Monthly Archives: June 2012

My thoughts on the Ranger

This is not meant as in in depth theory crafting breakdown of the ranger.  It is just my observations after playing over the last BWE.  I am looking for a third class to play, and the ranger looked interesting.  I tend to play ranged more then I do melee, but the ranger offers the opportunity to play both.  I most used ranged weapons because I have a bad internet connection right now, and ranged seemed to be better when I had little lag spikes.


I used the following weapons:

  • Longbow
  • Shortbow
  • Axe main and offhand
  • Sword
  • Dagger
  • Warhorn
  • Torch

Other then the sword, I found all the weapon types to be pretty good.  Toward the end of the BWE, and in WvW I ended up mostly using the axe/torch and a longbow.  The axe/torch works well together.  Lay down bonfire, and then stand just behind it to throw axes through it.  Having that extra burning damage added to the axe damage itself is fun, and seeing the enemies on fire is satisfying.  The longbow is kind of the traditional ranger type weapon.  I found it good for walking around in PvE, because I could stand far away while my pet distracted the enemy.  In WvW, the longbow was good for keeping me safe and alive while other people died.

I did not like the 1h sword to much.  I made my ranger the most massive Norn that I could.  Seeing him flip around like a karate movie star just looked silly.  Maybe if I made a smaller character it would have worked better, but as it is I don’t know if I could use the sword for him.


After reading about pets in various places, I kind of expected them to be worthless.  I started with a brown bear, and charmed an Ice Drake, Wolf, and Blue Jellyfish.  I only played with the bear and drake.  I found them to be pretty good.  They did exactly what I expected, and that was get between me and what I was fighting.  Maybe I have low expectations of a pet in games, but if I get hit less and they can absorb hits for me then I am going to be happy.

Here is me with Ralph the bear and Bob the Ice Drake

Utility and healing skills

I tried all the healing skills.  None of the 3 skills really felt like it would get you out of serious trouble.  By that I mean they are not large heals that will make up for bad play.  I liked Healing Spring the most, but if something is smashing you in the face then Healing Spring isn’t so good because you have to be in the circle it creates for the heal.  I found I liked using fire trap with healing spring for when things came after me.

I didn’t get to try many of the utility skills.  Basically, I only used the Owl spirit and the flame trap enough to talk about them.  The bleed from the owl didn’t seem to make much difference most of the time.  I think it might be better in fights against creatures with larger health pools where conditions will have more time to work.  Flame trap was great for damage if something came after me, and for setting up combo fields in certain fight types.  I had flame trap on when I went into WvW, and I end up using it when we assaulted a keep.  I put it near the door where the other team could come out, and it seemed effective there.

Overall impressions

Overall I found the Ranger class to be a lot of fun.  It is versatile enough to not get boring.  Sick of pew pewing with a longbow?  All you have to do is grab a sword and all of a sudden you are playing a totally different class.  The class is durable enough to take some good hits, yet is mobile.  I think there is a strong chance I will play the Ranger when the game goes live, all I need to do is give the mesmer a good try if there is another BWE.

Categories: Guild Wars 2 | 3 Comments

You really can help each other in GW2

My first online game was Guild Wars, and since it was instanced you never saw people outside of your party in the world.  I moved from GW to Lord of the Rings: Online as my first real MMO.  When I was new to LOTRO I could often try to help people that I saw while I was running around.  I was a captain so I could heal them or help attack what they were fighting.  Pretty quickly, and to my surprise, I learned that was considered a no no.   People thought I was trying to steal their XP, or kill the things they needed for their quest.  So instead of helping people, I would usually just run right past them.  Sometime I might look and see if they were in big trouble, and if they were I would help then.

Along comes Guild Wars 2 were Anet has promised that it will be possible to help people without hurting them.  By that I mean they will still get the kills and XP that they need.  Reading about it, and promises are one thing.  It is something else to be able to see it yourself.  This is sort of a simple example, but it was the moment when I truly realized that everybody can be friends and work together in GW2.  There is no PvE competition for kills, XP, or loot drops.

