Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire – First Impressions (No Story Spoilers)

The second expansion, Path of Fire, for Guild Wars 2 was release a week ago. This expansion takes you on a journey to the Crystal Desert with 5 new areas to explore (and they are pretty big). This expansion also introduced mounts to the game as well as 4 new mastery tracks giving you 40 new mastery levels!

I didn’t get round to playing the game until 3 days after the release, but I’ve had plenty of time over the past few days to really get into it and I now think I’ll be able to give some decent reports on the expansion so far.

So, let’s start with the positives:

  • The new areas are beautiful and I don’t think I’ll get tired of just wandering around to see the sights. I’ve taken so many screenshots of the scenery which I’m sure I’ll be sharing throughout this post, although they don’t really do it justice.

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  • As well as being very scenic, the maps are also much bigger than the old areas. They are much more open and things aren’t so crammed together so to me it feels more like an adventure with more to explore. I’ve been focusing on the story for now so I’ve not really spent much time roaming the maps doing meta events or anything, but it seems like there’s a good variety of things to do.

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  • New creatures and enemies. In the Heart of Thorns expansion, the enemies were similar (if not the same) to those we’d seen in Living World Season 2. The addition to new “wildlife” as we’re in a completely different environment makes the game more interesting, and I even got to see some llamas! Obviously there are still those everyday Guild Wars creatures roaming around too.

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  • The soundtrack seems pretty good, different to what we’ve heard before and it really fits the environment using cultural instruments and playing techniques. It’s really quite calming in places when just roaming around but when in combat it changes and makes you feel quite tense. I’ve not really heard much of it since I always play with the music off (farming habit) and completely forgot about it until I heard people say it was really good.

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  • The story has improved immensely in terms of the flow such as no dialogue cut scenes, optional speech for those who want more background on the story and the diversity between story instances and open world progression.

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  • If you are logged out halfway through a story instance, the game will send you to a checkpoint when you log back in and re-enter the instance. I’m not sure if this works long term, but if definitely works if you are disconnected. Although it’s still annoying to have to replay certain parts, at least it’s not all of it!

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  • You can do the story achievements during your first play through again! I can’t remember if HoT did this as I’ve played through that story many a time… but LWS2 made you play through the story once before you could even start the achievements.

 

Now for the negatives:

  • To unlock the Springer mount, the Raptor mastery line has to be at least level 4 (spending a total of 5 mastery points) even if you reach the point in the story where you need the Springer. However, I don’t think this is the case for the Skimmer, you just have to have the other 2 mounts previously.

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  • The pacing seems really fast and it feels like there’s no break between story sections. I’ve found that I’ll be like “oh I’ll just finish this and get to a good point to stop” but there never seems to be “the right time to stop”. I guess this is how ArenaNet wants it as then people don’t want to stop playing, but for me this just makes it feel like it’s going too fast as I’m always doing the story.

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  • Most of the Specialisation Weapon upgrades are terrible. Some of them completely change the weapon, like the sword for the Elementalist, but the only difference to the Thief’s rifle is that the upgrade just has some black mist coming out of it… disappointed.

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  • As of yet, you cannot preview any of the new armour in the wardrobe. This is probably because it’s only just been released, but I’d like to see what’s available actually on my character rather than on Google. Same issue for the weapons.

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  • Not particularly a negative as it’s more to personal preference, but I’m not enjoying the Deadeye Specialisation. It’s probably me just not getting my build right, but as I’ve had to swap out the Daredevil for the Deadeye I’m really missing the extra dodge and all the swiftness I used to have. I thought it would be okay as I have a mount now, but I really struggle in combat to move around as it feels like my rifle does barely any damage and I find myself having to retreat. Not giving up yet though!

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  • The game (at the moment) keeps logging me out. I heard there were quite a few issues a few days after the release which are mostly now fixed, but this is really annoying when in story instances.

