A Sincere Farewell

If any of you have been following me on Twitter, you’ve noticed that  I’ve been playing Black Desert Online and it’s really gripped me. I’ve fallen in love with it in the same way that I did with Guild Wars, LOTRO, and Guild Wars 2. I’m enraptured by its unique appeal to allow you to do a huge variety of activities.

With that being said, I have been posting less and less over the past year to the point that this blog is pretty much inactive. So with that, I want to give a huge thank you to a few people/groups.

First of all, thank you to Dragon Season for their support and contacts through the years. They have been (and still are) an astounding team who bring people together over the love for Guild Wars 2.

Secondly, a massive thank you to the people who have stuck through it with me over the years on Twitter. I made some massive changes in my career and life, and you have been amazingly encouraging. I couldn’t have done this without you.

Third, thank you to people like Rubi Bayer, Peter Fries, Bobby Stein, Mr. Barefoot Matthew,  Roy Cronacher, and many others who have shown love and support for the community of Guild Wars 2 (and continue to!).  There’s something that makes you feel special when you have a message or a tweet from one of them. People like this bridge the gap between the idea that ArenaNet is just a company, to the fact that it’s real people, passionately pouring into the game that they so love. These are only the first that come to my mind, but there are many others from ArenaNet who have also reached out, and I am forever thankful.

Fourthly, thank you to my wonderful wife, “Briony” for all of her support in my blogging, my gaming, and the stories that we’ve created together in Tyria. I love you, and couldn’t have done the blogging I did without you.

Fifth, thank you to ArenaNet for making an astounding game that held my attention and heart since its launch in 2012. I stopped playing only for about a month in that entire time. In hindsight, the sheer amount of hours that I’ve invested in this game really show how much it has meant to me.


During depression, anxiety, family challenges, career change, etc. Tyria has been there for me. So thank you ArenaNet. You’ve truly impacted my life through what you’ve created! I will forever find my way back into Tyria time to time, just as I do with LOTRO, because of how much it means to me. During the existence of this blog, ArenaNet highlighted it three times, posting it to Facebook and/or Twitter. It is a huge honour to have a company enjoy what you wrote so much that they would share it with their community.

Finally, thank you to all of you readers who have faithfully read and/or posted on my blog. Without you, all this time of writing wouldn’t have happened.

With my final words of this entire blog, I want to conclude with this:

Be good to one another, both in-game and out. Respect one another, both developers and gamers alike. Instead of tearing down, always build up. Together, make Tyria and/or any world, something greater than reality itself.

Things That Make Guild Wars 2 “Home”

My last three blog posts were specifically about the new expansion and both positive and negative things that it has brought to the game. Although I could add on some more on both sides, I think enough has been said on those.

Recently I’ve been playing a lot of different games to give myself a bit of a break. I’ve been playing:

  • Rift – In spite of a few newer P2W elements that were recently introduced, I’ve been playing around to get an older school MMO fix like other games I used to play.
  • Neverwinter – Even though those dang Astral Diamonds (a form of game currency) take forever and a day to get, and the shop is terribly overpriced.
  • LOTRO – Which is my old home and I have a hard time going back, as I didn’t like the direction once they hit Isengard. It’s pretty desolate now, sadly. I miss the world though, as well as Shadows of Angmar.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 HD – A game I absolutely adored in college, and still really love the dressphere system.
  • Pokemon Omega Ruby – Don’t get me started on my fanboy obsession with this game right now. I got a Mew. Over 15 years later and I finally have a Mew!!!

One thing in those first three really stuck out to me… there are elements that make me rather unhappy compared to Guild Wars 2 that, in spite of feeling a little bored with it as of late, still have set a certain standard in my mind that other games don’t seem to match.

