Posts Tagged ‘guildwars’

GuildWars 2: “The Floating Grizwhirl”

I was a fan of the original GuildWars online MMORPG from the first moment I discovered it included the Mesmer profession for player characters. I played it for several years and still do on occasion, but I long since did everything I could and even creating a new character with a different profession wasn’t all that interesting any longer. Now I’ve found a similar interest in the sequel game, GuildWars 2.

Three years ago, ArenaNet released GuildWars 2. One of the great mysteries surrounding the release was the final character profession, which was (as many players were hoping) again the Mesmer profession, much changed from the first game, alas. GuildWars 2 was, like its predecessor, a non‐subscription game, with only the initial payment for the client software the only main outlay to play the game. At the time, and since, I couldn’t really afford the (admittedly minimal) cost, plus, at the time, I didn’t have a fast enough Internet connection that could handle the massive size of the client download. Therefore, I parked my interest in the game and carried on with other things.

Just recently, however, ArenaNet “unlocked” the game, so people could play it for free. Granted, access is limited to only two characters, and other aspects are limited or locked, but the core elements are still available. I decided to give it a try and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Of course, I had to create a Mesmer character, actually two of them. Part of the character creation is a series of questions about the character’s past. The one human character (the other character is a Norn, which are very large human‐appearing beings: I tried a Sylvari (plant‐based creature) but I wasn’t satisfied with the visual image, although I may return to that race in the future) was asked about what they wished they had done in their past: having seen the questions and the results before, I answered the question with “run off to join the circus.” That determined the series of quests in the second segment of the character’s personal development story, involving the Floating Grizwhirl.

The Floating Grizwhirl

The Floating Grizwhirl was a hypnotic device used by the Ringmaster (no, not that one) to foment chaos and destruction within the capital city of Divinity’s Reach and the ultimate overthrow of Queen Jenna. The character is drawn into the plot through the machinations of a particular Minister and the need to rescue a lost child. That leads to a confrontation with hypnotized carnies, a personal tryout for the carnival, a private meeting with the Ringmaster and the ultimate confrontation with the Ringmaster and the hypnotized audience. Along the way, the player’s character gets hypnotized by the Ringmaster and led to believe that everyone around them is a monster, who are similarly hypnotized.

The above video is the first quest, where the character investigates the missing child. Note that the video above unfortunately cuts out near the end. However, the player character is a Mesmer, which is why I used it.

My only quibble is that we never get to see the Floating Grizwhirl in action. I was hoping for some pretty serious special effects here, at least some spirals or swirls.

A Mesmer Update — GuildWars

ArenaNet, the company behind GuildWars, has been working on a followup game entitled GuildWars 2. It has been an open question whether one of the original professions, Mesmers, (the one I like the best and the one most relevant to this blog) would be carried over to GuildWars 2. To this date, four  original professions (Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist and Necromancer) have been announced, as has one new profession (Guardian) but no official word on the Mesmer profession so far.

But although it may not be officially confirmed by ArenaNet but a number of clues have emerged to suggest that this will, indeed be the case. And I am a happy puppy to hear it.

TalkTyria, a GW and GW2 fansite, has a new article entitled ‘Hypnotized, Mesmerized … By What the Fans Believe’ that presents a number of facts to support this suggestion. They include the fact that the first GW2 novel, “Ghosts of Ascalon” by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck, and the second novel, “Edge of Destiny” by J. Robert King, both mention Mesmers; that a major character in the game storyline, Queen Jennah of the human realm of Ascalon, is a Mesmer (pretty handy for a Queen to be able to manipulate the minds and will of her subjects) and that Jeff Grubb himself has stated that:

People will, who play a ritualist or a mesmer or a necromancer or any of the old, old characters, will feel like they have a home somewhere in Guild Wars 2.

Another fan site, GuildWars2Guru, also has a post which collects information about the Mesmer profession, here. It does into much more detail from the second novel about how Queen Jennah uses her Mesmer abilities. Now I realize that what literary characters can do and what the player characters will be able to do are not likely to be the same, but just the fact that she that she is a Mesmer is a welcome sign.

So I am now looking forward to GW2 and exploring the abilities of another Mesmer character, probably a Sylvari (a new race that was born from plants) just because I think they look cool. And, of course, Mesmers are always cool.

Addenda: I don’t know what his exact title is, but Jeff Grubb is also the head person directing the plot development for GuildWars 2. Jeff used to be with TSR (the people who published Dungeons & Dragons) and was the line editor for their immensely popular Dragonlance series and also worked on the (also) immensely popular Forgotten Realms product line. And he was one of Dungeon Masters I ran with back in my days at Purdue.

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