GW2: A Very Merry Leisurely Wintersday

Merry Wintersday One and All!

With Ascended Armor and multiple balance changes hitting us in the Dec 10 patch, not to mention two Living Story tabs of achievements, you might be forgiven for thinking that I’d go into some sort of OCD panic.

On the contrary, I feel rather relaxed and happy.

I’m sure the primary reason for this is the Living World 2013: Year in Review post, where we learn that:

a) The anticipated earthshaking story arc finale won’t hit us in December after all, but undergo at least one more month of polish and development time

b) The first update of 2014 won’t hit us until Jan 21

Yep, no Scarlet as the Grinch during Wintersday!\o/

What if... Scarlet was responsible for creating Ascended armor? (No, no, we're just not going there...)
What if… Scarlet was responsible for creating Ascended armor? (No, no, we’re just not going there…)

Furthermore, more polish on the updates can only be a good thing.

The storytelling of Queen’s Jubilee and Tower of Nightmares wasn’t -too- bad, for example, when they appeared to have time to lovingly polish stuff up, while the hack job of the Thaumanova story mode needs to be taken out the back and shot.

(If you actually do the fractal proper, there’s only Dessa’s voice for example, rather than an incoherent and unrecognizable chorus of altered speech.)

At least -try- to do the damn finale justice, eh?

Cinematic cutscenes are definitely a winner where storytelling is concerned.
Fer instance, cinematic cutscenes are definitely a winner where storytelling is concerned.

It would be a terrible letdown after stringing us along for a year if another hack job was done on the storytelling and narration.

The character snippets and knowledge-dropping in The Nightmare is Over aftermath aren’t too shabby though:

Quaggan thinks quaggan is in looOooOve! (dawwww)
Quaggan thinks quaggan is in looOooOve! (dawwww)

Also, I guess that means we have at very least three weeks and possibly up to six weeks to frolic in the Wintersday snow and deal with the aftermath of the tower collapse in Kessex Hills.

Which is a tremendously freeing thought.

The smorgasbord of activities that I could be doing in Guild Wars 2 has increased (Nightmare living story? Wintersday activities? Fractals? Dungeons? Tequatl? WvW? Work on an Ascended something? Experiment with new builds? Earn gold towards a gem shop luxury? Craft? Gather? Farm? Level a new character? Actually PvP for gold and rank?) but the time pressure has not correspondingly ramped up.

This is how I like my MMOs. Full of lateral progression options, so I won’t get bored of doing the same old one thing to death, but with stuff to do and no obligation to rush.

Oh, I’m sure certain hardcore fractal and WvW types are all about trying to eke out that tiny stat gain of advantage over others, and they might be feeling the pressure of all those slots to fill with Ascended stuff, but well, if that’s how they like to play the game, all power to them.

As long as it doesn’t become -necessary- for everyone else to do the same just to play the game. (I don’t think the culture will progress that far that fast, not until at least one more year has gone by.)

In fact, I’d say that where fractals and agony resistance is concerned – something I personally hate the concept of, incrementing a tiny stat that limits how high you can go – the addition of more slots has increased the options for how to get sufficient AR. Versatile simple infusions are cheap and go anywhere.

Fractal level being account bound finally allowed me to take my dungeon warrior into level 18+ fractals where my first badly built guardian bogged down. I finally crossed into the level 20 level range, where infusing rings for cheap and adding on further AR via all those +1 AR infusions that drop out of every fractal end chest was now another viable option.

I suppose I will get Ascended armor at some point, but probably later than sooner. I’m more of a fan of being flexible with multiple sets of exotic armor than pigeonholed into one role and build. But zerker heavy couldn’t hurt, given how many heavy armor classes I play.

To my surprise though, one month of salvaging nearly everything in my inventory in the search for magic find has granted sufficient gossamer and orichalcum to get my armorsmith up to 500 without -too- much expenditure.

I am now also sitting on strange stats like a set of Asssassin’s, Giver’s, and Celestial armor because I had extra T6 mats for those. I suppose since I have them now, it might be fun to experiment with them for a while to feel the stat differences firsthand. They can be salvaged later for dark matter, it’s not like they’re worth anything on the TP at the moment. Now just to figure out if I should try them out on a guardian or a warrior…

Whatever. These are month long goals. They don’t have to be rushed by tomorrow, or before the fortnight is out.

(I have a sob story about 11 days of fractals – some days double or triple runs – with no volcanic fractal to complete the Fractured Living Story tab. Only on the 12th day was RNG kind to me…)

It’s time to enjoy Wintersday.

five copper hilarity
Best five copper spent. Ever.
dolyak distraction
Dolyak clone distraction!

