GW2: Just Another Ordinary Day

All in a day's work at the office...

I log in, and collect the bag of log-in rewards that await me today. It’s three transmutation charges.

Flipping through the dailies, I identify Kryta miner and Ascalon vista as the low hanging fruit, hrrrm at the Daily Scale 1-10 Fractal as a might-consider (since it’s a weekend) and note daily PvP player kills and capture as the more likely standby prospects.

Since I’m already in Divinity’s Reach, I hit up my Salma home instance to nab Krytan miner and visit all the nodes (which I caved in and bought when they were on sale, because I visited a friend’s home instance and they were so -pretty-, trees and herb nodes in places that made so much sense and made Salma a less barren environment.)

Inside Salma, I overhear a kid ask her noble human father why she can’t have a golem, to which he just shrugged helplessly in reply. I grin at the other charr in the town, a Priory Scholar buying some stuff from a human vendor.

After picking up the found bandit chest, I scan the map of Ascalonian territories to decide what vista I’d aim for this time around. Preferably one with a rich ore node nearby so that I can kill two birds with one stone.

I settle for the one up in the Iron Marches, near the Flame shaman and pop over to the waypoint.

One quarter of the way there, I overhear some mapchat banter about Prisoner 1411. Looks like a guild’s looking for her and asking around.

Someone has seen Prisoner 24601, they wisecrack, and someone else tells them to ask if he’s seen Prisoner 1411.

I can’t resist adding in that 24601 is most likely too busy singing than to reply.

But then I decide to divert my attention and pop down to the Town of Cowlfang’s Star, where all the vulture raptors roam. Thanks to a post on Reddit that plunged the price of poultry meat from 9 to 6 silver, it is more or less an open secret that this place is poultry meat central.

In my time idly farming here, I have also known Prisoner 1411 to cross this path very -very- often.

So I think, it might be nice to just hang around and farm some poultry meat for the 5-10 minutes of their guild bounty, and if I see Prisoner 1411 cross this path, I’ll let them know.

Sure enough, I’m not done with 20 raptors when Prisoner 1411 shows her scrawny muzzle and does her cross-country sprint right in front of me.

I set off in hot pursuit, pumping all the swiftness I can muster, while juggling the task of mapchatting that she’s on my tag and trying to turn on said tag in question.

A couple members of the guild looking for her show up and start her fighting, while the rest of their members show up in waves behind.

I break off cheerily, my good social deed done for the day, but then remember that I ought to get a hit in on her too, and throw an immobilize to slow her for a bit and get a few scepter hits in.

I then remember that I was originally here to, like, view a vista and mine the platinum node, which was…oh, all the way up there, instead of down here.

One more waypoint back to my original destination, and I make my way over to the rich platinum node.


Halfway along the way, I remember this GODDAMN node that forevers taunts me.

I have -never- figured out how to get up to mine it, and the two black rams up there just look down on me in a taunting fashion too.

(If anyone knows the way to this node, please tell me, I will be forever grateful.)

Yet again, I get distracted for a moment, trying all manner of leaping from rock to rock and humping of the cliff face to try and ascend, and fail miserably.

I note that the Flame shaman is actually up, with no one there as usual, and decide that that’s another avenue I ought to look at, to see if there’s a route over there to get me to this elusive platinum node.

I go get the rich platinum node first though, before I get squirrel-attentioned away any further, then pop back over here.

Halfway through leaping the gap to get to the black volcanic rock portion where the Flame shaman is, I suddenly recall that I haven’t actually checked out an Ascalonian vista yet. LOL.

Good thing there’s one right next to me, so I go grab that before I forget, yet again.

The Flame shaman is in the first ember phase, and I idly wonder just how much of this fight I might be able to solo.

I start plinking away at embers at range, and before 2/3 of the bar is down, I see a lone ranger coming by to join me.

The two of us take down the first set of embers and start in on the shaman champion. His first phase is quite manageable, a lot of melee attacking and trying to rush at you, and we hold him off with knockbacks and immobilizes and I basically play kite in a circle with the shaman all day long as I’m picking up 3/4 of the aggro while the ranger’s wolf has the other 1/4 from time to time.

Second embers phase. Then the second shaman phase, where he is fond of sitting in his fiery circle and whirling, throwing fiery bolts at you, and tossing really hard hitting axes at you.

I manage to evade a decent amount of fiery projectiles by virtue of keeping at range and strafing, and dodging otherwise, but I end up having some problems with the axes. I’m just not used to his animation and can’t really tell at the range I’m keeping, and my wall of reflection only lasts so long. In fact, I can’t even cast it in time sometimes before the axes have walloped me and sent me down.

The ranger does his best to pick me up but one unfortunate encounter with my face and two axes, plus the shaman deciding he was near enough to pounce on me and beat on me with his sword, and I don’t get downed but flat out dead.

