GW2 The Jackal

gw505 I am loving this mount. The Jackal in GW2 is pretty awesome. Once you can get used to how to do the blinking mechanics it can be pretty close to the canyon jumping raptor. It would be nice if you could go vertical with it to be honest, but I’ll stick with it’s range now just to have access to the Jackal portals.

Once I unlocked the mastery for those portals it felt like a total game changer. It makes you feel like you have the VIP pass to the bar and you get to bypass a bunch of stuff just sneaking into portals.

Granted sometimes there’s some mobs at the other end, but the whole point of this mount is the evasion. You just jump and blink. Poof you’re good! It really adds a whole lot to the game. Now I find myself constantly looking for Jackal portals and I love it.

This mount really brings me back to Fallen Earth and the Blightwolf mount that I worked my butt off to get in that game. I rode that thing everywhere because it could go a lot of places that other mounts couldn’t. It wasn’t the fastest, but it was economical and fun. And trust me, in a land where you make your own gas, having something that didn’t eat it’s own weight every five minutes was pretty awesome.

gw503So far Path of Fire has been a blast. Though I’m still working on getting some weapon skins that I want and I’m still wondering if I have the right dye job for my priory explorer RP character, I’m enjoying the hell out of the game.

If you really want to get a lot out of it, I would reccomend going with  the explorer’s approach to this content and taking your time. You know, savoring being a stranger in a strange land. Getting that “I’ve just logged into a new MMO feeling and I want to see everything there is to see.”

I’m lucky that I have someone reminding me to play that way and I’m loving it. Besides, it’s not like this game is going anywhere.

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Having Fun in Guild Wars 2


We’ve recently had some of our friends join me and CrankB in Guild Wars 2. Even my Mom has gotten back into the game. Currently she’s working on her Druid. I kind of sold her on the slightly more mage-like aspect of the Drood.

Since her only level 80 character is a Ranger, it works for her. Now before you say anything my Mom does have other gaming obligations, a full time job, pets and a home to take care of so she doesn’t really need nor have time for an army of alts.

Our Danish friends however are having a blast discovering the little fun aspects of Guild Wars 2 and those awesome features that made the vanilla game a cut above the average annoying MMO.

In fact two of our friends had quit playing MMO’s all together because they were tired of the grind, the inventory management and the the typical back and forth bull that goes along with playing MMO’s.

  • They like the crafting system that gives you xp and levels pretty darn quickly through discovery. Especially when a guildy is donating materials.
  • They also like the fact that you don’t have to go back and forth to NPC’s. Honestly that was one of my biggest selling points of the game.
  • They LOVE the fact that you can send things to your bank from your bags. That makes obtaining crafting materials SO much less of a grind.
  • They also like the fact that the game has FUN elements to it. Well at least the base game. BEFORE they sold out to the “challenge” and “raid” morons.

Take Dinner here for instance. In Nageling not only is there a giant that can even one shot level 80’s, but there’s a chicken that runs around called Dinner. If you find him you can catch him and run around with a chicken.

There’s quests where you can corral cattle, catch chickens, smack bad chickens with a shovel (they’re just fine by the way it doesn’t kill them) and you can even blow up stumps.

Honestly Diessa Plateau is one of those zones in GW2 that was just done right. It’s full of fun easter eggs. I mean really, whoever planned out and designed that zone should have been given a medal, and a pizza trophy. Oh and whoever came up with the Mighty Ouou. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about.

Even the events in GW2 don’t get old. Sorry Rift but the tears opening and then closing them in exactly the same fashion every single time. Well it gets really, really old.

Even if a zone gets taken over and you have to clear it out, it’s still not as interesting as taking back the Harathi Hinterlands from the centaur.

There you have an actual story, actual goals, real bosses and a real challenge. Not just tab target, button one, tab target, button one, tab target…. Well, you get the picture.

Right now in GW2 we’re all goofing off.  CrankyB and myself are remembering what the game was like when we started and a lot of the times we’re reminiscing about the olden days.

In the mean time we’re also looking at the future. What things we want to do now.

Chances are we won’t do any raiding. To me it just doesn’t sound fun and I’ve never been a raid fan anyway.

We might look into getting a guild hall, we might not. Really the guys enjoy watching the chests try to eat the Charr Lionsguard in Lion’s Arch. Which honestly I can’t blame them, it’s funny as hell.

I won’t be grinding masteries, I won’t be grinding the meta events in the convoluted new content, I’m just going to stick to the game that I know and love.

Though I will be enjoying my Chronomancer. It’s so much fun!

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GW2: Elite Name on Elite Specializations Misleads Players

GW2 PvP Lobby
In PvP the “Elite Specializations” are available for viewing right in the PvP lobby. Players can access all of the talents for PvP from level 1 and not even bother leveling a character to 80.

OK now before you flame me, here’s the TLDR:

They should be called Sub Class Specializations NOT Elite Specializations.

Here’s my reasoning:

They change the way you play a class that you have, giving it more of a sub class feel.

They are not MORE powerful or more difficult to play in any way than the vanilla classes.

The problem with giving ANYTHING the title”elite” in gaming is that a small subset of rabid players assume that if something has the elite tag on it that only they should be able to have it. They also assume that it should be very difficult if not almost impossible to obtain.

The Guild Wars 2 (GW2) Elite Specializations are not THAT elite let’s face it. They are VERY fun to play, but they are not so over powered that they should have the elite tag OR the original super high price point.

Maybe some of the ITEMS they hid in with the Elite Specializations are. That of course is subjective.

The items could have been part of an ‘elite’ story line. They could have been only obtainable through raids. These could also be items that could only be obtainable through a hefty grind like the iridescent armors, some GW2 back pieces and legendary weapons.

The sub class skill lines DID NOT need to be gated.

If the PvP’rs do not have to unlock these sub-classes, then they cannot be THAT elite otherwise too many people would be complaining of a PvP pay to win situation.

With that being said, if PvP’rs do not have to unlock these sub-classes why does the rest of the game have to?

Because like that one kid in the front row of the classroom who always reminds the teacher to assign homework, there’s a subset of gamers who say they want ‘more challenging content.’

Though what they REALLY want, is some special snowflake item that is super rare and hard to get. This way they feel like they can stand out among the masses as someone that has truly accomplished something.

Come on kids, getting a fancy helm in a video game is not an accomplishment, it’s an unlock. Curing cancer, preventing wars, or even finding time to play games while holding down a full time job and keeping your squealing, projectile pooping, newborn alive are accomplishments.


The downside is that these kids are the ones that have more time to haunt the forums. They get their entire twitch channels to log into x, y or z game and demand whatever it is they want.

Sadly a lot of developers capitulate to this because they think that it must be what the players want.

The truth of the matter is that the silent majority is too busy with real life to bother looking at the forums. They’re spending their precious free time actually playing the game not roaming the forums bitching about it.

As one person states in the GW2 forums, it’s not the casuals that ruined GW2. It was a casual game from the start and was advertised as such. It’s the purportedly “hard core” gamers that are trying to ruin the game for the casual players by complaining that they want more difficulty.

IE, trying to turn the game into World of Warcraft.

Developers are willing to make these changes because hey, they want more players.

