Posts Tagged ‘ fun ’


With a lack of anything of substance to talk about, have a nyan-tiger. (Yes, that’s a porkchop for a body)


Dig A Little Deeper, Come A Little Closer

Said the dragon to the knight from the depths of its lair.

Let’s talk dungeons.

You all know I’m a former World of Warcraft player, an active raider even (why do I feel like I’m saying I’m a recovering alcoholic?). I played WoW because it was fun and I got to hang with my friends. A couple years ago, however, I played WoW because it was INSANELY fun and I got to conquer gods with my friends. (If you’re wondering though, this was my proudest moment, I was raid leader for that and we were still 25-strong.)

Anyway! Guild Wars is great, and Guild Wars 2 looks even more great. Even in the midst of my excited anticipation, however, there was still a part of me that mourned the passing of Tigerfeet the Raider. There’s something about talking with other people, adrenaline running high as everyone concentrates on performing to the best of their ability, failing, failing, and finally the rush of SUCCESS when the Big Bad of the moment finally falls. It’s the euphoria of accomplishment shared with friends.

Guild Wars Classic has this to a point, but the majority of the boss fights do not leave me feeling like I have accomplished something epic, though Dhuum at the end of the Underworld certainly comes close. The activity I’m missing can best be described as a carefully orchestrated dance to stay alive. WoW’s heavily scripted battles are often maligned as predictable and compared to a guided theme park experience.  I at least found them exceedingly fun.

My explorer was satisfied by wondering “What’s he going to do next”. My competitive side was satisfied when we finally worked through the difficulties and conquered the boss. Since these encounters were scripted, once we gained a little experience (practical experience, I’m not talking about arbitrary numbers attached to your character) we would take that knowledge back with us and try again, eventually becoming proficient enough individually and as a group to overcome the challenge.

While reading Jeff Grubb’s article I started smiling. (Two dungeon modes? Yes Please!) As I kept reading my smile broadened, (dynamic changes within the dungeon? Absolutely!) and when I reached the end and read about the massive scripted bossfights my smile broke into an enthusiastic grin. (HELL YES!) This is the challenge, the experience I’m looking for. This is the manner in which I want to catch Tyria in a headlock and wrestle her to the ground.

The dungeons also remind me of a point I’ve made about Guild Wars 2 in the past. For every amazing and revolutionary step forward ArenaNet takes (dynamic dungeon content), they offer in the other hand a treat of the ‘familiar’ for players of older MMOs (scripted boss battles).

It’s so easy to get angry and feel betrayed when a tried mechanic is implemented in a game that’s touted as being original and revolutionary, but please, think about it.  A game can be new and fresh without all of its parts needing to be so.  I can build a beautiful new wooden floor out of salvaged barn lumber, for example.

If ArenaNet were to turn away every idea and mechanic that had been used in games previously I truly believe that Guild Wars 2 would be less for it. I respect a company that can get excited about the new and unique things its doing while still being happy to offer more familiar mainstays when they work. And that’s exactly what ArenaNet is doing with the dungeons. As we say here in the Midwest, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Of course, a bit of spit shine polish doesn’t hurt.

Another Reason Pie Is Awesome

Pumpkin Pie, from Guild Wars 2 Guru, went and turned a couple of the Guild Wars alphabets into actual, useable fonts. OMG FONTS!

I’m a bit of a font snob.

I’m getting visions of a young Krytan poring over dusty old ledgers in the Durmand Priory, searching for her lost lineage.

So far we have Old Ascalonian and Canthan.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for one in New Krytan. That one might be a bit coming though, because I think we’re still missing 5 or so letters.

Yeah, I Went There

The Hall of Monuments is a place for your Guild Wars character to put up her prizes for future generations. I already know that my future incarnation in Guild Wars 2 will have fur and enjoy ripping face.

