It’s a Launch! Straight to the stratosphere!

The 3rd day. Pre-order day. All have come and gone and today, Official Launch Day (28/08/2012) dawns bright and clear. It’s been a fun packed four days for those who got the chance to play prior to launch and now it’s OFFICIAL……GW2 is a go! Launching up into the stratosphere and brightening up the gaming universe!

I have been taking it nice and easy, nice and slow. There’s so much to do, why rush it, I say. Yesterday I decided to take a break from doing dynamic events and personal story-line and journeyed to Lion’s Arch to explore a bit. Diving into the clear waters of the harbour was just fabulous and I swam to part of the harbour that I had never been before and it was so deep, it was actually scary…….on my way up I had the most amazing surprise…….I saw a humpback whale. I mean…..OH MY GOSH…..a whale! It’s these unexpected little things that makes playing GW2 so much fun, ‘cause you never know what lies around the corner!

The humpback whale in Lion’s Arch! Think am going to call him Tiny!

……well, best get back to those jumping puzzles….so much to do! So much to do!

Selir feeling funky in her new hat!

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Tyria! My new home!

I packed my bags. I’ve got my passport! Everything is set! I’m going to move into my new home now!

Day One is over and I can’t believe it! After all this waiting I finally got to walk through the doors and this time to stay there forever (depending on how log forever is!) I tried to pull an all nighter, but having woken up at 3.00am (-1 GMT) because I couldn’t sleep, then getting into TeamSpeak with my guildies at 4.00am and then…..oh YEAH…..logging into the game at 6.00am, I just couldn’t make it to midnight! You know how it is, when you just don’t get enough sleep, you feel kind of spaced out…….but getting to finally play the game, knowing that this time your characters are going to stay, is just fantastic! I felt like one of those kids who wakes up really early on Christmas Day to be the first to get to those presents under the tree!

As you’re going into Hoelbrak! The Spirits of the Wild! Bear. Wolf. Snow Leopard. Raven

So I created my main; Selir, Norn Ranger. Took me about 20 mins, more or less, because I already knew how I wanted her to look. Did the intro and then just ran around the Norn main town of Hoelbrak. It was completely new because I hadn’t gone into it during the BWEs or the stress test. Hoelbrak is so cool! Literally! Snowflakes falling all over the place! Magic, in my opinion! Then I remembered that if I didn’t create my other characters I’d lose my names. So back out to the character creation screen……….and I spent a fun hour creating my other 4 characters: Amarillys, Sylvari Necromancer; Qamar, Asura Elementalist; Kattsklaw, Charr Engineer and Alistine, Human Guardian. My beautiful 5 girls!

My 5 girls standing beside the statue of Jora! From left to right. Qamar. Kattsklaw. Selir. Alistine. Amarrillys.

It is so easy to lose track of time, so much to discover around every corner. OK! The game still has some issues, but that’s a given. I mean it’s a new game and there are bound to be bugs. No matter how much the developers tested the game out before am sure there are bugs which didn’t present themselves during those stress tests and BWEs, but it’s no big deal. They’ll be sorted eventually and, obviously, this is computers we’re talking about here……..machines, programming tend to do funny things…….and it IS just the first two days, so duh! People need to be more patient and not complain. As far as I’m concerned ArenaNet have done a fantastic job and created a game which – I have to say – I am completely hooked, line and ‘sinkered’ to!

The Spirit of Wolf!

………and today is the second day and I have slept well, had my coffee and am ready to rock Tyria!

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Stress on the Dance floor!

The stress test (21/08/2010) is over and I thought I’d be very organized, go in and prepare my character for Saturday’s launch. Yeah! Right! Well, that didn’t happen.

On first logging in I met my guildies beneath the Golden Lion in Lion’s Arch, standing on the world……and what did we check out?! Oh Yeah! The one emote that I have been waiting for……/dance! I mean, oh, what utter fun. I mean really! Just stupid, silly fun! It’s amazing how such a tiny thing could have us giggling like little kids, especially when watching those – in my opinion – adorable asura doing their thing! This is one emote that I’m going to be using on a regular basis. One of our guild leaders managed to record the event. That is one item to slip into the guild journal!

