Headstarting?

Sorry about having the late posts, as you know, I have made a move into a new apartment and got swamped with work.  This post is very scattered, so be warned.

Oh yeah, also, I am officially eating my words when I stated that Pistols are for PvE and Rifles are for PvP.  In their current state, Pistols are superior due to how clunky the Rifle is.  Right now, there are animation delays for the Rifle that really defeat the purpose of the rifle, and as such, Rifle is kinda worthless.  So lets hope that the Rifle will get a nice fix before release, or else we will have a weapon that is mostly deadweight.

 

Anyways!

 

To headstart, or not to headstart?

 

This is definitely a question I am asking myself right now.  And my reason for even asking a seemingly common sense question, is I don’t know if I want to play it 3 days earlier than everyone else.  I really don’t.  So naturally, its a battle for weighing the pros and cons of headstart in the first place.

Headstart is something very recent that MMO companies have done to help ease server overload on launch.  When MMOs first launched, they were not nearly as big as they are today.  WoW didn’t have a headstart, neither did Everquest or Ultima.  And in their peaks, these were the top MMOs of their time.  The first time I have ever heard about a headstart was from RIFT and since then, I have been hearing about it all the time.  So the concept of headstart is a fairly new one.  And the purpose makes sense, as MMOs grow in popularity, server overload is definitely a problem as a lot of people will want to play the game at launch.  So rather than creating a million servers, or having stupid large queue times.  It also allows players to do things before the massive crowd gets a chance at doing quests to help ease the questing experience.  But there are some hefty consequences of headstart.  And generally, anything that is a pro, is also a con.  So lets begin.

The first is clearly the server population.  By being in headstart, you get a chance of doing things while the rest wait and you will always be ahead of the leveling curve.  So when people are still trying to quest in the starting area, you are 2 to 3 zones ahead of them.  When RIFT had head start, there were people who had already hit max level by the time the game launched.  So this gives you plenty of time to explore and not get hung up on a single quest because everyone is tagging the mobs, thus giving you absolutely nothing in return.

However, while not having to compete with people is nice, the huge and primary flaw of headstart is that chances are (assuming you didn’t quit the game during the headstart) you are the only one able to do content, let alone end game content.  The plus of having  people around is that content, such as dungeons and raids, are always available as people are around to do them.  Most of the people that were in the headstart of RIFT quit after a week because there were not enough people to start doing the content that they were interested in doing.  And while this is indeed a problem, without people you can’t do content, it isn’t that much of a problem due to the maximum number of people required to do instanced content and the nature of Dynamic Events being scaled to the number of people there.

In Guild Wars 2, the main issue of tagging and being unable to do content due to a lack of spawns is completely eliminated.  Since you gain a full share of rewards for doing anything as long as you participate in whatever is going on based on how much you contribute.  On regular mobs, you get full amount, for a full dynamic event, killing one pirate will not yield as much reward as going on a mass murdering spree.  So, one of the pro’s of headstart isn’t even a pro.  Since you will never be forbidden from doing content based on spawn times, there is no inherent competition for quest items like there are in RIFT or SWTOR.  So really, this is not something that makes me want to play the game early, but rather, makes me want to play when the game is launched to never have a drought of players to do content.  And I am the type of player that gets bored when there are not enough players to do anything.  However, I am sure everyone in my guild is going into headstart.  So there is that, but I am also the type of player who gets to max level as fast as humanly possible.  I also like to PvP, so having players around to do that will be nice.

Avoiding Queue times is not really a pro, as you only avoid the queue times for the duration of headstart.  Good news is, when you do get into the game, you wont suffer from lag (if your computer sucks) since you will be in a further zone.  But that is also temporary as once you get into the end game where people congregate to a main city, the lag problems will resume.  So lag is inevitable, queue times are inevitable.  Also,  with the overflow system (assuming that every server isn’t packed to the max, which might be the case on launch day), queue times are essentially nonexistent.  And since queue times don’t bother me (they give me an excuse to do other things), avoiding them really isn’t much of a pro for me.

Headstart also allows for the game developers to better prepare for the inevitable server crashes that major releases are bound to have.  Diablo 3 was practically unplayable for the first few days, and that was purely based on how moronic Blizzard was when handling that game (its a single player game with multiplayer functionality, stop treating it like an MMO).  For games that are MMOs, server crashes are bound to happen.  The only way to prepare for it is to have so many servers that it is feasibly impossible to actually crash them.  But, the problem with that is you then have to close down servers to help control the spread of players.  Despite how many people are excited for GW2, there will be people who won’t like it, and that is OK.  Headstart is a means of gating people into the game by allowing a few in, see how stable the servers are, and then gradually increasing the server limits so that more can enjoy the game.  So really, headstart is like a stress test where you actually get to keep your characters.  So expect some hiccups, there are always hiccups.

