GW2: Honor of the Waves

I just don't like giants these days
I just don’t like giants these days

I don’t blog much these days. I blame I stream the games, they pop-up on Forge with all the best clips I can find, and I figure, hey, if anyone is all that interested in what I’m playing –> is that way :-) (I stream as Tipa there). But, the video quality can be low, and I don’t know if anyone will bother looking, or, without much context, even what they’re seeing there! But, because doesn’t play well with FRAPS, I usually have FRAPS off, and on. So, no cool screenshots unless I swap them. And sometimes I do that.

We’re into the Guild Wars 2 endgame, which brings the GW2 version of the endgame grind. Crafting which is just beyond ridiculous to get the top crafted items, dungeon roulette in the form of Fractals, which gives you a random selection of three mini-dungeons and a random boss fight just to mix things up. Why, I could tell you stories about the Thaumanova Reactor…

I’ve never been one to stay interested when the inevitable grind comes. All MMOs struggle to keep player attention once they’ve played through all the stories and leveled their character. Every MMO implements the law of diminishing returns, giving players less and less for more and more effort, until they can provide more content or players just give up. Eight years of EverQuest made me never want to do that kind of grind again. Once was enough for a lifetime.

However, being at the end game is freeing in that you can do pretty much whatever you want. I enjoy riding the world boss circuit. Just going from boss to boss — it’s just constant boss fights and decent loot, appropriate for your level. The best stuff is pretty rare, but if you like huge public raids (and I do), you just can’t go wrong here.

Last week we tried to save a failing Silverwastes run, but it didn’t work out. Still got some loot, just not as MUCH loot. Sunday we just kind of fell into the Honor of the Waves dungeon, in story mode. We’re all 80, pretty well geared in at least exotics, but it had been awhile since we just did a straight-up dungeon. I have to admit, we did pretty well. Some near wipes, but I don’t think we ever weren’t able to bring things back. Someone would kite the boss away while we brought people back up. These kinds of things illustrate just how unfriendly GW2 is to close melee. Typically, tanking the boss led to quick death.

The others in Team Spode have a way higher tolerance for endgame grinding than I do, and I’m thankful they let an easily distracted player like myself hang with them :)

GW2: Lighting up the Wayfarer’s Foothills.

Team Spode took our third trip into Guild Wars 2, Sunday. The first week we explored Queensdale, last week we played around in Metrica and killed a fire elemental. This week, we had our sights on a Son of Sam Snow Shaman in the Norn newbie grounds of the Wayfarer's Foothills, and the guild jumping puzzle in the nearby Snowden Drifts.

That was the first thing we did that required a guild, but, we weren't enough people to both dislodge icicles from the cavern ceiling and plug steam vents with them once they'd been dislodged, so we failed that.

Mostly we just wandered around the maps, doing skill challenges we found, grabbing vistas and so on. Pretty unstructured, and not what we're used to.

I've been reading up on the challenges that face us. My class, Engineer, has a lot of very specific things to do to support the group in these raids and fractals. Yeah, looks like I picked a support class, again.

Solo, though, my character is a little bundle of explosions. Set up a few turrets and defend them with BOMBS? What's not to love?

#GuildWars2   #TeamSpode  

Guild Wars 2: Team Spode invades GW2!

Guild Wars 2:

Team Spode took its first steps into Guild Wars 2. This was always going to be a stretch — we have six core players, and the maximum group size is five. We were playing on Tarnished Coast, one of the busiest servers in the game, so zoning out of a city could leave people in different instances.

So Jovan (Blighted) opted to play his high level character while the rest of us grouped up in Divinity's Reach, busted some dance moves, then set out into the wilderness to fill some hearts.

It was kind of chaotic, but not in a bad way. It looks like heart-filling tasks don't update everyone in a group, meaning there really is no benefit to being in a group as I could see, aside from coordination… but not even that, we were all in Skype, as usual.

I know that, eventually, Guild Wars 2 gives some benefit to grouping, but it's not clear why people would group at the early levels. I'm still not sure what everyone's classes are (Ellie Mentale is an elementalist, and I play an engineer, but beyond that, I have no idea).

For all that I have only recently made my peace with DCUO, left hard light behind for the easier mental powerset, and begun to enjoy the game, I appreciate DCUO's group dynamics. There nearly is always a good reason to group up in DCUO, or EQ/EQ2, or other group-oriented games.

GW2 seems to fall into the same, group-optional, realm as World of Warcraft.

