Monthly Archives: June 2013

Adrenaline Full

Although my traits are centred around axe usage, I’m beginning to enjoy using longbow on my warrior in Guild Wars 2. Playing as warrior in Guild Wars 2 feels a lot like playing Final Fantasy XI.

  • Warrior in Guild Wars 2: your attacks build adrenaline in up to three stages, which can be used to perform a devastating attack (termed ‘burst skill’) with effectiveness depending on amount of adrenaline built.
  • Any job in Final Fantasy XI: your attacks charge a weapon skill bar up to 300%, which   can be used to perform a devastating attack (termed ‘weapon skill’) with effectiveness depending on how much of the bar is charged.

Okay fine so Guild Wars 2 copied Final Fantasy XI directly. But it is a very enjoyable system and Guild Wars 2 represents all the best characteristics of every other MMORPG in the market.

My original intended level 80 build relied on keeping a full adrenaline bar and gaining +15% damage (Berserker’s Power) and +15% critical rate (Heightened Focus). But I really like longbow’s burst skill since it has a huge AoE and deals large damage over time through burning. If I can find a way to maximise adrenaline gain to use burst skills as often as possible while keeping my damage and critical rate reasonably high, I’ll probably switch from dual axes to longbow.

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A New Journey

So today I started on my fourth Guild Wars 2 character, this time as human warrior. I plan to go axe/axe and longbow all the way to level 80. Dual axes are very rarely seen on warriors and I like to be different from the crowd of greatsword-wielding warriors. For my second weapon set, originally I had planned to go rifle but rifle lacks any form of AoE skills. Longbow complements my playstyle nicely and I can attack from a safe distance in dynamic events with champion mobs.

I plan to use the 5 signet build all the way to level 80 and then switch to a shouts build for endgame content. So far, dual axes and longbow works well for every situation I have encountered.However, I am still in the mid-20s so only time will tell if my weapon choices are solid.


PVE Ranger Build: Critical Beastmaster

This is a build I used when levelling my Sylvari Ranger in Guild Wars 2, though it can be applied to any race. The aim of this build is to buff your pet to incredibly high stats and quickly stack might on your pet. This build does not rely on condition damage to kill even though you will be applying many stacks of bleeding as a side effect of this build. Note that while this build is very effective in PVE, it has limited effectiveness in WvW, dungeons and PVP for reasons I will explain later.

  • Pet selection

Felines (jaguar, lynx) or drakes (any). Felines have high innate Precision and high critical proc rate. drakes have high vitality and toughness needed for tanking.

  • Trait distribution

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10 Marksmanship (traits: I)

30 Skirmishing (traits: I, V, VII)

30 Beastmastery (traits (II, VII*, XII)

* : Beastmastery VII can be swapped with one of the other traits if you are not using drakes, felines, devourers or sharks.

  • Trait explanation

30 Beastmastery gives +300 to ALL of your pets stats, making your pet a high-powered, critical-dealing, tanking juggernaut. Trait II (Master’s Bond) gives your pet additional stat boosts everytime you or your pet kill a mob and stacks up to 25 times. Do note that this stat bonus resets on switching pets, going underwater or on land or pet death, which will happen a lot in PVP, WvW and dungeons. Therefore, this build is best used in PVE. Trait VII (Rending Attacks) adds side damage in the form of bleeding everytime your pet does a critical hit, which happens a lot with max Beastmastery and max Master’s Bond. Furthermore, felines have very high innate Precision and critical almost 60% of the time even without these bonuses. Trait XII (Natural Healing) gives your pet a source of regeneration and while does nothing for its damage dealing potential, it helps to keep your pet alive when tanking multiple mobs.

30 Skirmishing gives you 300 Precision (for critical proc rate) and +30% critical damage. Trait I (Pet’s Prowess) buffs your pet’s critical damage, adding to its overall dps. Trait V (Companion’s Might) lets you apply might to your pet everytime you land a critical hit. Your gear should be focused on precision and critical chance to make sure you land as many critical hits as possible to stack might on your pet. Trait VII (Carniverous Appetite) lets your pet drain life on critical hits, adding to its tanking potential.

10 Marksmanship lets you pick trait I (Steady Focus), which increases your damage while your endurance is full. Try to avoid dodge rolling as much as possible.

  • Weapon selection

Shortbow: has many condition-applying skills and very fast fire rate. More attacks equal more critical hits, which leads to more might on your pet, more bleeding and overal more dps.

Sword: has very fast attack rate (same effect as shortbow) with some evasion skills that don’t use up endurance.

Warhorn: needed for Call of the Wild which grants Fury (=20% critical chance), Might and Swiftness for 15 seconds. Self-explanatory.

  • Utility skills

Quickening Zephyr: increases your action speed (includes skill usage and auto-attack) for 6 seconds. Use it when opening a fight.

Signet of Stone: its passive ability grants toughness to you and your pet. Upon activation, your pet takes no damage for a few seconds, which can ultimately save your pet from death.

