Rose Tinted Dreams & Fantastic Memories.

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When you recall the best memories you’ve ever had in World of Warcraft, what do you think about? Personally I remember The Burning Crusade expansion like it was yesterday, logging in each and every day to do heroic 5 man dungeons to get my badges of justice, saving up for the next piece of vendor gear. Each week preparing for the Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday raids and generally managing the guild I led for Karazhan and Zul’Aman raiding. My experience in raiding with my own guild was one of absolute enjoyment and a fundamentally less serious atmosphere than what I would look for in a guild in current day WoW. Our Hunter; a dear friend of mine who has since quit the game would always be the butt of jokes in our raids. Much of the time for accidentally pulling trash or bosses, the fact he would literally walk into a pack of trash mobs or accidently put his pet on aggressive and yet NOT mean it, clarified by the expression “Oh Shiit” on our Ventrilo Server, was the funniest thing I can remember. As much as many people would be aggressive in this situation, at the time we found it particularly entertaining and to be honest he wasn’t the only one to do something that would be considered griefing today. The differences between then and now are basically my own, where I feel that the game has been out for so long that I literally forget that there could even be new people playing for the first time.

Picture8-1 (1)Our guild; ‘Heavens Will’ on Frostwhisper EU was filled with the friendliest group of people you could ever meet. We all had our problems, and personally I had only just started to play the game that same year and found everything as funny as the others. Our progression was average for a guild in our situation, but it was enough for me. It was always cool to achieve downing a new boss for the first time, but we never saw that as the main objective in raiding. Raids where a time when our guild would centralise in one group and enjoy themselves 3 times a week together. Granted we achieved quite a deal for what we were, clearing Karazhan and Zul’Aman, but not much further was possible with the general skill level of our team. That was fine however, as some of us were known throughout the community with the other guilds. This is the side of the game I miss the most; doing dungeons with your own realm and not through a cross realm looking for group tool certainly had its advantages.

I gained the respect of many guilds on my server, one of which; Elysium; a wonderfully skilled group of people who progressed on Black Temple and then Sunwell when it came available. Many of the times they would need to occasional DPS or a Healer to fill their groups as they would for some reason miss 1 or two people each week. I saw this as an opportunity to see more of the game, and my own guild didn’t mind since we still did our own raids together and they knew that they had neither the time in week nor the commitment to do other raids.

DDI levelled my Holy Paladin to level 70 shortly after I knew this would be a regular event, where members of that and other guilds on the server would group together to ‘PuG’ older raids such as Tempest Keep or Serpent Shrine Cavern. It wasn’t long before my paladin became much more geared than my Warlock; simply more opportunities arose for my healer than would ever for my DPS. I really started to enjoy healing, the rewards were great, the feeling of being a needed part of the raid group excelled much further than it ever did as a dps. My Warlock still remained my ‘Main’ as that’s what I raided with in my own guild, but when the time arose and a healer missed our own raid one evening I would log onto the Paladin and heal away. This flexibility helped actually progress our raid much further, and it was at this point I realised how integral it would be to keep both characters geared.

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Wrath of the Lich King came out the following year, filling my guild with both new recruits and new interest to get more acquainted with progression, and much less about the ‘fun’ aspects of casual raiding. As much as this was perhaps the most progressed I have ever been in my own Guild, clearing content as it came out and competing with others on the server, it certainly wasn’t my favourite. The border between causal raiding and progression is a fine one honestly, as much as the two have different interests they are basically the same, only more serious during attempts and still enjoyable between bosses. The changes we put onto the guild with progression as our focus actually crumbled the foundations of who would be able to both raid with us and who would stick around for a more serious atmosphere on the tougher fights.

WoWScrnShot_071810_211548-1I like to see this point of my experience in the game where I essentially ‘grew up’ and decided that the goals I needed to achieve were greater than they used to be. Sacrifices were made, but for the better of everyone’s gameplay and enjoyment of the new content that we could now for once get to see, as appose to raiding content years old whilst new raids were other guilds progression targets. I remember The Burning Crusade so fondly because of both the people I raided and met on my server, but also the start I had in this game, without which I would of never had enjoyed the progression to who I am today, both in game and in real life. I have to say that my interest in YouTube and to some extent where I am now writing on Stratics is down to the ability to learn that both sides of progression in any game rely on an open mind. It saddens me to go onto the WoW Forums and see people talking about how good the ‘Good ol’ Days’ were in World of Warcraft or hating on other MMO RPG’s out there based purely on fear for competition. The truth of the matter is that your experiences in any game are your own, and if you feel that a certain period was much better than any other, much of the enjoyment you found at time you spent during those glory days would very likely be down to WHO you raided or played with, rather than the actual content you did or the part of the game you played most.

