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ANNOUNCEMENT!

Good people! I’m back from Denver and ready to start writing again! But… I won’t be doing it here anymore. I saw a fellow blogger who I respect going the same route as me in making a Guild Wars blog and a dim lightbulb powered by a handcrank lit above my head.

WE SHOULD JOIN FORCES!

I asked. He accepted. And we lived happily ever after.

So without further hesitation, I offer you this link to click:

to…. THE TYRIA CHRONICLES !!!

Enjoy!

-Steve

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NEWS: Nexon Invests in NCSoft

In a somewhat Guild Wars 2 related bit of news, there’s a press release out today in regards to Nexon acquiring a 14.7 stake in NCSoft. Press release reads as follows:

TOKYO, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – NEXON Co., Ltd. (“Nexon”) (3659.TO), a worldwide leader in free-to-play online games, today announced that it has made a strategic investment in NCsoft Corporation (“NCsoft”) (036570.SE), a global online game developer and publisher.  Nexon today acquired 3,218,091 shares of NCsoft in a private transaction from Chairman, CEO, and Founder Taek Jin Kim at a price per share of KRW 250,000 in cash, for a total acquisition cost of KRW 804,522,750,000.  As a result of this transaction, Nexon has become NCsoft’s largest shareholder with a share ownership of 14.7 percent.

NCsoft, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Seoul, Korea, provides massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), such as Lineage, Lineage II, Aion, and Guild Wars, to its global user base.  NCsoft has generated KRW 608,878 million of revenue in the fiscal year 2011.

This transaction brings together NCsoft’s strong pipeline of compelling IP and Nexon’s leading international publishing platform and expertise in the operation of free-to-play online games.  This investment forms the basis of a long-term partnership, enabling both companies to leverage their strengths to facilitate attractive commercial opportunities.  By creating this strategic relationship, both Nexon and NCsoft strengthen their commitment to deliver unrivaled gaming experiences to users around the world.

Nexon is widely known as a proprietor of free to play games, but they have been making some waves by investing in other online ventures, such as their recent partnership with CCP in order to localize EVE Online in Japan. I personally can’t see a reason why Nexon would have made this stake in NC Soft if it wasn’t for the impending release of Guild Wars 2.

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BWE 2 Preview video

Excited about this weekend’s Guild Wars 2 beta event but don’t like to read? Marketing Coordinator, David Campbell and Lead Producer, Chris Whiteside have got your back. Here’s a few updates on what to expect.

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Ranger Questions Answered (sort of)

As I said I would in my previous post, I went through all of the questions and answers from yesterday’s Reddit AMA and found anything to do with the Ranger. I didn’t state what my personal question was, but it was in fact answered…to some degree. From what I’ve read, and I did experience this a bit but hoped it got better, many Ranger players  felt that the pets couldn’t survive long enough to be useful. I asked if there was any intention to give them more survivability. The question was asked by more than one person, so it’s deffinately a concern.

Here’s the answer to that, as well as everything else Ranger oriented:

Q. Pets were dying ridiculously fast in the first beta to the point where I gave up on ranger. Has that been fixed? Are they worth even having now?

A. I would say they are strong now but still not perfectly balanced. There is a lot of balance work to be done now and not this weekend, but the next time you play the game it will be a lot more balanced. – Jon

Q. (…) Ranger pet functionality, have they been improved?

A. We’ve done work on ranger pets and performance in between BWE1 and 2. – Peter

Q. What is the status on fixing Pet AI?

A. We have fixed a large number of bugs with pet AI, but there are still some lingering ones. Anyone that finds a good case for reproducing them, please don’t hesitate to post about it on our beta forums or somewhere on the internet and hopefully it finds its way to us. – Jon P

Q.  I’m going to assume some tweaking was done, or will be done, to make this sense for all lines. For example, the Ranger Beastmastery line has basically its entire trait choices as buffs to specific pets. Its hard to really separate that, as if you choose to say, use a cat pet and its a 30 point trait, but a spider pet is a 10 point trait, then you are essentially tiering the pets. I am wondering how this will work out but have a feeling I will have my answer in 2 days when I log in.

