Category Archives: Guild Wars

Ahhh

What an exhausting week.  Work pretty much sucked the life out of me, but you know what?  I got to sleep until 8am today and it was magnificent.

We got a little bit of snow last night.  Only a couple inches, but enough for me to take it pretty slow coming home.  As I was putting along, I came across a car that had slid into the ditch.  The person following behind me and I both stopped to make sure nobody was hurt.  There was only one guy and he said he was fine.  He was a foreign guy and had a pretty good accent that sounded African of some sort.  He wanted us to help him push his car out of the ditch.  I told him that wasn’t going to happen.  There was no way we could push that car up an embankment like he slid down.  And I wasn’t about to get trapped under a stranger’s car.  I called 911 and they dispatched somebody.  I told him it was best to wait in his car until they got here.  As I was walking away, he climbed back into his car and hopelessly continued to try to drive out of the ditch.  The car wasn’t there this morning when I headed back to work, so apparently he made it out somehow.

I had a lot of fun playing some Guild Wars 2 with Andrea and Mom tonight.  Been a couple weeks since I’ve actually PLAYED.  I log in from time to time and do some trading post stuff which is fun, but it’s nice to have a group of people to run with.  We spent the entire night in just one map, Snowden Drifts, I think it was called.  There is just so much darn stuff to do in that game.

I have been missing playing Guild Wars though.  The original.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because the Canthan New Year holiday just started.  Or maybe it was because I was listening to the soundtrack at work.  But it was (and still is) such a great game.  The crowd is starting to thin out considerably there though.  But there’s still a small collective in all the old hubs.  Just sad to think that that game will never be the same bustling place is once was with 70+ districts in Lion’s Arch during the holidays.

Glad the weekend is here.  Looking forward to a more normal week next week.

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Bending the Rules

Well… Monday’s are supposed to be Guild Wars 2 night according to my new weekly regimen.  But I played a fair amount yesterday, and since this morning for some reason I really wanted to play Guild Wars: Original Recipe.

So I took my GW2 night and made it a GW1 night.  A lot of the night was spent opening up new birthday presents.  All my characters except one had a birthday present to open.  Seems like it must have been that long since I’ve logged in.  And I got one of my most desired minis!  The Mini Candysmith Marley!

Mini Candysmith Marley

I spent the rest of the time mostly roaming around with no purpose.  I feel like when I log into Guild Wars now, I really should have the goal of accomplishing something.  With the Hall of Monuments, some of your achievements in GW can actually carry over to GW2.  I guess I sorta met that requirement by dedicating 5 new minis I didn’t have.  Wasn’t enough to get me another point, but it got me closer.

And because I always take gratuitous screenshots.  Here’s some nostalgic screenshots from tonight!  Man I can’t believe it’s been over 7 years since I started playing.  I also didn’t quite appreciate how much of an improvement GW2 graphics were over GW1 but next to my previous post, you certainly can notice the difference.  Guild Wars just doesn’t have the layout that allows for the wide open vistas like Guild Wars 2.  I still enjoy the screen shots just the same.

Wading in the waters of Ascalon City, thinking about old times.

Trudging towards a Xunlai Chest in the Shiverpeaks to deposit a new Mini Pet.

Excited to get my Candysmith Marley! Next to a Gwen Doll, this was the one I wanted most that I don’t already have.

Some of my Mini Pet collection. I’m such a junkie.

My main character in the Hall of Monuments.

Still enough people playing to warrant more than one District. The Pre-Searing community has always interested me. I don’t think these guys will ever leave. They may play other games, but they stay logged in just to chat if nothing else.

Looking back at Ascalon City. It’s never looked so good. And (SPOILERS)…it never will again!

Pre-Searing Ascalon is still one of those places that relaxes me. You can’t not enjoy the countryside.

As the maps were designed, you never really get far reaching views of the horizon like you can in Guild Wars 2. This was surely due to graphical limitations and system requirements. Funny that I never even noticed until now.

