Tag Archives: Guild Wars 2

Weekly Wyrm ~ Breaking Into The Video Games Biz

No image tonight–just a grim wall of text, followed by a happy ending. And then crying.

Tonight I returned to my personal game project, trying to cope with old code. While inching through code lines, gelatinous cube-like, I watched Trion’s friday Livestream on Twitch, as mentioned on MassivelyOP.

It’s nice to see Brasse at Trion. As a fellow mapmaker, I’ve studied her fine work. Her mention of reviewing all of Trion’s community and forums is a little worrying though since the Rift forums are so nice and perfect.

I wrote up a synopsis as I listened. This, then some stocks and Guild Wars 2.


Synopsis of Game Industry Job Tips From Trion


  • Break into the industry, don’t break into Trion.
  • There are less 20 hours-per-day crunch times these days, so it’s easier to have a real life.
  • On the other hand, there is more money in other industries. Trading money for following your passion.
  • A passionate person needs to temper expectations for effecting change within a big team with lots of ideas that are never realized.
  • System designers must be aces at math, pro at Excel and statistics. Other designers are: narrative designers, content designers.
  • Audio is minimal, mostly outsourced. Try companies that are contract houses for game companies.
  • Designers need to be able to clearly communicate with teams.
  • Engineers (programmers). Need C++, C#.
  • Platform needs Java type skills. Account creations and logins are common with other companies like banks.
  • Game-specific education degrees may not be best, yet. Focus on life learning, keep educating self.
  • For artists, almost rather have a Fine Arts degree, recognition of art, broad understanding.
  • Being passionate about what you do is critical.
  • Be yourself and be honest above all, even about your weaknesses. Don’t be a poser because it shows.
  • Resumes. Don’t make a generic cover letter. Be sure you’re played Trion games and say why you want Trion.
  • You can and should remove old unapplicable things from your resume.
  • List your favorite games, mention the MMOs you’ve played at cap, your achievements, how your gaming has touched you and meant something to you. Show your passion for games.
  • Make games. Show something.
  • Keep clickable links in resumes, don’t remove.
  • Keep your Facebook and social media professional because they will search and find all of your personal dog and family posts and judge you mercilessly. (With all of my personality issues and depression, not to mention kinkiness, this kitty is irrevocably doomed.)
  • Networking and meetups. Talk to the devs at conventions, get to know people over the years.
  • College only isn’t a good resume.
  • Take any job in the industry at first to get experience.

Video Game Stocks


All of the stocks I recommended in a previous post three weeks ago have now reported quarterly earnings results.

Activision/Blizzard (ATVI) reported solid results and raised guidance for the year. Electronic Arts (EA) was also solid, both stocks were up 5-7% this week on those results. Winning, and you’re winning too if you listened to the kitty. At least, you are today.

NVidia (NVDA) disappointed and was down 7% just today. Luckily, as I mentioned in another post, I dumped Nvidia and went Blizzard before that happened.

I think this might still be a good buying opportunity for Nvidia if you’re a contrarian, but it might be dead money for a while. I want to believe Windows 10 can bring PC’s back, and the massive boom in handheld devices will make people want bigger screens and the PC/tablet hybrids, and not just these tablet-to-TV things. I don’t do TVs at all.

Just note the stock market may die in a fire soon. Wait at least three days, if not three weeks until the market breaks up or down from its converging trend lines.

Akamai (AKAM), the content delivery and security company formerly used by Turbine, Sony, and Nintendo, is also solid up 6% in my portfolio, and Limelight Networks (LLNW), my long-odds underdog pick, is up maybe 10%. I’m now holding all of these except Nvidia.

For another suggestion, my largest tech holding is Equinix (EQIX). I think of it as an internet “pipeline” company. They made a bid to buy up a European network/cloud provider this week, sending the stock up more, and Microsoft also announced that they are expanding partnership with EQIX to handle cloud delivery of Microsoft’s Office 365 worldwide for Windows 10.

Amazon (AMZN) is another solid cloud pick, and they own Twitch. It’s up big on strong cloud results, but it has based after profit-taking, and looks to be building momentum again.


Guild Wars 2


They announced the Guardian elite spec. It’s called Dragonhunter, and my first reaction was: NOOOOOoooOOOOOoooOOOO!

My second reaction was: I can re-roll.

This non-calm kitty really feels dragons are in a world beyond trite and over-exploited. I don’t like setting traps, and don’t even use them on my trappy Hunter. I assumed the new trap class (which was known) would go to Rogue. It’s like the GW2 devs went out of their way to make sure I hate this class! Waaaa!

