Thrangis the Troglodyte

I’ve been secluded from much of the MMO world these past few months.  With FFXIV shifting gears for 2.0, and me without an alpha testing confirmation, I have turned to simpler games all together.  I’ve been trying to conquer the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.  I’m stuck on Escape from Dol Guldur.  Damned hill trolls.  I’m sure I’ll get it eventually.

What have I got planned until the end of the year?  I’m looking forward to FFXIV: A Realm Reborn’s BETA testing.  I want to contribute to making the game spectacular.  Aside from this I’ve been enjoying indie games, Crusader Kings II comes to mind.  I’ll be picking up FTL: Faster Than Light after the end of the month.  As for right this minute I’ve been playing Black Mesa Source, an SDK mod remake of Half-Life.  It’s great, but the ladders are still a pain.

I’ll try to refrain from allowing too much dust to settle on this old place.  When I, eventually, become active again I’ll probably do a visual update for the blog.  We’ll see. :)

– TTred

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GW2 – Not For Me

This is a strange post for me to write.  I focus on my first impression with the last BWE for GW2. And, sadly, only the first several hours of the event.  I enjoy the community behind the game and the developers are definitely top notch, but something is lacking.  Something about the game that had me checking, reading, and hyping daily… just doesn’t deliver.  I’ll do my best to recapitulate  what I experienced on Day 1 of the third BWE and why I uninstalled on the same day.

I was lucky enough to snag a beta key last week from curse and excitedly downloaded the client to prepare any patches and so-forth.  I waited in anticipation for the 20th of July to roll around the corner.  I had purposely denied myself GW2 information since late May, in the hope that my expectations would return to a normal level.  I have had my own lofty expectations ruin first impressions for games, especially MMOs, in the past.  Let’s skip ahead to today.  I start up the game around noon/noon-thirty (PST) and love the color scheme, painterly aesthetics, and music.  I’m starting to get drawn in.  I select my first race, Norn of course, and start dabbling in the character creator.  First thing that disappointed me was the overall flatness of the character models.  Everything just felt very… blocky.

I decide to try a different race.  Switch to Human and am sadly delivered a similar impression.  I’ll pass on that as well.  Leap for joy to Sylvari.  I had some great fun creating my character from this point.  I ended up with a tree bark, branches with leaves, semi-ME3 Garrus look.  I was happy.  Continuing down the creation tree, I was an engineer by the way, the personal choices were interesting and birthed questions in me about their outcome (this is good).  Then the cinematic introduction in the unique GW2 style.  I’m completely drawn in.  The voice felt right, the story was interesting, the colors were a feast for my eyes.  Then the starting/tutorial zone…

The intense color of everything in the Sylvari dream-world was almost dizzying.  I worked my way through the short, very short, story to a very large shadow dragon, tree, thing.  I was thinking it was time to fight some awesome dragon thing that was tainting the Sylvari’s dreams.  I get ready for the fight, but then it’s over.  I maybe shot the thing 3 or 4 times.  That was it.  I was rather disappointed, but I let it slide and continued on.  The color palette in the real world was more vibrant than I’d like.  I decided to work my way over to the human lands for a change of environment.

Skip to a few hours later.  I had done a number of activities for various NPC’s outside of Divinity’s Reach.  However, the whole experience was rather mundane.  I felt like I was charging into never ending Public Quests (WAR).  I wanted to experience a little more of the Engineer so I decided to hop into the Mists and level 80.  I test out the various weapons and utilities in the area and come away feeling very unimpressed.  I don’t know what it is that I didn’t like about the whole experience, I wish I did.  I thought it might just be the profession.  Perhaps it didn’t fit my tastes.  I make an Asura elementalist and give that a go.  I skip the Dynamic Events this time and fly back to the Mists.  I dabble with all the skills and weapons and utilities, but again I felt like something was missing.  It was all interesting to finally see first hand and use on whatever ways I could think up, but… still.

I wasn’t having fun.  I was playing the classes that interested me most, joined a few Structured matches, and even ran around WvW.  Yet, I had more fun playing Dungeon Fighter Online, TERA, FFXIV, and even Warhammer Online than I did with my short experience in GW2.  I shocked myself when I came to the thought.

It must just be me.  I can say with certainty that I will not be buying GW2.   Sorry Arenanet.  You put some strong effort into your game, but it’s just not for me.

Please, don’t take this as a review of the game in any sense.  If you enjoy the game keep playing.  This was simply the impression left on me by my experience.

– TTred

TERA-Tolerable

Currently I’m experiencing TERA at a very casual pace.  I have an assortment of alts that I bounce between, most between 30 and 35, with my main character just now hitting 40 (lancer).  I’ve attempted to keep track of the main questline, however it randomly becomes convoluted or boils down to killing x mobs to get to Elleon (the main good guy, as far as I know).  Am I enjoying myself?  Yes; the combat is engaging and I have always been fascinated by the type of creatures Asian games have a knack for creating.  Is the game lacking? Yes; I don’t feel myself being drawn into the story at all.  I hop on to enjoy the combat and see unique areas and monsters.  Other than that I am losing interest in what is taking place.  I still plan on reading it in the hope that I may puzzle out its musings.

A small part of me wanted to experience open pvp for TERA, the combat system is perfect for it, but I can hardly bring myself to suffer the ignorant crowds that inhabit those realms.  I consistently see players parting those worlds and searching for other, more mature servers, usually mine.  I’m hanging on for the Battleground/Arena system, supposedly coming later this summer.

– TTred

TERA guides

I was planning on making some crafting guides, but wow.  I stumbled across these masterful collaborations at Atra Astrum, an EU guild, and have to applaud their hard work.  I’m sure that Korean access played a delicate hand in their endeavors.

I will be doing some maps later to help guide the would-be gatherer to troves of gathering goodness.  Until then, check out the Atra Astrum guides.  You won’t be disappointed.

– TTred

TERA: Head Start Keys

I have a series of keys to give out for TERA! Again!  Thanks EME.

I’ll keep it simple.  Here are all my keys:

RXHHCAPWGFR7RK3J4L7TNWYJ9

GAMXY5FLYAKHNA3ADE7AJJYPM

LDPKT7D766FJR7ALFFLJENGJR

M3PHDEH7DKLWT9GRPYMPH5YNN

CH6H6E3KT73MG5J9WFGXDJDFC

RXW745MWXMG6MM4GECT7K5RMJ

Grab them while you can.

These keys will get you into the game for the head start weekend starting tomorrow12:00pm (noon) PST.

You should be able to download the TERA client now.

Good luck!

– TTred