NBI 2016: Screenshot prompt “The New”

A prompt to make a blog post with screenshots? I’m in! So, this is part of the “Newbie Blogger Initiative”. You can find more information on what the Newbie Blogger Initiative is in a previous post of mine (as well as in the other posts I’m linking to there).

But let’s get to the prompt itself:

This week I was thinking “the new”. A moment in game you experienced something unexpected, learnt something new, or just a visual element or object you had never seen before.

I tried to come up with something good, funny, creative – and I failed. But then I remembered my recent rant about expansions and the new regions introduced and figured: This is just perfect, isn’t it? “The new” parts of the world that an expansion gives a player: Guild Wars 2 expanded its world by giving its players more of the Maguuma Jungle, called “Heart of Maguuma”, while Rift gave us the Nightmare Tide zones. So, one features a jungle with trees and several floors to experience. They also added gliding, so you can vertically explore the game while the other gives us nightmares in a mostly underwater world. In my personal case, this really is a nightmare sometimes because of my phobia of “deep dark water” and “the things that live there”. So in case you are scared as well, be careful!

Rift’s Nightmare Tide was released in October 2014 and Guild Wars 2 released almost a year later in October 2015, which also means that both expansions are not exactly “new” anymore. But back then, they very much were, of course, and that’s where I’m digging for screenshots. So the screenshots you will see were taken when I first played in those new zones.

Rift: Nightmare Tide

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Maguuma

Kessex Hills in Kryta

It has been too long since I made the last post for my Guild Wars 2 screenshot gallery. In the meantime, ArenaNet finally let us use the first person view! Additionally, we can now also glide in Tyria. I did not use the gliding too often for these screenshots, but not having to type “/sleep” whenever I wanted to take a screenshot saved a lot of time! It also meant I could walk around in first person view and just hit the print-button on my keyboard. Last but not least, I could also finally take nice scenery screenshots in the water which simply was not possible before!

So, a few words about Kessex Hills before I show you the gallery: Kessex Hills is located south of Queensdale and it is the second map human characters get to (unless they choose to switch to a different race’s maps) and is best for levels 15 to 25. Story-wise, the map looks different now than after the game had launched. Scarlet’s Tower of Nightmares had been built and destroyed in between.

Altogether, if I may add my own opinion, I am not a huge fan of the map. That’s not to say that the designers didn’t do a great job, because they certainly did! I just generally don’t really like the areas that are inhabited by centaurs. The heavy wooden constructions and wooden poles and sticks etc. are a bit boring to look at, though.

2015 in screenshots

As I previously said, Haffle’s “Screenshots Of The Year 2015” post inspired me to do something like this myself. Instead of going by game, I will try to go through the year by months.

January 2015 was all about the Guild Wars 2 stencil contest that ArenaNet had hosted together with fansites – and, of course, the Heart of Thorns announcement.

February 2015 marked Trove’s open beta.

Trove_Monocle
My character as candy barbarian in her cornerstone

In March 2015 the second German Foostival took place. I was also still playing lots of Trove. And our blog turned 4 years old.

April 2015 – more Trove… and Guild Wars nostalgia…

In May 2015 …which didn’t engulf me until May. I also revisited Folk Tale (still not released, by the way. I’ll have to re-re-re-visit it again, I think. It is constantly being developed further, after all!)

June 2015 was… all about Trove again. Oh, and look: New Lion’s Arch!

July 2015 had me hide in my Rift dimension to build – oh, and Trove launched.

August 2015 was the busiest month here as I participated in Blaugust. There wasn’t much time to play with the amount of posts I wrote. I had started to feel at home in Wildstar, though. Oh, and I gave Project Gorgon and The Repopulation a  serious try.

September 2015 – my birthday month. Not that much happened gaming-wise, actually.

October 2015 was the gaming month. Wildstar switched to “free to play” and Guild Wars 2 launched its first expansion.

In November 2015 I spent quite a lot of time enjoying the Guild Wars 2 expansion.

