The other asura in my alt stable are nowhere near as formed as the first three.
I just made them to have them, and start them on the whole birthday gifts process, while filing them on the “to someday level” list.
Shood is literally the youngest of the lot.
I made him fairly recently, when I realized I was probably never going to get anywhere further on my human female elementalist (seeing that she is both conveniently at a really good level for opening champion bags for cloth items, and also rapidly running out of clothes options that isn’t just bare skin and boobs.)
Some day I’ll get around to leveling him over level 5.
I could use an experience scroll, but then I’ll have to have level 20 gear prepped for him to get started and all that. So, meh. Another time.
I see him as a bit of a young prodigy, probably the equivalent of a nobleman’s son of some kind. Other than that, backstory is still pretty much open for now.
(And yes, this time the naming is very much on purpose to sound very close to Shodd, and Shud, and Shudd… What? Sue me.)
Shuddi is probably the first purposefully cute and snub-nosed asura I’ve tried to make.
I’m oldschool and belong to the “ugly-ass Vekk is how most asura ought to look” school of thought, but well, I’m running out of ugly asura styles and need a bit of contrast.
So we get cute, but serious, Shuddi.
I really wanted to name her Shoddi, to play on “shoddy” since she’s an engineer, but someone else has cleverly already thought of that and sniped the name first. So I got the next best thing, and continue my chain of asura names that sound/look all fairly similar.
Right now, she’s mostly just a bank mule. I’m likely going to level and max out my charr engineer first, so her fate is pretty much to sit in Rata Sum and hold my junk for now.
Shayddi is the oldest of the spare asura alts, not counting Kujl or Shudd.
I made her very early on when I realized that my norn thief just wasn’t really doing it for me. Despite the fun contrast and backstory of a thug-like runty norn thief, the fact of the matter is that however runty a norn gets, he’s still a goddamn big norn.
That means super-readable combat animations, which means I get pwned on a thief, whose schtick is that they’re supposed to be all stealthy and stuff. So he goes into stealth for a couple seconds… when he comes out, people go “Ah, look, the fat fellow is still over there! Pewpewpew” instead of “dammit, where did the tiny squirt run off to?”
So I said, well, maybe I ought to try it on another race and see if it gets any better, or if it’s just my lack of thiefly skills/mentality or my latency to blame.
Sadly, I never got around to that experiment either. Discovering other classes seemed more fun, after I’d already tried out most of the thief skills and traits on the norn. Maybe someday.
I went for something almost anorexic scrawny on this character. I have the vague idea that she has more of a street rat background. Not so much academically smart, but very very cunning. Probably even murderous, given those eyes. I steered away from Minnie Mouse-cute, and tried to do something almost tomboy-ish, in a vein similar to all the female street rats out there who dress like boys (warning: TV Tropes link!) and are absolutely mistaken as male by 95% of the populace who evidently aren’t using their eyes.
(And yes, her name is a play on “Shady.”)
And that’s all of them for the moment. I am still missing asura necro and asura mesmer. (And revenant, eventually.)
Only a matter of time, I’m sure.
This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 25.
My charr warrior that was originally planned as a dungeon/fractal runner somehow ended up as a Teq and Triple Trouble Wurm killer, hanging out around Sparkfly Fen and Bloodtide Coast.
Between hanging on to PTV soldier gear (for Tequatl before it could be crit) and accumulate a great deal of blues and greens and champion bags and dragonite ore from all those chests being opened, plus a few tonics for in-between waiting fun, plus consumables for the “need emergency dps” moments, his bags are overstuffed.
That usually means I get through 1.5 dungeons before my inventory overloads and I start looking around for salvage kits… and realize that I’ve left the copper salvage kit in my other pants (aka the WvW alt, that also needs to salvage on the fly, or the cloth salvaging alt, etc.)
Which leads to extra stress attempting to sort and clean inventory on the go, while the rest of the group is in “go go go” mode trying to finish the other 1.5 dungeons.
So, maybe, I would be less stressed out if I had a second warrior, with lots of bag space, officially designated as a dungeon-runner and make him fully meta-compliant with the proper (and expensive) runes and consumables an everything?
Thus was Peacemaker Yolo born.