GW2 Changed Things

  1. Gathering Materials
    • I get so sick and tired of running up to an ore node and having someone mine it… and then I get nothing. Guild Wars 2 made it disappointing when that happens in other games. I love being able to mind the same nodes as other people.
  2. Rezzing
    • Alright, in a lot of other games I have the option to rez people, but even in Rift I can’t just click a button and rez someone from a dead state. There’s something fulfilling about helping other people out and to be honest, I find that doing this has made me want to help others in every part of the game if I can.
  3. Quests
    • Ok, so I tell myself I’m going to read quest lines and immerse myself in other games. You know what? I don’t. I really don’t. I try time and time again, but I just can’t sit there and read pages upon pages of text that really doesn’t flavour anything. I’m sure there are other games that do it. LOTRO, I read almost everything I encountered because I genuinely loved the lore and the atmosphere of the game. Guild Wars 2, I find I’ll even stop and read little snippets here and there because I love it. Other MMOs, I just can’t bring myself to do it.
  4. Gear
    • So here I am, thinking that I’m annoyed with Ascended gear and acquiring all the crazy stats that are now available. I get bored of my setup and think “this is going to take forever.” I swap over to other games and realize that if I ever want to actually be useful, I need to raid for hours on end (I abhor raiding in most games, to be honest. It’s not my thing). Get gear, so I can get more gear, to get more gear, and constantly try to get more gear… for what purpose? Yeesh. I can grab exotics in Guild Wars 2 and still be good enough for almost everything in the game. Heck, they even made it possible to change my Ascended gear for a small investment.
    • On this topic, the only two things I could think of that should be changed would be the runes and sigils being unlockable instead of destroyed when you swap ascended, as well as WvW having a PvP Build setup instead of using your actual gear. After playing a few other games though? Wow. I’m spoiled. I’ve got it good.
  5. Exploration
    • The sheer amount of games that are focused on “go from point A to point B” is maddening to me. I love that I can openly explore, choose my own path, and fight my own way through Tyria. It’s exciting that to this day, I can choose what Vistas to see, what enemies to fight, and what part of the Shiverpeaks I want to explore. In many other games, I’m forced to go from point A to point B, collecting a series of quests that eventually turn into senseless clicking instead of immersing myself into an entire world. Even worse are those games where you literally cannot explore and you’re pretty much stuck on rails.

Some Thoughts of Thankfulness

In all honesty, I have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, I have some criticism of the state of Guild Wars 2, but I also have a lot of things I adore that keep me coming back, and are exactly why I call Tyria home. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on this ride for a *very* long time. So today, I feel very excited for what’s in store, and definitely still put my trust that they’ll figure out where they’re going. If there’s one thing I can respect and appreciate about ArenaNet, it’s that they’re always looking to improve on what they have. Do they always get it right? In my opinion, no, but I can immensely respect them for being willing to take risks and step out to do something creative with what they’ve made.

HoT Thoughts – Part 3: Elites and Love

The past month I’ve been writing about the story of Heart of Thorns, as well as the maps–two of the biggest things that HoT brought to the table. It was rather critical, because there are definitely a lot of areas that ArenaNet could work on that would help me enjoy their expansion better.

With that being said, I’m excited to finally share with you my thoughts of what I’ve been loving about Heart of Thorns!

Elite Specializations

One of the biggest changes that Heart of Thorns brought is the elite specializations. Every single one of them brought new things to the table (don’t shoot me yet for that statement). By now, many of you have played most of the elite specializations and have started to see how they change the base professions to at least some extent, so I’ll give some of my (very) brief thoughts on them all!


As someone who mained a Guardian for quite a long time, I was rather disappointed with Dragonhunter. Traps feel more like symbols all over in the sense that they’re stationary rings. I’m not convinced Guard needed this. The longbow? People have been asking for it since launch, and it can be quite powerful. I just find it doesn’t synergize as someone who was a straight up Hammer Guard. The more I played Dragonhunter, the more it seemed like DPS was the focus. Not a bad thing, but it just didn’t click. Since then, I’ve pretty much abandoned my Guardian.


Oh. My. Goodness. I adore this profession, but this brought something radically new to the table with Rangers. I know a lot of people would’ve loved to be able to get rid of their pet for bonuses, but I think ANet took a very interesting route. The Druid is quite possibly the best healer in a game where healing was pretty much useless as a whole. Since raids (which I won’t be touching on), a healing Druid is pretty much meta, and they offer a whole lot more group support than Rangers originally did. It brings something new to the table, for sure, but I also wonder if it makes Druid feel too much like its own new profession all together? Maybe this is a good thing?

Whatever way you lean, I personally find my Druid to be a blast, and the glyphs really give some extra flexibility in playstyle, even if you go DPS.


Ok, I know that I’ve complained on Twitter time and time again about how much I can’t click with Ele, in spite of maining it for an entire year, but let me say this… I FREAKING LOVE TEMPEST. I don’t know why. Those overloads, the Warhorn, and shouts, all give me a great sense that I’m more in control of my toon instead of mindlessly doing a rotation between elements. Right now I’m running a Fresh Air Tempest build, and I’m having way too much fun. The burst is amazing, the support/utility is somewhere between staff and focus, and it’s a fresh take on the Elementalist to me (see what I did there?).


I’m still figuring Reaper out, but I’m getting the picture more and more. I think the Necro needed this a lot. There’s some stability in there, there’s some great melee outside of dagger, and as someone who ran a Power Necro (Wells), I’ve finally put together a build that jumps off of that and makes me more of a beast in melee. I’ve duo’d champions with random players in Auric Basin, so that’s a great start with a profession that I always struggle to be good at, but still love.


