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Interview with Surfeuze, First 80 in Guild Wars 2


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#1 Khalija

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:49 PM

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I'm sure many of you have heard about Surfeuze, the first level 80 in Guild Wars 2. We had a chance to interview him about his experience in-game this weekend. Here's what he had to say about it:

First off, congratulations on completing such a feat! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your guild?
Hi, I’m Jeremy, 29, and at the risk of disappointing some, I’m a man. I currently live in Toulouse, France.  I started playing video games with Counter Strike and Dota, as many other players. I started playing with War Legend in 2002, and then on Warhammer, WoW, PlanetSide and Aion.

War Legend was created in 2000 by Denpxc, and had always been a Hardcore Gaming PvP-oriented guild.

Now tell us a little bit about your in-game self! I see you chose the elementalist. Can you tell us what attunement(s) and weapon set(s) you favored while leveling?
It’s hard to say what attunement I favored, because each one is important; as an elementalist, I need to adapt to every situation by choosing the right attunement. Each one has its particularities and each one is essential! If I were to keep only one, it would be the fire attunement. I mostly played with a staff, which casts mainly AoE skills.

What about your trait build? Did any of it change much as you leveled or did you stick to the same set-up?
I spent my trait points in the arcane, air and fire trait lines. I decided to use the following major traits: Internal Fire/Pyromancer’s Alacry/Pyromancer’s Puissance in the fire line, Zephyr’s Boon and Arcane Lightening in the air line and finally Elemental Attunement and Blasting Staff in the arcane line. While the fire line grants more powerful fire spells, the arcane line enlarges AoE: if you use both fire attunement and staff, your fire AoE will be “explosives”! It’s an AoE based DPS build. I used the same build as I leveled. [Link to build.]

What kind of pre-game preparations did you make? Did you do a lot of research prior to launch?
We did a lot of researching/tests during the few beta week-ends and stress tests, in order to have an overall idea of what we’ll be doing when the servers go live. For example, we already knew which race, which maps we’ll use, and also that the crafting will be part of the rush: we knew that crafting was the easiest way to burn through the last levels so we simply prepared it cautiously : leveling 4 or 5 crafts with T1 to T3 materials was enough.

Did you make use of the XP boosts from the gem store or any other consumables?
We used something like ten XP boosts, and a few Craft boosts, and only from levels 40 to 80. We also used some cooking consumables that you can buy in Queensdale.

When you went out into the world, did you run solo or did you have a group? Did you find one or the other "better" for speed leveling?
As said in the news on our website, I ran with 3 other guildmates: Denpxc, Muji and Tiphaine. As promised by Arena Net, Guild Wars 2 is really a game made for groups and socializers: it’s way faster to play in group than to play solo, contrary to most of the other games; in Guild Wars 2, another player represents help, not encumbrance.

What types of content did you rush to or away from to help max out your leveling?
Since the WvW was down on Vizunah Square (and since it isn’t the fastest way to level) we didn’t use it at all. The whole leveling was done in PvE: the first 60 levels were done by completing “renown hearts” and dynamic events, the last 20 using craft.

Were there any zones or types of hearts or events that you steered clear from?
Yes, we avoided epic quests (green quests), group events (most boss have so much hps it's taking too long), escorts events, and most renown hearts events that we never did before in beta and stress tests.

Which two crafting disciplines did you choose to level up first? How many disciplines did you end up leveling?
We decided to level up first cooking and armorsmith. Given that all crafting disciplines (except cooking) use items like totems/bloods/venins … it’s quite hard to level up two crafting disciplines at a time, except for the cooking. Else, you can level up the first 140 points of the cooking discipline in only a few minutes and spending a 50 pa to gain more or less 2 levels, as explained in this guide, so the cooking was for us the best choice to do. On the other side, armorsmith was a random choice; it could have been tailor as well.

We ended up leveling 5 disciplines, but only a few points: since our guildmates weren’t as high leveled as us, it was impossible to obtain high level materials, so we leveled up a bit of each discipline, around 200 points.

Since the Trading Post was down all weekend, how did you get all the materials for your crafting disciplines?
Since the trading post AND the WvW were downed, all our guildmates were stuck in PvE: by simply recycling all the items and gathering materials on your way through events, we obtained what we needed. It wasn’t farming at all : all players were leveling in a normal way.

Which of the crafting disciplines did you find the easiest to level? Which ones would you consider the hardest in regards to materials needed and cost of said materials?
Cooking is certainly one of the easiest to level … At least the first 200 levels! The next 200 levels are way harder, because you need all the materials to discover recipes, and there’s so many of them that you don’t even have enough place in your bag … Moreover when you gather a “vegetable root” for example, you can’t be sure of what you will get from it, so as a chief you must adapt to this randomness : you may need a particular item to pursue your crafting, and you can’t even find it … Jewelry is also a hard one to level, because of the need of gems that also appears randomly in ores/trees when you gather other materials. The 6 other crafting are way similar in their mechanics.