The problem is that then they piss off ALL of the players that have been paying for the game the whole time.

An actual compromise is the best way to go and honestly ArenaNet did a good job with this. Leaving the actual grind of the masteries but reducing the hero point cost for people who just want to try the sub-class specializations on more than one class.

Now however the “hard core” gamers believe that the entire game is ruined. Not because there’s easier access to the sub-classes, but because other players will be able to wear the same helm.

I am dead serious, that is one post in the forums at the moment. I mean really, did this guy assume that NO ELSE was going to unlock the Reaper, EVER? Now that is naive.

Keep in mind that these are probably the same players who blindly follow commander tags, stand on top of one another for buffs and always, ALWAYS use whatever build is the meta at the moment. All of which leads to getting the most done in the least amount of time possible so that they can stand around complaining that they don’t have enough to do while watching “let’s play” of 6 different games. This is the GW2 “hard core” player.

These “hard core” people are also stating that they can obtain all of the Hero Points in 2-3 hours. Now has anyone posted screenshots, how to’s or videos on how to complete the masteries, stories, content AND obtain the Hero Points in 2-3 hours?

That I’d love to see.

To wrap things up let me just state that while I agree with ArenaNet’s changes I can’t say that I fully agree with gating skill based content in games. I get that they have to do it to a point for players who get the jibblies when things aren’t just so. Thing is though, I really hope that in the future they don’t try to force the point cap to huge quantities. Hopefully they keep in mind that they built a game with a lot of fun classes and that the bulk of their players like to play more than just one at a time.

Making challenging content is one thing. Telling people who WANT to play more than one class that they better have a crap ton of time on their hands or just choose one toon is not challenging. It’s a slap in the face to people who enjoy experiencing the game using more than one class and who have invested the time in those classes.

Not to mention the people who have invested the MONEY in additional character slots.

After all, who is going to be worth more cash over time. The handful of people who have one main that they push through the content at release and then bugger off to the next new game as soon as it’s available, OR the people who take their time and play an army of alts through the content.

It was a smart move on ArenaNet’s part. Seriously.


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GW2: ArenaNet Reduces Elite Specialization Hero Point Cost and More

Cheering on the changes with the new and improved Creep The Revenant.

If you take a look at one of the latest Guild Wars 2 (GW2) news posts today you’ll see that ArenaNet is making some very popular changes to their Heart of Thorns content. Changes I would have to agree are only going to improve what is overall solid post 80 content over all.

Despite a few nay sayers, it looks like most people are willing to accept that ArenaNet has agreed to a valid compromise for the Elite Specializations.

Howso? Well they are reducing the Elite Specialization to a 250 Hero Point price range. That is sitting a LOT easier with GW2’s more casual and super alt happy player base.

Many players felt mislead by ArenaNet in that there was no announcement of the 400 Hero Point cost until 4 days before launch. Couple that with the fact that we all had instant access to the specializations during the beta weekends without seeing any of the end game progression aspect that ArenaNet intended.

We’re going to update the elite specialization unlock to find a better middle ground by reducing the cost of unlocking every possible ability for an elite specialization from 400 hero points to 250 hero points total. This means you will be able to access them much earlier inGuild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns PvE or World vs. World and fully unlock them much earlier as well. This also means you’ll be able to experience more of the expansion story as your elite specialization earlier on while still maintaining some of our core goal. This should also help players with lots of alts try out more of the elite specializations. If you’ve already put more than 250 points into your elite specialization, surplus hero points will be refunded to your character for future use.

To me this is a solid compromise. It still offers the progression aspect that ArenaNet originally intended while making the Elite Specializations much less of a grind for folks who wanted to use the Specializations to better enjoy the content.

I’m sure they also probably can’t just decouple all of the items included in unlocking the Specialization either.

While you will still see some who try to argue against the decision, in this game the casual player is the majority and they not only made their voice heard but are also grateful.

They are also fixing a Megaserver issue that made it harder for players to group up for the new content.

Now as you can imagine CrankyB will be telling me that I have no excuse for NOT getting into the new content.

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GW2: Beta Bait and Switch

Introducing Creep The Revenant. The Revenant being the ONLY saving grace of HoT.

Here I am, out of semi-retirement otherwise known as hating my hosting provider to gripe about the new Guild Wars 2 (GW2) expansion Heart of Thorns (HoT). Well not all of it, just one tiny aspect that I had been SERIOUSLY looking forward to.

Which part? The elite specializations.

Now to tie in the title, I feel that the elite specializations in HoT were not much more than a beta bait and switch.

Here’s my reasoning. They allowed testing of the elite skills by players who purchased the new expansion. When we created the characters we had access to the Specialization Line, all the Skills and the Weapons specific to each class. Well once they were made available of course.

Secondly, during the final beta weekend, when we started at the beginning of the new content we instantly had access to the Elite Specialization.

To my knowledge during all of this time nothing was mentioned about gating the Elite Specialization line, at least not by ArenaNet. There was a post related to earning Hero Points in WvW. Though honestly I ignored it as I thought it was a quality of life improvement for WvW players who wanted to level exclusively through WvW. Note that even THIS announcement was made 4 days before HoT went live.

While there probably was some form of announcement made about gating the Elite Specializations with Hero Points made earlier than even the news blast about earning Hero Points in WvW. I don’t recall seeing any earlier posts about that in the forums. CrankyB haunts them religiously so I’m pretty sure we’d have seen something. If someone else can link an earlier post, I’ll be happy to revise the statement.

Apparently after the WvW news blast people started asking questions. At this point we all found out that it would require 400 Hero Points to unlock the Elite Specialization. Not 400 total Hero Points for your character, but 400 Hero Points on top of completely unlocking every talent and skill available to your character’s class. Remember, this was all of 4 days before HoT went live. Some of us paid for the expansion MONTHS in advance of release.

For those who don’t play GW2, you use Hero Points to unlock your skills and you earn those throughout the PvE game world. You also earn a good portion of Hero Points just in leveling your character. You kind of need this so that you have enough talents to actually engage effectively in combat.

The most dedicated players who have completed the whole of the old world end up with about 200 hero points. So that is about half of what you need to completely unlock the Elite Specialization.

ArenaNet tried to calm it’s solo happy and path of least resistance PvE content players by stating that they would be able to unlock 10 Hero Points per Hero Point location in the new HoT zones. Personally I was skeptical but CrankyB wanted to give ArenaNet the benefit of the doubt.

It turns out that I was valid in my skepticism because guess what? Those lovely 10 point Hero Points are gated behind Masteries. Masteries are gated behind both story missions and small to large group oriented zone content.

What this boils down to is that players who were expecting to use the new Elite Specializations to play the new content in PvE, have to UNLOCK the PvE content BEFORE they can unlock the PvE content that lets them unlock their Elite Specializations.

Yo Dawg I heard you like gating content.

To the bulk of the PvE’rs looking forward to playing this expansion, this logic is completely ass backwards. They wanted to use the Elite Specializations to enjoy playing the new content. They weren’t expecting to slug through such grindy content just to eek through their Elite Specialization one excruciatingly earned talent point at a time.

