Tag Archives: Guild Wars

Dervishes and their Evolution in Guild Wars.

With only two days to go before ArenaNet releases details on the Guardian profession of Guild Wars 2, speculation has been thrown around everywhere in the community. Today, I’ll add my two pennies by discussing how the Dervishes of GW1 could develop into the Guardians of GW2. There are, of course, big differences between the conventional role of the Dervish and that expected of the Guardian, but the similarities aren’t unnoticeable.

I'm not fond of the name BML, but it sounds better than Azure Hit-stick Woman

The Dervish holds a special place in my heart because it is my main character’s profession in Guild Wars 1. As soon as I saw the ‘Blue Mace Lady’ on the ArenaNet website, how could I not be drawn to the likeness of her to a Dervish? She appeared a mystical soldier, with a blue aura surrounding her, the mace and shield. I immediately thought of the enchantments associated with the Dervish profession.

In Guild Wars 1, the Dervish is generally considered a tanker, spiker or a runner. There are few other avenues to explore with the profession, as they don’t have the armor and survivability of the warrior, or the healing potency of Monks and Ritualists. Yet, there is one main aspect to the Dervish that Warriors generally have little control over; maintaining their own health and energy levels. Dervish healers aren’t unheard of, either. This is down to the power of the enchantment.

The problem with the Dervish, I’ve found, is that one of their great strengths is also a crippling weakness. That is, the enchantments they have at their disposal are useful, but fragile. One of the best aspects of enchantments on the Dervish would be the benefit of the primary attribute of the profession, Mysticism. This attribute gives back health and energy once an enchantment ends. This is both useful for energy management and setting up damage spike combinations. The problem with enchantments is that they are susceptible to removal skills and interrupts. These problems can destroy a Dervish’s usefulness in a group, and they can quickly find themselves dead in the midst of a mob without the support of a dedicated healer.

A Dervish whirled by Wind Riders

With the upcoming update for the Dervish, I’d like to see the profession become less dependent on the failsafe of dedicated healers, and have some sort of interrupt ability of their own to help prevent enchantment removal. As for other skills, I could see the Dervish become a little more of a support class aswell, with some of their skills providing support to other party members, especially melee characters, with damage or healing buffs. This could eventually tie in with the dervishes’ development into the Guardians we’ll see in Guild Wars 2.

It is forseeable in Guild Wars 2 that the Dervish will combine with the Monk, and quite possibly the Ritualist and Paragon, to become the Guardian. In terms of gameplay, this can work because of the nature of the Dervish as a melee spellcaster and the Monk and Ritualist as protectors and healers. As for lore and story, it would make sense for the Dervish profession to become that of the Guardian; classes in Guild Wars 2 cannot be race specific, and Dervishes pray to Human Gods exclusively. Ultimately, it would be impossible for the class to exist in Charr or Asuran groups, for example, and so a common theme should be applied to a class available to all races. The compromise comes in the form of the Guardian.

I certainly look forward to how this class will play in GW2.

An additional note: I’d like to thank GuildMag for adding the blog to their fanlisting. Thanks dudes!

-CornishRocker


MVOP Night: Invincible Shiro and Echovald Excursions

Massively Overpowered!

On Thursday 20th January, [MVOP] met up in Sunjiang District to take on Shiro Tagachi with the Spear of Archemorus and the Urn of Saint Victor. You can watch the recorded livestream here. It was the first mission I played on my new laptop, aswell, so I was really looking forward to this particular evening. Of course, with a new laptop come all of those annoying, undownloaded files to tackle. Must have been all that lustrous armour that everyone was wearing!

I’ve never played Guild Wars without lag before, so it was amazingly refreshing to cast Firestorm without “pulling an Orion”. Celebratory, post battle Firestorms FTL! It wasn’t all great, though; as we blasted our way through all those enemies, what with my new graphics card, I got my first view of a highly detailed Afflicted Ritualist. Eurgh.

Excuse me, sir! Do you know where I can find a Mr. Tagachi?

We made it out of Sunjiang with masters (and I’d expect no less, of course!), and were met by a group from the livestream. We hung out with these guys for a while in Maatu Keep and House zu Heltzer. Before we moved on to Ferndale, Rubi was given a plentiful bounty of gifts from the livestream group, including a Celestial Ox summon and an Essence of Celerity for the party to use! – Thanks, you guys!