I waypoint, idly deciding if I should give up or go back… You know what? This means war. Fuck giving up. No NPC can get the better of me. In the jog back, I put on a spirit shield summon so that I get an additional shield of absorption to deal with projectiles.

I get back in time to see that the Flame shaman’s hp is steadily rising again. Looks like the ranger either wiped too, or retreated out of combat. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him climbing back over the rock gap that I just jumped through. Ok, looks like he’s up for a rematch too.

We start again, and I’d busy juggling my wall and my spirit shield, but much to my annoyance, I am still catching some axes in the face from time to time. The ranger just picks me up again though, and occssionally, I return the favor when he gets the aggro.

Halfway through, we pick up a new friend, who brought his own set of friends – a minion master necromancer has joined us. Hoorah! Now some of the aggro deflects over to the mm’s minions, and between the three of us, we knock the shaman out of his highly annoying second phase.

Third set of embers. Third shaman phase. Guy throws a ton of flame breaths and flame jets and lava jets and what not around. Yeesh. Again, we mostly keep our distance, now and then accidentally getting run over and getting rezzed by each other, and finally get him down.

Big chest spawns. We collect our shiny loot, and go our separate ways.

I linger behind to hump all the walls again, looking for a passage or something that might lead to the elusive platinum node, and draw an absolute blank. BAAAAH.

Beaten, I finally slink off and log off for a break.

Oh yeah, I haven’t finished the daily yet.

After my break, I switch over to my ranger to just get a simple PvP match going to get the daily done. Just one capture will do. And may as well kill three people. Not hard, right? Doesn’t matter if my team wins or loses.


Best laid plans and all that.

I make a beeline straight for home, thinking that is probably the easiest capture point to grab.

I notice two red names coming toward me. Oh. Ok, not so easy. I briefly consider if I should chat to my team about this, and I think, nah, nevermind, I’ll just delay them and resign myself to just being a pest.

Halfway through my fight and an inch away from dying, I can’t help but notice that I seem to be stuck hurling axes, no matter how hard I weapon switch.

WTF? Where’s my shortbow pewpew? Where’s the source of all my bleeds?!

I crumple up and die, stomped into the ground by two people while I try to make head or tail of this weirdness.

Back at respawn, I hit H and facepalm. Somehow, a lone white dagger has found its way into my offhand, resulting in weapon switching going from axe/torch to axe/dagger. No arrow pewpew.

I try to unequip the dagger. No inventory space for dagger. (Ok, so I have been sitting on the task of opening all these PvP boxes since Wintersday. My bad.)


I throw out a minor sigil. Of blood. I think it was maybe left over while leveling or something?

I try to unequip the dagger again.

It refuses to unequip.


Apparently even if you’re chilling in the respawn (probably seeming like a ‘ tard to all and sundry), you cannot weapon switch once the match has started. Or something along those lines.



After flailing away trying to get a shortbow into my lil asuran rat-like mitts once or twice more, I resign myself to having a really really bad time for the remainder of the match.

Fine. The rest of the match will be an exercise in trying to use axe/torch to the absolute best of its capability… against a team that has been ganging up and stomping my current team into the ground.


It becomes mostly an exercise in trying to stick to at least one other friendly, taking on a redname that has gotten a little prideful, and then trying to launch my entangle, axe/torch spike to assist in the takedown. To my surprise, we actually kill one player that way – but I think it was a 3 on 1.

33% of the PvP kills daily done. This has never been so hard to achieve before.

I run around with pretty much all the axe/torch skills cycling on cooldown and wind up chucking really slow-attacking no-damage axes (duh, I’m in a condi build!) autoattacking instead of my usual rapid fire shortbow pewpew bleeding. OH, THE PAIN.

I feel like half of a ranger. I get a LOT of evasion practice in. Two or three players are always after us. We get stomped into the ground a lot. The whole thing feels like a hotjoin match where you’re on the wrong unstacked side. Eventually, the match mercifully ends.

I bail and hastily bring up my inventory in the Heart of the Mists, where it FINALLY lets me drop the dagger and wield a shortbow.


I have no clue how that happened, too much clicking when I didn’t notice, I suppose.

The next match I queue for goes completely the other way.

Finally a whole (if rat-sized) ranger once more, I get home pretty much uncontested, turn up at mid to stab an opposing team pewpew power ranger in the back (figuratively, if 20 bleeds from a shortbow firing freely into the guy’s behind is a stab in the back) and we win the mid fight.

Two or three of my team rotate over to the far point, me and another guy hover around mid and keep an eye on home.

