Guild Wars 2 War Eternal Press Preview

Today is the release of the final episode of Guild Wars 2 living story season 4, titled War Eternal. While we have had the opportunity to play through a good portion of the story we won’t be talking about that at all in this article. It is one of those stories that is best left for you to play yourself and you should do it as soon as you can because people will be talking about it in game and on social media.

I will be completely honest with you now, I spent 90% of my time in the preview playing with the Skyscale. Yes, I was exploring the new zone which has a lot of great verticality to it and a lot of little nooks and crannies but all the exploring I did was in the context of the Skyscale.

At first working out how to use the Skyscale was a bit of a challenge. There’s not one, but two bars for you to keep an eye on and being able to find a flat surface to recharge on isn’t always easy. Once you have found one they aren’t always easy to land on. Think of when you were first starting out on griffon and you wanted to land on a tiny branch. It takes skill and practice. Attaching yourself to a wall and jumping up it is also something that takes a bit of skill. Even after a couple of hours in the preview I wasn’t totally comfortable yet with walls. Where Skyscale totally sold me though was hovering. You’re basically on a tiny one person living helicopter. Skyscales can stay hovering in place basically forever, assuming nothing gets aggroed and attacks. I can already picture an army of Skyscales floating in the sky waiting for the Shadow Behemoth or Claw of Jormag. It sets an epic picture in your mind.

The attack, which I will admit I didn’t write down the name of is something that will be familiar to anyone who has played against any of the smaller fire breathing dragons in Guild Wars 2. It’s the good ol’ fly in a circle breathing down fire. Why though you decide to jump off while that’s happening…that’s a different matter altogether. Yes, for the game mechanic as ArenaNet has made it you have your attack and you dismount, it makes sense. But thinking about it in terms of reality. Why the hell would you jump off your dragon while he’s flying around burning things? Clearly, the safest place to be is on his back.

One thing that I will admit underwhelmed me a bit in the preview was the new Legendary Greatsword Exordium. It is very shiny and to me immediately screams Mesmer. One of the problems I have with it is how similar it is in style to another weapon skin that already exists in the game, the Immortal Greatsword. Yes, it absolutely is bigger and flashier…but I don’t think it’s worth all the effort and money that a legendary weapon costs. It also doesn’t feel like it That is, of course, just my own personal opinion and you might have a totally different one. I think another part of what made it so underwhelming for me was my total inability to get a good screenshot of it. For that reason the images of Exordium in this article are those that were provided by ArenaNet.

Finally, I do want to talk a little bit about the new zone, which I’m not actually going to name because this article is going out moments after the episode releases and people won’t have had time to discover it yet. As I mentioned previously the zone has a lot of verticality to it and is a lot of fun to go around with your new Skyscale. But, if you don’t have Skyscale unlocked that’s ok. ArenaNet has done a fantastic job of making the zone accessible. All over the place you’ll see updrafts, bouncing mushrooms, Jackal Portals (or as I call them, puppy portals) and Oakheart’s Essence. They’ve made it very easy to get around the zone no matter where you are in your Guild Wars 2 playing experience. The zone also has a lot of different biomes and as a result a wide variety of enemies to take on. Anyone who takes their time going through the zone will be rewarded with little things that are incredibly easy to miss as you’re quickly passing through. ArenaNet also does a fantastic job of having characters from the story out in the open world once again where you can see them deeply involved in their projects, which once again I won’t say what they are, because…spoilers.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about War Eternal that doesn’t stray into spoiler territory. The episode is available to play right now so if you aren’t already patching…what are you even doing?!

 

But I want to finish this article by saying a big thank you to GuildMag which, after an incredible 9 years as part of the Guild Wars community is sadly saying goodbye today. Through the years many different people have worked on the magazine and website. The Guild Wars community won’t be the same without GuildMag. The good news is that while GuildMag is ending, many of the people on the team currently will be continuing under a new name on a new site. The details of that haven’t been announced yet but it seems that there will be some sort of announcement after the end of Season 4. We’ll be keeping a close eye on social media to get all those details as soon as they’re available. Thank you again GuildMag, we’ll miss you.

