The Tyrian Chronicle: Mini Springer Ramona, A Touching Tribute

From time to time MMO developers will add little nods to real life into their games. In Guild Wars 2 you can see this with NPCs like Dulfy and the barefoot Queen Jennah, amongst others, and now we can add Mini Springer Ramona to that list. A loving tribute to a gorgeous bunny named Ramona.

Mini Springer Ramona first appeared in the API and in the miniatures panel in the August 28th’s update. Her addition went by without any comment from ArenaNet and aside from the description in the miniatures panel which read “This miniature can only be crafted in the Mystic Forge” there were no hints on how to make her.

Almost an entire month went by before the topic came up on the forums. At that time player, Malediktus noted that the mini should be in the game because two GW2efficiency users have it unlocked, but they also pointed out that with there being 10 Mini Springer variants available, plus all the other possible combinations of items, finding exactly what it took to unlock Ramona would be difficult and potentially quite expensive. For the next few days there was a bit of discussion and speculation, but at that time no one could even work out who Ramona was or why she might be in the game, let alone how to unlock her.

On October 2nd the plot thickened as the wiki entry for Ramona noted that she had been removed from the Miniatures Panel. The Awakened Asura mini was removed at the same time, leading some to believe that Ramona was never meant to actually be released. It was at that point the trail went cold and the forum users who were so curious went silent.

Mini Springer Ramona

Then on October 10th, there was a breakthrough and the origin of Ramona the Mini Springer was finally revealed. It was found in a blog post on Tumblr made by a GW2 fan who just happened to run into an ArenaNet developer with Ramona. The developer, later revealed to be Chelsea Mills, explained that the Springer Mini Ramona was a tribute to her sister’s bunny named Ramona who had recently passed away. Chelsea was the artist who had painstakingly worked to recreate Ramona in Guild Wars 2, paying special attention to the fur to get Ramona’s pattern just right. The two people in the game who owned the mini were, in fact, Chelsea and her sister.

Ramona is such a special tribute to a special bun you would understand if they had made Ramona unobtainable by players, but Chelsea and her sister wanted Ramona to be within reach of any player who wanted her, and they also wanted the players to find her recipe on their own. As soon as the blog post was linked on the forums the hunt was on once again.

By the next day, progress was already being made on unlocking Ramona. Malediktus had discovered three of the four items used but with thousands of possible options, help was needed. It was decided that it was most likely a very cheap item since the three that they had discovered already were themselves quite cheap. And then, on October 12th Haleydawn became the third owner of the Mini Ramona but, she wouldn’t give away what the fourth item needed was. Later that day though the complete recipe was added to the wiki and the mystery was solved. Now anyone could get Ramona, even me.

Then Nanya, the original owner of Ramona chimed in on the forums.

“Hello everyone, I thought I would chime in here now that the recipe has been discovered and is out in the wild.

Ramona was my rabbit. She was my best friend and I had her for a wonderful 10 and a half years. She would have been 11 years old in 2 days. She was an enormous 12 lb bun (I think a New Zealand/Flemish mix) and was the absolute sweetest, most goofy girl ever with the best personality. A total snugglebug. I’ve had lots of pets in my life and it’s never easy losing them, but she has been the most difficult to say goodbye to. I miss her dearly. Being able to have her with me on my adventures has really helped me cope with the loss.

The heart shaped cookie in the recipe is a nod toward one of her favorite treats. She went absolutely bonkers for them; she couldn’t get enough of them or oats.

Here are some pictures of her: https://imgur.com/a/YEFII1x

I’m so glad you guys have been so excited and determined to figure out how to get her in game, and I’m amazed how quickly the recipe was figured out! I hope that you too enjoy having my sweet girl as a companion on your quests.”

 

Chelsea also left a comment on the forums thanking the players. “Thank you so much to all of you who are being so respectful and loving toward Ramona, and to me and my sister. I’m super glad I had the opportunity to create a tribute to such a great bun and it warms my heart that other people will continue to love her as a pet in game.”

And that is the story of how a bunny who loved by one particular family came to be loved by an entire community of players around the world. As of writing this, there are 1,678 people who use GW2Efficiency who have unlocked Ramona, which is less than 1% of the playerbase who also use the site. Making her the rarest mini I have. On my account, Ramona is going to live with Inga Östberg, my Norn Ranger who has always had a soft spot for the spirit of Hare and followers of Bunny. And though Inga may make her home in the Wayfarer Foothills she will always be happy to take Ramona to Queensdale, which without a doubt is the best place for a grass loving bunny to roam.

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The Tyrian Chronicle: Guild Wars 2 Underwater Combat Revamp

Next week some changes to Guild Wars 2‘s underwater skills are going to be introduced. We don’t know anything about them yet, just that the skills and utilities are being enhanced in some way. I’ve not been given a preview of them so on the 8th I’ll be finding out about them right alongside you. But while people have always complained about underwater combat I don’t think the skills are the main issue. That’s not to say it isn’t an issue, it just isn’t the big one that makes underwater combat difficult to enjoy.

The main problem with underwater combat is distance. Underwater it is much harder to judge how far away an object, in this case, something you want to kill, is from you. This issue is even worse when you must be in melee range. How many times have you been underwater with your spear stabbing away at nothing because you aren’t in range and you only realize this after the attack starts?

Now maybe, one of the changes they make will make it so these skills don’t fire until you can actually hit your target. That would be nice! But, it would still lead to frustration unless there’s some sort of prompt. Yes, there is a tiny prompt under each skill but considering it took me about 3 years to learn about it I would not be surprised if there are veteran players since launch who still don’t know about it.

That still wouldn’t address the fundamental issue though, and having big red text pop up in the middle of the screen that screams “MOVE CLOSER” would just be ugly design.

Guild Wars 2 Underwater Combat Revamp

I’m not going to tear apart possible solutions without offering a couple of suggestions of my own, which everyone is more than welcome to tear apart.

