Tag Archives: ArenaNet

10 years: Guild Wars nostalgia

Guild Wars turned 10 years old this week. The original Guild Wars, of course, not Guild Wars 2 (which will be 3 years old this August, by the way). Back then I had just started to get into PC gaming and most of all, into MMOs. World of Warcraft had been my first MMO which I started playing December 2005 (it wasn’t released in Europe until February 2005, by the way).

In 2006, Guild Wars got its first additional campaign, Factions. In March 2006, they had their Factions preview weekend event where, when you had gotten a key for it, you could play part of the campaign for free. I got two invitation keys for myself and bookahnerk for that preview weekend from a friend who is a huge fan of console games and does not like PC games at all with the sole exception of Guild Wars. She was very excited and I had heard a few things about Guild Wars from her, so I figured I may actually like it.

In hindsight, a lot of things were not ideal for me as a newcomer to Guild Wars as well as MMOs in general. You got thrown into the endgame – well, high level region – of Factions. Your character was max level and if I remember correctly, she had a premade build. Either way, there was no tutorial and it was simply overwhelming. At the same time, having only 8 skills equipped when I knew that in theory, my character had so many more skills unlocked, seemed outrageous. For me back then, skill came from knowing your repertoire and being able choose which ability would be useful in any given moment. It took a while until I saw and appreciated the resemblance with card games like Magic the Gathering, where you essentially pick certain cards to make a good build.

But while that part was already overwhelming, it wasn’t the only thing I disliked. The game is heavily instanced. As soon as you leave a town or an outpost, you are alone with only those players or NPCs that were in your party when you entered the map. That was certainly not an MMO like I had gotten to know them! And it did not help with my first impression of the game. So there I was, completely overwhelmed with the builds and skills in a world that felt very narrow and small with character movement that seemed to be very clunky. Your character cannot even jump! And it seemed to be “lagging” behind my mouse movement. It certainly is not as direct as in WoW, for example. The characters’ animations when standing still were weird: Everybody looked the same, caught in an unnaturally stiff posture somehow.

So, I left and did not look back… well, almost. Not everything had been bad about the game. I sensed that while I had not liked it and had decided against buying it, I knew that part of me had just not really “gotten” it. The 8 skills, for example. This had to be good for something, right?

At some point, I had grown tired of the sometimes toxic environment in WoW and I had wanted to play some other game. But I did not want to play offline games instead. Even when you don’t want to deal with people, it’s still nice to see them around your character. Offline games sometimes seem to miss life. So, I looked around and I remembered Guild Wars: I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world.

And while it was “buy to play”, there were no subscription fees. One game with a monthly fee was enough, I did not want another one. I finally got into Guild Wars in December 2006, two months after Nightfall was released. This, of course, means that my own 10 year anniversary with Guild Wars will not happen until either March or December 2006, depending on what you count as “started to play”. :p

Thanks to not throwing away emails, I could read up on my first steps in Guild Wars when I’d talked about it with my GW-playing friend. I had actually wanted to get Prophecies at first, but Nightfall which had just been released two months earlier was just as expensive. I figured that getting the newer one was a better deal somehow. :p I also really liked the dervish and she was the first character I created. Guess which profession I still don’t have at level 20? ;) In fact, this very character doesn’t even exist anymore. I deleted her and created another dervish later on that looks just like her except for the hair colour.

I also remember how I had then created a necromancer and had chosen ranger as second profession for the pet (I assumed having a pet to “tank” for me would be a good choice…) and how long it took me to figure out and get to the point where I could switch my second profession.

And then I remember how with every campaign I bought, I sat here swearing trying to figure out how to switch to the other campaigns with my new characters. A character from the Nightfall campaign could not just switch over to the Factions one. You had to play through your own campaign until a specific step first. If you wanted to play together with a friend with new characters, you had to start in the same campaign. Makes sense story-wise, of course, but gaming-wise, it was a hinderance.

Still, I have spent many hours in Guild Wars and looking back, I mostly have fond memories! Yes, I did have trouble at times with certain aspects, but at the same time, I loved the lack of the gear treadmill, I really enjoyed picking outfits only because of their look and putting builds together was a lot of fun, too.

