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The Grinding Gamer

I'm writing about a hodgepodge of topics about whatever game I'm playing. While some of the early blog topics have been about Rift, I'm currently branching out into TERA, GW2, and D3. Hope you enjoy.

Author: Totec

The "not so serious" Guild Wars 2 Profession Selection Guide

Posted by Totec Wednesday August 22 2012 at 1:28AM
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So you still can't figure out which of those professions you want to play first...  We here's a guide to make each profession more tantalizing than before, and to make that decision even harder.   Besides you know, you're just going to play them all anyway.  :)




Ah... the master of subtlety himself.  Might as well start with the Thief because he's always that one character that is never really trusted.   He's the one that has you squinting your eyes in suspicion as they go by, and with good reason, because you know once he goes around the corner he's just going to sneak around behind you...   They are the stealth(ish) class who cause more paranoia than damage to their victims.   They are unpredictable, and dangerous foes.


Mechanically they can attack faster and use more back to back abilities than most other classes.   While they may be perceived as burst damage dealers there's more to them than just that.  The Thief is the best class for roaming(scouting), and capturing secondary targets in PvP. They also excel at avoiding attacks, and players. Combine this, with some of the amazing things you can steal from other players, and you have a true ninja. If you've ever seen Batman Begins, and pictured yourself as a ninja after watching Bruce learn the arts of  deception up in the mountains, then stop reading you've found your profession.  If the whole idea of being snnneakkyyy (said in golem voice) isn't your thing, read on my friend! 




Awww  yeah!!!   Screw sneaking around,  decapitate the mother f**ker!!!  The Warrior will be the guy that is at the front of the flying V.  He's the first one in battle, and just keeps getting stronger as the battle wages on.   What makes the warrior so dangerous is not how fast he can kill you, it's how many ways he can do it. This weapon master can run you through with a sword, chop off a leg with his axe,  and then bash in your skull with the mace.   Brutal and merciless in battle. 


Mechanically the warrior has access to more weapons than anyone, and each one has a purpose.  Swords cause bleeds, and are fast enough where you can bounce around between targets causing them all to suffer the same amount, axes build your adrenaline making it easy to get in that massive attack to finish them, and maces cause you to stun them more than asking a girl to marry you on the first date (ring n everything).   They also have banners to help out in the thick of battle, and will be the one most people stay next to when the shit hits the fan.  If you've ever seen Gladiator and wanted to be Maximus at pretty much any point in the movie, then you've found your profession.  If the whole blood thirsty brute isn't your thing, read on my friend!




Don't mess with my friends A**hole!  Picture superman as a firefighter, and you have the guardian.  He's the one that will be bailing out those players that bite off a little too much to chew.  He'll be watching other players backs, and making sure they always have a friend in you ( Starts humming Toy Story's "you've got a friend in me").  While you may try to focus down the Guardian, he'll just laugh at you while dropping Thor's Hammer right on your head in the name of justice.  Protective and strong allies on the warfront. 


Mechanically the Guardian is able to help out and support other's more than most classes.  He's invaluable in controlling where the opponents can go thanks to his wards. His abilities to block and regenerate his allies are necessary  in any large battles.  To top it off  symbols will make it very difficult to advance against a group with a guardian in it, and act as lifelines for allies in those "oh SHIT!!!" moments.  If you've ever encountered a really annoying loudmouth you'd just like to punch once so he'll shut up, but you can't, because he's got some huge friend by his side... Yeah the big guys the Guardian.  If you've ever wanted to save the day right in the nick of time like Goku, then the Guardian is for you.  If the whole protector thing just sounds aggravating, then read on my friend!




Death comes to all, embrace it!  There is no such thing as riotousness, and the Necromancer will teach you this while tormenting, poisoning, and leeching you to death, and you will know that your God has forsaken you.  He's the one that everyone goes a little further out of their way to avoid on the street.  He's just scary, and it's not even Halloween.   Fear is his ally, and disease his weapon, and after you've battled through his fear, drained the poison, and re-buried his minions the Necromancer rewards you by bringing you face to face with death himself.  Feared on the battlefield (no pun intended).


Mechanically the Necromancer can decimate with the most conditions available to any class.  The relentless pressure of the Necromancer  is good in small skirmishes, and game breaking in large fights.  The Necromancer can first make you vulnerable, then poison, bleed, and chill your health bar away... At first it isn't bad, but this is a slow death. (maniacal laugh).  Cripple, blind, and weaken ensure that even the strongest foe will never escape... To top it off the Necromancer can drain his opponents health to heal himself, and embody Death itself to finish him...  If you've ever seen Blade, and wanted to master death itself whilst being a total badass, then this is your class.  If you're fond of the color pink, or don't have the patience to kill the enemy slowly, then read on my friend!




