two new races from other games, but I just don’t think we’ll see it here.
But which race? There are a fair number of candidates.
Kodan seem like a popular possibility. There’s a couple reasons I don’t think they’re a prime candidate however. Their appearance is fairly uniform. Kodan don’t have differing eye colours, fur colours, etc. We’ve seen plenty of them with a dungeon, 3 floating cities and various settlements in 3 zones, but not much variation in looks. Customization is a major feature of each player race. I suppose this could always change with the sudden appearance of other types of kodan, but as of right now it seems doubtful. On the other hand, apparently there is a lot of kodan architecture in the new Edge of the Mists map. Perhaps that means something, perhaps not.
Dwarves seem like the least likely to me. Aside from being a big fantasy cliche, their whole race turned to stone and rushed into the depths to fight destroyers or die trying. There is one living dwarf in the game and he says of the rest “the few survivors fight far below the ground.” They have no cities, they have no children, it would take a major lore turnaround to bring them back. I feel like in the minds of Arenanet the races of the ancient past, Mursaat, Seers, Forgotten, Dwarves, and Jotun, are not viable and in some cases dead and gone.
Largos could happen. We’ve seen precious few of them, 7 named characters and 2 event villains. Their secretive and violent natures coupled with their exotic butterfly wings certainly make it desirable to see more of them, but there’s very little to go on here. There is some lore concerning their culture and political structure, but nothing fleshed out. Aesthetically they don’t seem particularly different, or at least different enough from sylvari or elves in general. I think Arenanet would definitely want to differentiate a new race. And aside from that, the main problem with largos is that they are an underwater race and underwater is not the most popular setting for a large number of players. Wouldn’t be surprised if Arenanet steered away from them on that basis alone.
Grawl, hylek, skritt, ogres, quaggan, and other lesser races. I know some of these guys are pretty popular in some cases, but lets face it, they don’t have the resources. Skritt are not at all intelligent as individuals. Grawl worship anything you put in front of them. Quaggan are sweet, but yeah, they’re sweet. None of these races really have the organization, technological abilities, or cohesiveness as a race that any of the current races have, most of them are living in tribal or stone age level communities. I would have to expect a new playable race to be on the same equal footing as the old playable races. I suppose that can change all this by just writing it into the lore, but as it stands they seem unlikely.
Tengu are the obvious number one candidate. I blogged as far back as May 2nd 2012 that I thought tengu were coming. And that didn’t even include dialogue from NPCs in Caledon forest, unavailable to the beta test that post was based on. The tl;dr is that they have a racial city, enough room for a starter zone, and the motivation to help. And unlike the kodan, we know from the original Guild Wars that tengu range in tribe, height, feather colours, they have back story, culture, and if they built those walls a fair amount of technological know-how.
There is always the possibility of a brand new race being introduced. How that race would be integrated into Tyrian society is anyone’s guess. I think Arenanet like to surprise people, and the best way to do that would be to create something entirely new. But it can’t be that easy to create a new race from scratch, and with a number of candidates already available, would they? I think the probability is that they’d draw from the history of Guild Wars, and look towards the races they already know players have been asking for. A new race is a big unknown, a risk.
I’ve been pretty confident about tengu from the beginning. Their lore is set up to do just one thing, introduce them and their city as a new playable race. I used to say “if tengu, then Cantha”, but I guess I’ll have to explain why I don’t think that’s true any more in my next post about zones, how many, where, and what is in them.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
As a follow up to my post about bank slots, I said I’d make a post about my collection tabs. I think I’ll skip which miniatures I have, and crafting materials tend to have a less involved story for how I got them, but I’ll still hold to the same basic format as the previous post.
Common crafting materials.
As you can see right away I’ve been trying to fill my collection tabs to maximum. I’m the rare type of player who feels a weird obligation to max these things out. Obviously with some types of drops this is harder to do, but with common crafting materials it’s entirely plausible.