GW2: New Shiny Armor

Shock, horror, a post that -isn’t- about WvW!

The last patch on Tuesday finally unbugged the Temple of Melandru and I could pick up two more pieces of the exotic armor I wanted.

That left one more rare to replace with an exotic, and I sat down, bought the ectos and crafted it.

Now to worry about the jewelry and the weapons, the former of which are all green karma rewards and the latter yellow rares. The weapons will probably keep, the jewelry is a mite embarassing. I seriously have no idea how to make enough gold to buy them off the trading post, I’m a terrible money earner and spender. I’ll probably buckle down to craft up to jewelry 400 on an alt at some point, it earns xp after all, and the alts can make use of them too.

But that’s a goal that can be achieved in its own time.

I sat around for a bit, playing with my available dye colors and reminding myself of the simple joys outside of WvW.

Halp, a ghost!

So in one of those incredible moments, a celestial (white) dye was one of the first dyes to pop for me when opening an unidentified dye. I stared at it for a while, knowing how much white sells for in GW1… then on impulse, double-clicked it to own it.

I don’t know if I regret it or not. White is actually not a color I need on this Charr, it’s too bright on shiny heavy armor most of the time. But the sheer specialness of having the color is nice. I just refuse to look at how much it’s selling for on the trading post now.

It makes for an interesting way to start deciding how to coloring in one’s armor though. Looks funny too.

I settled for a red and gold-ish color scheme.

In part because it was the darkest color I had to hand, and light to medium grey metallic is so boring… and as a thematic nod to the Blood Legion he belongs to.

May be overdoing it a touch, perhaps. 🙂

I rather like it, it reminds me of a Warhammer 40k Space Marine (probably Chaos and Khorne to boot) with the skulls and the spikes and the tabard-like thing that hangs down from the belt. (I have no idea what it’s supposed to be called. Dress vocabulary = zero.)

And still has that encased Charr in heavy armor look.

And it’s NOT blue and white and grey, which seem to be the typical guardian “knightly” colors. Fits a human maybe, but not a Charr.

For the record, the helm and boots are crafted Draconic armor. The rest is karma armor pieces from the Orr temples, Melandru specifically, but Balthazar’s also seemed to look the same when I last checked.

The main color is Wrath dye. It looks almost entirely similar to Brick dye, if you ask me, except that Wrath dye seems to produce a darker black in the shadow areas.

Accent color is Antique Silver, which is more muted and realistic looking than the gold that came in the starter set.

The chainmail in shadow is Midnight Rust, the darkest color I had. Turned out for the best as I like the brown tinge it has, as opposed to something more grey or black.

In a way, it is almost fun to limit oneself to the color palette one has from the dyes you get, rather than trying to buy the exact color on the auction house.

(I sold unidentified dyes for a while when they were 5-6s, but now that they’ve dropped to 4s, I’ve been tempted to just open them for the fun of it, like cracking open a collectible card game pack. You know full well that the value of what’s inside will probably degrade the moment you crack the seal, but it’s paying for the thrill of the lottery and the discovery. I have plenty of alts that can use ’em still anyway.)

I also made an interesting observation. Under best appearance settings with the shaders and all turned up, the dye color looks a fair bit different than the lowest appearance settings (no shadows, low everything) that I have on for surviving in WvW (or Lion’s Arch) without crashing out of memory after an hour.

Seems like folks with much better graphics cards and less outdated systems than mine are running around a world that looks more realistic, whereas knocking everything down low still looks decently good, but looks more stylized and dare I say it, WoW-like cartoony. Or at least, brighter colors.

I need to do more PvE soon. I’ve nearly forgotten how good Guild Wars 2 can look.

GW2: Too Sexy For My Shirt…

You know all the griping about the Guild Wars 2’s initial character creator for human and norn females in light armor professions, where practically all the scholar classes are dressed in exceedingly revealing costumes / armor sets?

It turns out that for Charr males in heavy armor professions, they saved the best for last…

Some level 60-70ish chest piece I got as a personal story reward. I forget what it was called.
Level 80 rare crafted chest piece, think it’s called gladiator armor.

The barbaric look is better for tattooed Norns perhaps. Should have given him tiger stripes. He looks… kinda awkward to my eye.

Maybe it’s just my interpretation of his background, which would make him want to steer clear of any Flame Legion half-nekkid shaman kind of look.

If I weren’t so lazy or crashing every two or three zone loading screens since the last build or sick of the HoM chest plate, I would have transmuted it by now. The rest of the armor pieces besides the helm are HoM.

But mostly, I’m just lazy and it’s not the final armor piece to play dress up with yet. So he runs around daring people to poke holes in his exposed chest and back.