Tag Archives: Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 vs. Rift vs. Trove: Part 2 (Lore)

GW2 vs Rift vs Trove logo

This is the second part of the blog post series “Guild Wars 2 vs. Rift vs. Trove”. The first part was about “Basic information“. This part now focuses on the lore of the games. Once again, my goal is not to say which game has a better lore. Neither do I want to bore you with lots and lots of tiny details of the story. Instead, I want to give you an overview of what the main story is about and to give you a feeling of the world that you will enter should you decide to pick up the game and play. There will be a comparison, but I will definitely not call any game superior here.

Warning!

As the title and introduction text already suggest, this is a blog post about the lore in those three games. Do not continue reading if you don’t want any story spoilers!

I am now going to start the lore part with the big mystery question:

Does Trove have lore?

trove-logoThe answer isn’t as easy as one may think or hope. Yes, it does have lore, apparently. It just doesn’t really seem like it. The game does not have a consistent world, but rather ever-changing maps which are generated as soon as players enter the map. It has biomes with undead, with pirates, but also with candy-fied enemy NPCs. It has lava, water plasma and chocolate lakes. It even has candy fish! And fish in lava, too. But so far, there is no coherent story part and no real background lore. With the recent revamp of the tutorial, they added lore cubes to it, but those aren’t present in the general world. Those cubes tell a very short story.

The tutorial takes place in the ruins of the Sun Goddess’s temple. Apparently, the Moon had become jealous of her. Something – it says “a great shadow” got released and the only way to save the world was for the Sun Goddess to sacrifice herself.

The main story in Rift when you first enter the game

Rift_Logo_transparentThe lore in Rift is delivered mainly through quests. There is a comic book that came with the original Collector’s Edition, but as far as I know, this is all there is outside of the game. Some more information can be found on the website, like general information on Nightmare Tide, the game’s second expansion and in the lore forum, a sub-section of the official forum. The developers posted a timeline there about the events in Rift back in 2011.

Rift_Lore_Book CollectionApart from quests, you can also “collect” books in Rift which, once collected, you can click on and read through. Of course, those aren’t real books with several hundred pages. But they do give additional lore and they are neatly stores in the collections tab of your character panel.

I actually had to go and read through several postings on various different places to find out more about the lore myself. I’ve known bits but I admit, I’m not the person who always reads the quest texts. :p There are lots and lots of names to memorize when you want to get into the lore and I have always had problems telling the important figures apart (who’s the bad guy, who’s the good guy? And who is the good guy turned bad? ^^). So, I will try to summarize the basic lore as much as possible. Let’s start with the world of Rift as a whole. It consists of several planes of reality. Each plane “belongs” to a certain element. E.g. water, air, but also death and life. The name of the physical world we are on is “Telara” and it is located between those planes. Telara was created by five gods called “The Vigil” who used a material called Sourcestone to do that. The names of the gods are Bahralt, Tavril, Thedeor, Mariel-Taun and Thontic. For this short introduction to the lore, the names aren’t going to be important anymore. I just thought I should add them in case you start playing and come across the names in the game. However, the Vigil aren’t the only gods in this world. In fact, the exact number of gods is unknown. Another group of gods that is known and that caused quite a lot of trouble is called the “Blood Storm“, six dragon gods. Each of them represents a different plane of reality: Regulos (Death), Maelforge (Fire), Laethys (Earth), Greenscale (Life), Crucia (Air) and Akylios (Water). All of them wanted to control Telara and tried to invade it with their legions while also fighting against each other. This gave the inhabitants of Telara and the Vigil the opportunity to eventually fight back. All Blood Storm gods with the exception of Regulos were imprisoned on Telara. Additionally, the Vigil placed a Ward around Telara to protect it from the invading forces from the planes. All could have been peaceful and well now.

So, let me summarize: We’ve got Telara in the middle of the planes now with a Ward made by the creators of Telara, the Vigil, to keep the invaders out.

The bad thing with this Ward is that it’s been getting weaker through the centuries. I mentioned the Sourcestone above already. The Guardians (one of the two factions for player characters in the game) use this to commune with the Vigil. The other faction, the Defiant, use it to build and power their machines. Jostir, king of the Mathosians (the playable human race on Guardian side), died about 25 years before “current game time”. His two sons (Aedraxis and Zareph) fought over the throne. Aedraxis used machines powered with Sourcestone and managed to get a crack into the Ward in the process. Additionally, he was corrupted by Regulos. To put it shortly: With this crack, the Rifts came. Rifts are tears through which the forces from the planes can enter Telara. In game, they are open world events… more on that in the PvE part of this blog post series. Hardly any place is safe from the rifts. I will leave the rest of the story to be told in the game.