“The Gate” at the Great Northern Wall. Requires another real player partner to open and allow you to run through.  Many players hire a “Gate Monkey” to perform this service.

The often screenshoted Ashford village.

Rolling hills and woods in Ascalon. Too bad it all had to end.

B.G. Willers Podcast – Vectorized

Well, I bet you can guess what half of this podcast is about.  I promise it’s not all Vectrex though!

vectrex1

DOWNLOAD HERE!

Guild Wars Adventures with Matt & Andrea: Part 1

Sorry about the sound quality.  I had trouble getting my headset working so I ended up using my cellphone which turns out didn’t work well at all.  Andrea’s audio sounded great though.

More than anything this was just something fun we decided to do after listening to the Guild Wars Soundtrack the other day and getting all nostalgic.  We decided to start brand new characters, just like it was day one all over again.

Here’s Part 1, I’ll make sure I get a new headset before I record part 2.

The Rants of Two Old Dudes – Episode 3

This power strip will hack your computer. Listen to the show to find out how!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this posted.  Recorded almost a week ago!  That’s how busy this week has been I guess with Luke’s swim lessons, big promotions at work, and birthday parties.  It was a good one though as M.Carver joins us as a fellow old dude.  I get interrupted a few times for baby stuff, but all in all, it was a fun show!

DOWNLOAD THE SHOW!

We’re on iTunes too!

Guild Wars 2 – Final Pre-Release Impressions

Guild Wars 2 could be the worst thing to happen to my real world social life.  Or the best thing.  Depends on how you look at it.

I spent as much time as I could playing the beta this past weekend.  It started off with a race to get onto the server we wanted.  A process which included remotely logging into the home computer from work and enduring the slideshow of setting up a character and choosing a server.  It’s a good thing we did though, otherwise the server would have been full by the time I got home from work.  I say “good thing” though the people who I was trying to play with on that server never ended up getting on… Hope you had fun doing less fun, more lame things.

I created an Asura elementalist.  I chose both a race and profession I don’t intend to play as my main character when the game is released.  But it turned out to be fantastically fun.  I’ve never particularly enjoyed the spellcaster role in games, but this just feels so much different.  You aren’t standing in one place spamming spells.  You’re constantly dodging attacks and trying to get position so your onslaught has the greatest effect.  It had a lot more similarities to the Mesmer I played last beta weekend, but I really enjoyed the zipping back and forth between close and ranged attacks that the Mesmer had.

I played a fair amount of PvE; just general exploring and questing along with the multitude of dynamic events that pop up as your wandering around.  The Asura starting area is very cool.  But not as mind blowing as the human area.  It’s hard to compare to Divinity’s Reach, though Rata Sum, the Asura city, does have a very techy sci-fi feel to it that fits their personality to a tee.

But by and large what consumed most of time time was World vs. World.  This is multiplayer PvP on a massive scale.  Literally hundreds of players on a single map battling for stratigic locations.  Supply camps generate supply and allow you to reinforce your castles or build siege weapons to bring down opposing structures or players.  They are relatively defenseless but are often near the edges of the map behind castles or keeps making them somewhat secure by geography.  Towers and keeps are heavily fortified and a battle to take down a keep can take literally hours depending on how well defended it is.

Supply can be carried by players and used to repair the damage that the attacking force, sometimes 50 or more players, are doing.  Or it can be used to build weapons to repel the mass of attackers.  The result is battles for a single map position that can last hours and require some loose strategic thinking.  I use the term loose, because there are really not clear “commanders” on your team.  The result is more like a large flock of birds that moves as a process greater any one individual in that flock.  I’m sure as the community matures more effective strategy will become common place.  For now it’s fun just being a part of this “force” that crashes against walls like waves against a cliff until that wall finally gives way.  When the walls on a castle come down and your group pours through, it really feels like what you see in the movies when the gates fall and the hordes go rushing in.  Except less pillaging.

