Tag Archives: ArenaNet

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (December 15, 2014)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting gaming news.

I am mainly using this column – and with it, this charming asura you can see on the left – to announce that the winners of our first week’s giveaway have been chosen. Once again, congratulations to Wedge and Kalabajooie!

Don’t forget that week 2 is still going on! If you want to own a mini llama, here is your chance to win one of the two we are giving away! Also, here is a hint: We actually have three codes… one is… waiting for a special moment. ;) Speaking of hints: I added two more to the llama giveaway. Here is the full text:

This NPC has blonde hair.
Okay, maybe it’s fur.
And not all of the fur is blonde.
There is some white added into the mix.
This NPC was a Tribune once in the Blood Legion.

And the German translation (because I don’t have the time to translate this very article here):

Dieser NPC hat blondes Haar.
Okay, vielleicht ist es Fell.
Und nicht das komplette Fell ist blond.
Weiß ist auch dabei.
Dieser NPC war einmal Tribun bei der Blut-Legion.

Just remember: Leave a comment on the actual giveaway’s post and give us the name of the NPC (English OR German) in order to enter!

Week 3 will be starting tomorrow, so check back here for a chance to win some more stuff (no, no mini llama this week…).

And last but not least, we are also participating as a host for Guild Wars 2’s Window Decoration Contest. Check our blog post for more information and don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you’ve got any questions about this contest!

We have also just recently changed the layout and the colour scheme of this blog a bit. I have to admit, I got bored with the dark red background and the blog text being squished in between two sidebars. I do, however, love having so much space on the sidebars, so you can now find both of them on the right. We will be working on making it actually look a bit better… so be patient if you don’t like the look with the two sidebars right now. I promise it will look better soon. ;)

On personal gaming news: I have finally hit level 65 with Meffanda, my main character in Rift!

Level 65 with Meffanda

I’m still in love with that game. If only the combat wasn’t so old-fashioned. Although movement is important, I just miss my dodge rolls from GW2… or double-jumps like you can do in Trove (well okay, I think my character is up to 10 jumps in a row now).

 

Nerdy Bookahs Wintersday Window Decoration Contest

Update: If you’ve got any questions about this competition, just leave a comment here on this blog post and I’ll try to answer it as fast as possible!
Update 2: The stencil has to be big: 300 dpi, minimal size of Din A 4, .JPG, .PNG, .TIFF or .PDF format – This should equal to 2480 * 3508 pixel.

ArenaNet is organizing a competition where you are asked to design Guild Wars 2-related window stencils and several fansites are playing hosts. What this means is that while ArenaNet is behind everything, you will send in your stencil design to one of the participating fansites. We are here to hold your hand, maybe answer questions if the FAQ isn’t helpful enough, cheer you on if you want us to and where, in the end, you will send in your stencil and hope that us fansite hosts will like it enough to put in our vote for you to win. Oh yeah, also, there are English (with Dragon Season also releasing their article in Greek), German, French and Spanish articles, so we can reach a wider audience of possible participants.

A short summary of the most important information (if you do decide you want to participate, then please read the whole entry):

What do you have to make?

A window stencil with a GW2-related wintersday design, 300 dpi, minimal size of Din A 4, .JPG, .PNG, .TIFF or .PDF format; never released or published anywhere else! Update: This should equal to 2480 * 3508 pixel. A graphics programme should let you choose the Din A4 format with also giving you an option to choose a resolution of 300 dots per inch (which would then give you an image with the aforementioned pixels).

Where do you have to send it in?

You’ve already come to the right place. See the image below and send your submission to our email address. We will handle the rest for you!

email address

When is the deadline?

January 20th, 2015, 9 am PDT (Go here to see the deadline in the different time zones). This is 6 pm Berlin/Paris time, by the way.

What are the prizes?

ArenaNet will hand out 5 prizes to the top 5 competitors:

  1. place: A Guild Wars 2 signed artbook, a signed Rytlock notebook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a Black Rytlock T-shirt, a Wintersday card, a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier and a 400 gems code.
  2. place: A Guild Wars 2 artbook, a Rytlock notebook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt, a Wintersday card and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  3. place: A Guild Wars 2 artbook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt, a Wintersday card and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  4. place: A Wintersday card, a Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.
  5. place: A Wintersday card, a Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt and a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.

These five places will be awarded to 5 winners out of ALL entries, no matter which fansite you choose to use to enter your stencil.

Look at Zav’s images to get some ideas of what you could do:

Please read the whole list of rules including eligible countries (don’t hurt us! There are some countries that are not legally allowed to participate…) before sending in your contribution. By sending us an email with a stencil, you agree to abide by the rules found below.

Official Rules

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY.

Eligibility: “Nerdy Bookahs Guild Wars 2 Wintersday Window Decoration Contest” Contest (“Contest”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including District of Columbia), Canada (excluding Quebec) and Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus , Czech Republic , Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg , Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom, who are at least eighteen (18) years or age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, whichever is older, at the time of entry. Void in Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions, Quebec and any jurisdiction not listed above and where prohibited by law. The writers of Nerdy Bookahs and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, representatives, and members of the immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside) or households of such employees are not eligible (collectively, “Sponsors”). Employees of ArenaNet, Inc., NC Interactive, Inc., NCsoft Europe Ltd., and NCsoft Corporation, and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, representatives, advertising, promotion and publicity agencies, and members of the immediate families (defined as parents, children, siblings and spouse, regardless of where they reside) or households of such employees are not eligible. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes participant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsors’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Contest. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

Contest Period: The Contest begins on December the 10th, 2014 at 09:00 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”) and ends on January 20th, 2015 at 09:00 a.m. PT (“Contest Period”). Sponsors’ computer is the official time keeping device for this Contest.

How to Enter: During the Contest Period, to enter, create a Guild Wars 2 themed Wintersday window decoration stencil. Once you have created your stencil, send it digitally the following e-mail address in 300dpi using .JPG, .PNG, TIFF or PDF format. Update: This should equal to 2480 * 3508 pixel. A graphics programme should let you choose the Din A4 format with also giving you an option to choose a resolution of 300 dots per inch (which would then give you an image with the aforementioned pixels). Note: The minimal size for all entries is A4 format and each entry must be the original digital version of the stencil that can be printed, cut and used directly on a window: email addressOnly one entry per person allowed. No automated entry devices and/or programs permitted; all such entries will be void.

