Archive for the Guild Wars 2 Category

Life is Strange

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2, lotro on August 17, 2016 by Corleth

The current extended summer break from school, brought my kids back to LoTRO for a few weeks, so I took the opportunity to join them. With our original home, the Gilrain server, now defunct, the first task we faced was moving our toons across to a new home – we chose Laurelin. The move went smoothly, and we sorted out our family kin, plus kinship house in this new location, in good order. The following few weeks saw me dust off my level 30 hobbit hunter and head to Evendim, where old memories came flooding back. We had some fun evenings, questing together and running plenty of skirmishes, but the rekindled interest inevitably waned and LoTRO is once again an unused link on our individual desktops. It was good to go back though.

With Turbine’s licence for LoTRO up for renewal next year, there may be precious few further occasions for revisiting this creaking game, where the character models and combat system both feel more clunky as each year passes; the scenery is still stunning, mind you, and the housing, music and cosmetic systems still hold our attention. As an aside, my top level toon is still my Loremaster at 85, but I have no inclination to bring her out of retirement. That would mean first buying, and then investing time in, the Helms Deep expansion. No thanks.

Away from LoTRO, I’ve also been back to Guild Wars 2 over the summer. The ‘Heart of Thorns’ expansion was released in October last year (2015), so it’s been a time to dust of my necromancer and elementalist. I might post some dedicated commentary on this, as it’s looking interesting, thus far.

Earlier in the year (well, from last Christmas though to around Easter) I found myself drawn back in to EVE, due to the ongoing ‘New Great War’ that saw the fall of the Imperium. I joined up with Pandemic Horde and headed out into nullsec for the first time. I had fun, lost a lot of ships, and made a bit of ISK, but the length and time of the ops proved too inconvenient for me to get fully drawn in, so when my subscription ran out, I left EVE once more.

Back to now, and I’m working my way through the excellent ‘Life is Strange’. Since completing Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’, I’ve definitely been drawn more into the episodic adventure game genre. The female protagonist in LiS, Max, is just excellent, and the game’s ambience and pace is just bang on. My available playtime is currently way more fractured than it was even a few years ago, so the ability to dip in and out of a story like ‘Life is Strange’ is a huge benefit.

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Max – Life is Strange

The said fractured nature of my available game-time is probably the main reason that iOS and Android gaming are now where the majority of my game hours are spent. When a gaming session can be counted in minutes rather than hours, this is inevitable. My Clash of Clans account is now at level 114, and counting, and our whole family takes part in weekly or bi-weekly clan war. Good fun for all. Boom Beach, another of Super Cell’s offerings, is another regular sink, but I hated Clash Royale which I found stressful and aggravating. Fallout Shelter had the same effect on me – too much micromanagement involved, although I appreciate it has a huge fan base. I’m currently trying out Blizzard’s Hearthstone on iOS – so far, it’s looking good.

New Year Stagnation

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2, lotro, SWTOR with tags , , , , on January 14, 2014 by Corleth

The Christmas and New Year period saw me ‘off work’ for the best part of two weeks. In previous years that sort of break would have seen me put in some serious gaming hours. Not so this year. Well, not as much as recent years, anyway.

At the start of the holiday season, my gaming tipple was still LoTRO; specifically, my ‘Minstrel project’ on Landroval. Progress up to mid-December had seen me complete all quests in the Misty Mountains zone in general and, more specifically, Goblin Town – including soling the Great Goblin instance ‘on-level’. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found the Goblin Town experience very enjoyable, probably because it was pretty much all new to me.

Epic Volume 1 in Angmar

Epic Volume 1 in Angmar

After finishing up in Goblin Town and the Misty Mountains and picking up my first legendary weapon via the ‘Gates of Moria’ epic volume 2 introduction, I was left with a choice of heading to Eregion or pushing on with Volume 1 of epic quest line. I went for the latter option which, for me, turned out to be a bad option. Despite some streamlining a couple of years back, Volume 1 still requires an almighty amount of running about the world for no particular reason. How dull! In the event, after hitting level 52 just before Christmas day, I got bored of all the epic volume 1 toing and froing and haven’t been back to LoTRO since.

Between Christmas and New Year, I was almost entirely immersed with my Smuggler in SWTOR. One bugged quest apart, my free-to-play experience has been excellent but, now at level 17, my two skill bars are filling up rapidly and I can see that I might have to shell out some cash in order to make the game more playable, in the not too distant future. All told though, I’m enjoying the story telling in SWTOR and am making a point of listening to all the dialogue at the start of each quest. “Why rush?”, I say.