The role of your character in this world

You are still following, right? So, Aedraxis was corrupted by Regulos. Longer story short: Regulos is back in action.

You can either play a character in the Guardian or in the Defiant faction – and you are an Ascendant (more on that in a bit). Guardians get their Ascendant status from the Vigil, while Defiants use their sourcestone-powered machines built by Eth  (the human race on Defiant side). The Guardians are strictly against using sourcestone in this way, see it as blasphemous and some also claim it to be the source of their current problems (as sourcestone was used when the Rifts appeared – see above).

Defiant or Guardian - Choose now

Defiant or Guardian – Choose now

Now it’s getting a bit trickier. In the “original timeline”, the Vigil chose people to be Ascendants! They returned them back from the dead to fight against Regulos and his legions. However, only those who believed in them and followed them

Asha Catari

Asha Catari

rigorously got chosen. Asha Catari was not one of them. She did get resurrected by Orphiel, a Defiant who used a source-stone powered machine for this resurrection process. The Guardians fought against the Defiants and wanted to destroy not only their machines, but their whole existence. At the same time, apparently, they failed the fight against Regulos. This is where Defiant players enter the game. All hope is lost, basically. But they are able to resurrect their own Ascendants by using their machines and – this is why telling the lore gets a bit tricky now – they also have a time machine and send you, the player, back in time to before Regulos won the fight.

While your character, being an Ascendant, is basically a “special snowflake” in the world, there are many Ascendants. I don’t like it that much when an MMO treats the story as you are the only and the strongest special person around. Having several special people is much more realistic considering all the other players around you fulfill the same role anyway.

The game has been out for four years now, so of course, a lot of things have happened already. I am not going to write about all of these happenings here, however, because I don’t want to spoil all content for you. This is just the basic and short summary for you to get to know what the main story is all about when you enter the game. If you still want to know more about what has happened since the game’s release, I found a nice little summary in the lore section of the official forum.

The main story in Guild Wars 2 before you first enter the game

GW2_Logo_kl_transparentGuild Wars 2 takes a slightly different approach to delivering the story to its players. There are no traditional quests in the game. Most of the main storyline is delivered by their living world and personal story concept. The personal story starts out differently depending on which race and which options you chose during the character selection screen and also by what you choose at certain points throughout the personal story. It does eventually end the same for every character, though. The personal story is finished at some point and does not continue. Instead, the living world concept took over after the game’s release. The living world so far has seen two “seasons”. Season 1 was only temporary and cannot be played through and experienced anymore now. If you want to know what happened there, you have to rely on outside sources. Season 2 needs to be bought or played through with a player who previously unlocked it. It is similar to quests. You just don’t need to visit a quest giver in the world, but instead, can access each story’s steps in your character panel. This is also where you can find very short summaries of what happened in each story step (both for the personal story as well as for the second season of the living story).

As the name already suggests, Guild Wars 2 is a sequel. The original game, Guild Wars, takes place 250 years prior to where we are in Guild Wars 2. If you want to experience the original story, you can buy the game (3 campaigns and 1 expansion – the campaigns are all “standalone games” and can be played through without owning the others) and play through the story.

Additionally, there are three novels that take place before the main story of Guild Wars 2 starts: Ghosts of Ascalon, Edge of Destiny and Sea of Sorrows. They were written to bridge the time between the original Guild Wars and the sequel.

The world of Guild Wars 2 is called “Tyria“. Do not confuse this Tyria with the other Tyria, the continent. ;) Tyria, the world, is only one among several in the Mists, the “proto-reality that exists between the worlds”.

Tyria, the world, consists of several continents of which Tyria, Cantha and Elona are the major known ones. In the current time, players do not have access to Cantha or Elona and we do not, in fact, know what is going on over there. The land route to Elona has been sealed on Queen Jennah‘s order because of “dark events” going on there. Jennah is the Queen of Kryta and Kryta is one of the regions in Tyria mainly inhabited by humans. Cantha, on the other hand, is cut off from Tyria because of Zhaitan, one of the Elder Dragons (more about those in a bit). With Zhaitan awake and active again, any ship trying to sail to Cantha would be sunk.

So, about those Elder Dragons now – they started to rise about 250 years ago with Primordus being the first. There are six different Elder Dragons in total: Primordus (Fire), Jormag (Ice), Zhaitan (Death and Shadow), Kralkatorrik (Crystal), Mordremoth (Plant and Mind) and a dragon suspected to be in the Unending Ocean. The name of the sixth Elder Dragon is not yet known and since nobody has heard anything, it is assumed that this dragon hasn’t awoken yet.

