Saturday, November 9, 2019

Seasons In The Mists : Guild Wars 2

I take a lot of screenshots. I always did and since I've had a blog I've taken even more. In seven and a half years I have accumulated in excess of twelve thousand shots of Guild Wars 2 alone. Almost as many of EverQuest II. Every MMORPG I've played for more than five minutes contributes at least a few hundred to the pile.

I snap anything and everything I might use in a post, often from several angles, but most of those shots never see the outside of a folder on my back-up drive. I see them, though. Some of them, at least. I flick through the stacks, now and again, looking for illustrations for posts or just wallowing in nostalgia. And I always have a screenshot folder set to pull up desktop backgrounds on a ten minute refresh. But I don't remember to change the folder as often as all that. I never see more than a small fraction of the whole.

One reason I welcome IntPiPoMo each autumn is that it always spurs me to dig a bit deeper. I never have to make an effort to hit the fifty picture target because I use more shots than that every month of every year but for once I thought I might dig deeper and come up with one or two pure picture posts. So naturally here I am typing up a storm...

If we're talking words, some of my favorite shots are really just that. In games that have the "speech bubble" function I always have it on. If I say anything I find particularly amusing or perceptive I screenshot myself saying it. I am that solipsistic.

What passes for "amusing" in our house is something of an acquired taste. Mostly it's snark passing between Mrs Bhagpuss and myself, often in character, frequently with spelling and grammar reflecting the juvenile - no, infantile - personalities of... well, I was going to say of our characters but realistically more like those of the people playing them.

Sometimes the in-jokes, fractured phrasing and twee quotient surpass even my ability to parse. Take this cryptic exchange...

 "Sostidges" can mean "sausages" but it can also refer to players from the Sea of Sorrows server. This shot wasn't taken in World vs World, though. It looks like it's from the area in Divinity's Reach where the Queen's Gauntlet holiday event takes place.

"Farrens" refers to an NPC by the name of Lord Faren (note both the mispelling of his name, almost certainly because I associate it strongly with one of my all-time favorite writers, Mick Farren, and the lack of capitalization, which is just my sloppy typing).  As his extraordinarily lengthy and detailed wiki entry attests, Lord Faren has played a significant part in GW2's convoluted storyline but he may be most famous for his speedos.

Mrs Bhagpuss was not impressed but I can't see why we'd have been talking about his legs as sausages. Or maybe I can.

These days we rarely group, so opportunities for recording any banter are few and far between. I don't play much GW2 any more, mostly just dailies. Mrs Bhagpuss plays more than I do but far less than she used to. When we are playing it's usually at diferent times and even when our sessions co-incide we mostly talk in Guild Chat, which doesn't show up in speech bubbles.

Given the erudite and sophisticated nature of our interlocution that's a great loss to posterity.

The word "baddies" has a secondary meaning in video game terminology these days, someone who doesn't know how to play their class, but we use it in the way it would have been employed at the Saturday Morning Pictures, which, of course, neither of us ever attended. My cousin, a few months younger than me, apparently did, so I guess we could have done but I always think of them as something that died out in the 1950s. It seems not.

"Baddies" here appear to be members of one the other teams in WvW. Possibly some sostidges. Mrs Bhagpuss seems to find them quite amusing. She's literally rolling around on the plankworks, helpless with laughter. Another joke lost to The Mists... of time.

World vs World was vibrant back then, around the time of the first Season. We were clearly enjoying ourselves, even if there were some drawbacks to the way the competition had been organized.

The way the event was set up involved some achievements that were considered a grind by many. Use of siege equipment had never been so fraught. ArenaNet changed most of that for the second Season but even so the stress burned many players out. It's the given reason why there have been no more WvW Seasons since. We had a great time, though, and I have the evidence to prove it!

Naturally, this being Yaks Bend, everything played out in a rather particular fashion. The server had a playstyle that made it infamous for several years although few playing today seem to remember. Don't let anyone ever tell you server culture doesn't exist...

I miss those days. We will never see their like again but these shots bring it all back.

WvW in 2019 is a wasteland by comparison. There's a school of thought that believes the coming of mounts to the game mode was the final nail in the coffin and heaven knows I'm as anti-mount as anyone, but maybe we only have ourselves to blame.

This seems to have turned into a nostalgia post about World vs World. I had a whole boatload of snappy snaps sorted, some of them quite possibly a deal more amusing than the ones I've ended up using, but IntPiPoMo has a while to run yet. Plenty of time for those.

Let's finish with a dedication to all those comrades lost forever in The Mists. These are real character names of people I used to run alongside every day. Not seen either of them for years but a screenshot never forgets.

And a shout-out to my all-time favorite Guild... to kill. What could be better for a Charr than Cat Biscuits?

 Just ignore the guy photobombing in the foreground. They only do it for attention.

(IntPiPoMO count for the month so far - 41)


  1. I snorted when I read "I need a snorkle". Unfortunately, that meant tea came out my nose....

    1. Hehe! Sorry about that. Hope it didn't go over your keyboard!

    2. No, but it did clear out my sinuses. Just not how I wanted them cleaned out...


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