Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Carnival Moves On : GW2

Call that a dynamic event? It's cultural vandalism, I tell you! The empty plinth in the Grand Piazza stands in mute testimony to the lengths to which some people will go to get attention. And I'm not just talking about Mad King Thorn, either!

There's something missing...
The pumpkins have all been packed away, the bats have flown back to their caves. The candy corn high as an elephant's eye has popped (although once in a while you can still see one flicker into view in some ghostly glitch). All that's left is that empty plinth and a guy in an unconvincing home-made Mad King costume.

I'd be spitting nails if it wasn't for this from ANet Dev Josh Foreman:

"I worked way too hard on that thing to throw it away! That would make me cry. Haha… spent a lot of my free time on it actually. You know it has 4,000 frames of animation, and I had to hand track every single frame that a splash happened on every single fish for the audio guys to sync it up. Not that we will never permanently destroy anything. In fact… well, I can’t say more than that. But NOT the lion statue. It’s the symbol of LA. Like the Statue of Liberty is for New York or the Eiffel Tower is for Paris."

You're a lot shorter than I expected
Although later in the same thread, from "North American Community Team Lead" Regina Buenaobra:

 "The Lion’s Arch lion statue is gone for now. Mad King Thorn really did a number on it. As to whether it will return—anything is possible."

I'm all for meaningful change but not the Lion !!  Which, of course, is the problem. You can have change to things that don't really matter and no-one will be upset, but then no-one will care much either. Or you can make a real and lasting change that affects everyone and trust the thrill to carry you through the complaints. The Lion is a great example of how hard it is even to tell which is which.

There's been much discussion of late about whether MMOs can or should have change. How much? How often? How deep? How sudden? Azuriel and Syl  both have something to say about that and so do their commenters. Some people think removing a bit of street furniture barely qualifies as change at all, while others practically need counseling.

C'mon, lady! Get a grip!
When it comes to change there's concern both over how sudden and unexpected it is and whether it's a one-time "you had to be there" thing or a "no hurry, we'll be here all week" affair.

When Rift threw its very first major event the climax was a one-off that many players missed. It didn't go down well and Trion have made sure since then to keep their events inclusive, in keeping with the changes they made throughout the game in late beta and just after launch, when the inconvenience of planar armies wiping out quest hubs and invading troops killing players all along the pathways was deemed to outweigh the excitement and Telon became a blander, if safer place.

I think it says something about spoons
It's far too early yet to say which way ArenaNet will jump. With Halloween down they've moved surprisingly quickly to announce the next, non-holiday event Lost Shores. The iconic statue may have vanished but at least we have beached whales! And flyposting! And endless speculation between now and the 16th of November, a day on which both I and Mrs Bhagpuss will be at work.

Will we miss it all again, like we missed three-quarters of Halloween? Whether we do or don't, plenty will. Does that matter? For all I know we may be enjoying Storm Legion so much by then that we'll opt out anyway. In the end we can't do it all and it would be crazy to try. On balance I'd rather miss out on something amazing than never have anything amazing to miss out on.

As to whether something can truly be called "amazing" if it goes on happening indefinitely to order, well that tends to depend on what's so amazing about it to begin with. If it's a Mad King tearing down a giant statue, that can really be amazing only once. An incredible, intricate work of art, though, that has the power to be amazing always.

Put it back. Now.

1 comment:

  1. Hehe...I actually liked the suggestion that the statue should be rebuilt by a player event. :)

    Am incredibly excited for the Lost Shores - and happy to see ANet having more in store already in terms of such events.


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