Tasha

Apr 292015
 

There aren’t many big online games that can boast a 10 year anniversary. Yesterday Guild Wars passed that milestone. It’s a major milestone and as a veteran player, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to walk down memory lane.

First impressions

I used to think Ranger/Ele was a good idea

I used to think Ranger/Ele was a good idea…

I started playing in September 2005 whilst at university and Guild Wars was the first MMO I ever played. After cutting my teeth in pre-searing and getting used to the small number of real people there, I graduated my ranger and walked into Ascalon City.

To this day I can remember being floored by the sheer number of player characters in that city. There were so many people with their own lives and stories to tell, so many trade and chat messages going past, I felt overwhelmed and awed by how alive this virtual world was. And emotionally drained by the ruined state of the beautiful city that was in pre-searing.

More than anything, I think it is this awe that has steered my fascination with online communities.

Dramas

Every game has its dramas, which I view as somewhat necessary in making an online game engaging. Guild Wars had a few of them over the years, ranging from the Thunderhead Keep monk strike of 2006 (player monks refused to help suicidal wammos through the mission), the cancellation of the Utopia campaign and the Hall of Monuments debacle (it was originally to be character based and players weren’t happy).

These and other hot topics would roll around every couple of weeks and forum would blow up with pitchforks and torches. After a few of these happen and the servers don’t get turned off, you pay less and less attention to the cries of “this game is dying”, roll your eyes and keep going. But heck, sometimes it’s fun to eat popcorn and watch people argue about pixels, and other times there are genuinely interesting debates to be had.

For the most part, ArenaNet did a good job of gathering player feedback where it was needed and channelling it into changes into the game. Utopia was cancelled for good reasons and it looks like some of it may turn up in Heart of Thorns. The Hall of Monuments was changed to be account bound. And the wammos finally learnt that not all monks are superheroes!

People

MYST during the 2008 Dragon Festival

MYST during the 2008 Dragon Festival

The Guild Wars games are full of fantastically kind, supportive and helpful people. I’ve met so many friends, collaborators and acquaintances through playing and participating in community activities that I’ve lost count. Heck, I even met my husband in Kamadan in 2007.

I think one of the main factors that made Guild Wars so good for finding likeminded people was that there were no great rewards (in PvE at least) for being optimal, people weren’t forced together and yet when they did join up, perseverance was rewarded. Doing a mission that takes 40 minutes or more forces you to work through the problems you encounter 30 minutes in rather than bailing. And if you weren’t in the mood for people, the heroes and henchmen were there to get your back. Like Guild Wars 2, the competition between players for resources simply wasn’t there. That puts everyone in a great frame of mind, and increases the likelihood of finding someone fun to play with.

Passion and Inspiration

Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.

For example, the skills I’ve learnt as a guild leader since 2006 are now frequently used in my job as a manager. It’s remarkable how transferrable organisational skills, empathy and diplomacy can be. I’ve used inspiration for modifications to open source platforms to solve in game problems to help me learn new programming languages. And with the help of a Guild Wars radio show, I (mostly) overcame my fear of public speaking. Not too shabby for a hobby some still consider a waste of time!

Crazy targets

So the final point I want to hit on is the insane goals I set for myself in games after the major milestones are hit.

I had a couple of goes at the Survivor Title (obtain 1,337,000 xp without incurring a single death) before getting it, and then I could pretty consistently get it. So I thought… why not just keep going and see how high that number can go. The answer is, well, this:

Legendary

I ended up dying somewhere really stupid and kicked myself about it a lot at the time!

The final crazy thing I did in Guild Wars was completely max out storage. This took me about a year to complete. The rubies and sapphires were the worst bit.

Thats a lot of cash

If this post has made you want to jump back into the game, the 10th Anniversary festival is currently underway until May 6th! Hop in and have some fun.

Feb 112014
 

Let’s face it, the main end of Guild Wars 2 is making your character look pretty. Many end up deciding to work towards getting a Legendary weapon, complete with the random Mystic Forge frustrations. But if you find yourself at level 80 and none of the Legendary weapon options are making you want to jump on the bandwagon, what are your options?