The last week or so has also seen me dabbling with GW2 again for the first time in six months or so. On loading GW2 for the first time in months, it really hit me what a good looking world Tyria is. In my opinion, as an MMO setting it blows SWTOR and LoTRO out of the water. Back in game, I toyed with my mesmer, and even rolled a ranger, but the draw of my necromancer has seen me playing her most of the time; at the moment, I’m mainly trying to get my head around WvW again, and also just trying to complete my ‘daily’ on a more or less regular basis. GW2 still is a game that you can just dip and out of, in an ad hoc manner. In gourmet parlance – good food, fast.

Alpine Necro

Alpine Necro

All that said, overall, I find I’m playing MMOs less than I have done at any time since my pre-LoTRO days in 2008. Realistically, there are multiple reasons why – including increasing dislike of both the ‘levelling-grind’ and the ‘end-game-grind’, an increasingly ‘solo’ experience within all the MMOs that I play (nobody has to group in MMOs any more, more’s the pity),  and over-familiarity with the genre.

Plenty of other genres to be explored though!

Like Father, Like Sons…

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2, lotro with tags , , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by Corleth

My LoTRO experiment on Landroval is still going well and I have to say that I’m enjoying same. My one toon, a minstrel, is currently finishing off some quests I the north-west corner of Evendim and is racing up on level 44. I say ‘racing’ because the 100% XP boost that Turbine currently in place means that it’s almost impossible not to level rapidly. My gaming is currently restricted to weekends, more or less, so I’ve pushed on twenty-odd levels in only a couple of weeks, in reality.

I’ve taken care to try to tackle quests that I’ve not done before too, particularly around Dol Dinan and Meluinen in the North Downs, Oatbarton (North Cotton Farm) in Evendim and Garth Agarwen in the Lonelands. I’ve also been running all ‘Volume 1’ epic quests on-level which, again, is a first for me.

Evendim - view from the Colosus

Evendim – view from the Colosus

It’s very noticeable how much more populated Landroval is compared to my home server of Gilrain, too. The global lff channel on Landroval often ticks over 250 users where as I’ve never seen more than 150 on Gilrain, and that only in exceptional circumstances; presumably as a consequence, there’s noticeably more grouping activity too. This all leads to a server with a more active feel to it than what I’ve been used to, which is definitely ‘fresh’.

In short, I’m going to keep my Landroval experiment going for the foreseeable future. Quite what I’ll do when Helms Deep hits, I’ve yet to decide.

Elsewhere on the LoTRO front, my kids have noticed me playing again, and that it turn has renewed their interest in the game. My 9 year old now has a level 37 hunter in the middle of Evendim (Ost Forod) and my 11 year old’s level 29 guardian is questing around Oatbarton – both on Gilrain, so I’ll be popping back to keep a closer eye on their progress! As an aside, they’re both running on free-to-play accounts with the ‘Mithril Edition’ applied.

Away from LoTRO, I’ve also spent a few hours in GW2 over the past week – the latest Living Story update in the Kessex Hills actually caught my imagination. I really like the way that many of the mobs now have to be ‘finished’, much the same way as players in WvW (and PvP, presumably). It’s a fun touch, though maybe it would become tiresome if applied universally…I’ll be popping back over the next few days to see how much I get done before the (inevitable) next update takes it all away again!

A New Regime

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2, lotro with tags , , , , on October 18, 2013 by Corleth

Game rotation is a bit of a mystery to me. Throughout my gaming life, I’ve been pretty much monogamous, when it comes to games. Pick one up, play through it and don’t move on until I’m done. Once I’m done, don’t look back. So, in the interests of freshness, I’ve decided to a little MMO rotation. Nothing too structured, but I’m setting out to play at least one session on each of three MMOs, each week, for the next month or two – and see where that brings me.

The order of play will, for starters, meander between LoTRO, GW2 and TSW. It’ll be tough not to get drawn into one of these more than the other two, I think, but I’ll try to persist.