As a Guild on the move, we’re now stuck until we’ve accumulated 10000 Kurzick Faction each. Personally, I like farming it at the Jade Quarry, but PvP isn’t for everyone. When we’ve all got the 10k faction, we’ll be able to move on to The Eternal Grove, which is one of the two missions I need for the Protector title on my Canthan Elementalist, so it’ll be cool to do it with the Guild. I’d better speak up on vent more often for that one, I’m sure.

Ready for some faction grinding?

As for the topics of conversation on vent, I’m very excited about Canthan New Year. I’ve only ever attended the Year of the Pig, so it’ll be good to go back to it after four years. I miss those sugary blue drinks! I’d also love to attend a real life Guild Wars event this year, such as visiting the PAX or Gamescom booths. In fact, I thought Rubi’s PAX anecdote was sweet; I’m sure we’ve all made a mess of things in melee at one point or another. In fact, I do it all the time with my Dervish 😛

Well, I hope you all tune in next week at the Massively livestream!

— as a side note, I’d like to thank Relics of Orr for adding the blog to their fan listing. Keep rockin’, dudes!

– CornishRocker


Asuran Scan: Kodan and Ships in Guild Wars 2

*Scanning GW2 news*

What with being blessed by Blogg’s friends’ natural analytical abilities, I’ve decided to introduce my Guild Wars 2 speculation section; the Asuran Scan. In this section, I will share my musings on news about Guild Wars 2. Today, I will address the new race of bi-pedal polar bear spiritualists, the Kodan, aswell as ships in Guild Wars 2 gameplay. – Note: There will be a slight ‘Edge of Destiny’ spoiler.

Gullik: Bear's buttocks! Now there's a fight!

First of all, what do I think of the Kodan race? Well, put shortly, I was immediately captivated by them. Especially by the example above. I love that armour. It looks similar in design to some of the Asuran armour and Monument armour from Eye of the North, which include some of my favourite designs in GW1.

What I found particularly interesting, however, was where ArenaNet stated the Kodan live. The Sanctuaries – great, drifting iceberg fortresses – would be fantastic to visit, I’m sure. I can imagine visiting one of these fortresses, with the ursan guards patrolling the edges of icy cliffs, ferociously fending off monstrous creatures from the depths.

I’d like to know more on the structure of these Sanctuaries. It’d be cool to know whether they use magic, or another energy source, to move around the seas. If they move via natural currents, it would be interesting to see how often we can reach these icebergs. I hope we don’t have to swim to them every time.

Actually, I’d like to speculate that these icebergs move in real-time. If, indeed, the Kodan are found drifting in the middle of the ocean, swimming may not be a viable travel option. This is one reason I believe ArenaNet may introduce ships into gameplay. In particular, I’m excited about Norn vessels.

Could we see something similar to this in GW2?

As we know, the Norn draw influences from Viking culture. The Vikings were a seafaring people, who possessed great longships, which they used for raids and expansion. These are concepts that ArenaNet couldn’t use in Guild Wars 1, as, in the Far Shiverpeaks, the Norn are landlocked. However, with Guild Wars 2, they have expanded to Lion’s Arch, and now ArenaNet can develop the Norn into a seafaring race.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

I reckon we’ll see some sort of oceanic navigation/exploration in GW2. Why would there be a battle at sea in ‘Edge of Destiny’ if there isn’t some kind of variant in the game? Was that just storytelling by J. Robert King? Or, was it a hint at future gameplay? It’s a shot in the dark, but I’m interested as to where ArenaNet takes the concept.

There could be some drawbacks with the persistent world when developing this, however. In an instance, we’d be able to have a single ship per player, yet in a persistent world, with so many players, the sea would be crowded with vessels. As an alternative, there could be a cyclical system of AI ships to jump aboard. Alas, I’m not knowledgeable on the technical side of game production, with programming and such, so I don’t know how difficult it would be to produce. I’m guessing it would be pretty challenging.

Even if these ravings are for nought, I’m still enamoured with the Norn pirates in ‘EoD’. I’d like to explore their stories in GW2, and maybe even have my own Norn join a new, reformed [YARR]. All of this seems rather lofty speculation, but then again, I am from Penzance, so maybe there’s some deep-seated fascination with piratical lore seeping through in my expectations of the game.

O! ye pirates of PZ! How doth I love thee?!

– CornishRocker


The Flaming Asura!: The Winners of Wintersday.

