Archive for May, 2010

There Has GOT To Be Something Wrong With Me

What do you get when you precede a relaxing evening watching old episodes of Deep Space Nine with a very interesting update on Guild Wars 2?

Ferengi Mesmers

I have strange dreams.

I Think I Might Cry

I was catching up on my interviews today. In one of those ZAM interviews floating around I saw this:

we’re not changing or altering things at random and pretending that they didn’t exist. We’re going to make it make sense.

-Soesbee

That’s an answer in response to mucking about with lore (aka fluff, backstory, or history).

I’m having trouble putting into words how satisfied and happy ArenaNet’s attitude towards lore makes me.

I am willing to believe that a giant race of man-eating cat-people badly in need of orthodontics can call down fiery meteors from the sky and construct massive steam engines of destruction. I love fantasy and science fiction. I’m willing to believe a lot of crazy stuff under one condition.

Don’t Lie to Me.

THE most important rule in storymaking is Truth. Not Truth in the sense that every made-up world must have a blue sky. If the sky in this world is green well, I’m willing to roll with that so long as said sky isn’t suddenly red tomorrow without a very good explanation.

Do not, under any circumstances, go back to previously published story and either invalidate it or pretend it never happened. If that happens then the player is being lied to. LIED TO. If you lie to a player, or a reader, or a watcher (depending on what medium you are using) you have lost all manner of credibility. You are henceforth not to be trusted with anything you say.

So they sky is yellow today? What happened to those memories I had of slaughtering my foes and admiring the red sky as it reflected off the pools of blood on the ground? Oh, but the sky should have been yellow on that day? I’m left feeling like my memories, my experiences didn’t matter. I feel like I’m no longer connected to the world, my vested interest is gone.

I leave. Likely never to return.

I may be blowing this out of all reasonable proportion. It’s probably not something most people think about. But fantasy and science fiction try to create an alternate reality. Changing the history in order for the present to make sense is not ok. We are not living in Oceania, and I will not tolerate presented history being altered.

I’d like to leave you with an ancient story, see if you can guess what it’s about.

There once lived three sisters on a hill. The oldest sister wore bright green and had yellow hair. She stood straight and tall and lived at the top of the hill. The second sister wore yellow. She made her home under the hill but when the sun shone and the wind blew she liked to run all over the hill and the surrounding fields. The youngest sister wore dark green. She lived on the side of the hill but wasn’t as strong as her oldest sister, nor was she as adventurous as her middle sister.

One day the sun was shining bright, but the youngest sister was crying.

“What’s wrong?” asked the oldest sister.

“I can’t see the sun, our middle sister has covered the whole hill in shade.” wailed the youngest sister.

“I do it because you like your feet to be shaded, and I can keep out intruders!” protested the middle sister.

The older sister nodded. This was true. So she took her youngest sister up in her arms and held her up to the light. “Isn’t that better?” she said. “You can see the sky and the sun, hear the birds and feel the wind.”

The youngest sister was very happy, but she was also a little sad. The oldest sister watched over all of them, and the middle sister kept out intruders and kept the hill comfortable, but what could she, the youngest sister do?

The youngest sister dozed in her oldest sister’s arms until a great crack of thunder woke her. “It’s starting to rain” she said.

“It’s going to be a terrible storm.” The oldest sister said, fear in her voice.

The middle sister was safe in her house under the hill, and the youngest sister could hide in her house on the side of the hill, but the oldest sister had to stay on top of the hill to watch over them. There was no one to protect her.

“I’ll stay with you.” The youngest sister said.

As the rain lashed and the wind howled the youngest sister clung tight to her oldest sister. Because of the arms wrapped around her the oldest sister did not fall and instead was able to stand strong and watchful through the storm until the sun came out again.

The youngest sister was happy to be able to do something to help her other sisters. The three stayed like that: The oldest stood straight and tall, watching over the younger two, the middle sister kept out invaders and shaded the hill-home of the three, and the youngest rested in the oldest sister’s arms until storms came, when she helped her sister withstand the wind.

The End

Here are my three sisters. Be very quiet, they’re still sleeping:

Hill-homes lined up, waiting for rain.

You’re HOW Tall?

That tall

I was pondering drawing another bit of fanart when I found myself running up against a problem. Exactly how large is an Asura in relation to a Charr? Would a Charr find an Asura one bite or two? Maybe even three? I did not know!

I have to give props to Shaun for maintaining his image blog Guild Wars 2 Screenshots. Without it this would not have been possible. Having a bunch of screenshots in one place is awesome and he’s even got a pretty good filing system.

As for my fanart, I think my plate will be just the right size. >:3

Oh, I want to mention that this is just my best guess based on the height of Zojja, Caithe, Logan, Eir, and Rytlock. I’ve got my fingers crossed that ArenaNet comes out with their own height chart so I can see how close I got.

Insert Girlish Squee’ing Here

Are YOU going to argue?

Excuse me, let me put on my ‘civilized’ face.

Go on, I haven't got all day.

Needless to say, I think the character costumes for Guild Wars 2 are the bee’s knees.

I mean, how can you go wrong with gaucho pants and dusters? DUSTERS! Seriously!

I’ve wanted a duster since I was like… TEN. Just a wee little Tiger.

Excuse me while I go squee some more.

From Life’s Teef, Da Dayz, I Iz Ripping Dem

Just for the record, the quote “We rip each day from life’s teeth.” is REALLY hard to lol-cat-ize. Can I get an E for Effort?

Mr. Tigerfeet bought me a small set of pencils (2H, HB, 2B, Charcoal) and a kneaded eraser (more fun than play-dough, srsly). I also had a dream that I was playing in the GW2 beta and it was CRAZY amounts of fun and I didn’t want to wake up.

