Posts Tagged ‘ GW1 ’

Guns, Roses, And The Importance Of Oink

This little piggy was a hero.

The sun was setting and with chests heaving we wiped our brows. For two hours previous we had been hauling and carting, wiring and coordinating. We turned down the lights and a clutch of CRT monitors buzzed to life. We checked to make sure all connections were strong before we left to procure much-needed provisions for the marathon to come.

Once we returned from the supermarket with various and sundry gamer eats in hand, we then settled down for the eagerly-awaited Guild Wars Beta Weekend.

There were only four of us, but that was just as well. Our only connection to the internet was through a single, four-port router. One of us had his desk, one had the kitchen table (to share with the vittles), and two more of us made our homes on the coffee table. One to take the couch and the other (myself) to make her home on a cushion curled with a 2-liter of mountain dew.

The sun hand gone down, the servers had come up, and we waited with baited breaths, staring intently at the tiny lightning bolt in the corners of our screens while the Guild Wars Beta client loaded.

We were set loose upon the world of a pre-searing Tyria. Initially we were dismayed by such a small group size, but eventually someone found the PvP mission. I have no idea if the Ascalon Academy mission is still Player versus Player, but back then it was.

You also had to win.

It took more than one try, but eventually we made it through and experienced the searing. Where once we frolicked among lush and verdent hamlets, now we fought tooth and nail through lands blasted by the charr, paradise reduced to rubble.

You might imagine that we battled through blasted Ascalon and across the frozen Shiverpeaks as a team, taking advantage of the fact that we played within mere feet of each other, but you’d be wrong. The college we were attending somtimes kept strange hours. It wasn’t uncommon to have a six hour class on Saturdays, for example. Needless to say, we soon became separated.

My husband (then no more than a friend who was loaning his apartment) reached it first. After hours of the desolate blasted Ascalon, and hours of the frigid shiverpeaks (it was March in northern latitudes, more snow was not what we wanted to see), he gazed at lush and tropical Kryta. We saw (staring yearningly over his shoulder) beautiful white sandy beaches, verdant ferns and palm trees, and the sparkling blue ocean.

He had reached the Gates of Kryta, and there he stayed. The Gates was not the first mission that needed six people, but it was the first real challenge we had encountered. He was unable to complete it on his own so he came back and helped the rest of us through Ascalon and the Shiverpeaks.

When we finally reached the Gates of Kryta we broke into song. We had no knowledge of the Maguuma jungle. After Ascalon and the Shiverpeaks Kryta looked plenty lush to us!

We were dutifully impressed. The four of us set forth with a new friend we had made (A battery necromancer (Well of Power) named Virgo Moon who we eventually named our first cat after) and some other random soul. In those days you only brought along henchmen if you were looking for a death sentence, and heroes did not yet exist.

That was also when we discovered the glory of Oink. Those days he made his home in the middle of the road and was impossible to miss. I have it on good authority that now he hangs out by a small farmstead just off the beaten path.

We absolutely loved Oink. Not only was he utterly hilarious, he was impervious to damage. More than once our bacon was saved by this brave little pig. If you have never gone through the Gates of Kryta mission with Oink at your side I urge you to take him along. He is necessary for the bonus mission, but he is also a stalwart companion who is always willing to offer a cheerful “Oink!” when you need it most.

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Stay Awhile, and Listen

Ok Cain, shut your yap, wrong company. I don’t blog about Blizzard anymore!

No, I won’t pay for protection.

What?

You can’t be held responsible if Malygos torches my house? Huh?

Ok, ok, you know what?

*RAY OF JUDGEMENT*

Yeah, that’s right, I thought so. Now shoo.

Where was I? Oh, yes. Shaun over at I Love Guild Wars asked the question posed by Arenanet, “What’s your story?

The story of my coming to Guild Wars is similarly the story of my coming to WoW, my introduction into online gaming in the first place. You WoW players who would like to turn your nose up at Guild Wars and snort derisively that it calls itself an MMO should know that, without Guild Wars there would have been no Tigerfeet, there would have been no snazzy druid color charts, no nothin’. I would also probably live in Seattle and work at a more interesting job, but that’s neither here nor there.

With all stories, it’s best to begin at the beginning. And at this beginning, I was knock-down, drag-out, fish-got-nothin’-on-me, drunk.

It was my twenty-first birthday, I was allowed.

The next morning I enjoyed a couple of weak coconut-flavored drinks to help with the hangover, ate lots of bread and drank even more water. All things considered I wasn’t feeling all that bad. I then demanded that my boyfriend at the time drive me to the nearest Best Buy and go pre-order Guild Wars for me. (I waited in the car)

A friend at the party (incidentally my future husband) told me about this great new MMO that was coming out that wasn’t World of Warcraft. The most ardent fans of WoW at our school tended to be rather militant in their ardor and were most definitely not the kind of people I wanted to associate with.

So Guild Wars it was. The fact that we didn’t have to pay a monthly subscription to play was a definite bonus. If I have to pay full-price for a game I find it rediculous that I have to pay a subscription. If said game were split into online and offline components, the online being only for subscribers, well, I didn’t see a problem with that.

