1. #37761
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost of Cow View Post
    Ultimately, power levels are meaningless anyway. It's just about the nature of an ongoing multiplayer game; we (the player characters) will always prevail in the end.
    I'd say that there is a line where there should be things out there more powerful than the player that should not be able to be killed without assistance. It's okay for there to be things that are more powerful than the player out there that aren't beaten.


    (And honestly, the whole concept of, "You died but you get to Goku through the afterlife and come back if you want." is an even bigger cheapening of the experience than beating a "stronger" character.)
    I played Factions so the resurrection of the PC didn't really bother me. GW1 was a classical story in which Greek-like gods were very involved in what was going on and you travel to the Underworld and back. I'd imagine for a GW2-only player in which the gods are absent and the story is much more materialistic, the resurrection might feel cheap. But PoF doesn't try to trick the player into thinking that the PC's story is over and done with (unlike another character's resurrection that is coming up in season 4). In PoF, the moment you die you immediately wake in the Underworld where the story continues, and you get revived within the same sitting. It felt like a journey. Whereas that later character's death is framed as a dramatic loss and the end of that character, and you had to wait months for the next episode, and by that point the audience had already accepted that character's demise, only for that character to come back, so it feels cheap.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-09-29 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #37762
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    It is possible Aurene was the deciding factor. Balthazar did capture her to power up his tank so he could kill Kralkatorik, and he seemed to have been succeeding. It's just unclear how powerful Aurene was.

    It doesn't seem like Aurene had absorbed any elder dragon or god magic prior to season 4. When Zhaitan died, Mordremoth absorbed his death magic. When Mordremoth died at the end of HoT, the cinematic showed ley line magic flowing from Mordremoth's tree in Dragon's Stand to Tarir and into the egg, so it seemed like Aurene absorbed Mordremoth's death and plant magic. But then in S3 and PoF, Aurene doesn't use any death or plant magic, and neither the Exalted nor Taimi say that Aurene has absorbed any magic (during a storyline in which we are constantly scrutinizing people and creatures for what kind of magic they have absorbed). Meanwhile, in S3E2 and S3E3, you fight minions of Jormag and Primordus that have death and plant magic, so it seems that those two dragons acquired Mordremoth's powers. AFAIK Aurene was unempowered until S4.

    The only other uncorrupted, unempowered dragon we saw was Vlast, Aurene's elder brother. Except he was over two centuries old and was chained up by Balthazar. Aurene only hatched the year prior to PoF, in year 1229. So the PC and a one year old hatchling killed the god of war? The same god of war who had only a few days prior, bested Vlast and killed the PC?
    You wield Sohothin when you fight Balthazar which used to be his sword while Aurene shields you with magic. Her brother died cause he used his body to protect the commander from an attack.

    Aurene is basically the ultimate filter which I think is why she only manifests prismatic magic and doesn't gain plant/death magic. I'm pretty sure it was the power she gained when Mordremoth died that caused her to hatch.

  3. #37763
    Balthazar wasn't a god anymore when you fought him, according to gw1 lore and the lore that happend between gw1 and path of fire. Balthy was stripped of his power and a new god of war was made ( my theory is its the gw1 pc). He only had the power he absorbed from the one blood stone and a bit of power from jormag and primordious he took from them before the commander stopped him in season 3. He was on par of a very power being or demi god but he was no where near god hood. The thing is gw2 lore is mostly told through collections and books/ notes around the world. The gw2 wiki does a good job summary of the main story but it is hard to find all the little notes scattered around the world. The reason old kraka was there was because he could see the future as glint could wich was explained in season 2 partly.

  4. #37764
    Stood in the Fire VMSmith's Avatar
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    I've really been getting into GW2 more this time than previous attempts, it's actually pretty fun and I love that there's really no FOMO driving me ... I do what I want when I want and take a break if I feel like it and never feel like I'm "falling behind".

    But I'm wondering about legendaries. Are they really worth it? I look at them on the exchange and they're running between 17-30k each, which seems like about $200 or more of real life money if you were to buy the gold with gems. I imagine crafting them yourself is significantly less expensive but it seems to require content that I'm not interested in such as dungeons and other group content. If there were an automated matchmaker I'd be fine trying out the group content but I have no interest at all in manually made groups in any game. I play duos in Fortnite with my wife and that's the limits of people I want to organize with

    I imagine they're also a significant timesink, which would be fine as that gives more structure to otherwise willy-nilly play.

  5. #37765
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    But I'm wondering about legendaries. Are they really worth it?
    Gameplay wise, absolutely not. You can buy a level 80 exotic weapon with the stats you want off of the market board for just 5 gold, and it will never need to be replaced. You're probably never going to use more than 1 or 2 stat combinations, maybe 3 at most. So that's just 15 gold. If you do ranked SPvP then you can get gold very very easily just doing a couple matches every day. Ascended and legendary equipment have an extremely marginal stat increase over exotic gear, to the point that the stat increase is hardly noticeable, and there is no content in the game that requires having BIS gear. The only reason to get a legendary is if you really like the look of it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    I imagine they're also a significant timesink
    Right now the easiest legendary weapons to acquire the gen 3 Aurene legendaries. If you do the Season of Dragons meta-achievement from going through the living world storyline, you get a free gen 3 precursor, which will shave off a few hundred gold. You will still need to spend a lot of money on mats. It used to be that the timegated Antique Summoning Stones were the most expensive mat, but it's been 8 months since EoD released and auction house prices for them have gone down. The most expensive part of the legendary are the mystic clovers. You can either obtain them from the monthly login reward by picking the legendary crafting mats chest and doing Icebrood Saga SPvP reward tracks, or you can craft them but this is extremely expensive. Requires 1 Obsidian Shard, 1 Mystic Coin (VERY EXPENSIVE), 1 Glob of Ectoplasm, and 6 Philosophers Stones. Receipe has a 33% chance to give a Mystic Clover and a 66% chance to give you mats, so you might have to do this 114 times to get 38 clovers. If you plan to use this method, do it first because the mats might be useful for the other components.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    I'm not interested in such as dungeons and other group content
    Aside from the Gift of Battle, legendary weapons do not require you to do any dungeons or fractals or raids or whatever. Almost all of the mats are acquired from the open world and/or the auction house. The only exception is the aforementioned Gift of Battle, which is from a WvW reward track. Go into WvW. Follow your side's zerg. Keep your participation tier up at 6. After 8 hours you will have the Gift. You can speed this process up by 1. using your guild's 10% WvW reward track buff, 2. using a celebration or birthday booster for 10% more WvW reward track exp, 3. buying a 5% WvW reward track exp enrichment, and 4. using heroic and black lion boosters.

