cashew: dude with sunglasses looking confused (Misc // Haa?)

Everything looks horrible. Why mounts? Why swords for engineers? Why eles running two attunements? Why necro spilling life force everywhere? Why axes on mesmers? Did the rev change at all? Why is a sniper called a deadeye? (But also, clearly need to re-make Bucky into a thief so he can be sniper. Clearly.)

The only thing that looks remotely interesting is that Guardians are finally getting tomes back as a thing and Rangers are merging with pets, so finally getting the pet bonus without dealing with the super awkward pet skill, but now pets can't help tank and, also, lazy weapon designs much?

Fffff.

Oh, and I also watched the video about the new story, which tells us pretty much nothing. And what we can glean from the description is that the story is stupid. We're going to be running around "forming a new coalition", which is just PR speak for doing the same old bullshit. Talk to NPCs, do some more fetch quests, fight against more monsters, and then fight Balth as the big bad. Oh and Palawa Joko is going to have an undead army, which I'm going to guess we'll have to fight, too. They keep saying it's going to be interesting, but don't say what is so interesting about running around smacking monsters ad nauseum.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I feel very disappointed look at the new expansion, which sounds like it's just more and more and more of the same. Are we ever going to get a chance to get some insight to actual story? Like...I don't know, character tensions? Our newly formed Dragon's Watch is already having issues in the living story, are we going to get to follow these characters? How will they and the old Destiny's Edge deal with each other? Are we actually going to deal with the fall out? Is Taimi ever going to find a cure? No, it's not enough to just say, oh, we'll bring back some old characters that players have got to known and then leave it at that.

Intra-party conflict is what you need to keep the tension going. Just because there's an external threat doesn't mean it's interesting if your villain keeps being new and underdeveloped and has an opaque motivation. If your story is riding on "we don't know why the villain is being villainous" you have a fucking story problem. Fix it. Fix it ASAP!

Honestly, I wasn't planning on writing nearly as much as I did on this, because at this point I feel so sick of Guild Wars and its bullshit. But every time I think about it, I have so much rant. Stopping now.

cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
Previously, I argued that Toolbelt is the reason we don't have weapon swap. With reading continued discussion, I've changed my mind and have to agree with the majority of players who keep arguing for kits being the reason Engineers don't have weapon swap. In fact, Toolbelt is there to compensate for the fact that Engineers use Kits instead of traditional weapons, and must use up a utility slot.

In other words, Engineers' Toolbelt is the Utility and the Utility bar is our weapon swap. And we can choose to reduce the amount of weapons we carry, and get compensated by having two skills with each utility skill we bring as a replacement.

My argument is very simple, Engineers are literally the only class in which the utility skills are not grouped by type. For every other class, the UI lists the utility skills in rows, with each row comprised of a single type of utility skill. Glyphs are all in the same row. Shouts are all in the same row. And every single class has exactly 4 non-elite utilities per type organized in a grid of 5 rows (types) x 4 columns (4 skills per type). The only exception to this rule is the Engineer, who has 5 skills for 4 utility types. The justification for this is because each utility technically is 2 skills in one, that's why there are less types of utilities.

This is the crux of the argument. Engineer utilities are not utilities in the traditional sense. That's why the Toolbelt exist, to provide the actual utilities.
cashew: close up picture of Minako's transformation pen (SailorMoon // pen is mightier)
Just a quick thought on Caladbolg weapons quest and how if they wanted to reward you with a free/cheap ascended weapon for any potential class, they should've picked very different weapons. My recommendation for the 5 weapons are:

Sword - meta for warriors, mesmers, guardians, revenants, rangers in at least one game mode or more

Dagger - meta for elementalists, necromancers, thieves in at least one game mode or more

Pistol - meta for engineers and thieves in at least one game mode or more

Staff - meta for thieves, elementalists, mesmers, revenants, rangers in at least one game mode or more

Hammer - meta for guardians, engineers, revenants in at least one game mode or more