 

Follow

Since Guild Wars 2 launched I’ve longed for the ability to follow allies and foes. This was a popular feature in City of Heroes that made it very easy for you to make sure you’re in melee range or keeping up with the team while you AFK quickly. Simply select your target then hit whatever key is mapped to the follow command and you’re swimming towards your target.

This is an… ok solution to the problem. It’s great for any of those who have to be in close combat with the foe, but for those with longer range it does nothing but put them in danger. If there is a way to have follow put you exactly in the range you need to be in then it would work perfectly. But, that sounds incredibly complex. I’m not a game developer, despite my articles about designing MMORPGs, but to me, it seems like a lot of calculations would need to be made. It’s even worse when you’re on a character who can have two different underwater weapons with different ranges.

 

Range Meter

A much more practical solution is to have a range meter that updates as you move. This range meter would appear over/on the creature you’re fighting, put in a spot that you can swim directly to for combat. The very middle of the creature makes the most sense for this.

The only thing this really requires of players is to know what range they should be in for combat with the weapon they’re using. This shouldn’t be a big thing to ask of them as ideally, this is something everyone already has at least a rough idea of. This way they just have to correlate the number with the distance they’re seeing. These calculations are already being done as well but behind the scenes. So, in theory, as an armchair developer, it seems like this should be easy(ish) to do.

Guild Wars 2 - Shashoo changes to Guild Wars 2's underwater skills

Despite the fact that I’ve always had a problem with underwater combat and I suspect that will continue I am excited about this update. I’m also excited about the possibilities it opens up.

 

Legendary Price Increase

The price of the underwater legendary weapons has always been laughably low. In fact, despite the incredibly low price of them, almost no one has them. They hold very little value. I could easily log in right now and buy them all without even blinking. But I haven’t before and I won’t now because it just isn’t worth it.

If this change goes well though and underwater combat suddenly is well liked…that might change things. The price of the legendary weapons will certainly go up. In fact, we’ve already seen a MASSIVE spike in the cost of the precursors. They are still relatively cheap compared to other precursors but it’s impossible to know if that will last. Especially if they’re bringing out new underwater encounters.

 

New Underwater Content

ArenaNet rarely goes back to fix things that have been broken for a long time if they don’t have something planned for it in the future. So, it isn’t completely unreasonable to assume that we’re about to get some underwater content in our future. Everyone, myself included is hoping that this means we’re going to meet Steve, aka Bubbles…the dragon who has been chilling out underwater this whole time. I have it on good authority he looks like this.

changes to Guild Wars 2's underwater skills

Underwater Mounts

Finally, I’m hoping for a kickass underwater mount. A dolphin would be fun, so would a whale. It doesn’t really fit with how development has been going so far, so I’m not very confident that we’ll see this anytime soon. But, what we will have for sure is more reason to use our Skimmers who are severely underused at the moment.

 

It will be interesting to see what changes ArenaNet introduces next week and see how they change the direction the game is going. Right now I’m hopeful about the changes, but the concerns I have are still there. I do hope that underwater combat stops being the redheaded stepchild and we get new underwater content, including an underwater WvW map, which hardcore WvW players have been dreaming about for years now. Either way, we will find out more next week on May 8th.

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The Tyrian Chronicle: Pull Up a Seat

The best update of 2018 was released this week. Am I being a bit premature in this declaration? Maybe. But for now, I’m going to stand by it. It wasn’t a big content update and yes, it’s even better than a new tribe of Charr. Though only barely. I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion because most people aren’t going to use chairs beyond getting the achievements, but there is a section of the community for whom this means the world. Yes, the ability to sit in chairs in Guild Wars 2 is the best thing to happen to the game in 2018.

For the roleplaying community, this is a huge development, something that those of us who have been around since launch have been asking for from the beginning. So, if anyone from ArenaNet happens to read this, thank you!

The chairs seem to be in most of the key places that roleplayers will gather. They’re in Guild Halls, home instances, and the major cities. All of the favorite bars have places to sit now and the places that people like to use to roleplay as their homes do as well. However, I’d like to propose a few other places for chairs and benches to be placed. Places out in the world that might encourage roleplayers to leave the bar and see the world.

 

The Bars

sit in chairs in Guild Wars 2

There are a few bars and inns out in the open world that are begging to be roleplayed in. At various times through the years, there have even been groups who have regularly used them. Places like the Hunting Lodge in Queensdale or the Applenook Inn are the most popular. Another that comes to mind is the Norn tutorial area, just outside of Hoelbrak. They’ve got quite a party going on there and plenty of space for a large event.

 

Havens

sit in chairs in Guild Wars 2

There are havens scattered all over the world, offering shelter from the dangers of the world. While chairs may not be appropriate for all of them, a few benches or stools would be wonderful additions. These seats could be placed along the inside walls or on top of them in out of the way corners. Anywhere there’s a fire, a couple of benches could be placed so people can sit and warm themselves next to the fire. Some of the best candidates for this are Bay Haven in Caledon, Crossroads Haven in Wayfarer Foothills, Marshwatch Haven in Bloodtide Coast, and Black Haven in Kessex Hills.

 

Markets

Mabon Market and Desider Atum are just two markets out in the world that could use a couple of places to sit. They’re great places to meet up before you head out into the world. They have crafting stations and they tend to be near(ish) to cities. In many ways, they are the last bits of civilization before you go out into the untamed wilderness.

 

Towns

There are towns all over the place. You’ve got Charr towns, Human towns, Sylvari towns…you get the idea. Tons of towns all over the world, including in Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire maps. Some of them are better suited for sitting around than others because of attacks that take place in the world. Some of the best are the Sylvari town in Brisban Wildlands, Claypool in Queensdale, and Tarir in Auric Basin. For Tarir the best placements for seats would be inside the buildings or underground so they’re out of the way of the meta.

 

Camp Resolve

Camp Resolve in the Silverwastes is pretty much the last safe place heading West. Even Tarir isn’t completely safe, so it makes sense that there be places for people to sit around the camp. There’s a lot of space for it too. In one corner there’s a campfire with seats already around it, you just can’t sit on them. Then there are all the empty tables set up for people to eat at. The perfect place for a guild to host a feast!

