One Quest for Guild Wars 2 Glory

It’s only three days until those with 3-day headstart access will start playing GW2, and I know a bunch of people are getting pretty excited.

One in particular is Victoria-based Hayden, who has set up Condescend Gaming. He’ll be doing some serious streaming of his early days and weeks in GW2. If like me you won’t have 14+ hours a day to level up, you may be interested in seeing someone else having a go.

I threw some questions at Hayden to get an idea of what he has planned:

Tell us a little about how you got into streaming your play time

Got into streaming about 2-3 months ago while playing SWTOR. A friend on my server was a streamer and I had never heard of such a thing. Once I found out what it was, it instantly became something I was interested in and wanted to be a part of.

How long have you been playing MMOs?

WoW was the first MMO I ever played back in 04/05. I instantly fell in love with MMOs from the first time I logged on. Although I did quit and come back a lot over the following years, I still kept a high standard of competitiveness – landing Gladiator in Season 4 and Alliance first ICC 10man Heroic kill on our server (server 2nd) to name a couple.

After deciding to quit WoW for good a few weeks after Cataclysm was released, I have been searching for a new MMO ever since. Have tried Rift and TERA for a short time but it didn’t cut it for me. SWTOR was a game I thought had a lot of potential, but was rushed in it release and collapsed on itself soon after. I think GW2 is finally the MMO I am looking for to play long term.

Why are you excited about GW2 in particular?

The main fact that it is a brand new MMO. I have been searching and waiting for an MMO to grab me and keep me interested. I thought SWTOR was that game but I was highly mistaken. Guild Wars 2 seems to have so many new and appealing features that I can’t wait to play through.

You’re intending to go flat out to level up in GW2 – what’s your strategy and how long do you think it’ll take you?

I have 5-6 days off where I will be playing a minimum of 14+ hour days. Oceanic 1st 80 is something that I have in mind and will definitely be pushing to achieve this. I have read that someone in BETA did it in ~88 hours, so I think I would be able to achieve this in a similar time. Just have to stay focused and not get distracted. Remember the goals that have been set in place and strive to achieve them.

Plug time: where can people follow your stream?

I currently stream from twitch, a link can be found here

Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and YouTube for the latest updates:

I want to thank everyone at The Oceanic Gamer for this opportunity and the hard work that has been put into their website. There are constant news updates and articles which makes a good read and easy to keep up to scratch with all that is going on.

And here’s a quick promo vid that our esteemed oceanic colleague has created to showcase his intentions:

Over to you: how full-on will you be levelling in GW2?

GW2 Oceanic Guild Spotlight: Brigade Of Light And Dark

If you’d like your guild spotlighted, just use our contact form to let us know. Or if you like, respond to the questions shown below and send them in – we love to profile guilds and the work they’re doing. The only requirement is that you’re an active oceanic guild. Please be patient if you don’t hear back from us immediately – we will only be spotlighting a guild every week or so.

Name of guild

Brigade of Light and Dark (BOLD)

Guild website
– our old GW1 website…a new one may be on the horizon…..

History of your guild’s name?

Brigade of Light and Dark (BOLD) was originally formed by our guild leader Ptolia Arter in GW1. The name inspired by “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

What sort of guild are you?

This is a very relaxed guild who maintains “fun” as a priority – winning is, of course, fun.  Many members are returning Guild Wars players and have already pre-purchased GW2, looking to give us that head-start access.  We are looking to dominate Yak’s Bend, but members will in no way be limited to that one server. Could make for some fun in WvW though.

Some may say “international” is a fairly broad term and can complicate guild events. However,  our time-zone differences (ranging anywhere from the Americas, Europe and Oceania) are too weak of a barrier to keep us from hosting constant guild events!   Not only that, we also feel that through an international guild comes international friendships, cultures, constant members online, and success.

Most importantly, our guild focuses on learning; always trying new things, excelling, and then teaching others.  Knowledge is only real if shared (the saying was something like that). Try visiting our website:  “BOLD is not a guild that objects to answering questions – no matter how “silly” or “noobish” you might think they are.”  – Ptolia Arter (Guild Leader)

Have key guild members been involved in other games / MMOs?