Stencil Restrictions: Stencil may not contain, as determined by the Sponsors, in their sole discretion, any content that:

  • is not Guild Wars 2 themed;
  • is sexually explicit or suggestive; unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic; contains nudity;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing); promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous; promotes any particular political agenda or message;
  • is obscene or offensive; endorses any form of hate or hate group;
  • appears to duplicate any other submitted stencils;
  • contains the name, trademarks, logos or images for any of Sponsors’ competitors or their products or services;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about Sponsors or their products or services, other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress owned by others (with the exception of Guild War and Guild War 2 assets that have generally been made available pursuant to, and subject to, ArenaNet’s Terms of Use located at https://www.guildwars2.com/en/legal/guild-wars-2-content-terms-of-use/), without permission, to the extent permission is necessary; contains any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission;
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will with to which Sponsors wishes to associate; and/or
  • violates any law.

Sponsors reserve the right to allow for minor fluctuations from these Official Rules, based on clear intent to comply with these Official Rules, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion.

Stencil must be the original work of the participant, may not have been previously published, may not have won previous awards, and must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity. If the Stencil contains any material or elements that are not owned by the participant (with the exception of Guild War and Guild War 2 assets that have generally been made available pursuant to, and subject to, ArenaNet’s Terms of Use located at https://www.guildwars2.com/en/legal/guild-wars-2-content-terms-of-use/), and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, the participant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the Stencil, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the use and exhibition of the Stencil by Sponsors in the manner set forth in these Official Rules, including, without limitation, name and likeness permissions from any person who appears in or is identifiable in the Stencil. Sponsors reserve the right to request proof of these permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsors from any participant at any time. Failure to provide such proof may, if requested, render Stencil null and void. By submitting a Stencil, participant warrants and represents that he/she and any persons appearing or who are identifiable in the Stencil consent to the submission and use of the Stencil in the Contest and to their use as otherwise set forth herein.

By submitting a Stencil, participant hereby grants permission for the Stencil to be posted on Sponsors’ website and social media pages and to otherwise be used as set forth below. Participant agrees that Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for any unauthorized use of Stencil by third parties. Released Parties do not guarantee the posting of any Stencil. Sponsors, in their sole discretion, may disqualify, take down and/or not post a Stencil if they determine, in their sole discretion, that the Stencil fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content, as determined by Sponsors, in their sole discretion. Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for late, illegible, incomplete, inaccurate, damaged, irregular, mutilated, forged, falsified, altered, garbled, mechanically or electronically reproduced entries, Stencils, links or emails, or for Stencils that are tampered with in any way or submitted in any manner which subverts the entry process; all of which will be void.

Grant of Rights to Use Stencil: Each participant agrees and hereby grants to Sponsors and their successors, licensees and assigns an unlimited, perpetual, irrevocable, assignable, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works of, edit, alter, display, exhibit, combine with other materials, exploit and otherwise use the Stencils, and all elements embodied therein, in any manner and in any and all media now known or hereafter devised throughout the universe for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for commercial purposes, without compensation or notification to, or permission from, participant or any third party and hereby waives any moral rights in the Stencils. Without limiting the foregoing, participant understands and agrees that if Stencil is used by Sponsors that participant shall not receive any compensation from such use. Sponsors have no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein. PARTICIPANT REPRESENTS AND WARRANTS THAT HE/SHE HAS ALL RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST NECESSARY TO GRANT THE RIGHTS TO SPONSORS SET FORTH HEREIN.

Winner Selection: Five (5) potential winners will be selected from all eligible Stencils received by a panel of judges based on the following equally-weighted judging criteria: creativity, style, and originality. In the event of a tie, an additional tie-breaking judge will determine the winner(s) from among those tied using the judging criteria set forth herein. Sponsors reserve the right to not award all prizes if, in their sole discretion, they do not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Stencils. All decisions of the Sponsors and judges are final and binding. Sponsors will not reveal the judging scores for any entry.

Potential Winner Notification and Verification: Potential winners will be notified by email and required to sign and return, where legal, an Affidavit (or Declaration) of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (“Affidavit/Release”) within five (5) days of date of prize notification. If any winner is considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Affidavit/Release must be signed by his/her parent or legal guardian. If any potential winner cannot be contacted within five (5) calendar days of first notification attempt, if any prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if any potential winner rejects his/her prize or in the event of noncompliance with these rules and requirements, such prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsors’ discretion, a runner-up will be notified. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.

Prizes: 1st place (1): First Prize includes one (1) Guild Wars 2 signed artbook, one (1) signed Guild Wars 2 Rytlock notebook, one (1) Guild Wars 2 mousemat, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Black Rytlock T-shirt, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Wintersday card, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier and one (1) Guild Wars 2 400 gems code. 2nd place (2): Second Prize includes one (1) Guild Wars 2 artbook, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Rytlock notebook, one (1) Guild Wars 2 mousemat, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Wintersday card and one (1) Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier. 3rd place (3): Third Prize includes one (1) Guild Wars 2 artbook, one (1) Guild Wars 2 mousemat, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Wintersday card and one (1) Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier. 4th place (4): Fourth Prize includes one (1) Guild Wars 2 Wintersday card, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt and one (1) Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier. 5th place (5): Fifth Prize includes one (1) Guild Wars 2 Wintersday card, one (1) Guild Wars 2 Grey T-shirt and one (1) Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier.

Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied. Prizes are non-transferable. No substitutions or cash redemptions. Prizes listed above are part of a single prize pool shared by all of the fansites hosting the contest. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of comparable or greater value, in their sole discretion. All costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided are the responsibility of winners. Federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners. Limit one (1) prize per person/email address for the entire Contest. All prize details are at Sponsors’ sole discretion.

Publicity: Except where prohibited by law, participation in the Contest constitutes participant’s consent to Sponsors’ and their respective agents’ or designees’ use of participant’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state/province for advertising, promotional and other purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter devised, in any manner, worldwide in perpetuity, without further payment or consideration, notification or permission.

Release: By entering, each participant agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Contest; and (b) release, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsors, and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, representatives, advertising, promotion and publicity agencies, and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Contest, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents, successors, assigns, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to participation in the Contest, acceptance or use or misuse of any prize.