The final thing is just being able to play the game early.  This is always the primary reason why people want to play headstart.  And to be honest, I don’t think I have ever played a game on release day.  Even Fallout: New Vegas, I waited a good month before actually getting to it.  With that in mind, I don’t really feel like I need to play GW2 before it comes out.  In fact, the only thing that, even remotely, makes me want to play during headstart is to play with my guild mates again.  Hell, I didn’t even get Diablo 3 the day it came out, I completely ignored it, played it and hated it.  If the game is worth it, than so should the wait.  I waited 10 years for Diablo 3, and was let down, it was a waste of a wait.

I also fall under a category of relative newcomer status when it comes to Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.  I am not one of the Utopia waiters, I am not a Guild Wars player.  To be honest, compared to those who are, I am a bit of a hypocrite and hardly fit into the crowd.  I think the only thing I have going for me are my fat American jokes, my self demeaning humor, and freakishly long writings.  My only real connection with GW2 is my love for MMOs and the desire to see a game finally have the balls to try to change the system.  We are definitely, all of us, in a very interesting time.  Will Guild Wars 2 be a massive success, or will it be a flop?  The people in the BETA of SWTOR said it would finally kill WoW, but we saw where that went.  And while I personally believe that Guild Wars 2 will not come close to making a dent in WoW (its a free game vs a sub game, people will run both), I feel that what they are doing is making changes.  Look at the monk in WoW, it’s a class that has no auto attack and is based around the flow system that GW2 has.  Plus with a release date approximately a month after the release of GW2, it will be interesting to see how people will compare the monk to the combat style of GW2.

Nothing about headstart makes me want to play the game sooner.  And this might be because I never really got a chance to play in any of the Beta events.  I have also, never been the type to need to see or do things the day they come out.  So the experience is not a driving force for myself to play or do anything.  It’s the social aspect that makes me love MMOs, and its that social aspect, that experience with those who I call friends and allies, that makes the entire thing worthwhile.  Because of that, I will do my absolute best to be in some of the headstart (I can’t guarantee anything with my work schedule).

Its almost been a whole year since this blog was launched with the ambitious 3,000 word post on the guild system, we have a release date and 3 very successful beta events.  Yet, the only thing we can do is have the hope that Arena Net will deliver on their promises.  We all saw what a flop SWTOR was, lets just hope the game that we have waited for, despite for how long, will be everything we have ever hoped for.  I can’t help but be skeptical about this game.  I have been let down so many times in the past, and to be completely honest, the last game I ever played in recent years and been completely satisfied with, was Pokemon Black and White.  A sad truth in the matter, I started RIFT up last year, loved it, and to an extent still do.  But there are still things in that game that bother me.  Even playing it now, I find many little nuances that really irk me.  So maybe all those dissatisfactions are holding my excitement back.  All we have is hope.  Beta, IS, after all, an incomplete product.  So we will see a month after release if GW2 will hold its own.

So what are you opinions, are you going to be in the headstart?  Are you just as skeptical as I am with being as burned by past failures?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

BWE3 Engineer Skills

All skills at level 80 PvP Character
From the BWE3 7/20-7/22
LEGEND
Skill Name
Skill Requirement (Toolbelt)
Description
Statistics of skills
Because kits change your weapon skills, they will look like this
Kit Name
Kit Description
Kit Skill 1
Kit Skill 1 description
Skill 1 stats

Traits work differently, you have 3 Minors where you have no choice but to get them, and then you have 3 choice slots with a lot of different options.
Trait Tree
Rank
Trait Name
Trait Description
Passive traits are stats you gain for placing trait points into the various trees.
Mine Kit’s skills change based on if the mine is deployed or not. All 5 skills throw out a land mine, but once it is out, it turns into detonate, allowing you to detonate your mines.

ALL STATS ARE WITHOUT ANY TRAITS ACTIVE

Pistol
Main Hand
Explosive Shot
Fires a shot that explodes on impact, bleeding nearby foes.
Damage: 251
Bleed (4s) -182 Damage over time

Radius: 120
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile (20% chance)
Range: 900

Poison Dart Volley
Fire a volley of darts that poison foes.
Cooldown 10s
Damage: 251
Poison (2s) 180 Damage, -33% Reduced Healing
Number of Darts: 5
Range: 900

Static Shot
Discharge a lightning shot that bounces Blind and Confusion to multiple enemies.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 251
Blindness (3s) Next outgoing attack misses
Confusion (3s) 70Damage on Skill Use
Maximum Targets: 4
Range: 900

Off Hand

Blow Torch
Unleash flames from your pistol to burn foes. Deal more damage the closer you are to your enemy.
Cooldown 15s
Damage at 200 Distance: 621
Damage at 600 Distance: 207
Burning at 200 Distance(2s): 2,054 Damage
Burning at 600 Diastance(2s): 685 Damage
Range: 600

