GW2: Sandy Dune Caves and Drydock Scratch

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To call it merely a jumping puzzle does it a serious injustice.

Even if I feel like I should be in a jungle outfit to be Indiana Charr in this section.

Even if I feel like I should be in a jungle outfit to be Indiana Charr in this section.

What it is, is an entire cavern system that only happens to contain a jumping puzzle.

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GW2 does not shy away from the vertical. You know those deep and varied underwater places that are so awesome? This is the caves version.

I spent far more time squeeing over the vast variety of cave environments depicted so adeptly than worrying about jumping.

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I also spent an equally long time on the outdoor aboveground portions, taking grand panoramic screenshots of the Silverwastes from angles to die for.

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That vine!

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That view!

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That airship!

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That view and that airship!

(Yes, there were also plenty of impact craters.)

I’m glad that feedback from Not So Secret appears to have been taken to heart. Near the later stages, a skritt will helpfully rez you so that frustrated raging and having to restart right from the beginning due to one unlucky slip is not necessary.

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The gigantic thing is broken up into milestones, that essentially can save your progress over gameplay sessions, if you remain in the map. My first exploration took me through 3 milestones before I ran out of time and had to quit. I’d assumed I’d have to rerun the thing from the beginning, but no, when I logged back on, I still had the 3 milestone stacks, along with my coin buff.

The coin buff is an interesting exercise in self-chosen player difficulty mixed with a goldsink.

If you pay the NPC 1 gold, you get a buff that lasts for an hour that lets you use any handy skritt tunnels (conveniently placed near post-plummeting locations) to go back to the last milestone.

If you’re a more miserly individual, you can pay 1 silver to get a teleport to the second last milestone and 1 copper to the third last.

I started out paying a silver because I’m cheap, but near the end, because I was so captivated with exploring and iterating my way through the new stuff of each checkpoint, I coughed up the gold so as not to waste my own time.

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And yes, I did the entire thing sans Dulfy guide, because content like this is chicken soup for my mapping and exploration soul, with the reward of wonderous vistas and the satisfaction of forging your own path through.

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Even if it’s dark as hell.

(Though the last part was indeed slightly hair-pullingly frustrating from the many false trails/choices that landed you at the beginning of that checkpoint.)

What I didn’t really like was the randomness of the choice, with little indication of what the “right” tunnel to hop into was.

I got past that frustrating portion by calling on my infinite patience when it comes to being more bullheadedly stubborn a mapper than the designer. There’s only a finite number of paths they can create, right? Well, we are brute-forcing EVERY path to figure out where each leads!

So I hunkered down, resigned myself to restarting from the bottom many times, and systematically went down every damn skritt tunnel to see where it would go.

Maybe I was being stupid and missed an obvious clue, but I don’t believe there was any real indication of the ‘right’ path.

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Much shiny, though.

The good news was that I didn’t have to pull out the pencil and graph paper.

After being essentially forced to iterate from the start a dozen times over, simple visual memory was taking over and locking in landmarks to differentiate one section of the puzzle from another.

“Oh yeah, with these two ramps here, the correct tunnel is X. And the one over here with the bright yellow sand area and the two planks, do NOT go to Y or there will be a great gnashing of the teeth. Instead run over to Z, which is way over there, yes.”

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All in all, this seems to be the biggest slice of content that arrived in the Seeds of Truth patch, assuming one doesn’t cheapen it by just blindly following a guide. (Of course, if you hate stuff like this and just want the shiny at the end, then guide away to waste your time less.)

I forsee figuring out how to get all the Gold Lost Badges (a few of which I passed while doing the jumping puzzle, tauntingly placed out of reach) will take another hefty chunk of time, along with a hefty chunk of gold from waypoint fees from failed assumptions on where to climb, and simple failures to balance appropriately on the tip of a pin.

All good though. Finishing the jumping puzzle netted me 16 already. I expect another trip through the puzzle keeping the ctrl key down and eyes open might net a few more.

If one is really stuck, there is always googling for the solutions of other people. But until then, I’m enjoying the satisfaction of figuring it out on my own.