With this suggestion, only necromancers get shorted in the sense of having only one weapon choice that's meta - until you realize that necromancers literally only have dagger as a meta weapon. Everything else they use is considered not-meta, so... If we're looking at sheer coverage in terms of things the class can use (irrespective of meta), it's as follows:

Sword - warriors, guardians, revenants, mesmers, rangers, thieves

Dagger - rangers, thieves, elementalists, necromancers

Pistol - engineers, thieves, mesmers

Staff - guardians, revenants, rangers, thieves, elementalists, necromancers, mesmers

Hammer - warriors, guardians, revenants, engineers

So the coverage breakdown comes to:
Thieves - 4/5
Guardian - 3/5
Revenant - 3/5
Rangers - 3/5
Mesmers - 3/5
Warrior - 2/5
Engineer - 2/5
Elementalists - 2/5
Necromancer - 2/5

Versus the current breakdown of compatibility, which is: (shield, scepter, dagger, gs, sword)
Guardian - 4/5
Mesmer - 4/5
Warrior - 3/5
Ranger - 3/5
Necromancer - 3/5
Revenant - 2/5
Thief - 2/5
Elementalist - 2/5
Engineer - 1/5 ←And not even meta!

Basically, under my proposal, Necromancer and Guardians get 33% less choice, and Warriors and Mesmers get 25% less choice; but Revenants gets 33% more choice, Thieves 50% more choice, and Engineers actually have a choice. I think that's a pretty fair pay off.

Edit to add: Mockups of what Caladbolg pistol, staff, and hammer could have looked like )
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
Okay, so after the last bitchery about class difficulty and ranking, I decided to do a little more actual breakdown of the class difficulty (in my experience, of course), taking into consideration things like excelling vs. competence, and general nuance as it were. Since I've played all the classes through to 80, unlocked all the specialization, and even went so far as to go all the way until the story end of HoT with 3 classes, one of which I deleted to make room for new characters, I say I have a good understanding of the classes in terms of general PvE. Now, sure, there's fractals/raids whatever, but that's the small percentage and I'm breaking it down more for the general populous here.

This gets long, so let's get typin'. )

And that is...longer than I wanted to go on. I'm gonna leave the elite specializations for a later analysis. @_@
cashew: Picture of Riza Hawkeye emptying her guns at the viewer (FMA // die)
Too often I see people on the forums citing that the reason Engineers don't get weapon swap is because of our kits.

WRONG.

Toolbelt is the real culprit here. )

Kits just happened to throw the entire balance scheme out of whack because it was so very badly thought out. Here is my proposed fix to Toolbelt, the engineer core mechanic. )
cashew: Picture of Riza Hawkeye emptying her guns at the viewer (FMA // die)
Firstly, buh. I hate the last story instance so, so much. So much hate.

Secondly, I'm getting really tired of all these head gear. It's not that I'm picking on Anet for giving players free rewards, but we could really use some new pieces of chest/leg/boots. So far, we've had 5 head pieces, one shoulder piece, and one glove. Disproportionate much? Also, can the head pieces stop covering up the face? Why would we spend so many hours getting our character look just right only to not be able to see their face afterwards? Ugh.

Thirdly, the final boss fight, after nerf, was quite doable. What isn't doable is the stupid jade amor die! Ahem. The jade armor and bows reminds me: Anet needs to stop making the AI a cheating, cheating bastard. If they can interrupt us, then we, the players, should be able to interrupt them. Enough of this breakbar BS and immune to cc BS. Make all those crowd control skills actually work on them. Especially in classes where the class relies on active defense, like blinds and blocks and dazes and stuns. If those things don't work, the class has no way of protecting themselves and are unfairly balanced against in these encounters.

Finally, why must all the enemy skills track us when our skills don't do the same to the enemy. Not fair!

/bitching

Meanwhile, for the first time, I'm actually suffering from a lack of unbound magic. I've had to resort to using winterberries and salvaging jade shards to get more unbound magic to buy the things I need. This is all very surprising to me. Still need to farm 1000 berries for two more underwater headpieces for Mez and Guard, then another 300 berries for another earring for Rev. Then, I think I'll take a break from the currency farm and move onto chasing more achievement points.

