Blog Archives

Guild Wars 2 April 2016 Patch Review – A Teaser

guild wars 2 ad infinitum glide

I didn’t have time to finish an in depth post about the April patch, so I’ll be doing a brief overview based on each mode. So without further ado, here we go!

Edit: Didn’t have time to get to this and it’s a bit late at this point in time so there will be no extended review of the April patch.

PvE

So the main problem with PvE was the HoT maps being very grindy. Many players have stated that it takes away from what they liked about GW2 which is that they didn’t feel forced to sped hours upon hours to get something significance. Well ArenaNet went back and fixed that. They added waaaaaay more map boxes to open which means more loot and more materials you needed to make things for legendaries or scribing. They also gave out way more map keys and currencies so that you can buy more if you participate in a full map rotation that is. HoT events are more rewarding in this regard. Finally they updated some HoT NPCs to be frequently available rather than that required the map being at a certain stage in order to be accessed. All these changes were amazing and definitely reinvigorated players the first few days.

Fractals got some balances and tweaks. The mistlock instabilities are way better and are challenging but not to the point of super annoying. Players can finally craft the legendary back piece Ad Infinitum which was a long wait from HoT launch. Rewards got tweaked as well. They do feel a lot better and you definitely get a lot less rings which was not that rewarding over time.

Right now, PvE players are lying in wait for Living World Season 3 which is, at the earliest, July. In the mean time there are some current event updates ArenaNet added to PvE that slightly tide the lore hounds over about what could be happening to Tyria or some possible events in LS3.

PvP

It’s here with PvP that I’ll highlight the balance changes. So Thief and Warrior, two professions having trouble in the recent past are seeing more play. Mostly because everyone else got toned down. Thief in particular seems to be able to do +1 and decapping again in a fairly decent manner. Warrior I’m not entirely sure of. I think condi Warrior will be viable. Power warrior might be with the new Destroyer & Demolisher amulets but we’ll see.

Mesmer definitely feels like it’s one of the best professions right now. Revenant is still up there as well. Elementalist seems to have dipped slightly over Ranger as support but is still viable. Engineer and Necromancer got hit but is still viable. The profession that probably needs a bit of help now is Guardian. Guardian has little to no mobility whereas everyone else has something to get around.

PvP itself is still problematic with unranked queues being still up to par. Ranked should be better in this regard but then there’s the issue of motivation of playing for an entire season. This is something I’ll talk about in a more detailed post.

WvW

This is the last one I wanted to touch because it was the one thing ArenaNet had to appease a lot of WvW players with. WvW is getting better each week. The patch alone brought reward tracks, quality of life changes and an improved and more open Desert borderlands. This brought people back into the mode which made things more fun and active.

On top of that, post-patch ArenaNet has been putting up polls and getting feedback on players opinions. These polls are on features players would like to see or that players think ArenaNet should work on. It’s a very transparent approach to things. I’m glad that they took the time to accumulate all the issues players see with the mode. It’s interesting as ArenaNet try to merge player’s wants with some of the ideals ArenaNet want for WvW into a cohesive game mode every WvW player can enjoy and that ArenaNet can be happy with. Hopefully they keep up the good work.

And that’s the overview of things. Overall the patch was pretty awesome. The only exception is to some balance nerfs that I think weren’t warranted to the degree they were nerfed. Again, I’ll try to have a more in depth view of things once I get the chance. Hopefully this tides you over for now!

Age’s Site Update For May 2016

c-and-c

Greetings all, you didn’t think I’d forget about the monthly post did ya?

Guild Wars 2 posts were really slow to none existent due to ArenaNet being hush hush about the April patch which proved to be awesome. I’ll have a post about that sometime this week and about PvP. They’re both taking a while due to the depth of the topics. I’ve been super busy for the past couple of weeks for some reason. I’m trying to find more time and space to do writing but it did take a hit again due to PAX East (which was awesome), friend in hospital, and other IRL things. I did manage to find time to craft Chuka and Champawat, the legendary HoT shortbow (image above) which is my favorite short bow skin at the moment.

League of Legends MSI is going on and I’m really impressed with NA and The Wildcard team doing well. Europe was very disappointing due to G2 taking more of a break than practicing for MSI. This was very foolish in my opinion, as you will not be prepared or as prepared for the teams who will take MSI very seriously. They did pay for it, winning only 2 out of their 10 games.

