Announcing the winners of our giveaway…

First of all, this was a tough decision and we actually did have to use random.org to choose the winner, as two pictures had gotten the same amount of points from us (yes, we used a point system for judging. :p).

Before we get to places 1 to 3, however, here’s something else newsworthy: We decided that all those who participated should get a little something, because we really liked all the screenshots that you showed us so much! Places 20 to 8 will get 5 gold each from us. We will contact you via email* as we’ll need your GW2 display names to send you your gold. :)

Seven pictures were in the final round and we decided to give 10 gold each for those who ended up on places 1 to 7. Obviously, we will also contact you via email*.

Look at the gallery below to see who made it to places 4 to 7.

And now, let’s look at the top 3!

Place 3 (the grey t-shirt) goes to Norelle with this screenshot:

Norelle_LA

2nd place (the black t-shirt) goes to Riley with this screenshot:

Riley_LA

And 1st place (1200 gems) goes to Nikos with this screenshot:

Nikos_LA

Congratulations to all winners! We really enjoyed this contest. Lion’s Arch truly is a gorgeous city – and has been since Guild Wars 1, as Erhan reminded us with his contribution.

*Please be patient. We will contact you soon!

Your chance to win 1200 gems: Lion’s Arch Screenshot Contest!

Blog_a id_deutsch(Update July 25, 2015: This giveaway is now closed. We will announce the winners in our blog soon!)

(Update July 20, 2015: I am SO sorry. I forgot that gem codes are region-locked and the 1200 gems are EU-only. The t-shirts, however, can be won by everybody. Should a US player win 1st prize, we will instead send you an in-game mail with the amount of gold necessary to trade for 1200 gems in the game! So, US players, feel free to participate!)

Some of you may remember “Foostival” earlier this year. We actually got some gems for giveaways and then, well, I always wanted to start a giveaway for those gems but never got around to doing so. But now it’s finally here! Your chance to win 1200 gems! Or a t-shirt. :p

GW2 t shirts grey and black

I am going to keep this post as short as possible. Here are the possible prizes:

A 1200 gem code
A black Guild Wars 2 t-shirt, men’s size XL
A grey Guild Wars 2 t-shirt, men’s size XL

In order to enter our giveaway, we actually want you to do two things.

  1. Comment here on this blog post and name one country that hosted a Foostival in 2015.
  2. In this comment, also include one screenshot of Lion’s Arch. Any version of Lion’s Arch is fine, as long as you were the one who took it and it doesn’t show the user interface! We want to see pretty scenery pictures! :)

Out of all participants who fulfill both requirements, we (bookahnerk and I) will choose the three winners. The best one will win the gems, the second best will get the black t-shirt and the third best will get the grey t-shirt. In the rare case that we cannot agree on who is 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd, we will let random.org choose the order. We only have those t-shirt sizes left, by the way. So, sorry if that’s not your size. But if they’re a bit too big: They make nice pyjamas. That’s how I wear mine. ;) This is a bilingual entry. German and English comments will be eligible for the giveaway.

Before entering this giveaway, please read all of the following rules.

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

  • Name one of the countries that hosted a Foostival in 2015.
  • Include a screenshot of Lion’s Arch (from launch till today, doesn’t matter). It should be a scenery picture, so no user interface!

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. The winners will be contacted by email. Do NOT leave the email address in the comment field! If you have won one of the t-shirts: 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.

4. No debating about the outcome!

5. The giveaway is open for participants until Saturday, July 25, 2015, 8 pm Berlin Time (CEST).

6. One entry per person! Please be fair.

Last but not least, if you’re wondering where or how to upload the picture, read the following instruction (written by Tilion from Dragon Season):
1) Go to http://tinypic.com/ and select Browse.
2) Find your picture from your PC at the pop-up window. Once you select it, click Upload Now.
3) Fill in the CAPTCHA code that will appear on your screen and click once more Upload Now.
4) Once you’re through with that, copy the Direct Link for Layouts that has been given to you and come back here and leave a comment.

