Category Archives: Reviews
I think it’s only fair to begin this post saying – I originally had no intention of playing Guild Wars 2. I played the original (at launch) and while it was fun for the first 15 levels or so, the end game content just seemed sort of “meh.” Fortunately there was no recurring subscription – so I thought little of it. (I may at one point been playing $70/month for mine and my boyfriend at the time’s various MMO habits.)
So I hadn’t really been watching the GW2 coverage, I knew little about it but was looking for a new MMO, after downloading several and not really feeling terribly interested, I popped over to MMOhut.com’s youtube feed and discovered that Guild Wars 2 was in it’s “opening” weekend (for pre-orders and digital downloads at least.) I purchased two copies and set out into the land of Tyria!
I have to say that if I’d been paying attention to the information about the game I might have taken today off to really get to know the game. Guild Wars 2 is probably the best surprise I’ve seen all year from the MMO community! I was shocked to find how polished the product was (even on my older computer), and how well it ran even on launch weekend. The transitions were smooth, the graphics were well done, and for once I didn’t look like some kind of burlap sack wearing n00b in the starter area. Added bonus – I could choose a variety of colors for my outfit. My inner girl rejoiced. Apparently so did my boyfriend (who is really into character customization).
I rolled a Human Engineer (I have a soft spot leftover from DOTA for engineers) and was really pleasantly surprised with the flow of the game. There is no questing system in the sense of say WoW, instead your current “quest” is geo-based. In other words wherever you are, there’s stuff to kill but there’s a bar that tracks your progress. You’re still killing X of Y, but you don’t have to store all those pesky quests, they just appear when you’re in the right spot. Also I don’t have to go tell Timmy’s Mom that I killed 40 basket weaver spiders. I get the XP when I’m done with the last mob and Timmy’s Mom sends me a nice mote in the mail (a la SWTOR) and tells me how awesome I am, complete with some of her hard earned coin. Wham Bam – Thanks Mam!
Combat is based on the weapon you have equipped in terms of maneuvers, but allows for a fair amount of customization for your preferred gameplay style. Every class has diversity and can heal itself and others. I was happy to find that engineers did in fact have turrets, and by the time I hit 11th lvl I had 3 turrets to micromanage to my hearts content.
Speaking of micromanaging, I’m really happy with the professions and gathering skills in this game. ANYONE can gather. Period. Auction House Whore your heart out! Not enough room in your inventory because you’ve picked up too many dingleberries? No problem! Just ship it off to your “collectibles” tab and make more room for loot. The collectibles tab is like Steve Job’s iCloud on crack. Store everything in this handy pocket dimension window and craft till your you hit level 80. Yes. Crafting gives XP in this game. In fact the first person in GW2 was a crafter in France. I love crafting, and I’m so happy they included crafting as a viable method of XP gain. However I sense a nerf to be honest…. So get in there now and pound away. I know I am.
So you’re asking – what’s the downside?
Well for one the Auction House seems to give me the #failwhale picture all the time. (Yeah, it’s some cute animal asleep but I just keep thinking of the whale). While this isn’t a drawback persay, I’m concerned what it will do to the player based economy when it opens and the market floods.
The second thing I’d point out is that once you’re on a server – that’s it. It costs you a fee to move, but on the other hand eventually you’ll be able to guest on other servers for things, and frankly they have the D3 style chat interface that allows you to talk to friends by account, not my character (yes there’s also an invis mode for those nights you don’t want to be hassled). I’m even in a Guild where no one is on my server.
Overall I have been really impressed with GW2, the polish and care taken to ensure this game’s longevity has been pretty impressive. They’ve really solved a lot of the annoying MMO quirks we’ve seen so much of in the last 8 years or so. However I’m not sure what PVP or endgame looks like just yet. However I’m less inclined to PVP when I can craft my way to the top. All in all the cut scenes, voice acting, overall system, and extreme customization really swept me off my feet. Hopefully this is a new chapter of MMO before we inevitably are drawn into the cute and cuddly world of Pandas.