 

Southsun Cove

The ultimate vacation spot in Tyria is in dire need of somewhere to sit. Everywhere you go on the secure beach there are people standing at bars and tables. Standing all the time doesn’t seem very relaxing at all. Of course, if they did put in chairs the requests for swimwear would return as that corner of Southsun Cove gets more attention than it has seen in years.

 

Fort Trinity

Orr still plays an important role on the global stage so of course having somewhere to sit down and plan things out in Fort Trinity has to be on this list. It is the staging area for the Pact and it can be the staging area for people getting ready to make a run through Orr.

 

Amnoon

I don’t know what the roleplay situation is like on the North American servers but in Europe, there is a roleplay guild completely dedicated to Amnoon. They’re most often found hanging out at one of the bars but you can find them all over the city depending on what events are going on at the time. Amnoon is the best place to roleplay in all of the Path of Fire maps, and having a variety of places to sit would go a long way to making sure there are always people hanging around.

These are just a few examples of places that are very obvious out in the world for chairs to be added. They could also easily be placed in every Asura lab across the world, every Charr outpost, or even a bench that just has a really great view.

I don’t want this article to seem like I’m not grateful for the seats that we do have. I am! I would just also love it if more could be added to the world over time. Who knows, maybe a developer will read this and be inspired. Even if they can’t find the time to do this, thank you again ArenaNet, from all of us who have been waiting to rest our legs.

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The Tyrian Chronicle: Ideas for a Guild Wars 2 Summer Event

Guild Wars 2 has a long period of time without any festivals or worldwide events of any kind every year. With the Super Adventure Box Festival about to start, we will quite soon reach that extended drought. From April to October, we won’t see any more events, and that is a pretty long stretch of time to go without a festival. To break it up, I propose the introduction of a Guild Wars 2 summer event.

 

Return of the Labyrinthine Cliffs

To begin, we return to the Labyrinthine Cliffs, a locale which has banned the use of mounts due to the fragile structures and tight spaces. Here the survivors of the Zephyrites who survived the crashing of the ships are rebuilding their society. For now staying on the ground or flying only small ships while they regroup.
Guild Wars 2 Summer Event

 

Bazaar Return

The Bazaar of the Four Winds hasn’t been back for many years but now the event is running once again and traders are back with all new requests. The event served as a way to get a lot of extra materials out of the market and steady the prices on the market while dealing with hoarding issues. Bringing this back could offer players the chance to dump some materials and get the market back on track. Zephyr Sanctum Supply Boxes can be reintroduced allowing players to get the old items that were offered in it before, along with all-new items.

 

Sanctum Sprint Revamp

The one area of the Labyrinthine Cliffs where you are allowed to use your mounts is in the new version of the Sanctum Sprint. All the power-ups related to travel are removed and replaced with new ways to attack your opponents. Sadly, griffons don’t qualify for participation, but that’s ok because they have something of their own coming up.

 

Griffon Expert Adventure

The top of the cliffs where the massive Zephyr Sanctum once docked makes the perfect location for a griffon adventure. This adventure is like others introduced in Path of Fire; a race against the clock to fly through rings in the air.

 

Glider Tours

The new and improved way to do vistas. Instead of just seeing a small location, take a ride on a glider along a ley line. This way you can see all the activities going on around the cliffs. It could even act as a transportation system to take you to a new area of the cliffs.

 

Night Time is Party Time

Perhaps the new area of this zone that the glider tour takes you to is a massive party. It all begins as the sun goes down and there is a firework and light show competition between the races. A group of NPCs from each race put on a fireworks show. Radarr Boommaker is there with his fireworks display from Meatoberfest. A krewe from Rata Sum come with a laser show and a dance routine. Humans send representatives from the Lunar New Year committee. Norn have a firefall off the edge of a cliff with a group of drummers playing cultural music. Finally, the Sylvari put on a light show using bioluminescent flowers as well as their own bodies. Which race wins? That depends on how much you cheer for them.

After that, the party is just getting started! There’s a moot with a massive bonfire, singing, dancing, and drinking. There’s also a stage in a quiet area where players can perform music without any competition from other sounds, including other players. In this special roped off area, all sounds except instruments are muted. So you can dance all you want without interrupting the performance.

 

Fishing

Local fishermen need your help. There’s just too much to do and not enough time to do it in. You can help them out by doing some fishing for them. They’ll give you a basic pole allowing you to catch some varieties of fish. The more fish you catch, the more gear they’ll be willing to give you. There’s also a very small chance of catching a new, rare type of skimmer that only appears here at the cliffs. Yay! New Skin. The fish you catch can be traded in for better fishing equipment or for other loot or a currency.

 

Mini Arena

I wanna be the very best… Pokemon jokes aside, this would be the perfect chance for ArenaNet to introduce a mini battle arena. It could be done a couple of ways. The first is perhaps the least complex: you watch a bunch of NPC minis fight, you can place bets on who you think will win and they only have one attack. Option two: you become the mini and it becomes a game similar to Dragon Ball during the Lunar New Year event.

 

Gem Store

Of course, no event is complete without some new stuff in the gem store. To start with we have swimwear! Each race and gender get their own style that is appropriate for their bodies. Then in following years, the different styles are ported to the other races for a reduced price vs the cost of the original. So if this year, every race got one. Next year all the races got the Human swimwear, altered slightly to fit their bodies. The year after it’s the Asura swimwear that everyone gets. This way everyone can wear the versions of the swimwear they like…eventually. It wouldn’t be right to have an event if we didn’t include some mount skins. The theme this time around is racing. Mounts and riders are all given helmets and goggles and each mount has a new pattern. That could be a racing stripe, flame decals, or even just wearing a number. That number being the same for all your mounts but being entirely unique to you….if such a thing is possible.

 

With that, you have my ideas for a Guild Wars 2 summer event. I don’t think we’ll ever actually see one introduced, but it’s fun to speculate what it could look like. What would you like to see in a Guild Wars 2 summer event?