Blogg, the Flaming Asura

Greetings, bookah! My name is Blogg, the Flaming Asura, Asuran scribe and keen critic of tomes, tablets and tapestries. Recently, ArenaNet announced the winners and honourable mentions of the 2010 Wintersday Art Contest. Of course, I will discuss my own favourites from those revealed on the Guild Wars website.

 

#3 – Wintersday is a time of year that brings a festive, warm merriment. It is also, however, a time for grinding for Ebon Vanguard reputation points, wintersday gifts and candy cane shards. The activities should be fun, but they can easily lapse into daunting, repetitious tasks. Of course, the grind is entirely optional, yet it can really pile on the old holiday blues. I like to think this painting captures these elements and displays them in a bleak, despairingly frigid setting.

 

Ross G. - USA

 

I imagine that this particular fellow is stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of Miniature Polar Bear farming. Witness the air of weariness; the scythe slung over the shoulder as the wanderer searches fruitlessly for that unquestionably rare minipet.

 

# 2 – Wintersday isn’t all gloom and Dhuum, however. My No.2 spot is reserved for a much more light-hearted, cheerful painting. Wintersday is a time for giving and sharing, and of enjoying the company of others. Even if they are a member of the opposing Snowball Fight team.

 

Meghann B. - USA

It seems bookah Gods can be won over with simple affection. The sweetness of this exchange is delightful to behold. It seems Grenth isn’t as chilly as we had once thought.

 

 

# 1 – Over the years, the number of handmade dolls submitted to the contest has increased. These submissions have become extremely popular, and with good reason. My number one spot goes to Koreena Anchalis – ArenaNet’s 2nd place winner.

 

Koreena Anchalis - USA

 

 

What a wonderful collection of Guild Wars memorabilia! With the skill bar necklace and the summoning stone pendants, one would make easy work of mobs of monsters. Maybe we could record such victories in the Nightfall tome and Flameseeker Prophesies. Afterwards, we could celebrate with Gwen Chan and a fine bottle of Krytan brandy. Finally, what can I say about that magnificent golem? Koreena should certainly apply to the College of Synergetics in Guild Wars 2.

 

– Blogg, the Flaming Asura.


MVOP Night: Spearing Fried Calamari!

 

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Massively Overpowered!

Last night Massively Overpowered moved on from the Echovald Forest and off towards the Jade Sea, the territory of the Luxon faction of Cantha. After splitting into two groups, we waited for a while to get ready to go. Unfortunately for group 1, both the vent server and the massively livestream weren’t operating properly. Luckily, however, replacements were found and group 1 got to record their mission. You can watch them on Necromas’s justin.tv channel.

 

Get out the frying pan: Zhu Hanuku

As for group 2, we also set out from Altrumm Ruins to the Boreas Seabed. There, we fought the Luxon champions to gain access to the Spear of Archemorus, a mighty artifact to use in the fight against Shiro Tagachi. After a swift victory, we took the spear into the Jade Sea to draw out Zhu Hanuku, the giant, floating squid of The Deep. With fire raining and swords slashing, we defeated the magical crustacean and obtained the spear for the battle with Tagachi.

After regrouping in Maatu Keep, I decided to bow out before the group went on to the Sunjiang District mission. That’s the problem with living in England; by the time we started the first mission, it was almost 3am! Maybe I should get some sleep after getting home from work, before starting the mission.

Next week I should have a new mic. Then I’ll be fully eligible to join the livestreaming group. I don’t think they have many English guys in the Guild, so it could be a first to hear those “sultry tones” of the Brits on the livestream. I could be the Smiffy of MVOP.

– CornishRocker


The Flaming Asura!: Edge of Destiny

 

Blogg, the Flaming Asura

Greetings, bookah! My name is Blogg, the Flaming Asura, Asuran scribe and keen critic of tomes, tablets and tapestries. Today, I shall be discussing the new Guild Wars novel ‘Edge of Destiny’. Also, don’t worry about the flames on my head, they aren’t made of primordial fire. Just a little joke the Mad King made last Halloween.

So. What do I think of ‘Edge of Destiny’?

I’ll explain how I feel about the novel, but be prepared for spoilers.

Firstly, I love the characters and the Guild’s development. The humourous exchanges that occur between Logan and Rytlock are amusing, and the genius of Snaff and Zojja does not disappoint. Eir and Caithe flesh out the drive and determination of the Guild, and having Garm appear as a team member, not just a pet gaining all the aggro, is wonderful.