Though the rewards are still compelling in WvW.  You get experience for everything you do.  Whether its straight forward attacking, or just escorting supply packs from A to B.  You can really play at your own pace and make a meaningful contribution to your team’s objective.

I was excited to play WvW, but I certianly didn’t expect to get sucked in like I did.  But that pretty much sums up everything about this game I’ve played so far.  Everything I’ve tried has been fun and engaging.  But most of all, it all just feels so natural.  Now just 4 long weeks until I get to play again.  But I won’t feel required to play as intensely during these beta weekends, because I’ll know at that time, I can log on whenever I want… no subscription fees.  Hells yeah.  This game is going to rock.  Now just to find a good guild.

A Pair of Podcasts

Well two new things here.  First off, I’ve joined with Biebs for a new weekly podcast we’re dubbing “The Rants of Two Old Dudes”.  We’re going to discuss tech and gaming both modern and retro.

Here’s Episode 1 of The Rants of Two Old Dudes!  Enjoy!

Secondly I tried something new with my own personal podcast.  It has a lot of refinement left to go.  Infact I don’t even have any intro artwork, and had no idea what to use for video during the Mystery Song, but here it is.  I had to just go ahead and post it, or else it was just going to sit around forever.  As I get more proficient in video production, I’ll be able to crank them out and make them more polished.  But for now here’s a very rough video podcast.

Only one topic: Digital Distribution of games vs. Physical Copies
Previous Mystery Song was from Super Mario Bros 2
No podcast Music
New Mystery Song

I Am Ready

It’s been a long wait, but finally the day is coming.  I’ve missed out on the last few chances to play Guild Wars 2.  I missed the previous beta weekend as I was in Wichita, and yesterday’s stress test was only a couple hours while I was at work.  But at least I know that here in a few short months I’ll be able to play any time day or night!  Plus there’s still one more beta weekend event coming up at the end of July that I’m hoping to get in on too.

I’ve been trying to take vacation at work for a long time.  Last time I had scheduled a 5 day weekend, all but one of my days off got cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.  This time I’m telling them I’ve spent thousands of dollars already and I’m leaving the country.  In reality, I’ve spent a hundred or so, and I’m not going anywhere but my house.  Seriously, you won’t be able to crack me loose unless there’s a fire.

The AC finally got fixed.  Turns out it was the thermostat.  They replaced it and it seems to be working.  Though they replaced it with one that isn’t programmable.  Not a huge deal since Andrea’s a home most days now.  When we both worked, it was nice to set it a little higher during the day while we were gone.  But just glad it’s working again.

Honestly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.  We would open up all the windows at night and turn on the attic fan.  It would get down to the mid 70’s at night and really cool it off in the house.  Then before I went to work in the mornings, I would close up all the windows to try to keep the cool air in.  Didn’t work too bad.  I think the highest it ever got in the house was 90 upstairs, which translates to about 85 or so downstairs.  So if we retreated to the basement it wasn’t too awful, even on the days when it got up to 111.  But certianly less convinent.  I guess we’ll save a little money on our power bill from the time it wasn’t running in the sweltering heat.

I’ve started to play Metroid Prime again.  In fact I’ll be heading to do that as soon as I finish this post.  I’m making progress.  The new upgrades I’m getting are making getting around a lot faster.  Which is good because I seem to be back-tracking a lot, probably through my own fault.  But I feel like I’m finally settling in with the game… only 8 hours into it.  =P

So I officially have to beat this game before August 25th.  Because after that, I won’t be playing much of anything else but Guild Wars 2.

Good Greif

I hate to complain (never seems to change anything anway).  But it’s been an exhausting last few weeks.  So much work and travel.  I think I went 3 or 4 days without seeing what my house looks like in the sunlight.  Luckily I get to see Andrea once in a while when her and Luke stop by the radio station to hang out.  Lately I’ve been so busy thought that even then it’s tough to spend any quality time.

