Posts Tagged ‘Tips and Tricks’

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ESO: Storming Spindleclutch

April 14, 2014

whisperer

The first time in a new MMO’s dungeon is always such a learning experience — it not only gives you such insight on the play style of your role or class, but also into the game and its mechanics as well.

On Friday night my husband and I along with guildies Tententacles and Ryan ventured into Spindleclutch (with Musei cheering us on in the sidelines and Pid setting up to go next in round 2), the first instance in The Elder Scrolls Online. I hadn’t gotten the chance to try any group content in beta, so it was all new to me. First of all, four seemed like a curious number for group size, but if it worked for Star Wars: The Old Republic, no reason it shouldn’t for ESO.

spindleclutch2

Thus far I’d been leveling with a sort-of-tank-sort-of-damage build so I wasn’t sure how I would fare, but I was reassured by the fact that most group make-ups can handle the instance without much problem as long as there’s some heals. It took a lot of the pressure off and I saw it as a way to learn the ropes and practice…even if I didn’t have an optimized tank build or abilities.

Let’s just say there was definitely a lot of flailing involved on my part! But it’s so much easier once you know who to target (healer mobs die first!), when to dodge (there’s a lot of that) and for the love of the Nine Divines keep up your stamina and magicka stores for your taunt and evade abilities. Once we got that down, it was all smooth-going. Though, ah, still quite explosive.

spindleclutch3

For a first instance I was surprised to see it was pretty well balanced in terms of difficulty. I’d dreaded being in there for hours and was all prepared for wipe after wipe…but for the amount of time we were in there frustration was minimal and it was very painless. More importantly, I definitely know where my build needs work. Overall a very awesome time!

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TSW: Nightmare Darkness War

January 31, 2014

nm dw 2

Wait, what’s this? A Secret World post on a Friday? Surprise!

Yesterday, a few of my guildies and I put together an impromptu TSW night, to try our hand at another Nightmare. Thanks to the tips and advice from helpful commenters in my last post, we had a better idea of which dungeon to do. Seems to me the overall consensus is that Darkness War is the best entry level NM, so that is exactly what we did. Sometimes I have to remind myself that TSW is a whole different beast than other MMOs, that typical assumptions — such as, the first chronological dungeon in a game is always the easiest — are not always the case!

Polaris, for example, is apparently quite the toughie on NM mode. Now I actually feel a lot better about getting as far as we did, for a group just starting out. And to have almost beat the last boss too. It didn’t occur to me that most groups do the first five bosses in the various dungeons first, getting more adequately geared up in epics before tackling the sixth bosses. It just sounds so contrary to intuition especially if you’re used to playing other MMOs, but in TSW actually makes a lot of sense. And like I said, TSW is not like other MMOs.

nm dw

So how did we do in Darkness War? Quite well, to be honest. Was it actually easier? Well, compared to some of the bosses in Polaris? Yes. I don’t think we would have made it as far as we did (killed the first give bosses and left the last boss, as per the plan) if it wasn’t. So folks who commented were absolutely right about that. Still, compared to dungeons I’ve run in other games, it was still a bitch.

Again, this is TSW after all. Sometimes I do feel this game is pure evil, pretty much leaving you zero room for mistakes. But after much trial and error, practice and persistence, the feeling you get when you finally kill a boss for the first time is very rewarding. Case in point, it felt so satisfying to finally bring down the Unbound Ak’ab (to tell the truth, bringing down any Ak’ab is satisfying). Ironically, this boss is a cakewalk when it comes to normal and Elite modes, but on NM he gave us a lot of trouble.

mayan battle mage

The fifth boss, the Mayan Battle Mage, wasn’t much better, though his fight is all about knowing when to run away from bad stuff on the ground. The fact that even one misstep can kill the unsuspecting healer or DPS was the problem. In the end, I think he finally had it with us and just decided to bug out in one place, throw all his adds out at once, and keel over dead. Hey, I don’t care if we beat him by default, a win is a win! And we would have gotten him on our next try anyway *wink*

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TSW: Nightmare Mode Unlocked

September 3, 2013

gatekeeper

The Secret World Monday didn’t officially happen this week due to the Labor Day holiday, but I went online for a bit anyway after hearing that Pid got his Gatekeeper achievement unlocked, and I was thus inspired to try and do the same.

I was sooooo scared for it. You wouldn’t believe how much I’d hyped this fight up in my mind.