The World of Warcraft we know and play today is NOT the same game we all played 1, 2, or even 9 years ago, and we should be happy about that. Without evolution of a product, what interest can there possibly be. It’s currently hard enough to enjoy the lull in activity between content releases as it is, with many of us that are waiting for Warlords of Draenor playing other games such as Diablo 3. I’ve had this game since its release, yet it’s only now that I’m playing it to the point of the same time I would usually spend on WoW. The new content is just around the corner and I have to say that progression feeling is coming back to me, and I think a lot of people will get the same reinvigorating feeling the closer we get to WoD Beta testing.

WoWScrnShot_031214_174319Mists of Pandaria was by far the most constructive and developed product so far in WoW; much of the content in the game now offers opportunities that simply were not physically possible 8 or 9 years ago. Phasing and individual scenario instancing has allowed for compelling solo player gameplay, new character models and designs are altering the visual aesthetics of the game to be more appealing to the eye. New PvP systems are being tested and used to enhance the accessibility to general PvP and push the bar at the top of skilled players even father up with new leaderboard technology. There isn’t a single piece of the game that has been put into MoP that isn’t an addition or a positive / necessary change to the basic principles of the games enjoyment. I challenge anybody to say the game is worse for any game breaking reason today than it ever used to be, because it simply isn’t true. The experiences we all had when we started playing the game are ours and we should keep those close, but not use them as excuses to enforce illogical points onto why the current game is bad. Opinions are great things, but if they are enforced with nothing but rose tinted dreams then whats the point in expressing them.

If you enjoyed my article discussion here, please feel free to go over to our forums to talk about your favourite time in WoW and your opinions on where WoW is going. For everything World of Warcraft, look to Stratics. HERE

Game’s Too Easy? – Questing “Difficulty” Changes!

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Hello and welcome to the series “Game’s too Easy?” Within, Metro will sarcastically discuss any number of assorted topics in an attempt to dispel myths and hearsay surrounding such. The focus of today’s discussion will be the process of leveling, with the goal to fully understand the progression from “classic-style leveling” to “cata-style leveling. We will also dispel the rumor that classic leveling was intentionally made challenging, while newer iterations were intentionally dumbed-down to remove said challenge.

Before we step inside the vast pit that is this topic, let’s first establish something that should be regarded as indisputable fact. Time changes all. Yes, it may slay kings, ruin towns, and beat high mountains down, but it also changes both the game, and the people who play it. This should be obvious to most, but it is an inherent flaw that exists with this argument that I feel needs to be apparent before it can properly be discussed.

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Let’s attempt to clarify by exemplifying, shall we?  Examine the development of mathematical studies and the introduction of technology via calculators. If we go as far back as the 1960’s, we will find people in their teens studying mathematics, learning to do long division with pen-and-paper configurations. The first time learning, a lot of mathematical equations and formulations seemed like quite a challenge. However, after doing it a few times, they were encouraged to learn shortcuts and memorize the basics, so the “challenge” turned more menial, allowing their experience to progress.

Fast forward to the 1990’s, and we will see this progression in full effect. Here we see children of the same age as previous learning math, but being formally instructed with a calculator alongside their pen and paper. The generations before them understood how menial the task truly was, and the educators decided to foster the use of technology, as to elevate the rate at which learning could be accomplished.

Finally, in the year 2014 we will have children not only learning to use calculators, but learning to use computer simulations to study geometry and physics. Fifty years in the cycle has changed not only the educators (in this case are the game’s creators,) but also the students (the players). Now, bring it full circle! What happens when we force a child with an ipad to do math by hand?

And so we have arrived at the point! Let’s not forgot this walk through time, as it is a near-flawless lesson in what this game has come through. With this firmly in our mind, we can begin our discussion at the most logical place: the beginning.

World of Warcraft was officially released in the US on November 23, 2004, but had been in development since 1999, being first announced in 2001 at the ECTS trade show. At this time, they were claiming the game to be an open environment which fostered exploration and allowed players to do what they please as they please it. It was boasted that quests were “optional,” meaning that if players wanted to just simply play the game and explore, they could continue to do so without being locked down to one zone – a concept that had revolutionized the market. The concept launched with the game, but of course players seeking an elevated level of success would not simply explore for 12 hours straight, and it soon became apparent that there was an optimal path that could be taken.