Mostly GW1 but also LOTRO, Rappelz, and other MMOs

How many guild members do you have at the moment?

25 – 30 coming in at release or very soon after

What days/times do you see the guild being most active?

With being an international Guild we envisage having members online for most of the day/night

What are the achievements that your guild is most proud of?

Several members including our GL have attained 50/50 pts in Hall of Monuments and also GWAMM (God Walking Among Mere Mortals – the highest title in GW1)

You have one minute to convince someone they should be in your guild – what would you say to them?

We are a guild that has always enjoyed “Going Hard Out” in-game then kicking back with a party and some fun guild events, either in the Guild Hall or the world of Tyria

What are your predictions for the next 6 months for the guild?

We are all looking to get into GW2 and level our main characters asap while reuniting with old friends and making many more. We are looking to quickly grow BOLD into a 50 – 100 member friendly, family orientated guild for all ages and experiences.

Guild Wars 2 Facebook Group for Oceanic Players

Just a quick reminder for those Facebookers counting down the days until next weekend’s launch of GW2.

There’s a Facebook Group for Australian and New Zealand players right here – it’s a friendly group so jump

And don’t forget that if you’re part of a GW2 guild and would like to be profiled, drop us a line!

Looking to make your own GW2 Email/Forum signature?

Then here’s a pretty nifty option. There’s a huge range of options you can choose and you can easily test out a bunch of things and cancel them individually. Best of all, you can download the end result without needing to give away your email address or any other info.

Check it out for yourself!

[Thanks to Peter over at GW2 Gamers of Oceania Facebook Page]

Another Take On Guild Wars 2

Beta test weekends are tricky devils especially the final one, because you know its a stress test by another name. Not only that, but a wobbly first impression can put you off the game, even though you know it’s not necessarily representative of the final product.

With SWTOR, my first impression was not good. In fact it was so bad I can cancelled my CE preorder.

I’m not about to do that with Guild Wars 2. First up, a caveat. I only got to play for about an hour and a half, so this is superficial at
best. Also I knew next to nothing so I had no expectations at all, a complete tabula rasa.

Initial impression were promising with an elegant painted style that is throughout the UI and immediately marks the game out as something different. The character creation screens are logical and flexible enough to tweak your character to your satisfaction. Controls are fairly standard and even though it was a stress test weekend, there was no lag that I noticed, despite plenty of other players rushing about.

Conversations with quest givers are animated, but instead of trying to integrate them into the gameplay, you are gently lifted out of it as your avatar and the quest-giver hold their exchange in front of an elegant background.

Combat is engaging and fun, some strategy is a good idea as button mashing, even at an early level, not only gets tedious but won’t give you the best effect. One aspect of the game I particularly liked was that you are not made to feel like you are on some heavily scripted linear progression, a long standing frustration I have with some other games. Here, you don’t get led around by the nose but are encouraged to explore what appears to be a sprawling environment and locate events and quest-givers with only limited support from the map.

Even though I had such a limited time to try the game and despite not being hit over the head with plot points, I still found myself being drawn into the story. So that’s another tick.

Finally lets talk quickly about the graphics. One word – sweet! GW2 isn’t having to wrestle with a relatively untried engine. It looks
excellent, with detailed textures and draw distances that always remind you that it’s a big world out there. Considering I’m still using a creaky ATI 4850 and didn’t bother to tweak any settings I could quite happily pick up where I left off without touching a thing.

While I don’t doubt there are flaws, bugs and other irritations that I’ve yet to discover, I can honestly say I’m looking forward to
returning and waking my toothy cat guy from where he is currently laying down and sleeping deeply.

Guild Wars 2: Beta Impressions

With the beta weekend now kaput, I wanted to jot down some impressions as a first-time player of the franchise. I’ve never played the original Guild Wars and I only signed up for an account with GW2 a few hours prior to the event starting. So it was with a very fresh set of eyes that I embarked on downloading the 25GB client.