But what about Morgan’s actual descendants? I’m a bit crazy about geneology (damn you Civil War for destroying my family’s papers so that I’ll never be part of the DAR!!!), and throw in a timeline for everything that happens in the Guild Wars universe, let stew for 250 years and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I present to you the product of my insanity. An account of my main character in Guild Wars, Morgan Ascot, and her children, as laid down in the Durmand Priory by her youngest son.

The Ascot Family Chronicle

After the youngest son dies no more history is recorded. Instead I’ve set myself up a history for any human character I might like to make int he future.

The Ascot family, as founded by Morgan and Bayhas, remain strong devotees of Dwayna. Through trade and support of Queen Salma (and later Queen Jennah) the Ascots now enjoy a prominent place in human society. They are largely of Elonian descent.

The Billings family, as founded by the warrior Asma and then Lidda Ascot and Daniel Billings enjoy a modest life as Moa ranchers. They produce the finest moa meat and eggs in the Divinity Coast region as well as offering Golden Moas as pets for aspiring rangers. They marry widely and are largely of Krytan descent.

The Leovinus family, thanks to the actions of its founder, Marcinta, have never been what one would call respectible. To take the low road in Divinity’s Reach is to find a Leovian trickster plying his trade. They are largely of Ascalonian or Canthan descent.

Also, I have fanart.

I don’t know why an asura would want to wear a fedora (other than the fact that they’re awesome) but this one certainly loves his.

Specifics – Sketched and painted in Photoshop CS2 using a Wacom Intuos 3.

Like A Lady In Her Bower

You step into the world. You can feel the gravel as it crunches under your boot, the sole of your foot registers the irregularities through the leather. A crisp morning breeze carries eddies of mist redolent with moisture and the earthy scent of forest loam. It’s only just sunrise and the first rays of dawn are arcing overhead, gilding the sky. In the distance you hear the raspy waark  of a moa’s call, made indistinct and muddy by the mist. All around you the world stirs to life.

You have never come this way before. The gentle swell of the distant hills, while evoking some vestige of memory, are still largely unfamiliar. In your previous life you traveled these lands and plumbed their secrets. You pulled back the curtains and laid Tyria’s deepest mysteries bare to the light of day. And yet, two-hundred and fifty years later she has drawn the cloak of the unknown about her again. She waits for you. Her eyes say ‘come hither’ but her bowers and her forests hold unknown dangers. She is intoxicating and treacherous. She is unmapped, untamed, wild.

Your ears strain and you think back to that moa’s call you heard. Was it truly a moa hiding in the early morning mists, waking with the dawn, or was it the call of something more dangerous, something sinister? Where you thought the day held splendor and promise, now you wonder at what the shadows may hide. You fear the rocks that Tyria’s siren call may have hidden. What lies beyond those hills, hidden deep in the valleys? None have passed this way who can tell you.

Tyria is as changing as the shifting sands. She is duplicitous and fickle. The way things are is not the way they will be, which are not the way they were. You may spend all day adventuring upon the heath, learning its secrets, only to find that new terrors arise during the gloaming hours. Watch now, as the sun murders the sky and stains the world with red. Tyria has prepared new trials for you when the lights go out. The hours are not the same and those you once called ‘friend’ may in truth be false.

So keep your wits about you, hero. Come to Tyria forewarned of her volatile wiles and you just may survive long enough to answer the oft-asked question…

What’s your story?


I’m thinking of turning this into some kind of spoken-word deal. What do you think, is this something you would like to hear?

Also, I have finally stepped into the world of twitter. I should have an icon link up on my sidebar shortly. I plan on using it to let people know when I’m in-game and playing.

Also, Hunter and I did NOT coordinate. I honestly don’t know how that happened.

Wash Your Paws Before Dinner

Hunter, you were spot on. I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED that charr run on all fours (At least until they pull out weapons, then it’s back paws only). I don’t think I can over-state how excited I am about that. It scratches my bestial itch. I’m not a furry, but I do enjoy the primal nature inherent in beast-like classes and races. The charr give me the same satisfaction that I had from playing a feral druid in WoW. And now I can feel bestial and cast spells if I want to! (instead of being an overweight moon chicken) It kind of puts the kibosh on skirts though. My mattress is on the floor and if I try to wear a nightgown to bed (sometimes I feel like being ye olde Tiger) I just end up tripping all over it and eventually breaking either the nightgown, nightstand, or myself.

