Monday, October 29, 2012

Candy Cornucopia : GW2

I was mildly annoyed when I found out that the Guild Wars 2 Halloween event was scheduled to start on the very day we flew to Barcelona for a week. After a day' spent dancing with the Mad King I'm beginning to think it was lucky timing.

Oh, I'd have liked to have seen the Mad King himself burst out of the fountain in Lion's Arch. That must have been spectacular. I just hope someone's got the blueprints to put that statue back together. One of my favorite places to hang out, that was.

The decorations are jolly good. Of course, Halloween decorations are all much of a muchness but these are mucher than most. The spooky lighting effects are efficiently atmospheric and the hanging bats that furl and unfurl their wings made me smile. Most of the work seems to have gone into Lion's Arch but there was a camp in Plains of Ashford that, I think, appears when certain events are completed and no doubt there are others. Even the Mists have been decorated, which struck me as beyond the call of duty.

As for the content, variable would be a diplomatic way of putting it. I spent an hour or so doing the first six stages of the Scavenger Hunt, which was moderately entertaining. It wouldn't have been much fun without the walkthrough  I had up, but then what scavenger hunt is? The Mad King appears to have been born that way, judging by the tales told by the many, many ghosts his increasingly psychotic childhood outbursts left behind.

It's true that one shouldn't do these things for the reward, but it has to be said that the reward when it came was paltry in the extreme. When I realized there were another six volumes to collect I decided I knew as much about the Rabid Royal as I cared to and left it at that.

The Lunatic Inquisition looked like a lot more fun. It wasn't. It was okay, if confusing. It's basically Sardines with added violence. Each thirteen-minute match seemed to comprise about five minutes of action at best, with the bulk of the time spent with almost everyone converted into Lunatics chasing round and round the map looking for the last Villager. Maybe there were just some good hiders on when I popped in.

Reaper's Rumble was better, in that it was a lot easier to follow and there were actual fights. Made me nostalgic for Rift's Warfronts or EQ2's Battlegrounds. Ah, Rift and EQ2. The former has Events down to an art and the latter has enough Halloween content to launch an entire F2P title. Maybe I'm spoiled after those, and this is GW2's first ever holiday event after all, but the comparisons don't favor the newcomer.

It's not that there isn't plenty going on. There are new, easy recipes that make food and potions (two things I never remember to use and which I really don't have the bag space to carry). There are fantastically demanding recipes that make skins for weapons, which you'd probably need to be as mad as the King to attempt, although you can get the same looks on a four-hour fade from Merchants for your Candy Corn.

Candy Corn is the currency du jour. You can mine it from nodes that look quite disturbing. Or you can just buy it in vast quantities from the Trading Post from people with more time and patience than you. Going rate as I write is 7c per corn. I bought 150 to finish my Monthly, where the mysterious ??? has now resolved itself to a frankly banal demand that we gorge ourselves silly on the sugary stuff.

Pumpkin Carving is another activity on offer. I do like the frenzied animation that goes along with it. Whether I'll get a hundred and fifty of the things chipped out in  two days I doubt. There are the doors that pop up inviting you to Trick or Treat and then there's a dungeon, which I haven't entered and jumping puzzles, which sound hellish. The little jumper right outside the bank in Lion's Arch nearly drove me demented so I'll not be trying the others. I did eventually manage to jump into the pot and get spat out as a spider. Once was enough.

Goodie bags drop passably frequently. So far all I've had out of mine is yet more corn and a smattering of food. Whether they can cough up anything worthwhile I'm not sure. Possibly there's a tiny chance one of the many new Holiday items from the Gem Store might fall out. That's where a lot of the supposedly interesting stuff is - costumes, pets, skins and the like. None of it actually interests me and ArenaNet have to make money, so good luck to them. I did take the free pair of devil horns, which look quite debonaire on an Asura.

That's my first impression. There's probably lots more going on that I have yet to discover. I'm glad it's all going to be over in a couple of days and I'm not at all sorry to have come late to this party. I have mixed feeling about holiday events in general and this one has a particularly enervating edge.

I just hope they put that fountain back the way it was.

Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig

As a week's total silence indicates, we've been on holiday. Well, I say holiday. Maybe it was a secret mission where we infiltrated the hometown of the bots. You be the judge.

I never trusted those dwarves...

We also saw a real dragon.

