As I mentioned last week, Darkhaven finally seems to have woken up again in WvW, but looking at the current scores, we’ll win our bracket this week, but not by enough to move back up again. Speaking of WvW scores … someone must have put something in Kaineng’s coffee: at last report they owned everything in sight (at +695 points, which left nothing at all for Ehmry Bay or Devona’s Rest).
Playing on my Charr engineer, I got some copper gathering tools from drops, so I went to a starter area I hadn’t already explored to use them up (I hate throwing things away if they have some use). I ran around Queensdale, helping out lower-level players and mining/gathering every node I saw. I was nearly finished mapping the area, needing two more points of interest and a skill point. One of the missing PoIs was in the middle of a centaur camp: a run-in-and-run-away-really-fast kind of operation. I was just in position to make my run, when I noticed a chest I hadn’t seen before in this area. When I opened it, a Skritt popped out and started running around. Without thinking, I fired my rifle at her and she dropped a glowing loot bag. I kept firing at her, and picking up the loot … forgetting that I was right in the middle of a big centaur camp. Long story short: I got most of the drops and the treasure and in spite of having aggro’ed a dozen centaurs, somehow managed to get out of there alive. A fun and unexpected little addition to an area I thought I’d already exhausted for novelty.
The news that ArenaNet will be trying to attract players to come back to lower-level areas is very welcome. Earlier this week, I took my ranger to Frostgorge Sound to finish mapping the area and get the skill points, hearts, vistas, and points of interest checked off. It was very quiet: I think I saw about a dozen other players in total over a 2-3 hour session. It also nicely illustrated another issue that ArenaNet is talking about addressing: the rather unimpressive loot drops you often get from fighting veterans and champions in PvE. I usually try to take out veterans when I see them in my travels, but the rewards from doing so are usually not worth the effort. As far as Champions go, unless there are at least two other players in the area willing to spend the time, avoiding them is the only intelligent thing to do … and spending 10 minutes taking one down to get a blue reward — and often something your character can’t equip — is just another deterrent.
In the time I spent in Frostgorge, I completed all of the necessary items for my daily, except for events. Over the 2-3 hours, I’d only taken part in two events: not for lack of trying, but bad timing is part of my suite of gaming skills. And with so few people around, the events just didn’t seem to be happening very frequently. I ended up waypointing back to Orr and finished 3 events in just over 15 minutes to complete my daily.
- Gamasutra — Video: Crafting the 2.5 million words of Guild Wars 2. “Courtesy of the GDC Vault is another free session video from GDC Online 2012. In this lecture, Guild Wars 2 lead writer Bobby Stein and narrative designer Angel Leigh McCoy share the challenges of going from co-op RPG to MMORPG: building on the lore, writing the text, and managing the voiceovers. The duo also highlights the importance of the designer/writer relationship. They explained how they did not stifle designers’ creativity for those who wanted to help with the narrative. However, polishing up their writing to maintain a consistent voice and level of quality was essential.”
- Dulfy.net — GW2 Colin Johanson MMORPG Livestream transcript – Jan 18. “A transcript and summary of the MMORPG.com livestream with GW2 developer Colin Johanson.”
- GW2Guru — ArenaNet SoundCloud Page. “Recently, ArenaNet pointed out that they have been uploading various music and sound clips to their SoundCloud page. You can check out their uploads here. If anything, you should listen to the voiceover outtakes. Poor Logan, INDEED. Also, I think Zojja has a serious drug problem.”
- ZAM — Guild Wars 2: Colin Johanson Interview. “No other MMO has made an impact on the industry as much as Guild Wars 2 (GW2) has this past year. Aside from the plethora of prizes it has won from journalists and the public alike, its launch has sent ripples through the industry that can be seen in various upcoming titles. After launching ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 manifesto for the first half of 2013, Game Director Colin Johanson set a precious hour aside to talk to me about the response to the outline, the ideas behind the plotted course and what else might be over the horizon.”
- GuildWars2.com — Flame and Frost: Prelude. “The sky falls and the ground shakes in the lands of the north. Charr and norn refugees crawl from the wreckage of their homes in the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau, struggling to find shelter in the south. The call goes out for volunteers to assist the victims in this time of need, when earth and sky seem to have become the enemy… Flame and Frost: Prelude is the prologue to a multi-stage narrative that will bring big changes to Guild Wars 2 in the months to come.”
- On the official Guild Wars 2 forums, Regina Buenaobra posted on the topic Incoming Mounts??: “Hello, I’m here to crush your dreams. There will be no mounts coming with the Flame and Frost story arc. Also, to address further speculation we’ve seen about the concept art for Flame and Frost (and what it may portend): there will be no Cantha and no dragons coming with the Flame and Frost story arc, either.”
- On the official Guild Wars 2 forums, Mark Katzbach posted on the topic Festive Lionguard Leaving Tyria: “With the holiday season at an end, the last remaining Wintersday merchant is closing shop. Make sure to finish your exchanges before January 28th PST, when the Festive Lionguard will be packing his wares and leaving Tyria.”
- ZAM — Guild Wars 2: Colin Johanson Interview Part Two. “In the second and final part of my interview with ArenaNet’s Game Director Colin Johanson we began by talking about World vs. World and how players took the game in unforeseen directions.”
- On the official Guild Wars 2 forums, Habib Loew posted on the topic January WvW culling & loading changes: “In the January update we’ll be making a couple of preliminary changes to WvW.
1. The first of our engine changes will be coming on line to help improve character load times by using fallback models.
2. We’ll be switching over to the culling methodology that we trialed in December.”
- On the official Guild Wars 2 forums, Habib Loew posted on the topic January WvW culling & loading changes: “Hi all, I think a little more explanation is in order. First, let’s call the culling system that we’re switching to “affinity culling