GW2: The beginning… – Looking back 4 years (Blaugust Post 17)

Guild Wars 2’s fourth anniversary is coming up in a couple of days. The headstart began on August 25, 2012. Gaile asked for screenshots from the launch weekend on the official forum and I figured this is a great opportunity to get nostalgic here in this blog as well!

I still clearly remember getting up at 5.30 am and how excited I was to get “Flummi” for my asura. “Flummi” is the German word for “bouncy ball” and it just fits perfectly to her while keeping with the naming standards for asura. :p Anyway, the first time I wrote about Guild Wars 2 after its launch was on August 29. So I gave the game 5 days before I wrote about my impressions.

I haven’t had this much fun in a game in years! What usually annoys me in MMOs does not exist in Guild Wars 2. There is no “queuing” to kill a named quest mob. There is no kill stealing in general. And no stealing of resource nodes either!

What’s amazing is that now, four years later, this seems to be a thing of the past! While some games, like Rift, had that feature as well that you can hit on mobs and both get rewards, other games, like Wildstar, implemented it after the players loudly asked for it! At least in my opinion, since Guild Wars 2 had those multiplayer-friendly features, gamers have come to expect it to be similar in other games as well. Especially the inability to “steal” a resource node is something that I still love!

There is one thing that I dearly miss from the beginning of Guild Wars 2: Simply strolling through a map and seeing where my nose leads me. The new maps in the Heart of Maguuma don’t really invite me to do that much. Instead, I always get the feeling that I have to rush from A to B in order to participate and get a map reward. The original maps feel slower and calmer. It makes sense story-wise not to have that with the new maps, but when it comes to exploration, these maps are just filled with events, meta-events and lots and lots of mobs.

Of course, there is a screenshot gallery attached to that impressions piece, but I still went through my old screenshot folder again to see what else I can dig up.

Guild Wars 2 First Screenshot Aug 25 2012 6.13amThis was the very first screenshot I took in the game, apparently. It’s from August 25, 2012, 6.13 am. To be honest, I do not know what I am doing there. It looks like a male human guardian and I never actually intended to have that character. I took another screenshot of that guy and then there is a lot of screenshots of the character creation screen to make sure that I create Flummi and can recreate her later on if I wanted to make a change.

GW2_First picture Flummi

This is the first screenshot I took of Flummi in the game. As you can see by the target I have focused, I obviously really loved little Shrieksy. Why can’t we have that one as a mini, by the way? Also, please note the little armor icon. Yeah, I was a n00b and apparently died in the very beginning already. :p

I was very impressed with how the world looked but had not yet figured out how to get around having your character shown in the screenshot. Back then, there was no first person view (when was it that they implemented it? Not too long ago actually, right?). But I think it actually works pretty well with this screenshot!

GW2_Aug 26_2012

After that, I mostly used /sleep and then moved the camera around to take scenery screenshots without having my character visible. But I am still so happy that they gave us the 1st person view, so I don’t have to use that workaround anymore!

GW2_Character Screen Aug 2012

This character doesn’t even exist anymore. Paeroka is now an asura engineer who has yet to hit level 80 (she will get there through Tomes of Knowledge). I have a male charr engineer, so there has been no need to play her so far. The screenshot also shows the bug where parts of the faces of the characters were missing in the preview pictures below. Third from the left shows Paerjja, my asura warrior, back when she still had hair. I switched to a mohawk and the stripes on her skin later. The next one on her right is my male sylvari thief, then my male asura elementalist. Both are alive and well! The other two aren’t around anymore either. I switched a lot in the beginning until I was really happy with the race/class combinations and the looks of my characters.

GW2_Maguuma Jungle_Aug 2012

This screenshot is from August 27, 2012. As you can see, it apparently did not take me long to figure out ways to hide my character! :p

Last but not least, the first world boss that I defeated. I deliberately did not look for locations of these bosses as I instead wanted to randomly stumble upon them in the world.

GW2_Jungle Worm_Aug 2012

Okay, I lied. I just have to throw this picture in as well, representative of the ton of pictures showing the Black Citadel and the charr areas that followed as even to this day, these are my favourite parts of Tyria! It was taken on August 28, 2012.

GW2_Black Citadel_Aug 2012

Cities Skylines: Natural Disasters (Blaugust Post 16)

A few days ago, I had seen that Cities Skylines will get another expansion and that they planned to announce it at gamescom. On Wednesday evening while chatting with bookahnerk, I said to him: “I am interested, but nothing more. As much as I like the game, it just can’t keep me playing. I guess what I’m missing is something like disasters to keep me on my toes.”

When the announcement started on Twitch, I was watching it and was really hoping that it would be something I would like, at least (After Dark was great, Snowfall wasn’t if you ask me). However, they managed to exceed my expectations as they will apparently deliver exactly what I wanted!

The expansion/DLC will release at some point “in winter”. Boo to that! I really wish I could get my hands on it now. Or at least see some more. They did not have anything to show other than this trailer.

One thing they said got me really excited as well: The “disaster editor” will be free for everybody. So modders can create scenarios for us to play! And old save games will work with Natural Disasters as well, so you can now build the perfect city that you want to play with disasters once it’s launched. :) Not much else is known at the moment, I think. At least, there is no price tag to it yet and no definite release date other than “in winter”. But at least, there is a Steam website for it already.

So, I went from “I want to know what the DLC will be, but I will probably not buy it” to “OMG! GIEF NOW!” within only a couple of hours. :)

Atlas Reactor Giveaway: Grey’s Citadel Skin, Loot Matrices and more beta codes!

