September 19, 2012

Farmer's Handbook: Kessex Hills - Basic Crafting Materials

The Farmer's Handbook is a column dedicated to guide you to drop locations of crafting materials that can be obtained across the world of Guild Wars 2.

     Welcome back to another edition of Farmer's Handbook! This time we take a look at the centaur-contested land, Kessex Hills. As usual, this will be split into two parts. One for basic crafting materials and another for fine crafting materials.

     In this article, we'll be focusing on the basic crafting materials you can find in Kessex Hills. This map is primarily populated by centaurs due to several areas in the map that are constantly under attack by them as well as a large underwater area of krait, a mining site for bandits as well as a dreary swamp of the undead.

September 18, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Beta for Mac OS X out now!

     For those Apple Guild Wars fans that have been locked out of the game since it is only for the PC. Good news, the beta is now up for OS X for those that have purchased the game. According to the post all you need is an active account and you can hop right in. Here are the minimum and recommended specifications to run it.

September 17, 2012

Talking Tyria: Redefining the Endgame

Talking Tyria is our editorial column that discusses the varying opinions around Guild Wars 2.

     One of the more controversial topics in Guild Wars 2 is how Arena Net handles the endgame. To give a quick definition for those not too versed in MMO lingo, the endgame is defined as progression once you hit the level cap. This is the point where you no longer improve your character stats/skills based on gaining experience and levels from quests or killing mobs. What you do once you reach this point defines what the endgame is for a particular game. Some typical endgame content that we have been accustomed with MMO's are either PVE-oriented item progression (which means we have to group up and tackle dungeons or raids to kill bosses that drop these items) or PVP-oriented (where there are several modes where we can fight against other players). Arena Net seems to be choosing a different design strategy at approaching this, like many of the game's other features, and it is causing quite a divide between players as to whether or not it is the correct decision. Basically, this one statement defines the endgame of Guild Wars 2. The endgame starts at level one.

September 14, 2012

Krytan Cartographer: Queensdale Treasure Chest Locations

Krytan Cartographer showcases articles dedicated to showing unique and interesting locations in the world of Guild Wars 2. This will cover map completion, challenging vistas, treasure chest locations and much more.

     Treasure chests are handled slightly differently in Guild Wars 2. Instead of random spawns, chests are found in a specific spot and just has a daily timer attached to it. These chests are also usually guarded by a veteran mob. In this case, think of these like public dungeons where everyone can band together if you happen to be in the same area.

That said, let get started with the human starting area. Queensdale has three treasure chest spawn locations.

September 12, 2012

Farmer's Handbook: Queensdale - Fine Crafting Materials

The Farmer's Handbook is a column dedicated to guide you to drop locations of crafting materials that can be obtained across the world of Guild Wars 2.

     This is the second part to the Farmer's Handbook for Queensdale. In this article, we'll be focusing on good farming locations for fine crafting materials. To quickly define this, these are the items with a blue text that are used in various crafting recipes and are usually tied to a particular statistic e.g. blood is used for power, claws for precision, etc. So without further ado, here are the locations.

September 11, 2012

Digital sales for Guild Wars 2 is now available (again)

     The digital edition was previously brought down in a statement from Arena Net to preserve the experience of the current playerbase. However, in today's news, it seems that the company is now quite confident in expanding the population once again. Digital sales for Guild Wars 2 is now back on sale at their official website. This is true for both the regular and digital deluxe edition and are priced at $59.99 and $79.99 respectively. So if you still have any friends that missed this the first time around, it's time to remind them to get out their credit cards before this goes down again.

     Arena Net has also released the official launch trailer for the game entitled Our Time Is Now. Check out  the video and links after the break.

September 8, 2012

Talking Tyria: How dynamic should events be?

Talking Tyria is our editorial column that discusses the varying opinions around Guild Wars 2.

     One of the main draws of Guild Wars 2 is the dynamic event system. This was put in place to replace the more traditional talk to NPC quest mechanic. There has been a lot of previews before the game was released and the developers promised a system where in what you do or don't do affects the world around you. There has been quite some speculation and skepticism before and now that the game is finally here, it seems that there are two different points of view about the implementation of the system.