    Full gen 3 weapon mats and where to get them here (prices written down at the end of June so they may not reflect current auction house prices):

    Spoiler: 
    To make a Gen 3 Aurene Legendary, you need:

    1x Gift of Jade Mastery
    1x Draconic Tribute
    1x Legendary Weapon Gift
    1x Precursor Weapon






    Start with Gift of Jade Mastery, because you get lots of materials you need to craft other components. To create this, you need:
    1x Gift of Cantha (100% EoD map completion)
    100x Antique Summoning Stones (timegated, you can buy it off of the trading post)
    1x Gift of the Dragon Empire
    1x Bloodstone Shard (buy for 200 spirit shards, obtained from PvP or WvW reward tracks, hardest part of the legendary)

    Gift of the Dragon Empire requires 100 Jade Runestones (looted from EoD jumping puzzles or bought from the TP), 200 Chunks of Pure Jade (mined from Dragon's End, or bought from TP for cheap), 100 Chunks of Ancient Ambergris (bought from a vendor in exchange for fish, or bought from TP), and 5 Blessings of the Jade Empress (complete meta event on all four EoD maps, or buy from TP for cheap to unlock the vendor. Then buy each Blessing for 500 Imperial Favors, so you need 2,500 favors total, which you get from doing EoD events).









    Draconic Tribute:
    1x Gift of Condensed Might
    1x Gift of Condensed Magic
    38 Mystic Clovers
    5 Amalgamated Draconic Lodestone


    Gift of Condensed Might requires:
    1x Gift of Claws
    1x Gift of Scales
    1x Gift of Bones
    1x Gift of Fangs

    You need to buy the receipe for 10 gold each from a vendor near the mystic forge. Your need Artificer, Huntsman, or Weaponsmith crafting skill over level 400. For each gift, you need 100 tier 6 materials, 250 tier 5 mats, 50 tier 4 maters, 50 tiers 3 mats. Tier 3, 4, and 5 mats are bought for dirt cheap off of the TP. T6 mats can also be bought off of the TP but are more expensive. You can also buy T6 mats with laurels, and bags of T5 and T6 mats with Unbound Magic (LWS3 currency, buy in Ember Bay because it's cheaper) or Volatile Magic (LWS4).



    Gift of Condensed Magic
    1x Gift of Blood
    1x Gift of Venom
    1x Gift of Totems
    1x Gift of Dust
    Same process as Gift of Might


    38x Mystic Clovers
    Fastest (and most expensive) way is to craft them. Requires 1 Obsidian Shard, 1 Mystic Coin (VERY EXPENSIVE), 1 Glob of Ectoplasm, and 6 Philosophers Stones. Receipe has a 33% chance to give a Mystic Clover and a 66% chance to give you mats, so you might have to do this 114 times to get 38 clovers. If you plan to use this method, do it first because the mats might be useful for the other components.

    The other way to get Mystic Clovers is from doing
    PvP and WvW reward tracks:
    Gift of Battle WvW reward track (gives 2 Mystic Clovers but you need to do this track anyway to get the Gift of Battle)
    Drizzlewood Coast WvW and PvP tracks, which give a total 14 mystic clovers each, for a total of 28. Requires beating Icebrood Saga episode 3.
    Bjora Marches WvW and PvP reward tracks give 11 mystic clovers, for a total of 22 Mystic Clovers if you do both. Requires beating Icebrood Saga episode 1.
    Grothmar Valley WvW and PvP track, gives 9 clovers each, for a total of 18. Requires beating Icebrood Saga prologue.
    Final chest of daily login reward
    If you like doing Strikes or Fractals, you can also buy mystic clovers.




    5 Amalgamated Draconic Lodestone
    Can be bought off of the TP
    You can also craft them, but it is more expensive then just buying the finished product off of the TP.













    Legendary Weapon Gift
    100x Mystic Runestones (bought for 1 gold each, 100 gold total, requires the last tier of the Tyria legendary crafting mastery)
    1 Gift of the Mists
    1 Gift of Research
    1 Themed Poem


    Gift of the Mists requires:
    1 Gift of Glory (bought for 250 shards of glory, which you get buy PvPing or buy from TP)
    1 Gift of War (buy with 250 memories of battle by WvWing or buy from TP)
    1 Cube of Stabilized Dark Energy (need a crafting profession over level 500, requires 75 stabilizing Matrix bought on TP, and 1 Ball of Dark Energy, which you get buy salvaging ascended weapons or armor. Buy an ascended Salvage Kit from a PvP, WvW, or Fractal NPC, and salvage any useless armor you have).
    1 Gift of Battle (from WvW reward track. Keep your participation tier up at 6. This will take about 8 hours. You can speed this up by 1. using your guild's 10% WvW reward track buff, 2. using a celebration or birthday booster for 10% more WvW reward track exp, 3. buying a 5% WvW reward track exp enrichment, and 4. heroic and black lion boosters).



    Gift of Research
    250x Thermocatalytic Reagents (bought for dirt cheap from a vendor)
    500 Hydrocataltyic reagents (bought using research notes. You need 2,500 research notes total. Notes obtained by salvaging with your Jade Bot. One of the most efficient ways is to salvage potions bought off of the trading post. The potions must be at least level 25.).
    250 exotic essences of luck (from salvaging unidentified gear, or buying globs of ectoplasm off of the TP and salvaging them. Then go to the artificing station and convert essences of luck into exotic luck).



    Themed Poem requires:
    10x Tales of Adventure (obtained by replaying EoD story missions daily or buy from TP for cheap)
    10x Lamplighter's Badges (complete EoD maps or buy from TP)
    1 Sheet of Premium Paper (buy from TP)
    1x Tier 7 Weapon Part (you need crafting discipline level 500, huntsman for bows or weaponsmith for the rest).











    Precursor weapon
    You can do the Return to Living World meta achievement to get one for free, or buy from TP. If you craft it, you need to buy the receipe which costs 10x Tales of Adventure (obtained by replaying EoD story missions daily or buy from TP for cheap). You need crafting profession level 500.

    If you craft it, you need:
    100x Memories of Aurene (you get 5 each day from doing the Dragon's End meta event, and 5 each day from doing Dragonstorm, or buy from TP).
    1x transcendent Crystal (10x globs of ectoplasm, bought from TP, 1x Eldritch Scroll bought for 50 Spirit Shards, 100x hydrocatalytic reagents
    2x fortified precursor components (you can buy everything off of TP except Blessing of the Jade Empress. To unlock the vendor, you need 4 statuettes which you get from EoD meta events or you can buy them from TP for cheap. Then you buy each Blessing for 500 Imperial Favors each, which you get by doing EoD events.











    6/30/2022 trading post calculations:

    Gift of Jade Mastery
    100x Antique Summoning Stones = 724.41 gold
    100x Jade Runestones = 48.24 gold
    200x Chunks of Pure Jade = 6.36 gold
    100x Chunks of Ancient Ambergris = 312.64 gold
    = 1,091.65 gold needed to craft gift of Jade Mastery



    Draconic Tribute
    80 gold to buy Gift of Might and Magic receipes
    Gift of Condensed Might mats = 82 gold
    Gift of Condsensed Magic mats = 96 gold
    5x Amalgamated Draconic Lodestones = 52.50 gold
    = 310.50 gold needed to craft Draconic Tribute
    (NOTE: if you do not have the 38 mystic clovers required, then you might need to drop another 90 gold on buying 116 mystic coins to salvage mystic clovers)



    Legendary Weapon Gift
    100x Mystic Runestones = 100 gold
    Gift of the Mists = 19 gold
    Gift of Research = 4 gold
    100 mystic runestones = 100 gold
    10 Tales of Adventure = 2.74 gold
    10 Lamplighters Badge = 48 gold
    Other themed Poem mats = 10 gold
    = 273.74 gold to buy Legendary Weapon Gift mats



    Legendary precursor
    100x Memories of Aurene = 64 gold
    1x Transcendent Crystal = 8 gold
    2x fortified precursor components = 20 gold
    = 92 gold to buy precursor weapon mats
    If the precursor itself is bought from the TP, is costs about 155 to 190 gold. You can do the Return to Living World meta achievement to get a precursor for free.


