Archive for June, 2010

Word of the Day: Charr Edition

sco·ri·a [skawr-ee-uh]

–noun, plural sco·ri·ae [skawr-ee-ee]

1. Metallurgy . the refuse, dross, or slag left after melting or smelting metal; scum.

2. Geology . a cinderlike basic cellular lava.

The charr call the Flame legion the Gold legion. Gold is a soft metal, useful for electrical conductors and jewelry. It’s not likely that technology has progressed to a point where the charr would want to be soldering wires so gold is seen as weak and uselessly flashy. It’s an insult.

It seems to me that for a charr to call someone (or something) scoria would be an even greater insult. To call someone scoria is to say they are nothing but waste, a byproduct, not even worthy to be forged into a useless trinket. Pot metal.

Perhaps the Gold Legion are not called scoriae because at the end of the day, they are still charr. Misguided, but still charr.

I Do Not Believe In Your Outlandish Theories

Neither do I believe in the ‘Gunner’ class.

I am also randomly belligerent and occasionally make incendiary comments. Like that one.

What I think – bearing in mind that I am only one little me who, while queen of this blog, is by no means omniscient – is that the ranger class will use guns as well as bows.

It seems silly to me that you’ll have one ranged attack class that specializes in bows and pets and another that specializes in guns and something else. Unless it’s some kind of mesmer pirate hybrid…

actually that would be pretty cool.

But I still don’t believe in a gunner.

And here’s why:

It’s a ranger. ‘Cause I said so.

My wacom skillz, they have atrophied.

Pelt Watch Is Official!

I’m a bit like the Joker who, in turn, is a bit like a dog chasing a car. He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he caught it. That’s how I am with attention. That said, I’m over the moon today from the official mention I got on the GW2 twitter feed. Regina Buenaobra (did I spell that right?) mentioned my article Pelt Watch (you can find it in the ‘SAC GW2 Guides’ under the ‘Target Acquired’ tab along the top).

With that attention I’ve gotten some more comments on the article, one of which pointed out a pelt to me which I had previously missed. Thanks Jason! I took a couple of screenshots from a video and added them, with a little write-up, to the main article.

If you know of any pelt pictures with new patterns or colors I haven’t included feel free to let me know! Either leave a comment on the PeltWatch post or e-mail me directly at secretagentcat (at) gmail (dot) com. (You can always find my contact info by clicking on “Target Acquired : About Tigerfeet”) When I get a new addition I’ll add it onto the original PeltWatch post as well as make meention of it on my latest post or (if I have nothing else to talk about) make a small post saying I’ve updated. Clear as mud? Good!

Basically, you’ll know if I’ve added anything just by checking my latest posts. There’s no need to constantly check the original PeltWatch post for updates.

With that little addendum, I’ll let you watch the video I took the screenshots from. It’s nothing new, but the slowed down version is new to me and I find myself watching it over and over… and over… and…… over………

Me and My Old Melee

My first RPG (in which you could pick among the genders) was Diablo 2. I first played a sorceress and then an amazon. I then played Guild Wars and started with a ranger and then found my true calling as a monk. Later I played World of Warcraft and fell in love with melee. I played as a feral druid: tank and damage-dealer.

Since I discovered that I love melee fighting so much, when I came back to Guild Wars I started giving its melee professions another go.

First I jumped into Prophecies (my favorite campaign) and remembered that, for some reason, melee fighters are woefully underrepresented. If you want to be up in somebody’s face, you have to be a warrior. So I made a warrior and promptly decided she wouldn’t leave pre-searing. Asma Billings is currently showing those evil black bears what for.

The warrior was nice, but couldn’t keep my attention for very long. So I rolled over to Factions and dusted off my terribly cliche’d named assassin, Silver Kris. (Silver Veil, after a character by Mercedes Lackey was already taken) It didn’t take me long to find out why she had gotten dusty in the first place. I headed out into the areas around The Marketplace for something-or-other and found myself squished. I was repeatedly, and frequently reduced to little more than a red stain on the ground. I like to be fast and I like to be deadly. Far too often I leave my henchmen behind and also end up dead. The frustration was more than I cared to deal with.

Then, a few weeks ago an old college buddy of mine succumbed to peer pressure and purchased the trilogy pack. We decided to roll characters together in Nightfall. I had already decided that I hated the paragon something fierce and I didn’t want to roll a class that I could make in Prophecies (where I preferred to level anyway), so dervish it was.

