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Guild Wars 2

Global Chat: Through a monitor, darkly

Culture, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
No matter who you are, and even if you are independently rich and can game all day, it's impossible to get around to playing all of the MMOs out there -- even all of the major ones. This is why I love MMO blogs, since they allow me to vicariously visit many of the games that I lack time to play. Even if they're silly observations or dutiful reporting on last night's activities, these posts are my window into a universe of virtual worlds.

In today's edition of Global Chat, we'll hear from a gamer visiting an older MMO for the first time, a rant about Guild Wars 2's new player experience, a tribute to the late Rusty Hearts, and why "entitlement" is overused as an attack in our community.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2's gender divide

Fantasy, Culture, Lore, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

I'm about to disappoint anyone who thought I might be okay with GamerGate.
When I sit down to write an installment of this column that is strongly critical of Guild Wars 2 -- a game I love, in case that was ever in doubt -- I try to follow a simple format in order to keep my criticism from turning into a venting session. That format is to establish that there is a problem, explain why it's a problem requiring a solution, and finally to offer any ideas or suggestions I think might be useful to that end. I do this because I want my articles to be helpful on some level to both ArenaNet and other fans, and while blowing off steam is excellent for the bilious humors, it's not so great for creating actual change.

Sometimes, though, the only suggestion I can offer is to please stop doing something because the fact that it's a problem is reason enough for it to require that solution. This is especially important when the issue isn't gameplay or monetization but rather something that personally affects me and the people I play with.

As a warning, several of the source links in this article lead to discussions of graphic and disturbing language and events.

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EGX London 2014: Guild Wars 2 promotes e-sports

Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet was in London this past weekend promoting its Guild Wars 2 e-sports angle to show-goers, including some who might never have played or even heard of the MMO. A pair of videos serve to explain how Guild Wars 2 works; the first covers PvE from character creation to skills to armor, and the second, hosted by Competitive Community Manager Joshua "Grouch" Davis, covers all things PvP. We think having a Competitive Community Manager is a pretty serious declaration of your e-sports intent. Enjoy the vids below.

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The Stream Team: Throwing fire in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Massively's Mike Foster continues his investigation of the changes made to Guild Wars 2's starting experience, dropping flaming dragon's teeth on every bandit that stands in his way. Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to catch ArenaNet's streamlined introduction to its massive fantasy game, and feel free to ping Mike in-game (Elerit) if you'd like to tag along. When it comes to Guild Wars 2, more is always merrier.

Game: Guild Wars 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guild Wars 2 promotes its World Tournament Series Championships, goes on sale

Fantasy, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Livestream, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Earlier this morning, ArenaNet delivered its 2014 Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series Championships roadmap from London's Eurogamer Expo, where the studio is livestreaming its latest e-sports endeavor. ANet is calling the tourney the game's "first truly international competition" as it pulls players from three continents; opening rounds of qualifiers have already concluded. The studio explains,
"Each event will pit four teams in a fight to become the world's best Guild Wars 2 PvP players, with the top two teams from the host region facing off against two visiting teams. The debut event is scheduled for December 4-5 in Beijing, where players will vie for a $50,000 (USD) prize pool and the title of first-ever Guild Wars 2 WTS Champion."
As promised Tuesday, the buy-to-play MMO's free trial also began this morning at 3 a.m. EDT; it's active for a week until the wee hours of October 2nd. Box prices (specifically, Digital Heroic Editions and Digital Deluxe Editions through the GW2 storefront) have also been halved throughout the promotion.

[Source: Anet press release]

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Guild Wars 2 opens limited free trial access [Updated]

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

OK, guy in the comment section who always asks whether Guild Wars 2 has a free trial: The answer is finally yes.

But there's a catch; free access to the game lasts for one week only, beginning at 3 a.m. EDT on September 25th and ending 2:59 a.m. EDT on October 2nd. ArenaNet says it has already opened registration for the trial so that interested gamers can start downloading the client ahead of time. Old trial accounts will work for this promotion.

Earlier this month, Guild Wars 2's second feature pack overhauled the early game experience, making this an ideal time to be a newbie in the buy-to-play title.

[Update: ArenaNet has posted a number of mechanics changes that will be in place for the trial and affect trial accounts, including restrictions on mail and chat.]

One Shots: The sacred bosom dance

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

gw2
It's one thing to dance for the fun of it. But it's another thing entirely to dance to save lives. Apart from an exotic snake charmer who rescued me from a king cobra last year, I've never witnessed a boogie performed for someone's health. At least... not until now.

Reader Jesse kicks off today's community screenshots with this silly-yet-serious jig from Guild Wars 2: "I am submitting this screenshot of my character and a few friends celebrating Pink Day in Lions Arch in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Here we are dancing around (and on) a podium."

All she wants to do is... all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance! I wish that I was Jesse's girl! Now I'm dancing for my life!

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Gaile Gray returns to the community team for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Just another day in paradise.
If you played Guild Wars when it launched, you remember Gaile Gray. Heck, odds are you remember her if you've been at all active in the community for Guild Wars or Guild Wars 2 over the past decade; she's worn many community-facing hats over the years. She's donning a new one now, or perhaps more accurately re-donning an old favorite, as game support lead Michael Henniger recently took to the forums announcing that Gray has moved from customer support to the community team.

