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Posts Tagged ‘Guild Wars 2’

From the sound of it (thanks, Fool’s Age, Rowan x 2, Syp and Syl, I can’t recommend your articles enough), the social scene in Guild Wars 2 is exactly what I’m looking for when it comes to MMO sociality:  a light touch, encouraging cooperation instead of demanding it.

The way of the Open Hand of friendship, instead of the Closed Fist of the designer.  It’s a Zen kinda thing, man.

It’s… less Big Brother, more… Crazy Uncle Eddie with golems and firecrackers.

I’m just wired that way.  Tell me I must do something social, like find a tank and a healer to run a dungeon, and I’ll fight it and try to solo it.  Tell me that there are baddies that need whumping over thataway, give me tools to help anyone I happen to stumble into, and I’ll stop to give a hand up to a fallen friendly or do whatever tricks I can to offer assistance in killing said baddies.

Tell me I can be social, and I probably will.  Tell me I have to be, and I probably won’t.

Guild Wars 2 apparently also has a big exploration factor, and that’s kind of what I do in these MMO things.  Yes, I’m looking forward to playing GW2.  I’m selling some of my older games to fund it (and make my blasted computer work), and one of those WoW time cards, but that’s OK, new vistas await.  One can’t dwell in the past forever.

Unless one is a nasty, grumpy ghost of Ascalon, I guess.

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No, I don’t actually have Guild Wars 2 yet.  I’ve just been perusing the wiki, getting a sense of what’s there and what I might do for my set of characters.  I was reading a fun article from Rakuno over at Shards of Imagination, wherein he writes a bit about offbeat race/profession combinations.  This is the sort of thing I love, and something I think is sorely missing from World of Warcraft.  Yes, I would make a Pandaran Druid.  And a Gnome Hunter.  Just because.

Why Gnomes Can’t Be Hunters

(That’s a bit of art I did for BBB a while back.  Too much fun.)

I therefore took a matrix of races and professions in Guild Wars 2, trying to come up with Twitter-sized role playing backgrounds for each possible combination.  Some are way too easy and obvious, others are more esoteric and interesting.  I won’t play all of these, but it was fun to imagine “what if”… if only for a short time.

Now… I should preface this by noting that none of these are actually professions.  It seems to me that the profession of every player character in pretty much any MMO is “mass murderer”, the difference only being in the methodology.  This is key when considering something like the Thief profession (which awesomely, actually involves something almost like theft in GW2).  I imagine these characters as actual, y’know, thieves, not “mass murderer who uses thief-style killing tools”.  Maybe that’s a failure on my part when considering role playing, but I do like to think of these things as professions, if only because it makes writing character fiction more interesting.  Every one of these characters will wind up as mercenary assassins of one sort or another, trying to selfishly gain power and loot.  That’s just how these DIKU MMO things work, for better or worse.

Asura

  • Guardian – Tinker’s Guild guard on remote assignment. Secretive, stern, strict.
  • Warrior – Napoleon. Must fight anyone and everyone to compensate for ego/size mismatch.
  • Engineer – Absentminded professor. Tinkerer with little direction.
  • Ranger – Studying animals as golem inspiration/substitutes.
  • Thief – OCD kleptomaniac. Simply must have at least one of everything.
  • Elementalist – Scientist, systematically exploring elemental magic.
  • Mesmer – Con artist, pulling one over on other races to prove Asuran superiority.
  • Necromancer – Technomancer, researching corpse/golem similarities.

Charr

  • Guardian – Samurai-like with grudge against Raven Norns.
  • Warrior – Distilled Klingon.
  • Engineer – Weaponmaster, searching for best weapon tech.
  • Ranger – Alpha male. Seeks to dominate all animal kingdom.
  • Thief – Interhouse chessmaster for hire. Intrigue instigator.
  • Elementalist – Pyromaniac. Unhinged and obsessed with Ascalon’s FoeFire.
  • Mesmer – Mind game tactician. Compensating for childhood by manipulating others.
  • Necromancer – Boneyard caretaker; Grudgebearer avenging those under his care.

Human

  • Guardian – Royal guard washout trying to prove himself.
  • Warrior – Mercenary. Purely available to highest bidder. Medieval melee Jayne.
  • Engineer – Sparky mad scientist. More Tarvek, less Gil.
  • Ranger – Circus trainer grudgingly playing the hero.
  • Thief – Artful Dodger with little long-term aspiration.
  • Elementalist – Sailor with wild talent, primarily Air mage just starting to branch out.
  • Mesmer – Carnival entertainer; two bit stage magician with debts to repay.
  • Necromancer – Accidental hero. Only defeating bad guys to forestall rivalry.

