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The most under appreciated fighter in the new Smash Bros for 3DS has to be the Mii Fighter. Some people really dislike its inclusion, but as I’ve mentioned previously, blank">I really do like the level of customization in this game, and it really shines on with the Mii Fighter. For one, it’s the only fighter that automatically has all of its customizable moves unlocked from the start (though sadly, you can only use the Mii Fighters in single player, local play, and online with friends, not strangers).

To note, this guide is based on the Japanese version of the game and will be updated once I know the English names for things. A few things were picked up from Game FAQs.com (like achievements).

Now, for those still playing the Japanese version of the game, perhaps these images (it’s a gallery) will help you better understand your moves.

The moves you get are quite varied, as you can see. You can nearly remake classic characters, like Link, Samus, Marth, or Captain Falcon, or make something quite unique. For example, you can trick out the gun fighter to have Samus’ missles and energy weapon and Fox’s reflector while taking a meteor smash triple jump.

The Mii Brawler plays like Captain Falcon for it’s basic attacks, using a lot of kicks but also punches. Many of its special are taken from the same moveset pool, though for neutral B, Iron Ball Toss and the Uppercut seem unique. I can’t say I like the uppercut, the Iron Ball Toss is a pretty high damaging mid-range move. Explosive drop kick feels like Marth’s side B, though I personally like the non-charged version of it (100 kicks), just because it gets you moving. Head splitter can cause you to suicide with it’s downward motion so, um, be careful with it! None of the Up-B moves remind me of Falcon’s, but that’s ok. The Up-Down Kick reminds me of Ike’s recovery move, which is still dangerous, but does get some good vertical movement. The other two are pretty similar and tame in my opinion, but also much safer to play with. The down B attacks were a bit surprising to me. The inverted kick is from Zero Suit Samus, while 100-Kick Rush is, well, like Falcon’s down B. However, the Piledriver Headbutt is taken from Bowser’s tool kit, which is nice but, once again, risky. The final Smash is easy to miss with, so make sure you’re near your target!

The Swordsman, naturally, is a “Link clone,” but only for it’s basic attacks (mostly). For neutral B, the Repeat Slash is from Metaknight, Shuriken is from Greninja, but the Tornado Shot is pretty unique, combing the push back from Mario’s FLUDD with some actual damage if the enemy is close enough. The Irregular Assault Slash feels a bit like Sonic’s side B, oddly enough, while side-B is, again, like Marth and Ike’s side B. The Chakram is a bit similar to Ness’ basic fire but with a different flavor (slashing instead of flames), though you need to hold the combo a bit more, so it doesn’t feel very useful to me yet. For up B, Spinning Cutter is taken straight from Link, while Sword Dash comes from Fox’s up B. Rocket Pierce is another recovery move that slams down, and it doesn’t feel like it gets tremendous height, just damage, so be careful of that. For Down B, the above transcription’s descriptions work, but note that Reverse Rush is like Mario’s cape on steroids (even on a little fighter it feels like it hits well, but perhaps the recovery is a tad longer). The Final Smash isn’t too hard to hit with, just make sure the target’s in front of you.

Finally, the Gun Fighter, or the little Samus. Neutral B borrows from Samus and Fox’s kits, but the Grenade Launcher feels more unique. It’s like the Canon Charge, but it deal damage rather than having a strong kick. For side B, the Flame Pillar actually hits pretty hard, but again, it won’t send anyone flying. Stealth Bomb’s better at that, or you can just take the renamed missiles Samus uses (similar to Samus, normal forward B releases homing missiles while a smash attack releases a hard hitting missile). For Up B, you’ve got Arm Rocket for great recovery and no damage, Canon Jump Punch for a meteor attack recovery, and Bottom Shot for a more traditional, straight forward recovery attack. For Down B, you can use Fox’s reflector, Ness’ absorb, or you can try the Ground Bomb, a rather hard hitting short range projectile that explodes on contact with enemies and items or will detonate in a few seconds. The final smash is pretty similar to Mario or Samus’, so again, just make sure the enemy is in front of you.

However, just because the moves are similar to pre-existing character doesn’t mean these are clones. The stats of your character carry over from it’s height and weight. After running some tests on the punching bag, here’s what I found:

Body Type Damage w/ neutral A Damage with F-smash Link neutral a damage Damage from Link F-smash jump vs Link vs same height mii vs same weight mii
short/fat 4 26 2 9 higher lowest highest
short/thin 3 25 2 9 higher highest highest
short/reg 3 25 2 9 higher mid highest
norm/fat 4 26 2 9 little higher lowest mid
norm/thin 3 25 2 9 little higher highest shortest
norm/norm 3 26 2 9 little higher mid mid
tall/fat 4 27 2 9 same lowest shortest
tall/thin 3 25 2 9 same highest shortest
tall/norm 4 26 2 9 same mid mid

To note about the jumping: the best jumper (a short, thin Mii) jumps nearly twice as high as the worst jumper (a tall, fat Mii). The height isn’t just by feet, but also accounts for ledge grabbing ability. However, jump is also related to weight, in that heavier characters don’t fly as easily as lighter ones.

Now, what does all this mean? Tall and fat characters become stronger and heavier, while short and thin characters become quick and light. Neither height nor weight seems to add more to strength or weight from what I can tell. They seem to work together evenly. Unlike with the stat customization available to all characters (where you choose to enhance speed, attack, or defense), attack and defense are both linked together, so you can’t make a that has max speed and damage but low in defense; you either enhance speed or damage and defense. At what point your damage goes up or you become lighter is hard to say, so personally, when making a Mii Fighter, I copy a character and make a specific Smash version of her.

For those who do want a fast and strong character (or even defensive but quick), you can customize stats like you would any other character. Various parts drop in Smash Run, Figure Rush, the single player game (if you get the wrench icon on the slot reel) or by completing certain achievements. Orange items are offense (dealing more damage), blue are defense (lower launch; damage received stays the same), and green are speed (faster run and higher jump; attack speed is the same), but you can only use parts meant for your character. For example, Miis can’t use Pokeballs, and the Gun Fighter can’t use Swords, so if you pick up an item with those icons, know that it’s for a different character. Also, to note, offensive items decrease defense, defensive items decrease speed, and speed items decrease offense. You could raise everything with the right parts, since items with no cantrips but focus on stats usually decrease a stat by about 50%70% of the amount they increase the stat by, so you could just make a “super mii.”

Of course, just having your own moves and unique stats isn’t enough customization, or at least, not enough for me. While you start with a few costumes, here are the ones I’ve unlocked, either by grabbing “wrench icon” items in Smash Run (search the name of the item twice to see if there’s a way to unlock it):

Hats:

Hockey Mask

Sheik’s Mask

Ninja Headband

Samurai Helmet

Gladiator Helmet

Pirate Hat

Western Hat

Cowboy Hat (longer brim)

Flower Hat

Wizard’s Hat

Devil Horns

Blond Beehive Hair

Football Helmet

Chef’s Hat

Hibiscus

Top Hat

Straw Hat

Bow

Chicken Hat

Bear Hat

Cat Ears

Flower Master Hat

Barbara‘s Hat

Captain Falcon’s Helmet

Zelda Wig

Shy Guy Mask

Spikey Shell

1Up Mushroom Hat

Super Mushroom Hat

Waluigi’s Hat

Daisy Wig

Princess Crown

Luig’s Hat

Samus’ Helmet

Lion Hat

Crown

Prince Hat

 

Brawler’s Clothes:

Karate Fighter Clothes

Judo Clothes

Normal Fighter Clothes

Elysium Suit

Vampire Clothes

Biker Gang Clothes

 

Gun Fighter Clothes:

Western Duds

Dress Suit

Dragon Armor

Normal Gun Fighter Suit

Heavy Armor Suit

Wizard Suit

Steam Punk Suit

 

Sword Fighter Clothes:

Pirate Suit

Tron Suit

Ninja Suit

Normal Swordsman Suit

Sci-Fi Suit

Samurai Armor

Knight’s Armor

 

Unlockables:

These are achievements that will directly give you parts to use on your Mii fighter (or sometimes other fights as well). The numbers refer to the achievement list in game. Note that you must complete a certain amount of achievements in one window before unlocking them in the next panel, but even though you can’t see it, the game is still tracking those achievements (which will unlocks as soon as you’ve unlocked them as viewable). “Items” are customizable parts used for Smash Run.