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(After all, this isn’t vanishing in two weeks, right?

What in the world are these skritt up to again? There's a lot of them... doesn't that mean they're alarmingly smart?

What in the world are these skritt up to again? There’s a lot of them… doesn’t that mean they’re alarmingly smart?

Right?

Has anyone noticed the little baby skritt doing a rain dance? And the upside down boats that are somehow still staying afloat? Do skritt get -magical- if there's enough of them?

Has anyone noticed the little baby skritt doing a rain dance? And the upside down boats that are somehow still staying afloat? Do skritt get -magical- if there’s enough of them? Or is it proximity to something else giving them magic?

Or maybe it might significantly change visually after a month… the whole structure should still be there, though.

Right? That whole byline about “Points of No Return” is just marketing speak… I hope.

Or maybe Mordremoth will wake, and we all know what happens when Elder Dragons move.)

GW2: Seeds of Truth and Kernels of Opinion

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I’ve heard it said that it’s short. Others are a little more positive about it.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a “play everything” person in GW2, or if it’s because I’ve had to increase work hours (with corresponding decrease in play hours) to afford my shiny new computer, but I’m looking at the length of time it’s going to take me to play the content and it’s -not- short, in my book.

It took me the better part of one night (~3-4 hours) to finish the latest Living Story chapter on normal mode.

So sue me, but I actually talk to NPCs and enjoy the pacing when it’s presented to me for the first time.

A friend was going to run his second character through it, and I said, “Nah” and ducked out of the party because I wanted to savor the moment of novelty, rather than end up focusing on entertaining and accommodating the friend and missing the story.

I enjoyed it.

Just, er...ignore the anachronism over yonder. *hides mini quickly*

Just, er… ignore the anachronism over yonder. *hides mini quickly*

For one thing, it gives a look back at GW2 lore, with linkages back to GW1.

An actual in-game look at events that have previously only been touched on briefly outside the game on wikis and fansite interviews.

Regardless of how popular the Sylvari and (even more) Trahearne are, I personally liked getting to see the interaction of the Firstborn with each other, and the Secondborn. This is lore. This is history.

Hooray, they're not just wiki entries anymore!

Hooray, they’re not just static NPCs or wiki entries anymore! Newborn technicolor sylvari! Firstborn and Secondborn!

We even get a Caera cameo, which hopefully, over time will build up and when the first season’s Living Story finally gets re-released in permanent form, Scarlet will end up coming a lot less out of nowhere than when we experienced her for the first time.

We get the asura reaction to the new Sylvari race (and vice versa) shown to us, rather than told to us.

Suffice to say, they don't hold hands and sing kumbaya together.

Suffice to say, they don’t hold hands and sing kumbaya together.

For another thing, the mechanics of this chapter again harkens back to GW1, where we had story books we could enter and play a historical personage with new and unique skills. New lore was exposed in the course of playing through the book chapters, along with a new content challenge in the form of learning and mastering the new skills in order to get past each chapter.

Coming to a gem store near you: Caithe's purple blossom daggers!

Coming to a gem store near you: Caithe’s purple blossom/lotus daggers! (Disclaimer: Just me talking out of my arse, but I wouldn’t be surprised…)

I didn’t mind playing Caithe.

It’s an interesting change to be brought back to the same level as everyone else, unfamiliar with the skills and no longer able to rely on muscle memory.

It’s just like one of the seasonal minigames where you get presented with new objects with new skills to use, after all.

I thought Caithe’s skills were well picked.

(Yes, I died a lot because I have no patience being stealthy.)

(Yes, I died a lot because I have no patience being stealthy.)

She’s a thief, and many of the skills had a resemblance to a normal dual-dagger thief (with the exception of dagger 5), with a unique slightly-OP Caithe spin to it.

First skill is your regular slashy slashy dagger attack, but where a normal thief poisons on the third hit, Caithe gets to petrify – which also interrupts. (Dayum.) In stealth, she gets to pull off a backstab variant with it too, complete with helpfully shadowstepping to the back in question.

Second skill is normal thief heartseeker… on steroids. She leaps super far, and does nasty damage with the leap, and then poisons to add insult to injury.