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How to Get Bigger Bags in Guild Wars 2

There’s an issue all Guild Wars 2 players run into eventually and for some, it’s a constant battle that can never be won. It is a lack of inventory space. I would be lying if I didn’t say that this is a battle I’ve fought in every game…pretty much ever. No matter how much space you have, it’s never enough. Thankfully, ArenaNet has been trying to help with that by introducing larger and larger bags. These days you can get them with 32 slots, even. Surely that must be enough…right? Below is a guide on how to get bigger bags in Guild Wars 2.

 

Buy It

Getting the most obvious methods out of the way first, you could always buy a bigger bag. There are 20 slot bags that can be obtained from Fractal vendors and WvW vendors. You can also buy a 20 slot bag with Candy Corn Cob from the Halloween event. You can also get a 20 slot bag on the market, but even the cheapest one will cost you over 10 gold.

VTS_GW2

 

Achieve It

There are two 20 slot bags that you can get from completing achievements. One of them is quite easy; Uncanny Canner. This only requires you to purchase a bunch of items in jars from around the world, along with two that drop, or you can buy them on the market. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get a 20 slot bag. The other 20 slot bag comes from Bandit Weapon Specialist. This achievement requires you to unlock 19 bandit weapons. They are random drops, particularly in the Silverwastes, in chests. Or you can go into WvW and buy them for Karma. If you go the WvW route, buy the weapons on the lowest level character you have as the Karma cost increases by level.

 

Craft It

By now you must be wondering where those fabled 32 slot bags are at. Well, we’re about to find out. These will all require you to have level 500 crafting in Armorsmith, Leatherworker, or Tailor. They’re also all multi-step processes that will create a few different bags on your way up to 32. For the sake of making this guide easy to read I’ve not included any of the recipes. These are best found on the Guild Wars 2 wiki or GW2Efficiency.

Completion requirement: Path of Fire, Pact Commander Mastery level: Supply Line Management (Optional)

Step 1. Purchase 20-Slot Equipment Pact Box recipe from a Pact Supply Network Agent.

If you don’t already have the recipe unlocked, this step could take some time as the Pact Supply Network Agents will offer different items every day and the recipe is one that appears quite rarely. There is also a chance for you to get it from the Torn Page from “Tyrian Pact Survival Handbook” which is sold by the Pact Agents as well. But, it is just one of many recipes that you could get. It should be noted that this step is only required if you want the bag effects that the Equipment Pack Box give. Otherwise, you can use other 20-slot bags and skip straight to step 2.

Step 2. Craft That Box

Using level 400 Armorsmith, Tailor or Leatherworker create a 20-Slot Equipment Pact Box, or craft one of the other 20-slot bags, depending on what you would like them to do. To continue to a 24-slot bag you will need 2 of the 20 slot bags.

Step 3. Get Recipes of the Dwarven (Armor, Leather, Cloth) Trader

In the Desert Highlands is a mini-game in the Dwarven Ruins. Head to the Derelict Delve Waypoint [&BKQKAAA=] and pass the hero point to a room with ruined mine carts. There’s a small room to the right just after you enter the mine cart room. Inside is a curious bowl. Inside you’ll find a mini-game that will transport you to several rooms if you win. Each room has a chest, each chest has a chance for these recipes. You can keep playing the game until you have them all.

Step 4. Craft that Other Box

Craft the box from the recipe you got in the Dwarven ruins to get yourself a 24-slot bag. You will only need one of these for the next stage. The most expensive part of this recipe is the Supreme Rune of Holding, which can be acquired if you play Sandstorm, or you can spend 9-10 gold on it on the market. For this level, you will only need one.

Step 5. Discover 28

Once you’ve crafted a 24-slot bag, you can discover the 28-slot version through crafting. You will only need one of these for the next stage. For this level, you need 5 of the 10 gold Supreme Rune of Holding.

Step 6. Discover 32

Now that you have your 28-slot bag, prepare to weep. You’re going to need 12 Supreme Rune of Holding. The 32-slot bag is also done through discovery in crafting and as of writing this, the total cost for a 32-slot bag through this method is around 170 gold.

 

Another crafting method has been introduced as well. This one uses a combination of crafting and achievements to complete. The total crafting cost is only about 10 gold less than the one mentioned previously.

Completion Requirement: Path of Fire, Living Story Season 4 Episode 2

Step 1. Complete Living Story Season 4 Chapter 2’s Story

Finish the story for A Bug in the System to unlock the recipe for the Simple Olmakhan Bandolier as well as giving you one for free.

Step 2. Go to Dulfy

Yes, I am seriously suggesting you go to another website for this one. She’s done a write-up on all the steps for this that is as long as this article is already right now. It’s far more complex than I could hope to cover but, if you follow her steps you’ll have yourself a 32-slot bag.

 

With a 32-slot bag costing almost 200 gold to create, you have to really sit back and wonder if it’s worth it. If you have a lot of spare gold sitting around, maybe it is. Or maybe you’re like me and even the cost of a 20-slot bag sounds a bit pricey. For now, I’ll stick with the bags I have and make use of my salvage-o-matic like it’s going out of style. In the future, this article almost certainly will be updated as new ways to get bigger bags in Guild Wars 2 are opened up.

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Guild Wars 2 Preview: A Bug in the System

I recently got a press preview of the newest episode of the Guild Wars 2 living story; A Bug in the System. If you don’t want any spoilers then you shouldn’t be reading this. But, if you want a little taste of what you’re about to dive into. keep reading. Yes, there are spoilers ahead.

Charr players rejoice! There’s finally some love for the master race. Out of my 28 characters, only 3 are Charr. This is partly because they don’t get a lot of love from the devs, so I was really surprised to find out that Charr would play an important part in A Bug in the System. In fact, they play a huge role in the new zone, Sandswept Isles. There we find a new branch of the Charr family, a peace-loving branch. These peaceful island dwellers have a problem though. Their home is being taken over by the Inquest.