I don’t know what I’m doing now in Guild Wars 2.

So I’m back working on my video game. I re-wrote the UI and created some new graphics in the last few days. I read somewhere that people are doing HTML/CSS/Javascript apps now somehow, so I can do that. Maybe. It’s an educational game, and may involve elves. Or maybe vampires. Systems first.

I’m coping with re-learning my schoolgirl code and learning lessons in why commenting is so important if you let kitties use keyboards.


Guild Wars 2 Revisited: Defying Classic Conventions

guild wars 2 combat
So I’m super-enjoying my gentle return to the beautiful, yet (of course) corrupted and war-ravaged lands of Guild Wars 2. Some things I’ve noticed by virtue of a “beginner’s mind” are:

Tons of tones in character creation. I’ve puzzled in recent months why Elder Scrolls, Rift, and Pillars of Eternity don’t give you more choices. What’s wrong with smoky purple thighs?

Auto-level matching in an area. It’s so nice get matched up to the content. Less worry about this meta-issue.

Auction House. I gave up on auctions in Elder Scrolls at the end, and was just vendoring everything. The GW2 trading post is a web app spliced into the game UI, and there are so many bids that you can sell everything almost instantly, plus get all proceeds in one lump instead of opening twenty mail items. It’s almost overly easy, but still a relief.

Megaserver And Maps. I was worried a few years ago that megaserver architecture would ruin immersion, but the benefits of the many outweigh the friendship of the few. The dynamic GW2 maps are also brilliant and surely the envy of other MMOs.

Community. I’ve been really impressed by the GW2 forums and community, especially when the game should be in low ebb before an expansion launch.


A Game World Unplugged


I seem to be going down the same old road of disconnection from the Guild Wars “world”, though. The main design goal of GW2 is to throw MMO design conventions on their head, that is–to kill the traditional quest hub and move all quests out into the roads, ruins, and hills, increasing the world immersion, ironically.

Some of these random quests are fabulous, like using a cow-launcher to get to an overlook, or failing to save a traveling caravan from a bandit attack, leading to a new dynamic quest to strike back and retrieve the stolen goods from those bandits.

The exploration in Guild Wars 2 is also a joy, and I’ve spent oodles of hours working on map completion.

The primate mind works on the principle of dominance, which is why this principle has been golden in art and design for thousands of years. This principle works for all art, novels, and the zones and NPC quest givers in World of Warcraft. I haven’t found a Goldshire in Guild Wars 2 yet, nor a Gandalf.

In Mona Lisa, Leonardo Da Vinci used his sfumato technique to render a beautiful backdrop of hills, woods, and bridges. I wonder how many people care about that landscape.

Would six million people visit the Mona Lisa each year if we removed the Mona Lisa completely, leaving only a beautiful, intriguing landscape, ripe for the plundering? No. You get the picture.

The result is lots of well-made and voiced NPCs, but they are still generic (to this kitty).

After completing quests from these NPCs, you’ll also get personal letters and notes from them via the mail. The notes are brilliantly written, and the writers have done their jobs well. The problem is that after you get twenty mails, they all start to look the same, and you know you’ll never see these pixels again. There is no point in remembering those names.

So it’s the principle of dominance. The human brain (or at least this kitty’s) needs a few solid lifelines to focus on. I remembered that I originally quit Guild Wars 2 because I’d completed the level 30 story quests. I was grinding at level 35, and my next story quest was level 40.

I just lost the lifeline at that point. What happens if you tell your ten-year-old kid he can’t read another chapter of his favorite book until ten weeks from now. He’s going to go read another book, and that’s exactly what happened with me.

This time I plan to keep going. Removing the Mona Lisa from the picture is better than removing the Mona Lisa’s nose and flashing notices in the middle of my screen letting me know the feature is now on sale in the game store.

Plus, I love my guardian’s quirky swooping Owl Attack. Hoo hoo.


Weekly Wyrm: The Weather Outside Is Frightful

guild wars 2 class changeIt’s a warm 82 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix in the first week of March. Summer is coming soon–the season to crank up the air conditioning, close down the blinds, and play games in the half-light.

Summer is winter in the desert. Instead of freezing, we blister.

A few days ago, Angry Joe posted an interview video on the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns. Colin Johansen mentioned major class and advancement restructuring–a Mastery system.

Colin also mentioned the Hunter profession being able to swap to Druid spec or back again, as well as to others if/when more specializations are added to the game.