    TOTAL = 1767.89 gold if you buy all mats you can off of the TP.

    To buy the mats with real money, this requires 6,011 gems, which translates into $75.14.

    Buying a finished Aurene legendary off of the AH costs about 3,100 gold, which is 10,540 gems, which is $131.75.

    If you work a minimum wage job, you can make 233 gold per hour. It would take you 7.6 hours to earn the gold required to buy all of the mats, or 13.3 hours to buy the finished legendary. If you set aside one hour of your daily wage for GW2, then you can save enough money to buy the legendary weapon within 1 week (mats) or 2 weeks (finished legendary). This might sound ridiculous... until you consider that the Gift of Battle - just one component of the legendary - requires you to spend 8 hours of grinding in WvW, aka $120 of your time. In the time you spent grinding just for the Gift of Battle, you could have earned enough money to buy the finished legendary.

    The vast majority of the gold cost is from the 100x Antique Summoning Stones (timegated, requires doing daily Dragon's End and Dragonstorm, or bought from the TP for 724.41 gold) and the
    100x Chunks of Ancient Ambergris (timegated, daily fishing, or bought from TP for 312.64 gold).







    The Gift of Condensed Might and the Gift of Condensed Magic is going to run you about 200 gold if you buy the T6 mats off of the TP. You need two gifts PER LEGENDARY ITEM! A full set of legendary armor can easily run you over 1,200+ gold in just buying vicious fangs and such. You should buy order T5 mats and then use material promotion to get T6 mats (https://gw2efficiency.com/currencies/spirit-shards scroll down to "Fine crafting materials" to see which ones are worth it, generally everything except dust and claws). Saves a lot of gold in the long run. Make no mistake though, T6 mats will still be by far the biggest expense with legendaries. Promoting mats saves you a couple dozen gold per piece but it's still gonna be a fair bit in total.

    Dont bother buying mats off the auction house, just farm Dragonfall for gold and earn volatile magic, then buy trophy boxes and then upgrade t5 mats youll inevitably get, and if you really want to do promotions for profit, look into lodestones.

    If you want to make legendaries, you need to wait until you have finished most of the GW2 story before you can actually get them. LWS3 and LWS4 will help you get mats. PvP reward tracks unlocked in Icebrood Saga helps you get mystic clovers. Dragonfall helps you get gen 3 legendary weapon precursors. Dragonfall and Dragon's End gives you the timegated stones you need for the gen 3 weapons. And you can't start farming in old zones for Zhaitan or Mordremoth weapons until you already have the Aurene legendary. You can do the prep work for obtaining legendary weapons right away by doing WvW for the Gift of Battle, and PvP for tickets, as well as logging in every day to get spirit shards, tomes, and mystic clovers, but you will have to wait until you finish GW2 to get the legendary stuff.

    Also, if you do use the TP, don't just buy straight off of it. Put in buy orders and wait a bit. You can get what you want for a lot cheaper.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Legendary armor is another question. It is much more difficult to obtain than legendary weapons. You either have to raiding, or you have to SPvP and WvW for about half a year. Only the raid legendary armor has cool visual effects. The SPvP and the WvW armors don't have any sparkly effects and don't look prestigious, so you probably shouldn't bother with them for their looks. Again, you can buy exotic gear off of the auction house for a few gold so there isn't really any need to get legendary armor.

    Legendary trinkets are obtained from doing LWS3 and LWS4 achievements. They have visual effects that you may or may not like.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-10-01 at 09:26 PM.

  6. #37766
    Stood in the Fire VMSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    Right now the easiest legendary weapons to acquire the gen 3 Aurene legendaries.
    Thank you for the ton of great info on the topic! It sets me in the right direction for figuring out if I want to do this or not. I've played around just a tiny bit with WvW and it seemed fun-ish, at least, so that may not be too bad. I'm also very glad to see that no group content is required. Something I had read made me think it would be and I just really don't care for instanced dungeon-type content in any way.

  7. #37767
    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    I've really been getting into GW2 more this time than previous attempts, it's actually pretty fun and I love that there's really no FOMO driving me ... I do what I want when I want and take a break if I feel like it and never feel like I'm "falling behind".

    But I'm wondering about legendaries. Are they really worth it? I look at them on the exchange and they're running between 17-30k each, which seems like about $200 or more of real life money if you were to buy the gold with gems. I imagine crafting them yourself is significantly less expensive but it seems to require content that I'm not interested in such as dungeons and other group content. If there were an automated matchmaker I'd be fine trying out the group content but I have no interest at all in manually made groups in any game. I play duos in Fortnite with my wife and that's the limits of people I want to organize with

    I imagine they're also a significant timesink, which would be fine as that gives more structure to otherwise willy-nilly play.
    Where legendary items get their value is if you're the sort that wants to play a wide variety of characters and specs and frequently switch. Since they can switch to any stat combination at any time, freely swap out runes and such without losing them, and are unlocked for all characters on the account via the armory.

  8. #37768
    Stood in the Fire VMSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost of Cow View Post
    Where legendary items get their value is if you're the sort that wants to play a wide variety of characters and specs and frequently switch. Since they can switch to any stat combination at any time, freely swap out runes and such without losing them, and are unlocked for all characters on the account via the armory.
    So they're mostly useful for alts, then? They might be something I can ignore then, as I'm only interested in playing two characters at most, maybe a third. Warrior, elementalist and ranger are all I'm working on and I may not really play the ranger much at all.

  9. #37769
    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    So they're mostly useful for alts, then? They might be something I can ignore then, as I'm only interested in playing two characters at most, maybe a third. Warrior, elementalist and ranger are all I'm working on and I may not really play the ranger much at all.
    Not just alts, even with just one character you might want to try a lot of different builds and stats/runes/etc in different types of content, and legendary stuff makes that free and convenient.

    That said, if you just play one or two characters you'll spend more getting the legendary stuff than you'll probably ever save, but it's one of the few built-in "goals" in the game, so eh.

  10. #37770
    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    So they're mostly useful for alts, then?
    Your main too, you can use the same weapon with different stat combinations between different builds (and runes).

    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    They might be something I can ignore then, as I'm only interested in playing two characters at most, maybe a third.
    They're very strong/desirable, and expensive, but absolutely optional. I've played on and off since launch and I've never even had a precursor drop or made any meaningful progress towards one outside of picking up some of the collections and passively progressing a few.

    My main guardian has three builds (firebrand condi dps, willbender power dps, firebrand quickness healer) plus another set of armor for my "hybrid" playstyle (vit/condi damage/healing power) that I haven't touched in a while. Getting basic exotics with the stats you need, especially more common combinations like berserker (for power builds) is usually very cheap and is more than good enough to carry you through the game.

