GW2: Buffing my playstyle by 100 %

Guild Wars 2 is getting another balance patch this Tuesday and it looks like this one was made especially for me! :D

While I have every profession at level 80, the ones I’ve played the most are warrior, mesmer and thief – and all three get buffs to the weapons that belong to my favourites!

I know that rifle on warrior is bad and doesn’t do enough damage, but the longbow and I just don’t get along. Whenever I have to get into ranged combat with my warrior, I still take out my rifle. I also just really prefer the style of a rifle over a bow. When I saw the notes for the skill balance changes this morning, I squealed a little as the rifle will be getting a “bit of a damage buff”. The main question, of course, is whether it’ll be enough to get this weapon back to a competitive level compared with other weapons. However, as I said, I just really like this weapon and I love reading that it will get a much-needed buff!

GW2 Asura Mesmer

The moment my first mesmer got a sword in her hand was the moment I knew I had to play this profession! This was back during a beta weekend event where we were only allowed to play humans (ugh…). But this weapon still made it fun! Of course, I switched to asura as fast as I could which made the sword even more fun to play. Some of the asura combat animations are just too cute. I was surprised to read that the sword (main hand only) is getting its damage buffed as I hadn’t even known this was necessary. I have been playing with a scepter lately, though, so I did not pay attention to where the sword stands. And well, what do you expect from a person who plays her warrior with a rifle, eh? ;) Still, I take that buff and I’ll definitely try it out again after the patch.

GW2 Skkia asura thiefLast but not least, the thief. I had originally not even considered playing a thief, because I don’t much like relying on stealth or positional combat. But then I realized that neither is really necessary. What I really liked was the pistols (in any way and form: main hand, off-hand as well as dual-wielding). I don’t know what it is with rifles and pistols and me in fantasy games. Again, I think it’s so much more fun than the bow! And it is a lot more stylish with the thief, after all.

Thankfully, when I’m talking about weapons here, I’m talking strictly about games. ;) My love for rifles and pistols stops right at the “exit game” button.

Anyway, three weapons I love, three weapons that are getting buffed! Additionally, being able to see how much time I have left to put down the exit portal with my mesmer is priceless! Something I’ve been wanting to get for so long (3 years, to be precise… :p)! So far, I’m very happy with the balancing. Then again, I use a rifle with my warrior… what do I know? :p

GW2: Experiences with my Reaper – Blaugust Day 13

GW2 HoT ReaperWith going to the Guild Wars 2 community event at gamescom, then Blaugust in general and writing about gamescom, not much time was left to actually play in the Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend. I really wish they would put up betas for a week and not just three days. Last week, I was wondering which specialization I would want to try and I decided that it will be the Reaper. I did not change anything about the general setup of the Reaper, I think. Maybe I exchanged one or two skills… I can’t even remember anymore.

So here is my opinion in a nutshell: The Reaper was fun! It looked awesome! I am pretty certain this wasn’t the last time I played Reaper and I finally felt that profession “click” with me! And this coming from a person who doesn’t like greatswords and who doesn’t like slow hitting two-handed weapons (with a few exceptions like the dervish in GW). But this just felt right! I don’t even know what it is or why it is that this was such an exception. Okay, maybe the gigantic scythe was a factor in it. Not the only factor, but certainly not an unimportant one either. ;) The slow-hitting weapon still felt really good in combat and for some reason, I did not have the feeling it was that slow.

But – I need a long time to memorize what the skills in GW2 do. It feels like every single skill has at least three or four different purposes with buffs, debuffs, damage, control and so on all thrown into one tiiiny tooltip. Oh, and traits add some special things to certain skills. Here, have fun! – I just need a rather long time to get all of that into my brain. So, while it felt great and looked great and while I know I want to play it, the combat itself was not fun for long when I was playing in Verdant Brink and ate mud and dust more often than I could swing my sword.

So I did what I had not wanted to do: I created a mesmer, jumped into the game, switched to scepter/pistol and scepter/shield, tossed out Domination, kept Dueling and Illusions and added Chronomancer. I also took Gravity Well and Well of Calamity and off my little asura hopped… right into the enemy lines. The moments where my charr necromancer was trying to dedust her lungs after returning from the dead, was when my asura stood there boasting about her superiority. Ok ok, I may have died and been downed a couple of times. Maybe… There are no witnesses left to tell the story. But in general, I felt like I was in control. I guess it helps that I’ve been playing my mesmer for almost three years by now. But again, I did not have that much time to play, so I cannot even tell you anything about the Chronomancer like how good or well-balanced this specialization was. What I can tell you is that while I had thought the skills sounded very complicated in the official blog post, this was certainly not the case when I played her this weekend. At first, the Continuum Shift part of the F5 shatter skill Continuum Split confused me, but I got into it quickly and learned to use my long-cooldown skills (mostly the elite one) before the time reversion happened.

Altogether, with the short amount of time I could play, I don’t think my feedback would be worth anything for ArenaNet. But what I can say about it for myself and for how I’m going to play once the expansion launches is that my mesmer will certainly return to her previous spot of “main character”, because especially with the shield in the off-hand, she is exactly the kind of profession I want to be playing in Guild Wars 2. I very much doubt that the warrior can top that, no matter what kind of elite specialization she will get.

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.

Flummi’s new clothes…

I had originally wanted to show off my mesmer in her new gear yesterday. But it took me a while to figure out what I want. When I had finally decided what gear to get for her (which I’m not going into now, because I do not want to be told that I’m doing it aaaall wrong and should have gone with berserker… :p), I put it on her and Flummi, being the girly girl asura that she is, stomped her foot on the ground and demanded to get something that looks better.