At this point, we arrive at our first “challenge” impasse!  At the time, questing was a method of gaining experience, but not all quests were equal. Some were quite challenging to

Notice the lack of "!" on Minimap, a feature not added until 2.0!

Notice the lack of “!” on Minimap, a feature not added until 2.0!

complete alone, or as a certain class or spec. Others took you half way across the world, but gave less experience than ones that could be completed in the zone they started in. Many quests would result in you dying multiple times, wasting both gold on repairs, but also playing time. So over the weeks following launch, players who had much experience with the quests began to develop routes to follow. They began to understand which quests gave the most “experience per hour,” and were able to identify exactly how and where to complete each quest. Eventually, this culmination of knowledge became “thottbot,” a database that would collect information such as location of the quest mobs, or where the quest item can be found.  This became an invaluable tool for anyone starting out, as it allowed them to access the information formally only gained through grinding.

Hopefully you see now, that this “Classic leveling” is akin to the 1960’s mathematics example of earlier. Most people learned the hard way, as it was the only way to complete the task, but those of a higher understanding eventually created technology that could be used for future generations. This is exactly so in Classic world of Warcraft, and when you hear people talking about things being a “challenge” it is important to remember these truths.

Now we can fast forward, as we did with our education comparison, many years in the future, where technology has become rampant. Over the years of World of Warcraft’s history, the people who learned how to maximize their questing experience developed addons such as Quest Helper, or Cartographer. These addon’s utilized the already-experienced map and quest knowledge of the developer to trivialize a lot of the game’s original “challenge;” which we have come to call “inexperience.”

Questing Technology independently created integrated into default game.

Questing Technology independently created integrated into default game.

With Cataclysm, we have seen an entire overhaul of the questing system, and many people criticize the integration of addons into the default package. They claim that it makes the

game too “easy,” but what they really mean is experience is less valuable. You see, there is no inherent “challenge” in the menial questing, as there was void in a teenager’s learning of mathematics. Technology has been developed in both cases, and once used by some people, it is only logical for those in charge to help those less fortunate by providing the equality in tools.

It is important to remember these lessons as the game continues to follow this road. Questing should be enjoyable, but a means to an end. The game has grown so much at max level, that continuing to keep vestigial remnants of old systems in just to prolong the system is frivolous. The game has progressed from a system that didn’t even have quest tracking on the screen, or !’s on the minimap, to having full walkthrough-type arrows on the world map, but this is simply as we have seen with the education example. The age of technology is the age of convenience, and to deny this is simply living in the past.

Thanks for reading! As always, we encourage comments and discussion here at Stratics, so if you have any thing you would like to add, it would be my pleasure to continue the conversation! 

 

When Humans Go Online

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Friends gather for a few drinks after an event in Ultima Online.

What do you expect when you go into an online game? Do you expect to meet new people? Do you expect to participate in a Player vs. Player (PvP) battle? Do you want to fall in love? Have a party? Do you want to just go to a familiar place you call “home” and do a little crafting quietly after the kids have gone to bed?
Just 20 years ago this was a fantasy in someone’s head and we couldn’t do this at all. Something many of us hold dear and use daily to wind down after work or have a couple of “me” hours to play, is something that game creators like Richard Garriott, Will Wright, and companies like Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Turbine, amongst others, have given us over the last 16 years. They have, sometimes by accident and with a little rough going, created an entire social world within a computer – a virtual world that people around the globe use to create human society online.

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A group of friends meetup in Rusty Hearts. *Picture courtesy Luka Melehan*