Glue Shot
Coat the target area with a glue puddle that immobilizes foes on impact, then cripples enemies that remain within the puddle’s radius.
Cooldown 30s
Immobilize (1s): Unable to move
Cripple (1s): -50% Movement Speed
Glue puddle duration: 6s
Radius: 240
Range: 700

Rifle
Hip Shot
Deliver a quick rifle shot from the hip that pierces targets.
Damage: 407
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile (20% chance)
Range: 1,000

Net Shot
Immobilize foes with a net shot.
Cooldown 10s
Immobilize (2s) unable to move
Range: 1,000

Blunderbuss
Fire a cloud of shrapnel that causes more damage the closer you are to your foe.
Cooldown 10s
Damage at 100 Distance: 1,002
Damage at 400 Distance: 626
Bleeding at 100 Distance(4s): 726 Damage
Bleeding at 400 Distance(4s): 182 Damage
Range: 400

Overcharged Shot
Fire a blast so strong it launches your foe as you fall backward, removes immobilize, cripple, and chilled.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 626
Enemy launch distance 450
Self knockback distance 300
Range: 400

Jump Shot
Blast the ground, damaging nearby foes and leaping to your target.
Cooldown 20s
Leap Damage: 564
Landing damage: 1,128
Radius: 120
Combo Finisher: Leap
Range: 700

Shield
Magnetic Field
Create a magnetic field that reflects projectiles and can be released to push back foes.
Cooldown 30s
Duration: 3 seconds
Knockback: 300

Static Shield
Electrify your shield, preparing to throw it at foes. If you are hit, the shield discharges, stunning your attacker.
Cooldown 40s
Stun: 2 seconds
Block Duration: 2 seconds

Harpoon Gun
Homing Torpedo
Fire a shot that homes in on your foes.
Damage: 376
Range: 1,000

Scatter Mines
Shoot out a spread of remote-detonated mines.
Cooldown 12s
Damage: 2,631
Range: 1,000

Retreating Grapple
Retreat while firing a grappling line at your foe, then pull them toward you.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 251
Retreat Distance: 545 Feet
Pull Distance: 600 Feet
Range: 1,000

Timed Charge
Fire a timed charge at your target, damaging nearby foes when it detonates.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 1,096
Radius: 180

Vulnerability(10s): -150 Defense
Range: 1,000

Net Wall
Launch a deployable net wall to immobilize foes caught within.
Cooldown 25s
Immobilize (3s): Unable to move

Healing

Elixir H
Elixir: Drink Elixir H, healing yourself and randomly gaining Protection, Regeneration, or
Swiftness.
Cooldown 25s
Healing: 120
Regen (10s): +1,300 Health regen
Protection (5s): 33% damage reduction
Swiftness (10s) +33% Movement speed

Med Kit
Device Kit: Equip a kit that replaces your weapon with healing skills.
Drop Bandage(Skill slots 1,2,3)
Drop a pack of bandaged that provide a little healing.
Cooldown 15s
Healing 40

Drop Antidote
Drop a vial of antidote that removes conditions.
Range: 1
Cooldown 15s

Drop Stim Brew
Drop a bottle of stimulating liquor, granting Fury and Swiftness.
Cooldown 20s
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Swiftness (10s): +33% Movement Speed

Healing Turret
Turret: Deploy a turret that heals you briefly, then continues to apply regeneration to you and nearby allies.
Cooldown 20s
Healing: 4,920
Regen(8s): 1,040 Heal
Healing Radius: 480
Range: 100

Utility

Rifle Turret
Turret: Build a rifle turret that shoots at foes.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 318
Max Range: 1,000
Rate of Fire: 2 seconds

Flame Turret
Turret: Deploy a turret that burns foes.
Cooldown 40s
Damage: 127
Burning(2s): 685 Damage
Turret Attack Range: 450

Net Turret
Turret: Build a net turret that immobilizes nearby foes.
Cooldown 30s
Immobilize (3s): Unable to move
Net Range: 600
Rate of Fire: 10 seconds

Thumper Turret
Turret: Build a high-health thumper turret that damages nearby foes.
Cooldown 50s
Damage: 381
Attack range: 240
Rate of fire: 3 seconds

Rocket Turret
Turret: Build a turret that fires rockets.
Cooldown 60s
Damage: 794
Burning (3s): -1,027 Health
Rate of Fire: 4 seconds
Radius: 240

Elixir B
Elixir: Drink Elixir B, gaining Fury, Might, Retaliation and Swiftness.
Cooldown 40s
Might (30s): +35 Power, 35 Condition Damage
Fury (10s): +20% Critical
Swiftness (10s): +33% Movement Speed
Retaliation(10s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.

Elixir U
Elixir: Drink Elixir U, gaining Quickness and a random utility buff from another profession.
Cooldown 60s
Quickness(5s) Skills and actions are twice as fast.
Haste(5s): Regenerate no endurance.
Frenzy (5s): You take 50% more damage.
Quickening Zephyr(5s): You cannot be healed.