If you’re a regular player, you’ll probably have recieved a few exotic weapons and sold them for a few gold on the Trading Post. If you got really lucky, you may have had a precursor. But there’s a group of exotic weapons out there that cost nearly as much as or more than a Legendary that look amazing. Here’s a few of my favourites

Mjolnir modelled by Eva In Love

Mjolnir modelled by Eva In Love

Mjölnir

Look at this thing. Yes it’ll cost you an arm and a leg to get it if you buy it or just the arm if you craft it, but it’s beautiful. Team with a beautiful blonde norn and play your very own Thor fantasies complete with lightning. If you’re thinking it looks familiar, it’s the same skin as the Elementalist’s Conjure Lightning Hammer skill.

Ingame code: [&AgFneQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic forge or purchase for 1150 Gold

Recipe:

Immobulus as modelled by Clayou

Immobulus as modelled by Clayou

Immobulus

The princess wand grown up. It’s got some fantastic effects on the weapon, but since the recipe calls for Giant Eyes and you need 250 of them, it’s going to be a very very hard farm to get this.

Ingame code: [&AgFReQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge. Currently unavailable for purchase.

Recipe:

Eldritch Scroll.png Eldritch Scroll
30 Mystic Coin.png Mystic Coin
250 Pile of Crystalline Dust.png Pile of Crystalline Dust
250 Giant Eye.png Giant Eye

 

Infinite Light modelled by Arcade Fire

Infinite Light

This is my current target; how can you resist a sword that not only glows runes but also has a gentle shower of sparkly particles coming from it. Beautiful, subtle and elegant.

Ingame code: [&AgFceQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase on the Trading Post for 850 gold

Recipe:

Aetherwind

Aether (model unknown)

 

Aether

If you like big bows with an aetherial glow and a rising mist, this and it’s twin Azureflame are for you. They form part of the series of weapons that look like the Guardian’s spirit weapons which includes Foefire’s EssenceFoefire’s Power and Eidolon.

Ingame code: [&AgFieQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 550 gold

Recipe:

Eye of Rodgort modelled by Ascii

Eye of Rodgort modelled by Ascii

Eye of Rodgort

Perhaps a bit gruesome for most characters, this is a perfect scepter for those wanting to play their character on the darker side. The eye moves in the weapon to add to that “ew” effect. For those of you interested in lore, it’s likely this weapons ties in with 2 former Elementalist skills from Guild Wars 1: Mark of Rodgort and Rodgort’s Invocation.

Ingame Code: [&AgFQeQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 330 gold

Recipe:

1Eldritch Scroll.png Eldritch Scroll
100Mystic Coin.png Mystic Coin
250Vial of Powerful Blood.png Vial of Powerful Blood
1 Lidless Eye.png Lidless Eye

  

Abyssal Scepter modelled by Stygian Souseiseki

Abyssal Scepter modelled by Stygian Souseiseki

Abyssal Scepter

Another beautiful weapon, this time in a glowing purple that’s almost holographic. Again this is one in a series of weapons including items such as Ignus FatuusIlya and Whisperblade making up what my guild affectionally calls the “mesmer’s weapon set”.

Ingame code: [&AgFSeQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 245 gold

Recipe:

Ilex modelled by Salad Girl

Ilex modelled by Salad Girl

Ilex

Part of the Aetherized Nightmare weapon set that was introduced with the new Twilight Arbor path. I really like this weapon as it’s got a very unusual shape and a particularly nice glow about it. Other notable parts of the set are Snakeroot (Scepter)Haunting Cap (Torch) and Deathcamas (Axe).

Ingame code: [&AgFgvgAA] ~ Wiki Link

Drop from Twilight Arbor Aetherpath or purchase through the trading post for 390 gold.

 

 

Volcanus modelled by Genbu

Volcanus modelled by Genbu

Volcanus

Do you like your weapons on fire? Then this is the greatsword for you. The particle effects on this thing will give your computer plenty to crunch over, but once you’ve seen this thing in motion you can’t help but be impressed.