The Elder Dragons had been asleep for about 11,000 years. Naturally, not much is known about the history in the present time, though the dwarves – now near-extinct and the ones alive are turned to stone – had preserved some knowledge in their legends as did the Jotun. Now they are back and together with their champions and their minions, they destroy everything in their paths – or, even worse, turn every creature into their mindless and will-less minions that fight for them.

One group of adventurers, called “Destiny’s Edge“, was the first to slay one of the Elder Dragon’s champions, the Dragonspwawn. They rose to fame for this heroic deed, but when something went wrong, they – all coming from different racial backgrounds (Asura, Charr, Human, Norn and Sylvari) – could not overcome their partly culturally based distrust for one another, some blamed each other for the death of a beloved former group member and the rest of the group eventually split up. Not long after, your character enters the scene…

The role of your character in this world

Every character enters the world near their racial main city. You begin with a story related to choices you have made during the character creation process. I would say the story is pretty “local”. You certainly do not start out as a hero and throughout the personal story as well as the living story, you gain recognition among the NPCs. In Season 2, you will have some NPCs even calling you “boss”. It is also safe to say that of course, your path will lead you closer to the Elder Dragons and you will play a role in fighting against them.

As you can tell, I’m being deliberately vague here. While I do want to introduce you to the basic lore of the game, I do not want to give you too many spoilers, because I think this would seriously diminish your fun in the game. I will get more into the different races’ in the next piece of this blog post series where we will look at the options available during the character creation process. So, this is all I am going to tell you about your character right now.

If you still want to know more about the history of Tyria, I can recommend the lore videos by WoodenPotatoes.

Conclusion so far

Rift’s strength, if you ask me, is that they also give you the collections to go out there and find all the little lore pieces. Additionally, you can feel the threat everywhere and the open world events make sense. And last but not least, neither faction is the “good” one. Both believe that what they are doing is right.

Guild Wars 2’s strength, on the other hand, is the strong and active community making sure that you can read all about the lore or listen to podcasts telling you about it. The continuous addition of content (up until season 2, at least. At the moment, we’re waiting for the expansion) has moved the main storyline further quickly. There is also lots of information to be found outside of the game including novels and the first game, Guild Wars.

One note about fantasy and steampunk: Even though I mainly mentioned machines in the Rift section, Guild Wars 2 has just as many steampunk elements in it. So if you really cannot stand steampunk in your game lore, neither of those games is a good match for you. Other than that, if you care about lore and want to get into a world full of story, I think both of those games will give you that. Trove, on the other hand, is very, very, very light on lore.

The next blog post will focus on the character creation as well as on the playable races and their background lore.

Foostival 2015 in Germany

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FoostivalSome of you may remember that I was not able to attend last year’s Foostival. I still helped out a bit with the organization, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to do. This year, bookahnerk and I did not only go there, I also helped organize a lot more.

But before I give you my written impressions of this year’s Foostival, let me reiterate what Foostival exactly is first. Foostival, as I wrote in the above linked entry last year, is a Guild Wars 2 focused event made by fans for the fans! Most of us are part of at least one fan site (in my case even two).

This year, the Foostival happened in four countries simultaneously (France, Belgium, Germany and the UK). In every country, it is organized solely by fans of the game. We were lucky that the European community managers joined us, but they did so not in an organizational position, but instead as our guests.

The purpose of the Foostival is to get to know each other. One the one hand, for us fansite writers to get to know the people who hang out on our fansites or community sites, and for our readers to get to know us, but most importantly: For players to get to know and meet other players. 

Since I was one of the organizers, I could not spend that much time talking to all those who attended the Foostival. But I still had a lot of fun. I got to meet the great guys from GuildNews again, I could watch the gw2community team organize a Tequatl run and I could see a lot of people enjoy themselves and smile – especially when it was time for our giveaways. :p

Unfortunately, this year the planned jumping puzzle that should have taken place in France and Germany simultaneously could not happen, because the French guys had problems with their PCs. By the time we decided that us Germans should do the jumping puzzle on our own, the time slot for the Tequatl run was almost there, so we switched to that one instead. I would say that this “dry spell” in between was rather unfortunate and especially disappointing for those who would have loved to do the jumping puzzle.