Why is there such a huge distance between her back and her belt in the back of the outfit? It looks weird! I am also not a fan of the front. It’s mostly the belt that doesn’t look good, if you ask me.

Once again I wonder: Why is there no wardrobe/cosmetic outfit system like both Lord of the Rings Online and Rift have them? I don’t think I can ask this question often enough. I want to have outfit slots instead of those silly transmutation crystals! Once again, I had to rely on the good old Hall of Monuments Heritage armor to save the day! The “after” picture shows the WvW armor with HoM chest and pants. Everything else is non-transmuted. I did actually have a look at various other pants, but most of them did not fit with the WvW chest. And when I tried to find a chest and a pants piece that I liked, I figured I should just go the easy HoM route for now.

GW2 Mesmer WvW armor with HoM
Transmuted armor!

She is now waiting for the 6th superior rune of the traveler to arrive. Once it’s here, she can go back outside and explore Tyria. She is just a few percent behind Paerjja when it comes to world exploration… although that still doesn’t say much as both are still in their 60s. ;)

Also, apologies for not having a more interesting topic today. I’ve spent the day in several meetings and my mind is pudding right now. I can’t write anything about the new patch either as our first fractals run is scheduled for Friday. ;)

Mesmer and mantras

While idly browsing the official Guild Wars 2 forums, I stumbled over the balance thread again. I had completely forgotten about this one. In fact, the only detail I did remember was that thieves will get a change in their initiative gain. So I had a look at the parts for the warrior (nothing of interest for me there) and the mesmer.

This post made me pause, though. Let me quote the relevant part:

I think this might give us 3 strong mesmer build archetypes.

1) Shatter
2) Phantasm
3) Mantra

What I find “meh” is that I fell in love with the confusion build, but it’s just not very effective in PvE and it doesn’t seem to be a priority for ArenaNet to fix this. On the other hand, especially conditions build probably give them a headache with the limits of condition stacks on mobs and the amount of huge group fights (aka zergs) they support with every living story step.

GW2 Mesmer IllusionsI haven’t played my mesmer much at all in the last few months, so I’m out of the loop when it comes to builds. I know I’m not a fan of shatter builds and I think I’d definitely prefer a phantasm one, but I haven’t yet found something that I’m really comfortable and happy with. But 3) seemed… like the odd one out. Mantra builds? What did they do that makes mantras viable? Or what will the balance patch change to make them be put on this list? And this is an honest question, because the last thing I’d heard was that mantras are lackluster and ArenaNet themselves said they were trying to find a way to make them better. So what has changed/is changing? I’ve always just avoided mantras up until now and pretended they didn’t exist. :p

I’ll definitely have to dig into this more as this would be another way of playing my mesmer that I have not tried yet. Maybe… maybe I will find something that makes me fall in love with my mesmer again.

Pondering about which profession to choose…

WoWScrnShot_041710_184501When I wrote about my favourite profession in Guild Wars 2, I was looking at the topic from a pure PvE point of view. This entry is about WvW now.

I used to play World of Warcraft on a PvP server and I always hated it. As soon as I got the chance to get away (because I founded a guild with friends on a PvE server and later transferred to join a guild that bookahnerk had been with back in Ultima Online who are also on a PvE server), I left and never looked back.

The ironic part is that I actually love open world PvP. However, and here’s the big caveat: There have to be “safe” zones and going to either (PvE or PvP) zone has to be optional. I want to decide when I want to PvP or PvE! I do not want some random player who passes by to make that decision for me. Especially since that usually meant players that were much higher in level or had much better gear and thus, much better chances than me.

Defending a tower.
Defending a tower.

I found out how much I enjoy PvP when I played Warhammer Online. For those who don’t know: The game has 4 tiers, which are basically four level ranges. Each tier had different zones that belonged to the different race pairings. For example, dwarves and greenskins. So there you were, a level 5 player in the dwarf/greenskin T1 area. You could either do your PvE – regular quests or public quests (events) – or hop into the RvR lake which was marked on the map with a brownish border. When you entered the area that was marked as RvR, you got a warning and had a few seconds time to run back in case you did not want to get flagged.

This is what I miss most in my current MMOs. The ease of joining RvR when you wanted to (PvE and PvP was on the same map in each zone) and do PvE if you wanted to do that. There were clear borders (on the map, at least, not in the world per se). Joining was as easy as setting a foot into the area.

Guild Wars 2 Mini Lion CubAll this long-winded history of my gaming habits is just here to explain what I love about “world PvP”. For some reason, Guild Wars 2’s WvW hasn’t sticked with me yet. I’ve been in there a couple of times (almost literally) and I enjoyed my time there, but it seems to be so distant from the rest of the game that I find it hard to get in there, but yesterday, ArenaNet talked about the upcoming WvW area Edge of the Mists, and it makes me want to get into WvW!

The problem here is: As much as I love melee and swords in PvE, I do not like playing melee in PvP. So, the warrior is basically out. I did think about taking my mesmer there, but I really dislike that she’s so slow… or I’d have to get builds that make use of the focus which is a reliable way of getting some swiftness. On the other hand: Maybe this weapon IS the perfect one to use in WvW?

All I know is that I want something tricky to play. The warrior is too straight-forward. I absolutely loved playing a frost mage in World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade. That mage was about controlling, freezing, slowing, the enemies. Making sure they can’t hit you. Something like that would be great. And this is why I’m rambling about this topic. Maybe some of our readers can help me here. Which profession would resemble such a playstyle in Guild Wars 2? Maybe the engineer? Anything tricky that isn’t melee… it’s okay if it’s not easy to play. I get used to it… I hope. ;)