Oh, and working on the legendary... :9
cashew: Picture of Riza Hawkeye emptying her guns at the viewer (FMA // die)
So. Now that I've participated in most of the HoT map metas, have earned enough mastery points to max out my HoT mastery lines (minus the raid stuff), and have map completed 3/4 maps, with the last map at a level of completion that is more or less complete, here are my final thoughts on HoT and how I feel about the over all expansion package.

Pros )
Cons )

Over all rating, 3/10.

Definitely recommending no more pre-purchases. Buying on sale only. (I mean, I know [personal profile] tanithryudo is really the one who bought it, so I'm just saying, if the next expansion ever hits, don't pre-purchase for my account. :p)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
Drop Shadow.

For those who don't want to bother with checking the video, real quick summary:

In 3D games with jumping elements, developers have realized that it's very difficult for players to judge where the character is located relative to its surroundings due to the quirk of translating a 2D image into a 3D representation. As such, the Drop Shadow, a blob of shade directly underneath the character, was introduced as a visual anchor so players can figure out where the character will land with pin-point accuracy.

Most 3D games now use drop shadow when designing platforming/jumping mechanics.

GW2 does not give Drop Shadow. Ergo, it's practically impossible to accurately pinpoint when your character has over/undershot the desired jump. Result?

Shitty jump mechanics and frustratingly difficult jumping puzzles.

Given that the drop shadow is such a basic staple of game design, I can only come to one conclusion: Anet UX developers suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
cashew: Kohane looking over her shoulder at a glowing piece of snow (xxxHolic // winter)
Soooo. Got to Lake Doric. Fully mapped the area without using guides, so proud of myself. Some of those things were tricky.

Anyway, found my way into a particular hard to access outpost platform (no stairs, had to do some really weird jumps to get on there) and decided to start dancing. I also realized that if you swap weapons while dancing, you can actually dance with weapons instead of stowing them. Hence piccie of engineer dancing with pistol and shield )

Meanwhile.

Farmed my ass off and got the necessary 50 jade shards to buy the bloodstone savant's staff. Was going to give it to my mesmer, but then decided on my elementalist instead. So. Pictures. )
And yes, I have changed the outfit on the elementalist...again. I just can't decide how I want to dress her. So she's been eating up all my transmutation charges. D'oh.

Edit:
Aaaand, bought the devoted great sword for Mezzie. Piccie here )
Made an offer that's 12g lower than listed price and someone decided to sell it to me. Yay! Still pretty expensive at 55g, but still. It's still cheaper than the price of the guardian's staff, which costed me over 100g. XD
cashew: close up picture of Minako's transformation pen (SailorMoon // pen is mightier)
Moar GW2 ramblings.

Ran the last Auric Basin multi-loot yesterday and did a quick math to see how much, on average, multi-loot was getting me. I basically sold everything on the TP at buy order price to get immediate feedback, since buy order and sell order are more or less equalized with maybe a 5% difference at this point. Anyway, my point is that this is definitely low-balling the actual income. A slight increase (somewhere around 10%) is probably a more realistic expectation for those who do the math and stuff.

Point is, after selling everything, I counted something like 8 gold income. In 20 minutes. Now, to be fair, you can only run this like...12 times a day at max, although most people probably on run once a day, because...well, limited time. Anyway, the multi-loot squad I joined was probably a good middling size, since I've been in squads with as many as 11 maps open at once and as few as three. Basically, it's all in the luck of the draw and also the time of day. On average, each map I looted yielded something like 1.3 gold, again, this number will probably be higher if I had slightly more patience to wait for things to sell.

In comparison, Silverwastes gets you about the same amount of gold in about an hour. An hour. And that's doing nothing but chest runs. If running meta, the income is definitely even lower, more around the 5-7 gold range, depending on how many rares you can pull out of the maze after the meta.

Also, I have yet to see a precursor drop for me. The numbers are ridiculously low. I'm also surprised at how many precursors there actually are on the TP and extrapolate that to the number of bags that needed to be opened...wow. Just...mind is blown.

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