Overwatch has had me enthralled. Played as much as possible in the weekend and open beta and I’m reaffirmed that Overwatch is a solid game that I’ll be playing often for down time. Maybe I’ll get into the competitive scene but that’s a ways off so we’ll see.

For games of this month we have Battleborn (PC, PS4, XB1) which released on May 3rd. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4) comes out on May 10th, Doom (PC, PS4, XB1) releases on May 13th. Overwatch (PC, PS4, XB1) is going to be released on May 24th.

That’s all for now, take care and have a good one!

– Age

Age’s Site Update For April 2016

HOPE-v2

Greetings all, I’ve got quite a bit to cover.

Guild Wars 2 has gotten some heat about new legendaries getting cancelled last month but it seems to have been relieved by Super Adventure Box coming back the day before April 1st. I did a post about the Legendary stuff as well as a video so check it out if you’d like. Streams have been good and pretty consistent. As for videos I narrowed it down to one a week minimum. Raiding takes up a lot of my time and kind of messes with my schedule for the streaming. I want to do among other thing but I’m trying my best to make it all work. Writing did take a bit of a hit last month so I’ll be trying to make up for it this month. Also, I’ll be heading to PAX East this month (April 22-24th)! So don’t be surprised if content doesn’t come out around that time. Oh and I made H.O.P.E., the legendary pistol (pic above). I love it, hopefully dual pistol gets some stronger viability down the road.

Guild Wars 2 posts I think will be picking up again. There’s a quarterly update in the middle of the month so that should be interesting. I think there will be some be some weekly news preceding the weekly update so we’ll see how it goes.

League of Legends playoffs stuff will go up on Wednesdays. I do have a few things to say since I did screw up my EU predictions quite a bit; I understand why though. Also, I’ll be working on my guides when the summer split occurs. That’s when the last of the major changes typically makes it’s way into the game and is a good point to make a guide based on items, masteries, and so on.

Overwatch released two shorts that have me reinvigorated with the lore. They’re called Recall and Alive. Even if you’re not into the game, go check them out, they’re quite good.

For games of this month, Quantum Break (Xbox One, PC) comes out April 5th. It’s a game that looks like a cool game concept. Dark Souls III comes out on April 12th. Ratchet & Clank comes out on the 12th as well. Star Fox Zero (Wii U) released on April 22nd and I really want to play it.

That’s all for now, hope you all have a good month of gaming!

– Age

Guild Wars 2 – Indefinite Suspension of New Legendary Weapons

Raven-Staff-Out-2

Note: this post can be originally found (written by me) on Mattsta.Ninja

Last week a bomb shell exploded that resulted in a lot of commotion. Unlike most dramatic instances that have been happening in the last year, this time around it’s pretty warranted. Of course I’m talking about the new legendary precursor journeys being indefinitely suspended.

For those who don’t know, ArenaNet President and temporary Game Director Mike O’ Brien got on the forums last Friday and dropped the news that after the release of the Legendary short bow in April, Chuka and Champawat, all work on the new legendary weapons will be indefinitely suspended. The team that worked on this content will be shifted to work on Living World style content.

Alright so first off, let’s talk about the word “indefinitely”. It has two meanings. For an unlimited period of time or unspecified period of time. So yes, there’s a chance that the weapons are cancelled but there’s also a chance they’ll work on them later but I wouldn’t expected anything extra this year in terms of legendary weapons.

Another thing that I have a problem with is that O’Brien referenced the Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto that came out in 2010. That was a bad move because things change over time but mostly because it validates players to reference Guild Wars 2 blog posts concerning legendaries in accordance to this suspension. The most notable one concerning legendaries was the “Looking Ahead: Guild Wars 2 In 2013” post. It says in the Legendary Gear and Precursors section:

… what I can say is you will see a specific way to build precursor items on your way to a legendary. On top of this, you’ll also see new legendary weapons and new types of legendary gear in 2013“.

Well, it’s obvious we didn’t see anything like this in 2013 whatsoever but that post also says near the end “As always, the content above is subject to change as we test and iterate on these systems.”