Elixir S
Elixir: Transformation: Drink Elixir S, shrinking yourself, recovering from stun, and evading attacks.
Cooldown 60s
Duration 4s
Breaks Stun

Elixir C
Elixir: Drink Elixir C, converting all conditions into random boons.
Cooldown 60s
Duration 5s

Elixir R
Elixir: Drink Elixir R, recovering from stun and losing all conditions.
Cooldown 45s
Break Stun
Range: 40

Grenade Kit
Device Kit: Equip a kit that replaces your weapon kit with grenade skills.

Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes.
Damage: 160
Explosion Radius: 150
Range: 1,200

Shrapnel Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a hail of shrapnel, causing bleeding.
Cooldown 5s
Damage: 176
Bleeding (12s): 545 Damage
Explosion Radius: 150
Range: 1,200

Flash Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a blinding flash.
Cooldown 10s
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses
Explosion Radius: 150
Range: 1,200

Freeze Grenade
Throw a grenade that chills enemies with a frigid blast.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 160
Chilled (3s): -66% Movement speed and skill recharge rate
Explosion Radius: 240
Range: 1,200

Poison Grenade
Throw a grenade that explodes in a Poisonous Cloud.
Cooldown 15s
Poison (5s): 449 Damage, -33% reduced healing
Poison Cloud Duration: 5s
Poison Cloud Radius: 150
Combo Field: Poison
Range 1,200

Throw Mine
Throw out a remote-controlled land mine that damages, knockbacks and removes a boon from nearby foes.
Cooldown: 10s
Damage: 495
Explosion Radius: 180
Proximity Radius: 60
Knockback: 300
Range: 900
Detonate
Detonate your mine, causing damage to nearby enemies and removing a boon from them.
Damage: 494
Explosion Radius: 180
Combo Finisher: Blast

Bomb Kit
Device Kit: Equip a kit that replaces your weapon with bomb skills.

Bomb
Set a timed charge that damages nearby foes.
Damage: 502
Range 240

Fire Bomb
Set a timed charge that burns nearby foes.
Cooldown 10s
Damage: 80
Burning (1s): 343 Damage
Duration: 3 seconds
Radius: 240
Combo Field: Fire

Concussion Bomb
Set a timed charge that dazes nearby foes.
Cooldown 18s
Damage: 201
Confusion(5s): 347 Damage on Skill Use
Range 180

Smoke Bomb
Set a timed charge that creates a cloud of smoke, blinding nearby foes.
Cooldown 25s
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses
Duration: 3 seconds
Radius: 240
Combo Field: Smoke

Glue Bomb
Set a timed charge that creates a puddle of glue, immobilizing and crippling nearby foes.
Cooldown 25s
Immobilize (1s): Unable to move
Cripple(1s): -150% Movement Speed
Radius: 240
Puddle of Glue Duration: 3 seconds

Flamethrower
Weapon Kit: Arm yourself with a flamethrower that replaces your weapon skills.

Flame Jet
Spray Fire in a cone pattern while on the move, burning enemies on the final attack.
Damage: 600
Burning(1s): 343
Hits per second: 5
Range: 425

Flame Blast
Fire a napalm ball that rolls through foes and explodes.
Cooldown 6s
Damage: 301
Blast Damage: 702
Blast Radius: 240
Range: 600

Air Blast
Push back foes and projectiles with a blast of hot air.
Cooldown 15s
Knockback Distance: 400
Range: 300

Napalm
Burn foes with a wall of napalm at the target location.
Cooldown 30s
Burning per Pulse(1s): 343 Damage
Combo Field: Fire
Range: 600

Backdraft
Vent smoke from your flamethrower blinding nearby foes.
Cooldown 20
Blindness(5s): Next outgoing attack misses.
Radius: 180
Range: 180

Elixir Gun
Weapon Kit: Arm yourself with an Elixir Gun that replaces your weapon skills.

Tranquilizer Dart
Fire a dart that Bleeds and Weakens foes.
Damage: 161
Weakness (1s): -50% endurance regen, -50% Fumble
Bleeding(4s): 182 Damage
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 900

Elixir F
Fire a bouncing glob of Elixir F that cripples foes and grants Swiftness to you and your allies.
Cooldown 8s
Damage: 296
Cripple (3s): -50% Movement Speed
Swiftness (3s): +33% movement speed.
Range: 900

Fumigate
Spray a cone of elixir fumes, applying Posion and Vulnerability to enemies and removing conditions from allies with every strike.
Cooldown 12s
Poison (1s): 449 Damage, -165% Heal Effectiveness
Range: 450

Acid Bomb
Leap backwards, spraying an acidic elixir on the ground that damages nearby foes.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 341
Duration: 5 seconds

Super Elixir
Elixir: Launch an elixir orb, healing nearby allies on impact and creating an area of continual healing.
Cooldown 20s
Impact Heal: 380
Pulse Heal: 140
Duration: 10 seconds
Range: 240
Combo Field: Light
Range: 900

Tool Kit
Weapon Kit: Equip a kit that gives you a variety of tools to use.

