Guild Wars 2: New Year, New Salad

Happy New Year everyone! Along with the new year its a new Guild Wars 2 monthly, and on the 21st of January the latest installment of the living story will be released.


Like many recently, I haven’t been on Guild Wars 2 much. I had been leveling up a little Asura warrior in Kessex Hills, a real slog, but I was getting somewhere. Then the December 10th update came along and the changes to the warrior just eliminated the bits that I liked about a warrior. I’m not a warrior style player really, although I do get close with my Zerker Guardian I rely on the Guardian’s aegis and super heals to keep that DPS going. The warrior just dies, and I can’t get on with that. So, poor little Ingelix, who’s armour was even waiting for her, is now sitting in stasis.

With warrior leveling out of the question and the holiday season approaching I hadn’t been on Guild Wars 2 much at all, it was a good chance to have a break. I didn’t do any of the two Living Story achievements, at least not intentionally, and wondered if I didn’t play for a while if I’d miss it at all.

Funny thing was, I didn’t really miss it all that much.

Now though, with the holiday season coming to a close and about 2 weeks after I was last on Guild Wars 2 I got the bug to try it again. Specifically I got the bug to try out my engineer, my last non-level 80 other than Ingelix, my warrior.

My very first level 80 was an engineer funnily enough, but he was an utterly bland human that I hated. No make-over kit would have made me like him more, so it was to the dustbin with him. Yes, I deleted my first level 80 character before I had leveled up a second; crazy I know!

I’ve had a new engineer for a while now, called General Glitterbomb who is a fabulous Charr (who will eventually have a Charrzooka I hope). He’s been at the bottom of the leveling pile though, seeing as I’d already leveled an engineer before I didn’t really want to repeat that. But now, having played every other class for a long time I felt it was time to return to the engineer with a lot more experience under my belt – maybe I’d find I’d play the class very differently.

General Glitterbomb with Charrzooka - he's friendly, honest!
General Glitterbomb with Charrzooka – he’s friendly, honest!

I found two builds that had eluded me back in 2012 with my first level 80 engineer. There was the tanky elixir gun engineer and the bomb kit/tool kit engineer. I wanted to try both out, so I kitted Glitterbomb up and got queuing for WvW.

Neither worked all that well for me. I like being able to tag enemy zergs at range, which is why I generally stick to Guardian, Necro or Mesmer in WvW. The bomb kit/tool kit had potential in that department, but the bomb fuses are too long for serious zerg-play, the enemies are all dead before your bombs ever explode regardless of how awesome they are. I’ve also never got on well with the bomb kit, having grown up as a grenadier with my first engineer back in 2012. You’re either a bomber or a grenadier engineer, I don’t think you can swap between them very easily.

So that was build number 1 chalked up as failure. It might well be decent as a roaming build, but I’m not a fan of that so I can’t really comment.

Big Ol' Bomb certainly packs a punch
Big Ol’ Bomb certainly packs a punch

The elixir gun tanky engineer was better, although still lacked the tagging I was really looking for. Looking beyond that though I saw the big potential for group synergy, especially with the ability to keep my friends and allies alive even better than an elementalist in water could. I got on a lot better with this build comparatively, but it still did nothing that other classes could do better. If I wanted a similar idea I’d go with a staff based guardian, which can tag more enemies and heal better if traited specifically for it.

I guess the engineer’s strength is its flexibility. You don’t have to go down the elixir gun route entirely to be a group healing build, sometimes you can switch out to rifle to hit a single target hard. Maybe you could even swap out for grenades if you wanted to attack an enemy’s walls. I think that added flexibility comes at too high a cost though, with most builds feeling decidedly lack-luster.

I’m going to stick with my engineer though. What my WvW experience taught me was that I still like what I did back in 2012. I’m still a grenadier, and I still love the flamethrower. The flamethrower in particular gets a lot of ridicule, but aside from it being fantastic fun to play with, its also the best group tagging weapon the engineer has if you want to give your finger a rest from the manic clicking of grenades. So, don’t write the flamethrower off despite what everyone might tell you. I’d recommend it as the weapon kit of choice for group events with mobs such as Arah!

A borrowed screenshot giving an idea of how crazy the Arah meta-event can get
A borrowed screenshot giving an idea of how crazy the Arah meta-event can get

All of this engineer experimenting though wasn’t all that enjoyable. I almost wished there was a way to just teleport Glitterbomb up to level 80, aside from the crafting route which I’m bored stiff of now.

What else do I have to do though? I’d like to make an ascended torch for my mesmer, but I pretty much have all the bits for that so it wouldn’t be much effort at all if I could summon the will to make it. I’d also like to get him an ascended back piece, but that’s just a gold grind for the tier 6 crafting materials now, and I really can’t summon the will to do that. I also quite fancy the vision of the mists great sword on him, but that’s also a big gold grind.

Vision Of The Mists Greatsword
Vision Of The Mists Greatsword

What else is there to do in Tyria? There’s the Living Story, but I didn’t miss that at all for the 2 weeks that I didn’t play for. The Wintersday stuff is all recycled, so I’ve done all that before, and the Kessex Hills story isn’t really a story – just an achievement point hunt around a new area. Well, a slightly altered area. Neither of those push my buttons.

Maybe the new Living Story arch can re-ignite my will power to play Guild Wars 2. The news is that the Scarlet story line will be coming to a close after 4 big Living Stories. They want to make these Living Stories big and epic, so they’re back to 4 weeks between each release apparently. That puts the completion of Scarlet, and hopefully her demise, back into the Summer at my best guess. Unless each of those releases is something special that’s a long time to wait for the possible Living Story gold post-Scarlet.

Scarlett's End Is Neigh?
Scarlett’s end is neigh?

The trouble is is that I can almost sense what’s going to happen. Scarlet will be finished off, maybe not killed but instead captured and repents for her actions, and it then transpires that she was just the pawn of a bigger, badder evil being trying to destroy Tyria. I can feel that coming, and if it is true I will be severely disappointed. I hope to be proved wrong though!

With these 4 Living Stories, preliminary findings from the eagle eyed players on the Living Story Discussion Forum suggest that these stories will be human focused, with a potential attack on Lion’s Arch and Divinity’s Reach. Humans and their problems again! I’d love to have a Living Story in the Sylvari, Asura or Charr lands for a change. I’m fed up of Human problems dominating the Living Story.

So, with all things Guild Wars 2 considered, Digital Salad looks set to be taking more of a break from GW2 in the near future. I’ll keep you updated on what I get up to though, but for now I’ll be joining to ranks of other people taking a break from GW2. There’ll likely be more posts about GW2 though, and I also expect to be posting about the Edge Of The Mists new WvW map test very soon as well – which I’m still taking part in. Stay tuned!

New Year’s Digital Salad Gaming Resolution: Play what I want to however I want to – don’t be changed by the convention!


Digital Salad –


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