Sunday, November 25, 2012

How Stats Affect You - the work of Tasha Darke

I was roaming the internet looking for information on stats in GW2. My toons are starting to get up in level and gear is becoming more and more important. I also started crafting and fiddling around with relics, sigils, jewels, etc. but to be honest, I have a low grasp on how different stats truly affect my characters. I happened upon a post at Attached to Keyboard which was quite illuminating and I wanted to share them.

The first post you need to read is Attributes and Equipment in Guild Wars 2. Tasha does an excellent job describing primary and secondary attributes and what they affect, how condition damage is calculated, what are the base health pools at level 80 and how to improve everything through armor and accessories. There is a lot of detail and information and I've found it to be a fantastic reference guide for helping my choose armor depending on what I'm looking for. in my build/play-style. And if that were not enough, she discusses back items (I didn't know we could have these!), crests, sigils, runes and aqua breathers.

Power vs Precision is the next post that is a must read. Do you want crit? Raw power? Which is better and how much do you need? Don't know, read the post. She calculates how power and precision affect damage for 1 hit and for 100 hits. She does the math so you don't have to.

Vitality vs Toughness - I cannot recommend this post enough. If you just want to read one, read this. I knew there was a difference between vitality, aka health, and toughness, which only reduces direct damage, but really didn't understand them until reading this post. Ultra condensed understanding - Vitality helps you avoid dying to conditions, toughness keeps you from getting crit'd to the ground. I still go back to this post as a refresher.

I highly recommend checking Tasha's page periodically. She produces excellent posts and information. You can find here page here or in the links section titled "Warband Board".

See you in Tyria!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Karka Attack...Attack Back! Lost Shores.

Yesterday I was able to log in and participate in the taking of the Lost Shores.  Oh what a fun and entertaining zerg fest it was.  Being leveled-up to 80 yet still lacking in the gear and skills department,  I decided to equip a scepter/focus on my guardian and a long sword.  I jumped into the melee fray just long enough to get in some hits, light a karka on fire, drop a seal and then got out of the area so I could spam long range attacks.  It was challenging.  It was fun.  We had folks weaving in heals, running in to revive others, boons going off left and right, spamming condition removers, it was GREAT!

Join the Lion Guard today!  Explore distant new lands.  Discover new creatures and kill them!
 In addition, I got to see the establishment/building of all the camps and bridges that are now a permanent part of the island.  One fella joked, "Whenever I come back here I can say I was here when they built this bridge!"  He was right.  As a one time event that will not be repeated it was enjoyable to be a part of the experience precisely because it was a singular and unique event.  Some players might have a problem with this, I for one do not.  I know I will not be part of every special event, kinda like real life.  Sometimes we are there to witness things happen and sometimes we miss them only to see the after effect.  It is a bold move by ANet but one I think is good for the game.  For a more in depth discussion on transient events I suggest reading Syl's post "Experiencing Event, Impacts and Player Mindset" over at Raging Monkeys.

I have not had a chance to participate in the fractal dungeon yet so I can't write about it.  Nevertheless, if you are curious about it, Emtombed has a good post titled Fractals and Frizzles wherein he explains his experiences with the new style dungeon.

For what little I could participate, I greatly enjoyed myself and hope other players did too.   I am enjoying how ANet is implementing stories or events in chapters or acts.  They still need some polish and that will improve with each one they produce, but for a game to be out only a few months and offer us all this for free, i.e. no subs, I'm impressed.

See you in Tyria!

--Random Screen Shots--
That is one BIG Asuran laser.  I wonder if they are compensating for something?

Champion karka hit have a jump attack that hits HARD!  Luckily I was revived by another player.

I don't know if this is a glitch or on purpose but I thought it funny.  Joe Ranger: "This island is full of abnormal and vicious creatures!"  Bill Elementalist:  "No it's not, it says it's normal all over the ground."  "Nothing to worry about."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Zomorros Speaks! and gets bored with me.

With karka running amok the enigmatic genie of Lion's Arch has decided to revel himself a little and speak to Tyrians.  I present my little conversation. (click to embiggin)

So what do we learn.  Karka are really old creatures from the dawn of Tyria and the Quaggan, Hylek and Largos (haven't met them yet) can fill us in on the details.  By the way, I love how, "The Mighty Zommoros has spoken." equals "I'm bored now."  hehe.