September 7, 2012

State of the Game Update for September 7

     There are some significant changes incoming as found in the recent state of the game update released by Arena Net. The company now shows which areas they are targeting next and it seems that some of the main issues since the launch will be addressed tonight. Check past the break as we see what we can expect in tonight's update.

Self-Help Site for Guild Wars 2 is up; Account Password Reset also Available

     Following the release of the technical support forums, the development team has recently opened the self-help section in their website. Here everyone would find a list of questions, answers and guides that tackle common problems regarding accessing the game. The site also includes a section for general announcements. Here are some highlights to the announcement for today:
  • The Trading Post is currently down for maintenance
  • Guild invites may only be received intermittently. Additionally, some players who were in guilds have been kicked and cannot be reinvited. We're investigating. 
     While problems regarding the trading post is nothing new at this point, people being kicked from guilds is a particularly new issue. Let's hope this gets resolved over the next few days.

     In other somewhat related news, everyone can now reset their password by following a link in the self-help site. This feature was previously disabled to prevent hackers from obtaining login information from leaked email addresses for various Guild Wars 2 fansites.

Source: Guild Wars 2 Support Site

September 6, 2012

Farmer's Handbook: Queensdale - Basic Crafting Materials

The Farmer's Handbook is a column dedicated to guide you to drop locations of crafting materials that can be obtained across the world of Guild Wars 2.

     Welcome to the first post of the Farmer's Handbook. As mentioned in the introduction post, we'll be splitting the guide into two main sections for each map. This section will be covering the basic crafting materials namely ores, wood, cloth, leather and crops.

     In this article, we'll be focusing on the Human starting area Queensdale. This map is populated by a good variety of enemies though you'd find that bandits and centaurs are quite common.

September 5, 2012

Dolyak Escort Rewards in WvW Halted for Review

     Dolyak escorts are events in World vs. World where you walk along a dolyak carrying supplies to a pre-determined destination, such as a fort or tower, for delivery. Normally, you get rewarded with experience, coin and what not once you have successfully escorted the Dolyak to its destination, fending off any invaders that come your way. However, in practice, invaders don't usually get to some of the dolyaks since the paths are nested within rows of defensive lines. This can be a strategic choice as you want to keep your supply lines safe, but this translates to escort quests being more of a formality and area for easy rewards. Seems that Arena Net may think that this is the case too.

Introducing the Farmer's Handbook!

     We have yet another column addition to the site. We'd like to present, the Farmer's Handbook! These articles will focus on guides, maps and resources about obtaining crafting materials from the world of Guild Wars 2. These articles will cover excellent spots to farm materials so you can get your hands on your crafted gear quicker. The format will be one article per map and material rarity so in essence there will be two articles per map. One will be covering the standard materials such as ores, wood and crops, while the other will cover the less common materials such as fangs, scales, totems, etc.

The next post will be up tomorrow so be sure to check back by then!

September 4, 2012

Arena Net opens up the Technical Support section of the Official Forums

     The team at Arena Net has been pulling punches left and right in terms of rolling out updates and fixes for the past days following the launch. This time around, they have brought up the Technical Support section of the official forums. The team brought down the whole forums right after the beta tests ended and this is the first time to see it again in some form. The team has mentioned that they will be opening up other sections on the forum once everything has settled. Also, the Arena Net Community Team Lead Regina Buenaobra has an interview over at Massively that address some of the issues and updates that the team has been tackling on for the past couple of days. There are still some issues with the game, but the constant updates and relatively quick turnarounds by the team suggests good times for the game's future.

Trading post is available, for real and probably for good this time

     It seems that yesterday's update was actually true. After checking it for myself, the trading post is now available and based on how it is performing, it seems that it is pretty much here to stay. The trading post has been sporadically available for testing purposes but was, for the most part, unavailable since the launch. Aside from the availability, it looks like Arena Net has found a way to optimize the trading post since the interface is now very responsive. This is a lot different from how it was in the beta as well as the testing done over the last week. So what are you waiting for, it's time to bring out all that stuff you've been farming and finally get some coin for it.

