Tag Archives: GW2

[Guild Wars 2] When altitis strikes…

Since I began playing MMORPGs I pretty much embraced my altitis. After all, what is the harm in having 1, 2 or a dozen more characters? They all provide different ways of experiencing the game world, after all.

With Guild Wars 2 however I was determined to limit myself to only the 5 initial character slots. It was enough to have one of each race and by playing the betas I knew which classes I really wanted to play. That worked for a while.

My slippery into altitis began innocently enough when I decided to make an unplanned character. A charr elementalist. Elementalists are fun. Charr are fun. It is a perfect combination!  It wouldn’t hurt to have just one more character and I could see another personal story. Surely, nothing bad could come out of it, right? If only I knew how many characters I would create after that…

Later on I decided to make another charr, a warrior this time. That one was because… well, the beta corrupted me and I was feeling no other race was cutting it as far as aesthetics go. It wasn’t for lack of trying either. Rakuno’s first version was of a warrior but the beta also corrupted me in that area and made me feel a Rakuno asura could not be anything but a thief. My other attempt was with my first sylvari, post-beta, but he didn’t exactly feel right either. So I came to  the conclusion that I had to make a charr warrior or I would never be happy with it. The only problem is I still wanted to have a sylvari in some form so I decided that I would eventually remake him as a mesmer.

I made my charr warrior, loved playing him and then went back to my playing other characters for a while since they needed some love too. Then I decided it was time to remake that sylvari warrior into a mesmer. That is when I made a terrible mistake. I looked at the sylvari cultural armor but didn’t like any of the light armor set looks on a sylvari male. The tier 1 heavy armor male set for sylvari though looks pretty cool. Only problem is that the only other heavy armor using class are guardians and I was already planning making a human guardian.

After talking with a friend who has a high level guardian (and made guardians look awesome in my eyes), he somehow convinced me to make two guardians. I made the human guardian I was planning and remade my sylvari into a guardian too. The class turned out to be one of the most fun in the game. Also, in case anyone is wondering by my wording, yes, I am still unsure if it was a good idea. I love my human guardian. But I have to level the sylvari one a bit more to make sure I can live with two. In any case, I really want that cultural armor set!

Anyway, now that left me with having to choose what race to make my mesmer. After much debating I just decided to follow Paeroka’s suggestion and made him an asura. The class is much more fun than I was expecting but the race just hasn’t been working for me, for some reason. Specially because I made the mistake of looking at the cultural armor sets again and didn’t like the light armor versions for the asura. The heavy sets though look pretty cool and made me want to make an asura warrior!

Now my dilemma is remaking my asura mesmer into another warrior, then remake my human necromancer as a mesmer (since his first incarnation in EQ2 was a coercer, so it sort of fits) and make a norn necromancer because… Hey, their cultural light armor sets looks awesome!

I really have no idea of what to do. Although I will most probably follow with that plan anyway…

With that in mind the only way I can finish this post is with these words: Someone help me! My altitis is out of control!


Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] Kahlef dressed as the Mad Charr Doctor!


And right at the last minute I complete this month’s challenge from Ambermist, author extraordinaire of Tastes Like Battlechicken. As you can probably guess this month’s challenge is what kind of costume your character would wear for Halloween!

With Kahlef, pictured above, I tried to go for some mad doctor type-thing. But since the screenshot (or my choices of outfit) didn’t turn out so great, here is a bit more about the idea behind it:

A long time ago, there was a charr of the Iron Legion whose job was to fix up all the soldiers that got wounded in battle. He was so good at it that soldiers could go back to battle in a very short amount of time. Of course, that also made him the first choice to send the injured soldiers to whenever it was possible. Since a life of charr soldier is always a busy, dangerous one, that meant the good doctor was always busy healing someone.