To ArenaNet, a bunch of goodies hidden in with unlocking the talent points justifies adding such a large talent point cost to the Elite Specialization. ArenaNet is adding new crafting recipes, item skins, and exotic gear. I assume they believe that these unlocks justify gating talent trees behind not one but THREE layers of content.

That’s right, THREE layers of content. Story content, Masteries content, and then Hero Point content.

The Story Content is similar to the living stories, where you follow along some of the most whiny and annoying emo heroes since independent comics just to complete a set of objectives. Also, you can’t access the new content or begin unlocking the new content Masteries without first completing a story mission.

The Masteries Content is basically zone xp that you garner through a zone chock full of events. Don’t get me wrong, unlocking glider mastery seemed super neato, but needing to level up using a bouncing mushroom seemed a bit off.

Now once you manage to master the basics of the zone, you can then BEGIN to start looking for and obtaining the zone Hero Points. Some of which apparently are jumping puzzles that require the new gliding skill. That seems neat enough. But some of them require defeating a melt your face champion before you can access them. In the old world you maybe had to defeat a veteran or an elite. There may have been some champions guarding Hero Points in Orr, but these were for the most part ignored by anyone that wasn’t trying to get a map complete.

Now, honestly the Masteries idea is a neat and novel concept. I also agree with CrankyB that the day/night cycle in the zones is also pretty bad ass.

What isn’t so bad ass is that there are very few waypoints in the zone and almost as little players. That’s right, brand spanking new content almost completely devoid of players. So those Hero Points with the face melting champions? Well you better hope that you have someone in that new mega guild you just joined to come help you out or you’ll just have to wait until either other people are desperate enough to go against the champion OR ArenaNet nerfs the content.

We saw maybe 3 or 4 players other than our group in the content. Except when one waypoint was unlocked. Then a few people showed up just to go for the unlocked Hero Point and subsequently disappeared again.

So there’s this whole new set of zones chock full of group based content that people more or less have to solo because no one else is playing in the zones.

Which is funny because a great deal of GW2 players enjoy solo PvE, but can’t solo this content because it’s designed for small to large groups.

I’m not sure if that’s the definition of Irony, but it’s got to be close.

While the lack of players might be a megaserver issue, I highly doubt it. Every other zone entered worked just fine and the standard PvE hotsposts were still humming right along.

Now this means that despite the fact that ArenaNet is trying to force players into the new content by gating the Elite Specializations behind these Hero Points, no one is taking the bait. Why? Because people would rather slog through the old world content to unlock at least half of the require Hero Points OR they’re farming them in WvW.


Because despite the few players who tell the rest of the player base to just “get better” or “toughen up”, the bulk of the GW2 player base is the “path of least resistance” type of player. They’ve been trained to play that way based on the options that had previously been available in the game.

Obtaining the most grindy loot in the game the Ascended gear and the Legendaries, wasn’t really even that grindy. You could just farm for gold to buy your legendary or even use gold to buy a spot in a fractal which awards ascended gear. If you just convert gems to gold you don’t even have to work THAT hard.

Honestly I’d love to see ArenaNet pool the numbers to see which of the Hero Points in the new zones are completed the most frequently. I’m pretty sure that they’d see that the ones that don’t require player assistance are the ones completed the most often.

The people that play solo in GW2 silently outnumber the folks who loudly whine for more challenging group content.

So while these up until now silent solo players have been happily humming through almost 2 years of barely changed content in GW2, they’ve just been slapped in the face with a huge expansion cost and a bigger Hero Point bill.

Hero Points that they can barely access or can’t even access at all without the help of players that they hadn’t needed to play with before. I mean maybe we all grouped together in short spurts to take out a champion or two, but then we all went on about our own merry way.

Even in WvW you have roamers that prefer to play solo or in small groups when running around looking for other players to kill.

Solo WvW roaming or 1v1 PvP is still a viable option for gameplay in GW2, but solo or small group PvE is quickly becoming frowned upon. Honestly I have no idea why this is even becoming a thing except for those few players who log into the forums demanding “more difficult content.”

The problem is that I’m not even sure that developers understand that “more challenging” content translates to “give me a loot grind.”

The bulk of the PvE players are in Orr, SilverWastes, or batting at any event that proves to be a loot pinata as CrankB likes to call them. SilverWastes proves to be one such loot pinata. You can obtain a crap ton of loot just for spending relatively little time in a zone as long as you’re stubborn enough to endure the annoying knock down mobs and load up on condition purging skills. The attack on Lion’s Arch was another such loot piniata and let me tell you, that map was ALWAYS full during the event.

The old world PvE seems to be alive and kicking without a hitch. The new, large player focused and grind happy content that was made for the “I want a challenge players” is practically barren ONE DAY after launch.

So yeah, apparently players aren’t going to play “challenging content” over loot pinata content. They might play raids if they offer enough rewards. Chances are though, if they don’t the megaguilds that were so anxious for the raiding content are going to be hard pressed to find enough players willing to bother doing raids for more than a one time achievement unlock.

What players are doing is earning the additional Hero Points through World vs World, or the old world content. IE, they’re going to take the path of less resistance to get what they want and maybe, just maybe, they’ll swing back through your difficult content if it turns out that there’s some achievement or another they feel they need.

Creep the Revenant level 23 in the PvP lobby. Notice the ability to select Herald without leveling to 80 AND all of the people in the background. Possibly doing the same.

Also, if they just want to play with the new Elite Specializations without doing ANYTHING at all, they can simply enter the PvP lounge where they have direct access to the Elite Specializations, no Hero Points required. Because PvP.

I’m sure that this is part of the “Play Your Way” bull crap that they’re trying to advertise. To begin explaining how much of a farce this line is becoming in GW2 post HoT requires a blog post of it’s own.

If they really wanted to let us play it our way, they’d let the PvE and WvW players have access to the Elite Specialization the same way the arena PvP players have access to it.

Now before you tell me “well that’s just GW2”, let me politely remind you that this game has not been a grind up to this point. It was even advertised as such.

If someone who plays as casually as I do has 6 max level toons, that has to tell you how little grind there is to be had.

With that in mind, I really, really, don’t understand why they had to add the Hero Point grind, on top of the Masteries grind on top of a Story Arc grind. Though apparently they are removing some of the Story Arc requirements. With the new stat types they’ve added, I’m pretty sure that adds a gear grind for using optimal gear with your Elite Specialization, just a icing on a grind-tastic cake.

It wouldn’t surprise me if all of this crap was just considered to be raid attunement for HoT. Look how well grindy raiding attunements worked for WildStar.

What bothers me is that as a player who has NO interest in raiding period, I feel almost forced through this content just to “play my way” with an Elite Specialization.

Ask anyone who has a Guardian. You don’t see them even attempting the new content as you simply need a solid range option until you unlock enough masteries. Sure you can try it and die horribly and repeatedly, but let’s be honest, who finds that to be FUN?

If “Playing Your Way” was truly something that ArenaNet wanted to take to heart and wasn’t just some marketing scam, then the PvE and WvW players would have as direct access to these skills just like PvP players.

They can gate the crap out of the fluff content that goes along with it. That part I agree should be earned in a 100% fashion. But the skills themselves? No.

