Thursday, March 31, 2016

Super Adventure Festival Is Go! : GW2

On the first of April 2013, I posted this. Three years on it remains the third most viewed post ever on Inventory Full.

I was never a huge fan of The Super Adventure Box, myself. About the most positive thing I could find to say about it in that post was this: "The best part? I can skip the whole thing and still not miss out on the goodies!"

In the end I did spend maybe a couple of hours in there in total. I still have quite a few of the baubles and coins stashed in various banks, awaiting the day SAB might make a comeback, because I hadn't saved enough to buy those "goodies" I apparently wanted before it vanished, seemingly for good. I have absolutely no idea what those goodies might have been, by the way...

I didn't really care much whether SAB ever returned but others were a lot more invested. Indeed, it's fair to say the long absence of the supposed joke "game within a game" had turned into a festering sore for some. It wasn't quite on the scale of the NGE but it was getting there.

The sudden and totally unexpected re-appearance of the 8-bit emulation seems like a lot more than a co-incidence, coming as it does with Mike "Two Hats" O'Brien very plainly operating in full damage control mode. He appears to be on a mission to save the company and the game that you might well argue that, as President, he's been sleepwalking towards disaster for the best part of four years. I have this mental picture of him waking up from a Rip van Winklesque slumber, staring around him wild-eyed and croaking "My Game! What have you bastards done to my GAME?!"

Anyway, all fantasy aside, bringing back S.A.B. is a masterstroke. It's like literally buying goodwill. Okay, it's like metaphorically buying goodwill. Literally metaphorically.

The Box will be with us for almost three weeks, until April 19th. Chances are it will be leaving just as the Big Spring Quarterly Update arrives, allowing for at least an illusion of continual development. I suspect we may be about to see a lot of that kind of thing. At least an illusion of progress beats stasis, I guess.

It's unlikely I'll find much time for box jumping, although I imagine I'll give it the odd, desultory scramble, here and there. Even though it's not my thing it's good to see it return. It was always a relatively harmless amuse-bouche for the general population and a wildly popular cause celebre (not sure why I've gone all gallic all of a sudden) with a particular demographic. It seemed churlish to withhold it.

What's most telling, though, is that Super Adventure Box is officially confirmed as a recurring, annual event from now on.

SAB has a great, regular home in Guild Wars 2. As a yearly festival, SAB will now be a dependable fixture in Tyria

Now can we please do the same for The Festival of The Four Winds?


  1. Let's rotate the borderlands and re-explode Lion's Arch on the regular while we're at it. Our experience of time is rather negotiable in games so I don't see why we shouldn't give players things they enjoy, ferris wheel-style.

    1. I'd go for both of those although the one I'd really like to see make a return is Marionette. And you're right - there is no reason not to have these things persist or recur. The entire timeline of GW2 is hopelessly compromised already so why not at least replay some of the highlights?

  2. I think the chronology was "SAB rework is ready -> lets announce the bad news -> there you go players, SAB!". Instead of "oops -> SAB!".

    Still I'm not sure how much good will it will actually buy.
    I was never interested in it, but I don't care about the Legendary weapons issue either. There are enough legendary weapons I want to last me the next 10 years (optimist forecast).

    Will be interesting to see if the community was really interested in SAB or they were interested because it seemed it wasn't coming back.

    You know like people cry for Cantha (pretty dull region out side Shing Jae and the beautiful music of the Jade Sea areas imo) since it seems there might be problems with the publisher about Southeast Asia sensibilities and they don't long about Elona (which in my opinion was a bit more interesting).

    1. Even as I was writing that the return of SAB was a "masterstroke" I knew it was as likely to go sour on them as save their faces. It looks as though they're getting away with it but it was a risky move.

      If they really wanted to see Mike O'Brien carried around the ANet parking lot on the shoulders of a cheering crowd they should have announced the release of Tengu as the next playable race. If that ever happens I'll know they are truly desperate.

  3. I suspected the Legendary Weapon stoppage news was strategically timed, knowing they had SAB coming up. I just didn't want to say anything for fear of jinxing it.

    I am all over the SAB like a starved wolf. There hasn't been anything in the bright, cheerful and soloable 'fun' vein for a very long time. It's been group content of one sort or another, or Mordremoth-doom-gloom-melodrama questionably soloable (all those horrible bugs in the last HoT chapter, rrrrr) for months, and no content for what seems like repeated eons.

    1. The sheer lack of content ANet have managed to come up with over the last 12 months is astounding. I can't help comparing them with Daybreak, where on EQ2 a team that can't be even a tenth of the size has managed to produce a full (and good) expansion, a massive free update that could pass for an expansion, and add good, new content to every one of its many, many holiday events. What the heck all those people at ANet actually do with their day mystifies me.

    2. And yet in the comments at Massively they just rip and rip on Daybreak. Do the commenters there actually play MMORPGs, or just gossip about them.

      (And thank God for blogs like yours Bhagpuss, actual real discussion!)

      - Simon

    3. Thanks! I couldn't do without MassivelyOP as a news aggregator but Massively's comment section has always been right up there with YouTube's when it comes to clear-headed insights and thought-provoking close textual analysis!

  4. Well, in following with the spirit of my comment in your original SAB post...




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