Then it was kick butt in WvWvW!…….and I was supposed to be creating my new persona, but can you honestly refuse such an enticing and fun-packed outing? Not when you’re going to be running around with the Knights of the Isle!…..and by the end of it I was exhausted. It’s a tiring job conquering the world!

Knights of the Isle Rock n’ Roll!

This time around the stress test wasn’t so stressful. It didn’t take me forever to log in, though I did crash once or twice and logging into areas such as Lion’s Arch did take a bit longer than usual. The Black Lion Trading Post wasn’t working for me, but I did receive my Hero’s Band. Other than that it was four hours of fun. Oh wow, do I like that word! It rolls on my tongue like chocolate fudge! F – U – N!

Supreme actors on the ‘guilded’ stage!

……and we wait! Just two more days! TWO MORE DAYS and I think I’m going to be moving to Tyria permanently!

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End of An Era Party!

The End of an Era party (18/08/2012) kicked off in Ascalon City in all the International Districts. I happened to be in International District 1. It was so much fun to see all those players, it made the world seem so alive, so vibrant, an element that will definitely be present in GW2. In GW you could only get this vibe when you were in the cities or outposts because otherwise, in the wide world you were alone as GW is a heavily instanced game.

Let the party begin!

The party was hosted by GW-EN (Gaming World Entertainment Network). Players who couldn’t get to the party could follow the live feed (credit goes to GuildWars2live.com)on their Twitch channel, through their Facebook page or through Twitter. MALIBU Barbie was the DJ and entertained the party goers with an eclectic mix of songs, ranging from the 80’s, 90’s and to the present day. There were also trivia questions based on GW lore and prizes were given out both in-game and through their community sites. To make the occasion more special two very important ArenaNet employees made an appearance, Mike Zadorojny and Rubi.

Mike Z and Rubi!

Throughout the party Barbie read out memories of GW sent to her by some of those that were in-game as well as from those that were out of game. I haven’t been playing GW as long as most of those that were present, but I can try to imagine what lovely memories they must have. Seven years of playing a game is no joke. It’s a lifetime of memories, friendships and for some even loves. It’s strange when you think about it. MMOs are not just games, but are community networks, where people from all over the world get together to join in combat and chat and make new friends. The world no longer seems to be such a huge place. You can check what the party was like in this YouTube link.

I love virtual parties and I’ve been to many, but this is my first in a game such as GW and it was a blast! I enjoy commenting in open chat with the best of them. One comment I made, I must say, was quoted by Barbie herself. I asked “What countries are present at the moment?” and it was brilliant to see the names popping up in chat; Ireland, Spain, Malta, Croatia, USA, Canada and Singapore! MAGIC!

The finale was just as much fun as all the dancing! The players ran around the entire map of GW to the tune of Benny Hill…….now that definitely brings back memories! It was so much fun! I managed to follow them to Lion’s Arch and the Eye of the North, but then at one point I couldn’t catch up, so I shifted to the live stream. Honestly, I was breathless just watching them scoot all over the place, but it was so funny watching them running in single file to the Benny Hill theme. Hilarious!

Listening to all those memories and watching the players was a bit sad, but then again, to think a new era is about to begin and new memories are going to be made. I am so looking forward to the parties in GW2, we are so going to ROCK THE HOUSE!

Rocking the House in Lion’s Arch!

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GW2 and The W!

I hate waiting. I’ve always hated having to wait. I’m a creature of punctuality. I will always be on time and I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember and being punctual doesn’t really go hand-in-hand with waiting. Punctual people are always kept waiting.Ok! I’m generalizing, but I’m talking about ‘me’ here and ‘me’ has to really distract herself this week, otherwise it’s going to be a long six days of waiting.

So to keep myself occupied I’ve been working on my characters. I’ve worked out race and name. Now I’ve been thinking of my characters’ crafting professions. So far the list runs thus:

Norn Ranger -> Huntsman/Leatherworker

Sylvari Necromancer  -> Jeweler/Tailor

Asura Elementalist  -> Artificer/Chef ?

