A year by numbers

So, I’m not going to lie, this post idea was blatantly “borrowed” from Lis, who recently made a very similar post. But really, it’s kind of a neat idea – seeing just how much you’ve done and how much time has been spent on various characters throughout the game.

I spent some time going through all of my characters and doing a bit of number crunching this morning, and here are my results.

Number of level 80s: 8

Yup. I have one of each profession. I hadn’t originally set out to do this (I wasn’t too into necromancer at first, having disliked the profession in GW1, and I had utterly no interest in engineer at all), but it wound up happening after all. Surprisingly, necro has become one of the professions I like the best.

The grown-ups.

The grown-ups.

In order of hitting level 80:

  • Liusaidh, sylvari mesmer. Played for 781 hours and 22 minutes, 12 months old, 45% of my playtime. Will soon be the wielder of Bifrost.
  • Rosheen, sylvari guardian. Played for 203 hours and 45 minutes, 12 months old, 12% of my playtime.
  • Janan Savitri, human thief. Played for 119 hours and 42 minutes, 12 months old, 7% of my playtime.
  • Ragna Blazefur, charr elementalist. Played for 64 hours and 9 minutes, 12 months old, 4% of my playtime.
  • Brynja Rabbitfoot, norn ranger. Played for 191 hours and 55 minutes, 12 months old. 11% of my playtime. Wielder of Kudzu.
  • Carella, human necromancer. Played for 141 hours and 27 minutes, 11 months old. 8% of my playtime.
  • Glynha, sylvari warrior. Played for 77 hours and 35 minutes, 5 months old. 4% of my playtime.
  • Searlaith, sylvari engineer. Played for 71 hours and 36 minutes, 9 months old. 4% of my playtime.

Number of sub 80 characters: 6.

I like making characters, what can I say. A few of these have been deleted and remade a few times – Katta started out as a warrior and one of my original characters made during headstart, but I couldn’t stand playing an asura warrior. Alianah was originally a ranger, but I wanted to remake her to look different and decided that hey, new necro! Deirvhile exists solely for crafting purposes. And Astrid got to use a scroll of experience which is why her playtime does not match her levels at all.

The babies.

The babies.

In order of age:

  • Deirvhile, sylvari thief. Level 20. Played for 9 hours and 35 minutes, 9 months old. .5% of my playtime.
  • Haneul Nae, human mesmer. Level 22. Played for 19 hours and 25 minutes, 6 months old. 1% of my playtime.
  • Alianah, sylvari necromancer. Level 10. Played for 6 hours and 37 minutes, 3 months old. .4% of my playtime.
  • Suvi Liina, norn mesmer. Level 5. Played for 3 hours and 19 minutes, 3 months old. .2% of my playtime.
  • Katta, asura elementalist. Level 19. Played for 12 hours and 9 minutes, 3 months old. .7% of my playtime.
  • Astrid Cheval, human guardian. Level 26. Played for 6 hours and 43 minutes, 2 months old. .4% of my playtime.

Total time played: 1736 hours over the past 12 months.

That averages out to about 144.67 hours per month, or 33.4 hours per week, or about 4.73 hours per day. Which…well, I’ve definitely had my marathon days where I had nothing else to do so I spent all of my time in-game. I’ve also had my ups and downs though, and in particular had a patch recently where I’d log in long enough to do my dailies, or not log in at all. What can I say, life can be busy.

Number of legendaries created: 1.

I made Kudzu back in March, and have written all about it previously. I am currently working on Bifrost and have reached a point where I just need to save up massive amounts of money or hope I get lucky; all that is remaining is some t6 mats, the icy runestones, and of course the precursor. I’m just really hoping that precursor crafting comes in sooner rather than later, especially as the mystic forge is proving to not be my friend here.

(sidenote about that: I’ve spent about 150g on exotic staves to throw in there in hopes that it’ll spit out the Legend. It’s given me Imryldyeen twice now. Yeah, you know, that staff that has the same skin as the Legend. The game is actively taunting me now.)

Achievement points: 7942

If I actually get some time to play in the next couple of days, I should be getting that 8000 point chest very soon. I’ve been working on finishing up the Explorer category recently, finding the little mini-dungeons and such scattered around. I’ve also got almost all of the jump puzzles completed…but the ones I haven’t done I think will likely stay that way. Jump puzzles aren’t my thing.

Titles: 21

Many of those are from the Hall of Monuments, which I have 45 points in, making me a Legend of the Mists. The title I wear the most is Dungeon Master. At least one character is currently a Respected Achiever. I do not have all of the Living Story titles, as they either required a level of grind I was not interested in (Super Adventure Box), or luck that I do not have (Sanctum Sprint).

Number of characters descended from Guild Wars 1 characters: Three. Janan Savitri is the descendent of Farai Savitri, my dervish (who was also my main in GW1). Haneul Nae is the descendent of Iseul Nae, my ritualist. Astrid Cheval is the descendent of Lucia Cheval, my mesmer (well, one of them).