I’ve enjoyed most of the elite specs. Heck, I actually really love playing the Daredevil. Dodging and dealing damage, the extra dodge, and the staff as a whole, all really click with how I play the game. The down side? It still doesn’t bring great utility to a group, and it’s still horribly selfish. It makes me wonder how Daredevils do in raids? I don’t really know many that main it.

The biggest issue people have (and I do as well), is that it feels like they took away things from the Acrobatics line that made us great at dodging, and then put it into the Daredevil. There were recently some changes to the Acrobatics line, but I haven’t delved into it much to see if it really helps.

Regardless of that little chip on my shoulder, I actually love how the Daredevil feels. It doesn’t seem to bring great team support still, but it’s a blast to play!


I’ve been looking forward to Scrapper. I played a Power Engi for quite a while there, and suddenly I find I’m not really figuring Scrapper out at all. Gyros seems underwhelming and while the hammer is fun to play, I find my Rifle is much more powerful and useful. To me, that’s an indication that I need more time spent into Scrapper. Does anyone have any advice or ideas on how to use their new weapon and utilities?


Alright, I’m not a Mesmer genius. I’m actually a Mesmer moron, but I try. My wife’s the one that adores Mesmer as well as Chronomancer. Alacrity radically changes a lot of things and gives greater group support to this profession. The wells are well-needed AoEs (look! I did it again!) that were sorely lacking outside of Shatters and Chaos Storm. I personally love the shield, although my wife barely uses it. As a whole, I find it adds on to what already existed for Mesmers and filled in the gap.


Fun. Chop chop. Slicey dicey. I don’t really play Warrior, but I’ve heard a few people say that conditions are now a little more viable with the Berserker, and Berserk adds another fun layer on to how Adrenaline is used. I don’t play Warrior enough to actually give any thoughts on what it does as a whole.


The Revenant

Alright, this is where I really want to get a bit more in-depth, other than a few opinions. Why? Because I main the new profession, the Revenant now. My Guardian has taken the back-seat and become a crafter, and I’ve been able to put some serious effort into building him up. I rolled him, and haven’t been happier. The Revenant has a unique set of weapons:


The Sword is my main go-to weapon. It used to simply be used for auto-attack which wasn’t very engaging and didn’t force you to use your profession mechanic (managing energy–sort of like the Rune Keeper of LOTRO’s class mechanic). The changes now force you to use 2 (Precision Strike) and to use 3 (Unrelenting Assault) very carefully. This is a positive thing.


The Mace is a condition-based weapon that deals Torment and Burning. Although it’s fun, it’s definitely underwhelmed by the Revenant’s sheer ability to tear through things with its Power and Ferocity stats.


The Staff is a support weapon. People have to get this through their heads very quickly. A lot of complaint at the beginning was how little damage it did (which they may have buffed at one point). It’s honestly my favourite weapon of all, considering it has a condition cleanse, CC control (they totally nerfed it though… at launch, you could tear through a Legendary Wyvern’s CC bar and break it with one attack), and a few other CC abilities. It also drops healing orbs with its auto-attack. Frankly, staff is my favourite weapon in the entire game and is a lot of fun!

Hammer (Ranged)

A hammer as a ranged weapon is one of the most amazing ideas ever. It feels hilariously awesome. They’ve recently attempted to fix 2 (Coalescence of Ruin) since it was critting for way too much and hitting way too many people, especially in PvP. It was over the top and needed a nerf. I do believe it still needs a few more tweaks though.

Axe (Off-hand)

Axe is also condition-focused and pairs well with Mace or Sword, depending on your build. Its 4 (Frigid Blitz) is amazing for shadowstepping and is very satisfying to use. Axe 5 (Temporal Rift) is fun to use, causes some Torment, and pulls foes into it (giving a CC side to it). I haven’t used Axe in a while for Shield (coming in a bit here) , but it’s definitely a fun go-to.

Sword (Off-hand)

Sword off-hand is ok, I suppose. The block on 4 doesn’t seem all that significant, and 5 (Grasping Shadow) is rather clunky and strange since it’s so single-targeted. I may play around with it again soon since I’ve been getting bored of my Shield.

