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.

Guild Wars 2 vs. Rift vs. Trove: Part 3 (Character Creation)

GW2 vs Rift vs Trove logoThis is the third post in the blog post series “Guild Wars 2 vs. Rift vs. Trove”. The title may suggest that at the end of this series, I will tell you which games is the best of the best, … But I will not do that! While the purpose of this series is to compare those games to a certain degree, my goal is to give you a thorough overview to help you figure out which game is the best for what you want from a game. Or maybe just to figure out whether those three games are interesting for you at all, independently of each other.

If you missed the previous postings, you can find them here:
Part 1: Basic information
Part 2: Lore

In this part, we will look at the character creation. I previously already covered it in the “Basic information” post, but I felt it deserves more space than that. I know that some people just hit “randomize” and they are done. If you are one of those, you may want to skip this part. ;) Others, like me, can easily spend hours in the character creation screen.

I will also cover the dreaded “how much does it cost?” question when you want to make changes with your character later on. A topic that I had quickly mentioned in Part 1: Basic information where I covered the payment models of those games. Remember: Trove and Rift are “free to play”, Guild Wars 2 is “buy to play” and all three feature in-game shops which mostly offer cosmetic items. Both Rift and Guild Wars 2 also offer you ways to spend in-game currency in order to get credits/gems (the games’ currencies you usually buy for real money). So, whenever I say that something is only available for “real money”, there are ways to circumvent this, but they usually require quite a lot of in-game currency to do so.

trove-logoTrove’s character creation is both very short and also, 100 % free. So far, there is nothing in the shop at all that would make your basic character look different from others. “Basic” because clothes, weapons, mounts and so on don’t count.

The initial character creation is very simple: You choose a name and off you go. Be careful here: You cannot change your character’s name afterwards! If you are unhappy with it, then you will have to create a new account or live with your choice.

There is no character customization at first, but in the tutorial, you can already find the barbershop. The first one is right behind where you spawn in the tutorial area. My first thought was: Which genius’s idea was that? But then I saw that there is another barbershop right before you exit the tutorial area. And even if you manage to miss both of them, you can easily access them later. In short: You will be able to change the look of your character whenever you want.

Anyway, the character creation is, as I said, rather simple. You can choose to be a lady or a guy, undead, robot, dragon or ghost pirate. When you go with lady or guy, you can choose between a few different skin colour tones. Additionally, there are hair styles, hair colours and eye colours to choose. Changing your appearance does not cost anything, neither in-game currency nor real money.

Once you are out of the tutorial, you can find the barbershop in the main hub (accessed by pressing “H” for a long time) and you can even craft barbershops and put them in your cornerstone and your club world.

Rift_Logo_transparentRift is a traditional MMORPG, so it lets you make a lot more choices than Trove. Character creation in Rift consists of the following steps: Choose a server, a faction, a race and a gender, a calling, a purpose and finally, your look and your name.

Choose a server

Rift_EU shard selection

The EU shards

Yes, unfortunately, Rift is one of those games where your character belongs to one server (called “shard” in Rift). However, good news is that you can play on a friend’s server with just one click and you can even transfer servers for free (yes, seriously!) with only a cooldown period that you’ve got to wait before you can transfer that character again (I think it’s 7 days). US and EU servers are separated. However, in the game’s launcher, you can choose if you want to play on EU or US servers. They are distinct servers (and data centers, I assume), so you cannot transfer a EU character to a US server. But at least, you can play on all servers if you want to! Just go and create a new character on that US server – and don’t forget that you switch between EU and US servers in the launcher (which is also where you can choose the public test realm, by the way, if you want to have a look at the upcoming features of the game)!

On the EU servers, you can choose a German, a French or English PvE servers. There is also one PvP server for EU players, Bloodiron. “Trübkopf” used to be a German PvP server but they were merged with Bloodiron some time ago.

In the US setting, you can choose between PvE servers, one PvE-RP server (Faeblight) and two PvP servers. One of the PvP servers is marked as “Trial Only Server”, no idea what that means… The others are all regular PvE servers with one, Laethys, marked as “Oceanic”.

Choose a faction

Defiant or Guardian - Choose now

Defiant or Guardian – Choose now

The next step is choosing a faction: “Guardians” or “Defiants”. The two factions, Guardians and Defiants, both have their own starting area, but there are no different starting areas between the three different races per faction. I explained a bit about the background story and the two factions in the Lore post. If you want to play a race that does not belong to your favourite faction, here’s good news: You can later change your character’s race (for a fee of 2400 credits) and can thus play any race in either of the factions. Also, on PvE servers, both factions can be in one guild together and play together perfectly. Only the enemy faction’s NPCs react hostile towards you.