So you want to look pretty: A Transmutation Guide

     The Guild Wars franchise always had placed an importance in aesthetics. In normal words, the game gives importance to looking good, cool or even rad (a term from a different era, I'm not old don't judge me). The sequel is no exception and the game has integrated a system that further expands the player choice in terms of customizing how they look. This is called the transmutation system. I have recently tried this system and I'm putting up this small guide/journal of my experience with it.

September 3, 2012

State of the Game Update for September 3, 2012

     The Arena Net team has been providing a daily status update about several issues that are cropping up for players via the Guild Wars 2 wiki site. Today's update had some information about the trading post and some bug fixes. Jump past the break for the updates.

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Putting It All Together

     I have been following the development of Guild Wars 2 since the time it was first announced. And ever since then, I kept scavenging for every little piece of information I can get my hands on. I have found that every time I learn something new or if a new preview is up, I always say to myself (and to others of course), if the team can pull off what they say, this will be a really great game. Five years later, the game has finally launched and it is now time to see if the dev team did indeed deliver. So, without further ado, let's wrap up this review series.

Players Banned due to abuse of Karma Weapons Exploit

     A number of players were banned from Guild Wars 2 due to the abuse of an exploit found via a Karma Weapons vendor. The exploit involved obtaining high level weapons for a fraction of the intended karma cost. These weapons are then salvaged or tossed into the forge get high level materials or better quality gear. Based on feedback from the community, it seems that the people banned were those that really abused the system e.g. buying 1000+ copies of the weapon as opposed to those that bought just one or two. Though it may be best to just delete all items and weapons associated with this just to be on the safe side.

September 1, 2012

Talking Tyria: No more Guild Wars 2 Digital Sales (for now)

Talking Tyria is our editorial column that discusses the varying opinions around Guild Wars 2.

     Arena Net has recently released a statement via their Facebook page, as well as other social channels, that it is discontinuing digital sales until further notice. Check out the original quote as well as our editorial after the break.

Introducing Talking Tyria!

     We'd like to introduce a new column to the site called Talking Tyria. These articles will focus on the varying opinions of things related to Guild Wars 2. Be it current skill sets or developer decisions, we'll be covering opinions on a wide variety of topics. Check back later for our first Talking Tyria article.

August 31, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Criticisms

     I have decided to collect all the criticisms around the game in one article. The reason for this is that these criticisms are just facets of the larger systems and are spread across a wide number of areas. Let me start by saying that I have not found any problems that severely destroys the gameplay experience. However, I still find it worthwhile to take a step back and give some areas for improvement. This not only brings out some concerns that players might have, but at the very least, start a conversation between the players and developers to see if they could make the game better. Let's start with the dynamic event system.

August 30, 2012

Arena Net posts State of the Game Update on Reddit

     Arena Net has released a state of the game update on Reddit highlighting several aspects of the game.The topics they touched on revolved around account security and some game systems that have not yet reached its ideal state due to the large influx of players following the launch. Here is a quick summary of some of the topics they covered.

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Skills and Combat

Check out a video of combat at the end of this article
     Arena Net has been quite vocal about their intentions on skills and combat from the development of the game all the way to release. The team wanted a combat system that is more active as opposed to a more passive combat that has been the norm for this gaming genre. This is quite a departure since these passive systems already works quite well seeing as it has been adopted for a large majority of games. I myself don’t have any qualms about it but I am intrigued as to how Arena Net wants to implement this new system of combat. Let’s dive a bit further.

Trading Post is NOT Available!

Update 1: It seems that due to problems with the trading post when it went up yesterday. Arena Net has brought it down again for maintenance. We'll keep you posted on developments.

Update 2: Arena Net released a State of the Game Update that covers the trading post. See: Arena Net posts State of the Game Update on Reddit

     The Black Lion Trading Company a.k.a the Trading Post is now up and running. People can now buy and sell items using the trading post interface. The trading post was previously down for maintenance since the start of the early access last August 25 and no updates were given. It's well and good now since it is now accessible to all players. Note though that upon testing it a couple of hours ago, there are still some issues such as the buying and selling tab not refreshing, or the my transactions tab not showing the goods you have up for sale. Nevertheless, with a little patience, you will be able to get through. Let's hope to see some improvements in the near future.