Anything not at maximum capacity at this point is due to my efforts in ascended crafting, in particular silk, leathers, elder wood. Most of these are naturally collected, but when crafting I’m not above buying cheap materials.
Hardest things to fill, for me especially while trying to max crafting professions, are soft wood and iron. But at least I can go out and gather those, the leathers and cloths are what bother most people I think, since they mostly only come from drops and bags.
Fine crafting materials.
Tier 1 and tier 5 fine crafting materials are the easiest materials to fill to 250 I would say. After maxing out every crafting profession, sometimes multiple times, the mid-tier materials have been hard to fill. At one point I was buying out cheap mid level container bag drops off the auction house. I wanted to see if Rare Crafting Materials (as in the next tab down) dropped enough to make them a good investment. Typically they don’t (I certainly got lucky with the spike in linen prices but as I saved the linen, I didn’t profit abundantly) but, it certainly helped fill up some of these slots, not to mention fill out linen and some of my leathers. It was a good deal before everybody figured out it was a good way to get linen.
I would say the main reason my tier 6 materials are as robust as they are right now, even after maxing out some ascended crafting professions, is due to Mystic Clovers. I’ve been using the 10 clover recipe which has been remarkably rewarding, but perhaps I was just lucky.
A few oddities worth mentioning. My engraved totems sit at about 11. These do not appear in any bags, drop only from 4 mobs in two zones, and currently sit at about 2.50 on the auction house. Wish I had more, don’t understand why they’re quite that rare compared to every other item in this tab. I’ve been doing the karka queen on a regular basis so I’d say I have quite a few shells compared to most. And if you don’t have a full stack of watchwork sprockets, I don’t know what you were doing wrong during the Scarlet invasions.
Rare crafting materials.
This is a collection tab I’ve resigned to never filling to capacity. Unless I buy everything in it. As you can see I have small numbers of the low level shards, fragments, and slivers. Some are rare drops, some from bags I bought. Cores and lodestones come from all manner of sources, dungeons, orrian jewelry boxes, champ boxes, chests, you name it. I’d probably have more of all of these except I foolishly use them towards crafting on occasion. It’s never worth it but I do it anyway to level up.
I also gave away many of my charged lodestones and cores to people who were looking to make a legendary with those, since they’re quite expensive and I’m a fucking great guy.
I used to sell the vile essence and putrid essence and only recently stopped in order to fill them to capacity.
The ectos are technically at capacity for the moment if anyone saw the bank account post. I keep the slot mostly empty so that I can deposit at will.
The large skulls were something I happened to speculate on, long ago, when their price dropped a bit. Should probably buy the remaining 12 as I’ll never get them as drops.
I’m slowly turning my extra quartz into charged quartz, but I’ll probably never max those out either.
The obsidian at one point was far more than maxed out. I had at least 350 or more from saving up my karma potions and using karma boosts while buying orrian jewelry boxes, it was such a good haul. Those have gone away due to Mystic Clovers and ascended crafting.
I do dailies and monthlies regularly so I have plenty of mystic coins.
My first full stack of pristine toxic spore samples was a tedious amount of farming.
I suppose I could spend the karma on 250 sun beads. For the longest time I didn’t think they were even in the game, but they’re a karma heart item in Sparkfly Fen.
Ascended crafting materials.
Right so, another tab I’ll likely never fill. Except maybe the bloodstone dust and bricks. The only empty slots are the future ascended jewelry materials (I assume) and the only full slot is thermocatalytic reagent. I would say the only reason I have as much dark matter as I do is that I salvaged many of the exotic weapons I made with huntsman when leveling it to 500.
The majority of jewels in here came through gathering, with a small percentage through bags. Thanks to mining orichalcum and ancient wood (and nodes in their vicinity) on a regular basis I can easily max out tier 5 and tier 6 jewels. I did have to go out of my way to harvest a lot of coral to max both those out, and it will be a long time before I max out anything in the low and mid tier ranks, but the only thing I don’t think I’ll be able to max out is azurite, as it’s now only available from one fractal.
