Are you sensing a trend? During weeks when the majority of gaming eyes are turned toward a convention, it's good to spotlight stories and discussions that aren't coming directly from the show floor. With that in mind, hit the jump and let's see what's going on outside of PAX East!
ArenaNet might be making a splash with the Guild Wars 2 Thief, but the team isn't focusing solely on that. ANet sent down the first detailed crafting update, and it was met with a surprisingly lukewarm reception. Massively Reader DevilSei summed it up:
"All right, first time I've had to say 'meh' toward a bit of Guild Wars 2 info.
"The crafting system sounds nice at least in terms of being discovered, but the novelty of such a system will wear thin, even if it does record the recipes, rather quickly. And to be honest, their hopes of making crafters more unique through it simply isn't going to work out. People will post this stuff in the wiki, so all it takes is looking it up on said wiki. There is no distinction, just the annoyance of having to find the mats to 'discover' the recipe.
"Then again, if I want to have a 'Flaming Sword' crafted, all I have to do is gather the mats and give them to someone, regardless of whether he learned it or not. Or, I don't know, maybe craft it myself instead.
"And what is the point of limiting professions, if you'll let them return to it anyways? It just sounds like its going to be tedious. There's no apparent reason to stick to a crafting discipline other than the cost of switching around, which is easily mitigated by creating four characters, since gathering apparently doesn't factor into the restrictions.
"The original system worked just fine. It wasn't broken, so why try fixing it? They could have easily left in the discovery portion to make it a little more unique, but there isn't really much else that needed to be done.
"Hell, if we are going to have personal instances, why not include NPCs that we give the materials to and instruct them to screw around and experiment with them? As they do so, they can learn new recipes and use more combinations of materials. Lets say they originally start at two spaces for mats, but as they get more proficient, they gain additional spaces."
Dungeons and Dragons Online has its roots in Dungeons and Dragons, and last week's Exploring Eberron discussed introducing DDO players to the PnP version. Ides likes the concept but sees some unused potential:
"I'm currently in the process of rediscovering D&D after a seven-year hiatus, and it's interesting to compare our experiences. I bought the 'red box' mostly out of curiosity, but it turned out to be an excellent intro to 4th edition even for someone with around 18 years of experience with prior editions. The choose-your-own-adventure style of the first booklet is a stroke of genius.
"It is a shame that, instead of building the red box as an intro to the existing rulebooks, WotC have used it as a springboard into a whole new product line (D&D Essentials). I can't see the value in the two 'Player's Essentials' books, and I agree with HereticalPenguin: The Player's Handbook should be the next thing you buy after the red box. Unfortunately, any characters that you bring through from the red box will need a few tweaks at this point, which could have been avoided."
Finally, RIFT is still causing a huge buzz in the gaming community. Valdamar jumped in on a recent One Shots to give his impressions:
"Gloamwood Pines is a really nice town -- just don't try entering it when you feel like howling at the moon.
"Although I prefer the Defiant faction -- and am playing Defiant currently -- it's a shame that the Guardians get such better outposts in their first two zones (Silverwood/Gloamwood) than the Defiants get in theirs. Freemarch has no Portalarium town like the Guardians have with Argent Glade in Silverwood (though the next patch is apparently adding a Portalarium to Knight's Stand near Smith's Haven, which has no facilities whatsoever except the Knight with the cheese quest/achievement, although being able to teleport to near Denegar's Stand will be useful). Granite Falls in Stonefield is decent enough, but it's not as atmospheric as Gloamwood Pines... actually, that goes for all of Stonefield when compared to Gloamwood.
"It also makes handing in crafting dailies a lot more annoying for Defiants for the first two crafting tiers, having to ride out to King's Reach and all the way across Freemarch to Denegar's Stand every day, when Guardians can just portal to Argent Glade and walk a short distance to the adjacent Quicksilver College.
"Also, the Guardians have much better crafting facilities in their first zone, Silverwood, as they are all concentrated in Argent Glade in the same area, while newbie crafters in Freemarch have to run between King's Reach and Kelari Refuge, because the Forge and the Weaponsmith/Armoursmith/Mining trainers are at the former and everything else is at the latter. It's not a problem once you've reached Meridian (where all crafting facilities are in the same room), but for newbies it can be annoying, especially if you're a Weaponsmith or Artificer that needs to work in both wood and metal or an Armoursmith that needs to work in both metal and leather/cloth.
"But getting a mechanical horse as a mount, being able to play as a Bahmi, and having a much more epic-looking city make going Defiant totally worth it, imho."
Global Chat is the weekly feature that's all about you, our readers. Every Sunday we collect the best, funniest, and most thought-provoking comments from the Massively readers and round them up into Global Chat for discussion. Read over them for yourself, hit the comment button, and add your own thoughts!