General Conditions: Sponsors reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Contest, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Contest, as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion. If terminated, Sponsors may, at their discretion, award the prizes from among all non-suspect, eligible Stencils received up to the time of such action using the judging procedure outlined above or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsors. Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual they find to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated entries. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsors reserve the right to seek damages (including, without limitation attorneys’ fees) and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsors’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In the event of a dispute as to any entry, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter will be deemed to be the participant and he/she must comply with these rules. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

Limitations of Liability: Released Parties are not responsible for: (a) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by participants, printing, typographical errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest; (b) lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (c) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Contest; (d) other errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the processing of entries, the judging of Stencils, the announcement of the prizes, or in any Contest-related materials; or (e) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participant’s participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

Disputes: Participant agrees that: (a) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, other than those concerning the administration of the Contest or the determination of winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action with Nerdy Bookahs; (b) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by the United States District Court or the appropriate Washington State Court; (c) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, and in no event will participant be permitted to obtain attorneys’ fees or other legal costs; and (d) under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the participant and Sponsors in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Washington or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Washington.

Participant’s Personal Information: Information collected from participants is subject to the Sponsors’ Privacy Policy which is available at https://www.guildwars2.com/en/legal.

Winners List: The winners of this Contest will be posted on http://www.guildwars2.com on or around Friday, January 23rd, 2015.

© 2014 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Nightfall, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Eye of the North, Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Then & Now: Reliving the newbie experience (1-5)

With the recent feature patch, ArenaNet released the new player experience. There has been quite a lot of controversy around the related changes. For example, your skills unlock one by one when you level up. The last one, your elite skill, is not available until you hit level 40 (it was at level 30 before). Some of the changes annoy some veteran players because when we create the 10th alt, we obviously do not need the handholding anymore. However, not all systems should be hidden and/or disabled for veteran players who already levelled a character. As usual with patches, there are bugs (I wish there weren’t, but we all know how it is… :p).

Anyway, as they said, these changes are to make it easier for new players, to keep them playing the game instead of running away screaming and to give a nicer feeling of progression as they get rewards with every level.

GW2_asura creation

My initial reaction was a very negative one. Those changes sounded bad! Very very bad! And yes, while I agree that ArenaNet throws a lot at the players at once, I always thought a better tutorial would help, but not stretching everything mercilessly without giving you a choice. You know, an actual tutorial before you start the actual game. Not this very short story introduction. However, I assume making a tutorial is very costly (and time-intensive). So here we are.

And instead of ranting and raging about the changes, I decided to “recreate” my first steps in Tyria as much as I can! Keep in mind that I have been blogging about Guild Wars 2 since before its launch. So, I was in no way new to the game even when headstart happened. I also have experience with a lot of different MMOs. Both do not make me the “problem child” of ArenaNet (as in: the one that needs more hand-holding). However, my goal was to remember what it felt like being new in Tyria (and I, too, was confused about some things!) and compare my reactions to the gameplay now with the reactions I had back when my first asura stepped into the world for the first time.

GW2_the original Flummi

The original Flummi

My first asura was no other than Flummi, a mesmer. In hindsight, while I really loved that profession, I also had a few issues with the mesmer. It took a while, but I figured out how to survive even difficult skill challenges (judging by how often I ran past them later on and found players in the downed state :p). When compared to levelling the warrior afterwards, the mesmer still was much harder to play. So she seems to be the perfect choice to test the new player experience. Luckily, I did take screenshots of the settings in the character creation screen, so I could literally create a clone of her: Flummi Two.

I also do not play on my main account, because that one comes with lots of XP bonus thanks to achievement points. My second account isn’t often played and has 0 extra XP, and 1 % karma and gold gain. I figured the last two won’t be that much anyway. I sent all my gold (4. In letters: Four… -.-) to my main account and wrote down how much karma I had in the beginning: 255.125. So, while adventuring through Tyria with “Flummi Two”, I will not spend more karma than she has earned herself and I will not use my other characters to help her out. I want the real newbie experience again! :p I will write about my experiences here in our blog. Very likely not level by level, because that would be boring. Today’s part will be about my first impression and the first five levels.

Back at headstart, I remember that with the first “boss” mob that appears at the end of the tutorial zone, I got downed for no apparent reason. “Fight for your life” – yes, but… why? I was perfectly healthy in one second and downed in the next. Does this happen all the time? What can I do to be sure to predict when something like this happens? What is even causing it? This annoyed me to no end. If ArenaNet wanted to show us that they have a downed state, they should do it differently, not in the middle of a big fight and certainly not without indicating why you got damage. But maybe it was also just a bug. I never figured that one out. However, Flummi Two now had no such issues. In fact, if I understood correctly, she cannot get downed (and thus, die) until level 5. I had no problems surviving with her, though, so I did not experience this.

The collections which were also newly introduced with the feature pack, popped up at the right of my screen when I collected an item that belongs to a collection. I feel that with the whole revamping and making it easier to understand, they could have also thrown a tooltip with an explanation towards that notification window.

GW2_NPE_level 2

Level 2 gives you your second weapon skill slot.

Flummi Two started with a scepter and only the first weapon skill slot. This wasn’t bad, actually: I quite enjoyed the slow unlocking of weapon skills per level as it meant that I had time to learn and try one skill before the next one appeared. With the previous system, we also had that, but it happened faster. After killing a mob with a weapon, that weapon’s next skill got unlocked a bit further. After killing a certain amount of mobs, the skill got fully unlocked and you could use it. This had to be done with every single weapon the character could use. When you were higher in level, this could get a bit annoying. Say you found a staff for the first time, you equipped it and only had one single skill to use. But it still meant you could slowly get used to the weapon skills. The system now works great for a new player who hasn’t played the game before, but only until all 5 weapon skill slots are unlocked. When the player then equips a new weapon, all weapon skills are immediately available. If this truly was about “slow pacing” and not overburdening a player new to the profession, then the new system would fail. On the other hand, I guess this is more part of the “levelling should feel rewarding” as getting a new weapon skill slot is not dependant on X killed mobs anymore (especially annoying when you levelled by doing peaceful things instead). At the same time, more experienced players do not need to unlock a new weapon’s skills one by one, but can access all of them immediately.