002 [Item] Horizontal Beam Lv 1 Complete Smash Run in 1st Place

004 [Mii Equipment] Football Helmet- Create a Mii Fighter

010 [Item] Heading Enhancement- Lv 1 Unlock 5 Head Custom Parts

012 [Mii Equipment] Super Mushroom Hat- Play Rival Battle once

015 [Item] Reflector Lv 2 Collect 10 or more Items during Smash Run

030 [Mii Equipment] Luigi Hat- Win 3 matches as Luigi

032 [Mii Equipment] Spiny Shell (Hat)- Play Cruel Battle once

033 [Item] Body Attack Enhancement Lv 1- Unlock 3 Body Custom Parts

034 [Mii Equipment] Princess Zelda Wig- Win 2 matches as Zelda

036 [Item] Rolling Blade Lv 2- Complete Smash Run in 1st Place with 5 fighters

037 [Item] Beam Sword Use Speed Badge- Land a 40 hit combo in Training

039 [Item] Running Speed Up Speed Badge- Customize 3 fighters

041 [Item] Hyper Smash Attack Badge- Get 100 total KOs

044 [Item] Shiney Spark Lv 2- Play StreetPass Smash with 5 different people

045 [Item] Shot Down Recovery Defense Badge- Score 10 or more in Rival Battle

048 [Item] Mach Stamp Lv 2- Collect 25 or more Items during Smash Run

049 [Item] Auto Recovery Attack Badge- Win 100 Man Battle

056 [Item] First Hitter Speed Badge- Get 20 Counters in StreetPass Smash

057 [Item] Home Run Bat Use Speed Badge- Score better than 600m on Home Run Contest

059 [Item] Horizontal Beam Lv 2- Play Smash Run 5 times

062 [Mii Equipment] Samus’ Helmet Win 10 matches as Samus

063 [Item] Smash Ball Attraction Speed Badge- Unlock 15 Custom Abilities

064 [Mii Equipment] Samurai Helmet- Unlock 5 Body Custom Parts

065 [Item] Critical Hit Attack Badge- Get 300 total KOs

066 [Item] Quick Swing Batter Attack Badge- Play Home Run Contest with 15 different characters

067 [Mii Equipment] Top Hat- Create 8 Mii Fighters

068 [Mii Equipment] Knight’s Armor- Unlock 10 Head Custom Parts

072 [Item] Leader Lv 3- Score better than 1.000m on Home Run Contest

074 [Item] Air Defense Up Defense Badge- Customize 10 fighters

075 [Item] Recovery Lv 3- Score 50 or more in Rival Battle

076 [Item] Squat Recovery Defense Badge- Defeat 110 or more opponents in 3 Minute Battle

081 [Item] Walking Speed Up Attack Badge- Fighters walk a total of 50km

082 [Item] Quick Smash Defense Badge- Clear 10 Man Battle in 20 seconds or less

083 [Item] Jump Strengthening Speed Badge- Land over 400 total hits between all fighters in Training

084 [Mii Equipment] Crown- Complete All-Star Mode with all fighters

085 [Mii Equipment] Steampunk Clothes- Clear all red targets in Target Blast

092 [Item] Shuffle Lv 3- Win Smash Run with all fighters

093 [Item] Hi Jump Lv 3- Fighters jump a total of 10km

096 [Mii Equipment] Samurai Suit- Land a 100 hit combo in Training

097 [Mii Equipment] Princess Crown- Play for 20 hours

098 [Mii Equipment] Lion Hat- Defeat 4 or more opponents in Cruel Battle

100 [Item] Launch Skill Attack Badge- Get 1.000 total KOs

101 [Item] Just Shield Explosion Defense Badge- Defeat 2 or more opponents in Cruel Battle

102 [Item] Futtobi Ring- Defeat 200 or more opponents in Endless Battle

103 [Mii Equipment] Prince Hat- Collect all items in Smash Run

The post Smash Bros for 3DS: Mii Fighter Guide appeared first on JunkiesNation.




I’m a big Smash Bros fan. Huge. Ever since middle school it’s been one of those games I really love. It’s a game I could play with friends, siblings, and strangers. I could go to a store or convention and have fun playing against people most of the time. But somewhere in Melee I felt some people took it too seriously. No items and only one stage? 1 v 1 fights? How is that a melee or brawl? That’s not even a street fight any more! It’s more of a boxing match! While people are free to love the game in anyway they choose, for me, Smash Bros is a fighting game about randomness. About reacting to both an opponent and chance. About a fight, not fencing duel. And it’s in that light I’m mainly going to address my thoughts on Smash Bros for 3DS, the Japanese version.

Now, to be clear, I wish no ill will towards those who Smash competitively. We call all share the series, and I applaud the efforts by  some modders to push the game in popular directions. However, one thing I need to really drive home is this idea to share the series. While I like that the new game allows every stage to become Final Destination (a long, flat, no-gimmicks stage) and that there’s online rank play, I don’t want the game to become just another fighter ala Street Fighter. Having full control over my character is fun for me, but not for someone who is new to the game. The fight won’t be fun for them at all, and remember, I like introducing people to new games and genres (Note: For those wondering, yes, my girlfriend’s Smashed now, but only against level 1 CPUs and me in the demo).

That being said, for the competitive players, I offer you some notes from around Japan. I’ve been checking out other game cafes and “real meets” (like I did for Monster Hunter 4), and while I can’t say I’ve played with a ton of people, those I have played with are usually more competitive. No items, no gimmick stages, no customization options (moves or stats). These players seem happy with the new changes to the basic combat overall though. The Japanese players and I have some language barriers, but they all agree the game is less “floaty” (or “fast fast!” as they sometimes say). English speaking vets say the same, but specifically, that it’s less floaty than Brawl, but it’s still not quite Melee.

Not Quite Lucas

Not Quite Lucas

Now, I know some people are upset with the roster changes. I lost Lucas, my old main, but the customization options do let Ness adjust some of his moves to play a little more like Lucas, so that’s comforting. Other characters also have moves that tweak a character to feel a bit more like an older or different version/”clone.”That may appeal to some more competitive players, and I really hope it does, because one thing I really like about this new Smash Bros is the amount of customization involved.

The customization in this game allows you to change each of a character’s special moves with a maximum of 2 other variations of the move (most need to be unlocked or found while playing the single player modes or Smash Run). While some moves, like Ness’, make him play like another character, others completely change how to play a character. For example, one of Marth’s traditional weaknesses has been his triple jump’s poor recovery ability, going a bit up with barely any horizontal movement. However, you can customize his jump to mostly go vertically instead, or give him a super triple jump but deal no damage. My personal favorite so far is exchanging Mega Man’s Leaf Shield with a Skull Shield that reflects energy projectiles. It feels much more useful, but since it doesn’t last as long as the Leaf Shield, it’s trickier to play.

In addition to moves, you can also adjust stats, and in some cases, add small bonuses (such as adding some attack, losing a chunk of defense, but gaining a 2% auto heal every 5 seconds or so). This really allows you to change a character. I’ve customized my Mega Man to be more of a heavy powerhouse, making his jumping skills suffer but allowing me to more easily spam his Up-Air attack in single player mode for farming the single player hardmode.

Admittedly, some features are gone. This version of the game doesn’t have level customization. Break the targets and race to the finish are much more side-dishes than bonus rounds like the other game. There’s no shooting coins for trophies. Instead, we have a more robust single player mode where you increase the difficulty by betting more coins. However, it rarely feel like gambling to me since even on my worst play throughs I’ve broken even and come out with some trinkets. Before each round, you get to stop a slot reel that decides what (if any) reward you get. The higher the difficulty, the better rewards you can get here.

HNI_0097

Smash Run, however, has been a great joy. While the old single player adventure mode is gone (and the wonderful cut scenes), what we got in return is a lot more fun in my opinion. The idea is rather simple: spend 5 minutes running around getting power ups, trophies, and other trinkets, then compete in some sort of match. The end matches range from a simple 4 way melee to race to the finish games, getting the most kills against monsters, and being the highest along an upwards moving platforming track when the time is up. These activities were cut from the main game (and vertical climbing stages have pretty much been eliminated) and act as a side mission that allow, nay, encourages customization, as each character can choose power-ups in the customization options to help through in the preparation stages. Give yourself super stars, bonus to head attacks, or a damaging aura for a few seconds. I’ve enjoyed Smash Run tremendously on my own, but have only played perhaps one round against another person mostly because, well, most people out here seem more competitive.

Effectively, what’s occurred is that the game created several levels of customization and “fun” activities so that players have a gradient to rely on, choosing how much or little “randomness” they want to allow in their game. I can imagine some tournaments allowing for custom move sets but not powers, but the current issue is that customization is strictly reduced to friends, and Smash Run is only available for local play.

Give yourself a cookie if you know what that octopus became in the American "Earthbound"

Give yourself a cookie if you know what that octopus became in the American “Earthbound”

However, as one smasher noted, for the competitive players, the game feels more like an update than something new and fresh. Playing without the customization options probably is a big reason for this.