I said "real" not "live".
I was hoping to keep in touch via the amazing new invention of "the internet" but apparently when hotels say "WiFi available in all rooms, free of charge" what they actually mean is "unless your room is more than ten feet from Reception, and then only if anyone knows the password, oh and by "free" we meant 5 Euros an hour". Still, it was nice for my laptop to get out and about for once, even if it never actually got switched on.

Consequently I returned to over 250 unread blog posts in my Reader. If, as was supposed to happen, we got WiFi installed at work while I was away, I might get through the backlog by the weekend. If not, well I read and enjoyed them all in another quantum universe.

Off to see what's happening in Tyria. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's Wrong With WvW : GW2

I really enjoy World Vs World. Skirmishing, defending, scouting, taking this, losing that, killing him, rezzing her...

As a drop-in knockabout romp it does the job. As a tournament that makes sense? Not so much.

Many hardened RvR players will be chorusing "We told you so" but while the problems they anticipated - lack of meaning or worthwhile goals, small maps, ease of travel and so on - do exist, they seem to me to be the kind of things that would go largely unnoticed by the interested but less-committed majority.

What no-one can help but notice are the wildly uneven matches. So far I believe we have one good round:

How It Should Look

Last week, despite a good start we were steamrolled by Sanctum of Rall. This shot comes from mid-week, when for a brief time they spectacularly owned every single structure on all four maps. By the end of the week they were only just shy of 500,000 points.

How It Looked Last Week

This week once again we're off to a good start and this time it looks as though we will carry on that way. Poor old Gates of Madness face a second week confined to barracks, although in my opinion it's actually more fun being in their position than it is owning 95% of everything. Nowhere near as much fun as an even match, but at least the underdog can snap and snarl. The top dog has nothing much to do but sleep all week.

How It Looks This Week

Everyone knows what the problems are:

  1. Free Server Transfers
  2. Orb Bonus For World That Needs It Least
  3. Ladder-Style Server Matching System 
  4. Night Capping (not as much fun as it sounds)

Free Server Transfers should stop when Guesting comes in. That really needs to happen. Like yesterday.

The Orb bonus is a crazy idea to begin with. So, your team is the strongest? Why, here you are then, have this thing that makes you stronger still! There needs to be a reason to take the Orbs but that isn't it.

Ladder-Style rankings might be okay if there was a prospect of Servers actually getting better. Not sure how realistic that is. Maybe Divisions would work better, with promotions and relegations?

Night capping is not a problem. ArenaNet say so. That's that ,then.

Early days, early days. WvW can be better and no doubt it will be better. For now, it's good weeks and bad weeks and not everyone can even agree on which is which.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dragon Down : GW2

I wasn't planning on doing any dungeons in GW2. The little notes "my" Herald insists on sending me, where he strongly suggests I should consider it, those go straight in the bin, so it was a bit of a surprise last night when I found myself in The Ruined City of Arah.

The Ruined City of Arah (let's just call it Arah, shall we? We'll take the ruining as read) serves both as the highest-level dungeon in the game and the culmination of the Personal Storyline. Ah yes, the Personal Storyline. That'll be that other thing I'm not doing. The last time I touched it on any of my characters was back around level 40. Mrs Bhagpuss, however, has been steadily working her way through hers, delayed only by bugs (courrtesy of ArenaNet) and disconnections (courtesy of our flaky router).
Wait for me!

I'd barely had time to log in and report my first half-dozen bots of the evening when I got the call to come to Cursed Shore. There I joined Mrs Bhagpuss and three others, all from the same guild, waiting to go through the big blue portal to Arah. The group comprised two rangers (us), an Elementalist, a Guardian and I forget the other.

I won't go through the instance in detail. If you don't know it, Zubon gives an excellent account of how it plays out here. Suffice to say that, as a story, it really isn't very good.

As far as gameplay goes, from reading that and several other accounts, I was expecting it to be a lot harder than it turned out to be. Maybe it's been tuned down or maybe our group was better-geared (Mrs Bhagpuss's ranger is head-to-toe in fully upgraded exotics. Mine, um, isn't). Whatever the reason, I thought it was actually easier than several of the earlier Personal Story instances I'd done.

Ultra-rare!  Logan Being Useful
Destiny's Edge, Tyria's ultimate elite fighting force, spent most of the evening lying on the ground waiting for us to do their job for them, thereby following their long-established gameplan. Injury was added to insult when ***spoiler alert*** Zojja got to fire the Big Gun that brings down Zhaitan and all we got to do was stop yet more Risen killing her while she did it. (They did kill her, too, but we revived her and she blew Zhaitan's tail off with a laser cannon. It was quite exciting, actually).