The settings described fit the Guild Wars world well for the advance in the timeline since GW1. The maritime theme of Lion’s Arch contrasts with the old, royal city we used to know. The settlement has become home to more than just humans, making it a multi-racial hub, will be exciting to explore in the sophomore release. I look forward to seeing Norn pirates in the dockyards.

Magnus the Bloody Handed?

 

The descriptions of Glint’s Sanctuary and the Dragonspawn’s lair are also immersive, and the Dragonbrand’s inception is developed from the description in ‘Ghosts of Ascalon’. Rata Sum seems to have grown larger and more impressive since we first visited it in ‘Eye of the North’. That would be down to the fantastic developments of the College of Statics. The fantasy environments stay true to the beautiful and impressive vistas shown in GW1.

I imgine that video game novelists can struggle with the exposition of lore to those unfamiliar with its origins. Here, though, the author has kept the descriptions minimal, but effective. J. Robert King has mentioned Svanir and Jora in passing, without dragging us into a drawn out explanation. In addition, with regards to Glint’s appearance in the novel, we can understand her place in Tyria without having to play Prophesies. A plus for any non-GW1 players.

The battle scenes are written well, with both failures and battlefield innovations abound. This does seem to happen rather repetitively, however, with each problem being solved by a new piece of technology or magical item being drawn out of thin air. One such example would be the ‘hole in the pocket’; it is placed into the novel without any reference to its creation or development beforehand.

The same could almost be said of each new foe the Guild faces. The Dragonspawn is regarded a huge threat, and is spectacularly killed in chapter 20. Within the next four chapters, the guild manage to kill another two champions. The same amount of build up is not expressed at all with Morgus Lethe and the Destroyer of Life. This strikes me as a little rushed and unbalanced. It seems to me that plot devices, such as the dragon champions, were just created to drag out the story until Destiny’s Edge could be disbanded.

RIP

 

Next, came a surprise – with Glint being the next dragon champion. With Glint’s introduction, and the awakening of Kralkatorrik, came the opportunity to expand upon the lore behind the dragons. King gave us a piece of lore we’ve never had before; how the dragons lived in Tyria before the Exodus of the Gods. It was interesting to see further into Glint’s past than just the events of GW1.

Of course, Glint’s death hit hard to Guild Wars players. This character, who had granted us her wisdom and strength in GW1, is now gone, and the potential for an encounter with her in GW2 is gone. Still, I’m almost satisfied with the Guild’s failure to kill Kralkatorrik, as now we have a shot at it ourselves.

As for character relationships, I felt more could have been done to develop the Guild’s bond. King doesn’t seem to have focused on the Guild’s relationship as a whole, and they, in fact, are split into seperate groups within Destiny’s Edge. This is especially clear when Logan’s ‘betrayal’ causes Rytlock to leave the Guild, with no mention of his bond to the others.

As for other characters’ relationships, Caithe’s interactions with Faolain, of the antagonistic Nightmare Court, are almost confusing. To what end does Faolain attempt to poison Caithe? Her presence in the book seems to be just a distraction from the plot, to merely show that a sinister form of the Sylvari exists. They certainly do seem interesting, though.

Definitely a future Mesmer of mine

Regarding the bizarre interactions between queen Jennah and Logan, that too just seems like a weary attempt to set up the conditions for the breakdown of the Guild. The formality of the exchanges is also grating; it is discribed earlier that Logan despises the Seraph and avoids Divinity’s Reach, yet he is completely taken to the queen and her influence. I remember reading on the ArenaNet blog that the team had decided to turn down formal language in GW2, yet the letters in ‘Edge of Destiny’ spill with pretentious courtly langauge. Even though the letters are from, and to, the queen, it seems out-of-place. Especially when Logan acts like a cocky teenager around his brother, Dylan, and Rytlock.

Overall, I enjoyed Edge of Destiny, with its wonderful depictions of Tyria and its inhabitants, the battles with the dragon champions and the protagonists’ stories. Unfortunately, I also feel that the pacing was rushed, and that the story’s advancement was too easily changed by just one line of dialogue, here, or a new piece of technology, there. Snaff himself seemed like a walking, talking plot device unto himself, with his inventions and ideas changing the story drastically, or making every mission – before Kralkatorrik- a breeze. In the end, it is clear that his genius holds the Guild – and plot – together, and the aftermath of his death sets the stage for Guild Wars 2.