Altogether, I would say that this Foostival was a lot of fun and I’ve seen a lot of smiling people. In fact, even though I’d probably spent a lot of time checking my Skype messages that day, I did get to talk to a few participants and I hope to be able to do so much more at the next Foostival. I’ll just have to multitask a bit more. ;)

But you may wonder: What led to this day? What did we have to do before we even got here? Relatively easy answer: A lot of voice chat and Skype text message sessions, several emails, a lot of brainstorming and about a zillion Google Drive documents. :p

I really enjoy working together with others on a common goal, though. And while I generally prefer having this blog for myself where I can do whatever I want whenever I want without having to deal with deadlines or coordinating with others, doing exactly that for something like the Foostival is a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get to know others. I guess I can say I’ve also been lucky because the guys from GuildNews are not only down-to-earth but also easy to work with. We did not really have to tell each other to get any work done or force tasks on somebody because nobody did them otherwise. It just so happened that the work that had to be done got done by one person or another. At some point, I did what I do best and took over some of the organizational stuff in the background. The official website, the Facebook site and the Twitter account had to be fed with information for the German Foostival (in German, of course) and we had to make sure that everybody who applied for a spot at the Foostival got added to a list and, of course, some participants also had questions and I was happy to assist them and answer as well as I could. You can hardly find me in the front row holding a speech unless I absolutely have to. But I really enjoy keeping lists and sending emails to people. ;)

What’s difficult with something like the Foostival organization is that there is not one single person who is in charge and has “the last say”. I tried to do as much as possible without seeming like I wanted to be “the boss”, you know? But organizing this together also means that there shouldn’t be a boss who decides everything while everybody else follows. The point of the Foostival, and the reason why I really love this initiative is that all fansites work together to put something fun for everybody. It’s not about getting the most hits or views or followers for our own fansite. It’s all about the community. And I think I can say that we have been successful with our second Foostival and I can’t wait for the third to arrive. :D

Edited to add: If you want to organize Foostival in your own country, get in touch with us!

The following pictures were taken by Lord Walek, but he gave me permission to use them in our blog. :) If you want to see all pictures that were taken at the Foostival, go to the official gallery (which I will work on after publishing this very blog post here… so the link does not show pictures as of yet).

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Ein Hinweis: Im englischen Text findet ihr zwei Bildergallerien. Die wiederhole ich hier nicht noch einmal, sonst muss man zu viel scrollen. :)

Einige von euch erinnern sich vielleicht daran, dass wir letztes Jahr nicht beim Foostival dabei sein konnten. Immerhin konnte ich dennoch ein wenig bei der Organisation helfen, aber nicht annähernd so viel, wie ich gerne getan hätte. Dieses Jahr dagegen hatte ich mehr Zeit, konnt somit mehr mithelfen und bookahnerk und ich waren auch endlich vor Ort dabei!

Bevor ich jetzt aber über meine Eindrücke vom diesjährigen Foostival schreibe, möchte ich kurz noch für diejenigen, die das Foostival vielleicht nicht kennen, erklären, was das überhaupt ist. Im oben verlinkten Artikel vom letzten Jahr habe ich das ganze schon ausführlicher (allerdings nur auf Englisch) beschrieben. Daher jetzt kurz die längere Version auf Deutsch. Das Foostival wurde 2013 zum ersten Mal veranstaltet und zwar in Frankreich. Dort hatten sich Leute von den französischen Fanseiten zusammengetan, weil sie gemeinsam etwas organisieren wollten. “Von den Fans für die Fans” lautet das Motto des Foostivals. Im Jahr danach fragten die Franzosen in der Community herum, ob andere Länder sich nicht auch beteiligen möchten. Das Ganze war erstmal auf Europa beschränkt (keine Ahnung, ob Absicht oder Zufall). Ab 2014 waren wir in Deutschland dann also dabei! Dieses Jahr wurde es dann schon auf Belgien und Großbritannien erweitert (und somit fand das Foostival schon in 4 Ländern statt). Die größten Probleme gibt es tatsächlich meist, weil es sehr schwierig ist, eine Location zu finden, die bezahlbar ist und gleichzeitig PCs mit Internetverbindung zur Verfügung stellt, damit man auch spielen kann. In Großbritannien wurde das Foostival deshalb nur “offline” abgehalten ohne PCs. Fast alle Organisatoren gehören mindestens einer Fanseite an. In meinem Fall sind es ja sogar zwei.

Wie oben bereits geschrieben, wird das Foostival in jedem Land von den Fans selbst organisiert. Allerdings hatten wir glücklicherweise die europäischen Community Manager vor Ort. Ausnahmsweise aber mal als Gäste und nicht als Organisatoren.