Rift tried gating talent trees behind dungeons when the game launched. A small part of the player base thought this was a novel and ideal approach.

Let me tell you that a large and largely non vocal majority thought this was bull crap and didn’t buy the game. How do I know this? Because later all of the talent trees were available from a vendor. Then later still they were all available to all players from the start. If players LOVED this option, why didn’t it remain gated?

I might also add that Rift went from pay to play to free to play in a year. Meaning that the game did not keep enough players to support its self on subscriptions alone.

It doesn’t matter if a few players think that things that are a horrible grind make them feel elite. The fact that the rest of us paid for the content too and would like to at least have a chance to play it, makes our say just as valid as theirs. Furthermore, the bulk of players out of any MMO are going to choose the path of least resistance and aren’t even going to bother with the difficult content until they have people that can help walk them through it.

WoW has been listening to their players tell them this. That is why their dungeons and raids are the way they are now instead of requiring the heavy attunement and 40 man spread that was found in vanilla WoW.

I don’t even listen to the old fogey gamers that try to tell me that such a thing was the epitome of gaming. I’ve talked to players who actually DID the 8 hour 40 man raids and they wouldn’t go back to them unless they were paid to do so.

WildStar tried to out the elite old school WoW raiding and ended up hemorrhaged players in it’s first month live. They THEN went free to play in it’s first year live. I was there for the first two months. Many of the zones looked even more barren than the new Hot content.

Hopefully developers will finally figure out that trying to gate content needlessly and limiting their players’ character doesn’t make their players happy. Like ever. Also, grind without a significant loot factor is also not going to win them any awards.

I’m hoping that someone politely reminds ArenaNet.

Though I do feel assed out in my HoT purchase, my one saving grace is that I still have the Revenant to level. For the time being that is the ONLY aspect of HoT that I will have access to for the forseeable future.


Because despite buying the expansion IN ADVANCE, and PAYING to beta test their product, I’m assed out of a good quantity of the product because I’m not willing to join a faceless megaguild just to participate in the content I paid for.

Now what I fear is that all soloable or small group PvE content will be removed from the game in favor of trying as hard as they might to get MORE players to play the game by making content that just plain requires more players to play it.

From what it looks like now all that is going to create is a bunch of empty zones.

Having one zone like Silverwastes that requires a large amount of player cooperation is one thing. Trying to spread that out through 4 zones where people are trying to accomplish all kinds of goals on their own on top of getting bumpkiss for loot?

Yeah, I wonder why people are asking for refunds.

No matter how hard the 1% of Min/Maxing hard core gamers try to convince the rest of the population, the bulk of the player base wants loot now, and with minimal effort. What they’ve forgotten is that the bulk of players go for the path of least resistance and probably won’t play content that they can’t cake walk through.

That means that the bulk of the player base is not going to play this new content until it’s dumbed down or until it becomes enough of a loot pinata that they won’t be able to resist.

This also means that few people are going to bother completing the Masteries or Stories in the new content. Also few are going to bother gathering the 10 point Hero points until the entire area has been made accessible by at least the median class of casual player.

So hopefully them raider types got everything they were hoping for out of this new expansion.

Though granted, they didn’t get their raids, because well, those aren’t done yet. But hell, at least they have 4 maps worth of large group content to ignore until their raids are ready. Because everyone knows that raiders spend a lot of time grinding through open world PvE content.

Way to go ArenaNet.

Now I will leave you with one of the best analogies yet for HoT:


I go into a restaurant to have a meal. Before I can get throught the door, the hostess asks me to prepurchase my meal. I’ve eaten here before and thought their stuff was amazing so I go ahead and give them some money. After I sit down at a table, a waitress comes over with a dirty plate and utensils. She says, ” The plate and utensils are the ones you used the last time you were here. We recently have changed to new plates and utensils but if you want to use those to enjoy the contents of your meal you will have to sweep and mop the kitchen and wash the plate and utensils you previously used.” I told the waitress that this was unreasonable and that I wanted to enjoy the contents of my meal on the new plate and utensils. She shakes her head and says, “I will never understand the sense of entitlement some of these customers have.”

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GuildWars2: Necromancer Goals

Epona Rhi Necromancer
Epona Rhi Necromancer

Right now my current goal in Guild Wars 2 is to finally fully level a Necromancer. I think I’ve created and deleted 5 or so Necros and so far only Epona has managed to make it past 50.

On top of just leveling her and part of what keeps me from giving her the ax sometimes is the host of other mini goals that I have for her that tie in with Epona’s long and winding path to level 80. I am a slacker so I take my time.

I plan on doing some Tailoring and Artificing on Epona. I want the sigils and consumables available from Artificing as well as just having some sweet looking armor with fancy stats that I can build via tailoring.

To complete the look I want at level 80 I’m going to want to make the light Ascended legs. That’s going to be a pain, but itl’ll look kind of sweet. Well to me anyways. I’m not worried about making a full Ascended set. Just one piece is good enough for me really.

Since I’ll need materials for leveling crafting. I might as well do some roaming about for trees and work on actually completing some zones. I’ll probably start out with the low level zones to get those out of the way and then work on the higher level zones later.

That not only gives me good gobs of XP but it also helps me work on map completion. I would like to manage to do that with one out of my 6 characters one of these days.

The sweet part about GW2 is that it’s almost impossible NOT to level your character. Walking through zones gives me XP. Completing the hearts or quest type objectives gives me XP. Helping out on random events, oh yeah XP there. Killing zone bosses, yeah that gives me XP. Oh and going back to town to craft with all the junk I just picked up also gives me some XP. Best part is that aside from the quest objectives, I can run back through the same zones and still get XP. Not too shabby.

As for my combat goals for my Necromancer, that is all going to revolve around having a fun grouping AoE killer with handy supporting elements. On the AoE note, basically I pan on going with a staff build and targeted wells. Then I plan on pumping as much of my build into those two things as I can at the moment. My husband designs my builds for the most part so I take no credit in what I end up with. Though playing them is all me.

Until next time I’ll be roaming about Tyria, killing stuff and poking my nose around every corner. If you’re on the Euro servers and want to say hi just let me know.

Category: Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPG | Comments Off on GuildWars2: Necromancer Goals

GuildWars2: My Guilty Pleasure

Kleinubel the Thief Looking for Pockets to Pick.
Kleinubel the Thief Looking for Pockets to Pick.

I have to make a lengthy confession. I have been playing Guild Wars off and on since April 2013. My husband remembers. I’m horrible for dates.

I wanted to get into another MMO. I took a look at GW2 and decided that it was something that I wanted to try even though all of my friends had already played and left the game.

While I have also been in and out of GW2 just to have a change of pace I always find myself going back to the game. Now every time I play an MMO, I really enjoy it until I end up comparing it to GW2.

This is pretty much the growing list of GW2 features that keeps me coming back.

The List:


This is a new reason, but no less valid. Now you can’t go into a zone in Guild Wars 2 and NOT see another player. Even if that player is from another server, it doesn’t matter. If they are in a zone you are in, the Megaserver technology merges them and you get to play with other people.

This means zones aren’t empty. This is big for an MMO because when you are playing an massively multiplayer game you shouldn’t be playing by yourself.