Along with this, the Revenant also brings four Legendary “stances”:

  1. Ventari – A healing tablet you can move around, cleanse conditions, and destroy projectiles. It’s a little awkward because you have to constantly be moving your tablet around for healing and positioning, which is challenging in big boss fights. Regardless of that, it’s my favourite legend to run (even though I don’t ever use it since there are better options).
  2. Shiro – An assassin stance that is focused on quick attacks and movement, as well as a powerful CC with its elite (costing 50 out of your 100 max energy) called Jade Winds. I run this legend constantly, and for good reason.
  3. Mallyx – A strange condition-based legend that needs some tweaking, especially since some of its traits are still based on what it was before HoT’s release–taking lots of conditions on itself and creating conditions so you could spread them to others. Not much to say here.  Resistance is a great boon, but Mallyx needs some Dev love still.
  4. Jalis – Supposedly the tanking legend, Jalis has a few elements of healing, some condition removal, a taunt, damage mitigation, and

The Herald – Revenant’s Elite

The Herald brings in another level of power to the Revenant. Given that the Revenant was built with the Elite Spec in mind (compared to the other professions), I find that Herald is almost needed, and you feel gimped if you don’t run Herald. It brings a few things:

  1. Glint Legend – Facets that you activate like a signet but create new skills to use. Facets take energy to maintain and share boons to people around you. Using the next skill will cancel the boon-sharing ability of said facet and create an effect, such an AoE that burns and chills, or healing you for all damage done to you for a few seconds.
  2. Shield – The shield brings some interesting skills, but given the recent nerf to Crystal Hibernation (which blocks all damage and heals you periodically while you’re rooted and blocking), I’m finding it not as good anymore. I don’t really use the 4 on shield and honestly, I find myself using it more because I have the Flameseeker Prophecies (which, thematically, works so amazingly well together with Glint).
  3. Traits – The traits are pretty useful to any build, like increased damage per boon on you, gaining toughness for each point of upkeep you have (be careful if you’re in a raid), stun breaking nearby allies if you stun break, etc. I find as a whole, it’s a no-brainer and radically improves the Revenant.


HoT has brought quite a bit of content, but most of it has been gated in time or massive amounts of grinding. Thankfully, the Elite Specs are built in a way that are fairly accessible if you just start getting some hero challenges done in the HoT areas (which most aren’t as daunting as you’d think, and people have an incentive to help since they get rewarded daily for helping with a hero challenge). I would say that of all things, the elite specializations are the best thing Heart of Thorns has brought to Guild Wars 2. The problem? There is a sense of a power creep here, where those who are F2P or haven’t yet purchased HoT are going to notice that they’re underpowered in WvW and PvP.

I’d say as a whole that from these three blog posts that Heart of Thorns is both a success, and a struggle. They brought some amazing content with some serious blaring flaws. There are some great things that have been offered, but some areas that myself, as a gamer and consumer, am left longing for something more. Because of my time zone and work life, I’m not able to play how and when they want me to play.

I think overall, they’ve created a good base with the mastery system on where they can go. Hopefully, Heart of Thorns is a bold step in a direction they can tweak to work for the masses, and deliver us bigger and more engaging content than what HoT offered.

For now, I’ll play my Herald, finish my dailies, and cross my fingers for what Living Story 3 will do for the game as a whole.

HoT Thoughts – Part 2: The Jungle

DISCLAIMER: This post contains spoilers. If you have not finished the Heart of Thorns Story and Maps and do not wish for spoilers, I suggest reading after you’ve completed them.

Last week I took some time to write about the story in Heart of Thorns. Specifically, it was the most critical of this 3-part series about my HoT thoughts. This week I want to talk a little bit more about the story, as well as the open world, events, maps.

HoT Thoughts – Story (the good)

Last week you may have noticed that my views on the story were highly critical, and could possibly be mistaken as negative. While yes, I believe that there are some not-so-well-done elements of the story, there are some amazing things as well!

Recently I decided to bring my Necromancer through a bit of the story as a Reaper, and I remembered how much I absolutely love that your character speaks. This is huge. They converse, express thoughts, and vocalize their experience as they step through the journey to the Heart of Thorns.

Furthermore, I love that there are some minor choices that change the direction. Verdant Brink gives you this option with either going out with Tizlak or defending the Itzel village in Chapter 4: The Jungle Provides. Sure, it’s small, but it definitely lets you have multiple experiences of the story as you do it on alts.

Finally, I really love that not everything is instanced. You are engaged with the world around you, since the story itself isn’t just tied to the chapters you complete, but also to the meta events that take place. Each map itself is a part of what’s happening in the giant narrative of Heart of Thorns.

Moving on, HoT radically changed a lot of things in Guild Wars 2. Some for the better, some for the worse. I’ll step through some thoughts from each

Open World

Verdant Brink

This is probably my favourite map in terms of the meta event. If you haven’t played it, the Pact is scattered and need to set up encampments. During the day, you’ll be completing meta events to establish these encampments throughout the map. During the night, rally points are established that require that you claim them, deliver pact supplies, and escort pact soldiers to boost the supply level. Like the meta events in the day cycle, these contribute to the map meta level at night. After a certain point, choppers are placed at the rally points and encampments, and you can go up to the canopy and fight a set of bosses that also contribute to the map meta completion (up to Tier 4).

