Guild Wars 2: Wintersday Giveaway 2016

GW2_Advent_Christmas_Polar Bear

This giveaway is closed! Winners will be chosen and announced at a later point!

(You can find the German translation below / Scrollt runter für den deutschen Text)

It is this time of the year again: We are having our annual Wintersday Giveaway and ArenaNet gave us some sweet prizes to give away this time.

In order to participate in this giveaway, we ask you to share a scenery screenshot from Guild Wars 2 with us: It has to be a wintery picture, e.g., from the new map Bitterfrost Frontier. But any wintery place will do (especially if you don’t own Heart of Thorns and cannot enter the new map, of course!). Your character may be present in the picture, but for it to be a scenery screenshot, please hide the user interface!

Make sure to read the rules. Here’s the short version again: One entry per person. If there are more participants than prizes, we will choose the best scenery screenshots. If there are more “best screenshots” than prizes, the best screenshots will enter the winning pool and we will randomly choose the winners from that pool. You need to enter before the deadline of December 24, 9 am German time – Winners will be drawn shortly after the deadline (before we’ll leave celebrating Christmas with the family!).

These are the digital prizes:

  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Snowflake Glider, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat
  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat
  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold and 1 code for a Festive Hat

These are the physical prizes:

  • 1x size L light grey t-shirt with white GW2 logo in front & a HoT lanyard keychain
  • 1x size XL black t-shirt with white charr on it & a HoT lanyard keychain
  • 1x size M black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo
  • 1x size XL black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo
  • 1x size S black t-shirt with metallic green HoT logo in front

Wintersday Giveaway 2016 Guild Wars 2 t-shirts

When leaving a comment, please leave a link to your screenshot (you can upload it here, for example: http://tinypic.com/), and state if you prefer winning a physical prize or a digital one (and please leave your preferred t-shirt size). We will try to distribute prizes according to preference between winners, but can’t guarantee that you’ll get your preferred one. Also, digital prizes will go from first to third prize according to the order winners are drawn. Also please note that in order to send you the t-shirt, we will need to ask you for your address if you have won. The giveaway is open for participants from all over the world and we will pay for the postage unless you’re living in a remote area with insane shipping costs. ;)


Es ist wieder Zeit für unseren jährlichen Wintertag-Giveaway und wir haben ein paar tolle Preise von ArenaNet zur Verfügung gestellt bekommen!

Um am Giveaway teilzunehmen, müsst ihr einen Kommentar mit einem Landschafts-Screenshot aus Guild Wars 2 hinterlassen: Es muss eine winterliche Gegend zu sehen sein, z. B. von der neuen Karte Bitterfrost-Grenzland. Aber jede winterliche Gegend aus Guild Wars 2 zählt (vor allem natürlich für diejenigen unter euch, die das Addon Heart of Thorns nicht haben und die neue Karte deswegen nicht betreten können!). Euer Charakter darf zu sehen sein, aber damit es als Landschafts-Screenshot zählt, müsst ihr das User Interface ausblenden.

Lest bitte außerdem die Regeln. Hier ist die Kurzfassung: Ein Beitrag pro Person. Wenn es mehr Teilnehmer als Preise gibt, werden wir die besten Screenshots auswählen. Wenn es mehr “beste Screenshots” als Preise gibt, werden die besten Screenshots in einem Topf landen und wir werden aus diesem zufällig die Gewinner auswählen. Euren Screenshot müsst ihr vor diesem Datum hier im Kommentarfeld hinterlassen: 24. Dezember, 9 Uhr morgens nach deutscher Zeit – die Gewinner werden kurz danach ausgewählt werden (bevor wir zu unserer Familie verschwinden, um Weihnachten zu feiern!).

Hier sind unsere digitalen Preise:

  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold, 1 Code für einen Schneeflocken-Gleitschirm, 1 Code für ein Wütendes Wintertagsgeschenk & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut
  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold, 1 Code für ein Wütendes Wintertagsgeschenk & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut
  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut

Und das hier sind die physischen Preise:

  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe L: Hellgrau mit weißem GW2 Logo und ein HoT-Schlüsselband
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe XL: Schwarz mit weißem Charr-Aufdruck und ein HoT-Schlüsselband
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe M: Schwarz mit grau-grünem Bild und kleinem grünen HoT-Logo
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe XL: Schwarz mit grau-grünem Bild und kleinem grünen HoT-Logo
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe S: Schwarz mit metallisch-grünem HoT-Logo

Wintersday Giveaway 2016 Guild Wars 2 t-shirts

Hinterlasst einen Link zu eurem Screenshot (ihr könnt diesen z. B. auf dieser Seite hochladen: http://tinypic.com/)und gebt außerdem an, ob ihr lieber ein T-Shirt oder einen der digitalen Preise gewinnen würde (außerdem auch eure bevorzugte T-Shirt-Größe). Wir werden versuchen, euch euren bevorzugten Preis zu geben, wenn ihr gewinnt, aber wir können das natürlich nicht garantieren. Die drei digitalen Preise werden vom ersten bis zum dritten in der Reihenfolge, wie die Gewinner gezogen wurden, verteilt. Das Giveaway ist für Teilnehmer weltweit geöffnet und wir zahlen natürlich das Porto, um euch das T-Shirt zuzusenden – außer ihr wohnt an einem Ort mit hohen Portokosten (wie z. B. einem Inselzuschlag).

