August 17, 2017

GW2: Getting Brissta to 80

Getting back in the habit of posting, so these are going to be strange and choppy for a little while...

Hey! So quick update on how the GW2 kids are doing. I think I've finally found a new home in an MMO after a few years of soulsearching. I approached GW2 with a little bit of caution at first...ah, just kidding. I loved it and knew after five minutes that I would be with it for a long time coming. After a few years of on-and-off school-interrupted play, I at last got my ranger chick to L.80. Re-introducing, the design tropes that I thought were cool two years ago...

When I first started playing, I saw the far-off world of Level 80 as some mythical place that I would never get to. I don't really envision myself finishing things. Maybe that's because I stopped dancing ballet right before I was eligible for shows, stopped playing tennis right before I got to the peak of my high school season, or stopped writing my novel in the middle of the whole mess that time I tried. Whatever it was, I never connected reaching goals to a part of me.

When I got to Level 80, it wasn't the magical, fantastic Guild Wars Wonderland that I was expecting. It was a cliff swarming in undead overlooking a sea of undead, all while the undead dragon screeched somewhere above me. I was running away from some mobs that had taken an interest in me, all while my health chipped away from poison. This is living, I thought to myself as I heard the foomp of the level-up notifier sound, and it was another forty seconds before I could get somewhere safe to unpack all the new loot.

view over Orr
I then realized, in a fort in the middle of an undead island, in the middle of an undead sea, underneath an undead sky, that the game had in fact only just begun. Here I was with opportunities that were realistic! I could learn about fractals (what the heck even are they? I asked myself at that point) and start on my Heart of Thorns content, and maybe stop being willing to risk copious amounts of falling damage. But before all of that, I had a story quest to finish.

I was worried at first about the end portion of the quest, which was the City of Arah. This part recommends a large party, something to which at first I said "Pah! Let me have a go at it." In fact, I got a great portion of the way through before just being overwhelmed by dragons attacking on either side of the airship. I left and returned with an unlikely party of all rangers. I was never the most collaboration-open player, so this being my first group experience, I found a lot of enjoyment in a calm character story team. Since I knew the way the dungeon ran, I was able to take a more commanding role. What was great was that I knew how everyone worked, so I could make suggestions on what kinds of strategies to use.

just passing through...
It was around sharing my knowledge during Arah that I made a realization about my playstyle: Where before I could make do with spamming the 1 and occasionally the 2 on my longbow, I stopped playing and experimented with other classes, only to do the same and get bored. As I became higher and higher leveled on Brissta, it occurred to me that while it wasn't necessary in PvE where I was to play an extremely strategic game that utilized the entire skill line, it was a lot more fun to do that and find ways to implement new strategies. And for the first time in a long, long time, I didn't feel like a dumb player. I felt like a player that experimented a lot and quite frequently made build or movement mistakes, but a player that had a plan.

So now I'm here. My plan with Brissta is to wait and see how I want to play while I enjoy Living World S2 and S3, as well as Heart of Thorns content, then spent my Hero Points as I see fit on either Soulbeast or Druid depending on how I want to ultimately take Brissta. I'm not sure I'll have the time to accumulate enough Hero Points to do both, just knowing my schedule, so I'll make the choice after Path of Fire comes out. As I am right now, Soulbeast appears to be a little friendlier to my Condi Ranger, which is a build that I'm having a lot of fun with, but I may buy into Druid and switch between playing Druid and Condi Ranger as is helpful or as I see fit.

welcome, Lexxa!
In the meantime, even though I have a low-level Thief and mid-level Revenant, I started an Engineer. Her name is Wrenchthrower Lexxa and I'm excited to try a more difficult class. It was suggested to me that I invest in a more complicated mouse, but I'll wait and see if I really like playing Engi before I do, since those are pretty expensive. What I like about the Asura storyline is exactly what I hate about it - it's really relevant to some of the stuff I encounter as a student engineer. A lot of the Asura personalities that Lexxa interacts with are those that I've met in real life, and while it's kind of cool to see such familiarity in a game, I'm unsure if I want to be spending my free time stressing about the same situations in different context. We'll see.

Anyways, wow. That was a lot. Hope that keeps on happening! I'm playing some indie games that I've been meaning to review and want to work on a copy of Doom that Curly bought me. My Extra Life date has been moved, so I'll update you guys when one has been chosen. PAX coverage coming soon!

Special thanks for all the support after the last post. I received many messages both publicly and privately, and I appreciate every single word. 

Tell me in the comments below: Are you excited for Path of Fire? Did you play the Demo Weekend? If you don't play GW2, tell me what keeps you playing your favorite MMO or other game!


  1. Oh... more complicated mouse? In GW2? Not worth it, i am sorry.

    I mean, i do have a Razer Naga, and i appreciate it a lot in some other MMOs. But in GW2, the 12 buttons on the side see very limited use. The buttons 1 to 5 can easily be reached from WASD, the other 5 ability keys can easily be put around WASD, too, eliminating the need to have anything on the mouse.

    So no matter which class you play, with a bit of smart keybinding you are fine with any mouse, no need to invest into some expencive toy.

    1. Hey there, I appreciate the response! I agree that the 12 on the side is a little ridiculous, but I've always wondered what 3 or 4 extras could be like, versus the two I have now (CM Storm Devastator) plus the wheel.

      What keybind setup would you recommend for an up-and-coming engi?

  2. How do you find the Path of Fire? I'm planning to return to GW2 since every other bloody mmo i have tried since i quit turned out to be a damn failure. I played as Engi too. Did you try Holosmith yet?

    1. Oh wow, hi. I'm so sorry I haven't responded, I've been on a hiatus recently.

      I haven't tried Holo outside of just messing around in beta. People seem to like it. Aesthetically, I enjoy it. I found the primary mechanic of a timed manic-mode similar to Revenant's channeling skill, which I was used to and made enough sense.

      Sorry I can't give you as detailed of an answer as you probably want.

  3. Regarding your thoughts on a more complicated mouse, I'd defintiely recommend the Corsair Scimitar for MMO gaming! I swap pretty regularly between that and my Deathadder depending on what kind of game im playing

    1. Thanks for your input! Money ran low this season so I'll put it on the list for next cyber Monday...


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