Monthly Archives: June 2013

Guild Wars 2 Last Straw 2

“Hello?” the ghost boy repeated, starting to panic. “Is someone there?” He had his back to me.

I kept my voice soft, as if speaking to a cornered animal or frightened child; both applied. “Mendel. It’s okay. You’re not alone.”

I could ease his passage, if nothing else, send him to the Mists, where…well, who knew if it was any better there than here. Probably wasn’t.

“Who…who are you?” The aether warped his words.

“It doesn’t matter anymore. Tell me one thing, and then I’ll send you to the gods. What crime did you witness yesterday?”

The boy’s translucence rippled, and I saw the fear in his face. “I…I…”

I directed my magic at him, guided it over him like a mother’s touch, and saw him relax. “You can tell me.”

He buried his face in his hands. “They took a…woman…into a cellar. They used dark magic on her. She screamed, but it was silent. Her mouth opened, but no sound came out. Her eyes…”

“Okay. Who did this?”

For the first time, the ghost boy looked straight at me, and he said, “Minister—”

Energy crackled behind me a fraction of a second prior to the blast. It shot past my left ear, and instinct sent me rolling to the side. But the spell hadn’t been intended for me. It hit the ghost boy square in the chest and threw him back, off his feet, into mid-air.

The ghost boy screamed as his chest imploded, then was sucked into the Mists through a hole torn in the fabric of the world.

I landed on my feet in the next moment, but it was too late for the ghost boy. I shifted into hunter mode. The other necromancer had already turned tail and run, leaving an energy trail I could follow if I hurried. I sprinted.

At the end of the alley, I flew out into a wide street and stopped, scanning for my prey.

A cloud of dead air burst up around me, latched on, and would not let go. Putrid, the air contained particles that clung to my skin and clothes, lingered inside my mouth and nose, and made my eyes water. I steeled myself against it. You’d think a necromancer would be used to it, but not that smell. Your body reacts automatically. I fought back the urge to gag and searched my surroundings.

There! A black-cloaked figure slid through the shadows on the far side of the street.

I ran after the figure and was catching up when it turned another corner. I’d learned my lesson, so I slowed to a stop, crouched, and peered around the edge.

No nasty spell hit me in the face. No target was waiting for a fight. No one.

I stood slowly, and as I reached my full height, a body came up gently behind me. Arms wrapped so intimately around me that my fight or flight instincts never kicked in. Then, a knife appeared at my throat.

I froze. When you’ve been had, there’s not much you can do but listen.

A deep voice whispered next to my ear, “Calm.” I sensed no necromantic power radiating from my captor. This was someone different. “The man you’re chasing is Kraig the Bleak. Magic for hire. You’ll probably never see him again.”

I asked, “Who are you?”

“Listen closely,” the deep voice said. “There are forces at work in this city, in this world, that will take us all down if we let them. Together, you and I can make a difference.”

My body was relaxing, senses expanding, and I’d finally caught my breath. “And what a positive start to our relationship.” My sense of humor was even returning.

“One you won’t forget. I’ll be in touch. You can call me E.”

Before I knew it, I was released, throat intact. I spun around, but no one was there. My captor—E—had left me standing, alone, on a moonless night, at the edge of a cobblestone street that smelled of rotting vegetables and dog droppings, and all I could think was, I need a new job.

The next day, I turned in my badge. The day after that, I took my first case as Marjory Delaqua, private investigator: I hired myself to unravel the conspiracy behind the ghost boy’s murder. I haven’t succeeded yet, but I will. If nothing else, everyone ends up in the Mists eventually, and we necromancers come with a large dose of patience. 

guild wars 2 A Guide to Sky Pirates of Tyria


Mini Guide

Starting Tuesday, June 25:

Upon logging into Guild Wars 2, you’ll receive a mail from Lionguard Inspector Ellen Kiel notifying you that you’ve been deputized to pursue the sky pirates known as the Aetherblades. Heralds at major cities will help guide you as well.

