Of Charr and Lightning

As I have, in the past, expressed my dislike for those blogs who do nothing but regurgitate news, my posts over the coming months may come as a bit of a surprise (depending on who you are).

If you are:

  1. A long-time reader of mine: You may be horrified to find that I am, indeed, regurgitating news. I hope you won’t be too disappointed with me however because of the reason I’ll be surprising-
  2. A new reader, interested in news of Guild Wars 2: You’ll be getting some news, though likely not as much as you’d like. What you will be getting plenty of, however, are copious amounts of my personal opinion.

I’m the kind of person who hates being given advice and opinions unless I ask for them. As such, I try not to burden others with my (often morose) maunderings. Opinionated stream-of-consciousness writing, however, comes with the territory. It’s my blog and all that fun jazz.

So, without further ado…

DID YOU SEE!?!

Grandma, my what big TEETH you have!

That, my fine feathered friends, is a Lady-Charr, an elementalist Lady-Charr. I found this ‘new’ screenshot on the GW2 website, under the just-released info on everyone’s favorite lightning-slinging class, the Elementalist.

Because I like to pretend to being a logical-type person I’m going to guess that the Charr can be Elementalists. (not that big of a cognitive leap, I know, but bear with me, the acrobatics are coming)

I’m going to guess that all classes are available to all of the races. I’m not stating this as any kind of assurance as I really don’t know, but I’m putting my toes out there in the water and saying “That’s my guess.” Mainly, I have to say that if any of the races were to not have elementalists, I would have put my money on the Charr eschewing the lofty art of meteor-chucking.

You know, that whole ‘power from false gods‘ debacle. But we’ll not talk about all that in polite company, it’s an issue best left in the litter box.

Charr being able to call down fire from the skies makes me quite happy. Not because I want to be a fire-slinging puss, but because I want to slip into my familiar Guild Wars role of healer. I was starting to get a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to have my favorite combo (Healer/Charr).

A quick note on the point of my quotation marks about this ‘new’ screenshot. The shot is, indeed, new. But it’s only really new-ish. If you’ll recall this image, you’ll notice that the Lady-Charr is in exactly the same pose as she is in the elementalist picture. She is wearing different clothing which reminds me a lot of the original male elementalist get-up in Guild Wars 1, which I find oddly entertaining.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I suspect that either the Charr animations are still being worked on, or whoever assembled the screenshots was sorely pressed for time. It’s a lot easier to toss a new texture onto a model and drop that down into a scene than it is to worry about posing it. I will, however, remark favorably on the artist’s deft use of the Golden Ratio in composing the screenshot. From this artistic team, however, I would expect no less.

There’s also an exciting article about the new combat system.

I don’t want to go on at length about it as I really can’t make any judgements until I experience it for myself. Watching the videos gives me all kinds of tingly-excited feelings and makes me long for my new computer. (I have none right now because I’m being very patient and saving up for something very powerful)

On the note of computer specifications, however, I have a slight feeling of trepidation. I want to draw your attention to the following quote:

Our goal is to design skills that are visually unique and explain them without overly complex skill descriptions. This has resulted in a lot of distinct and impressive skill effects in the game. Even a simple skill like fireball explodes in such a way that you can clearly see the area that they will affect.

It will be telling to see what these fantastic effects look like on an older machine. My husband’s computer is actually the frankenstined monstrosity that limped through college with me. In computer terms, I would call this puppy a little more than slightly infirm. Too much white on the screen makes it flicker and it often struggles to open a word document.

Even with all its shortcomings, however, we still use it for online gaming. He still plays World of Warcraft, and I use it on the weekends to putter about Guild Wars and poke at facebook every now and again.

I remember the difficulty, however, when I was raid-leading in WoW. I’m talking about area of effect skills. It was often difficult, even with WoW’s simple artistic style, to see exactly where a certain spell was landing. I could never MT Grobbulus in Naxxramas, for example, because I had to turn my visuals down to minimum in a 25-man raid. With visuals down that low I couldn’t see slime clouds until it was too late.

That’s my worry about a game as beautiful as Guild Wars. Arenanet has a history of solid backwards-compatibility, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I, at least, have high hopes.

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