The press release is fascinating, showing, I think, just how extraordinarily difficult it is going to be to balance a genuinely "dynamic" virtual world with customer expectations of a commercial product. Taking ANet's description of the event at face value, there's an intrinsic and apparently insoluble problem and in just three-paragraphs they hammer home relentlessly precisely what it is :
"we want to make sure that you are not missing out"
"an Event in Lion’s Arch that you don’t want to miss"
"make sure you will not miss it"
"this will only run once, so make sure you will be there!"
|C'mon bird! You must have seen something!|
The timing of the events is intriguing in itself. The opening Act falls on a Friday which is, as far as I can tell, a normal workday in the United States. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management Schedule of Public Holidays for 2012 has nothing listed for November 16th, anyway. The first event that we don't want to miss kicks off at midday Pacific Standard Time, which is three in the afternoon on the East Coast and eight in the evening GMT.
|An elephant? No, wait, is it two camels playing Twister?|
The same timings repeat on Saturday and Sunday for the following acts. Less problematic, obviously, on a weekend, but again I'd say it strongly favors players in GMT timezones and using the exact same times does risk locking out the same people from each phase. The timing seems especially odd when you consider that GW2 has separate European servers, but as other MMOs have discovered, letting half your customers in on a secret before the rest get to find out what it is never plays well.
|Ships they come, ships they go...|
ArenaNet seem much more determined to match the addition of ongoing, universally available content ("There will be plenty of content available to enjoy that will remain permanently in the world as a result of the outcome of this event") with genuine Saint Crispin's Day moments. So far, at least. Going to be very interesting see how the policy plays out over time.
One thing's for sure - my much-anticipated first weekend of Storm Legion is now holed below the water-line!