I also discovered the lighthouse has been snapped in two. Lion's Arch just can't get a break can they?  
Of course I dive into the monster infested waters to see what I can see and I find the other portion of the lighthouse in the water.

I must say, I'm impressed that ANet has no qualms about destroying part of the world and then rebuilding it as part of telling the story.  For example, Lion's Arch is slowly rebuilding the the main fountain again after King Thorn destroyed it. 

I know I will not be able to participate in everything that is going to happen during the "Lost Shores" weekend and that is fine.  It's kinda like real life, you see somethings, you miss others because you have priorities.  Nevertheless, I'm going to poke around all over the place and see as much as I can when I have a chance.

See you in Tyria!

Brought to you buy the CONSORTIUM!!!

Well it looks like our mysterious new building in Lion's Arch is home to the Consortium - self proclaimed rival to Lion's Arch.  The building is now a marked point-of-interest and numerous NPCs are roaming around.  The guards will tell you nothing...literally, they tell you they shouldn't be talking to you. 

Then there is Blingg.  Talk about a name being an understatement!  He has the following to say and he doesn't reveal much as of yet if you talk to him.

If you go inside the only open building this charming woman is there but again no real information on what they are selling or doing, etc.

Not to far from the gates, there is a spunky Asuran researcher named Levvi (a name allusion to something that is about to break loose, hmmm) who is raising a fuss about rising bioetheric measurements. 

If you go the Moran Memorial you will find ruptured cargo barrels washed up on shore, evacuation kits and crowbars lying around

There is jetsam all over the beach and then there is this...Was this always here in Lion's Arch?

So I decide to go underwater exploring.  You can't into the Sea of Sorrow outlet but you can go down to the very bottom below the anchored boat.  Umm. look what I found.

A crab-like midsection and what looks like two legs.  Holy Mackerel!  I bet its one of our sea monsters.

What is going to happen folks?  Mutant death crabs, three eyed mermaids, Jimmy Hoffa popping out of the water?  Who knows!

See you in Tyria!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's the little things...

As I've played through the various personal stories of races and journeyed around I've have enjoyed discovering some of the amazing details ANet has woven into the game.  I wanted to share a few of them.

I made a female charr elementalist - I wanted to try it out and see if I like the character combination.  I made her an Ash Legion member and as soon as I could I jumped into her personal story.  I do not want to give away the plot so I'll just say she goes under cover.  It is important to remember, flame legion does not allow females to be part of their forces so being a female trying to infiltrate flame legion poses a challenge.

Now what is amazing to me is ANet wrote two separate scripts depending on the gender of the charr. A male charr goes up to a sentry and give the pass word and the sentry let's him in after some short dialogue.  On the other hand, the female charr talks in a fake low voice that is just hilarious and the sentry responds, "Whoa! Do you have a cold or something?"

Her response:

I love it!  They took in to account there would be both female and male genders and how it would play against the flame legion.

Here is another example.  I've noticed when you click on another character, be it NPC or another player's, your character's head moves to keep focused on their face.  Take a look at the following picture.
 My guardian is looking up at her, focused on her face.  Now lets see what happens when you look at someone shorter than your character.
Here my character is looking down to focus on the shorter sylvari's face.  Little unnoticed details that we take for granted but really add a unspoken realism to the game.  Want another example?  You know you do  :)  Put your character near some bushes.  Walk through them or shoot through them and see what happens.  They move!  They respond to the character and what it is doing.

Finally, this little gem.  In GW2 a player can wonder around any open house or building and talk with the NPCs inside.  Sometimes you get a story, info, something funny or just general chit-chat but shouldn't it strike people as an odd thing that you are wandering around their home?  Well this guy thinks so!
I laughed so hard at this when I first experienced it.  Especially the treasure answer because the old fella doesn't have much in the house.

Keep your eyes open as you explore Tyria.  There are so many little gems that are right there in the open that add to the enjoyment of the game.