The interface is accessible via the lion icon on the upper right of your screen or by pressing the default key "O"

August 29, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Character Development

     A well implemented character progression system is one of the key factors that keep players immersed in an online game. When we play a character, we expect a certain level of improvement and accomplishment as we continue to spend time within the game. This makes it an essential topic for review since this is what will draw people to play and define how long they will be playing. So, like my other review, let's get to it then. Let's talk about character development in Guild Wars 2.

August 28, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: The World

     For every MMO, it is essential to have a truly immersive world. The reason for this is that people who play these look for a vast world to explore and adventure in. The landscape is what the player immediately sees and can definitely make or break the player's experience. Let's see what Guild Wars 2 has to offer with its version of the world.

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Primer

     Reviewing an MMO is quite a challenging thing to do as opposed to reviewing games of other genres for the sole reason that an MMO is never quite finished. Because of this ever changing nature, giving an accurate review can be quite challenging due to the nature of the game. How you perceive it now may very well be quite different from the time of the review. Also, the content within an MMO is quite a lot more than your standard game. And because of this scope, being able to capture all the content is quite difficult as well. However, there are some points that can still be reviewed on that are relatively more static in nature. These are the underlying systems and design philosophies of these games. Arguably, these can very much change as well, but not as much as the content and scope of the game.

     Due to the sheer size of the game, I'll be doling out my review in multiple parts each covering one aspect of the gameplay experience. I'll give my objective thoughts on the matter and look at what makes the game great or not so great. With this, I present the Guild Wars 2 Review: A Piece by Piece Look.

Jump past the break to see the sections of the whole review.

August 25, 2012

Chilling with the Servers Down

     I have officially started playing Guild Wars 2 and managed to get my character to level 10 before servers went down around 2 hours ago. So far, my beta impressions are still spot on since I actually played the human area during the beta. There were somethings that were expected such as random lag spikes and flooding of people but overall, the launch was pretty okay considering and I was able to log a good amount of play before everything went down.

August 24, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Criticisms and Wrap-Up

      Based on the last few articles, it is clearly evident that I had a blast with the beta. Guild Wars 2 improves on so many things on the original (and even standard MMO fare) that it's easy to appreciate the game. However, it's best to keep things objective and try to see what areas still need some improvement. This not only makes for good journalism, it also helps the developers improve upon the game even further. So without further ado, let's go off to the criticisms!

Guild Wars Account Linking Now Available!

     I just noticed that you can now link your original Guild Wars account via a link in your account page. If you have not yet linked your account when you bought the game, you can now do so by visiting your account page then click on Link Accounts. If you have filled up your Hall of Monuments, you'll get a load of rewards for Guild Wars 2. This also grants access to character name reservation for your older characters in the original.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Making more Loot from Looting the Loot

     In the previous article, I discussed more on the loot system and how people gather loot in Guild Wars 2. Now I'll be focusing more on the systems that allow you to gain a profit from things you have gathered. Let's talk about trade.

     Trading systems in MMO's have come a long way from its initial roots. The most primitive form is physical trading where one person comes up to another person and initiates the trade. This is supplemented by a trade chat channel to match the potential buyers and sellers. As the genre grew more popular, people demanded for more sophisticated systems. One system that was quite successful was the auction house. While this system can be called a variety of names, e.g. marketplace, trading post, etc. I'll be using the term auction house as the general term for simplicity sake. The concept of this system is to have an automated in-game system that matches the buyers with the sellers while at the same time, allows the game to manage the trading process without requiring either the buyer or seller to be online at the same time. And like everything else that I talked about so far, Guild Wars 2 takes this concept and implements it in its own unique way.

August 23, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Online Manual Now Available!

