A new patch just rolled out for Guildwars 2 and I feel there’s a few things worth highlighting, these are subtle but very useful changes.
Health bar percentages, you now have the option to see health as a percentage on both enemy and friendly characters.
Recipes are now account bound rather than character bound, when obtained via a consumable, hurrah!
There is now a search bar in your materials tab in the bank/account vault window.
You can now mute dynamic combat music so that you are able to enjoy the ambient music throughout the game more freely, there are a few exceptions to this for specific boss battles that have their own music though.
I’ve saved the best for last…Right click salvage all! You can now right click on a salvage kit and select salvage all to cut down on all the clicking…especially useful after doing a boss run.
So there you are, some simple tweaks that will improve gameplay considerably. The update of course contained the Living World Season 3 story, and updates to fractals and raids, but I wanted to draw some attention to the more subtle and general tweaks perhaps not covered elsewhere.
You know the deal by now, no spoilers here, I just thought it may be useful to those looking to purchase the first expansion to Guildwars 2 (and those new to the franchise completely) to outline some of the new features that come along with the new story content.
A whole new world
Well, place, “The Heart of Maguuma” is a jungle region housing 4 open world maps. Within each map are 3 different levels or “biomes” the roots, the floor and the canopy. With this comes new races of creatures, new outposts and a new storyline which takes place after Living World Season 2.
The Mastery system
This system adds progression and rewards for characters who have reached level 80. Certain actions will reward mastery points which can be spent levelling up mastery tracks, these add new features, items or abilities to your character. Gliding or crafting a legendary weapon for example.
Revenant – A new profession
A heavy armour profession that channels energy and abilities from characters in Guildwars’ past, which you can switch between to harness the best skills for the situation you are in.
A way for those who are level 80 to unlock new weapons, traits and skills. Each profession currently has the option of one specialization, the Elementalist’s being Tempest, and this unlocks shouts for these Eles.
Yes, like in Guildwars 1, only not really…so, so much better, but damn expensive to obtain. I shall type a separate post on these as and when I can.
Also, new content for PvP and WvW players (I don’t really explore this very much) and raids for those who want to play more challenging content in a group setting. (Again I will post more on these once I have experienced them more for myself) This is what I know of so far, let me know if I’ve missed anything. See you in game!
I’ve always thought ArenaNet have been excellent for making such an awesome MMORPG that’s buy to play, where you purchase the game, and then play for free, meaning no monthly subscription. With the first expansion launching soon, they have gone a little further and made the base game free to download and play completely. This allows people who are new to the franchise a chance to try the game, and also, they don’t have to invest a huge amount of money to get the full experience. (They will only have to shell out for the expansion)
There are of course some limitations to free accounts;
Fewer character and bag slots.
Map chat is disabled, but whisper and local chat are still available.
These players can buy and sell on the market but can’t mail gold or items directly to other players, trade gold for gems, or access guild vaults.
And, to quote ArenaNet directly “free accounts have some restrictions to prevent them from skipping ahead to places where they could be used to disrupt the game. They must play to level 10 before leaving the starter zones, to level 30 before using LFG, and to level 60 before using World vs. World. They can play PvP immediately but must get to rank 20 before using custom and unranked arenas.”
If you have always wanted to give the game a try CLICK HERE to register and start playing. If you’d like to join me, I play on the Aurora Glade EU server.
Within the FAQ, ArenaNet provide a handy table detaling limitations, depending on what content you have purchased, on This page.
After 200 hours spent as an elementalist, I felt it about time for a change. Step forward Sylvarian Guardian. Currently hovering around the level 60 mark, I can honestly say that no part of levelling a second character has yet become a chore. Guardians are possibly the more flexible and forgiving of professions in the game, wearing heavy armour they can feel tanky when armed with a greatsword, but can make awesome support healers when using a mace and shield. At the moment I’m set up running the following traits and switch between those 2 weapon sets, but there are other weapons guardians can wield, including staves.
Let’s just get one thing straight before I start…I REALLY wanted to love this game. MMOs, along with RPGs are my favourite genre of game, and I love a lot of the Marvel universe…comics, films and characters, so I really wanted to love this experience…but honestly…I didn’t.
Marvel Heroes is in it’s Beta stage, and my friend and rather super sketcher HiggieBaby (Click his name to check out his work) was kind enough to pass me a Beta key, so when the game is officially released in early June, things may be a little different, but initally I was disappointed with what it offered. I did eventually begin to appreciate it, (after trying a number of heroes and finding one that suited me best) but I can’t fangirl over it like I would like to. [The game does not support “screenshotting” at the time I’m writing this, so the screens here are from the game’s official website]
Marvel Heroes is an MMO, in which you choose your character from the Marvel universe (26 are known to feature so far, including Thor, Hulk, Human Torch, Spider-Man, and Daredevil, and various other X-Men and Avengers) and play out a story in a massive online world, you are free to team up with other players, and you gain levels, which award points that you can choose to place on a skill tree. Think Diablo III meets DC Universe online.
The story is written by comic book author Brian Michael Bendis and deals with Doctor Doom stealing The Cosmic Cube (aka The Tesseract)…I assume to take over the world.
New Hero characters will cost money, as will customised outfits, however, Marvel do assure us all that anyone can unlock almost every character… simply from playing through the game. You can swap between your roster of Heroes at any time, which makes things tactical, interesting and potentially hilarious. The game uses the Unreal 3 Engine to render effects, so destructible environments feature, as do interactive objects. The game has public combat zones, where players can gather and fight randomised bosses, social zones like towns, and solo or party-based dungeon instances that will scale in difficulty depending on how many players are in them.
Don’t get me wrong, there were things I loved about it, the motion comic cutscenes, the customisation that comes from building a skill tree how you wish, the choice of characters and combat styles on offer, and the dynamic boss fight events where a number of you all chip in, to rid the world of some well known Marvel bad guys. (Seeing Hulk revive a dead Wolverine is a little odd, I must confess.)
However, there is a lot of clicking involved, and using the keyboard to move your hero around is pretty impossible, the controls are clunky to say the least, and the less said about the camera angles and control the better. And all that clicking just didn’t feel justified, as at times, I felt unrewarded for my efforts and just wasn’t having fun. Different belts and coats, although supposedly enhancing my stats, did not make my character look any different, and the stat increases really didn’t make a difference in combat. This is something that is done well in so many other games, (hello Diablo 3 and Guildwars 2) so I really missed it. When I upgraded Wolvie’s suit, I expected him to be tougher and he just wasn’t.
At first I was concerned that my love of Marvel would taint my opinion, but looking past the characters, this is a lacklustre MMO, it’s a grindy, click-kill-run around-pick stuff up-level up-repeat, kind of affair, and there is a part of me that can appreciate it for that. I’d love it to have more depth, and for me to care about the story, and become immersed in the experience, but I am yet to feel I can do any of these things. If you want a superhero game that functions on a story or character level, this isn’t it (so far). Marvel need to put in more of a feeling of humanity into game, they do it so well in the films, I have hope for the game yet.
In short I love that I can play as a Marvel hero, with friends, but the way the game executes this, makes it difficult to love in a world that has the likes of Diablo, Torchlight and Guildwars, which are all doing this kind of thing, much much better. That being said, I remember the launch of DC Universe Online (yes I went there) and that was very similar…it is now however, a pretty decent title…so my faith remains in Marvel…for now, just don’t go into it expecting an Iron Man film type experience, because it’s more of a Hulk film…but it’s definitely not a Daredevil affair, and since it’s free to play, I say it’s worth keeping an eye on, and trying out, as although it’s currently not very fun to play…something keeps me going back to it.