Zone Scaling

This is a big one for me. So you hit 80 and now what? In GW2 the the whole map is your plaything. Same as in the original Guild Wars where you can go where ever with your fully leveled toon.

When you enter any zone your level scales to the zone. So if your level 80 goes back to a level 10 zone, you keep your traits, skills and abilities but you are scaled down to the zone around you. That basically means that if you’re not on your game a level 10 champion can still kick your level 80 butt.

This makes it a lot easier to enjoy playing with folks just starting the game as well as just being able to enjoy and get a ton of XP for completing even the starter zones of the other races.

Loot Scaling

In Guild Wars 2 the loot scales with you. So if you’re in a level 10 zone as an 80 killing stuff, you get level 80 gear. I am not joking. You won’t get high level harvestables from that zone but you will at least have something to sell to fix your gear. That’s really only necessary if you play with one of those special friends who love running head first into champions on a whim. I have those it can be awesome and it can be painful but it is all good fun.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that sometimes you get gear slightly below your level, but you still get stuff you can sell if not use.

Events Add Repeatable Content

In GW2 there is something to do in every zone even if you have completed the hearts that are the GW2 equivalent to quests.  The events give you more XP than the quests and usually more loot than you can shake a stick at. Remember too that the loot is for your level whatever level that may be.

This also means that if you are on a higher level toon and going back to help a friend level, you will be able to get XP in that zone not just from killing mobs but also from doing these events again. So this means running around with your friends gives you event XP and loot on top of kill XP even if you’ve completed all of the quest type based content.

The events also mean that the zones rarely feel like the same zone twice. Very rare events mean that you can go through a zone once or twice and only once run into some of these events. If you power level through a zone (which is really easy to do in GW2) you can miss a lot of content that you can always go back and see another time.

Shared Harvesting

In Guild Wars 2 you get XP for harvesting, you share harvesting nodes with everyone, and your harvestables can be sent to storage so they don’t fill up your bags or your bank.

The only downside to harvesting in Guild Wars is that you have to buy the tools. It’s not such a big deal for me though, I just make sure I have some extra tools in my pack. You can also buy permanent tools for Gems that don’t wear out and some offer extra loot. It’s up to you if you want them.

Collectibles Storage

In GW2 you can harvest like a mad person on every character on your account and right click to send all of the crafting materials to one central harvestables bank. You can access that bank while you are in the main city to pull things for sale on the auction house or you can access them directly while crafting. You don’t even have to have the items in your bags, the collectables bank counts.

You can extend your max collectables storage if you hoard things. That does cost gems on the market. Once again though, totally optional. I’ve played the game for over a year now and still haven’t extended my collectables.

This set up lets you have one or two characters you roam the map with and one character that just lives in town and does nothing but craft. This is handy for a character that you’ve invested a lot of time in but don’t really feel like playing their class too much.

Crafting Helps you Level

I did mention that you get leveling XP from crafting right? In GW2 if you want to craft while you are leveling it is actually beneficial. It not only gives you stat boosts and stuff you can sell on the auction house, but it also gives you level XP.

The downside is that if you have to buy any crafting materials from the auction house, it will seriously ruin your profit. On the upside, if you spend extra time in a zone at your crafting level collecting components you can still get plenty of XP from mob kills and events.

Join Multiple Guilds

In GW2 guilds are account bound. So if you join a guild every character you have is also in that guild. However you do not have to represent that guild on every toon or all of the time.

Representing a guild means that you are active in that guild at the moment. If you are a member of mutliple guilds, you have to represent another guild to access that guild bank, perks and/or chat channel. This lets you join multiple guilds that specialize in different areas of the game. It also means that you can be a part of one guild that is active at the moment, but not leave another guild that is less active for whatever reason.

Guilds are also cross server. You can also visit them whenever you like and not have to transfer server just to say hello or go on a rampage through a zone. If you want to get the guild skins or access the bank you have to have those perks unlocked in a guild based on your server though (last time I checked).

Free Trait Resets

GW2 now lets you change your trait build whenever and wherever you are as long as you are out of combat of course. This makes it much easier to trade out your weapons, skills and traits to match whatever content you intend to tackle for the day. The best part is that you can save the cash you were spending on changing your build to pay for more map travel and or the bigger bags you’ll need to carry extra weapons and loot.

Weapon Based Skills

In GW2 your weapon determines how you fight. Most classes can weapon swap on the fly to use different skills and weapon sets in battle. Even for those classes that cannot weapon swap on the fly, they either have access to a lot more skills per weapon or can slot in different bundle type weapons. That and being able to swap weapons out of combat means that you can be so detailed as to having the perfect weapon set up for any one type of encounter. That is for your class of course. Now with the free trait resets you can also revise your build on the fly to match the change in weapons.


Account Bound Dye and Free Dying Costs

In Guild Wars 2 dyes are an investment. For some rare colors you can spend quite a bit on the Auction House. Thanks to new changes every dye you buy binds to your account so every character on your account has access to whatever dyes you unlock.

Also dying your gear at any time, with any color you have is free. So if you want to go all green for saint patty’s day then back to the standard red and black the next day, you’re not going to pay extra for that.


The wardrobe is actually one of the newer features but it’s pretty neat. You can unlock as many armor skins as you can find in the game. It also stores them in a collectables fashion which means that you don’t have to actually retain that piece of armor to have an unlock for the look of it. Once you have the armor skin unlocked you can transmute it over your current armor. The only limitation is of course that it has to be an armor value that your class can use in the game. A light armor class can only transmute light armor for instance.

This lets you set up some very unique outfits for your characters based on what you’ve managed to pickup. So despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of players in the game, you may be the only bright pink Sylvari wearing that top and those trousers.

The downside is that you have to pay for the transmutes with gems that you buy with IRL cash. The upside is that it supports the game for a pretty minimal fee and is purely aesthetic. The cost for a handful of transmutation charges is still less than you’d spend on a monthly sub. You can also buy some unique skins too, but once again it is a purely aesthetic purchase and is purely optional.

Rotating Story Arcs and General World Events

So on top of the generic in game holidays that give you fun little side things to do in between the general grind, there are large story arcs. These are incredibly cool as they actually effect the world. When they call them “Living World” stories they’re not joking. Lion’s Arch still hasn’t fully recovered after a story arc turned it into a war zone.

End of story is that the whole map in GW2 isn’t static. As wars and battles rampage the map they actually leave lasting impressions. If you were a part of the stories you’re able to say ‘hey I saw this happen’ and if you weren’t you log in and it leaves you asking no end of questions.

Story Journal

So if you like the living stories but don’t really have the time to participate, Arena Net has added a fun new feature. The Story Journal. This lets you go back to events you missed for whatever reason and experience them even if you aren’t able to participate in the living story while it’s live. This has been one of the biggest criticisms of the Living Story in Guild Wars 2 and this is probably one of the most interesting new changes.

Siege Warfare

PvP is a big part of GW2 and World vs World or WvW is another aspect of it. This is really the PvP in the game that I enjoy. It has it’s own explorable map, keeps and siege weapons. I haven’t personally done a lot of it, but from what I have participated in, I can say that it’s PvP that I can get into, eventually.