Beim Foostival geht es vor allem darum, sich kennenzulernen. Auf der einen Seite ist das für diejenigen hinter den Fanseiten mal schön, die Leute zu treffen, die uns lesen, bei uns kommentieren bzw. sich in den jeweiligen Foren miteinander unterhalten.  Auf der anderen Seite ist es vielleicht für die Leser auch mal ganz schön, zu wissen, wer eigentlich hinter den Fanseiten steckt. Das Wichtigste ist aber immer, dass wir als Spieler andere Spieler treffen können.

Da ich bei der Organisation dabei war, hatte ich leider nicht so viel Zeit, mich mit den übrigen Teilnehmern zu unterhalten, wie ich es gerne getan hätte. Trotzdem hatte auch ich viel Spaß (und ich denke, dem Rest des Orga-Teams geht es da genauso). Ich konnte endlich mal wieder die großartigen Jungs von GuildNews sehen und ich konnte zusehen, wie das gw2community-Team den Tequatl-Kampf organisierte. Wo immer ich hinblickte, sah ich lächelnde Teilnehmer – vor allem bei der Verlosung des Loots. :p

Leider hat das “internationale” Jumping Puzzle dieses Jahr nicht geklappt. Im letzten Jahr konnten die Teilnehmer in Frankreich, in Deutschland und Rumänien (die sich allerdings nur für in-game Aktivitäten im Spiel getroffen hatten und sich nicht offline getroffen hatten). Jedenfalls gab es dieses Jahr Probleme bei den Franzosen, die mit ihren PCs nicht alle ins Spiel kamen. Irgendwann hatten wir uns dann entschieden, das Jumping Puzzle alleine zu machen. Leider war es dann aber auch schon Zeit für den Kampf gegen Tequatl, so dass wir das JP ausfallen ließen. Die Warterei war meiner Meinung nach schon sehr öde und dass wir es dann ausfallen ließen, war für einige bestimmt auch enttäuschend.

Insgesamt gesehen war das Foostival aber sehr schön und wir hatten trotzdem viel Spaß. Auch wenn ich an dem Tag wahrscheinlich viel zu viel Zeit damit verbracht habe, auf meinem Handy nach neuen Nachrichten von den Franzosen zu suchen, konnte ich mich trotzdem auch mit einigen Leuten unterhalten. Hoffentlich wird das nächstes Mal noch besser. Ich muss nur meine Multitasking-Fähigkeit stärker trainieren. ;)

Vielleicht fragt sich jetzt der ein oder andere aber auch: Was führte denn genau zu diesem Tag? Was muss eigentlich für so ein Foostival organisiert werden? Die relativ einfache Antwort ist: Es braucht sehr viele Voice Chats, Skype Nachrichten, E-Mails, viel Brainstorming und zig Google Drive-Dokumente. :p

An sich bevorzuge ich es, hier in meinem Blog alleine schalten und walten zu können, wie ich es mag, ohne irgendwelche Deadlines oder Leute, die mir sagen, worüber ich schreiben soll. Ich muss hier mit keinem koordinieren. Ab und zu “arbeite” ich aber auch sehr gerne mit anderen Leuten in der Community an einer gemeinsamen Sache (z.B. auch für “Pink Day in LA”). Man lernt einfach viele neue Menschen kennen und hat am Ende ein fertiges “Produkt” bzw. Event. Ich habe natürlich auch Glück, dass man z.B. mit GuildNews gut zusammenarbeiten kann. Es ist eben so, dass es beim Foostival nicht die eine Person gibt, die über allen anderen steht und sagt, was gemacht wird oder wer für welche Aufgaben verantwortlich ist. Wir organisieren alles gemeinsam und jeder sucht sich quasi selbst seine Aufgaben heraus. Man stimmt höchstens mal ab, ob man x oder y übernehmen kann oder soll. So bin ich auch nicht die Person, die vorne steht, sondern eher die, die im Hintergrund arbeitet. Ich habe mich vor allem um die offizielle Webseite gekümmert, um den Twitter-Account und Facebook, um die Anmeldungen, die reinkamen, die E-Mail-Kommunikation mit den Teilnehmern und dann auch die Anmeldung vor Ort. Ich führe gerne Listen, daher passte das auch ganz gut so. ;)