This is an astoundingly well done map meta because there is always something going on. I’d say of all the events, this is the one that’s done perfectly well. Sure, you may not get Tier 4 rewards if you’re not on a great map, but there is always something happening that’s worth doing. I find of all the maps, I end up back here the most.

Auric Basin

This is a beautiful map, and quite possibly the most beautiful of all of them. Exalted are all around the map, and Tarir is absolutely gorgeous. The problem that arises is the need to taxi into a good map to make the map worth the events. I won’t go into the detail of the rest of the map metas, but this one is a weird mixture of Vinewrath, Marionette, and the Ogre Guild Challenge.

It’s actually a really fun meta event that’s pretty easy to do if people cooperate,  but the issue is that the map is rendered rather worthless unless you do Hero Challenges every day for Aurillium (10 per repeatable challenge), or taxi to a better map. The good part is that of all of the meta events, this seems to be the easiest to get into and to do. The down side? Nothing else happens if it’s not the meta event.

Tangled Depths

As you get further into the jungle, you hit Tangled Depths. This is actually my favourite map in the entire game because of its complexity. It’s beautifully done, full of mobs to destroy, and has a lot of nooks and crannies outside of the Ley-Line Confluence Waypoint where the meta event happens. Some find it highly confusing, but once you’ve explored quite a bit, navigating gets much easier.

There are two issues I see with this map though:

1. Meta is Everything

Like Auric Basin, the meta event is all that matters here. You won’t find events worthwhile to do unless it’s hero challenges, which will net you some Ley Line Crystals, the currency for this map. To me, this is a huge down side though since the meta for this map isn’t ongoing. At least with Auric Basin, there’s a progressive meta with very little down time. You can always get in. This one? The meta builds up fairly quickly, only to end abruptly if one lane should fail (more on that in a minute here).

2. Wham-Bam, Thank You, Meta

Harsh, but that’s how I feel this meta event is. I actually LOVE doing the Chak Gerent battle. Problem? It’s every two hours, meaning I rarely ever get to attempt it. It’s also extremely difficult compared to all the other metas in HoT, and you need it for some collections. I’ll be blunt and say that this is a poor design, and should be looked at again.

The map meta starts with pulling different lanes together, consisting of Rata Novus, Ogres, Nuhoch, and S.C.A.R. These events pull together pretty quick. Then every two hours the event takes place… for a very brief time.

You see, multiple lanes gather to face the Gerent, each having a different mechanic to get the Gerent up for a burn phase. This happens a few times, with multiple opportunities to fail. Should one lane fail, the entire group fails. Some lanes like S.C.A.R. are simply DPS checks as opposed to being heavily mechanic-based.

It’s hard to explain my feelings for this. I honestly feel that Tangled Depths is too long between meta events, too insignificant in the grand scheme of the map (it runs for what… 20 minutes, if that?), is too important for collections when it’s that infrequent, and is far too difficult for how important it is. I enjoy the idea behind it, but it relies too much on way too many people doing it perfectly, when you don’t get enough time to practice.

Overall, I love the map itself… it just feels empty and purposeless in the grand scheme, as if it were forgotten about. Also, if you want to do the meta? Taxi in an hour before, other wise there’s no hope.

Yeah. I want to play the expansion by standing around, waiting for a 15 minute meta event that’s most likely going to fail. Thrilling.

Dragon’s Stand

This is the shining beacon of excitement in terms of the design of meta events. The entire battle pulls together the entire map meta stories and joins all the races and groups together (even the Nightmare Court) in a final assault against Mordremoth. Well, specifically, the Mouth of Mordremoth. If anything, this is one epic battle that culminates in an amazing raid-like boss fight with great mechanics. Is it hard? Absolutely not. Is it fun? Completely.

The big problem? That this expansion should have been called Guild Wars 2: Heart of the Taxi. You need to taxi into this map as well to make any use of it, and it has a two hour time limit to succeed. Reality is, I rarely get to do this one as well because of real life. I have a job, kids, and things to do, so when I have a few hours at night to actually play, I don’t get to touch Tangled Depths or Dragon’s Stand. It’s sad, because this place is amazing.

If you haven’t done DS, you need to. Take some time, sit down, and enjoy the giant war that is the siege on Mordremoth.

A Few Thoughts

I really do love Heart of Thorns, but the extreme need to taxi for events, the long wait time between many meta events, and the lack of maps outside of these four, is really one of the biggest down sides of Heart of Thorns. Yes, you get four maps that have some serious events to them, but if you don’t get into a good map, you don’t get to play a large chunk of the expansion. This type of taxi-gating is infuriating at times and has, in some moments, made me wonder why I purchased Heart of Thorns.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I bought the expansion and you’ll see why next week, but there are definitely some frustrations. This expansion is not perfect, but I think it’s a great start. When you do get to experience a lot of metas, you’ll find that they’re quite engaging and exciting, with some fun mechanics to them. Are they game-changers? Definitely not.