One day he started to think “Why should I keep healing soldiers if they are only going to get hurt again and just end up here one more time? Why shouldn’t I just go one step further and make them better so they don’t get hurt so much?”. With those thoughts he began working. At first it was just small things, just some small metal bit here and there under the skin. Things that his patients would only notice because of the strange pains they felt, despite the doctor guarantees that they were fine and had not to worry about. Soon enough though he started to experiment more substituting limbs with entire mechanical creations (that didn’t work) or body fluids with his own alchemical creations that killed his patients. It didn’t took long for the powers-to-be in the Black Citadel to find out about those experiments. However when they did, it was already too late. The mad doctor had run away to never be captured. They say that to this day he is somewhere in the lower levels in the Black Citadel, hiding in forgotten places. The doctor stalks those places trying to capture any charr that dares to venture there… or even non-charrs. Pretty much any living thing that he can capture will be dragged back to his lab where he will “improve” on the subject. Some times the grotesque corpses of his failed experiments can be found in the poorest parts of the Black Citadel. Some times it is even hard to know what it used to be. But some times his experiments succeeds…. and if you walk around alone in the night you may see the Mad Doctor running with his new creation looking for more victims to experiment on.
And that is it for now. For everyone that celebrates it, I hope you are having a great Candy Day! For those who don’t, I hope you have a great Wednesday, with or without candy!


Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] The big ding!

Now that I am 80 I can sleep all day, right?

So, yesterday I finally got Kahlef to level 80. I also got him to 400 leatherworker so I guess it is two big dings at  about the same time.

I admit I was pretty slow at leveling him as I took a few breaks from the game here and there or just went to play some alts. Regardless of the time I am pretty happy for getting to this point. Still I feel like  there is still a ton of things to do with him. To begin with, I only have 45% of the map explored with him. Heck, I haven’t even reached Orr itself yet. The closest I got was its neighboring zone, the Straits of Devastation. If Orr is anything like  that it will be both awesome and scary as hell at the same time. So, seeing Orr and getting World Map completion with Kahlef is one of my biggest goals right now. Another major goal with him is getting level 400 with his other crafting skill which is Huntsman. But I will get to those as I feel in the mood for it.

My other goals, in no specific order are:

Short term goals:

  • Raising all crafting skills to 400 (each alt has two, so I got all crafting skills covered)
  • Get Casimir to level 30 and finish his personal story that deals with the different orders so I can unlock the vigil banner

Medium to long range goals:

  • Get 100% map completion
  • Complete all the dungeons in story and explorable mode
  • Level up all my characters to 80
  • Finish all the personal stories
  • Get more character slots/bank slots/inventory slots. Preferably by buying the gems with in-game gold
  • Get all the minis. Gotta have ’em all!
  • Get all the tameable pets for Casimir
  • Get the commander book. Because I can.
  • Complete all the jumping puzzles* Something else I forgot right now

Things I am dreaming about but can live without

  • Get all dyes
  • Get all the legendary weapons (or at least one!)
  • Something else I am forgetting

At the rate I am going it might take me about 60 years to complete this list. I might not even complete half of it before then! But you know what? It doesn’t really matter to me. Achieving stuff in MMORPGs is cool, and I can even feel regret about not achieving a few things in certain MMOs. But ultimately the journey is what matters to me. As long as I can have some good memories along that journey my time with the game will be worthwhile. And I already had many with Guild Wars 2. So let this ding to 80 to be just another step to many more great memories. 🙂


Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] Ascalonian Catacombs conquered!

A charr with a pirate hat

Quick random screenshot with a pirate hat because the author was too dumb to take a screenshot of the whole team. Or a more appropriate one.

So, yesterday me and some guildies finally completed the story mode of Ascalonian Catacombs. Or perhaps I should say I finally completed it since the others already did that on Friday. I am getting ahead of myself though so let me just give a forewarn about a few details about this post: I am making it purposefully vague as to not spoil things for anyone who didn’t do the story mode of Ascalonian Catacombs yet. Also, the lack of screenshots is because the dumb guy here forgot about it in the middle of everything. I am specially sad about it because I wanted a screenshot of our group (aka “Team Green”) once we beat the dungeon. I also forgot to take screenshots of the Lovers for Siadina of Trippin Tyria as she requested in one of our talks in her comments section. Apologies for that, Siadina! If it makes anything better, the Lovers’ fight is pretty cool as well as their dialogue but their appearance isn’t that big of a deal.

Ok. About the dungeon… Our first attempt on it was about over a week ago. We got to the halfway point of it but had to stop since it was late and people had to go to work early the next day. As much as I hate to admit it that was probably for the best. Our group at the time just weren’t ready for it. Both in terms of character build, gear and actual group tactics. So we broke up with the intention of working on those parts and give it a try again in the weekend. Well, those were our intentions anyway. The others dealt with the two first issues without problems but as far as everything else we just didn’t do it since my sleeping pattern got messed up really bad. That means I was sleeping during some very odd times while being awake in some even odder times. It is not unusual for that to happen to me and when that happens it is a pain to get it back to something resembling normalcy. It also affected my mood too, with a start of depression. With all that going on I just wasn’t able to get a group together again to give it a try. It also didn’t allow me to be present when they went for it on Friday and actually succeeded.