I have always been fascinated with how humans translated their world into pixels and bits of stored computer code. I am so fascinated with human society and what we call “human culture” I got a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology – or the study of human culture – back in the 1980′s. Even just after 15 years of my own experiences online, I often take these worlds I enter for granted and yet my social group has been extended from family and people I knew in my immediate surroundings of the State of Wisconsin in the United States to include people from nearly every time zone on the planet, and I have had an active social life and a house to call home on Ultima Online amongst these people for all that time. When I entered college this was “Star Trek”-type fantasy that only ‘nerds’ like myself dreamt of!
Over the next month or so I will explore how human culture translates from a real world into a digital one and how this has been accomplished. In years past, massive multiplayer online worlds (MMOGs) would have been labelled a ‘fantasy world’ as in Final Fantasy or Dark Ages of Camelot or World of Warcraft or Ultima Online fantasy… but it isn’t fantasy at all. Its real people relating to other real people with money changing hands, property that we consider “ours,” and reputations on the line with every step we take.
We have achievements and failures that wind up being things in our real lives that we are proud of or sad about and it affects us as humans and it affects our lives. We mentor the young, support our friends, and discover aging together. I know of at least four couples who have fallen in love, gotten married, and had real lives together whose first order of business had to be moving to the same country, or across a continent, in order to do so! I have mourned friends who became ill and died, or who have experienced joys and sadness as we lived our lives, grew up, grew old, and had babies while we chatted and played online with each other. Our avatars have become a real world representation of who we are down to the very core, and this is no fantasy!

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Players gather for an EM event in Ultima Online.

Several people have chronicled the rise of our human culture online and I will try to highlight a few in my upcoming articles. The stories that Stratics has published and the work our intrepid reporters have done in following the events and development of the games we have reported on through Stratics.com have illuminated some of this human online culture and preserved it in our, sometimes saved, backup files. Some of those articles will be highlighted during our 16th Anniversary celebration here at Stratics.com. The cool thing to me is that it represents true human history in a completely new computerized world and it is precious for that reason, amongst others, including our own memories of fun time with friends.

I hope to bring some perspective on our online lives to light in the next few weeks. I hope you will want to read my stories of life online, and how our worlds have come to be what they are. I’d also like to hear from you about your experiences in the online human culture so here are a few questions for YOU!

• What do you think is the most important thing in a game that reflects human culture?
• What draws you into a game and tempts you to play it? What keeps you coming back?
• Looking back on your time in a MMOG, what stands out as the most rewarding part?
• Do you feel like you’ve developed a close circle of friends in a MMOG? What gave you the best opportunity to make this circle of friends and keep them?

Add your answers below, or visit any of our social media outlets and add your voice! We’d love to hear what you have to say!

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Two friends meet in a romantic location in Star Wars the Old Republic *Photo courtesy Luka Melehan*

 

Guild Wars 2: How To Get To the Bakestone Caverns In The Lost Isles by TechGamerIsHere

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On the Lost Shore events many GW2 players were puzzled how to get into the Bakestone Caverns. So if you haven’t found your way yet then here is a video  by

 

 

 

 

Published on Nov 18, 2012 by

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Black Lion Trading Company Black Friday Weekend Sales!

The most busiest day of the year is about to hit the retail stores across America and ArenaNet is going to save us with a 3 day Black Friday sale of it’s own provided at the Black Lion Trading Company.  So if you have your gem cards, gems already, or need to buy some this is going to be a great weekend to do so. GW2 players will be doing some serious shopping themselves with some nice sales.

 

 

Guild Wars 2>News>Black Lion Trading Company Black Friday Weekend Sales!

Black Lion Trading Company Black Friday Weekend Sales!

by The Guild Wars 2 Team on November 21, 2012

The Black Lion Trading Company is celebrating the biggest shopping day of the year with a Black Friday sale of their own.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, be sure to check out the Gem Store for limited-time discounts on some of your favorite items. Each day three different items will be discounted up to 70% off! But don’t wait, because each sale only lasts 24 hours.

You’ll have to log into the game and open the Gem Store (default key is “O”) to find out exactly which items are on sale each day. Happy shopping!

 

 

 

Ascended gear: or how I learned to stop worrying and love ArenaNet by ajpearman9

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Reddit poster ajpearman9 posted a nice and well thought out post on Ascended gear. This may help other players understand a little more about the new addition of gear with the Lost Shores event this coming weekend Nov 16-18. Many players were shocked and angered because they thought that the new Ascended gear was going to ruin exotic gear. This is definitely not the case as we can see as more information opens up.

 

Linsey Murdock stated on guildwars2.com on the topic “Linsey Murdock Unveils New High End Ascended Gear

 

” In November we’ll unveil the first Ascended items. This new rarity type falls between Exotic and Legendary on the spectrum of rarity and has slightly higher stats than Exotics”

 

Another Redit poster omlech  had responded to ajpearman9  post  and I agree with this comment.

