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 The War of Guilds

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dragoniguana
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PostSubject: The War of Guilds   Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:44 pm

After FINALLY finishing my 25 gigabyte download (which restarted halfway through it), I got into Guild Wars 2 for the first time. By request of Nakia, I'm going to take a journal of my experiences in the game.

Character Creation
First booting it up, I already saw the AMAZING presentation (the character/class select are the best I've ever seen). I chose a to play a female Norn character, the big, northern, proud warrior race, which can shapeshift into animals, named Alemora. I chose to play the Ranger class, with a wolf as my pet. I chose to have the "cunning to protect the spirits", to handle situations with "dignity", and to have "lost a fight to a rival". I also chose the Wolf as my patron spirit. There was a pretty awesome array of customization. I chose for my Norn to have tattoos on her arms and legs, and then went into the game itself.

Tutorial
The game proper begins with an incredible cinematic, done in the style of Guild Wars 2's concept art and such, with my Norn talking about the Elder Dragons and how she wants glory. After fiddling with the control options to make camera speed much quicker, and using my first skill, an axe throw, I talked to the first NPC, who told me to go kill some animals to prove myself worthy for the Great Hunt. I killed a few birds, before running into my first Event, which tasked me with killing a griffon. After taking the beastie down, I hightailed it back to the starting point, where I was invited to join the Hunt. In the first truly awesome moment of the game, I joined several NPCs and real players in climbing a mountain, taking down a large number of ice wurm hatchlings, and then taking down the ice wurm itself, which was massive, and a blast to fight.

First Levels (Levels 2-6)
After my victory, I was told to go help people around Wayfarer Foothills, the starter area, which introduced me to the "heart" mechanic. Essentially, "hearts" are quests, except you don't need to actually talk to the NPC. I bought and equipped a bow, and then went and did one, which had me turning into a snow leopard and hunting pray, and then protecting an acolyte from the Dredge, a group of monsters who use machinery to mine, as the acolyte rescued a group of snow leopard cups. I was given mail after this, telling me I can advance in the story. However, I decided to explore a bit more.

Wayfarer's Foothills, even the small part of it I was in, were massive, and great fun to explore. While talking to some of the great people on the mapchat, I explored its hills and forests, finding a Vista, which gave me a great view of the place. I did the remaining hearts in the area: Patrolling with a group of Sacred Wolves to rescue cubs and kill Dredge, fighting some Bear Acolytes, and protecting the Bear Shrine from the Sons of Svanir, a group of Norn who worship the Elder Dragon Jormag, answering riddles to Raven statues and protecting raven eggs, and driving the Dredge from the mines. While exploring, I noticed all of the awesome little details: Packs of wolves running through the forests, fish swimming in the water, all the awesome animations on every one of the monsters. Hell, I actually climbed to the top of a hill, and found the Wolf Spirit looking down from it!

Beginning the Story (Level 6)
After making it to level 6, I decided to go and get back to the story. I went back to the moot area, where it took me into an instance. Once their, a man asked me and my mentor, Eir (a former member of Destiny's Edge, a group which tried to fight the Elder Dragons), to protect his caravan as he delivered supplies to the Wolf Shrine. For some reason, the Minotaurs in the area had been acting up, and he suspected that it had to do with the Minotaur Spirit. I protected him and his caravan in a series of hard-fought battles, and was then tasked with tracking down the enraged Spirit. I followed its tracks through the countryside, before making it to a cave, where I encountered a (rather sexist and arrogant) Sons of Svanir leader. He told me that he had been ordered to feed Minotaurs to Jormag, which is what had made the Minotaur Spirit so upset. I killed him and the other Sons, and went back to Eir. On the way to Eir, I went into Hoelbrak Lodge, which is the first major city Norn characters will encounter. The critics are right: The city is enormous, and with all the NPCs and such, it feels like a real, living, breathing city, not just like some hollow place for players to trade.

