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!

A Year with Guild Wars 2

 Posted by on August 31, 2013  Guild Wars 2, Personal  2 Responses »
Aug 312013
 

This post was written as part of GuildMag’s Blog Carnival

Shortly after Guild Wars 2 released, I made a post outlining what I thought of the game so far and my goals. Today, just over a year from launch, it’s time to see how I fared with those goals and set some new ones for the coming year.

Finish my personal story

I’ve done this with my main character, Lady Tasha, and am progressing with others. I can’t say that the personal story turned out to be my favourite aspect of the game, but I did enjoy spending time with Elli towards the end of it. The story was finally cleared with completion of Arah, cementing the uselessness of Destiny’s Edge to do anything. Next time you go through Arah story, look at how little work they do and how much credit they claim.

Round off getting level 80 armor

Done. More than once. My main has 2 nearly full sets of armor now because last month I didn’t feel like her outfit was fancy enough to go to Queen Jennah’s Jubilee. Ok, that was the excuse, I’d had my eyes on a top since early in the game and I wanted my character to have it. She’s also kitted out with all the weapons she can use. No legendaries though – I don’t like how most of them look. My “nicest” skins are the Princess Wand and the Mystic Artifact focus.

Lady Tasha: In October 2012 and today

Lady Tasha: In October 2012 and today

Alt-itus

Is a level 80 warrior and level 80 elementalist good enough? I also have a level 40-something necro who I’m slowly levelling. I spend a load of time on my main character though because Mesmer suits my playstyle so much more than others. I rarely play my elementalist any more because he’s leveling cooking and has no bag space as a result!

Play more WvW and PvP

I went through a phase in April of playing PvP a lot and got to rank 11. Considering how much I played Random Arena and Team Arena in Guild Wars 1, I’ve done a lot of solo PvP in Guild Wars 2.

Sadly WvW hasn’t grabbed me as much as I originally hoped it would. This has primarily been because I have no great driving force to be there; most of my guild are playing PvE, doing dungeons, Fractals, Living Story and other bits, so WvW is lower down the scale than joining them.

Get a sense of community back into the game

This is a really hard point to measure and I think I’ve had mixed success with this. On the one hand, I’ve had some really great moments shared with others in the last year. In December, MYST held its first major charity fundraising event, playing games for 24 hours and raising over $500. Not only was it a charitable event, spending that much time together in 24 hours also brought us closer together. Nothing says bonding like doing Arah p4 at 3am (we didn’t get past Lupicus)!

There were other moments too. We’ve uncontested every shrine in Orr a couple of times. Regular guild missions give everyone a common goal and our Sunday brunch events give everyone who wants to be sociable a focal point to sit down and talk about life out of game.

Yet there’s still times when the game feels like a solo one. Much of the Living Story, especially getting achievements is something many often do alone, and leaves those who wish to do group content like dungeons side-lined until the second week of each update.

So what about the next year?

I’d really like to start on the, what I call, optional extras. Things like Legendaries (if there are any I like) or named Exotics with nice skins, like Infinite Light and The Anomaly. I’d also like to continue exploring the different professions, especially Guardian and Engineer. Meeting and connecting with strangers and friends will also be on the list; after over 7 years as a guild leader, I don’t think I’ll ever drop meeting people as being a central reason why I play MMOs. And while it’s not directly in game, I would like to finish the trading post helper software I started months ago.

As for the crazy goals I like to set myself, I’m considering trying to max out the crafting materials storage.

Will I manage it? We’ll see next August.

Happy Birthday Guild Wars 2, and here’s to many more.

Gamescom 2013 Preview

 Posted by on August 19, 2013  Community Gatherings, Conventions, Guild Wars 2, MMO Gaming  Comments Off
Aug 192013
 

August rolls around again and that means it’s gamescom time!

I love gaming conventions. Not only are they a good way to get your hands on games you’re looking forward to and find new ones to get excited about, but they’re fantastic for dipping your toes in the water with new peripherals you’ve been considering. That’s before you get to the real reason I love the conventions – people. Wonderful people.

Gaming has broken into the mainstream of late but it’s still very hard to have a meaningful conversation about it with people you meet going through life, mostly because of platform divisions. Experiences of the same game differ wildly on different platforms and people play different games because of exclusivity. It ends up being quite difficult to talk to your neighbour who plays games because you don’t actually share that much in common experiences.

