Friday, 31 May 2013


Aside from my norn Necro I have the following alts:

Johanna Sparrow - a female human Engineer
Senor Teatime - a male asuran Thief (Mr. Teatime was taken)
Maal Darkmane - a male charr Guardian
Ffaewyn - a female sylvari Mesmer

Teatime and Maal fufill the awesome role of "doing daily achievements in Ascalon or Magumma".  I also do kill variety and underwater killer with Teatime as there is a river in Metrica with level 4 barracudas.  Literally shooting fish in a barrel.

Ffaewyn is an experiment to see if I can get to 80 doing nothing but crafting.  I don't think you can technically but we'll see.

This leaves the lovely Johanna is my only "proper" alt at this time.  I have played her on and off with the intention of doing all the Kryta and most Ascalon zones.  Why those?  Well, world completion for the sake of it doesn't appeal to me, so I want to play the zones I didn't complete on Tore as a levelling experience on another character.  I pretty much got Tore from 1-80 without leaving the Shiverpeaks, hence the name of the blog.

So far I have got her to Harathi Hinterlands but it's really starting to drag.  I don't know what it is about Kryta but away from the areas were the humans are fighting the centaurs there seems to be very little going on.  You don't see many other players around either.  Hopefully some future Living Story will send a few more people back that way.

Recently I have been thinking that the monotony may be due in part to my build so last weekend I started thinking about a change...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Blog gob

I don't publicise this blog at all.  It mainly exists to fulfil the occasional need to share success or vent my spleen.  Having been a moderator of several forums I know there is nothing worse than people trying to use a community platform as a personal soapbox.  Fortunately most forums (or bulletin boards as they were once known) have matured to the point that they won't hesitate to suggest that a user might be better off using their own personal space to start a flame war.  Back in the day, you had to be a bit more delicate about that sort of thing.  People talked about freedom of speech and rights.  It was better to be safe than sued.

Anyway, I've never really been happy with the look of this blog and in the same way it's hard to be comfortable in a space, be it a room or just a desk, that you haven't tailored to your needs, posting here felt a bit slap dash.  I'm pleased to say that after a succession of very minor changes the recent addition of a new background image has really complete the look.

In the past I was going for a sort of norn Necromancer look.  I had some nice moody screenshots of the Shiverpeaks that I thought looked quite good and I was using a lot of green for text links.  Cos green is for Necromancers, right?

Well, fuck that.  I have always been a fan of the Guild Wars 2 "concept" art and so I have grabbed the wallpaper that Anet released for the Flame & Frost: The Gathering Storm patch.  It's a gorgeous image of the beautiful, snowy Shiverpeaks.  I think it's the perfect addition to the blog.

Now, speaking of Necromancers and green...

What a Canach

Yesterday was patch day and the next phase of the Southsun Cove Living Story in GW2.

So far the Southsun Cove revisit has not been blowing my robes up.  It's alright.  I feel like there was a bit of a lack of continuity between F&F and the new story but maybe that is because I missed the Lost Shores event.  I mean, I wasn't even sure who "The Consortium" are and then this Canach bloke shows up.

Because I received the mail about the Canach instance on a different character I went digging on the wiki to find out where the instance entrance was and discovered that this Sylvari dude was actually a recurring character.  I guess that's another problem with having an event that only lasts a weekend.  If you miss it, you don't just miss the action, you get a gap in your lore too.

Having finally found the instance (swapped to other toon, check mail and back again) it's fair to say that I was a mite dissappointed that the "solo instance" was a short run past some easily avoidable enviro hazards, only to be confronted with a wimpy mob that can only be defeated with some convoluted, RNG-based method.

Or so it seemed.  I seriously struggled with him to begin with.  Somehow he just kept managing to knock me back into his mines, which then one-shoted me. I mentioned my frustration in Guild chat and I discovered that most people had beaten him because you can stick conditions on him.  Hmmm.

So, I swapped into my old condition-mancer gear and went back.  Well, I dunno what I did wrong but I couldn't stick conditions on him so I once again set about the mine method.

It actually went pretty well; I used the Flesh Golem to tank him and had him down to about half health and then I noticed he had been crippled by the Flesh Golem.  I immediately began attacking him and was please to see the bleeds pile up.  I then stacked him with everything I could and gloated at his pathetic attempts to catch me as I kited him around.

The reward I recieved was pretty nice.  I actually managed to do the Lightfoot Lair (or w/e) achievement too so I only need one more achievement to unlock the Karka back reward.

So, I ate an omlette that I had been carrying around.

And that was that.

So, after my fairly glowing review of the F&F content I'm very meh about this.  I still have a bit more to do and maybe that will redeem it a little but maybe I just don't like Southsun.  I don't like Veteran mobs that are harder to kill than most dungeon bosses.  I don't like the (comparatively) ridiculously difficult Guild Rush there either... but I guess that's for another blog.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Living Story

This Sunday the first arc of the Living Story will end and two days later a new arc will begin. And I, personally, can't wait. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Flame and Frost story and am so glad I actually got chance to play it.

You see, I don't have a lot of play time. I have a full-time “proper” job, a daily four-hour round-trip commute, a wife and a little boy. I barely see my family during the week so weekends are very precious and I certainly don't want to spend whole days playing a video game. As a result my playtime is limited to between around 8pm and 11pm, Friday to Sunday, which adds up to about 10 hours a week.

I've seen a lot of complaints that the introduction of each part of the Living Story was too slow. It wasn't for me. I was worried I might not actually get chance to do the Molten Facility as I effectively had two weekends in which to do it and, being a real life grown-up, I already had plans for most of those days. I went to a wedding the weekend of the much maligned Karka event; I knew from the day it was announced I couldn't do it.

Admittedly, the first part of the F&F story, the refugees and recurring events in the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau, didn't really need a whole month before the next stage of content, simply because they continued to run through the entire story anyway. It was very hard to miss. So, while a calendar month seems a long time, two weeks is also quite limiting.

I'm also frustrated that people seem to have very high expectations of the Living Story. It's not supposed to be major content, you know? It's a richness, barely more than a dynamic event, and I think it has filled that role very well so far. Having missed the original Southsun event I have only been there to do a jumping puzzle and two ill-fated Guild Rushes so I am excited that the Living Story will take us back and maybe bring some changes to the zone.

It's fair to say that the Living Story rekindled my interest in Guild Wars 2.  The hype around Wildstar is building and it looks very intriguing; frankly I was geting ready to dump GW2 this Winter.  I just didn't feel I had any attachment to my character or the world.  That's beginning to change.

I hope Arenanet continue the relaxed pace of these updates and keeps including me as a player.  Tyria is a world I'm starting to find my place in.