Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy Wintersday!

We threw some snowballs, looted the snowman's lair (still no sodding mini polar bear...) and got ourselves some new costumes! Make sure to visit Lion's Arch or Kamadan today and get your hands on a scarf or festive winter hood.

Happy wintersday and a happy new year to all! Don't forget there are new costumes in the store too. This time they are a tribute to the goddess Lyssa, and Kormir.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Legendary Vanquishers!

In a feat that would put the Ministry of Purity to shame, Mousie and I have became Legendary Vanquishers! That's right folks, you name it we killed it; every baddie in every zone in hard mode has been eliminated!

Along the way we even found some areas we had never seen before, even after 6+ years of Guild Wars! Most recently, the troll cave in Snake Dance.

We would like to share some of our tips and tricks for gaining the Legendary Vanquisher title for any other brave souls attempting it or intending to attempt it now.

1. Find a build that works for you.

It's very important you design a team that makes sense to you, a team build that you can understand and run. Mousie and I were alone together with 6 heroes, and our build revolved around direct damage, massive AOE punishment and plenty of spirit / minion fodder. These are some of the most useful skills we found for Hard Mode:

to name but a few. Our general tactic was to pull a group (they would tend to clump themselves together for us, usually) and obliterate them wth our AOE attacks such as whirlind attack and volley while under a splinter weapon, with our target hexed with mark of pain. Not a lot can survive such punishment.

Don't underestimate the importance of a balanced team. These days, a lot of people tend to go with gimmicks they find posted on the PvX builds wiki rather than puzzling out their own build, but to think of your own team have them work in sync with one another is an amazing thing.

It's also important to remember that you won't always have the luxury of a party of 8. You need to find a way to make your team work for you when the limit is reduced to 6, or even 4 in some instances.

2. Know your enemy and exploit their weaknesses.

It's a good idea to visit the official guild wars wiki ( or use /wiki in game, to find some information about your intended vanquish area. For example, if you're facing an area full of water magic wielding enemies you may consider outfitting your team with Mantra of Frost! There's a Mantra for every element and they helped us immensely. Fire forest? Mantra of fire! Shiverpeak mountains? Mantra of frost! etc.

In Hard Mode, enemies receive a 50% attack and movement speed boost so you can use this against them. Skills such as Empathy and Spiteful Spirit will have them commiting suicide in no time at all. You could also choose to negate their bonuses by taking Shared Burden. Defy Pain was truly a life safer, too; I rarely took any damage from basic attacks, and even most spells were limited in their effects. Since I was usually the last to die in those instances we were to have a party wipe, I could easily shout "By Ural's Hammer!" to bring my entire party back with a vengeance. This can also be a good tactic to ressurect a wiped party; use Ural's Hammer! to ressurect one of your party with a renewable ressurect, and have them ressurect the rest of the team. You'll be back on your feet again in no time.

Unfortunately, since most enemies are of a much higher level (and likely have stronger armour) in Hard Mode, certain professions such as Elementalists may feel their spells a little underwhelming. I have to recommend that direct damage in the form of holy, dark or chaos damage is your best bet for a consistent battle.

3. Back to back vanquishes

This mostly applies to Tyria. If there are some tough zones coming up, and uh oh, you notice you can only have a party of four in them; you may be so lucky as to enter from another explorable zone from a different outpost allowing six. A perfect example of this would be the entire of Ascalon; It's actually possible to backtrack from Yak's Bend with a party of six and vanquish every single zone in the Ascalon area (usually a party of 4) with your party of 6. It definitely makes things easier on you, even if you need to be prepared to leave your computer switched on to finish the vanquishes the following day.

4. Sweet, sweet CANDY!

Honeycombs. Honeycombs, Honeycombs, Honeycombs Honeycombs. Oh, and if I forgot to mention it? HONEYCOMBS!

I don't know just how many times our scarred and charred butts have been saved by noshing a few of these beautiful things. Honeycombs grant your entire party a 5% morale boost, so they are incredibly useful for vanquishers in a tough spot. In some zones these are absolutely priceless, and they are cheap and readily available in any major city for between 100 and 200 gold a pop.

Although Honeycombs are the ultimate vanquisher's candy, there's plenty of other useful candies for you to consider using too. They can boost life, energy, attack speed, skill casting speed, and more!

Rainbow Candy Cane (Honeycomb equivalent)

Some of these are rarer than others, but most of them won't set you back much gold at all and can mean the difference between a successful vanquish and a party wipe.

5. Don't give up!

If at first something feels horrendously difficult, or even impossible, take solace in the fact that it truly isn't. Many others have done this before, and you can do it too! 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Mad King Cometh

Happy Halloween!

It's that spooky time of year and that means GW's Halloween event is underway! Towns are decorated, Trick or Treat bags are dropping and soon the quests begin. The new costumes are fantastic, one even looks like Dhuum!

They always do a fabulous job with their events and I can't wait! Here's the schedule of events:

Mon. Oct 24 the quests in Lion's Arch and Kamadan begin at Noon Pacific.