Yesterday though I had set my mind in getting a dungeon run going on with our guild. My plan was to give a try to Cadeceus Manor since we had enough people at the required level plus I thought it would be too early to try getting another run at Ascalonian Catacombs since people already did it on Friday. That plan got changed first, then scrapped later. The reason for that is because another guildie really wanted to do something together with the guild but his highest character was level 30 (the minimum level for Ascalonian Catacombs. Cadeceus Manor being a level 40ish dungeon). The other interested parties agreed to give it a try though with the intention to do Cadeceus Manor after it if we still had time and energy. Turned out we didn’t plus one of the members who were going to Cadeceus Manor end up having some hardware issues, having to call it an early night. So Ascalonian Catacombs was the only dungeon we did.

Our group consisted of an engineer (yours truly), an elementalist and three rangers. The funny thing is that when we got together we found out we were all wearing green thus we quickly dubbed our group as “Team Green”. Not the most imaginative names, true, but it was better than my suggestions of “Team Lettuce” or “Team Cabbage”.

Anyway, this time everything went much better. The first half of the dungeon was much smoother. Mobs were dying fast, traps were getting dealt with just as quickly and there was never that sensation of being a headless chicken trying to figure out what was going on, like in our fist attempt. The second half started a little more rougher due to some misuse of knock back skills that end up knocking back some of the mobs to other mobs thus getting ourselves overwhelmed. Still we managed and once the knocking back stopped things went back to be relatively smooth.

Some of the boss fights were slightly rougher, specially the last one. Still we did pretty well in all of them too. I liked also how each of those fights had their own tricks but without ever feeling unfair. There was always enough visual cues, as well as some NPC dialogue, that you could always know what was going on or what you could do to make things easier. This way when any of us died we knew exactly why it happened and what  to look for when we revived.

Another interesting thing is how the last fight seems to have been changed from the dungeon run that part of the group did on Friday. Apparently on that run there were guardian healers, maybe different attacks too. I am not sure as it didn’t occur to me to ask for details. All I know is our run yesterday there was only the boss himself and he hit, like one our members described, “like a truck full of bricks being driven by a giant hitting the pad with a shoe leaden with pure metal”. Perhaps someone who has been in both runs could clarify that point in the comment sections? *hint, hint*

In any case, I had a blast with that dungeon run. Yes, I died a lot. Probably the one who died the most of the whole group. But it was still fun. I loved the whole story of the dungeon as we progressed through it. So much, in fact, that I could do it a hundred times and I would still enjoy it. It was also fun because despite it being relatively short it was also pretty intense. There was no fight where I felt I could just sleep through it. All fights, be it against regular mobs or the boss fights, required my full attention to get through it.

I also felt like we worked more as a team this time. Yes, there wasn’t much in the way of going through elaborate plans that went into the tiniest detail for the boss fights. Yet I still felt we had a much stronger teamwork going on this time. The only way I can explain it is that it was more the kind of teamwork born out of unspoken words, of trust in one’s skills, your companions abilities and that they will be watching your back as much as you will be watching theirs. A pretty vague explanation though it is one that I think a lot of the Guild Wars 2 players can understand or relate to.

To finish things of, the requisite tips that every “I did Ascalonian Catacombs” post seems to come with:

  • Designate one of your group members to put target marks on the mobs. You can do that by pressing Ctrl + Click on a mob. This will put a huge target mark on top of the chosen mob and others can just target it by pressing the T key. This way it is easy for your party to focus fire on the same mob.
  • Probably the best order to take down the mobs is: Rangers first, then elementalists as they are the most dangerous. After that it is a bit more flexible. But I think it necromancers and monks are the most dangerous after those two with mesmers and warriors being on the bottom of the danger list.
  • Try to always take the fights to a more open space so your group can scatter and move around more freely thus avoiding the mobs AoEs or dodging their attacks.
  • Don’t rush ahead. Just take things slowly so you can see what kind of mobs is ahead of you so your group is prepared to fight.
  • If you die, revive then run back to the fight. There should be enough free way points there that it shouldn’t be an issue.

Next dungeon on my list: Cadeceus Manor! I even already scribbled my name on the door already….



Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] Casimir, master of disguise

While helping his silvary friend, Serysia, to sneak into the Nightmare Court, Casimir Eriksson found the perfect diguise! The Nightmare Court will never know he isn’t one of them!


Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] Justifying the off-beat route with the races and profession combinations

I think I need a bigger wrench…

While reading a post by Syl, from Raging Monkeys, I found this other interesting post written by Chris of Game by Night. Chris tells about his difficult in playing an asura thief since  ArenaNet did such  a good job of giving each race a strong sense of culture. Due to that he just finds it hard accepting an asura as anything but as an engineer. With other races he has similar problems but with different professions. I was going to comment about it on his blog but sensing that it would  end up turning into a wall of text I thought it might be better to turn it into a blog post instead.

Anyway, I don’t know if it is because I have a weird mind or what but I don’t find it that difficult to justify any combination of race and class. Making it sound interesting or unique without it feeling convoluted might be hard but simply justifying an off-beat combination of race and profession, not so much.

Let’s start with the easy ones, the Sylvari.  They are a very young race, being only 20 years old. That is very little time to develop much of a culture of their own or establish strong traditions. They also have a strong sense of curiosity so I can see them trying pretty much any profession as long as it isn’t extremely cruel to others.

Next up are the charr. They have the Blood Legion, consisting of front line soldiers, the Ash Legion who prefer the use of subterfuge to get the job done and the Iron Legion who are the ones who come up with all the machinery and guns for the charr. You can choose to be part of any of the three during character creation. The first one is pretty much what you would expect of a a race of big furry, militaristic, cat-like creatures. The other two are more unusual at first but they also follow the same militaristic attitude as the rest of their race. So a charr thief or a charr engineer isn’t that unusual. A point that was raised in the comment sections of Game by Night was whether then certain professions would fit with certain legions. I think it is possible and here are some examples off the top of my mind. A thief could be part of the Blood Legion, thinking it would be an easy way to go up through the ranks by manipulating the “dumb” blood legion for his own ends. Perhaps by falsifying reports about his feats that couldn’t easily be contested. Something that could be harder to do in the Ash Legion as they probably would be used to that kind of stuff. While a warrior in the Ash Legion could be more of the “street thug” type  with the leaders of the Ash Legion using such warriors for when they need to send a clear message to one of the charr enemies but would rather use one of their own instead of asking favors to the Blood Legion. A necromancer could be part of the Iron Legion, studying the ghosts of Ascalon to create better devices so the Legion could get rid of them.

While in the asura everyone is pretty much an engineer from birth, not everyone can simply live off inventing new things all day. Some of them needs to hold what little laws they have or fend off threats to the asura. Those would be the Peacemakers, the guards of asura society. Warriors or guardians could come out of  their ranks. If you’d rather not have an asura warrior tied to their military, you could always use their naming culture for it. In asura society anyone who doesn’t have double letters in their name are mocked by their peers as they grow up. Perhaps your asura grew so bitter from the experience that the only way they can express themselves would be by extremely violence, preferably with their own patented B.A.S.H.E.R. 9000. While the elementalists and necromancers could be like our real world physicists, people dealing directly with energies or theories that other people would find too ephemeral to think about. Rangers could be the ones who collect live specimen for studying while thieves being the type who prefer to save time by “borrowing” common parts from other krewes to build their own projects.

Norns could work out with different professions too. A thief norn could be a cheater who lies and do anything in his power to make himself look more legendary. In fact, one of the norn character creation choices is of a rival who did cheat against you! A norn engineer is entirely possible too. He could try to be figuring out new weapons to hunt down prey that would be otherwise impossible for a norn. Crafty is something the norns appreciate too and engineering in my view would fall under  that. A mesmer could also be a very crafty hunter using his powers of illusion to tricky prey into a trap. An elementalist could be a shaman using his direct line to the spirits to bring the forces of nature to his aid. Necromancers I admit it is a little harder if you don’t want to go the cliche of “lost loved one, turned to dark arts to revive him or her.” Perhaps they could also be a sort of shaman too but more of an amoral type who instead of serving the spirits seeks way to enslave them to his will.