Smack
Chain: Smack your foe. Repairs turrets.
Damage: 257
Vulnerability(6s): -30 Defense
Range: 130

Whack
Chain: Whack your foes.
Damage: 257
Vulnerability(6s): -30 Defense
Range: 130

Thwack
Chain: Thwak your foes leaving them weakened.
Damage: 561
Range: 130

Box of Nails
Scatter nails that bleed and cripple foes.
Cooldown 10s
Bleeding (2s): 91 Damage
Cripple (2s): -50% Movement Speed
Radius: 240
Box of Nails Duration: 4 seconds

Pry Bar
Launch your foes with a smack of your pry bar.
Cooldown 15s
Damage: 642
Confusion(4s): 208 Damage on Skill Use
Range: 130

Gear Shield
Block incoming attacks.
Cooldown 20s

Magnet
Pull your target to you.
Cooldown 25s
Range: 600

Utility Goggles
Gadget: Break out of stun, gaining Fury and immunity to blindness.
Cooldown 40s
Fury (10s): +20% Critical Chance
Blind Immunity Duration: 10 seconds
Break Stun

Rocket Boots
Gadget: Fly backwards, damaging foes with your Rocket exhaust.
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 395
Rocket Distance: 900
Radius: 120
Break Stun
Combo Finisher: Blast

Personal Battering Ram
Gadget: Launch a target foe with a concealed ram’s head.
Cooldown 45s
Damage: 197
Blowout: 450
Range: 180

Slick Shoes
Gadget: Spray oil behind you, knocking down foes. If underwater, blind foes that enter the oil field.
Cooldown 60s
Knockdown: 2 seconds
Oil slick duration: 1 second
Blindness (5s): Next outgoing attack misses.

Elite

Supply Crate
Request a massive supply drop, complete with turrets and bandages.
Cooldown 180s
Damage: 395
Stun: 2 seconds
Radius: 240
Combo Finisher: Blast
Range: 1,200
Note: Drops 8 Healing packs, a flame turret, a net turret and a healing turret.

Elixir X
Elixir: Transformation: Drink Elixir X, becoming a rampaging brute, withering plague, or whirling tornado. Underwater, become either a withering plague or a whirlpool.
Cooldown 120s
Tornado(15s): Transformed into a tornado
Rampage(20s): Assumed the form of a massive juggernaut.

Mortar
Turret. Build a stationary mortar that you or your allies can fire.
Cooldown 120s
Mortar Duration: 120s

Launch Mortar Shot
Launch an explosive round from your mortar, damaging foes in the target area.
Cooldown 2s
Damage: 97
Range 1,400

Launch Caltrops Mortar
Launch a mortar round that spreads caltrops in the target area, Bleeding and Crippling foes who walk though.
Cooldown 12s
Cripple(2s) -50% Movement Speed
Bleeding(12s) 545 Damage
Range 1,400

Launch Elixir
Elixir: Launch a mortar round that heals allies in the target area.
Cooldown 15s
Healing: 370

Radius: 240
Range 1,400

Launch Ice Mortar
Launch a mortar round that Chills foes in the target area.
Cooldown 30s
Chilled(1s) -66% Movement Speed and Skill recharge

Damage: 48

Radius: 240
Combo Field: Ice
Range 1,400

Launch Concussion Barrage
Launch a barrage of arounds that Pushes back foes where they land.
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 485
Range 1,400

Toolbelt

Toss Elixir H
Elixir H
Elixir: Toss Elixir H, randomly granting Protection, Regeneration, or Swiftness to allies in the area.
Cooldown 30s
Protection (5s): 33% damage reduction
Vigor (10s): +100% endurance Regen
Regen (10s) 1,300 Heal
Range 900

Bandage Self
Med Kit
Bandage your wounds, healing yourself.
Cooldown 20s
Healing: 120

Healing Mist
Elixir Gun
Elixir: Vent a healing mist, granting regeneration to yourself and allies.
Cooldown 40s
Regen (10s): 1,300 Heal

Throw Wrench
Tool Kit
Boomerang your wrench in a line, striking foes each way. Repair any turrets that the wrench hits.
Cooldown 20s
Damage: 395
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 900

Grenade Barrage
Grenade Kit
Throw several grenades at once
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 197
Explosion Radius: 150
Number of Grenades: 6
Range 1,200

Big Ol’ Bomb
Bomb Kit
Set a timed charge with a big blast that launches nearby foes.
Cooldown 30s
Damage: 888
Blowout: 400
Combo Finisher: Blast

