Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (January 17, 2013)

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

This is our first post this year. I hadn’t even realized that I had taken such a long break. Although it’s only a break for you as readers because I actually do have several drafts that I may finish within the next few weeks. ;)

As you have probably already seen, ArenaNet told us about their future plans for Guild Wars 2. There’s some interesting stuff in there. Guesting finally arrives! The good news was that it’s coming on January 28. I, personally, am very happy about that because it means that I’ll finally get to play with my German guild with whom I’d already played Warhammer Online. So in about 2 weeks, you’ll see Flummi bouncing around between Aurora Glade and Drakkar Lake. I am fortunate that both my gaming communities are settled on European servers as you will not be able to guest between EU and US servers.

There’s a more detailed explanation why we cannot guest between regions on the official forums. To me, it sounds as if they’re not planning to give us global guesting at all. With the emphasis they put on “community”, I find it very disappointing to not have this feature. But as I said, I was mainly waiting to guest on Drakkar Lake, so in the end, it works out for me. Still, I understand that others are upset and disappointed. Still, it sounds like ArenaNet has great plans for the game and I’m curious to see what we will get next.

Additionally, there are some more songs uploaded to their SoundCloud account. One of our favourite songs is “The Great Toymaker”. Oh, and check out the German and French versions of “The Tale of the Mad King Thorn”. I don’t always understand his German, but it’s still very fun to listen to!

But that’s not all that happened in the gaming world. Path of Exile is getting closer to its open beta launch (on January 23, 2013!). If you love Diablo 2 for its atmosphere and love games like the Diablo franchise in general or Torchlight, then Path of Exile is definitely worth checking out! It is free to play with a cash shop that lets you buy cosmetic/fluff items and character slots. I played during closed beta. Not much, but enough to recommend it to a friend and I will certainly play it again after launch. The atmosphere alone is very much worth it. The classes are fun and the passive skill tree is definitely something special. It lets you customize according to your playstyle and that’s what I really enjoyed.

Vanguard is a game that I’d only tried for a short time when I was looking for an MMO to call my home. It did not make it back then for one reason only: It didn’t seem to have any developers left and I didn’t feel like investing money into a game with no further support as that usually means that it’s bleeding players until only the “hardcore base” is left. Now it’s gone free to play and apparently, they – or the players – found their f2p offering too restrictive. The producer’s letter came with the announcement that all races, classes, levels AND housing are unlocked for non-subbed players!

I am currently playing Guild Wars 2 (no surprise here, right? ^^), World of Warcraft (yeah… nostalgia got me and I bought a gametime card to check back into the game. Once that time runs out, I won’t renew) and The Secret World. With those changes above, I will add Vanguard to the list. World of Warcraft’s game time will expire in about two weeks anyway and three games are all I can handle with the way I play. But eh, all three “future” games are without a sub, so that’s okay. ;)

Cultures 1Last but not least, another trip to nostalgia lane: now offers Cultures 1 & 2! I squealed when I saw that. I own Cultures 1 (incl. addon), Cultures 2 and all the other games in the Cultures 2 universe (same characters/game but different settings/stories). Cultures 1 was the first game I ever played through till the end. It also accompanied me through the first half of university as some of the game is so slow that you can read while playing. This may sound bad for some people, but for me it was perfect. I don’t like strategy games where you need to react fast and Cultures just has a much slower pace. It’s also micro-management in the way that you can direct each Viking. You choose a profession for each of them, train them, etc. I like the graphics of the first Cultures game more than the one from the second game. But all in all, I still think it’s not bad to look at. I am considering buying it but in order to take this screenshot, I just installed Cultures 1 again and it’s still working on Windows 7. Soooo… probably not necessary? Not yet, at least. ;) I’ll have to test Cultures 2, of course. And it’s a bit sad that they’re not offering “Cultures – Northland” or “8th Wonder of the World”, but maybe it’s in the works. If you know German, the Wiki entry gives you more information about the games. There is also Cultures Online, a browser game that uses the graphics of Cultures 1. But I actually can’t really recommend it as it’s pushing you too much to the cash shop for my taste.


  1. I am one of those disappointed that guesting between the regions. Yes, right now the possibility of that happening for me is slim but it is a small world, even more so when it comes to the internet so who knows what will happen in the future. That possibility becomes even bigger for me whenever they add house decoration in-game. On Everquest 2 it wasn’t too unusual for me to hop on a european server with an alt just to check someone’s house. A situation like that will be impossible with guesting as they announced. *sighs*

    Anyway, changing subjects…. I saw about Cultures 1 & 2 on too. I never played it but the description seemed intriguing. I wasn’t too sure about it though since I never heard about the game before. Since you recommend it though (and your description reminds me of Dwarf Fortress!) I guess I will put it on my wishlist. :)


    1. I played Cultures first and then tried out Settlers 4. Ugh! That game got uninstalled quickly. ;) I just love Cultures too much, but in terms of general gameplay, they’re very similar. If you love fighting, though, Cultures 1 gets a bit boring. It’s much better in Cultures 2. All in all, I really like the building in that game. And you can name your Vikings. A recommendation I got which was priceless was giving your Vikings job-related surnames (Bjarni Baker, Sören Miller, etc.). ;) It’s usually a very relaxing game.

      You’re right about the housing, although at this point, I think housing in GW2 is as likely as it was in WoW. Both said that they would like to add housing (I cannot find that quote for GW2 anymore but I know I saw them saying that and that it’ll be worked on together with guild halls) before launch and after that, crickets or “yeah, that’d be great, but we really want to do it right. And no, we’re not working on it right now”. :o(


      1. I love building as much as I love fighting in other games. It really depends on what systems they present for each. So I guess I will enjoy it, whenever I get to buy Cultures. :)

        That is a pretty good idea with the last names! It is something I will need to remember. @_@

        Hm. Good point. Even when the game wasn’t even on beta I had trouble finding any information or indication about housing. And from what you say, even that little seems to have been lost among all the stuff in the internet.

        Despite all that I am still giving them the “one year chance” to put some housing into the game or at least talk more about it. One year is how long it took for Rift to implement their housing system and I remember it being hard to find any talk about housing in that game before they released it too. If by that time they Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have housing or any indication that is on their plans then I will give up all hope for it too.


        1. I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Colin here: that said that yes, they do talk about the possibility of housing, but no, it’s not being worked on. It’s just something they can imagine being nice to have.

          I now gave Vanguard another try. It does have several really nice features and I wish Guild Wars 2 was more like Vanguard. On the other hand, Vanguard looks and feels quite old and I’m glad that combat is the way it is in Guild Wars 2, because it’s just a lot of fun. I guess it’s utopian anyway to wish for a game that has everything I like together. ;)


          1. Hm. Yeah. Those really are not encouraging words… Oh, well. If housing never comes then I will just keep with my current setup of having one game to satisfy my building needs and Guild Wars 2 to play with friends/MMO of choice.

            Heh. I think it is like that for everyone. :)

            As much as I love Guild Wars 2 there are also features from other games I would like it to have, housing just being one of those. :)


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