There’s also the blog post titled “Hot (not HoT) New Legendary Weapons” made shortly before release of Heart of Thorns that says “… we will be releasing new legendary weapons in small groups at regular intervals until the full set of sixteen has been added to the game“. Note that they said game not expansion which leave room for a huge time table to release them all. Given we initially thought all the new legendaries would be accessible at HoT launch to begin with, I feel that many players thought that it was heavily implied that the legendaries would be regularly released within a reasonable amount of time after the release of Heart of Thorns. I think that’s a fair assessment to make given the information we had at the time.

I’m not saying ArenaNet is right or players are right with all these quotes, I’m just saying this is what I see in these posts. Enough about wording and such. Let me talk a bit about what I think of the news. If there were two words to describe the situation it’d be disappointment and concern.

Astralaria-side

My Disappointment

Let’s do the disappointment part first. Despite the format of releasing new legendaries, I believe it’s not unfair to say that the goal was to have sixteen new legendaries and their journeys in the game within a reasonable amount of time. Let’s say a year or so after HoT release, all sixteen new weapons were suppose to be in the game. After all this time, with only one new legendary journey coming out after the newest first three journeys, you can obviously see ArenaNet can’t deliver on this. At least not right now.

It could be really irritating for players that consider legendaries their end game. There’s also players that have been waiting months to craft their Legendary shield or greatsword and have been holding out just to see what the new ones look like. These players have to take the hit in order for the new Living World content to come out on time or faster.

My Concerns

Now let’s talk concern. I think this is the first time in all my years playing Guild Wars 2 I’ve been truely concerned about the development process. It’s been 5 months since the release of Heart of Thorns. Let’s say they had a month off (Christmas and all). So 4 months of development on new legendary weapons and their journeys.

You’d think ArenaNet would have a good understanding of the time and resources needed to make legendary journeys at a reasonable pace. They did give journeys to all the original legendary weapons and we did get 3 new legendary journeys. Buggy or not, that is what was delivered. However there could have been issues within those months that hindered progress like communication between teams, tech problems, or working on HoT bugs on the side (especially the Legendary journey ones).

On the flip side, one Legendary after 4 months isn’t so hot. I know there’s a lot that goes into making the journey such as connecting events and NPCs to the collections, making new items, developing the lore background of the weapon and so on. But, again, I feel like ArenaNet should have had a good understanding of how fast this process would take on a regular basis. Maybe they overestimated themselves if this is the case. I can’t really say, just speculate.

H.O.P.E-Aim

Staying on the concerned train of thought, I have to ask: why is this team now going to work on Living World content? Is this content behind if the Legendary Weapons team doesn’t help? Is it to speed up the timetable of Living Story Season 3 because of the recent content drought?

These questions were the first things to pop into my head and quite honestly scare me as it’s the more important issue that O’Brien’s post brings about. There’s also the mention of work on expansion two which makes me ask: shouldn’t most of the issues in the first expansion be fixed and evaluated with feedback from the community first before working on another expansion? The reason I say this is that there are a lot of issues right now in every mode of Guild Wars 2. Some of these issues might be mirrored into the next expansion which is just overhead to fix once fixed in Heart of Thorns which means more wasted time on development.

In the end, I do like the transparency and I am glad that Mike O’Brien did come out and say ArenaNet can’t do legendary journeys, at least for now. It’s a sad thing to happen but Living World hits a much bigger audience than people who want to make legendaries. I feel like the timing & phrasing for this news could have been better though. After all, the April quarterly patch is just around the corner and would have resulted in a less blow back. This news does however bring up concerns about how resources are being managed right now seeing all these issues and delays on features. It’s always important to keep in mind that people are mad, disappointed, or concerned because they love Guild Wars 2. Seeing this one forum post about indefinitely suspending work on expected content raises a lot of questions.

All I know and can say for sure is that something has to change.

Guild Wars 2 – Thoughts On Raid Mechanics: Wing 1 To Wing 2

gw2-sabetha

I’ve beaten the first raid wing quite a little while ago but never really commented on it. So this post will be about the first wing, what I’ve learned in a nutshell, and about raid wing two and how it changes the way teams play it out mechanics-wise.

Raid Wing One

In raid wing one we had a bunch of things we learned such as:

  • The tank is the person with the highest toughness
  • Slick shoes is great for bosses like Gorseval
  • Utility Chronomancer is amazing for quickness and alacrity to shave time

Then there was the boss mechanics such as Vale Guardian landfall that at least four people had to be on to prevent party wipes, Gorseval’s prison mechanic which required people to keep moving and not into another person’s path to prevent getting get encased, & Sabetha’s flak attack which targets the farthest person from her. What’s interesting was that each of these boss fights in raid wing one went from being less mechanically dependent to more dependent for individuals in the squad.