Put this together and, from me, you get fan-art.

Now ripping each day from life's teeth with FIRE

This took about oh… three hours to draw. That includes liberal breaks for playing with the kneaded eraser. (Seriously, if you’re not an artist go out and find one of those and then try to tell me they’re NOT fun to play with)

Maybe I’m just psychotic.

That’s a Lady-Charr elementalist dressed in her best Divinity’s Reach-inspired finery. I’m quite fond of her torch-staff-kudu horn thingie. I’m no weapon designer, so please pardon my pride.

My cat, Virgo (who incidentally was named after a bloke called Virgo Moon we met in the Guild Wars 1 beta) was very patient while I hoisted him into the air (upside-down) to stare at his paws as reference.

In conclusion: Tassels, chains, and flame-hurling giant cat-people = win.

The Patience of a Saint

ArenaNet’s Community Managers haz it.

I read the following fan comment yesterday:

would you at Anet please reconsider to realese the proffesions a wiiee bit faster than like 1 à month? Becuase frankly, I (cant speak of others, but prob some people are with me) really just gets frustrated by checking the HomePage 24/7, not knowing when the NeXT realise Will come. And many people, like me, really need some time to reconsider wich proff to play first, and would like to be able to know the proffs avilable, otherwise our hype just gets low. I don’t want another waiting game… I was really hyped 2 weeks ago, but this wait for proffesions is just getting boring imo.

By the time we will see the last one, ele is going to be just “meh” for all the time we have just seen her, and no1 else.

So my questing is, why are you waiting so long before realesing more? Would
be grateful for answer…

Why i’m being all QQ and asking all this: My fan/hype flame is getting destroyed by all this waiting, and a post from you answering this might light it up again

I see that and my first reaction is to cringe at the grammar. However, Guild Wars has a very vibrant (and surprisingly diverse) international community. It’s likely, VERY likely, that English is not this person’s first language. So I look past that.

My second knee-jerk reaction, however, (putting myself in ArenaNet’s shoes) is indignation. “Who are YOU to demand that we (the game company I have nothing to do with) cater to your imagined need for a high level of hype?”

Obviously, it’s a VERY good thing I don’t have to talk to customers, or deal with a community. I skimmed past this, assuming it wouldn’t be worth ArenaNet’s time.

But then Regina Buenaobra replied. She replied thoughtfully, and gracefully. She took the time to outline some of their constraints and reasons for keeping things so close to the chest.

For various reasons, we aren’t going to let you in on our schedule for new information releases, beyond what we’ve already told you: more info to come in the following months.

I am sorry that you and some others don’t agree with our release schedule, and I know that waiting sucks. I understand how you feel. There are a couple games I’m looking forward to, which I’ve been following for several years now, and which I haven’t heard any new information about. All I can say is that it’s great that you’re excited about what we’ve released so far. Truly, it’s been amazing to see the reactions from gamers.

However, there are a lot of key demands and factors that we need to keep in mind when we release information, such as (but not limited to): how far along in development a feature is, what is happening in the videogame media right now in terms of our competitors’ news releases, whether there are any events we’re attending in the near future and how information releases tie in with that, whether there are things happening in the original Guild Wars that need to be considered, and yes, fan expectations… But keep in mind that there are also a lot of inter-linked considerations we need to think of when we release info.

I would like to suggest that you add the Guild Wars 2 website and the ArenaNet blog to your RSS feed reader. This way you don’t have to constantly check the website or blog, and you will get immediate notification when the website gets updated with new information.

Replies like this from a developer always leave me pleasantly surprised, not to mention humbled and ashamed at my own internal reply to what was, essentially, and honest and polite question.

I am, at heart, a cantankerous old woman.

Keep up the good work ArenaNet. You’ve made some tall promises about gameplay and the experience we should expect to see in Guild Wars 2. If anybody can deliver on those promises, I hold out faith that it’ll be you.

To Take A Road Less Traveled

It’s a curious experience to be able to look ahead and see all the possibilities that lay before you.

Most of the time I feel like I muddle through my life in a fog, living day to day and  simply hoping and praying for the best. I grew up learning to plan. Once I was out on my own I learned that plans very rarely go the way they are supposed to. So I learned to make back-up plans, and back-ups of those. Now it’s not uncommon to have three or four plans waiting behind the first.

It’s been a hard road.

Right now, though, in relation to this blog, I can see it all.

In my previous blogging life I might not have been terribly popular, but I did pay attention, and I am a quick study. The Guild Wars (2) blogging community is in its infancy, and laying dormant. There’s a mere handful of us waiting with baited breath for every scrap of news from ArenaNet, eager to squak like magpies about it whenever we can.

What we’re doing right now is busy-work. We know we’ll be blogging about Guild Wars 2, but for now there’s not much to talk about. I suppose this is what a fetus might feel like were it as self-aware as myself and possessing similar knowledge and experience.

We are incubating. We are also racehorses in the stocks, and I can see the road ahead.

It is broad and twisting, rich with byways that lead to green and lush pastures, flush with sunshine. I can see so many possibilities for a community and future to come, the diversity and richness limited only by how popular Guild Wars 2 will become.

I have the gift here of a breather. I am sitting back, enjoying Guild Wars 1, anticipating Guild Wars 2, and imagining all the possibilities ahead.

Will I become a theorycrafter? In the spirit of Phae and BRK will I become an indespensible resource for my chosen profession? Will I focus on community building and guild planning? Will I feature videos, continue with my artwork features? Will I degenerate into nothing more than ‘a day in the life of Tiger’ blog?

I don’t know, but the possibilities are endless, and I can see them all.