April Feature Pack: Wardrobe and Dyes

Information on the April 2014 Feature Pack continues, today with two posts: ‘Introducing the Wardrobe System‘, which explains a new way of dealing with skins and transmutation, and ‘Dyes in the New Account Wardrobe‘, which elaborates on how dyes will work under this system – with the big changes being that dyes will be unlocked account-wide rather than character-specific, as they have been. Here we can already see one of the feature pack’s recurring themes, namely old requests being fulfilled at this very late stage. If I remember rightly, dyes were originally advertised as account-based, but were character-based by beta? At any rate, these changes will shake up the economy as well as the way players kit out their characters.

dye-panel-1

(Also worth noting: these new posts have a list of titles for the remaining feature pack previews to come between now and April 15th, if you’re interested; next up is changes to the LFG system.)

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April Feature Pack: Runes, Sigils and more

More teasers for the April Feature Pack (so soon; how much do they have if they’re explaining one thing a day and they still have three weeks to go?!) – this time with two posts entitled ‘Runes, Sigils, and Balance Updates‘ and ‘Critical Damage Changes‘. There are some recurring themes between this and the previous post which highlight ArenaNet’s main goals and priorities for this round of balance – and it looks like serious rebalancing will definitely happen when the Feature Pack actually hits. A lot of the game is going to change, often in relatively small but highly important ways.

gw268

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April Feature Pack: Traits

ArenaNet today announced the April 2014 Feature Pack, an update for April 15th (not the next patch, you’ll note; that one falls on April Fools…) which contains no living story but purely new game features. It looks to be a seriously big update too, if today’s teaser is anything to go by!

ArenaNet will be covering each major section of this update over the coming weeks, with today covering substantial changes to traits. The short of it is: we’re returning strongly to our roots in the original Guild Wars. Whether or not that’s a good thing at this point, I’m not convinced.

Picture unrelated, we just look badass here :)

 

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‘Daring Don’t’ and Mixed Messages of Fandom

The latest episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is about fandom – I half expected it to be a rousing chorus of “Hasbro’s writing team is not your bitch“, but it ended up a little different to that. The premise is that Rainbow Dash, now self-proclaimed biggest fan of the Daring Do book series (don’t we all hate fandom converts, i.e. anyone who joins after we do?) is itching for the new book. When she hears that its release is going to be delayed, she convinces her friends to come with her to meet and ‘help’ the author to get the book out more quickly.

Click for artist's page.Episode spoilers follow; click at your peril.

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On armour discrepancies

Video games are kind of notorious for gendered discrepancies in character outfits. When it comes to heavy armour, many of us are tragically resigned to the fact that men will get full plate while women will get chainmail bikinis – even if both cases are supposedly the same armour set. MMORPGs are prime offenders here… some worse than others.

TERA is one of the most blatantly terrible offenders in this regard.

One of the things I have always liked and appreciated about Guild Wars 2 is that this tendency is a lot less pronounced than in other games I have seen. Skimpy armour certainly exists, including some sets where the discrepancy between genders is pronounced (the winged armor is a prime example) – but not every set is like this, nor is it the norm. Players can choose to dress their female characters modestly without going out of their way to find an outfit that works, and the majority of armors look similar in male and female versions.

Today, Guild Wars 2 lost a little of that credit from me.

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Things I am not enjoying in Guild Wars 2

Don’t let the title mislead you – I am very much enjoying Guild Wars 2! I still have a lot of fun playing, I still look forward to each new update, and I still adore ArenaNet and their work. That said, I demonstrate my love of the game often enough on this blog – in fact, half my posts and fangirl ramblings about why I think the people complaining are wrong, why I think ArenaNet’s decisions work. Even a fangirl can be critical sometimes, though (if she’s doing it right), and after a year of sometimes dramatic development and adjustment, there are some things I wouldn’t have done the same.

I love the idea of the living story, and I think the pace and quality of updates that ArenaNet has achieved (let’s all take a moment to recall how far they came between Flame and Frost and Sky Pirates) is excellent and deserves recognition. Despite the fact that I’m enjoying the frequent updates, however, I haven’t been fond of the direction in which the living story has been taken. To be fair, this is going to be down to personal taste somewhat, and as I hate people who complain about not being personally catered to 100% of the time, I certainly won’t do that here. I think there are some legitimate criticisms, though.

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TV pitch: ‘Birds of Prey’

BlueJay and I have recently started watching Arrow again, after very much enjoying the first few episodes that friends provided us some time ago. As we return to season one, season two is nearing release, with promises for another show set in the same universe and focusing on the Flash produced by some of the same people. Here we may have the beginnings of an interconnected DC comics universe, in the form of television series instead of blockbuster movies as the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ (as it’s often called) has achieved. This would be a great thing for DC to get in on – much better than a Batman/Superman film, in my opinion – and television’s spin-off/cameo tradition seems like a pretty reasonable way to achieve the comics universe feel. Perhaps going forward we’ll see Marvel stronger in films, but DC stronger on television? I’m certainly amenable to this, especially with the excellent Young Justice whetting my appetite for DC material again.

Arrow-TV-Show-Wallpaper

 

The Mary-Sue has collected many comments on the lack of a Wonder Woman film or other project among the rush of superheroes (seriously, guys, what’s with that?) and notes that the CW network had a show based around her, called Amazon, in the works before Flash was green-lighted instead. If the CW makes a habit of producing interlinked, single-word-titled DC comics adaptations, I’ll be more than happy to endorse it! But with a distinct lack of female heroes starring in recent comic-based material, I got to thinking about what else might make a good tv show to coexist with Arrow. Here, I want to pitch my vision for a Birds of Prey television series.

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