Conventions sweep all this away. You get the full spectrum of geeky awesomeness; cosplay to esports, board games to virtual reality and everything in between. gamescom turns Cologne into a gamer’s paradise for a few days (there’s stuff going on in the streets after hours), and 270,000 people flock to that paradise. With that many people, it’s easy to find people who are just as passionate as you are about your gaming niche.

I’m going to be going to gamescom on Wednesday (I’m trade, not press), Thursday and Friday. Thursday is turning out to be the big meet and greet day but if you happen to see me around on any day feel to grab me and say hi, even if I’m waiting in a queue (I changed my twitter avatar so I’m a little more recognisable). Please don’t be surprised if I don’t recognise you without your handle and/or avatar picture, I’m terrible with names and far better with locations. So saying something like “I’m blah from Twitter” is going to jog my memory a lot more.

This year is going to be a bit thinner on the ground for MYSTies than other years, but I’m going over with my husband Somnium and my friend and deputy guild leader Andypanda, who has his reporting hat on for Split Infinity Radio (check out their coverage). We’re going to be meeting up with a few of our German guildies there too, which should lead to fun times. Add to that the parties and it’s going to be a great few days (providing I shake off this cold). I’m also going to be meeting up with a few people from the Guild Wars 2 universe, like Paeroka and Bookahnerk from Nerdy Bookahs, Screenager from Afterlife Gaming and hopefully many others from the Twitterverse and I Can Outtweet A Centaur [TWIT].

And of course there’s the games. I’m looking forward to having a snoop around the MMO market, especially seeing how Elder Scrolls Online is doing, having a look at some of the smaller developers and trying to get freebies from Valve. Also I really hope to get some hands on time with Watchdogs, which is one of the games I’m mostly looking forward to for the rest of the year.

Hope to see some of you in Germany!

Aug 122013
 

As I’m not one to dwell on the negative too long (although partial to revisit it frequently), I’m going to take a cue from the Guild Wars 2 Twitter account and share with you my top tips for Guild Wars 2.

Dodge, interrupt and mitigate

Relying on someone else to heal you is a great way to waste a lot of money on repairs, but most of your means of staying alive is in how you move rather than the skills you have. Relying on your healing skill will only help you til around level 35 and then you’ll be expected to dodge certain attacks. Practice until you get your timing right (the Daily Dodger achievement is good for this) on ranged enemies, and you can get out of circles most of the time.

Your other tools rely in stopping enemies from completing their attacks and from mitigating the damage from them. Interrupts (skills that daze, stun and knockback) are great for this, as are boons like Aegis, Protection, Regeneration and Vigor. Retaliation is useful too. Boons are something many new players overlook but they can make a huge difference to your fights and are one of the reasons why Guardians are loved so much.

Keep moving, rebind your keyboard shortcuts and stop clicking

You will swear at first and thank me later. WASD is evil, especially in a game like Guild Wars 2. Not that I’m knocking the keys themselves, but rather the actions bound to them by default. Every second you are stood still is a second you are making an enemy’s life easier and all that A and D do is hold you still while you turn. So do yourself a favour, rebind the strafe actions (Q and E) to A and D and enjoy not having to repair as much. This also has the added benefit of freeing up keys around where your left hand resides and one of my protips for any game is to not click your skills. Ever.

kitten

It takes a bit of shuffling to do but it’s totally possible to never click a skill again. By leaving 1-5 as weapon skills, using the reclaimed q and e for skill 6 and 7, and then making use of r, f and v to fill out the keyboard, you’ve got all the skills you need without moving your left hand much. Of course rebinding F means you need to find a new home for the “do everything” button, which I’ve found as G. And that’s meant moving all those dialog screens (guild, hero, friends, scoreboard etc) to the numberpad keys where they can be used when I’m not facing down someone who wants me dead. If that’s left you a bit bamboozled, here’s my keyboard layout in more detail. Use this as a base to work out what works for you rather than adopting it blindly, keyboards and hands vary wildly!

Be under no illusion that changing is hard and this takes a while to set up. But I can say I’m a better player for making this changes and I’m pretty sure you will be too.

Be curious…

Look at that view!

Look at that view!

…about what’s around the corner and about people. Guild Wars 2 is definitely a game for explorers and curious folks, who will be well rewarded for having a “what’s up there?” mentality. Racing to the finish will not help. In fact, you’ll be able to do more things by exploring.