Third skill is a dagger spin that evades and bleeds, similar to normal thief Death Blossom.

Fourth skill is a dagger ranged attack, but where a normal thief cripples, Caithe immobilizes.

Fifth skill is the most different. Normal thieves stealth with Cloak and Dagger, Caithe gets a Daggerstorm variant here.

Basically, the elite and fifth skill has switched places, as Caithe gets to cloak with her elite and stay cloaked for the duration, even while attacking, iirc.

Utility skills are a dash (that evades while in movement), a trap (of ridiculously humongous radius) and a pull similar to scorpion wire.

The interesting add-on effect of all these skills to produce a fighting style that is recognizably a GW2 thief, but plays out differently than the more standard stealth-abusing one that many thieves are used to.

Caithe is very much a movement-based evading thief (which some GW2 thieves do still use), but taken to extremes. I learned the hard way that she isn’t a stand and deliver sort of fighter, through multiple deaths from attempting to salvage botched sneak attempts, but found relative success when darting through crowds of asura, hit-and-running before dashing off to heal up.

I’ve yet to try the hard modes for this chapter yet, but I expect it will require a bit more mastery of her skills than my first go at it.

Your definition of “content” may differ, but anything in my “to-do-one-day” list for GW2 counts as content to me.

Speaking of which, we have the Silverwastes “grind” that some people are complaining about.

I have yet to find all the Lost Badges (because I don’t really feel the need to check a guide until I decide I want to finish something ASAP), and now I have Golden Lost Badges to also collect, and a jumping puzzle that I’m intent on giving a go sans guide until I’m stuck and frustrated.

Content.

I happen to like playing the Silverwastes events, and still live in the perpetual hope that there will be eventually a ‘need’ (or strong motivation, rather) to semi-organize in similar fashion to the Marionette.

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Those three western lanes have still so far been unused, and the vines sprouting from that corner appear to be in greater and greater need of a pruning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the 8th (and last?) chapter.

Content, hopefully.

In the meantime, there are the Luminescent armor collections.

Content.

The Mordrem bodyparts are an obvious RNG time tax for those who cannot wait. If you choose to collect the most current body parts, you buy the green extractor and you hope RNG smiles on you. A basic understanding of probability would suggest that this gets harder the more potential parts show up on the loot table.

If you’re a little more behind, or a little more relaxed on not getting the newest shiniest thing NOW, you should eventually be able to use the white extractor and pick the part you need later, once you’re past the two weeks of the current bodypart of the fortnight.

Ditto the carapace boxes. If you need them NOW, you’re going to have to grind very intently for them, opening tons of chests or accumulating 1000 crests to buy them.

Or you can just play the content over the course of two weeks and see if you get lucky enough with drops, or worse case scenario, build up 1000 crests if you’re unlucky.

So far, I haven’t had to spend 1000 crests on any carapace pieces yet. I got two glove boxes from the Greater Nightmare Chest in the maze, and will just get the shoulder boxes from playing through the relevant chapter with multiple characters.

I am given to understand that one more armor piece in this latest update works similarly, playing through the Living Story chapter multiple times will get you the box, and the last piece is RNG from Lost Bandit Chests or through crests.

I still am not seeing the problem.

We need those chests opened, since Ascended recipes are going to come out of those now, and there has to be some kind of motivation for players to keep digging up those chests. They need shovels, so they’ll keep playing the Silverwastes events, and keep the zone functioning.

Working as intended, no?

If you hate or are now bored to tears with the Silverwastes, it’s time to go elsewhere and do something else. The only one keeping your nose to the grindstone is yourself.

Zone design is still fantastic, considering it's all mostly red rock.

Zone design is still fantastic, considering it’s all mostly red rock.

Take Dry Top.

It’s a little bit more deserted now, but there does still seem to be enough people running around the zone to occasionally take it to T4 – which is sufficient for (rather expensive) Ambrite weapon recipes.

If you’re a cheap bastard like me, who cannot bear the thought of paying extra for anything, then you have to wait for the right time and participate in an organized attempt to get to T6.