Mine Field
Mine Kit
Plant 5 mines around yourself.
Damage Per Mine: 276
Explosion Radius: 120
Range: 360

Launch Personal Battering Ram
Personal Battering Ram
Shoot out a ram’s head in front of you, Crippling any struck foes.
Cooldown 18s
Damage 197
Cripple(5s) -50% Movement Speed
Combo Finisher: Physical Projectile
Range: 900

Analyze
Utility Goggles
Cooldown 40s
Analyze a foe, applying Vulnerability.
Vulnerability (10s): -150 defense
Range: 1,200

Rocket Kick
Rocket Boots
Use your rocket boots to do an explosive kick that Burns enemies.
Damage: 470
Burning(5s): 1,712 Damage
Range: 300

Super Speed
Slick Shoes
Run at double speed.
Cooldown 45s
Duration: 5 seconds

Incendiary Ammo
Flamethrower
Cooldown 60s
Burn foes with your next three attacks.
Burning (3s): 1,027 Damage
Incendiary Ammo Duration: 60 seconds

Toss Elixir C
Elixir C
Elixir: Toss Elixir C, converting one condition to a random boon for all allies in the area.
Cooldown 30s
Duration: 5s
Range: 900

Toss Elixir R
Elixir R
Elixir: Toss Elixir R, removing conditions and reviving allies in the area.
Cooldown 85s
Revive Percent per Pulse: 20%
Duration: 6 seconds
Range: 1,200

Toss Elixir B
Elixir B
Elixir: Toss Elixir B randomly granting Fury, Might, Retaliation and Swiftness to allies in the area.
Cooldown 20s
Might (30s): +35 Power, 35 Condition Damage
Fury (10s): +20% Critical Chance
Swiftness (1s): +33% Movement speed

Retaliation(10s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.
Range: 900

Toss Elixir U
Elixir U
Elixir: Toss Elixir U, creating a random spell at the target location
Cooldown 60s
Duration: 3 seconds
Range: 900

Toss Elixir S
Elixir S
Elixir: Toss Elixir S, either growing allies in the area and granting Stability, or granting them Stealth
CD 60s
Stability (6s): Ignore control effects (Stun, Knockback, Launch, Knockdown, Sink, Float, Fear, Daze).
Stealth(6s): Invisible to enemies
Range: 900

Detonate X Turret
Detonate your X turret
Cooldown is equal to the turret’s cooldown

Community Post Experiment!

Hey guys!  So I was not in the beta last weekend, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.  But this gave me an idea!  Why not attempt a community post!

 

All you have to do is post a comment below of your beta experience!  Specifically your favorite thing from the beta.  So leave a comment below!

BETA Tips

Well guys, its beta weekend this upcoming week.  I wont be in it as I have to be at work, but I would like to leave you all with a bit of advice before entering Tyria.

ITS BETA

Because its beta, its not perfect.  Its also not finished, anything you do not like or not there doesn’t mean it wont be there at launch.  If its missing a mail system, or an AH, that doesnt mean it wont be there.  Give them time, this is not a finished game.

ACTUALLY TEST THE PRODUCT

Yes, it is a game, but you are all in the beta to help make this game a better one, to make this game the greatest game ever.  Remember that if you want this game to succeed and actually do better than SWTOR, then help it by coming up with constructive criticism rather than raging about how the game isn’t in working condition.

3.  HAVE FUN!

Remember, its just a game, have fun.  Yes, its not perfect, yes, its in beta and you are there to test it.  But that does not mean you cannot have fun while doing it.  If the game is not fun (not fun because its not working is not what I mean), then try to submit a report with ways to help change that fact.  Like if you are unhappy with the way PvP works, let Arena Net know!  Especially if you want something to change before the game is released.  We are in the most critical time for the beta.

And that is it.  Yeah, its short, but I don’t want to bog you guys down with some kind of theory, just go out there, slay some dragons and have fun!  I will see you in the beta eventually 🙂

PvP and Feral Gaming

I am starting to raise money for the Extra-Life event http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=29102

As a promise, I will play any game that you choose so long as you donate.  The tournament will still be held, just waiting on a bit of information before making any final decisions.  However, I encourage that you sign up anyways and try to raise as much money as possible.  This is a good cause and I know I will be taking the day off work to participate.  There are only two charities I support, this and To Write Love On Her Arms, which is an organization about raising the awareness of teen suicide and self mutilation caused by depression.  But back to Extra-Life, its a good cause and it raises money for research so that children can have a second chance at being a child.  I thank everyone now who donates towards the cause and I will even be adding towards the cause as soon as I get paid.  Anyways, follow the link, you can donate and suggest a game in the comments section, if its multiplayer I will play it with out.  If I have a computer that can stream, I will stream it.  I will only be accepting 24 games as that’s how many hours there are in a day and I want to give all games a fair play.