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Guild Wars 2 WvW Mount The Warclaw Announced

WvW players know all too well that content for the least popular game mode is rare, so when it does happen it’s something really exciting. That’s why we’re so excited that there’s a Guild Wars 2 WvW mount coming out. This mount won’t just get you around the battlefield quickly, though there is that benefit.

The Warclaw comes with three special abilities that will enhance your WvW gameplay. The first is Battle Maul. When you jump into battle while mounted your Warclaw will maul your enemy before it disappears. This is your standard attack and dismount move.

 

 

The second ability is Chain Pull and from a WvWer’s standpoint possibly the most exciting of the three abilities. Those on Warclaws will be able to help pull down gates to gain entrance to whatever structure the zerg is currently focused on. This is an advanced ability which almost certainly means that it will have to be unlocked. As of writing this, pre-embargo we don’t yet have that information.

The final ability is Evade. Get a quick burst of speed and evade attacks allowing you to break through enemy lines. This will be especially useful in Castle sieges where getting a team through the hall quickly to attack from behind will add a very interesting new element to the event.

The Warclaw is will be available on February 26th for anyone who owns Path of Fire. While we may have to wait a week before we can play with it we can see it now in this fantastic trailer.

 

 

As someone who is a long time fan of WvW, I’m especially intrigued to see what kind of impact Warclaw will have on WvW. Though I suspect that having the mount will become a requirement for taking part in the game. This has the potential to leave some people behind who haven’t bought Path of Fire and have no plans to do so. Expect WvW queues to come back for the next few days as everyone wants to give the new mount a try.

If you’re interested in The Warclaw it can only be obtained in WvW but, it can be summoned anywhere other mounts can be summoned. That means you will be able to use it in the open world. However, the Chain Pull ability is something that has very limited use in the main PvE part of the world. So, while it will be fun for getting around with it may not have much utility. Still, how many Charr are we going to see running around riding on Warkitties? The answer is a lot…including me.

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WoW Wednesday: Hallow’s End Has Come!

At last, the bells have tolled! Shelter your weak, your young, and your old; each of you shall pay the final sum! Cry for mercy, Hallow’s End has come! With Halloween right around the corner, my favorite Holiday returns to Azeroth to curse the world with devilish glee. Originally created as a harvest festival for the native Lordaeronians known as the ‘Wicker Festival,’ the date also became infamous as the exact date the Forsaken were released from their enslavement to the Scourge. Celebrated by both the Horde and the Alliance, revelers now gather candy, wear spooky costumes, and keep Azeroth safe from the spirit of a dark crusader….

Adventurers in the land of Azeroth have a lot to do as the holiday rolls around, as the meta achievement [Hallowed Be Thy Name] is one of the prerequisites for [What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been…], and will take you through all four continents of Azeroth and the two different timelines of Outland, as well as saving the poor villages of Azeroth from the accursed Headless Horseman; a maddened Knight of the Silver Hand who believes he is the last living man on Azeroth and the rest of the world are undead. No matter your choice of activity in Hallow’s End, there’s tons to do.

The Wickerman Burns in Stormwind and the Undercity, buffing player reputation and experience gains.

For those looking to get the most out of the Holiday, you can cross the world of Azeroth to complete [Hallowed Be Thy Name] and still attain most of the awards intrinsic to the holiday. All of which we’ll detail below.

[Tricks and Treats of Azeroth] will see you crossing the world to every single friendly inn, and trick or treating at their Candy Buckets. You can track this achievement’s completion by tracking [Tricks and Treats of Eastern Kingdoms], [Tricks and Treats of Kalimdor] and [Tricks and Treats of Outland]. While there are Tricks and Treats achievements for the other lands of Azeroth, they aren’t necessary for completing the meta-achievement. They are the easiest way, however, to gather Tricky Treats for other rewards in Hallow’s End. Visiting just one Candy bucket will also reward you with [Trick or Treat!].

