To those of you who started following me before I made the WordPress, thanks! Your follow is not in vain—moving forward, you can expect to see screenshot posts of GW and GW2. Tumblr is best-suited to uploading a single image at full resolution and sending it to twitter/facebook. These kinds of posts have a place here, but would be a bit spammy on the WordPress blog where I want to write longer posts, be able to embed hosted images, and natively receive comments.
I was playing Trine 2 last night and reached a stage with some underwater areas—they aren’t a huge part of the game, but they sure are gorgeous. After a bit of swimming around and following an angler fish to some hidden XP orbs, I suddenly started taking damage. I look up at my HUD and sure enough a breath meter had appeared and was depleted.
As you may already know, GW2 features specially-designed underwater combat designed to take advantage of the Z axis. As far as I can tell ArenaNet’s blog post about it is still up to date. The important thing for this discussion is that there is no breath meter.
What did Trine 2 gain from having a breath meter? Not a whole lot. The underwater sections are shallow enough that there was no sense of urgency for getting back to the surface. Running out of air is little more than a minor inconvenience that just takes you out of the moment.
I didn’t get to do a whole lot of underwater combat in the last GW2 beta (it gets really interesting above level 20 and I only reached 18 or so) but the underwater areas are huge. It would be a chore to explore these areas with the constant interruptions of going up for air or hunting down some random air bubbles. I’m happy that ArenaNet is shedding the shackles of realism in the name of fun.
This map answers one of the big questions I had about GW2: how do the old and new locations correspond? The geography has changed so much—Orr rising out of the ocean, the flooding of southern Kryta, and Maguuma becoming a desert—that it was tough to get my bearings. This map removes all the ambiguity.
Also, you see that purple streak that runs from the desert up into Ascalon? That’s the Dragonbrand, and the lore nerd in me was happy to see it as a prominent terrain feature on the world map.
Courtesy of That Shaman on Reddit, the above is an incredible map overlapping the GW2 world with all known Tyria locations in the original Guild Wars. I found it amazing how ‘true to form’ it really is
What a cool idea! This is really neat to see!
Let’s talk about The Elder Scrolls Online. I’ve been pronouncing the acronym “Teezo” in my head.
I really like the logo—the three factions, Dragon, Lion, and Eagle (Hawk? Griffon?) eating each other in a circle. If you haven’t checked out the reveal trailer, it’s well-made but there’s not much to it. A narrator talks dramatically about how the Imperial throne is empty and that people will fight for it while the three pieces of the logo bang against each other.
The screenshots and gameplay rumors, however, are surpising to me. Granted it’s only a first look, but I don’t feel like this game appeals to my inner TES fan. It will be third-person with more traditional MMO hotbar combat, not featuring the realtime first-person combat the series is known for. I can understand that there would be latency concerns with combat as action-focused as Oblivion and Skyrim—manually aiming every swing, arrow, and spell—but Guild Wars 2 has realtime combat where your position matters, so why not TESO?
The screenshots are perhaps greater cause from concern. Oblivion and Skyrim established a very large bestiary for the series to build on, but the only monsters I recognize are a Flame Atronach, a Storm Atronach, and something vaguely reminiscent of a Clannfear. None of the daedra or other monsters I love to slaughter have yet made an appearance. The environments don’t resemble the amazing vistas I’ve come to expect in Tamriel, and the armor and clothes look unfamiliar too. Most of the time I can recognize a prequel/sequel’s connection to its predecessors, but these screenshots don’t give me that nostalgic feeling.
To end on a high note though, my chief concern was laid to rest: Bethesda is not the lead studio on the project, so they will continue to focus on what they do best with Skyrim DLC and the inevitable Elder Scrolls VI. I would hate to see an end to single-player TES games because of TESO as we did with the KOTOR series and SWTOR.
y r ur hands glowy?
- Everyone, Ever
I knew of MMOs a long time before I actually played one—I was always repulsed by the idea of paying a monthly fee for the mere privilege of access. Fortunately, along came a little game called Guild Wars. I didn’t know a whole lot about it aside from the lack of a subscription fee, but that was enough for me to bite. The rest is history—3 collector’s editions, 7 years, hundreds of screenshots, and 2000+ hours logged.
I’ve been eating up news about Guild Wars 2 all through its development, and I pounced on the first opportunity to pre-purchase a Collector’s Edition. It’s been amazing to see and participate in such a huge community for an unreleased game. My participation up until now has been entirely via Twitter, but now that the game is almost out I thought it was time to throw my hat into the blogging ring. I owe my inspiration to Hunter’s Insight and the Relics of Orr crew. If you like either of those sites I think you’ll like mine as well. I appreciate both for their ability to look at things, especially GW2, from a critical perspective but still have a clear love of the game and the community. Relics’ podcast was also really hilarious.
I hope you’ll tune in! I’m pretty easy to track down. My personal twitter is @mr_ex (warning: I do tweet about things besides video games :p,) my Guild Wars/2 IGN is Optimus Maleficus, and I’m Mr_eX on Steam. You can track down my raptr and a few other things using twitter.