Up until this day, the Jade Sea (well, actually that one outpost I had been at most of the time during the preview weekend) and Nightfall feel like “home” when I think of Guild Wars. I am one of the very few who would not mind seeing Cantha in Guild Wars 2, but given the choice I would choose Elona without thinking twice. Back home, you know?

4th Blog Anniversary: Let’s celebrate with giveaways!

Blog_a id_deutsch

Update: This giveaway is closed. We will announce the winners here in our blog soon!

Today is the big day! Our blog is celebrating its 4th anniversary. 4 years of writing mostly about Guild Wars 2, and more recently, Rift and Trove as well. 4 years of writing about first impressions of various other games, writing about community, events and so on! We have also recently started publishing a few of our posts in two languages: English and German.

As has become tradition, we’re celebrating our anniversary with a giveaway. This year, however, it’s a bit different as TrionWorlds as well as ArenaNet support us. A big thank you to their community managers for their help!

Here are the prizes.

Guild Wars 2

  • 5 mini llamas
  • One in-game package of yet to be determined items (I can already tell that the package will be worth at least 250 gold – unless the prices for those items plummage within the next few days :p)
  • 3 grey GW2 t-shirts (2 x size L and 1 x size XL)
  • Germany only (sorry – blame the postage fees…): 1 Plush Charrlie

That’s 10 prizes altogether. Well, 9 1/2 considering only a few of our readers can win the plush charrlie. We may have another giveaway with international charrlie shipping in the future. :p

Rift

  • 1 Hellbug Mount
  • 3 Storm Legion: Infinity Editions (Collector’s Edition of first RIFT expansion)
  • 5 Demon Helms

9 prizes for Rift. Unfortunately, I am not sure what exactly the Infinity Edition includes now. The best information I could find was this thread from 2014. That is, I assume it does NOT include the souls that came with Storm Legion. But it includes the Brevanic Portal Generator which lets you teleport to any porticulum you want once per hour. I personally love this item and am using it constantly when playing. There is also the Cyclone Mount and the Mini Regulos.

Trove

  • 1 Costume Mystery Box
Trove Costume Mystery Box

The Costume Mystery Box contains one random costume!

With the prizes for Rift and Guild Wars 2, I found it just did not look complete without a prize for Trove, too. I had thought about giving away a costume and bought a costume mystery box. Out came the one costume that I’ve really wanted to have, the Balefire Beast. So please understand that I could not give this one away. Instead, I bought a second costume mystery box and did not open it (I only opened the first because I thought you had to open it before being able to trade it, but I’ve tested it now and the box can be traded, so all is well)! Not knowing what’s in there, there is no danger of me wanting to keep it. :p

Now on to what you need to do in order to participate in the giveaways. First of all: You can participate and win in all three giveaways, Rift’s, Guild Wars 2’s and Trove’s. However, you can only win once per giveaway – not a big deal for Trove, of course, since there is only one prize to be won.

Please reply to this blog post with the following information in order to be put into the prize pool. Also, please read the following rules carefully. As always we will draw randomly and every participant has the same chance of winning! No bonus for friends and guildies. Sorry. :p

1. We want you to comment and give us the following information:

  • Question for the Trove Giveaway: What’s your favourite biome in Trove?
  • Question for the Rift Giveaway: What is your favourite playable race (in any MMO you know) and why?
  • Question for the Guild Wars 2 Giveaway: What is your favourite class/profession (in any MMO you know) and why?
  • Preferred t-shirt size (only for the GW2 giveaway): L/XL/No t-shirt, please!
  • Guild Wars 2 Display Name (for the in-game items):
  • If you live in Germany – would you like to win the Plush Charrlie: Yes/No

2. 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!

3. From all participants, we will randomly choose the winners. We will begin from the top of the prize list. Again: You can participate and win in all three giveaways. But you can only win once per game.

4. The winners will be contacted by email and receive their item code. Do NOT leave the email address in the comment field! For the t-shirts and the plushie: Please reply within 14 days and give us your address, so we can send the prizes. If you do not reply within 14 days, we may choose another winner.

5. No debating about the outcome! We will draw randomly and everybody has the same chance of winning. :)

6. The giveaway is open for participants until Sunday, March 22, 2015, 22 6pm Berlin Time (CET).

7. One entry per person! Please be fair.

Please note: We will be away at the Foostival, so we may not be able to draw the winners immediately on Sunday evening!