(Update August 22, 9 pm local time: This giveaway is closed. All winners will get their codes via email, so you won’t have to do anything. Just wait a bit…)

Trion has been very generous and as such, we did not only get codes for Rift, but codes for Atlas Reactor as well. In case you have not heard about the game yet, Atlas Reactor is a turn-based battle arena. It has the obligatory PvP mode, but it also has a nice PvE mode where you can either play against bots with other players or purely with and against NPCs. So even if you like such a game but do not like PvP at all, Atlas Reactor offers you the chance to enjoy it anyway.

Devilian Shimmering Devil Wings

Having said that, we are giving away 10 beta codes. Atlas Reactor has a “Free Mode” which is available right now already. Download the game and play it. However, there are some restrictions. Once you buy the game, you are free from all these restrictions. Or, if you use a beta code, you are free from these restrictions throughout the beta. So, even if those codes are not necessary to try out the game per se, they still add some very nice convenience (like being able to try out all freelancers right away). Once the game goes live, you will either return to the “Free Mode” restrictions or you can buy the game to get rid of them.

Please keep in mind that there is going to be a wipe before the game launches! But the skin will stay and you will receive these extra loot matrices again.

Atlas Reactor_Loot Matrix

In addition, we also have 10 Grey’s Citadel Skins and Loot Matrices to give away. The first is an “exclusive” skin for Grey, one of the freelancers in Atlas Reactor. The second is a reward you get for gaining a season level. Loot matrices can also be bought in the store in case you want your unlocks faster. As I wrote above, there will be a wipe, so your unlocks will be gone once the game launches. However, you will get the two loot matrix items again:

“Players who redeem these codes will get these Loot Matrix items again after the post-Beta wipe when Atlas Reactor launches.”

I am not sure how many Atlas Reactor players follow our blog and/or how many of our readers are interested in the game. So we will split as we did the last time: Write “Beta” and/or “Grey” in the comment field (you can try your luck with both prizes).

So, once again, there are the prizes:

  • 10x Beta Code
  • 10x Grey’s Citadel Skin + 2 Loot Matrix items

Rules and Important Notes

  1. One entry per person! Please stay fair! Your IP address gets logged when you comment, so we can see if you try to enter several times.
  2. Leave a comment with the keyword “Beta” and/or “Grey” to enter the giveaway.
  3. Leave a valid email address when commenting. It will only be used by us for contacting the winners and nothing else! Enter said email address into the “email” field, do not add it to the comment field as that one is public! We will send an email to the winners with the codes you’ve won.
  4. The codes are only valid until the first Monday of next month (September 5). It’s probably best for you to enter them right away at the official website.
  5. No debating about the outcome! We will randomly choose the winners.
  6. This giveaway will run from today until 22. August (9 pm our time!). Click the link to check for the time in your timezone.
  7. If you have not commented here before, your comment will have to be approved by me or bookahnerk before it becomes publicly available. Do not make a second or even a third comment. We will approve your comment as soon as we can! :)

Last but not least, good luck to everybody who participates!

(This post is part of Blaugust.)

Rift Giveaway: Racing Snails and Radar Corgis

Rift Racing Snail mount and Radar Corgi companion

Update (August 21): This giveaway is now closed. The winners will be announced shortly!

We just received more codes for the Racing Snail and Radar Corgis!

In total, we are giving away the Racing Snail as well as the Radar Corgi to 10 lucky winners! All you have to do is read the “Rules and Important Notes” below before participating.

It is also important to note that these codes will expire on the first Monday of next month which will be September 5. If you win these codes, please make sure to enter them on your Trion Worlds account website before that date!

Rules and Important Notes

  1. One entry per person! Please stay fair! Your IP address gets logged when you comment, so we can see if you try to enter several times.
  2. Leave a comment with the keyword “Snail!” to enter the giveaway.
  3. Leave a valid email address when commenting. It will only be used by us for contacting the winners and nothing else! Enter said email address into the “email” field, do not add it to the comment field as that one is public! We will send an email to the winners with the codes you’ve won.
  4. The codes are only valid until the first Monday of next month (September 5). It’s probably best for you to enter them right away at the official website.
  5. No debating about the outcome! We will randomly choose the winners.
  6. This giveaway will run from today until 21. August (9 pm our time!). Click the link to check for the time in your timezone.
  7. If you have not commented here before, your comment will have to be approved by me or bookahnkerk before it becomes publicly available. Do not make a second or even a third comment. We will approve your comment as soon as we can! :)

Last but not least, good luck to everybody who participates!

(This post is part of Blaugust.)

Sometimes it’s the little things… (Blaugust Post 13)

I already wrote about ArenaNet adding the possibility to name all your ranger’s pets instead of just the 2 to 4 active ones. It may be a little change, especially for someone like me who rarely ever even plays ranger, but it’s still one thing that stands out for me from their last update!

Another thing was just added by Trion. They have their own game launcher. For some, a nuisance, but I actually like it. I play Defiance, Rift, Atlas Reactor and Trove. So it’s nice that I log in there once and can then just choose the game I want to play without having to re-enter my password all the time! On top of that, they have now added the functionality to switch between several accounts: You log in with your first account, then click on “add account”, log in with another one and can then just switch by clicking the drop-down menu.

Trion Glyph Launcher

I also quite like the display names they gave me. That is, obviously, I chose “Paeroka” myself. But #8788 and #1110? That’s neat! Still, I hardly ever use my second account. So in theory, it doesn’t really matter much for me. But I like that I can switch between these accounts easily if I want to! My second account is mostly used to test their games with an account that hasn’t bought/unlocked much. The “true” free to play-experience, so to say.

Now I really wish ArenaNet added that feature as well. I do actually log into my second account there every day. I want the login rewards! Hmm… come to think of it, I should probably also log in with my second Rift account to grab these login rewards as well. :p Somehow, this never occurred to me until now.