 

With only a 2% lead, the people have spoken and Feral Gaming will now begin production.  But, before I do anything to the site, I want to explain what this means exactly.

Feral Gaming is a casual PvP and Indy game website.  I am at a point in my life where I cannot be a competitive gamer and I am sure many of you are in the same boat.  While I absolutely love PvP and always have a blast doing so, the only type of guides out there are for people who want to be competitive or aimed at competitive type builds.  Elitist Jerks is a great website, but is highly unapproachable from the standpoint of a casual gamer.  When I come home from work, I want to play a few games to relax.  I don’t want to come home and get more stressed out about a game and be stressed out about work.  And while PvE is definitely fun content (and once Guild Wars 2 comes out I will be doing PvE content and covering it from an Engineer standpoint), ultimately PvP is where I spent most of my time. Also, this continues into the rest of the post.

 

Indy games are always fun and, generally speaking, hidden gems that do not get as much press because they are not paying thousands of dollars in advertisement.  Think of Bastion.  A fantastic game and won many game of the year awards for both general and Indy categories.  There are also many games like this, that while fantastically built games and fun, that get overshadowed by the behemoths like Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3.  My hope that by giving them, even the slightest press, will help those developers continue to expand and provide more unique experiences than what the market is filled with now.

 

The next bit is that the site will be built over at Blogger over the next couple of months.  So Feral will still exist and I will continue to post about Guild Wars 2 information (especially since they Beta events are coming up and more information will start to pour out).  The structure will be the same but I will be bringing some people on board to help me out.  The reason for this is that when the site expands, I want to bring more people in to allow for more coverage of things.  I already have one person in mind to cover the Indy game aspect of the site, and I will be doing a bulk of the PvP coverage.  This includes guides for maps, classes, characters, you name it.  However, I wont let this get in the way of what Feral Engineer is all about and that is the discussion of Games and Game Development Theories.  I will exclusively cover the Engineer in Guild Wars 2, talk about the various PvP maps, explain things to the best of my ability and just try to provide as much information as possible without it spreading directly into the competitive side of things.

 

There will be ads on the future website.  The reason for this is to allow me to cover more content without having to strain my living expenses on a hobby.  Yes, this website is a hobby of mine as well as Gaming, the goal is to make the site Feralgaming.com rather than .me or .blogger or whatever.  All the money made will go back directly into the website.  Not to my wallet.  I have no intention of this site actually being a life style, I already have a job that I like and I want to keep this as a hobby and not a job.  However, if you guys do not like Feral Gaming, I will keep this site separate for the time being before merging it directly over to the main site.  It is clear that while most of you want me to cover more games and content, a good portion of you guys do not and I do not want to make anyone feel like I am neglecting them.  But, as I said in the last post, we as gamers should not limit ourselves to only one game.  Game developers put in thousands of hours developing a game and we should be willing to put in some of our time into playing those games.  I know that if any of you guys were to develop a game, I would feature it.

 

So with all of that said, its now time to talk about PvP.

 

Over at Gamebreaker.tv, Mike B always states that the future of WoW is PvP.

 

This is definitely a sentiment I agree with.  But not just for WoW.  Realistically, PvP is what makes games stay alive for far longer than they are supposed to.  Lets take a long look at Starcraft.  Starcraft is a game that has survived the test of time.  Many new RTS games have come out since it was created, but something allowed it to continue onward despite new competition.  Warcraft 3 is the same way and Starcraft 2 will also be the same way.  The reason for this is because its a game that thrived on its competitive scene.  This game became so popular that it was a flagship title for the eSport scene today and is technically the national sport of Korea.  While the campaign was fantastic and the story was well done, it is not played today because of its story.  Starcraft 2 is the same way, great story, but nobody plays it for the story alone.  This is a prime example of how a game has survived ten years without a sequel.  Warcraft 3 is the same way, you can easily play against people in that game or pick up DOTA and start playing that.

 

The reason for this is that PvE content tends to get a little stale after a while.  Bosses are scripted, gear drops are the same, and after the first 5 times of doing that boss (no matter how fun, although Lurker is SSC back in BC of WoW never got boring for me), the fight gets stale, predictable and put on farm status where you go in and do it out of obligation.  Dungeons eventually get exhausted of resources and ultimately get boring (this is just my opinion).  However, PvP is an ever changing environment.  The maps are always the same, but players provide a different challenge than a scripted boss encounter does.  The thing with players is that they will always change the way they play to beat you, which means you have to change in order to continue to overcome them.  Its like a game of rock paper scissors with actual rocks, paper (LOL!) and Scissors.  PvE content always seems like a game of ski ball, its one sided and the only way you win is by doing the same repetitive motions repeatedly until it dies.

