The new layout is looking sexy. I borrowed some of the concepts from bilekjaeger.de (a very impressive and well designed website). Under the hood received most of the attention. Years ago I played around with XML, I didn't find it useful at the time. I thought about using MySQL to store my content. But decided to go with XML instead. XML makes more sense in this situation. Because there is less involved on the server-side and the data will not be changed often enough to justify using a database.
I decided that the polyfills for GW2BE had to go. Mostly because I hate having to work around IE < 9, and the new layout doesn't work in outdated browsers. I moved it (permanently) into the apps directory.
GW2Calc is getting revised. Once I have finalized the core classes for GW2BE, I will use it as a base for GW2Calc. This should make it maintence free for the most part.
Upcoming GW2 Feature Pack
I have mixed feeling about the upcoming GW2 feature pack. For the most part, these new features are a great benefit to the game overall. On the other hand, ArenaNet does not seem to be addressing the issues that have been plaguing the game since launch.
The addition of ferocity to tone down DPS builds is like fixing a leak in the dam with a bandage. I like the fact that they are going to put critical damage in line with other stats. But this doesn't really address the issue. I almost fell out of my chair laughing when they stated that this change opens up the opportunity to make ferocity a primary stat for prefixes—this undermines the reasoning behind altering critical damage in the first place. The real issue with DPS in PvE is entirely the result of faulty A.I. and combat mechanics. I think reducing endurance regeneration would have accomplished the goal.
The new traits at a glance look good. I like the fact that they are making improvements to the support role. And opening different routes of build diversity. I would have liked to see three new traits per traitline—one for each tier. But, new traits is better than none.
The addition of Team Deathmatch to the PvP format is a much needed change. However, this was not added to regular PvP. I hope they will add this to the regular PvP lineup as I am not the biggest fan of the Domination format. I enjoyed many hours of PvP in GW1, the vast majority of which was in RA. I think TDM will improve the overall appeal of PvP. In TDM, builds tend to be more balanced. In DOM the main focus is to hold capture-points, so builds tend to focus on survivability. I don't want to see TDM replace DOM in PvP, but rather an option available to everyone. Maybe they will add more formats to PvP later on.
GW2BE nearing end of alpha
The GW2BE project is coming along smoothly. I am pleased that the total size of the core build editor (markup, stylesheets, and polyfills) is under 1MB. I currently have all the skills databased, some still need updated. I've been focusing on polishing some of the UI these past few weeks. I finished databasing all the level 80 nourishments (except the slayer potions). I am kinda stuck at the moment on how to add them to the upkeep monitor. I've been making preparations for the upcoming feature pack. I've added the necessary formula for ferocity. And will be switching over to the new 14–point traits system soon.
As for new features, I will be adding a new system for managing your colllection of builds. I for one have roughly 30 bookmarks in my browser linked to all sorts of builds. I find it inefficient, fustrating, and time consuming to manage them in such a way. With this new feature you will be able to load builds without having to reload GW2BE.
The current template/build code schema is getting axed. I was reluctant to use server-side scripts to calculate template codes. I still do not like how long the code is, so I will be switching the encoding method from gunzip to a hash algorithm—most likely SHA-160. The only problem with this concept is that the data needs to be stored on the server—due to the one-way nature of encryption. The gunzip'd template codes MAY NOT function when this gets revised.
The line separating traits and skills is increasingly blurring, as such, I plan to move all skills and traits into the same data pool. This will allow traits that affect other traits (i.e. Bloodthirst and Vampiric) to easier accesss to them.
GW2BE Project Goes Live
GW2BE is up and functional (some features are not present; notably descriptions for traits and skills are incomplete). After rewriting the template code three times, I am mostly pleased with it. I wish the template codes were much shorter.
I have been hammering away on the build editor for the past four weeks (after a very long hiatus). The only downside so far is that the data that I collected back in August and September is mostly outdated. The recent changes to GW2 have forced me to re-think the data structure for skills and traits.
The focus of the alpha testing will be to hammer out any bugs and flaws. Gather and integrate up-to-date data and feedback from users. And begin working on new functionality and features.
I semi-rushed the 1.4.3 update through for GW2Calc. I still need to add some well needed functionality and polishing. I brought the affix and upgrade databases up to what will be implemented for the GW2BE project. The equipment class got some overhaulling done. I plan to tweak this class further before finalizing it for GW2BE. The gui class had grown into a monster, so i killed it. It got replaced with editor class, which is tiny and fast. All-in-all I am pleased with the changes I made. I had hoped to implement my custom made list class in this update. but it is far too buggy to function correctly, and so I'll go about writing a new/better one (sigh). I also thought of new ideas for the GW2BE project. I hope the changes made to the equipment class will work with the upcoming addition of ascended armor.
I've been deep into GW2 since the third. Farming my way to my first ascended weapon (approx. 3 days away). I plan to work on rolling out a beta for the GW2BE project in GW2 off hours. I have a domain name (esuke.net) now thanks to my awesome friend Ian (aka Iran).