I'm sure you saw the comment made by Mike O'Brien on Reddit. What was your reaction when you saw it? What about when he made his apologetic post later?
We were very happy when we saw the apology because the first message was more or less accusing us of having used an unfair tactic or an exploit. We knew he was not talking about us at that time so we were still fine in our mind but the community was asking for more and we had no idea how to prove ourselves. I mean Mike is the President of ArenaNet!

We thought that he would never take the time to correct his message since he must be so busy with the game launching. This really proved once again how ArenaNet is different from the others games company, they are really listening to the community from all front and do not hesitate to do everything they can even in hard times.

Thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions! Is there anyone you want to give special thanks to for helping you out this weekend?
I’d like to thank again Frix, who oversaw and organized all the crafting part, and our guildmates that made this achievement possible with all their support. Thank you, GW2 Guru, for this interview!


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#2 Zenh

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:01 PM

Congrats to Surfeuze and his guild. I would say this is more of a level 80 collaborative first (as world firsts often are in most MMOs).

The first level 80 solo players will probably be today or tomorrow, if they haven't happened already?

Also - in before complaints about rushing/missing the experience/nobody cares/etc.

#3 Azure Skye

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:09 PM

At least we get to hear his side of the story then second hand accounts. :)

#4 sergel02

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

He said "we" a bit, and i wonder if he means he and his guildies, or that maybe someone else was taking a turn and leveling that character while Jeremy rested.Or perhaps both.

Either way, congrats to Surfeuze! He still has 20 levels left to explore, and now everything is open to him :)

Edited by sergel02, 28 August 2012 - 08:22 PM.


#5 Lazmira

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:35 PM

[indent=1]I'm highly impressed by the amount of team work this would have taken. A lot of planning and tactics would have been used as they stated, so good job for them! However I disapprove sitting at a computer 24/7.. It's never a good thing nor is it healthy, unless he took breaks where another friend would level the character so he could take a break..[/indent]

#6 Shinimas

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

I'm surprised he's able to type. I thought he should be on life support right now.

Anyway, grats!

#7 yaosio

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

He got to 80 by cheesing the broken events, I saw him there every time I was on.

#8 Fatalis

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:15 PM

[quote name='yaosio' timestamp='1346188389' post='1837200']
He got to 80 by cheesing the broken events, I saw him there every time I was on.
[/quote]

If you're talking about the one in Gendarren Fields, while it's probably easy experience, I highly doubt it's fast experience. After a certain point it certainly would have been better to simply go to a higher level area.

#9 Helliion

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:30 PM

I thought he was the one who got to lvl 80 by crafting
Edit:
wait nvm, massively made a big deal about the crafting part though

Edited by Helliion, 28 August 2012 - 09:32 PM.


#10 Treble

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:33 PM

[quote name='Fatalis' timestamp='1346188513' post='1837209']
If you're talking about the one in Gendarren Fields, while it's probably easy experience, I highly doubt it's fast experience. After a certain point it certainly would have been better to simply go to a higher level area.
[/quote]
No, because the exp curve is flat. They could ride it all the way to 80.

#11 Fatalis

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 09:36 PM

[quote name='Treble' timestamp='1346189612' post='1837310']
No, because the exp curve is flat. They could ride it all the way to 80.
[/quote]

That's if they continued to move to level appropriate areas.

Try staying in the tutorial zone in any of the 5 races, and just do the one event right before you fight the boss, or farm mobs. There's no way you can tell me that that's the same leveling speed as if you went and actually did events, etc as the game expects you to.

#12 Zenh

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:07 PM

[quote name='Treble' timestamp='1346189612' post='1837310']
No, because the exp curve is flat. They could ride it all the way to 80.
[/quote]

The experience required to reach the next level is flat (after the first 10-20 levels), but you receive less experience from lower level areas if you're higher level. Basically if the zone is scaling your level down (your green level), then you're going to get less and less experience.

Could someone kill mobs in Gendarren Fields to 80? Maybe? It would probably take a couple weeks.

Edited by Zenh, 28 August 2012 - 10:08 PM.


#13 Symbiont

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:11 PM

[quote]at the risk of disappointing some, I’m a man[/quote]

congrats, but i wonder if some guys would give you the crafting materials if they knew you where a man beforehand, rofl.

#14 StormDragonZ

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:18 PM

It's nice to know people who play this game nonstop and reach extremely high levels are worthy of their own interview.

I wish I got recognized for wasting my life on a computer game.

Meh, I hope it was worth it...

#15 Xyonite

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 11:45 PM

[quote name='Symbiont' timestamp='1346191884' post='1837509']
congrats, but i wonder if some guys would give you the crafting materials if they knew you where a man beforehand, rofl.
[/quote]

He got the materials from a guild hes been a member of for 10 years. I'm guessing that might be enough time to know his gender.