GW2_NPE_no water bucket

I remember there being useable water buckets for extinguishing the fire instead of just running through them now…

Anyway, it didn’t take me long to experience my first disappointment: The golem game in Soren Draa was taken out. Well, the little golems are still there, but you cannot interact with them anymore. In fact, you cannot use any items anymore. At least not in the low-level area (like picking up a bucket of water and throwing the water at flames to extinguish them). Back at release, I did play a few games with the mini golems. It has no real purpose. It’s just there to fill the bar and get you closer to the heart reward. I lost the game, repeatedly, because I had trouble with the control skills. Yes, I was a newb. ;) But I still had fun and loved seeing this little touch from ArenaNet! It just showed how detailed the world and the game was that they cared enough to add something like this. It’s also so very cute! I want one for myself.

GW2_NPE_level 5

Level 5 rewards: My beloved F-skill and the downed state

What I really did miss was the F skill. With the mesmer, the first F skill lets you destroy your illusions for some nice damage on the enemy. When I first started playing the game, I created several professions to see what their F skill was, as I felt that this was what’s making the professions feel distinctive and special. Even if both the mesmer and the elementalist are using a staff and cast spells, the F skills are what makes them very different from each other. Having to wait until you finally unlock those skills is a bad decision if you ask me. Or, maybe not having to wait per se. But it should be a level 2 unlock. Level 2 happens so fast, after all. And it just lets a new player see what’s special about their profession almost immediately after starting playing them.

GW2_NPE_dodge tutorial

This is a great addition! A dodge tutorial was certainly needed to introduce the mechanic to new players.

There was also a dodge tutorial in the open world and this one is definitely needed! I would have loved to get this when I started playing. Even though I had read about dodging, I still felt a bit overwhelmed when I first had to do it.

However, not everything is nice and good about this system. There is also the “navigator” (not sure what it’s officially called). That navi shows you an arrow of where to go next. It mainly led me from heart to heart and to the dodge tutorial. This resulted in me looking at the upper right corner of my screen instead of looking at the world. It made me follow the arrow, because… this is what you do, right? Other MMOs work like that as well in a way. You get a quest, which leads to another quest, which leads to another… And here in Guild Wars 2, it’s hearts and little tutorials. You follow the navigator. But this isn’t what us veterans learned about Guild Wars 2 when we started playing! We may have been overwhelmed sometimes and I know there were a lot of players asking: “Where should I go now?” but this was what set Guild Wars 2 apart. The answer usually was: Follow your nose. Go, explore the world! Well, try not to run into mobs a lot higher in level than you. But other than that, take a stroll, sniff on the flowers and you may run into an event that you can participate in.

GW2_NPE_navigator

The navigator (upper right corner) tells you what to do and where to go next. No need to think for yourself here.

Flummi Two is now level 5. All in all, it took me one hour and 8 minutes to get there. This is long, in case you’re wondering! I took my time, looked around, read every tooltip, etc. As I said, I wanted to recreate the original experience. I imagined being new in the game again. I don’t think a new player who needs guidance will play much faster, if at all.

My impression of the new player experience, so far, is a positive one. I did not expect that, to be honest. ;) The slower unlocking of things isn’t as bad as I thought and just as ArenaNet said, getting rewards for level ups is neat. At no point did I get too many things thrown at me. Everything was nicely paced and levelling feels very rewarding. This part I like and I’m sure it’s great for new players. On the other hand, the heart of Guild Wars 2 seems to be missing. There is no sense of wanting to go and explore the world. Not as long as the navigator tells me where to go. But maybe this will change. Flummi Two is only at level 5, after all. There are many more levels waiting for the two of us now and I’ll be sure to report about my progress here.

Tyrian Explorer’s Knapsack – worth the price?

GW2 Covert Charr BackpackToday is Tuesday and as is usual on Tuesdays, we get to see new items in the gem store (and a new trailer). The first item is the Covert Charr Backpack Set for 300 gems. If you don’t have a charr backpack yet and this is your favourite, then go buy it! Otherwise, consider getting the tiger charr backpack, the plush tybalt backpack (my personal favourite) or the cheetah charr backpack. All of them are available on the Trading Post for less than 2 gold!

But let’s have a look at the second new item, the Tyrian Explorer’s Knapsack. It costs 1650 gems and has quite a few items in it: 1 hairstyle kit, 1 Zephyrite color swatch: green, 6 transmutation charges, 1 top hat skin, 5 metabolic primers and 5 utility primers.

GW2 Tyrian Explorer's Knapsack

I always find it difficult to judge whether such a package is worth the price tag or not, so I decided to have a closer look. Some items are easy, as you could buy them off the gem store directly. Others cannot be bought, so those are a bit trickier. However, we can compare the items to items you would instead use in-game. I will take the price we would pay for those items on the Trading Post and will then see how many gems we would have to pay to get the gold to buy the items off the Trading Post.

First, let’s have a look at the items that can be bought directly:

Item Price on Gem Store
1 hairstyle kit 250
6 transmutation charges 180 gems (you can only buy 5, so I used that price as my basis)
1 top hat 200
5 metabolic primers 550
1 zephyrite color swatch: green Not in the gem store
5 utility primers Not in the gem store

As you can see in the table above, we are now at 1180 gems. So far, so good.

One thing is important to note: the color swatch gives you a choice of one non-exclusive (!) green dye! I checked and the most expensive of those green dyes was the Emerald Green Dye for 72 silver. If you exchanged gems for silver, then it would cost you 9 gems to get 75 silver (as of writing this). For 9 gems, you get the most expensive non-exclusive green dye!

This brings the total to 1189 gems.

And now there are only the 5 utility primers left. What this item does is extend a utility buff to last for 12 hours. With the primer, you would only need 5 items to have the buff for 60 hours (5 * 12). Without the primer, you need either 60 or 120 of those items. So, without the primer, you’d need an additional 55 or 115 buff items. This whole calculation, of course, only works if you really did use those primers that effectively and would otherwise use up buff item after buff item within those 12 hours.

GW2_Gem gold exchange

I admit, it was quite difficult to see which items are even affected by this primer… Dulfy says it’s items like sharpening stones and focusing crystals. The wiki article about nourishment also helps a bit. I looked for the most expensive utility buff items.