And yes, I kept encountering the YOLO meme and kept thinking it would make a great asura name. Not to mention, be extremely hilarious to yell it in caps and then charge headlong into a bunch of mobs like Leeroy Jenkins, if entertainment and a combat initator was ever needed.
Naturally, there is no way in hell “Yolo” alone was available as a name, so we had to get roleplayer-creative and give him a title of some kind.
The Peacemakers are an organization that has always intrigued me within the asura culture. They’re like a police force (complete with golems) and defensive army protecting asura territory and patroling Rata Sum and its outskirts.
I’ve always wondered how they ‘fit’ within the general academic asuran culture where it’s all mainly about research labs and krewes working on individual projects and politicking their way to the top. Are they intellectual drop outs that turn to more physical military pursuits? Or are the peacemakers also a well-respected job occupation in asura culture? Then there are shades of military and thought police, I’m not exactly sure how far asura will go, given their frenetic pursuit of modernity and semi-loose morals, in a way. And then there’s their relationship to the Inquest. I presume they’re somewhat at odds and the Peacemakers tend to jail the troublemakers of that faction, when they get too disruptive.
No concrete canon answers as yet. Just idle speculation. But enough to feel interested in naming a character as ‘belonging’ to that organization.
I contrasted Yolo from Kujl and Shudd by making him an older asura.
Here’s a veteran of the wars, of a sort. This guy has been around the block a couple of times. He’s definitely a sergeant or higher in terms of police rank, whatever the asura peacekeepers use.
Is he set in his ways? Yeah. He’s probably a traditionalist of some kind. I see him as the most xenophobic of the lot. This guy is “for asura, by asura.”
Only asura are people. The rest, well, bookah is probably too familiar a term. He probably doesn’t call them anything at all. If he does say bookah, it’s probably with an intonation of “outsiders”/ “other” / “alien.”
He likely spends most of his time in asura territory or Rata Sum, only going out on special assignment to take down troublemakers that require SWAT team-like special forces (*cough dungeons cough*).
I see him more as an inadvertently hilarious character.
The guy’s deadly serious, probably doesn’t have much of a sense of humor anywhere in him at all, beyond a dry wit.
He probably has no idea how adorbs he looks when he’s all suited in his get-up.
To him, it’s probably like standard operating procedure. Protective goggles, make sure your face is concealed to protect operative cover and anonymity, leave no witnesses, blah blah, etc.
If anything, I guess he likes that he looks young and spry when he’s all Batman or ninja-masked. “Still got it,” even after all these years.
And boy, does he hit hard with hundred blades.
The benefits of being meta-compliant.
Sadly, despite having this guy in my alt stable, clean bags, dungeon waypoints finally ran to and unlocked and all, I’m still procrastinating dungeon-wise, so I guess the issue is just me.
This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 24.
From very early on, I knew a charr guardian was going to be my main in Guild Wars 2, but coming a very close second was the idea of an asura guardian.
I was in love with the amusing contrast of really tiny yet really tanky, plus the fantastic asura combat animations, spinning around on a staff to empower, leaping and spinning everywhere like little dervishes with weapons way too large for them that pull them every which way with inertia.
Funny story about his naming – I knew he needed a proper asura name. One syllable, short and sweet, with two double letters in there somewhere.
You know, it’s a lot easier said than done.
I sat there for a good fifteen minutes, stuck at the naming portion of character creation, typing in any short, nonsensical but asura-sounding words I could think of, and coming to the conclusion that with the number of people playing GW2 that also care about naming conventions, a LOT of the possible one syllable word combinations were getting taken up… there are only so many vowels to go around and possible consonants to be arranged around them, right?
Somehow, the word “should” popped into my mind. (Maybe because the sequence of events went something like “There -should- be SOME names left, dammit.”)
There aren’t any repeated letters in that though…
So I tried, “Shodd.”
Nope. No go.
Erm, “Shadd?” Nothing.
“Shedd?” (Though it sounds silly) Nada.
Let us not try Shidd. (‘Tis a silly name.)
Eventually I went down the vowel chain, and badabing, Shudd got through. And hrm, sounds presentable to my ear. Works.
The great irony was when I played through the asura infinity ball personal story arc and realized that I had an NPC assistant named Shodd. Totally unintentional, but I suddenly had a pairing worthy of a law firm: Shudd & Shodd, World Domination Inc.
