WRUP: The last Guild Wars 2 elite specs for the next expansion edition

    
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The finale

Engineer: The Mastermind
Rather than kits, this version of the Engineer summons tiny golems and clockwork robots to do their work for them. Wielding a horn in the off-hand, the Mastermind collects a small army of mechanical helpers and sets them loose, at which point the player gets up and makes a sandwich only to come back and find that they have somehow slipped into another game and are now fighting the forces of Longbow. Just go with it.

Thief: The Arsonist
This Thief specialization gets not one but two new weapon options with the ability to wield Torches in either the main hand or the off-hand. All of your utility skills are now about fire. Fire will clean everything. Pure, blazing fire. So hot. So loving. Everything is in flames. Burn them. Burn them all.

Ranger: The Hunter
Why don’t Rangers get to wield firearms? They do now, with the new rifle-toting Hunter specialization that lets Rangers take part in the time-honored modern sport of hunting. Assemble a blind, sit in it, drink copious amounts of beer, dye all of your armor bright orange, and eventually kill an animal from half a mile away without it having any idea that you’re there in the first place. Then post about it on Tyrian Facebook.

Commando: The Answerer
Reads and answers What Are You Playing. That’s it.

Bonus question: What’s a treat you like to get just for yourself, not for anyone else you may live with?

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Pokemon Go will be happening since my friend wants to do all the Fashion Week stuff at the last minute, bleh. She’s also my Monster Hunter Rise partner, and apparently we’re a bit behind on some lesser updates (read: non-hardmode Rajang additions), so we may do a little of that if we don’t wrap it up after getting Rush on release night. I’ll probably also hit up some Pokemon Unite and, fingers crossed, wrap up Deltarune’s second chapter since it has been a very busy week.

Honestly, I share a lot. Especially food. I don’t even really buy alcohol since my folks don’t drink. The only thing that vaguely comes to mind is Barq’s root beer, since my mom rarely drinks soda and my dad can’t taste the difference between coconut walnut pudding and chocolate. As Barq’s has become rare during the pandemic, the over-priced case I bought has largely been hoarded… in public view. So while my family could take some if they like, it’s basically just for me.

Andy McAdams: I’m not sure – I am unexpectedly going to a fancy-pants charity gala this weekend so that will eat into my gaming time. I’ve been dropping into Guild Wars 2 periodically to just futz around, but without a guild there, it’s a bit of a lonely experience. Fun, but lonely. I’m really eager for New World to come out. I wouldn’t say that I’m hyped, just desperate for an MMO to really sink myself into for a while. I’ll probably play more Rimworld, as that has been my go-to while in the MMO slump.

Bonus: Not really something I do. My husband and I like about 95% of the same things, so anything I would get for myself, he would also enjoy so I end up getting for him too.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I’m not sure! I wish the Guild Wars 2 test were through the weekend so I’d have more time there, but alas. I’ll probably do a few final things to prep Star Wars Galaxies Legends for a break ahead of New World.

Hmm, I buy watermelon juice. Fun story, I’m allergic to watermelon and my husband and kids hate it, but over the pandemic I got delivered watermelon juice by mistake. I hadn’t tried it since a trip to Mexico many years ago, but anyway, I tried it again just to see, and apparently my body can tolerate that amount now. And I love it. So yay, now it’s my default juice, and nobody else in the family will steal it.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): With confirmation that Dancer will be my main job going into Endwalker, most of my time this weekend will involve Final Fantasy XIV as I get some better gear. Also, I’ll see about having some time with Actraiser Renaissance. Color me genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised that game got a remastering.

I am a gummi candy fiend, and nobody else gets to touch my gummi candies but me. A bit of trash panda gourmet recommendation for you fine folks: Find Albanese brand gummies if you can. Those are excellent.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Honestly, most of this weekend will be devoted to a game I’m wrapping up a review on, and other than that I’m not sure. Probably nothing terribly intensive, maybe a bit of FFXIV to keep getting myself prepared ahead of the expansion. (You know, more than I already am.)

My wife and I are both pretty much on the same page of getting ourselves little treats that the other one doesn’t tend to like much; mine tend to me sodas she doesn’t care for, peas, and the occasional snack cracker she can’t stand. We also get a bunch of other treats that we both like equally, so it balances out.