 

 

“Another thing people seem to be forgetting or simply not noticing is that Ascendant gear takes away your ability to use gems/runes/sigils in place of Infusion which will be a requirement to do later levels of the Fractals. So think of it like this:

Ascendant = your gear in Fractals

Exotics = your gear everywhere else

They created a new tier so it didn’t screw up the Exotic tier and allowed them to create a new gameplay mode. Your current Exotics go untouched and there’s a new tier built specifically for a new gameplay mode which allows them to introduce new mechanics.”

 

Time will tell but I feel that ajpearman9  may be on the right track with his assessment. GW2 Stratics would like to thank Reddit and ajpearman9 for having this post up for many to discuss and weigh their opinions on. Guild wars 2 players around the world love their game and are very passionate about it and this topic may go on for a very long time until the dust settles. If you want to join in the discussion then stop by here at Reddit and give your views of what you feel Ascended gear.

 

 

 

Ascended gear: or how I learned to stop worrying and love ArenaNet. (self.Guildwars2)

 

submitted ago by ajpearman9Muffintasm – Outrun Me Bro [Run] – SoS

 

edit 3: My Conclusion After a good few hours of chatting with people here and addressing concerns and issues, I’ve come to my conclusion. Ascended gear will be okay if ArenaNet either makes it as hard to get as legendaries, or the same as exotics, and does not ever introduce another (greater) level of rarity. In addition, Ascended gear needs to be a trade-off when going from Exotics <-> Ascended. You gain infusions for specific encounters at high levels of Fractals, but lose the options of sigils/runes/gems appreciated in other gameplay modes. This is similar to the sigils for +damage against mob types (that basically no one uses despite being amazing).

For the new condition known as Agony, it is there because they want some obvious and clear way for players to know they are reaching the greater levels of dungeon difficulty. This condition must be dealt with in interesting ways and cannot be a plain “you lose health after a while unless you have so much resistance.” That route is not fun, appreciated, or enjoyed by players that were there for WoW’s fire resist and LotRO’s radiance. I guess some may like the idea, but resistances only take away from the idea that player skill > stats and create gates preventing skilled players from enjoying the highest PvE levels of content. This is why I hope infusions are merely a way to specialize and not something that creates a massive gap between grinders and casual players of equal skill.

If any lessons from the current dungeons should be learned, we need more boss fights like Arah’s Giganticus Lupicus, Simin/Dwayna, SE’s Iron Forgeman, Jormag’s Tooth, and more cool puzzles/mechanics like Arah’s orb doors and minefields.

In conclusion, I think the dungeon team is trying to create diversity and interesting boss fights/mechanics, but lacks the ability or time to make encounters based around learning and mastering skillful gameplay and skill/trait specialization. Hopefully they know this and the new Agony mechanic will be overshadowed by the 9 fractals being truly interesting, challenging, and most importantly, fun.

Original Post:

First, let me explain Fractal of the Mists, the new dungeon that is the conduit through which these new items are being introduced. Herein lies some key points that people seem to be missing. Not to mention some amazing-sounding additions to the already massive number of explorable mode dungeons we have.

“The Fractals of the Mists is made up of nine mini-dungeons, each with its own story and environment. A party of five will enter the dungeon and be faced with a random set of three of these dungeons at a time. “Upon completing those three, the party will be transported to a hub to rest, repair, and merch — and the difficulty scale for the dungeon will be raised. Every time the difficulty scale is at an even number, players will face a special boss encounter.” -Massively

  • CONCLUSION: This addresses the concerns of so-called “gated content.” I played WoW for over 4 years, I know how gated content looks and feels, and because of WoW’s system, I never got to fully experience the game I paid $15/month for. Fractal of the Mists is a never-ending, increasingly harder dungeon experience, but the scaling of difficulty will not prevent casual players from seeing all 9 fractals, There may be a couple boss fights that only the most hardcore players see, but I sincerely doubt ArenaNet has created such a large number of different bosses.

“Players will be able to acquire Ascended Rings in the Fractals of the Mists dungeon, and Ascended items worn on the back can be acquired through special Mystic Forge recipes.” -Linsey Murdock

  • CONCLUSION: Only back pieces and rings will be added with FotM. This makes the 8% increase in stats from Ascended gear (5 more power / 63 power in exotics = 7.937% increase) minuscule when you take into account your total stats. If someone can do the complete math equation, it would be much appreciated.