Sure enough, one redname comes over to try and take home. We let him know that’s not happening and send him back to respawn. The other guy goes back to mid, I end up dueling the pewpew power ranger at home, which I really have some fun with because it’s a challenge – he can kill me first if I make a mistake and let him, but if I don’t screw up I can bleed him to death from attrition in the end…

…I’m about to win that fight, when his friend and guildmate, probably a meditation guardian of some type, barrels into me and pretty much turns me into a charr-grilled kebab as the ranger falls over from my bleeds. Gah. Well, ok, there’s two on me, which means a numbers advantage elsewhere. Sure enough, we have the other two points while they’re standing around trying to cap this one.

I respawn and head back to duel the ranger again, and this time his guardian friend AND another player from their team show up.  Well. Uh. I switch to a lot of trying vainly to evade, knowing I’m done for anyway, but I see that half my team is pretty much banging on their lord doors uncontested.

I delay the best I can, then fall over and die. The group pretty much humps the control point, and doesn’t even respond to their lord getting massacred at all. Score becomes 466 to 200 something.

Huh. Whatever. I figure the other ranger is not going to leave home in a hurry, and join in the mid fight on my next respawn, where we gang up and gank some of the other team, including the ranger’s guildmate, and ta da, the ranger shows up and gets mauled too. Match ends on our mid brawl, pretty much one-sided.

Welp, that’s pretty much all the PvP excitement I can take for a day, so I log off, the rest of my inventory still unattended to. (Yeah, I’m lazy and untidy, I know.)

And that’s likely to be all of the GW2 I play for the day, unless I get the urge to join in a wurm or Teq, or decide that I really should do more inventory cleaning, or maybe just ride on the world boss bus while I play something else in the other screen.

Just a day in the life of. Nuthing spectacular.

(Yesterday, I joined in the first OCE TTS dungeon night, where our group did all four CoE paths (story included) in three hours, bringing some complete newbies to CoE along. That’s atypical. Most of my time is very ordinary puttering around.)

GW2: Endgame is Everything

Finally got story mode done on the warrior, after an uncountable number of exploration mode runs...

Scree from the Cynic Dialogues has a post-mortem up on why he lost interest in Guild Wars 2 after six months and couldn’t get back into the game despite repeated tries.

His main issues appear to be a foundational disagreement on how traits were designed in the game, and unhappiness with the speed of developer fixes and response.

Which I happen to agree are very good reasons for why one shouldn’t play a game that one dislikes.

I personally have foundational disagreements on how World of Warcraft raids are the be-all and end-all of anyone wanting to play their game in a hardcore manner (with item level and ever-increasing stats being so emphasized), and would probably go berserk trying to deal with pithy Ghostcrawler posts in between the drastic game changes that seem to happen with every WoW patch.

Nor can I really deal with the fundamentally Eve Online concept of paying a good $15-30 a month for the privilege of getting beat up while learning valuable lessons “to get better, for the future” for at least 2-3 months while you skill up, plan, plot, join organizations and eventually get good enough at the game to do well, earn sufficient isk to possibly pay for your account(s) and then proceed to beat on each other and any newbies who stray into your path in an endless political war of power and greed-mongering.

(Though from afar, I do like the episodic pace of change the Eve devs put out with every update.)

So I don’t play World of Warcraft.

Or Eve Online.

And Scree doesn’t play Guild Wars 2.

But I find his outlook on endgame most interesting. He’s not happy with games that don’t have a stated, defined plan for “the end game,” especially if the speed of tweaks to it are glacial to boot.

To him, GW2’s endgame is possibly WvW – which tends to spawn a myriad of similar complaints from primarily WvW players about the game type being ignored or new fixes that make things even worse.

Or it is dungeons and possibly the fractal dungeon which ramps all the way up to fractal level 50 with increasing stat difficulty and the need to grind for a particular Agony stat in order to qualify for higher leveled fractals. Except the rewards are mostly all cosmetic, which makes them optional, and this somehow grates on him.

To him, the endgame is everything.

If it’s not clearly stated and defined, and given substantially tempting rewards and focused developer attention, he loses interest. Fast.

On the other hand, here’s me, five level 80s and 408 days in (2,561 hours – the average is really kinda scary, all those weekends and waiting for Tequatl must have skewed it…) and still not bored.

I haven’t seriously played WvW in easily three months, nor have I visited a fractal dungeon for a long long time.

So what in the world have I been doing?

This week, I’ve been evolving a comfortable routine of trying to catch at least one Tequatl kill a day via the TTS guild, maybe two or three with other characters if I have the time.

Then I work on finishing up the daily with some easy extras for ~7-9AP, the daily reward laurel and that nice sense of checklist done easy satisfaction.

If there’s more time to spare after that, I pull up the LFG tool and see if I can get in on a few easy CoF p1 or P2 runs, or a definitely less easy TA new Aetherpath attempt (two more dungeon-related achievements to go).