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Although I was a little frustrated and disappointed with the last story instance, I’m eager to play more and finish the story so I can begin to fully explore the new areas with all the new mounts. Maybe I might even try to unlock the “secret” Griffon mount, but I’ve heard you need at least 250 gold to start with! Might have to go back to leather farming…

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Smite: 4.18 Patch Notes

Slightly later this week with this post, I do apologise. I’ve had a difficult few weeks but now hopefully I can start getting back to normal. I didn’t even have time to watch the Patch Notes show this week so I’ll have to stick to the basics.

As always, if you haven’t seen the Official 4.18 Patch Notes follow the link.

Skins:

There are 3 Odyssey skins added with this patch and a new direct purchase skin for Nike.

The two purchasable skins as part of the Odyssey are Belly Ache Ymir and Inu Gami Fenrir.

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I don’t even know what this skin is… it just looks a mess to me and the textures aren’t great either. This concept just doesn’t fit with anything else within the Smite game, so personally I really dislike this skin.

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The new Inu Gami skin for Fenrir is quite nice, but quite plain. I’m not a fan of Fenrir myself so I’m not sure if I’ll be picking this one up. I really like the card art background though, it would’ve been nice to see Fenrir drawn in the same style.

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The Sequined Sadist Da Ji will be an Odyssey bonus reward for reaching Odyssey level 6 (21,000 Odyssey Points). I was really excited about this skin when I heard about it as Da Ji is one of my favourite and most played characters. Although I really like the concept for this skin, it is only a tier 2… so no custom effects or voice pack *cry*. This irritated me since she already has a tier 2, but mainly because this is the alternative reward to the Old Wa skin last year which cannot be compared to that! It should have been a tier 4 skin.

Project Olympus:

  • Health and Mana bars have had their colour bars adjusted to create more of a contrast when viewing, particularly when spectating matches.
  • Server Roll ups are no longer being used as players can now multi-queue for different game modes. Multi-queuing should increase the rate of finding a game in lower populated areas without being moved to another server and having connection issues.
  • A randomise button has been added which players can use for the game to randomly select any owned items for the following (Loading Frames and Avatars cannot be randomised):
    • Loading Screens
    • Pedestals
    • Wards
    • Announcer Packs
    • Music Themes
    • HUD Displays
    • Fountain Skins
    • Level Up Skins
    • Recall Skins
    • Global Emotes
    • Jump Stamps

 

God Changes:

  • Artio
    • Decompose (passive) – Reduced the protection debuff from 3% to 2%.
    • Life Tap – Increased cooldown from 15 seconds to 17 seconds.
  • Camazotz
    • Screech – Decreased Physical Power buff from 20-40 to 10-30.
    • Vampire Bats – Decreased initial damage (damage on hit) from 70-270 to 70-230.
  • Kuzenbo
    • Sumo Slam – Decreased cooldown scaling from 16 – 12 seconds to 12 seconds at all ranks.
    • Watery Grave – Decreased cooldown from 100 seconds to 75 seconds.
  • Ratatoskr
    • Flurry – Increased the Physical Power scaling per tick from 20% to 25% and increased the protection shred per tick for 2-4 to 2-6.
  • Skadi
    • Rune of the Hunt – Decreased the damage of Kaldr’s dash from 100%-150% of Skadi’s basic attack damage to 70%-130%.
    • Permafrost – Decreased the radius from 16-24 to 16-20.
  • Terra
    • Monolith – The root has been removed upon shattering the Monolith and has been replaced with a 30% slow for 1.5 seconds. The Monolith now requires 5 hit points to destroy it as opposed to 3.
  • Thoth
    • Hieroglyphic Assault – Updated visuals to display clearer hitbox.
    • Evade and Punish – Updated visuals to display clearer hitbox.
    • Final Judgement – Decreased ability scaling from 120% to 100% and charge up damage has been adjusted from 25%-100% to 40%-100% of the total damage.
  • Tyr
    • Fearless – Reduced mana cost from 60-80 to 50-70.
    • Change Stance – Decreased cooldown from 14-10 seconds to 12-10 seconds.