  11. #37771
    Stood in the Fire VMSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    Getting basic exotics with the stats you need, especially more common combinations like berserker (for power builds) is usually very cheap and is more than good enough to carry you through the game.
    So, the character I plan to play the most was boosted to 80 meaning it has exotic gear already, I believe? Kind of dark brown? I'm playing a warrior using two swords and really can't figure out anything about the specializations. Like one seems to use daggers, so I couldn't use swords if I tried that spec?

    As for build I just threw together whatever looked appealing, since I don't really know how the stats work together and don't really care about maximizing performance or anything like that. So I don't even have any clue what stats I should be going for, lol.

    I basically just putz around the world doing story quests or hearts or exploring.

  12. #37772
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    So, the character I plan to play the most was boosted to 80 meaning it has exotic gear already, I believe? Kind of dark brown? I'm playing a warrior using two swords and really can't figure out anything about the specializations. Like one seems to use daggers, so I couldn't use swords if I tried that spec?
    If you equip an elite specialization, you gain access to a new weapon, a new class mechanic, and access to new abilities. With the exception of Bladesworn, you're not forced to use an elite specialization's weapon. It's just another weapon for you to use if you want. You are usually more powerful using an elite specialization than just running 3 vanilla specializations. You cannot use two elite specializations at once, so you're going to use 1 elite and 2 vanilla specs.

    If you're just playing story and open world content, then your build doesn't really matter that much. Play whatever you like. If you want to start run high level fractals (WoW copied fractals and calls them mythic+ dungeons), then you're going to want to min/max.


    I don't even have any clue what stats I should be going for, lol.
    If you're playing a warrior build that just deals physical damage then get yourself a set of berserker gear, which has power (raw physical damage stat), precision (crit chance), and ferocity (crit damage). If you're dying a lot then you can consider using marauder gear, which deals slightly less damage than berserker gear but gives you a 25% HP increase and some toughness (armor stat), but remember: dead mobs can't hurt you. Marauder gear becomes less powerful once you reach the End of Dragons expansion and unlock the Jade Bot, which gives you a raw HP boost comparable to the gain from Marauder's stats, so there's really no reason to not just use berserker gear at that point. If you're doing the content in chronological order then you should have found a build and have figured out how to play well enough to not die while wearing berserker gear anyway. But again, min maxxing doesn't really matter for story and open world.

  13. #37773
    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    So, the character I plan to play the most was boosted to 80 meaning it has exotic gear already, I believe? Kind of dark brown? I'm playing a warrior using two swords and really can't figure out anything about the specializations. Like one seems to use daggers, so I couldn't use swords if I tried that spec?
    Yeah, that's exotic gear. IIRC they set you up with Berserker stats which is fine for any vanilla power build.

    Specializations (i.e. non-base trait lines): You can only use one at a time, though you don't "need" to use the corresponding weapon (though usually elite specs do since they pair well). Spellblade still lets you use any weapon that warrior has access to by default (greatsword, shield, mace, hammer etc.), it just also lets you equip a dagger (in your MH only I think?)

    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    As for build I just threw together whatever looked appealing, since I don't really know how the stats work together and don't really care about maximizing performance or anything like that. So I don't even have any clue what stats I should be going for, lol.
    https://metabattle.com/wiki/Warrior

    I'm too lazy to make builds myself and use this site a lot. Should be some build options for you to tinker around with there to see what you enjoy.

    Quote Originally Posted by VMSmith View Post
    I basically just putz around the world doing story quests or hearts or exploring.
    That's basically the game until you get story/world completion. I've done all the "main" stuff (minus the latest episode) and still have tons of chievos to earn (was working on getting the meta-achievements for HoT and seasons for a bit then stopped), and unless I'm working on specific achievements when I log in it's usually just to putz about and do some world bosses/meta's.

  14. #37774
    last i checked boosted gear was celestial(equal numbers of every stat),
    as a new player i'd stay clear of sites such as metabattle as they pretty much always copypaste raid builds for their "open world" builds and for someone who is new to the game that will not be helpful.

    btw keep the celestial stat gear though even if it doesn't fit your current build, you'll find that it's quite popular for many builds right now. and it's time gated if you're looking to craft it.
    Last edited by Lex Icon; 2022-10-03 at 10:22 PM.
    I had fun once, it was terrible.

  15. #37775
    Celestial Gear should be easy to obtain I swear, its given to boosted characters anyway so why not have a karma vendor or something with exotic celestial gear. Its great for experimenting with builds.
    World of Warcraft: Shadowblands
    Diablo Bore.

  16. #37776
    Quote Originally Posted by Katchii View Post
    Lore-wise, Aurene was helping you in that fight, it wasn't just you fighting him and she's extremely powerful, just young and inexperienced and now nearly as powerful as she ultimately will end up being. Also, the sword Balthazar himself created was used against him. For game play reasons, obviously you're controlling your character but it wasn't your power alone that helped you defeat him.

    Maybe the game didn't do a good enough job showing you these things, but the PC alone did not defeat Balthazar.
    Another thing to add is in guild wars 1 we killed a god, Abbadon i believe? Then kormir was ascended to godhood. So gods can be killed by mortals and mortals can become gods. Nothing is unkillable.l, but its one of those situations where its do something or die.

  17. #37777
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Season 4


    After Path of Fire launched, Arena Net began pulling developers off of GW2 to work on other projects that never went anywhere. Reading Glass Door reviews paints a picture of mismanagement. A 3rd expansion for GW2 was not greenlit. Knowing that season 4 could be the last, the dev team decided to create season 4 as a climax for GW2's story. There was no way they could have satisfactorily tackled all four remaining Elder Dragons with the budget allotted for 6 episodes, so they decided to just focus on a showdown with the elder dragon Kralkatorik.


    The PC versus Kralkatorik, from episode 5. Art by Jimmy Saadoun.


    Kralkatorik was established in GW1. He was the father of Glint (a major NPC in Prophecies). In a novel that was released during the leadup to GW2's launch, Glint and Destiny's Edge fought against Kralkatorik, but Glint and a member of DE died in the attempt. Season 2 introduced Glint's egg, which would eventually hatch into Aurene, the granddaughter of Kralkatorik, who would become the big plot device of the elder dragon magic storyline. So making Kralkatorik the big bad makes the most sense, as the characters have the most personal investment in his demise over the other three dragons.

    Kralkatorik was also the best choice aesthetically. His jagged black stone and purple crystals and lightning theme is unique. The other two known elder dragons, Jormag and Primordus, are generic ice and lava dragons, and their minions were pretty bland. Not good fodder to stare at for a whole season without a visual redesign, which might have been too expensive for the team. Season 4 is pretty heavy on asset reuse.



    Maps





    The first map is Istan. It's another mostly boring desert map. The cliff area with the sand portals on top was neat but there isn't much to do there.




    The second map is the Sandswept Isles. The main attraction is a huge Asura facility in the center, but the game's short draw distance botches the sight. There are three smaller labs surrounding the cube that had fun puzzles inside.




    The third map is Kourna. What you see is what you get. Easily the worst of the 6 new maps.





    Same bubble seen in first pic but from inside.