First up, was LoTRO. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have an itch to scratch with regard to starting afresh in this…so I’ve started scratching. I first picked a well-populated server – Landroval – which is already proving a much more lively base than my ‘home’ server of Gilrain (which currently has one of the lowest populations of any server). My character pick was a minstrel, because I always enjoyed the technicality of this class. For race, I went for an elf,  and therefore found myself in the Ered Luin starter zone, for the first time in a few years! As of now, I’m through to level 22 and having a ball. As a premium player (ex VIP) who has purchased both the ‘Mithril Edition’ and the ‘Steam Edition’, over the last few years, I have a good number of freebies on any new toon, so staring is relatively easy for me. Still, having zero gold in the bank was interesting. That said, is it me or is it easier to accumulate gold now than it used to be? And heck, how the prices on the AH have risen! More updates to follow.

The bright lights of GW2

The bright lights of GW2

I’ve also picked up Gw2 for the first time in a couple of months. After cleaning up my mail inbox, I took my necromancer off to Orr to finish up her personal story, at least as far as the final ‘Kill Zaitan’ part (anyone for Arah?!). I then broke out my level 50 mesmer and toyed with the latest dailies. Since then I’ve been engaged in the Frostgeorge Sound champion ‘chochoo’. Needless to say, I’m ignoring the Living Story – at least for the time being.

I’ll play TSW a visit over this weekend – watch this space for an update from the Savage Coast.

All Dilled-Up in GW2

Posted in Guild Wars 2 with tags , , , on October 9, 2013 by Corleth

About four months ago, when I was flat-out saving money in GW2 for exotics, I spent a good amount of time ‘flipping’ on the trading post (‘TP’). Back then I wrote the post below, but never published it. However, I’m now back playing again, and was interested to see if the contents of the post still held true – I’m amazed to say that the answer is a definite ‘YES!’. So here it is…

In my last post I mentioned that I’m now engaging in some ‘flipping’ on the TP in order to supplement my in-game income. As part of this, a couple of weeks ago I noticed that there was a larger than usual profit to be made in flipping Dill Sprigs – at the time, we were talking about a flip profit of about 1 silver per sprig. So I dipped my toe into the dill market.

My first batch of dill was bought and sold with no problems, and a tidy profit of over 1 gold went into the bank. However a crash on the market then saw dill sprig then drop from around 5 silver to only 3 silver in the middle of my next  trade – so I ended up with over 100 dill sprigs, each of which I could only sell for a loss of about 2 silver each! Help!

A wee bit of research followed – and sure enough one of the uses of dill sprigs, is for the Bowl of Creamed Dill Sauce. At the time these were selling for around 7 silver a pop, so it made perfect sense to convert all my dill sprigs into dill sauce, and them sell these on the TP…So that’s exactly what I did, and I netted a sum of about 2 gold (by the time all other ingredient costs were taken into account).

I then forgot about dill for a while until I checked the prices at the end of last week, and the same dill sprigs have now rocketed to over 20 silver each! As for dill creamed sauce, this is now over 30 silver a bowl. Outrageous prices, but why? The only item that can be made out of the dill cream sauce is Krytan meatballs – a useless item that sells for coppers on the TP. So why the mad prices for Dill/Dill Sauce?

Well, I’ve now done some further digging and the reason seems to be down to a large number of folk, power-leveling via the cooking skill. Googling ‘GW2 Cooking Guide’ will return a bunch of links, but top of the list is this power leveling guide. One of the key components of this guide is…25 Bowls of Dilled Cream Sauce. A connection!? Well, this post here on the GW2 forums makes the same connection and extrapolates. As DCS is mostly purchased in batches of 25 from the TP, the link between the power-leveling guide and the demand for ‘the sauce’ seems clear.

The one question that remains, for me, is “Why are people so daft as to pay sky-high prices for dill products when there are plenty of other cooking recipes that would get the job done for far less TP expenditure?”. Hmmmmm!

So that was then. As of now, there’s still plenty of gold to be made from selling Dilled Creamed Sauce on the TP. The most expensive ingredients for making the sauce are the Dill Sprig (currently at 12s each) and the Rosemary Sprig (currently just under 4s) each. Harvesting these on the landscape, and then making the DCS, will net you nearly 20s per DCS on the TP. Alternatively, you can buy all of the ingredients, make the sauce yourself, and still make nearly 4s per sale. See this spreadsheet, acurate (I hope) as on 9th Oct 2013: Dilled Cream Sauce calc

Better than a poke in the eye with a cooking spoon?

GW2 – Break In Play

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2 with tags , , on October 1, 2013 by Corleth

Ok. You may have guessed, but GW2 has taken a bit of a back seat in my life. Maybe it’s just a phase. Probably, in fact. That said, I thought some sort of GW2 wrap-up was appropriate, seeing how the last time I posted, I was still leveling a necromancer, and enjoying Tyria’s delights on a daily basis. And now, I’m not!