Then I got to Lion’s Arch, and realized there was another asura NPC, Captain Shud, in charge of the portals and on the captain’s council.
This was a perfect, if completely unintentional, demonstration of additional lore – aka how confusing asura names are to humans, yet utterly distinctive to the diminutive asura.
In my head, I could just hear it being patiently explained to a bookah, “No, no, you’ve got it wrong. It’s Shudd, as opposed to Shud… or Shodd,” each word carefully pronounced and articulated…
A giant question mark appearing over said bookah’s head…
…and the lil asura throwing up his hands and going, “Oh, forget it. Why am I even bothering?”
Why -two- guardians, some would ask, when the one guardian could switch traits any time to be any build whatsoever?
Well, the idea was that my charr guardian was going to be built for solo wandering, to be mostly a one-handed weapon user, to be all hard-hitting berserker and stuff. The asura, on the other hand, was going to cleave a bit more towards meta, to do my group dungeons, to be a little tankier, to be used in WvW and we could achieve gear and build differentiation that way.
Best laid plans and all that.
It worked for a time. The meta of the day was the anchor guardian, so I faithfully picked up Knight’s gear, a hammer, a two-handed sword and so on. I did a considerable amount of dungeoning with Shudd, and couldn’t help but notice that I was picking up 95%-100% of the aggro of every fight and struggling to stay alive through self-healing, altruistic healing, renewed focus and pretty much every other trick in the book, while my group compatriots did nothing but dps (probably poorly too) and after that go, “Jeez, that was super easy. Piece of cake. Need harder difficulties!”
What? I was barely clinging on to life and it was so touch and go at certain points… And you want it, harder?!
Some time around the point between the Molten facility and the Aetherblade one, I realized I had finally had it with attempting to tank (or rather, anchor) for groups that couldn’t appreciate or see what was happening. Far better to split the aggro, let the ungrateful ones take a few hits of their own, and -feel- it, and all the stupid remarks about “easy peasy, need it harder” went away. I swapped to warrior for dungeoneering then, and retired the guardian.
He did, however, still see me through lots and lots of WvW. I swapped around cleric, soldier, zerker, zealot stats every which way, trying to figure out the best combinations, changing between tanky/bunker healbots, tanky frontline spearheads, not-so-tanky midline staff (lootstick) spam and basically played a ton of melee frontline in a zerg, during the best of times with superb commanders.
These days, I’ve been changing it up and playing more ranged backline (it’s also lazier and less stressful and easier to drop in and out unmissed) so poor old Shudd is sitting around unused, with bags still mostly bursting and untended to. Probably just a matter of time before things change again, I suppose.
Personality-wise, Shudd is a lot more gregarious than Kujl.
His oddity, I suppose, is his adventuresome nature. He’s also off exploring the wilderness and interacting with all races of Tyria in a manner similar to the old GW1 hero, Vekk.
Yes, he is snide and snarky, like nearly all asura out there; he’ll cheerfully call you a bookah without thinking twice, but he’s not xenophobic about it. He’s in fact quite happy traveling and communicating with all races because to him, everything’s part of one giant lab experiment – his lab experiment.
Graduating from the College of Synergistics, he studies relationships and connections. You might call him a sort of sociologist or anthropologist, practising observational science. He studies various cultures, how they get along, relate to and interact with one another. He’s interested in psychology, history, economics and basically anything and everything that might suggest how it all synergizes into the Eternal Alchemy.
Because well, if he can understand that, then that’s it right there. The secret to life, universe and everything. Godhood, world domination, your heart’s desire, the fount of eternal life, the source of all magic, whatever, it all pales in comparison to the origin of knowledge, to understanding how it all ties together.
If the network of the Eternal Alchemy can be determined, mapped and understood, everything else would naturally fall into place like dominos following a chain reaction.
It’s going to take a life’s work. It’ll be a magnum opus, and possibly a swan song. It may mean slaying the Elder Dragons, if need be. So Shudd’s out there, observing, cataloging, fighting, searching for true facts and truth itself.
Everything else, well, it’s just stuff made in passing, inventions to kill time or serve a purpose.
The infinity ball? A toy.
The alchemagical devices that generate holograms like shattered dragon wings and his sword? Just utility tools.