Buff item price on the TP for 55 or 115 items
gems you would exchange for that amount of gold
Swift Moa Feather (30 minutes) 83 silver for one; 95 gold 45 silver for 115 items ~ 1030 gems
Potent Master Tuning Crystal (1 hour) 30 silver for one; 16 gold 50 silver for 55 items ~ 190 gems
Toxic Maintenance Oil (30 minutes) 30 silver for one; 34 gold 50 for 115 items ~ 380 gems

The Swift Moa Feather cannot be bought anymore as it was previously sold by Tiggs in Lion’s Arch. I decided to include it for fun (or rather because the primer could be worth it for this item!).

 We were at 1189 gems. Depending on which buffs we wanted, we would now be at 1379 to 2219 gems. As you can see, the question “Is this package worth it” highly depends on which buff items you are using and – as mentioned above already – if you are really using them with no interruptions.

If you are like me, who hardly ever uses any buff items, then no, this package is not worth it at all!

But wait! 190 to 1030 gems for 5 utility primers… Have a look at the 5 metabolic primers for 550 gems. This is the price you pay, but it essentially does what the utility primers does, only that it’s for food. Are those worth their price? Let’s have a look!

Buff item price on the TP for 55 or 115 items
gems you would exchange for that amount of gold
Bowl of Garlic Kale Sautee* (1 hour) 1 gold 70 silver; 93 gold 50 silver for 55 items ~ 1017 gems
Spicy Marinated Mushroom* (1 hour) 85 silver for one; 46 gold 75 silver for 55 items ~ 516 gems
Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew* (30 minutes) 13 silver; 14 gold 95 silver for 115 items ~ 163 gems

*I checked for the two most expensive food items. Guild Wars 2 Hub has a few suggestions on what the best buff food items are and the Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew only costs 13 silver per piece, which is why I have included it in the list to give you a much cheaper – but very viable – alternative.

GW2_Top Hat female asura If you always go for non-stop buffs and use the most expensive ones, then this package may be worth the price! Otherwise, this package – and the metabolic primers, too – are overpriced. Stay away from them and treat yourself to a top hat (unless you’re a female asura, then this is a rip-off as you only get the mini version) and a pair of glasses instead. Or get the charr and the quaggan backpack. Or buy Mini Scruffy and the self-style hair kit. Braham’s Heavy Armor Skin, Magitech Medium Armor Skin and Phoenix Light Armor Skin are currently 25 % off. Use the gems you save from not buying this package and get yourself two of those (for 1200 gems total)! As you can see, there are a lot of alternatives and many better ways to show ArenaNet that you want to give them your money!

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (June 25, 2014)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch and the first Geekwatch in 2014! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to Guild Wars 2 – and on occasion, other games.

I’m going to take a quick break from our summer break to post, because there have been two quite cool announcements today. For one, we finally heard something “official” about the next Rift expansion. We have already gotten the new crafting profession (Dream Weaver) as well as the four new souls and the PvP dimensions. But as far as I know, we hadn’t yet heard the name of the new expansion or what the new content will be about. A new producer’s letter was released today: The expansion is called “Nightmare Tide” and the new content will be free. There will also be new equipment slots which you will have to unlock on a per character basis by playing the game. They also announced a “digital edition” of Nightmare Tide with no further details. It will unlock those equipment slots for your account immediately. We will see what this means exactly, I guess, how much it costs, how difficult or time-consuming the unlocking process will be in the game and so on. For now, I’ll remain excited about the fact that they did announce their expansion and gave it a name and even said that it will be here “this year”. Hey, you never know… ;)

Let’s switch over to Guild Wars 2. By now, the whole Maguuma trailer is old news, I assume. But that’s not the news piece that I meant anyway. Guild Wars 2 now has a tumblr account as well. I had already seen that account before today’s announcement, but I really like what they are planning to do with it. It is not just another page where they mirror their news posts, etc. Instead, they want to use it to promote fan art! The good thing about tumblr is that you can submit your work to them. So, you won’t have to wait and hope for anybody at ArenaNet to spot your creations. Point them at your art instead! If tumblr is totally your thing, by the way, we are mirroring all our posts over there. ;)

And now, let me go back to stressing over the upcoming move. If all goes well, we will have uninterrupted internet access, at least! :)

GW2 T-shirts giveaway!

GW2 shirts size L and XL

Update June 1, 2014: This giveaway is closed now! Congratulations to Aurora and tankitout. You have won the L and the XL t-shirts!

I have been hinting about this on Twitter already. We’ve got two Guild Wars 2 t-shirts to give away! They are some “leftovers” from the German Foostival. Of course, they are fresh and new! I also did not even unwrap them for the picture of the t-shirt’s logo below. That shirt is ours. ;)

GW2 grey tshirtWith this giveaway, you get a chance of winning one of two t-shirts! When leaving a comment, please tell us if you want to get into the drawing for the size “L” or the size “XL” t-shirt. Unfortunately, there are no other sizes. I usually wear mine at home exclusively  since it’s a size XL men’s t-shirt and it looks just a tad silly on me. But it’s still very comfortable! As you can see on the right, the t-shirt is grey with the Guild Wars 2 logo on it. The back is simply grey with nothing on it, I think. So, it’s a very simple but cool shirt!

Please read the following rules carefully to see what you need to do in order to enter our giveaway and have a chance of winning one of the t-shirts!

1. We want you to comment and present us a scenery* screenshot of either Labyrinthine Cliffs or the Crown Pavilion – that you took yourself, of course.
*With “scenery” we mean that we do not want to see the UI or the chat.

2. Leave a valid email address when commenting. It will only be used by us for contacting the winner and nothing else! Enter said email address into the “email” field, do not add it to the comment field as that one is public!

3. From all screenshots, we will choose the ones we like the most. Those will be divided into “L” and “XL” groups. One winner per group and of course, as always, we will choose the winner randomly.

4. The winners will be contacted by email. Please reply within 10 days and give us your real life address, so we can send the t-shirt to you. Do NOT leave it in the comment field! If you do not reply within 10 days, we will choose another winner.

5. One entry (and one screenshot!) per person! We reserve the right to exclude entries when we think you’re trying to cheat by entering multiple times. Stay fair, please. :) What you may do is change your mind and upload a different screenshot as long as it is before the deadline. The newest screenshot you post is the one that will count!

