Are you concerned about getting spoilers?

Heads-Up: I’m trying to be as vague as possible when I touch the area of the story and will not talk about the actual content!

When the latest piece of the Living Story was released last Tuesday, I knew I would not have the time and patience to go through it in one go. On Wednesday, I usually listen to the GuildNews podcast, and I really appreciated them warning their listeners/viewers about spoilers when they started talking about the living story. One day after release, I assume there were still quite a few who hadn’t played through it yet. I quit the podcast at that point, because I did not want to know what would happen.

The funny thing is: I did get spoiled about the ending right before the patch got released. I just didn’t know that this piece was the important new story bit until I reached it myself in the story.

GW2_combat_silverwastes

So, did I get annoyed? No. Surprisingly not. I hadn’t known about it until the end, after all. ;)

I think I just watched too many episodes of Columbo as a kid. I remember a friend who made fun of me liking Columbo. He said: How can you like watching that show when you already know who the murderer is within the first minute? I replied: The point is not finding out who the murderer is. The point is finding out how Columbo finds out!

In games – or MMOs rather -, it’s a bit different, of course. Especially in Guild Wars 2, I am not sitting there watching how anybody finds out something. My own character is in the middle of the storyline. It’s not made to be like Columbo. On the other hand, games aren’t like watching TV either. You’re not passive – which may make you get bored when you already know what’s going to happen next. You are actively playing. The fights against the NPCs can still be challenging. There may even be a few good loot drops (spoiler: No, there most likely aren’t. Unless you’re very lucky with the RNG :p). And, of course, there are friends to play with. The latter is probably true for movies as well. I may even have had the most fun watching really bad things on TV with friends, because we would just laugh about it and make jokes. But I digress. The point is that while I’d appreciate not knowing what’s going to happen in advance, it doesn’t bother me much in MMOs. The story and its plot has never been the reason why I’m playing an MMO, after all.

GW2_combat_silverwastes

Having said all that, I still very much appreciate all those who start their blog posts with spoiler warnings or say loudly that they will be talking about the story in a bit in their podcast, so you can turn it off in time in case you do not want to get spoiled!

My personal oasis in Rift

With the new expansion, Rift added the “Minions” mini game. I won’t go into how the “game” – let’s rather call it “activity” – works. I will save that for a later time. But there are dimension adventures where you get dimension items and can even get keys for dimensions (more on how dimensions work here).

I have been flooded with dimension items ever since. And judging from the price drop of those items on the auction house, so have all other Rift players.

Before, I had my dimension “Faen’s Retreat” and had a rough idea of what I wanted it to be like: A little space that Meffanda has where she can “hide” from the rest of the world. Relax from her life as a hero and world-saver. A place where she can read a book, take a swim in the pond, enjoy the sun on her skin without having to worry about anything. Where maybe once in a while, she invites friends over for dinner.

But with the huge amount of items available in so many places (the Rift store – for in-game currency or alternatively real money, as rewards from seasonal events, some come from crafting and so on), I was overwhelmed. Whenever I started looking at items, I wondered where they came from, if I had enough platinum etc. I also wondered if that one item really was the best I wanted for a certain space. Or it was the other way around. I knew I wanted a shelf, but had no idea if that kind of shelf even existed.

So for a long time, my dimension had a few items in it (see gallery right above this paragraph), but not much. Well, except for the stairs which took me a long time to build! You can see the “early progress” below. Now with the expansion and the minions, this has changed. I get flooded with items, as I already said. But every day, I get those items in my bags. I look at them and think: Does this item fit into my dimension? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. I had this great steampunk-y boat and really wanted to use it in my dimension. But really, a boat in a small pond? What’s the use? It looked out of place. Then, just for fun, I put it in the sand. I put it away then and took out the next item: Wooden scaffolding. I had an idea! If she can’t use the boat in here, she may as well still build a boat there. Yeah, maybe not too smart, considering she will have to transport it to a river or a lake later on, but still. And that’s when the little handiwork area got created. I have also slowly started adding stuff to the main house like the second floor on the right and the balcony-garden.

It’s so much more fun to build my dimension this way. It feels very organic, growing a little bit every single day. Only 156 items so far, with a current limit of 570 (I upgraded it to hold more items… very optimistic, but with the amount of items coming in, I know I’ll get there soon!).

Diversity in regional design: Spring

I really love spring in “real life”. When the sun starts to feel warm on your skin again. The snow is melting (if there had been some). The first birds are chirping again in the morning (as opposed to the cooing of pigeons). The trees and first flowers are starting to bloom. It’s just something I can’t get enough looking at.

