[GW2] Daily Change

GW2 has revamped dailies. I’m torn, to the extent that I still care about GW2. It makes it easier and less interesting to coast and not care, which is probably not a good thing; Ravious, any insight into how this affects play for someone emotionally invested?

GW2 now has daily login rewards. Okay. It’s not a horrible mechanic, even if it feels like a F2P gimmick. The implementation here is better than many because it does not demand that days be continuous. If you don’t log on for a week, your login rewards progress stays on track.

WvW and sPvP achievements are still more or less the same. They tried to sell that one, but no, rotating amongst the WvW objectives is not a new thing. The newish bit is asking you to win in sPvP as a particular class or two per day for a bonus chest.

PvE dailies are the big change. This seems like another step in the continuing march away from the pre-launch design philosophy, here away from “play however you like.” The picture on the link above is representative: daily achievements are now very specific, such as defeating a particular world boss, one of the gathering types in a quadrant of the map, or completing events in a particular zone. If population spreads over time, this may not be a bad design plan, because it channels players back together in the zone of the day, the way Zaishen dailies do/did in GW1. I have not seen how well that works; I have seen mass piles on a world boss, but I have not had the interest to complete 4 quests in whatever random zone was picked today. I am not part of the population being channeled there.

The channeling effect must be minimized by the range of dailies. In the linked example, players are simultaneously being channeled into three different zones and then another quadrant of the map. You get all the restrictive feeling of highly specific dailies while still spreading your players across a fair amount of the map. Maybe that’s better than spreading them across the whole map? It seems like a lot of design philosophy to give up for a small gain.

: Zubon

[GW2] Maguuma Wastes Review

Season 2 of Guild Wars 2 finally feels expansion-y enough to talk about in a way where I can review it beyond “this update is cool or bad”. It’s strong enough to see a trajectory in design by ArenaNet. The storytelling is different. The goals are different. And biggest and most noticeable of all, we have new zones. We have zones which feel as important as the core zones, excluding Southsun Cove. That is what I want to review. Continue reading [GW2] Maguuma Wastes Review

[GW2] Seeds of Nightmare

Back from disease and travel, Mrs. Ravious and I played through the Seeds of Truth update, which is the seventh episode for Season 2 of the Living World. In the usual Season 2 fashion (especially this second half) there is a story instance and then two action sequences. There will be spoilerosity as I want this post to focus on the story of the update. I’ll get to the other updates in the maps and what not later.

So to catch up, the story is now revolving how one of Glint’s dragon eggs can change the world. Except that Caithe, one of your buddies from the core game’s story, just up and stole it once you got it off the Zephyrite leader’s still warm corpse. That was the cliffhanger last episode, and now the Living World starts to tell us why. Or, at least the seeds of why. Continue reading [GW2] Seeds of Nightmare

Family Sickness Fun Time

Well, it sucks I’ve been out of touch. We’re on round two of sickness in our family. Now everybody is on antibiotics. Hopefully that’ll do it. I still game. Have to be bedridden not to, practically.

Shadow of Mordor

I sold my friend on the game this weekend with the help of another one. He was interested to begin with, but it became apparent how great the game was when neither me nor my another friend seemed to agree on the best way to play. He liked doing the whole ninja thing, which I found cowardly, and I liked using the zipline shadow strike where you basically use an orc’s head to hookshot wherever you need to go. My friend said it was a waste of two arrows.

I am nearing the end of the game. My bars of progress are getting fuller, but it has never felt grindy like Assassin’s Creed often does. Less is more Ubisoft. I don’t need 20 gorram sparklies per map unless they mean something.  Continue reading Family Sickness Fun Time

[GW2] Living on the Edge

How is gameplay in the Edge of the Mists these days? My experience was a distillation of the WvW experience to almost pure karma-training.

There are three zergs of random sizes, each capturing objectives in a spiral, with the occasional overlap or intersection that leads to a one-off fight. There is little to no incentive to defend beyond the free points of catching unaware opponents from behind. I have never seen anyone care about the reward for having the higest score, and I do not even know what it is.

GW2 players were asking for more permanent PvE zones. I do not know if the developers meant to create one in WvW or if that is just a statement on the GW2 playerbase. But hey, it’s been a while, so maybe things have changed since my last visit.

: Zubon

[GW2] Orange Halloween

A wash of orange and green has taken over ruined Lion’s Arch. Accents of the Bloody Prince’s red also sparkle here and there. The content is pretty much the same as last year. Yet, you’d think the Easter Bunny had a hand here because the biggest change to this year’s Guild Wars 2 Halloween festival is the amount of carrots. There are so many carrots to chase now, and the market is reacting naturally. Continue reading [GW2] Orange Halloween

Hubs, Hearts, Story

Guild Wars 2 has some improvements on standard MMO mechanics that are so obviously better that I have found it unpalatable to go back to older MMOs or to play new games that clone them. One of these is the use of hearts and events to level, rather than quest hubs. For the kind of content quest hubs most often deliver (kill things, click things, collect things), hearts just seem obviously better than clicking an NPC; hearing a story about too many wolves, needing wolf pelts, or wanting you to click on six specific wolf den rocks to investigate; kill/click/collect, then going back to click on the NPC. The flow of play is better, and if you don’t feel like collecting things, you can just kill and/or click. Using events to make impromptu groups and to replace “take this message to Bob in the next town” quests is just better.

Also, in GW2, you can almost always rez the NPC in an escort quest. See Rurik or Sara Oakheart.

GW2 also demonstrated that hearts and events are horrible ways of telling stories, so bad that they spent part of the first year trying to retrofit a classic quest system into mail system or the personal story model. They seem to have settled on the personal story model, an interesting choice given how few players would cite the personal story as one of the better parts of the game.

: Zubon

[GW2] Feature Shock and Collection

It’s been a few days since the second Feature Pack arrived from Guild Wars 2, and large chunks of the vocal community are in an uproar. My favorite description of the Feature Pack contents comes from Bog Otter’s delightful YouTube video, but for the written word head to Jeromai’s overview.

So there were some class changes. Mrs. Ravious loves her new Ranger Power! I haven’t had a chance to dabble with a dagger necro now with mini-cleave (pinky to mouth for effect). There’s some new WvW stuff, and I’m getting used to the new Trading Post updates. Yay for speed, Boo for default to list the item instead of auto-selling it. Double Yay for improved search and sell from my backpack power! Continue reading [GW2] Feature Shock and Collection

[GW2] Mawdrey

Mawdrey is one of the chase items for the first half of Season 2 in Guild Wars 2. Unlike most of the other chase items, Mawdrey is not random-chance loot. It is quite the opposite. Mawdrey is a large treasure hunt, crafting spree, and tree destroying quest rolled in to one.

In The Dragon’s Reach: Part 1 sequence of story instances, players begin to receive items when each instance is completed. The first one appears in the story instance Uprooting the Iron Marches, which involves defending the charr region from planty mordrem attacks. One of the rewards is a Mysterious Seed with the instructions to “[p]lant in a Ley Line Infused Clay Pot to germinate”. The capitalization of course notes that another item will be needed, and they come uncompleted in the later story instances of the same chapter. Continue reading [GW2] Mawdrey

Useful Loading Screens 2

GW2 useful loading screen
Credit where it is due, and I am surprised I did not note it at the time: Guild Wars 2 includes potentially useful information on its loading screens. It charts your progress towards 100% zone completion. The theme park says, “You have ridden 13/16 rides from this zone on this character and seen 9/10 photo spots.” I can still dream of the more exciting tips from my old post, but this is more than most games try to offer.

: Zubon