“As we release more new end game content in the future, you’ll see more Infusions and Ascended item types being added to the game. Eventually, you’ll be able to kit yourself out with a full set of Ascended gear and high end Infusions to help give you the edge in end game content.” -Linsey Murdock

  • CONCLUSION: Ascended is the new best-in-slot gear (see edit), but as I stated earlier, only back and ring slots will be filled by FotM. Because she states that new Ascended gear pieces for different slots will be introduced with newer dungeons, we can assume that Ascended gear is the only tier that will ever be added to the game (yes this has not been said yet, but I trust ANet to not take this any further).

Once again, we are really making a big deal out of nothing. The new Ascended gear is focused towards competitive PvE-focused players. It gives not only a very tiny statistical increase, but the infusion slots that are included are focused at conditions and monsters that only occur in specific new dungeon types. Once again, people are getting upset because we’re seeing a new item type that is slightly better than exotic, but in the grand scheme of things, the “better” is probably less than a 1% increase per dungeon release.

Just like legendary items (which will gain Ascended-level stats when they release Ascended weapons), Ascended items are items of prestige. They are meant to give the most hardcore players a good and challenging goal to work towards, while not breaking the game or seriously gating content in any way.

People say that this is a step towards WoW in progression, and that’s just utter bullshit. This is ArenaNet introducing a perfect solution to catering to casual and hardcore players, without creating any sort of rift between those two player types.

edit: Omlech pointed out that this new Ascended gear lacks slots for players to choose runes, gems, and sigils (when weapons come out). This means that despite Ascended gear having slightly higher stats, they’re less open to customization and are likely to not even replace exotics in many scenarios. I imagine this is why they are introducing the rings and back slot first, because it will not take away runes/sigils from people. And god knows most people don’t have any sort of decent back piece.

Edit 2: people seem to think they will add tiers past Ascended. This does not seem to be the case. Linsey says they’ll be adding bits and pieces of Ascended gear with each new dungeon. In a few months adding Ascended pieces will be no different than adding exotics to the current state. Ascended pieces are just focused towards this new competitive PvE mode. It’s all about the fact that they don’t feel they can do what they want to with the current exotics. So instead of confusing the hell out of people who already know what Exotics are, they’re creating a new type of gear (of essentially no greater benefit outside of FotM) to meet their needs.

 

 

 

MMORPG Guild Wars 2 Previews: A Peek into the November Update by Michael Bitton

MMORPG’s Michael Bitton  has a Preview of the new Guild wars 2 event of the Lost Shores. Great article and a must read.

 

 

 

Guild Wars 2 Previews: A Peek into the November Update

ArenaNet is looking to add a considerable amount of content to Guild Wars 2 in the game’s upcoming November update and we’ve got a sneak peek at what players can expect to find. Read on for details!

By Michael Bitton on November 12, 2012

Hot on the heels of the October update and the ‘Mad King’ Halloween event, Guild Wars 2 is set to expand again. We recently had a chance to chat with the folks over at ArenaNet about the upcoming November content update, including the fast approaching ‘Lost Shores’ weekend event, new PvP map, and new dungeon.

 

Temple of the Silent Storm PvP Map

The ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ is a new sPVP map coming to Guild Wars 2 with the November content update. The map takes place on and inside a massive iceberg, which features a large temple that serves as a place of meditation and training dojo for Guild Wars 2’s armored polar bear race, the Koden. ArenaNet is emphasizing a sense of verticality with this map and just like all of the Guild Wars 2 PvP maps, the ‘Temple of the Silent Storm’ will feature conquest gameplay with a twist.

The twist is in the series of buffs that will be strewn throughout the map. Players can meditate at certain areas to acquire buffs that confer bonus points for a variety of activities, ranging from killing other players to capturing objectives. However, the buff that is likely to be contested the most is one that will reset all the capture points throughout the map.

Lost Shores Weekend Event

The ‘Lost Shores’ weekend event will be a one-off event in Guild Wars 2 that will run between Friday, November 16 through Sunday, November 18.  ArenaNet describes the theme of the event as being a “monster movie, invasion type thing” that will focus on the lore of Lion’s Arch. During the event, Lion’s Arch will be invaded by a new enemy group called the ‘Karka’.  We’re told the Karka will be quite challenging for Guild Wars 2 players and will even feature a number of new mechanics for players to overcome in order to emphasize this. Visually, the Karka will feature a heavily armored shell of sorts that players will have to penetrate. ArenaNet has even worked on a new shader technology that allows players to actually see pieces of the armor fall off of the Karka as they wear it down.