[The Savior of Hallow’s End] requires players to complete the Shade of the Horseman event. Lower level players can participate in the Shade of the Horseman event in low-level villages; Goldshire, Kharanos, and Azure Watch will come under siege in Alliance lands, while Razor Hill, Falconwing Square and Brill will feel the Horseman’s wrath for the Horde. Players will be charged in putting out fires and bringing the Shade down to earth in order to save the town. After the fires have been extinguished you can return to a nearby Costumed Orphan Matron and receive a Crudely Wrapped Gift! These will contain masks, candy, rideable objects and more, some of which are necessary for the Hallow’s End achievements.

Hallow's End

The Headless Horseman terrorizes Brill!

[Rotten Hallow] is the last of the quest achievements necessary for [Hallowed Be Thy Name], requiring you to inflict tricks instead of treats upon the enemy faction. Deliver stink bombs and extinguish the Wickerman of the opposing faction while beating back their similar efforts upon your own Capitol City.

[Check Your Head] requires you to stick a Weighted Jack-o’-Lantern on one of each race from both the Horde and the Alliance.  Jack-o’-Lanterns can be looted from Crudely Wrapped Gifts or the Headless Horseman encounter.

The following achievements are dependent on your gathering Tricky Treats:

[Out With It] requires you to eat so many Tricky Treats that you get an Upset Tummy debuff. The amount needed to make your character sick is random, but you’ll generally require less than five.

[G.N.E.R.D. Rage] needs the G.N.E.R.D.S. treat that can come from either a Handful of Tricky Treats from candy buckets or can be purchased for 2 Tricky Treats at holiday vendors. Under the effects of G.N.E.R.D.S., you’ll need to gain 10 honorable kills against the enemy faction. This is easily doable in either Alterac Valley, Isle of Conquest or in open world PvP.

[The Masquerade] requires you to be transformed by other players into specific costumes by a Hallowed Wand. These can be purchased for 2 Tricky Treats each.

[That Sparkling Smile] requires you to use a Tooth Pick, which also costs 2 Tricky Treats.

Naxxy, one of the Holiday’s exclusive pets was added last year for collectors.

The last two achievements can be accrued from fighting the Headless Horseman, which all characters from Level 23 onward can queue for. The Headless Horseman encounter is only available during Hallow’s End and is known for many incredibly rare cosmetic drops. Two of these drops, the Sinister Squashling pet and the Hallowed Helm, are required for [Sinister Calling]. If your luck is poor, you can also purchase both of them for 300 Tricky Treats.

Last, but certainly not least is [Bring Me The Head of… Oh Wait], which requires you to kill the Headless Horseman once in his queueable encounter. It’s also recommended that you work on farming the Headless Horseman daily for his pet, cosmetic, and mount drop, on top of the item level appropriate loot that he can drop for max level players.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t more to the holiday. There are a multitude of pets, masks, costumes, pet costumes, toys, and the ever-elusive Headless Horseman’s Mount to tantalize your inner collector throughout the holiday. And that is only scratching the surface! A multitude of achievements still remain for those looking to increase their count, from collecting all of the masks in [A Mask For All Occassions] to the rest of Azeroth’s Candy buckets in Northrend, the Cataclysm and Pandaria and even finding Pepe’s spookiest attire in [A Frightening Friend].

Hallow's End

Pepe’s Scarecrow Costume, only collectible during Hallow’s end!

No matter how you intend to spend the holiday, this year the festivities are available from October 18th through to the 31st, giving you plenty of time to harass the Horseman for his rare steed.