I’d like to note that I find the concept of a dervish completely ridiculous. Scythes are for mowing grass, not lopping off heads. (I’ve actually used one before, the neighbors think I’m crazy.) I have no objection to borrowing the dervish name from the Islamic Dervishes (an ascetic order similar to Christian Friars or Buddhist Monks). I think if more people became curious and studied the practices and beliefs of other cultures this world would be a much better place, but that’s neither here nor there.

The people around me instantly saw a class that wields a scythe and thought “awesome I get to be the grim reaper!”. Thus I was immediately turned off of the dervish.

I should not have been. I created a dervish (named her Cozin Tigerfeet, after my future charr character in GW2) and went to town.

I’m still trying to decide exactly what the dervish is all about. I haven’t gotten very far (I try to play with this friend I mentioned before). All I can say for sure is this class is a pleasure to play. I find the skills engaging yet not so complicated that I get frustrated. Managing multiple curses and hexes on my Me/N leaves me almost frantic but tossing up buffs and them ripping them off in the next breath with powerful attacks somehow feels natural and fun.

I’m having fun. I’m having a lot of fun, actually.

I enjoy melee, I truly do. But I don’t enjoy dying a lot, and I don’t like my avatar wearing large slabs of metal. My dearest, sincerest hope for Guild Wars 2 is in the existence of a melee-based adventurer class. Something more lithe and elegant than the warrior.

I almost panicked when I read:

no profession uses [skill chains] more than the warrior … The more melee oriented the profession is the more heavily they rely on chain skills

source

One could easily infer that because a)The most melee-centered profession uses the most chain skills, and b)The warrior uses the most chain skills out of anyone, therefore c)There will be no profession that is more melee-oriented than the warrior.

Combine it with the assumption that assassins are a heavily melee-based profession and you can make one of two conclusions: 1)The assassin will not exist, or 2)The assassin will not be as melee-heavy as the warrior.

I have to admit that I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the possibility of number 2. (If I can’t validate number 2 to my own satisfaction that leaves only number one, at which point I start to hyperventilate.)

Here is where I step back and analyze my own desires and motivations because I’m catching myself attempting to shoehorn existing facts into my own pet theories (a dangerous practice, best avoided).

  • I like to play melee.
  • I do not like to wear heavy armor.
  • I want there to be a melee-heavy profession that is not a soldier class.
  • I assume this non-soldier melee fighter must be an assassin.

The last bit is where I make an ass of myself.

When I think about the tiny, whirling core that is ‘assassin’ I am forced to think of daggers in the back, skulking along rooftops, poison slipped into someone’s aperitif, arrows in the dark, and rifles on hilltops. I do not think about a fast and deadly close-range fighter.

I am slowly coming to realize that if a fast and deadly close-range fighter is what I want then perhaps it will not be the assassin.

In the absence of any hard evidence I think it is likely (logically) that we will have at least one more melee profession. One out out of eight is really a poor balance between melee and ranged.

Perhaps it will be something new, like a mess-with-your-head, pistol/dagger wielding mesmer pirate. Something unique and never (or rarely) seen before could be a melee-based spell-caster.

Food for thought.

Shedding Some Light

I just checked out Hunter’s newest post about speculating on the silhouettes. This isn’t going to be a post about my own speculations (that will come later), but I found some interesting things in the .png files from the GW2 Wiki.

Now, I think the .png file type is the best thing since sliced bread. It allows multiple levels of transparency (something a .gif doesn’t do) and only rarely gives me haloing trouble.

Now, we look at the silhouettes online, on the wiki, even on the official page. There’s a problem with that. The backgrounds are all white. We see the grey and brown painted details but there are white details we can’t see.

I took the silhouettes from the GW2 Wiki, separated them, and put them on a colored background so we can see the dark and the light details.

Click for Full-Size

I used none of my usual trickery to make them look nice. In fact I think that salmon color looks pretty wretched but it does show up the black, white, and grey details nicely so that’s what we’re going with.

Like I said, I won’t make any speculations right now, but feel free to make your own guesses!

Pelt Watch

Lacking anything original to say (I have a post in the works about rangers, I just need to get the artwork sorted), I present to you a new ‘feature’.

Pelt Watch!

In which I look at charr pelts and extrapolate possible customization options. I will only use screenshots (no concept art) and I will be getting the majority of them from Guildwars Screenshots Blog. I’m also not going to include Rytlock because his model is unique and it’s possible his pelt will not be an option for regular characters. Click the images for full-resolution.