Suddenly the Guild Wars 2 buy-to-play game is a lot more interesting than Elder Scrolls, which seems more flexible in theory but just doesn’t click with me. Too much flexibility means generic, overlapping, and useless skills, a criticism often mentioned in Rift.

My druid is probably my favorite class in World of Warcraft, although my WoW characters have always seemed limited compared to Rift. I never wanted to stick with just one.

Maybe this class-swapping will be the answer, and I can put a hunter/druid on my very short list of dedicated, lifetime-favorite characters. So speaking of World of Warcraft.


Return To Hearthstone


For now, I’ve returned to Hearthstone on Android. This was released just this last December, and thanks to my new 8″ Tab 4, I’m good to go. The game runs smoothly and beautifully, and is just barely sharp enough and large enough to read the text and enjoy the experience.

I can play Hearthstone in bed, on the toilet, in the kitchen, or even standing on my head. Really only in bed, since I’m way behind the curve on legendary cards, and it’s easier for the poor kitty to take it in the tail while lying down.

So Blizzard just announced a new expansion at PAX East a few days ago, entitled Blackrock Mountain. I skipped the first two Xpacks/Adventure things (Goblins vs. Gnomes and Naxxramas), but Blackrock Mountain has always been my favorite place in WoW, and I spent a lot of good times farming the Spire and Depths.

This might be my first pre-order of a game in quite a while. We’ll see. I’m reminded that I promised to buy Diablo 3 since Blizzard made both genders of each class, but I still haven’t. Anyway, if you haven’t tried Hearthstone on Android, it’s worth a look on a compatible device.

It’s hard to feel like you’re progressing and not just wasting tons of time playing Hearthstone, but it’s a lot of fun in those odd moments, or if you really go hardcore. That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading.


Best Of: MMO Youtube

Tonight I sat down for a few hours and watched Youtube videos of Guild Wars 2 and Elder Scrolls Online at E3. Here are the two that were most interesting and informative. I hadn’t seen these yet. I liked seeing the armor and relic displays from Elder Scrolls in the first video. The second video is a well-made GW2 review that was just posted today. This video echoes my own skepticism about whether such a simple skill bar can be interesting and not “spammy”. The Elder Scrolls bar is supposedly even more simple.

I also saw a good video that went over the Guild Wars 2 cash shop. It looked like a basic prototype of the LotRO store. You can buy bank space, character slots, +10% damage and -%10 damage, +100% XP, and lots of cosmetics and fun items like fireworks and polymorph potions. Why haven’t I played the GW2 beta? I’m not pre-ordering for access. I applied twice but wasn’t invited, and I haven’t gotten a key any other way. So far I’ve seen mostly positive things. Hope you enjoy the videos.


Hitler, Rift, And What Class To Pick

Something we like to do here at KittyKitty is to collect information and links in one online place for later reference, and a bunch of videos kind of floated into the radar this week, so here you go.

Rift

These videos mixing Hitler and Rift may or may not be funny, depending on your perspective. Note they also contain quite a lot of F-bombs and other language that may be offensive to people. A thread posted in the Rift forums by Haristo, one of the authors, tipped us off today to these.

Hitler Opens A PvP Rift.
Hitler finds out Rift is better than WoW.
Hitler finds out Mages were nerfed again.

SWTOR

For something more wholesome, MMOGamerChick made a list a few days ago of the videos for the eight SWTOR base classes.

The “Fem-Shep” Trooper class (voiced by Jennifer Hale, the same as the female Shepard from Mass Effect) is pretty compelling from the voice alone as well as the big guns, but it would be weird hearing Fem-Shep in a different context. Yes? On the other hand, Force lightning is hard to resist. It’s just plain sexy. So…the Sith Inquisitor video kind of blew me away. It almost isn’t surprising that this class has been leading popularity polls by a wide margin for quite a while.

The Smuggler is at the back of the pack in that linked poll, making it look like the Smuggler is an underdog class. One of the Bioware writers singled out the Smuggler in an interview (with a grin on his face) as having a really wild ride for a story. How will the class mechanics (i.e. cover) work out in practice? This could be one of those little-played, much-appreciated classes.

Remember that each class in SWTOR splits later into one of two advanced classes, which is another consideration. Last I’ve heard, you can’t change your advanced class once chosen, but the ability to do so is still in consideration by Bioware. Your advanced class plays no role in your overall class story.

Guild Wars 2

A crop of new, high-quality Guild Wars 2 videos have also surfaced in the past few days, including the same type of class/race video show-offs as the ones above for SWTOR. You can check them out in HD at Gametrailers.