Monday, April 1, 2013

Thinking Outside The Super Adventure Box : GW2

It's here. Everyone loves it. Dulfy knows all about it already. Does she never sleep? Me, I took a quick look inside and enjoyed it more than I expected. I might even go back.

The best part? I can skip the whole thing and still not miss out on the goodies!  ANet didn't just consider the dexterity-impaired among us by including Infantile Mode, complete with the magnificently-named "Baby's First Super Adventure" achievement, they went that extra, extra mile and made it so you don't have to go in the box at all.

When I stumbled out of the Box very late last night (alright, early this morning) and lurched over to Moto, the Asuran "genius" responsible for the whole thing I noticed an option in his dialog I'd overlooked on the way in; something about an "extra-curricular assignment". So I asked him about that.

Late though it was I set off to search Metrica Province for manifestations and it wasn't long before I found them. Twinkling spheres hanging in the air, filled with baubles.

It seemed for a while we'd be running around gathering these things by the armful. That turned out to be a bug, possibly. I woke up to a small patch and it seems someone gave the servers a hefty thump with an Asuran spanner overnight and now everything's working as intended. I haven't found any more spheres floating free, anyway.

What happens is that Chests spawn in fixed locations all over Tyria. Okay, I'm taking "all over Tyria" on trust. I can confirm they spawn all over Metrica Province and Wayfarer's Foothills. There's no need to run around blind, trusting to luck you might trip over one; they're all clearly marked on the map.

When you find one and open it out pop the same things you'd find inside the SAB: bunnies, monkeys, toads, snakes (the only snakes on Tyria as far as I know.). Bop them hard and they pop, leaving twinkling spheres filled with yummy bauble goodness. Blue spheres have a single bauble inside, green ones five and gold ones ten.

Don't hang about, though. Whereas last night the baubles hung there indefinitely, leading me to believe they were a harvestable since I came across them in situ sans chest, now they pop like soap bubbles in short order. Loot 'em or lose 'em.

The Super Adventure Box is with us for a month. The Mystic Forge consumables and Continue Coins cost one Bauble Bubble, which is a full stack of regular baubles (that's 250, the same as a full stack of anything in Tyria). The Super Adventure Box O'Fun costs three Bubble Baubles. The weapon skins cost 50 BBs - 12,500 Baubles! Plus a gold piece but who cares about that?

After an hour of Infantile Mode last night I had 36 baubles and even one Bauble Bubble looked out of reach. In a few minutes this morning, most of which I spent taking screenshots, I'd added a hundred to that tally. Mrs Bhagpuss stayed up late and has five Bubble Baubles already. From an unattractive grind doing something in which I have very little interest, the whole thing has turned into, yes, fun!

Well done ANet is all I can say. Pitched perfectly. Shoehorning a retro-platformer into a high-fantasy MMO without breaking the lore takes some doing. Making it worthwhile even for people whose hearts don't beat faster for either retro graphics or platform gameplay is exceptional. And Bonus credit for that Consortium rep who strides over to pitch Moto for the commercial exploitation rights.

Now if they'd just add some skins that Engineers could use...


  1. The only appropriate response to the SAB is...



  2. I love it, too. I haven't done the outdoor stuff yet, but really enjoy the 8bit adventure. as already also commented on KTR, to me ANet have created a beautiful acknowledgment of gamer culture and geekery as a whole with the SAB. well done. :)

  3. Sure hope they decide to make it permanent. I actually like having a solo-able cutesy dungeon! :P

  4. Well, the SAB itself is in for a month but Josh Foreman, the driving force behind it, keeps referring to more worlds he plans/hopes to add. Moto in game says the SAB is in development and testing. Maybe it will go away and come back periodically (i.e. more than once a year) as new worlds get added.

    One thing I hadn't noticed when I wrote today's blog was the letter Moto sent us all. It's confusing. At the end it very strongly suggests that some part of the event will only last a single day but I couldn't really make sense of it. At first I thought it meant the overland chests were a one-day thing, which would be great shame, but on a closer reading it appears to refer to some special reward Moto is handing out. Only I couldn't see he was handing out anything...

    I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

  5. Dulfy has a lot of the info.. because she gets quite a lot of help from the community. ;)

    Also you're much better off running quickly through zone 1 and 2 on each of your toons. They can each get 4 bubble bobbles per day in as little as 10 minutes. No need to fight any monster except for the end boss fights where you break the cage (much easier than the frog!)

    1. I had a good think about this last night and the plain fact is there's nothing to be bought with the baubles that I want. I have never yet used a "skin" on anything, other than to swap the looks of one dropped item for another, usually overwriting a high-level look with a low-level one. I like realistic-looking armor and weapons, mostly. I haven't even spent a single Laurel yet, after all...

      Consequently, now that the initial "ooh shiny" has worn off I think I'll probably just pass.

  6. You know what depresses me?

    As soon as the SAB came out, there's talk of the most efficient "farming" methods for baubles. And there's people who talk about farming CoF path 1 even more so they can buy the skin outright from the TP without ever setting a foot in the SAB.

    I suppose I can't really claim any moral superiority over them, as their opinions are of the same value as mine. Still, this fixation on rewards instead of the journey really bothers me, especially in a game like where there's so much details to be appreciated. (Like the shopkeeper whooping for joy as you destroy his furniture. Hah!)

    Guess in the end, it's not really my problem. Still, it nags at me...



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