 

Item Changes:

  • Ancile – Increased Physical Power from 25 to 50, Reduced Magical Protections from 60 to 50.
  • Atalanta’s Bow – Increased attack speed from 20% to 25%.
  • Chronos Pendent – Decrease in full tier cost from 2900 gold to 2750 gold.
  • Witchblade – Removed the 15% lifesteal and replaced it with 10% cooldown reduction.

 

Other:

There have been tons of bug fixes for Gods, items and miscellaneous issues in this patch, far to many for me to list here so check out the Official Patch Notes for those updates.

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Corrupted Arena will also end with the introduction of this patch so make sure you get all your rewards while you still can!

Planning Ahead!

Hello everyone! I’m taking this post in a totally different direction this time to let you know my plans and ideas (mostly ideas at this stage!) for this blog in the future on a more personal level.

I haven’t posted in a while as I’ve barely had any free time this week due to working extra hours and family commitments. It’s also my birthday this weekend so it’s unlikely I’ll have enough time to invest in another Guild Wars 2 Aurora post for the next few days – hence why I’m writing this.

I’ve been here just over 6 months now and I’m honestly surprised at how well this is going and how much I’m enjoying writing these posts. I have no problems admitting that these posts take much longer to produce than I originally expected, and some of the long Guild Wars guides can keep me busy over a few days, but I love writing them and I hope at least a few of you enjoy reading them!

Running up to the new year, I plan to start a YouTube channel with a friend to run alongside these blogs and take the time to play/write about some different games other than Smite and Guild Wars 2. Of course I’ll still be doing those, but I don’t just want to stick to what I know anymore and I hope to broaden my horizons by trying games that I wouldn’t normally choose to play. After all, it’s always good to challenge yourself!

I’d love for you all to get involved so if there’s anything you want to see or know then please feel free to ask. If not, then no problem! Sit back, enjoy and please don’t be afraid to say “Hi” (I don’t bite)!

Smite: 4.17 Patch Notes

It’s time again for another patch notes post! This time, patch 4.17: The Odyssey will be coming to the game for PC on 12th September and Console on 19th September. This is quite a small patch, so I’ll try and keep this short

As always, if you haven’t seen the Official 4.17 Patch Notes, follow the link!

New God, Hachiman:

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Hachiman (Lord of the Eight Banners) is a Japanese Hunter.

Passive: Master of Arms – Hitting enemies with basic attacks gives Hachiman a stacking MP5 buff. This buff grants 2 MP5 per stack which can be stacked up to 8 times and last 8 seconds.

Ability 1: Eagle Eye – For the next 3/3/3/4/4 basic attacks, Hachiman gains either additional damage (for normal basic attack range – 10/15/20/20/20) or increased range at reduced damage (0/5/10/10/15). This ability will stop at the first enemy hit but will be affected by basic attack items such as crits. Cooldown – 14 seconds.

Ability 2: Heavenly Banner – Hachiman drops a sacred banner, damaging enemies it falls on and granting Hachiman bonus attack speed. The banner remains on the ground, giving an attack speed bonus (5%-15%) to anyone stood within its radius, including even more bonus attack speed for Hachiman if he is also stood in this radius. Cooldown – 13 seconds.

Ability 3: Iaijutsu – Hachiman dashes forward and draws his blade, swinging it in a circle around him and damaging anyone in range. If an enemy god is hit by both the dash and the slash, they will be stunned for 1 second. Cooldown – 18-16 seconds.

Ability 4: Mounted Archery – Hachiman calls his horse to battle, mounting it and draws his bow while gaining CC immunity. Having only one shot, Hachiman can chose when to fire within the next 4 seconds. If Hachiman hasn’t fired before the timer runs out, he will fire on dismount. The shot with fire and hit all enemies within the cone and slow them for 25% – 45%. Cooldown – 90 seconds.