HoT Thoughts – Part 1: The Story

It’s been two months since Heart of Thorns was released for Guild Wars 2, and I’ve found myself with mixed feelings. I’ve decided to write three posts, giving my thoughts on HoT and what I’ve experienced.

DISCLAIMER: These three posts will contain spoilers. If you have not finished the Heart of Thorns Story and do not wish for spoilers, I suggest reading these posts after you’ve completed them.

Of the three posts, this one will be the longer, and I will focus specifically with the critical side of Heart of Thorns’ story.


The Story

I have to admit that the story of Heart of Thorns felt absolutely amazing to me. I was completely built up from the Living Story since Scarlet attacked Lion’s Arch in her Breachmaker, and woke up Mordremoth. I was actually completely sold to the storyline and all that was happening. I patiently waited since February to see what was going to happen with our dreaded Jungle Dragon.

When Heart of Thorns launched, I quickly rolled my Revenant (thoughts to come in Part 2), went through the main story, and moved on to the HoT story. It consisted of 16 parts, most of which were quite quick.

Prologue: Rally to Maguuma – In Their Footsteps

The first few chapters are focused on the Pact being torn apart from Mordremoth’s retaliation. Sylvari are being corrupted, Destiny’s Edge is scattered, and everything in the jungle is unknown. Your character, along with Destiny’s Edge 2.0, begin their search in the jungle.

I love the first few chapters because it really pulls you in. You get captivated in all that’s going on, feel the sense of the struggle that Sylvari are facing with Mordremoth’s call, and see how torn apart everything really is. The atmosphere for the Verdant Brink section as a whole is absolutely amazing. I think they did a top-notch job on it, and it’s a great experience.

Prisoners of the Dragon

The only thing I have to say about this story step (remember, I warned you about incoming SPOILERS), is that the death in this story is… uhh… random? Forced? I mean, Faolain is selfish and a little crazy, and I understand that she would throw anyone under in order to save herself, but she didn’t feel like Faolain at all. Perhaps Mordremoth’s voice was getting to her? If that’s the case, it should have been better explained. Yay. She stabs Eir so she can get away. It just felt like they wanted to kill someone to make the player “feel.”

Although I was shocked, I felt like it was a copout.

Of course, I definitely did feel with Braham’s reaction. Would’ve been a great time for him to become a Dragonhunter and tie in some lore to the profession.

Prized Possessions – The Way In

From here, the team moves into Auric Basin. I adored the city, the map, and the exalted (although I still think they should have brought in a bit more lore by making some tie-in with the Mursaat, but it seems that they don’t want to tie into old lore from Guild Wars 1. It’s been pretty obvious that they want to make new lore, and any references seem to be just throwing us Guild Wars 1-lovers a bone.

Side Note: What the heck is with your character hating on Caithe? Instead of asking what’s going on, your character immediately villainizes her. It’s uncharacteristic with the experiences from the story dungeons and the Personal Story. What in the world? Even in the end, you act like she’s a worse creature than Mordremoth…

The trials were pretty exciting and fun to do. I enjoy how the chase with Faolain, and the trials were all unique mechanics instead of just straight up “spam 1” type stuff. Highly enjoyable!

The story is pretty straight-forward until you reach Rata Novus. You’re looking for your team and friends while trying to survive. The Exalted are activated from the egg being nearby and will protect it while you follow Taimi into Rata Novus.

I’m not spending a lot of time on this section of the story, as it was enjoyable and straight-forward. My wife and I were pretty happy while we did this section of the story.

The Way In – Bitter Harvest

Here’s where things get… weird. So you’re in Rata Novus after your journey through Tangled Depths (which I actually enjoyed as well–Tizlak 4 Prez), and discover that apparently, they were researching dragons and found stuff. Dragons have a weakness.

Voila, magic, suddenly we know we can defeat Mordremoth, so let’s go in guns-a-blazin’ and attack. Out of nowhere, we have no clue what the weaknesses are but clearly they all have one, so uhh.. yeah. Hoorah. Go team.

I adore Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet, and the people that work there, but I have to admit that this is the biggest plothole I’ve ever seen in the game. “They have a weakness” is not a valid enough reason to charge forward and start attacking a freaking dragon. There has to be something more given than that. It’s like there were supposed to be a few more chapters but they got cut because of time constraints. “Our job is to find out how they can be killed.” Onward, ho!

After we leave Rata Novus, we find pods and such where Logan and Zojja are being held, and we rescue them both.

We find Trahearn, kill Faolain-Vinetooth-thing that was protecting him, and I had hoped it would have been a more engaging battle. Still, glad she was gone. That was just… weird.

Mordremoth rips Trahearne out of our grasp and we follow into… THE HEART OF THORNS!!! *Ominous-yet-epic music*

Hearts and Minds

We encounter Trahearne who’s kinda… half-absorbed… and we have to figure out (after understanding that Mordremoth isn’t just a dragon, but he’s the jungle itself) how we’re going to kill him.

“Ummm… he does jedi mind tricks on the sylvari so uhh… hey. Let’s ummm… go inside his mind and kill him there!”

Wait… wut? It kind of comes out of nowhere. Like your character has some magical epiphany. Allow me to have a small rant, if you will.

I hate when people scream: “Ewww it’s a trope!” as if they’re a critic. Tropes are not a bad thing. So before you scream “trope! bad writing!”, stop and ask if it was used well. Things can be stereotypically classic and still be a wonderful story. How tropes are used is what makes them good or bad. That being said, this deus ex machina they pulled was probably the worst thing I’ve seen in Guild Wars 2. It’s honestly like they were going to work up to it and ran out of time.

This moment is what left a terribly bitter taste in my mouth for the story. It fell flat. On the flip-side, the mechanics of the fight were amazing.

I loved how Mordremoth’s envisioning of himself was shown. He’s a freaking Draconian. For those of you who complain that he was some potato lump, methinks you need to raise your graphic settings, because he looked awesome (just my opinion, but I was pleased). The mechanics of the battle, having to glide around, and having to use the rifts to gain control, were all absolutely amazing. Playing that whole instance was epic. It was a lot of fun, and definitely showed what they’re capable of in terms of mechanics. So in spite of the story falling flat, the fight with Mordremoth was amazing.

My Big Fat Issue(s)

Mordremoth is… dead? Like, that’s it? All this build up and there’s no epic fight (yes, I get the Dragon’s Stand battle with the Mouth of Mordremoth… which is the best thing in Guild Wars 2 right now). I expected a story struggle, and massive revelations about story things like:

  • Where’s Magdaer? Well, Eir’s dead, so whatever.
  • Mursaat? People have been asking. Some kind of tie-in would’ve been good.
  • Revenant! We’d love to know what happened with Rytlock? Oh wait. I bet he doesn’t even know.
  • Mordremoth is dead. Seriously. Did they think it was dragged out enough? We woke an elder dragon and then “Poof!” Just like that, he’s dead. So now what? We’ll have to wait until Living Story 3, I guess?
  • Rata Novus had so much potential, but we barely spend any time there.
  • The Caithe-hating doesn’t mesh with the entire story up until now.
  • Wait, where’s that big vine creature from the trailer? It was made up for nothing, and then not included? Would’ve been way more epic if that had been Mordremoth.
  • Sylvari being corrupted really seems to fade into the background after Verdant Brink. It doesn’t affect anything.
  • The random solution to kill Mordremoth was way too cheesy and unfounded.
  • The story felt way too quick for something called an “Expansion.” It was more like a Living Story set than what I’d consider Expansion-worthy.


In spite of that criticism, I actually really did enjoy the story as a whole and will do it again as a Sylvari, just for a different view on things. Hopefully it adds even more to the story than what I saw. Now that Part 1 is done, be sure to look for Parts 2 and 3, which will become progressively more positive as they go on. I intentionally wanted to get my biggest issues out of the way so I could end with what I love about the expansion!

It’s Been a While

What a journey it’s been, the past year. I’ve pretty much been absent from blogging, trying to keep up with Traveller Thursday and even failing at that. To be honest, I went through quite a challenging time in changing careers with a tremendous lack of support in RL circles. Thankfully, so many of you have been extremely supportive and helpful. I’ve found people in Tyria and on Twitter who have helped me keep my head above water during the change to become an electrician and regain some sanity.

So to those who have helped support me, I thank you! There are those of you who I feel are more friends to me than those I know in RL. It’s amazing how a game, and the internet, can bring people together to support each other in ways that we couldn’t imagine!

With that, I want to begin a small journey of slowly sharing some thoughts on the Guild Wars 2 Expansion, Heart of Thorns. First, I’ve got a lot of exciting new things that have happened the past while!

  1. If you haven’t noticed on my constant Twitter rants about Heart of Thorns, I rolled a Revenant.
    gw224Now seriously, Vice Kormiss is my new main. I took all of Asmund’s gear and moved it over to him. Every. Last. Piece. Everything about Revenant just fits for me!Heck, I played through the entire personal story before entering Heart of Thorns, just to make sure he was caught up!
  2. I got the Flameseeker Prophecies (if you didn’t notice in the picture above)! My wife put a lot of work in while I was changing careers to help me get this shield once I found out that the Herald can use it!! After playing Herald in Beta, I was sold to the feel of Herald and the shield. Guess what? I use it all the time. Juggernaut is still my favourite weapon, but Flameseeker has always taken a close second.
  3. Wintersday was fun! My wife had an amazing idea to use the Human Male Wedding Outfit to create… well… just look and see how amazing this is:
  4. Finally, I joined a new guild [POW] who have been an absolute blast and have had crazy amounts of fun events and activities. It’s nice to be around people that are easy-going, no drama, and no pressure or stress. Definitely been feeling welcome. Way too many laughs already.

So that’s a small taste into what I’ve been up to. I’ll be posting more as time goes on. It won’t be the usual weekly updates I used to do, but I’m getting more… better… and will be posting more frequently as time goes on!

Traveller Thursday #16

Lately I’ve been rediscovering my love for finding beautiful shots in Tyria. Here’s some of the latest glimpses into the eye candy that is Tyria for this week’s #TravellerThursday!

I recently helped my friend, Isarii, with one of the Living Season 2 quests (he was getting an achievement). I had forgotten how much I love Glint’s lair and honestly, I want to go back and play through the entire Living Story and Personal Story now. So much to see and experience! Just waiting for HoT to drop so I can do it with my Revenant!


Starting off, I wanted to share some of Glint’s Realm!


As you can see, it contains what is quite possibly the most vivid and wonderful sights in all of existence.


I must admit though, I really wanted to jump…


But it’s amazing. Really. It is. Ok, ok. I’ll move on. 😉


I took this beauty during the Guild Puzzle in Plains of Ashford!


A little taste of Harathi, which is one of my favourite maps in the game for scenery.


Finally, a glimpse at how awesome Southsun really is if you can find a moment to take it in. You know, before you get squashed by Karka.

And that’s it for this week! Be sure to tweet your first-person screenshots to @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday to get a retweet! I’d love to see what you’ve come up with!

Traveller Thursday #15

Time for yet another #TravellerThursday! I hope you enjoy some of the first-person sights I’ve been able to take in-game!


A beautiful scene from Silverwastes, I do believe! The entire Maguuma Wastes is beautiful in its own strange way.


There was something about this bridge and view that I absolutely love! There have been times that I’ve actually stopped and stared for a while because I love it so much.


Fort Salma…. those feels.


Of all the places in Guild Wars 2, the entire Shiverpeaks are #1 for me. Mountains, the snow, and the views. You can imagine how much I love Skyrim. I currently only have Skyrim on my 360, but one day I’ll have it to mod on my PC. One day…

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my sights, and I’d love to see YOURS! Make sure you tweet your first-person screenshots from Guild Wars 2 to @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday to get yours retweeted and shared with the rest of Twitter!

Traveller Thursday #14

Yet another week of #TravellerThursday is here for your enjoyment! Here are some screens I took from the Beta Weekend event this past month:


Anyone else creeped out by the eyes of the Itzel? I know I am. Buggy eyed creatures. (They’re kinda cute).


The artwork and detail in Heart of Thorns looks to be amazing. I’m hoping that the Verdant Brink is the ‘worst’ of the artwork and graphics. If that’s the case, I’m going to be in jungle heaven.


Trogdor the Burninator was here.


So this has nothing to do with Heart of Thorns, but the fog is breathtaking. I love the entire atmosphere around the swamp in Queensdale!

Getting back into doing #TravellerThursday has really helped me relive the beauty and excitement that the game brings to me. I hope it’s been doing the same for you!

Make sure that you share your first-person screenshots with @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday to possibly get a retweet, and to share your experiences and sights with rest of Tyria and the Twitterverse!

Traveller Thursday #13

Yet another week of #TravellerThursday continues. Here is a scattershot of first-person screenshots I’ve found throughout Tyria.


A group of us went into Arah P4. As I tried to take a picture, my wife lovingly decided to get all mesmery. I swear, whenever you try to take a picture or screenshot, there’s always someone that has a gravitational pull towards you.


I have a strange thing for ruins and architecture. I’m pretty sure this one is from AC!


I WvW a lot, but I’ve never noticed these figures on the walls of Garrison. Definitely amazing detail as always. There’s a reason I love Guild Wars 2.


GET TO THE CHOPPA! …that is all.


All these years, and I’ve never noticed the Tengu wall near the Destroyers in Kessex Hills. It’s amazing how many details I miss, even to this day.

That’s it for this week!

Be sure to tweet your first-person screenshots to @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday to share your discoveries and sights with all of Tyria and beyond!