Pirates in Trove!

With the recent patch, Trove has added pirates. The first thing I did when I logged on was trying to find the pirates. I was not successful. The patch notes are a bit vague and only say:

Find them anchored in any adventure world, […]

They are pirates and they are anchored. So obviously, water was the right direction. It just seems that you have to be a bit lucky to actually see some. On my second try, I was more successful and after riding along the shore for a bit, I finally saw the pirate ship!

Trove Pirate ship map

For the time being, there is only something like a “crafting station” on the ship which you can use to trade materials for items for different items. I have found one pirate ship trading flux for a mount and another trading Glim (formerly known as “Warpseed” – it got renamed and a different icon)  for allies. It seems that the flag indicates what kind of vendor you can find on the ship. The red-bearded pirate face is for the cat-allies vendor and the one with the eye patch has the vendor for the mount.
Update: The Wiki entry says that the red-bearded vendor indicates a trading station that accepts Glim as currency (e.g. the cat soultrap vendor) whereas the one with the eye patch accepts Flux instead (e.g. the shadowy mount vendor).

Allies are another new addition. Those were formerly known as “pets”. A pet always has some special attributes that you get from having it outside and the allies are the same now. I traded for five “Cat Soultraps”, but only got two different cat allies. The others are for my friends, I guess. 250 Glim are needed for one of those.

According to Trion, the pirates feature will get more work later on, but they are currently working on the next patch which will bring wings and the sky islands which will arrive in Trove in February. So, don’t worry if you don’t have that much Glim to try to get all the different cat allies! Trion is working on adding the fishing profession which will be used to farm for Glim.

Honorary Nerdy Bookahs prize for Bolthound

On Monday, we could finally announce the official winners of ArenaNet’s Wintersday Window Decoration Contest. Unfortunately for us, our favourite stencil did not make it into the top 5. But hey, ArenaNet has nothing against us giving away extra prizes for stencils that we really loved, so this is exactly what we decided to do now.

By Bolthound

By Bolthound

This is our favourite stencil! Amazingly, both bookahnerk and I agreed pretty fast on which stencils we liked and which we didn’t like (couples do tend to get more and more alike with every year, right? I’m just not sure if that shouldn’t actually scare me… :p). This stencil, in our opinion, is really cool especially with the “easy” design and the humourous scene it depicts.

Having said that, we would like to give our honorary prize to Bolthound! You will get – if you choose to accept it – one grey GW2 t-shirt (I’m not sure if those are actually the ones that the top 5 will get, too) in size L or XL (your choice!) and a surprise in-game package with a few items (nothing like a precursor, unfortunately ^^).

Opinions on Heart of Thorns

There is this draft sitting here in our blog where I listed all the known facts about the upcoming expansion for Guild Wars 2 and where I have already started adding some thoughts. However, I don’t like just shoving something out there only because it’s the one topic everybody talks about right now. I need time to phrase my thoughts – or even actually realize what it is that I am thinking. :p

Since I’ve last worked on that draft, some more information has come out. Additionally, I have read through the transcription of the announcement again and pondered for a bit more. By now, I cannot even tell you what I think of the expansion. I am not hyped. I am not super excited. But I am looking forward to it. How much depends on quite a lot of details.

GW2 Burning Lion's Arch

For one, I am sorry to admit, but I don’t like the combat in Guild Wars 2. Well, some parts of it. I miss being a healer so much! I miss having a clear role in a group (even “support” or “control” would be nice). And I miss actually seeing what the enemy is doing, what I’m doing and what the other players are doing (see the screenshot above ^^). Anyway, what I found is that while I really don’t like combat in Guild Wars 2, I also really love combat in Guild Wars 2! :p It all depends on the context and the setting. I still strongly believe that just with a few small changes, the marionette fight would have been perfect. On the other hand, I really do love playing pvp in Guild Wars 2. There, if you ask me, the combat system makes so much more sense! Especially in sPvP where there are no big zergs. This is where the system shines.

Having said that, I wish for more things to do that do not involve combat in the PvE side of the game. Fishing, archaeology (something from WoW), minions like in Rift (not really a game, but something to click…) or the pet battles in WoW – hey, what about Polymock? Any of these things would make me very happy! Instead, we are going to get the mastery system.

And here is where I need more information.

What we do know about acquiring mastery points is this:

The WvW ability system is a bit of a parallel for what we’re trying to accomplish with masteries, so you can use that as a concept. We want to provide that same concept and evolve it even more with PvE. It’ll complement everything that you’re doing: combat, exploration, lore, building, crafting… all of those components will have elements that are supported by it, with combat being the most important one when you think about true, meaningful progression. (Source)

Exploration and lore have potential, but again “combat being the most important”. So, we’ll see.

The one thing that did get me a bit excited were the guild halls. However, this is also the feature that doesn’t seem to get much coverage at all at the moment. I assume (note: subjective impression here :p) that ArenaNet hasn’t actually implemented much of that feature yet. We do get to see a very short scene of guild halls in the trailer which shows them being built in fast forward mode. I hope that they will be more than our home instances and that they will be meaningul and customizable (again, not like home instances).

I would also be excited about the Revenant, but I have to try out the profession first in order to tell you whether I like it or not. In theory, I should absolutely love the necromancer in Guild Wars 2. I love everything about it – in theory. But once I try to play it, I close the game and walk away from the PC within a few minutes. I don’t know what it is, but I cannot play it.

