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.