Let’s begin!

The charr on the right is definitely male and appears to have a medium brown, solid pelt. Male – Brown – Solid

The charr on the left is possibly female (evidinced by the thickness at the base of the tail, indicating possible fluffiness). There looks to be some striping on the tail as well. Unknown – Grey – Striped

The charr to the left I think is male because of his larger horns and heavier muzzle. I’m also going to call his coat medium brown because of the dark lighting. Male – Brown – Solid

The charr on the right is most definitely male. We have yet to see a female charr who is as sadly in need of a dentist as her male counterparts. So until I see scraggley teeth with a fluffy tail I’m going to assume that the lady-charr know how to brush. This one’s a bit difficult because he’s almost completely covered, but look at his face and his knee for some clues. Male – Grey – Spotted

I must confess myself flummoxed by the charr in the foreground. I think I see a little bit of grey tuft for a tail but that’s all. Unknown – Dark – Unknown

The charr in the background is another one of our medium brown males. Male – Brown – Solid

Here we have our first lady-charr. Isn’t she lovely? Female – Tan – Spotted

Our first happy couple. On the left we have: Male – Brown/Black – Striped

On the right I believe we have the same pelt as the elementalist in the previous image: Female – Tan – Spotted

Here we have a lady of a different color, still in that standard charr pose, however. Female – Brown – Solid

This is the second time we’ve seen some nice normal mapping on the charr pelts. (The first was on the tail of the previous lady-charr.) He’s also got a nice chin ruff that has previously only been seen on Rytlock. Male – Brown – Solid

Someone stole his cupcake, or something. Whatever, he’s mad. This is a pelt we haven’t yet seen. Male – Grey – Striped

For the record, I share her opinion that rocket-arrows are the better mouse trap. It’s a good thing I don’t have any rockets.

We’ve seen this lady before (she was featured in the warrior skills video, Arcing Shot) but this is the first time we’ve seen her from behind (and in high-resolution!) By looking at her face we can tell (by lack of the cheetah tear-drop) that this is a different pelt than the one featured on the elementalist. I also think this one runs more to grey than tan. Female – Grey – Spotted

This next one is from the Races of Tyria video. Jason in the comments down below brought it to my attention. He also mentioned some search terms I should try in youtube and I found the pertinent video without much trouble.

I don’t have any video editing software so I’m at the mercy of my meager reaction times for clicking on the pause button to create screen-captures.

Anyway, on to the meat of these two images! In the video this lady executes a spinning attack while wielding a sword in her off-hand and a dagger in her main-hand. For the purpose of PeltWatch, however, we are only interested in the fur she’s showing. The twirl she does gives us a wonderful view of her tail which looks to be white with black stripes. When she turns around, however, her face looks to be dark grey with white stripes. It’s the zebra conundrum. Female – Grey – Striped

This image is from the article on healing and death. We have a downed male charr here who looks to be in a world of hurt. The difficult part of this picture is the level to which it’s desaturated. I tried messing with it in photoshop but, like sharpening, once color information is lost it’s next to impossible to get it back. The colors on the charr blow out to yellow and red leading me to believe this is another solid brown pelt. Male – Brown – Solid

Tiger stripes.

TIGER

STRIPES

Give me a moment while I scrape my exploded-in-glee self from the walls.

It’s a female charr (in the Barrage video you can just see her fluffy tail whipping around behind her) plus I’ve come to associate the smaller swept-back horns with females. I could hope for a demure set of ram horns, but this is Pelt Watch, not Rack Watch… wait what? She’s also got cheek-fluff. Female – Orange – Striped

This color is… difficult. First of all this is male. You can tell by the larger horns and the non-fluffy tail. I included a thumnail from another point in the Hunter’s Call video. At first I called it a male because of the voice but I actually think that’s the voice of the ogres. Either way, the tail cinches it. This shot is very dark. I wanted to call it dark grey but when I fiddled with it in photoshop I was only ever able to get a dark grey (even when the rest of the details were blown out into whiteness). So I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here and call it black. Male – Black – Solid

I believe we’ve seen this guy before actually. I think he has the same pelt as the charr we saw when the races were released. Male – Brown – Striped

  

 I don’t believe this is the same color as the charr in the warhorn video. I would cite his red mane (where the black charr had a white/grey one), but even just looking at it, I’m going to call this dark brown. Male – Dark Brown – Solid

