[GW2] Let Me Stress This: Amazing!

I was able to putz around in the Guild Wars 2 beta stress test yesterday. I think Jeromai’s comments all around, I can just echo (or see my comment there as well). It was a fun, very well polished slice. All it tells us, I feel is general direction of the upcoming PvE. It’s a good direction for sure, but not wholly indicative of the final result.

There was one truly amazing thing. It blew my mind. Bleed stacks over 25. 

Now since my main for years was a condimancer, who has recently switched to a powermancer to play around with daggers, I am ecstatic. I love conditions. I love the ensured death from DoTs (damage-over-time). ArenaNet design lead Jon Peters writes that what we saw was a first [public] test of  ArenaNet working on condition caps. I am ecstatic that this may be another feature for Heart of Thorns, or possibly before!

But, that’s not what was amazing. Continue reading [GW2] Let Me Stress This: Amazing!

[GW2] Have We Been Beta’d?

I’ve been working on one of the rare collection achievements as a long-term goal waiting for Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns. It is a “hardcore” goal requiring a lot of commitment, and if you don’t want to go insane, a lot of community support. Luckily there’s all of that in my wheelhouse, which I will write about later this week.

Anyway, I started pondering ArenaNet’s greater plan. We had years of Living World updates with new systems, new zones, and a general polishing of the entire core. Now we have an expansion coming. Everybody, facetiously, wanted an expansion. That was the Guild Wars 1 way. That’s what most MMO’s do. We aren’t paying a subscription for this constant update nonsense so give us a huge content drop we can buy.

Perhaps, I pondered, whilst sifting through hundreds of handfuls of sand… Perhaps, ArenaNet was not ready for an expansion. Continue reading [GW2] Have We Been Beta’d?

Sky Saga First [Alpha] Impressions

I would never have known about Sky Saga if it wasn’t for the rage-induced community support group that the Windborne game’s Steam forums had become. Sky Saga was suggested by one player as an ointment to the afterglow of the production-stilled Windborne. I checked out Sky Saga’s website. Someone on Twitter also mentioned to me it was guided, similar to HQM Minecraft or Windborne’s quests.

The suggestion to try Sky Saga was enough to sign up for the “alpha”, which is fairly open. The servers are open right now for a limited time, and I was able to play around over the weekend to get a feel for the game. Continue reading Sky Saga First [Alpha] Impressions

[RR] Werewolf the Forsaken 2e Impressions

I was a weird kid with tabletop roleplaying games (RPG’s) growing up. I played RPG’s with my friends, yes. The weird part was that I did not own a core book until high school (Changeling 2e was my first, but we’ll talk about that later this year). Every RPG I played was kind of cobbled together with no base rules system. I didn’t have enough money to buy a corebook, or rather I never saved up enough. The cheaper and shinier supplement books I did accumulate.

The most supplements I bought for a game line whose corebook I only owned last year was Werewolf the Apocalypse, which is a game about tribal werewolf superheroes fighting with spirit allies against Captain Planet-style enemies of the earth. Ridiculous, 90’s, and over-the-top fun for a game that’s way more fantasy than modern. “When will you Rage?” was the tagline. This system was near and dear to my heart, despite my weirdness, and I bought many supplements.

White Wolf recreated Werewolf in the new World of Darkness line as Werewolf the Forsaken (WtF). No longer did you play world roaming heroes. Now it was all about defending territory and surviving against all odds. The best description I heard for the game was you were playing a hated prison security guard trying to keep all the spirit and werewolf inmates in-line while the townies thought you were a destitute human. It was a good game, but it lacked the feeling of purpose. Entropy and erosion seemed like dominating themes instead of success. Continue reading [RR] Werewolf the Forsaken 2e Impressions

[GW2] Desert Borderlands

At Rezzed, the game convention of London, ArenaNet just had a presentation (recorded Twitch link) regarding the Desert Borderlands map. This new map will replace the current Borderlands maps, and then some kind of schedule / rotation will be determined. In usual form the Dulfy Corp provides an excellent swath of notes on the very informative presentation.

There are three “corners” to the map: earth, fire, and wind. Each with a corresponding keep. It seems like in usual form the keep is the golden prize for each of the three teams, but the Desert Borderlands seems to more strongly emphasize that the Keep is resting on a pyramid of support.  Continue reading [GW2] Desert Borderlands

[GW2] Press Demo Feedbacks and Overviews

A lot of press, ‘casters, and a few other media-types were invited to ArenaNet last week to check out a demo of the Heart of Thorns content. Just about everything they played was already revealed through ArenaNet’s Twitch channel, including the Revenant (up to two legends), a slice of the new map, the Verdant Brink, the wyvern boss battle, and the new PvP gamemode Stronghold.

