I was recently given the opportunity to play through a section of Guild Wars 2’s first raid alongside of some of the developers at ArenaNet. I have to say, that I had a lot of fun. Gorseval is the name of the boss I was being thrown in front of. Players will recognize it as the “Tongue Boss” from the Heart of Thorns raid announcement from PAX. And yes, gliders were involved in the fight... and in my death.
The devs were familiar with the run so I was being brought along on the “smack the boss in the face” team. A task that the Reaper is quite well equipped for.
We jumped into the boss room and I immediately plunged to my death by hitting space three times instead of two, closing my glider before I could reach the updraft. Laughs were abundant while we reset the fight. The raid update comes along with a new party interface and Ready tool that allowed me to watch the team check in. Once everyone was good, it was time to jump in again.
I didn’t smash into the ground this time and the fight was on. It felt like total chaos at first. Sure, the leader was calling out commands, but I didn’t have the background knowledge to understand what exactly was going on, or why things were important. So I focused on what I knew how to do: slamming my weapon directly into the face of Gorseval!
The reliance on positioning quickly became apparent as Gorseval leapt to the center of the area and started smashing the ground. The leader called for the group to break bar and stuns were spammed. I found a small sliver of “safe” area next to Gorseval’s foot and set to smashing buttons. The bar broke and I got a few seconds to wail on him before he got up and the real danger started.
One of the group split off in order to start damaging one of the walls that blocked us in on the main fight area. As he did this, the group had to pull in a bunch of small adds and slowly walk back towards the wall, pulling Gorseval and the adds with us so that we could kill the them (if any of them survived, Gorseval would gobble them up for a permanent stat boost) and damage Gorseval all at the same time. If you couldn’t manage to stand in the right spot or when the wall went down, Gorseval could knock you off the ledge to your doom.
That's when the room nuke started to channel. We had a bit more time to wail on the boss again before turning and leaping off the platform to glide into an updraft and back around to drop in again. I couldn’t help but hum “Flight of the Valkyrie” to myself as 10 characters swooped around in unison. Needless to say, I crashed here once and we had to restart.
This process was repeated several times before we triggered the next phase of the fight when the group had to split up to take down four slow adds that approached Gorseval. If they reached him, we would die. The four Reaper DPS saved us here and we moved on to stage 3, where we quickly went down in a blaze of glory! At this point, we had to call the raid as there wasn’t enough time. Gorseval hadn’t even reached half HP yet and he is only a part of the raid.
As a whole, I had a ton of fun. I was able to contribute without knowing what was going on, but it was obvious that I was helping more as I noticed what it was that each person was doing. I had to pay attention to the split and even the orientation of the map (one time we went to the wrong wall early in the fight, broke it down, and leapt off to escape the room nuke only to realize we were in the wrong spot and there was no updraft here).
Other than the use of gliding, I didn’t see any mechanic that I haven’t encountered before (break bars not being unique to the fight). We had a room nuke, DPS timers with the walking doom mobs and a limited number of updrafts to use to get to stage 2, adds that would buff the main boss if they weren’t destroyed in time and adds that would kill you if they weren’t destroyed in time. I know that stage 3 involves avoiding black spheres and running to the gold spheres if you end up getting a debuff on you from the black ones, but we died before I could really interact with it.
I did have to pay attention to my positioning the entire fight more so than I did in previous encounters. I know that the group had a good deal more focus on support than I have seen in typical groups; we had a Chronomancer, a Dragonhunter and a Druid all working to keep the group alive and smashing away. Control was hugely important both for downing the break bar attack as well as slowing the constant advance of the doom mobs. We also had four Reapers, so DPS was in abundance along with a good degree of control from them.
I don’t know how much team build prep the developers did before entering the raid. They did ask ahead of time what class I would be playing, and the default build I was set up with was a DPS build (which I tossed away in favor of my own DPS build). I can only assume that they did do some prep ahead of time based upon the fact that each of them had a role to play in the fights themselves, and several of those seemed like they would need some specialized builds (soloing the wall and pulling in the adds).
With only the small segment of the raid under my belt, I can't say how players will react to the content. I look forward to seeing if players work together before raids to come up with a cohesive group build and plan. I have always loved the planning stages of group content in games, and anything that encourages preparing ahead of time is a good thing in my book.
One thing that I hope does carry over is the attitude of the raid group. The primary sound in the comm channel was laughter. Joking about mistakes was the primary method of recognizing them, owning up to the mistake, and letting the group know it was your bad. ArenaNet has talked several times about how Guild Wars 2 has an incredibly welcoming and friendly community; raids are stereotypically known for not having this though. I think it would be great if the new raids managed to keep the attitude that I experienced while playing through the raid. I have played both ways and trust me when I say that having people joke with you is more fun than an angry tirade.
But seriously, play "Flight of the Valkyries" in your head during this fight.
It's always better to get a single card rather than two cards in SLI (if you can get close to the same performance). The single card takes less space, uses less power, makes less noise, and avoids the problems that arise in some games with SLI.
I don't know if there's any problems using SLI with GW2, but using a single card would still be better overall.
(I've leveled two Guardians to 80 - I recently came back to the game after a long hiatus similar to yourself - and leveled a Warrior to 80 so that I could compare them)
From my experience:
Guardian is an active mitigation class.
You have access to an incredible amount of blocks, dodges, aegis, protection, stability, etc...
Even your worst active mitigation skill (protection) will mitigate more damage than swapping ALL your gear over to toughness. It just doesn't scale very well for us.
