A few turns of the moon ago I wrote about Guild Wars 2 having structured PvP (“sPvP”) as an insulated game separate from the first game. This last update has made one slight (from a gamer’s perspective) change that I feel is going to start felling that wall of insulation separating the first game (PvE et al.) from the second game (sPvP). The change is that sPvP is now part of the Guild Wars 2 economy.
This morning I did a very brief test. I played two rounds of sPvP on a random server (8v8). I lost one round and won the second round along with getting a bunch of top player points (more Glory). I made about 25 silver and around 300 Glory and change. (I meant to do more, I apologize, but a Scarlet Invasion and then Toypocalypse stole most of my time last night.)
Getting a dozen or so silver each match is a new thing. It does not compare to PvE champ farming or dungeon speed-running, but it is also a non-negligible amount. The most important thing is that the umbrella currency of gold does not become stagnant simply because one wants to play sPvP. Continue reading
It’s funny that I knew what Jeromai meant the second I saw his recent post title “A Very Merry Leisurely Wintersday”. It had already been mulling over the exact same thoughts. It’s the combination of Colin’s announcement that this recent Wintersday/Aftermath update was it until January 21, 2014 and the ease of the update that makes it feel leisurely. In one sense it feels like Guild Wars 2 is over for 2013.
However, I felt more like Jeromai in that I all of the sudden became a master of my time again. I wasn’t worried about WvW or getting up that dang tower one more time. The world was opened up before me. I am still mulling over whether this is a good or bad thing, and my gut check is that the roller coaster of Guild Wars 2 is better than not. Continue reading
Can someone who knows WvW math better explain to me what is going on here? Continue reading
Hypothesis: the GW2 WvW Season One design for matching servers in large groups was horrible game design that turned WvW into PvE for most servers, but it may have been commercially successful in that it gave lots of easy wins to players who never wanted balanced matchups anyway.
I have completed 4 games in the Assassin’s Creed series. I did not get all the flags in Assassin’s Creed 1, but I achieved 100% in Assassin’s Creed 2 and direct sequels. Assassin’s Creed 1 had some progression in that each chapter I got an upgrade, and the more objectives I completed the higher my health (to a cap). It was rather slight all told. Assassin’s Creed 2 had a much more varied progression, and it went up to what felt like a lot of progression in Ezio’s finale in Revelations. And, I’m not sure I played it as intended. Continue reading
The new agony infusions do a great job of showing the difference between cost and value. A one-unit increase in value doubles the cost.
They work like this: +1 agony (resistance) infusions drop. You can use one in an infusion slot to give an item +1 AR, or you can combine it with an identical infusion to increase its number. Two +1s get you a +2, two +2s get you a +3, and so on. It can be fun in guild chat to see someone who has never seen how quickly doubling numbers grow. You need 16 +1s to get a +5 and 512 to get a +10.
Assuming a trading post cost of 20s per infusion (the last time I looked), a +5 infusion costs about 3.5g, including the cost of combining them. A +10 infusion would cost 102.4g, which rounds off nicely to 110g when you add another 7.6 for all those combinations. A +20 infusion would cost nearly 8000 gold ($1,876 at the current gem exchange rate) just for the combination costs and would also need more than a half-million +1 infusions.
Part of the allure of a horizontal endgame is that you can play alts freely. You get a whole stable of them, and you play what you want to play tonight (or what your guild needs) rather than being locked into the one character that has raided enough dungeons to be viable in the current endgame. I made 11 level-capped characters in City of Heroes and was only frustrated by the introduction of an endgame system that added character-based advancement.
Guild Wars 2 spent the first year gradually devaluing alts by adding character-specific advancement. The second year has started converting that to account-based progress, adding value to alts.
After playing Guild Wars 2, going back to the standard structure of quest NPCs is like driving a car with a hand-crank starter. It does not seem like a big thing, but PvE theme parks have been quest-based ever since World of Warcraft became the trope codifier, so your metaphorical car stalls at every pause and needs to be hand-cranked again.
With the Guild Wars 2 Fractals update, there is also a bit of the Living World going on. The first time players enter the Mistlock Observatory (fractals hub) they get to go in to story mode to experience the new Thaumanova fractal. It’s story mode because Kiel attempts to commandeer Mistlock Observatory and make Dessa use the technology to figure things out. Story spoilers abound beyond.
The fractal itself, even though I have only done story mode, is well-designed. It’s a big puzzle that is mostly combat light. The goal is to cool down or shut off the Thaumanova reactor, which is being invaded by Scarlet’s (proto-?) armies. The end boss is an anomaly, which appears to be a godlike energy being. The fight is all about keeping as much of the disappearing platform available as possible as players get hit with the energy and cause the platforms beneath their feet to disappear for a short time. Spreading out is the key tactic. I think I will enjoy it as part of the Fractals lineup.
However, as far as the story instance goes… it was a mess. I will give a nod to the pain caused by a bug, which prevented wiped parties from reviving, but only a quick one because this bug has been fixed. Otherwise, it was really tough to get pieces of the story. Here we are in a puzzle dungeon that we’ve never played before, and story dialogue is happening while we are racking our brains with in-game mechanics. Who knows how much conversation I missed. Continue reading