Those interested in online play should be happy to hear that the lag’s been addressed a lot better on the 3DS. I’ve had some bad games, but usually it was my connection and not Nintendo’s fault (I was nearing my phone’s data limit!). However, I still feel like the lack of the C-stick makes the characters a bit harder to control than the last two versions of the game. You’ll get used to the circle pad, even if it’s not as good as the Game Cube controller. The game really is a solid port, plus it adds a lot of new meat so it feels less like an update and more like a new game to me (I’m looking at you, Capcom!)

That being said, I must admit that I’m having more fun with Hyrule Warriors than Smash Bros for 3DS for the moment, mostly because it has a stronger single player mode and is easier to introduce people to. If you’ve got limited funds and/or time and can only choose one, I’d got with HW. However, if you want a solid game that’s portable and only have time for one new Nintendo game at the moment, the new Smash certainly provides that and more. Also keep in mind that the game will link with the Wii U version in the future. Just give the customization options a chance, even if you’re a competitive player. They really do add a lot more to the series.

The post Smash Your Way: Thoughts on Japanese Smash Bros for 3DS appeared first on JunkiesNation.




In an official Nexus Report WildStar Twitch stream held yesterday, fans of the game received two disappointing bits of news. First off, Stephan Frost, Design Producer, personally announced that he will be leaving Carbine Studios and is joining another company. “I’m off to a new adventure,” Frost said. “I got an offer that I couldn’t turn down and so I’m going to take it. This is super hard for me. This is one of my proudest achievements. A lot of my heart and soul is in this game.”

We also found out during the stream that much to the disappointment of many MMORPG holiday event enthusiasts (myself included!), WildStar won’t be having either a Halloween-themed or winter-themed holiday event this year. Shade’s Eve– which was already announced before the launch of the game– is the Halloween holiday event that we unfortunately won’t be seeing until next year most likely.

There was some good news delivered yesterday, however. The team announced that WildStar‘s megaservers are expected to go live in the next 2-3 weeks. Drop 3 is also still coming, of course, and is tentatively scheduled for release during the last week in October or first week in November.

The post WildStar: Holiday Events Cancelled and Stephan Frost Moves On appeared first on JunkiesNation.




I sat down with Michael Miller. He is an independent game developer who has created mobile and browser based games on his website lostautumn.net. Every one of the games are puzzle type games with a very classic feel and a “cute” appearance.

I’m not the biggest fan of puzzle games, but I found myself addicted to the game Cheer Cubes. The bright colors and fast paced game play kept me occupied for awhile. I found Cheer Cubes to be a nice break from working and a welcome addition on my phone too. After spending too much time on the games, I talked to Michael about his games and the development process.

Candace: So you make mobile games but they are available on browsers too, right?

Michael: Yes they are. I try to make all my games free and available to as many people as possible.

Candace: How come you wanted to make free games?

Michael: I’ve always enjoyed creating games, and making as many as I can free of charge helps to remove the barrier so that I can reach a wider audience. I enjoy downloading free games myself as I find that most of them have a lot of charm and that adds to the experience.

Candace: How do you monetize your games by offering them for free?

Michael : I have done testing with mobile ads for revenue to help support the cost of making the games. As I continue making and releasing new gaming experiences I tweak my formula and in the future hope to find a nice balance for players to enjoy my products while still collecting revenue to keep going.

Candace : There are a lot of free games on the mobile market right now and a lot of them are either clones or just really badly done. What sets apart a good game from a bad one?

Michael : Hah, that’s a good question and if I had a specific answer for that, game design would be a lot easier! I think that originality is important, but at the end of the day it’s about fun. Games are entertainment and the core foundation of playing a video game is to enjoy yourself. Fun is also relative so it becomes an interesting challenge to try and stand out. I believe as long as you put your heart into your projects you will have some success in finding players who enjoy your product.

Candace : About your games, some of them have an older feel to them. Almost classic which seems to be a theme for indie games lately. What caused you to go that route?

Michael : Being an 80’s kid and a one-man studio, I have a lot of respect for the classics. Game design was much more difficult back then and they still managed to create amazingly entertaining games. I enjoy modern games very much but the nostalgia of the games I grew up with will always find a home in my creations. I consider it a way of keeping that little kid inside of me happy.

cheercubes 2

Candace : I mentioned before that I see a lot of indie devs going with the classic game theme. You answered about nostalgia. Do you think that’s part of why it’s popping up a lot?

Michael : I think we’re seeing more and more classic style gaming themes because of the potency of those classics. Once they got them right they become something that no one forgets and developers young and old can always find entertainment in those themes. When it works, it works. Another strong factor is that indie game development has limitations due to team size and resources and those are go-to concepts that most everyone can enjoy.

Candace : Let’s talk for a minute about your games because you have a few out right now. Are any of them a favorite for you?

Michael : Cheer Cubes is my baby. I built that game specifically for my wife to enjoy and worked with her every step of the way. I wanted to create a puzzle game that wasn’t common, something different. Match-3 games are all the rage but I didn’t want to go that route so I designed a new matching system and took it from there. I am very proud of that game and my wife loves it as well so in my eyes it is a complete success.

Candace : I love Cheer Cubes. I got stuck on it. It’s so cute. And I see that the “cute” style is through all of your games. What made you pick that art style?

Michael : I love color. I love cute. It comes naturally from me because I focus on being happy in my life and I infuse into everything I do. I sing and dance and try to remain as positive as I can in this crazy world, and being able to apply it to my games is my way of manifesting and sharing my happiness with someone else, even if it’s just for a few minutes of play.

Candace : That’s a really neat way of putting it. Well, I appreciate the cute style of the games. I also hate puzzle games (but I enjoy yours <img src=" class="wp-smiley" /> ). Why the puzzles?

Michael : There so many genres of games out there, and most of them are violent. I am a Veteran of war and I have little patience for violence anymore, I simply do not find it entertaining. Puzzles are just as challenging to create from scratch as I think they are to play and that challenge is a driving force for creating new games. If I made an FPS or RTS it would be difficult for me to infuse my creative spin, so I go the other route and try to develop concepts that I think most everyone can enjoy. Family Friendly games are huge in my house and I think the world could use more of them.

Candace : Ohh, so a loaded question. Do you think video games have an issue with violence right now? I mean, are there too many violent games?

Michael : I do not think there are too many violent games per-se, I respect all games as creative art in every category they fall into. That being said, I think that the popularity of the larger games being focused on violence is a smoke screen that hides the vast majority of amazing games that don’t need to include violence. There are an insane amount of creative developers out there who put out really clever mechanics, and I would love to see those games see some more daylight so that the general population doesn’t hold a bad perception that video games are only violent.

cheercubes 3

Candace : That’s a neat answer! Back to your stuff now! Do you have anything in development?

Michael : As a developer I am constantly designing new things that never see the light of day, so I can always keep busy. I am working on a new project that will be released this year called Dreamcakes. It is another puzzle game (surprise!) that has an interesting combination of quick thinking and item management. It’s also a bunch of cupcakes, who doesn’t like a good cupcake?

Candace : OK I’m sold because of cupcakes. Can you give us a possible release date?

Michael : The official release month is December of this year. For anyone who might show an interest in the game, some early builds may go out in November. <img src=" class="wp-smiley" />

Candace : What platforms will it be on?

Michael : Dreamcakes is coming out on Android and Windows Phone with browser based release shortly after.

cheercubes 1

Candace : Not a question, but I want to repeat that many of your games can be played in the browser on your site.

Michael : I will always make an effort to release my games on browsers.

Candace : Which is a great thing because we can utilize it instead of working!

Michael : Work is overrated! <img src=" class="wp-smiley" />

Candace : But, we aren’t actually telling anyone to do that. Nope. Haha. Thanks for taking some time to talk about your games with me.

Michael : It’s my pleasure.

 

 

The post Sitting down with LostAutumn.net appeared first on JunkiesNation.




Guardians have seen a lot of play in WvW for quite a while now, especially among commanders. While builds have changed over the past few years, the fact that they remain vital to group play both as anchors, healers, and all-around team support hasn’t changed. They’re still some of the best all-around team players. I’ve written a number of builds for guardians for people that have already played them. This is directed more towards players that are new to guardian, or just new to group playstyle.

Before you read: These builds are put together with large scale fights and specific team situations (small and large) in mind, both open field and close quarters. I will include (later down the line) a build for roamers, but this is primarily focused on teamplay. These builds are not flexible, nor is there room for substitution unless otherwise stated. The first build relies on other builds being present and may not be the best in solo situations.

img2
 
Guardian: Strengths and Weaknesses

At some point, guardians were easy to get high dps on and were easily among the top dps classes in the game. Coupled with their survivability, it made it a fairly popular class accross the board. If you’ve never played guardian or just have some catching up to do, here’s an outline of what they do best and where they fall short.

