Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sitting On My Laurels: GW2

"Flame and Frost: Prelude" GW2's elegaically-named January update arrived last night. ArenaNet tell us it's the smaller of the two updates they're working on at the moment and if that's true then February's must be a real monster.

The official Press Release gives the flavor, the forums have the Patch Notes and Dulfy has the detail. What I have is a few hours of puttering about and a lot of unanswered questions.

It's quiet. Too quiet...
As soon as we logged back in Mrs Bhagpuss and I set off like a pair of hyperactive Kate Adies, charging past the incoming refugees to gawp at whatever dangers they might be fleeing. Except... what refugees? There were none. All through Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau Norns and Charr continued their obsessive beef&beverage-based activities amid the usual small wars.

Prelude to nothing yet, then, and as I write this early afternoon of the following day, to nothing still. No sign, either, of the Heralds that

"will begin appearing in cities across Tyria shortly after the January 28th update to keep adventurers apprised of the events currently underway that are driving the Living Story forward"

Depends how you define "shortly" I guess. Probably means the same as "Soon". Although:

"Persistent world content related to the story of the refugees has been added to Wayfarer Foothills, Diessa Plateau, the Black Citadel, and Hoelbrak."  

Past tense, not future.

But then, time is out of joint in Tyria. It must be because although we couldn't find any refugees we did finish two dailies in a single day. After months of pleasurable permanence the familiar Daily routine got a hefty shake-up yesterday. From now on we should see a different set of tasks each day, with a handy checklist in the top-right corner of the screen. I'm not entirely clear yet on how these will rotate; whether it's seven sets, a randomized five from a pool, made up on a whim by a bored Dev or what. Time will tell.

Last night's set included 25 underwater kills, which I was happy to see since I had, not fifteen minutes earlier, bought both a Rare Spear and Speargun on the Trading Post for cheap and was itching to try them out. The requirement to complete ten Combos with an Ally was more problematic. Much conversation ensued, both between me and Mrs Bhagpuss and the general population of Diessa Plateau as everyone tried to remember what a Combo was and argued about who counted as an "Ally".
Timing. It's all in the timing.
That one took a long time and it was never really clear what gave an update and what didn't, but it got done in the end. All that was left was to craft ten Green Wood Planks and the first of what I expect will be many Laurels was mine.

Laurels? Oh, they're the new currency. We seem to get a new currency every month. Unlike Ugly Socks, though, Laurels look like something worth hanging on to. A Charr going by the unambiguous if unimaginative name of "Laurel Merchant" has appeared next to Craxus the Karma vendor in Fort Marriner and even a brief perusal of his copious stock suggests Laurels are going to be highly worth collecting.

For a start-up business operating out of a wagon he has one hell of a range. I barely know where to begin describing it. Mini-pets, crates of Exotic armor for all classes, superior crafting tools, unidentified dyes, Ascended jewellery, Infusions, it's quicker to list what he doesn't sell. He even sells WvW siege blueprints, although buying those with Laurels would seem to be the equivalent of using £20 notes to start a fire because you fancy a slice of toast.

My name? You don't need to know my name.
There's a good range of prices. There are things you can get for just a day or two's work: boosters for xp, magic find or coin, the crafting tools and suchlike. Less than a week gets you ten dyes or a box with two pieces of Exotic armor. If you want Ascended jewellery you can figure on getting around one piece a month from dailies alone. With five slots to fill, that's not unreasonable, and there's another 10 Laurels for doing the Monthly to shave a month or so off that schedule.

If you want Goedulf or the magnificently-named Chauncey von Snuffles III, an overweight cat wearing a Derby hat and a bow tie who "placed second in the Divinity’s Reach Fanciest Cat competition" it's going to take you a couple of months. Still, why buy a cat when you can be a cat? Top of the shop is the Endless Mystery Cat Tonic, yours for just 100 Laurels.

It's a lot to take in. For now I'm going to keep my Laurels in my pocket. I'd like to see what this Exotic armor looks like, for one thing, not to mention what stats it has. And then there's the "level 78-80" thing. Who wants level 78 Exotic armor, other than a level 78? Then, too, this is just Phase One of the Achievement revamp. There may be other ways to earn Laurels in future.

It's no time to be blowing them on Arrow Carts, that's for sure.


  1. Awesome article. Made me lol 3-4 times. "He even sells WvW siege blueprints, although buying those with Laurels would seem to be the equivalent of using £20 notes to start a fire because you fancy a slice of toast." Genius, so using that quote on my blog ... hahaha

    I can answer your questions about the new events though, seems this post was made on the forums, https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/game/gw2/How-to-start-the-flame-and-frost-story/first#post1313570

    1. Ah thanks! Just read your piece on it, too. Noon PST is quite convenient for me - about 8pm. Looking forward to it.

  2. Makes you wonder who exactly won the Fanciest Cat Competition. Baron von Scrufflebutt? (meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow)

    I'm still torn about the ascended amulets. They don't have the Toughness/Power/Precision Knights gear, and that is the set I use for most of my characters. I've already sacrificed over 200 toughness to get ascended rings/backpiece, and I'm not so sure if I want to lose more.

    I guess this is Anet attempting to "balance" things. But this does free my laurels up for use on more...feline items.

    -Ursan, from CD. Forgot to introduce myself in the previous comment =/

    1. I heard someone else complaining about the absence of the Knight's version. I'm not going to think about anything in that detail until I have all the classes at 80, when I guess I will have to pick a couple to play at that level.

      By then perhaps the WvW matches will be in a better state - the unexpected reset is certainly going to shake things up.

    2. https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/game/gw2/How-to-start-the-flame-and-frost-story/page/2#post1327676

      Thought you'd be interested in this dev post.

      It sounds SUPER exciting, this gradual change they promise. I know I'll be in Diessa a lot the coming weeks.


      If you can't read the forums...

      "Thanks for the feedback on the Living Story portion of Flame and Frost: Prelude. Here’s some context on how it works:

      The Flame and Frost story content progresses over time. You will not see everything today, tomorrow, or even the next day.

      Expect subtle changes at first. Maybe you’ll encounter some familiar characters. Perhaps you’ll be introduced to some new ones. You might see a new structure where there wasn’t one before.

      The Living Story content is initially about the thrill of discovery. We’ll put some markers on your map, maybe send you a letter, or parcel out details through certain characters, but the rest is up to you.

      As the weeks progress, you’ll notice bigger changes in the world. New events may appear. Plots will advance and characters will develop.

      As always, we welcome your opinions. This is a new thing we’re trying so we appreciate your patience and input."

  3. A quick note on the armor boxes. They only give you a chance at an exotic... about 1%. For the most part you will be swiming in level 70-80 rares. The skins are not new. The light armor uses the conjurer's appearence for example. Stats are based on common class builds such as carrion for necromancers. The only reason to pick up the boxes is for mystic forge fodder or ecto salvaging.

    1. Oh yes! Not that I was about to buy one, but thanks for that. It does indeed say "Rare or Exotic" in the small print. Shows how carefully you have to read these things.

      I didn't realize details on the contents were available yet - I thought we'd need to wait until enough days had passed for people to start buying them.

  4. cool, so many details. it is a good guide for green hand like me.


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