And Liusaidh is…unintentionally named after Lucia (Liusaidh being the Scottish form of Lucia). Both are mesmers. Both are redheads. None of that was planned out…but while Liusaidh and Lucia are obviously not related to each other in any way…there’s some similarities there.

Favorite race: GEE I WONDER.

Favorite profession: …again. I wonder what that could be.

Amount of money spent on armor: Holy crap I don’t even want to think about it. I’ve bought two full sets of t3 armor (sylvari light and sylvari medium), another set worth of various pieces of t3 scattered around three characters (includes human medium and sylvari heavy), and more sets of t1 and t2 armor than I could keep track of.

Amount of fun I’ve had: …can you really measure that?

And to finish off, because it cracks me up every time I look at it, have a screenshot of a sylvari with a giant chicken.

"So, um...what do I do with this thing?"

“So, um…what do I do with this thing?”

Super Adventure Earworm

There have been dozens of posts about the most recent addition to Guild Wars 2, the Super Adventure Box. Put short, it’s great, and if you haven’t tried it yet, go do so. Yes, it’s basically one huge jumping puzzle. However, if you suck at jump puzzles (like I usually d0), Infantile Mode is adorable and lots of fun. There’s also a chance for the Super Weapons to drop out of the boss chests when you’re playing on normal mode – Optimus got two Super Sword Skins the other day, and I got my Super Shield Skin I’ve been coveting last night.

Put short, this is a really great update.

My personal favorite part of it, though?

The music.

So, I have been gaming pretty much my entire life. I’m 27 years old, born in 1986. My parents got an NES for Christmas in 1988, and I would watch – and then play – games like Mario, Zelda, Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy with my parents. These are the games I grew up on, and have heavily influenced my taste in games ever since – I still vastly prefer JRPGs over WRPGs, and I love action adventure games. Everything about the Super Adventure Box is a throwback to these games, from the hilariously bad NPC “translations” (“This water tastes improper” when you first encounter the poison pools is a favorite of mine), to the hidden rooms with secret items, to the screen you get when you die…and of course, the music itself.

The songs you hear while playing Super Adventure Box will get stuck in your head. And they will heavily remind you of games from 20-25 years ago

Yup, prepare to be humming that all day.

Or better yet, just listen to all of it! ArenaNet was kind enough to upload all of the SAB music to their SoundCloud, for all to hear.

Now if you’ll excuse me…have these songs stuck in my head again…


Some simply shiny sentences showing skritt sentiment.

Dak here, with an in-depth look into one of my surprise favorite elements of the game.

So I briefly mentioned the skritt in my last post talking about the asura.  Now, I’ll be… not so brief.

The skritt are a ratlike race who, along with the asura, were originally living in the depths of Tyria but were driven upward by Primordus and the Destroyers.  They are opportunists, but not scavengers – rather than dig through your garbage, they’ll mooch off you instead; doing their best to convince you you don’t really need that neat shoulderpad, or if your backpack is really heavy they’ll be happy to relieve you of any unnecessary items.  They’re also exceptionally curious, so if they get their paws on an unknown device, they’ll eventually sort out how it works and why.

Now, what makes the skritt so interesting?  They communicate in a high-pitched, almost inaudible chittering, through which they can relay a vast amount of information in a very short time.  While a single skritt is only capable of basic tasks and survival skills, through this chittering a group of skritt can work together to solve a problem.  The larger the group, the more complex the tasks it can tackle.  While a single skritt is rather dim, a big enough group could potentially rival an asura in intelligence.

Over the beta weekend, the skritt were available for interaction at last.  I first encountered them in a fort just south of Artergon Woods: a pair who had been trained for the simple task of guarding supplies.  I was instantly enchanted when I heard them concentrating so hard on guarding that they were, in fact, saying “Guarding.  Guarding guarding!” back and forth to one another.  My amusement was interrupted by a sudden hylek attack on the fort, which a group of players and I managed to repel. (one thing to point out, I love how whenever an event begins, a group of players seem to materialize from nowhere to join in and make the event more… eventful).  The invaders successfully routed, the Lionguard commander in charge of the fort decided it was high time to take the fight to the hylek and regain their stolen items, and sent a single skritt named Rikkiti to a Lionguard assault force near the hylek village.  The event is then to escort her as she runs the message to attack.

Rikkiti started out dutifully enough, but soon was distracted by the much more interesting moa nests by the side of the road. “Stuff stuff stuff!” came her shrill cry, until an angry moa (which we swiftly subdued) scared her off and she fled back to the path.

Imagine, if you will, the sight of some 20 people of all races chasing after an eager, innocent skritt as she quite accidentally attracts the ire of a giant grubs, a golem, disgruntled krewemembers, hungry raptors, and a full pack of apparently teleporting jaguars, with shouts of “Ooh, shi-hi-hinyyy!” and “What’s that!” It was quite the unexpected quest, and a ton of fun centered on a surprisingly endearing individual.

