Now I have, in the past, made some bad choices in friends. But those past slights, now dulled by the wash of time and seen through the lens of experience (no pun intended), don’t send me into quite the frothing fury that this little lady is capable of.
Long-time readers may remember that I can take a long ass time to do things. I remember Hunter being taken aback when I whined at him for revealing War in Kryta spoilers two, maybe three months after the content was released.
This time, though, my slow progress through Hearts of the North isn’t due to my own gaming sloth. I lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of that lithe little she-devil whose brain is too full of shadow-step dust to follow anything remotely resembling a proper command.
I am BAD at Rangers. Just plain bad, terribly awfully bad. I’m also bad at watching my health and energy when it’s not my job to heal or protect people.
The one thing I’m pretty good at, is keeping a called target. Unfortunately, Crazy-Face Miku doesn’t follow targets. She does call targets, but that just gives me five extra steps I have to follow to coordinate with her.
Miku: I’m casting Promise of Death on White Mantle Enforcer.
Me: Am I targeting an Enforcer? No? Alt-click to show the enemy names. Oops it was control. Hold control to show the enemy names. There’s the Enforcer, click on it, oops I clicked the Abbot instead. Tab-tab-tab, Missed it, wait, there’s two Enforcers. I pick one, fire off Kerian’s Sniper Shot. Nothing happens. I either missed, took too long, or that wasn’t the Enforcer I was looking for.
Miku: I’m casting Promise of Death on Elder White Tiger.
Me: Wat?! Why can’t you just follow my called target? That Champion is REZZING people.
Miku: Alas for I have died!
Me: Well crap, here they come, what’s my health look like? Oooh man I’m down to 25% and Nature’s Blessing isn’t up yet. I couldn’t put it on my quick-button key because it’ll be over-written when I’m gifted that new skill at the end of the mission.
Away from the dialogue for a second, that actually happened. It was the farthest I had ever gotten and it popped up a new skill for me in position 7. Problem was, I had moved the heal skill into position 7 because I have that slot bound to a mouse button for ease of use. Did the new skill sit itself down in the now vacant slot 6? No, it used slot 7, and deleted my heal skill.
Needless to say that attempt at the mission failed.
Now, this post has been a whole lot of whining on my part. I don’t want you to think that I hate these missions. On the contrary, it’s nice to be able to run out by yourself and do something. I have no problems with the format, just the implementation. With a few small changes these missions could be made much less aggravating for Ranger-stupid folks like myself.
If I call a target, Miku should pay attention. She should focus on that target too.
Conversely, if Miku decides to take it into her head to disobey my orders (domestic dominance themes aside) I wish that she would at least put the handy little called target icon next to her name. If she had that, then when she /does/ decide that Elder Tiger just needs to die (personally I think it’s an unrequited vendetta against myself), at least I’ll be able to click on one icon to switch my target, take out the damn tiger, and get back to business.
I honestly think this might be a legitimate coding bug. I’m not very good at memorizing different builds so that, when panicked, I click on the proper buttons. To combat this I set up all my characters in the same way. I put the same types of skills in the same places. Frequently-used attack skills are on 1-4, an occasional attack skill goes on button 5, but normally that one’s for energy management. Constantly-on, or very rarely used skills go in position 8 and position 6 is normally used for high-energy, occasional skills, often used in conjunction with my energy management skill. Position 7 is my sweet spot. It’s for a utility skill that must be ready at a moment’s notice, but that may not get used very often. On my Monk it’s condition removal, on my Dervish it’s an interrupt, on my Mesmer it’s actually my energy skill because position 5 is reserved for a passive interrupt (as opposed to the active one in position 4).
So when presented with Thackeray’s build my first impulse was to re-arrange everything. That got old fast, so I limited myself to moving skill 6 into slot 7 and spamming the crap out of my mouse button. This worked pretty well until I was granted a new skill which over-wrote the damn thing! Every other time in Guild Wars when you’re gifted a new skill it slots itself into the first empty spot, or if there aren’t any it pops up a replacement menu.
This doesn’t happen in Hearts of the North. It’s a straight overwrite. You’ve been warned.
If those two things were fixed I think these missions would be immensely less frustrating. Most nights this week I’ve given the mission a go for 3-4 attempts before I became fed up and moved on to something else. I’ve got half a mind to do a live twitter session once so everyone can see. See how terrible I am at this and maybe, just maybe, be there when I finally succeed.
Because don’t get me wrong, I’ll beat this thing, it’s just… taking a while.