The best aggregate by far is RandomUser’s well maintained megapost on the event at Reddit. There were a few surprises, for me. I didn’t know, for example, that Rock, Paper, Shotgun would attend. They always feel a bit flighty or uncontrollable for press events.  Continue reading [GW2] Press Demo Feedbacks and Overviews

CRGE – Roleplaying Without a GM

I’ve finally released CRGE! It’s a complete, concise system for playing roleplaying games without a GM. CRGE has been worked on for well over two years. Possibly three or four, but I didn’t put true pen to paper until just over two. I have refined it as best I could. Polished it until my eyes bled, and playtested the heck out of it.

It’s tiered as a system, which is a design I am immensely proud of because I’ve found that solo roleplayers are immense tinkerers. For my playstyle I have built what I feel is my personal suite of tools for what I feel is a darn good roleplaying experience.

Back to the tiers. The first tier is a “yes or no” question answerer. Very simple in concept, but my idea was to keep pushing for the unexpected. For example, you could ask “is someone standing outside my window watching me?” and get an answer “No, but…” someone is definitely watching you. Or you could get “Yes, and unexpectedly…” the scene changes. It’s all about shaking things up, the way I feel a GM would.

The second tier is focused on making scenes and story threads mean something. It ties back to getting unexpected answers. So, you might learn that the next scene something big is going to resolved. It won’t be apparent until you land on that, but things are always being pushed towards meaning and resolution. Almost like a system built around Chekhov’s gun.

Finally, I try and put this all together in to a framework where you can play a concise story. I was always frustrated at my early attempts at solo roleplaying because I felt I was meandering in a sandbox. Things became too complex and too realistic (in that Sisyphean-type way). I wanted a story with resolution and meaning. I wanted to play in chapters, not endless tangents. Hopefully I conveyed a way to bring it all together.

Anyway, if you are like “how could this possibly work?”, download it for free, and there is a complete example in the appendices. If you like what you see feel free to leave feedback or throw a tip my way.

–Ravious

[GW2] Reasons to Slow Level my Revenant

I got chided the other day in Guild Wars 2 for using my skill point scrolls in lieu of the upcoming expansion, with new Revenant profession. When used they provide this flashy whirlwind-boom, which lets everybody know I gained a skill point. I politely asked if I should start, “yet another stack of skill points”. The response was a cat-face, my most hated emote ( :3), which makes no sense to me on any level. I could not punch through the internet. Continue reading [GW2] Reasons to Slow Level my Revenant

Crowfall Interview on the Business Model

I contacted ArtCraft Entertainment – who is currently running a Kickstarter for the upcoming Crowfall MMO – to see if they would want to briefly discuss their choice of business model and a few followups. In the midst of the craziness they were more than willing to answer a couple questions.

Crowfall is a “buy once, play forever” game. What made you want to go against the MMO majority of subscription or free-to-play?

It was the right business model for this game and this audience.  There is a lot of fatigue with free-to-play that are actually ‘pay-to-win’ in disguise.  And we were sensitive to the portion of our audience that can’t easily afford a subscription so we made that optional, rather than required.  This allows players with more time than money to be just as competitive as players with more money than time, putting everyone on as even a playing field as possible. Continue reading Crowfall Interview on the Business Model

[GW2] Revenant Reminiscing

The revenant profession coming with the Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns seems like the biggest throwback yet to Guild Wars 1. It operates so differently from any other profession that I would definitely call it an expansion profession. For a really nice overview of the new profession check out GuildMag’s post on it.

The biggest reason I am excited about the revenant is the flavor. While necromancer was my main in Guild Wars 1, the ritualist was my favorite character. The whole power dependent on otherworldly spirits was quite flavorful. The revenant seems no different in channeling legends as power conduits. Even more awesome, the devs have said that the legend will actually speak to the character.

I am also interested in the style of heavy class that revenant represents. Obviously, we don’t have a complete picture having only examples of two weapon sets and two legends.

Jalis seems very guardian-ish. It’s a different and welcome flavor of guardian, but it definitely feels like a similar piece of the pie. Thankfully the corresponding weapon, the hammer feels way different from anything guardian-ish.

I am more interested in Mallyx, which feels completely different from anything on the table. The closest cousin is necromancer, but Mallyx seems to want to turn the revenant into a condition battery, a patient zero, rather than necromancer’s condition reversal.

The devs have said that each legend is going to be a package, and they kept referring to the weapons (and trait lines) as aligning with certain legends. It was pretty clear that mace seemed to line up with Mallyx for condition fun, but hammer seemed a bit broader than just being a Jalis weapon. My feeling is that like weapon set swapping, players will have a primary legend in mind when building and then a secondary legend. I’ve seen lots of talk about the revenant possibly being a great use for the celestial armor set (+x to all stats).

Out of the soldier profession, I am not a fan of the warrior, which has always felt a bit too direct for me. I like the guardian pretty much, but I much prefer the debuff/control side of things, which is why out of spite, the necromancer is my current main. Honestly, the revenant might replace the necromancer, I am not sure. The revenant – the unselfish tank-y necromancer, heh. I will definitely be booting one up with the Heart of Thorns expansion regardless.

–Ravious