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?


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)
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: close up picture of Minako's transformation pen (SailorMoon // pen is mightier)
Basically, I got to thinking: what would our armor combination look like if we got a chance to mix and match across armor weights?

I mean, I know people keep saying it's not possible due to how armor is designed in GW2 and the meshes will collide/clip like crazy, but...actually, take a look at what it would look like:

Sample images under cut )
Obviously, this would look better if dyed the appropriate colors, but the point is, we will get looks that are so much more unique.
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: close up picture of Minako's transformation pen (SailorMoon // pen is mightier)
Saw the forum thread and realized that Engineers got no love. ;_; Gonna make my own Elite specialization that would actually be fun to use.

Perchance to dream... )

Oh geebus, coding that killed my eyes a bit. Okay, now onto the Traits.

And the dream continues... )

Reasoning and Meta )
cashew: close up picture of Minako's transformation pen (SailorMoon // pen is mightier)
I'm still sore about how badly Engineers are balanced against the rest of the professions. Instead of bitching, I'm going to talk more about how I see the current professions roles and how clarifying the Engineer roles can help clean things up a bit.

Okay, let's cut this, it's getting long )

TL;DR - In terms of the overall balance of things, it's pretty clear to me that the Mesmer/Chronomancer & Guardian/Dragonhunter are sitting at the top of the heap. Then followed by Warrior/Berserker & Elementalist/Tempest. These are the four best balanced classes that really benefit each other in a party and are reasonably good by themselves. Very little overlap, and what does overlap only helps by stacking them together.

Then we get to Necromancer-Ranger-Thief (and their elites) that have niche uses and are a bit of a one trick pony. They do their one role very well, but if you want to have some variety...good luck trying to make it work.

Finally, at the bottom, there's Herald (Revenant is not worth talking about), and Engineer. Herald's role is merely to play second fiddle to the other two heavy armor classes. And as for Engineers...

Here's the thing: Engineers were designed to be generalists. They were, in the original design concept, the well-rounded class that doesn't excel in any one, specific role. But the problem is that by doing this, they've now become second to all, and instead of being passable at every role, they're merely horrible at all of them.

And I don't have a solution for this problem. This is a fundamental game design problem where there is no aspect of this game where being a generalist is a good idea. In 1v1, the engineer doesn't have enough damage to break through tanky builds, defense to protect against bursty builds, mobility to run away from kiting builds, or cc to grab the mobile builds. In party situations, the engineer doesn't provide enough unique boons as support and can't put out enough damage as dps.

The reason behind this is that literally none of the Engineer's skills are designed to specialize. All the kits/elixirs/gadgets do a little bit of everything. If these skills were comparable to the equivalent skills in other classes, that would make the Engineers too OP, yet without the ability to specialize, that means the Engineer is always carrying abilities that have some contradictory roles.

Take the recent fail of Rocket Boots. The skill for some reason has a DPS buff, despite that it's designed as a skill for mobility, thus lowering the effectiveness of the mobility skill, while the DPS doesn't actually gain any significant increase.

Engineers need a redesign to fix )

Basically, Engineer needs a clearly defined role in this game, because this game is not friendly towards generalists.
cashew: Nokoru looking drained with a steaming cup of tea and his fingers up in a victory sign (CCD // exhausted)
So, I've been trying a little bit more of WvW, plus trying to unlock Herald on my level 80 Revenant, plus trying to do AB Multi-Loot, plus trying to complete maps. Anyway, point is. I've been doing a lot of different stuff on a lot of different characters and a lot of different professions. So, with that in mind, I'm going to talk a little about the current profession balance.

Point the FIRST: The elite specializations are, almost uniformly, a distinct upgrade, rather than the advertised side-grade that Anet likes to tout. Even in PvE, I can still feel just how much the elite specializations are surpassing the base professions. Areas that used to give me problems are ridiculously easier on the elite specializations. Then, there's the fact that if you look in WvW, there is almost zero base specializations playing, simply because elite specialization is just that much better. Heck, the only time I've seen base professions in WvW is Guardian, and that's probably because Guardian is one of the best balanced professions out of the core classes.

Point the SECOND: Revenant, despite being a base profession, was still easier to run than my elite Scrapper. Even though I didn't spec into full offensive build, I was still killing faster than my Scrapper, who is geared for a much more glassy stat (trinkets and weapons are glassy, while armor is celestial for defense and healing). Just...ugh. Scrapper just takes for-freaking-ever to finish killing a thing, which means it's very easy to get overwhelmed when faced with more than one mob at a time.

Point the THIRD: I could take on a champ hero point by myself on my Chronomancer, thanks to an abundance of alacrity and so, so many clones. The clones serve as a very good distraction from my player character, and I could generate enough clones to avoid ever gaining the champion's aggro. This is absolutely not possible on a Scrapper, who is required to go up and get face-to-face with the enemy. Also, because of how much daze the Chronomancer has via shattering clones, it's kind of disgusting that I can actually take a champion's breakbar down all by myself, whereas the Scrapper will have a hell of a time trying to bring the break bar down by even a little bit.

Point the FOURTH: Using a PvE build, I was able to out-maneuver players as a Chronomancer in WvW. Who has only exotic gear. Whereas my ascended geared Scrapper gets taken out in seconds. And I have more experience with my Scrapper and know the rotation better, and personally think that I know the class much deeper than the Chronomancer, yet, the Chronomancer is much, much easier to use.

Basically, my point is, the Scrapper (including base Engineer) is significantly underpowered compared to the other professions. It's to the point where I would say a Mesmer/Chronomancer is the ideal starter class, because...dear god, that thing is powerful.

cashew: Picture of Riza Hawkeye emptying her guns at the viewer (FMA // die)
While playing GW2, I've kind of already ranted a bit, but since in game chat box is not really conducive to writing long ass complaints on why I hate the story writing, I'm going to go into a little more detail about what's been bugging me about where the GW2 writing has been heading.

First, a little context. Cut for length - click to read. )

Look, I'm not trying to say that the only way to write a game story is to offer customization, but GW2 has billed itself on this. This is how GW2 is trying to stand out from the crowd. This is supposed to be one of the reasons to play GW2 over another MMO, because it gave you a personalized story. GW2 made its bed, and it should be held responsible for lying in it.

And all of that is why I am utterly galled at the trend that started with Heart of Thorns expansion the utter removal of personalization. What is the point of giving us dialogue choice when it doesn't actually change the dialogue? And other than the first instance of the HoT story, everything was set in stone. And not only that, every racial dialogue sounds like it was written for humans.

Why offer us the option to play multiple races only to make it utterly pointless to play them? Why would an Asura just sit around and take it when another Asura is lecturing them? Why would the Asura PC be utterly illiterate in their own racial history? Why would Taimi (Asura NPC) feel the need to dumb down her explanations for a fellow Asura?

And what's most infuriating is that all of this is actually really easy to fix.

Fixing story telling to give the illusion of personalization. )

I know MMO writing is really not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to games, but for fuck's sake, you can do better with even just a little more of giving a damn.
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
People are apparently playing Pokemon Go at Arlington, Holocaust Museum, and Poland Auschwitz Memorial.

For fuck's sake, how can you not realize that it's inappropriate to be playing Pokemon Go in these places? Also, for fuck's sake, why are there Pokemon in these places?


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