Aetherblade Retreat Story Dungeon
  • The Aetherblade Retreat is available to players of all levels. The entrance to this story dungeon has been discovered in Lion’s Arch near the Diverse Ledges. Head there and up the ramp next to the waterfall. A nearby Lionguard will point you towards a secret entrance hidden by a holographic rock face behind the waterfall. Form a party of five and enter the dungeon, which starts in an underground passage.
  • Swim underwater and avoid mines to reach Inspector Kiel, who will follow you through the dungeon.
  • Defeating the initial group of Aetherblades in Scoundrel’s Hovel will open up the door to the underground crevasse beyond.
  • Time your run through the electrified gates to reach the controls, which you’ll need to interact with to turn off. Follow catwalks up to where Aetherblades are dancing with a hologram. Defeating them will open the exit to the beach below, the start of The Wretched Walk.
  • Defeat the Aetherblades guarding the door that’s flanked by two shielded cannons on overhead ledges. Avoid the cannon barrage, defeat the Aetherblade waves, and push through the doors to circle back to defeat the cannons.
  • When you arrive at Frizz’s lab, Kleptotronic Advanced Designs, Kiel will use the console to let you in.
    • Initially, Frizz will attack with his Aetherblades.
    • Once he’s weakened, Frizz will summon a golem and a short electrified wall will rotate around the room. The golem will be buffed if the wall passes over it. Climb crates in the room to get high enough to jump over the wall.
    • Defeating the golem will bring out two more and a tall wall that cannot be jumped over.
    • The final stage has two golems and both short and tall walls rotating at different speeds.
  • Follow the asura tunnel to a beach swarming with Aetherblades. Beyond are long rope bridges spanning the raging sea below. Time your trip across the rope bridges to avoid lightning strikes. Defeat the pirates waiting at the middle isle and continue across the second bridge.
  • Upon entering the next room, look to your right to find a console to turn off the lightning strikes. Laying waste to the Aetherblades here will open the exit to a final rope bridge. Be sure to check the back room for an Aetherblade Cache.
  • The next area, Deceit’s Climb, has a more Inquest influence. Battle up the passage to a room with jump pads. Use these to ascend to the top. You’ll need to open the door for Kiel to get around; then she’ll use the console to give you access to Rogue’s Landing and the end boss battle with the Aetherblade Captain Mai Trin and her First Mate Horrik.
  • We’ll let you discover the specifics of the final encounter yourselves, but if you’ve been paying attention to mechanics used throughout the dungeon, you should find yourself equal to the task. Beware, though – Mai Trin’s deadly rapier and Horrik’s brutal cannon combine to pose quite the challenge!
  • If you defeat Mai and Horrik quickly, you’ll have a chance to disable the escaping airship for an extra achievement.

 

Guild Wars 2 Automation

It’s hard to believe that there’s been more than eight years of Guild Wars. So much has happened since our release in April of 2005: two additional campaigns, an expansion, two major live story arcs, new festivals, new content, countless new features, and quality-of-life improvements have been added to the game. The change has happened so naturally over time, it’s hard to believe how stark the difference is between when the game first launched and how it stands on the live servers now.

Over time, our focus has shifted to updates that not only help maintain Guild Wars but help the game maintain itself. With this focus in mind, we’ll no longer be releasing any new content for the live game except in support of automation. Our goal is to get the game to a place where it can continue to run and be available to all of our fans. We have a lot of love for Guild Wars—it’s the game that made us what we are today—and we want to continue sharing it with everyone!
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I want to make sure that players correctly understand our intentions behind these changes and the overall push for automation. As I’ve said, we want the game to be in a place where it’s able to take care of itself. While we will not be producing new content, the Live Team will still be around to perform critical fixes for crashes or other serious issues. We want to support the players who made us successful by ensuring the game provides the best service possible without constant supervision and attention. Reducing the need for manual intervention makes it easier for us to keep Guild Wars running in the years to come.

Coming Changes

The first change is to our Automated Tournament System. Contrary to what the name might lead you to expect, it has not, in fact, been entirely automated. Guilds that won or placed in the Monthly Automated Tournaments would have to wait for one of the Live Team staff members to sync up with them in game, temporarily join their guild, assign the proper cape trim, and move on. The same held true for removing temporary trims that were only available for one month.

Recently, we amended distribution so that only the top guild participating in the MAT received the permanent gold trim, and other trims (including several new colors) could be purchased by saving up your winnings from placing in tournaments. There are two reasons that we made this change: the first was to adjust to the number of rewards being distributed relative to the number of players taking advantage of the ATs. Handing out many trims when there are fewer guilds in attendance ultimately devalues the trims themselves, and there isn’t as much drive to be number one. The second reason is that this lets us better automate the system; the number one guild will automatically get their trim, without having to wait.