Survivability: Strength

This is a guardian’s strongest point. I don’t exaggerate when I say guardians have the potential to run through groups of 10 (sometimes closer to 15 or 20) and still make it out alive. There’s been plenty of times in WvW where I’ve fallen behind and have to make it across a bridge to get to my group, and there’s a mass of enemies blocking my way. A good majority of the time, I can plow through and stay up long enough to make it back to where I need to go. The following stats and utilities are key when it comes to being able to support and survive.

Healing

Even without a lot of focus on healing power, guardians have so many heals at their disposal that there should never be a time where you can’t recover a few thousand health. However, guardians only have a select few abilities that allow for decent burst healing. The key is to be proactive about your healing (without overhealing) instead of reactive. By the time you’re down to an eighth of your health in a large group fight, it’s a bit late to efficiently recover. I say efficiently because you can easily recover from low health, but usually not without spending unnecessary time backing out to recover. Being proactive allows you to say in the fight while actively doing damage and supporting your team.

Boons

That moment when you clash with another group, you’ll occasionally notice someone in your party gain a massive line of boons…and conditions. Their health will almost instantaneously drop to half or lower, only to be regained as quickly as they lost it. Guardians that run shout builds will frequently have a rotation of buffs, buffs, and more buffs. There will never be a time when you don’t see at least 3 or 4 on their bar. Of course, they don’t have just the ability to buff themselves. Shouts usually always affect party members in some way, and usually give them a good number of boons.

Condition Removal or Duration Reduction

On top of all the buffs, guards have excellent condition removal. Signet of Resolve removes a condition every 10 seconds. Purity removes a condition every 10 seconds. A full set of Superior Rune of the Trooper (previously soldier, who are still catching up on updates) remove a condition from you and each party member every time you shout. If you’re not using Trooper runes, Superior Rune of Melandru sets coupled with Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup will make conditions fall off fast.

 

Where guardians fall short:

Guardians naturally have pretty low vitality, leaving your health at an easy 13-15k if you don’t focus on finding ways to increase your health pool. This is ok in small-scale PvP where you rely on toughness and healing to pull through, but when you’re dealing with massive amounts of conditions from the enemy zerg, anything less than 16-18k health isn’t going to fly.

Now when I say mobility is a guardian’s weakest point, I mean it in the sense that they’re really not meant to go anywhere. You can dodge and block all you like, but when you try to run away, you’re not going anywhere unless you have people to back you up. Period. No questions asked. If anyone tries to argue “but oh, I can get away from insert class here without a problem”, I will refer you back to the beginning of this guide where I talk about group play. The point is, you’re meant to be the last one standing. If you’re dying, more than likely, the rest of your group is already dead. If you’re running away trying to stay alive, you’re wasting time when you could be respawning and regrouping.

Which brings us to escape abilities. You don’t need them. Unless you’re split between two different groups and you need a way to back to group A after group B wipes, you shouldn’t be trying to run away. In which case, throw on that greatsword/hammer combo and get ready to run if your group wipes. Odds are you’re going to get chased, especially if you’re tagged up.

 
Commander Builds: Selfish vs. Selfless

As previously mentioned, guardians are one of the best (if not the best) team player. You heal everyone, give people boons and take their conditions, drop control effects and stability—naturally, people are going to want to stick to you. However, there are a lot of cases where you need to be a little “selfish” with your build. What’s going to keep you alive the longest? What will help in a situation where you need to be the last one down? Think about self heals, traits, boons, and gear that will directly affect you, even if it might not help the rest of your party. In other cases, you may not have the numbers to think this way. Your group might need all the support they can get to be successful. When it comes down to it, smaller groups rely on strict teamplay to come out on top, and can’t have the mindset of “I don’t need this, I can just have someone else spec this way”.  The difference in mentality simply comes down to the resources you have available.

 
Selfish
Overview

The first build we’ll cover relies a lot on other builds being present in your group. This is one of the builds that I would describe as “selfish” and relies on numbers. (But let’s face it, it’s next to impossible to build a guardian that doesn’t somehow support allies in one form or another.) It focuses on maximizing your survivability and healing (without actually getting gear with healing stats). Your primary stat will be vitality to give you room to deal with heavy condition damage, and your secondary stats will be toughness and power. While it’s not absolutely required that you get sentinel armor, it’s highly recommended.

First, let’s talk a bit about your traits and what you want to aim for. Here’s our build.

traits

Traits

For what we’re trying to do, every bit of condition removal you can get within these traits is a must. So for Valor, you’ll want to pick up Purity (V) which removes a condition every 10 seconds. It doesn’t sound like much now, but with all of the other condition removal/duration reduction in this build, it all adds up. Part of this also relies on you having food buffs. Don’t ever underestimate how much additional effects of temporary buffs (food, sigils, oils/stones/crystals) can help out.

Valor’s major Master trait is your “flexible” option. Especially when your focus isn’t on healing power gear-wise, the extra bit of healing you get from Mace of Justice (VII) helps. Depending on the gear that is available to you and what skills you use the most, you can swap between this and Honorable Shield (IX), which gives you some extra toughness and reduces shield cooldown. Personally, the only time I’ve ever used this is I know when we’re going to be stuck in a tight spot with lots of players (garri captures and such), and I really don’t see it being all that useful otherwise. Weapon skills in general are very situational. We’ll cover weapon swapping and variation later on.

Honor is our most important trait line here. You’ll be gaining a decent amount of vitality and healing power in addition to some traits that will greatly increase your healing (not just healing power, but the number of heals available). Writ of Exaltation (III) are going to make larger symbols. In general this is a good trait to have for any hammer/mace and shield/staff builds since all symbols now heal due to your next trait: Writ of the Merciful (X). The is also where you pick up Selfless Daring (minor trait) which heals you and your allies at the end of your dodge. Per dodge, you can easily crank out about 600-700 healing per person. Your final trait, Force of Will (XIII), should give you an extra 300 vitality at level 80.

With Virtues, we’ll be able to pick up some more boons (including party boons). Up until this point, there’s been no mention of stability. I’ve heard two sides to the stability argument, which we’ll talk about shortly. For now, we’ll be using Indomitable Courage, which grants stability whenever you pop Virtue of Courage. You should also be frequently using consecrations, so also pick up Master of Consecrations (VI), which reduces consecration cooldowns and makes them last longer. The first minor trait, Inspired Virtue, also makes your virtues give the following boons:

Justice: Might

Resolve: Regeneration

Courage: Protection

So to sum up your traits:

Zeal: 0

Radiance: 0

Valor (4): V, VII

Honor (6): III, X, XIII

Virtues (4): VI, X

 

Skills

skills

This is where a good majority of the debates starts when it comes to builds: what skills you should use and which ones you shouldn’t. I’m not going to go into PvP with nothing but shouts just like I’m not going to go into WvW with a bunch of spirit weapons. I’ve seen so many conversations about how useless some skills/traits are and have yet to find a single trait that is completely and utterly useless in all situations. I believe situational might be the correct term, but not necessarily useless. Which brings us to the next discussion: boons.

Many times stability has been described as a “cripple” that uses a trait or skill slot that you could be using for something better. This may be somewhat more true in smaller groups (as you can generally see/predict attacks and dodge to avoid getting knocked down or pulled), but in large groups it’s impossible to predict when you’re going to get knocked down. It’s better to pop a few second of stability when running through a group AND dodge, than it is for you to risk getting interrupted and caught in the initial attack. The first action between two large groups is almost always to drop a ton of static fields and AoE attacks. If you’d like to risk getting knocked down and going down in a matter of seconds in the middle of all of that, then no, you don’t need stability. (Of course, I’ve also seen the other side to this argument where players have potentially unnecessary amounts of stability.)

However, this particular build is about survivability and planning ahead for errors, so I recommend stability for when you run into another group head on.

Primary skills used in this build:

The first two skills should almost always be on your bar. The third can be swapped out based on situational needs.

Hallowed Ground

Hallowed Ground has two major uses. The main one is as emergency stability that gives you 20% boon duration and a fire field. So yes, when you’re calling for a fire field before you rush in and your favorite elementalists are asleep at the wheel, just throw it down yourself. And you have a hammer to blast it with. Done. Note: Gotta be careful with this one, as you don’t want to waste it for might stacks when you’re running into a group that has double your numbers.