In MMOs, you usually find a wide variety of regions all with different looks and feels: The desert, the jungle, grassland and so on. Of course, regions with snow or regions with lots of sun near a beach exist as well. But are there any regions that depict spring?

In Rift, the only one that came to my mind is Tempest Bay.

spring_rift_tempest bay

The rest of the city mainly consists of buildings and water – it’s basically a little island far away from the other regions in the game. But of course, I may forget some region at the moment.

Guild Wars 2 was equally difficult. Maybe the Grove or Caledon Forest. They’re not really spring-like, but they feature vibrant colours in the pinkish-spectrum.

spring_guild wars 2_caledon forest

It is a tiny bit disappointing to not see more spring regions. You could have them with snow in some areas, melting in others. Some flowers looking through the snow and all that. I would certainly love to see it. :)

Class names and expectations

Trove Candy BiomeI was just baking some bread while listening to a Trove stream (this one, to be precise) when the streamer was asked if Trove was going to add a healing class any time soon. I thought: Oooh, I would love that! But the streamer’s reply surprised me. “Yes, the candy barbarian will be somewhat of a healing class” (quoted by memory here). Candy barbarian… A healer. When I had heard that class’s name, I imagined a pastel coloured slightly pinkish guy running through cotton balls with an equally pastel coloured axe. Never once did I think that this guy could heal. I also always thought of “him” as a guy, even though my own character, Paeroka, is female and will always be female no matter which class I activate.

Back to the classes – I do have certain expectations towards classes. When I see a game (MMOs and RPGs mostly) I always look at what the classes are called. When they have “mage”, “warrior”, “hunter” and “priest”, I close the website almost immediately. No, thank you. If you can’t even have enough imagination to a) have more than those standard classes or b) at least give them more imaginative names, I can already assume that the game itself won’t offer anything new or intriguing either. Maybe I won’t do the game justice then, but that’s the thing about expectations.

Rift_Warrior fighting

Her build is a pretty standard warrior build: Run in, watch enemies die.

Of course, Rift is falling into that category. The main callings are named “warrior”, “mage”, “rogue” and “cleric”. But Rift advertised having souls and those do have unfamiliar names. My cleric can choose three our of ten callings: Sentinel, inquisitor, justicar, oracle, defiler, cabalist, purifier, warden, shaman and druid. Druid can call faeries to assist in combat, by the way. Purifier is a healing soul. So they clearly fit my expectations. But here comes to downside of having all those nice and imaginative names: I can never remember which soul is which. Justicar or inquisitor – which one was the tank soul?

GW2_Mesmer_Illusions

For those who don’t know, the mesmer in Guild Wars 2 can create clones of itself.

What I’m trying to say here is that a class’s name should ideally give you some kind of an idea what it is about but not be as bland and boring as “warrior”. Or at least, a game should offer more classes to choose from with some “better” names. Warhammer Online comes to my mind (though they had it easy seeing how it was an already established IP): Black orc, Disciple of Khaine, Zealot on the one hand and Engineer, Shaman and Swordmaster on the other. Guild Wars 2 has pretty generic class names mostly (warrior, elementalist, necromancer), but at least, they have more than standard 4 classes and add the mesmer which is a class name I haven’t seen anywhere else yet.

Long story short: Candy Barbarian will be a healer. Okay. I’m still looking forward to trying that class – I love healers, after all!

Trove Robo Raptor mount

Trove_Robo raptor mount 1Sometimes, I can’t believe my luck. I had a look at the dev trackers I’m following earlier today (for Guild Wars 2, Trove and Rift) and saw this post where Ocho explains that the Robo Raptor mount in Trove is an exclusive giveaway item they are handing out to streamers in order to help promote them.

I had a look at who was streaming Trove a bit after that. The first streamer with the most viewers was one of those with loud music going on (usually not the gaming soundtrack) and I can’t stand that. Music in the background is fine. But I watch streams to see the game and hear about it or at the very least, hear what the streamer has to say. The second one I clicked on was Sirregular. Exactly the kind of streamer I prefer. The music can barely be heard. ;)

Trove_Robo raptor mount 2Anyway, he gave away two Robo Raptors today (he has a few more codes, in case you’re looking for Trove streamers where you can win that mount) and guess who won the second code? Yes, ME! I don’t know how much I’ve already won that was Trion-related. Probably too much for my own good.
I jumped right into the game to have a look at this mount. It’s so cute! Probably a perfect fit for when I’m playing my dracolyte (I was too excited to take screenshots, so I didn’t switch my class from knight to dracolyte now).