A. Yes a lot of tweaking was done and a lot more will be done. What we have now is the first reasonable pass with this system. – Jon

Q. (…) Have you made any changes to ranger offhands? Both Torch and Warhorn have one interesting skill that defines the weapon and make it worth brining (Bonfire, Call of the Wild) and one plain damage skill that just seems like it’s tacked on there to fill out the slot (Throw Torch, Hunter’s Call). Both of these skills seem like they could be changed to fill a particular niche (respectively, AoE damage and party support) better.

A. Not yet. Those are coming but not this beta weekend. I’ll look at those two offhands a bit. I had some ideas for both, but we haven’t had time to discuss them so they haven’t been put in yet. – Jon

Q. Do traits that reduce skill recharge time effect elite skills? Example would be Wilderness Knowledge “Wilderness Survival skills recharge 20% faster” with Entangle. Has there been any major changes to Ranger weapon or utility skills?

A. If the Elite is of that type, yes. -Izzy

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The Reddit AMA Novel

Apologies for not posting this link last night as it was happening, but with kids demanding my attention, I barely got to read over it myself. Regardless, the ArenaNet team did an “Ask Me Anything” event yesterday, taking questions from redditors. I asked a question…but wasn’t answered. At least not directly. I still don’t know if my question was possibly asked by another person, but I am going over these 62 pages of notes that I printed to to see. Full credit for that compiling of all the questions and answers goes to redditor omlech.

If I see anything discussion-worthy, Ranger specific or not, I’ll make a new post but regardless you should go look over some of the answers. It’s good stuff and I really appreciate ArenaNet taking the time to do this, especially on the cusp of this weekends beta event.

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Mo Servers, Mo Problems

 

On one hand, we shouldn’t be concerned with measuring the “success” of an MMO. What makes a game successful is in some ways an arbitrary thing to begin with. Yes, financials are one aspect, but measurables past that depend on to what degree you think games are art or not. They are a creation, but an interactive creation that can have a deeper personal impact than, say, a desk chair. To me, Dark Age of Camelot (yup, bringing that up again) was a huge success. Try telling that to a fresher crop of MMO gamers and they may roll their eyes at the thought because, on the other hand, people will measure an MMO success by other means.

This whole thought process got started because of the recent ArenaNet post regarding the increased number of servers now primed and ready for the droves of would be beta testers for this coming weekend. No doubt doubling the servers was a “must” in ANet’s eyes, but I can’t help but feel like the worried old man who has lived through some tough times and seen this before. Having abundant servers for an MMO, in my experience, is a double-edged sword. It makes for good times during the launch phase, but eventually acts as a magnet for doomsayers when the game is settling to nominal levels further down the road.

If you remember Warhammer Online’s experiences with server merges, you’ll recall that it wasn’t pretty. It was needed, and for many players it was a boon to have fresh blood pumping through the world, but many were adversely impacted by the shuffle. The removal of servers additionally acted as a de-motivator to some degree due to the negativity surrounding the game. Even those who still held on to hope for it, like myself, couldn’t help but question the games future*.

So what am I getting at? Just worry, mostly. MMO’s nearly always open their doors like floodgates to the sudden deluge of players, only to see the waters eventually settle out. When they do, people respond negatively to any adjustment made by the developers. I just hope that ArenaNet is prepared to ride that wave.

*I only speak in past tenses for myself. WAR is still active and people, like Werit, seem to be enjoying the game.

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More BWE for your gaming dollar

ArenaNet posted a list of the most noteworthy updates to Guild Wars 2 that will be implemented for the upcoming beta weekend (which I’m still upset that I’ll be missing).

I have tons of questions that need answers. Like, how does the WvW “mini-dungeon” work? Dark Age of Camelot had a dungeon in the frontiers, but it was pretty large and, while I adored the idea, I never had many great PvP moments in it. And what about the skill tier system? Hunter is skeptical of it, but like me he wants to know more before condemning it entirely.

Hopefully my fellow Guild Wars bloggers will be covering the event. I’ll be unable to play, but if I notice any worthwhile posts or videos, I’ll link them as I get time during my trip.

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