 

Odyssey:

The Odyssey is returning this patch with the first 3 items, Void Piercer AMC, Storm Tech Chaac and a Thoth Avatar. For more info on the Odyssey please see my Odyssey Information post here for everything you need to know. I’ll be adding to it each time new items are released so be sure to keep checking back for all the up to date details.

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Skins:

Only 2 other skins have been added this patch (other than the Haichiman recolour).

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Artio has a tier 2 skin this patch. This is a nice skin with a darker colour scheme and her bear form is black with green markings.

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Nu Wa also has a new skin, and… it will be directly purchasable! Nu Wa finally has a non-exclusive skin which I’m sure the community will be happy about! This has a very similar theme to the Thoth Vizier skin, although it does sort of look a little like The Morrigan.

 

Item Changes:

  • Beat Stick: Increased cost from 2200 to 2350

 

God Changes:

  • Bastet 
    • Cat Call – When Bastet’s cats are killed by an enemy or a structure, Bastet will gain a power buff for each cat that dies. This stacks up to 3 times for 9 seconds giving 7/9/11/13/15 physical power per stack.
  • Hel
    • Decay – Exploding radius has been decreased from 15 to 12 units.
    • Inspire – Allies will now only get a 10% movement speed buff from this ability, but Hel’s movement speed buff will remain at 25%.
  • Odin
    • Base movement speed decreased from 375 to 370.
    • Path to Valhalla – Movement speed per stack decreased from 8% to 4%.
    • Raven Shout – Bonus damage from having a full shield has been decreased from 25% to 15%.
  • Ravana
    • Base movement speed decreased from 375 to 370.
    • Mystic Rush – Increased cooldown from 90-70 to 110-90. Decreased damage mitigation from 40% at all ranks to 20%-40%.
  • Sol
    • Stellar Burst – Added a new targeter. This will now show where the ability will land and/or if it will stop at an enemy.
  • Sun Wukong
    • Base movement speed decreased from 375 to 370.
    • The Magic Cudgel – Cooldown increased from 10 seconds to 12 seconds.
    • Master’s Will – Cooldown increased from 10 seconds to 12 seconds.
  • Zeus
    • Base movement speed increased from 355 to 360.

 

Other:

The Odyssey will be replacing the Summer of Smite event, so make sure you’ve purchased all the skins you want as they will disappear with patch 4.17. That also means if you want the Bearly Buzzed Bacchus skin, now is you last chance before it will be gone forever!

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Corrupted Arena will also be finishing soon with patch 4.18. You will still have a few weeks left to play this Adventure and earn all your rewards before Adventure 5 begins.

Smite: Odyssey 2018

The Smite Odyssey 2018: The Fall of War has been officially announced and will be coming with patch 4.17! I’ll be adding to this post every time something new is announced for the Odyssey, so keep checking back to see all the new card art and find out what other rewards and purchasable items will be available!

So here’s what we know about the Odyssey so far:

  • The next eight patches will contain Odyssey items.
  • For each Odyssey item you buy, you will be gain an Odyssey level.
  • Like last year there will be free quests for everyone to complete to award Odyssey levels. There will be 7 quests released each patch which will award a total of 1 Odyssey level per 7 quests. Only one of these quests can be completed per day (these do not have to be completed each day, as long as they are completed before the end of the Odyssey you will still get the rewards).
  • There will be 3 purchasable items per section, a section will be released each patch and themed to a certain pantheon, the first being Mayan. These sections will include at least 2 skins, then either a 3rd skin or another item such as an avatar or ward.
  • For every 3 Odyssey levels there will be at least one bonus item awarded for free. You will be able to earn these rewards for free if you complete the majority, if not all, the free quests. I believe there will be 7 groups of 7 quests. An Odyssey chest roll will be awarded every 3500 points.
  • The T5 Ullr skin will be awarded to players who reach the highest Odyssey level.