My quest for hidden gems: Jazzpunk

quest

I sometimes buy game bundles that come with a bunch of codes for games I never even looked at before… or I can’t resist that sweet tempting “mystery game for 0.20 €” offer. Either way, these games are often not even looked at once I have them (well, more so for the bundled games than the one I actually did buy even if I didn’t know what game it will be). I figured I should devote this column here to these games. On the one hand, it makes me actually look at the game and on the other hand, sometimes I buy bundled games because I want to get game A and then I end up ignoring it because one of the other games in the bundle turns out to be much more fun!

I have a bunch of games that qualify for this column and wasn’t sure which one to pick. Then I saw something that looked… weird… but the name sounded rather bland, actually. So this is what I chose: Jazzpunk by Necrophone Games. I bought it as part of a bundle with Overlord.

Let’s take a look at the game: The introduction video sequence is very… colourful, at least. But it doesn’t tell me what this game is about. I actually only read this one sentence before jumping into the game:

“Jazzpunk is a comedy adventure set in an alternate reality Cold War World, plagued with corporate espionage, CyberCrime, and sentient martinis.”

I decided not to read too much about each game before playing it. Without much prior information, I figured I would experience the game in a much less biased way. I made one mistake here, though: I should at least check whether a game is in first person view or not, because it does give me nausea. Jazzpunk’s graphics are very basic, and putting mouse sensitivity on very low lets me play this game for a bit longer than other games before I need to take a break. But the next games I will look at will not be in first person view. It’s just not fun to play and write about a game that makes you feel sick, right? But something still made me want to give it a try, at least.

In the opening scenes, I see that I apparently flew in (to where, I don’t know… but there are Asian symbols, I think…) in a man-shaped suitcase. Very subtle, right? And then I am… somewhere… and get my first mission from a guy who claims to go to his wine cellar after briefing me but actually just lay down to sleep on the floor behind his desk. I have to take some kind of pill for the first mission to start. No idea what that part is about, really. I assume I would find out later on in the game.

jazzpunk intro

Now the bad part is that the voices are all kind of hard to understand and there is no option for “real” subtitles. In most cases, there is a short line repeating what the characters said in a short sentence. But still, a lot gets lost unless you have the sound up and understand them.

Bookahnerk was watching me play and remarked that it seems to be similar to the Stanley Parable. I guess that’s right as I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. My task was to infiltrate a building, but that’s the only pointer I got. It’s not like Stanley Parable in that a speaker narrates what I’m doing. Instead, in Jazzpunk I can actually interact with objects and after using a copy-machine for taking pictures of my character’s naked butt, I used a picture on the wall (with a face, not a butt) to fool a camera-activated door to open for me. So it is a puzzle adventure game, but the atmosphere reminds me of Stanley Parable. Jazzpunk tries to stay light-hearted with silly jokes, though. One more example: The room where I took butt-pictures also has two microscopes. One let me play asteroids. No, it doesn’t make any sense, but it was fun! Too bad it was just one level.

I played through the first mission now after looking for a walkthrough online. I admit, I suck at puzzle games, but I still like playing them once in a while. My usual method is to try to figure out how to solve it on my own first and when I get stuck, I look at a walkthrough. My main motivation is not to solve everything on my own, but to get some entertainment value out of it which means that the storyline also has to be good. Fortunately, this seems to be the case here. Of course, having done only the first mission (with help), it’s a bit early to say the story is fantastic or even whether the story will still be good later on. But at least, there seems to be an overarching story behind me doing these missions.

The downside of this game is that even though the graphics are simple, I cannot play the game for longer than 10 minutes at a time. I wish I could, though! It’s silly and seems to be done really well. The interface is confusing at times, though. It says to hit X to cycle through my inventory, but when I picked up a second item, the first item was not in my inventory anymore. Instead, I later found a cereal box that I had already picked up and emptied on the table again just as if I had never even touched it.

Since I cannot really delve into the game longer, I’m looking at the Steam reviews: The game recently got 99 % positive reviews. The overall percentage of positive reviews is at 90 %. So, if you like puzzle games and weird silly stories, this seems to be a great choice! But only if you can play with first person view. For me this one simple thing means that it is not a gem and I will uninstall it again.

Making friends in Rift and Guild Wars 2

Last week, Rift’s expansion “Starfall Prophecy” launched and yesterday, Guild Wars 2 released another content patch. Both games made me very happy as the patches feature my most favourite animal ever. Guess what animal that is!