Time might call me a liar (what with the lighting in this scene), but I think he’s got traditional tiger stripes. Male – Orange – Striped

These are definitely stripes as opposed to spots. I believe this is the female version of the male’s white stripes we saw in the Warrior-Stomp video. Female – White – Striped

Here’s the really exciting pelt from the MMO Manifesto video. He’s only on screen for a second, but with his full body (in all its white leopard-spotted glory) is spread across the bottom quarter of the screen he’s impossible to miss. I’m making a new pattern classification just for him. Male – White – Leopard

Holy moly Gamescom. There’s a lot of pelts in there, I doubt I’ve gotten all of them. If you see one you’d like to have included here (meaning any I haven’t mentioned) please send me a link in the comments or through e-mail.

This is a Lady-charr by virtue of her smaller horns and fluff at the base of her tail. In fact, with her left arm raised the way it is it’s next to impossible to see her horns at all. I’ve also darkened the male charr in the foreground to focus on her.

Her facial coloring reminds me of Bugs Bunny. I was going to call her simply ‘grey’, but looking at her arm and leg I beleive she’s something much more special. Her arm spots remind me of a snow leopard, but her leg spots scream clouded leopard at me. Female – Grey – Clouded

This pelt is one of the more unique ones I’ve seen. First of all this is a male, by virtue of his large horns and non-fluffy tail. I’m also fairly certain that he’s a necromancer because of what looks to be facial paint. You could also argue that he’s a warrior because of the armor he’s wearing. Either way, I’m not comfortable including his facial markings in my analysis.

Even without including his face, the colors and patterns on the rest of his body are things I haven’t seen elsewhere. His fur is black and he appears to have red, yes, red stripes. Not orange, red. Male – Black/Red – Striped

This shot was taken from the first bit of video to come out of Gamescom, during the demo’s dress rehersal. We have a Lady-charr, and I think she’s black. Female – Black – Solid

I apologise for this image being so small. I took a number of these (this one included) from the large group-shot in the Demo Tails blog (c wut I did thar?)

At first I thought this fellow was just a light grey, but then I saw his tail. Now, we’ve seen a grey spotted male charr before, but if you compare these two tails closely, you’ll see they are two different spot patterns. These spots are smaller, more akin to cheetah spots while the earlier image harkened back to the leopard. Male – White – Spotted

This one is also tragically small. To make matters worse this is all of the body you can see. I’m not sure if it’s even male or female (there’s no tail for this one in sight) but looking at the horns I’m going to call it male. I have yet to see a female with fluffy tail sporting swept forward horns like that. I really wish we could see more of the body though. Male – White – Solid

This was screencapped from a video (I can’t recall which, there are so many). It’s obviously a Lady-charr (a very pretty one I think, I’m a fan of petite muzzles). I also like the white details around her eyes. Because of that, while I would like to, I’m loath to call her pure white. Female – Light Grey, Solid

This ends the captures from Gamescom 2010. Once again, if there are any you know of that I haven’t included please either comment or e-mail me with a link and in the case of videos a ballpark time notation would be helpful.

So, to wrap up we have:

Male Solid: Brown, Black, Dark Brown, White

Male Pattern: Brown Stripes, Grey Spots, Grey Stripes, Orange Stripes, White Leopard, Black/Red Stripes, White Spots

Female Solid: Brown, Black, Light Grey

Female Pattern: Tan Spots, Grey Spots, Grey Stripes, Orange Stripes, White Stripes, Grey Clouded

Unknown: Grey Striped, Dark

~Last Updated 8/22/10

~This post will be updated with new shots as they become available. Suggestions welcome!

Warrior & Traits, a Visual

Mother’s milk in a cup! I was right.

Not right about the next class to be revealed, but I had a hunch (based on the silence of the society reps for the past couple of days and the recent petering out of huge information) that we’d be in for something big today.

And I was right.

Not only was the Warrior warrior (house (of) style is going to take some getting used to) revealed, we got a sneak peek into the Traits (traits?) system.

I tried my best to read between the lines and this is what I came up with.

I’ll have to wait for the inevitable interviews that will follow offering clarifications on what ArenaNet said in their blog entry to know if I interpreted everything correctly. I’m pretty sure I’ve got everything right now.

P.S. – Mad props to Shaun, whose style I’m totally absconding with. (hope you don’t mind buddy)