A Bug in the System

In fact, it is in this episode that we learn the Inquest are a lot bigger than they originally appeared to be back in the old world. They have their very own floating city. Is it fully populated? I wasn’t able to get inside to find out because it is heavily guarded, but in the area around the city, they did have some very interesting experiments going on that seem to play with gravity. I was venturing into these areas on my own and the Inquest presence on the island is quite substantial so I never really stuck around in one place for very long.

For the guided tour, we were lead through part of the story in an Inquest lab where experiments are being performed on all sorts of different creatures. Because I prefer to have the whole story all in one go and roleplay it I purposefully ignored the plot as much as possible. but one thing I did catch was that the Charr used the word “tribe” to describe their people. It raises a lot of questions. How long have these Charr been cut off from the rest of Charr society? Why are they so far away from the Charr homelands? I hope we get to know these new Charr throughout the events of the story.

It was in this story instance that we saw two new things that ArenaNet pointed out. The first was that these Inquest golems have been given a bit of a visual upgrade from their older brethren on the main continent. I asked if they would be expanding this visual update across the game to all golems and they said that there aren’t any plans for it at the moment. So no, but they have left themselves an opening so they can change their mind in the future if they want to. If I’m honest, I didn’t really see much of a difference, I was busy shooting them with fireballs.

The other cool new feature they showed off were elevators that would take you up to the next floor. The moving platforms were a fun new addition to Inquest labs and I actually find myself wondering now how we’ve managed to go this long in the game without them, and not really missing them either. Either way, yay for new tech! I can’t wait to see how it gets implemented in the future. It would be really fun to see the elevator technology added to the main cities of Tyria in the future. The seed elevator in the Grove is fun, but ultimately it’s just teleporting you with a cutscene. This would allow you to get around seamlessly. It would also be great in Divinity’s Reach where there are stairs that teleport you up and down. It’s unlikely that this will happen however as most MMO developers prefer to focus attention on moving forward rather than going back to older content.

If you’re a big fan of large-scale events then you’re in luck as the Sandswept Isles have one for you, and its mechanics will drive you mad. You’re fighting massive earth elementals while howling winds from a tornado pull you around and around. Every encounter has a few of the elementals and you’ll end up aggroing all of them. Eventually, I managed to find a sweet spot in the geography where the wind couldn’t push me around anymore, but all it took was getting knocked around once before that sweet spot was lost and you were stuck in the twister again. Will people enjoy it? Maybe, once everyone has the hang of it and knows what to do. But personally, I found it to be a really annoying mechanic. It’s especially bad if you’re playing melee. Range is a must as you’re stuck on this merry-go-round of irritation.

There was another feature on the island that I quite enjoyed. When you’re standing in some of the tall grass on the island you become stealthed. It seems like a feature that works best when you’re there alone or when you’re trying to get aggro off of you. From a roleplaying perspective this was a really cool feature, and again I could see it being used elsewhere. Gendarran Fields is the first place that comes to mind. It would give a bit of a tactical advantage in the Bandit bounty events, many of which fail due to a lack of participation. What actual purpose it serves on the isles I’m not entirely clear on, but this may be one of those things that will become clear once I have the rest of the context for the zone.

If you haven’t already watched it I highly recommend you watch the teaser trailer for this episode, if only for the new version of Fear Not This Night which is haunting and beautiful. I really hope that a full version of it gets released in the future. Next week I’ll be writing my thoughts on the full episode after I’ve had time to play the story and play around on the island with the new Charr. A Bug in the System is available to play right now if you own Path of Fire, so what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and log in!

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The Tyrian Chronicle: Guild Wars 2 Art Commissions

One of the things that makes MMOs so great is that they create entire industries around them. Previously, we looked at just a small handful of the YouTubers who primarily focus on making content for Guild Wars 2. This week we’re talking about art, specifically artists you can get Guild Wars 2 art commissions from. Below are just 10 artists who are known for doing Guild Wars 2 commissions who are popular with the community. Many of them are part of ArenaNet’s creative partner program and have been featured on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel as part of their weekly art series.

 

Dagos

If you’re looking for fantastic Charr art, Dagos’ Tumblr is full of it. Unfortunately, they don’t have their commission information easily accessible, so if you have a piece you’d like done you’ll have to contact them privately.

 

Dona Vajgand

Dona’s style can easily be summed up in one word, cute. From adorable Asura portraits to my personal favorite, the Plush Griffon from the Chimes Winterzine, Dona’s art covers a wide variety of subjects from the Guild Wars 2 universe. You can find samples of her work as well as her contact details for commissions on the Dona Vajgand Tumblr.

 

Idaida

You may recognize some of Ida’s art if you’ve watched any of ArenaNet’s art shows. That’s because Ida has been a featured artist on the show many times. The Idaida Tumblr is full of Guild Wars 2 art and much more. There’s also a section dedicated completely to commission details. Prices range from €20 for a half body sketch and go up to €400 for a group with full bodies. NSFW art is also on the table with Ida, though be sure to read the restrictions.

 

ISVOC

Isvoc is creating amazing creature art. Much of her website is filled with amazing dragon art, as well as some other creatures you might recognize from Guild Wars 2. She’s also an ArenaNet creative partner and has been on the Sunday art show several times. The commission section of the ISVOC website is extensive and it has commission prices ranging from $15 to $300+, an FAQ, and a commission status page so you can keep track of how far along your artwork is.

 

Jylgeartooth

Jylgeartooth’s Deviantart is filled with fantastic Guild Wars 2 portraits that look like they were taken straight out of the game. She has Asura, Humans, Norn, and Sylvari commissions that she’s done before posted on the Deviantart page. Sadly, she doesn’t have any examples of Charr art available, but since they’re the least popular race that is understandable. Her work starts at $110 for character portraits.

 

Lutherniel

Lutherniel is well known on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit for offering anime style portraits in exchange for in-game gold. His style has a way of making adorable Guild Wars 2 characters even cuter. If you prefer more traditional portraits though, he does offer a variety of options on his Deviantart page. Prices start at $50 for a bust and increase from there depending on what you’d like in it. Be sure to read the Deviantart commission journal entry if you’re interested. This is where you’ll find out how to contact him and what he needs to get started.

