Guild Wars 2 does not have the best voice acting. It doesn't have the greatest writing. Many gamers have criticized its strange, Mortal Kombat-like cutscenes, which the devs then cut in favor of chat bubbles so small that you might miss key story components while fighting, spacing out, or just not looking at that part of your screen. However, the game does one aspect of writing and development very well, and that's what I'd like to focus on today--the random enemies you fight out in the world enhance the world and its narrative arc.
Tyria's undead have a very specific set of call-outs when they engage with you, and when they die. (And props to the writing team for including male and female undead, something that many games neglect).
"More, come here!"
"Here! Over here!"
Even without me telling you the details of the story, you get the sense that Tyria's undead speak to the dual instincts of their situation: these were once people who have been raised by unholy powers, and yet, at the same time, they're enemies of living creatures and they want to survive themselves. The first set of lines describes the excitement of finding the enemy, and a human-like desire for other people. The second imparts the tragedy and ambivalence of the end of their existence, which comes long after their existences should have ended.
Likewise, the GW2 voice actors do a good job of sounding serious and not cartoon-y with these lines. My heart hurt the first time, and even subsequent times, that I heard "the light...fades," despite the fact that my achievements tell me I've killed over a thousand undead thus far.
Another case which illustrates this thoughtfulness is the harpy race. Although their call-outs go deeper into the 'cartoon-y' realm, there's something fun about mimicking the way a harpy calls, "Flock to meeeeeeeee!" when you engage it in a fight. Their characteristic death line, "Matriarch take you!" imparts key information about their race, as does the engage line "Die, groundlings!" It's these details that make a game unique, and keep players immersed in the world.
I have a lot of alts. I started the game intending to main my elementalist and play a guardian as well. Somewhere along the line--possibly during Caudecus Manor wipes--I swapped to levelling my guardian first. Both of them are now 80. Before I bought the expansion, I spent $10 on a character slot because I also wanted a mesmer, and possibly an open slot if mesmer wasn't to my liking. I was already planning out what might benefit the guild and what might interest me the most, and having only two character slots seemed a bit too restrictive.
After I bought the expansion, a decision that I made roughly five days after installing Guild Wars 2, I rolled a revenant, a necromancer, and an engineer. Warrior and thief simply did not look as interesting to me since I generally hate "hit it very hard" classes or "stealth around, be sneaky" classes in any game (and, on the flip side, elementalist and guardian are very me). Finally, because of raid comp and guild comp foibles that resulted in 75% of our players maining eles, I bought a character slot for a druid healer. I didn't want to delete anyone, and I also knew that, as GM and as a human being who likes to analyze video games, it was important for me to have every class eventually. I had planned to save thief and warrior for a long time down the road, but, thanks to a desire to parse as a warrior via GW2DPS, I bought an eighth slot for one.
I love my guardian and I'm working on ascended gear for him, so it made sense for me to have the other heavy armor classes, since you can use your ascended gear on any character that can use the armor or weapon type. However, revenant wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be, and warriors also use greatswords in their main pve spec.
Engineer pvp is one of the funnest things in the game--though I also like guardian pvp. Iolenn was doomed to a life of swimming in the Skyhammer mists until I realized just how much our guild needs condi damage.
Likewise, since I was interested in all three light armor classes, it made sense to try to level them up to gear-share. Because in the absence of a levelling plan I had just been hopping on whomever I felt like, I made a spreadsheet that looked at what type of gear was used assuming that your alts will be in a viable raiding spec--ie, something currently on metabattle or close to it.
My results were basically universal: have a set of berserker armor for each armor class, beginning with your main's armor, and then going to the tier in which you have the most likely alts--for me, light armor. With these power sets, you can tank by just adding a few pieces of toughness gear, or heal in full zerk or in an intermediate set. Just make sure your runes match!
The weapons that you can use with these power dps sets? Greatsword for warriors, guardians, and power dps reapers, and staff for eles, healing druids (you can get away with a zerk staff), thieves, and revs. A zerk sword may also be useful for several alts.
Condi sets and weapons are more specialized, unfortunately, and the condi mesmer build uses a different set than the condi necro builds do. However, you could probably get away with having a weapon with slightly less ideal stats, so I'd recommend building a condi scepter or pistol.
All of this should be adjusted for alts that you don't have, hate, or plan to sit in the Heart of the Mists or likewise, of course.
Our guild is continuing to build itself up from nothing in Guild Wars 2. We claimed our guild hall on Monday night in one shot. One very derpy shot in which we ran around aimlessly trying to find the spawns and then zerged into the final boss via the waypoint. Once we had finished, we admired Lost Precipice for an entire hour. It's gorgeous even in its ruined state, and I can't wait to see what upgrades will turn it into. We're almost done with the tavern upgrade 1, but now we can say we have a hall when we recruit people, which is an enormous step up.
Lost Precipice is a Petra-like forgotten ruin with a desert theme. It's gigantic and beautiful, with a lot of platforms, gliding points, and high ground. A river runs through it. Although I also like how Gilded Hollow looks, I think Lost Precipice showcases the best of GW2's art and landscape design.
We then proceeded to try out Spirit Vale with a majority guild group. Since it was a bunch of new people, we didn't get the kill, but we met some new friends, learned the fight mechanics, and are starting to feel more comfortable with everything. I'm certainly starting to feel more like a guildmaster than just a random noob with nothing to be guildmaster of and no one to coordinate.
I have three alts clustered around the same level, but I'm going to set aside my mesmer and work on raid-important alts that fill guild needs. We're a bit light on condi damage and healers. I rolled a ranger purely to heal and because we had zero rangers, but I fell in love with him (and I think you will too). I'm going to do a post later in the week showcasing the epic awesomeness that is Tango Catstaple.
Don't worry! No one knows what a catstaple is.