    The fourth map is Jahai Bluffs. Another flat desert, but it has been devastated by Kralkatorik's Branded magic, and by the space-time disturbances. At this point in the story, Kralkatorik is chasing after Aurene (the good dragon on the side of the heroes), and has been opening rifts so he can travel to and from the Mists in pursuit. The constant portal spam is tearing apart the fabric of reality, and has caused slices from other places and times to appear. In one pocket, you witness the Charr invasion of Ancient Orr. In another pocket, you see the Maguuma Jungle, before Mordremoth corrupted it. There are also pockets that randomly spawn (pictured above), where you can find that it is suddenly snowing in the desert, or stumble upon a slice of Ascalon. It's a cool idea but underutilized.




    Also, the last three maps have areas affected by Brandstorms. (Technically this debuted with Vabbi in PoF, but the story never took you to that area of the map). Within a Brandstorm, you attract lightning strikes if you are grounded and if you are not under cover. So you want to either want to use a flying mount to travel through them, or dash from safe spot to safe spot underneath cover. Branded mobs in these areas have knockbacks and pulls that can move you out from cover. If you are hit by a lightning strike while downed, you instantly die. So these areas can be pretty threatening if you are not careful. Pretty cool. Wish games did more fantasy weather conditions like this. FFXIV has some cool looking elemental weather conditions, but they have no gameplay effects.




    The fifth map is Thunderhead Peaks. The first waypoint you unlock is at the top of the mountain, so if you have a Griffon you can soar down the map at high speed. Pretty fun.




    The sixth and final map of the season is Dragonfall, which takes place on top of Kralkatorik, who crashed into the ocean. It's a cool idea in concept art, but in game you can hardly see Kralkatorik. Almost his entire body is buried, with only his back spine sticking out of the ground, which doesn't look very different from the usual Branded arches you have seen throughout PoF and season 4. The game engine's short draw distance also really hampers the effect. Gameplay wise, Dragonfall is pretty fun to traverse. The traversal mechanics introduced in HoT and season 3 are brought back. So there are mushrooms to bounce off of, lava tubes to hop in and launch from, updrafts and ley lines to glide on, and you can use Oakheart's essence to spiderman swing through the forest section.






    The Dragonfall meta event is disappointing. You run around whacking away at Kralkatorik's scabs. After you gouge twelve scabs, the game says "you won!" and you get teleported to a cliff, and Pact helicopters drop loot chests at your feet. Not very cathartic. Contrast that with Dragon's Stand from HoT, where you fought the serpentine head of Mordremoth, and then clambered across his dead body to open the loot he had stashed in his tree lair.



    Mounts

    Season 4 introduces two new mounts.

    The Roller Beetle travels very fast across flat surfaces and downhill. However, it's momentum comes to a halt if it tries going uphill, or runs into something, and it takes a while to get up to speed. So the Roller Beetle is situationally useful and is ineffective for most of the maps in the game (vanilla maps are very cramped, and expansion maps are very rugged). Fortunately PoF and season 4 introduced a lot of flat desert maps that the Roller Beetle is great on. Dragonfall also has long stretches of road that you can speed down as well.




    The Roller Beetle can also smash through walls to unlock new areas. Sadly this ability is underutilized by the map designers. There are only like 3 or 4 walls total that require the Beetle to smash through.




    The other new mount is the Skyscale, the second flying mount added to the game. Unlike the Griffon, the Skyscale operates like your usual WoW-clone mount in that it can hover in the air indefinitely. It can also climb walls (an ability that the spider mount was supposed to have but that mount was scrapped because it was deemed "too scary"...). The Skyscale isn't very fun to use like the Griffon. Sadly, the Skyscale is the only flying mount that looks good for Charr characters. All of the Griffon skins are comically small compared to a Charr rider. Also, dragons are cooler than griffons. I wish I could ride my Skyscale, but with Griffon flight mechanics.



    Story


    Episode 1 "Daybreak"

    I have done the Griffon sidequest where you help find the last surviving members of the Sunspears and restored their sanctuary in Vabbi, and became an honorary Sunspear. Why is the game acting as if my character has no idea who the Sunspears are, and is trying to track down a survivor for information about their order? I have the item to teleport back to their sanctuary in my bags.

    The licking and crackling of teeth SFX in the male Charr's voice is overbearing. (EDIT: fortunately the sound designer reigned it in after this).




    We meet another GW1 party member. If you played Nightfall then Koss was one of the first heroes you obtained. So far, Ogden, M.O.X., and Koss are the only surviving characters from GW1.

    Audio wise, this is the buggiest episode thus far. The voicelines for the entire conversation with the corsair captain bugged out. Had to relog to get the voicelines playing. Disappointingly, several of the voicelines for the climax when Taimi is screaming while trapped inside Scruffy also bugged out.



    Episode 2 "A Bug in the System"

    My character is a Charr. He should be just as wide eyed at the discovery of the Olmakhan as Rox. Discovering a new Charr civilization unheard of outside of the four Legions, and one that eschews Legion culture should be very interesting to him.




    How does Braham recognize Aurene? Braham has never, ever met Aurene. Not once. He never entered the egg chamber in Tarir that Aurene stayed in until PoF, and he didn't come with us to Elona during PoF. Also, AFAIK Braham knows, Aurene is a baby dragon. We hadn't told him that she grew 10x larger yet. He has no reason to identify that dragon flying overhead as Aurene.

    Gorrik and Blish are way more likeable than Taimi. I wish they had been with us since the beginning, replacing Taimi as our resident Asura technobabbling engineers. It would also have prevented Taimi from usurping Rox as the heart of the group.

    The last fight where you, Braham, and the boss are being sucked into the malfunctioning teleporter gate and your battle takes place across different locations in Tyria was pretty cool.



    Episode 3 "Long Live the Lich"


    Unusually nice facial animation for an in engine cutscene. Too bad the voices bugged out halfway through.

    How exactly was Joko raising people from the dead and bending them to his will? What makes him different from regular necromancers you can play as, who seem to only be able to create mindless flesh minions cobbled together from corpses? Revenants can temporarily summon the spirits/souls of the dead, but they can't put those spirits into a bodily form in Tyria like Joko apparently can.



    Episode 4 "A Star to Guide Us"

    Seems that Almorra and Glint's voice actors were recast. Not a fan of the new voices. Almorra's old voice sounded dignified, and Glint's old voice sounded like a wise grandma.




    Taimi, you never even met Traehearne. Hm... well, Traehearne did become a world renowned marshal after leading the campaign to kill Zhaitan. I suppose maybe he could have gotten a book publishing deal and that's where Taimi got the quote from.

    The setpiece at the end where you are trying to escape Kralkatorik, jumping from floating island to island while Blish remains behind and is telling the PC his life regrets right and warning the PC not to repeat his mistakes before he sacrifices himself was good. Props to Blish's voice actor (and the PC's in the exchange too).

    I feel Blish's death would have been more impactful had he not been a character introduced just 2 episodes ago. Imagine if he had been with us since the beginning.






    First, this comes 20 seconds after I informed Gorrik that his brother died. Undercuts the impact. It also vaguely feels like Taimi is trying to redirect people's attention to herself, as if she can't stand people thinking about another Asura for one moment. Second, you've had this fatal illness for... what? 6 years? And it hasn't killed you yet. And you're still going to be alive 4 years from now. Feels like cheap drama. Also, we've been with you for 6 years. If it was so bad you couldn't focus, we would've noticed.



