Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Season's End : GW2

A full and speedy return to blogging normality today was somewhat impeded by my having to make a three-hour round trip to another city for some kind of work-related seminar (a previously unheard-of activity for grunts of my lowly level but something which seems to be becoming disturbingly frequent of late). Still, travel fatigue aside, I wanted to say something about the conclusion of the third GW2 World vs World Season before it disappears forever into the mists of time rather then just into The Mists.

Yak's Bend contrived not only to come first overall in Silver League but to win all four matches. They were mostly very good fun, with plenty of good fights and some exhilarating, extended sieges, both defending and attacking, but only in the first week could the outcome have been said to be in much doubt. We all expected Week 3 to be the toughest but in the event it fizzled and everything was wrapped up not long after the weekend.

I thoroughly enjoy the Seasons, more so than the regular competition, but it's clear that both need a lot of thought if they're going to offer genuinely edge-of-the-seat, competitive content for more than the odd match here and there. That said, and for all the complaining on the forums, each Season does see a very significant and sustained upswing in activity on the Borderlands so I can't be the only one having fun. I would guess that so long as ArenaNet keep seeing those numbers in their metrics they'll have scant motivation to make the kind of sweeping changes so often demanded.

The official reward for our sterling performance was, as expected, underwhelming. All of my Tournament Claim Tickets from this Season and last remain unspent, taking up valuable space in my bank vault, and will continue to do so until something worth buying is added to the Battle Historian's stock. I suppose I could get the Mini Dolyak or some Ascended jewellery and the various utilities are always useful but I'm hanging on to the tokens in the vague hope that one day they might come up with something I actually want and that I can't already get elsewhere.

The title for completing the extremely easy achievement is...odd: "Mist Treader". I quite like it.
It reminds me of my favorite of the Narnia books, one of my favorite novels of all time, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". For that reason alone I might display it... if I could actually see my own title. Which, of course, I can't. Still, titles. I like them. Not complaining. Much.

Then there's the mildly controversial  Dolyak Tournament Statue. Clicking on this supposedly grants a buff to XP and WXP that varies in length according to where your server placed in the tournament. First place gives a five-hour buff. The controversy comes from the one-time nature of the benefit, which can only be used once per account on a single character. I haven't dared to click the statue to test it yet.

The unofficial award, of course, has been the catapulting of eternal T3/T4 stalwart Yak's Bend into the giddy heights of Tier 2. This was always on the cards, what with Maguuma imploding and Glicko ticking away in the background throughout the Season like an unexploded bomb. Even so, I don't think many of us expected such an emphatic promotion. Or wanted one.

T2 has been an unbalanced mess for weeks prior to the Season. Maguuma tried their hardest to get into the upper tiers months ago but when they got there they apparently found the pace too hot. They discovered, as had several servers before them, that it's a lot harder to slide gracefully down a Glicko snake than to climb up a Glicko ladder. A lesson I fear we may yet have to learn. Painfully.

Over the last eighteen months or so Yak's Bend has made an unconscionable number of enemies in WvW, primary among them Stormbluff Isle and Fort Aspenwood. There was some talk that we won some poll recently naming us Most Hated Server or some such. Apparently we ticked Sea of Sorrows off at some point too although I have no memory of how that happened.

Dire threats were made on the Official Unofficial Forums (such discussions having long been banned on the Official Official Forums, naturally) by a few self-appointed community leaders purporting to represent the views of SoS and FA. Apparently we would be double-teamed so hard if we ever dared poke our cow-donkey muzzles out of Tier 3 we wouldn't stop running til we hit T5.

Doesn't seem to have worked out quite like that. We aren't exactly bandwagonning, thank heaven, but we have picked up two or three really quite significant guilds on transfer and there appears to be a general resurgence of interest and attendance on the back of our Season success. Consequently we are outperforming all expectations including our own. For now...

It is, of course, very early days. We haven't even finished the first match yet. I have a queasy feeling this is how Maguuma started. Even if it does turn out that we can hold our own in T2, however, that only opens the prospect of an eternity playing the same two servers week after week. I have to say I was quite content in T3/T4, where we were getting good matches from a revolving pool of 5 or 6 very closely-matched teams. Ah well, time will tell if we can hack it in the big leagues, I guess.

So, there we are. On balance I would say Season Three was A Good Thing but the systems and processes could all clearly stand some further improvement before we get a Season Four. Plenty of time for that - I don't imagine we'll see the next round this side of Spring 2015.


  1. I really enjoy reading your comments about GW2 even thou I deleted it off my HD months ago. This is from a guy that bought not only a deluxe edition to play but a collectors edition to one day sell (dumbass!!!). So go on with your bad self and keep reporting on goings on with GW2. I hope one day to have a reason ton come back (housing...)

    1. Thanks! Why ANet don't add real housing is a total mystery. Like their refusal to produce a proper expansion it seems as though they simply don't want to make money. It'd be nice to think they knew their business best but it's increasingly hard to believe that's true.


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