It’s funny to think I only have this many pearls because I wanted to max out clams in my food tab, or how I maxed out opal crystals long ago because I farmed the temple of lyssa for charged lodestones and cores a few times. I wonder how much those passion flowers are worth? 26 gold.
A lot of these came fairly easily. I think stuff like carrots, mushrooms, blueberries, it was just a matter of not selling them when I got them. Other things I outright bought with karma or cash, because essentially that’s the only way to get them. The only things you won’t see maxed out are either karma items I haven’t gotten around to buying or materials that are rare as all hell.
For instance, yams. They’re so rare I don’t even remember where to get them, I have to wiki them right now to tell you they are from root vegetables in Hirathi Highlands (1 zone!) and bags of pilfered goods.
If it’s near an ori or ancient node however, I likely have plenty of them. All of the high level harvesting nodes whether they’re rare or not from turnips to snow truffles to passion fruit, if it’s commonly close by I’ll harvest it. Seaweed mostly came out of my pursuit of coral however, and items that only come from specific patches had to be targeted until they were done, cauliflower, lettuce, sugar pumpkins, and I’m currently working on spinach and cabbage.
Lemongrass is yet another rare one, but in pursuit of it I’ve managed to max out my cayenne pepper and start selling it for profit, along with work towards coriander seed.
Oranges were a very common drop from one of the types of bags I had been buying.
Leeks and green onions are by far my most hated materials, worthless but always nearby.
I actually think that they give out way too much candy corn and too little of the other Halloween materials. You have to really want to farm that stuff or just buy it, which isn’t fun for some people. And you can see how they repeat that mistake with Wintersday items too, plenty of Giant presents but no small or medium ones unless you aim for them, which I did.
It’s at the point where a great reward would be High-Quality Plastic fangs (which take 1000 plastic fangs to make) would be a good reward. Only they don’t give them out as rewards.
It’ll take a long time to fill some of these out, and likely never for the rare and exotic versions.
And the rest is mini’s which is even less interesting than the above.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Tillion from Dragon Season tweeted that he might start playing in WvW if this link comes true. Essentially it’s a plea for Arenanet to better motivate people to defend objectives, instead of just zerging around and taking them. It’s probably the biggest problem with WvW. A lack of diverse tactics, play-styles or options. Nothing beats the zerg and the zerg doesn’t defend.
And while I could drone on about how to fix the zerg, or how you can’t really fix the zerg, I’d rather talk about Guild Missions in WvW, and how they don’t exist.
There is a whole section of guild upgrades devoted to WvW and most hardcore WvW players don’t even go to PvE, so they don’t have access to guild commendations or anything of the sort. Why aren’t there guild missions in WvW to take/hold a keep, tower, or camp? Certainly this could help address the problem of defending objectives, though obviously it would not be anything close to a full solution. As an added bonus however, I think it would encourage more people from PvE to explore WvW.
To get into specifics, I think you would design these WvW missions similar to the other guild missions. Lower tiers would have simple objectives, e.g. take a camp and hold it for ten minutes. Higher tiers would have much more difficult objectives, e.g. take a keep and hold it for an hour.
Some of the mechanics for this already exist. You can “claim” towers and keeps, and there are events for defending towers and keeps. Seems like a no-brainer really.
I’m sure there are all kinds of potential problems with it. If the mechanic were to rest on Guild Claiming, how do you stop people from tagging along and claiming the objective before you do? How does one guild defend against the above mentioned dreaded zerg? If a camp is the objective, doesn’t that make it even harder to defend with no walls? What if nobody even attacks the tower you’ve taken, how boring would that be, and wouldn’t you just be handing out guild commendations for nothing? Which towers should be the objectives, and which camps/keeps? If it’s made to be any camp or keep the guild chooses it could lead to some fairly easy objectives.
Aside from Guild Missions motivating people to hold objectives instead of just waiting for the zerg to leave, I’d say you could have a Daily Defend for WvW, maybe improve the rewards, or perhaps somehow make it easier to defend against zergs.