More Exploration (Levels 6-8 )
I found Eir, who told me to meet her on a mountain in the northern part of the Foothills. After talking a bit in Hoelbrak, and joining a guild, I went to the northern part of the hills. However, instead of going to her, I stumbled upon a small town. There, I was asked to throw snowballs at children. It was a lot of fun, and made for a great change of pace. Eventually, giant bees attacked us, and, using the snowballs, I was able to defeat them.

After this fight, I leveled up to level seven, which is when you unlock weapon swapping. I bought two axes from the children's mother, using karma I had gained from the heart, and equipped them in my secondary weapon slot. I was now able to switch instantly from pelting enemies with rapid shots from my Longbow to dancing around them, slashing them with two throwing axes, which made the already fun gameplay even better.

After exploring a bit more, and listening to an NPC tell her dad about how she accidentally lodged his axe in their stuffed Dolyak mount, I began to climb the mountain. Once I got up there, I found that it was a shrine to the Rabbit Spirit. An event was in progress, which had me and some others taking rabbit food to the Sage, while dodging hungry bunnies. After getting knocked to the ground a few times, I was finally able to fill up the meter, and get the Sage all his rabbit food.

Ignoring a woman asking for yeti hair, I proceeded to the nearby vista. After viewing a cutscene showing me large statues of the Northern Spirits, I admired the view for a bit, before logging off.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Very nice, Dragon. Thank you.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:10 pm

Yup, of course. I'll try to update daily or so with my GW2 day's events.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:09 am

Good, I am looking forward to following your progress and how you like the game.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Saving the Minotaur (Level 8 )
After logging back on, I decided to go take care of the Sons. I met up with Eir, and together, we stormed a Sons camp. In an extremely hard-fought battle, we killed the lot of them, and rescued the injured Minotaur Spirit. We then learned that they had a group of minotaurs captured over a ways. I was given an option: I could ask for Minotaur's blessing and be transformed into a minotaur, or I could pretend to be a beer merchant, and get the Sons of Svanir drunk enough to break the minotaurs loose. Of course, I chose the drinking option.

One Good Drink (Levels 8-9)
I hightailed it over to the next quest area. When I got there, me and Eir changed into our beer merchant clothing. In some amusing interactions, I was able to use my beer to start some fights, and get the Sons guards drunk enough to sleep or head inside. After breaking the minotaurs out, some of the Sons realized what was going on, and called their brothers, all of which I fought off. Eir then asked me to meet her at her homestead back at Hoelbrak to get ready to confront Vidkun, the Sons of Svanir leader.

Meeting the Guild (Level 9)
At this point, I learned that one of my fellow guild members, a Norn Engineer, was in Hoelbrak. We decided to meet up and do some exploring and questing. After meeting her, we went and got some vistas at Hoelbrak, we met up with another of our guildies, a Charr Thief. We went out into Wayfarer Foothills, and met up with yet another guildie, a Norn Guardian. We then had some fun pelting kids with snowballs and mass slaughtering dolyaks, until I decided to log off.

Heading North (Levels 9-10)
When I logged on the next day, I decided to do some exploring up north. I made my way to a small fortress, where I was introduced to the game's crafting mechanics. I was able to choose two crafting professions, and so I chose Huntsman and Leatherworking, as those two made weapons and armour for the Ranger class, respectively. After a lot of spending money on materials from the auction house and going to the waypoint in the southern part of the Foothills, I fashioned myself a full set of new armour and a brand new longbow. I also got to level ten, and got a bunch of skill points and a new skill slot. I experimented with a variety of skill combos, before settling on a fire trap in the first utility skill slot, and a sun spirit summon in the second.

I headed north again after this, killing lots and lots and lots of Sons of Svanir as I went. Eventually, I got to the point where the Sons were three to four levels ahead of me everywhere I went. Deciding to go back south for some leveling, I went back a ways before logging off.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:31 pm

I'll do my full day's update in a while, but I'd like to share one fun moment that just happened:

I climbed up a hard jumping puzzle, and got to the very top. I was about to press F to activate the vista, when I promptly fell off the mountain and died before I had a chance.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:04 pm

That is too bad, Dragon. Does that mean you have to do the climb all over again?

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:34 pm

Ha, yeah, it did. Took me a while to get back up there, but...