 

mSppice

mSppice creates fantastic Guild Wars 2 and Overwatch fanart. He’s especially good with the fine details of many of Guild Wars 2’s weapons. Unfortunately, the mSppice DeviantArt doesn’t have any information about commissions, so it would seem that contacting him is the only way to find out more.

 

PEJNTBOKS

Pejntboks is another ArenaNet creative partner with an amazing portfolio. Her Tumblr is filled with amazing Charr artwork along with other races. She does work in color and in black and white. Her prices range from €15 for a portrait sketch to €120+ for complex illustrations. She does also do NSFW art if that’s what you’re in the market for. If you like she will also stream while she works on your commission so you can watch your piece of art coming to life.

 

Setius

Setius’ artwork stands out from your normal MMO commissions. They all are stylized to look like stained glass. This unique twist on character commissions is ideal for Guild Wars 2 which is full of bright colors. She will also do other styles if you prefer something a little more traditional. Her stained glass artwork goes for €50 to €95, while her other artwork ranges from €10 to €70. Find out more about doing commissions with her on her Deviantart.

 

Wilhengard

Charr, Asura, Norn, Human, and Sylvari, Wilhengard has done them all with bright colors and a sense of epicness that is unmatched. His Deviantart page is dominated by Guild Wars 2 artwork. He also has black and white Guild Wars 2 themed tarot cards which were made in 2015, long before the current Guild Wars 2 Tarot Card project. Wilhengard doesn’t have any commission information available for reading, so if you’re interested you will have to contact him directly.

 

These are of course just a few of the amazing artists out there doing Guild Wars 2 commissions. If you know of someone you’d like to see added to this list let me know and I will do an update in the future. If you’re interested in the Guild Wars 2 Tarot Club you can find more information about it on the GW2 Collective’s Tumblr page. This one of a kind set of tarot cards will feature artwork from more than 60 artists on 78 tarot cards, plus a number of wild cards. The proceeds from this project will be going to charity, which one hasn’t been announced yet. Funding for the project begins on April 15th, which is World Art Day.

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Guild Wars 2 Youtubers in 2018 Part 1

If you’re looking for amazing player-made content for Guild Wars 2, Youtube is usually the first place you’d look, and with good reason. There are some incredible Guild Wars 2 content creators on the site, making a wide variety of different content. Below is a list of 10 fantastic Guild Wars 2 Youtubers you may enjoy.

 

Wooden Potatoes – https://www.youtube.com/user/WoodenPotatoes

Perhaps the best known, and most prolific Guild Wars 2 Youtuber is Wooden Potatoes. He makes several videos a week looking at patches, breaking down lore, and a variety of other Guild Wars related topics. He only does content for Guild Wars and his channel has been going for 8 years now. He’s best known these days for taking teaser trailers and breaking them down, turning a trailer with a runtime of less than two minutes into an hour-long in-depth look at every frame. His videos tend to run quite long compared to most YouTubers, with a 12-minute video being considered short. His videos are incredibly well researched and you’re sure to learn something new in every one of his videos.

 

Bog Otter – https://www.youtube.com/user/bogotter

Another face that has been around the Guild Wars 2 Youtuber community for a long time now is Bog Otter. He’s been making content on his channel for 6 years, most of it related to Guild Wars 2. He’s also a Twitch streamer in addition to his Youtube channel. His content varies from content playthroughs to previews of new weapons. There’s a new video on his channel every couple of weeks but if you want to catch him more often, check him out on Twitch where he’s playing something nearly every night.

 

Dulfy – https://www.youtube.com/user/Dulfycleric

Dulfy is quite simply one of the great heroes of Tyria. When new weapons and skins are released you go to Dulfy. If you’re stuck on a jumping puzzle or an achievement…Dulfy saves the day. Her guides are second to none. Her Youtube channel has also been going for 6 years now, though it started out with entirely different games. Yes, she has a few different MMORPGs that she does content for but she never feels like she’s stretched too thin. Even more important than her youtube channel though is her website. Here you can find all her video guides in addition to some fantastic timers, even more guides, and the latest Guild Wars 2 news. She’s also very active on the Guild Wars 2 Subreddit.

 

That_Shaman – https://www.youtube.com/user/thatshaman000/

While others focus on what is the game, That_Shaman focuses on what isn’t, or isn’t yet. He’s a dataminer and the community member in charge of the hype train, though he’s careful to never spoil any plot points or future content. Most of his work is done on Reddit rather than his youtube channel, but the channel is an important part of the work he does as it features videos of what new gear will look like, content that is never released, and more with a touch of his wonderful sense of humor. He also maintains an amazing historic map of Tyria on his website that should not be missed. Also, check out the interview with That Shaman I did last year.

 

The Krytan Herald – https://www.youtube.com/user/Fornax1066

A relative newcomer compared to others on this list, The Krytan Herald has only ben making content for the last three years. The videos themselves are incredibly high quality and range in topics from fashion to class guides. The host has an incredibly relaxing voice and makes me wonder if there are any Guild Wars 2 ASMR videos out there, if not, she could do it. New content is released on a weekly basis and you never know what it’s going to be on.

 

AuroraPeachy – https://www.youtube.com/user/AuroraPeachy

AuroraPeachy is another one of those Guild Wars 2 Youtubers who is actually better known for being on Twitch. Many of her Youtube videos are reaction style videos in which she reacts to recent trailers, content, and cute stuff. She has a close relationship with ArenaNet, giving her the opportunity to interview developers, tour the office, and be featured on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. Her Youtube channel gets an update every couple of weeks or you can find her on Twitch every night, Monday to Friday.

Guild Wars 2 - Queen Jenna

 

Jebro – https://www.youtube.com/user/UnityJebro

If you’re looking for a PvP focus for Guild Wars 2 then Jebro is your man. He’s done official Guild Wars 2 shoutcasting and commentary for Guild Wars 2 PvP for 5 years now. In more recent times, he’s branched out to talk about changes to classes as well, and from time to time you can also find him covering other titles. Once again, he’s also incredibly prolific on Twitch. You can find him there Sunday to Friday playing Guild Wars 2 and other games that catch his eye.

