Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’ve had a lot of complaints about Guild Wars 2′s gem store over the past year and a half. There’s the weird pricing structures, expensive temporary items, and the potential power creep of some items becoming more useful than comparable older items. One thing I’m becoming more and more tempted by however are the finishers.
Finishers are mostly for PvP. It’s basically a little animation when you stomp someone in WvW, Structured PvP, and increasingly in PvE as well. There are 12 available in the gem store ranging in price from about 500 gems to 800. And I really want to buy one.
I have some temporary finishers ready to go, 10 or 20 collected from festivals and other rewards from playing the game. Not to mention the default finisher which is basically just a spear driven into the ground, and my PvP rank finisher which is just the cutest wittle bunny wabbit family hopping around a banner. None of the temporary ones would really last long, certainly not in WvW, so I’m definitely looking at something more permanent.
With the Toxic Alliance living story arc however a lot of PvE mobs suddenly had a downed phase. I don’t know if that was specifically put in to drive up the sale of finishers but it has certainly worked on me. I’ve been looking through youtube trying to figure out which finisher is best finisher.
For instance, while I find the Permanent Quaggan Finisher (see video below) amusing, I don’t think I want a permanent one. A lot of the finishers are pretty cool, and there a number of them that aren’t currently on sale like the Permanent Super Explosive Finisher, and numerous festival-related finishers.
Anyway I just thought I’d give credit where it’s due, finishers are a great cosmetic item in the gem shop. Now I just have to figure out which way I want to send players and mobs into the mists. Whumped by a giant maybe? Straddled by a spectre of death?
Let’s see more PvE downed state guys.
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
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.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
One thing I’ve noticed since launch is that despite all previous MMOs that I’ve ever played, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t really have a traditional desert setting. It’s got the pastoral settings of Kryta, the jungle settings of Maguuma, the mountainous Shiverpeaks and the arid plains of Ascalon.
Of course if you go to Orr and take in the view, if you didn’t know Orr had been beneath the waves, you might think it was desert. Very little living vegetation, rocks and sand everywhere, and overall a barren landscape that is in effect a desert. The big change that make it less of a desert, for me, would be the colour palettes. Cursed Shore is red and black, Malchor’s Leap is entirely blue, and Straights of Devestation is Orange. Those colour choices actually distracted me at first, it didn’t have me thinking of Orr as a desert, which was probably the intent.
Over time I began to wonder why that is. There are desert like environments in Guild Wars 2, but nothing you could solidly call a traditional desert setting. And interestingly with the addition of Southsun Cove or the Labrythine Cliffs or the Skyhammer PvP map, I noticed that some of these have areas that resemble desert or arid landscapes. So is Guild Wars 2 planning on desert landscapes in the future I wonder? Or are they just using resources they’ve already built but haven’t used extensively?
I think that’s why I’m super curious about the desert areas of the upcoming Edge of the Mists map. For those that don’t know, it looks to be a fairly extensive WvW map, a waiting area (with PvP and objectives) for those who can’t actually get into WvW due to the queue. The map will have 3 distinct areas, jungle, arctic, and desert.
Putting aside the questionable amount of manpower put into creating something that everyone inevitably wants to leave, and an area that some servers (eg. my own server is perpetually Outnumbered, forget about a queue) won’t use, just how much of this desert area is brand new textures and art? How much is Arenanet putting into it?
I would say that Arenanet is well known for reusing what they can so I’m very interested in seeing this new desert area. It could speak to the future of Guild Wars 2. Everyone speculates about where we’ll go next. Will we tackle Primordus, Jormag, Bubbles, or Kralkatorrik? Will we venture to Cantha or a completely new continent?
I don’t think there is any real lore suggesting we absolutely will go to the desert, or anywhere else. Just a lot of open doors left in place in case they ever decide to. For me a real clue would be manpower put into art, models, textures, creatures and other resources.
Here’s a video showing off some of the landscapes.
One final thing I’ll add is that despite running across 3 zones, one of the least used settings in the game is The Brand. Gotta wonder if we’ll see more of that.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
I’ve been in world versus world a lot lately. I’m not a big pvp type. I’ve gotten rank 4 mostly through doing the Mad King’s jumping puzzle and waiting to get Daily Participation and what little rank I can get through that, hilariously. However I do have a few thousand kills in WvW due to it being more random, less of an intense duel.
One thing that really bothers me though is that Northern Shiverpeaks, my server, is chronically Outnumbered. We are a low population server and even against other low population servers we have a tough time fielding enough people to put up a fight on more than one or two maps.
This has all been emphasized by WvW season 1. We got bumped into the Silver league in North America when Kaineng took a dive and we won our match, moving them down to Bronze, and us up. As such we have been up against some behemoths (by NSP standards) and Outnumbered (AKA Outmanned) constantly.
Getting to the point, the Outnumbered buff is bloody useless.