    Episode 5 "All or Nothing"

    The forging process of the Dragonsblood spears is cool. They pour crystal containing brand magic into a forge, and around the forge a choir sings, resonating with the crystal and reshaping the energy within. I wish the story had leaned into the magical music idea more.

    Kralkatorik and his Branded are aesthetically very unique with the black stones, purple crystals, and lightning theme.

    It's also nice to see the Zephyrites show up again, given that they were absent in season 3.

    I forgot that Almorra's warband was wiped out when Kralkatorik awoke. She's barely had 20 seconds of voicelines this season. She should have had more of a presence.

    The battle of Thunderhead Keep is very intense. Great setpiece. Too bad the camera shake bugged out towards the end. Took me out of the moment.

    I liked that you got to fight alongside former foes. Awakened, priests of Balthazar, and that Inquest defector with his big red golem. The Awakened Charr and Sylvari were also nice touches too.



    All or Nothing: Requiem

    After episode 5 released, Anet put up three short stories on their website that show the aftermath of the battle from the perspectives of Rytlock, Zafirah, and Caithe. They are backstory infodumps and don't really add anything. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rytlock short story
    "I was the runt of the litter. I’d always be the runt of the litter, no matter how many enemies I tore apart, no matter how many Elder Dragons I killed. Even if I was Khan-Ur, I’d always be Runtlock."
    How old Rytlock? He's definitely middle-aged. And yet he's apparently still afraid of being called "Runtlock" by some old childhood bullies? He's the Blood Legion Tribune, the second highest ranking leader in the Blood Legion. He successfully campaigned against the ghost army of Ascalon, the Flame Legion, two Elder Dragons, and the human god of war. He is held in high respect among the Charr (and non-Charr!) and has great authority. A Californian video game writer might have an inferiority complex like this, but not a prestigious leader who hails from a warrior culture, and this isn't the leader I followed in the 1-30 Charr storyline.



    This is not Rytlock Brimstone.

    The art that depicts Rytlock Brimstone is really derpy. You know, the bloodthirsty lionman who wields a flaming sword he looted from a royal tomb and desecrates the bodies of his enemies. And he's reduced to this... mouse thing. My guess is that whoever at Anet was responsible for commissioning the art didn't give proper instructions as to the nature of Rytlock and how he should be depicted.

    Rytlock secretly having children of his own and having told literally no one about it makes the "you're not Eir's son! She would have told me so!" scene at the start of season 1 even more ridiculous.



    Episode 6 "War Eternal"

    Good setpieces. Fighting the shades of the prior final bosses who were absorbed by Kralkatorik was pretty cool, even if it does feel derivative of Mordremoth's story fight.



    A nice goodbye scene to end the game on. Kinda undermined that the game actually did continue and Aurene is brought back almost immediately in the next season and everything goes back to business as usual.

    It's disappointing that Rox and Gorrick aren't in the epilogue.

    Pretty good story. It worked because there was urgency. In season 1, you're just doing boring episodic stuff with no stakes. In season 2 you spend 5 episodes aimlessly wandering around a desert. It wasn't until the last 3 episodes when you were entrusted with guarding the egg and Mordremoth's forces were chasing after it that the story became interesting. Season 3 was pretty much just collecting magic samples for Taimi all season. Here, in season 4, you're fighting an undead tyrant from the beginning, and then you're fighting against a reality shattering elder dragon.



    Plothole

    What was the entire point of Path of Fire? What was the point of killing Balthazar? Seasons 2 and 3 established that killing the Elder Dragons would destroy the world, since they are entertwined with the laws of reality and keep the world in balance. The deaths of Zhaitan and Mordremoth caused a lot of ley line instability that we see the consequences of in season 3. So killing Kralkatorik was supposed to be bad, and since Balthazar wanted to kill Kralk, that's why we had to kill Balthazar. But we just wound up killing Kralkatorik and replacing him with Aurene as Elder Dragon anyway. So why didn't we just help Balthazar kill Kralkatorik and replace him with Aurene in PoF? Hell, why not have killed and replaced Primordus in S3E5?

    Also, we just found out from Kralkatorik that he was once a sane dragon, and when he accumulated so much magic that he became entertwined with the laws of physics and became an Elder Dragon, that is when he went insane. That was when he had the power of ONE elder dragon. Now Aurene has just absorbed the power of THREE elder dragons, AND the power of a Bloodstone nuke (that would have destroyed half of Tyria), AND the power of Joko (whatever that is supposed to be, the story never explained). Shouldn't she be going insane right now? Not considering later retcons. We'll get to those soon enough.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-10-06 at 09:21 PM.

  18. #37778
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    A nice goodbye scene to end the game on. Kinda undermined that the game actually did continue and Aurene is brought back almost immediately in the next season and everything goes back to business as usual.
    Yep, this is always the issue with MMOs (and any other games intended to go on forever).

    They just never end, so the story can't end. Can't just have a satisfying wrap-up, can't have the heroes riding off into the sunset, or dying heroic deaths together, or finally granting a grateful world peace. It always just has to Keep. Going. Forever.

    Plus writers are usually deathly afraid of getting rid of established characters. Even when a dragon ascends to the stars in a tearful farewell, they just jump right back in for the next story. (Hi Ysera, Hi Aurene)

    It can just really suck the impact and weight of a story right out of it when you know that tomorrow always comes, so to speak.
    Last edited by Ghost of Cow; 2022-10-07 at 05:13 PM.

  19. #37779
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Icebrood Saga




    In 2019, Arena Net was hit by layoffs. After season 4, GW2 wasn't greenlit for another expansion, but for another season of patch content. Patches don't attract interest in an MMO like expansions do, so when Anet announced the fifth season of patch content, they tried rebranding it as Icebrood Saga, claiming IBS would deliver "expansion level features" that would simply be distributed over time in patches rather than an all-in-one content drop.

    Unfortunately, IBS was just that: a season of patch content. No "expansion level features" that were promised. It didn't introduce a new class, or new elite specializations, or a transformative feature like gliding or mounts, or a new guild hall, or a new WvW map, or a new SPvP mode, and so on. You just get more PvE maps and 1-2 hours of story per patch, just like you were getting in season 4. The new masteries are lackluster compared to the ones introduced previously. IBS does introduce Strikes (single boss fights with no trash or leadup, like FF14's trials), but that's just a lower budget replacement for raids and fractals. Consequently, IBS saw a large player dropoff. Unless you were into casual open world PvE or raiding, IBS offered nothing for you.

    For the PvErs who did stick around for IBS, they were sorely disappointed. The story content started out on par with season 4... and then IBS was aborted so the studio could move on to working on the End of Dragons expansion. IBS only got 3 maps. Several plotlines were dropped, and the rushed ending was especially reviled.



    Maps




    The first map is Grothmar Valley. Grothmar is unique in in that you are not adventuring or waging war. There is no peril here, no monsters or bad guys to fight. Instead, it is a festival, and you run around doing non-combat events, such as helping a chef prepare food for a partying army, participating in a demolition derby, rocking out to a metal concert, racing, lighting bonfires, and so on. It's a fun, relaxing map, and a good breather episode after you've saved the world from three elder dragons. You get to enjoy a respite, and get some sense that the heroes' efforts thus far were worth it, that the world was preserved. It is also set in Ascalon and looks visually pleasant.