Wie gesagt, es gibt nicht den einen Boss. Das Foostival ist ein Gemeinschaftsprodukt und ich denke, darauf können wir dann auch stolz sein. Das Wichtige beim Foostival ist ja gerade, dass mehrere Seiten zusammenarbeiten und gerade deswegen mag ich diese Initiative auch so sehr. Alle Fanseiten arbeiten zusammen und am Ende haben wir alle Spaß. Ich denke, wir hatten auch mit dem zweiten Foostival wieder Erfolg und ich freue mich jetzt schon auf das dritte Foostival nächstes Jahr. :D

Die zweite Bildergallerie oben ist übrigens von Lord Walek, der mir erlaubt hat, seine Bilder hier im Blog zu verwenden. Wenn ihr alle Fotos sehen möchtet, die wir beim Foostival gemacht haben, besucht die Gallerie auf der offiziellen Webseite.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch: Now with more community!

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting things about gaming.

I’ve always really liked the idea of Bookahneer’s Geekwatch and using this column to write about short news pieces that I wouldn’t be writing otherwise. However, lately it felt a bit obsolete as I posted gaming news for our three main games in other formats most of the time. I always liked the idea of having a look at other fansites and blogs, though, to see what they are up to. So I figured that we could use this column for both, bits of interesting gaming news as well as looking at other blogs and fansites.

Let’s start with the newest blog on my reading list that I only found because the owner left a comment here. – As a side note, for all those new to blogging: If you want to get noticed, interact with others! Comment on their blog posts and engage in conversations about their posts. This is how others will get to know you!

ShapestoneJournal

The Shapestone Journal is a blog dedicated only to Trove. The only one that’s focusing on the game as far as I know and the only other blog regularly writing about Trove other than ours. But I wouldn’t mention him here if the only reason was “he is the only blogger about Trove”. I also really enjoy his content! He summarizes the news we get from Trion’s live streams just as we do. But if you know me well enough, you know that I don’t see something like this as a competition. I quite like knowing that I can write about the news from the live stream, but I don’t have to, because the players can read the news elsewhere regardless. :p What you can also find there are guides. I’m going to recommend one post here now, it’s the guide to craft the Neon Nightsky wings. I’ve personally not looked into those too closely so far, because I have not yet been able to handle the wings properly. So, I don’t even need to think about crafting some special look. ;)

By the way, if you know of any other Trove blogs – or maybe you’re even the owner of such a blog –

dragonseasonThe second post I’m going to put on a pedestal here, so to say, is from Dragon Season. Yeah, you may wonder why I decide to feature a post from the very fan site that I am part of as well. ;) But this is special! Tilion has been away from the gaming world for some time and now that he is back, he is also back with new articles. I really liked this one where he looks at things we would love to see in Guild Wars 2‘s future.

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

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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!

4 years of Nerdy Bookahs!

On March 12, 2011, we started this very blog here. I did not think that we would still be around 4 years later. I also did not think that the content of the blog would stay this close to its original roots. :p

4 years ago, we started as “Nerdy Bookahs and their travel guide”. We knew we wanted to focus on Guild Wars 2, but that game had not been released yet. “and their travel guide” fit at that time because we were looking for a new MMO home, so to speak, and tried out various MMOs. Rift had just released back in March 2011 and I had bought it for myself as a motivator for studying for my exams. This worked very well, by the way. :)

March 12, 2011 in Rift

March 12, 2011 in Rift

My main motivation to start writing a blog about gaming had been simple: I wanted to practice my English. Living in Germany, this is not exactly easy to do as German is such a strong language that in everyday life, you do not meet a lot of English. Films and TV series are completely dubbed, by the way. Over the years, my motivation has changed. I play in international guilds, so practicing my English skills isn’t such a big issue anymore. But I love being part of gaming communities. I enjoy communicating with others, sharing such a geeky hobby and making new friends (Greece… it will happen… soon!). The only thing I would wish for was an automatic – and good! – translation of all my English blog posts, so we could more easily have them in German as well. ;)

Let’s look at a few statistics: Throughout the past 4 years, we have published 385 posts (386 with this one). We used 576 different tags for our posts. The tags used most often are: Guild Wars 2, Giveaway, Screenshots, Rift, ArenaNet and Bookahneer’s Geekwatch.