 

4.17 Releases:

  • Void Piercer Ah Muzen CabDJEUKvJWAAAZxxS
  • Storm Tech ChaacDJEVHJSXUAAdh-r
  • Thoth Avatar “U Want Sum?”

Bonus items:

  • Cutesy Avatar Chest (with new Cutesy Skadi and Cutesy Sol added)
  • Fire and Ice Loading Frame

 

4.18 Releases:

  • Belly Ache YmirDKMeS50XkAAN9Wl
  • Inu Gami FenrirDKMe36lX0AE0mbK
  • Smite Time Global Emote

Bonus Items:

  • Sequined Sadist Da Ji (Bonus for reaching Odyssey level 6)DKMfFogWsAQHl6-

 

4.19 Releases:

  • Mummified IzanamiDLUg7g6XoAEGsVd
  • Yurei SusanoDLUh_6eXkAAzk1O
  • Warchief RaijinDLUiYotWAAEf_EL

Bonus Items:

  • Tina Announcer Pack (Bonus for reaching Odyssey level 9)

 

4.20 Releases:

  • Sand Viper Ao KuangDMcokagVwAAYWmu
  • Pixel Rush He BoDMcslVPVQAAM1R0
  • Announcer Pack

Bonus Items:

  • Super Chill Bacchus (Bonus for reaching Odyssey level 12)DMcsPvcV4AAU7ip

 

4.21 Releases:

  • Primal Shaman GaneshaDNkjWggWkAACBIF
  • Exterminator KaliDNkj-kqXkAA0-J5
  • Hindu Recall Skin

Bonus Items:

  • Fire and Ice Pedestal (for reaching Odyssey level 15)

 

4.22 Releases:

  • Kunoichi SerqetDOtFbT-X4AA2zq2
  • Druidstone GebDOtCYehWAAAPzn1
  • Scarab Jump Stamp

Bonus Items:

  • Oni Musha Hachiman (for reaching Odyssey level 18)DOtCmphXUAA0NbV

 

4.23 Releases:

  • Defiant BellonaDP1HKkFXUAApGfN
  • Badlands VulcanDP1KFNXWkAAu1HF
  • “Salty” Global Emote

Bonus Items:

  • Order and Chaos Hel (for reaching Odyssey level 21)DP1I5xBWAAEtqmv

 

4.24 Releases:

  • Arctic Seer ArtioDQ9Ml4vXUAASgwD
  • Krampus CernunnosDQ9Nlu1WsAc54H8
  • Odyssey 2018 Level Up Skin
  • Crystal Gaze MedusaDQ9Ogr7X0AASeWk
  • Fallen Angel NikeDQ9PQ6xXcAEezY_
  • “Let It Snow” Fountain Skin
  • Pantheon Recall skin (this one wasn’t announced but it is still yet to be released in the Odyssey list)

Bonus Items:

  • Fire and Ice HUD (for reaching Odyssey level 24).
  • Frostfire Ullr T5 skin (for reaching Odyssey level 28).DQ9TqIvU8AUfb0V

That’s everything from this year’s Odyssey! Frostfire Ullr is the final reward for reaching 98,000 Odyssey points. You will have to buy all 28 items to receive this skin unless you complete all 8 of the Pantheon Quest lines for the 8 free Odyssey levels. This then means you will have to buy 20 of the Odyssey items to be able to unlock this skin.

GW2: Aurora: Awakening – Bloodstone Fen Master

Aurora: Awakening is the first official step of the Legendary Trinket’s collections. After you’ve forged your Gleam of Sentience and purchased your Sentient Seed, you will have unlocked these collections. See my Aurora Introductory Post for more information about this.

Continue reading “GW2: Aurora: Awakening – Bloodstone Fen Master”