+20% Magic find
+10% World Experience
Take no Armor damage on death
There isn’t a player in WvW that appreciates this buff. A food buff would eclipse the magic find, experience isn’t important unless you’re on an alt and we all know how alt friendly the game is, 10% world experience is small, and no armour damage is practically a slap in the face. It’s like they’re saying upfront “There is nothing we are willing to do to help, but hey I hope you’re mollified by this horse**** buff.”
You know what would be useful? Bloodlust.
Bloodlust is a buff you originally got through an Orb of Power, but now you get through conquering points of control or “ruins” in the various borderlands maps.
Everyone in your realm gains 30 bonus points to power, precision, toughness, vitality, condition damage, and healing power for holding 3 ruins in 1 Borderland. Invaders killed by finishers reward your realm with 1 War Score.
I think Outnumbered and Bloodlust should either be combined or switched. It just makes too much sense to me. Why not encourage players to get in there and actually fight with a little confidence from a stat boost? Surely that would be far superior. Outnumbered practically serves as a warning for players to go elsewhere, as it surely isn’t an enticement to continue.
Making a change would address a complaint against Bloodlust that has been around since the early days of GW2, that it only exists to allow a winning server to continue winning, but with more ease. On larger servers Bloodlust probably doesn’t have much effect but I think on a low pop it is more of a problem.
I’m sure Arenanets argument against any change would be something along the lines of not wanting to encourage people to be Outnumbered in order to get the buff. But the buff is designed firstly to not be that much of a benefit and secondly everyone knows that zergs trump stat boosts in WvW anyway. Getting more people in WvW is what is important, and Outnumbered just doesn’t do that.
Or at least that’s my perspective as a casual WvWer on a low population server trying to punch way above its weight.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
It was clear from the beginning that Arenanet didn’t want people hopping servers solely for the purpose of joining a successful WvW team. It’s just too bad they failed to put in place any sort of deterrent. Here we are months later and entire guilds are still free to jump ship and add their weight to already successful worlds.
This is the result of free transfers which I was under the impression would end within weeks of launch. 2 and a half months later the only deterrent seems to be a 7 day wait before you can return to your old server, as if that’s likely.
We’ve already seen large alliances shifting around to the already successful servers. What a difference they make moving 5th place servers up to 3rd place contenders! Meanwhile my own server is absolutely outnumbered by every server we go up against. We lose more and more people every day to other servers. I’ve never been a big fan of the PvP personality type and this is why. We do okay in WvW matches but it only takes one week of losses to set the tears flowing and have guilds migrate elsewhere. Which only leads to even lower morale and worse showings.
One of my main concerns is that servers that are already successful are getting plenty of players to continue that success. Meanwhile my own server will continue to sink in the rankings. All because Arenanet have essentially twiddled their thumbs on this issue even when they knew far in advance it would be a problem.
This all stems to guesting not having come in, but at this point I’d be far more willing to wait on guesting and have a cost associated with moving servers than continue to allow rats to abandon the various sinking ships. If I recall correctly the idea was that full servers would cost more gems while unpopulated servers would cost less. Let’s get on that Arenanet.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Despite having a mass desertion from our server because World versus World queues were too long, I helped take Stonemist a couple days ago. It really wasn’t much of an accomplishment, I barely saw anyone defending it.
It was my first time in WvW since launch. I have to admit that yes, the queues really were that bad. Having patience worked out for me, however. I can now WvW at will.
So I went in merely to see if the puzzle I had added from the southwest Eternal Battleground keep had been converted to a vista since beta. I can confirm it is now a vista and will probably remove it from the guide. Once inside WvW I couldn’t help wandering around.
That’s when I ended up at Stonemist helping to take the keep. There were maybe a dozen defenders but they were definitely unprepared and no reinforcements came to back them up.
I spent my time outside the wall targeting people trying to cast spells from the ramparts. My pistols do AoE damage, and if I can manage to hit one player, I can hit others, and make small groups back away from their viable range. Even if my shots were obstructed by the wall, my AoE still goes off and I sometimes am still able to do damage. This worked really well for the people attacking the door. Wall defenders rushed back and forth along the wall never able to focus on one player. I ended up using this tactic quite a bit.
Once defending it was me on the wall shooting down at enemies. I ended up changing my engineer firearms trait to one that improves pistol range for just this purpose, and changing my healing skill to a turret so that our players could withstand the AoE return fire.
While not defending most of the players in the area would venture out to just north east of Stonemist. We tried to take the tower in that area but that must be one of the easiest towers to defend in the entire game. A choke point bridge that runs right under a high wall, a river that prevents easy access from another angle, oakhearts that are triggered by defending players so that attacking players have to deal with it. And good luck if the other server happens to come up behind you.
The other server came behind us. Which is fine, it’s meant to be that way. Actually, we ended up taking advantage of this a couple of times. Instead of staying out there to get sandwiched, we noted the next time the other server came up behind us and fled. This led to the two other servers, who both outnumbered our own, fighting amongst themselves. As we had Stonemist to rally at, we ended up preying upon both sides as they engaged within battles in sight of Stonemist.