Blog_a id_deutschabhier

Einige von euch erinnern sich vielleicht noch an das “Foostival“, welches vor ein paar Monaten stattgefunden hat. Wir hatten in diesem Zuge Edelsteine bekommen, aber wie es das böse Real Life so will, kam ich einfach nicht dazu, ein Giveaway hierfür zu veranstalten. Das hole ich jetzt endlich nach und ihr habt somit hier die Chance, 1200 Edelsteine zu gewinnen! Oder ein T-Shirt. :p

GW2 t shirts grey and black

Ich versuche, mich kurz zu fassen. Hier sind also die möglichen Gewinne:

Ein Code für 1200 Edelsteine
Ein schwarzes Guild Wars 2 T-Shirt, Größe XL, Männerschnitt
Ein graues Guild Wars 2 T-Shirt, Größe XL, Männerschnitt

Um am Giveaway teilzunehmen, müsst ihr jetzt zwei Dinge tun.

  1. Hinterlasst einen Kommentar und nennt mir eines des Länder, in dem dieses Jahr ein Foostival stattgefunden hat.
  2. Fügt außerdem diesem Kommentar noch einen Screenshot von Löwenstein hinzu. Welche Version von Löwenstein ist dabei egal. Es soll aber ein Landschaftsbild sein und deshalb nicht das User Interface zeigen. :)

Unter allen, die beide Vorgaben erfüllen, wählen bookahnerk und ich die drei Gewinner aus. Der/die Beste gewinnt die Edelsteine, der/die Zweitbeste das schwarze T-Shirt und der/die Drittbeste das graue T-Shirt. Für den Fall, dass wir uns nicht einigen können, wer 1., 2. und/oder 3. wird, werden wir random.org die Reihenfolge entscheiden lassen. Wir haben übrigens nur noch T-Shirts in Größe XL übrig. Also entschuldigt bitte, wenn ihr eine andere Größe braucht. Man kann sie aber super zum Rumgammeln tragen oder als Schlafanzugersatz, wenn sie etwas zu groß sind. Das mache ich mit meinen. :) Sowohl Kommentare auf Englisch als auch deutsche Kommentare nehmen am Giveaway teil!

Bevor ihr jetzt am Giveaway teilnehmt, lest euch bitte noch kurz die folgenden Regeln durch.

1. Um teilzunehmen, hinterlasst einen Kommentar mit den folgenden Informationen:

  • Nennt ein Land, in dem Foostival 2015 stattgefunden hat.
  • Fügt eurem Kommentar einen Screenshot von Löwenstein hinzu (seit Launch des Spiels bis heute – egal, von wann). Es soll ein Landschaftsbild sein, also bitte kein sichtbares User Interface!

2. Fügt eine gültige E-Mail-Adresse ein. Diese E-Mail-Adresse werden wir nur dazu benutzen, um euch zu kontaktieren, wenn ihr gewonnen haben solltet. Ansonsten machen wir nichts damit. Achtet bitte darauf, dass die E-Mail-Adresse oben im entsprechenden Feld angegeben ist und nicht im Textfeld des Kommentars, da sie sonst öffentlich sichtbar ist.

3. Die Gewinner werden per E-Mail kontaktiert werden. Noch einmal: Hinterlasst die E-Mail-Adresse nicht im Textfeld des Kommentars. Wenn ihr eins der beiden T-Shirts gewonnen habt, benötigen wir eure Adresse, damit wir euch das Shirt zusenden können. Antwortet bitte innerhalb von 14 Tagen. Wenn ihr nicht innerhalb der 14 Tage antwortet, kann es sein, dass wir einen anderen Gewinner auswählen.