That all comes later, though. Initially, players will be unable to penetrate the Karka’s armor and it’s this roadblock that will kick off a series of events taking players throughout the world as they learn about the Karka’s origins and research a means to get through theseemingly impenetrable armor. In the process, players will learn of the ‘Consortium’, a new faction of Lion’s Arch merchants that represent a sort of alternative to the Black Lion Trading Company that players are already familiar with.

Eventually, players will learn how to penetrate the Karka’s armor and this will bring players to the Karka’s home turf on a new island in the Sea of Sorrows called The Lost Shores. While the Karka don’t originally come from The Lost Shores, they have a significant presence on the island, having settled there for some time. The island itself will be a level 80 zone, but ArenaNet will have a system in place to sidekick lower leveled players up so they can take part in the event. However, it’s important to note that the Lost Shores island will remain as a level 80 zone once the weekend event is completed but players will no longer be sidekicked up after this point.

Of course, the Lost Shores will also be host to the standard fare stuff players can expect to find on any of Guild Wars 2’s explorable maps. Players will find myriad events, jumping puzzles, resource nodes, and more on the Lost Shores. ArenaNet also made note that some of the events on the island will take a different turn from some of the typical events in Guild Wars 2 by allowing players to make a permanent impact on the landscape.

Finally, the weekend event will culminate in a multi-part chain finale event that we’re told will take considerable time and effort for players to progress through. We weren’t able to learn more about the finale, as ArenaNet is keeping things under wraps for now, but suffice it to say that the team is pretty confident that players will enjoy the experience and especially the special reward that players will receive.

Fractals of the Mist Dungeon

The ‘Fractals of the Mist’ dungeon is a result of all the lessons ArenaNet has learned from developing the game’s initial dungeon offerings as well as the feedback they’ve received from players on dungeon content since launch. Players will enter the Fractals of the Mist dungeon via a central hub that will feature an assortment of amenities such as repair NPCs and other merchants. Once players have gathered their party members, they will be launched into one of the nine ‘fractals’ that will be randomly selected for each group.

Each fractal’s experience will be similar to that of the various mini-dungeons littered throughout the open world of Guild Wars 2. These fractals will feature a variety of challenges, puzzles, and boss fights, with an emphasis placed on use of the environment. Players can expect each fractal to take anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes to complete and the game will throw you through a series of three fractals, from one to the next, before returning you to town.  Every other set of three fractals that players complete will initiate a special boss fight along the lines of Tequatl the Sunless or The Shatterer.

Once players return to town, future entries into the dungeon will scale to become harder than the last. The amount of enemies players will face will increase as will their health and damage, for example. Of course, you can also expect commensurate rewards for completing harder versions of the dungeon.

Speaking of rewards, the Fractals of the Mist Dungeon will introduce the new ‘Ascended’ item type. This type is a bit more powerful than the Exotic quality items currently found in the game. There will only be a couple of Ascended quality items available initially, but some of the rarer Ascended items will also feature a new Infusion slot that will make players even more powerful so that they can tackle new challenges that ArenaNet plans to throw at them as they continue to expand on the dungeon over the coming months and years.

Wrapping Up

The main takeaway from the November content update is that ArenaNet is looking to offer something for everyone. If you can’t get enough of PvP, you’ll have the new map and other inroads ArenaNet is making towards eSports, such as the introduction of paid tournament tickets. The traditional Guild Wars 2 PvE experience will expand with the Lost Shores content. And finally, those who just love a good dungeon romp will have the Fractals of the Mist to adventure through.

What do you think of ArenaNet’s plans for Guild Wars 2 in November? Let us know in the comments below!

Players issues with the new Ascended Gear in the up and coming event of the Lost Shores?

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On guildwars2.com there is a debate over the new dungeon and Ascended Gear being added to the new Lost Shores vent. It has been mentioned they may be more powerful than the exotic armor GW2 already has. No official word yet from ArenaNet officials but this topic is all over the web today. many sites including Reddit has this topic being hotly debated. So has ArenaNet caved in to the grind gear players?  Time will tell but if you want to jump in on the topic discuss here, on our forums, or any site that this is being talked about.

 

 

 

Hopefully we will hear something more official from Arenanet soon since its about time they walk into the doors of their office. This move in direction from Anet may be huge for the direction of GW2 that many players would hope the game may not go. Until we hear something more concrete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massively: Guild Wars 2’s Lost Shores content primer by Elisabeth Cardy

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Massively’s Elisabeth Cardy has a content primer of the Lost Shores on their site. This new Guild Wars 2 event will be patched on November 15th and start on Friday November 16th. GW2 players will get to see a new race added for the event, a New sPvP map, and a brand new dungeon. This coming weekend will be a busy weekend for all the players playing all this new content. lets not forget this weekend also had the refer a friend for the free weekend trial of GW2.