I really recommend this game to friends on the basis that they don’t have to pay for a subscription, the replay value is pretty high and because it’s really pretty damn fun. There’s elements of Assasin’s Creed, Diablo 3, WoW, SWTOR, WHO and a few others in there is you’re willing to look. The devs took their time and I really think it shows.
And just in case you were curious – here’s the whole UI -
As many of you know i occasionally enjoy libations of the booze filled variety. As such i often find myself experimenting with various mixes and such. My most recent conquest has been booze soaked gummy bears.
I’ve done a lot with jello shots over the years and wastes to have something special for this years tarts and vicors (an annual las Vegas party). I scoured the net for something a little more portable and cheeky. I came across the mummy bear recipe and decided to give it a go. It will go perfectly with my vision of handing out tre)ats from a picnic basket for the party. (the costume has not yet been acquired but it will be somewhere in between little red riding hood and strawberry short cake.)
So I’ve gone ahead and put gummy worms and bears in flavored vodka and another batch in 99 berries (love the 99 berries series for the high liquor content). I also did a mixed batch with extra sugar (i read somewhere that the booze soaking can cause issues with taste). Now we wait for a few days and see how potent these little guys are.
Hopefully ill have pictures and reviews in a few days time!
So yesterday I ventured out to Denver Comic Con in downtownDenver. I’d never actually been to the convention center so parking was… delightful. You’d think since I work downtown I would have had an easier time, but no $20 for parking as I was in heels and a corset (see picture). However my own personal discomfort aside I was there to help out the Crusade of Legends crew, as well as go to my first (gasp) comic con. I wasn’t terribly sure what to expect, and was concerned I was perhaps a little overdressed. Thankfully I was far from it! The costumes were fantastic! I was really impressed to see Denver’s geek community out in force and in full regalia!
This was Denver’s first year with the convention and it looked like it was incredibly successful! Guessing from the initial numbers I heard, the con will probably have seen 30k in attendance, however as I was attending as a volunteer my perspective may have been admittedly skewed. I was hanging out watching the immensely long lines to get into the convention; however this did give me a front row seat to some amazing costumes (pictured).
I’ve found that as media, volunteer, or presenter as opposed to an attendee it seriously skews your vision, experience, and understanding of these events. Honestly I can’t remember the last convention I just… went to as opposed to running something or helping organize. As an attendee it’s like a deranged holiday – you run around you see the shiny things and it’s like recess for a day for gamers. However I’ve been on the other side of the fence so long that I think I tend to see things differently.
That said I did meet some awesome folks, and hopefully helped recruit a few people to my favorite local boffer larp group. While I was walking around between the Mind’s Eye Society table and the aforementioned boffer group I happened upon a few folks worth mentioning :
So I love podcasts to begin with, and this group was recording while I was wandering around and their PR gal was very chatty and sweet to talk to. They’re actually a local group here to Denverand are worth checking out. They have a fun team, and it looks like they do a lot of nice reviews on their blog as well as in iTunes. http://www.reelnerds.com/
The Dark Empire
So I’m a big fan of the 501st however it’s really pricy to get involved with them. I bumped into a local gal who works with The Dark Empire a group that does custom Sith costuming and are approved by LucasArts. I’d check this out but I think I have enough hobbies. If I stop being a LARPer soon I may have to try this group out. http://www.thedarkempire.org/
The other thing about DCC that’s worth mentioning was that the entire VIP Celebrity area seemed really well – open. At other conventions I’ve been to the Celebrities were usually recessed back behind a lot of fencing or stanchion or the like. At DCC they were pretty close to the rest of the convention which I was sort of surprised by. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of them (I really want to get into voice acting more professionally so a chance to talk to some of the folks there was very enticing but commitments come first), but perhaps next year. DCC did a really nice job of getting some amazing Celebrities, Exhibitors and Artists this year and I was really surprised by the size and scope of the entire event.
Overall – an awesome time! And next year, maybe I’ll just go as a visitor. Maybe.
Additional pics below :