Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hanging Around

When ArenaNet brought back the Marionette event from Scarlet's War, it came in two flavors: Public and Private. The Private version, which can be triggered by anyone capable of finding a full squad of fifty people willing to do it, is a permanent addition to the game but the Public event was only slotted into the calendar for a single week, something that always seemed strange.

While I was cutting the strings I heard quite a few people express a wish and a hope that the Public version might be allowed to hang around a week or two longer, maybe even be added to the roster of regularly returning events. Some (and I was one of them) even suggested it would make a good addition to the World Boss circuit, making it available several times a day in perpetuity.

When Tuesday rolled around, though, the Marionette was locked up in her private playground as promised. I checked after the update to be sure and not only had the notification of the public version disappeared from the corner of the screen but when the hour rolled around there was only one option at the Scrying Pool: go private or go home.

It was with considerable surprise, then, that I read this news item on MassivelyOP a few minutes ago. The very good news is that there will, after all, be a permanent place in the world for the eighty-player public event. 

There will be some "tweaks", the gist of which seems to be that you'll need a critical mass of players before the event will start. That should prevent situations like the hilarious one I enjoyed a few days ago, when I logged my character back in after having logged her out after the public event the day before, only to find myself the only person in the lane.

Figuring I'd fluked an appearance just as the rest of them had gone inside, I sprinted through the barrier, which happened to be green. I found myself on a platform with... Taimi

I'd forgotten that little wrinkle from the original run seven years ago, when the event ran in the genuine, non-instanced version of Lornar's Pass and it was entirely possible to find yourself one of a handful of people who'd turned up. The NPCs, Braham, Rox, Taimi and I foget who else, would try to fill in for the missing players. It was always a token gesture at best.

Taimi, sadly, wasn't much help. She mostly shouted encouragement. She was in Scruffy, her golem, so she could have tanked the boss for me. It was the one that has to be hit from behind so that would have worked out nicely, what with me being pure DPS.


Unfortunately, since she didn't, the boss was permanently aggroed on me, making it tough to get behind him. I did manage to stay alive for the full two and a half minutes and I got him to about 75% health, which I count as a moral victory.

Of course, it wouldn't have mattered if I'd been able to one-shot the creature because there were four other platforms with no-one on them at all. I'm still not sure how the barrier turned green in the first place. 

That, I'm guessing, is exactly the sort of thing ANet would rather avoid if at all possible. Their reasons given for bringing the public event back are interesting. Apparently attendance at the event has increased steadily, with more people doing it at the end than when it began. That's a rare thing with special events in GW2

Success rates have also been climbing, which doesn't surprise me. For all ANet's laboring the point about this being "a demanding fight" in which "individual players have a huge impact on the outcome of the event" and it requiring "significant coordination and collaboration – much more so than most of the other world events" it honestly is not Asuran Rocket Science. It takes a couple of runs and a quick read through some brief notes to get the hang of it. Compared to Triple Trouble it's a doddle.

If they were concerned the difficulty might put people off, it never made any sense to can the Public event, anyway. It's the Squad version that's genuinely challenging. 

I did the Public version half a dozen times during the week it was here and every time was a success. I did it twice in the squad version and both times it failed. That's not much of a sample, I admit, but plenty of people commented in map chat about how much easier the public version was. It's because you can bring eighty people. Those extra thirty make all the difference.

Whether it will be easy to get eighty people to do it when it's here all the time is another matter. If you can get the fifty to do the squad, though, you really might as well just flag it on LFG and try for the rest. I'm pretty sure you'd get them. Everyone will expect a full map to succeed.

However it works out, I'm happy there'll at least be the possibility of a permanent public Marionette show. The squad version seems too purposeful and serious for what was always a loud, brash, frequently chaotic party.

Now can we look at getting the final fight with Scarlet in her airship over Lion's Arch back, please? That was an instance for a set number of players. It would be perfectly suited for a re-run or, better yet, another permanent slot in the schedule.

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