Signet of the Wild: its passive ability grants you and your pet regeneration.

  • Elite skill

Rampage as One: You and your pet gain fury, stability and swiftness upon activation. While in effect, whenever you or your pet attack, you grant each other might. Very useful for soloing veterans and skill challenges.

  • Gear selection

You should be using berserker gear (power, precision, critical damage) to further improve yoru critical proc rate and slightly increase your dps. For runes, I use Superior Rune of the Ranger. Alternatively, use Superior Rune of Divinity for more survivabiltiy but they are more expensive. Use Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+5% critical chance) on your main weapons and Superior Sigil of Earth for longer bleeding duration.

  • Playstyle

Open a fight with Crippling Shot from your Shortbow. while your pet moves to attack and draw aggro, you should flank the mob to stack bleeding from your auto-attack. The idea is to stand still behind the mob and fire away. Yes, this is a very lazy playstyle. 😛 Do not swap pets as the Master’s Bond will reset. Do not dodge roll unless absolutely necessary as you will lose the damage bonus from Steady Focus. Activate your pet’s skill (F2) whenever possible. Jaguar’s pet skill, Stalk, gives it stealth for 6 seconds. While in stealth, all attacks are automatic critical hits!

When attempting to solo skill challenges, use Call of the Wild from your warhorn and activate the skill challenge. Immediately use your sword’s Hornet Sting to dodge back out of the mob’s range. Switch to shortbow and use Crippling Shot. Activate Rampage as One and Quickening Zephyr and use all your skills not on cooldown. Hopefully the mob will have his back turned but if not, flank him. With two sources of regeneration (Natural Healing, Signet of the Wild) and the ability to drain life on critical hits, your pet should be capable of tanking any mob short of champions.

  • Conclusion

This is a very easy build to play and a good start for people new to Guild Wars 2. It may be a bit boring to some veteran players as you hardly need to move around or swap pets, but it is effective in killing mobs quickly through buffed critical hits and bleeding. Word of caution, do not let your pet die. If your pet is in danger, activate Signet of Stone and use a healing skill (I didn’t specify which because they’re all somewhat equal in effectiveness). This build relies mostly on your pet’s damage output so dead pet equals no damage.

Hope you enjoy this build.


Holographic Dragon Wings

Finally got my Holographic Dragon Wings to drop from a centaur in Harathi Hinterlands today. 🙂 Now my Sylvari Ranger has a nice backpiece too.

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There are two exclusive backpieces that can be obtained during the Dragon Bash meta-event which started on June 11 and lasts until July 9.

  • Holographic Shattered Dragon Wings: Complete the Dragon Bash meta achievement which required 8 out of 14 of the achievements possible.
  • Holographic Dragon Wings: Random rare drop from world enemies, random rare loot in Dragon Coffers or Rich Dragon Coffers, and can be bought from the event vendor in Lion’s Arch for 100 Jorbreakers (100,000 Zhaitaffy).

In my opinion, completing the meta-achievement is a lot easier (and cheaper) than accumulating 100,000 Zhaitaffy. I don’t suggest buying Rich Dragon Coffers from the gem store because the increase in chance to obtain the Holographic Dragon Wings is very minimal and not worth the money. Just work on the meta-achievement for the shattered version and be active during the event. I played 30 minutes a day since the event began and it took me 2 weeks to get the Holographic Dragon wings to drop. Just go out and kill stuff and it’ll drop eventually.Having high magic find helps, though I was only on 10% magic find the entire time.


Sky Pirates of Tyria

The new Sky Pirates of Tyria meta-event is out today on Guild Wars 2, along with many trait changes and balances across all professions. Personally, I think rangers got the worst deal. Almost all their damage dealing pets had their damage nerfed by more than 50%.

The new story dungeon, Aetherblade Retreat, is requires 5 members and follows borrows some concepts from Canach’s Lair in a previous meta-event, The Secret of Southsun. There are mines, traps and puzzles in addition to a new type of enemy, the Aetherblade. I only tried it myself for a short time. My party got fed up at the last boss of the dungeon. 😦

Besides the story dungeon, there are new achievements linked to finding caches in jumping puzzles all over Tyria. Guarding these caches are Aetherblade, and killing 50 of them in each region nets a respective achievement. Killing 250 Aetherblade across all regions gives you another achievement. There are several optional achievements for pulling stunts in the story dungeon such as saluting the final boss in the fight. Getting 12 out of 25 of these achievements earn you the meta achievement and a Mini Horrik miniature. (Horrik is the last boss of the dungeon) The reward isn’t worth the trouble of getting the meta achievement if you ask me, but completionists may want the achievements anyway.