Choose a race

On Guardian side, you can choose between three different races: Mathosians, High Elf and dwarf. On Defiant side, you can choose between Eth, Kelari and Bahmi. I will give you a very quick overview over the different races: The Mathosians are humans, as are the Eth. If you like humans, both factions give you that choice. From the Lore post, you may remember King Jostir and his two sons who, while fighting over the throne, caused the Shade War (yes, that’s a very short version of that story). Those were Mathosians. The Eth originally come from the south and are more like nomads nowadays. The Eth and the Mathosians are a bit different in their looks with the Eth giving you some slightly darker skin choices. There are also differences in the hair colours and the hair styles. But honestly, at the end of the day, both races really are just that: humans.

The same can probably be said about the elves. The High Elves are the lighter skinned ones and the Kelari are the… well in this case, the weird ones, I would say. You can’t just choose darker skin colours like you can with the humans on the other faction: The Kelari are actually purple-skinned with mostly pink hair colours. The description of the High Elves sounds like every other fantasy game out there (sorry, just being honest here and “not a fan” of elves as usual): “The oldest of the races of Telara, the High Elves are the protectors of the land. Wise and skilled, their tranquil nature masks a ruthless dedication to the gods.” Then we get the description of the Kelari of which I only quote the first sentence: “The elves of the lost Kelari isles have been tainted by generations of exposure to raw planar magic”. At some point, High Elves and Kelari were one tribe (or whatever you call elves here). That has been long ago and the Kelari split from the High Elves and left. Obviously, because I assume High Elves would never do that. ;) Kelari changed in looks since then, probably because of the planar magic mentioned above.

The two remaining races are nothing alike: Bahmi and Dwarves. Dwarves are just standard dwarves, except that you can give the male ones cool grey and white bushy hair and beards while the female dwarves look much younger, no matter what you choose. The Bahmi are the largest race in the game. If you ask me, the heads of the male Bahmi are a tiny bit too small. They look weird! Just like the Kelari, they mostly have purple skin colours to choose from. Their beards are also much less impressive than those of the dwarves!

So, in short, the Defiants are humans and two purplish races with pointy ears while the Guardians are the typical fantasy races: humans, elves and dwarves.

Choose a class/calling/profession

Rift_Purpose Beastlord

Warrior purpose: Beastlord. The pet changes appearance as it levels up with you.

Next up is choosing a calling (the basic “class” in Rift from which you can still specialize further down). Since I wrote about the available classes in the first part of this blog post series already, I will not get into it again now. However, you do not just choose your calling (just a quick recap: warrior, cleric, mage and rogue are the callings), but you also choose your “purpose”. This is a fancy term to say “the build you will start the game with”. :p For example, as a warrior you get the choices of “Righteous Defender” (a tank build), “Lord of War”, “Overlord” and “Fury” (DPS builds), “Auramancer” (healer build) and “Beastlord” (support build). As you can see, the calling can serve any purpose in the “holy trinity + support”. The same goes for the other four callings. You always get to choose at least one build for every role that is available, e.g., tank. This is a choice to get you started. You will not have to stick with it and you can easily change it later on, so don’t worry about making a “wrong” choice here!

Personalizing the look of your character

The character creation process itself lets you change quite a few things of your character’s look including the standard options of hair style, hair, skin and eye colour, nose, mouth and ear shapes (the latter is especially important for our poiny-eared elvish friends). You cannot change the body type, only the height of your character. You can see the options in the screenshot gallery above.

Then all you need to do is enter a name (one word only, no spaces allowed) and off you go.

How many character slots do I get?

This depends on the “version” of your game. The base game only gives you two character slots per server, but if you want to try out all four callings, you certainly can: Just choose two different servers to do so. The first boxed expansion gave you more character slots. I don’t think they are easily available anymore. But of course, you can also buy more character slots in the game’s shop for 720 credits each (which equals 3,69 € with the smallest credit pack and 2,99 € with the most expensive credit pack you can buy). Each character slot unlocks one extra slot on every available server.

GW2_Logo_kl_transparentCharacter creation in Guild Wars 2 differs a bit, as the game features a “personal story” that accompanies your character from level 1 to 80 (max level in the game). It is basically a quest chain giving you one quest at a time. At certain points up until level 30, the storyline branches depending on which choices you made at the character creation. Altogether, character creation consists of the following steps: You choose a server and a region (US or EU), a race, a gender, a profession, your look, your personal story steps, your starter pet if you chose to play as a ranger (you can get the others  easily later on!) and your name.