His powered armor? #normalgeniusasurathings. Doesn’t everybody do that?
Whatever. The answer is out there. Somewhere.
This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 22, and 42.
The chill of the Northern Shiverpeaks does not faze me.
A wade through one of its many streams is bracing, and puts me in the mood for a good hunt, and ale at a warm hearth when my work is done.
I am Norn.
There is game here aplenty, wood and ore and forage for those who know where to find it.
Survival is bred in our bones. Like others, I call these snowy mountains my home.
I am Norn.
I revere the Spirits of the Wild.
I respect all the lessons they have to teach me. Bear gives me strength and self-reliance. Snow Leopard teaches the value of strategy and stealth. Just like me, Raven is not above a bag of good tricks and there is wisdom and knowledge in its caw. Wolf guides my road, and advises the best time for loyalty and friendships and running with the pack, and when to leave and wander alone once again.
But I am not your average Norn.
They used to laugh and call me a runt. Perhaps it was meant as good-natured jest. Perhaps it was merely a way for their tales and legends to outshine all others.
Trust me, when even a Norn called “the Short” has a couple of inches over you…
You know you are anything but average.
It matters not.
Like other Norn, I live for the hunt. I will not back down from a challenge.
I have learned to use my size and speed to my advantage, to attack weak points and be where the prey is not looking.
I’ve heard the humans have a saying. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Looks like playstyle preferences win out in the end.
I tried. I still like the necromancer and the elementalist, and they are nasty in close combat with double daggers and have the advantage of long range spells, but there is just something magical about how thieves just rip stuff up or die trying.
That, and the eventual hope that I can use him in WvW someday, I want to play around with stealth, lone wolfing and hit-and-run tactics – it seems a complement to how my guardian is more of a group force multiplier, which gets occasionally frustrating when there is no group around to speak of. I need something to rambo with when I get tired of moronic brainless calls, and lord knows there’s been quite a number of those in my timezone lately.
No doubt by the time I get the thief up to a level that won’t just melt and die in WvW, I will find out that organization and morale has improved and there is a need for more group-oriented builds once again, but oh well, having the option for another gameplay style will be nice.
The thiefly weapon options are really hard to choose from. Double daggers is sick, of course, and even in just its five skills, there seem to be quite a few options for fighting. There is the death blossom (3) spin to win, which applies bleed condition damage while evading. There is the standard dagger autoattack chain (1) that applies poison and does very decent out-of-the-box damage. There is heartseeker (2) spam that can do a nasty amount of burst as the target has less and less hp. It’s amazing how the initiative mechanic gives thieves more choice in how to apply quick burst fast at the cost of some downtime, or maintain a sustained dps chain. And there is the stab-stealth (5) which can be followed up by a very nice backstab (1) if you can maneuver behind an enemy while in stealth. And I’m just getting comfortable with the thrown cripple dagger (4) as an opener, which also chains to more than one enemy and softens up a foe before closing the distance.
Sword/pistol is another combination I’m liking. The blinding powder field can be quite effective for keeping the thief alive in close combat, and the sword gives a decent cone attack that hits a couple of enemies at once and is reminiscent of my guardian’s sword.
I found the pistol mainhand to be a decent ranged option too, though I haven’t settled on which offhand is the best complement for it yet. I’ve not played with the shortbow much, but it seems like it has its own bag of tricks too.
Then there’s steal, which also takes some getting used to, but I suspect can be rather powerful, if one knows what to steal from and when to use the stuff you get best.
And there’s the whole mobility aspect to a thief, which I -really- need practice in, but seems potentially powerful in the right hands. Shadowstepping in and out of range, evading here and there, stealthing in and out, blinding to and fro.
Some day I’d really like to learn more about all the different professions, because they seem to play so differently, but we need to start somewhere, I guess…
…I can hear altoholism calling again. Won’t be surprised if I end up playing yet another character for the next week.
Obviously, this is subjective. If the game doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t. Move on and go play with your pandas or your spaceships or your tanks or what have you.
That said, I’ve been spending the whole week involved with essentially endgame activities in Guild Wars 2. And I’m still not bored.
Hell, I’ve been saving a ton on waypoint fees because I’ve barely moved my level 80 character from one PvE zone to another like he was doing when he was gathering and crafting and working on zone completions and doing dungeons and popping in on the Claw of Jormag.