And last but not least, in December 2015 I hit 50 with my first character in Wildstar and was busy with Christmas preparations and visiting family and friends.

This is it. My year 2015 in screenshots. :)

Halloween in Wildstar

Shade’s Eve, Wildstar’s version of Halloween, started earlier this week. It features a new little instance and some quests in the two factions’ main cities. I did try the instance, but eventually gave up. I assume it’s a mix of different things: It seems to be more difficult for characters who are not at maximum level yet (you get scaled to maximum level, apparently), who do not have the best equipment (although this may be a scaling issue, too), who do not have the best build and who do not play their character too well. Three out of those are the issue of not being at maximum level. The latter is – well, me. :p The instance scales for 1 to 5 players, so maybe I can try again with some fellow players.

Either way, the atmosphere in that instance is amazing! And the music is just as great. I guess this is why it is so amazing. Unfortunately, I can only show you pictures but can’t let you listen to the music.

But thankfully, that’s why we have YouTube! Somebody did make a video of the dungeon, so if you like, you can watch it here:

I am going to show you screenshots from Thayd (I don’t have a character with access to the Dominion’s city yet) and from the aforementioned instance “Quiet Downs”. First things first: Thayd.

And this is from Quiets Down, the instance. As I said, I gave up and left at some point, so it is basically the beginning and stops after I had to start killing NPCs. :p Although I would say that the atmosphere is best in the beginning anyway where you are walking in the dark trying to avoid the Shadelings (those lovely white creatures).

The beauty of Guild Wars 2 – Blaugust Day 3

Guild Wars 2 has a gorgeous game world and I am sure quite a lot of people agree with me here. I started the screenshot gallery even before the game had officially released. Back then, it was mostly the races’ capitals and Lion’s Arch.

A few days ago, Ten Ton Hammer started a little competition and they’re asking to leave a comment there with a screenshot of your favorite location. Where to even start here… I figured I would go and take a screenshot at a place that I really like, but then I actually remembered the huge gallery I already uploaded here. :p Yes, it’s been a while since I last updated it… it’s just a lot of work with first spending a few hours on a given map, taking a few hundred screenshots (no, I am not exaggerating, that’s how I am…). Then a few more hours going through said screenshots and deciding which ones will make it into the final gallery. Why should I ignore all this effort. The pictures shown there already went through my very critical review process, after all. But it’s still not easy. There are hundreds of pictures now. At the same time, looking at people’s contributions over there, I know my chances of winning are slim. There are just too many beautiful locations in Tyria. :)

So, let me show you which ones were in my top X list.

GW2_Labyrinthine Cliffs_059

How could I not think about something from the Labyrinthine Cliffs? This region was amazing! It wasn’t just the way it looked. If my memory serves right, you could also hear the wind and I can almost smell it, too. Almost… But that’s how well done this region was! Too bad it belonged to the infamous “temporary content”.

GW2_Rata_Sum0087

Since my favourite race is Asura, I just had to include something from Rata Sum. The architecture is fun to look at and this piece had bookahnerk look at it and wonder… where was this taken? Which angle are we even looking at?

However, as you can see by me including not one screenshot, but a gallery of screenshots, Black Citadel is what has me in awe the most. Maybe because it kind of reminds me of my own “place”. Not that we have anything as cool and gigantic here. But look closely at the city the next time you’re there: The ruins of Ascalon are everywhere. Ancient buildings full of history, a living proof of what once was. And then, on top and in the middle and all around it are the new buildings and structures made by the Charr that have reclaimed their land. Old and new sitting together. If you’ve ever been to a German town with its half-timbered buildings right next to modern buildings, you know what I’m talking about! Of course, we have nothing Tyrian here and we certainly don’t have any feline humanoids, but the “concept” is the same.

And if you want to know which one I chose for Ten Ton Hammer, you’ll have to head over there and look at the comments section yourself. :p The deadline to leave a screenshot there is August 7, by the way. So there is still enough time left for you to participate!

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.