flameseeker chronicles

Flameseeker Chronicles is a Guild Wars 2 column by Tina Lauro. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Flameseeker Chronicles: Amazing Guild Wars 2 in-game Halloween costumes

I’ve devoured all of my homemade pumpkin pasties and downed the last of my butterbeer while enjoying the Halloween festivities in Guild Wars 2, gaining some very pretty treats for my playtime. One of my favourite parts of the Halloween season is seeing characters in costume, though: Only in GW2 — aka Fashion Wars — will you see so many characters getting into the season while playing the Mad King’s games and generally being festive. The best effort I put forward this year was to apply more Abyss dye to smoke out my usual armour colour scheme and equip some spookier weapon skins, so I’m always blown away by the effort some people make to get into the spooky spirit. Costuming is a year-long pursuit for many players, but Halloween seems to bring out the most awesome character cosplays and gives me a perfect opportunity to showcase the talent in the GW2 community.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to showcase some of my favourite character costumes from 2016, as spotted in-game, spied on the season-focused Guild Wars 2 Reddit threads, and during my random browsing of far too many GW2 YouTube videos. Be sure to add screenshots of your costumes in the comments for me to check out, and don’t forget to share any real-life character cosplays you wore as well!
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Flameseeker Chronicles: Gaming playstyles, science, and Guild Wars 2

I was curious recently about what specific personality traits or personal qualities lead to my enjoyment of MMOs in general and Guild Wars 2 in particular, especially after reading that Quantic Foundry has just conducted new research into any potential correlation between gender, age, and playstyle. The research referenced in the Daily Grind post was taken from a relatively small set of responses, but I was nevertheless prompted to consider my own playstyle and revisit my Quantic Foundry gaming profile again.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to examine my gaming profile and explain how it might relate to the type of GW2 content I choose to play, giving examples as I go to help other gamers with similar motivations consider whether GW2 might be the perfect MMO choice for them as well.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Fully unpacking Guild Wars 2’s Rising Flames

I’ve been aching to share more of my thoughts about Guild Wars 2‘s second Living World instalment for Season 3 and am finally convinced that enough time has passed for most of you to have experienced the story for yourselves. You’ll remember that my last edition of Flameseeker Chronicles shared my launch day first impressions, but a fuller breakdown seemed most necessary since I had played such a small proportion of the content in advance of its release and was asked to keep my impressions detail-light to avoid spoilers anyway.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll give you a rundown of the goings-on in Rising Flames and will again present the best and worst parts of the story from my perspective. If you haven’t had the opportunity to play Rising Flames in its entirety just yet, I recommend skipping this article for a while until you do unless you’re happy for some major story spoiling to happen: There will be several spoilers throughout the article for those who haven’t played this episode.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: First impressions of Guild Wars 2’s Rising Flames

Logging into your Guild Wars 2 account right now will grant you access to an absolute treat in the form of episode 2 of the Living World, named Rising Flames, which should provide you with an astounding amount of action for a singular episode update. My excitement levels were sent off the scale when the episode was announced during PAX West due to the return to the original game’s hardcore volcanic island chain in the form of the new Ember Bay zone. And then I was allowed to jump right into the Fire Islands early and see for myself how hot the action is this past weekend to ensure I could fill you in on my thoughts when the content dropped.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to share my first impressions of Season 3’s second installment, based on my experiences over the weekend’s preview time. I played through the best part of two chapters and tackled the new jumping puzzle while I was hopping around the islands. I’m going to keep the article intentionally light on the spoiler front since this episode is just launching today and I want you to enjoy it for yourselves, but please don’t read on unless you’ve completed the first episode and are up to date with the story so far if you’re worried about spoilers. Anything that I feel could be too revealing will be placed behind our special spoiler tags for your reading convenience.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Thoughts on Guild Wars 2’s Ring of Fire episode reveal

We’ve been promised a whole list of newness for Episode 2 of Guild Wars 2‘s latest Living World season, which will be with us by the end of the month, so I wanted to dedicate this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles to outlining what we can expect on September 20th. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new episode in two weeks time, and I’m very curious as to where the story will pull us to, especially after such a big reveal at the end of episode 1.