4. Es gibt keine Diskussion über den Ausgang des Giveaways.

5. Das Giveaway ist für die Teilnahme geöffnet bis zum Samstag, 25. Juli 2015, 20 Uhr deutscher Uhrzeit.

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

Zu guter Letzt, wenn ihr nicht wisst, wie oder wo ihr euren Screenshot hochladen könnt, lest diese kurze Anleitung (im Original geschrieben von Tilion von Dragon Season):
1) Geht zu http://tinypic.com/ und wählt Browse.
2) Sucht hier im Pop-Up Fenster jetzt nach eurem Screenshot. Wählt diesen aus und klickt auf “Jetzt hochladen”.
3) Beantwortet das CAPTCHA und drückt wieder auf “Jetzt hochladen”.
4) Kopiert dann den “Direkten Link für Layouts” und fügt diesen hier in euren Kommentar ein.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (June 2015)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchWelcome to Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! This is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.

Dragon Season is in need of a few donations in order to keep paying for the website. There is a longer explanation on what is being paid with the donations on the donation page. Of course, nobody should ever feel obligated to pay for anything! But if you like what we(*) are doing and you feel generous, we would greatly appreciate your help! As explained on the website, all money will only be used for running the website and for giveaways. No writer or administrator gets paid! After all, most people that I know who write for a fansite or a gaming blog do not do it to earn money. In fact, most of them spend money on this hobby and do not earn anything from it. Dragon Season is no exception and the last thing we want is having to add advertisements on the page in order to pay for the site’s bandwidth…

(*)I say “We” because I am a writer for Dragon Season. I haven’t written much, but I am helping with the organization and well, I do have this blog here to maintain as well. :p

trove-logoIn 15 days, Trove will officially launch! The game is currently still in beta and yes, there are still bugs around. The developers have shared a “hit list” of what they want to fix before July 9. As far as I can see, all the bugs that I noticed are on this list. I am still very optimistic about this game’s launch as the game has consistently and quite swiftly gotten better with every patch. Other than the bug fixes, they also apparently want to stress test the server and are asking all players to join them on June 25 (12:00am PDT – 11:59pm PDT (GMT -7)). As you can see, the stress test will last for 24 hours. In case you are wondering, copy and paste “12 am PDT” to google.com to see it in your local time. If you do try to log in (either successfully or not, depending on the server’s state), you will be eligible for a Flask coin which you can use to unlock a healing flask or an emblem (adding an effect to your heal) and 5 Piñatas – the latter is only for the players above mastery level 30. However, keep in mind that right now, everybody can create an account and join the game. So if you’ve been curious about it, why not give it a try on stress test day and get this nice Flask coin! Also, both the flasks and the emblems can be unlocked with in-game currency, but it’s still nicer to get one for free. ;)

GW2_Logo_kl_transparentGuild Wars 2 has received quite a big patch this week and Lion’s Arch has finally been rebuild. As I previously took screenshots of Lion’s Arch: in beta, after release, when it was burning, once it had burned down and the last one was to recap what happened – including screenshots of Lion’s Arch with various holidays decorations, you can expect to see the screenshot gallery get expanded with pictures of the new look! I wish I had the time to do that right now… in the meantime, here is one. Just one… Ahem.

GW2 Rebuilt Lion's Arch June 2015

Last but not least, the list of games I’m currently playing will be a tiny bit longer now that the Steam Summer Sale has come and gone. The first game we bought was Nidhogg (2-pack, because this game is boring when played alone) and the next day, bookahnerk left to buy a second controller. You can play the game with the keyboard, but I found it much clunkier than the controller (and I’m usually a fan of keyboard controls). We ended up playing the game on his birthday party that day with friends and they had a lot of fun! They even started a tournament, but then… I don’t actually know what happened as I’d just gone to the kitchen to refill the food. I think they ended up not being able to decide peacefully for one tournament format and then just dropped the idea and moved on.