So much for the story. What about the combat? With all that's been said about the supposed difficulty of GW2 dungeons and the chaotic gameplay that arises from having no dedicated Tanks or Healers, was it really that bad? Okay, it was a Story dungeon, which is easy-mode as I understand it, but even allowing for that I have to re-iterate that it was really a lot easier than I was expecting.

Yeah, yeah, now just fall over, already!
Other than a bug which meant we had to do the first third of the instance twice, everything went pretty smoothly. The bosses (I hate that expression but I can't call them "Nameds" - they didn't have names, just "Champion" this and "Champion" that) seemed to have a lot of hit-points but that was about all. Apparently they do have various tricks that you are supposed to avoid, but I didn't notice them. We just piled in and kept hitting them til they fell over. A modicum of running around and moving out of red circles was advisable, but only a modicum. We didn't wipe, didn't have more than the average number of "downs". It felt rather like doing a small-scale Event anywhere in Tyria.

Was it fun? Yes. Was it as much fun as a traditional Trinity-style group? No.

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in High Fantasy any more
There's a very good discussion in the comments following this recent TAGN post which brings out some of the difficulties of the new group model. For some people, removing a more formal structure and replacing it with much greater freedom of action is going to add excitement and interest. For others it just risks pulling out all the bones so the saggy old skin flops around all over the floor.

On balance, I think I'd prefer more structure. The current "everyone is DPS, everyone heals, no-one tanks" is fluid and fun in big crowds but in a 5-person instance it seems odd. I'm certainly not suggesting we need to go back to the Trinity as-was but I don't think this version is a complete replacement. It's an alternative, sure, but someone will do a better iteration than this. They'd better.

One thing it did do, though, was remind me how much fun it is to play in an actual group. Got to do more of that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I...Can't...Take...Any...More...: SoE

Ultra-short post week continues and I give in! Alright already! Satisfied? Here, see my towel? This is me, throwing it in!

  • EQNext now to be the "largest sandbox-style MMO ever made." Is that including ArcheAge? That's not actually "made" yet, is it? It will be when EQNext ("playable by next Fan Faire" or "this time next year" as we on planet not-Sony call it) comes out. Is this Smed's ultimate apologia for NGE? What's going on???!!!
  • SOE to co-publish yet another MMO, this time with Runewalker of Runes of Magic fame, and it's going to feature not just housing but ""epic structures that defy imagination". That you can build. Not to mention guilds get their own kingdoms. And armies. Oh, and it has 300 dragons, which is just as well since it's called Dragon's Prophet. This one goes up to 11.
  • DCUO is getting housing. Can you say Secret Lair? Yesterday housing was some weird niche girl thing, today it's the new rock&roll. Or something. It's enough to get me patching the darn thing back up again, I know that much.
  •  EQ2 Expansion launches November 13th. Why is that date familiar?
  • Wizardry (Not interested! Not interested!) goes into beta in just over a week. 

There's more but I need to lie down now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Supertanker Turn : EQ2

It's ultra-short post week here at Inventory Full. In breaking news, the slow-motion train crash that was the SOE/PSS1 deal jumped tracks to a different metaphor today as the ponderous, lumbering supertanker that is Sony Online Entertainment executed the equivalent of a bootlegger turn and sailed back in the direction it came from.

John Smedly announced, via his preferred medium of Twitter, that existing players of SOE games that are migrating over to Prosieben can keep their SOE accounts and stay with SOE.

Full story at EQ2 Wire, with more to come out of Fan Faire SOE Live I'm sure. I'll wait for the fine details and legalese before I throw my hat in the air, but whatever the ifs, ands and buts this has to be good news.

The whole sorry debacle has been a classic example of what SOE does best, namely the wrong thing followed, eventually, by the right thing. For Tunare's sake, from now on could you please just start with the right thing and save us all the yelling?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rata Sum Labs Presents... : GW2

Is there no end to their ingenuity?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This Land Is Our Land: GW2

Way back in April when we picked Yak's Bend as our server for the first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend, we didn't just pull a name out of a hat. Yak's Bend is where the world begins to open out in the original game, the point at which, after days of desperate struggle, hard-fought every yard through Charr hordes that never stop coming, at last you find a moment to catch your breath.

