Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don't You Know There's A War On? : GW2

Wintersday in GW2 arrived a week later than Frostfell but it blew in on a blizzard of change. We didn't get much in the way of new content... actually, I don't think there was any...oh, wait, there was some charity drive to send cakes to Amnoon... but we got a flurry of tweaks and tucks intended to improve the general quality of the event.

You can have any color you like so long as it's blue.
The most controversial revision seems to have been the conversion of the umpteen different kinds of snowflake, used mostly for crafting, into a single, universal Snowflake. There's some kind of metaphysical morality tale going on here, I'm sure, colliding the whole "no two are alike" thing that underpins the "special snowflake" meme into a parable of utility and sameness.

The author and his wife as snowballs.
Don't look at me. I didn't buy it.

Mostly, people aren't arguing the philosophy, though, they're complaining about the exchange rate, which leaves everyone who condensed their simple flakes into more sophisticated ones heavily out of pocket, while the lazy hoarders who just stuffed the lot into a bank vault and forgot about them are making out like bandits. Or something.

I'm pretty sure that if you were studying Economics or Philosophy or Psychology you could get a final year dissertation out of the whole thing. Personally, I'm still waiting to find out if you can convert your Snow Diamonds back to Snowflakes because I converted a load of mine and now I can't find any use for them.

We may be missing John Smith, GW2's resident economist, whose departure from the company I completely missed, but the Art Department is still operating at full stretch. With no new instances or zones to occupy them for the holidays, ArenaNet's formidable art team addressed the longstanding issue of The Wrong Kind Of Snow.

Wedding dress, recolored and repurposed.

Ever since Wintersday first appeared, the
unfortunate lack of seasonal precipitation inside Divinity's Reach, where the all-year-round climate is clear and dry, has been handled by a heath-robinson arrangement, ostensibly provided by Toymaker Tixx. A bunch of hovering tin cans spew snow over the local area. Really, it doesn't look great.

Queen Jenna must have put her foot down this year because Tixx has upgraded. The snow-blowers are gone. Instead we have continual snowfall from an unspecified source and enough blue light to give all of Tyria insomnia. It does look fantastic.

 Meanwhile, up in the Mists, someone seems to be having a bit of a joke at World vs World's expense. We always put a few decorations up, wartime or not, but this year the whole place is starting to look more like a department store window display than a war zone.

The lights around the lamposts are all very well - although, come to think of it, did we even have lamp posts there before? The piles of presents in the corners and the strings of lights across the courtyarrds are fine, I guess.

And some people have the nerve to say WvW is turning into a bit of a joke...
The catapults loaded with gifts, though? Is that supposed to be ironic? And as for the larger-than-life-size cuddly quaggan...

There's always one who thinks he's too cool to join in, isn't there?

I suppose, now we're in a world where people dress up like Christmas trees (looking at you, Bero!) and ride around on Rudolph The Red-Nosed Jackal, we'll just have to get used to everything looking more than a little silly. I'd make some outdated shark-jumping reference here but honestly I think we pole-vaulted that fish a long time ago.

Oh well, it's only once a year, isn't it? Just remember - a mini is for life, not just for Wintersday!

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