 

Each player has varying levels of skills.  I am decent at RTS games, and pretty good at MOBA games.  In RTS games, I can build fast, I know what to build, when to build, where to build.  But where I lack in skill is micromanaging.  When it comes down to a game of Starcraft 2, it always comes down to who micros better and who has the higher APM or Actions Per Minute (a measurement for your micromanaging skills, as a reference, 300+ is pro level, I am probably in the 150 range which is poor).  In League of Legends (my MOBA of choice), I do exceptionally well in every position except the top lane (there are 5 positions, top lane, mid lane, bot lane carry, bot lane support, and jungle), this is a weakness I know of and am currently practicing to get better at doing it.  But, it is my weakness.  In competitive League of Legends, you have teams of players who specialize in a single position.  In Starcraft, you have people who specialize in specific races or strategies within that race.  In MMOs, you have people who specialize in a particular build.  In RIFT, I played a healer and always did very well as a healer, however, when I played a damage role, I became worthless.  Other people excel at different things and this is what makes PvP so fascinating.  In a single instant, one wrong move can be the difference between winning and losing.  It requires a vast amount of knowledge, not just of your class, but of your opponent’s as well and eSports are exciting to watch.

 

So why does PvP have the staying power and PvE doesn’t?  Well, in PvE, after you have slain every boss and farmed it for all of its resources, eventually the developers will stop creating content for you to conquer and move on to other products.  And that is their right.  Developers are in no way responsible for your continued playing of a game you bought once.  This is why we have expansion packs, DLC, and sequels.  If the developers only focused on providing free content for their only game, eventually they will go under due to the lack of continual income and the projects become more and more spaced out and minimal.  Think of Diablo 2,  Hell Tristram is the most recent patch and it took 4 years to develop.  Blizzard never dropped support for the game, but they definitely reduced the size of the team to focus on other products like WoW.  Mists of Pandaria is a money grab for Blizzard before they conclude their game right before the release of Titan.  After that, the support will stop coming, there will be no new content, and overall fall into obscurity.

 

There are two answers for the lack of content, either make it competitive in some way (like the ladder system in Diablo 2), or have user generated content.  So far, the only game with the balls to do something like user generated content is Everquest 2 (we will have to wait and see how this works out for it).  The competitive route is the easiest way of doing things.  Back to Starcraft, the PvP content is what made that game last as long as it has and is still being played in the circuit despite the sequel being out. Blizzard is now starting to take Arena seriously as an eSport and possibly working on a pro tour of sorts.

 

However, despite this, there are quite a few rules when it comes to PvP.  Most players tend to favor a small number of maps and modes.  The more modes there are, the more saturated it becomes and ultimately become less fun.  RIFT suffers from this problem, it has too many maps and modes.  There are 5 maps when I left and 8 different modes which led to saturation and a lack of people in queue.  League of Legends has 3 maps and only 1 of those maps is a different game.  Bloodline Champions has plenty of maps, but each map is the same just with a different skin.  Starcraft players play on a total of 5 maps but only have 1 mode.  Fewer maps mean larger and more complex strategies can arise, the game gets more exicting.  The mysterious third map will most likely have a different mode as the two current ones are the same mode with different twists (which makes them exciting).

 

So what does all this mean for Guild Wars 2?  If the game wants to survive forever, its going to have to have an amazing PvP system.  It has to be fairly balanced and most of all, have amazing support.  If Guild Wars 2 PvP becomes an eSport, then it will definitely survive for several years until Guild Wars 3 comes out.  As it stands, PvP is looking fantastic, we have 2 maps already and a third on the way.  If Arena Net can keep their promises and put their money where their mouth is, then we are looking at an outstanding future for the game.  And while they can produce hundreds of maps, keeping it down to a small handful is the best option available to them.  Why expand rapidly and create tons of content for the users if its mostly rehashed?  Players don’t want so much content that they can feed a family of 15, they want content that is fun, works, and most of all, has replay value.  And lets face it, PvP has replay value and is the future of every MMO and online game.

Feral Gaming?

 

So I was thinking about expanding the site to cover all the games that I am currently playing.  Since little is coming out in the way of new Engineer news (tons of other beta news), this would allow me to cover League of Legends as well.  The site would be Feral Gaming and still be a prime spot for all your engineer needs.  It would just encompass a lot more like champion impressions and such.  This would expand over to console games and other games that will be coming out like Diablo 3.  Lets be honest, as gamers, can we really rob ourselves of other games for the sake of one?  But, I will leave it to you guys and your opinion.

Sorry Guys!

Well, I am literally working 10-12 hours a day this week.  So no blog post 😦

 

So I guess an update.

 

http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/guild-wars-2-insider-podcast-ep11-return/

That is the first episode of the resurrected GWI podcast.

 

http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/jumping-puzzles-eric-flannum/

Here is my first article posted on GWI.

 

Lastly, I have a job, so posts will start to become more sporadic throughout the Tuesdays.  Reason why there is no post today is this week caught me off guard.  So, sorry guys!  I will try to do something later in the week and who knows, it might be super special 🙂