Mon. Oct. 31 The Mad King appears in LA and Kamadan every 3 hours starting at 12:01am Pacific. Be sure to visit both cities to get both hats!

Wed. Nov. 2 the event ends at 12:01am Pacific.

Bear and I hope to make a huge dent in our party/sweet tooth/drunkard titles this week. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Guild Wars Apocalypse

Completely by accident, it would seem, Anet gave us an amazing and spectacular event within Guild Wars. They added a new "Flux" (global PVP modifier) called Minion Apocalypse; any time a player dies, all nearby creatures take 50 damage and a level 20 masterless bone horror would be spawned. Now, couple that with Dhuum, who likes to show up and ban botters... well, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Dhuum showed up at the Random Arenas and swung his scythe, slaying and banning the cheater; and from his corpse rose a bone horror! With all the people who go AFK at the random arena, wearing their nice squishy cloth armour, you can guess what happened next. The minion whacks away at one of them, they die and another spawns...and so on. Until we have a situation like this:

This was definitely a lot of fun, and I absolutely hope that Anet considers bringing this back for Halloween. Imagine the Mad King Thorn doing this? The entire of Lion's Arch dominated by a thousand bone horrors, chewing their way through all of his fans? Yes please!

If you wish to see a video of the bone horrors going to town on the Jade Quarry, Relyk has posted one here:

See you all soon when the Mad King comes to call!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Dungeon Date

Mousie and I were looking for something to do, so we decided it was time to dive into a random dungeon; and this time we chose the Vloxen Excavations.

We had a great time traversing the depths; finding the master gears and placing them into gearboxes to open doors reminded me of the Sorrow's Furnace. I picked up a "Golden Machete", at which point I had to ask Mousie if that was like the Golden Gun of swords. So anyway, up until the final boss it was a routine and fun experience; I particularly enjoyed an ironic Summit Sage defeat; he was attempting to heal himself with Ether Feast, and was killed by a tasty Mistrust; thank you, Gwen!

We got to Zoldark and right off the bat he seemed rather weak. That is, until he used a bunch of skills making his minions into rapid attacking, life stealing, health regenerating terrors who tore us to pieces. After a fierce battle (and a few trips limping back from the res shrine), we managed to drop him to half his HP; at which point he vanished. Poof, hey presto, alakazam gone! I was surprised and confused about that; perhaps one of his skills which supplied him with extra health was temporary, and it had ended; still, there was no death animation, he just completely vanished, along with his pets. Still, we were happy, because that meant looting the chest! Mousie got a Cyclopian Wand and a Diamond, and I a Divine Staff and Onyx Gemstone. Fairly mundane loot, but we had plenty of fun getting there!

Happy adventures to you all!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

You Look Mahvelous!

GamesCom 2011 has been going strong today and I came across some GW2 videos posted by AeronwenTrewent that are well worth a look. The videos show the Norn, Charr and Sylvari through the character creation process from start to finish and boy, what a lot of customization to be had! After race, gender and class, the screen goes to Body Features. You can then choose your height. Physique comes next, but this was disabled for the demos.

The next feature is fur for Charr and tattoos for Norn. The videos seemed to show about 14 styles of fur and 9 different tattoos for the Norn. While the video didn't show each one, they seem to be pretty different from one another.

Hair styles follows with 10 choices for Norn, 8 for Sylvari and 8 for Charr. Yes, Charr do style their hair! The choices in color seem endless and various combos can be made with head hair and facial hair.

After Hair comes Faces and Skin color with more than 20 available tones for the Sylvari and a good number for the Norn as well. The Sylvari video also showed ear choices! The Facial Detail tab was not available for the demos, but I'm willing to bet there will be a wide variety to that also.

One thing I really liked in GW1 was the dye system and this has been carried over to GW2 with even more variety. Three areas of each piece of clothing to dye with 24 colors to choose from for each piece make your character's clothes your own. No more looking like all the others! The ability to hide or show your headpiece has been included, yay!

The last thing is your character's story. Sentences are shown with a word to be filled in. Each race has different ones and the choices you make to fill in the blanks determines your character's "back story".

Character customization is something I always look for, and complain about if it's lacking, in games. These videos are really exciting and show just how much ArenaNet cares about players' feelings of uniqueness and variation. Kudos, Anet! Well done.

AeronwenTrewent's YouTube Channel

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Fire Forest, You're Fired!

"Let's vanquish Sacnoth Valley?" Mousie asked me. I felt the world sinking beneath my feet, my head spinning and my gut wrench, since I knew that meant one thing: the Fire Forest. Burning Spirits, Flowstone Elementals, any kind of mean fire critter you could think of in one giant forest fire.

Mousie was confident, though, and I wasn't about to let her down; so all I did was add Mantra of Flame to all of my heroes to reduce the impact of fire damage and provide them energy. After some tough battles and lots of being burned half to death, we were able to destroy all the flame creatures of the fire forest! It was quite a relief I can tell you!