[quote name='Symbiont' timestamp='1346191884' post='1837509']
[color=#282828][font=tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif][size=3][background=rgb(229, 236, 238)]I wish I got recognized for wasting my life on a computer game.[/background][/size][/font][/color][/quote]

If your life is defined or determined by a period of 32 hours, you should not spend a single second on the internet.

#16 Symbiont

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:05 AM

his words for explaining and apologizing his sex in advance. XD

also you're adding my name to a wrong quote buddy.

#17 Nedra

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 12:12 AM

He apologizes about his sex because a surfeuze comes from the word "surfeuse" that is a girl that does surf in french. For a guy it would be "surfeur"

Edited by Nedra, 29 August 2012 - 12:12 AM.


#18 TweFoju

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:05 AM

at least it's not Athene this time

#19 kyoshi

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:40 AM

no offense to the guy but its not something you can talk about outside the circle of a video game community.
its really socially retarded otherwise. and even then as a gamer i think its stupid. plenty of idiots die while playing for marathons like that and its fun to do an "all night" event or something but 32 hours is stupid. he's lucky he's not one of those dead kids that people report about.
also, its not like he has anything to do otherwise now besides waiting for his friends to get to 80, witch shouldn't be long if they all stuck together. personally im gonna enjoy the leveling process and the story. maybe he'll come back another round to not grind a character out. i can't get over how much of a waste it feels to me.

#20 Zhahz

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:50 AM

They pounded content efficiently and did a bunch of crafting with lots of people providing mats.

Like he said, they didn't do anything special.

It should read, first guild/group to get a character to 80.

#21 Wifflebottom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:55 AM

Impressive but his  armor and weapon look lame...

#22 Treble

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:08 AM

View PostFatalis, on 28 August 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

That's if they continued to move to level appropriate areas.

Try staying in the tutorial zone in any of the 5 races, and just do the one event right before you fight the boss, or farm mobs. There's no way you can tell me that that's the same leveling speed as if you went and actually did events, etc as the game expects you to.
It's not.

But it is for bots.

That's pretty much the caveat, I think. The people defending it so gallantly were likely botting it.

But I don't think this guy did that.

Edited by Treble, 29 August 2012 - 02:09 AM.


#23 Inglorious Bass Star

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:39 AM

He seems like a pretty cool guy, I thought he'd be a jerk like the guys from the game I used to play.

#24 Rhododendron

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

I thought it's pretty easy to get to level 80 in GW2. Something like level 20 in GW. Why all the hate?

#25 Reiden221

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:15 AM

I knew crafting was a huge boost to leveling up but I never thought it would be that amazing, to go through the last 20 levels just from crafting.  They really planned ahead as a guild and I have to give them credit for that.  Awesome job.

#26 Egoist

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:36 AM

Congrats, a great team effort and well thought out. The crafting xp for the higher tiers is even crazier though, not sure how high he went but i recently hit 225 in jewelry and leatherworking and going 200-225 in each dinged me 3 times from 52-55.

#27 Vihsk

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:01 AM

I remember WaR LegenD from DAoC, Camlan was it? Always used to watch you lot duke it out with Nolby Pride, some great fights.


Congrats on the achievement!

#28 Dippy_Dragon

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:40 AM

It's not my play style (I like slow and exploring), but as a guild team effort, I bet they had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Gratz to Surfeuze and his team. Good interview and eloquently answered.
+1 (billion)

#29 Yumiya

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:49 AM

Congratulations, it's not my cup of tea as I'd much rather take my time, but it is a neat achievement none the less.

#30 Alternate Eyes

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:44 AM

View Postkyoshi, on 29 August 2012 - 01:40 AM, said:

no offense to the guy but its not something you can talk about outside the circle of a video game community.
its really socially retarded otherwise. and even then as a gamer i think its stupid. plenty of idiots die while playing for marathons like that and its fun to do an "all night" event or something but 32 hours is stupid. he's lucky he's not one of those dead kids that people report about.
also, its not like he has anything to do otherwise now besides waiting for his friends to get to 80, witch shouldn't be long if they all stuck together. personally im gonna enjoy the leveling process and the story. maybe he'll come back another round to not grind a character out. i can't get over how much of a waste it feels to me.

You don't die from a lack of sleep if you stay up 32 hours........ Its the not eating, living off energy drinks, not going to the toilet and avoiding all the other requirements of your body that kills those 'dead kids'. I've stayed up over 48 hours and i'm not dead and that had nothing to do with 'luck' as you would put it.

I also have a feeling it wasn't done for bragging rights, who gives a * what others think about an achievement you made, it was your achievement, you put the value you wish to it. If you can't get over how much of waste of time it was, i'd say your wasting your time thinking bout it huh ;)




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