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Flameseeker Chronicles: Simple pleasures in Guild Wars 2

Right after finally crafting The Flameseeker Prophecies, I took my in-game efforts down a couple of notches. As a result, I've had a few fairly quiet weeks in Guild Wars 2. It's not for lack of things to do or of goals; I've still got plans for oodles of armor sets, a few of the pseudo-legendary weapons, a double-handful of additional level 80 characters, and some titles. I've just been taking a more laid-back approach to achieving those goals. For the last month or so before getting my shield I was running two to three dungeons a day along with other things like camping meta events and going into Orr for T6 mats, which is by no means hardcore but has made for a very pleasant experience switching into a lower gear. I've been taking time to enjoy the simpler pleasures of Guild Wars 2.

Quaggans are, naturally, one of those "simpler pleasures." I've always meant to track down the NPC who doubles as a Quaggan tonic vendor, but for some reason I always seem to get sidetracked whenever I get to the proper map, or the event isn't quite ready, or any of a dozen things happen to keep me from getting my hands on those tonics. So over the weekend, I made acquiring a number of them my goal.

I've now got about half a stack of Quaggan tonics sitting on my main, and I'm really wishing they were account bound so I could spread the love to all of my alts. You never know when you'll need to turn into a Quaggan for a bit. (I'm also wishing that I could jump while under the effects of the tonic because that would make every jumping puzzle experience about 19,278% better.)

While we're talking about jumping puzzles, I might mention that they're also part of my simple pleasures list. I didn't make a big push, when the game first launched, to see them all. They're some of my favorite content, so I figured I'd string them out a bit. The last time jumping puzzles were tied into the monthly achievement, I was in the middle of running the Borderlands puzzles three or eight times a day to acquire Badges of Honor, so I kind of cheesed that on accident. I'm taking this month's jumping puzzle achievement as motivation to get out there and explore some of the one's I've left untouched so far.

That, of course, includes Coddler's Cove. Is that place heaven? I'm pretty sure it's heaven. I spent an incredible amount of time sitting and listening to the singing Coddler and talking to all the little hatchlings. I might make a character solely for the purpose of parking her there and being able to effortlessly enjoy the Coddler's Cove whenever I'm in need of a happy little getaway.

In other cuteness-related news, I'm pretty sure I'm saving up to get the Endless Mystery Cat Tonic. Yeah, I guess that's a Thing. I really thought I was going to be OK without it, and then my dratted guildmate got one and now I know that there's no way I can possibly live without on-demand kitty transformations. They can make hearts. That actually ends up working out all right, at least until I hit 100 laurels, because I didn't really know what to do with laurels for a few days there. I saved up and got an ascended item right off the bat, then used spare laurels to fund my T6-eating-habit (that is, The Flameseeker Prophecies), and then suddenly wasn't sure if I should be using them to stockpile dyes or what. My answer has been found.

I still enjoy the Fractals of the Mists, but I've definitely found that level 20-25 is a good stopping point for me right about now. The time may come when I'm feeling like I need more challenge in my gameplay or when the higher-level rewards are such that I can't abide the thought of not going after them, but at the moment I feel as if I've about hit the limit of the reward-and-fun-versus-time balance. To that end, I'm working on getting more of my characters up to that personal reward level. That's doing a nice job of saving up enough fractal relics to get my Gift of Ascension sooner rather than later, which my Elementalist will appreciate when her Protoype Fractal Capacitor finally becomes Ascended and Infused.

Flameseeker Chronicles Simple pleasures in Guild Wars 2
Another thing that's been on my Guild Wars 2 bucket list that I've finally been able to cross off was finding the WvW Borderlands kitten room. I just... I'm really glad that these things exist.

More than just checking out the non-PvP-type parts of the WvW maps, I've also been getting back into the swing of those battles. I'm trying to get my Warrior's world rank up a bit, which will take some time given that most of my play sessions recently have been all of about five minutes longer than the queue time for whichever map I happen to choose. Every time I get back into WvW in a big way after a bit of an absence, I wonder why I play anything else. Then I get my face kicked in by several dozen opponents and remember that that rarely happens in PvE. Win a little, lose a little.

I guess I also count sPvP as one of the simple pleasures. Is that weird? It might be. See, for me, PvP is a win-win. I don't take losing very personally, so long as I feel as if I was A Helper in every round. And every round, win or lose, I'm contributing to my rank and glory points, which ultimately means more shinies for me. I won the first tournament-type match I dared to play and was rewarded with a chest that happened to have an extraordinarily shiny piece of armor in it, and I realised what a deep hole was waiting for me. So I do that, now. That's a thing I do. Can we look at that more in-depth some time? I feel like we should.

For now, though, I'd like to talk to you about Wednesday. On Wednesday (that's tomorrow), I'll be streaming some Guild Wars at 3:00 p.m. EDT. What's cool about that is that a) I'll be streaming Guild Wars, what other justification do you need, and b) I'll have Guild Wars 2 trial weekend codes to give out! The trick is you'll have to have a Twitch account and be able to chat there so that I can see your username so that we can PM you after the stream with all the juicy details. The trial weekend will run from Friday the 19th 'til the end of Sunday the 21st. So you should totally come join me. It'll be groovy.

Elisabeth Cardy is a longtime Guild Wars player, a personal friend of Rytlock Brimstone, and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column updates on Tuesdays and keeps a close eye on Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Elisabeth at

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