Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Building a build, part 2

Which attribute? Not curses anyway, though it seems to have the most desired builds for competitive PvP, the important word being competitive. Lingering curses to reduce healing or corrupt enchantments for massive degen. Have tried corrupt enchantments in FA and it is fun enough, could dip into death magic for well of the profane, a single skill well worth the point investment. Having written that last sentence hesitating about crossing curses off the list now, it's a good build to take down Gunther, yeah I'm Luxon. What I settled for is more multi-purpose so I'll keep going for now...

Death magic seems much more fun, but I'm kinda anti-minion, something heroes are good at and I can't be arsed. I know they are not perfect, but they keep enchants on minions better, spirit spamming is the same, good for heroes and tedious for players, suspect both are going to be reconfigured in GW2. That leaves 3 builds: toxic chill, contagion bombers and tainted flesh. Tainted flesh is interesting, but would be a little hard to control in the chaotic CMs, good degen pressure though. Ok so I'm going to discount contagion bombing, even without trying it, but it is limited to JQ.

Played about with toxic chill for a while, a skill bar with an icy-poison theme; there's good synergy between toxic chill and vile miasma, but vile miasma has a long recharge time for only -4 degen. But the notion of skills that interact like that: first a hex (or enchantment) needs to be on the target, then toxic chill poisons the target, and finally vile miasma adding the degen because of the previously applied condition. It's initially engaging, but when you think about it is still 1, 2, 3 in order.

This is likely to make a return in GW2, we've already been told about warrior chains and the levels of adrenaline making additions to skills, but I expect to see the traits adding conditionals to skills as well. I think I prefer this new way, the basic skills need to be interesting and diverse and then conditionals can be added to tweak a build one or another, instead of having to examine, locate and swap skills in and out.

So that leaves blood and soul reaping, which are what I ended up with, but first I need to choose an elite to set the tone of the skill bar.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Building a build, part 1

As a new comer to Guild Wars, and having just been wowed by the details of the sequel, thought I'd give my perspective on the so called 'build wars', just 5 years on the late side. Was having a problem of putting together a PvP build for my necromancer in Guild Wars. The builds on PvXwiki didn't appeal to any great extent. Did PvE first as blood, but quickly changed to curses, didn't particularly like it though and curses is hard in execution. So I embarked on a week long quest of examining skills and builds to find something that works for me.

On my warrior who I have just got to JQ/FA in the Factions campaign, the decision was easier, flipping between axe and hammer and getting practised with the standard builds. Each of those builds is singular in purpose, pressure through knock-down, deep wound debuff and damage, and though variation in the builds is limited that gets rid of build anxiety and to just go out and play the game.

So to begin, I needed to find the purpose for my necro build, then choose the skills and the elite. Did I also mention that I need to have a good theme for the build and don't particularly like half-and-half builds, don't mind adding in a skill or two from a secondary profession but still would like to feel necro. The decision to remove secondary builds in GW2 is a great idea for the RP and PVE side of the game, it makes the classes seem whole and hopefully the balance will be there that each class ends up roughly equal.

The purpose is the easy part, necros are support. And since I'm only ever going to be in Random Arena or Competitive Missions, it needs a good dose of self-reliance. So far so good, next the attributes and skills...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Instant travel and events in GW2

One of the best features in GW was the instant travel. Having just finished Volume 1 in Lotro, I wish a lot of other MMOs took this feature and ran with it. Since GW2 is more open world, I'm fearing this system is going to get curtailed. They have explained that roads between outposts should be relatively clear except for times of blockade type events; this doesn't confirm or deny instant travel, though it would affect the initial travel to discover an outpost. On the other hand, with the introduction of events, there’s the possibility of expansion to the instant travel system.

Map travel between outposts could be plotted out, like the way it happens in WOW at flightmasters, except the travel would be at most 30 secs duration. As progress is made along the route, any events that occur in the surrounding area pop up on the map as icons that could be clicked on by the player to interrupt travel and instantly travel near to the event in progress. This would be a nice system to combine both instant travel and event notification.

Another option is to allow players who are taking part in an event to broadcast the event to friends or people in their guild, and then giving them the option to instant travel to that person. The location could be close to the broadcaster but out of aggro range. To take that concept further why not allow a player the option to broadcast an event to other players in the surrounding area, it would be a nice way to allow sociability and getting people together to experience events.

Lastly what I think is the most likely, is NPCs in outpost allow for instant travel. A farmer's son is in an outpost waving arms about, shouting about an attack on the farm, the player talks to him to instantly travel near to the farm. There could be heralds in cities that have the same function, but indicating major battles that are occurring, maybe a town-crier in smaller posts. I just want to see a load of NPCs vying for attention, the so described 'hundreds of lions running all over every street of the city'. These are only the small touches, the nuts-and-bolts of events are the hard part but have the best confidence in Arenanet to pull it off.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Done, done and done!

Finished off the last 3 books in volume 1 this weekend, it was a mammoth undertaking, a little bit tortuous in places but such a relief to finally get it done. Yay, got a few nice titles and a horse. Don't think I'd ever do it again though. Once is more than enough for me. My feeling is that the later books are going to be paid content, book 1-8 may be free not 9-15 seeing as they are almost a separate storyline. Anyways only have one more weekend before unsubscribing for the summer and until Lotro goes free to play (need to spread gold across alts, empty some bags and abandon my house).

Having doubts about if I'm going to return to the game. I chose to level a warden, for the instant travel that was so very helpful for the epic books. To my mind the class is iconic, the spear/javelin, shield, ranger. It probably comes from levelling a tank, sure survivability is great, but combat is extremely slow. Have levelled a captain and burglar to 20/30, burglar seems to be alright and is suppose to get better at higher (crit) levels, captain is equally slow with so few abilities to actively use. Have a good idea of the classes and at this stage none are overly appealing. That's a bit of a hurdle, there's no class that's appealing enough to level up in place of the warden, but was considering champion for a faster killing experience.

If Turbine is going to strip out a lot of quests, slow combat is not going to entice many people, couldn't fathom the agony that would be grinding levels in Lotro. DDO had the whole active hack and slash thing that's different enough to tempt people. I would guess they would need to lower skirmishes (and/or PvM) to level 20, that way if the questing is unappealing, then there is something else to potentially interest new players. I could see myself returning if that happened, a champion tearing through skirmishes would be nice to do on occasion. To my mind, the success of this change to free to play depends on expanding skirmishes significantly. Adding a 'dungeon finder' like tool to form groups, and doing some freep v creep skirmishes, that's where I see the success lying. Same old questing just does not cut it anymore, though it was the lore and story that kept me doing the epic quests, the standard fetch and kill quests are going to turn off a lot of people.

A lot of current subscribers fear the influx of WOW kiddies but why would they when cataclysm will be released about the same time. Then again can't understand trolling along the lines, of logging in to say how boring the game is and how much better questing is in WOW, there's only one response to that.

Was a little unnerved at first about the things that I'd be losing (bags, rested xp, trait slots), but now it's more curiosity about how things will change and they must do so because the game needs an USP that's different enough from the competition. Lore and community are sufficient for the current subscribers, but what about the masses? DDO had that in the form of adventure packs (something innately appealing about that concept) and the combat. Where's Lotro's killer hook?