Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm Not Dead

I've been MIA, if you hadn't noticed. I know if more than three real-time days goes by and I'm not seen in game, I'm considered to be dead and all my gamely possessions are up for grabs. But I'm ALIVE! Now step away from my loot. *fierce Sylvari face* (stop giggling, I can be fierce!)

There are two reasons for my absence:
1. Wurm Online.
2. Discouragement.

I can't do anything about Wurm. It's a surprisingly addictive game. But the discouragement I've felt towards GW2 has eased somewhat with the letter I got from support this morning.

Thanks again for your patience while we looked into your issue with the Lost Shores event. We have confirmed that we can provide everyone who did not have the opportunity to loot the chest with a reward for their participation. All affected players will receive a reward regardless of whether or not they have contacted Support. We’re working very hard on this, and you should have a reward in your in-game mail early next week.

The Guild Wars Support Team

I am pleased that the team at ANet is listening to the players' concerns over this event and working to resolve it. And I guess it irked me more than I let on, as it's been on my mind whenever I've considered logging on to the game to play. Sort of like a "why bother?" attitude.
Granted, when I have logged on to play for a few minutes, I still get that "holy crap this game is pretty" feeling as well! But pretty can only take you so far. I need substance. I need a goal. I need a sense of achievement.

So perhaps I'll be in game some more, or perhaps I'm taking a haitus until Wintersday events perk things up again. Who knows? I just do what's fun. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lost Shores Weekend - Final Thoughts

I'm significantly calmer than I was when I posted yesterday about my disastrous crash at the finale. I put in a support ticket right after I posted that blog, and received a quick reply:

Thank you for contacting the Guild Wars 2 Support Team.
We were sorry to learn that some players were unable to receive their rewards at the conclusion of this weekend's event, due to being disconnected.
Our development team is currently exploring the possibility of being able to provide these rewards to those players that were affected. You can read more about this on the official Guild Wars 2 Forums, located here: (
Once we have additional information to impart, we will contact you again via this same ticket.
We certainly appreciate your continued patience and understanding while we work through this issue.

GM Smote
I logged on to the forums and found several threads of people with a similar issue as mine. That made me feel a bit better, but also sad that so many people experienced this disappointment as well. We shall see how they manage to deal with this problem. I would be satisfied with just the 20-slot bag that others have said they received. I would be happier to get a chance to open a chest for loot.

The Lost Shores weekend wasn't an entire bust though. On Saturday I had a blast playing with Dezi, Zephrayne and Kjarri in the new zone! Here are some screens and comments.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores Southsun Cove
How many phallic symbols can you find in this picture?
Yes, there were a lot of dirty jokes as we explored this zone. :D
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores Southsun Cove
Zephrayne, Dezi and Spiral dance in celebration of finding the land of penises. Peni? Penes?
Actually, Dezi was going AFK and asked us to "Watch her butt." So we asked her to shake it for us! So obliged. What a good friend. We danced with her, of course, cuz even though we're cool gamer chicks, we still have the female urge to dance in small groups.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores Southsun Cove
Kjarri (on Fraya) rezzing his female companions after they attracted too much attention from the Karka.
One of the funniest things that happened while Dezi, Zeph and I were exploring Southsun Cove was our interaction with a stranger. The three of us were standing together and a male Asura ran up and screeched to a halt. He looked at us and said, "May I entertain you?" We said, "Yes!" He then proceeded to do a "pole-dance" on his weapon, wedging it into the ground and spinning around it with his tiny feet off the ground! It was so hilarious and shocking! We laughed  and applauded and threw money. He said "Toodaloo" and ran off. So cute! I didn't get a screenie of it unfortunately, but to whoever he was, thanks for the giggle. You're welcome to dance for us anytime. ;)
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores event
A player named Avg Homeboy summed up the Lost Shores final event quite nicely.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores event
This is what happened for most of the Lost Shores finale. I lost track of the number of times I died and rezzed.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores Ancient Karka
And this is the last thing I saw. You can see how little health the Ancient Karka has left, and on the right it shows what stage we are on. This was after 2 hours and 40 minutes of struggle. Just about cried.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lost Shores Weekend - Sunday