6. No debating about the outcome! We will draw randomly and everybody who presents us a scenery screenshot has a chance of winning. :)

7. The giveaway is open for participants until Sunday, June 1, 2014, 22 pm Berlin Time (this should give you the time for your time zone).

8. Last but not least, a word of warning: We have probably all made our experiences with “snail mail” and lost parcels before. We really hope you will receive your t-shirt and the post behaves, but we can’t guarantee it. So far, each of the things we have sent because of our giveaways have reached their destination, though. *knocks on wood*

Last but not least, if you’re wondering where or how to upload the picture, read the following instruction (written by Tilion from DragonSeason):
1) Go to http://tinypic.com/ and select Browse.
2) Find your picture from your PC at the pop-up window. Once you select it, click Upload Now.
3) Fill in the CAPTCHA code that will appear on your screen and click once more Upload Now.
4) Once you’re through with that, copy the Direct Link for Layouts that has been given to you and come back here and leave a comment.

Foostival 2014: Interview with Ramon

Foostival_Interview with Ramon

Update: Check out the corresponding gem cards giveaway (EU-only). Open until March 31! This is the interview from Foostival with Ramon Domke, the German community manager of Guild Wars 2 (click this link for the Guildnews version and this link for the Wartower one – the videos are identical!). It was done completely in German and even though nothing spectacular was revealed, it is still fun to listen to it and we thought it may be a good idea to translate it and share it with the rest of the community!

On the left, you see Johannes (Lord Walek) from Wartower. The guy on the right is Alex (Sputti) from Guildnews. The one in the middle with the pretty pink shirt is Ramon. Prior to Foostival, they had asked their communities to give them questions they can ask Ramon Domke, who is the German community manager for Guild Wars 2. Alex asked his community for more personal questions, so most of those below are from him.

I decided not to translate everything they said literally. The video is more than one hour long, so I assume you can understand why I didn’t do that. ;) I tried to stay as close as possible to the answers Ramon gave while summarizing and translating them. Sometimes, they are closer to what was said literally. I’ve also added a few comments in ((brackets)) where necessary (like the changes of the reveal dates for the features pack or when I wasn’t sure I got the correct translation).

Ramon starts with the warning that there will be one sentence in three variations that you will be hearing in his replies pretty often (and he assures us, he hates it as much as we do):
1) I can’t say anything about that.
2) We’re not talking about this yet.
3) Nothing is ever off the table.

He tries to answer the questions as best as he can.

1. Loot and reward system: Will there be changes e.g. in dungeons and fractals? Champion runs get better rewards than other things in the game.

He can’t promise which direction the changes will take, but there will be changes. Different content should be rewarded similarly. There is a “loots and rewards” team looking at how different things are rewarded, so changes will definitely come. He can’t say if they’ll be viewed positively or negatively in the beginning.

2. Will there be changes in the skill system or how the enemies behave? So far, damage is more important than anything. Support is more of a burden to the group.

Ramon knows this feedback. They have just released the first information about the features pack and those are the first steps towards this direction where eventually different builds should be equal. On the other hand, with the open world content, they try to implement different game mechanics to make different builds strong.

3. What does Ramon think about the professions’ balance?

He’s not too keen on speed runs or getting the most gold per hour played. He most often plays with friends and can play with less effective builds, but he can understand that there are issues, especially with PUGs where they say “You either have this build or you can’t come!”

4. Are they still working on a solution to limited condition stacks?

There are lots of developers and are trying to find a solution, but the last things they tried out resulted in the server infrastructure to go down. There was too much tracking of e.g. stacks of different lengths. It’s not off the table.

5. New profession/weapon combinations: Are they planning this?

He wouldn’t exclude the possibility of this, but nothing will come in the next weeks or months. There will be the features patch next and then they will continue the living story.

Or more skills per weapon? E.g. switching between/choosing skills?

That is an interesting idea. If they can implement this reasonably, then why not. Either through a different weapon or by giving one weapon more skills. It would maybe be easier to just put in a new weapon.

6. What was the reason for only now giving free retraiting?

They looked at different systems – not only about retraiting. And they thought: Who is disadvantaged the most? When retraiting, then it is the beginners, who don’t have that much gold yet. They need to travel to a city, then retrait and travel back. That’s 10 silvers which is a lot for a beginner. Or you want to try out something. You’re out in the world fighting a veteran, you die and think: What can I do? You can now try different things without having to travel. It’s a much more interesting game now. The answer is: because they want to make the game better and because they grow together with the community.
He gives the example of Guild Wars 1. On the back of the Prophecies box was an example build with a warrior. It was completely ineffective. Developers had put it there as an example build, but the players who brought in new build ideas every day developed the game along.

7. What does he think about the upcoming warrior trait where you get more attack speed with two one-handed weapons ((dual-wield agility)) and if he knows how it stacks with quickness?

He does not know if it stacks. But he is also “such a boring warrior” with two one-handed axes, so he doesn’t haven an issue with this new trait.

8. Is more group-content planned?

Definitely, but it depends on how you define “group-content”. 5-party instanced content? Or “raid-like” in instances with e.g. 20 people. GW2 tries to have lots of content in the open world. Yes, they try to put group content in there. They try not to have it “too zergy”, so that even with a huge group with 150, players can interact and fight together.

9. Will there be more world bosses like Tequatl?

He definitely does not want to exclude that possibility.

10. Are they thinking about putting the bigger bosses that need lots of coordination onto special maps? So that those who do this content don’t disturb those who want to level in that zone.

He refers to the last few bullet points on the April 2014 Feature Pack release and tells us to wait for those to be revealed ((Facilitating Friendly Play Parts 1, 2 and 3 which will be shown April 2 – April 4)). This question will be answered in detail in there.

11. What does Ramon think of the ending of Season 1?

He looks at it like it was a TV series. He doesn’t have a problem with the ending. It’s like a cliffhanger: Lots of the questions that appeared with Flame & Frost have been answered so far, but more and more loose parts appeared and not all of those have been answered. He saw a planning document for season 2 and there will be answers to all open questions. In this document, you can also clearly read: “E. is… (name of a person)“. What they learned is that it is important that players can see there is a common thread throughout all parts.

12. In general, how did he like Scarlet?

Scarlet was a bit of a crazy kale. She fulfilled her purpose and even if she wasn’t liked, she still caused emotions.