     It looks like Arena Net is starting to wet our appetites for everything Guild Wars 2. With just around a day left until the game's launch, the devs at Arena Net released an online manual for our viewing pleasure. The manual focuses on basic concepts that we need to know once we start our journey across Tyria. They explicitly said that this should pretty much cover our first hour within the game but even if it doesn't, it's still something to do while waiting for the game to launch.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Looting the Loot

     There is always a time in every new MMO player's life where you are just dead broke. If you start out on a new MMO, you start out with zero items, zero gold and zero gear. This is actually a very interesting part in every budding players game life since this is usually the point where you think how you can get the wealth that you were so accustomed to in your other games. Guild Wars 2 is no different. To be an successful in the game overall, you have to have a certain level of game wealth to fund your anything from crafting to collecting mini pets. In this edition of my beta impressions, I'll be talking around this topic. Farming and Trade.

     For those not very familiar with these concepts, there is a basic two-step process to get rich in MMO's. The first part is farming. This is where you go out to explorable areas of the world looking for items of value. This can be obtained in a variety of ways. Either killing monsters and looting their bodies or looking for resource nodes that usually give items useful for crafting. The second part of the processes is trading. While you normally get a small amount of game currency just by killing monsters, selling the items that you get farming to other players will be where most of your income will come from. This can be done either by initiating a trade, or using in-game systems such as auction houses or market places.

     Having said all this, Guild Wars 2 implements both these concepts be it in its own unique way.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Questing

     Here's a small history lesson. Back during the early days, MMO's were notorious for the grind. The basic concept back then was, to get to a certain character level, you have to kill a truckload of monsters. Then World of Warcraft came and took the MMO world by storm. They have made a way to progress your level without the "grind". What was their solution? Quests. And ever since then, every other MMO that released had a quest system to guide character progression. Because of this, people started to redefine the meaning of grind. Nowadays, quests are now sometimes classified as a grind. The irony here is quite interesting because as ground breaking ideas are created to address the preferences of people, people's preferences then change to consider these ground breaking ideas to be simply ideas. This was another issue that guys at Arena Net were thinking about when they were designing the questing system for Guild Wars 2. Let's see how it plays out.

August 22, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Transitioning into an Open World

     I was lucky enough to get a beta key for one of the beta weekends. I was able to log enough time into the beta so I have a fair idea of what to expect from the game when it comes out. One thing that immediately caught my attention is how differently this game feels from the original Guild Wars. Yes you have the familiar characters and places, but somehow it does not feel the same. The reason for this is actually very simple. If you followed the development of the game, this has been discussed for quite a bit. The transition from Instanced into Open World.

Thank you for your feedback!

     I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that sent in their feedback. From the messages I received, the initial thoughts on the beta impression was that it was a bit to general and had some room for improvement. In line with this, I have revised the first beta impression article to have a lot more substance. We are always happy to hear from the community and its always a great way to make the content in this site more relevant to everyone who enjoys reading about Guild Wars. Again, thank you for your feedback, it is very much appreciated.

August 20, 2012

Which profession will you start with?

     Classes. Well in the case of the Guild Wars universe, we call them professions. MMO archetypes that define how we play and develop in the world of Tyria. To some, they already know what general type they want to play be it healer, tank, melee DPS or range DPS. But for others, this will actually take some simmering and debate. And what better time to do it than right now well before the launch. You wouldn't want the scenario where you finally decided your profession after hours of staring at the character creation screen but suddenly can't pick a name because pretty much everything has been taken wouldn't you?

Guild Wars 2 Pre-Launch Checklist

     Only 4 days left until launch day. The guys in Arena Net are hard at work to ensure Guild Wars 2 launches smoothly and on schedule. We have had our share of Error 37 moments and I don't think they want this to happen to them. But even though it's their job to make sure everything is prepared, doesn't mean we don't have to make preparations of our own. So without further ado...The Guild Wars 2 Pre-Launch Checklist

Welcome to The Guild Wars Gazette

     The official launch of Guild Wars 2 is just around the corner and whether you have bought the game or not, I bet you will be scouring the internet about anything and everything about the game. That's why I am here. Welcome to The Guild Wars Gazette.