– Blogg, the Flaming Asura


PUGing for the Claw of Khan-Ur!

I’ve just finished ‘Ghosts of Ascalon’, and I must say that it was a fascinating read. What a great PUG the GoA team made, eh? No monk or nuker, and four warriors… dear me.

The unlucky buggers didn’t even get one ecto drop in Ascalon City. Arenanet must be decreasing drops rates for Guild Wars 2. 😛

Anyway, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed the book. The plot may have been a little slow around the middle, and at that point I really only cared about one of the characters, but as the plot progressed, the quirks of the protagonists grew on me. I loved the references to Guild Wars 1’s characters, and the lore was fleshed out and expanded upon well with the two hundred year shift in time. The brief touches of humour are also a delight. Especially the references to a particular sport involving bovines, and the suggestion that hero AI is still a nuisance.

As for technological developments, I’m still not sure if I like muskets in a Guild Wars setting, but I suppose the parallels with our own history are present. I know I’m going to eat my words when I roll and dual pistol wielding Norn in GW2, but for now I’m happy with bows, scythes and fireballs.

Regarding class reveals, I realise that there is more information awaiting in ‘Edge of Destiny’ -which is currently sitting on my desk, unread-, but the “potions master” or “alchemist” role was an exciting addition with Kranxx. Can’t go wrong with a skill bar full of rallying potions, if you know what I mean.

I imagine alchemy will be very useful in GW2, but what I don’t understand is why no-one in Tyria carries a Res Sig anymore. Poor –-Spoiler?

– CornishRocker


MVOP Night – Storming the Temple

Well, the MVOP mission was fun last night, despite the lag I was suffering. Our two groups set out to free the trapped Canthan spirits from Shiro’s rituals in Tahnnakai Temple, and in style might I add. After freeing Vizu from her bonds, and watching those infamous Factions cutscenes, we lined up for our fashion show. I’m glad my top hat went down well.

After I called it a night, the groups made their way for House zu Heltzer via the Arborstone mission.

Here’s the video of the livestream for your viewing pleasure.

P.S. As for the Sylvari design speculation I mentioned in chat – I would love for the Nightmare Court to resemble the Wardens from the Echovald Forest. I always liked the Warden designs, and maybe the leader could draw some influences from Urgoz.

Hmm, maybe they could be drinking buddies.

– CornishRocker


Fresh from the Charr printing press!

My copy of ‘Ghosts of Ascalon’ has just arrived!

I’d like to take my time over this read, but I’ve also got ‘Edge of Destiny’ on the way too. Oh, and Steven Fry’s new autobiography. The Guns N’ Roses visual documentary is also waiting on my bedroom floor, aswell.

What a variety of literature I’m getting into at the moment.

Anyway, I’ll bury myself into GoA for the next couple of hours before I prepare for the Massively Overpowered mission tonight – well, this morning; 2am is pretty late to be taking on Shiro’s minions, no?

– CornishRocker


Blog? Is that some kind of Asuran name?

It seems that I have finally been drawn into the world of blogging. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about at first, be it novel reviews or how much I agree with BBC Radio Four’s intellectual monologues on exports of tea and whatnot. However, I have within recent months rediscovered a coveted gem of a hobby that I have visited on and off for the past four years. That hobby is the video game Guild Wars.

I was first introduced to Guild Wars by a friend in 2006, and I must say I was completely taken in by it. I have always enjoyed a good story, and the plot was as thoroughly engrossing as any of the fantasy novels I’ve consumed over the years. Yet, with study periods building with each progressive year, I found less and less time for playing Guild Wars. Eventually, I left my guild, stopped listening to Guildcast and let the multitudes of undownloaded files pile up when I left the game in 2008.

Occasionally logging in for the odd festival or two over the last couple of years, I started to notice a change to the Guild Wars community. Late last year, a huge swarm of gossip was circulating All Chat in the Eye of the North about Guild Wars 2. It was October 2010, and the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator was flavour of the month. Of course, I decided to take a look at the Arenanet website. For the first time in 2 years, the excitement that drove me through Cantha, Elona and GW:EN reignited as I read the news on Guild Wars 2. I will not leaving the first game again any time soon.

That same excitement has also led me to begin this blog. I don’t know, yet, where it will lead, but I at least have a medium to discuss Guild Wars away from the forums.

– CornishRocker