I was in the Norn level 1-15 area just sort of running around exploring.  I found a cave with a bunch of Ice Elementals in it.  I didn’t have any real reason to go in there other then exploration.  There was another person just starting to go into the cave when I got there.      Without any discussion or grouping, we both just started to kill the elementals.  I was playing a Ranger with Healing Spring, and the Axe/Torch combo.  I would occasionally lay down Healing Spring or Bonfire.  I cannot remember what class the other person was playing, but we were doing combos off of each others skills and generally helping each other.  We cleared out a bunch of Elementals as we moved through the cave.  Eventually, we left the cave without talking to each other.

In LOTRO, as in many other MMOs, we would have been in some sort of competition.  Who could “tag” the mob first?  Who could kill fastest to move on to the next kill?  In GW2 we helped each other.  I have to say that Anet fulfilled their promises in this instance very well.  It does pay to help other people.  Everybody gets the quests done, gets loot, and gets XP.  If anything you are punished in this game for not working together, and that makes me very happy.

Categories: Guild Wars 2 | Tags: | 4 Comments

10 hour countdown

Not much to say, other then about 10 hours until BWE2 opens up.  The suspense is killing me, and League of Legends just isn’t cutting it right now.


That is all.  😛

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BWE goodness

Anet has released some BWE changes in the form of a blog.  There are 13 different changes or additions that they tell us about in their blog.  A few of them jumped out to me.

Improved Overflow Servers

We listened to a lot of the input we received from players regarding their experience with overflow servers in the first Beta Weekend Event, and we’ve implemented a new party UI that tells you when party members are on a different overflow world. We’ve also given party members the ability to fast travel to overflow worlds where other members of their party are located, and we’ve made it easier to keep party members together when moving between maps. It’s all designed to give you as smooth an experience as possible.

This one is huge for me since I will generally be playing with my wife, son, and guild mates.  I like the opportunity to be able to map to the same location as those that I am grouping with.  This will add a lot to the feel of community.

Unlock the Mysteries of the Mystic Forge

On a less dangerous note, the Mystic Forge has arrived in Lion’s Arch. This strange forge actually holds the imprisoned djinn Zommoros, who hails from distant Elona. If you offer the Mystic Forge gifts (like unneeded items and weapons), you will receive a gift in return. Got a pair of pistols that you don’t need? Drop them in the Mystic Forge and see what Zommoros gives you in exchange!

Ok, I am curious about this.  Can I keep trading items until I get something like?  If I trade pistols and get a sword can I trade that sword for something else?  This seems like a really fun way mess with junk loot.  Also is there the opportunity to get something really great or will this all be basic items?  I will have to see how this thing works.

Expanded World vs. World

Once again, the Mists will echo with the sound of combat as we open up World vs. World for the weekend. As usual, massive armies of players from different servers will battle for supremacy on four huge maps, but this time we’ve added a couple of interesting new twists.

Players can now take their WvW battle underground in a new “mini dungeon” beneath the central map. This brand-new subterranean level is full of tricks and traps that can be used against enemy players, and is home to the aptly named Dark Room, which players will have to see (or not) to believe.

We’ve also added skill challenges, dynamic events, and even jump puzzles to the WvW maps. Why are these PvE elements being integrated into WvW gameplay? “We want to make the transition from PvE to World vs. World easy and natural for players,” says developer Matt Witter. “We always wanted additional meaningful content on the WvW maps so that players will always have something to do, even if the frontline of battle is far away.”

I am not usually into PvP, but WvW looks like so much fun.  I am going to have to go into WvW to see how good it is.  Anet is cramming a lot into the WvW arena.  I think this could be the defining section of GW2.

Categories: Guild Wars 2 | Tags: | 1 Comment

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