Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Gates of Mathingy

So, the Gates of Maguuma trailer is up!  Setting aside the fact I am pissed off with how much press is coming out of Anet in video format I am pretty excited!

The main reason for my excitement is my brother.  Huh? Yeah. He bought GW2 way back at launch and didn't really enjoy it.  We're two out of four of an IRL Guild (sorta) and the four of us have played a fair few MMOs together.  Until recently we were scattered to the four winds: I'm playing GW2, one was heavily into FFXIV (legacy player) and two were out of the game altogether including my brother.

But he's back.  He recently moved into a bigger house and has claimed a man cave for himself.  He now has a PC to sit and play at and decided to give GW2 another shot.

He recently said this in an email to the "guild":
this is probably the second best RPG i have played
Hurray! Although we don't get, or expect to have, much play time together we've already had some laughs.  This mainly revolved around his lack of JP skill, WvW death and a totally spontaneous Evolved Jungle Wurm attempt (successful).

There's lots he has yet to try in the game including any Personal Story, holiday events, mini-games, Fractals and proper dungeon runs but the one big thing, the thing I have really missed not being able to discuss, is the Living Story.

So, hopefully come July 1st, we'll be able to sit down and get into it for a few hours and then we can have a good ol' fashioned speculate.  I do like a good speculate.

So, I levelled a Thief

I made a Thief a looong time ago and until last month his main purpose was to hang out in Metrica Province (he is asura) and complete dailies.  Metrica is great for kill variety at the Thaumanova Reactor, underwater and ambient slayer in Loch Jezt and cheap gathering around Artergon Waypoint.  I just played him for larks.
SeƱor Teatime (Mr. was taken)

Initially I didn't really enjoy the class.  The profession mechanics for Thief in GW2 are Initiative, Stealth and Steal and none of them really blew my skirt up.  Stolen abilities are often just flat damage and Stealth seems to last next to no time. However, Initiative is interesting.  When combined with the versatility provided by Dual Wield not having cooldowns on your weapon skills becomes very powerful.

Thief Utility Skills, though, aren't all that and tend to have long cooldowns for otherwise modest effects.  I guess this is a result of the need to balance the spammable weapon skills.  Venoms are a particular head scratcher, 40 second cooldown to apply several stacks of conditions that don't stack? I have to assume they have PvP in mind for that.  I mean Poison as a DoT is not great, it's the debuff to healing that makes it powerful but PvE mobs don't heal.

Prior to Thief my most played classes were Guardian, Engineer and Necromancer and I had a big problem with survivability starting out as a footpad.  Fighting even two mobs was 50/50.  I took to the internet and found this.  In the early days it was tough to find advice for levelling builds as most people we're still focused on perfecting a level 80 build.  This, however, was great advice. I became all but unkillable.  At least in Metrica Province.

Then disaster struck.  The Great Trait Rethink happened (in April) and suddenly I had 1 Minor trait on my level 30 Thief as opposed to 2 Minors and a 2 Majors.
The "Great" Trait Rethink
That sucked a lot of the fun out of the build I was running and Thief became tedious again overnight.  I started farming dailies on my Guardian, who, although only level 40ish, wasn't quite as reliant on Traits for fun.

Then, abruptly, at some point in early May, I decided to properly level Thief.  I'd decided to complete Brisban Wildlands on him (possibly inspired by the Season 2 teaser?) but I'd also started levelling weaponsmith and was creating Rare weapons for my alts to grow into.  Suddenly, I just felt inspired and in a little over a month he's now happily sat at 80.  In the process I levelled Cooking to 400 in less than 30 minutes (see here) and levelled so quickly from 60 to 80 it wasn't even worth buying new gear.

Hwo would my 80 build look?  Well, I'd always wanted to stay a condi Thief, I liked the bleed stacking from Death Blossom, so I read around for some build inspiration.  I had a good look at some builds using pistol but didn't really get on with it.  Maybe it was too much like Engy?  Finally I settled on a Dagger/Dagger (natch) and a Shortbow.  I'd recently tried and loved Koroshi's roaming Engy build, and thought it would be fun to do some sort of sustain/survivability PvE build.  I found this (Apothecary gear?!) and adapted it to my play style and end up with this!
I have some nice dagger skins

It's great in PvE I seem to be hard to kill (TM) and there are some neat switches you can make to Major traits without a full respec (bit of an old school concern).  I doubt it will be much use in Dungeons or WvW, but since I don't do Dungeons or WvW for more than a few hours a month it shouldn't be a concern!  Also, apparently, 3k toughness is the sweet spot.  Who knew? (This guy)

I think Orr will be the acid test for this little chap.

Hoarding is spoiling my fun

I'm a hoarder: in game, out of game.

We moved to our new home 2 and half years ago and we have very recently decided it is time to clear the spare room of crap that just got dumped when we moved in.  It's been quite the task but really quite liberating.

In the process I have realised I hoard two kinds of things.  Firstly, I've discovered loads of "I might do something with that one day" stuff.  Some of it is PCMCIA 56.6k modems... I don't even have a laptop with a PCMCIA slot any more.  This is mainly just crap.  Secondly there are a few piles of "this might be worth something someday".  I blame my Dad for this.  He calls himself a collector rather than a hoarder.  Lastly, there is a bit of overlap between the two.

This is the top two slots of my GW2 bank:
If you don't play GW2 that might be a bit meaningless but if you do you'll see a mixture of total crap, stuff I am saving for the proverbial rainy day and a few things I expect to have some future value.

The majority of this stuff is Account Bound, it can't be sold and it can only be used.  When? When am I going to use it? I could drop dead right now with 14 exp boosters unused.  What am I saving them for?  Why am I wasting a slot in my bank with that?

I have 19 Instant Repair canisters. Since repair is now free, they're pretty pointless. Also, since I saved  them for emergencies, what use are they in the bank? I have several Express Bank Access tokens... in the bank.

Why is this spoiling my fun? Because things I should have in the bank are actually in inventory, spread across multiple characters. It is not fun to run out of bag space. In GW2 crafting components have a separate bank but you can't put sub-components in it. It is not fun to log to one char to craft and realise you have sub components stored on another.  That stuff should be in the bank.

Also, the price of most things is going to steadily fall in this game.  There is a finite player base and supply will eventually exceed demand.  Any items introduced at an update should be sold immediately, rather than hoarded, you can buy them back later at a tenth of the cost.

So, don't bank it, use it or sell and, I assure you, it'll be more fun in the long run!