I played in the event finale for 2 hours and 41 minutes, then crashed during the final boss fight. By the time I logged back into the game, the boss was dead. I received no reward.
I am not a happy camper.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lost Shores Weekend - Friday

So a disappointing start for the Lost Shores weekend for me. I was all ready to participate in the kick-off event at noon server time yesterday, was logged into L.A. and chillin' with my guildies, hanging out and admiring other players' outfits. Then an over-excited Asura ele starting spamming fire spells and I got the dreaded Yellow Blocks of Doom, and crashed. It was 15 minutes to the event. I tried and tried to get back in but was unsuccessful. Big sigh.
When I finally reconnected several hours later (had to work and all that), I asked my guildies what I missed. Hartak said, "You missed a 3-second cut scene and a 30-minute lag fest." Ooh, thrills. Then they said that they killed some "crabs with penis legs". Interesting.
Due to ongoing crashing issues, I declined their invite to do the new Fractals dungeon, but had a blast listening to Dezi, Pol, Hartak, Kjarri and Chazdy work their way through a bunch of them. They all seemed to enjoy the new dungeon, and liked that they were short, varied, and gave good rewards. It seemed appealing that the dungeons were randomly chosen and all sufficiently different to be interesting. It was neat to hear their comments on RaidCall, yet not be able to see what they were doing. They all laughed out loud at a scene where apparently bound human captives were pushed into a volcano. (Sick-ohs!) They laughed even harder when they all got turned into Charr and Hartak was wearing only a loincloth. :D

While being amused by their banter, I puttered around on Spiral, talking to the NPCs, dumping junk in the Mystic Forge, trying to complete the scavenger hunt, and discovering all the new cooking recipes. Dezi laughed at me cuz this big exciting weekend thing is going on, a new dungeon, new DEs, new PvP map...and I'm COOKING. Hee hee! But I just had to discover Apple Passion Fruit Pie! And of course, Salad a la Consortium. (Who knew they spoke French?)

I giggled at Zommoros, the genie who lives in the Mystic Forge, who described the quaggan as "fubsy blubberfolk". Ha! His interpreter/keeper/guard, Miyani, also amused me by saying, "'The Mighty Zommoros has spoken' is his way of saying I'm bored now. Go away.' He's a bit of a snob." Nice.

I took a brief glance through the new cash shop items but was not really tempted by anything other than the Sailor's Beanie. YES! Maybe it's the Canadian in me, but damn, I want a toque! I need to keep my leafy ears warm when I visit Norn-Land. :)
I was a tad disappointed that the Consortium Chests were basically a cash-grab item. As far as I know,you can't get them in-game; only by gems. I have enough gems to buy one, but I'm not going to, kinda out of principle. It's just cosmetic stuff anyway, and the speed at which I get bored with my skins, it wouldn't be a wise purchase.

I also found the dudes selling the Lionguard weapons, which I might buy just for the skin. Not sure if these are new or I just never noticed them before. There is a Consortium person selling the low level skins for 50 whatsamadewies. (The name of the event currency escapes me right now.) But on Claw Island there are three NPCs selling the three tiers of the same weapons for karma. Lots of karma. Not bad stats though.

I'm itching to get back in game and see Phase 2, so I'm gonna leave you with some helpful links for the Lost Shores stuff. Have fun and see you in there!  :D

GW2Guru: Updated recipes, achievements, fractal weapons and Lionguard weapons.
Dulfy: Consortium Chest skins, minipets and weapons
Phasestrikes YouTube video on the scavenger hunt.
WolfsGoRawr YouTube video on the new Fractals dungeon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm Not an Addict

These look yummy, don't they?
I don't want to write this post. I've been stewing over it for days, maybe weeks. I've blurted out portions of my thoughts to my unsuspecting guildies and online friends in Raidcall and Teamspeak. I've lain in bed pondering how to word what I'm thinking without sounding overly critical or entitled or shallow.

But here's the deal: I'm not addicted to Guild Wars 2.
And that bugs me.