Wall of Reflection

This one’s pretty straight forward. When you’re running up to a gate and you see all those pretty red circles on the ground, it’s usually best to cover the people on your rams. While it won’t do anything against siege, it’ll definitely annoy the hell out of people firing at you, and generally discourage them from continuing to do so. Many times I’ve seen people die on the inside of a tower due to guardian bubbles and mesmer feedback. (Read below for more information on reflection.)

Sanctuary

The only thing better than a 12-second reflective bubble is a 7.5 second bubble that blocks enemies and projectiles and heals you. While it won’t kill anyone trying to deal out burst damage, it’s definitely a life saver when you’re up against a gate and taking heavy damage from arrow carts. The last thing you need on top of that is player damage, which this solves for a short while. (In other situations, wall of reflection is generally more useful.)

“Stand Your Ground!”

For those of you that would rather not use your traits for stability (or feel that two ways to get stability isn’t enough), you can add this to your bar instead of sanctuary. (Just keep in mind this isn’t going to help you too much when you’re on a gate.) It also gives you 6 seconds of retaliation (not reflection).

“Save Yourselves!”

This shout is one of the better (arguably) stun breakers if you’re stuck in the middle of a static field. Just keep in mind that you’ll be drawing tons of conditions on you, which can end very badly if you’re already using health. If you just want a stunbreaker on your bar, Stand Your Ground or Contemplation of Purity may be a better alternative.

Contemplation of Purity 

I don’t generally recommend running this alongside consecrations. This particular skill sees a lot of use in shout and meditation builds, but it doesn’t shine quite as much here. Aside from being a stunbreaker, it doesn’t see a lot of use when you already have a lot of condition removal and condition duration reduction. However, I will cover a few builds later on where this sees a lot of use.

 

Armor

I’m only going to briefly touch on gear, because most of this is somewhat self-explanatory if you’ve been in WvW at any point in time. Your focus should be vitality for one reason: lack of a large health pool make it difficult to deal with conditions and raw damage at the same time. Guardians need a balanced combination of toughness and vitality to reduce damage. If you’re running a shout build that almost purely focuses on keeping conditions off yourself and allies it’s less of a hazard, but in WvW, conditions are a constant in large group fights. Meaning if you’re used to be able to run in PvE/PvP with 14k health and little condition removal, you’re going to have to change the way you think about stats.

All Sentinel gear is recommended, but Soldiers works as well if you have some extra Honor Badges or dungeon tokens to burn. Accessories should be Soldiers, and weapons should be Nomad, Soldier or Sentinel. If you want the best all-around gear that’s a bit more flexible, it’s best to use a combination of Sentinel or Soldier armor with Cleric weapons and accessories. This will reduce your vitality, but will still allow you to easily manage conditions.

Weapons

Hammer is incredibly underrated when it comes to guardians. Typically, guardians tend to run staff/greatsword, staff/mace/shield, or greatsword/mace/shield. Hammers don’t see a lot of use for the following reasons:

1. They are slow. So slow.

2. Auto attacks. That third swing makes it seem like you’re sitting there forever.

3. Symbols. Hammer guards are notorious for messing up water fields with their auto attack.

4. Clunky. Your gap closer is incredibly short and is almost disappointing after using great sword.

5. Did I mention slow??

However, hammers are awesome in zerg fights. I can’t express enough how much easier it makes it when you have several hammer guards running with you. Forget about the symbols, the slowness, and overall clunkiness. That third auto-attack does more damage than people think, plus the damage and extra healing (traits) from the symbol. Your 2 skill provides a small gap closer and a blast finisher. 3 immobilizes a line of enemies for a few seconds, giving you a bit of time to rush in and knock people out of your way with Banish (4), run through to the middle of the zerg and drop your Ring of Warding (5) to break up the group. As slow as it is, it flows together nicely and you can do most of it on the move.

Your second weapon set should be mace/shield. Along with Virtue of Resolve, heals from symbols, heal on dodge, the attacks from mace provide yet more healing. Your third strike on auto attacks (Faithful Strike) provides a decent amount of healing, Symbol of Faith (2) heals and gives regen, and Protector’s Strike can do some good damage to attackers that are target you and your party (if they’re standing by you). Shield of Judgement gives you some slight damage (and protection for 6 seconds) while Shield of Absorption absorbs projectiles and provides a knockback.

Staff is useful, but most of what you can do with staff, you can do with your other weapons, or other people can do for you. Speed boost? You have elementalist’s static fields, warhorns and your own speed boost on shout, Retreat. Might? Refer back to ele and half the other classes that can help stack might. Line of Warding? Now you have Ring of Warding on hammer that you can trap people in so you can beat them up (or do what you’re supposed to and drop it and keep running). All that, staff does occasionally come in handy if you’re wanting to stick to mid-range combat as opposed to melee.

Sigils, Runes and Consumables

Sigil of Energy on each of your primary weapons makes it easy to dodge consistently. Even if you don’t need to dodge, you’ll probably need to heal allies. Don’t forget how much healing that puts out. For secondary sigils use Water on Staff and Hammer (you’ll be swapping these out) and Sigil of Life on your shield.

Runes are completely up to you. For the purposes of this guide, I recommend Superior Runes of Melandru to help with condition duration reduction. However, since I run a lot from area to area (and a play with small groups that lack group speed boosts), I’m generally running Runes of the Traveler/Speed on a separate set. Runes of the Trooper are awesome, but you’re not going to be using shouts in this build. Avoid them like the plague, as you’ll only be running one shout at most. (One of the comments made  while writing this was that Melandru runes are terrible for team play compared to Trooper, but we’re not focusing on team play. We’re focusing on how YOU can best survive.)

For consumables, it’s best to go with Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup, which reduces condition duration by 40% and gives +70 vitality and Potent Superior Sharpening Stone, which gives you power based on 6% of your toughness and 4% of your vitality.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selfless
Overview

Now let’s look at the opposite end of all this. Say you’re running in a small group of about 5 to 10 players. You still have to be able to survive the bigger groups in the area, but you also have to do enough damage to successfully take out guards, gates, and smaller squads you run into at supply camps and such. The goal is to pick quick, evenly-matched fights that don’t turn into long, drawn out fights of who can run back the fastest. If a tower has a defense of equal your numbers, you’re already at a disadvantage since you’re attacking. If they have over double your numbers, it’s really not worth wasting time over. The following build is meant for small team fights that require balanced amounts of dps and survivability.

Click here to view the build.

traits2

A note in advance: this is a “front-line” survivability dps build, so you will want to prioritize power over vitality, making a combination of Knight and Soldier stats ideal. If you feel the extra critical damage is needed, you can tie in Cavalier stats for ferocity, as well as Cavalier weapons. You will also need sigils for stacking precision and rely on vulnerability to increase damage done by you and your party, as well as consumable buffs. Precision will primarily come with your stacks/buffs, so precision from gear and traits will look fairly low. Do not go over 50% crit chance without buffs. If you want to hit exactly 50-51%, you can equip your trinkets and weapons with precise infusions.

The focus of this build is primarily for small groups, but can also be effectively used in larger ones if you have at least one guardian per party running this build. There is no point in only having a few people run this in a “zerg” because chances are, you’re going to be up against another group as big as you are, if not bigger. With the 5-person AoE limit, the effectiveness of this in a large group is greatly reduced.

What the aim is:

  • Use frequent blinding to help reduce melee damage
  • Help your party stack vulnerability by blinding
  • Build precision to help gain vigor -> more dodges -> more healing
  • Precision for might
  • Keep Virtue of Justice on cooldown, add other virtues in as needed
  • Increase your damage by stacking precision (with added ferocity), while still maintaining moderate toughness/armor

Traits

Radiance will give us two major things we need: precision and blinding. Justice is Blind makes Virtue of Justice blind up to 5 nearby enemies every time it’s activated so keep it on cooldown when you’re in melee range. With Blind Exposure (VI) inflicted blindness also gives the enemy 3 stacks of vulnerability for 10 seconds. The second minor trait, Renewed Justice, renews Virtue of Justice every time an enemy is killed. Coupled with your greatsword, it should be fairly easy to leap in with Leap of Faith and spread blindness quickly.

Valor will grant us some great utilities to go with shouts (and of course our Runes of the Trooper), but the key here is to pick up some additional precision with Retributive Armor which gives you additional precision equal to 7% of your toughness. Every extra bit of precision helps out, and you’ll see why when we cover the next trait line. So pick up Purity (V) for condition removal (1 condition off every 10 seconds), Retributive Armor (VI), and Altruistic Healing (XI) which heals you every time you put a boon on an ally.