Sam Kash (@thesamkash): I’ll be spending time with Guild War 2 beta as long as it lasts. It’s certainly nice having these beta time frames to see how it each class plays prior to the actual release. Other than that I’ve been playing a single player dungeon crawler called Curse of the Dead Gods. It’s not really my style of game in general but I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Bonus: I get coffee. No one else in the house likes it, the monsters. I basically run on coffee. It is the lifeblood.

Every Saturday, join the Massively OP community and staff for What Are You Playing, our roundup of what MMORPGs and other games we’re hoping to play this weekend (with a bonus question or two for our amusement). Tell us what you’re up to! Go off-topic! And don’t forget to have fun!
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Philip Cristallo

for speculations they sound cool however
according to data leaks

thief was scepter

engineer was a mace

ranger I think the ranger was also getting hammer or something i cant remember exactly though so it might have been something else…

im assuming the thief will have scepter like hook, sly cooper, with a focus on control and condi

engineer i feel may have something to do with golems or jade armor and be bunkerish

ranger i feel is a wildcard however i also think they would entice the ranger away from the bow and to play more close range

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

So salty there are only 3 classes still that can wield the rifle. I own and love the legendary and wanted it to get some love. I’m playing Apex mostly and waiting on 3.15 to drop for Star Citizen.

Homemade Jerky is my go to treat.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

k but I would legitimately play the arsonist :P make it happen Anet.

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Arktouros

I got mildly excited for 30 seconds for the Clockwork Warhorn Engineer and I already have an Aetherized Steam Trumpet then I realize we’re dealing with the new Arena Net, Engineer gets a mace, and probably will leap into combat and out of combat with some completely awful and overly complex idea.

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Schmidt.Capela

I decided to play Surviving Mars. I enjoy that kind of game, but didn’t play more than a couple hours since getting it back in… (glances at Steam) 2019. With a side-dish of Destroy All Humans for when I want something more action-focused (and Crypto is the kind of wisecracking, not-to-be-taken-seriously villain protagonist I love).

Plus assorted games from the other 50-ish games I have currently installed, and the dozens more I have for assorted consoles.

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Toy Clown

I’ve fully succumbed to GW2 in the late evenings. The story up to War Eternal is complete and I stopped there to work on getting the Skyscale. I’m about halfway through it and been working on it about a week. It’s so easy to lose focus! So many things I want to do and accomplish! Something I greatly appreciate about GW2 is I can pretty much pick up where I left off, even if I haven’t actively played in several years.

My morning time is usually spent playing Fallout 76. With double experience weekend, I’ve been tearing up West Tec like a buzzing, glowing, little firefly! Sitting at level 285 and tomorrow I’m going to push for level 300!

Bonus Question: Dolls are my guilty pleasure! That’s what I get for myself when I have a little extra cash to toss around. And no… They are not for Circus, my cat. She’s a good kitty, though, and doesn’t mess with my dolls. Her current thing is using corner parts of walls as her scratching post. That reminds me, I need to buy some paint.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

Playing Neverwinter, really enjoying it. I got my Bard to lvl 20, and am working out the Minstrel Paragon path, I suspect that if it’s healing I want to do then as is usually the case Cleric might be a better choice, however the class and mechanics are alot of fun and I have done kind of ok. In Neverwinter for the Bard it’s pretty much not just a button or key but a series of buttons to cast a song, in a real way the better the muscle memory the faster the cast time. As you can imagine that adds some difficulty or challenge that is interesting and fun. There’s the option to have two songs slotted to (on Xbox) right trigger and left trigger, so that helps, I get flustered sometimes in a group and that with multiple button presses can be a challenge. Enjoying it though, lots of fun D&D Forgotten Realms content. That for gaming is my focus for the time being, subject to change at anytime, but I think I will stick with Neverwinter for my MMO for awhile, trying to find something single player in the strategy genre, along the lines of Civilization or Age of Wonders, that is low cost or f2p on Xbox one, if anyone has a recommendation please let me know, I’d appreciate it.

Have a great weekend.

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Utakata

This week: Over at friends to celebrate a birthday (not mine) with pizza and cheese cake. A privilege we can now share with a degree safety because we’re all vaccinated. The cake was delicious too…

…and our unfortunate timed elections this side of the 49th went better than we expected too. It was another reason to celebrate.

Also this week: As mentioned from last week, finally got the hardware sorted out to run Lyn & Soul again. The new UE4 settings is a bit fuzzy between wanting crisp clear graphics and impediment from lag though. So far, things are a little bit more janky than I would like till I can find the right balance between the two… :(

Bonus answer: Also cheese cake!