It may sound strange, especially to those readers who aren't gaming freaks, but I WANT to be addicted to GW2. I want to obsess about the game. I want to fidget when I'm not playing. I want to dream about it.
Basically, I miss my high.
It's not entirely unexpected. It's common knowledge that video game addiction exists, and also that some games have been deliberately, psychologically and scientifically designed to be addictive. has an informative yet easy-to-read article on the five techniques used by gaming companies to get you addicted to their product.
Being a biologist and having taken the required Psychology 101 course in university, and having actually run a rat through a maze to get a pellet (yes, they still do that!), I understand the science behind gaming addiction. I've studied the basics of intermittent rewards, the Skinner box, avoidance behaviour, escalating difficulty for equivalent payback, and that oh-so-lovely false sense of accomplishment.
But knowing all that in my brain doesn't prevent me from succumbing to the power of psychology.
And I'm not alone with my withdrawal symptoms. Scan the official forums or the ones over at GW2Guru and you'll find several negative threads, not just about criticizing the game, but players who want to love it, and just don't.

My theory about the general gamer dissatisfaction with GW2 is this: we, as gamers, were expecting crack. Not just crack, but NEW crack, better crack, the best crack ever. We got excited. We followed the development of the drug. We signed up early. We raced forward with greedy hands to be given the new drug that would give us a higher high than we've ever experienced.
And we were given a low-fat, gluten-free carob chip cookie.
"Try it," they told us with gentle smiles. "You'll like it."
We ate the cookie. We waited for the high, the buzz, the energy, the sleepless nights.
"We know it's different," they said, patting us on the head. "But it's good for you. Stick with it. You will feel better soon."
Some people left immediately, heading back to their crack den of choice. Some stuck it out, eating more and more health food, wanting to believe that a natural high would sustain their addiction, yet feeling more and more disillusioned. Some jumped onboard the granola wagon, waving their straw hats and proclaiming that low-fat, gluten-free carob chip cookies was the best thing ever and they felt FREE for the first time.

Me? I'm wavering. I like Guild Wars 2. It's beautiful. It's funny. It's exciting. It's loaded with content. My friends are there.
But I miss my high.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Five Days to Lost Shores!

The lucky guys over at got a sneak peek at the upcoming Lost Shores event/expansion stuff. I didn't realize there was so much new content coming. That's pretty awesome! And it's freeeeeee. I love free. :)

To sum up:
1. Lost Shores Weekend event: "ArenaNet describes the theme of the event as being a 'monster movie, invasion type thing' that will focus on the lore of Lion’s Arch. During the event, Lion’s Arch will be invaded by a new enemy group called the ‘Karka’." Players will be upleveled to 80 to be able to participate in the events.
2. The Lost Shores level 80 island opened up during the weekend events will remain permanently after the weekend is over. However, you will no longer be upleveled when you go there.
3. Fractals of the Mist dungeon: New dungeon?? I haven't even finished the others. Damn, better get cracking, eh? So it sounds different and fun. There are nine fractals. Your group will be thrown into a series of three random fractals in a row. Every other time you go thru the set, you get a special boss. And every time you go thru the set, it gets harder, but of course you get better rewards. Whoa. Awesome.
4. New Ascended rarity gear that is higher than Exotic. Wicked cool. Also has a chance to have an Infused slot for new upgrades. More pieces will be added as the game matures.
5. Temple of the Silent Storm PvP map: based on the Koden lore and environment, taking place in one of their carved iceburg ships. Also has meditation spots for boons. Neat idea.

Sounds like a lot of new fun coming up! What an amazing expansion so soon after release date. Those guys at ANet must be working their geeky little butts off! :D

EDIT: Literally two minutes after I posted this blog, ANet posted this page on the Lost Shores expansion. More info and teasers, yay!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Curiouser & Curiouser