A more interesting achievement that was added to the Explorer category is the History Buff. All you have to do is find 12 Mariner Plaques and you get a Sea of Sorrows book item that gives five skill points to the character that uses it! 11 of the plaques are located in Lion’s Arch and the final plaque is located in Malchor’s Leap in Orr. Overall, this is a very easy way to obtain five skill points and an achievement. The only requirement is having a character that has access to Malchor’s Leap or is close to level 80 to survive the journey there. Alternatively, you could ask a bunch of friends or guildmates to run you there, but expect to die a lot.

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For a full walkthrough to the location of these plaques, check out Duffy’s awesome guide.using this link: http://dulfy.net/2013/06/23/gw2-history-buff-marriner-plaques-achievement-guide/ . Many thanks to Duffy for putting together such a great guide!

Since today’s set of daily achievements include three skill points accumulated, I got to thinking. Would using the Sea of Sorrows item which grant five skill points count toward this daily? For those of you who haven’t fulfilled the skill points daily achievement and have the item, try it out! I’m gonna wait till next week since I already did my dailies. 🙂


Upcoming RPGs on PS3 for August – December 2013

Here’s a list of upcoming RPGs on the PS3 for the rest of 2013 that I am most excited about.

  • Tales of Xillia (release date: 6 August 2013)

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  • Kingdom hearts HD 1.5 Remix (release date: 10 September 2013)

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  • Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster (release date: 31 December 2013)

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Of the three, I am most excited about Tales of Xillia which was given a perfect 10/10 score in Japan, making it the highest rated Tales game in history. After playing Tales of Graces f, I am really looking forward to what Tales of Xillia has to offer.

Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix is a bundle containing HD versions of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories, as well as HD cinematic footage from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster is another bundle containing HD versions of Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. OK so these two Final Fantasy titles aren’t exactly the best in the series, but I never got to finish Final Fantasy X-2 on my PS2 (it crashed alot in its last few weeks). Note that the release date for Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD remaster isn’t set in stone. The official sources say “end of 2013”. I got the exact date from a Japanese fansite, but it could be wrong.

Other RPGs coming out on PS3 later this year include:-

  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (release date: 27 August 2013)

The first release was an epic failure. Square Enix decided to remake the entire game and are gonna release it in August. From what I’ve read, it is much better than the first version, but still not really that great. It borrows (or copies) alot from World of Warcraft, so it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Think of it as World of Warcraft with Final Fantasy lore. At the moment, the game is free on PC but once it’s released on PS3 monthly fees will be charged again. Personally, I don’t see it going very far, with so many better options out there *cough*Guild Wars 2*cough*.

  • Diablo 3 (release date: 9 September 2013)

Click-fest is all I can say. Though action RPGs tend to work better on console than PC. Simply because tapping a button several thousand times doesn’t wear out your fingers as much as mouseclicking several thousand times.


Redundancy of Result Verification

Having worked in a medical diagnostic lab all this while, I still don’t understand the point of result verification. For those of you not in the scientific field, when a test (for glucose or calcium levels in a blood sample for example) is done, the standard operating procedure (SOP) is if the result is normal (i.e. falls within normal human range), the result is accepted. But if the result is abnormal, the test has to be repeated to check for its validity.

Now here’s the part I don’t understand. Why do you doubt an abnormal result but gladly accept a normal one without any further investigation? Over-optimism, perhaps? A normal result has just the same chance of being false as an abnormal one.

Another thing that makes the whole procedure pointless is that in a lab, everyone wants perfect results. So let me give you a scenario of what happens in a lab (based on one of my true experiences). A glucose test is abnormally high, 340 mg/dl. The normal human glucose range is 50 – 300 mg/dl. So I repeat the test using a different machine. This is to check if the result was affected by machine error. The result comes out as 298 mg/dl. Yay, the machine was wrong and the patient is normal!

But wait, the supervisor says, “No, that can’t be right. Repeat it until you get the same results as the first test.” In conculsion, there are only two outcomes to repeating a test. Either you get back the same result, rendering the entire affair a waste of time, energy and reagents (which aren’t cheap), or you get a different result and your supervisor tells you to repeat it over until you get the same result, leading to… the same result, loss of time, energy and reagents and in addition a lecture from your supervisor.

If everyone wants an unchanging result, what’s the point of result verification? Why not just release the original result? But no, there’s the SOP. *sigh* The whole system is broken.


An Introduction

Hi. I’m Demi and this is my fourth blog. The first one I got tired of twenty years ago, the second got so many ads and spam that I had to shut it down and the third I, well, forgot the password after I accidentally logged out (I use auto sign in coz’ I’m lazy :P). I’m 24 years old, recently graduated and stuck in a dead-end job I hate. I guess you could classify me as a hardcore gamer, but I also like to read as a side hobby.

So what’s going to be on this blog? Things I find interesting in my life, experiences both in-game and out of game that I feel the need to share, tips and miniguides for certain parts of games that were difficult for me that I feel another person could benefit from, and so on. So basically, anything.

Since I have a (crappy) job now, I won’t be posting as much as with my previous blogs. But I will try and post new content whenever I’m free. Till the next post.