Wrapping it up:

The purpose of this post isn’t to sell anyone on playing Gw2. You either want to play it or you don’t, the choice is yours. The purpose of this article is more to serve as a reminder to myself of the things I need to remember about GW2 before I check out another shiny new game. Thing is that if a game doesn’t have a lot of the features on this list I am probably not going to bother.

The thing about GW2 is that it is more of a game for ‘the other half’. I’m talking about people that do not want to ‘raid’ or ‘pvp’. I mean exclusively pvp because GW2 does have a heavy pvp focus, but it isn’t the only post level cap activity.

GW2 isn’t top heavy leaving the starting areas empty while people rush to get to end game content. This is a game that scales level 80’s down to participate in low level content but still gives them loot worth their time and effort. This is also a game that will scale players up to 80 just to participate in current Living Story content so that they don’t feel rushed to get their level cap. They still have to be high enough level to get to the zone to participate, but they can still participate.

To me the fact that GW2 is less about levels and more about content really is a selling point. The fact that I can roam the map with my friends and still feel like I’m enjoying and exploring the map regardless of whether or not I’ve already completed it, is also a big bonus.

For tonight I’ll be in GW2 working on a Sylvari Elementalist or maybe finish my 40 plus Human Necromancer. Either one would give me my 4th level 80 in the game.

In the meantime I’ll be debating whether I’m going to go back to WildStar and give it another shot. Either way I will have to log in and talk it over with my guild. I am still subbed for one more month of WildStar but at this point I really do not think the game is right for me. I am not saying it isn’t a great game. For people who love raiding and pvp content WildStar is totally for them.

Until next time I hope that you too enjoy playing whatever game you enjoy the most.

Category: Gaming, Guild Wars 2 | Comments Off on GuildWars2: My Guilty Pleasure

When Did Games Grab You?



I was watching a vid earlier today on Everquest Next. A lot of folks tell their stories about how a game changed their lives. A lot of games do this in a number of ways, some more than others.

The question is, which game grabbed you and made you believe that games were for you? Which game did you start playing that you consider to be your own virtual playground?

For me it did start with World of Warcraft, I started too late to be on the Everquest or even Everquest 2 band wagon. The one game I called home more so than any other game I can say was Fallen Earth. Though granted it’s currently not what it used to be. That of course makes me more sad than anything else. I was hoping to get that feeling back again with Guild Wars 2. Which by the way is a solid MMO that puts into practice a lot of the things I’ve complained about right here on this blog. Thing is though, while I was working on my fourth level 80, I really didn’t feel the desire to finish leveling up. I am not a fan of grind based end game content or chasing achievements. Not that any of it is a bad thing, a lot of people like it, but it’s just not for me. I’ll probably check out Guild Wars 2 again once they have player housing.

For now though I have enough responsibility on my plate and speaking of which I need to finish some work for today. Before I go however, I wanted to post this up and ask the question, what game where you in when you just felt like home?

Category: Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars 2, MMORPG | Comments Off on When Did Games Grab You?

PAX East 2012 – My Thursday and Friday

TSW at PAX East

Yes! I survived another PAX, East this time. That’s a new one for me. Boston is cool, history and all that jazz. The streets are a pain in the ass but the rest of it isn’t so bad.

The first two times I went to PAX, I went to PAX Prime in Seattle. I lived in Seattle so it wasn’t a big deal, I could hop into the expo, hit a panel or two, and head home. None of this get a plane ticket and hotel nonsense.

But! Both times I went to PAX Prime, I went solo. I didn’t really have any local gamer friends in Seattle when I went to PAX Prime in 2009. By my second PAX (2011) I did have gamer friends. Some of those folks were even at PAX Prime, but I never managed to hook up with them.

Doesn’t matter though cause I was still able to chat with those folks and folks that weren’t able to make it. Even though I was by myself, I wasn’t alone. I was e-mailing my best friend and gaming buddy Savvy. I was posting stuff on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, even my blog.

I was by myself, but I wasn’t alone. My online friends were there for me. Which was awesome for a lot of reasons. This last year even though I had a blast at PAX Prime and Halofest, my life offline was craptastic to say the least.

I’m not going into that though.

So there I was going through my e-mails and Savvy floored me. I told him about PAX East coming up in a few months and he wanted to go.

So a few weeks later, PAX East badges came available. Talking to Savvy over Skype I asked if he still wanted to go. He said sure, we got passes, each got rooms, got plane tickets and I rented a car since we picked a hotel that was out in the BFE.

Oh and pro-tip, get a hotel by the convention center and walk, you’ll save a bunch of money. Even if you have to shack up with guildies or anyone you can wrangle into going with you. There’s turn pikes, parking and gas. Even though we saved on the hotel, we pretty much paid on the rest of it.

Months go by. Eventually the day arrives. I leave Alabama, Savvy leaves Texas, we both end up in Boston. We’re both fried on arrival cause neither of us could sleep the night before. I mean come on, getting to go to PAX is like going to Disney world, but better, you get free stuff and pay half as much, and you get to play with all kinds of cool games that aren’t out yet.

How was I gonna sleep?

As I get off the plane I look at my phone. I have a text telling me to go to the Info desk, I finally find the info desk, look around, I’m still not seeing Savvy. I talk to the Info desk folks, they say there’s a few other info desks.

I facepalm.

Savvy messages me asking me where I’m actually at. I scan the place and tell him which concourse I ended up at. He tells me to stay there, he’d find me.

That was cool.

OK to be honest he knows I’d either get lost or distracted by a shiny and he’d be waiting and wondering if I got snatched or managed to get myself into trouble. So it really was better for me to wait for him.

Sadly though, that meant -I- was waiting.

I’m ADHD and NOT good at waiting. I was pacing all over the place. I was starting to panic a little cause I didn’t even have a picture of Savvy with me, I wasn’t sure if I was going to recognize him.

I finally see a familar face walking up smiling at me. I was so happy to see him I gave Savvy a big hug.

Trust me, he’s earned it. This guy has had my back through game after game. Years ago he even played a short stint in WoW with me and had to help me keep my mother alive when she’d run past us dragging half the zone’s mobs behind her yelling “help me! help me! help me!” as she went. He always tells me about the cool games coming along and about all the beta’s he’s getting into.

Savvy is pretty much a pro-am beta tester, I don’t think there’s a single company that wouldn’t want him in their closed beta, and if they don’t they’re missing out. He knows how to push a game’s boundaries to find spots that need fixing, he knows how to document it, and unlike me, he doesn’t have a blog.

Safe to say, I’m lucky that he’s willing to talk to me, let alone travel halfway across the country to keep me out of trouble for a fun filled weekend of games and geekery.

After the hello’s we wander out onto the airport drive. I’m perpetually confused and get us on the wrong car rental shuttle. I forgot to actually READ my itinerary until we got ON the shuttle. Another facepalm moment.

We get off that shuttle, and wait for the right one, hop on and head over to the rental car place.

Anyone else would have been chiding me for being a noob, but Savvy’s known me long enough to just shake is head and laugh. He knows I’m a spaz. I don’t hide this. There’s some spazziness you can hide, mine however is so blatent that hiding it just makes it that much more obvious.