Choose a region and a server

In Guild Wars 2, you have to decide for one region in which you will be able to play: EU or US servers. You cannot switch between regions like you can in Rift. You can, of course, buy a second GW2 game and use that to play in the other region, but those two accounts will be independent from each other.

GW2_World Select screenJust like Rift, Guild Wars 2 is separated into servers. A couple of months ago, ArenaNet introduced megaservers (before that, there was the guesting system allowing you to play on another server with your character). This means that when you enter a map (for example, the Asuran city Rata Sum), you will be placed there together with players from all EU servers until the map is full. If more players want to enter Rata Sum, another map will open. When maps have free spaces, different rules apply to determine where you will be placed. For example, the language of your server (in Europe, GW2 has English, French, German and Spanish servers) increases your chances of being put on Rata Sum with others whose home server shares the same language. Guild members are also placed on the same map primarily. There are ways to join your friends on the same map even without having to rely on the automated system.

There is really just one thing where the chosen home server really matters: “world vs. world” (WvW). We will talk about what WvW in the PvP blog post for this series. In short: WvW consists of four maps where players from your home server play against players from two other servers. Megaservers are not in place here! So, if PvP is your thing, choose very wisely (and ask your friends which server they are on if you want to play WvW with them).

Transferring servers is possible, but it costs money. The cost of a server transfer is either 500, 1000 or 1800 gems depending on where the goal server is placed on the WvW ranking. You can also transfer for free if you delete every single character on your account. But we do not want to delete characters, we want to create one!

Choose a race

The next step is choosing a race. There is a much bigger variety here than in Rift, even though there are only five different races to choose from (and 6 in Rift). Also, every race has its own starting zone.

If you prefer humans, then “human” is your top choice (obviously…), followed by Norn who are basically “tall humans” (look-wise). Humans are easy enough to explain: They have the biggest background lore, as back in Guild Wars 1 (the first game ArenaNet made), you could not play any other race but humans. They were put on Tyria by the Gods and consequently fought against the Charr as they were settling on Charr lands. Long and bitter years of war followed. By now, they are at a truce, but it’s not an easy one. The Charr reclaimed their home and are now living in Ascalon again trying to fight against the remaining human ghosts there (longer story…). They’re a “humanoid cat race” that run on all four legs.

Norn are originally from the Shiverpeak Mountains, a snowy and icy region of Tyria. They are about 9 foot tall, very tough and the biggest honor for them is to die in a glorious battle with their legend told about afterwards. The role of the “tiny race” is filled by the Asura (there used to be dwarves in Tyria, but that is also a longer story that you will get to learn about when you play the game). As tiny as they are, as big is their mental brain power and also their ego. They used to live below the ground but were made to flee by one of the Elder Dragon’s champions.

Last but not least, we’ve got the Sylvari: A race that on first glance may fill the “elf role”. Their characters and their culture are nothing like elves, though. In short: Sylvari are born from the “Pale Tree” and are basically this tree’s interpretation of what a human looks like: Sylvari are plants that simply look like humans. The oldest ones have not even reached 30 years of age as they did not bloom from the Pale Tree before that. In other words: They are a very young race that is currently more than ever trying to find out where they belong in this world. I cannot say more about this here as it would contain spoilers. Look for more information on the official wiki if you are curious and don’t mind spoilers before setting foot into the game.

Choose a class/calling/profession

After choosing your race, you get to choose from the professions. Just as the other games, every race and every gender can be every profession. I will not go into the detail of every single profession at this point. There are currently two heavy armor professions (warrior and guardian), three with medium armor (thief, engineer and ranger) and three with light armor (necromancer, mesmer and elementalist). If you’re asking yourself which profession you should choose, I can recommend these posts on Reddit. The author did a great job summarizing the professions!

Personalizing the look of your character

GW2_Nose option

All nose sliders on the left

Just like Rift, you get a lot of different options for choosing hair styles, hair colours, skin colours and so on. Of course, sliders for noses, eyebrows etc. are available as well. You can also change the height of your character – within reason. You cannot make an asura taller than a norn or vice versa. ;) Additionally, you can also choose different body types. Charr can choose different fur patterns as well as different horns. Asura can choose between different skin patterns and different ear shapes (and adjust the size of their ears). Tattoos are available for norn and sylvari get skin patterns and different “glow in the dark” colours. Humans are… humans. They don’t get anything special. You can see a few more options than just the nose slider in the gallery above.

Choose your personal story

Once you are happy with the look of your character, you have to fill in a few “gaps” in statements spoken by your character. I will take the norn guardian as an example.

1. “As a symbol of my dedication, I wear __________” – You can choose between two different kinds of pauldrons or a helmet. These will also unlock the chosen item’s look for your wardrobe for future use, but it has no other effect than that. The items you can choose from are based on which profession you are creating.