Water... Earth... Fire...Air... Long ago the four nations lived together in harmony, then everything changed when the fire nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him the most; he said "screw this," and came to Tyria... True story.  The elementalist is a demigod.  Mastering the elements of Tyria, it's not a question of if an elementalist will kill you, it's a matter of how the elementalist will kill you. This is the class who will kill you before you get in range, and will paralyze, entomb, and freeze everyone who does manage to get close, only to be helpless as the elementalist walk away, and start the whole cycle over.   With the amount of devastation and control an Elementalist can bring, you better hope he's on your side. 


Mechanically the Elementalist does the most direct damage of any class and has the most flexibility in combat.  Each element has its strengths, and the best Elementalists will know how to decimate their enemies with fire, rejuvenate their allies with water,  control their foes with air, and  protect their ass with earth.  The adaptability of the Elementalist means she can help in almost any situation. While she's not the best on physical defense, her ability to change so many skills is her greatest asset.  If you've ever seen X-men and wanted to have the powers of Storm, we'll this is the class for you. For those of you who are pissed off because the name "Aang" is already taken *grumble*, or want a class that is a bit more resilient, then read on my friend! 




So how does it feel always being one step behind?  Well you'll be feeling that way a lot when you fight the Mesmer. The master of misdirection and illusion, things are never what they seem when a Mesmer is in the fray.  The mesmer is the embodiment of a mind f**k and will always be one step ahead of his enemies. He's the masterful magician that know you better than you know yourself.   This grand master of  tactics rewards anyone who can out think their opponent, and will frustrate those who are predictable. These tacticians are going to be necessary to control the enemy in battle. 


Mechanically the Mesmer is a challenging class to learn, but persistence pays off. The reward to the dedicated is the best control class in the game.  The Mesmer has the most tools to control the battle and ensure victory.   Mass teleport, mass invisibility, mass condition/boon removal  are all well and good, but where the Mesmer really shines is when it starts summoning  Clones and phantasms. One Mesmers bad enough, but four mesmers is just maddening. Combine this with the mesmers ability to inflict confusion (player is damaged when attacking), and you're looking at one of the strongest classes in 1v1 combat, and a necessity for any army.  If you've ever wished you could use the Jedi mind trick on someone, here's your class to baffle those weak minded fools. (you even get force lightning!)  If you're too masculine to be sporting purple all day, or just don't like thinking that much in  game, then read on my friend!




If the invention doesn't explode, it's not finished yet...  The Engineer is the Batman of Tyria.  His gadgets are not only zany, but effective.  Grenades, turrets, flamethrowers what more could you want!  The engineer will be the one that will be standing at the choke point daring you to cross the line.  Once he's set, there's little that can be done to make him move.  Throughout history the army with the better technology has always dominated.  Just like the Legionnaire, musketeers, & Panzers before them Engineers have the technology to tear up anyone who tries to stand in their way.


Mechanically the Engineer is similar to the Elementalist in his ability to adapt to the situation. The support, control, and damage that an engineer is capable of will make him a prime target to attack, but that's why he's got a flamethrower...  His utility belt will be helpful regardless of the situation you find yourself in.  While he doesn't have the power of the elements, the Engineer has thicker armor, automated turrets, and mines to make sure he will always have the advantage in any area he goes into. Oh to top it off, he's got a trait called Juggernaut (condition immunity!).  How badass is that! While he's good in 1v1 he's stellar in group fights. His versatility will be essential to countering enemy groups with some cheesy tactic or gimmick.  If you've ever wanted to play the technologically superior race in any alien invasion movie here's your chance to make the primitives pay.  If you don't fancy technology in Tyria, or want something a little tougher than a turret, then read on my friend!




Turrets... I've got an armored bear, which one do you thinks going to win.  Silly inaccurate guns, the longbow can pelt you from so far out you won't even see where the arrow came from.   The Ranger is the master of the wilderness.  By himself he'll make you look like a pin cushion in a matter of seconds, but the problem with facing a Ranger is that he's never alone... Just when you think you've gotten the upper hand, in charges his bear to bash your skull in.  It's always a 2v1 whenever you're facing a ranger.  