13. What does ArenaNet think about dungeons with more than 5 players? Maybe making dungeons scalable?

Nothing is off the table, but they’re trying to bring big and interesting encounters to the open world. They want to design this content in a way that people who are just passing by can form a group and do it, but it should also be challenging enough, so players aren’t standing there hitting “1” repeatedly.

14. Will there be more content on Southsun Cove?

He can’t say anything about this ((I assume because he doesn’t know.))

15. There is one armor set ((“Rüstungsset der Genesung” in German which I believe are the Mending gauntlets, greaves, helm in English)) you get as rewards from the personal storyline, but the leggings are missing.

He has no idea!

16. Will there be more possibilities to get ascended armor? E.g. dungeon tokens, karma.

He doesn’t know exactly how, but they are looking at ways to make items available through different means, so players with different playstyles (like people who do WvW or dungeons, …) can also get them. He compares it to the changes in the trait system where new traits can be unlocked by doing specific content or by paying gold. He also refers to the design philosophy they had in mind for Guild Wars 2 that they do not want to force players to play a certain way.

17. Will there be new legendary weapons? And if so, will they be available in the same way than the current legendaries?

They’re thinking about how to handle legendary weapons. They had originally planned to implement the feature of crafting a precursor or doing a scavenger hunt with the feature release. But since they’re now rethinking the whole system with their “loots and rewards” team, they postponed it. But they are looking for ways to reasonably put them in and give players the feeling that they’re slowly but surely working towards their legendary weapon and aren’t dependant on the loot luck from the Mystic Forge. Of course, they are also thinking of possible new legendary weapons. This does not mean there will be new ones, but that they are of course thinking about them.

18. There was also the question if there will be more skins from Guild Wars 1?

He thinks this is possible, especially when it’s about very popular ones. But he doesn’t know if it’s being done.

19. What is Ramon’s favourite zone in Guild Wars 1 and which zone die he like in Guild Wars 1 which doesn’t exist in Guild Wars 2 yet.

He generally likes barren land in MMOs. In Guild Wars 1, he liked the desert areas. For example, the Crystal Desert which looked like a huge desert, even though it wasn’t. He talks about an abandoned temple there and that it looks like there is a statue, but the closer you get, the more it looks like a mirage. Also, the area before you go to Maguuma Jungle, that looks like a desert: He thinks this is beautiful. And in Eye of the North, he says “Longeye’s Ledge” was just great with the atmosphere, the autumny look, the warm sunlight.

20. What is going to happen with Lion’s Arch now?

Lion’s Arch is currently destroyed. It won’t be rebuilt within a day. He doesn’t say what or how it’s going to change.

21. Which update of the Living Story was his favourite?

When it comes to gameplay, Bazaar of the Four Winds. It was fun and he loves Sanctum Sprint. He is also sad that the Aspect Arena is not part of the daily activities. He would also love to see this one again.

22. How far developed is Season 2 of the Living Story?

It’s all planned.

23. Ellen Kiel or Evon Gnashblade?

Ellen Kiel. His bet was on her winning because while the hardcore and Guild Wars 1 players wanted to see the Abaddon fractal, he was sure that the bigger crowd would go with the reduced waypoint costs.

24. Would Scarlet have appeared in the Abaddon fractal as well?

He doesn’t reply to that question.

25. Will there also be something to vote on in Season 2 like the vote between Ellen and Evon?

He doesn’t know that.

26. Will Season 2 see content that is closer to an “expansion”? For example, new regions, new professions, new races.

He says that the question is what you call “something like expansion content”. He says yes, at least, it will go into that direction.

27. Are they working on a continuation of the personal story? And is it possible to combine the personal and the living story?

They are thinking about different possibilities of the personal character progression/story and revisions of current systems, but he can’t say what they are going to do.

28. Will there be more blending of story and game events? As in having more cut scenes in between.

They extended their cinematics department. So he won’t say “no” to this. The recent updates also showed some more cut scenes. They do not plan to use those cut scenes anymore where your character and one other character can be seen on the screen – like in the personal story – and will concentrate more on scenic cut scenes.

29. Are they working on a way to let the player repeat living story? E.g. through fractals?

He would not say “no” and they do hear this feedback very often: Why do you make temporary content that will be lost forever once it’s over? He thinks they are probably looking at how to make replaying it possible.

30. Will we see World 3 of the Super Adventure Box on April 1 and if so, will the story be continued?

Ramon’s reply: “And who would benefit from an April 1 spoiler?”

31. What does Ramon think of the SAB?

He thinks the idea is interesting. He shook his head when he first heard about this. But it’s such an ingenious idea that it works. In general, he is just too bad to do jumping puzzles.

32. What does Ramon think of the tribulation mode of the SAB?

He doesn’t like going from full life to zero without understanding why, so he doesn’t like this mode. But there are different players and everybody likes different content. He is happy that there are people who love the tribulation mode.

33. The next topic is datamining: What do they think about dataminers?

He personally hates dataminers. They destroy the fun for the players and the result is that developers have to think about how to deploy a build, so that hardly no datamining can be done. So, building something over a longer course of time is difficult.

34. There was an “alternative ending sequence” to season 1 of the living story which got revealed by dataminers. Does something like this happen more often at ArenaNet that there are different endings or that different endings are done and the “right” one will be chosen at a later time?

In general, if you look at filmmakers, game developers, authors, this happens frequently to test out different endings: How would this ending affect the rest of my story, etc.? This happens especially when you’re working with several authors. The ending they did is the ending they need.

35. Some complained that almost no new town clothes have been implemented. Will this change?

He refers to the announcements for the feature patch and that some questions will be answered there: Monday. ((Note: This was changed and the date on the website now says “March 25″, so today, the correct answer is “Tuesday”))

36. Could it be implemented that regular armor could be changed to town clothes?

He again refers to their website and the feature patch: Monday. ((Tuesday!))

37. How about a crafting profession that lets you create town clothes?

Monday! ((Tuesday!))

38. Will there be new emotes? Or animations for some existing emotes?

He doesn’t know the answer. It’s currently not talked about, but as usual, nothing is off the table.

39. Would he like more vistas to see more of the world?

He would love to see a “filmmakers kit” where he could basically dock the camera of his character and then make his own vista/film.

40. How many screenshots has he taken?

His screenshots usually tell a story, as he never deletes them. He has no idea how many he has.