 

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WoW Wednesday: Reaping the Rewards from Island Expeditions

Island Expeditions are the newest feature added to the World of Warcraft with its latest expansion, Battle For Azeroth. With a party of three, you can venture onto the open seas in search of the valuable Azerite, the latest tool of war in the Horde and Alliance War Machine, to empower your Heart of Azeroth. In doing so, you’ll level the strange artifact to new and greater heights, empowering your Azerite gear to unlock further effects and abilities for your character. However, despite our best efforts, players have simply not been playing Island Expeditions in the manner that they were originally intended. This week we’ll be bringing you some advice on how to make the most of your Island Expedition experience and how to claim the most prolific rewards for your time.

As most players will already be aware, you can begin your Island Expeditions at Captain Flynn Fairweather for the Alliance, or Captain Rez’okun for the Horde. The popular majority of players simply focus on their weekly quest to gather six thousand Azerite in order to maximize their Heart of Azeroth level. Most participants will pursue the quickest and most linear method of gathering Azerite as to beat the opposing faction and maximize their Azerite rewards, often ignoring rare creatures and other explorative aspects of the Expeditions. In doing this, it’s been discovered that we as a player-base have been unintentionally ignoring the most vital aspects of Expeditions since launch.

Rewards from Island Expeditions

The Island Expedition Map, showing you what zones and creature themes you’ll encounter for the week.

Some adventurers may be aware that Island Expeditions also award a slew of bonus items for players. While WoWhead has them listed in detail in their Expedition Reward Guide, to best summarize the list, Island Expeditions can reward:

  • 5x Mounts
  • 5x Toys
  • 28x Battle Pets
  • 85x Plundered Weapons (14 models that have never been made available)
  • 3x Plundered Hats
  • 4x Plundered Shoulders
  • 23x Item Sets (3 unreleased sets, 5 Cloth, 6 Leather, 6 Mail, 6 Plate)

 

These have been public information since the open Beta for Battle for Azeroth, however, drop rates for these items have been seemingly low for most players. Performing the quickest methods for completing these scenarios, as it turns out, most players will never see any of these rewards. Instead, killing the rares that populate the islands rewards these items, including quest item turn-ins that produce a vast amount of Azerite. We can get so specific with these items, in fact, that in knowing what to do you can specifically target items, mounts, and collectibles with little difficulty.

Each rare creature on an Island Expedition gives a chance for a player that kills it to obtain an item directly related to the theme of the creature; Twilight Dragons can reward the Dragonrider Armor and the Twilight Harbinger Mount, Pirates can reward the Squawks mount or Captain Nibs pet, etc. However, unlike typical loot systems we see in PvE content where loot is calculated after a creature is slain, these loot rolls are created at the end of each Expedition. While each creature does indeed have its own loot table, these tables remain hidden and are hypothesized to be linked to each other based on the theme of the creature.

This means that there is indeed a manner in which to grind out these rare rewards across the southern isles of Azeroth. By specifically targeting named NPCs that spawn throughout the island, you can potentially trigger their loot table and generate rewards. There are two different creature theme types that will generate over the course of your expeditions to best help you to target the loot you want:

A Demon Hunter takes on one of the island’s Rare Treants.

Island Creature Themes are predetermined from week to week and are shown on the Expedition Map alongside the Azerite you’ve collected for the week. The creatures shown on your map will be the three from which your main enemies will be drawn from for the week and will be the predominant enemy type across your adventure. Invasions occur after a certain amount of Azerite has been gathered by both teams, and can occur in multiple stages (up to three). Higher difficulty ratings will require more Azerite to progress into subsequent stages. Stage 1 begins when players make landfall, with named rares and bonus objectives dotted across the Island. Stage 2 then sees Azerite elementals and massive deposits spawning in key points around the island.

Stage 3 is the most radical change to the island; invasions of additional expeditioners will see any possible enemy type make landfall on your island, laying waste to the weekly creatures and situating themselves near large Azerite deposits. As such, you could begin an expedition on your Island fighting Vrykul, and then later transitioning to battling Fire Elementals, allowing you to potentially farm specific creature themes outside of their weekly rotation.

