So let me tell you about my characters.

Today is one of those days where my fingers are all twitchy because I do not want to beeeee at work I want to beeeee at home scaling mountains to spectacular vistas and making imaginary people fake love me. It’s been a month and some change, and I have four characters I play regularly with one at level cap, not just one but two helper apps, 50% world completion, and a burning, searing desire for MOAR EXPLOR.

I feel it important to once again note here that originally I did not even really want to play this game. It’s like I got suckerpunched with awesome. POW! RIGHT IN THE FREE TIME!

So with that being said, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Alessia Navarra in unfortunate armor

Lady Alessia Navarra in unfortunate armor.

Alessia is my Ranger, level-capped and equipped with a dizzying array of weapons and pets. I have her specced for longbow and felines now, for the distance and bleed effects; she is an unstoppable killing machine and it is GLORIOUS. I spend most of my time with the jungle stalker for the AOE vigor in group events (and also he is very pretty and, uh, matches the armor SHUT UP DON’T JUDGE ME), though in WvW I switch it up to shortbow/canine because man, there is NOTHING more hilarious in this game than a cripple-fear combo. “ow my leg AIEEEEEE”

Unfortunately, hitting 80 also meant some seriously unfortunate armor. It’s not really the design I object to — it’s well made, and at least an understandable amount of flesh-flashing (as opposed to the human cultural armor, oh my god underboob pain pain ugh). I very much like the style and I especially like the attention to detail on the textures of the grommets (especially in the pants, those are fabulous). But I can’t … quite … make it look right, and I think that’s a combination of the way the dye zones are clustered and the fact that Berserker leather is tuned much darker in the color zones than other leather stuff. I can’t make ANYTHING look nice and it’s super frustrating. I AM WILLING TO ACCEPT COLOR SUGGESTIONS (that do not include abyss, midnight fire, or midnight ice, because that shit is way too rich for my blood. I have never even SEEN five gold, let alone have it lying around).

My favorite thing is that Alessia is also my chef, so when she hit level cap after an asparagus bender at the cooking station, I noticed that her personal story was still at quest level 54. That means, considering my exploration drive, probably at least 20 levels just from crafting. God, I love this game.

Savant Zykka is unimpressed with your bullshit.

Savant Zykka is unimpressed with your bullshit.

So here is a thing that surprised me: asura are fucking amazing.

They’re hilarious, but not really so much in the short people lol comic relief midget way that you almost always get. It’s more that they’re hilarious because they’re not human, they don’t want to be human, and they don’t have time for your bullshit because they have shit to do and worlds to shape through the sheer power of their massive, massive brains. WHICH IS AWESOME. Also, they live in a Borg cube. I am not made of stone.

Zykka is my elementalist (as aforementioned asura or charr were my only choices for a cloth-wearing caster). She is also my littlest character, because I was just NOT getting the elementalist. I just … I can’t … y’all, I can kite like a motherfucker, but I wasn’t doing enough damage to make it worthwhile. Ten minutes on a regular trash mob is not acceptable. So, in desperation, I did what I should’ve done in the first place and asked the internets for help. Turns out that while I was TOLD that scepter/dagger was high dps and what one should be using solo, what they meant was you should be using it solo once you have a shitton of +power gear to flesh it out, not when you’re level twelve and desperate. SO. A pair of daggers and enough use of Ride the Lightning to power the entire eastern seaboard later, I AM MUCH HAPPIER.

And I’m glad for it, because seriously just look at her, she’s fucking adorable.

Brigid Sigursdottir, FUCKING FABULOUS

Brigid Sigursdottir, FUCKING FABULOUS

I don’t think it’s possible for the norn and their zones to be any more jaw-droppingly spectacular looking. Their vistas appear to be designed expressly and for gorgeous screenshots, and the way their idle animations fire and the NPCs talk about beer it’s kind of amazing that my guardian is only up in the 20s. All hey do is talk about beer, and jackalopes, and offering beer to jackalopes, and it makes me happy deep in my malted heart. Each of the background setup questions begins with “I got blackout drunk and”.

The guardian, much like the elementalist, depends a lot on weapon choice to not be stupid and boring and dumb. For example, your weapon skills page will tell you that you can use a mace and a shield. DO NOT DO THIS, THIS IS A HORRIBLE TERRIBLE LIE. It is the most boring thing you will ever, ever do. Instead, as my friend the mechanics nerd recommends, go for a sword and torch. You will BURN LIKE FIERY JUSTICE and become AN UNSTOPPOABLE BLUE FLAME OF ENDLESS DEATH. It’s fucking amazing and I love it.


Pereskia is sweet and charming and smiley right up until she stabs you in the face.

I have many feels about the sylvari, not the least of which is that they, along with the charr, have the only really good masculine models in the game. And in fact this, my prickly pear-inspired thief, was going to be male right up until the second I saw this leafy ponytail style. After that I was doomed and basically just entirely done for. I mean come on. It is a long frilly flippy ponytail MADE OF LEAVES. What do you people want from me?

There are a lot of lore things about the sylvari that I don’t understand (most of which you can find in the comments of my last GW2 post such as for example PLANTS DO NOT LACTACTE), but I can set all of that aside just for how beautiful they all are. I mean … I just … look at this character. She is a cactus with needles on her face. Needles. On her face. She can stab you to death with her daggers OR HER FACE.

Also, she glows in the dark. Seriously.

I’m still not really comfortable with my knowledge of Tyria as a world — I may actually have to pick up tie-in novels, which I swore off years ago THANKS FOR NOTHING CHRISTIE GOLDEN — but the personal stories are interesting enough, especially with the character generation questions, that even without being able to get into the world as a whole I’m invested enough in my characters to keep going. It’ll be interesting to see if and how that changes when I start getting to story ends.