Blog_a id_deutschabhier

Heute ist es endlich soweit! Unser Blog wird 4 Jahre alt. 4 Jahre, die wir vor allem über Guild Wars 2, und seit einiger Zeit auch über Rift und Trove geschrieben haben. 4 Jahre, in denen wir über unsere ersten Eindrücke von verschiedenen anderen Spielen geschrieben haben, über die Community, Events und so weiter! Seit kurzem veröffentlichen wir einige unserer Beiträge auch neben englisch auf deutsch.

Es ist ja schon ein bisschen zur Tradition geworden, dass wir an unserem großen Blog-Jahrestag auch ein Giveaway haben. Dieses Mal ist es aber anders. Wir haben nicht nur ein Giveaway, wir haben gleich zwei! Ein ganz großes Dankeschön an ArenaNet und Trion Worlds für deren Unterstützung und vor allem an die beiden Community Manager, die mir so schnell und freundlich geholfen haben!

Hier jetzt also die Preise, die ihr gewinnen könnt.

Guild Wars 2

  • 5 Mini Lamas
  • Ein “Päckchen” im Spiel mit Gegenständen, die wir noch nicht benennen – aber es wird mindestens 250 Gold wert sein… zumindest, solange die Marktpreise für diese Gegenstände nicht in den nächsten Tagen in den Keller fallen.
  • 3 graue GW2 T-Shirts (2 Mal Größe L und 1 Mal Größe XL)
  • Nur für Teilnehmer aus Deutschland (Sorry… die Portokosten…): 1 Plüsch-Charrlie

Insgesamt also 10 Preise. Naja, 9 1/2, wenn man bedenkt, dass nur ein kleiner Teil unserer Leserschaft den Plüsch-Charrlie gewinnen kann. Wir werden bald wahrscheinlich auch wieder einen internationalen Charrlie weggeben.

Rift

  • 1 Höllenkäfer Reittier
  • 3 Storm Legion: Infinity Editions (Die Sammler-Edition der ersten RIFT-Erweiterung)
  • 5 Demon Helms

Insgesamt also 9 Preise für Rift. Ich bin mir leider nicht so ganz sicher, was in der Sammler-Edition enthalten ist. Die beste Info habe ich in diesem Thread von 2014 gefunden. Wir sollten also mal davon ausgehen, dass sie Seelen nicht enthalten sind. Aber der Generator für das brevanische Portal, Mini-Regulos und das Sturmreittier sind auf jeden Fall Teil dabei. Den Generator verwende ich sehr häufig. Es ist einfach schön, mitten in der Pampa zu jedem Porticulum im Spiel gehen zu können. Hat natürlich einen Cooldown, aber gibt einem trotzdem mehr Wahlmöglichkeiten, als wenn man keinen hat. ;)

Trove

  • 1 Costume Mystery Box

Trove Costume Mystery Box

Es sah irgendwie seltsam aus, dass wir Preise für Rift und Guild Wars 2 haben und nichts für Trove. Ich hatte daran gedacht, ein Kostüm wegzugeben und hatte mir dafür am Wochenende auch so eine Box gekauft. Nachdem ich sie geöffnet hatte, um das Kostüm zu sehen, konnte ich mich aber einfach nicht mehr davon trennen. Es war nämlich genau das Kostüm, welches ich so gerne haben wollte. Ich habe aber eine zweite Box gekauft und öffne die jetzt auch gar nicht erst, um nicht wieder in Versuchung zu kommen. ;) Die erste hatte ich auch nur geöffnet, weil ich gedacht hatte, dass man die Box selbst nicht weitergeben kann, sondern nur das darin enthaltene Kostüm. Stimmt aber nicht, ich habe es ausprobiert. Die Box lässt sich handeln.

Jetzt aber endlich zu der Frage, was ihr machen müsst, wenn ihr eine Chance auf diese Preise haben wollt. Zuerst einmal der Hinweis: Ihr könnt bei allen drei Giveaways mitmachen und ihr könnt auch bei allen dreien gewinnen! Pro Spiel könnt ihr aber nur einmal gewinnen. Letzteres ist bei Trove natürlich eher irrelevant, weil es hier ja eh nur einen Gegenstand gibt.