Ellie suggested that next week we have two groups of three so that everyone gets grouped. Excellent idea, but I would be ready to just have everyone level to 30 so we could come together for the group content.


Top 5 Reasons why Neverwinter is the Best MMO That Can Exist, or, How To Twerk in World of Warcraft

Boared Stiff.
Boared Stiff.

When I found out “Top (some number) (some thing)” articles were called “listicles” (for List Articles), my life was changed. I’d always had these feelings I couldn’t explain, where I’d think of some provocative list of things and then put any old things in as the list, because getting people to click on the link and come to the article — the LISTICLE — would be mission accomplished. Article could be blank.

“How To” articles, though — have listicles beat. You can be just as provocative with the title as you would be with a listicle, but you only have to write about one thing (be sure your AdWords bill is paid up!) In fact, as a corollary of Internet Rule 34, I just needed to Google Twerking in World of Warcraft to find this gem over at One Crazy Paladin:

More than you wanted to see.

I love this game. Let’s try for… Three Wolf Moon in Guild Wars 2? DONE. I SWEAR to you that I didn’t know there was a Lunar Wolf spell in Guild Wars 2 that did the Three Wolf Moon before I searched for it.

So that brings up probably the most popular kind of link bait in blogs: Writing an article about someone else’s blog post. Bam. Original author gets new eyeballs, and you get some credit for pointing it out.

Don’t make me look for Gangnam Style in, say, EverQuest.

Pig Herding
Pig Herding

But now I’m totally serious. Neverwinter is the best MMO that CAN EVER EXIST, and I think you’ll agree when you find all your pig herding dreams are coming true for you in glorious F2P 3D.

See, the Midsummer Festival allows adventurers, for a short time, to visit a farming community on the outskirts of Neverwinter, which is having a festival that is being ruined by trolls in the barbecue, kobolds in the flower gardens, and pigs in the corn. Pigs and chickens. But for the purpose of this article, pigs.

Pigs are nasty little animals. They escape from their pens and go running through the corn. They’re a pain to catch, so the inattentive farmer who keeps them has decided to let adventurers do the herding. The stubborn creatures refuse to move, or go dashing off the wrong way, or seem to ignore the big honking horse you’re sitting on (horse really is necessary for pig herding), but after awhile you get the rhythm. You and the pigs come to an understanding. They’re heading to the pen like they meant to go there on their own.

It’s incredibly relaxing and fun. After crafting, it might be my favorite Neverwinter activity. And no pig is harmed, is the best thing.

And that’s my top five reasons why Neverwinter is the best MMO that can ever be.

2,600 petals later...
2,600 petals later…

The reason for my Midsummer obsession is a simple blouse, the Sunite Garb. There’s three bits to the festival outfit; the pants, the headdress, and the garb (the blouse). The first two can be crafted with the special Midsummer Crafting, but the only way to get the blouse is to earn 2,600 petals and buy it from the petal store. You get around 300 petals for doing all the events and quests at least once each day. Helps if you can herd pigs like a Pokemon Master. Since I wanted the outfit for Nina and the petals are (mostly) no trade, I had to do the quests on Nina, breaking the leveling compact Kasul and I have to stay in sync. (You can pick twelve flower blossoms (also no trade) and with them purchase a Flower Garden Reward (tradeable) which can be opened by someone else for fifteen petals). You can follow someone killing kobolds and ninja all their flowers while they are still fighting. I know this because people kept doing it to me.

Anyway, outfit done, pig mount obtained, I’m done herding pigs and picking corn for lazy farmers. Hated every minute of it. Half elves get no respect.

For the HOARD!
For the HOARD!

I don’t need to herd pigs, because I can be a dragon frying knights and ransoming princesses in HOARD. This little actioner came out last year, and I meant to try it out when it first came out, but for whatever reason did not. Now that EverQuest 2 has stopped taking up so much of my time, I’m branching out.

In HOARD, you play a dragon vying with other dragons (both AI and player controlled) to gather the most loot by the aforementioned depredations of the local nobility, razing fields, terrorizing towns and villages, and strategically igniting rolling dynamite carts where they will cause the most collateral damage. Against you are town-defending archers, tower-defending wizards, castle-defending knights, soon to be crisp thieves, and the other dragons, who don’t know that they are really just gathering gold so that you can take it away later.

I choose to play in the relaxing “TREASURE” mode, where I have no dragony opposition, just me and a world that lives in fear of my shadow.

It’s as restful as pig herding, and that’s no lie.