See this bend? This bend is mine.
Two abiding memories from the first run through the original Guild Wars are my complete shock on the fall of Ascalon and my immense sense of relief on reaching Yak's Bend. I played GW1 from launch but buying it was a late and somewhat spontaneous decision. I'd read little about it and had no foreknowledge of the plot. I loved pre-Searing Ascalon from the moment I arrived there and had no idea it would be snatched away from me so soon.

Come Guild Wars 2, I was always going to play a Charr. From the moment I realized, years after wading hip-deep through Charr blood with Prince Rurik, they were cats not demons as I'd thought, I was forced to re-evaluate and from that moment on there was no choice. Still, I didn't imagine I'd get what I'd always wanted; Ascalon back.

The orange is nice but I preferred it how you had it before

There are people, crazy people, who stay in pre-Searing Ascalon until they're fully grown. These are the Iron Men and Women of Guild Wars, ennobled with a title: Legendary Defender of Ascalon. Here's what they went through to earn that name. When players unfamiliar with the elder game question the design ethos behind GW2's Legendary Weapons, behavior like this is a factor they may not have taken into account.
Read it and weep, human.

I tried it once. I got to level 12 before I came to my senses. Life is quite literally too short. I gave up any hope of living in the eternal summer of pre-searing Ascalon. How ironic, then, that the door to that lost past should be re-opened by the same Charr who slammed it shut in my face all those years ago.

Go North-East from Lion's Arch and there, between the Shiverpeak and Blazeridge mountain ranges lies Ascalon. From Black Citadel, the great Charr capital built on the ruins of the human city of Rin, east through the Plains of Ashford to Blazeridge Steppes and north across the Diessa Plateau through the Iron Marches to Fireheart Rise, the Charr hold it all.

Being a cow doesn't give you a pass on training
Um, over here?

Every step is filled with wonder. The high summer idyll of the pre-Searing has ripened into an eternal Autumn, the fall after The Fall. The colors burnish with copper and gold, red poppies flag against the sunburned grasslands, white clouds mass the bluing sky. Ascalon is a land patched by farms, ribboned with ruins, haunted by ghosts figurative and literal. Its lakes are blue and deep, its caves dark and beckoning. There's treasure everywhere.

Out of these golden lands rise the cobalt holdings of the Charr. With all the dwarves gone Charr engineering stands unchallenged (quiet now, that Asura at the back...). Rather than scars or blisters, these massive edifices fit the land like giant puffballs, muted bluetones melding into the umber, soft curves blending into rolling hills, jagged edges natural as thornbriar.

This beautiful country has its dangers. Ghosts and devourers rise from the ground, bandits and revolutionaries bar the paths, ogres and harpies cleave to their own wild ways and may the gods that don't exist have mercy if you cross them. The Dredge, the Grawl, the Skritt pursue their own oblique agendas. Still, these are lands that can be explored with pleasure, if with care.

You can laugh now but in fifty years they'll be listed

Some must fight so all can live, as they say, but maybe not right now. Unlike Orr and the south, across Ascalon there is time to stop and take a look around between battles, to lie down in the long grass once in a while and rest.

Even the dragon, The Shatterer, had the good sense to set the mark of his Lordship on these lands with a scar instead, like Zhaitan, of flinging all to chaos. The Brand runs livid in the purples of a bruise across the back of Ascalon, but the Branded, unlike the Risen, keep to their rut.

Could have sworn I heard an Asura...

At the southern limit of the Charr's influence, Ascalon's, maybe Tyria's, loveliest city waits. Ebonhawke, thick-walled fortress with its wide streets going down to grass feels old as its honey stone. Saved the brash assertion of Rata Sum or the wild imagining of Lion's Arch, Ebonhawke stands more solid, evokes more empathy than either.

Does no-one in Ebonhawke own a scythe?

To the far North autumn gives way to winter as it must. Despite thick fur, Charr are cats and do not like the cold. The Norn may have the snow and welcome. As for the Baelfire, let the Flame Legion skulk among the cinders there, planning their plans. Few would envy them. No, the Charr fought for the heart of Ascalon, and now they have it, revel in it and will hold it long.

Had Guild Wars 2 been only Ascalon and only Charr I would have been more than satisfied. I am more than satisfied.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just Popped In For A Pumpkin: Rift

Finding it hard to peel myself away from GW2 at the moment, not to mention that I'll have less time than usual to play over the next two or three weeks. Frustrating in a way because there's just so much going on. Feast is better than famine though, so let's hear no complaints.