Charr Engineer -> Huntsman/Leatherworker

Human Guardian -> Armoursmith/Weaponsmith

The only two I’m not 100% sure of are the Elementalist and the Engineer. I know Chef is the most expensive of the professions, but not sure if the Ele should be the one to do it. Anyway I was thinking that my other characters could definitely chip in with the cash. While H/L for the Charr seemed the most natural, considering the weapons I can make and the armour my Charr would be able to wear. I sometimes wish there were 10 crafting professions instead of 8. Oh well, I’m not complaining I’m just trying to avoid the conscious thought. I don’t even want to utter or write the word. I’ll just refer to it as The W!

Now that my professions are kind of sorted, I think I’ll move on to their character sheets. Now THAT will definitely keep me busy and I honestly think I might be able to keep The W at bay………and that means more material for my blog!

Ok! Ok! Now I’m a happy bunny. W, I say, be gone!…… as she moves away humming “Fear Not This Night“!

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The song to GW2!

I love good game music, it just helps so much to draw you into the game and GW2 is no different. From today you can purchase the new GW2 song “Fear Not this Night” from Amazon or iTunes. The song is based on the ever popular Gamescom 2011 trailer theme.  I wonder if ArenaNet will post a new trailer to fit this song come launch.

There are some songs that are capable of transporting you to another world and “Fear Not this Night” does just that to me. I can close my eyes and picture the world, the magic, the fantasy, the darkness. Just go to this link and you can listen to the full version and then decide if you agree with me or not!

GuildWarsInsider were brilliant enough to transcribe the lyrics. I so love singing a-long with great music. The music is by the composer, producer and songwriter extraordinaire  Jeremy Soule and lyrics by the gifted Lore-master herself, Ree Soebee.

So I’m going to sit back, close my eyes and enjoy the music. Won’t you join me!

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Stress easy!

Why is it every time I log into GW2 I feel confused, wandering aimlessly through the world? It’s probably because I feel rushed, 4 hours and all. Going into the stress test (15/08/2012) didn’t feel as exciting as when I first logged on that 1st BWE. I think it’s because I don’t want to spoil things for myself. I don’t want to discover those hidden places even accidentally. I want them to remain hidden until launch.

Don’t get me wrong, I love playing GW2 and I love experiencing it even if for just 4 hours, but I find it so hard to restrain myself. So during this last stress test I decided to concentrate on creating a guardian……and I really liked her. She felt extremely powerful and easy to create combs with other players and being a human seemed to suit her just fine. I didn’t craft, I didn’t follow any of the personal story. I just ran around Queensdale doing dynamic events and joining up with my guildies. I mean launch is just practically a week away……so, it’s like “why bother?”

Human Guardian

Ready for the next challenge!

Anyway now I’ve tried out all the professions and all races and have finally decided on what my team of five are going to be. Well, I’m sure there will be more than five, but at the moment these five will definitely keep me going for quite a while.

My famous *cough, cough* five (starting from my main):

Norn Ranger

Sylvari Necromancer

Asura Elementalist

Charr Engineer

Human Guardian

One thing I hope to avoid with GW2 is burnout. That’s what happened with Lotro. I played every day from the afternoon right through up till midnight, then the weekends it would be the entire day stopping only for lunch and coffee.  By the time I reached level 65  – that was close to 5 months from beginning to end of play – I just couldn’t be bothered with killing another orc (I was a hunter). Mirkwood was the last place I ventured in. I guess you can actually get mentally tired with a game and sitting for such long hours wasn’t one of the best things I did.

So this time around there really isn’t any reason to rush. No subscription, no deadlines, no having to rush to level cap to have fun. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it more if I pace myself, though I’m not going to be fool enough to promise myself anything…..too risky!

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Stress test and small bites!

Today (15/08/2012) there’s going to be yet another stress test – possibly to test out the new NVIDIA driver for GW2.  Am I happy? Oh boy! Oh yes! I keep telling myself  “no, don’t bother, you don’t need to torture yourself any longer. Only a week-ish to go, so why bother?” Well, because I’m in love and I still want to test out a couple more professions. I think I’ll try guardian, but I’ll also muck around with my engineer (didn’t have much time during the last test) and try to figure out the mesmer, which I found to be bit more complicated than the others. Four hours to have lots more fun!