We get to the rental place and we get a Ford Focus. It was kinda fancy, had Microsoft Sync, electric locks, windows and automatic headlights. The damn thing might as well have been the starship enterprise. I didn’t figure out about the automatic headlights until we hit the I-90 tunnel.

After we throw everything in the car, we decide which GPS to use to get us to the hotel. Savvy just joined the smart phone world and really wanted to test out his phone’s GPS. I was cool with that and we gave it a shot.

That of course is when the Android vs Windows Mobile wars began. It was a weekend running gag. I’m still kinda dissapointed that he didn’t have a lightsaber app.

Yes, the lightsaber app sold me on Andriod…. Again a story for another time…

We get through a toll booth, go over a cool rusted green bridge, over a suspension bridge and after turning around a few times we actually get over the highway and to the hotel.

I end up with a big room with two double beds all to myself. I had a total “woah” moment just staring at it and wished they’d let me keep the smaller room.

After getting settled, I text Savvy and we meet up to figure out where to go to get foods. I hadn’t eaten all day so I had a hunger. We agree on and look up an Indian Restaurant and drove out to it.

We saw all kinds of cool houses, cool rocks and even a fallout shelter. It was in a fire station.

Safe to say we spent some time roaming around, getting lost, taking pictures, and totally confusing his GPS unit. That in its self could have become a meta game by the end of the weekend.

“Let’s drive out somewhere and see how long it takes the GPS to figure out how to get us back on track!”

I think the word of the weekend for our phones was “Recalculating.”

ANYWAYS, we get back to the hotel, talk about games for a while, agree when we’re getting up in the morning, and hit the hay.

Next morning I’m up WAY before my alarm goes off. This is not normal for me, I’d been a sleeper for months. There I was though, up and wide awake. I was checking twitter, checking Facebook, sending e-mail, hitting Skype, checking Google +.

I was dressed, actually put on make up and was ready to go by just a bit after 7. I texted Savvy, he was pretty much ready to go. We got some food and hit the road.

We no more than left the hotel and Savvy says, “I left my badge at home.”

I glanced at him for a sec, because I was driving and asked “Do we need to go back to the hotel?”

Savvy says, “No I mean at home, home.”

All I could think to myself was …oh crap… It’s not like we could swing by Texas on our way to the convention center.

We keep heading out anyway figuring we’ll have to work something out. Regardless I told him that I wasn’t going to leave him hanging out in Boston by himself, even if he couldn’t get the badge replaced.

I haven’t left him hanging in game, out of game isn’t any different.

We finally manage to get to the convention center, after I neglect to have faith in my GPS unit and end up taking a detour out by the airport. Two toll booths later, we get to the convention center, pay for parking and get the car settled.


I would have been squeeee-ing all over the place if we weren’t worried about getting a replacement pass for Savvy. We get out of the car, get everything together and head inside. We figure we’d hit willcall and see if they can help us out, shivering all the way to the door as the wind blows right through us every step of the way.

We get up to the counter (after asking just which line we should be in) and we beg to get his pass replaced. The gal says she’d be happy to do it if he had any of the paperwork or his purchase e-mail and a photo ID.

Fortunately Savvy had the e-mail on his phone, showed the gal his ID and she handed over a 3 Day Pass.

I was ready to jump over the counter and give her a hug. I was so happy. We were gonna get into PAX!

Savvy was pretty happy too, he was smiling. That’s pretty much what you get from Savvy, he’s a low key kinda guy. It’s one hell of a contrast to the little hell cat he was stuck with for the weekend.

Our enthusiasm barely held though once we wandered downstairs and got into the queue for the Expo area. We were probably in the 10th or so spot down the line. Each line held about 50 or more people.

Now we had to wait for the remaining hour or so for the Expo hall to open. Though it did mean standing, more or less in once place, I wasn’t gonna complain, at least we were getting into PAX not headed back to the hotel.

Then they let loose the beach balls of DOOM!

OK they didn’t explode or anything but I was totally waiting for for Savvy to elbow me between the eyes when the beach balls were released, but meh, it was all in good fun. Hey when you’re standing in line for an hour or so waiting for the expo floor to open, it’s nice to be able to have a little entertainment.

And really, watching a dude get a beachball in the back of the head while messing with his phone, priceless. Just sayin’.

OK that and the people laughing at me while I was dodging fists and elbows. I’m just short enough I couldn’t hit the balls before everyone else could but just tall enough to be in prime bloody nose range. Fortunately, I made it through unscathed. I think my rogue boots gained a +10 to Dodge.

Day one getting out onto the Expo floor was awesome. The first thing we hit was The Secret World. A friend asked me to check it out so I totally accosted the Funcom Staff. Hey I got a beta key out of it, so it wasn’t all bad.

I’ll do a full review on TSW after I get this written, but at PAX East, it really was still a little clunky. I’m pretty sure they were giving us a basic build so we wouldn’t be able to get into too much trouble with it, though me and Savvy TOTALLY tried. I’m kinda hoping to see a lot more once I get a chance to use that beta key. That won’t be till May.

Once we’d played with that a while and started to wander a bit more, I decided it was time to meet my one goal for the day.

Stocking cap.

I NEEDED a hat, my ears were freezing in Boston cold. They ain’t elf ears, but they’re still sensitive. Dammit.

I didn’t really want the reversable Penny Arcade cap, but I knew that Rooster Teeth had a booth and figured they might have something I’d want. Eventually me and Savvy make our way over to the booth and I wriggle my way up to the glass looking for a hat.

I did NOT leave nose prints if that’s what you’re thinking. If you weren’t, at least now we’re clear on the subject.

I see a red ‘Sarge’ cap that looks like it’d be just what I need. I ask a nice gal for the hat and after looking up I see Gus Sorola hanging out in a funny hat. I say hi, he says hi, then he wanders off to sighn something. While I’m distracted getting my hat from the nice gal, Burnie Burns knocks the cabinet and jokes that he saw me do it. I say jokingly “look at me, does it look like I’m big enough to push anything around?”

We both laugh and Burnie agrees to sign the chevrons on my Sarge cap. Burnie gets Gus to sign it too. I told he he could just make an x on it if he wanted, it didn’t really matter to me if anyone else could read it.

This whole time Savvy is patiently waiting while I’m geeking out over getting to chat with the guys that make my favorite show and get my cap sighned by Gus and Burnie.

I’ve been a Red vs Blue fan before I even got back into games. In fact, using video games to capture video is one of the things that got me sucked into games. That and being able to play high end MMO’s cause I’d built a machine powerful enough to run the games AND capture video.

Though the desire to make movies left me some time ago, the people I met in games have kept me coming back for more. OK that and my Mom needing heals in World of Warcraft.

Once I get my hat and stop grinning like a fantard. Me and Savvy wander around again for a bit and then head over to get some food, the free breakfast at the hotel being LONG gone.

After I almost finish off a pretzel that was big as my head, me and Savvy went upstairs to get in line for the Rooster Teeth panel. That was like 15 minutes before the panel and OF COURSE the line was all the way down the stairs and around the corner. We totally missed out.

