Thoughts on Age of Wushu

Well, first impressions, at least. It’s a pretty game that’s ambitious, reminiscent of EVE, and has some spots that are strangely lacking. But, it’s a free-to-play, so can’t complain too much.

Getting the game downloaded and started was a little tricky. I had a corrupt .cab file and had to redownload it. Two of the game servers were full and the other two were busy. Character creation was a little sparse, but I didn’t cringe at awful modeling like I did for The Secret World. Then trying to enter a name. Please choose a good name? WTF does that mean? Is the name taken? Is it violating something? It’s not 1337-kiddie, so I don’t see what the problem is with it. Huh, the forums guess that it doesn’t like spaces. Well, that’s nice. Add a dash and there, we’re good to go.

Graphics and ambiance are lovely. The cities feel alive, strangely more so than GW2. That might be because of the offline player characters becoming NPCs that go about doing mundane daily things. The details on the architecture is something to sit and look at for a while. Wuxia China is captured well here. The music is worth playing the game alone.

I haven’t done much in the way of combat. I was consumed by the professions and crafting. Did manage to get into the Beggar’s Sect. Yeah, I’m playing a Wuxia Chinese variant of Az. He plays music and begs for money. Busking is an offline job, too! Plus, he has his pretty ponytail.

Food is a little important here. Your character does get hungry. Problem is finding food. There are taverns and tea shops and inns where NPCs are stuffing face. But can I buy anything? Nope! Crappiest service ever, I tell ya. Even if you go to a grocery store, the food you buy there isn’t edible. They’re task items, whatever that means. I’m guessing that you have to either take up the cook profession or buy food from other players. That’s a little problematic. Players take one kind of currency, while NPCs take another. It looks like food can grant temporary buffs and I’m fine with having to make that or buy it from other players. But straight up nutrition and nutrition only? Why is that nowhere to be found among all the restaurants?

Still, intriguing game and I’m enjoying the open sandbox feel to it. I’ll probably have more to say when I actually start digging deeper into the game.


Thoughts on Flame and Frost

Well, the April patch was a welcome bit of attention for the rangers of Guild Wars 2. I know my catssassin BM ranger was happy for the reduced cooldown of “Sick ‘Em”. The pet buffs were nice and I did notice an improvement on pathing for PvE.

For the rangers who want to utilize the Nature Spirits, well, it was a lovely gesture. A 60% increase to a HP of paper makes cardboard. Seriously, devs, make the spirits truly the ranger equivalent to the warrior’s banners! Especially since the buffs have a chance to proc, not straight up application. I know a few rangers who would love to build a Nature Magic/Beastmaster ranger to do the whole one-with-nature druid thing and play a solid support role. BTW, staff weapon option, please.

My guardian hasn’t noticed much change in his gameplay, so not much to comment on there.

The conclusion to the Living Story… Goddammit, Anet! If you start a story with soloable instances, end them with soloable instances. Is a little consistency too much to ask? I’m fine with the unimpressive and unfun dungeons having their own story arc. It begins with dungeons and ends with dungeons. But to repeat the same damn mistake done on the “Personal” Story and end a soloable story with a 5-man dungeon? Are you kidding me? GW2 has something called dynamic events. Things that scale to the number of players. So, we couldn’t have a soloable instances and we couldn’t have an open world meta-event, when both clearly exist and work fine. It’s not that I’m even against grouping. I group frequently for the temple runs and I find those fun. It’s a case of hop in, bring whatever you got, screw the gear and skill check, and run it. The temples are challenging, active, and with a zerg trying to bring down the baddie without going down, it’s rather epic. Who the hell decided to shove fixed 5-man relics of dungeons into a game that features scaling mechanics? I lost half of my guild to frustration over the dungeons. And to cap off instanced stories with that crap?

/deep breath

Well, onto the Molten Facility dungeon. I certainly enjoyed it more than the standard dungeons. My ranger duoed with my partner’s warrior and we made it all the way to the final bosses. Didn’t finish because we needed food badly and there was a new build warning flashing on our screens. It wasn’t frustrating for us in the same way we raged at the standard dungeons. While the trash mobs were still bags of HP, they were mostly Elite Veteran level bags of HP, not Elite Champions. I remember running Caudecus’s Manor and wondering how the hell Caudecus managed to hire rooms full of Super-Bandits from Krypton. Really, my hero character eats bandits for lunch, as long as they don’t gang up in large numbers. Also, the mook level bandits dodge. Why can’t the ranger pet do that? Anyways, getting off topic. If Anet insists on continuing with the dungeons, the Molten Facility is a step in the right direction.
For a bonus, here are the build sites I like to play around in.


Guild Wars 2 Mains


Since I play Guild Wars 2, here are my mains, both level 80.

A Human Guardian doing a hero pose and a scouting Norn Ranger.

I’m almost done with world exploration on the Ranger. I enjoy the class, despite its many flaws. My biggest wish is that the devs upgrade the pet AI. Or change the Beastmastery trait line, so that it affects the portion of damage that the pet deals. More Beastmastery, the more the pet is the primary weapon. Less Beastmastery, the more the pet is a utility. But that’s pie in the sky dreaming. Instead, my Norn is usually screaming at her pet. “What are you doing? Don’t aggro that! Bad pet! Get back over here! Come here! Come-” *switch pet* *sigh*

The Guardian is duoing with a Mesmer and we haven’t found a Champion we couldn’t beat yet. Granted, all of those fights are slow, but we get through them.