Bookahneer’s Geekwatch: “Tyria ahoy!”

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^). Today, we are focusing on Guild Wars 2 and its upcoming release.

As you can see on the left on our homepage, it’s 28 days until you can finally play again – well, if you have pre-purchased! If you preordered, you will get one day headstart. The difference between those two isn’t so difficult, although I have seen both of them being confused with each other several times. Pre-purchasing means that you pay the full price now. If you buy at a local store, you will probably get a little DVD case that says something like “pre-purchase box” (we got the German version, so it’s written in German for us). If you preorder, you do not yet pay the full price. Here is a list of all retailers. Some may already be sold out!

The last beta weekend event is gone and, as mentioned above, we still need to wait for one more month. If you missed the last BWE or want to see how others experienced it, here is a – very short – collection of blog posts sharing their adventures. First up is Ruins of Rin with a few of his impressions. As he says there, he is going to “break it down into a couple of posts”. So follow him to read them all! Hunter’s Insight is also sharing his experiences which include, of course, the sylvari and asura as well as various other things like jumping puzzles or the keg brawl. And finally, there is Rakuno who also writes about asura and sylvari. Read his entry to find out if he’s still going to play a charr engineer when the game launches!

As Ruins of Rin’s post mentioned the soundtrack in Guild Wars 2, I’d like to link you to the theme song from Guild Wars Prophecies. As a comparison, listen to Guild Wars 2’s main theme. I think it’s very nicely done and it’s those details that make me fall in love with Guild Wars 2 over and over again. ;) Either way, a funny detail: When you’re searching for “theme song” or “main theme” for Guild Wars 2, more often than not, you will find this song which is actually the Norn theme song. At first, I had believed this to be the main theme as well! Bookahnerk and I spent quite some time yesterday researching and trying to remember where we first heard this song and why we believed it’s the main theme. It’s very likely from the GamesCom trailer from 2009. You’re introduced to the story and the trailer seems to be building up… at one point, Destiny’s Edge is shown and that’s also when the Norn theme is playing… towards the end of the trailer. So we assume that this is why people thought it’s the main theme. It definitely sticked. And while we’re already watching the trailer: Is that Rata Sum that we see in the trailer (at around 2:50)? Certainly different from what we could see in the game now. The Black Citadel also looks a lot different now.

Speaking of main theme…

Again, it’s all in the details they put in…! I can’t wait to return to Tyria and experience and see everything myself.

Speaking of experiencing the game, if you want to have a look at the game’s cities and don’t want to wait until the game’s release, we have a picture gallery for each of them! And if you’re new to the game, you may find our FAQ for new players quite useful – or maybe you know of friends who could be interested in giving the game a try! I am also still looking for advice that you’d give to a new player.

But enough about me and our blog entries here. Let’s have another look at other fansites and blogs.

GuildMag is hosting its 4th Blog Carnival. Okay, so technically, it’s my own post and thus, it’s still about me in a way. ;) But I’m really interested in reading about people’s memories and I’ve always loved GuildMag’s Blog Carnivals. 5 years is also such a long time and it’s interesting to not only read about how others first noticed Guild Wars 2 but also what has happened in their lives in the meantime and how Guild Wars (1 and 2) has influenced their lives. As it’s a blog carnival, in order to participate you need your own blog or need to find one where you can publish said article. ;)

DragonSeason has launched their Dragon Arena! It’s all about the sPvP here with tournaments, etc. Great initiative! Go and check it out/sign up if you’re interested in structured PvP and want to participate in tournaments.

Of course, ArenaNet are also preparing for the game’s launch and while we’re waiting, they reminded us that there is the Hall of Monuments that connects our Guild Wars account with Guild Wars 2 and will give us nice (cosmetic!) things to show off in Guild Wars 2. Read their blog post for more information.

Speaking of preparing for launch, this also – sadly – means that they will not be at GamesCom with a playable demo. Sad but understandable as they can’t just send one or two people there to organize everything, make sure the PCs are working, etc. And I’d assume that most of their people are very busy this close to launch. Fortunately, the Community Managers aren’t that busy and are sent to GamesCom to chat with us players (source, in German only). They will be at the NCSoft lounge – open for everybody – with Stéphane, Martin, Ramon, Mélanie, Aidan and David. That’s quite a lot of people and I’m looking forward to meeting them (again).

Last but not least, a few more screenshots from the game. When I think of how little of the world we have seen so far, I really get very impatient. 28 more days and I can really start exploring the world!

Lotro down at the moment…

As I’ve seen traffic to our blog through the search terms like “Lotro down” and “Lotro forums down”, I thought I’d make a quick update redirecting you to Contains Moderate Peril who are gathering all the information they can find here. They will also update you if they hear anything from Turbine about it.

You may also want to follow the Twitter hashtag #lotro or follow the official Lotro Twitter as they may update you on the situation there. :)

The servers are apparently back up! :)

Which one piece of advice would you give a Guild Wars 2 newbie?

For the last beta weekend event, we were lucky enough to receive a beta key that we gave to a friend. He had already been with us when we went to GamesCom last year and everything we have told him about the game has fascinated him. But he doesn’t have much time for playing games and so never read up on the game himself. And while we had done our best to promote the game, Guild Wars 2 isn’t the only thing we’re talking about with said friends and so, all in all, he hadn’t gotten that much information from us about the game’s mechanics. When we finally managed to be online at the same time and chat with each other, he asked me one question: “How do you get new skills in this game?” – This made me realize a few things.

First of all, the tutorial is really, really bad right now (it’s mostly tool tips and especially when fighting the boss monster at the end of the tutorial zone, you really don’t have the time to read those tool tips). Not for people like me who have read so much about the game so far. But for people who are new to Guild Wars 2 and I would assume especially for people new to MMOs. On the other hand, I also assume that the tutorial is something you do at the end once the mechanics are all finished, etc. So I will not complain about it (yet). ;)

But no matter how great a game’s tutorial is, there will always be questions that newcomers have and that are left unanswered. With that in mind, which one piece of advice would you give a person that is new to Guild Wars 2? What’s the one thing that you think may be difficult to understand or easy to miss even if it’s explained in a tooltip?


The Glorious Rata Sum in Pictures

Guild Wars 2 really is coming. This is the last piece of my screenshot collection showing off the different races’ cities – and Lion’s Arch.

Rata Sum was exactly like I had imagined it just with more vibrant colors and a whole lot more awesome than I would have thought.

Enjoy the pictures! In case you have been counting, there are more than I had for the previous cities. I am not saying it’s the best city of them all – because they really all do have their own style and it’s hard to compare that – but asura are grandiose. They simply need more.

GW2: Picture Impressions of The Grove

I have to admit that The Grove surprised me. I had imagined a huge greenish brown tree that has lots and lots of sylvari living on its leaves. While I was certain that it would be pretty (as I find Guild Wars 2’s art style in general to be very pretty), I had also been a bit skeptical because surely, this could get boring quickly. Hoelbrak with its snowy region did have that effect on me: It’s pretty but after a while, I had enough of it and moved on to other places. The Grove, on the other hand, was completely different. I found myself going back there several times this weekend to make sure I had really seen it all and taken enough screenshots to capture its beauty. And I am certain that I have missed some corners.

The waypoints, points of interest and vistas do give you a great “tour” through a city, though. If you want to check one out yourself just use them as orientation and you will get to see most of the city.

Enjoy the pictures! And as usual, feel free to use them (as long as it complies with ArenaNet’s copyright, of course). :)