The 5 most often viewed posts of all time are

  1. Guild Wars 2: Region by level
  2. How to switch between the starter areas in Guild Wars 2
  3. Guild Wars 2: A FAQ for new players
  4. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (all entries in one) (possibly also the longest post with 11668 words)
  5. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (Part 3)
March 8, 2012 in Rift

March 8, 2012 in Rift

The top 6 most often used search terms that led people to our blog are

  1. eligium
  2. lotro vs wow
  3. guild wars 2 map
  4. anno online
  5. guild wars 2 races
  6. guild wars 2 asura

As you can clearly see from these lists: Guild Wars 2 is not the only topic we write about in this blog. But some of those are actually quite surprising, even to me. As I said, I tried out a lot of different MMOs – some of those because of “Project 10/10“, but also because I just enjoy trying out new games. I actually had no idea I had ever used “eligium” in my posts, but I did find one where I wrote about that game: Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 18, 2012): Hype, where art thou? – Scroll past my whining about Warhammer Online and WvW in Guild Wars 2 and you will find the small part about Eligium. Quite obviously, I didn’t like that game. Anno Online is quite fascinating as well. I’ve written exactly one post about this game sharing my first impressions.

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

I am also surprised how many players are still interested in the question “Lotro or WoW?”. Oddly enough, I had seen this search term leading to our blog before I had written the blog posts comparing all the existing and/or missing features of Lotro, Rift and World of Warcraft. It was this search term that gave me the idea to write those posts in the first place. The rest is obvious, I think. And of course, I had to include the asura in the list… they aren’t really a focus of our blog other than them being part of Guild Wars 2, but apparently, we still mention them quite often. For good reasons, naturally. They are superior to all the others, after all.

Of course, Guild Wars 2 has always been the major focus of this blog. There’s no doubt about that when looking at the statistics above. At some point, we also removed the “and their travel guide” part from our blog’s name, because we declared Guild Wars 2 our new MMO home and had no need to travel anymore. After Guild Wars 2 had released, I wasn’t even sure if it was still appropriate to write about other games. But I decided that since we had started this way, we will stay the way we are. Guild Wars 2 is a major focus, but it’s not the only game we write about.

And with this, other MMOs came, were tried out and were left by us again. With one exception, other than Guild Wars 2: Rift. I had quit it while it had the sub fee and only returned once or twice, but jumped back in the minute it went free to play. I have been enjoying my time in the game ever since (while also giving them money. Don’t you worry! I love the game enough to want to support them, after all). The newest addition to our regular “setup” is Trove. These three games couldn’t be any more different from each other if you ask me. Rift being the “classical MMO” with the trinity and an extensive housing feature, Guild Wars 2 with its focus on living story and action-oriented combat (but lacking when it comes to housing, for example) and Trove the voxel sandbox game with blocky graphics. Altogether, a perfect mix for me as one of those three games always offers me something I want from gaming at any given time. ;) So here is to many more years of blogging… hopefully!

***

And In case you’re wondering why I’m publishing this post several days early: Real life. I will very likely be very busy next week and figured I’d rather write and publish this post now rather than later. At the same time, I can already give you a little “spoiler” of what’s going to be posted on March 12. If you’ve been here longer for a year already, you may remember that on our anniversary, we tend to start a giveaway. This year will be a little different. We will have two giveaways! One for Guild Wars 2 and one for Rift. Both ArenaNet and TrionWorlds were kind enough to give us some codes to give away (how about mini llamas or a hellbug mount or demon helms? Does that sound good to you?). So, make sure to come back here on March 12 if you want to win something! :)

March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

…and their travel guide… – March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

Foostival 2015!

FoostivalI know I’m quite late with this. The British Foostival page has been online, announced and advertised for for quite some time already. Us Germans were a bit slower. But we’re finally ready to announce that yes, Foostival is coming to Germany again! Foostival 2015 will take place on March 21 in France, England, Germany and Belgium! Just like last year, the German Foostival will be in the rooms of the SAE institute in Hamburg.

But why am I telling you all this? Well, if you’re German, click here to read the German text as I’ll tell you more about our Foostival down there. If you’re not, but you still want to know what Foostival is (or if you’re close to London and want to participate yourself), read on here. :)

Foostival first took place in 2013. Back then, it was only held in France. Foostival is an offline community meeting made by fans for fans. Watch the next two videos to get a glimpse on what to expect from Foostival. In short: We don’t only want to sit in front of our computers, never knowing who the other people are. We want to actually meet others and get to know them!

After Foostival 2013, the French fansites reached out to other European fansites and in 2014 it took place in France and Germany. It was also organized in-game by Romanian fans. Sadly, bookahnerk and I could not go to the one in Germany as we were too busy with real life, but we helped a bit with the organization already.