Mechanically the Ranger is a great class in 1v1 encounters.  His pet always gives him an edge, and will be useful to anyone who's foolish enough to challenge him in a fight.  While he has good support skills in a group, he's called a ranger for a reason, his ideal spot is out on his own watching where the enemy is, and picking off anyone who's all out by their lonesome.  His traps are devastating to enemy groups running into them, and his spirits are one of the best ways to buff a large area.  However, the best feature of a ranger is his pet. Each pet has it's own unique set of skills, and this means you can always  have a pet that helps you regardless of your weapon or skill set.  Plus, if you're pet falls you always have another one to continue with the onslaught.   If you've ever seen... Must not say Legolas... must not.... If you've ever seen Avengers and wanted the precision of Hawkeye then this is your class.   


If you're still reading... My friend (couldn't resist ^.^) you're going to be playing all of them, welcome to the club.   Hopefully one of these classes has caught your eye, or rang more true to your tastes than the others. I hope this is the case, and I wish you the best. For those, like me, that suffer from poke'monidis and have to play them all, might I suggest getting the 3 character slot expansion, it'll help. See ya in Tyria!

The Breaking of the Magitech

Posted by Totec Sunday February 13 2011 at 6:11PM
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                It's the magical technology that is powered by Telara itself. When it was conceived it allowed the races to push back the evil blood storm. It has been the catalyst of the greatest cities Telara has ever seen, and can even stop death. This is the power given to those who harness magitech

              My eyes lit up when I saw that the defiant were using magitech as the source of their might. Not because it's an awesome name, not because it looks like something Nicolas Tessla would dream about, and not even because it was an awesome  mechanical nightmare from FF IV. It's because when I first saw magitech it was something that was believable something that I could relate to.  It's technology with a twist! Maybe that's the reason Trion decided to make magitech such a huge part of the lore in Rift, because it's something that we can relate to, something that almost feels like it's real, but at the same time has a little twist of fantasy...

The Blood Storm Wars

                The Eth of the south were once the strongest, wisest, and most industrial race in Telara. Over a millennium ago the Ethian people were composed of 13 tribes that wandered around that desert to the South of Telara. During the Blood Storm Wars, they were run out of their capital of Eboni by Laethys and her Golden Maw, and while they fought vigilantly they couldn't take back what was theirs. Until one of Mkhai tribes created a proto technology that drew it's power from the source stone itself. With this new technology they were able to drive Laethys and her greedy minions out of their homes, and sealed the dragon away in a tomb far beneath the desert sands.  
                There wasn't time to celebrate, for there were still many dragons pillaging Telara around them, but with time and a place to call their home once again the Eth were successful.  One by one they imprisoned the dragons, and when the time came to take on Regulos the Eth stood strong and with help from the highlanders they banished Regulos and his endless court from Telara.
                With their world saved the Eth turned their war machines into factories, their schematics into scholastics, and their proto-technology into magitech. There race prospered and build monumental cities that would cast shadows on the peaks of the tallest cities. They also gained knowledge and knowhow, so much in fact that it was said that "Their sorcerer-kings, high above in their sandstone towers, crafted tiny worlds of living diamond, enslave the paragons of the planes, and built technology so fearsome it could slay bloodlines with the flick of a wrist."

                Each of the Ethian cities was more magnificent than the last one all of them able to produce wonders that would leave the rest of the citizens in awe. but all good things must come to an end, and a tragic end it was.  The dragon hordes couldn't be fully contained... Laethys used her unstable appetite for greed to manipulate and coheres the Ethian people and before long the government was rotting from the inside out.  The sorcerer-kings saw this corruption and how it had consumed their once great cities. There was nothing even the mightiest of the sorcerers  could do to stop it. The decision was reached. The Conviction was cast... With that one spell the most advanced cities in Telara were swallowed by the sands never to seen again.                                                             

Rift's PvP; It's the Little Things that Make the Difference

Posted by Totec Saturday February 5 2011 at 8:11PM
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I'm sure many of you replying and reading this will have various opinions about what you like and don't like in PvP combat. While I know there are many different reasons out there to like, or dislike, a PvP system I want to share with you why I'm excited about the PvP in Rift.

At first glance the PvP doesn't really seem any different than a lot of the other fantasy games that had PvP in their games. In particular the combat seems to feel a lot like the combat in WoW or WAR at first. You have your standard melee classes using charges and stuns to keep the target in melee range, and you have your ranged classes using snares and distance to protect themselves from being ripped apart by a sword.  There really isn't anything that makes Rift unique in this area... The mages and rangers still want to stay as far back as possible, and the warrior and rogues want to get in close to deal damage and control their targets.  

The one thing that makes Rift different is HOW they implement this system, and this is the really the big difference in Rift's PvP. One of the things that makes this implementation so different is the collision in the game.  Now collision seems minor... You walk into a wall or a box and it just seems like any other game. However, Rift's collision is very precise... There are individual branches of trees that each have their own substance for the collision engine. There are small objects and items that all have their own rendering in Rift's collision detection system... This combined with Rift's level of detail means that this game has a much more intricate and complicated world than most I've played...

