Friday, November 30, 2007

Guild Wars: Rawr's Cup

I'll let you know, straight up, that I'm planning on spending most of my time this weekend catching up on my playtime. I intend to fire up GW and play until my eyeballs have dropped out of the sockets and are swinging around like a disgusting pendulum that I will then use to whack the keyboard and activate hotkeys so I can play even longer. I have a few goals heading into the weekend. I want to collect the rest of the PvE skills, finish up GW:EN, clean out my inventories (I did a runthrough earlier for some emergency space clearing but I really need to go over everything and decide things like whether or not I really need to have 15 Miner's keys in my vault. Or if it wouldn't be better off to sell them off and invest the money in lockpicks.) and, then, get some new armor. Now that I'm rich (Aw, dammit, I never posted that, did I? Sigh...), I've decided I should update my wardrobe. While it's going to be a shock after scrimping and saving for so long, for one thing, I want to get a set of tats for my Monk - haven't decided on which skin yet but I want the "running around naked" look - and the parchment and/or vellum alone is going to set me back 30~50k. I can easily afford it but I have to fight my miserly urges at the sticker shock. The other thing I want to do is catch up on my obs time. I really haven't been watching any matches lately and that's not a good thing. I might not be able to play myself but, if I ever want to, it'll be easier to get caught up if I know the basics of how things are done.

So, the Rawr Cup comes at a perfect time.

I've known about it for a while now without being aware of it. In my defense I've been a little busy with other things this month. But my attitude towards it was rather, "Oh yeah, there's some sort of player run tournament coming up. People have mentioned it to me. I should look into thaaaa----hey, shiny! Aw man, it's just tin foil. Again. Every time. What were we thinking about again?" But when it gets mentioned in the official patch notes and it's getting in-game support it's a big enough deal for me to sit up and take notice.

It looks sweet, from what I can tell. The sort of thing I always hoped would crop up but was rendered pointless by the Championship tournaments. Now that those are a thing of the past, it's nice to see that the community is stepping up and filling the void. It also opens up some interesting possibilities with special rules and conditions for the tournament - imagine a round where everyone was restricted to Prophesies era skills or Sins and Paragons were disallowed, or even matches where teams were required to run four Elementalists, there are a lot of ways to get crazy with this sort of thing. But just the fact that they're going to have divisions, levels of competition so the weaker teams aren't run off the map and the stronger teams can be at each other's throats alone is enough to get me excited.

If I've done the conversion right, tomorrow's matches will start at noon, eastern for the junior division. A half hour later, it's the welterweights' turn. Then, at 1PM EST, it's the main attraction as the top-flight teams in the Dragon Division start going at it (Should be about 10AM PST for that, as well.). That's just perfect for me and should make for a pleasant afternoon's viewing.

It seems the developers are amped up for this, too, as the K values have been tweaked so no one loses much rating - eliminating the concerns of teams in the higher end of the bracket dropping like a stone after some quirky upsets, no doubt - and the obs mode panel now displays the last ten instead of the last four. That should make following the multiple rounds easier. Although I 'm a little confused at this point if they're following tournament rules and having best of three contests or the AT format and having it be one and done.

The Dragon division looks loaded with good teams and better players. My money's on Dark Alley, obviously, but you've got [EW] and [vD] and more. Little more unfamiliar with the lower tiers of competition but nice to see my old pals in XoO and the Knights Templar are trying to field teams. Haven't seen any schedules announced yet, though, although with the logistics involved in putting together this sort of thing that's not really surprising. It's herding cats, and my respect goes out to everyone working to put this thing together.

Also, in a bit of happy unexpected news, there's going to be a live broadcast of Weapon of Choice at the same time the tournament is kicking off. Always loved that show and it seems it's going to be sticking around after the tournament, which is good to hear. Kestrel will be on the Uberguilds channel starting at 1PM EST. I'm definitely going to be tuning in as I try to scope out the best matches.

Sigh, I only wish I'd gotten clued in early enough to actually play myself. Oh well, maybe next time.

Fortunately, I'm already covered, myself, for catching matches but I would be remiss if I didn't mention this little tip for catching the matches you really want to see. The guild tab. If you're in a guild then their last match is always available for you to review. And most of the hardcore PvPers are generally pretty nice about inviting people. It means you have to leave your guild, if you're in one, as you can't guest over for it, but if that doesn't bother you then it's a good way to make sure you don't miss that match you really want to see. All you have to do is ask and, you know, not be a complete dick about it.

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