I’m clumsy. Shut up.

Where was I? Charr on all fours. Excellent.

Also special thanks to Guild Mag for posting the unofficial gameplay video of the charr on their itunes stream. I can see that at work. More please!

The first videos I saw, however, were of the human starting areas.

Here’s some of my initial reactions:

• I’m not a fan of the glowing halo around monsters and allies. After watching the charr video though I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It will certainly make selecting monsters and allies easier. In GWC I rely heavily on tab-targeting and my party window. Every time I try to select from models on the screen I fail miserably and give up in disgust.

• I’m pretty underwhelmed with the User Interface, but that’s not a big deal. Remember what the GWC beta interface looked like? (I actually liked the beta interface btw)

Yeah. I’m sure it’ll get a nice coat of “ooh shiny” before the game goes live. As far as the layout of the interface goes I like it just fine, actually I like it a lot. If there’s clickable things on the left I wish they were on the right where the energy bar is (e.g., swapped) but that’s just because that when playing I usually keep my mouse in the right half of my screen. GWC offers a stupid amount of built-in customization options for the interface. I have no reason to doubt it’ll be any different for GW2.

I’m getting a strong WAR vibe from it. I think it has to do with the objectives being in an itemized list in the upper-right hand corner. That’s not a bad thing, I really enjoyed WAR. I think that vibe comes from just seeing the human areas however. Once I saw the charr video that vibe wasn’t there, but once again, I’d like to stress that I don’t consider the WAR vibe to be a bad thing at all.

Also, hunter you have my eternal gratitude for posting a screenshot using photobucket! It’s hanging out in an extra tab, not pulling bandwidth (like a video would) and not getting me in trouble. You’re awesome man.

(notice how I just gave up using bullet points? Yeah what happened there?)

In the video that GuildMag posted, Martin seems to be playing a warrior and I’m excited to see that the character still feels very lithe. I’m not a fan of big and bulky which is why I usually shy away from heavily-armored professions. If I can get the lean jungle cat feeling from the charr I just might be sold on playing a warrior.

My thoughts on the charr video:

• Martin doesn’t do a very good job of “don’t stand in the bad” but I guess if you’re a developer playing a tricked out character it doesn’t matter all that much.

• Gender lines for the charr are feeling a little blurred. It’s probably just because of the video quality but I really have to squint at those tails.

• That dual-mace spin-attack skill looks really cool. I want ten.

• I like the brush-stroke activation bars. More of their painterly aesthetic.

• Turrets! Turrets are always fun.

• Steeleye Span can be overrun. I’m thinking it probably won’t be mobile. Ah well.

• I like the map functionality. The zoom and fade effects when pulling it up and down are very nice. It looks big. I mean really big.

• Also moas. /cheer.

• The sounds in the NPC communication ‘windows’ (they’re not exactly windows) reminds me of Kingdom Hearts. I’m not too crazy about it. (I didn’t care for Kingdom Hearts and I don’t feel its cartoony aesthetic fits with GW2.) That’s just my opinion though, and the sound could have been distorted.

• Who let those harpies out of Elona? Bad harpy, no biscuit! I haaaaaated Elonian harpies. Heket too.

I was really excited to finally hear from some animators on ArenaNet’s blog. I love working in 3D in general, but animation is my passion. Heron Prior mentioned that the dragon wasn’t mocapped and I’m curious to know who asked about that. How do you mocap a dragon, really? Toss a cat on the ground? It would just be easier to animate by hand.

All in all, it’s still a game I really want to play. I can’t wait to see some higher-quality in-game footage. That’s going to be fantastic.

Let’s Squee In Color

Click for larger!

Tiger stripes are hard to draw mm’k?