As it turned out, though, it wasn’t nowhere near as bad as I thought; from the first time I engaged him, ten minutes later I had him defeated. But that’s not to say it was easy! There were a ton of deaths in that short period of time while I repeatedly threw myself at him, tweaking my deck after each failed attempt. Thanks to pkudude99 and his comments last week as well as unfair.co’s guide, I had a good idea what I needed to increase my chances of success: a “healing tank” build, and at least two impair abilities.

nightmare mode unlocked

I love how he’s clapping for me.

There were actually several times I died due to my own dumb mistakes, such as panicking and hitting the wrong button instead of the impair ability when he does his laser thing, resulting in being one-shotted. But after I got the interrupts down, the gatekeeper was a cinch. Of course, when the adds came out I just about cried, because AHHHH WHAT ELSE DOES THIS GAME WANT FROM ME?! It was a close one, as you can see above, because they nearly got me. Here’s a tip: take a health potion with you, because I stupidly didn’t, and having one would have spared me from almost having a heart attack.

This girl is now ready for Nightmare Mode dungeons!

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Screenshots Of The Day: BEARly Made It

August 13, 2013

Hey guys, check out my new teddy bear! His name is Einstein and he’s blue and fluffy with a pink ribbon…and sure, I know he’s a little splattered with blood and pieces of gore, but I still loves him.

Einstein

Thank you to TenTentacles for helping me with this achievement! Armed with his superb video guide and instructions over voice chat, I was able to end last night’s The Secret World Monday session with a new teddy bear shirt in addition to my furry blue friend pictured above.

Initially, I dreaded having to do it, since rumor had it that it involved a jumping puzzle. I can’t stress how notoriously bad I am at those. It’s a little embarrassing, to be honest. So, you can imagine my shock — not only did I manage to complete this process to obtain my silly little bear, I actually did it without screwing up…all that much. Oh yeah, I totally deserved that fanfare and shower of colorful confetti!

Seriously, though. If I can do it, anyone can.

teddybear

Running this quest again to do the puzzle also made me realize how much more the devs have hidden in Issue 7: A Dream to Kill. It’s the little things that make it so impressive when considering how much thought and effort must have gone into putting these missions together.

This whole achievement itself involves finding hidden letters to form a secret word, but also scattered throughout the entire mission are all these easter eggs, like this magazine featuring Dreamfall.

dreamfall

And speaking of vanity pets and the little things, it also never ceases to amaze me how often this game can surprise or delight me over the most random details. Take the new “Little Lycanthrope” pet in the item store, for example. Last night, one of my guildies bought him and took him out to show him off.

Even speaking as a big fan and collector of vanity pets, I can’t say I was too impressed with it at first. The little wolfman’s head is so big it’s a wonder that he can scamper after his owner without falling over, and on top of that he’s ugly as sin and, quite frankly, creeps me the hell out. I rest my case:

littlelycanthrope

But oh my god, just when I’m about to write him off the little bastard goes ahead and does the moonwalk as an idle animation. And then, BOOM — THREE WOLF MOON!

ThreeMoon

These are the kind of pleasant surprises TSW likes to pull on a regular basis. Needless to say, in about two seconds flat I went from getting the urge to punt the damn thing to wanting to shake the hand of whoever designed it.

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Our TSW Family Is Growing

April 9, 2013

Gladiatrix

Another month, another deposit of bonus Funcom points in my account when I logged in to The Secret World last night. I used them to buy the outfit shown above, the new Gladiatrix armor, so I can finally look like a tank (and so my guildies can’t claim that I only do all my tanking in skimpy clothes, at least until the next time I decided to buy a new mini-skirt).

There appears to be an increase of interest in the game lately, and as always it gets me giddy to see TSW getting attention because there really is no other MMO out there right now quite like it. Our Monday night TSW sessions continue to thrive as we get new people joining us some nights and current members experimenting with new decks and roles. We’re a pretty casual group, mostly splitting up individually or in groups while hanging out in cabal chat or teamspeak.

Anyway, in light of this I thought I’d plug our guild some more as well as provide some info to common questions I often see about TSW. Yep, it’s buy-to-play now, which means you pay for the game and play for free, and these days you can often find it at retail on sale or for pretty dirt cheap. As far as I know, it also comes with a month in which they treat you as a full subscriber and you get the perks like the XP booster drink and free in-game gift.