Which so happens occurs every week, one hour after reset, on Friday and Saturday (which is my Sat and Sun morning, perfect) by a Dry Top guild that has generously decided to take on the task of herding cats.

Eventually, even if regular player interest in the Silverwastes dies out, there will be the weekly or bi-weekly organized event to do it successfully.

Especially if there’s a final raid-like world boss waiting at the end of the zone. *keeps fingers crossed*

Any feeling of player urgency is self-imposed. You want the shiny stuff NOW. That’s the heart of it.

The NOW demand is what lets other players profit off the impatient at the TP. Been there, done that, from both angles.

It’s a tradeoff that you just have to suck it up and recognize. Same as in real life.

If I want to play Evolve when it launches, I have to pay $60. (*nervous twitch* Why yes, I’m still brooding over that decision.)

If I’m willing to wait a week or few months later, I can probably get a 25-33% discount. If I hold out to a Steam sale, I can probably get it at 50% in about half a year to a year, tops.

If I’m feeling miserly and not terribly in need of the game, I can probably get it at 75% off some time in between one and two years, and it might even drop to $5 like Left 4 Dead after two years.

If I want to be one of the first all shiny Luminescent and being a “Light in the Darkness,” then I’m going to have to play a LOT of Silverwastes and spend many hours in the zone. (Weren’t people asking for a time-and-effort based prestige armor, rather than gem store armor some time ago?)

If I wanted to be one of the first people with Mawdrey, I probably had to drop a ton of gold on the Trading Post, buying outsourced effort for the materials.

Or I could take my time with it and work on it as a long or medium term goal, when the demand has dropped and things are cheaper. (Or in the case of time-and-effort-based objects requiring groups of players, it may take longer. But one will still get there in the end.)

Finally, beyond the Silverwastes, Seeds of Truth also comes with a new spruce up for PvP.

Much shinier UI. I kinda wish they'd allow us to choose what rank emote shows up when we /rank. Kinda reluctant to move beyond Dolyak.

Much shinier UI. Still not much of a PvPer. I kinda wish they’d allow us to choose what rank emote shows up when we /rank. Kinda reluctant to move beyond Dolyak because Dolyak stampede is so shiny.

Despite my limited time, I got two games in.

I was mildly amused with being able to vote on which map came up.

-Especially- amused when RNG picked the 1 person who voted for one map, while the other 4 and 5 people had voted for other maps. (Why can’t I have 1 in 10 lucky RNG like that in the PvE game, eh? For the record, I was one of the 5, so maybe not so lucky.)

I honestly can’t say if the matchmaking’s any better or worse than before, but I do have to say that it’s a lot easier and more encouraging to hit “Unranked Arena” and just -play- a proper game, rather than be relegated to the dregs of hotjoin where people shamelessly stack their way to victory.

I am going to assume it’s easier to actually queue up with friends as a party and play Unranked (without risking your MMR plunging), as opposed to the old system where if you actually wanted to play a proper game, you HAD to play ranked, and your only choice was between Solo queue or Team queue.

There’s content there too, in the form of a new crowd attracted by the changes (though time will tell if it’s temporary or if it lasts.)

Anyhow, with my limited time these few weeks, I’d rather spend more time playing GW2 than blogging about it, which I guess speaks volumes about what I think about the last few updates.

A Surfeit of Goals

I fear that I am becoming a very boring person.

While nearly everyone is off on their personal quest to level 100 in Warlords of Draenor, plus whatever else is included in that expansion, I’m over here playing the same old three games and veritably drowning in goals, making merely incremental progress on any of them.

Marvel Heroes is my current fling.

I’m not at all playing it seriously, just popping in for 15-30 minutes to collect stuff that’s filling up my inventory, hit some other stuff, then log off.

After a brief period of agonizing over the very tempting Black Friday sale, I decided on a compromise. Instead of greedily paying $10 for two heroes of my choice, plus two random heroes from boxes, I settled for paying the $5 I felt the game was worth (given the supremely casual way I’m playing it.)

This let me pick up the main hero I wanted, aka Wolverine.