Exploring the unknown

The new zone will be another jog down memory lane for Guild Wars players since it is set within the Ring of Fire island chain that we all know from the Prophecies campaign. My mind is blown by the return: The new zone’s being set in an entire region that we’ve never set foot on in GW2 is exceedingly brave considering that other offerings are extensions of somewhere that we already have some sort of foothold in. Even Heart of Maguuma, which I always think of as quite an extensive, technically impressive region, was familiar to us by extension from the other Maguuman areas.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: What to do in Guild Wars 2 between season 3 episodes

Many MMOs, Guild Wars 2 included, face a well-documented but oft-unaddressed problem: What can players do to fill the time in between content gaps? The topic at hand was actually suggested by Bree after so many of us cleared the first chapter of the Living World’s third season so quickly. I admit that I was ravenous for something new, and in my content-starved state, I vastly overconsumed the new content and burned through it quicker than I should have. I knew that a further wait of two or perhaps three months was to be expected before the next story chapter, but I found myself unable to make the new chapter stretch and am now back to finding fun ways to bide my time.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to share with you some of the things I do to busy myself and create my own fun in periods of story downtime in the hope that you’ll feel a little bit inspired yourself, should you find yourself in the same predicament as I am in.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s Out of the Shadows

I figure that it’s been long enough for the majority of you to have run through Guild War’s 2‘s first instalment of the Living World Season 3 story, which is a huge relief because I’ve been dying to share my thoughts with you all. Sure, I shared my initial impressions with you on launch day, but I was rather light on the details since I was being so careful not to ruin your fun prematurely and I hadn’t been exposed to much of the content anyway.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to talk about the good and bad of the opening chapter, and then I’ll perhaps even reevaluate some of my predictions for the season after appraising my accuracy. If you haven’t had the chance to play through Out of the Shadows for yourself, I recommend giving this article a miss until you have: There will be spoilers ahead for those who are not aware of how the storyline has progressed.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2’s new Living Story has launched

Wowee, is it ever a massive day in the life of my favourite MMO! If you log in right now, you’ll notice three greatly anticipated additions to Guild Wars 2 as you know it: Firstly, we’ve (finally!) got some more juicy story to pore over with the release of the first chapter of Living World Season 3, Out of the Shadows, and then we also have Revenge of the Capricorn, a pirate-themed new (but kinda not new… more on that later) PvP Conquest map, and Chaos Isles, a crazy new fractal in which nothing is as it should be.

I had the opportunity to try out some of this new content over the last few days and am ready to share my thoughts on what you can expect from this mahoosive content drop. I played through a little bit of the story (I didn’t want to go too far and run out of story before it even launches), battled the devs in Revenge of the Capricorn, and blasted through the Chaos Isles fractal to get a sense of how the new content feels.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share my playtesting experiences with you to prime you for tackling the new content yourselves. This article won’t be terribly spoilerific since I was asked not to divulge too much in terms of the new plotlines, so don’t worry too much about having a gander before jumping in to play through for yourself. Anything questionable in terms of spoilers has been placed behind special tags for your reading convenience. This is a fairly beefy article, so you’ll still have plenty to read even if you choose not to open any of the spoilers at all!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 Season 3 Predictions

If I’ve read the words “content drought” under your name in the comments section recently, you will be as delighted as I am to note that Guild Wars 2‘s dynamic story will finally be evolving on July 26. The opening episode of Guild Wars 2‘s Living World’s third season, dubbed Out of the Shadows, has been long-awaited by eager lore nuts and promises to drench us in deeper, more detailed story than we’ve ever been given before. Although it’s not the only content that’s part of the July Update (which I hear will have a cooler name than that on launch due to the story drop) I can’t help but get excited for what’s to come, especially after writing an article on how the content drought has caused widespread apathy in the community a mere two weeks ago. The MMO gods are smiling upon me and my wishes have come true; I deeply suspected that Season Three would kick off this month but was quickly losing hope as the old perpetual calendar rolled us ever closer to August.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share some of my Season Three predictions with you to help you rebuild the hype while we wait for the end of the month. Please be aware that spoilers lie ahead if you have not yet finished Season Two or the Heart of Thorns storylines, so get up to date before reading on if you’re worried.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Re-engaging lost Guild Wars 2 players