So what have I been doing instead?
Plenty of it. The best fights were nearer the start of the week, when everyone was jockeying for points and position. No one had given up yet so there were still plenty of opposing zergs forcing ‘must-react-to’ situations, and guilds on your side trying out various strategies, lots of siege being used and siege blown up, etc.
2) WvW Completion and Jumping Puzzles
As the week progressed, and our server started to dominate, the furious fights started to die off a little. Now they’ve slowed to the point where it’s become clear most are saving and preparing for the next titanic clash of servers on the weekend. In fact, they’ve slowed to the point where Isle of Janthir has become able to cover the entire map zones with pretty much a sea of green.
Thank goodness for a reset. I’m a big fan of resets. The victor of this round is obvious. Now let’s bring in a new round and wipe clean the slate.
BEFORE that though, it is a perfect time to indulge in the victor’s rewards. I’ve been running around all the zones, fairly unmolested, collecting POIs, Vistas and Skill Points and trying to get all the zones complete. 2/4 done, 2 more to go. Sooner or later when my next alt is ready, they’ll want to do it too, but I can wait for the next opportunity to open up.
This vista was evil. Jumping from wooden beam to beam around a tight spiral is one of the worse things for a Charr to attempt… Feet…too… big… and widely spaced…
Also, jumping puzzles. The Borderlands jumping puzzle is still relatively doable even if opposing teams are running around the map, but it’s so much less stressful when they aren’t, and when you know your server is likely to have a majority in there. Our guild has been running in there the last few days, showing those new to the puzzle around, and it’s so much easier for them to manage/learn without needing to fight off people trying to knock you down or worse, facing entrenched siege positions.
Fear of that last has been why I haven’t once stepped into the Eternal Battlegrounds jumping puzzle since beta, having calculated that it would be likely suicidal to venture in solo while three way battles were raging aboveground.
However, just yesterday, I noticed that Eternal Battlegrounds had been turned completely green, which struck me as a perfect time to zone complete the place. Also, when your server owns all three keeps, well duh. No one else can get in!
So I jumped in there, along with pretty much half the servers’ folks in the zone, all thinking the same way, no doubt.
Fortunately, I remembered much of the solution that I slowly explored/learned in beta, but for new folks, this would have been the best undisturbed time to explore and learn it. All I can say is, the dark room is still evil, still sucks, and that I can’t imagine myself successfully managing it while under fire from two or more enemies or a siege weapon. One guy might be ok, I’d prolly have a 75% chance of killing him or chasing him off. But all these folks come in packs of two or more anyway, so… moot point.
Far more enjoyable and doable to manage without interference. And judging by the number of people falling off jumps I was managing by the skin of my teeth (not to mention, much gnashing of teeth and twisting of the camera – Charr jumps can get pretty tricky, though I’m used to it by now), I’m not the only one.
There was also a helpful mesmer or two offering portals for those too frustrated to continue. Good social time for the server. And siege stocking up for the next fight.
3) More WvW
It’s not like they gave up completely. Fort Aspenwood in particular seems to have a pretty stubborn cohort. And it’s easy for them to do sneak attacks and rush a tower here and there when most of the dominating server has very little interest in defending the less important outposts and are playing around with jumping puzzles rather than concentrating fully on the ebb and flow of the map. Besides, a little tower and camp trading here and there is profitable in terms of karma/silver earned.
We’ll look up 30 minutes later after the jump puzzle, go oh, such and such is taken, let’s zerg it all back for a while, in a lazy disorganized fashion (the casual zerg is hanging out now, y’know, the pros are resting and prepping for next week). Meanwhile, on the opposing side, only the hardcore stalwarts would still be going into WvW and are trying out all kinds of siege attack/defence tactics against not-very-clever zerg targets. It’s a funny sort of balance.
I’ve also discovered that upgraded keeps are a very comfortable place to hang out and take 5-10 minutes to sort inventory. It’s less crowded than Lion’s Arch (which my computer tends to regard loading with dread), a merchant or armor repairer is available to sell junk and blues/greens to, a bank is there, a guild bank is there, there’s even a Mystic Forge and attendant in the garrison if you need one, and there’s crafting stations/bank in one’s home borderlands spawn and so on. And you’re around to keep an eye on the orb, on the keep, help in defence or just enter the siege weapons once in a while to prevent them despawning (which apparently, some do after a while if not entered. I dunno how far true that is, but it doesn’t hurt for me to just visit them now and then.