NidhoggWe both also bought “Craft the World” – a Terraria-like game with dwarves. How could we resist? And on the last day, I got the Tropico 5 expansion “Waterborne” and Life is Strange Episode 1. I don’t know yet if I like Life is Strange or not. The first encounter with the game had to be stopped quite fast, as while it has a third person perspective, you cannot scroll out far enough and my stomach did not like it that much. I’ll give it another try soon. I previously said that I had wasted my money on Tropico 5, but I have to take that back. While I did waste some money by buying the game immediately when it got released (as I could have gotten it for much cheaper if I had waited), I at least do enjoy playing the game now and have been doing so for quite a bit these last few days. Other than that, we both behaved and managed to hold back – or rather, there weren’t that many games that we really wanted. Our wallets are quite grateful for that, of course, and will now have some time to recover until the next big sale starts…

Rebuilding Lion’s Arch…?

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt crafting stationsWhen the latest patch got released, I headed over to the forum to read the patch notes as I always do, but when I read the part about Lion’s Arch, I logged into the game to see it with my own eyes. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was – and yes, I may have ranted and raged a bit here in front of my PC. But let me explain what happened.

When, before the patch, I had read that the Zepyhrites would be offering their help to rebuild Lion’s Arch, I had imagined that we, as players, would be helping as well. I thought that this meant that with the next few patches, this would be part of the living story content. Imagine this: helping the citizens of Lion’s Arch out and with the next Living Story release, the bank would be back in place. After that, the lion statue, then the Trading Post. Up until in the very end, the portals would finally be back and fully working!

Or why not let us all collaborate? Make it a race between the regions: EU and US servers – which region gets Lion’s Arch back on its feet first? Different challenges, activities, etc. drop and award different special materials that are needed for the rebuilding process. Make it a game, give us a mini lion’s statue that is placed in our home instance as a reward. Make it fun!

GW2 Lion's Arch rebuilt mapInstead, after logging into the game, I found that everything we need is already back. Yes, Lion’s Arch itself is still in ruins! But it’s fully functional again. 3 crafting areas, 4 banks, 4 trading posts, the portals, mystic forge, etc. One could say that it’s better than before – or more convenient, as you can choose which area of Lion’s Arch you want to spend your time at while putting items into the bank. This isn’t “helping rebuild”. In fact, I fail to see why they would need any help from the Zephyrites or anybody else. The amount of vendors, banks, trading posts (just think of all the trading post fees we’re paying!) should be more than enough to pay for the rebuilding of the rest of the city.

This was a swoosh with a wand and some fairies granted us a wish and made it flawlessly perfect. But at the same time, at least for me, utterly boring. I had been looking forward to getting the rebuilding process as content, to tell all the future newcomers: “I was there. I saw this city before it was attacked, I saw it and defended it while it was attacked, I saw it when it was in ruins and I was here helping rebuild it! This is partly my doing!” Instead, I was handed everything on a silver platter within a few minutes.

We can maybe help make the city look pretty again, but for me, there’s no sense of urgency to it. And yeah, while it may be good to give citizens back their homes, I have to admit that as long as I don’t get my own house, I don’t care where the NPCs are living either. ;) At the same time, I do hope that we will be asked to help out in some way in a future patch and get to rebuild something. Maybe not a trading post or the portals, but at this point, anything would be nice.

And this is probably also why I shouldn’t assume and imagine things. Expectations can lead to great disappointment…

Lion’s Arch: A look at what’s happened to the city

I have seen the question “What happened to Lion’s Arch” asked frequently in Lion’s Arch map chat in the last few weeks. I will gladly give you an answer here: Scarlet happened. But as I was thinking about how to explain the happenings in as few words as possible (the chat in Guild Wars 2 does not really allow for lengthy replies), I realized that since launch, a lot more has happened to Lion’s Arch. Usually nothing this big, but still big enough to show you here. So before we get to the most recent “happening” (also known as the destruction of Lion’s Arch), let me take you back in time.

A word of warning, this post will be picture-heavy and you may have to scroll quite a bit. ;)

GW2_Lions_Arch019Guild Wars 2 launched in August 2012, but before that, players who had pre-purchased the game got to participate in the so-called “BWEs” (beta weekend events). During one BWE in April 2012, I went through Lion’s Arch to take the first screenshot gallery of what seemed to become an addiction of mine later on. Go here to view it.

