[GW2] Reaper Shroud

My necromancer in Guild Wars 2 is everything. I have stuck by and loved my necromancer despite all it’s problems and inefficiencies. It gets even worse, I have often played a condition-based necromancer in dungeons and open world events. I’ve always hoped that being at the bottom, the only way to go is up, or in a twist, possibly to something more necro-y, the revenant.

The reaper elite specialization gives the feeling that it was designed with a serious amount of attention. It is a kit that feels cohesive to turn the necromancer into a cleaving, controlling powerhouse. The greatsword weapon skills seem like they have zero fat. The new offensive shouts are going to be a blast to use in many of the game modes since each shout grows in power the more enemies there are to hear it. I feel, there are going to be a lot of reapers running around.

Yet, all this would have that sickly death pall if it weren’t for one change. Death Shroud. This mechanic that has been the white paper bane of the necromancer. Thankfully, the reaper’s first trait is getting the new Reaper Shroud.  Continue reading [GW2] Reaper Shroud

[GW2] Les Festivals

I was going through old screenshots, and I happened upon one that tugged my heart strings. I remember taking this one because I am a huge fan of Dear Esther. It also was from a festival that happened almost exactly a year ago, the Festival of the Four Winds. I personally love the Labyrinthine Cliffs. It is beautiful, and fun. I personally wish it was a great city hub.


My heart tells me that we probably won’t get the Labyrinthine Cliffs tomorrow. The Zephyrites are currently stuck in time in Dry Top, and I feel that returning to the Labyrinthine Cliffs would constitute a “Living World advancement”. The map would have to be scrubbed of Zephyrites. It would probably be less without their airships in the sky. Continue reading [GW2] Les Festivals

[GW2] Dragonhunter-y

Last week ArenaNet revealed the second of the Heart of Thorns elite specializations. This time it was the guardian’s specialization, which turned out to be a longbow wielding “dragonhunter”. The theme of the specialization appeared to be attaching more range and physicality to the light-wielding profession. Most fans appeared positive with the mesmer’s chronomancer, but the guardian received a lot more skepticism.

What Do You Mean By “Witch”?

Jon Peters attempted a community interface to explain over the weekend that the name “dragonhunter” was a high concept title. It came with the lore of a guardian believing that justice is the eradication of dragons and their minions. He compared it to a medieval “witch hunter”. Continue reading [GW2] Dragonhunter-y

[GW2] A Mesmer Without Time

The end of the last week gave a lot to chew on over the weekend with the Guild Wars 2 expansion’s first look at an elite specialization: the chronomancer. Elite specializations are basically Dungeons & Dragons prestige classes that build upon a core class. The chronomancer builds on the mesmer, in this case.

Being a chronomancer gives another shatter, the ability to use a shield, and a new type of utility skills, wells. The theme of all these powers is the manipulation of time, which is most notable in the form of Alacrity.  Alacrity is a new buff that lowers the recharge duration of recharging skills, which makes it the opposite of the Chill condition.

I was blown away by the chronomancer on Friday’s Twitch demonstration. Dulfy provides all the notes in her usual fine form. As an aside, I really did not like the use of pre-recorded video. It didn’t feel like a great demonstration. It was neat that ArenaNet showed off a new sub-area and enemy, but there was a lot lost in the busyness of the videos. I would have much preferred a “now I am going to demonstrate the shield projectile ability after I explain it a bit”. Real time has a lot to be said.

Anyway, what I kept thinking through the end of the week news overload was “why wouldn’t a mesmer want to be a chronomancer?Continue reading [GW2] A Mesmer Without Time

[GW2] Trait-orous Fiddle

With the expansion, ArenaNet is redoing all the trait lines, and more. The Twitter pitch is that each trait line is being collapsed to 3 minor traits and 3 tiers of 3 selectable traits, where players pick one from each tier. Stats are being divorced from the trait lines, and instead of putting points in to trait lines, players just choose three trait lines getting all trait levels from that trait line. Specializations are essentially a trait line that opens up the ability to use specialization aspects.

This update will come before the expansion. After the expansion, the elite specializations will be available, and it must be slotted into one of the three specialization slots to use the elite specialization’s skills, weapons, and of course traits.

Bhagpuss puts the changes into the fiddling that seems to occur with many MMOs. In his mind it won’t be a substantial improvement.  Continue reading [GW2] Trait-orous Fiddle

[GW2] Lick ’em, Stick ’em Hylek

gw2hot_04-2015_Zintl_with_ItzelSlowing down from the big features after the Stronghold beta, ArenaNet discusses some of the new denizens of Heart of Thorns – the hylek tribes. Players should be familiar with the frogmen who appear mostly in Maguuma areas. I feel their biggest gluts are in Caledon Forest and Sparkfly Fen where they have  meta-event surroundings their territory.

The new hylek tribes are surfer-dude tree frogs – Itzel, and down-to-the-earth, end-of-the-road bullfrogs, the Nuhoch. The latter of which surprisingly has no “L” in their name. I think the article is a pretty good read for lore fans.

What I want to discuss is the core game’s “lesser races” versus what could be in the Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns. By “lesser”, I mostly mean non-player character races. Continue reading [GW2] Lick ’em, Stick ’em Hylek

[GW2] Stronghold Engage

star-trek-picard-engageThe Stronghold 24-hour live client beta for Guild Wars 2 was a ton of fun. Mrs. Ravious and I had a blast duo-queuing. It is going to be a fun addition to the PvP modes, but its future is in question.


I think Stronghold strains towards the edges of PvP. The core of PvP is arena deathmatch. Nowhere to run, kill or be killed. The current darling is probably Smash Bros. Guild Wars 2 has the Courtyard map for deathmatch, and I hate it. Continue reading [GW2] Stronghold Engage

[GW2] The Slight Sting – WvW Pride

Tough Love Critic (TLC) has a very good article over on his blog about the tri-fold pride problem in Guild Wars 2 World vs. World gamemode. It’s well worth the read, and in summation he writes:

How bad rewards are, how effective the zerg is, and how terrible the scoring system is should never be covered over because “that’s the way things are, take pride in what you do have. These deep flaws need to be corrected, otherwise WvW will always be fighting staleness as “the new” fades into a realization that key parts of the game mode are still awful.

This is another thing I was mulling over the weekend, and especially Sunday night when my SBI guild heads to the field for an hour or so. Then it was like the bell rung for Cinderella, and poof everybody just disappeared back to PvE pumpkins. Mrs. Ravious and I were standing there quite puzzled wondering what to do now that SBI did not have a commander on the field.  Continue reading [GW2] The Slight Sting – WvW Pride

[GW2] Legendary Hearts Echo

Full credit to Bhagpuss for the title and idea behind this post. Legendary hearts is such a good way of putting the idea behind last week’s Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns announcement. It’s so good that I have to echo it.

Briefly, getting the precursor weapon for a legendary weapon is going to require use of the mastery (expansion) and collections (currently live) systems to gain a recipe to craft the precursor. It’s also a multi-step process, as in there will be three-tiers of precursor to gain. Here is a third-tier Moot precursor that hasn’t been attuned to YMCA yet: Continue reading [GW2] Legendary Hearts Echo

[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!