See you in Tyria!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FLAMING SWORD of DEATH!!! or why I love elementalists.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to give a heartfelt thanks to our brothers and sisters of the elemental persuasion.  I know they wear few articles of clothing, something about keeping in tune with their elemental nature or some hippie stuff like that, and sometimes they smell like burnt fur - sorry charr bros, its true and by Smolders left eye it stinks!  And it is funny to see a flaming lettuce head running for the water.  Why doesn't he just "attune" himself to water and put it out?  I don't know.  But in spite of all that small stuff you all are so important to me.  You know how to treat me right, you know with the combo fields and boons, but there is one thing above all that just really tells me you love me...


To savor the full awesomeness of this picture please click.

You all are AWESOME!!!! Right here bro, c'mon.  Gimme a hug.  I love you man, I do. /sniff.



Friday, November 09, 2012

Halloween - GW2 Style

Ex post facto Happy Halloween greetings to everyone!  I hope is was enjoyable.  My family always enjoys visiting all the neighbors, dressing as a favorite hero or character and spending time with friends and family.  I also had the double delight to experience the first Halloween celebration in GW2 and did I ever enjoy it. 
Note:  This is quaggan dressed as a charr.  Good costume!
Lion's Arch was decked to the nines!  I was amazed at how much it had changed.  The seahorse statues replaces with gargoyles, the hanging bat laterns, the carved pumpkins, the knarled trees, the lion fountain that deteriorated over time, lil asuran and quaggan trick-o-treaters and the genie's hang out converted to a huge glowy cauldron!  It was a huge visual feast and folks, and that's just the decorations in Lion's Arch.   In addition, there were two new PvP events that were a perfectly themed for Halloween: Reaper's Rumble and Lunatic Inquisition.  I only played Reaper's Rumble a few times but Lunatic Inquisition I played to death.  (did you catch the pun?  it was a good one)  I was the survivor more than a few times and when I played with folks who knew how to flank we defeated the villager soundly. 

That Asuran acid based cleaner may be a little too strong. 
Another thing I enjoyed was the staged feeling.  The story was presented in acts as a if players where watching or participating in a play.  I guess one could say it was a tension builder.  eerie doors appeared, Lion's Arch mysteries, a ghost appearing in the Krytan graveyard.  As things went on players could go in and explore the Mad King's lair and "Score ANet" for upleveling everybody to level 80 so everyone could enjoy the content.  In addition the slow destruction of the Lion's Arch fountain was a really creepy but intriguing invitation screaming for players to ask, "What is going on here?!" and I think it worked perfectly.  I have to add I like the fact that the fountain did not magically recover once Halloween was over.  An event happened, something was destroyed, something we liked but nonetheless its gone and something new will need to be put in its place.  It will be neat to see if if the fountain is just rebuilt or something different is put in its place.

Why does green glowy stuff  always mean dead things are involved.

I AM KING!!!  well, until I get KO'd.
Costume Brawl, oh how I loved costume brawl.  What an amazing idea-Comical PvP!  I loved the POW!, BAM!, KO! in comic caption form, it was like watching an ole episode of the 1960's Batman TV show.  My guardian was sporting a pirate costume and much fun was had by planting down a cannon and shooting everybody.  I think of everything that was available to us, I spent the most time doing Costume Brawl.

About the Clock Tower - didn't do it, didn't care.  I've read posts saying it was the worse thing ever to it was the beat thing ever.  I was having too much fun doing other thing.  

Some of my favorite lines -
Quaggan child dressed as a pirate:
Twick o'tweet! Twick o'tweet! Quaggan is piwating you! Give quaggan candy!
BooOOooty!  Quaggan will let you go now.  Tell everyone about the dwead piwate.
Asuran progeny dressed as a pilot and a cannibal looking for maximum candy acquisition:
Trick or Treat!  Fair warning, citizen.  It is in your best interest to give us all your candy.
Superlative!  Allow me to give you this bag.  It has unusual thingamabobs in it.
For Mad King Thorn jokes check out Shammanicmmo's video.  The audio is really low but it has subtitles.
If Halloween is a taste of what holiday events will be like, I'm going to be one happy person.  Below are a few screenshots to enjoy.
See you in Tyria!
Famil-Size Candy Corn!  You goin' down!

Fake door huh...drop me from 100 feet in the air huh...reeaaally funny Thorn.

Mad King says, "Wear flamming pumpkins!"

The Span redecorated.  The gargoyels were originally sea horses.