Following Twitter I spotted a really fun tit bit, that Guild Wars 2 is going to have its own official song. Now that’s just absolutely spiffy! The music is composed by the one and only Jeremy Soule and the lyrics by none other than the Lore-master herself, Ree Soesbee. It’s called Fear Not This Night!  – I think I’m going to faint! –  It’s going to be released on the 17th August through Amazon. Go to the link here and sample the song for yourself. Guild Wars 2 is actually going to have its own song! Wow! Oh Wow! – I think I’ll do a little jig here!

ArenaNet have also released a list of the worlds of Guild Wars 2, you can go here for more information. I’ve happily planted my roots on Underworld.

……and finally to top off my post today –  ArenaNet have posted their own bit of news regarding the final countdown advising pre-purchasers to hit the log in button at least 3 hours before actual launch:

       please note that in order to ensure that we’re fully prepared for that fateful hour we may bring servers online up to 3 hours prior.

For more information check this link.

So fellow Tyrians, grab your bags. It’s nearly time!

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To stress or not to stress! (12/08/2010)

I was too comfortable on the sofa, I thought one hour of stress-test-frenzy was too short. I’d probably spend my time looking at the log-in screen, right? Or continuously crashing, yeah?…….and anyway what could I possibly do in an hour? Wrong on all three counts! I logged in without a hitch. Clean and smooth, so I said “brilliant, now let’s test my engineer!” Not exactly. I spent the entire hour running around the Black Citadel! I just love the cities. There is so much to see and watch and I probably haven’t even explored 1% of it yet……*claps hands in glee*……more to do when game launches!

…….and the Charr are so much fun and so cute – I better not say that out loud, I don’t think the Charr would appreciate the term ‘cute’ –  I think I’m in love!

My kitty!

During my one hour run around in the Black Citadel I noticed an interesting change in my mini-map. Waypoints that hadn’t been discovered yet where represent by large icons. The moment you found them they shrunk in size. This though doesn’t appear to have effected what they look like in the main map. Hmmm…..interesting!  A good or bad thing? Not sure. Well, the discovered waypoints tend to be really tiny on the mini-map, so you’ll have to keep switching back to your large map to find them. Will this affect game play? I have no idea, time was short. We’ll see.

Red circle – discovered WP. Red arrow – undiscovered WP

……and it’s the final countdown. Two weeks to go. I can’t believe it’s just around the corner……..and then…….yeah!

 

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Stress who? Me or it!?

We’re getting closer and closer to THE day and funnily enough I’m not excited. I think it’s the lull before the storm. I mean it’s useless getting all hyped up and excited now when there are still a couple of weeks in between……at least I want to be able to sleep at night!

We had a stress test yesterday (9/08/2012) and it definitely was a test. It’s the first stress test where I actually had problems. Nobody could log in. Half an hour after it had begun ArenaNet brought the servers down. In all we might have played 3 hours, but I did crash once or twice when I could actually log in especially when I tried going into WvWvW.  Then again this was a stress test, better for the servers to have problems now rather than at launch and even then you can never be sure.

During play I noticed some changes:

1. Enhanced graphics. Oh wow! When I eventually logged in I found myself in Lion’s Arch, down by the water’s edge and boy oh boy! The water was just absolutely superb! It looked extremely real and so very inviting. Honestly, if I could, I would have dived right in!

Just looking at the water makes you want to grab your bathing suit!

2. Changes to the UI. Hovering your mouse over a skill will show you the skill chain. I found that very useful though it can clutter your screen a bit, but I’m sure the guys at AreaNet will sort that out eventually.

3. Target range. Now you can tell whether you are in range of a target or not because red lines appear underneath your skills. If the skill is an AoE then you will see a small red circle.

4. Mystic Chests have now been given a new name – Black Lion Chests.

For a complete list of the changes that were made go to:

List of stress test changes on Reddit

Guild Wars 2 Guru Database Update

I can’t wait to be able to log in and play for as long as I want with the knowledge that I can play whenever I want…….no limits whatsoever! I…..just……want……to……play!

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