“Sheriff want shinies back. Rikkiti get shinies!  Teach hyleks stealing bad.”
“And did our ineffectual sheriff offer any thought on how precisely we might accomplish that?”
“Yes… no… what?”
“(sigh)Sheriff say how we get shinies back?”
“Oooh.  Deputy talk like Rikkiti stupid! Rikkiti not stupid!”

All the more surprising was when we reached her destination, and it flowed smoothly into a more traditional event: Destroy the hylek village and essentially burn -everything-.

Rikkiti joined us for that, too, and soon she had gathered all the “shinies” from the decimated village and returned to the fort while we taught the hylek chieftain that stealing was bad.

That event chain left a great effect on me, and I was delighted when I moved north into the Brisban Wildlands and found that there was, in fact, a massive skritt city called Skrittsburgh dug deep into a mountain.  While none of the skritt there were as singularly endearing as Rikkiti, it was interesting in another way: With so many in close proximity, these skritt were, in fact, more intelligent.  They were able to speak about more complex ideas and offer rewards for tasks, and as I delved deeper I found among their piles of hoarded items full, working tailoring and smithing stations.  Only a short way away there were even shops run by entrepreneurial skritt.  In the deepest reaches of Skrittsburgh, skritt soldiers held back encroaching Destroyers from underground.  It was a full, living city, and the race isn’t even a main one!  Kudos to Anet for this sort of dedication and the masterful way in which they fully realized this concept.

While I’m looking forward to the entirety of the game, when we hit launch I’ll be putting aside time to spend with the skritt, whether it’s helping them defend what they’ve rightfully stolen, or just chuckling at their more innocent antics.

Gotta give credit, that is pretty accurate.
…hey! – V

Fellowship of the Fans

As I’ve mentioned already in previous blog posts, Guild Wars 2 fans are an…interesting bunch. We crash websites in our zealousness to sign up for betas and view beta counters (and apparently this past week’s Guildcast was another site crasher). We flip the hell out at anything we don’t necessarily like.

And sometimes? Some really, really cool things are created by the community.

The first was already mentioned here in Dak’s post about the trait blowup, but it’s worth another mention as it’s just really, really cool. The folks over at GW2Tools made this awesome trait calculator, which lets you play around with the trait lines for each profession and see what the options are for minor/major traits are for each one.

The lovely people of the French fansite Luna Atra have had a skills tool up for quite some time, but it was incomplete for a long time. Now it’s been updated to include everything from the recent press beta weekend, traits, and underwater skills. You can even share your builds when you’re done creating them!

If you’re looking at that and trying to figure out what roles different weaponsets play, Guild Wars 2 Junkies has your back. They have an awesome graphic that shows which playstyles different weapons support. So if you’re ever unsure as to what weapons would be best for offense, defense, support, or healing, there’s your first stop.

And for something a bit different but still an awesome fan creation…we all know that Guild Wars has amazing music. Have you ever wanted to be able to play it yourself? Well, if you play piano, you’re in luck – Shewstr has created sheet music for both the Guild Wars 2 theme (from the start of ANet’s MMO Manifesto) and the Asura theme to play on piano. Amazing!

If you just want to laugh? Well, then go check out lolcharr. I don’t think I really need to say much about that one, other than just including this image:

Hyperbole and a Half, meet Guild Wars 2.

There’s a ton of other really cool community-made things out there, of course; these are just some of the big ones that have come to my attention this past week. All of it is worth checking out! You won’t regret it, trust me on that.

Guild Wars 2 vs. Internet!

…internet loses.

First, there was the announcement on Wednesday that ArenaNet would be taking beta signups for Guild Wars 2 for 48 hours.

Within five minutes, the site was broken from so many people rushing at once to submit their info at once. The funny thing was that a few hours before I had said that if we hadn’t broken the site with our impatient constant refreshing when the sylvari were supposed to be revealed, I doubted it would happen now.

Oh, how wrong I was!

About an hour ago, on twitter ArenaNet posted the link to their Ducksboard ticker that they were using to track signups.

It promptly crashes and the poor people at Ducksboard are trying to get everything running smoothly again. If you had gotten on the page before it stopped loading, then the counter would continue to go up, but then it just stopped updating entirely.

For the record, the number it stopped at (at least on my window) was 994,925. Yes, just shy of a million. That many people signed up in 48 hours for a chance to get in the GW2 beta.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from this? Guild Wars 2 fans are very good at breaking the internet in their excitement. Whoops. But we do it out of love, at least!

Good luck to everyone who signed up for the beta, and congratulations to ArenaNet for such an overwhelming success with the signups! You guys rock :D


Edit: the counter just hit a million! One million signups in under 50 hours. That’s 20,000 people per hour, or an average of nearly 6 people per second. Amazing job!