The download process was flawless and installation the same. The login screen just requires your username and password (which I’d set up while waiting for the client to download) – I’m hoping there’ll be some sort of authenticator option come launch.

On login I then needed to select a server – this is of particular importance  for oceanic players as knowing which server is the unofficial oceanic one is important if you want lots of people to play with. For the beta, Sea of Sorrows was the unofficial local server in the US cluster (we’ll be publicising any unofficial or official oceanic servers for launch once we know), but it was full so I selected another US server at random.

Then it was on to the character creation screen and this is where I became a fan of GW2. I know a lot of people don’t care that much about what their toon looks like, but I’ve always liked to tweak (usually to the ugly side!). GW2 has delivered that tweak ability in spades without making it complex – you can change most parts of your body and also choose a 3-way colour scheme for your gear. In regard to class selection I also like the small series of questions asked to work out what race and class you’ll end up favouring. The descriptions of each are well done as also. A huge thumbs up overall for this part of the process.

Sticking with my tradition of always rolling a mage-like character called Wheezinhenry, I chose an Asura Mesmer  and jumped into the starting area (pictured above). Like any MMO, first impressions in-world are extremely powerful and GW2 was no exception. This is a mighty pretty game – there are the inevitable WoW comparisons for sure but graphically those comparisons wouldn’t hold up that well – this is a generation newer and it shows.

Movement is pretty standard although I tend to use the arrow keys for movement and the left and right arrow keys are set for Strafe Left / Right which I needed to change, but that’s an individual preference. I loved the fluid feel of the movement and also the dodge move from pressing a direction key twice. There just seemed overall to be more of a feeling of control of the toon than I’ve experienced inWoW or SWTOR – as well as feeling more natural. Combat is your standard key pressing – nothing excitingly new there.

Questing is quite different in that it is still somewhat linear but there’s more of a need to find the quests for yourself. The combination text/voice dialog works well and there are times you get to choose a response which is nice – it’s not as nuanced as say SWTOR, but it does open up options. I really enjoyed the boss at the end of the starting area – it showcased both the fun of group combat as well as showing off the camera angles the game is capable of. Looting / gear equipping is all pretty standard nothing of particular note to report there. Cut scenes were pretty, with ‘Work in Progress’ graphic plastered over some as you’d expect with a beta.

Like any beta there are also glitches – I know the Mesmer class struggled as far as damage from what I saw on forums. Some experienced big lag issues although I wasn’t one of them.

Overall, I was impressed with GW2 as a beta, so I can imagine it’s going to be a step ahead by launch at the end of August. I pre-ordered the game prior to download, based purely on what I’d heard from others. After my short period of time playing I’m glad I’ve handed over the cash and I’m looking forward to developing Wheezinhenry to his full potential. The lack of a monthly subscription fee is what has convinced me to make GW2 my third regular MMO after SWTOR and WoW – I doubt I’m alone in that and I’d imagine lots of ‘WoW-Killer’ talk will float around, as ridiculous as the proposition is.

So over to you: did you check out the beta, and if so, what did you think?

A couple of notes / disclaimers:

1. I don’t own a dedicated Windows PC. I have an iMac (2010 model) running Boot Camp and I can report that GW2 ran beautifully on it with no tweaking required.

2. As far as playtime, between commitments I only played an hour or so – my impressions above are pretty much limited to the first couple of areas.

3. I played zero PvP.


Guild Wars 2 Oceanic Servers: Petition

With the Guild Wars 2 beta firing up this weekend, it’s worth mentioning there’s already plenty of activity locally around agitating for local servers.

For those of you with a Facebook account, you might like to go to this page to lodge your ‘vote’ for Oceanic servers for GW2.

Over to you: are you taking part in the beta, or will you be buying the game at launch?

We’d also love to know about your GW2 guilds and would be happy to profile them on TOG. Just drop us a line and we’ll take it from there.