2. The second statement is about your character’s personality. You can choose between charm, dignity and ferocity. This is the same for every character you create. Even at launch, this “personality” stat did not mean much and ArenaNet has hidden the display of those stats in one of the last patches. As far as I know, we did not get an explanation on why it was essentially taken out.

3. Now there are three more statements which vary based on the race you have chosen. Your chosen answers will influence the beginning of your personal storyline (until level 30). Don’t worry about what you choose here! Your story will be different from people who chose other answers, but you will not, for example, find out that as a warrior or an elementalist, you should have chosen X over Y to be stronger later on. The personal storyline has no influence on your character’s stats or anything like that. It is purely for entertainment.

Last but not least, you get to choose a character name. Guild Wars 2 lets you add spaces, so you can give your character a surname if you want to. If you want to choose a name that fits to the game’s lore, I can recommend this article for more information.

How many character slots do I get?

After buying the game, you will have five character slots. Since you can only choose one server, there is no switching to different servers to create more characters like you can do in Rift. If you want to play all professions (there are eight), then you need to either delete one of your existing characters and free up that slot or buy another character slot. One character slot costs 800 gems. This is either 10 €/$ or 144 gold (the gem-to-gold ratio is constantly changing, so the price may differ when you’re reading this).

This is it for the basic character creation process in all three games. But sometimes, you change your mind or a game even offers some exclusive looks that were not available during the initial character creation. So, let’s have a look at what you can do here in the three games.

Can I change my character’s look after creating it?

“Yes!” is the answer for all three games here! Trove lets you change your look for free, but it also has the least options to begin with anyway. Since the game’s first “launch” (Alpha, then closed and now open beta), a few new hair styles, skins etc. were introduced, but they are always available in the game’s barbershop for free.

Rift gives you the basic functions (as seen in the paragraph “Personalizing the look of your character” above) for free. Your calling, race, gender, faction and name stay. If you want to change those features, then Rift asks for money. For example, changing your race costs 2400 credits (which is between 10 and 12 € depending on which credit pack you buy). This payment is for one character and one change only. But this is how you can play a race not available for your faction on initial character creation.

You can also pay a one-time fee for features that were not available during initial character creation. There are three bundles with which you unlock the ability to choose every race’s skin colours or hair colours in the game’s barbershop or 4 additional hair styles for every race/gender combination. As those are unlocks, paying for either of those bundles once means you can use that feature as often as you like with every character on your account following the initial purchase.

Guild Wars 2 doesn’t give you any of those functions for free. You need to buy either a self-style hair kit for 250 gems (which is 3,13 € – or 2,50 € per piece if you buy 5 at once) or a total makeover kit  for 350 gems (which is 4,38 € – or 3,50 € per piece if you buy 5 at once). The first one only lets you change the hair colour, the hair style and some extra features for some of the races like the horns for charr and the ears for asura. The total makeover kit lets you change everything that you were able to set during the initial character creation. With both kits, you also get access to exclusive choices like new hair styles, hair colours and eye colours (eye colours only with the total makeover kit). Once you have changed your look, the kit disappears and if you want to change something again, you need to buy another one. ArenaNet also sometimes adds new hair styles, colours and eye colours. Unfortunately, access to those new styles is not available during the initial character creation process. Changing your race is not possible in Guild Wars 2. This is also because of your personal storyline being tied to your race choice which would make a change complicated as those quests would have to be changed as well then.

Conclusion so far

Trove is a class of its own, I think. With the blocky graphics, it is just not possible to have detailed faces and hair styles. But at least, they let you switch the look for free whenever you like.

In case you haven’t been able to tell from my writing, I am not a great fan of parts of the character creation in Rift. Most of all, the races are a bit bland and boring (with the exception of the dwarves, obviously!). Still, it is a solid character creation process with everything necessary available. Guild Wars 2, however, wins when it comes to that part: Several interesting and distinctive races with some solid choices to make and faces that look greatly different from one another.

But as soon as you have created your character and want to make choices later on or access exclusive features, Rift wins again. It lets you make changes for free (or at least, for a one-time fee to unlock the exclusive features) while Guild Wars 2 asks for money every single time. Both the basic and the exclusive options are behind a pay wall, and not a one-time fee either, but a fee you have to pay whenever you want to use one of those features with any of your characters.

If you’re lucky, however, you get the perfect look from the start and then all of this doesn’t matter anyway (or you get a kit out of the RNG boxes with a key that dropped for free – it’s incredibly rare, but it can happen).

Now you probably want to know now what you can actually do in those games with your character, right? We will take a look at the PvE side of the games in the next part of this blog post series.

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!

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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