(Yeah, I am a superhero fan of no discernment, just another Wolverine fan among billions. X-Men is pretty much the only Marvel franchise I am conversant with.

Spiderman? Nah. Guardians of the Galaxy? Dunno, haven’t got around to seeing the movie yet. Hulk? I guess he’s okay, in a brute smash sort of way, but I can’t begin to tell you about his universe. Iron-Man? Ok, I at least caught the movies for that, and yeah, the tech suits and special effects are cool.

I guess I’m ultimately more of a DC Batman dark vigilante sort of person, or an otherworldly Vertigo Comics connoisseur.)

mh-wolverine

I can’t begin to tell you if he’s balanced or not, but well, he’s in his trademarked yellow costume, he goes slashy slashy with his claws a LOT faster than Colossus’ punches, and he takes more damage than Colossus does.

Somehow, that makes the game a little more interesting as it becomes a bit more challenging to kill before being killed. I’m also a big fan of fast attacks, so he has that going for him too.

His main schtick is a bit more like a standard MMO rogue type, imo, he has some kind of fury bar that he builds up with a simple claw attack builder, and then you spend it with other harder hitting attacks, such as an AoE claw attack, or a more damaging frontal cone claw attack and so on.

The only two things that still keep standing in the way of me playing and enjoying this game further:

1) I can’t shake the feeling that it is very gear and stat based vertical progression. Obviously, if I have more armor, or more damage, or more of such-and-such stat, I am going to be able to take down this bunch of health bars more ably than without.

How am I going to get more of that? Kill stuff and see what drops, I guess. Stack on various percentages of magic item find or whatever they call it in this game. (Don’t forget the ever-present cash shop booster temptation!) Crunch numbers and work out builds. Repeat to kill stuff with even bigger numbers. Yeah, okay. We know the pattern of these games.

2) Enforced level ranges are still a massive pain in the butt. I honestly cannot deal with the current story mode. It’s wading through hordes of enemies while trying to FedEx quest something from point A to point B. Except all these hordes of enemies are some screwed up level that probably won’t match with yours because you’ve gone and leveled three times while fighting already, making them super-easy snoozefests of unspeakably crap xp.

So I go play with the terminals and go to Midtown Manhattan, or the X-Defense in the X-Mansion, or some Holosim or other. Those give me nice bite-sized action chunks of varying objectives, lots of constant fighting and rate of xp gain, with nice jackpot rewards from chests or boss defeats.

8 levels later, I look up and realize I’m even more screwed with story mode again.

It just kinda utterly confuses me as to how I’m expected to level through this game. (Given that my waypoints seem to have carried over from character to character, perhaps I just have to grin and bear it and work through one Normal Difficulty story mode and then open out Heroic mode or whatever.)

Anyway, the Random Hero Box I got to open from the Wolverine purchase netted me the Silver Surfer.

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Ok, cool, I guess. He’s pretty large. I have no clue as to who he actually is, being all non-conversant with the Marvel universe, but for my purposes, he has ranged attacks, which I wanted at least one character of mine to have, so that I can have a choice of varied playstyle whenever.

With that, I’m kinda content. I expect these three characters will last me long enough till next year even, or whenever they have another one of these promotions again. Chances are also fairly high that my interest in Marvel Heroes won’t hold steady to the point that I need/want another character, so good enuff.

Minecraft: Agrarian Skies is the hobby I don’t have time for.

mc-house-front

Here’s the haphazard unfinished front of the modern house design I suddenly decided it might be a good idea to build.

It took a good hour to lay out the cobblestone island foundation it’s sitting on, plus search through all kinds of blocks looking for appropriate and cheap building materials (settled on stone bricks for flooring, paved whitestone for facade, with clear glass. Still wondering if I can find and afford really white and smooth blocks.)

In the midst of constructing the front, it struck me that I maybe should actually look for a picture of a modern house design and base it off some semblance of reality. (I found a few, but they also involve a really nice wall of alternating grey stone, or dark wooden facades – ahhh, more block hunting through the NEI!)

Then it also struck me that I needed to figure out what I wanted in the interior, in order to make it both beautiful and functional… at which point I kinda got stuck and also ran out of gameplay time.