For The Alliance!

While lower difficulties will allow you to trigger Stage 3 Invasions quicker, there does not appear to be any difference in loot drop chances between difficulties, meaning that enemies killed in Normal Difficulty Expeditions have the same chance to drop items as those killed in Mythic Difficulty. Furthermore, there does not appear to be any particular cap to how many items can be rewarded after the end of an expedition, with several players reporting numbers in the double digits while Wowhead itself reports up to 5 items at one time.

However, these methods in which to farm particular creature themes are not in and of themselves the manner to successfully complete island expeditions; from killing the Unleashed Monstrosity and high-yield Azerite drops, the enemy faction can quickly pull ahead in your expeditions and claim victory. With this in mind, the choice is ultimately up to you in how you want to explore Blizzard’s latest scenario system. Do you prefer the one evening per week where you can quickly cap out your Azerite, or do you want to explore what the South Seas of Azeroth have to discover, and claim the rich plunder that the various races of the world have left for the wary adventurer?

 

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Month-Long Mount Quest Item Found on WoW’s Live Servers

How patient are you to get yourself a shiny new World of Warcraft mount? Are you willing to wait a month? Well that’s the wait time that stands between you and the Kua’fon pterrodax mount, and it all starts with an egg that has officially dropped for the first time on WoW’s live servers.

kua'fon pterrodax mount

The egg in question is the Pterrodax Egg, which (appropriately enough) drops from a Pterrodax monster. Apparently, the drop rate of this particular item is extremely low, with a number of players reporting many hours of farming Pterrodax for the drop.

The first instance of this item’s drop on live servers was logged from a Bloodraged Pterrordax in Zanchul, Zuldazar. It’s assumed that Pterrodax in Nazmir quest zones also drop the item, but that’s yet to be officially confirmed.

The Pterrodax Egg begins the “How to Ptrain Your Pterrodax” quest line, which leads into a 29 day-long line of daily quests as players must bring the egg up from infant all the way up to full-sized Pterrodax. Each step of the way introduces new dailies along the creature’s life cycle, which are all outlined here.

As for getting your own Pterrodax mount, there are a couple of caveats to bear in mind above and beyond the exceedingly slim drop chances; namely, this quest is Horde-specific and you’ll have to be a minimum of level 120 to start the journey. If you’re a serious collector of WoW mounts, however, that’s likely not going to stop you.

Our Thoughts

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; we love how there are hidden treasures in WoW’s updates like this one, and while a 29 day grind does sound pretty rough on the surface, that’s not terribly off the mark of grinds for gear in any PvE MMO. We wish those hunting for their own Pterrodax mount the best of luck!

Source: Wowhead

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TERA Console Gets Gunners Tomorrow and Flying Llamas Now

There are two very important updates to the console editions of TERA; one coming soon and one here now. The Gunner class has locked down an arrival date of June 26th, while the addition of flying mounts to the title sees the release of the fluffy TERA llama mount for a limited time.

tera llama mount

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: llamas. From now until Thursday, July 12th, PS4 and Xbox One players can purchase one of four puffy llama mounts that are capable of flight for no other reason than “because they believe they can”. Players can purchase their preferred llama mount or get all four in the Llama-Rama Bundle if they so choose.

As for the Gunner class, she’ll be making her explosive debut to the console version of TERA tomorrow, June 26th. Her arrival will be marked with a number of launch events that include a free character slot for everyone who logs in by July 8th; level-up reward boxes full of Gunner gear every 10 levels; and a unique title for the person on each server to reach level 65 with a Gunner first.

But back to the llamas for a second, as the mount’s arrival to the console MMO kindly reminded everyone of the astonishing machinima created by En Masse in 2016 which you can watch below.

Our Thoughts

Llamas. And Gunners. But mostly llamas.

Sources: official site 1, 2

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