I ended up chasing one guy, melee, who had come in alone from the north. He noticed me and started to attack, so I laid down some turrets and did a bunch of damage, at which point he backed out of turret range. I chased him for a bit, but in the distance I could see red names and started to return to the area outside Stonemist’s gate. His two friends ran through the area but ignored me and continued to that bridge I spoke of earlier. Meanwhile this guy was still hanging around so we went at it again. Unfortunately he began to run off a second time. I chased him but he had too much of a lead this time and I discovered to my dismay one of his friends had left behind turrets of their own. So again I backed off. Only yet again he came back at me, not having learned his lesson about my turrets, blind, glue shot, ranged weapons and dodging ability. He ran off a third time, at which point I was pretty bored and decided to ignore the guy from that point forward, only as I was running away, I noticed he once again was headed straight for me. Only this time it was a big mistake, two friendlies happened to be going in that direction and though he turned to run away a fourth time we made short work of him.
That’s the thing about WvW. Do not play alone. It is much more fun in a group as I found out in the numerous ways that I myself was killed. The fight will turn when you’re not looking, people will ambush you, and nobody will be around to res you. You’ll have to then make the long, tedious, boring, tedious (tediously tedious), TEDIOUS, tedious, tedious, run back to the fight. Tedious.
Speaking of tedious I was making a run back to Stonemist which nobody had bothered to put a waypoint in and I noticed in the distance friendlies chasing something. What it was I couldn’t see, it was too far off, but I was in a position to possibly head this person off so I went off in that direction and found four people chasing one lone enemy player. Great, this should be short work I thought. I managed to get in range and started firing off shots, I crippled him, and got him down to half health but the guy had several speed buffs on him so that he had swiftness 90% of the time and I could only damage him for that 10%, which wasn’t enough to kill him before he ran off. So after 5 minutes of chasing him it suddenly dawned on me that I was the only person damaging him. Huh? Of the four other people in the group, none were ranged. None had thought to bring a ranged weapon, none could keep up with this guy, none could cripple him. I left.
Anyway, eventually the other servers got wise to our pitting them against each other. They started assaulting two gates. While our resistance was fairly good, we repelled two assaults on one gate before it gave to a third, we eventually collapsed and I called it a night.
I ended up with credit for over 60 kills, easily fulfilling my monthly achievement in around 3 hours, but I probably only finished a half dozen people. Meanwhile I died around 10 times making the tedious journey back each time. It was fun, frustrating, tedious, and the entire time our server was doing really badly. The only success story was that we held our own and Stonemist in Eternal Battlegrounds. But I did my part, I just wish I had gone in with friends.
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg, WvW
I was pretty disappointed that guesting wasn’t going to be in at launch. It’s a big feature to me, but having free transfers has certainly been an acceptable compromise. Also I’ve actually managed to play with others on overflow servers and do a dungeon run with people on other servers since it doesn’t seem to matter what server you’re on in a dungeon.
Guesting will become more important again once overflow servers begin to disappear as is already happening.
Anyway guesting was never really for primarily PvE players like me anyway. The need for it comes from World vs World. Being able to naturally transfer around servers would upset the player balance in that part of the game. People would naturally tend towards winning servers instead of sticking it out with the server they settled on.
Which brings me to the problems my own server has been having.
I guess I’ll have to start from the beginning. My guild is friendly with some guilds who are friendly with some guilds who wanted to create a successful World vs World community. They bought the server’s domain name, set up a forum, formed an alliance, invited everyone to particpate and a lot of people ended up on our server.
Initially our server had essentially been doing very well. We’d won every match up by quite a bit. The problem was we were doing too well, the queues for World vs World were hours long. You’d be damn lucky to be able to form a guild group let alone play with someone you know.
At this point people started to grumble but the heads of the alliance advised everyone to stick it out since it was still the first week and queues were bound to die down. Maybe it was random, or maybe because the matchup system is working, we were then matched up against other successful WvW servers.
We did not do so well.
This seemed to be the catalyst to make these WvW guilds start to panic. Several large and well known guilds have left, including the guild that went so far as to buy the domain name.
Ask them and they’ll start complaining that escorting dolyak groups were out of control. Ask them and they’ll say that if you were just in WvW to explore or screw around you should leave so that they could play WvW. Ask them and they’ll say the queues were just too long.
But if you ask me, suddenly dolyak farming has disappeared (Edit: yeah because they took out the rewards apparently) from WvW on my server. If you ask me, everyone has a right to join in WvW, it isn’t your server, its ours. And if you ask me WvW went from me not even being able to get in to me playing whenever I want.
We’re getting crushed though. We’re being matched up against top servers who have guilds like Goon Squad when we really don’t warrant it.
I’m not saying people can’t play where they want, or that long queues weren’t frustrating or painful. I’m just saying if you want to build a stable community, leave a legacy, try giving it more than a week.
And that is why guesting will be important in the future. To stop nonsense like this. Entire alliances shifting where they play on a whim.