Or if I’m feeling brave, some of the dungeons I’m less familiar with to become more habituated to them, and maybe even get one of my last few completely unfamiliar and undone paths finished on the way to the Dungeon Master achievement.

1-3 dungeons later, I am decidedly dungeoned out for the day.

(But several gold richer.)

I may pop into Southsun for twenty minutes peaceful farming with a magic find cupcake for incredibly incremental progress on T6 mats for a Legendary.

I definitely visit the Under New Management puzzle for empyreal fragments, and one weekend I visited Skipping Stones on a whim to discover that the Super Adventure Box had decidedly improved my jumping ability yet again.

Or I jump over to one of the Orr zones to run around in the most haphazard manner gathering resources and maybe stumbling across an orichalcum ore or ancient sapling as a bonus – it’s really just peaceful solo time.

Depending on my mood, over the last few weeks, I have also:

  • used a GW2 node website for more focused and targeted node gathering
  • gone to farm Champions in the Frostgorge loop
  • stopped by a world boss or two
  • visited and revisited some jumping puzzles new and old
  • made an attempt at map exploration on alts
  • tried to level up my mesmer further via lowbie zones and personal story
  • bought a new character slot
  • made a temporary necro to regain the skull mask I must have accidentally salvaged off my level 80 necro
  • experimented with various races of warriors while working towards accumulating Black Lion Keys

(By level 7, you can generally get the level 10 Personal Story done, then clean up character, getting a few lucks via salvaging along the way and delete.)

Plus, you get to see all the branching level 10 stories. Hot golemic love action!
Plus, you get to see all the branching level 10 stories. Hot golemic love action!

I also recently discovered that the Daily Activity Participation is rather fun and easy to do. Just talk to the NPC in Lion’s Arch, putz around for one game (and maybe even win it) and then exit one reward chest richer.

I’ve been deriving a certain satisfaction in accumulating and salvaging a ton of blues and greens from my Teq and dungeoneering and oh, Scarlet invasion efforts. Each day, my magic find slowly increments by 1-2% back towards the 180% I was used to previously, except now it’ll apply for the entire account.

I have yet to properly inventory and tidy up my bank and guild banks once more or figure out what kinds of stats I want on each character for Ascended armor and weapons and work towards those. My Artificer is only 465 on crafting, and nothing else has been incremented past 400.

In the past update before Tequatl Rising, my daily routine involved at least one visit of the Super Adventure Box for a round of bauble farming or an achievement or Tribulation Mode attempt.

And so on, following whatever was new per Living Story update.

In a way, this very comfortably harkens back to Guild Wars 1 for me.

There was so much lateral progression you pretty much had to pick and choose what you wanted to get done for the day, according to your own personal goals.

You could PvP with various formats. You could work on your story missions across four chapters till you were done. You could do it all over again in hard mode. Or do it yet again with books to keep track of your repeat progress and reward you. You could vanquish every zone. Or work on map exploring and scraping every last corner of the world. You could run the harder ‘dungeon’-like zones Fissure of Woe, the Underworld, Domain of Anguish with a group or solo with your own heroes. Or follow the Zaishen ‘daily’ and do the highlighted goals. And lots more besides.

The Hall of Monuments worked as a sort of focused vertical progression ‘endgame’ where you could do a whole bunch of lateral activities but gradually increment that final number.

In GW2, ArenaNet points and achievements appear to be a method of coming close to that idea.

I’m a dabbler. I putz around casually a lot, hoard a ton of stuff that may never ever get used, pick a goal at random from a big list and work towards that for a while, then find something else to do.

The cool thing is that everything I choose to do, benefits me and my account in the end, somehow, someway.

Other players, I am sure, do this very differently.

Some spend all their days in WvW, zerging or roaming as their interest takes them. Some fixate on a Legendary they want and single-mindedly work towards that. Some chase dragons, or world bosses, or champions all day long. Some are happy just perfecting the cosmetic look they desire for their characters. Or creating the world’s largest collection of alts, or miniatures, or what-have-you.

For instance, one of my guild leaders seems to be quite a PvP fan, and half the time, I see him on one sPvP map or another. The other half he seems to spend running guild events (which include WvW) and missions and maybe taking some time out to PvE and follow the Living Story.

Another of my guild leaders has 15k ArenaNet Points and still counting. so guess where his focus must be.

The leader of the TTS guild I joined appears to be enjoying himself spending nearly all his time online in Sparkfly Fen organizing one kill after another, and wrangling six (yes, it’s now six) guilds with all the attendant leadership and administration challenges that must follow.

And of course, some content themselves hanging out in Lion’s Arch, or just finishing their dailies, or wandering the open world or roleplaying with a guild.

In Guild Wars 1 -and- 2, the endgame is literally -everything-.