    There is also a Branded area that has been purified by Aurene. The bright crystals and crystalized trees are quite nice. Wish this area was fleshed out more. A whole zone like this could have been nice.






    The second map is Bjora Marches. It goes for that haunted dark forest feel. The music is pretty eerie. The map is covered in a blizzard that will freeze you to death if you are out in the cold for a couple minutes. You have to go stand by a fire to warm up or interact with a Raven statue to gain protection from the cold for 40 seconds. The map feels pretty atmospheric... for about 10 minutes, and then you realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. The mobs being braindead easy, and by this point you have a menagerie of mounts that allow you to trivially bypass the mobs. You can also mount up while you are taking damage from the blizzard and there are plenty of fires and Raven statues, you can warm up or gain protection within 10-15 seconds of riding. You are never in any danger of dying, despite the narrative constantly saying that Bjora is a dangerous place.

    Bjora has a neat puzzle where you rotate mirrors and clear line of sight of obstructions to bounce ghost lights across the map.






    The third map is Drizzlewood Coast. It is a WW2/Vietnam style war map set in a lush forest, like Yosemite National Park on an early morning. Looks great. The map gimmick is that the Frost Legion have planted dozens and dozens of snipers across Drizzlewood who will shoot you down.




    Fortunately the same episode introduces a mastery that lets you cloak while mounted. Once you train that the snipers, aren't a problem anymore.




    The fourth and final "map" is Dragonstorm, where the disembodied heads of Jormag and Primordus fight each other in a pit. Calling it a map would be generous. It's like calling the final area of Dragon's Stand where you fight the Mouth of Mordremoth a "map". It's a cool concept but terribly undercooked. Should have been a full map with build up to the actual climatic battle with the armies of Icebrood and Destroyers fighting each other. Would also have liked to have seen the full bodies of the two Elder Dragons.



    Strikes

    Replacing raids and fractals as competitive PvE group content are strikes. They are structured just like FFXIV's trials: your group ports into the arena with the raid boss right in front of you, and you only fight that one boss. No clearing trash up to the boss, no waiting for scripted RP, just bossfights. The low barrier of entry makes it easy for casuals to get in, see the story, and get out. The story build up is transferred to the one-off story instances. For hardcore raiders, it cuts out the fat that quickly becomes repetitive and old (clearing trash and RP) after the 20th week of clearing that content and lets them spend more time on what they're actually here for: boss fights.



    Masteries

    IBS masteries are lackluster compared to the ones introduced before. HoT, season 3, and season 4 introduced masteries that allowed you to unlock new areas of a map and changed how you traversed all maps. In IBS, the only transformative mastery is the ability to use Raven Gates, but Raven Gates only appear in Bjora marches. I suppose there is also the mounted invisibility mastery but Drizzlewood is the only map in the game where you are at serious risk of being killed while mounted. There is the United Legions Waystation mastery but that only allows you to burst down a break bar at the start of a fight. The other four mastery lines feel completely useless, just giving you stat increases for content you might hardly ever spend much time in (IBS maps and Dragon Response Missions). EoD introduces another stat mastery that buffs your stats (Jade Bots) but at least that one is useful everywhere.



    Story


    Prologue "Bound by Blood"

    I tried looking around the festival, but I didn't see my father, Clement Forktail. He was a Flame Legion shaman, so maybe he could have had some interesting words to say about the treaty with the Flame Legion.

    Why is Bangar being so hostile towards me, a Charr? Bangar wants to control an Elder Dragon. Guess who is the world's foremost expert on Elder Dragons, and has successfully raised one? Bangar thinks I control Aurene, so as far as he should know, recruiting me would be a package deal and secure him at least one Elder Dragon. I am everything Bangar desires.

    It's strange that my boss, the Ash Legion Imperator, doesn't try to extract any juicy information from me.

    Again, why is Bangar presuming that I am against him. Bangar has no way of knowing if I am idealogically opposed to his agenda. I was a member of the Ash Legion 7 years ago and fought against Ascalonian Ghosts for the glory of the Charr, and Bangar doesn't care what Legion you are from so long as you fight for the glory of the Charr. I only left because Zhaitan desecrated one of my warband mates, and Blood Tribune Brimstone ordered me to join one of the orders to fight against Zhaitan. By Bangar's reckoning, I should be a loyal and highly successful soldier.



    Episode 1 "Whisper in the Dark"

    It felt like hardly anything happened in this episode. You only find out that Almorra is dead and that Jormag is whispering to people. No progress is made on catching up to Bangar or defeating him.




    Jormag's "you'll come to me when you need me" speech comes off as laughable. There is no greater threat on this planet than hostile Elder Dragons, and Jormag is one of them. Unless she is referring to the other two hostile dragons, in which case I've already killed three and have the aid of a benevolent Elder Dragon. I don't need Jormag's help. If Jormag was speaking truthfully, then perhaps she could have been referring to some sort of hidden, extra-terristrial threat that was planned before IBS was aborted. Jormag can't be referring to the threat of the world falling into the Void because according to season 2, as that can only happen once most if not all of the Elder Dragons are dead, and currently there are four out of six alive. By the time that happens it'd be unlikely for Jormag be alive by then.

    Sorry, I just find it funny that such a transparent lie got a pre-rendered cutscene. Only makes sense budget wise if it was planned to set up something that was cut.

    Why is Jhavi assuming she is the leader of the Vigil now? Efut is the next highest ranking Vigil leader after Almorra, and he participated in the campaign against Zhaitan, and has been presumably been running stuff in the background since then. After Efut is Laranthir, who participated in the campaign against Mordremoth, took command when Traehearne was captured and the Commander gallivanted off, reorganized the survivors of the crashed fleet, and led the army that killed the Mouth of Mordremoth. Either of them should become the next leader of the Vigil, not some random girl with no track record who was just introduced this episode.



    Episode 2 "Shadow in the Ice"

    It's bizzare seeing Rytlock and Braham giving in so easily towards the end. They already KNOW that Jormag operates by whispering to people. It's also pretty funny when you consider that Rytlock was giving Canach a bad rap in HoT, thinking that Canach would give in to the whispers of Mordremoth, but he didn't, while Rytlock gave in to the whispers of Jormag.



    Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire

    I find it interesting that it wasn't until 2020 that GW2 finally began doing the "you play as another character" thing that WoW had been doing since Wrath of the Lich King in 2008.




    Does he not know that Aurene latched on to me while she was still inside her egg? Aurene seems to be a well known figure according to S4E6 (you had Sylvari from the Pale Tree hearing about Aurene's struggle and volunteering to join the fight on Dragonfall) and I'd imagine that the circumstances around her would be common knowledge as well. That I raised her from the moment she hatched? And that was when Aurene was weak and couldn't talk, before she was uplifted by absorbing magic. Jormag isn't a young, impressionable dragon. Jormag is a talking, powerful elder dragon. How do you tame a dragon older than known civilizaton? Also, I had the aid of the Exalted when I raised Aurene, who had been prepared by Glint specifically for that role. Bangar has no one. He's going to try to manipulate the master manipulator? I find it hard to believe that this guy somehow managed to ascend to the rank of Imperator and was respected by the other Imperators.