I am leaving out the humans as I don’t think anyone would have any problem matching them with any profession. :p

In the end we always need to keep in mind that in any society there will always be individuals that go against the norm of their culture. Some times it is a harmless thing, other times it ends up in terrible deeds while in other cases it can end up turning into a force for positive change and progress.  As pointed out in the comment sections of Chris’ post, this is exactly the case for our characters. This may be hard to see given that there are so many other players in the world doing cool stuff too and the NPC population not being nearly as large. But if you consider that the NPCs professions as the norm for Tyria’s culture, the merchants, the innkeepers, the soldiers who patrol the roads day and night, etc, our characters are extremely exceptional. Not simply by the circumstances they start in but also because they will eventually be facing dragons. I don’t think that is a prospect most of the population of Tyria would look for or be willing to deal with. It is something that will be up to the exceptional citizens of Tyria to do, those being our characters, so that the  rest of the world can be safe and continue living their lives as they are used to.


Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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[Guild Wars 2] Rakuno the asura thief

Using the name “Rakuno” for any character that isn’t a ratonga is still something I still have very mixed feelings about. It is still a name that is heavily tied, in my mind, to my ratonga in Everquest 2 and imagining it being used for any other character ends up muddling those feelings. But alas, as I grow older I also grow lazier with names. That means ignoring my old philosophy of “new character, new name” and just recycling the few good names I have. So Rakuno it is for my asura.

There is also another unfortunate side for giving this name to my asura, if you care about lore (which I do). See, in asura society it is tradition to have names with double letters. Those who have names that don’t follow that tradition end up being mercilessly teased in school. And since Rakkuno or Raakuno, Rakunoo or any variation like that doesn’t sound good in my head, Rakuno had to suffer with lots of teasing during his childhood. He already got over that a long time ago, probably just getting into thievery for fun and profit. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to exploit that past to his own gain. I am pretty sure he has a thesis all written up about the socio-economic impact and rise of criminality among asuran society due to that tradition. A thesis that will coincidentally be available to the public the moment he gets caught “borrowing” some items for his researches.

Anyway, one thing about the thief profession that surprised me, now that the game has been officially released, is how much fun it is to fight with dual wielding daggers. Back during Beta Weekend 3 I just thought that kind of option was too squishy and not as fun as dual pistols. I am not sure what changed now, if it was just because I was craving for some melee goodness, if I just gave more thought on how to use the weapon skills with dual daggers or if there was some balance changes since then. Whatever the reason, I am just loving it. There is just something fun about being able to slice and dice your enemy in seconds and think of the best strategy on how to do that. I still carry a pair of pistols though as my secondary weapon set for those fights where going melee is just not a good idea.

For utility skills, right now at level 20, I am going with Skale Venom, which adds Vulnerability and Weakness conditions to the enemy for five attacks. The drawback of that one is that it doesn’t work with pistols so if I go ranged I feel a little gimped. The other two are: Signet of Agility and Caltrops. Signet of Agility is a passive that grants increased precision. It can also be activated to refill endurance and cure a condition for myself and nearby allies. Caltrops do what you expect of it, the thief throws some caltrops that will cause bleeding and slow down enemies who will walk over it. I chose these two as a question of flexibility, something that could be useful both in melee and ranged. So far it has been working well. I still don’t have enough skill points to buy tier 3 skills so my setup will most likely change after I buy some of those.

Traits were the hardest part to figure out. Almost every trait seemed useful to a dagger-using thief. After giving it some thought, I decided to go the traditional thief way and go for a poison/stealth build. Serpent’s Touch (applies poison to the enemy when stealing) is very nice since I have been using the “Steal” ability as a quick way to get close to the enemy as well as using the stolen item to my advantage. With the addition of poison it becomes a good opening. For the first Major Trait I am going with “Venomous Strength” which makes venoms give 2 stacks of might for 20 seconds. Still need to test it out though as Rakuno just got to 20 and haven’t really gotten out to fight much yet. Next will be to spend some points in the Shadow Arts since its Major Traits seems to really complement the use of venoms.

The personal storyline was something that surprised me too. Pretty early on I got a very tough decision to make concerning members of my krewe. I tried to choose what I felt was the best answer to the circumstances but even then I worried if it wouldn’t all end in tragedy. Fortunately all turned out well with everything after that being a lot more lighthearted. Or as lighthearted as it can be when you have murderous golems and illegal golem fights. 🙂

The only thing I found sad is that my choice of mentor during character creation doesn’t seem to make much of a difference for the story. My hope is that I am wrong about this and eventually this choice will play a bigger part in my personal storyline. But we’ll see!

Well, that should be it for my characters for now. I made a couple more already (ranger and necromancer) but not sure yet if I will write about them. We’ll see! For now, back to Guild Wars 2 for me!


Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Guild Wars 2, MMORPG


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