On the subject of feasts, there's some kind of Harvest Festival going on in Telara right now. Thanks to the excellent RiftLite I was able to drop in and say hello to my old pal Atrophinius. He's an odd duck and his Plane of Life is an odd pond. We never seem to be quite as "at war" with the Plane of Life as we are with the others, what with druids having Fairy pets and old Atrophinius here turning up every so often with a few barrels of mead.

This time he had me grabbing pumpkins to decorate his little patch of Faeland. I found mine in a Water rift. Hydroponics reaches Telara.

On the far side of Silverwood, which always seems like it half belongs in the Plane of Life anyway, I found the way into what I took to be a Sliver. Can't say for sure - never been in one before. Lots of vendors setting up in there, plenty of things to do, pests to kill and so forth. If only I had time to help out, over there's just some of what I could have won. >>>

On the way I bumped in some treants. It's been a while, but I don't remember them looking quite like this. Their new model or my poor memory? Both, most likely.

I'm always surprised by how gorgeous Telara looks. It stacks up well even against GW2. The gritty, digital feel is quite pleasantly abrasive after the painterly washes of Tyria. I'm very curious to see what the new continents look like.

There's a great offer coming up - unrestricted free access to Rift for four days from November 7th to 11th for anyone who ever had a subscription. Better still, it ties in with the big Storm Legion lead-up event. Definitely going to clear time in my busy MMO calendar for that.

Whether I can hold out until the New Year before buying the expansion we shall see. I wouldn't go betting the farm. Not even the Panda Farm. Especially not after this...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Orr Is A Bore: GW2

Azuriel over at In An Age has been doing due diligence and taking another run at GW2. I think it's fair to say he's not enjoying it much more than he did the first time. Which is absolutely fine. Everyone doesn't have to like everything and what a dull world it would be if we were all the same, wouldn't it, my little one? Lawks-a-mussy!

Ahem...getting back to the point, Azuriel alludes to something mentioned by several people (I was one) in his comments section: "a lot of people are suggesting that the zones/enemies/storylines get dumber the farther South you go". Which puts a finger neatly on one of Guild Wars 2's real problems: Orr.

I vaguely remember reading about Orr before launch. How it was where all the promise of the Dynamic Event system would bear fruit, how it was GW2's equivalent of raiding, how it was going to be a step-change from the rest of the game, which was really only there to prepare you for Orr. Yadda yadda and indeed yadda.

There's a good discussion at GW2Guru which goes over most of what's wrong with Orr in some detail. The thread's called "I Hate Orr" but there are posters there who don't and make a fair case. Everyone, different, see above.

I don't hate Orr but I dislike it enough that I've been there just twice. I'd say that having three large maps at launch, which quite few people visit once or twice and cross off their list of "Places I'd Like To See Again" is a fundamental problem.

Issues that I have with Orr from just those couple of quick visits include:
  • It's frickin' ugly, especially the lighting and color scheme.
  • It's chock-full of the same mobs over and over and over again.
  • Mob density is overcooked.
  • There's far too much of it.
To sum up, it's laborious, unattractive and somewhat dull. It's not, as has been claimed, particularly hard or testing. I didn't find it significantly slower to open up than any other map, nor did I die any more often. It's just not very entertaining.

I didn't stay long enough to confirm whether the other big complaint is true, namely that for such a supposedly important area, nothing much that matters happens there. I also have sufficient concern for my blood-pressure not even to have attempted the underwater parts which by most accounts are truly awful.

Orr wasn't all bad. The undead chickens made me laugh out loud. The way the dead Zhaitan raised carry on their now meaningless lives is mildly affecting. I may even go back for another look, some day, although it's a long way to go just to laugh at a chicken. As an aspirational set of end-of-game zones, though? I don't think so.

Since I'm not there I can't estimate from experience how well-used Orr is. Is it busy down south? Let's hope not, because if and when we get new maps it's going to be a disappointment if ArenaNet attempt to emulate or even outdo Orr in "difficulty" and "challenge".

There's been no word that I've seen on what part of the map might open next, but my money's on Crystal Desert. In Ebonhawke the guards at the Southern Gate are already fielding questions from interested adventurers:

Let's just hope that when that gate does open there's something more interesting behind it than a barren wasteland filled with mindless husks.