Well yesterday my schedule was pretty clear, so I made huge strides in getting caught up!  Felt good to not only be productive, but to be productive in the areas that I chose!  I have a little checklist at work that I use to make sure I don’t forget anything, and I finally got back to where I need to be on that.  Still some long term stuff that I need to get done, but I finally feel like I’m making progress again.

I actually left work a little early yesterday.  It felt almost like a vacation day!  I used my extra time to re-plant some peppers and corn in the garden, and start digging out the old pole that a satellite dish used to sit on.  Eventually that will become my new fire pit!  That’s gonna be a lot of work though for sure.

I actually sat down the other day and played some Guild Wars.  The original.  Actually had a lot of fun.  Since all the main story is done, I now have to make sure I just pick a direction or goal I want to work on and go at it.  Because it’s so easy now to sit in an outpost and just wonder what to do.  So I decided I was going to go work on my Asura reputation so I can get another title and some Asura armor to add to my Hall of Monuments.  When GW2 comes out, the more progress you’ve made in your HoM the better rewards you will get in GW2.

So there’s a little recap.  Sorry I’ve been so absent.  I really hope that it slows down soon because I don’t enjoy such a frantic pace to life.  So from henceforth I’m dialing it back!

Beta is Over

I wish I could stay up for the finalie, but that’s going to be at 1AM.  I don’t think I can handle that.

I’ve had a ton of fun this weekend.  This game is seriously as good as I would have hoped and more.  It’s fun to play, and the sheer scale of it, from size to the number of things there are to do, it’s just amazing.

It wasn’t without its flaws.  It was a little tough to play together with Biebs as we’d end up in different instances of the same world.  Something the development team says they’re working.

I really want to keep playing, but sleep, work and the impending end of the Beta weekend keep that from happening.  But there’s supposed to be one weekend per month until release… when I can then quit my job, ignore my family, and forego bathing to play this game without end.

At the very end, Andrea showed me how to enable hi-res screenshots.  I wish I had this the entire time!  The pictures it renders from the game are absolutely jaw dropping!  The amount of detail in this game is ridiculous!

I’m posting scaled down versions here, but CLICK HERE for an example of one of the screenshots in its full 5656×3308 glory!

Dead bears. It was us or them. They started it.

This is my kind of monastery. They brew ale!

Divinity's Reach in the distance. It IS as epic as it looks.

That same city, from the inside.

More Divinity's Reach...

And more Divinity's Reach. Seriously this place is gigantic, so from here on out it's all the same city in these screenshots.

This is the picture in full res above. I recommend making it your desktop wallpaper!

The upper city. The palace and senate are located on this level of the city. Along with this incredible garden.

What's the one thing this city doesn't have? A huge aquarium? Actually.. no. It already has one.

Dwayna Highroad. Everywhere you go the city feels alive.

Highroad looking across the city.

Crafting stations.

Durmand Priory. A guild that focuses on researching and preserving history.

Just another part of the city I found pleasant.

Undertaker's cart near a cemetery. I just can't get over the detail put into this game!

Another highroad. Look at the man to the left of my character for scale. The banners you see hanging wave majestically in the breeze. The screenshots only do half justice. In motion it's even more gorgeous.

Steps to the Senate.

Inside the Senate. I'm surprised they let me bring this big ass sword in.

Probably an attendance book of some kind.

Beautiful stained glass. In most games you are left to imagine what is inside a building like this.

In Guild Wars 2 you can go in that building and see for yourself! Behind each of those stained glass windows is a statue of one of the six gods. Beautiful artwork!

More inside the same temple. Notice the water pouring down the wall on the left. Again, you've got to see it in motion!

There are six highroads in Divinity's Reach, each named after one of the gods. At the end of each road is a beautiful sculpture like the ones seen in the temple above. This is a statue of Lyssa.

And that’s just one small part of the small part of the game I was able to play.