    Episode 3 "No Quarter"

    The writing really nosedives here. The writers forgot that these a Charr, not humans. Remember the 1-30 Charr storyline from vanilla? We Charr do not have human morality. We pillage tombs. We piss on graves. We enslave our enemies and work them to death in mines. We kill traitors and force our deserters to wander around the Black Citadel retelling their shameful story for 10 years before tossing them into a pit. We are conquerors. Now the game is acting as if we have a moral conscience, like we have some sort of convention that detailed "war crimes", and other nonsense.

    It's also bizzare seeing the PC and Rytlock being aghast at what Smoldur did. Rytlock and I did worse in the 1-30 Charr storyline. And it's not like the PC and Rytlock grew a conscience over the years since then; just last season we raided Rata Primus and thoughtlessly killed non-combatant scientists and accountants and other paperwork clerks, not just evil scientists and people trying to kill us.

    And then there is Imperator Smoldur. Yes, in the 1-30 Charr storyline he was depicted as being irritable, but he wasn't bloodthirsty or stupid like he is here. The Smoldur depicted in IBS is a completely different character, a moron who couldn't have possibly ascended to Iron Legion imperator, united the three legions, built the Black Citadel, and brokered a treaty with Kryta.

    The PC, Rytlock, Smoldur, and the Charr as a whole have been character assassinated in IBS. IBS has the aesthetics of a Charr content pack - there's lots of Charr, rusted machinery, firery shamsn, etc - but the story isn't Charr at all. It's a measly human story.




    The four Imperators decide to personally raid a secret Dominion base. Do I even need to point out how dumb this is? Setting aside whether or not going commando is a better use of a head of state's limited time than organizing from the back, they spend three minutes planning their attack right outside the front door. Why didn't you morons plan before you went up to the front door? Any Dominion door guard inside could overhear, open the door, chuck a grenade out and bam! The four legion's leadership is decapitated and Bangar wins. Morale among the United Legions is already very low and Charr are defecting in droves every day. Even if the Tribunes didn't fight amongst themselves over who became the new Imperators and quickly reorganized, the death of the Imperators would be a shock that would probably cause the United Legions to just completely surrender.



    Episode 4 "Jormag Rising"



    Ryland snipes Imperator Smoldur.

    If Ryland had used a rocket launcher or chucked a grenade down, he would have eliminated all of the Imperators and won the war. Also, why didn't we use portals to assasinate people before? Sure would've come in handy when we dealt with the Flame Legion back or Zhaitan's lieutenants in vanilla, or Scarlet in season 1, or the White Mantle in season 3, or Joko in season 4, etc.

    Another episode full of immersion breaking snark, mocking fantasy journey tropes, as if the writers are afraid of playing them straight when that is exactly what GW2 players want out of the story.

    Braham and the PC also mock the Norn gods... the same gods they are trying to ingratiate and call upon for help. Great plan guys. Also rather unwise given that the gods in this setting can strike you down on the spot for irreverence. Braham has been very reverent of the Norn gods... but now he's treating them as a joke?

    Crecia is a bitch. She puts down Rytlock and give snide remarks about her comrades at every turn. I don't require every character to be pleasant all of the time, but this just isn't an enjoyable character at all.




    Jormag can enslave people and turn them into Icebrood in droves simply by being in close proximity. Jormag can also turn into an intangible blizzard. Jormag can also open portals to travel to and from the Mists. Also, Jormag has acquired Zhaitan's death magic. She can kill people and raise them as her minions, just as we saw one of Kralkatorik's minions do in S4E2. There is no reason why Jormag can't just suddenly appear over every major city on the planet and enslave everyone. Icebrood retain their intelligence, so it's not like her minions would become dumb or she would need to leave geniuses untouched so that they can come up with solutions she cannot. Jormag's actions make no sense.



    Episode 5 "Champions"

    Primordus, the lava Elder Dragon, gets shoehorned into the ICEbrood Saga. The storyline that is supposed to be about fighting Jormag. Primordus was put to sleep in season 3 episode 5 and was literally never heard from again until this episode where he comes out of absolutely nowhere. As far as I can tell, there is no explanation as to why his Destroyers suddenly invaded Tyria. By this point, IBS was aborted and Anet was rushing to work on the End of Dragons expansion. For whatever reason, someone at Anet decided that they wanted to get the Elder Dragon storyline over and done with ASAP, so Primordus is brought back and is then killed off in the same episode, killing off any hope of an underground expansion with him.

    This episode introduces Dragon Response Missions. You teleport into an instanced version of old maps and fight waves of generic Icebrood or Destroyers. In other words, the devs ran out of time and budget for the season. 3 of the DRMs had engaging story (the one where Owl sacrifices to deny Jormag more power, and the one with the Tengu). The other 9 felt like boring filler.

    There is one notable DRM: Lake Doric. A creative environment artist put some effort into making it look frozen over. It feels exciting to rediscover an old place like this. If the other DRM maps had been altered as such, the DRMs would have been more interesting.


    Lake Doric from S3E5.


    Lake Doric from the IBS Dragon Response Mission, four years later.

    Another problem with DRMs (and this episode as a whole) is that you fight vanilla Destroyer and Icebrood models for 6 hours straight. They look painfully bland and uninspired compared to the later Elder Dragon minions you fight in the game, such as the Mordrem or the Branded. Jormag and Primordus deserved expansion budgets dedicated to them and aesthetic redesigns of their armies.

    In the DRMs, the Icebrood and the Destroyers attack villages. You rescue survivors, put out fires, build barricades, hand out weapons, etc, but the tension is undermined by the lack of consequences. None of the villages are destroyed. No major NPCs are killed. After the DRM is over, it's as if nothing happened to that village.

    I had various thoughts about IBS' absurd handling of the Elder Dragon magic and the flagrant flagrant disregard for the rules that had been established prior. Jormag and Primordus not using the Zhaitan, Mordremoth, and Kralkatorik powers they had previously acquired. Aurene not exploding or going insane. Braham merging with an Elder Dragon with no repercussions. The plan to kill Primordus and Jormag by manipulating ley lines that comes out of absolutely nowhere... and so on. I considered breaking down each point in detail, but the writers clearly don't give a hoot about their own metaphysics anymore, so neither will I. Let's move on.


    Jormag: "Primordus is stronger than me! I dare not face him in combat. Protagonist, team up with me so we can beat him! I intend to live forever!"
    Also Jormag: "I'm going to force his jaws apart and commit double suicide with him!"


    I want to know who at Anet thought that this was a good idea. Either Jormag should have used cunning to defeat Primordus, or Primordus should have melted that ice dragon in his mouth.



    Final thoughts

    First episode was great. Episodes 2 and 3 got sidetracked but were still enjoyable. Then IBS got cancelled in favor of the next expansion and you reach Drizzlewood, and the plot goes off the rails. The last episode is awful. I didn't like Jhavi and I found Crecia insufferable. Primordus was wasted. Jormag's actions made no sense. Charr civil war wasn't a Charr story at all and greatly damaged their culture by homogenizing them. Everyone starts acting like an idiot beginning in Drizzlewood. GW2's Elder Dragon storyline is a metaphysics heavy plot, and the metaphysics make no sense anymore.

  20. #37780
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    Just finished Icebrood Saga.


    What the fuck was Icebrood Saga?


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