I would have been cranky since that was one of the only two panels I really wanted to see that day, BUT I had my signed cap. Anything else I needed to know I’d find out on the Rooster Teeth website later. I was hoping I didn’t miss some video, but meh, I was still on a hat high fueled by blatant fandom and sharpie fumes.

Me and Savvy wandered back downstairs and looked to see what we could see. Looking around I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see a booth for Diablo III or Guild Wars 2. I also wanted to see if I could find a Minecraft booth, but sadly no bueno. It’s all good though because I did see some familiar faces at a booth I didn’t expect to see at PAX East at all. The game? Novus Aeturno.

Passing by their, booth I saw one of the designers and recognized him after chatting with him at PAX Prime. I started bugging the dude about the game and could see that they’d put a LOT of work into the game since August. There were more ships and there was a lot more to the game.

He showed us how he was working on defeating one of the other designers, I laughed, we got a card for an in game item, me and Savvy wandered off.

Savvy wanted to show me combat in Tera. A booth dude gave us a hand getting a new assasin type build set up for Savvy. Savvy ran around killing some stuff, using the dodge and some other stuff while trying to kill stuff.

It looked kinda cool, and the world looked pretty, but it didn’t reach out to me and say “YOU MUST TRY ME, TRY ME NOW!” Then again, I’m kind turned off by pretty looking fantasy games lately. I mean I’m kinda tied to WoW right now, so anything else that wants my attention is going to have to offer more than shiny graphics and dodge. For folks that don’t have my kind of obligations, I’d say try it.

After the noob zone killing in Tera we wandered around some more and checked out a booth full of arcade games. They even had Pac Man! We only played the Mortal Combat machine. I played Sonya of course cause I love hearing “Sonya Wins!” Yeah they don’t spell it right, but who cares. I still win.

Well when I win. Out of the battles I only managed to win one match. Then again when all you’re doing is randomly mashing buttons, there’s not a lot of skill there.

Next up we wandered to the World of Tanks demo area. Savvy said that it had become a kind of a big deal. There were tournaments and lots of people loved the game.

I can see why. Lots of tanks, you get to plow things over and you get to blow things up. What’s not to love?

I couldn’t get the hang of World of Tanks, but I like the concept, the combat and all the tanks they had available. Savvy sits down and of course makes me look like a noob. I think that’s why he likes me, I make him look good.

We stop off at The Secret World booth one more time before heading over to the Borderlands 2 demo line. I tweak a build to come up with a fist weapon and magic setup that kicked some major butt. Just as I’m enjoying my unstoppable rampage, the client loses connection with the server and the world ceases to respond.


Wasn’t their fault though, sadly the TSW booth had a poopie net connection. The Novus Aeturno guysand a few other booths had the same issue.

I just played it off that my awesomeness crashed the game.

Hey, it was the only time over the weekend that I got to be awesome so I’m going with it.

After that we wandered over to see if we could get in the queue to try Borderlands 2. I didn’t get a chance to try Borderlands, but everyone says it was awesome. I figured, hey, it’d be totally worth trying Borderlands 2.

Sadly by the time we got there the line was capped since it was getting close to closing time. I chatted with the Enforcer running the line and he said we could try again tomorrow and was totally cool about it. It’s a good thing I did chat it up with him, it came in handy later.

So our Borderlands 2 plan was fail. I looked at Savvy and suggested we go wait for the Future of Online Gaming panel. I mean after all, we’re both MMO gamers. So that was totally the panel of the hour for us. OK well, the NEXT hour. Thing is though, I figured that if we got there soon enough, we might actually get into it. I’m glad we did cause that panel also had a line that wound around upstairs and continued on down the escalators.

While we were waiting I ended up with two t-shirts. A Defiance tee and a Planetside 2 tee.

The Planetside 2 tee was WAY too big for me. The lady handing it out told me that it would be a good t-shirt to lounge in on Sunday mornings while at my computer slurping down a cup of coffee. That totally painted a picture for me that was SO me that I couldn’t refuse the shirt.

We got into the panel, picked a chair and listened to the funky music. I played the Minecraft demo on my Driod while me and Savvy chatted. After what seemed like, well at LEAST long enough, the panel began. The first guy to come out looked like he should have been on ESPN, not an MMO panel. That of course gave me pause. I find out later that Curt Schilling of 38 Studios had been in the Baseball World Series or something.

I don’t know a damn thing about baseball, but out of all the panelists, I think it’s funny that I agreed with him the most.

He said was the guy that said that no one really LIKED the 4 hour corpse runs in Everquest. You just did them because there was nothing else to do.

Curt is also the guy who dressed down a member of the audience by saying that the audience member’s “thinly veiled comment” kind of included the fact that more than likely the dude had gone to play WoW and got his ass kicked. That even though WoW is easy to get into, it’s hard to master. I can SO tell you that’s the case, and don’t get me started on bitching about Blizz changing things up on me.

It can go on for a few hours.

Thing is though I came away from that panel realizing that the guys that make the good games, the ones you really enjoy playing, the different games the unique games, yeah, they’re all made by gamers who want to build a game for other gamers. Gamers who want to build a game because when they’d played a game they were looking at it going… dude, seriously? Who was on crack when they decided to do this?

Don’t look at me like that, anyone who’s played an MMO knows what I’m talking about. Ask a Warhammer player, just make sure that you leave enough time for a long talk. You might also need to buy them a beer, it’s a tough subject.

The panel discussed:

Guild Wars 2 and the public event system. That looks kind of neat. Shifting out your skills for group combat looks pretty easy as well, so they’re doing that right. Apparently they have huge maps in Guild Wars 2 that also sounds pretty promising. Combat looks cool enough with the dodging and stuff, I tried that out at PAX Prime. Really swapping skills when you swap weapons was more of a seller in my mind. Folks that aren’t super into combat will just be stoked they can swap easily between one set of skills and the next, but that’s from my care bear explorer perspective. My PvP brain says, sounds cool, but I’d have to try whomping someone to see how effective it is. That and as always, GW2 isn’t a monthly sub, so that’s always bonus.

Defiance looks like something I want to try out. Yeah it kinda looks like a Halo kind of deal, but it is MMO style, it’s gonna be cross platform, AND it’s going to tie in with a show on the Scify channel. So not only is it cross platform but it’s cross media as well. You also get to shoot at big ugly aliens, so come on, what’s not to love? That and it’s something I might be able to get Moms into, so that would be a nice break from WoW once in a while. What can I say, it’s nice to blast npc’s into oblivion sometimes.

Those were really the two games with videos and that were discussed in any detail.

TSW was at the panel, but they had a booth downstairs. Planeside 2 is pretty much relying on people who played the original Planetside to want to try out a new version of Planetside, so there wasn’t a video or a ton of info set out.

Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios was there mostly to talk about being a dev studio where gamers were building better games for gamers. Including talking about making a game that made the devs want to stop logging into WoW on their lunch break.

That guy CRACKS ME UP!

After wandering out of the panel and walking away with a set of 3 beta keys to Guild Wars 2, Savvy and I ended day 1 by heading back to the hotel to chat for a bit and pass out. Hey I’m old, I got up early, AND I had to drive. So finding an after party didn’t really have much hold with me on Friday night.

Saturday was different, but that’s going to be another post.