As it turns out, there was no need for that filler blog post earlier. I could have just waited a bit… ;)

If you want one for yourself, go watch this site. Quite a few streamers put it in their headline if they have a giveaway.

My gaming update

Day no. 6 and I already need to add a “filler post”. I had planned to post about my dimension in Rift tonight, but due to a horrible back ache, I cannot spend any lengthy amount of time typing.

So instead, I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to lately in terms of gaming.

GW2_warrior_candy cornGuild Wars 2 had been on the back burner ever since they made a break from releasing new content. Without the constant living story updates, I just realized that – apart from said story – Guild Wars 2 currently isn’t offering me what I want from MMOs. Now with the release of the new map, this may change again. I am also trying to avoid any spoilers about the story as I haven’t played it through yet. I’m still mainly playing my warrior with my thief as a close second. I am trying to level my elementalist and after that, the necromancer, as those are the two professions I don’t have at level 80 yet, but I’m not sure I can do it. I find both of those professions lacking in fun when it comes to combat. Maybe I just haven’t found the right builds yet. Anyway, my goal is to play through the “living story” story before I get any spoilers.

Rift_Monster in townRift has released its expansion and with that (and the CE I had bought), I could finally boost my cleric to level 60. When I had started playing Rift when it became free to play, I had switched from cleric to warrior because I didn’t like cleric anymore – only to realize I actually like cleric a lot more once my warrior hit 60. Now that both of them are 60 (well, my cleric is 61 now), I’m wondering if maybe mage would be a better choice… thankfully, the game only has four callings. ;)

Trove_club world castleTrove is a cute side game that I’m mostly playing when I don’t want to play either Rift or Guild Wars 2. They just released a new patch (and went into open beta yesterday!) and released a new crafting profession. After gardening, you can now also delve into ring-crafting. I don’t really have any goals there other than wanting to have the crafting profession at max level. Just because I can. :p I am waiting for them to release the candy barbarian, though. No idea what that will play like, but it sounds like fun! It will also come with the candy biome and I’m pretty sure this one will be very bright and colourful.

Last but not least, I own a ton of games that I bought at some point but never played or hardly played. But let’s not even go there… ;)

Trove Open Beta has started!

I’ve been rather busy today with meetings, heated discussions – you know, the usual. So, I am not in the mood to do the blog post I had thought about today. I also cannot write anything about the latest Guild Wars 2 patch that went live yesterday, because I haven’t played much yet. I think I should play a bit more before I start ranting about it. What I can say already is that I really enjoyed listening to the music and that I was positively surprised to see that we get a new map and that apparently, this new map features some interesting group-related content. As I said, I haven’t played much, but it did look a whole lot more than I imagined “dynamic events” in the open world when they first started talking about them before release.

Instead, I will use today’s post for Trove: The game went into open beta today! With yesterday’s patch, a few changes were introduced. Before, you got cubits once a day for logging in. Cubits is the free, non-real-life-money account-bound (you can’t use it to pay other players for materials etc.) currency with which you can buy mounts, pets and other nice things in the shop. I guess this was to be expected. With it being free to play and in open beta, you could theoretically have created a zillion accounts to log on and receive those daily cubits. Even though they are bound and cannot be transferred to another account, the items you can buy for cubits aren’t always account-bound. To make up for it, you can earn more cubits every day by playing the game. Not such a bad deal, I think.

Trove_Club World

You can find the latest patch notes here on the official forums.

If you just started playing Trove or are about to start playing, you may want some more information and help about the game. There is an official wiki, but I don’t know how active players are on there. There is also the subreddit where you won’t get any official support, but you can probably read about the latest changes there, suggestions, questions and so on. It hasn’t been as active since Trion released the official forums, but it still is really busy. Last but not least, as just mentioned and linked to above, there is the official forum (and the Dev Tracker). Of course, you can also ask me questions, but I’m not sure I can always answer them. I’ll try, though!

Trove isn’t just a game you play. Trove is also a game that lets you create… build things in-game, but also build dungeons, design items for everybody to wear and so on. Check out this subreddit for Trove creations.

And now, go play. Have fun. And remember: Dracolyte is the best class anyway. There is absolutely no need to ever try any of the others. They’re just boring and can’t compare. Seriously. Yes. ;)