Guild Wars 2 Community Event – Blaugust Day 9

GW2 Community Event 2015As you may already know, on Thursday, we went to gamescom and then went to the Wildstar Community Event in the evening. I already told you about the Wildstar event. My write-up of our visit to gamescom is taking a bit more time to get finished, though. So I figured I could show you the pictures I took at the Guild Wars 2 community event. Keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer and I only had my mobile phone to take pictures. I actually like the quality of the pictures the phone produces. Hey, I’m a kid of the 80s/90s, I have seen SO much worse quality in pictures. You young ones out there have no idea what a luxury it is to produce this amount of pictures with such a good quality at no cost! Ahem, I digress, don’t I? And I made myself feel old. Well done… What I want to say is that the restaurant we were at was apparently too dark for my camera. But the light wasn’t an issue for me throughout the event. What was really bad was that the whole room was packed (although, apparently, we were not as many people as we were at the Wildstar event) and it felt crowded and there was only one fan at the ceiling and no air conditioning. But outside, it had been really hot, too, so there was no cool wind coming in.

We had not been back at gamescom on Friday. Thursday was enough for us. Cologne is about a 1,5 hours drive from where we live, so we drove there again on Friday afternoon for the Guild Wars 2 community event. For the last three years, it has now taken place at the same location. Thankfully, this year we had a bit more variety with food. I certainly don’t want to complain about free food! However, the food they serve there is that typical German kind of food. Lots of meat, actually, meat everywhere even in your baked potatoes and your sauerkraut (yes, there has to be sauerkraut – typical German food, remember?) and greasy fatty meat. But this year, we also had some salad consisting of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes as well as some vegetarian dish. I am not sure what exactly it was. It looked a bit like pieces of a wrap with a vegetable filling. It was super tasty! After we had all finished our dinner, ArenaNet handed the teams that competed in the World Tournament Series their jerseys and used this opportunity to introduce the players to us. Afterwards, the famous “raffle” began. Everybody present had gotten a raffle ticket and they gave several prizes away. We did not win anything, but that’s not too bad considering everybody who came to the event got a little goodie bag. Let me show you one thing from this bag.

GW2_Rytlock shirt

It’s pretty, isn’t it? It shows a huge Rytlock and the Heart of Thorns logo. The back of the t-shirt is plain black. And yes, I just like bragging that I have something that you cannot have! Or… actually no. You probably know me better by now, right? :) I am only showing you this little gem because we will soon(ish) have another giveaway and this t-shirt (size “L” – the one shown in the picture is size “S”, but that one is actually mine :p) will be one of the prizes you can win! I wish we had many many more of those for you guys. The colours are so fantastic! If you look closely, or not so closely even, you may see the green colours on the left and the right of the picture. That’s our living-room sofa. I am a great fan of light green. :)

The giveaway is still some time away, though. I just thought I would put a little teaser in here.

But even though we got free food, free drinks and a loot bag, we would have also gone there if it had only been to meet everybody. Not even necessarily the guys from ArenaNet and NCsoft. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great! But it’s always a great opportunity to meet others from the community and talk about games – or even about what you’re up to in your offline life. So there is actually not that much I can tell you about. Just as with Wildstar, we were also not told anything exclusive here either. No, still no release date for Heart of Thorns. :p But we could meet the famous Gaile Gray – and she is as awesome and friendly as I thought she was! And with this, I will leave you to have a look at the picture gallery below. Now there is only one more gamescom-related post coming and that one, yes, will actually be about gamescom! ;)

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.

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? :)