Have a great week and weekend folks! Stay safe. And please get vaccinated…and you can have friends and cake too! <3

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Bryan Correll

Did they have to put a guard on the cheesecake at the party to stop you from nom nomming it all?

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Utakata

<3

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Nibbana

Ug, I still haven’t decided if I am playing New World but….maybe being part of a great guild would help? Anyone part of a fun, a&&hat-free guild that would like a healer-type?

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zoward

Not currently playing right now, but as a healer-type myself, I can safely say you’re unlikely to have any problems finding a guild that wants a healer.

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SmiteDoctor

Would any of you fine folks suggest a 2k Gaming monitor, my budget will be between 300 to 400 and I don’t want to buy a piece of feces?

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Minimalistway

Check:
ViewSonic VX2718-2KPC-MHD 27
GIGABYTE G27Q 27″
ASUS TUF GAMING VG27WQ 27″

There are so many good options, and you made think about upgrading my monitor, i have generic LG one, 1080p, it’s not gaming monitor but it’s good enough for me.

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SmiteDoctor

Thank you.

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Jack Pipsam

Hey folks,
Due to my Blizzcott no Diablo 2 for me sadly, although I did get around to playing some of the Halo: Infinite beta. It is with some sadness that I do have to now face the reality that Halo is no longer being made for me. I’ve loved Halo since I was a kid, when I convinced my mum that for Halo:CE on PC the M on the box meant our M, not the American M (which it was and hence equivalent to our MA15+, speech 100+) then of course Halo 3 played a big part of my young teens to the point where from just all those memories alone it might be my favourite game of all time and Halo: Reach in many ways helped define the latter part. It’s easy now to snark on Halo but it was such an important thing and watching its decline has been depressing, although I am grateful that the MCC has never been more popular and you can play the classics still easily today, that is very cool.

What I loved about Halo was the balanced chaos of it all, a mix between a hearty sandbox of iconic weapons and a bonkers physics system which blurred a fine line between dumb luck & mastery. Where bunny-hopping with rocket launchers felt like a legitimate strategy at times and the maps were truly ironic. Simply, Halo was fun. If that was dumb fun or serious fun, it was fun and could be taken in both a causal and an accidentally competitive sense.
But now, Halo is fine-tuned. It’s competitive to the core, a strange mix between Counter-Stike & Call of Duty where Halo feels more like a skin than the point, even the skin has changed as now.
I’m glad people on the whole are enjoying it though, even if it isn’t entirely for me I’d be thrilled if the new Halo was a big hit. That all the delays and concerns about the single-player are put to bed and the game is incredible. Gaming has moved on since I was 12 but it would be nice for Halo to be back in the spotlight and not in the kind of spotlight it had for the awful AWFUL Halo 5.

Because what I wrote below is very long I’ll spare the spam and put it in a spoiler tag.

The Last Stop & My Little Pony

I saw a couple of very different movies this weekend, the first was a documentary called The Last Stop which was about a ‘school’ in the United States named the Élan School. I had been made aware of it from a YouTube video I came across and so watched the full documentary directed by one of the former victims, it’s extremely disconcerting knowing that this was a thing until 2011 and might still be a thing today if it wasn’t for being going viral online. The gist of the ‘school’ was a place for troubled teenagers, but instead of giving them care or proper counselling, instead used a mix of attack theory and cult-like behaviour to effectively torture the kids into some strange submission whilst cutting off the outside world and not giving any kind of education. The production elevated itself through the editing (which was also done by the director), elevated using cartoons by one of the former residents helping illustrate the mental and physical torture from the perspective of the child while also making use of B-Roll and some news from the time. Fact this was all apparently fine from a legal perspective and even the public knew about it to a degree and seemed to accept it blew my mind. I’ll spare the specifics of what happens as it’s extremely confronting stuff, but also a very interesting watch nonetheless, the story of Élan won’t be leaving me anytime soon.