Norn

  • Guardian – Mama bear. Do not cross.
  • Warrior – Berzerker, Wolf devotee. Lone wolf because he’s too dangerous.
  • Engineer – Civil engineer. Raven-like focus and mental discipline.
  • Ranger – Grizzly Adams. On steroids.
  • Thief – Enforcer. Mobster. More robber than thief.
  • Elementalist – Ice/Water shaman. Specializes in defense and healing.
  • Mesmer – Psychiatrist. Norn tough love.
  • Necromancer – Preparing heroic spot in afterlife for friends… by any means.

Sylvari

  • Guardian – Pale Tree Rootguard. Just wants to stay home.
  • Warrior – Photoinsane bloodlusty nut. Only calm in the dark. Avenging vegetable slaughter.
  • Engineer – Researching how to make technology useful to Sylvari plant physiology.
  • Ranger – Experimenting with animals. Fascinating things.
  • Thief – Shiny! Ooh, another one! Squirrel! Mine! ADHD? What’s that? Sounds like fun!
  • Elementalist – Earth mage hippy.
  • Mesmer – Dancer out to see the world.
  • Necromancer – Golgari “circle of life” kind of guy. Just helping the circle along.

I’m not quite sure what I’ll play once I actually get my hands on the game.  Apparently, without buying extra, I’ll have only 5 character slots.  That means one per race, but not all the professions.  (Or some other mix, sure, but I’d like to have one of each race to see the stories.)  I’m leaning to the following: Asura Ranger (the bigger the pet, the better), Charr Mesmer (tricky kitty), Human Elementalist (or maybe Thief), Norn Engineer and Sylvari Warrior.  That last one could be especially fun to role play, as light and dark in the environment would alter his mood, and his psychotic penchant for avenging vegetable slaughter could have shades of HK-47‘s “meatbag” commentary.

I reserve the right to change my mind on any of this… but it was fun to play with the ol’ imagination for a while, no matter how it all finally settles out.

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Guild Wars 2 is out, and apparently awesome.  I’ll get it someday, money and time are tight at the moment, but in the meantime, Syl has some great comments up on the game.  Others do too, I’m sure, I’ve just been out of the loop lately.  GW2 is the sort of game that sounds like something I want to play (I loved the first one), I just… can’t.  Not at the moment.

World of Warcraft‘s latest patch, 5.0.4, came out at the same time (the nefariousness!), and it’s apparently also amazingly awesome.  I’ll play WoW again someday as well.  Probably just by firing up my free account and making a Pandaran, though if I ever revisit my “paid” account, I’ll be happy to see some things like shared mounts and pets.  My daughter will love that she can have her character access the pets I’ve collected on my Tishtoshtesh character.

Oh, and as an aside, I love that Hunters now have no minimum range on their ranged weapons, but the deletion of their melee potential makes me sad.  I wish they had made the Survival tree into a melee-heavy Hunter, sort of like a Warhammer Online White Lion class.  That might spawn a few hundred thousand more Drizzt clones though, I guess.

In the meantime, though, I wanted to share a couple of photos I found that reminded me of WoW.  Y’see, sometimes it’s derided as being “too technicolor” or something of the sort.  Well, so is my home state, sometimes.  And it’s a blasted desert.

A Sea of Purple in the Badlands of Utah

Badlands Bloom by Guy Tal

And then there’s this mini-maelstrom in Hawaii… it’s not quite the size of Darkshore’s sinkhole or The WoW Maelstrom, but I think it looks a lot more impressive for its detail and energy.  And that whole “it’s real” bit.  (Another shot of the area over thisaway, also by Patrick Smith.)

Maelstrom at Kauai, Hawaii

Maelstrom in Hawaii by Patrick Smith

Both of those were featured in this “best photos of 2012” list, which includes some other fantastic photographs.  Go, peruse, enjoy!

When you’re done with that, you could go peruse the archives at the Astronomy Picture of the Day.  There’s a ton of great stuff there.  The shot from this morning even almost fits the theme, looking vaguely like a northern Azerothian badland, complete with some airglow fun.

Airglow over Italy by Tamas Ladanyi

…I wish I had more time for photography, too.  I meant to go to some local ghost towns this summer and look for texture photos and other interesting shots.  Alas, home repair/remodeling and other Stuff ate up my time… and none of those are even done yet.  I probably ought to sleep sometime, too.

…so yeah, I hope you all are having fun in those MMO worlds.  Take some screenshots for me, will you please?

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What exactly is a “Ranger”, anyway?  One who ranges?  One with a home on the range?  One who rang?

Whatever the case, I’m really looking forward to playing a Ranger in Guild Wars 2.

Is it bad form to want to name my bearLittle John“?  R.I.P.,  Phil Harris.

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