GW2: The beginning… – Looking back 4 years (Blaugust Post 17)

Guild Wars 2’s fourth anniversary is coming up in a couple of days. The headstart began on August 25, 2012. Gaile asked for screenshots from the launch weekend on the official forum and I figured this is a great opportunity to get nostalgic here in this blog as well!

I still clearly remember getting up at 5.30 am and how excited I was to get “Flummi” for my asura. “Flummi” is the German word for “bouncy ball” and it just fits perfectly to her while keeping with the naming standards for asura. :p Anyway, the first time I wrote about Guild Wars 2 after its launch was on August 29. So I gave the game 5 days before I wrote about my impressions.

I haven’t had this much fun in a game in years! What usually annoys me in MMOs does not exist in Guild Wars 2. There is no “queuing” to kill a named quest mob. There is no kill stealing in general. And no stealing of resource nodes either!

What’s amazing is that now, four years later, this seems to be a thing of the past! While some games, like Rift, had that feature as well that you can hit on mobs and both get rewards, other games, like Wildstar, implemented it after the players loudly asked for it! At least in my opinion, since Guild Wars 2 had those multiplayer-friendly features, gamers have come to expect it to be similar in other games as well. Especially the inability to “steal” a resource node is something that I still love!

There is one thing that I dearly miss from the beginning of Guild Wars 2: Simply strolling through a map and seeing where my nose leads me. The new maps in the Heart of Maguuma don’t really invite me to do that much. Instead, I always get the feeling that I have to rush from A to B in order to participate and get a map reward. The original maps feel slower and calmer. It makes sense story-wise not to have that with the new maps, but when it comes to exploration, these maps are just filled with events, meta-events and lots and lots of mobs.

Of course, there is a screenshot gallery attached to that impressions piece, but I still went through my old screenshot folder again to see what else I can dig up.

Guild Wars 2 First Screenshot Aug 25 2012 6.13amThis was the very first screenshot I took in the game, apparently. It’s from August 25, 2012, 6.13 am. To be honest, I do not know what I am doing there. It looks like a male human guardian and I never actually intended to have that character. I took another screenshot of that guy and then there is a lot of screenshots of the character creation screen to make sure that I create Flummi and can recreate her later on if I wanted to make a change.

GW2_First picture Flummi

This is the first screenshot I took of Flummi in the game. As you can see by the target I have focused, I obviously really loved little Shrieksy. Why can’t we have that one as a mini, by the way? Also, please note the little armor icon. Yeah, I was a n00b and apparently died in the very beginning already. :p

I was very impressed with how the world looked but had not yet figured out how to get around having your character shown in the screenshot. Back then, there was no first person view (when was it that they implemented it? Not too long ago actually, right?). But I think it actually works pretty well with this screenshot!

GW2_Aug 26_2012

After that, I mostly used /sleep and then moved the camera around to take scenery screenshots without having my character visible. But I am still so happy that they gave us the 1st person view, so I don’t have to use that workaround anymore!

GW2_Character Screen Aug 2012

This character doesn’t even exist anymore. Paeroka is now an asura engineer who has yet to hit level 80 (she will get there through Tomes of Knowledge). I have a male charr engineer, so there has been no need to play her so far. The screenshot also shows the bug where parts of the faces of the characters were missing in the preview pictures below. Third from the left shows Paerjja, my asura warrior, back when she still had hair. I switched to a mohawk and the stripes on her skin later. The next one on her right is my male sylvari thief, then my male asura elementalist. Both are alive and well! The other two aren’t around anymore either. I switched a lot in the beginning until I was really happy with the race/class combinations and the looks of my characters.

GW2_Maguuma Jungle_Aug 2012

This screenshot is from August 27, 2012. As you can see, it apparently did not take me long to figure out ways to hide my character! :p

Last but not least, the first world boss that I defeated. I deliberately did not look for locations of these bosses as I instead wanted to randomly stumble upon them in the world.

GW2_Jungle Worm_Aug 2012

Okay, I lied. I just have to throw this picture in as well, representative of the ton of pictures showing the Black Citadel and the charr areas that followed as even to this day, these are my favourite parts of Tyria! It was taken on August 28, 2012.

GW2_Black Citadel_Aug 2012

The Daily Post: Carefree (in MMOs) has a daily prompt consisting of one word to give you an idea what to blog about. I will definitely not do this daily, but I do take a look at the prompts regularly. Today’s daily prompt word is “Carefree“. When I hear this word, I immediately get some mental images and I thought it’s a good thing to try to find appropriate game screenshots to show you what kinds of images this word triggers.

