Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Rox Rocks : GW2

I was going to do an overview of GW2's March content drop Flame and Frost: The Razing but I don't really have enough time to do it justice and anyway Ravious and Jeromai got there before me.

In brief, then:

The Living Story finally came alive, almost literally with that full-motion cut-scene with Rytlock. That was a real surprise and a very welcome one. More of those, please. Also I took to new Charr character Rox right away. Just give me those huge green cat eyes for one of my Charrs now. I'll pay you good money.

The nursery instance was exactly the right degree of hard. I completed it without dying but I was downed a few times and it looked touch and go for a while. I hate having to restart storyline missions after a death because it completely destroys any narrative involvement I may have had with the story. If my character died, the story is over. Getting up and carrying on as if nothing happened just doesn't do it for me. So, win.

The Dead Letter Drop mission was first-rate. Having the locations listed in just the right amount of detail in an in-game mail worked wonderfully, especially since all the locations were actual map POIs. The content of the letters when found was mouth-wateringly mysterious. It seems there is a shadowy hand behind the Molten Alliance and it's not Suspect #1 Primordus. Color me intrigued.


WvW - The removal of culling is game-changing. The combination of that and the (really rather pointless but inevitably addictive) ranking system meant a complete change of behavior in WvW, which last night resembled nothing I have seen before. I loved it. Mrs Bhagpuss was not so keen. It will settle down over time to something more in the middle, I'm sure, but for now I'm going to enjoy it for what it is - chaotic, hysterical mayhem.

My favorite changes so far, though, are the adjustments to some of the Big Ticket Events. I love the new Bonus Chest system, which seems to have the twin virtues of heavily reducing the clustering at certain events, making them far more enjoyable, while actually increasing the amount of Rare loot I'm getting. I may only be able to get the Bonus Chest once per account, but but my characters can now get the normal chest as often as they can do the events and the normal chest has one or even two Rares in nearly every time! I hope this version sticks although I wouldn't be surprised to see it tweaked down again.

An unannounced but very welcome change was the rolling-out of the increased challenge levels tested last month to more big events. Claw of Jormag last night was vastly improved. I particularly admired the way that Ice Elementals had been persuaded to cast continual AEs on the "safe rock". So many downed players! There were a number of clever changes along these lines that I noticed and the whole thing was riotous fun again in the way it used to be back in September. Whether that will last, we will see. Players do have an almost limitless capacity to game themselves out of their own fun so I imagine new strats will soon be discovered to re-trivialize the event.

That's it. Can't stop. Got a Norn to help next.

9 comments:

  1. IMHO you will find the norn story interesting...

    I for sure want know more about that norn with strange hair...

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    1. Just finished the Cragstead instance. I found it slightly easier than the Hatchery, mostly because it's a lot more open and it's much easier to split the attacking groups up. I wasn't even downed this time but I had to revive Braham repeatedly. He's no Rox, that's for sure.

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  2. What they need is an algorithm that detects large clumps of players, and that should lead to monster/bosses dropping AoE in that general vicinity. More player movement is always good! Completely applicable to all bosses, while lessoning the chances players find safe "spots."

    A question though, is there voice-acting in the new instances? One of my limited knowledge of the gaming industry is that voice acting is EXPENSIVE. If they do have voice acting, it must mean they have plans for more of this stuff with Rox/Braham.

    Speaking of Rox and her humongous anime-eyes, I'm actually watching an anime about a virtual MMO where people are trapped in it a la The Matrix. Its constant referencing of age-old MMO tropes amuses me to no end. (Drama over tagging mobs for loot/XP? GW2 solved that guys, come ON).

    -Ursan

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    1. @Anonymous "[...] I'm actually watching an anime about a virtual MMO where people are trapped in it a la The Matrix."

      Sword Art Online?

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    2. Yep the whole thing is voice-acted. Everything in GW2 seems to be. I could do without it, personally but mostly it's at least short and to the point, unlike the epic monologues even the most trivial quest seemed to require in Neverwinter.

      On the AE thing I remember a developer interview from years and years back (maybe from DAOC) that made the point that it would be very easy to give mobs in MMOs far better AI but that players would hate it, which I'm sure is true. It could be a *bit* better though...

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    3. @ Bhagpuss. That's interesting. I guess this is another one of those developer vs player conflicts, though I'll side with the devs for this one...

      @Carlos. Yes! Sword Art Online. I've just started, but the references to the features of the MMO beast through the ages (My fave so far is when they make fun of guys playing as female characters) are delicious.

      -Ursan

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  3. I'd say you're being quite lucky with the extra rares. I'm lucky if one chest out of all the normal bosses one can do in a day (on one toon) has a rare in it!

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  4. Hullo there! Tell Master Rox to look out for young ranger called Simetac on his travels!

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    1. Sim! Welcome aboard! You know where to find us (I hope!)

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