41. ((The question if Ramon plays GW2 in his free time is obsolete: Yes, he does!)). So on to the next one: How often/regularly does he play?

He has almost 6000 achievement points. It’s not that much, but not bad either.

42. What is Ramon’s favourite profession and what is his favourite profession/race combination?

He plays sylvari. He would love to play asura, but there is no “change sylvari to asura kit” and he doesn’t want to do everything again. But he really likes asura. He plays all 8 professions. His favourite is engineer. He hasn’t played it that often recently, as he’s playing his necromancer in PvP and WvW more often.

43. Is there a general trend towards one race or profession at ArenaNet?

No. It’s mixed. Everybody has their own favourites.

44. What is his favourite in-game dye for armor?

Thanks to having sylvari, he has a lot of choices when it comes to skin colours and he tries to choose dyes that support that colour. His guardian has an armor that has metal colours (gold, silver, dark bronze). His necro has a very dark green and around the dark green, he has light golden borders and a white shirt below.

45. Are they working on solving some cosmetic issues, especially the warrior shouting of gaining adrenaline when it’s slowly decaying?

He can’t say that. Since it’s not a critical bug, it’s probably low on the list of priorities. More critical things are worked on first.

46. Will there be an expansion of the API that can be used?

They are currently reworking a lot of systems which will render the API useless in some areas at first. Then they will definitely need to rework things to keep the API useable.

47. Has ArenaNet thought about implementing a region lock because people from different time zones could get an advantage over night on EU servers?

They discussed this, but decided against it, because there are players who travel a lot, etc. Or when players from Oceania are on European data centers, etc. They would not want to dictate players where and when to play the game.

48. How did Ramon get to ArenaNet?

He applied. They did not want him back then. 1,5 years later, they called him and asked if he was still interested. And obviously, he was.

49. What is a typical day of a community manager?

A normal day doesn’t exist. As community manager, he is talking to different departments and sits in between everything and tries to coordinate everything. He has to know what’s going on inside the studio and what’s happening outside of the studio. Then he tries to combine this. He gave an example of how they wanted to name something which, unfortunately, was a nazi parole when translated to German. So it is his job to know what will and won’t work in his community.

50. When Ramon sees a suggestion on the forum, does he have to tell the lead community manager about this first or can he tell that to the developers? What’s the hierarchy like?

He is the highest rank for the German-speaking area. He decides what to report to the developers. He also has people who report to him. But he is the one representing the German community. He can forward feedback directly, but they are communicating between the teams and if there is an issue in one region, it’s very often an issue in other regions as well. He gives the example of the Zodiak armor and that in the UK, it was a big issue that it was seen as too sexualized on female characters whereas in other regions, it was mainly seen as too similar to a smurf with the blue colours. ((Also notable in this aspect is that he knows what was being discussed on the Wartower forums – a German fansite)). A lot of his time is spent looking for feedback and reporting about this. He also tries to figure out if, for example, negative feedback comes from a lot of different people or maybe there are a lot of negative postings, but they are from just a handful of people. In the latter case, he still doesn’t disregard the feedback and it is still being added to the list of feedback. Additionally, the communities (on fansites, etc.) differ. Something that’s being discussed in the Wartower forums may not be an issue elsewhere or discussed differently (e.g. the other German fansites, Twitter, Facebook, …). His job is to find out what the whole of the German community thinks and not just parts of it.

51. Do community managers get unlimited gems?

Ramon would love that. They get a certain amount of gems every month, though. He’s saving them currently. But he has also bought gems and says he spent about 80 – 90€ for gems since the game’s release. He tries to stay in the range of what he would pay for a subscription game… around 5 to 10€ for the game.

52. Which Elder Dragon is the most interesting for him?

He doesn’t think he has a ranking. Kralkatorrik is funny, because of his dragon breath and how he corrupted everything with it. Mordremoth and how he influences nature and everything… he generally likes the idea that each Elder Dragon is more or less able to manipulate different elements.

53. Does the Deep Sea dragon, lovingly called Bubbles by the community, have a real name internally?

He thinks he saw the name “Bubbles” on a document. He doesn’t know anything about an official name.

54. If you could tell a part of the Living Story yourself, what would happen in it and which characters would definitely make an appearance?

His reply: “Children are watching.” He mentions Caithe… and adds a “maybe”. Then he stops, laughs and the next question is asked.

55. Somebody said that in the last 1,5 years, there wasn’t much lasting content and an expansion hasn’t been announced yet. What is your position about that?

He would also wish for more content that stays in the world, but he also understands the idea behind the progressing story. He believes that ArenaNet can do it a lot better in season 2. Players should also understand that this is the first time ArenaNet has developed a real open world MMORPG and they are experimenting a lot. Some things don’t work, sometimes they learn a lot and he thinks that they are on a good path and that season 2 will be better.

56. XBox One, PS4, Wii U or PC?

PC and PS4. And Oculus Rift – he really wants one!

57. Are you a fan of Game of Thrones?

Yes.

58. What did you think about “Red Wedding”?

It was not very surprising for him. He is one of the people who read the books. He really liked the atmosphere created by the music, though!

59. ((Here was a spoilery question about Game of Thrones – I deleted it, just to be safe. Also, be careful when watching the video!))

((Here was the spoilery answer to the spoilery question above.))

60. What happened with the Guild Wars 2 ComChat ((it was a chat between people from fansites and Ramon to talk about the game))?

He did not have enough time to do those. He did them when he had time left. They restructured and he has more time now and in fact, after this very interview, they had planned to do another ComChat. He will also try to do it regularly again. Maybe once a month.

61. How does he get his bald head to shine this nicely?

Bloom effect! Go to your graphic cards settings, click on “bloom effect” and you can have such a shiny bald head, too!

62. Last question: The VIP feature in the Chinese version and our Western version.

There are usually content differences between the Western and the Eastern versions (or one being behind in versions). When they said that we would have the same “version”, they meant the content. Content updates will be simultaneously. The builds will not be identical! The Western version has the “buy to play” model where you buy the game and can play it as much as you like. This is the Western version and this will stay the Western version. The version in Asia is different. He ends his reply with: In the history of MMOs there hasn’t been an MMO that started as a free to play or buy to play and then added a subscription. It has always been the other way around.