For Vale Guardian, you needed melee (for the most part) to not stand on blue teleports, some knockbacks for seekers and at least 4 people always going for green landfall. Nothing really to hard about that. The tank would just need to move the boss accordingly so the squad didn’t eat lava floor and the landfall would be in the right area. You’d also need good breaks which a power Revenant with staff and another person could easily fill. Gorseval required 3 people to have cripple, chill, or immobilize to slow down Charged Souls, a tank to lead Gorseval around, ideally someone to pull in spirits when going to a wall, and one or two people clearing spectral orbs so the squad can move around to avoid getting damage debuffed. The dependency on the entire group falls with getting to the wall where the tank was pulling so that Enraged and Angered spirits could be cleaved out and to avoid the Ghostly Prison mechanic which slows DPS.

Sabetha required a lot more group dependency on the mechanics. You have two to four jumpers going up to destroy cannons but the squad needs to be aware that almost anyone can get the green bomb which you need to throw onto a pad where the jumper needs to be. Since there’s four pads, everyone needs to be aware of where they should throw if they get the bomb. There’s also timed bombs where if you’re the person closest to Sabetha you get from time to time. You need to move yourself out of the group to avoid doing damage to every one but you also have to not hit jumpers and the person who’s on flak duty if possible.

In all three fights you can have a few people purely DPS and have some players handle the other mechanics such as tanking or flak shots. So far, raid wing two sticks with the idea of progressively adding group dependency for mechanics.

Raid Wing Two

I’m on Slothasor right now and I have to say this fight is mechanically intensive for everyone. I personally feel like this fight is really easy but it’s hard at the same time. It’s really easy because I find it’s very simple on what your squad has to do to beat Slothasor. It can be hard because depending on how people handle the mechanics, execution on what to do can be a nightmare.

Slothasor introduces mechanics that requires everyone to do well. And I mean everyone. There is a random Fixation mechanic where Slothasor will target a specific player as the tank. This changes from time to time so people need to be aware when they’re the tank and move the boss accordingly. There’s also a Volatile Poison mechanic every 25 seconds where a person will be targeted and has a few seconds to drop a growing poison field in an area away from where the squad is going. All the while you’re traversing a poison floor that the pathing can be made via an imbued mushroom that turns an ally into a Slubling who can eat a path way. The Slubling ally can be hit with spells so you have to be careful where you cleave and so on. These few mechanics alone makes this fight easy or hard depending if people are aware of the icons on their heads and if they can move to the proper locations in time. Essentially, every need to learn how to tank and move the boss properly like with Vale Guardian & Gorseval and move dangerous stuff out of the group like with Sabetha. So if players have never done these mechanics on these fights because they let other people handle it or don’t know how to move a boss, it can get really hard. There’s even a small orange circle AoE that appears at people’s feet; 3 of them are placed based on your location. The squad needs to collectively move after 2 seconds to reduce the spreading of that AoE. If hit, you take substantial damage and are knocked down for 5 seconds per circle. This orange circle mechanic is similar to Gorseval’s prison mechanic and Vale Guardian’s blue teleport field mechanics where getting hit will result in a loss in DPS. Of course you still have other mechanics specific people can do such as clearing path, reflects and pulling/cleaving enemy slublings out.

Personally, I like Slothasor this way. It shows who needs to work on what. Well, I think everyone can work on something; it’s the first week it’s out after all. However, for some players it may be more than the next person. Slothasor also rewards squads are on point and who truly understand the mechanics of the fight. It may seem easier to some groups because of the experience gained with raid wing one, the group understanding the mechanics, and understanding the professions they’re playing to optimal potency. For some groups it’ll be harder because they need to learn the mechanics, to survive a lot better, to watch their positioning more, and the need to get the best out of their professions which they may or may have not been doing before.

I’m hoping the rest of raid wing two will be like this. I haven’t done research or looked at much outside of Slothasor; I’ve heard some things about the other bosses like the second one is easy and so on. It’ll be interesting to see what they will be like. For now, I’ll be doing some Slothasor homework this weekend and brushing up on mechanics.