 

MMOInks – https://www.youtube.com/user/MMOINKS

MMOInks covers Guild Wars 2 news, does playthroughs of recently released content, history lessons, and much more. He’s been making Guild Wars 2 content for 3 years and has just 7,600 subscribers. From time to time, you can also find him playing other games but Guild Wars 2 is where most of his content comes from. He doesn’t seem to have a regular update schedule, though you will see at least one video from him every week.

Path of Fire Elite Specialization Guild Wars 2 Youtubers

 

Talking Skritt – https://www.youtube.com/user/tinfoiltableflips

If you’re on the lookout for a Guild Wars 2 Podcast, then Talking Skritt is where you need to go. There’s three years worth of content on this youtube channel, mostly covering patches and content releases. All of the videos are over an hour long and there has even been one that went on for over three hours! As of writing this, there are 158 episodes of Talking Skritt with a new podcast released every week. If you’re looking for long-form content to listen to during your commute then Talking Skritt is the perfect channel for you.

 

Sugarwraith – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC84ijArcm__kqHM8Kbe8WMA

Do you love nature shows and other types of documentaries? Wish there was one for Tyria? There is! Sugarwraith makes well researched, beautifully filmed videos that are inspired by the likes of the great David Attenborough. The youngest channel on this list, it has only been going for a year now and in that time they’ve not even made 20 videos yet. But the quality more than makes up for it. Videos are only released every couple of months but they’re a lot of fun and usually come in at just under 10 minutes.

 

This is really just scratching the surface of the Guild Wars 2 Youtuber scene. I’ll be continuing this list in the future with even more amazing Guild Wars 2 Youtube content creators. I’m also going to be taking a look at Twitch and other Guild Wars 2 creators throughout 2018.

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The Tyrian Chronicle: FriendShip Interview with the Devs

Welcome to another issue of The Tyrian Chronicle. This week we’re talking to two of ArenaNet’s finest on the new Guild Wars 2 FriendShip campaign launching very soon. It’s not all star-crossed lovers hit by a stray shot from the Dreamer, players come together in all sorts of ways.

 

Shannon: Thank you for talking to us about the campaign. I suppose to introduce yourselves, what is your name and job at ArenaNet. Also because people are always curious, what race and specialization combo you main?

Mike Zadorojny: Mike Zadorojny, Guild Wars 2 Game Director, Asura/Daredevil or Asura/Deadeye depending on the game mode.

Elisabeth Cardy: I’m Elisabeth Cardy, I work on the brand team, and “main” is a tricky question for me – I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Sylvari Firebrand lately.

Guild Wars 2 FriendShip

Shannon: How did the idea for this community spotlight come about? Was love just in the air as we got closer to Valentine’s Day?

Elisabeth Cardy: I think most of us who work here (certainly many of the people I’ve talked to around the studio) have been impacted by relationships that were made or fostered in video games and want to contribute to that culture. For myself, personally, the whole reason I got into video games is that I went to PAX 2010 in advance of the release of Guild Wars 2 to meet up with friends I’d made on the game’s unofficial forums. The ability of games, and MMOs in particular, to bring people together, is something I find fascinating, and something our team really wanted to celebrate. From the ground up, Guild Wars 2 was designed as a game where it’s a good thing to see other people, and that’s resulted in a friendly and connected community.

 

Shannon: Will the FriendShip microsite be staying up beyond the Valentine’s Day period or indeed longer than February?

Elisabeth Cardy: Yep! We’re excited to see all of the stories that come in throughout the celebration and we have a couple more that we’re going to highlight later on this month too.

 

Shannon: How do people share their stories to get them on the site? After all, I am sure that there has been more than a few friendships forged in Tyria over the last five years.

Elisabeth Cardy: If players post to the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page using #GW2FriendShips, or use that same hashtag on YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram, their stories will eventually make it to the site. The Friend/Ships page will also feature a submission form for folks who aren’t on those social media platforms.

Shannon: Does the development team get many stories from couples who met in Guild Wars 2? What about in the original Guild Wars?

Mike Zadorojny: We regularly receive fan mail at the office, in-game mail, post on our forums or on Reddit telling us wonderful stories about how friendships or romances have been made because of time spent within Tyria, both Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 versions.

Elisabeth Cardy: We’ll see fans talk about friendships or relationships that started in-game pretty regularity. Just in the last couple weeks before we announced this campaign, there was a sudden surge of wedding and engagement stories appearing on the GW2 subreddit – I thought that was particularly funny since the Friend/Ships celebration was taking up so much of my own attention.

 

Shannon: Have there been any relationships in ArenaNet that have come about because of GW2? I can think of a Streamer myself.

Elisabeth Cardy: Working on Guild Wars 2 has brought a lot of folks with coinciding interests together, and a bunch of folks at the studio have developed friendships that extend outside of working hours too.

 

Shannon: Have you made any friends in Guild Wars 2 (outside of the dev team) that have become real-life friends?

Mike Zadorojny: I’ve made a number of friends in Guild Wars 2 that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting when I travel around the world.  It’s always great to finally put a face the names and voices of people you meet and chat over a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza and share stories from the game or see how life has been treating them.

Elisabeth Cardy: I mentioned that I went to PAX to meet friends from the Guild Wars 2 community before the game even shipped (truthfully, before it even went into beta) – and the number of friends Guild Wars 2 has brought into my life has only grown from there.

Whenever we’re at events like PAX or Gamescom, we try to hold community events to spend time with fans, which means that we often meet the same folks over the course of a few years and start looking forward to those events as a way to reconnect with friendly faces.

Shannon: Will there be anything happening in the game to go along with this special community highlight?

Elisabeth Cardy: The release on February 6 introduced an achievement players can get by visiting Lion’s Arch, which will grant them an endless tonic they can use to show the world how friendly they are.

 

There you have it. If there’s a special someone out there in Tyria for you and you want to show how friendly you are, be sure to head to Lions Arch after the patch today to get your hands on that tonic.

