Basing Your Expectations on The Things Other People Say

So I’ve been thinking.

This is nothing new.

You know me, always thinking, always brooding. Ruminating. Pondering so long that I’ve fallen out of the blogging habit.

I collect a bunch of stuff in my head, letting it percolate, waiting for lightning to strike.

This post’s recipe consists of two chance events following each other in close succession:

  • a sudden outpouring of newbie welcome and overall positivity on the GW2 subreddit over the last week or so

This stems from another series of chance events: internet celebrity ‘finally sees the light with GW2’ and makes Youtube video about it; Bless Online launches and falls flat on its face; a slew of follow-my-leader MMO locusts descend to try out GW2 (base game is free, after all); and the more positive community-minded subreddit member voices somehow manage to drown out the more negative ones in the equivalent of a slow-news period for GW2 (perhaps the negative nancies have gotten bored and quit during the slow period, or they just decided not to say anything for now as everybody needs new blood, even the predatory sort.)

The TL;DR version is best succinctly explained as a cat video.

  • Shortly after, we contrast this upsurge in optimism with the first histrionics of a newbie who attempted to do dungeons and was abruptly kicked with poor feedback

There’s a lot to unravel in this thread, but all the drama is mostly due to differing player expectations.

Veteran players expect newbie player to demonstrate a modicum of civility and self-reliance and independent self-preparation before partaking in group content.

(This is commonly culturally understood as appropriate behavior by more hardcore gaming traditions, who trend toward being competitive, achievement- and prestige-oriented and high-challenge seeking.)

Newbie player expects to learn group content from observation of the actual game and being tutored by veteran players.

(This is not entirely unreasonable a set of expectations in general: some people learn best by seeing, and even the best preparation is no substitute for direct experience and in-the-moment practice. The very fact that multiplayer gameplay experiences exist will engender the highly likely possibility that two players of uneven gaming knowledge will interact with each other. However, the -means- of that gaming knowledge being transferred though brings us to…)

Newbie player expects all players in-game to be able to express themselves in a civil tactful fashion and be willing and able to successfully coach a beginner with accurate in-the-moment feedback and excellent communication skills.

(Yea, well. I think the absurdity speaks for itself. Let me know if you find -one- person like this. I keep looking for great coaches and teachers and can never find any. Recall my pottery “lessons.” I consider myself lucky if I can find a written guide or a youtube guide video structured in an organized and easy-to-understand manner. Sometimes one has to exercise a high degree of creativity and personal judgment to be able to learn effectively from others.)

Veteran players expect all newbie players to already be prepared to the point of being a high functioning, possibly even higher contributing than themselves, group member and preferably not waste their time and/or learn in another pickup group that isn’t theirs.

(Which only goes to prove that veteran players’ grasp of the language isn’t very good – newbie means newbie for a reason – and that harboring unreasonable expectations is not solely in the realm of beginners.)


GW2: Shiny Robo-Mounts

Long time no blog… I’m surprised WordPress still remembers me.

It’s still the best place to post shiny pictures and remembrances for internet posterity though, and boy, do I have a bunch of shiny pictures.


GW2 released yet another bunch of gem store mount skins a day or two ago – the Exo Mount Pack, which are basically a bunch of robotic/holographic armor plates strategically pasted onto the basic mount with the increased 4 dye channels common to gem store skins.

It doesn’t seem to have been terribly well received on Reddit. It’s something I’m considerably thankful for, because I love ’em.

I think they’re great for asura, and yours truly is one of those players who must have/will eventually make an asura of every class (along with a charr of every class, one day.)

The price point is also pretty reasonable in my book. It’s ostensibly set at the established 2000 gems for a mount pack of 5 skins (like the Halloween Spooky Pack and the Branded Mount Pack) and then released at a “discounted” 20% off at first launch, or 1600 gems.

In other words, $20usd for the 5 skins. Pretty cheap when $25 single mounts are an established price point in other games.

The only problem is that I’m still having sporadic high ping issues (and I mean, 300-500ms annoyances and completely unplayable 2000-3000ms spikes), thanks to Arenanet’s cost-saving measure of shifting operations to Amazon Web Services and the vagaries of internet routing.

Just like when I’d previously faced the cognitive dissonance of wanting to do all content (including raids) but not wanting exclusive legendary armor stat-swapping functionality, my equally established stance is not to spend a damn real-money dime in support while I’m unhappy.

But the skins… they are so SHINY. And I have SO MANY ASURA that could use ’em.

Thankfully, since few other people seem interested in ’em on Reddit, the currency exchange has held relatively steady and not spiked excessively.

After more cognitively dissonant brooding, I decided to bankrupt myself in-game, withdrawing nigh every single gold stashed away, and exchange 465g for 1600 gems, which were promptly blown on shiny mount skins.

Someone else with zero ping problems can pass Anet real money for the gold I just fed into the economic grinder. Me, I’m now poor as a church mouse, but lookin’ dead sexy on my asura. (Oh well, at least it gives me additional motivation to play a lil more – must earn gold while admiring myself.)


I have no idea why people aren’t impressed by them. I love their versatility. My condition berserker warrior is naturally themed towards fire, and a bit of playing around with dyes produced this shadowy holographic fire jackal.

(Who needs to play random lockbox lottery for obnoxious particle effects when you can create your own?!)


On the other side of the color spectrum, my asura guardian has been using the blue Super Adventure Box holograms as part of his schtick since the first April Fool’s.


Celestial white guardian griffon ho!


Someone call for Easter guardian bunny?


I discovered it’s nigh impossible to take a screenshot of the front of the skimmer while you’re skimming across water, but even the back looks nice. And let’s face it, this is the view of your mounts that you see most often.


Cloud jackal guardian is best jackal. (Shadow flame jackal is best fire wolf.)

I haven’t even gotten around to figuring out good color schemes for my naturalistic asura ranger, and as yet not very background-developed asura thief, elementalist, necromancer, mesmer and revenant… but I’m sure I’ll stumble on some mix of dyes that fit eventually… with different and equally fantastic results.

GW2: Most Excited About Patch Notes

These are the most exciting patch notes from ArenaNet that I’ve seen in a long time.

No, no sarcasm. Seriously.

  • Chair sitting. Check.
  • Humor. Check.
  • Awesome title. Check.
  • Thing I can do that does not involve grouping. Check.
  • Listened to players’ desires (including option to select specific mount from license.) Check.
  • Bug fixes that didn’t do horrible things to the PvE meta that make me have to swap classes. Check.

(I was going to write bug fixes that didn’t do anything to PvE, but I hear them gathering tools are broke. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

99 bugs on the wall, take one down, smash it around…)

Also, #RememberRavious




You will be missed by those whose lives you touched, bro.

I know what I’ll be busy finishing up tonight.