Monday, December 10, 2012

Winter Is Icumen In : GW2

Holiday events, dontcha just love 'em? Midwinter brings the biggest sackful. Can't think why that should be...

For years and years December has meant Frostfell, the Norrathian solstice celebration. If I've been through that wardrobe once I must have been through it a thousand times. One year I even had Christmas cards printed showing my ratonga bruiser under the tree in Frostfell Wonderland Village. Tunare only knows what my relatives made of that one.

Merry Christmas, Mum! I'm the one on the left.
In Rift the Fae take charge, as they seem to do for most holidays. I've only experienced one Fae Yule. Well, there's only been one Fae Yule until now. The second is upon us, as Potshot reports, and I hope at least to pop in for a visit. HRH Queen Elizabeth II could surely take a cue from those corgis. I'd love to see one her famously ill-tempered mutts antlered up for the Queen's Speech.

It's behind you!
This year, however, my celebratory egg-nog (yeeuuuurghhhhh!!!) shall be knocked back in one in Tyria. Wintersday approaches and here's the video to prove it. Looks rather good.

Other than that there's a huge dirigible in the shape of a golem, we don't know much about Wintersday yet. I never experienced it in GW1 so no clues there. One thing we do know, though, is there will be WvW changes. What's more, we know what they are.

The full skinny is here and Ravious goes through the list neatly at KTR but I have a santa hat full of comments of my own.

Advance notification of new builds

To be completely honest, I misunderstood this when I first read it and it was only Ravious's explanation that put me straight. It's a simple notification of forced relogging (what would be server down in any other MMO) only sufficiently ahead of time to allow some possible ameliorative action. Useful but not all that interesting.

Alt+F4 is no escape

"Significantly longer" my arse!
This is a non-issue to me but some people get so overheated about it that this fix amounts to emergency first-aid. For my money, if someone on one of the opposing teams chooses to F4 to desktop rather than be killed, that's an enemy knocked right out of WvW altogether for a few minutes. Stuff the loss of xp/loot/badges/bragging rights. That guy will take significantly longer getting back into the fight than if he'd just died and waypointed. In my opinion, people that wanted this weren't looking at the big picture, but there's no denying it was a hot-button issue for some.

No more insta-build walls & gates

They put this in to annoy Mrs Bhagpuss, who likes nothing better than to run behind an invading army that's just knocked down a gate and put said gate back up again trapping half the army inside and half out. It does look utterly ridiculous, though. I was fighting inside a keep a couple of days ago when the entire castle wall flipped up and down half a dozen times in a minute. On balance, a fix that was needed.

Breakout events

I'll see your "trusty Dolyak" and raise you 32 golems
The big one. This is a potential game-changer and I think we all knew it was coming. This is just the first of who knows how many "dynamic events" coming to WvW. Do we want a lot more NPC involvement in what is supposed to be a player vs player environment? Not sure. Not at all sure.

This particular example sounds nutty. On the forum thread someone has already pointed out that if the Dolyak Lord proves to be in the least effective at getting the losing team up off the floor, canny teams will simply leave one tower untaken so the event never happens. That's probably just one of many potential emergent properties of this entirely untried and untested mechanic. Could be very interesting.

That's what WvW is getting for Christmas. We get much, much more for Valentine's, apparently, with a major update being trailed for February. After all, nothing says peace and love like a good fight with your neighbor. Or something.


  1. Fingers crossed for the winter fashions to look good on Charr. ;P

    1. Hats!

      And not red&white knitted ones with bobbles on, either!

  2. Gratz! Kill Ten Rats put a tweet out about your blog today! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

    1. Thanks for pointing me at that (and thanks Ravious!).

      I really must start using my Twitter account...

  3. "[...]I never experienced it in GW1 so no clues there."

    At GW1, at xmas two human gods fight fo supremacy and spawn mobs for fight one against other and players choose one side for fight for at huge combats. At 31st december Anet say who god won the combat.

    However, it is something cannot happen at GW2, lore wise, because the human gods are "silent". Too it will be a lot hard to explain why charr can join a "human gods" event. For make things worse, charr just killed their gods, the titans.Two other races, too, can have a "religious" problem with an event involving two human gods, norn revere the animal spirits and asura believe at the "great alchemy".

    The solution is aparently razoable. There is an asura toymaker that bring gifts at the end of year. No comments about the human gods, but I can speculate based at what we saw at last tow events. So, maybe we see human NPC remembering old stories about the combat between gods, alike the humans using "Mad King" outfits at the halloween event. IMHO, we will have some kind of quest too and possibly some instances and maybe a jumping puzzle... I don't think we will see huge combat like the karka ones, but as GW1 had them it is ever possible we see the mobs from the gods combat making a return, if not at this xmas, but maybe at future xmas events.

    1. Looks like a jumping puzzle in that video...

    2. I wrote my comment before I saw the update Anet made at official GW2 site.

      It is confirmed: there is a jumping puzzle. I saw no reference to human gods and no reference to human NPCs remembering the "old times" when Grenth and Dwayna made his minions (and players) fight snowball battles. However, a pvp snowball instance will be disponible. Toymaker will be at each racial city, from 15th to 19th (sylvari, human, charr, norn, asura, one city each day) before it arrives at LA at 20th. Each city will have an special one day event related to craft a special toy made for each race, but that events can be made after 20th, after toymaker arrives at LA (so, they are covering the cases where players cannot stay present that specific day). At LA there is an event where players need "[d]efend Tixx’s present-delivering dolyaks and the gigantic toy-making machine from waves of maniacal toys in these challenging and fun events". IMHO, it problably is a mini dungeon for 5 players like the one we saw at "Mad King" dungeon event.

      I can just now try imagine what "toys" we will gain completing that events, but I guess it is possible there is at least one usefull item, alike the "fire book" back gear or the 20 slot bag, as reward.


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