Honor: Here’s where precision has a chance to shine. It’s no longer just about the damage, but the extra “icing on the cake” that comes with it. Your first minor trait, Vigorous Precision, allows you to gain 5.25 seconds of vigor on critical hit, and your second minor trait Selfless Daring allows you to heal on dodge. With the addition vigor, more dodging, less damage to you, and more healing to you and your allies. On top of that, your second major trait, Empowering Might (VIII) allows you and your allies to gain 5.25 seconds of might when you land a critical hit. We’ll also want to pick up Superior Aria, which reduces the cooldown on shouts (which should be taking up 2 0r 3 utility slots).

While we won’t have many points in Virtues we’ll definitely want to pick up those extra party buffs. For only 1 point, each time you activate a virtue your party now gets a boon. And thanks to Altruistic Healing from Valor, more boons = more healing.

While there’s a lot of synergy in this build, it’s anything but flexible. Each and every one of these traits come into play at some point in your fight, so it’s not meant to have traits swapped out based on situation. However, there is a way to use this build in almost every situation, whether it be solo, large scale or small scale WvW.

To sum up your traits:

Zeal: 0

Radiance (3): VI

Valor (6): V, VI, XI

Honor (4): II, VIII

Virtues (1)

 

Skills

skills2

Shouts! Lots of shouts. You should always be running at least two of these. You’ll be running Superior Runes of the Trooper, so make the most of that extra party condition removal.

Retreat!

While many people say this is a waste, it’s really not a terrible thing to have on your bar, especially when you run into open field fights. Pop an aegis, gain a speed boost, remove a condition (great if someone is trying to root/slow you in small scale fights). While in larger groups it’s just a filler, it does occasionally have it’s uses. When you’re running in a 5-man party and don’t have a lot of other speed boost, you have this and the speed boost on your staff which makes for some decent mobility when doing a lot of running. Of course, if you hate it that much, this can easily be swapped for something else.

Hold the Line!

Protection, regen and another form of condition removal. This helps when you’re starting to take damage and need something to help offset burst damage.

Stand Your Ground!

Stability is pretty much always useful in WvW, especially when you’re dealing with engineers, mesmers, guardians and other things that like to pull. (Or throw, shove, knock back/down, etc.) Retaliation is especially helpful when going against a class with lots of burst damage.

Renewed Focus

Hopefully you’re not forgetting about your virtues (don’t be selfish with these!). If you’re getting into a situation where you’re taking too much damage to heal through and need some help getting out, pop all your virtues and then use Renewed Focus. Since this recharges them, don’t waste the opportunity for a quick refresh of virtues. Invulnerability is always a nice thing to have, and tends to be more useful than Tome of Courage in small-scale situations.

**For those wondering why Save Yourselves isn’t in here: While it’s nice to have, it doesn’t help you or your party as much as it could. A lot of the groups that I run with use the Lemongrass Poultry foodstuff and have their own forms of condition removal, so it’s pointless to pull them all to you when they’re just going to drop soon or be refreshed. And of course, it’s not actually giving them boons, so there are better things that it could be replaced with. This is one of those skills that I feel is highly overrated in WvW situations.

 

Armor/Weapons, Runes, Sigils and Consumables

I’m throwing this all together partially because staff and greatsword is such a standard combination in WvW, and partially because I’m throwing in an extra section as a summary that gives an overview of how this is played.

See the build above for the gear I’m using. With the best gear you can get, you should be able to get to about 50% crit chance (49-51% with infusions and consumables) and decent crit dmg from cavalier weapons and zerker accessories. The rest of your gear and trinkets should be soldier gear, with Superior Runes of the Trooper. You’ll want to use Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup with Potent Master Maintenance Oil (this is crucial for getting higher precision, as most of our gear only has power, toughness and vitality).

For Sigils, put Sigils of Energy on everything, Sigil of Accuracy on your greatsword (and spear), and Sigil of Perception on your staff (and trident).

How It’s Played

So a quick overview on how you want to play this build:

Since you’re still pretty tanky, you’re going to be able to take a good amount of damage before you even lose a third of your health. Even in 5v5, 5v7, and situations where you’re group is slightly outnumbered, you can generally be the first one in with most of the group on you and still be fine. Don’t hesitate to jump in. Open with Leap of Faith (3) on your greatsword, pop Virtue of Justice to mitigate any melee damage and do either A: If most of the group is out of melee range, pop stability (Stand Your Ground), throw down Symbol of Wrath (4), use Binding Blade (5) and immediately pull them in, followed by Whirling Wrath (2) or B: If most of the group is IN melee range, pop stability, Symbol of Wrath (4), Binding Blade (5) and do NOT pull them in unless they start to run away (which they usually will). Once some have start to move away, make sure your primary target doesn’t have stability, pull them in with 5, Whirling Wrath.

In either of these situations, you will want to weave in your 1 skill (autoattack) where needed and Virtue of Justice on cooldown, for might and blinding. When your group has been able to get them down to relatively low health, swap to your staff, pop stability again, Empower (4) for might stacks, and start tagging to finish them off using other staff skills as necessary. Staff is best for “cleaning up” for multiple reasons: 1. You get a hit on everyone (bags!) 2. Might stacks to get you and your party through the rest of the fight, Line of Warding (5) if they try to run away, and Symbol of Swiftness if you need to chase.

If things start to go south… Staff is excellent. Give yourself some distance and get out of melee range and swap to mid-range. Start tagging with staff, use your Orb of Light (2) if you need heals other than dodging, virtues and many other ways to heal. Symbol of Swiftness can add some damage and help you gain some distance. Once you’ve got about half your health, you can pop stability again, use Empower (4) to get might back (and also heal yourself), and swap back to your greatsword if able. Use Renewed Focus only as a big red emergency button.

Of course, both of these are if things are going according to plan! Don’t get discouraged if things go your way, but also don’t keep trying if it’s a numbers situation that you know you can’t overcome. It can be frustrating, and somewhat expensive if you’re worried with gear repairs.

 

If you have any questions, feedback, or just want to tell me I’m flat out wrong about something…or if you like the guide, feel free to comment. Feedback is always appreciated, as there’s always room for improvement.

**This guide is a WIP and part of a series of guides on WvWvW class builds, party interactions, and other tips. If there’s something you would like to see covered, comment below.

Happy gaming!

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In a recent MMORPG.com podcast interview with Amanda “Amary” Fry and Victoria “FireCait” Voss at Trion Worlds, our very own Kiwi Dream asked some great questions and found out a few interesting tidbits about ArcheAge. Not all of this information is new, but some is. Here are the highlights of what we found out:

  • The queues are improving, and Trion’s being cautious about adding new servers due to ArcheAge‘s population needs.
  • The factions on each server are being kept close watch on as far as population balances go (since they can be turned off to help encourage natural re-balance).
  • Server transfers are being looked at, but Trion anticipates that server transfers won’t be as popular in AA as they are in RIFT, for example, due to AA‘s focus on land/farm permanence. No hint as to whether transfers will be free or paid at the moment.
  • Auroria will be released before Patch 1.7. Trion’s looking to release the zone within the next couple of weeks– not months. They will announce the exact date ASAP since this allows guilds/players to prepare to storm the castle so to speak. The release time will be region-specific.
  • Patch 1.7 is currently being translated. No ETA.
  • In regards to players being scammed by other players for APEX/gold, Trion recommends that players simply approach trading in AA as they would in real life. They caution players to be careful, trade with trusted players, use a third party to help trade, or split the trade into multiple parts. For the most part, scamming and similar player activities are largely left up the players to police themselves. Trion will offer support in cases of player harassment, etc., but overall there’s only so much the team can do in ArcheAge as opposed to a more closed, world-compressed game like RIFT.
  • In regards to the recent complaints about the comparative value between the founder’s packs and the starter packs, Trion is of the opinion that the two types of packs are comparative in value. The Alpha/Beta/Head Start access is what made the founder’s packs valuable, of course, although this value is hard to place in monetary terms.
  • Players who are currently without land or would like a better plot may find that the opening of Auroria frees up quite a bit of land as well as offers them 4 new zones to grab land from.

archeage auroria map

  • Trion is working with XLGAMES to create a bunch of crates for the cash shop they can regularly trade in/out to offer players a chance or two to grab unique pets, costumes, etc., much in the same vein as RIFT‘s lockbox system. Some fun stuff is coming for Halloween!
  • Our version of AA is actually more lenient/generous to its F2P players than other regions.
  • Trion is well-aware that the PvP flagging system isn’t ideal, especially for Western audiences. Fixing that, unfortunately, is on XLGAMES, and may not be possible anytime soon due to the way the game’s coded.
  • Our version of AA includes costumes that don’t have stats– the Korean version has costumes with stats that essentially allow certain costumes to be BiS. This makes our costume system entirely cosmetic while reducing power creep later down the road. We also have a normalized mount system here for the same reason– both to create a purely cosmetic system and to reduce power creep on such items.
  • Dahuta– a 10-man open world raid– isn’t in the game currently due to Trion wanting folks to be on a level playing ground when it opens up. It’ll likely come out with either Patch 2.7 or when Auroria launches.
  • Diamond Shores will come with level 55, later down the road.
  • Invert Y-axis/windowed fullscreen options are being worked on.
  • Fishing tournaments will be coming.
  • Fixes to trade run teleport hacks/exploits will be coming. Trion is aware of players using a hack/mod to access content not in the game yet. They’re working on a fix to stop players from doing this.
  • No ETA on new races.
  • Trion is hoping to let players make addons for AA one day. There are some issues with doing this safely, however, so this will probably come much later. RIFT-like macros will probably never be implemented.
  • No ETA at getting AA back on Steam. It’s being worked on.