GW2_Heart of Thorns_Rytlock_Revenant_049

Rytlock using an ability

So there you go. My opinion in a nutshell: It sounds like a solid expansion and has everything that people expect from a “classic expansion” (in Guild Wars 2-style, of course, with no new level cap or new tier of armor), but it has nothing that gets me “over the moon”-excited either – wait, there are two things:

  1.  The soundtrack! The one song we got to hear is amazing!
  2. The world design. The one aspect of Guild Wars 2 where I never ever had anything negative to say. The art team is awesome if you ask me.

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Heart of Thorns: Screenshots

Bilingual entry: English first. Scroll down for the German translation.

I had originally just wanted to take a few screenshots of the announcement video to complement my “opinions” post that I’ve been writing since Saturday. However, that post is still not done, but I ended up with more than 100 screenshots. For your convenience, I already sorted out the boring ones and present to you screenshots of Heart of Thorns showing all the good in-game scenes that we were already allowed to see during the video: Specialisations, the maguuma jungle region, Mursaat, Rytlock as Revenant, the new WvW borderlands map and sPvP area (not sure which one is which, to be honest) and of course, the really short glimpse at the guild halls.

I did not include any pictures of the concept art as I wanted to limit it to in-game pictures which represent a lot better what we are actually going to get. :)

Scroll down below the gallery for the German translation / Scrollt unter die Gallerie für die deutsche Übersetzung.

Deutsche Übersetzung

Winners of the Wintersday Window Decoration Contest

First of all, thank you to everyone who participated! We saw a lot of great stencils and bookahnerk and I had a hard time choosing our three favourites. Two of the three that we had voted for are also in the top 5.

So, without further ado, congratulations to the winners:

  1. Plume
  2. Chyana
  3. Bibi
  4. The Artist
  5. Razy

ArenaNet will also make an official news post about the winners of the contest soon. They also uploaded the stencils that were sent to the participating fansites. You can see them all in their flickr album. Which one is your favourite? :)

 

A new Gechi!

With the recent news that “The Elder Scrolls Online” will switch to a buy-to-play model on March 17, bookahnerk and I decided that we do want to explore that world. I had tried the game in beta and while I loved the world design, I wasn’t sold on the game itself, especially with a monthly subscription fee.

I am quite glad that they decided for the buy-to-play model as opposed to free-to-play. You buy the game and you get everything you need in order to enjoy the game immediately. In our case, we even got two copies that still included codes from the pre-order edition (“explorer packs”, I think) which allow you to play every race in every alliance. Originally, one faction has three specific races. But I wanted to play an Argonian and I wanted to play on the starter island of Daggerfall Covenant. I know it probably won’t matter in the long run, but still, I was very happy that I had that freedom now. Otherwise, I would have made an orc for the time being.

SWG Gechi Trandoshan

But back in Star Wars Galaxies, I fell in love with playable reptile species. No, I never “really” played SWG. I just played their free 2 week trial. And I was very close to buying the game and subscribing, but then decided against it, because it was a rather old game, I only had limited time and did not want to pay for yet another monthly subscription fee. Anyway, the game’s random name generator (or just a general one? I don’t remember if the game had one… ^^) had suggested “Gechi Rosix” and I really liked it.

Skyrim_Gechi

I also had an Argonian in Skyrim, but I did not play that game too much. I just really loved having another reptile as a playable character. Why aren’t there more games offering a race like that? We got tons of furry species (cows, wolves, cats, …), after all.

Anyway, when Elder Scrolls Online was announced, the first thing I did was check whether Argonians were playable. But as I said, I did not buy the game – until two days ago. Media Markt had the game for 15 €, so I immediately ordered two copies and we went to pick them up yesterday. I just checked their website again and they are out of that version. But guess what? You can preorder the “Tamriel Edition” for the super sweet deal of 49,99 €. I actually expected them to sell that “Tamriel Edition” for more than you can probably get the game before the switch, but I did not expect such a high price. If you’re German and want to buy a copy for the cheaper price, it seems that Saturn still has a few copies left!

But back to my Gechi, the argonian templar.

TESO Gechi Argonian I do feel nostalgic, even though the Elder Scrolls universe and the Star Wars one couldn’t be more different. But the character still feels the same!

So, here we go. On to new adventures – for 29 days, at least. After that, there’ll be a 3 week break before Zenimax switches to the no-subscription fee model. :p

Guild Wars 2 at PAX

Less than 48 hours now until we finally hear what ArenaNet has planned for Guild Wars 2 with “Heart of Thorns”. They also seem to want to celebrate this by giving us players a double XP weekend.

GW2 Heart of Thorns

They also linked to the channels with the livestreams. Quite obviously, the official international – and English-speaking – channel is the official Guild Wars 2 one. If you want the German one, head over to Honeyball tomorrow who is going to broadcast together with GuildNews. They are going to start on Saturday, 4.30 pm (German time). The PAX panel will start an hour later. There are also going to be a French and a Spanish channel.

Additionally, if you – or somebody you know – wants to buy a copy of Guild Wars 2, wait for the weekend. Their announcement post also mentions a 75 % sale on January 24 and 25!

This does indeed sound big if you ask me. I can’t wait to find out what they are going to announce!