GW2 Loading Screen LA Halloween 2012Not long after launch, the first Halloween was celebrated. I still fondly remember the one moment we had all been waiting for. No, actually, it was controversial. ArenaNet had announced that something would happen that would only happen once. So, if you weren’t able to attend for whatever reason, you would miss it. Thankfully, while it was great to watch, there were also players who recorded it and I don’t think it’s less impressive to watch it now: The Mad King broke free into Tyria and destroyed the Lion statue. It wasn’t until January, 2013, that the statue got fully rebuilt, by the way.

While this destruction was the only more permanent change, the temporary decorations in Lion’s Arch were still awesome to look at, too!

GW2 Karka in LAThe inhabitants of Lion’s Arch did not get a lot of rest, as in November 2012, Karka attacked Lion’s Arch. This time, the Lion statue was safe, but instead, the Light Tower got destroyed. This was another one-time event, but without such an impressive cutscene. Still, the lighthouse got destroyed and was not rebuilt like the lion statue. Instead, a new lighthouse was built a bit next to the old one.

Fast forwarded to December, 2012. The first Wintersday in post-GW1 Tyria. Again, the focus of attention was on Lion’s Arch and the whole city had been decorated accordingly. This time, nothing had been destroyed, but instead an enchanted snow globe had been put on top of the Mystic Forge.

I thought the decorations for Dragon Bash in June 2013 were less elaborate than the Wintersday ones. When I looked at my screenshots, I realized that I had just forgotten how Lion’s Arch looked during that event.

GW2 Dragon Bash 2013 Login ScreenIt featured, as the name suggests, lots of dragons: dragon piñatas, a huge dragon hologram and dragon decorations! During this event, one member of Lion’s Arch’s Captain’s Council, Captain Theo Ashford, got killed by assassins.

After that, if I remember correctly, Lion’s Arch had some time to rest and relax from all the celebrations until the election for the free spot in the Captain’s Council in July 2013. As probably most of us know, Ellen Kiel had won the election and was consequently shown as a hologram instead of the lion statue. Thankfully, this was only a temporary change!GW2 Ellen Kiel Hologram 2013

Halloween 2013 was pretty much like Halloween 2012, except for the lion statue not getting destroyed that year. Wintersday 2013, too, was like Wintersday 2012.

GW2 Burning Lion's ArchFebruary 2014 marks the time when Lion’s Arch was changed in a much more drastic way than a lot of players thought ArenaNet would dare. I managed to take some more screenshots of Lion’s Arch before it changed to its current state. Scarlet and her minions started the full-on attack on Lion’s Arch. You can find a few of the screenshots I took during that attack here. By the way, Scarlet and her minions had planted a huge drill in the water in front of Lion’s Arch, in order to disrupt some ley lines which ultimately woke up the Elder Dragon Mordremoth and that’s why Lion’s Arch is destroyed now.

In March 2014, we had managed to get rid of all the miasma, and players tried to fight over Lion’s Arch and get rid of the invaders. We succeeded, but the result is the Lion’s Arch you can see today. As you can probably imagine by now, I have a screenshot gallery for this version as well!GW2 Lion's Arch 2.0

Just in case you’re confused: Almost everything that Lion’s Arch had to offer can now be found in Vigil Keep (see here for a guide on how to get to Vigil Keep and the other cities). The laurel vendors can be found in the races’ cities as can be the crafting areas. If you want to get to Southsun Cove, you can find a portal in front of Vigil Keep (where you can also find the NPC to join the activities).

But don’t be sad. The Lion’s Arch we see today is not the Lion’s Arch of the future. As mentioned on MMORPG.com, the Zephyrites will help rebuild Lion’s Arch. So it looks like the tradition will continue and Lion’s Arch will begin to change its face again soon. :) However, we do not know yet whether Lion’s Arch will become the central hub again like it used to be in the past.