I got back up Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:34 pm

Hoelbrak and the Maw (Levels 10-13)
I spent a long time at Hoelbrak, completing the map. Key things I did there were participate in a fun game of Keg Brawl, which is like soccer but with more violence and ale, and climb on top of giant statues. After that, I went back up north. There, I helped a small boy make an army of statues to scare off the Grawl. They didn't fall for it, though, and we had to wipe them out.

After that, I participated in literally the best event I have ever seen, and the thing that has solidified my love for this game: The Frozen Maw. It began with the game asking me to protect a scholar who was on his way to investigate the Frozen Maw, the home of the Grawl. One the way, me and at least a dozen other players protected him from local mobs. Once there, we killed a large number of Icebrood, and found a Dragon Totem set by the Sons of Svanir, which was corrupting the Grawl. The Sons high sage came, and began to protect it. That was when he summoned tons of Icebrood and Sons, opened three portals, and all hell broke loose. In the biggest battle I've been in yet, we defeated the Sons, closed the portals, drove back the Icebrood, and killed the shaman. For my efforts, I was given a new sword and a new axe, along with some high-quality loot to sell.

After that, I did some more exploring. I helped defend a lodge from attacking wurms, and bought a new bow with karma I had gotten. I then moved to protect a man's house from more attacking Grawl.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:02 am

Beautiful screenshot. Well worth the climb.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:07 pm

Ending Chapter 1 (Level 13)
After this, I went back to Hoelbrak to continue my personal story. After talking to Eir, me and her went out into the wild to confront Vidkun and his dragon beast. After arriving in the instance, me and her began to slaughter Sons and Icebrood until the man himself came out, and summoned his "pet", a large monster made of ice. I was able to defeat it by laying flame traps down over its charge path, distracting it with my pet, and gratuitous swapping of my weapon sets. After the beast was down, Vidkun fell easily. Minotaur and Eir thanked me, I was given a greatsword, and I had chapter one done.

More Exploration (13-15)
After that, I called two of my guildies to do some exploration and such with me. We ran the Frozen Maw twice, and then headed north to capture some baby dolyaks for a rancher. After that, we went even further north, for the zone's second big event: Svanir's Dome. We were asked to help a member of the Lionsguard take the eastern Sons of Svanir tower. After climbing the tower proper (and getting a vista that mimicked Assassin's Creed, in how my character stood on the edge of a length of wood jutting off the tower), I went down to help take it. We were attacked by a large number of Sons, mostly around level 18. We were able to take them down and capture the place, until a large Sons champion came crashing out from their dome. It had more HP than anything I'd encountered yet, and was able to wipe people out easily, but in the end, we took it down. I only got a silver medal, and thus wasn't given a chest for my efforts, unfortunately.

After that, I did a bit more exploring, before logging off.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:09 pm

Also, hehe, that was the wrong image, sorry.



This is from my climb.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:27 pm

The Big Brawl (Levels 15-17)
I logged on again to continue my personal story with chapter 2. I talked to Eir, who told me of a unique opportunity: To face my rival, Mikkel Toivonson, who had cheated his way to victory in a fight with me at the last moot. I was told to meet Eir up north in Wayferer Foothills for the preliminary match of the Big Brawl, of which Mikkel was last year's champion. After getting there, I was thrown into an enormous melee, with about twenty NPCs and me, all fighting each other. Me and one NPC came out on top. I was then asked to choose a challenge to see who continues to the Semifinals: I could shame a Son of Svanir by taking his helmet, or I could clear out some monsters. I chose to shame the Son, because I frakking hate the Sons.

I made my way up towards Svanir's Dome. After getting there, the Sons leader's guard told me they'd kill me before he even got there. After promptly smashing their sorry asses into the snow, the big man himself showed up. I beat him in a really fun fight, and then took his helmet, with a good bit of gloating from my character.

I went to the town of Butcher's Block, which was just inside Ascalon, a former human kingdom now ruled by the charr, and delivered the helmet. I was then admitted to the semifinals, which were about to begin.