This collision engine is especially useful for me, because I love being a raged damage dealer... I love to hide, and then snipe off people. The possibilities to do that in Rift are exponentially higher than most other games I've played...  For example.. In the first contested zone you play in is called Scarlet Gorge. In the gorge there is a building in the middle  that has always been a favorite place for mages, like me, to ambush people riding through... Eventually the melee classes start to head straight for the building, and you are stuck in it with little room to escape. This is what happened to me. I might have flung one too many fireballs at a certain warrior, and that certain warrior might have yelled obscenities about my mother, and swore to ransack my corpse. As he charged towards that house I quickly realized that I needed to get out. Now, at this point in most other games you would have to run down stairs, and mount up as fast as you could... But not in Rift.. In Rift I just jumped out of the window onto a little plank no wider than a 2x4, and started lobbing attacks  through the first and second story windows... Once the warrior figured out where I was,  he tried to come out after me, he charged at me, but he charged from the wrong window... While the charge landed he didn't have footing on the plank, and this ended up in him falling down to the ground where I was free to kill him off without losing any health. That taught him to insult my mother...

The point I'm trying to make is that the collision engine is really something unique, and is going to be used by smart players very strategically.... Here's another example...

This image is the center of the first warfront available in Rift, called the Black Garden. You see all those spikes around the fang.... each one of those has it's own collision model. So not only can you run around and dodge through them to try and get melee characters off of you, but you can also use them to block line of sight from ranged units that are trying to shoot you down... Positioning is everything, and it's made possible through the incredibly detailed collision models in Rift.

Now the second reason I love PvP in Rift is because strategy and teamwork are very important aspects in this game...

In many games I've played in the past.. the group just zergs around from one point to another... One of the best examples I have of this is Arathi Basin in WoW. Everytime a flag would get capped this group would all run to the flag and take it back. Each team seemed to do this, and on the map it just looked like a dog chasing it's tail. the lumber mill would get taken by one and then they would go to the stables and take that, then go to the mine and take that.. at the same time the other team would be going clockwise as well from the mine to the farm to the lumbermill... Ugh...

Now let's look at Rift's version of how they do this same battle scenario... There version of the strategic resource map is called the Codex and here's a map of it...

Now the objective is the same... there are 4 nodes that give you resources.. they are labeled on here as 1,2,3,3, but with a twist... IT takes 30 seconds to capture a node, and during that time it is still going to be awarding points to the other team... This dynamic makes the pacing of the codex a lot slower, and you don't see the zerging that you did in Arathi Basin. Also this long timer gives an advantage to a defending team... Meaning that if you're trying to go on the offense you usually need to have a stronger force. 

The 1 on the map is the Codex this is the big one... This resource is worth MORE than any other single resource.... This means that if you hold the codex and one other node... You win. At the same time, if you only hold the codex node, and the other team has control of the other three nodes, you are going to lose. This makes the codex the focus of this map, but not the only way to victory. Moreover, the arrows on this map are 2 ledges where range users can see the node and defend it with ease. These ranged users can also hit one another on these ledges. So, if both armies zerg this spot, it turns into a range battle on top and a melee battle on the bottom. this makes for some very crazy battles at the codex.  I should also mention that the 4's on this map are choke points that help the defending team... But the entrance to the ledges that overhang the codex node are much further down the path... right below the "O" and "s" in the word "Overhanging ledges"... Meaning that an army can have the advantage on offense, if they go up the ramp and come down from above, unless of course the enemy has ranged units on their own cliff... then you have to go through a ranged fight and a melee fight  before you can get to the banner all the while they can get support. It's strategy at it's finest. 

The 2 on this map is the Vault, and as you can tell it's surrounded by water... This makes it a very difficult node to capute, but at the same time it's easily defended. Because of the layout, there can be enemy forces at any of the #5's on the map, and if your opponents are smart they can just knock any enemy into the water, where they are harmless... This makes this node very easily defended, and it can usually be held by a handful of people.  However, just like the overhanging cliffs at the codex, there is a trick to the vault as well... The 6's on the map are rocks that can be traversed by warriors, mages and any race with a leap mechanic.  Though not everyone can get up this path... you shouldn't need very many, since most of the defense will be forward around the 5's you will only have 1 or 2 people all the way back at the banner, or in some cases no one, then it's just an easy capture...

The other two nodes are labeled as 3 and are very open... Moreover, the number 7 on the map is a route you can take, and not even get dismount between these two nodes, though you will still need to watch for people trying to snipe you from the codex (number 1).   These two open nodes allow for some open field combat, and aren't as easily defended... So if you want to overpower the enemy this is the spot to do it. 