My character’s name is Tamerlaine “Laeyn” Berard; your nickname in the middle is what everyone in the game goes by. Feel free to add me to your friends lists or ask me any questions. The Mercy Gaming Knights TSW branch are the Knight of Mercy. We’re Templar guild, though your faction only matters for cabals and cabal features; when in game, members of the Illuminati, Dragons or Templars can group together to do quests or instances no problem. Aside from the intro as well as your faction quests, everyone pretty much experiences the same content, though each faction has its own unique flavor and you’ll see differences in things like quest completion text, etc.

Server also doesn’t really matter unless you want to PvP with others on your home realm. No matter where you end up you can still play with anyone in this game, though most of KoM are on Arcadia, the RP server. So you see while it’s not completely restriction-free, I still think the degree of flexibility is one of the best things about the game.

A lot of people have said that TSW has a rather steep learning curve, and this is probably true especially towards the beginning. I remember it took me a couple hours to really get into it. The good news is, once you get the mechanics down, the the drive to create and experiment with new ability decks gets pretty addictive. Still, the game being so niche, some never really get into it or are turned off by the horror themes, which is totally understandable too. Even now I still frequently run across features that make me want to tear my hair out, and personally there are certain quests I really wish I hadn’t done at night. In the dark. All by myself.

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The Pet Hunter Diaries: Notes From The Great Azerothian Safari

October 2, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 96
Current Total: 251

Uh, yeah. Just as I thought — it’s pet collecting madness after the release of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as evidenced by my new acquisitions count and current total, which illustrates a huge jump in numbers from last week. There are so many new pets to hunt and collect.

My guess is, if I’d spent as much time leveling as I did pet hunting and battling this week, I would have reached level 90 by now. But it’s the perfect thing to do in the middle of an afternoon when your baby is napping. Or any time you have a moment to spare, really. What I’ve been doing is methodically going through Azeroth zone by zone, hitting the low level areas first and working my way up. Basically, the higher the level range of the zone, the higher level of the pets you’ll find in them. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you can defeat the NPC trainer in one zone, then you are most likely good to go to move on to the next level bracket.

Other notes I’ve picked up from my great Azerothian safari:

  • It’s all about the team! Team make-up is probably the most important aspect of pet battling, and you’ll probably find yourself constantly switching around and tweaking yours depending on the type of fight. At least, you should be. Always mix it up, and don’t be tempted or feel like you have to be stuck with the same 3-pet team.
  • Consider leveling up at least one of each type of pet (e.g. Flying, Magic, Critter, etc.) because you never know when one of them will come in handy. Variety is key! I definitely would not recommend filling your team with three pets of the same type; it’s a bad idea, as evidenced by some of the NPC trainers you will no doubt tasked to defeat. For instance, I wiped the floor with the goblin Cassandra Kaboom, using a strong Elemental pet against all three of her Mechanicals. You don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
  • If you’re going to be leveling at least one of each type of pet anyway, and seeing as there are 10 types all together, it’s perfect to level several teams in tandem. When looking for battles in one zone, rotating 3-4 teams also lets you take advantage of the 8min cooldown on your heal/revive pets ability, so no need to visit a stable master every time you get battered up. When one team gets low on health, simply switch to another one. This ensures you’ll have about a dozen pets all around the same level no matter where you go, also allowing for minimal downtime.
  • Make sure to still keep a good number of pets at every level or level bracket. You never know when you’ll be traipsing through a lower level zone one day and see a wild pet that catches your eye, and you’ll want a battle pet at a similar level to capture it. This shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve been an avid hunter already, as pets keep their levels when you catch them.
  • Admittedly, leveling pets can be a bit of a grind if that’s all you’re focusing on. The best way to make it not feel like one is by making it a hunting expedition. Time flies when you have a goal in mind, especially if that goal is adding a new unique pet to your collection. Still, even when you catch a new pet, why stop there? Chances are the quality of that pet can be improved, because you’ll probably be catching a lot of “Common” ones.
  • Don’t settle for “Poor” quality! I certainly don’t. Hunting uncommon and rare quality pets can help you level up quick by keeping your mind off the grind. Kill all Common pets you encounter that you already own (there are addons out there that help let you know), and usually by the time you finally bag that your Uncommon or Rare, you would have gained a healthy amount of XP for your team(s).
  • When you find you need to focus on leveling one particular pet, you will want to take it to a zone where there are wild pets appropriate to its level, but see if you can give it an advantage by choosing areas are that teeming with opponents that are weak against it. For example, when I found I needed to power level my Lil’ Tarecgosa, I took to the wilds of Feralas, where the Flying type Nether Faerie Dragons there were getting one-shotted by her strong Magic type attacks. The quick XP gain meant I was able to level her from 8-11 in a matter of minutes.
  • Pet hunting comes with a whole other set of rules, since your goal is not to kill, but to capture. Before you set out, it’s good to have a good mix of pets at varying levels on hand. Usually, a good rule of thumb is to have pets about 1-2 levels above the ones you hope to catch, meaning they are strong enough to not lose the fight, but at the same time they aren’t so strong that you’ll risk killing your opponent outright. Also, be careful not to use abilities that your targets are vulnerable to or you’ll risk doing too much damage, leading to a dead pet and a botched hunt.
  • Also good to have are pets with “small” attacks (like leech life or abilities that do periodic every turn). They’re good for those annoying situations where you’ll get your opponent just a sliver of health above the threshold which activates the trapping ability, when all they need is a tiny little nudge to put them in the sweet spot (25-30% health range). Always look at the numbers, especially when your opponent goes under 50% health. Calculate the damage of your attacks, and pray you don’t get a freak crit that kills the pet you hope to capture.
  • It’s also helpful to have a “tanky” pet on hand, one you can use to soak up damage between turns while you try and capture, because the truth is sometimes the trap misses. This can prevent your other pets from being whittled down and dying on you, because once they die they get no experience at all, no matter how much they participated.
  • While I do prefer to level a bunch of pets at once and keeping them all at around the same level, admittedly it’s sometimes good to have along a “brute” that’s higher level than all the rest. They come in handy during those times where you find the need to completely and utterly destroy your opponent, without delicacy or any of the subtleties. Fighting against NPC battle trainers, for instance. Or, say, when you’ve caught the pet you were after and now that a second pet has joined the fight, you just want the battle to be over. Brutes are good as a back-up plan, and I find bears especially good for the job (Baby Blizzard Bear, Hyjal Bear Cub, etc.)
  • I’m finding that each zone has at least one pet unique to them. Not always, but in general this is the case. Sometimes, that pet can be a bit hard to find. Maybe I just got lucky, but I wonder if server resets can be used to your advantage? All I know is, after days of hunting around the Wetlands for Tiny Bog Beast or Arathi Highlands for Tiny Twister and having no luck, one time I showed up in both places after a server reset and there were a bunch of them all over.
  • Some pets will only come out during certain conditions. For example, Widow Spiderlings in Duskwood or Stone Armadillos in Desolace will only appear at night. Baby Apes in Cape of Stranglethorn only when it’s raining. When it comes to finding out information like this, sites like Warcraftpets.com are your friends.
  • Once you get out of the starting zones, you’ll find most wild pet battles will consist of two opponents; you’ll get an alert that another pet has joined the battle after you engage, and it will sit in the sidelines until you defeat the first. Some wild pets only show up as the “second” pet of a team battle. I suspect the Snowshoe Hare in Hillsbrad Foothills may be one of these. Keep in mind, you can only capture one pet per battle.

Happy hunting,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Too many to list all of them, obviously. And anyway, most of them are the same variations of your common models of rabbits, mice, snakes and spiders, etc. Believe me, after a while, you get so sick of seeing rats and rabbits like in every zone you go. Anyway, I’m just going to showcase some of the more unique ones I’ve found on my travels, or a few that I personally like.

Lucky Quilen Cub

What the heck is a Quilen you ask? Apparently a lion dog thingy with disgustingly huge blue watery doe eyes. Finally got this after entering Collector’s Edition code to upgrade my game. Holy crap, this thing is so cute it’s ugly, didn’t even know that was possible. It kinda hurts just to look at it.

Giraffe Calf

No safari is complete without a giraffe. Caught this little (um, maybe not so little?) guy out in Southern Barrens among roving giraffe herds, just swooped in and stole him away from his parents. WoW has turned me into poacher. Next up is training him to become a killer in underground fighting ring. Anyway, pet is TALL. Towers over gnomes. Throw a pet treat that increases its size at it, and it also gets as big as a hunter pet. Got loads of comments.

Lost of Lordaeron

These ghosts are all over the place out in Tirisfal Glades, common but very cool model nonetheless. Also shows you can capture of some of the most unique and pretty pets right in the low level zones, like Gazelle Fawn in Mulgore or Ravager Hatchling in Bloodmyst Isle. Best looking pets are not always locked in later parts of game, though not sure how respectful it is to be able to capture and own and treat the spirits of the dead like…well, pets. Game has turned me into monster.

