Thursday, August 30, 2012

Half Way There...

I made it to level 40 yesterday.  It's been quite a long road, and I would be lying if I didn't say it had its ups and downs.  Over the last two zones, I struggled to find dyanmic events, and several times I was forced to resort to nearly every other method available to level.  On the opposite end, with 40 comes my first access to a rare weapon, which was promptly succeeded by a trip to Ebonhawke to buy their cultural weapon.  (I love the look of their shortbow).  I also have now moved into Tier 2 traits, gained some more experience in WvW, and moved to Harathi Hinterlands. (A zone proving to be nearly my favorite zone because of the numerous supply of dynamic events.)  I'm half way there, and I'm definitely not looking back.  The game is definitely improving over time, and the zones are starting to feel more epic in scope. My personal story is still going strong, and I'm very happy I chose to join the Order of Whispers.

Let me first tell you though, I was worried for quite a while.  Fields of Ruin and even to an extent Gendarren Fields, did not have as many dynamic events as I was hoping.  Or at the very least, I did not see as many events as I would have preferred. This resulted me in struggling to level up, using every reknown, personal story, WvW (when I could get into it after a 2-4 hour queue), crafting, and exploring the map nearly to 100% completion.  I'm not trying to say that there aren't enough events in both of these zones, but maybe the up-time on some of the events should be increased.  I kept seeing the same 2-3 events, while the other were completely absent.  And many of the events were bugged completely, leading to even a greater abscence of much-needed experience.

This led to a greater problem with karma vendors.  I simply could not gain enough karma to buy any of their gear, which was pretty frustrating.  I'm really hoping that ArenaNet provides karma to those who do renowns as well to diminish this issue.  As soon as I moved to WvW, my karma began to increase drastically, and karma was temporarily in surplus.  (Well until I spent it on a rare bow...xD)

And then I moved to Harathi Hinterlands.  There was such a dramatic difference, I think in the first hour, I leveled twice.  There were just so many dynamic events.  I just rode on some of the curtails of the higher levels in the zones to do events that were nearly 8 levels higher than me.  My character moved from the very bottom edge of the map to the most northern point, as the dynamic events kept pouring in.  Not only that, but most of these events came from 2-3 chains.  The humans were slowly moving up north to capture several key locations currently occupied by Centaur.  The final battle culminated in an epic fight with a Centaur Chieftan who summoned giant earth hands and wind elementals.  It was fantastically done, but I'm a little sad because there were just so many people present in the fight, that it trivialized it a bit.  This zone I felt really fulfilled the promise of developers saying that as you begin to experience the higher level areas, the events have greater impact on the world.  In this case, if you are completely successful, about 90% of the zone is under human control.  And if you fail to the very starting point, about 10% of the land is under your control.  It's very drastic, and extremely fitting with a war-torn, refugee-filled environment.

I also completed Ascalonian Catacombs in the story mode. We actually succeeded in our first attempt on the hardest boss, the Lovers. I forgot to time ourselves, but it was a pretty enjoyable hour or so. My reward for completion was a rare hat.  I have never liked plumed hats, but because it is my first rare in Guild Wars 2, I feel obligated to wear it, and it has begun to grown on me.  I will probably go back and try to complete the explorable mode later, and would love peoples opinions.  How difficult is it compared to story mode?  Is explorable mode drastically harder, subtle difference, or somewhere in between?

I must say, crafting is not for me.  I temporarily enjoyed it, but I am far from understanding it thoroughly.  I actually just don't think I ever have liked crafting, so this might be just a mute point.

Oh, and my personal story is still amazing.  My friend in the Order of Whispers, Tybalt is hysterical.  In one of the events, he was transformed into a human girl to deceive the guards into attacking the "fake" girl, while the real girl was whisked away to safety.  So here's a giant manly charr engineer with a massive rifle being transformed into this dainty princess.  And of course, there's now this gargantuan rifle on the back of this little human girl. To make matters worse in the cutscenes, Tybalt as the girl still held his very manly voice.  The writing was hilarious and even raunchy at certain points.  It was a fantastic series of events in my personal story.  I also think I found out how the Order is getting around the world of Tyria, but I'll save that for another day.

Also, does anyone know of a decent to good WvW realm, that is not suffering from extremely long queue times?  I'm definitely considering switching realms to enjoy WvW more.  My current realm is Northern Shiverpeaks, and we are absolutely obliterating every realm we face up against.  The mismatches are so bad, that many times we have every point on the map taken.  I would rather have a more even fight, and enjoy some friendly competition then stomping over enemies each time with 4 hour queues.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.


  1. Right now with the influx of players and people jumping worlds at whim is really really messing with WvW. Everything I have read suggests that either playing during non-peak hours *damn you work damn you* or taking the ques with a grain of salt until the worlds become stable. Estimates from Tales of Tyria said about a month or two. Over at guru I am reading threads that suggest a shorter time frame *IF* they can get the official forums up so the pvp player base can get everything together.
    Also any tips for a nooblet to WvW? I am going to put on my big girl undies and jump into the pool.

    1. Alright, I'm hoping WvW populations stabilize soon.

      Tips. Well, you are in luck, because now is the best time for a "noob" to jump in. Why? Because, there are is a massive supply of noobs that you fight against. There are some seriously bad people who are playing in WvW currently, and that makes fighting them all the more easier.

      You really have one of two main options. Work in a group with friends/guildies, or operate independently. Either will work for you, but if you work independently, it will require a small amount of increased effort. Simply head to the cross swords near a strategic point. This can be a tower that your team is trying to take, or even a supply camp your team is defending. Remember, that siege weapons are the great equalizer. If you are a lower level, the cost of buying blueprints can be daunting, so instead just carry 10 supply on you at all times. This can be achieved by going to a currently owned supply camp or a tower/keep and going to the supply depot. Help build your teams siege weapons, it greatly effects the outcome of the battle.

      If instead, you are more worried about your skills, the greatest tip I can give you is this. You need to learn when to fight and when to run. The ebb and flow of a battle. Some professions like the thief, mesmer, and ranger, are rather decent at escaping. Other professions are a little bit less mobile, and you will need to learn when to flee and that is entirely dependent on skill, knowledge, and your profession. If you are level 30-80, you will have a decent advantage over most people. You will have access to utilities and elite skills, as well as having a significant power advantage over many players. This can help compensate for any personal weakness you may have.

      The best way to learn is to dive into the mess. You may get lost or frustrated for a bit, but just keep practicing and you will improve.

  2. GFields is usually a wealth of DEs. Actually I've been hitting at least one per heart. I've only just dipped my feet in though, keep bouncing around on alts. One of which is playing through a human storyline I didn't experience during the BWEs. It's had some surprising moments of humor despite the otherwise bleak premise, not to mention plenty of intrigue.

    Right now my server (JQ) is one of the stompers but hopefully the system starts matching servers more equally. I haven't even delved into WvW yet but my priority has been PvE and crafting at the moment. That, and those pesky 4 hour queues.