To sum it up. The strategy and teamwork will win you matches in this war front You re going to need coordination and communication. Zerging may work on the 3 nodes, but it will fail on 1 and 2. This means that if all the team does is zerg from banner to banner they are probably going to lose, and rightfully so.  With so many different strategies to take you really need to be aware of the constantly changing battlefield, and it really keeps you on your toes...Which, in my opinion, is what makes PvP so great. 

Now I could talk about the offensive and defensive possibilities the soul tree provides, and how the multiple roles allows you to easily adapt your group composition for PvP, but I think I'd rather go kill some Defiant. So, I hope you all enjoy the warfronts, and if you'd like to hear some basic strategies to black garden I suggest checking out the BFF report on Rift's PvP...

Thanks for taking the time to read this , and I look forward to discussing more about warfronts in Rift soon.

The Lore Behind the Rifts

Posted by Totec Wednesday February 2 2011 at 10:07PM
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During the last  beta, while I was killing an endless number of invading forces, I started to wonder... Why is it that there are so many different types of Rifts? More peculiar still, why are they fighting each other? So I decided to explore the lore and history that Telara is immersed in, and what I found was...  intriguing...

The first heavily recorded event in Telara took place 1500 years ago.  It was during this time when the Dragons of the void all were attracted to Telara for it was the only place in the void that had the Sourcestone, the element used to forge Telara.  The beasts that descended on Telara were powerful and all came from different elemental planes...

Akylios- the leader of the abyssal, and houses great and terrible magic within his mind.  This leader of the water plane was said to have gone mad countless eons ago from learning every evil magic, and sipping on the nightmares of countless worlds. There truly is no word to describe his mind today...  

Crucia- The great dragon goddess of the air plane.The leader of the storm legion and master manipuator. She is said to be able to sway all but the strongest minds to do her will, and to kill in here name. 

Greenscale- The head dragon of the life plane, and the most evilest reincarnation of Charles Darwin anyone can imagine.  He knows that the strong kill, and he will stop at nothing to be the strongest life form. His cult, The House Aelfwar,  share the same bloodthirsty desire to dominate all life. 

Laethys- The dragon goddess of the earth plane, and leader of  the Golden Maw. Her form is that of molten steel and eyes made of diamonds. She has an unending lust for riches and power.  As the only other dragon goddess she has a wretched hatred for Crucia and her mindless slaves. Lust is all there is, and lust is all that should live in ones heart for Laethys.

Maelforge- The leader of the Wanton, and ruler of the fire plane. Maelforge only wants to see the world burn, regrow, and burn again. He despises Greenscale's desire to see life take over everything, and will stop at nothing to have the whole world wreathed in flame. 

Regulose- The strongest of all the dragons is the leader of the plane of death. His cult is known to all as the endless court. Promiser of an ultimate release in death he is ruthless and quick to anyone that drops their guard. He wants all things destroyed so that he may gain more power in their destruction.

Together these 6 dragons make up the blood storm, and came to Telara 1500 years ago.  When they arrived they instantly started to pursue their own desires... nightmarescontroldominationrichesdestruction, and annihilation

The natives of Telara were helpless, and the dragon cults decimated their lands.Greenscale severed the elven's ancient connection to the beasts of Telara, so they could no longer call aid from the creatures of the wilds. Shortly after, Crucia lead an assault on the elven lands. Crucia, being as brutal and controlling as she could, drove the elves from their Heart Grove sanctuary, and forced them to flee to Silverwood. Elsewhere, Laethys lead her clan to Eboni home of the Eth and subverted their government from within, causing it to enslave the very people it was sworn to protect. 

However, fortune smiled on Telara for the blood pact  is a volatile alliance. Each dragon had it's own plan for Telara, and this caused civil war between the beasts.  War broke out between the dragon clans and each one fought for the control of Telara. This was the chance the natives had been waiting for...

 It was the Eth tribe Mkhai that learned how to control the energies of the sourcestone,  learned how to harness it's power, and use it to eventually trap all 6 dragons in their separate planes. With the dragons trapped in their separate realms theVigil, forgers of Telara, and keepers of it's natives, erected a ward to prevent Regulose and his blood storm from ever harming Telara again.. 

Fast forward 1500 years, the ward is beginning to weaken the dragons are once again able to send their cults into Telara, and the Vigil are no where to be found.

Each of the rift's we see in Telara today, is an invading army from one of the dragon's cults. The leaders of the blood storm are still fighting to possess Telara for their own ends.  Vigil help us if  one of them succeeds.