GW2_Carefree gliding Rata Sum

In reality, I am afraid of heights and would never ever do something as gliding. But in games – and in theory, when I imagine doing something like this – it’s just an amazing feeling. Oh, and the view is great most of the time as well. Well, unless you’re gliding through the Maguuma jungle with all the fights going on. Rata Sum, however, is perfect!

Rift_Carefree on a mountainI seem to have a thing for heights here, apparently. :p But what I really love doing in Rift is just climbing on mountains! The best part is that each continent is one map of its own meaning that I can go from one zone to another with no loading screen. Here I am standing between Moonshade Highlands and Silverwood.

NBI 2016: Screenshot prompt “The New”

A prompt to make a blog post with screenshots? I’m in! So, this is part of the “Newbie Blogger Initiative”. You can find more information on what the Newbie Blogger Initiative is in a previous post of mine (as well as in the other posts I’m linking to there).

But let’s get to the prompt itself:

This week I was thinking “the new”. A moment in game you experienced something unexpected, learnt something new, or just a visual element or object you had never seen before.

I tried to come up with something good, funny, creative – and I failed. But then I remembered my recent rant about expansions and the new regions introduced and figured: This is just perfect, isn’t it? “The new” parts of the world that an expansion gives a player: Guild Wars 2 expanded its world by giving its players more of the Maguuma Jungle, called “Heart of Maguuma”, while Rift gave us the Nightmare Tide zones. So, one features a jungle with trees and several floors to experience. They also added gliding, so you can vertically explore the game while the other gives us nightmares in a mostly underwater world. In my personal case, this really is a nightmare sometimes because of my phobia of “deep dark water” and “the things that live there”. So in case you are scared as well, be careful!

Rift’s Nightmare Tide was released in October 2014 and Guild Wars 2 released almost a year later in October 2015, which also means that both expansions are not exactly “new” anymore. But back then, they very much were, of course, and that’s where I’m digging for screenshots. So the screenshots you will see were taken when I first played in those new zones.

Rift: Nightmare Tide

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Maguuma

Kessex Hills in Kryta

It has been too long since I made the last post for my Guild Wars 2 screenshot gallery. In the meantime, ArenaNet finally let us use the first person view! Additionally, we can now also glide in Tyria. I did not use the gliding too often for these screenshots, but not having to type “/sleep” whenever I wanted to take a screenshot saved a lot of time! It also meant I could walk around in first person view and just hit the print-button on my keyboard. Last but not least, I could also finally take nice scenery screenshots in the water which simply was not possible before!

So, a few words about Kessex Hills before I show you the gallery: Kessex Hills is located south of Queensdale and it is the second map human characters get to (unless they choose to switch to a different race’s maps) and is best for levels 15 to 25. Story-wise, the map looks different now than after the game had launched. Scarlet’s Tower of Nightmares had been built and destroyed in between.

Altogether, if I may add my own opinion, I am not a huge fan of the map. That’s not to say that the designers didn’t do a great job, because they certainly did! I just generally don’t really like the areas that are inhabited by centaurs. The heavy wooden constructions and wooden poles and sticks etc. are a bit boring to look at, though.

2015 in screenshots

As I previously said, Haffle’s “Screenshots Of The Year 2015” post inspired me to do something like this myself. Instead of going by game, I will try to go through the year by months.

January 2015 was all about the Guild Wars 2 stencil contest that ArenaNet had hosted together with fansites – and, of course, the Heart of Thorns announcement.

February 2015 marked Trove’s open beta.

My character as candy barbarian in her cornerstone

In March 2015 the second German Foostival took place. I was also still playing lots of Trove. And our blog turned 4 years old.

April 2015 – more Trove… and Guild Wars nostalgia…

In May 2015 …which didn’t engulf me until May. I also revisited Folk Tale (still not released, by the way. I’ll have to re-re-re-visit it again, I think. It is constantly being developed further, after all!)

June 2015 was… all about Trove again. Oh, and look: New Lion’s Arch!

July 2015 had me hide in my Rift dimension to build – oh, and Trove launched.

August 2015 was the busiest month here as I participated in Blaugust. There wasn’t much time to play with the amount of posts I wrote. I had started to feel at home in Wildstar, though. Oh, and I gave Project Gorgon and The Repopulation a  serious try.

September 2015 – my birthday month. Not that much happened gaming-wise, actually.

October 2015 was the gaming month. Wildstar switched to “free to play” and Guild Wars 2 launched its first expansion.

In November 2015 I spent quite a lot of time enjoying the Guild Wars 2 expansion.

And last but not least, in December 2015 I hit 50 with my first character in Wildstar and was busy with Christmas preparations and visiting family and friends.

This is it. My year 2015 in screenshots. :)