This isn’t new information, of course, but one thing that Voss emphasized is the fact that Trion’s only the publisher of ArcheAge and does not have complete control over the game. All changes they want made have to be approved and done by XLGAMES, the developer of AA. Certain things may never be added or may take a very long time to be added due to the fact that XLGAMES is still in charge. This bears repeating to anyone who finds themselves frustrated with any of the game’s current features.

Trion is, of course, always open to feedback, since communication is a high priority to both the Trion team and the XLGAMES team. Both teams are working together to add a whole bunch of stuff to AA that will improve our experience, but many of those improvements will take time.

Image credit: ArcheAge Wiki and ArcheAge Ressource.

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Fans of Final Fantasy XIV who attended this past weekend’s Tokyo Game Show were treated to a preview of the upcoming patch content coming to live servers. Producer and Director, Naoki Yoshida, showed the eager fans the first trailer for the patch as well as some in-game footage of the new dungeon coming. On top of that, he also showed off the upcoming Rogue and Ninja class as well as the arena players will enter when facing off against Shiva.

While there is little to no narration to some of these videos, the trailer is only in Japanese which still makes these videos quite accessible if you don’t know the language. So let’s go ahead and take a look as to what we have in store for the upcoming changes in Patch 2.4: Dreams Of Ice!

 

New & Old Dungeons

One of the first things fans were shown was actually some of the new dungeon content coming to the game. While there is only one brand new dungeon being added, there are two others being redone for a hard mode. The brand new dungeon, Snowcloak, seems to be fitting in with what the patch will be revolving around. While watching the video, you feel a sense of gloom and doom as they go through the snowy landscape that will be for what I presume to be the setup to the primal fight with Shiva. The other two dungeons that were shown were a hard mode of Satasha and The Sunken Temple Of Qarn. While it is unknown if there will be anything new added to these, there are only four remaining dungeons from 1.0 that have not seen a hard mode yet.

 

New Primal: Shiva

This is something that players have been waiting for. While there wasn’t much shown off as to how this will play out storywise, what we did get to see is the arena we will be fighting her in which is called “The Ahk Afah Amphitheatre”. Judging by the video, it looks as if we will have to climb down to avoid a massive AoE among other possibilities. For me, this was the highlight of everything that was shown to us this weekend. I have never been this excited for a primal fight since the relaunch of 2.0. The only downside to this fight is that will be made into two different difficulties: Hard mode and Extreme Mode, which could  be a problem for some of the new players wanting to get into this fresh content.

 

New Class/Job

While previously shown at a past Live Producer’s Letter, they started to show off what the combat and actions would look like for both the Rogue and Ninja classes. While it does seem interesting, I’m still a little worried as to how these will play in a live setting. At this time, there is no known information as to any of the abilities either class has or what the stats will be for either. This is something I will have to wait and try out before committing to play as an alt.

 

Wrap Up!

While there is quite certainly a long list of things coming to Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with patch 2.4, I wanted to cover what I thought were going to be some of the bigger points. As per usual, we are getting more quests added to the main scenario, the final Coil Of Bahamut, and more to the Hilldibrand side story. To really wrap this all up, it seems that Square Enix knows what the fans want and they are going to deliver just that. I, for one, am really hoping to get some time into this patch before the chaos of the Fan Festival begins and I will be covering for here at Junkies Nation! So, with all this information, what do you think of patch 2.4’s future content? Is it going to be something you’re looking for or will they be losing your sub? Comment below and share your thoughts!

 

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So I mentioned at the end of my review that I might make you guys a map for Hyrule Warriors. It’s pretty much the same as the original Zelda’s map, but without the same baddies.  I sadly have a day job that competes with my gameplaying duties (I have to pay the bills somehow!), so it’s not complete, but I do have enough information that should really help you guys get started.

This guide is only for the more unique rewards, like character and general weapon unlocks, not skulltulas, heart containers, or weapon upgrades. To note, search in this guide means you use the “X” button on the over world map to interact with the square mentioned in the guide. Special thanks to Swithe for the location of many of the rank 2 and 3 weapon locations. I’d also like to thank Citizen Napoleon for her videos which made some of this work easier on me! Finally, this guide may be used on GameFAQs by Denngar as part of a walk-through (if that happens, I’ll link the walk-through). I’ll try to update this guide as I find more or others contact me. For those curious about other characters, they can be unlocked through  the game’s Legend Mode.

 

hyrule_adventure_map

A2-  Zelda’s Rank 3 Wind Waker. Requires search and rank A.

A4- Agitha’s Rank 3 Parasol. Requires search and rank A.

A9- Zelda’s Rank 3 Rapier. Requires search and rank A.

A11- Lana’s Rank 3 Book. Requires search and rank A.

A14- Darunia’s Rank 3 Hammer. Requires search and rank A.

A16- Lana’s Rank 3 Gate Summoning. Requires search and rank A.

B1- Link’s Rank 3 Great Fairy. Requires search and rank A.

B3- Zant’s Rank 3 Scimitar. Requires search and rank A.

B4- Lana’s Rank 2 Gate Summoning. Requires search and rank A..

B7- Link’s Rank 2 Great Fairy. Requires search and rank A.

B8- Ganondorf’s Rank 3 Swords. Use digging mitts on the obvious “X” on the ground. Requires rank A.

B9- Ghirahim’s Rank 3 Sword. Requires search and rank A.

B15- Shiek’s Rank 3 Harp. Requires search and rank A.

C3- Unlock Zant (Character). Use the “search” option on the overworld. Use a digging glove on the “X” on the ground. Then beat the level as you normally would.

c16- Unlock Summoning Gate- weapon for Lana. You need a raft and digging claws to search for the secret. Thanks Speedy223!

D7- Unlock Agitha (Character). You’ll need to search the area then choose to throw a water bomb card at the rock off the shore. Then beat the level as normal.

E1- Agitha’s Rank 2 Parasol- Use digging mits on the obvious “X” on the ground, then beat the level with an A rank.

E9- Silver Gauntlets- weapon for Link. There’s an “I” shaped set of trees here. On the left side of that “I” on the top left tree where the vertical column meets the horizontal row, use a candle (or use a compass to see what I’m talking about). That will reveal a staircase, which unlocks the reward.

E10- Unlock Princess Ruto (Character). You’ll need the Power Bracelet card (one can be found at D10), search the area, lift the rock, then complete the mission at E10 the mission.

E12- Winder Waker- weapon for Zelda. On the overworld, use a candle on the tree with the red square around it:

c16 Then beat the level as normal.

G9- Nagita weapon for Impa. Just clear the level.

G3- Unlock Ghirahim (Character). Use the “search” option on the overworld. There is a long column of trees going from the top to the bottom of the screen. Use a candle on the first single tree below where the column starts to become pairs of trees. Then just complete the level.

H1- Great Fairy weapon (practically a new character) for Link. I heard it’s rough just getting to that square from H2, so try this video. Once you’ve gotten to H1, use an ice arrow on the ring of fire and complete the mission.

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During my 2 years of playing World of Warcraft, I never realized why my friends got so pissed at me, why they blamed me for wiping raids, or why they compared other failing raiders to me as though the comparison was something to be ashamed of. The blame my friends tossed around was meant to be only be a game– playful teasing at best, but I didn’t enjoy any of it.

When I switched to Final Fantasy XIV, it came to my attention that I might have done things horribly wrong in WoW. Compared to WoW, FFXIV is definitely more relaxing so I had no problem adapting. I have time during fights to observe, to learn, to gain experience as I go. I was never able to do that in WoW, so half the time I didn’t even know what I was doing wrong– I just did what I was told without even knowing why. And not knowing was exactly what I did wrong in WoW. I simply lacked common sense in WoW.