So, I brought my necro to level 80 a few months back. I ran her around Orr and completed all but the final part of her ‘personal story’ (i.e. Arah), kitted her out with a full set of exotic gear, plus a couple of bits of ascended accouterments, and finally gave her a ‘total makeover’ so that she looked the part (in my eyes, anyway). Job done.

My level 80 Necro

My level 80 Necro

As an aside, I liked the ‘Total Makeover Kit’ so much that I re-did the look of my elementalist too – the change drew quite a few comments:

My 'new look' elementalist

My ‘new look’ elementalist

But then what? Well, then nothing really. I was left with a combination of one or more of these choices:

1. Leveling a third toon – which realistically meant picking up my mesmer again at level 40-odd, or starting from scratch with AN Other.

2. Partaking of the now bi-weekly Living Story updates.

3. Committing myself to WvW and/or PvP progression.

4. Legendary weapon grind.

I didn’t fancy any of these options and still don’t, so I just haven’t played GW2 since my necro was polished. I guess horizontal progression just isn’t what I’m looking for. I mean, how many skins for weapons, armor and back-pieces do you really need? Not to mention cuddly toys (aka mini pets)? Unless you change your ‘look’ regularly, ‘not many’ is my answer. As for the latest ‘Tequatl Rising’ living story event, I shudder at the requirement for mass organisation of the player base (I’ve never been a fan of the GW2 zerg), so my break from Tyria continues.

Wake Up, Cor!

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2 with tags , , , on May 13, 2013 by Corleth

“Hey Cor! Wake up!”

“Huh, whadya mean, ‘Wake up!’?”

“Well, you must be asleep, right? You haven’t posted for…like…weeks!”

“Ah. Well. Yes. That’d be down to stuff. Other stuff. Real life stuff. You know?!”

“Ah Cor, who cares about real life?! I mean we’re talking Guild Wars 2, here – much more important than real-life! So….what have you been up to??”

“Ah well, I see your point. Okay, here’s my tale…”

I’ve spent a lot of time with my necromancer of late. Leveling has been far quicker with her than it was on my first toon, my elementalist – probably because I now know how to play (a bit!), where to go, and what to do. Just as importantly, I possibly now also know what NOT to do!

Currently level 62, my necro is likely to hit 80 before the end of May, without any sort of rush. Just tipping-away, exploring, doing dailies, and running personal story quests, will do it. The necromancer’s survivability is far greater than that of the elementalist so deaths and subsequent repair costs are much less. Add to that, the very different and interesting range of skills, and I’m still loving the class.

Necromancer in action!

Necromancer in action!

Not that I’m neglecting my elementalist either. During fractal and dungeon runs in late March and early April, I came to the inevitable conclusion that my ele’s build was just poor. A ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ build. Fine, I had a mixture of exotic gear which had a general bias towards toughness, power and precision…BUT, the same gear also had a good smattering of other stuff in there too:

  • a bit of extra healing
  • a dash of additional magic find
  • a chunk of improved condition damage
  • some improved critical chance/damage

The result? I found I was dying too fast and often getting one-shotted, especially in dungeons. In other words – too squishy. So, I embarked on  a mission to focus my build solely on:

  • Power
  • Precision
  • Toughness
  • Vitality

Anything else had to go. This has meant an expenditure, to date, of nearly 15 gold, on replacement runes, etc.

However, such an expenditure whilst not ‘large’ in most people’s terms, was until recently, out of my reach. I’d only managed to net a little over 10 gold in six months of game-play, up until mid-March. This in turn meant I needed to have a long, hard, look at how I accumulated in-game wealth.

Some nosing around turned up some interesting ‘flipping’ guides and my eyes were opened. Staring off slowly with some small, trial, investments, in this trading-post activity has since resulted in my funds rapidly expanding. To cut a long story short, without grinding (I don’t have the play-time for grinding, nor the patience), I more than trebled my 10 gold pot in less than a month. I’ve paid for everything my elementalist required off the TP and still have plenty of gold left to invest going forward.

So, the final result? Last night we ran through the new dungeon, the Molten Weapons Facility, and my ele didn’t die once (a first!). Add to this increased survivability, increased damage, and I think the transformation is now complete.

My Sylvari Elementalist alongside a Norn Necro!

My Sylvari Elementalist alongside a Norn Necro!

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