I faced three opponents: First up was a centaur who used charging attacks. Using my sword/dagger ability to cripple him, my traps to damage him as he charged, and my longbow ability to keep him away from me, I was able to kill him while hardly taking a single hit myself.

Next was a young sylvari elementalist, who had entered into the Brawl simply for the experience (the sylvari are a new plant-like race, about 25 years old, who are incredibly curious). She used mostly area-of-effect attacks, which I was able to dodge with a new trait I had gotten, which gave me enhanced endurance regen (endurance is the bar used for dodging).

After fighting her, I, now the crowd's favourite, fought my next contestant, a female charr warrior. She was hard-hitting, but slow, and so I was able to keep her off me even more easily than the centaur. She went down, and I was declared victor. After talking to my bested foes, who's respect I had earned, I learned that the championship fight would be fought in Hoelbrak: Me against Mikkel.

Return to Ascalon (Levels 17-18 )
I call this section "return" to Ascalon as, although my character has never been there, I explored it heavily in Guild Wars 1 (in the intro of GW1, you explore Ascalon, and at the end of the tutorial area, it's nearly destroyed by the charr. It has, fortunately, recovered to its former beautiful state by GW2).

At any rate, the next quest, and final quest in chapter 2, was recommended for level 19, so I decided to do some questing in Ascalon. I participated in Meatoberfest, a charr meat celebration, where I helped make pickled wurm eggs and launch fireworks. I then went to a nearby dredge mine, in which I proceeded to kill as many dredge bastards as I could. After that, I logged off.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:28 pm

Also, I gotta say: The fact that there's a whole questline in which you participate in a fighting tournament really solidifies my love for this game even further.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:58 pm

Cows, More Cows, and a Giant (Level 18 )
I headed back down to Butcher's Block, where I watched some pretty fireworks, before heading south again. I ran into a ranch, where I was asked to help train some cows to fight. I put on a cow disguise, which gave me a set of cow skills, and ran training exercises. I then sat back and watched some cow races.

Heading south again, I found another ranch, where the cows were bred. I was asked to catch bugs for the cows, and keep other cows happy. I caught several types of bugs and fed them to the cows, washed some "stinky cows", and then sat down to be company for a lonely cow.

Heading yet more south, I came upon a small town, which was being attacked by a giant. Me and what seemed like thirty others attempted to bring it down, but it was hard. It hit ridiculously hard, with an AoE attack with enormous range. Two extremely brave users, one charr warrior and one norn guardian, went toe-to-toe with the beast, while the rest of us nailed it with ranged attacks or provided healing or support. Eventually, the beat was felled, and the town saved.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:58 pm

I do hope you're enjoying this, Nakia. It may not be 100% accurate, as I have a bad memory, but most of it is right.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:47 pm

I love it. I am not looking for a walkthrough just your reaction and impressions.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:03 am

Haha, my reactions and impressions are all in there.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:53 am

Yep and I like hearing about them.

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:33 pm

The Championship (Levels 18-19)
I finally did some more quests, and leveled up to level 19. I hightailed it back to Hoelbrak. After some conversation and a training fight against Eir, who I'm really starting to grow attached to, I went down to the final fight.

Once in the instance, I was able to talk to the people I beat during the semifinals, which was a cool addition to the game. After exchanging competition, I exchanged some words with Mikkel Toivonson, and stepped in the ring.

The fight itself was both brilliant and rather easy. He got distracted by my pet, and so I was able to easily lay waste to him while debuffing him and occasionally healing my pet.

After the fight, I logged off, victorious.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:34 pm

One thing that I love in this game: Not only is there a "hide helmet" option, but there's also an option to hide your shoulder armour! I love this, as my ranger doesn't look nearly as cool with her mask and shoulders on.
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:40 pm

got a screenshot, Dragon?

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:10 pm

Of what? My character with the mask/shoulders?
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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:12 am

Yes Smile with and without?

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PostSubject: Re: The War of Guilds   Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:15 am

With:



Without:



Now, this is my old armour set that I crafted myself. I recently purchased a Swindler armour set off the auction house.
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