And lemme tell you, practising your mortar aiming judgement by trying to one-shot deer and rabbits on the first shot is fairly entertaining. Hey, it’ll help when I need to quickly destroy an enemy siege encampment under extreme pressure! I’m so easily happy…)
4) Structured PvP
I’ve joined pretty much a casual zerg guild on my server. Unreal Aussies is one of those inclusive monster guilds with a leadership core that are nice and welcoming to all and sundry. Currently it works for me. It’s big enough to have activity at most hours, some people doing dungeons now and then, and 20-40 odd people interested in WvW – which is a good sized zerg into the field. Organization of them is still like herding cats, alas, and I gotta give mad props and respect to the leaders for not losing patience (I would, but that’s why I don’t even try to lead.) We can successfully be pointed in one direction and led away from a place with orders, but siege and supply management, welp… All in good time, I figure. Folks will eventually get the hang of it, even if they have to learn by getting rained on with arrow carts…
The other fun thing that the guild does is jump into structured PvP for fun from time to time. I finally got the chance to join them the other day and I haveta say, it’s lot more fun killing friends. *ahem* A twisted way to be social, mebbe, but more fun than just jumping into a PUG and facing strangers all the time. And it’s a good way for guild members to see and recognize and become familiar to each other, since in most modern MMOs these days, apart from raids, everyone is off doing their own thing solo or in small groups.
And hey, win or lose, you’re still working on that glory bar.
Kinda. Sorta. I’m starting to look forward to the next time our server gets utterly thrashed in WvW, because it’s looking like I’m not going to get a chance until then to do PvE properly.
I got on the Asura ranger for about 15 minutes or so. The camera height is exceedingly jarring when I’m used to being a Charr. All my jump timing and estimation of fall survival is off. And his running, bouncing head animation makes me more than a little motion sick. I haven’t got a bow to drop for him yet, and I’m too lazy to go shuffling stuff in the bank for him either. Dual axes feels a bit odd. No doubt it’s workable, but it’s a playstyle I’m not really interested in learning/mastering at the time. So I gave up for the time being, the combined strangeness is too much and I have no goal to learn to play or build up a ranger yet.
I’ve been playing the human elementalist for about 30mins at a time. I’m quite commited to learning proper attunement swapping and pwning with one. But Queensdale is so godawfully huge that I don’t even know where to begin, sometimes. Y’see, when I PvE, I like to immerse into the zone and really explore every nook and cranny. I don’t just rush from heart to heart, DE to DE, grabbing level after level.
I made it to level 10 playing about with all the weapon skill unlocking, got to the town with the crafting stations, played with cooking and realized what a colossal undertaking that was going to be, tailored up some level 10 armor for myself and got stuck on the level 15 ones, finished the 1-10 personal story and still haven’t even made one iota of progress on Queensdale exploration because I can’t get in the right frame of mind, I keep sneaking peeks at the WvW scoreboard. I keep wanting to be social and run about with people and linked into the guild and representing. I can’t find an uninterrupted two hours of shutting away the rest of the world and pretending to be a human in the GW2 world to talk and interact with NPCs.
I don’t think that’s going to happen until I find no reason to be in the WvW zones for a while.
Until the reset, there’s still jumping puzzles and casual fun to be had in there. Once the reset happens, it will be queuing like crazy, me running around on the 80 waiting for the queue to pop, some desultory mob killing and crafting and zone completion while waiting, and everyone on tenterhooks for a while. The next fight will be tougher, but the chance of winning is still fairly good.
So in essence, for the next week or so, there’s very little hope for me PvEing on an alt.
There’s always the week after that, or the month after that, I suppose.
(My Norn thief is crying for neglect in the background. The Sylvari necromancer is just sulking in silence.
A day ago, I had this sudden image of a fearsome Norn female Amazon-type warrior in heavy armor that would probably look fantastic, while my beta weekend Charr warrior in potentia is scowling at me, threatening wordlessly if I dare to give a character slot to that race first, so I may have to have two warriors or two guardians down the road at some point…)