Take Screenshots and Look Up

This kinda ties in with being curious. Tyria is beautiful and getting a bit of height can give wonderful screenshots. To get your character out of the picture, try using the /sleep emote. Likewise the skies and ceilings in Tyria are amazing. Look up frequently.

Get involved

The community for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is (mostly) wonderful. People are friendly, creative and encouraging to be around, with a varied background of talents and hobbies. If you’ve ever wanted to try writing, there’s a plethora of bloggers around to help you get started and improve your writing style. Likewise for artists and musicians. Programmers get the full support of the API community too. All in all, if you’ve wanted to make something in your spare time, this is a great subject matter for finding like-minded people to help you.

For those who like talking face to face, there are lots of opportunities at gaming conventions to talk to other fans. One of which is next week at gamescom!

Infinite_Light

This is Infinite Light. It’s a named exotic, not a legendary.

You don’t need a legendary

No really, you don’t. Legendary weapons are nice if you like their look but don’t feel you need one to be cool. There are loads of named exotics out there that look awesome and are just as hard to get. Several are much easier. Same goes with armor; unless you’re a fractals regular, you don’t need Ascended gear and shouldn’t feel like you need it to be a good player. Guild Wars 2 is about your skill, not how awesome your torch is (though that’s important too!).

Join a guild that does missions

Guild puzzles and guild rushes are great content that shouldn’t be ignored because they involve finding a guild. Both require cooperation between players and can even be fun if you fail. If you’re not up to the challenge of finding a big enough guild to do this, consider finding a public run on your server. The official forums and Reddit can be good for this.

 

Those are my top tips for getting the most out of Guild Wars 2. What are yours?

Aug 062013
 

This post is a follow up to Cutthroat Politics – True Colours Revealed

Shortly after I tweeted about my post last night I was contacted by someone from ArenaNet asking if I had screenshots that had names on the comments. I did and have passed them on so that the parties involved can be reported appropriately.

Some commenters on my original post feel my stance on this is over-reacting, but way back before Guild Wars 2 released there was this post (I’m sure there were 2 but I can’t find the other one) that outlined ArenaNet’s philosophy towards community.

Our ultimate goal is to create an environment that is respectful, welcoming, inclusive and friendly. We want to create a global community where people will feel at home, and an environment that will foster both creativity and collaboration.

The main goal is to be inclusive, not exclusive, to encourage collaboration between communities, and to generate an atmosphere that is helpful, friendly, and above all, respectful.  There is an unfortunate tendency in some online communities to encourage behavior that is detrimental to the fun of a lot of players by allowing a rather toxic and unwelcoming atmosphere. We want to set a new standard and make the Guild Wars 2 community a mature, friendly, helpful and inclusive one that is recognized throughout the industry as being so.  With that goal, we will ensure that both our game and our forums reflect our standards, and we will evaluate our support for communities based on the standards they enforce upon themselves. – Martin Kerstein

Bans following release backed this philosophy up. As does the Code of Conduct for the game (esp. 1 and 12). I don’t consider the behaviour exhibited yesterday to be inclusive or welcoming and I’m glad that ArenaNet share this viewpoint. One comment, idiots happen. Two, eh, report and move on. But that many… nope, not welcoming at all. So thank you folks at ArenaNet for tidying up your corner of the internet playground. Lets have the fun without the bullies.

Soon after all that happened, my tweet was retweeted by the Guild Wars 2 twitter account, which was a brave thing to do considering the controversial nature of what was being discussed and highlights their stance towards this behaviour. I don’t have figures as to how much traffic my site has had, but my original tweet been retweeted 36 times. Thank you to everyone who retweeted and favourited it.

I also received over 30 comments on that post within 20 hours, from the entire spectrum of possible responses. I’ve closed them now because I didn’t really feel like the discussion was going anywhere. Hardly surprising considering the horrible comment formatting and that this is not a forum. Also, the kind of comments that were being exchanged were just winding people up, which cements views rather than changing them. I will thank those who commented, regardless of your stance, for taking the time and effort to do so. You’ve highlighted the support that already exists and the need to keep on making gaming a more open and accepting place.

Maintaining perspective with these incidents is important. There are far more horrible and shocking things going on along this vein every day and these three stories in the last 48 hours are just the tip of the iceberg. But I don’t consider that a reason to let the minor things slip. I expect more from my fellow human and you should too.

As for this particular incident, well I’m done. It’s in the hands of the people who can do something about it. Time to move on and fill all this bank space I seem to have with more stuff!