Community interactions were a large part of Gray's role when the original Guild Wars launched, and long-time fans in the thread are happy to see her making the move. If you had a sudden sweep of nostalgia, you're not alone.

The Stream Team: New is new in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Video, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
The good folks at ArenaNet have revamped Guild Wars 2's starting experience, and Massively's Mike Foster is prepared to meet that new new player experience head-on. The revised approach involves better direction for those who aren't sure where to go and promises to help streamline the leveling process; no longer should brand-new Guild Wars players be left lost and confused.

Does it work? Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EST and find out.

Game: Guild Wars 2
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Guild Wars 2 launches new WvW meta-contests

Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Buy-to-Play

I'm sorry - someone said Overwolf, and that made me think of Wolf Spiders, and that made me think of Crab Spiders, and then someone said that they weren't talking about City of Heroes but I already wasn't listening.
Most PvP contests require you to actually be good at PvP. That seems fair, really, just as cooking contests generally work best when they feature people who are at least passingly familiar with cooking. But the two new Guild Wars 2 WvW contests don't actually require you to be any good at WvW, just good at showing the feature off. ArenaNet has partnered with Overwolf to kick off two WvW contests that are all about promoting and celebrating WvW, even if you aren't much of a player.

The first contest is looking for the players who use the Overwolf application while streaming, aiming for the highest number of concurrent viewers on Twitch. Whoever wins gets some SteelSeries peripherals as well as 8,000 gems. Meanwhile, if that's not your thing, you can also create a WvW War Report, share it via YouTube, and be eligible to win 5,000 gems if your offering is the best. So it's not about your PvP skill here, just about your ability to entertain people via that skill (or lack thereof).

Flameseeker Chronicles: Why I'm a fan of Guild Wars 2's new player experience

Fantasy, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Actual image of what happens when you touch a cat full of static electricity.
Guild Wars 2's second feature pack dropped last week, bringing balance changes, new collection achievements, a rework of the trading post, and upgrades to the new player experience. Reactions to the last have been mixed, to say the least: Some of us like them, some of us are neutral on the subject, and some of us think ArenaNet made a terrible mistake.

For my own part, I'm really enjoying the changes. If you happen to be in the "terrible mistake" camp, hold on to your assorted fruit-based projectiles until the end of the article and I'll explain why.

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ArenaNet responds to Guild Wars 2 feature pack complaints

Fantasy, Culture, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

This is an allegory.
The second feature pack for Guild Wars 2 has received a somewhat cooler reception than the first one; the changes to leveling and unlocking abilities, for example, have irritated several players rolling up new characters in a stable of alts. Director Colin Johanson recently took the opportunity to address player feedback on the game's official forums, starting by noting that both bugs and misinformation are known issues that are being fixed as quickly as possible.

Johanson goes on to explain that the changes have been aimed at making the leveling experience feel more rewarding for players at all skill and experience levels, and testing supports the altered model. Despite that, the team is keeping a close eye on feedback and metrics, and if it turns out that the changes are harmful, they can be iterated upon and changed. If you're one of the people less than thrilled with these alterations, it's probably a welcome sign that the director is paying attention.

Guild Wars 2's living story season resumes in November

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
A cryptic lore-only press release from ArenaNet this morning delivered this curious Guild Wars 2 news: The second season of the game's living story content will resume on November 4th, leaving just under two months between yesterday's feature pack release and the next leg of the playable plot. But if the teaser pic is any hint at all, we're likely to snag a new zone, at least. Here's the message:
The fate of Tyria hangs in the balance. The world's races are uniting against the Elder Dragon Mordremoth. Their first lesson – there is no sanctuary.

At the culmination of the first half of Season 2, Tyria's leaders had gathered for a secret summit at the Grove, at the base of the sylvari's sacred Pale Tree. They proved an easy target for Mordremoth's forces, facing a surprise attack by the Shadow of the Dragon.

Tyria's heroes are now scattered across the world but in pursuit of one goal: how to bring the battle to Mordremoth. The secret may lie in a vision delivered by the Pale Tree moments after she was badly wounded by the Shadow of the Dragon.

What did the vision mean, and will a united Tyria be enough to thwart the threat from this powerful Elder Dragon?

The fight continues...

Adopt a Guild Wars 2 developer for WvW this fall

Fantasy, Culture, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

gw2
With the fall World vs. World tournament coming up in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet is pushing its team outside of its comfort zones by encouraging guilds to "adopt" a developer for the season.

"We want to fight by your side, experience the ups and downs, have fun and learn together with you how to make a better WvW experience," the studio posted. "We are going to be looking for guilds in different leagues who wish to host a dev. They will participate in your activities and fight for the honor of your world and guild!"

There are, of course, several rules for this sort of thing that boil down to "please don't abuse our devs and make them your slave monkeys." Interested guilds can apply for adoption by sending in a PM to John Corpening.

[Thanks to Zander for the tip!]

Guild Wars 2's September Feature Pack goes live today

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

ArenaNet has been hyping the heck out of Guild Wars 2's September Feature Pack, and today we get to see if it lives up to the advanced billing.

The firm's press release states that the pack "focuses exclusively on in-game features" including a new trading post, wardrobe tweaks, collection achievements, and a revised newb experience.

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