Ingame Code: [&AgFNeQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 435 gold

Recipe:

Wings of Dwayna modelled by mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Wings of Dwayna modelled by mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Wings of Dwayna

This bow reminds me of days spent in Aion. Graceful and elegant bow with a subtle animation of feathers falling from it. The skin is also available in shortbow form as the Feathers of Dwayna or The Lover.

Ingame Code: [&AgFeeQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 350 gold

Recipe:

 

Wintersbark modelled by Sinnacle

Wintersbark modelled by Sinnacle

Wintersbark

This shortbow is made from pieces of ice floating together to make a bow and is similar to those conjured by the Elementalist skill Conjure Frost Bow.

Ingame Code: [&AgFjeQAA] ~ Wiki Link

Craft through the Mystic Forge or purchase through the trading post for 290 gold

Recipe:

1Eldritch Scroll.png Eldritch Scroll
1Gift of Ice.png Gift of Ice
100Mystic Coin.png Mystic Coin
250Ancient Short-Bow Stave.png Ancient Short-Bow Stave

 

 

So there you are, 10 alternatives to the Legendary grind. If you find any others you think are especially pretty please do leave links in the comments!

Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 6

 Posted by on November 12, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 6
Nov 122013
 

Why am I doing this? This is why.

12:00pm: Get told about a meeting for an interguild project on Wednesday. Delegate Wednesday’s guild missions to the deputy leaders so I can attend.

8:30pm: Fix up packages as thank yous to those who helped out with Pink Day in La.

9:00pm: Sit down and fix a few cosmetic bugs identified on the forum

10pm: Finish up with that & hop in game to unwind. Do a couple of bits while I’m online including taking more notes about a future Arah dungeon run and compensating a guild member for expenses they’ve undertaken doing a guild event.

Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 5

 Posted by on November 10, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 5
Nov 102013
 

Context is wonderful, here’s where you can find some

11:30am: Get up and do the morning rounds on the website and twitter. Sort out the boosters for today.

12pm: Join the guild for some WvW

12:50: Stop WvW to start preparing for guild missions at 1pm.

2:15pm: Wind up guild missions for the day. We got a Rush, Bounty and Puzzle done, again pleased with progress. Unable to do a challenge due to numbers. Ask a deputy guild leader to port the survey from a document to Survey Monkey while I’m updating the forum. Take a short break

3:00pm: Resume preparing the forum update. This involves manually merging in code changes from various mods

4:00pm: Code is ready, so I take a backup of the full website before putting it into maintenance mode (so people can’t post). WordPress is easy to update as it’s a click to update interface. The phpbb3 forum is a little more complicated as I have to upload and merge in files. I’ve made a few errors in the changes I made, so had to fix them.

5:30pm: Satisfied the website is working again, so I take it out of maintenance mode and write update notes. I notice a guildie has a birthday so make a thread wishing them a happy birthday. Take a break

6:30pm: Pop back in game, join for Cathedral of Flames Path 2. Cooking dinner as well, so afterwards I talk to a few people about various bits and bobs, including concerns about a guild event taking place tomorrow.

8:30pm: Back from dinner. Have a long conversation with a guild member about how things are. Post the survey up in between this and doing some world bosses.

10:00pm: Discuss promotion to full member with a new guild member. They have some good feedback about the whole transition so I take notes to go along with that gathered from the survey and next week’s guild meeting

10:30pm: Release survey

10:45pm: Hang up guild leader hat for the day

Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 4

 Posted by on November 9, 2013  Guild  Comments Off on Week in the Life of a Guild Leader – Day 4
Nov 092013
 

Context is wonderful. Read this.

12:45pm: Guild member approaches me about a problem & discuss it with them.

2:00pm: Do a trip through Ascalonian Catacombs with the guild. Wrap up around 3pm.

9:00pm: Sit down after dinner to prepare the new forum update. This involves taking the new version of the forum code and manually merging in the 8 mods we use for it, one of which I wrote myself. I manually merge the changes to ensure there’s no errors and so I can understand the intentions behind the changes in case of errors.

11:10pm: Down tools with another 5 mods to install tomorrow.