ANY-way. I was in the Guild Wars beta. Something kept us from February’s event (my birthday was on the first), so our first steps into Tyria happened in March of 2005. I remember weekend-long lan parties at my apartment or Mr. Tigerfeet’s where we never slept and raced through the storyline.

I remember finally making my way out of the blasted and war-torn Ascalon, through the snowy mountains, and into lush, tropical Kryta. Shouts and peals of joy would ring out when one of us made it that far and a loud, slightly drunken, chorus of “Welcome to the Jungle” would be sung.

The Beta Events were heady, raucus affairs. Every so often a little lightning-bolt would appear in the corner of our screens and we would squeal in delight. The game was updating as we played and soon we knew we would be asked to re-start and find sometimes small, sometimes large, changes to our playing experience.

I busied myself with scouring the countryside for mis-aligned geometry and artwork gone awry. Mr. Tigerfeet did what he always does, namely try to break everything, and our third friend, Resda Barimen, giggled maniaclly while he pranced around with his undead horde in tow.

During Beta we managed to scrape together enough cash to form a guild. We called ourselves Midnight Paradox [MnP] and had a blue eye on a black field with the obligatory red flames. (Didn’t everyone’s cape have flames back then?)

We tried our hands at PvP, even made it into the top 500 guilds once, but mostly we did our own thing. Eventually, through graduation and general life changes, we all drifted apart. I laid Guild Wars down for a number of years, popping on to check for birthday presents and not much else.

During this time I had a brief, but intense relationship with World of Warcraft where I discovered how truly wonderful a close-knit guild can be.

Since I left WoW (and incidentally my computer died) I’ve been whiling away the hours by working my monk (Morgan Ascot) through the Nightfall expansion and enjoying the Zaishen missions.

My favorite part of playing a monk was being needed. I am such a sucker for someone in need. Taking on more than I could handle in the face of my guild’s need was what eventually led to my downfall in WoW. As a monk in Guild Wars I could always find a group of people to play with, I was always welcome, and always needed.

As I look forward to Guild Wars 2 I find myself at a crossroads. Do I play some kind of heavy-hitting melee damage class? Or do I step into my old role of healer and support? I doubt I’ll know the answer to that question before I’m actually faced with it.

Never mind the fact that it’s rumored Guild Wars 2 won’t employ healers at all.

One thing you can count on is this space being All Charr All the Time. (except when it’s not)

Got Your Back: A Love Letter to Mhenlo

Yesterday’s Zaishen Mission (daily heroic for you WoW folks) was the Dragon’s Lair. For the uninitiated (un-attuned hurr hurr) the Dragon’s Lair is a mission just after a grueling campaign in the desert that culminates with a mano-a-mano fight against your doppleganger (this sucks for healers, btw).

Each Guild Wars mission has an optional bonus. Complete the bonus and you’ll get more experience plus credit that counts towards something-or-other. (I haven’t really been paying attention).

This is the chronicle of yesterday’s mission:

To: Mhenlo (Healer Henchman)
Postmarked: Droknar’s Forge • Routed Through: Rata Sum

My Dearest Mhenlo,

I hope you are doing well. I am writing to you from the scenic slopes of the Southern Shiverpeaks. The climate leaves me wishing for something a little more substantial than tattoos, but after the punishing sun of the Crystal Desert, I find it a relief.

Having defeated my doppleganger, I headed to the Dragon’s Lair to seek Glint’s blessing so that I may take the fight to the vile Mursaat.

I found fighting companions quickly (I’m sure you’re aware that those such as us are always welcome). The warrior in the party nearly brought me to tears, however, when he demanded that all members make use of their innate self-healing abilities. He said this was to give myself and the other monk an easier time of things. Though I would love to say our success was due to my unparalelled ability as a protection monk, I suspect this thoughtfulness was the real deciding factor.

So, equipped and ready, we set off through the Dragon’s Lair. Each facet was more difficult than the last, yet we persevered. Halfway through, I believe after the Mesmer facet, our other monk was struck with a terrible malady. As we passed into the new area his body was stiff and unresponsive. We were forced to continue without him.

I would be lying if I said that I was not afraid. I have not followed in your healing footsteps, dearest Mhenlo. Dwayna calls me to be a shelter for those needing protection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure but, no matter. My skills were sufficient until the very end.

You see, someone (the assassin I suspect, hot-headed fools that they are) decided to collect a souvenir. One of Glint’s precious eggs.

Her fury was such that I have never seen before. Even with my best sheltering spells I could not keep my comrades alive, and the healing spells I did have weren’t enough to staunch the damage.

Instead, I did my best to stay out of the way and resurrect my fallen party members. Unyeilding Aura is really a fantastic ability, quickly able to turn the tide of a battle such as this. Honestly Mhenlo I don’t know why you haven’t adopted more modern ways.

Well, it appears some young Elonian refugees have gotten their hands on some rockets and need my services. Please give my regards to Cynn.

Affectionately yours,
Morgan Ascot