On Warrior, I can put on Vit/Toughness and face tank tons of stuff. Warrior not only starts off with nearly double the HP, but they also have much better passive self-healing than Guardian. The difference in survivability between wearing Vit/Toughness and going full damage stats on Warrior is clearly noticeable in open world PvE. The difference between wearing Vit/Toughness and full out damage gear on Guardian is MUCH less pronounced. But what you WILL notice is a big drop in damage.
So in my opinion, full on damage stats is the way to go with Guardian for open world PvE.
If you want more survivability on Guardian, swapping weapons and traits to give yourself more active mitigation is MUCH more effective than gearing for it.
I personally am still practically cackling when I hit things with my Reaper. It really feels like I am slamming things with the blunt side of the GS as opposed to cutting them. A feeling that I am quite satisfied with.
I had thought I was going to make a transfer to the Chronomancer or even just the Revenant off of my Necromancer, but this isn't about to happen any time soon. For the most part, the Necromancer doesn't really feel like it is a magic profession, more of a 50/50 feel depending on the build. But the Reaper really makes it feel like a martial profession with a bit of magic backup. Almost a spellblade sort of effect.
Anyways, with your desire for survivability, the Reaper really fits that to a T. Plus, who can resist the call of the Reaper Shroud's visual look and sound effects.
JemFayCrystal, on 26 October 2015 - 09:06 PM, said:
It's one of the ways Arena Net keeps the lights on without a subscription fee or pay-to-win crap. There are numerous "exclusive" hair styles, face styles, hair colors, and eye colors (my norn druid has blue hair and pink eyes, because why not?) that can only be accessed via a makeover kit. You can get those -with luck- through log in rewards, or buy them directly from the gem store. Good thing is you can preview your selections without consuming the kit, so if there isn't something you like you can back out and save it for when they add more stuff. They do that every now and again.
I'm pretty sure that £15 is just the base game you can now play for free, so I would not recommend it. Rather, look at the heart of thorns offer through Anet official site. If that is too expensive for you I'd suggest playing the game for free first. It's the complete game sans expansion, with a few restrictions in place to combat botting/grieving.
Now to your question; every weapon, armor, and back piece in the game has an unlockable skin as you've seen. These are all collected on your account's wardrobe. You can view the entire wardrobe from your account bank, or at any time you may open the hero panel (default H) and navigate to the equipment tab. You've probably seen this; it is where you can equip new weapons and armor. Looks like a helmet on the left side of the window, in case you don't see it right away.
Also note the big box and arrow beside the word equipment. Click that and you'll back out into a different list of tab options. Equipment, wardrobe, dyes, outfits, and so on. Click wardrobe and you go to an alternate version of the equipment tab wherein you can click any equipped item, and it will bring up a filtered list in the side bar of all the skins you've unlocked for that slot. Swords, axes, heavy chest plates, light helmets...you get the idea. Just select the skin you want to preview, and then click apply on the right side to alter the item to have the new look, but keep the same stats.
The catch is that most (but not all) skins cost you a "Transmutation charge" to apply to a new item. These charges are given to you for free -one at a time- as you get 100% completion in each zone. You can also get some from daily rewards if you're on a purchased account, and you can also buy them in the real money store. They too are account bound, so you can play a few alts and mass literally hundreds of charges if you want to.
Another note; love the dye tab. You'll start with a small number, but there are actually HUNDREDS of dyes in the game you can use to alter the look of your armor, with most items having between two and four dye slots. Dyes can be found as rare loot, bought off the trading post, and of course bought from the real money store.
Arkham Creed, on 28 September 2015 - 08:43 PM, said:
Well, I have to say that you remember pets pretty differently than myself from GW. I hate leveling things so getting a new pet and getting it to 20, with the correct modifier, was a huge pain in the ass. Also plagued by bad AI, a large skill bar/attribute investment, bad slot/attack animations, and a few other issues. And with interruption basically being a much less central mechanic in GW2, the ability for your pet to chill, poison, or fear at your command is useful.
Could it be improved? Hell yes, I've never been a fan of pets in most games since I will always have the AI doing things I don't want. Is it worse than GW? I don't think so. The Druid works just fine for the ranger in GW2 and helps them fill a role they were unable to do before.
You have to remember that the GW2 Druid is based off of the Tyrian Druid. Even with that said, the druids that we are familiar with outside of the game were famous for their astronomy and the moon/stars played pivotal roles in their development and beliefs. It is this idea that ANet seems to be playing with.
The Druids of GW2 were all about restoration and preservation of the immortal self (and the Maguuma). There can be no regrowth without destruction or destruction without regrowth and stuff like that. They used the waters of the Maguuma to perform healing rituals and shed their mortal forms in order to become closer to nature by becoming spirits. The skills play with the idea of balancing regrowth and destruction as a single entity.
So ANet has decided to tweak that background a bit (it seems) and liken/equal it to the original Weh No Su of Cantha with Celestial Forms. Which actually makes sense. The Celestial Forms are supposed to be the spiritual essence of the stars while the Druid spirit is supposed to be the spiritual essence of the original Druids who believed that the flesh was an illusion that detracts from the self. GW Druids are literally all about abandoning the self.
The theme makes sense when you take Tyria's history into consideration and still ties in to the real world druid mystic. No, it is not the stereotypical Druid from RPGs, but that is ANet's cup of tea after all. GW2's Druid seems to be much closer in theme to "real" druids than the standard Druid from other games ever was.
Personally? It absolutely screams Druid at me. The moon, sun, and stars are just as much nature as plants are. If you were to ask me to describe a Druid in a video game I would have gone with two options. A class that can shape shift as multiple animals, or a healer with a nature motif. Got there.