Antwortet bitte auf diesen Eintrag mit den unten genannten Infos, um im Lostopf zu landen. Lest euch vorher außerdem unbedingt die Regeln vollständig durch! Zum Schluss haben alle die gleiche Chance, etwas zu gewinnen. Wie immer gilt: Kein Bonus für Freunde. Sorry. :p

1. Kommentiert bitte mit folgenden Informationen:

  • Frage für das Trove Giveaway: Welches ist euer Lieblings-Biom (“biome”)?
  • Frage für das Rift Giveaway: Was ist eure Lieblingsrasse von allen spielbaren Rassen in MMOs (egal, welches MMO) und warum?
  • Frage für das Guild Wars 2 Giveaway: Was ist eure Lieblingsklasse in MMOs (egal, welches MMO) und warum?
  • Bevorzugte T-Shirt-Größe (nur für Guild Wars 2): : L/XL/Gar kein T-Shirt
  • Guild Wars 2 Display-Name (für das Päckchen mit Gegenständen):
  • Wenn du in Deutschland lebst – möchtest du den Plüsch-Charrlie gewinnen?: Ja/Nein

2. Hinterlasst eine gültige E-Mail-Adresse. Tut dies aber bitte nicht im Textfeld des Kommentars, sondern in dem dafür vorgesehenen Feld. So kann keiner außer euch und uns die E-Mail-Adresse sehen.

3. Aus allen Antworten werden wir die Gewinner zufällig auswählen. Wir fangen dabei jeweils oben in der Preisliste an. From all participants, we will randomly choose the winners. Noch einmal der Hinweis: Ihr könnt bei allen 3 Giveaways mitmachen, aber nur einmal pro Spiel etwas gewinnen.

4. Die Gewinner werden per E-Mail angeschrieben und ggf. ihren Code direkt mit dieser E-Mail erhalten. Schreibt bitte auch nicht eure Adresse in das Kommentarfeld. Für die T-Shirts und den Plüsch-Charrlie: Antwortet bitte innerhalb von 14 Tagen und gebt uns eure Adresse, damit wir euch den Preis zuschicken können.  Wenn ihr nicht innerhalb der 14 Tage antwortet, kann es sein, dass wir einen anderen Gewinner auswählen.

5. Es gibt keine Diskussion über den Ausgang. Wir werden zufällig ziehen und jeder hat die gleiche Chance zu gewinnen.

6. Das Giveaway ist geöffnet für die Teilnahme bis zum Sonntag, den 22. März 2015, 22 Uhr unsere (deutsche) Zeit.

7. Bitte nur eine Teilnahme pro Person. Bleibt bitte fair. :)

Und ganz zum Schluss noch: Wir werden beim Foostival sein und werden deswegen nicht unbedingt direkt am Sonntagabend die Gewinner ziehen können. Bitte habt dafür Verständnis!

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 ^^).

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? :)

 

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!

Guild Wars 2 – Heart of Thorns speculation

I assume most of you have heard about “Heart of Thorns” by now. I will try to keep this mostly spoiler-free, but if you haven’t played the latest story bit, you will at least not want to click on the play button of the video. Other than that, I’m not mentioning the latest story bits in this post.

We will get to hear more – or anything other than the title “Heart of Thorns” – on January 24 (either at PAX or online on Twitch). Until then, there’s not much left for us to do than speculate. I guess in my case, it’s not so much speculation as rather a whole lot of wishful thinking. :p

Who here remembers World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm? In case you have no idea what that was, it is their third expansion. And not just any expansion. In the beginning when the game launched, there were two continents (Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms). With time, new zones, raids, instances etc. were added. Every bit of that also added story and continued the world’s timeline. But the old zones remained mostly static and stayed in its original time. So, if something big happened with the introduction of a new zone, this mostly did not reflect on the old ones. NPCs were still going around their daily routines just as if time stood still. Quests you did there stayed the same and were set “before” whatever happened in a new zone. Cataclysm changed that. Not only did the whole world get changed in appearance, Blizzard also used this opportunity to bring all zones to present time. No more confusing “this zone was here before the other zone, so what happens here is actually taking place 2 years before what happens in that other zone”. For one short moment, it felt like Azeroth was “alive”. It changed and evolved.