As for other friendships forged in Tyria, do you have any stories you will be adding to the microsite? Or do you want to spin a tale of love here in the comments? It’s always great to meet other people who have met friends and partners through the internet.

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The Tyrian Chronicle: Statistically Speaking, This is Rather Rare

GW2Efficiency is hands down my favorite tool as a Guild Wars 2 player. It’s helpful with crafting, harvesting, and they have a free lottery, amongst the site’s many other functions. But there’s a new feature that has me excited: Unlock Statistics. With it, you can find out how common or rare achievements, skins, nodes, and a few other things are amongst the 142,000 accounts that use the site. Though it is only a portion of the whole player base, this tool can give us an idea of the trends that are seen throughout the game. This week I want to take a look at some of the interesting Guild Wars 2 statistics I’ve found in my exploration of this new feature.

 

The Most Common

Guild Wars 2 statistics

100% of players have the Hint Completion achievement unlocked. This is actually a retired achievement that players get automatically so this makes perfect sense. It’s the only achievement with a 100% rate. The most common skin is an Iron Dagger, 99.277% of players have this weapon, which leaves a little over 1,000 people that don’t. The most common mini is Mini Queen Jennah who has been unlocked by 87.8% of the population. From this, we now know that 87% of the players on GW2Efficiency have made it to their first birthday and collected their gift.

 

The Least Common

The rarest achievement, earned by only 3 people is Champion Brawler. To complete it you have to have won 10,000 rated arena games, that’s a whole lot of PvP. There is also one achievement that no one has unlocked, and I’d be really interested to hear from ArenaNet if anyone has done it, that’s The Crimson Assassin. You get it by unlocking all 16 of the red Super Adventure Box weapons. As a result of there being no one with this achievement, there’s also no one who has unlocked the related backpack that comes with the achievement. The least common skin that people do have is the Glorious Hero’s Wristplates. Only 6 people have this skin. There are three minis that are all tied with only 1 owner, they are Mini Lavish Silver Llama, Mini Air Djinn, and Mini Elegant Silver Llama.

 

Legendary Weapons Aren’t All That Uncommon

Guild Wars 2 Spring Update

Sharur, the gen 2 legendary hammer is the least popular of all the legendary weapons with only 258 people having unlocked the skin. That is incredibly rare at only 0.16% of the GW2Efficiency players, but not all of the legendary weapons are that rare. There are also a lot more weapons that are more common. The most common legendary weapon is Twilight, 16% of the population has this weapon. It honestly isn’t much of a surprise that one of the most common ones would be one of the greatswords. You see those things EVERYWHERE. It also won’t be much of a surprise that Sunrise is next. After that comes Incinerator, owned by 10% of GW2Efficiency users. So the real lesson to be learned here is that while legendary weapons are cool and flashy, they aren’t the best if you want a unique look that will turn heads.

 

Skins People Have Loved

If you’ve been around as long as I have, you may remember when Final Rest was THE weapon everyone was trying to get. There were threads on Reddit, devs were dropping hints on how to find it and quite simply, no one had seen it. These days, 24% of the population has it. Bonetti’s Rapier, another weapon that at one point was THE hot item is now owned by 51% of players. The Houndskin Mantle shoulders that rather suddenly were the new IT item are now owned by 36,812 people, that’s 22.8% of players. Remember when the Invisible footwear was the hot thing? Well, they are owned by 128, 115, and 79 players, the least common being the Heavy version. If I had known the odds were so bad, I never would have bothered. Which brings me to the current item everyone wants: the Sunscythe. It’s currently owned by 954 people, which is 0.5% of the players. This tells me the odds of it dropping aren’t all that great, but that isn’t going to stop me from trying to get it. The other skin that is currently on my lust list is Lightward’s Battlestaff, which 1.7% of the player base owns. I might actually have a chance there!

 

Stellar Weapons

One of the least popular sets that you can get in the game also happens to be the most recently released: the Stellar weapons. Part of the reason for the set being so unpopular is the fact that they’re new, but that isn’t all. To be able to craft these weapons, you first have to unlock the Brandstone Research Achievement, this takes 7 days to do. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to buy the recipes for the Astral weapons. You have to craft one of these to get the second set of achievements, Astral Purification. For that, you have to collect an additional 15 items to get the store tab to unlock the recipes for Stellar Weapons. Then, of course, to finish it all off you have to actually make it. So far the most popular has been the Stellar Spire, which only 378 people own. The one owned by the least number of people is Stellar Harbinger, with only 36. Over time, these numbers will increase but I don’t think they’ll ever be very popular.

 

What Else Can We Learn?

Based on the number of players who have unlocked the Heritage footwear, we can see that 24% of players have linked their Guild Wars account with their Guild Wars 2 account, while only 10% have unlocked Fire God’s Vambraces, which is the skin you get for completing the Hall of Monuments. This is actually a lot higher than I was expecting.

Nearly 67% of players completed Hearts and Minds, the last part of the Heart of Thorns story. Even more impressive is the 92% who have unlocked Rally to Maguuma, the very first achievement for Heart of Thorns. If all of the players bought the basic version of Heart of Thorns at full price, that achievement is worth nearly $6.5 million. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean this was all profit into ArenaNet’s pockets and we know that there have been sales, the price has gone down, and there are more expensive versions available.

If we also do this for Path of Fire, we look at Sparking the Flame, an achievement unlocked by about 93,000 players. This number is just 65% of GW2Efficiency users and accounts for almost $3 million in sales. Again, assuming everyone bought the cheapest version of the expansion and not while it was on sale.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be learned from browsing the statistics, these were just a few of the things that jumped out at me. I’d like to give a massive shoutout to GW2Efficiency for giving us this new tool and generally being awesome. Keep in mind that while these numbers give insight into users of the site, we have no idea how much of the game’s overall population use it. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to give Path of Fire a try. It’s a lot of fun and filled with the most gorgeous scenery in the game. If you want to see how you stack up against everyone else on GW2Efficiency, head over to the Unlock Statistics page.

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