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I have this vague idea that I want the house to be wired up to an ME storage system. My present one is a little too humble and out of the way.

To do that, I need to have a constant source of redstone energy production… so I’m thinking some kind of generator in the basement… Just no clue what.

Anyway, I had to make a basement.

That involved getting around to making angel blocks, since I had to jetpack -under- the existing cobblestone island and lay down blocks underneath, and then construct a basic rectangular room for now. It’s also cobblestone, so presumably, has to be replaced by something more aesthetic later on.

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Here’s the experiment with a second floor of microblock panels, so as not to make it as thick and bulky as a regular one-block floor. I think there’s some promise in this.

Basically, though, I think I’m biting off more than I can chew here, and may just go back to building basic cobblestone islands and familiarizing myself with more of the mods first, since I don’t even know -what- I want to put inside this building, let alone how each component operates and how much space they need to function.

Guild Wars 2 is still my main time suck.

I don’t mind at all. After a period of nomading it through games, it’s nice to have a home game. Plus relatively stable and welcoming communities as a bonus.

There has mostly been incremental goal progress.

This week, I got around to working on the Silverwastes Luminescent gloves and shoulder collections.

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Yeah, I’ve been taking my sweet time with this.

The tendons and other stuff were collected quite early on, but I was sitting on the carapace shoulders, since the thought of completing Living Story Part 5 two more times on other characters was a lot more palatable than spending 1000 bandit crests right off the bat (given that we might need it later for the -other- wear locations.)

Problem is, most of my characters are buried over by Rhendak in Diessa Plateau… because of another Treasure Hunter collection, hoping to get lucky with a ring drop.

Eventually, I decided to pull out the thief to do the story.

I was pleased to discover that the Living Story is selectable, so you don’t have to do all the parts in sequence before getting to number 5, and that the end reward allows you to pick any weight class – so you don’t -have- to run a heavy, medium and light armor class through, unless you want to. (This spares my WvW/PvP necro, and allows him to maintain his perpetual PvE vigil at Rhendak. I suspect I’ll bring my Teq/Wurm warrior through the story next to finish it up some other day.)

I did, however, notice that I was struggling a bit more to finish Mordrem enemies on the thief than my guardian.

This is less an indictment on the class, than more of highlighting the fact that I am still utterly crap and unpracticed on a thief, and that my gear and build isn’t at all set up ideally yet.

I was running an experimental moderate toughness/vitality/power/precision build for WvW, and generally found that it was pretty much neither here nor there, PvE-wise. (It maybe isn’t that great for WvW either, honestly, beyond overall survivability and being irritatingly annoying but not very lethal.)

After half an hour of play, I was making a mental note that I needed a proper all-zerker set at some point to try that out.

So I switched to the earliest build I had ever for this thief, a condition P/D build… except that I had somehow chosen carrion stats (I’m not sure what the rationale behind that choice was, beyond survivability for WvW roaming), whereas my necro does a lot better with dire, so there was always the nagging question in the back of my mind that maybe I should try dire… or rampager… or even the new sinister stats at some point…

…and midway through struggling to maintain consistent bleed stacks on some Mordrem husk or other, I thought to check my runes and realized that he was still decked out in the old style of multiple runes for %bleed duration… except now those runes DON’T give bleed duration after the revamp.

AAAARGH. One more entry on the goals list. GET PROPER RUNES.

Fortunately, there’s not much actual fighting required in Living Story 5 – mostly running back and forth performing some kind of mechanic and being patient as hell to wait for the next buff or appropriate mob to spawn, so I got through it and got my second pair of shoulders.

That was about all the Living Story I could stand though, so it was time to switch activities.

gw2-lumi-gloves

Prior to this, I needed one more gloves box, and two more fangs – husk and thrasher.

Yep, that meant plenty of Silverwastes visiting.

I’d like to thank nostrom, who commented in a previous post that you still get the part even if your group utterly fails at killing the boss.

That suddenly made boss attempts a lot more palatable to me and got me off my arse to vary the bosses I visited more regularly.

