Saturday, October 25, 2008

Guild Wars: The Simple Pleasures

It's a beautiful autumn night. I've got a bowl full of musamun curry and a bottle of a pumpkin spice pale ale that I've been saving up laid out in front of me. In the fridge, I have the last of a crisp made from bitingly sour apples, from fall's first snap, and, in the freezer, the last scrapings of the vanilla ice cream left in the carton. It's cold enough that the furnace is on and I can hear its low, soft rattling behind the walls. Outside, the rain is falling and the wind is whipping, stripping leaves and branches from their trees. It's cold enough that I can hold my hand just away from a window and feel the faint ghost of a chill. There is no moon and clouds hide the stars. Tonight is a night rich in mischief. A night where mortal man is feared to tread. One that seems tailor made for witches to ride and goblins to prowl.

And for this gamer to spend a few hours in the Costume Brawl.

I think I'll take the Ranger for a spin tonight.

It's what I used this afternoon when the format unlocked and I was quite pleased with the results. If anything, it's better than last year since you have an even better snare available in Melandru's. It's a bit more conditional but it's a poor Ranger who can't pick out a target that's moving. The beauty of Melandru's is that it's multi-purposed. You can use it to pound on foes or to cover a retreat. With it and that flexibility, the Ranger's still the same as it was back then – you've got the tools to take down anyone if you play your cards right. The CB is a split format, one where movement and reaction and evaluation on the fly are key and there's a reason Rangers have always been favored as split characters.

I was planning on taking the tempting looking Elementalist for a whirl but my experiences earlier revealed that my love of Shatterstone is probably clouding my judgment. I'd probably be able to play the Ele better than the opponents who glyphed right into a D-Shot while I was anticipating their casts but it looks like a tougher bar to run right. I want to get into the flow of things and why not use a bar that's both comfortable and easy to play?

One bar I'm going to be staying away from is that of the Warrior. The other thing I learned from this afternoon is that a Warrior is easy prey. They don't have a way to cleanse themselves of conditions. Or a way of avoiding attacks other than the one shot of Shield Bash. And, more importantly, they lack an on demand speed buff. So you can keep them chugging and puffing as they degen away – no heal, either, so you can just chip away as they struggle to get into range. Funny, if you ask me, but likely frustrating to play.

I was looking forward to this but I didn't think I'd be quite this excited. I kept looking at the clock and wondering when I could get out of there and back in front of my gaming rig – such as it is – for some more. Now I've got food, good food, but it's only going to be barely noticed fuel as I'm sucked once more into the flow of the game. This is looking like a lost weekend, in so many words. After that the games go on and I'll have to move on to other endeavors.

But, for now, for this night, I'm ready to ride on with the ghouls and the ghosts and the other creatures of the night.

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