As I became better and better in FFXIV (not enough to be the best, but I can rank myself slightly above average), I started to judge the newbies like my friends used to judge me in WoW. I am a hypocrite, I know it, and I feel bad about it. But I definitely know the feeling of being looked down on when you can’t do things right. It’s frustrating to the point where you no longer enjoy the game.

Although FFXIV is a bit boring to most long-time players at the moment, I know it is still enjoyable for new adventurers. For anyone out there who’s new, here are some brief tips aimed to help you learn how to develop common sense when it comes to raiding in the game and how not to get blamed for wipes.

ffxix tips for not wiping 1

1. Common Sense for Everyone:

  • Read guides or watch video before diving into a new fight.
  • Tell people when you’re unsure about something. Ask for advice.
  • Watch out for:
    • Ground AoE.
    • Adds.
    • Target signs on players or monsters including yourself.
    • Your own cooldown skills.
    • Certain attacks that require you to focus target on boss (e.g.: Twister in T5, Blight in T6…).
  • Don’t EVER stand in the fire. Move away from any abnormal-looking stuff on the ground.

 
2. Common Sense for Tanks:

  • Flash/Overpower as soon as you got the mobs grouped.
  • Always face mobs away from party, especially during boss fights. Unless the boss is in a phase that can’t be tanked or you have to dodge certain AoEs, of course.
  • Don’t use Provoke/Hallowed Ground/Holmgang on cooldown. They are to be saved for emergency.
  • If you have melee DPS in the party, avoid moving unnecessarily.
  • Move out of fire. Also move the boss out of fire if there are melee DPS in the party.
  • Use your defensive cooldowns wisely. You can ask the other tank for advice on when they should be used.

 

3. Common Sense for Healers:

  • Don’t stay too far from the party unless the fight requires you to do so (for example, Searing Wind in Ifrit EX). Move back closer to the party whenever you can.
  • In case of room-wide AoE, start casting Medica II/Succor before the boss finishes casting the AoE.
  • Dodge bad stuff > Casting heals. If you die, there will be no heals. If others die, you can Raise them.
  • Watch your Cleric Stance.
  • Don’t stand in front of boss/next to main tank unless the guide says to stack on tank.
  • White Mages, there are more healing spells than Medica II.

 
4. Common Sense for DPS:

  • Stay close to healers unless you have to dodge bad stuff. Move back as soon as you can.
  • Don’t stand next to the main tank or in front of the boss. If you have to move there to dodge something, get out as soon as you can.
  • Don’t run towards the main tank when you have debuffs that will do AoE damage to everyone standing next to you (bringing Eruption to the main tank on Ifrit EX is a big NO NO).
  • Dodging bad stuff > DPS. If you die, you do no DPS.
  • Summoners, put your pet on “Obey”.

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I have to admit I’m pretty surprised, and that feels rare sometimes when you’ve been playing games as long as I have. Nintendo is usually the company that catches me off guard, but in a sense, this time it’s someone different: Koei Tecmo and their Hyrule Warriors.

I’m a big Zelda fan but admittedly haven’t played all the games (was too busy to finish Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, and missed out on all the Game Boy games after Link’s Awakening). I’ve never played a Dynasty Warrior game either, truthfully, but if they’re like this game, I might be willing to give it a shot.

I have, however, played HW before at E3, and it wasn’t bad. The combat seemed simple enough, and it was, probably because I wasn’t playing a character upgraded more than a few times, and only in Legend Mode (think story mode). Legend Mode is easy enough, even in hard mode, which doesn’t feel too much more difficult than easy, but provides a 1.5x rupee bonus at the end for clearing stages. As the game goes on, you get more combos and more weapons, each a little different from the last.

cia

Koei Tecmo creates their own characters for this Zelda game, and while they’re the usual tropes we’re used to (spurred lover, cute blue-haired girl that’s always positive, angry dragon dude), there’s very few moments they get on my nerves. I actually like the villian Cia despite the fact that she’s oozing sex. She’s a cliche, don’t get me wrong, but she seems more human to me than a lot of other one-dimensional Zelda characters we’ve met in the past. Her motivation is cliched, but the story that plays out has a few twists that made the execution at least better than Anakin’s fall in the Star Wars prequels.

Truthfully, several Zelda characters actually feel more fleshed out, oddly enough. Link isn’t perfect, Zelda seems genuinely strong willed, and I’ve never really felt Ganon was as bad as I feel he is in this game. I think Nintendo really let Koei Tecmo push the boundaries of Zelda a bit, and I applaud both companies for this. I’m genuinely happy with the product: the story is safe enough that I’d play this game with younger family members, but mature enough that it gets me thinking a little. The story mode alone is worth the price in my opinion.

Speaking of playing with other people, the game is actually refreshingly open to multiplayer. The story mode, free-play, Adventure, and new Challenge Mode DLC you can get on launch day (which I had access to) all allow a second player. The game does slow down a little with all the extra action, but it’s barely noticeable and seems more like you have a power-up to see things in slow motion than the usual system lag. Really, someone deserves a promotion for dodging that bullet! However, if either player dies in a co-op match, you both fail the mission and have to restart from the last save point. What’s nice is that a player can save the game whenever they wish and restart later, but I don’t think that counts as the save point you’ll restart from should you fail a mission.

ganon

Failing missions isn’t too punishing, but with all the action on screen, things can get confusing. You’ll often miss dialogue, and lines that may not seem important can actually be serious cries for help. You’ll need to pay attention to both screens and/or pause every once in awhile to check on the status of the field. Part of me wishes there was a quest UI on the screen, but at the same time, I’m glad there isn’t anything bigger than what’s given so the screen remains uncluttered. It’s a tough call, but I’m happy enough with the current one. Just the same, I wonder if dialogue would work better with voice acting, but having it in a Zelda game would be another gamble. For now, this game did enough of that and it’s paid off. Perhaps in a sequel they can try it out.

However, one issue I have is that the Zelda controls (you choose between that or Dynasty Warrior controls) have closing hints and basic attacks assigned to the same key, so you accidentally scroll past information you probably wanted to know. Thankfully, all the tutorial tips can be accessed later at any time during the game, so it’s forgivable.

Aside from the story and use of Zelda characters, Hyrule Warriors kind of feels like Monster Hunter meets an MMO. Kill lots of little monsters to help scare up a big monster, grab parts, make new items (which act almost like a talent system, except you can max everything out eventually). It sounds awful, and maybe it is, but with the combos, several different characters, different weapons, and the Zelda inspired music, items, and characters, it creates a very heroic feeling for me, even when I’m farming for parts. I’d love an online mode that allowed for more people if the system could handle it, but maybe Nintendo and Koei-Tecmo could consider an enhanced port for PC gamers? (Let me dream!)

Again, the game isn’t too hard, especially in Legend Mode. Power ups don’t fade, even on hard mode. I’m not sure what makes hard mode more hard, but it’s still very manageable for me, and I still don’t have the combos memorized very well. Even on a later level, once I’ve gotten an idea of when things are calm by watching my allies and bases’ health, I can run around and do side objectives, even breaking from combat to get the gold skulltulas that appear (they’re not that hidden, but I also recommend people taking Lana’s path when given three options; it’ll make it so you can get a skulltula the first time you do a different path).

However, Challenge Mode is… challenging. It seems like it’s geared towards being geared, so you may want to play it last. The game gives you very specific tasks that don’t come up at all during the story mode. It just didn’t seem feasible for me to beat the challenges even when I had a tactic down. Certain upgrades certainly will make it possible, but without them, my characters’ levels really show how important leveling is in this game.

Adventure_Mode_Search

Don’t let that scare you off though! In between the two modes is “Adventure Mode,” which is still more challenging than the main game on hard mode and provides other unlockable characters and weapons not normally found in the story mode (but available once unlocked in Adventure), but not as hard as Challenge Mode. In this mode, rather than a fairly linear path, you go through panels that look like the very first Zelda game executing challenges and getting grades on them. However, the over world also can be “searched” and interacted with a bit via “item cards,” letting you do normal Zelda things like lifting rocks or bombing weak walls. It honestly has added replay value to me, and I’ve been having trouble sticking with games lately, especially this month!

If you’re connected to the network, you also can “help” other people. I never received help to my knowledge, but helping other people gave me rewards after a more challenging adventure.

Although I don’t like the way the game is handing out skins through pre-orders, I do like that it’s getting some DLC. Maybe it we’re lucky, we’ll have a way of getting the other skins too.

Overall, Hyrule Warriors is a great game. I know it’s coming out not long before the 3DS Smash Bros, but I can tell you that even after this review, I’ll still be playing it. Maybe I’ll even make you guys a map guide for Adventure Mode!

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