In fact, due to the scaling, I’m more leaning towards finding a fort that is not so overcrowded now, as mobs at level 80 are very easily handled by my build and level 81 mobs are okay, whereas level 83 and 84 mobs tend to end up being much more of a pain.

I had one of the more memorable boss attempts at a non-crowded Indigo fort, where only around 3 people started with the Terragriffs (it built up to 8+ by the end.)

Things were a LOT more controlled, since it pretty much ended up with me being the only one to work down the gas bubble at the beginning, while a ranger backed me up near the entrance and helped when the ‘griffs were nearing the bubble (while the last one was chasing the ‘griffs in circles.)

They were level 80, so between the two of us attacking, we made pretty good progress with their health bars. After a few more popped in, we got the Silver ‘griff killed with a minute to go, and the Gold ‘griff was at half health or lower. It went down pretty quick too. (Sadly, the Platinum thrasher didn’t go down, so maybe the zerg was there in that map.)

I got lucky in one of the maze runs and managed to pop another carapace glove box from the Greater Nightmare chest, so phew, another 1000 crests saved.

I felt a bit guilty trying to kill the Copper husk on my guardian – burning ain’t really a condition worth speaking of – and my scepter kind of likes to AoE all the things between a sigil of fire and smite. I guess the biggest contribution I make is attracting all those little Mordrem things to my location, and running madly around trying to pull them away from the husks and the direct line of fire of the more long-ranged equipped folks, while trying not to eat too many bleeds and fall over and die – and oh, getting some scepter hits in every now and then.

But you know, I needed a husk fang, so I took a little alt vacation and brought the so-called condition thief over.

Playing the Silverwastes content on something a little less prepared and geared and naturally squishy makes me have a touch more sympathy for the average player, I guess.

P/D is very single-target, so while I was relatively pleased at how I could hold a husk’s attention and slowly melt it, I struggled with the Mordrem menders. Contrast this to my guardian, who normally just crashes right in with a flashing blade teleport and tosses them around.

I tried dagger/pistol on weapon swap to deal with them, and mostly just realized how much I still suck at the blinding powder/heartseeker combo for stealth… plus a backstab in condition gear is kinda laughable.

Eventually, I figured out that a shortbow and laying down poison fields might be more effective for a pack of Menders… but it admittedly took me a while to put two and two together. (And I still need more appropriate stats, sheesh.)

A thief is kinda cheat mode for the pac man maze though.

I ran around cheerfully abusing shadow refuge and dual/triple stacked stealth from D/P, shadowstep blinking around, plus the normal light balls. It was glorious.

The only times I got downed was me misjudging how long it would take my animations to finish before I went into stealth. That’s all me though – being inept, that is. Someone more practiced would have a much better time of it.

Anyhow, the experience does make me want to rework the gear on the thief… as well as maybe bring in other classes to see how Silverwastes plays and feels on them.

Last thing left is to attempt hard mode on Living Story 6, something I suspect I’ll get around to in the few days before the next Living Story content drop.

On the back of my mind, are the nagging ideas that I should get around to playing more of my non-80 classes and level them up.

I’ve been also considering the thought of buying a second GW2 account while it’s on 50% sale.

Multi-boxing is right out, of course, but I’m running two bank guilds and it makes me anxious to have only one account in them. If I accidentally click “Leave Guild” one day, I’m kinda screwed.

A second account would let me have effectively 5 more character slots – gasp, more storage space for non-account-bound stuff! – maybe a mesmer for simple ports so that I don’t have to rely on others being in the right place and right time for Rhendak and stuff (a hermit like me finds it easier to turn on the old computer and use a second mouse and keyboard than beg someone on mapchat) and I’d have a controllable player camera for those fancy screenshots where people bring all their characters to pose and later blend them together.

Also, it might be an interesting experiment to see how the dungeon culture has evolved (or devolved, rather), when faced with a character of low AP, as compared to my current account.

Knowing me though, I don’t know whether I’ll actually ever find the time to do all that, or if it’s all just wishful thinking and a waste of money.

We’ll see.

Anyway, the next Living Story drop will hopefully be a crunchy one.