Tiny Harvester

All over Westfall, very commonly seen in the fields. Essentially miniature of annoying Harvester mobs that try to kill you, but starting out in the human lands it was first wild pet I saw that got me really excited about pet hunting. But also special to me as first catch of this pet also happened to be my first Rare. Very detailed and unique little pet.

Tiny Twister

We have pet models of earth elementals, fire elementals, etc. about time we get an air elemental pet. Found only around Circle of Outer Binding out in Arathi Highlands, but rarely seen because of possible long respawn times. Hunted for two days without seeing any until after server reset, and then there were many. Good luck if you go, and pray some jerk hasn’t caught or killed them all.

Tiny Bog Beast

Yet another “Tiny” pet. Also seems to be quite rare because of possibly long respawn times. Found in Wetlands around the Green Belt, northwest of Greenwarden’s Grove. Finally bagged myself one and only shortly after a server reset, may be harder to find but very awesome looking, well worth it to hunt.

Fishy

FISHY! Oooh, fishy fishy fishy fish! A fish, a fish, a fish, a fishy, oooh! Oooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish! That went wherever I did go… My first pet quest reward out in Pandaria, that lives in a floating water bubble. To be the greatest pet hunter, quests must not be neglected!

Feral Vermling

And of course, the achievement reward for collecting 250 unique pets, a fairly easy one to do now these days. Kind of a scary-looking little bugger with its red eyes and evil smirk. I think it might be planning something…

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KoM Does Ascalonian Catacombs

September 10, 2012

Last Saturday night, the stars must have aligned because I finally managed to cobble a Guild Wars 2 group together for Knights of Mercy’s first completed run of Ascalonian Catacombs. Ultimately we had one level 80 (Kahill), one 60ish (Bippa), one 40ish (Kriin), and two 35s (myself and the mister) but in keeping with the game’s philosophy of level and adjustment we were all scaled down to the story-mode dungeon’s appropriate level of 30.

Before I begin, I want to separate and make a distinction between the overall experience I had (it was a blast!) from my thoughts and opinions of the actual instance itself (on this matter I have a lot on my mind).

I’ll just start by saying this — whether you will enjoy AC (or I guess GW2 instances by extension) will be heavily dependent upon your personality type and on the reasons why you choose to do group instanced content. If you like the traditional order and planning that goes into an instance run, can appreciate the beauty of everything running smoothly like a well-oiled machine and the myriad steps coming together just perfectly to culminate into success…well then, you’ll probably find GW2′s instances lacking. In contrast, if you’re the more laid back type, enjoy working creatively with others, are less achievement-driven and don’t mind too much the occasional randomness or when things get chaotic…you’ll love it.

Myself, I think I fall right smack in the middle of these two extremes, which is why I’m not surprised I came out of AC with mixed feelings. As someone used to playing support roles like healers and tanks, I have to say the experience distressed me — but not for the reasons you would think. In fact, I initially thought that getting used to not being part of a trinity would be a problem for me, but here I surprised myself because in reality, moving past that was so very easy.

Yes, in most games I’m usually a healer and more often the tank — but do you know why? It’s certainly not because I particularly relish the role of being the meatshield and taking damage for others, and I was actually more than happy to shed that responsibility. While I like playing support roles, they’re definitely not as fun as being DPS and being able to pew-pew-pew-pew-pew to your heart’s desire. Plus, as any experienced tank or healer will tell you, sometimes it’s stressful as HELL. But I do it anyway, because what I really love is helping others. As in having the ability to keep others, especially my friends, alive.

Now I’m not saying you don’t have that kind of dynamic in GW2 groups, because if anything, you’ll find that pretty much everything you do will be helpful to your party, just in more subtle ways. The only difference is, there will be nothing like an “oh-shit heal” or “snap aggro” to save the day. Chances are, you will be watching your fellow friends and adventurers fall to defeat like flies around you, time and time again. In the end, it was this nagging guilt I ultimately found to be the most distressing, because I am used to being able to “rescue” others, not because I missed not having a role.

Fallen.

The good news is, I got over it quick. I had no choice, because the truth is, you will probably die in AC. Not only that, you will probably die a lot. You get used to it, and that’s just the truth of it. In fact, I see many indications that this is actually meant to happen, which I will go into later.

Like so many aspects of GW2, when it comes to the matter of difficulty, the first instance also serves to illustrate an example of yet another duality — in some ways it’s so easy, in other ways it’s so hard. Initial trash mobs actually gave us more trouble than two of the bosses, namely Master Ranger Nente and Kasha Blackblood, as we took both of them down first try without anyone being defeated. Other encounters, like the lovers Ralena and Vassar required our group getting a little creative. Having no tanks and aggro in this game, we instead relied on knockbacks, roots and boulders to separate them and keep them apart.