With the Living Story in Guild Wars 2, we have already seen something like this. Lion’s Arch got destroyed and is now slowly getting rebuild (look here for several screenshot galleries of the old, intermediate and destroyed Lion’s Arch). At the same time, however, when we do a Personal Story part that takes place in Lion’s Arch, we get to see the present time Lion’s Arch and not the old one anymore (this is due to technical limitations, actually, which doesn’t make it easy for them to have the new LA present as a map and an old LA present for when you enter that zone for your personal story). This makes it quite confusing, but it also shows that ArenaNet is dedicated more to the living story and the world evolving than in keeping the personal story in its own time frame.

Now wouldn’t an expansion (I am certain that this is what “Heart of Thorns” is going to be) be the perfect opportunity for ArenaNet to bring all zones to the current time again? Again, I don’t think personal story – which can’t just be brought to the current time – is a limiting factor for ArenaNet, as can be seen with story bits taking place on the Lion’s Arch map.

Lion’s Arch (and parts of other maps) has been changed already, but other parts of the world haven’t been. NPCs are still concerned about Zhaitan, even though we already killed him. Scarlet came and left. ArenaNet could bring the whole world to a post-Scarlet state including new dynamic events everywhere which would make the whole “old world” much more interesting again for those of us who have seen everything by now anyway. They could change all NPCs accordingly, so the stories, concerns, thoughts reflect what has happened in the last 2,5 years. I think this would definitely make the game world feel much more alive than it currently does.

Other than that, I guess I am hoping for “the usual” that other MMOs offer with their expansions. A new race would be nice, but even though everything seemed to hint at the Tengu in the beginning with them hiding behind their wall near Lion’s Arch, I’m not sure they are still in the focus and I don’t know what other race could become playable. A new profession would be great. I always loved the dervish in Guild Wars (I started with Nightfall, after all) and would love to see something similar in style in Guild Wars 2. But even though I am wishing for a new profession, I do not think we will get one, to be honest. Instead, I think we will rather get new weapons for existing professions. Maybe even only already existing weapons – I have wanted my mesmer to be able to dual-wield pistols from the very beginning. And why can’t my engineer wield a hammer or a spanner? New weapons for the professions or existing ones but new to that specific profession, I don’t really care. I just want more choices! :)

I am also expecting them to deliver guild halls. This is a feature that’s been asked for even before launch. I don’t know what they will include or what we’re going to be able to do there, but there you go. Guild halls! :p I would love to see housing, but to be honest, I don’t think we will ever see it in Guild Wars 2. It just doesn’t really seem to fit the direction they are going with the game.

 More legendary weapons is another thing I would love to see (mostly because I don’t like any of the current ones enough to get into the grind). But again, I am not sure this is their focus now.

In the end, I think the expansion will mostly be about new zones and more living story. I like to keep my expectations low, so that I won’t be easily disappointed. Anyway, we will know more soon! Less than a week from now.

Reminder: Wintersday Window Decoration Contest

As you all probably know already, the next patch will be here tomorrow. We will finally get the last episode of season 2, “Point of No Return”. In case you don’t know what to do with yourself until then – or in case you rush through the story and can’t wait for season 3 and get bored and don’t know what to do with yourself until then, I would like to remind you that ArenaNet’s Wintersday Window Decoration Contest is still going on.

You can win one out of five prizes (e.g. the first prize will give you a Guild Wars 2 signed artbook, a signed Rytlock notebook, an exclusive Guild Wars 2 mousemat, a Black Rytlock T-shirt, a Wintersday card, a Guild Wars 2 Griffon Mail Carrier and a 400 gems code).

The deadline to send in your Window Decoration stencils is January 20, 2015! Your stencil has to be 300 dpi, minimal size of Din A 4, .JPG, .PNG, .TIFF or .PDF format (this should equal to 2480 * 3508 pixels) and must have never been submitted or published anywhere else before!

The stencil does not have to be Wintersday-themed, but it has to be related to Guild Wars 2 somehow.

Send it in to the following email address (I definitely have to make a fitting image with just our email address on it… ^^):

email_blog
Please follow this link for the original post here on Nerdy Bookahs (the contest is run by ArenaNet but hosted by several fansites) for the full details and rules! If you have any questions or if anything is unclear, send us an email or leave a comment here. We will try to help you as much as possible. :)

(The above shows examples from Zav)