Coming Next: How It Should Be Done or "North with the Charr!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cruellest Month: GW2

The position I claim to have held on Dailies ever since I first heard of them is rapidly becoming untenable. A couple of years ago, if asked what I thought of Dailies I'd have said they were the Devil's work. No, that's unfair - I wouldn't have waited to be asked. Then came Rift . Another year on and assimilation is complete. As I outlined recently my GW2 gameplay now revolves around a certain set of goals that are repeatable once every twenty-four hours.

Could be Emerson...
This leaves me exposed. Not only does it seem that I do after all quite like doing the same thing every day, provided that thing is a thing that I like to do, but also it appears I have "goals", something else I've been going around denying. Just as well my oft-quoted personal motto, adopted when I was in my gauche teens and never bettered, is Ralph Waldo Emerson's "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".

GW2 doesn't beat about the Suspicious Bush. A Daily is a Daily. It says so right there on the Achievement page. Much has been said about how GW2 dailies work well even for people like me who claim they don't do dailies. No quests to get, nothing to do that you probably wouldn't be doing anyway, the whole thing ticks along in the background like a well-tended boiler. 

Not so the Daily's big brother, the Monthly. This insidious innovation asks much more and it exerts a hideous fascination. Each month there are four things that must be done. These can change, although so far only one has.

Never saw this event before and I live here!
There's a relatively uncontroversial one: "Event Participation". This requires that you be present at a hundred Events during the calendar month, which is simply a subset of the Daily. Strike that one off. All the rest are problematic to a degree.

In the first two months, the truncated August and the full September, there was a requirement not to die. Most MMO players probably try not to get their characters killed as a general principle but as anyone who's ever attempted to get an "Undying" title or achievement in any game knows, actively avoiding character death radically affects gameplay. GW2 is particularly odd in that this marker is incredibly easy to hit at 80th (takes about 10 minutes or less) but pretty tough at low level. 

Always time for a Vista, even in the midst of a War
Fortunately for the inept and the reckless GW2 offers a myriad of ways to gain xp that don't involve fighting anything or even leaving town. Since this isn't EQ2 in 2005, you don't take your life in your hands every time you use the forge so crafting smooths this one along nicely. Vistas are a slight risk - you might fall off and falling damage in Tyria is ferocious. Still, it's a lot safer than actually fighting anything. 

Exploring also brings in the big xp - discovering a Waypoint out in the wilds gives as much xp as killing more than twenty monsters nearby. Therein lies the problem, though - there are monsters nearby and monsters tend to want to kill you. No-one ever claimed exploring was safe. Best stick to towns, although I think we usually call that "Sightseeing".

No need to bother about it this month anyway, for this month we are allowed to die. The Undying benchmark has vanished, replaced by a row of ???. From hints dropped these are widely assumed to refer to an upcoming Halloween-related event. We shall see.

Oh but they look so pretty...
That leaves two. Monthly Salvage Kit Uses is frankly nuts. Who thought to include that? Was it ArenaNet's in-house economist, the unconvincingly-named John Smith? Is it there just to funnel items out of the economy and replace them with marketable crafting mats? Whatever the reason, this is actually the one I find hardest. With silver still relatively hard to come by all magic weapons go to vendor and even salvaging every non-magic item across four characters only just hits this target in a month. Last time I ended up buying stuff on the TP just to destroy it.

Finally we get to the real joker in this four-card pack. Monthly WvW Player Kills. World vs World was what I was planning to write about this morning. Yesterday being a Sunday and a day of peace, naturally I spent almost all of it trying to kill people. Specifically, trying to get my fifty player kills. It wasn't how I'd imagined, let alone planned on spending the day. Not that it wasn't enjoyable. In parts.

Yak at the Back. As usual.
I may get around to my thoughts, such as they are, on WvW itself another time but just for now, mull over this specific aspect. Is it any wonder there are so many running skirmishes and so many players not following the strategy propounded by Commanders in Map chat? Is it any wonder that so many people sound like they have no idea what they are doing or seem to have an entirely different agenda? They don't! They do! They're out in the Frontier trying to get this box ticked so they can go back to Lion's Arch as fast as possible. 

Probably. Really, who knows? I'm sure it seemed a good idea at the time, pulling the Achiever lever to nudge PvE players into something they might never try otherwise. Try it, you might find you like it. Whether it has that effect or the opposite, well, do we have any way of knowing? All I can say for certain is that 50 player kills in a month is a pretty low bar that should only take a few minutes a day but even so it manages to be quite annoying while it lasts.

Why did I spend all Sunday at it, then? That's a topic for another time.
Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide