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. ūüėČ


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 #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!

Traveller Thursday #12

Hello fellow travellers! Excited to share with you a few screenshots for #TravellerThursday! I know it’s been a long time, but I’m excited to have made a few life changes that are helping me sort out my energy levels. So here goes:


When the new Lion’s Arch came out, I went crazy with screenshots. Here’s the new¬†Black Lion Trading Company!


I couldn’t help but peek into the Guild Headquarters. Mind you, there’s a way to sneak in there but my guildies ported me.


One day Omhaxx and Glorra, our Asura, shall get married there!


There’s something perplexing yet mystifying about this screenshot to me. I can’t put my finger on it, but it looks strange but wonderful.


This is one of the most breathtaking views in Guild Wars 2. The sea, the gloomy air, and the beautiful architecture in the distance. I sometimes stop and stare at this screenshot for a while.

And that’s it for this week! Glad to be back with you guys.

Be sure to tweet your first-person screenshots to @gw2traveller with the hashtag, #TravellerThursday to share them with the rest of Tyria and beyond!

Traveller Thursday #11

Excited to share another #TravellerThursday with all of you! Here are some beautiful snaps of Tyria that I’ve managed to find.


There’s something about the Shiverpeaks that makes me feel quite at peace.


Fish heads, fish heads. Roly poly fish heads.


Just a small sight I thought was pretty.


It had been a while since I had a WvW shot, so here you go!


Every time I’m in the Grove, I’m blown away by the beauty of the place.


I honestly don’t remember seeing this before, so I figured I’d post it last minute! It’s found in the Brisban Wildlands.

Do you have any great first-person screenshots to share with the world? Be sure to tweet them to @gw2traveller with the hashtag, #TravellerTyria to possibly get a retweet and show it off with your fellow Tyrians in the Twitterverse!


As a disclaimer, I hope that you all take this with a grain of salt, realizing that I’m speaking more to myself about this than anybody else, so here goes…

I find that we, as people, are always dissatisfied.¬†Lately I’ve been thinking about my posts on wondering what’s even happening with Heart of Thorns. I’m very thankful that a lot has been revealed so far about elite specializations and the specialization system as a whole,¬†but I can’t help but still feeling dissatisfied. I try to log in and although I’ve had a bit of renewed excitement over my Guard by trying different weapon sets and builds in WvW (yet I keep going back to a Hammer + something Medi Guard for roaming), I still feel like things are lacking.

Being the introspective person I am, it’s got me wondering… what’s my issue with where things are at in Guild Wars 2 right now? Is it actually ArenaNet, or is it me? Am I entitled for wanting more content, even though they’ve released quite a bit over the years? (Yes, I stand by that) Am I wrong in feeling like I want¬†more content now? It’s really hard to know. Everyone has an opinion on it, and I’m not sure if my expectations are a little too crazy.

Part of me really misses the Living Story updates because of the small “sandboxy” feel to it. Perhaps, I’m just impatient as a whole for Heart of Thorns to come out because of all that’s been promised?

As a whole, I feel restless with where we’re at, and part of that is the excitement for something fresh and new. It makes me wonder: “Are we ever really satisfied, as gamers?”

I mean, as soon as things are released these days, we begin asking about expansions or DLC before we even complete it. We push through to get as much as possible, consuming content like a swarm of locusts, and rarely stop to smell the roses and truly appreciate what the developers have done to create the game. Isn’t that what Guild Wars 2 was originally supposed to be about? The journey? Exploration? Discovery? Heck, even recently I discovered a beautiful location in the Grove I never knew existed:

gw364So why is it that I feel tired of Silverwastes, Dry Top, dungeons, making a legendary, etc? Probably because I have it in my mind that I need to chase the carrot. It’s been conditioned in my head by games my whole life. Better loot, more power, and more “stuff” for the sake of stuff.

Is this actually the way to enjoy things though? It’s like the rat race all over again. We push and push in real life to have more and more money so we can have more and more things so we can work harder to get the things we achieve to have more objects that’ll never make us feel happy because we’re constantly searching for something more and still feel like we’ve come up short because we haven’t savoured the journey. (That massive run-on sentence is very intentional…)

I’m really asking myself as to whether I’m going to enjoy what’s offered to me, or end up going crazy and getting sick of the game? If it’s a constant grind for gold and more “things,” then I’m going to lose interest. I think I need to step back and enjoy what has been created, whether it’s little things in Hoelbrak or hidden gems in Malchor’s Leap.

Ultimately, while I wait for Heart of Thorns to release, the biggest problem is me–I keep wanting more, but more always seems like too much work.

Is it possible for me to simply be happy with what I have in Guild Wars 2?


There you have it, people. Some random, unedited, free-writing from the brain things inside my head. Does it resonate with you? Have you asked that question about chasing the carrot at the end of the stick? Where are you at? Post your questions or comments below, because I’d love to hear from you!

Traveller Thursday #9

Excited to share this week’s #TravellerThursday for you all to see!


Such a beauty in DR!


There’s a reason this is an RP-hub!


Does anyone else find the Brand creepily beautiful?


Approaching quietly, a hidden grove with a hidden purpose…


The glimpse of Brand-free light sparkles through.


At the center of the grove lies a solitary tree, brimming with magical energy…


…and memories of a lost friend…


As the wind blows quietly, you hear a single name echo through the breeze… “Killeen”

Oh the memories. I have to say that Ghosts of Ascalon is an astounding book worth reading!

Be sure to share your first-person screenshots to show off the beauty of Tyria by tweet @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday!

Huntin’ Them Dragons

So last week’s craze was the Dragonhunter (which I’m going to flat out say that I actually adore the name. Lettin’ my inner hipster out, you know?). I have to admit that I didn’t see the livestream. Things have been so busy lately that I just haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and watch it. What I am going to say though is that I’m extremely excited.

What I’m learning about all of the elite specializations so far is that they’re trying to bring something very unique to the mechanics of the profession.¬†I never got the opportunity to blog about the Chronomancer and honestly, I’m not really qualified to speak there as I’m a horrible Mesmer. Now the Guardian, I see a lot of potential here. Long-ranged support¬†sounds really intriguing to me (as the Staff is more close-ranged than long due to its auto-attack). It seems to me that there¬†will be more opportunities for players to create and fill in more roles, especially with new utilities.

For instance, many have complained about how the DH is getting traps and a Longbow, which will detract from the value of a Ranger. I’m not quite convinced of this, but I think the Druid is going to be a game-changer for the Ranger… to create tremendous danger, even though it’ll be stranger to¬†have this kind of re-arranger to use staff as a game-changer.

…I need more coffee. Anyway, the Guardian may or may not step on the toes of Rangers but as a Guardian main, I’m not quite worried. I see the worry for some though.

Honestly, I don’t have too much to say on the specializations other than “I like the¬†idea,” so let’s see how it plays out. Until I can get my hands on playing with the DH, it’s all theory–and I’m the type of person that theory isn’t usually very meaningful or useful for me. Call me an existentialist, but that plays into my gaming as well.

I’ll leave the theorycrafting and potential impact to those who are more intelligent in that area. For me, I’m just excited about the idea of a long-ranged weapon (sorry, scepter in my mind is still close-range considering its uses) that will help me support better. My real hope is that this is going to change how we look at the game by making support valuable.

Perhaps I’m rambling and make no sense (pounding headache today). All I have to say is that I’m excited about where Dragonhunter’s going and how it looks. This week? This week we’re going to hear about the Necromancer elite specialization. Excitement!

Traveller Thursday #7

It’s yet another wonderful week of #TravellerThursday!! Here are some of the¬†fun screenshots I’ve managed to capture over the past week.


Ahh. The Shiverpeaks. My favourite places in the entire game. I actually get physically cold when I’m here though.


Accidentally took a picture with my wife’s Asura on there. Turned out pretty awesome!


oooooOOOOooooo… pretty water.


I have a thing for architecture in games. ‚̧ Also, look at that flame!


So this was the first time I’ve *ever* noticed flame around the temple. Clearly, I am observant.


The stone. Those vines. The beauty! The Straits of Devastation actually have quite a few beautiful places in it. Take some time to check it out yourself!


Also in the Straits. What is this? An Asura gate? I wish there was more lore and backstory to it!

Do you have some First-Person Screenshots to share? Be sure to hashtag them to @gw2traveller with #TravellerThursday to get a retweet so we can show off the beauty of Tyria to the world!

Specializations: The Traveller’s Take

Everybody is full of speculation and excitement over the new specialization system that’s going to radically change our current trait system. My thoughts on the changes to the trait system by causing us to unlock them were…¬†less than pleased. If you check my post at this link, you’ll see that I wasn’t the happiest over the changes.

Still, it appears that ArenaNet have heard the cries of many and have been secretly working on something completely new.

Recently in this ReadyUp episode, a lot of new information was given¬†about specializations, and a lot of great things were shown. Mind you, I honestly haven’t had the chance to sit down for four hours and listen to it all, but a few things have stood out to me from what I’ve read, seen, and heard.

Simplicity is Good

Now, several hardcore players may hate how the new system is going to look. Currently, you can put points into as many trees as you want, so long as the points add up to no more than 14. 14 shall be the number. 15 thou shalt not count, neither shalt thou count to 13 excepting that thou then proceedeth to 14. 16 is right out.

With each tier, you can then add one of the previous traits to a new tier. For instance, if you put four points in and unlock a Master level trait, you can slot it with either a Master trait from that line, or even an Adept trait. Grandmaster gives you the option to slot any of the traits from that line.

Well… that’s going to change.

If you look at the image that I’ve linked from the Guild Wars 2 website, you’ll see that you only get three trait options per tier instead of the current five bajillion (I ran the numbers).

At first I thought: “this is insanely restrictive,” but my impression is that they’re amalgamating a lot of current traits that aren’t used, as well as some that have become overly necessary. For example, the Necromancer’s Focused Rituals which allows them to select where they cast their Wells will become¬†baseline. It will naturally happen without the need for a trait. This then frees up the Necromancer to choose where he’s going to specialize without feeling forced into a certain trait line or specific trait–in theory.

I’m a skeptic, so people may still feel forced into it, especially if you’re a hardcore speed runner. That’s not my deal, so I’m not concerned about ‘meta.’ Players will still find their favourite combinations and favourite traits, and I think that’s ok. I do think that there are quite a few benefits to this sort of system:

  • It allows new players to understand the system much more efficiently.
  • It will become even easier for ArenaNet to balance on a PvP-level because of the simplicity.
  • It becomes even easier to change traits on the fly due to the visual patterns, the beautiful artwork of every unique trait, and the simplicity of only three trees.

Yes, you heard me. Only three trees at a time. No more 22442 builds (because you know how often we all run those). I’ve heard some people concerned, but I think limiting yourself to three trees isn’t all that crazy anyway. My Guard build is usually 00446, my Necromancer is 62006, and my Engineer is now 62024, which is my only one that branches into four trees. So honestly, I don’t think I’ll be too hurt, especially from some of the amalgamation, which is officially my word of the day.

So I’m excited for what’s to come with the simplicity of the matter.

1337 Specs

So the elite specializations are what intrigue me the most. So far we know that Ranger will get “Druid” and will be able to use a Staff. Many suspect Engineer with a hammer (well, it’s unconfirmed but you can see it in the Heart of Thorns trailer), and Guild Wars 2 released a beautiful work of art with what looks like a Mesmer holding a shield.

Every single specialization is going to receive a new weapon, so long as they are using that specific specialization. Now, this sort of concerns me.

Does this give an edge to those who don’t purchase Heart of Thorns?¬†Is it too hard to balance¬†a Ranger using a staff if they haven’t specialized into Druid? I’d be curious as to why they are approaching it the way they do. Many people will feel pretty compelled to be specced into the elites. Of course, if they’re that powerful, that will be very identifiable in PvP and WvW. If you see a Necromancer running at you with a Greatsword equipped, you know that he’s using the elite specialization, “Marjory Wannabe.”

Until I have more information on the elites, I don’t think I can make any calls on all of this, other than “my Engineer will be amazing because Juggernaut.” Insta-win. I’m happy!

I digress.

Pre-Expansion Release

One of my favourite things that Jon Peters said in the entire ReadyUp is that the specialization system (not the elite specializations) is going live before Heart of Thorns releases. This is extremely important, in my opinion.

  1. This gives the opportunity for working out bugs and issues that inevitably¬†will come up. Reality is, nothing is bug-free at first, and it takes a lot of time and effort to work those things out. Even if they seem to be working perfect in-house, until it’s released, they won’t know for sure.
  2. This allows the players to get a good feel for the new system before we end up getting into Elite Specializations. If anything, it’ll allow us to build on what we’ve already developed (because these are fairly different than the current trait system).
  3. It may even compel people to buy Heart of Thorns, given that the elite specializations will be locked behind it.

Bigger Than We Could Imagine

One thing I’m realizing is how complicated it really must be to balance this game and make decisions on what should be baseline for the specializations. What things should be tweaked? What things should be eliminated? It’s a lot of work for the developers to go through and there’s a lot of contradictory feedback to work through along with trying to work through what metrics to go by or not.

So here’s a huge shout-out to ArenaNet to keep up the good work, keep moving in the direction of greater communication (this ReadyUp was very transparent in a lot of areas already from what I’ve seen), and keep working through feedback along with your metrics, because nothing can replace the experiences of people.

There are so many things I didn’t cover about specializations, and I’ll leave that for the experts. All I can say is that¬†my thought so far is that there is a whole lot of potential to¬†improve the game, balance things even better, and create Guild Wars 2.1–something I’m very excited to experience with Heart of Thorns!

  • Be sure to check out the full list of notes found at Dulfy’s website.
  • Check out¬†a great Q&A with Jon Peters from Lewis aka @PersistentWorld at TenTonHammer!
  • Finally, don’t forget to keep your eyes on news updates about HoT on the Guild Wars 2 News page.

Got a few thoughts on what you’ve heard about Heart of Thorns? Be sure to comment below. I’d love to hear what your impressions are!