The second film to change total gears was the new soft-reboot My Little Pony: A New Generation just released on Netflix. It was originally meant to be theoretical film via Paramount but was sold to Netflix due to the pandemic. It’s an interesting one, of course diving into a film made for eight-year-olds is what the internet was made for but I’ll keep it brief as I’m sure nobody cares. It exists in the same universe as the previous generation (Gen 4), but like yonks in the future where the characters of the last show are now myth & legend. The film is basically about cultural differences where the different species of Pony (Earth Pony, Pegasus & Unicorns) all live in their own cities and refuse to interact with each-other, each blames each-other for their problems and have negative stereotypes about the other. The film at its core is basically about cultural divides, racism & xenophobia. Which you might think seems a bit heavy, but is actually one of the few things which does follow-through on last time as this premise was the exact backstory of the lore of the old show, only then that the ponies hating each-other was fuel for evil demons and spirits to consume the world. That is missing this time. You can really feel that it’s a whole new set of writers at the helm this time, there’s no big-bag magical evil villain at all in this film, which depending on your point of view is either refreshing or lackluster. The film also at no point attempts to explain what actually went wrong since Princess Twilight Sparkle ending the last show with Equestria (including non-ponies) united verses now where Equestria is in shatters. I suppose this is a consequence of it being a 90-min film where they’re trying to introduce new characters, but I’ve a feeling that even with the coming show that they’re not going to address this, perhaps the rebooted comics might. I get the sense that the new writers aren’t as interested in the end-of-the-world plots, like the prior generation got real inventive with their villains, I especially enjoyed Starlight Glimmer ripping the space/time continuum apart and resetting Equestria to a blasted wasteland where no life is sustainable out of sheer spite for Twilight Sparkle ruining her communist cult (I am not making this up). Turns out all she needed was a little friendship to set her straight in the end, but the journey to get there was kinda awesome. So it remains to be seen if that’s going to be the sort of stories this time around, but I suspect not.

Partly because I think the switch to full 3D animation will prevent them going from too crazy like they could with 2D flash animation, they can’t rip the world into shreds of darkness like they could before on a reasonable budget. Also the style of writing is more modern with the kind of quips and comedy being well… very Netflix, while the prior show had a very different writing style which many enjoyed.

Although the focus being different isn’t bad, the film was clearly written to reflect the Trump-era (yes I said it), the film is about hate with a song about hate mobs in there and you know what, it makes sense. The world is divided and there’s an awful lot of bigots out there who are proud about that fact.
In a way it actually makes total sense that the villain is more inspired by the alt-right than some magical demon king.
MLP by its nature even back in the 80s one when I went to watch some of the old stuff like many cartoons is about friendship and dealing with hatred, so considering the way of the way of the world I can see how this choice is pretty logical.

Another thing I was impressed by was it didn’t do the typical PHONE BAD element a lot of kids media how is having. In this future Equestira there’s no power, internet and indeed social media with phones (very different to the last show), but social media was used both as a joke but also as a way to show how quickly the public can turn on someone. But it wasn’t done in a PHONE BAD way like many stories written by older folk default too.
If this is a show now with internet in the world, that opens up all sorts of new stories.

So in the end, I liked it. It’s different and more of a modern style, but that makes sense I guess. It looked pretty, I like the new characters and I did enjoy how far they did push the how they hate each-other thing, having the background posters of propaganda of how Unicorns are evil was pretty neat so it’s not like they’re toothless, just different and I suppose that’s better than trying to do a copy, it does exist in the same continuity which means this story as a taken as a whole, is very complicated, but does give them opportunities to do crazy things, I mean magic lets you do anything you want in terms of coming up with new stories and challenges.

I have no idea what the show is meant to be like if that’s meant to be more slice-of-life in focus or even going back to the larger than life villains, but I’m down to find out either way.

Bonus Question: Junk Food. I’m terrible about it haha.

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Bryan Correll

Spoiler

The film also at no point attempts to explain what actually went wrong since Princess Twilight Sparkle ending the last show with Equestria (including non-ponies) united verses now where Equestria is in shatters.

Pinkie Pie probably threw the biggest party ever to celebrate. And things got out of hand as they tend to do when PP goes full throttle.

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Jack Pipsam

It would be pretty fun if she or any of the old cast was actually the reason haha.
I should have said in a way I don’t mind if it isn’t fully explained, one of the main criticism of modern media like Star Wars nowadays is how over-explained every little detail is and wiki’s full of verbose information over everything.

So if they keep it as myth & legend with vagueness in a way I wouldn’t mind keeping that open to imagination. Gen 4 explained things through myth & legend, sometimes it was more interesting that way verses when they did have a more detailed account found in the comics, although sometimes the comics also went double-layer where they’d have characters from the Myth & Legends tell stories of even further back myth & legends to the point where it’s hard to tell what is and isn’t true, I did enjoy that so I wouldn’t mind a repeat.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

Of course, I have no idea who you really are Jack Pipsam, as you don’t me :) but whoever you are, I like you.

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zoward

Thank you for the quick summary of Halo:Infinite. My son should be jumping in any day now…