In my travels around Tyria, I've found some odd things that have no of yet! Here are some pics of the hidden curiosities of our lovely game.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 arena LA
I'm sure most of you have seen this in-game, and I'm hoping most of you know what it is representing!
Will this ever be a playable event? Will we one day be able to have mini-pet matches in a red arena?
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Dominion of Winds
Another common vista in Tyria, the wall surrounding the Dominion of Winds, guarded by the Tengu.
Will the doors ever open? Will this be the first real persistent expansion to GW2?
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Wizard's Fief elemental
Spiral in Wizard's Fief, with a tamed elemental, and the wizard's floating castle in the background.
This is a strange little corner of Kessex Hills. There are quite a few interesting NPCs to talk to, that tell tales of the wizard, Isgarren, who "protects" them. Will we ever meet this elusive master of magics?
GW2 Guild Wars 2 contraption Wizard's Fief
Even more curious about Wizard's Fief is this contraption I found while exploring one of the buildings in town.
What does it do? Is it controlling the elementals? 
GW2 Guild Wars 2 graphics fail invisible
This fine fellow paused to chat with me outside a cave in Tarnished Coast. He was unaware that he was mostly invisible.
Did a witch cast a spell on him? Was he a victim of an Asura prank? Or is it just my fail graphics card??? :D
GW2 Guild Wars 2 race gates LA
In Lion's Arch, near Farshore Ward, I found this. To me, it looks like the starting gate for a race of some sort.
GW2 Guild Wars 2 racing ramp LA
And further down the path, there is this curving ramp.
Will there one day be go-carts or moas or wooly siamoths to ride from the race gates, down the hill, around this ramp and back to the finish line? I would love that!
GW2 Guild Wars 2 well
I can't remember what zone I was in when I found this well. I took a screenshot because it was a strangely quiet corner of a chaotic zone. Just me and a bunny and an abandoned well. There is probably no other meaning to this than an inspired artist who felt the landscape was missing something. But whose well is it? Where are they now?
Guild Wars 2 is a constant amazement to my traveler's soul. I truly feel as if I'm exploring a world, all without moving my butt from my chair. Armchair tourist, isn't that what they call it? I love running over a hill or around a bend and having a gorgeous landscape open up before me. I love jumping through broken walls to find secret ruins.
So many high-fives and headbutts to the artists of GW2, but I also want to fist-bump the writers too! I just  love finding NPCs that actually have dialogue and don't just blurt, "Sieze the moment" or "Excelsior."
GW2 Guild Wars 2 norn beer
"Did someone say beer? I've been sober so long, I can actually feel my face.
I don't want to feel this face."
I have had a lot of giggles listening to NPC conversations, but don't often remember to screenshot or write them down. But I dd find two great websites that are compiling funny NPC dialogue: GW2 Roleplayers and this GW2Guru thread. Totally worth a quick read if you're bored at work and can't game. Not that I'm condoning using the work computer for personal reasons. Get back to your paper-pushing, you slackers! (Or at least be smart enough to have a Secret Panic Button.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Finale and Upcoming November Fun

Just a few screens from the last day of Halloween events. A bit late in posting, but real life has been hectic lately!
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Halloween Mad King Lion's Arch
Spiral did the Mad King Says event and got a very nice witch hat.
It seems to have the magical power to make toons bald!
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Halloween
Happy Halloween! (She kinda looks like she has grown there with her punkinny cousins.)
GW2 Guild Wars 2 Lost Shores poster
Mistress Madheart rocking the witch hat and baldness.
I'm subscribed to Guild Wars 2's Facebook page and the GW2 Twitter page. I usually only use them to keep up on server status and such, but sometimes they give out some interesting tidbits about upcoming events. This past week, Twitter posted one half of a poster written in New Krytan and Facebook posted the other half. Lucky for me and many other non-Krytan speakers, the text was translated into English for us. It's quite hilarious!
Ahoy all ye landlubbers!
The hard-working members of the consortium are proud to announce the upcoming unveiling of your dream vacation! coming soon we will open the gate – the Asura gate – connecting Lion’s Arch to a veritable tropical paradise of magnificent proportions!
swim in the radiant waters*!
relax on the beach*!
dance the night away*!
Prepare to hoist your jolly roger and to embark on a most majestic adventure with your favourite band of salty dogs!
Arr You Ready?
*Towels not included.
The consortium cannot be held responsible for aquatic-related and rhythmic-related injuries(or other injuries related to misadventure or otherwise general buffoonery). Our medical staff will be on-call to happily ignore your needs should they inevitable arise.
"Rhythmic-related injuries"! Hee hee! I'm so gonna be a victim of that, fingers crossed. :D
The only clue from the official GW2 page is this page regarding the Lost Shores. So I guess we keep our eyes peeled for more info as the month goes on.
The only disappointment I feel is the term "one-time" event that shows up on the official page. Bummer. Someone in map chat commented, "Why would they make it one-time only, when they've spent so much time creating it?" I agree. Why couldn't it be a persistent addition? I guess we will find out soon enough.