While we’re on the subject of the Automated Tournaments, we’ll also be adding another feature to help it live up to its namesake: map rotation will now also be automated. As with cape trims, this means you’ll no longer have to wait for the new map selections to be decided upon and implemented. As soon as the list is needed, it will already be there. The selection of maps for the entire year’s rotation will be created using the same algorithm that we’ve run by hand up until this point. That rotation will then be used for the years to come. Because the process to get to this point was largely the same, there should be no noticeable difference from a player’s perspective except for improved timeliness of the rotation.

Next, we’ll be making some changes to our weekend events. Specifically, these won’t just be weekend events anymore, they’ll run for an entire week on a completely automated schedule. This will be an incredible boon to folks who are still working on finishing out titles for their Hall of Monuments, as they’ll no longer be constrained to packing as much play time as possible into just the weekend. Now everyone will have five extra days to take advantage of these bonuses.

You’ve already seen changes to support automation rolled out to our festival content, but to recap, major festivals now use tokens that players can redeem for one of the special items the event offers. Players are only allowed to choose one, but the choice allows newer players a chance to get items they otherwise never would have been able to and allows longtime players the opportunity to complete their collections. We’ll be making changes along these lines to our remaining celebrations, so that the entire year’s worth of festivals will run seamlessly.

In conjunction with this, we’ve also changed the distribution of birthday presents. Characters celebrating eight or more years in Tyria now get a token that they can then trade in for one of the gift boxes from any of the previous years. The distribution rates for the miniatures remain the same, but players can now target their favorite era every time a new year rolls around.

With these changes, Guild Wars will be more streamlined and self-supporting than ever, traits that will enable the game to be enjoyed for years to come. 

GW2 leveling Game Giveaway – Sky Pirates of Tyria!

Video preview of Guild Wars 2's Sky Pirates of Tyria Patch

yria is in trouble, a new faction called the Aetherblades has arrived and they’re wreaking havoc on the Dragon Bash and Tyria is in desperate need of heroes to face this challenge! That’s why we’ve been graced with ten copies of the game, each including 800 free gems (to try out some of the awesome new steampunk themed gear which you can see on our update overview), to give to potential adventurers to help defend Lion’s Arch and Tyria from not only the Aetherblades, but the Elder Dragons as well!

So grab your adventurer’s sword and shield (or closest pocketwatch) and get ready to enter our steampunk themed contest. The rules are simple. Between now and July 1st, 2013 register for our site and comment below answering one of the following questions (you only have to answer one!):

What’s your favorite steampunk game and why you love it (ex. Skies of Arcadia, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, BioShock, or even Dishonored).
What’s your favorite steampunk movie / TV show / book and why you love it (ex. Golden Compass, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing, etc.).
What’s your favorite Jules Verne novel?
What’s your favorite part of the Victorian era?
Why you can’t wait to hop into GW2 and take on the Aetherblades yourself!

To get things started, my favorite steampunk like game is probably Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. It’s in the same vein as Fallout (similar engine and similar developers) and focuses on the aspect of technology vs. magic. In the game, technology follows physical law while magic bends physical law to get the same result. The two are incompatible and it has one of the most interesting and well thought out game worlds for the era.

When we say steampunk, we’re using the loose translation of the word, so feel free to be creative! Valid entries will be picked at random on July 1st, 2013 to and codes will be distributed via email.

You must register to enter and be over the legal age of entry for your country of residence.

So share your comment below for your chance to win your very own copy of Guild Wars 2. We all hop to see you in Tyria soon!

As a reminder, you must be registered in order to enter. 

Guild Wars 2 wow introduces the Aetherblades

Guild Wars 2 introduces the Aetherblades

Who are the Aetherblades? ArenaNet is glad you’ve asked and has prepared a well-researched essay on the topic. The Aetherblades are a new group that has crashed the Dragon’s Bash and is looking to make all kinds of trouble as players head into Guild Wars 2’s living story for July.

The devs struggled with how to make a new pirate faction that wasn’t quite like all of the other pirates in an already piratetastic title. The solution, the article says, was to combine steampunk, lightning, and airships to make a dashing group of electric buccaneers: “We imbued the Aetherblades a lightning aesthetic: They arrive in a bolt of lightning and their skill effects, traps, and weapons are all laced with electrical effects.”

The article also outlines some of the mobs players will face when they tangle with the Aetherblades, from the basic minions to the razzle-dazzle officer corps.