Monday, April 22, 2013

Yes, I'm on break...

Sadly, he's probably a white guy.
Okay, so I found him. It's Afro Samurai, one of my favorite graphic novel series. Here, watch some of it. Altho, this guy needs a bigger 'fro and a cig. hanging out his mouth.

Jumping Puzzles

There are several jumping puzzles in this game. They are a sort of game within a game. They are fairly hard and not for the faint of heart. The best ones are somewhat hidden off the beaten path. If you don't play explorer in this game you miss an awfully lot of very cool stuff, from special chests (after you kill the veteran/elite guarding it) to these jumping puzzles. There is no way to explain in words how hard these are. They are a sort of Rube Goldberg-esque version of twitch skills.

Here's one I'm working on now, Cellular Fells. I recommend you watch in on Youtube so you can actually SEE it. It's in a fairly dark cave.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Guild Groweth

So, we now have Tychem, Mootah/Nizwa, and Licentius in the guild. We're earning enough guild points to do things like create a custom emblem. What do you do with "Most Popular Girls in School?" There were no "girls" pictures. I almost went for the sword crossed with a single long stem rose, but ... that's so corny. Then I found the waving beaver. Um yeah, I went there. If you've looked at the silly but somewhat profane web show we've taken our name from, it fits. Anyhow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Here be Dragons ... and a beginning mod community

Dragon fights are 'events' which are triggered periodically in the upper level regions of the Guild Wars world. There is a bit of regularity to them. Though the don't spawn exactly by the clock, they are available to spawn within a limited time window. Apparently, the Guild Wars beginning mod. community is on to this. For quite some time I've heard people refer to two sites: Orrmaps and Dragon Timers. Orrmaps is a resource map, server specific. Here's my Tarnished Coast map. Yes, it's specific to me and my finds. I started it on the weekend, whilst running with Tychem and Nizwa so it doesn't cover all the area that I've actually ranged over in the game. The other browser-based mod is the dragon timer, Guild Wars Temple (I don't know why either). It too is server specific. These are the timers for our server. This page has live count downs to spawn windows. Now the GW2 people have limited your ability to get a chest to once daily on the special events, because the chests have rare drops usually. But still, it's great to know when to start posting up for Claw of Jormag, for example.

Speaking of which, I tripped the light fantastic in the Claw of Jormag event twice yesterday and grabbed some shots. It can be a bit eerie as the people start to assemble for the event. They arrive, face the right direction, and just stand there. It's rather like that scene in Hitchcock's The Birds, when the ravens start assembling on the children's playground behind the unaware Tippie Hedren. Remember there's a window of spawn time, not an exact moment.

Anyhow, it's a great zergy fight; here's some shots from yesterday. There are several phases to the fight and I'm only showing you the last part because, as usual, I forgot to grab shots till it was almost over. Click to enlarge.

So there's a lot to tune into. He drops a wall to protect himself periodically, which you need to burn down to get to him. He drops corruption spots (dark blue ice) that will kill you if you don't move out of it. He drops elites and mini bosses, which have to be handled. And this all happens in a bit of a cycle I have yet to memorize. Like most fights in GW2, you have to MOVE yer feets, be context aware, and play strategically.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I logged back on to my engineer to get her past 70. I think she was at 65 or so. I started running with her and kept dying on skill points. Yes, skill points are hard to do alone sometimes... but really only if you don't have a handle on your toon. Every other guy I've got can solo skill points. So, wtf, I wondered.

I used to love my engineer. How did she get so lame (lol, it's me, not you). So, although the GW2 community is still fairly young (game's been out barely 6 months), I sought wisdom amongst my compadres. And, of course, I found it. The thing about the community is that it's not very sophisticated and organized yet, not compared to WoW. So although there were many "engineer PVE build" type videos and pages, each one I glanced at seemed to be ... off. I'm a connoisseur now, thanks to WoW. I found a winner with barely 500 views, oddly enough. Check it out. What's hugely amusing is that, while the language sounds like Greek to you, I totally understand what he's saying and I'm on it.

Drops from Supply Crate
So I respec'd Gracehopper (mashup of grasshopper cuz she's wee and Grace Hopper cuz she's an engineer) per his recommendations. I've been running her with the new spec for about a day and I"m so digging it again. What I especially like is being able to do awesome dps but still offer the group some kewl healy stuff from my supply crate (see below), which drops 6 healy kits, a flame turret, a heal turret, and net gun turret. Oh, and I solo'd the skill point that I'd been dying on all last week.

So I'm a happily re-engineered engineer and I hope to hit 70 today and 80 soon. That will give me 4 80s.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well Um Yeah, Another Alt.

As you know, dear reader, from the WoW years, I am a confessed altaholic. So it should come as no surprise to you that I have mostly used the RMT in GW2 to buy extra character slots to roll... more alts. Those clever bastiges only give your four character slots and there are eight distinct play classes: warrior, elementalist, ranger, thief, mesmer, necromancer, guardian, and engineer. Obviously I needed to roll them all. In the picture here you'll see them all lined up neatly at the feet of my newest alt.

The problem is that each class, once you get going past, oh say level 10, gets hella interesting to play. Yep, every class. There is no dog here. They all are different too. It's not like the way WoW has ended up where the difference between the shadow priest and warlock is tough to define. Anyhow... so meet my latest, a guardian (rather like a WoW paladin). I've named her Ashley Kachadorian after a character in the wonderfully obscene and hilarious web series, The Most Popular Girls in School. It's a stop-action with Barbie dolls. (Do not watch if you are easily offended.) Sarah and I even created a guild called The Most Popular Girls in School. Yes, we're that silly.

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Pleasures of Playing on an RP Server

I'm playing on an unofficial RP server. That means that, although this server is not labeled by Arenanet as an RP (role playing) server, many if not most of the players on it are indeed role players. They don't just play pretend games. They quest. They do dungeons. But, a big part of their fun comes from interaction in character. In fact, as I've learned from my RP'ing daughter, this can include a guild application that asks you to write the backstory for your main character. Yeah.

Before you wrinkle your nose, realize that most RP servers are very genteel places, in contrast to, say, your average PVP server, which seems full of middle school boys with foul racist, sexist language or older men who are deeply in touch with their middle school boyhood. PVE servers are ... ok. This server, Tarnished Coast, is a joy. Very little snark, and people tend to get called out on it when they go there. Generally pretty witty repartee in general chat, which is fun to participate in or just watch. RP servers host a better class of people. Yup, I'm going to stick by that claim.

But every now and then you run into something weird, a scene ongoing, a band of players in the midst of their RP'ing. Usually I see this in Inns or small town squares in the game. As a regular player you can feel like you're walking through a set during a shoot, very awkward. "Excuse me, sir, sorry, yes, just quickly passing though, so sorry, ok. Yes." It's rather amusing to realize how powerful their scene setting is, that it should make you actually feel like an intruder.

Last night I ran into it in the middle of one of the capital cities. As I was working through a jumping puzzle I noticed a lot of very well dressed players, not dressed for war but for a formal event. Then I noticed the couple on the balcony area. I grabbed a shot. You'll notice the language in the chat screen, done mostly via emotes, makes it pretty clear what's going on. I thought it was cool and wanted you to be able to see what it looks like when a large group gathers for RP. Note too, if you can, that they are from a variety of guilds. In the very back right corner of the screen shot you can make out the bride and groom. I'd have grabbed a better shot, but...well... I felt like I was intruding.

Wedding in The Grove on Tarnished Coast