King Adelbern was another story. There really is no other way to put it, he was a bitch of a fight. We fell to the final boss again and again and again. And yet, there was actually never any uncertainty that he was going to go down and we were going to come away with a dead, grumpy ghost at our feet. Not once did we ever have to stop and say to each other, “Oh crap, guys, there’s a real possibility that we might not be able to do this,” the reason being a waypoint located a mere hop-and-a-skip away from the encounter. Yes, during the fight it’s best to try and stay alive, but if defeated, continuing the fight involved no more than warping back up and running back in again.

Once again, I thought I was going to hate this aspect of GW2′s dungeon fights, but in the end I found myself strangely fine with it. As one of my guildies said, “EMBRACE THE ZERG!” That became my mantra. Not only that, these instances were tested extensively and I have faith in ArenaNet’s competence that I do not doubt that the encounter would have been what it was if they hadn’t intended for things to be like this. I truly believe everything is the way it is for a reason.

I have some thoughts as to what those reasons might be, of course. For one thing, taking the away the “fear of wiping” allows the group to become more confident in experimenting with their abilities — an important effect, considering this is story-mode in a starter instance. With experience, I’m sure the reliance on zerging will go away, but at this point, without that threat of failure looming over our heads it was amazing how much of the pressure was lifted. It made us more relaxed and apt to get creative, encouraging everyone to look around and try to string combos with our fellow group members.

Speaking of combos, all I have to say is: learn them, try to remember them. After Kahill primed our group on combos, we all took a moment to inform each other of our builds and skills, as well as learn how to recognize what to watch for from others and how to follow up with our own set of abilities. I won’t go as far as to say combos will make the instance easier, because with constant movement, issues with positioning, and just in general random unforeseen circumstances happening all around you (not to mention that most combo effect durations are very brief), chances are you won’t be able to pull off most of the ones you attempt. But, it does make things infinitely more fun!

Utilizing combo fields.

So that’s what I was doing during the last fight when we weren’t worrying over wiping or failing — experimenting, getting creative, messing about, thinking, observing, learning. Admittedly, it does take the fun of organization and execution out of group play, but then again, the type of freedom I just described would not have been possible in a million years if the encounter had been designed any other way. At one point, Blue Kae (Kriin) mentioned that the fights actually reminded him of those from Champions Online, and I have to agree. That was another MMO which allowed you to embrace “the self” and superhero-dom, relying more on simply letting you enjoy your own skills, and less on adapting them to roles.

That said, I shudder to think what my experience in AC would have been like if I had been with a PuG. At least in this learning phase, I highly recommend going with a guild group or people you know (but then again, I advocate that for all group content anyway, regardless of game/instance/experience!) because the more you communicate and learn your own and each others’ play styles, the easier and more predictable things will get, not to mention the many more opportunities you will get to synergize. It’s much better than trying to second guess or anticipate a stranger’s actions every time.

Ultimately, my AC run with my guild has been an eye-opener. There were aspects of it that pleased me greatly but at the same time things that irked me to no end. Going back to what I said at the beginning of this article, how you personally feel about them will depend on who you are. I for one would not get too hung up on people’s claims of what GW2 did “right” or what they did “wrong” when it comes to their instances. To me, that’s akin to debating what thunderstorms do right, or what the color red does right, or what the taste of pickles does right. GW2 dungeons are different, but they are what they are.

I also meant it when I said that I believe everything is the way it is for a reason. Whether you like them or not is going to come down to taste, which is as personal as whether you like piña coladas or getting caught in the rain (and in case you’re wondering, I think piña coladas are too sweet, though I don’t mind getting caught in the rain. It’s incidentally why I also like thunderstorms, though I am ambivalent towards the color red. Pickles, on the other hand, I happen hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE the taste of them).

If you’ve stuck around this long and are still reading, I just have one final thing to say: if you find yourself heading into AC for the first time, the best advice I can give, and that I personally followed, is: 1) play with friends! 2) stay flexible and keep and open mind! 3) Just sit back and enjoy this gripping tale about a fallen city — being a fan of the Ghosts of Ascalon novel, being able to stand amidst the ruins of this significant place was especially poignant. Do all this, and it won’t really matter how you feel about the instance or its fight mechanics or its design and all that crap…because you will be having too much fun to care.

Group shot.

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