 

This year – *knocks on wood* – it will be different. We fully intend to be there for the German Foostival 2015! And we’re in the middle of organizing everything together with GuildNews and gw2community.de. But that’s not the only change. This year, Foostival will also take place in Belgium and in London! They (Black Lion Chest and Healing over Time are the organizers over there) started already with the selling of tickets. They have a slightly different system where you immediately buy your ticket. Go to the English Foostival website to get more information. You will also be able to buy your tickets  there (just look for the link on the top).

quagganBut don’t be sad if you can’t go. There is a “Draw me a Quaggan” contest that you can enter. It’s quite easy to tell what you have to do for this one, right? In case it’s not that obvious: Draw a quaggan. There aren’t that many instructions. Just do some quaggan-related art and send it to list-eu@foostival.com (including your GW2 display name). The deadline for this is Monday March 16th, at 10:59PM GMT and the winner will be chosen at the Foostival! But please don’t ask me what you can win, as I don’t know this myself yet. It’s organized by the French fansites.

FoostivalFoostival 2015 wird dieses Jahr wieder wie letztes Jahr auch im SAE-Institut in Hamburg stattfinden.

Vorweg aber erst nochmal ein kurzer historischer Abriss über das Foostival: Foostival ist ein Offline-Community Meeting, welches von Fans (bzw. Fanseiten) für Fans von Guild Wars 2 durchgeführt wird. Es ist ja irgendwie auch das Schöne an Online-Spielen, dass man nicht nur alleine vor dem PC spielt, sondern sich irgendwann auch aufmachen und die ganzen Leute einmal treffen kann, die man sonst nur “virtuell” auf dem Bildschirm sieht.

Zum ersten Mal fand es 2013 in Frankreich statt.

Nach 2013 fragten die französischen Organisatoren bei anderen europäischen Fanseiten an, ob auch bei uns Interesse an der Organisation eines Foostivals bestünde. 2014 gab es das Foostival dann nicht nur in Frankreich, sondern auch bei uns in Deutschland. Rumänische Fans hatten das Foostival immerhin in-game organisiert. Leider konnten damals bookahnerk und ich nicht hier in Deutschland vor Ort sein. Das Real Life hatte uns zu fest im Griff. Bei der Organisation im Vorfeld hatten wir aber schon ein wenig helfen können.

 

Dieses Jahr (wir klopfen an dieser Stelle wie wild auf Holz) wird es aber anders sein! Dieses Jahr sind wir dabei! Momentan stecken wir mitten in der Organisation des Events mit GuildNews und gw2community.de. Daneben wird das Foostival dieses Jahr auch noch in Belgien und in London stattfinden. Die Organisatoren in London (Black Lion Chest und Healing over Time) haben mit dem Ticketverkauf bereits begonnen. Das aber nur am Rande, falls ihr dort eure Tickets kaufen wollt – das ist dann aber natürlich auch nur für das Foostival in London und nicht bei uns. ;)

Das Foostival findet in allen vier Ländern (Frankreich, Belgien, Großbritannien und Deutschland) zur gleichen Zeit statt, nämlich am 21. März 2015.

Bei uns kauft ihr aber nicht direkt euer Ticket, sondern ihr meldet euch (und eine weitere Person, wenn ihr nicht alleine kommen mögt) hier an und wenn sich zu viele anmelden sollten (die Räume bieten nur einer begrenzten Anzahl an Personen Platz), wird das Los entscheiden, wer teilnehmen darf und wer nicht. Natürlich müsst ihr aber auch nichts zahlen, wenn ihr gar nicht wisst, ob ihr teilnehmen dürft! Und ihr werdet eine E-Mail erhalten, die euch mitteilen wird, ob ihr einen Platz bekommen habt oder erst einmal auf der Warteliste steht.

Ein Video mit allen Erklärungen gibt es mittlerweile auch dank Durzan:

Bei Fragen könnt ihr jederzeit eine E-Mail an list-de@foostival.com schreiben. Wir helfen euch dort gerne weiter. :)

quagganAber auch wenn ihr nicht zum Foostival kommen könnt, könnt ihr trotzdem vielleicht auf eine andere Art dabei sein. Es gibt den Zeichne mir einen Quaggan-Wettbewerb! Schickt euer Kunstwerk, welches natürlich mindestens einen Quaggan beinhalten sollte, bis spätestens Montag, den 16. März 2015 22:59 GMT (also 23:59 in Deutschland), an list-eu@foostival.com. Die Teilnehmer des Foostivals werden dann den Gewinner bzw. die Gewinnerin bestimmen. Fragt mich aber bitte nicht, was ihr gewinnen könnt. Ich habe nämlich keine Ahnung. Das organisieren die französischen Fanseiten und das ist wohl erst mal noch eine Überraschung.