I recently read an interesting opinion piece by Jason Winter that got me thinking about the general sense of apathy that he believes is trickling into the Guild Wars 2 playerbase because of the current content drought. After the Heart of Thorns launch, ArenaNet has been dedicating a significant portion of its man-hours to remedying some major grievances the community has been carrying, especially when it comes to WvW gameplay. Add to that the pressure to start on the second expansion, which is now well underway, and the usual patches that we players expect, and you can see how easy it is to let fresh new content fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Personally, I’m excited for Living Story Season 3 and hope that it revitalises players who have lost confidence in GW2, but I wonder whether ANet could be doing more to incentivise play and shorten those content gaps.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll put forward some ideas for improving the activity levels in GW2, covering both improvements to the existing ways in which ANet attempts to keep players engaged and some different tactics I wish the company could employ.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Hands-on with Guild Wars 2’s third raid wing

Forsaken Thicket is set to get much larger and… lanier… today: I was given the opportunity to test out the third wing of Guild Wars 2‘s first raid so I could share my thoughts with you. I played through the opening encounters of the new wing called Stronghold of the Faithful and would advise readers who have not yet completed Salvation Pass to proceed with caution knowing that spoilers are fairly unavoidable. The action is non-stop from the outset and I’m sure raiders will enjoy the battle into the castle to find out more about its occupants and their intentions.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll talk you through my initial impressions of the Stronghold of the Faithful and will include as many little tips as I can to get you started. ArenaNet has again asked that I not go into great detail when it comes to specific tactics since it’s day one for this content, so bear with me as I set the scene without revealing too much strategy that could spoil the fun.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Why wave-ban Guild Wars 2 cheaters?

Last week, our very own Bree Royce summed up a response given by ArenaNet’s Chris Cleary to a self-confessed hacker on the game’s subreddit who asked why he had not been banned for his actions. A list of offences was given in the post, and the indignant OP explained that the purpose of this bout of ill-advised honesty was to shame the company into taking swifter and more decisive action against cheaters. Guild Wars 2 Game Security Lead Cleary’s response to the hacker — who used the name MegaWormHole — received as many harsh words as the hacker himself, so I thought I should weigh in on the issue and discuss my views on how ArenaNet handles hacking (and cheating in general for that matter).

Cheating detection is a whopper of an issue for MMO developers to handle, especially since both fairness and equality of resource access are crucial in successfully managing massive online communities. Having said that, if an anti-hacking system is too rigorous, false positives can occur and honest players then suffer for those who decide to cheat. In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll break down Cleary’s response to this hacking admission while discussing batch banning and how adequately this deals with cheating in GW2. 

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking the proposed Guild Wars 2 WvW scoring improvements

In my last edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I outlined ArenaNet‘s recent WvW player poll and discussed the possible implications of voting for each of the two options presented. On one hand, quality-of-life improvements aimed to bring some much-needed intermap communication and clutter-free fun to Guild Wars 2, and on the other, scoring improvements sought to even the playing field and prevent victories being decided before a match had even begun. Fast forward to the end of the poll: The voting was close, but scoring won with 48.90% of the vote versus 45.23% of votes for QoL. The WvW team has since opened a second poll to further refine and prioritise the direction of that scoring overhaul, and we’ve also been given a statement of intentions of sorts to mull over.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to talk about the proposed scoring improvements in more detail with reference to Game Designer Tyler Bearce’s outline, and then I’ll ponder on the new poll and how I might prioritise the listed features.

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