No, not dogs. Although that’s true. Not rabbits either, although those are also my favourite animal. But no, my third “favourite animal”: Dragons!

Guild Wars 2 added a baby dragon, Aurene (not with this patch, but with a previous one – or else I wouldn’t mention her here as I do not want to add spoilers just one day after the patch’s release!). But seriously, a baby. dragon. How cute is that? I feel like Hagrid with Norbert!

Baby dragon Aurene in Guild Wars 2

And in Rift, there’s Tasuil. A dragon who at the beginning of the expansion story gets into trouble, because he accidentally broke something. Again, I don’t want to add any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that. But I felt so bad when Tasuil kept apologizing. The poor thing didn’t want to do any harm, after all! It was an accident.

Rift Tasuil Dragon

To top the cuteness overload of dragons, you can apparently earn Mini Aurene in Guild Wars 2. I assumed ArenaNet would add her to the shop to be bought with real money, but the pieces needed to get the Mini are crafted! I definitely have to get that one as fast as possible!

If only Rift gave us a mini Tasuil as well… on the other hand, he’s disguising himself as a corgi while we’re out exploring the comet. I guess that counts for something as well, right? And while he’s with me, I can take out one of my mini corgis to have two corgis with me.

Tasuil disguised as corgi

More Starfall Prophecy Tokens in Rift

When the expansion was first announced, Trion told us that we would get a Starfall Prophecy token each day when claiming our daily login chest. The main goal for players was to get Opie, a tiny squirrel mount that lets you reach artifacts more easily (if they’re hidden in hard to reach places). But it costs 50 tokens, so you would have had to pre-purchase the expansion 50 days ago to get that mount. The expansion comes out on Wednesday next week, but Trion just announced that they prolonged the login tokens and now if you pre-purchase, you get tokens for 60 days more giving you enough to get your own Opie mount (and you can even miss 10 days). I think that’s pretty nice, especially as we now know much more about the expansion and players can choose more easily whether they want to make the investment or not.

rift opie mount

If you don’t care about a mount, there is the “Sack of Infinite Void” that increases your inventory slots by 40 which costs 20 tokens. It’s unique per character, but account-bound, so you can hopefully collect the tokens with one character and buy the bags for your alts. For 15 tokens, you can also get a “Tenebrean Mystery Box”, but nothing is known about the content yet. Apparently, we need to wait until the expansion’s launch. On the other hand, since we will still get tokens after the expansion launches, the vendor will also still be around, so we can keep the tokens and wait until more is known about the box’s content. This is what I’ll be doing, at least. I have one Opie and as cute as it is, I have so many other mounts that I love using that I don’t really need this mount on my other characters. I also don’t go artifact-collecting that often. And let’s not forget that in order to use those special jumps with Opie to reach artifacts more easily, you need to feed it with pellets which are supposed to be kind of rare in the game. So the bag and maybe the mystery box sound like the better choices for me.

Rift: Waiting for the expansion with the primalist

Starfall Prophecy, the next expansion in Rift, will launch on November 16. That’s not too far away now! So whenever I log in with my main character, my cleric, I just don’t feel too motivated playing her. Since I bought the primalist last month, I thought I should probably play her a bit more. She is now level 18 which is basically nothing, as you can level really fast below level 60 by just doing “instant adventures”. These are open world quests that you do with whoever else signed up for instant adventures (if such a group passes you in the open world, the game even suggests joining them if you like). In between these quests, you get teleported to wherever you need to get to, so you don’t need to worry about travelling or anything. In theory, this sounds great. In reality, it is a boring grind-fest with no challenge except for some bosses which appear. Not that they themselves are too challenging, but if your group lacks a healer, they are. :p

Still, I like doing them once in a while because it’s easy and doesn’t require too much thinking. My primalist had a melee build, but I soon switched to ranged (Maelstrom as primary soul which is a single target ranged DPS), because the mobs die too fast and it’s just frustrating having to run to mobs all the time just to see them get killed right in front of your eyes by everybody who isn’t melee.

rift primalist in instant adventures

The primalist has a special class feature. Certain skills move the class bar to either Cunning or Fury. Some skills get boosted when you’re in Cunning or in Fury. So I guess I will have to watch that bar at some point… at the moment, I don’t notice it, but with level 18, I only have a few of the skills and abilities unlocked anyway. It reminds me of the Runekeeper in Lord of the Rings Online which has a similar mechanic called attunement. I played Runekeeper before I switched to my little hobbit warden as I liked playing a tank more than playing an elf healer. But back to the primalist: She’s okay. Maybe even fun, but I’ll have to see what it’s like in a higher level. It could also be a bit annoying having to watch that fury-cunning-meter all the time and having to memorize which skills move the meter into which direction.

Either way, come next week I will be playing my cleric in the new regions, so it’ll be a while before I get to find out more.