 

 

 

GW2 Stratics would like to thank  Massively and Elisabeth Cardy  for having this informative and excellent article up for all the GW2 fans around the world to see.

 

Guild Wars 2’s Lost Shores content primer

by Elisabeth Cardy on Nov 12th 2012 9:00AM

Fantasy, Galleries, Events, in-game, Game mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Dungeons

 

Attack of the bow-legged crustaceans!
We’re just days away from Guild Wars 2‘s next big content patch and special event. So far the Lost Shores have been shrouded in mystery. Will the shores ever be found? Who lost them? Exactly how absent-minded does one have to be to misplace an entire shore?
There are other, more pragmatic mysteries too. What is the content update all about? What can we expect? What sort of name do you give to a race of evil, bow-legged crustaceans? Happily, we’re equipped to shed a little light on all those and more. Read on for our Lost Shores content primer!
Timeline
Everything starts, as we’ve known for some time, on November 15th. While the Lost Shores event itself won’t begin until Friday, Thursday will see the introduction of the patch and the beginning of the free friend referral period. The Lost Shores event kicks off on Friday at 3:00 p.m. EST, and the finale event begins on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. EST. The event and trial weekend will end Sunday evening.
Once the event is over, we’ll still have access to oodles of stuff, like the new dungeon, zone, and PvP map.
Low-level characters and friends recruited for the free trial weekend will be able to take advantage of side-kicking to play level 80 content for the course of the weekend, since the whole goal is to allow them to see all the cool stuff. Side-kicking is not one of the things that will be lingering on after the weekend is over, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can.

The Lost Shores
The one-time Lost Shores event is the belle of the ball, despite all the other content coming in, so let’s talk about that first.
The Lost Shores is all about the karka, a race of new-to-us foes from the depths of the sea. After being driven to their surface from their murky hives, the karka settled in Southsun Cove until the Consortium, a merchant outfit from Lion’s Arch, got all up in their wheelhouse. Now it’s up to players to resolve a grudge match between the karka and basically everyone else.
Aside from being a new type of foe, the karka also bring in new mechanics and skills. Part of the event will involve players racing around Tyria to try to figure out how to damage these baddies. You see, as they mature, karka develop a nigh-impenetrable outer shell, which players will have to get through to start doing meaningful damage. ArenaNethas put in some fancy new shaders to make the effects of damage more visible; as players chip away at the karka, they’ll see bits and pieces of shell and armor falling off.
Guild Wars 2's Lost Shores content primer
Temple of the Silent Storm
PvP players rejoiced to hear about a new sPvP map that’ll be debuting in this patch. This map takes place on one of the Kodan’s floating sanctuaries. Called the Temple of the Silent Storm, the location is the Kodan’s place of meditation and training. This iceberg map will be “very vertical.” Players moving through the rooms of the dojo will find buffs to meditate on and a powerfull boss; killing that boss will result in the killing team gaining ownership of all the capture points in the map.

Fractals of the Mists

ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson briefly introduced the brand-new dungeon as one that gets more challenging the farther in you go. Conventional wisdom would suggest that that’s nearly always the case, but Johanson left out a key detail: In the Fractals of the Mists dungeon, you can go indefinitely farther in.
The Fractals of the Mists is made up of nine mini-dungeons, each with its own story and environment. A party of five will enter the dungeon and be faced with a random set of three of these dungeons at a time. Upon completing those three, the party will be transported to a hub to rest, repair, and merch — and the difficulty scale for the dungeon will be raised. Every time the difficulty scale is at an even number, players will face a special boss encounter.
With great challenges come great rewards. The patch will introduce ascended items. Ascended armors are “slightly more powerful than exotics” and can, in some cases, hold slots for infusions. Infusions will allow you to increase your character’s power. Guild Wars players are familiar with infusing armor, although I’ll be my hat that the process doesn’t involve creepy Seers this time ’round.
Massively’s not big on scored reviews — what use are those to ever-changing MMOs? That’s why we bring you first impressions, previews, hands-on experiences, and even follow-up impressions for nearly every game we stumble across. First impressions count for a lot, but games evolve, so why shouldn’t our opinions?