Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oh, That Towering Feeling : GW2

Ravious and Zubon have both posted about the relatively tough times they had in their first runs through the Tower That Krait Built in the new Living Story update for GW2. Interesting how experiences vary.

I went in as a ranger wearing my usual Carrion Undead, which is all Toughness, Vitality and Condition Damage. I had no idea what was in there or how anything worked. Ended up in Overflow, reasonably busy, not packed.

After a quick look around I followed a zerg which ran straight to the first instance (or an instance anyway) and stopped. I waited and nothing happened so I went into the instance, expecting to find myself alone in something designed for a group.

In fact it turned out to be a fairly easy solo run. I did get downed once but I was never close to dying. When I came out there was no-one about so I explored a bit on my own, taking screenshots, It's a very impressive zone, if somewhat depressing with all the murky greens. Or maybe that was a hallucination. I can't see much green in these screenshots...

After a while I found myself on the second floor where I opened one of the travel golems that let you move around inside the tower. I ignored the warning of the wounded Asura on the floor and headed into the spider area. I got webbed soon enough but it didn't seem all that difficult. As I was grinding through the spiders a few more people drifted up. We had maybe five or six by the time we got to the far side, where a Champion Spider Queen was waiting.

We got her down without much difficulty. By the time she died I guess there were a dozen people there. They all ran off and I got lost following them and ended up on my own again so I looked at the map for the first time. Using that I worked my way alone to the third floor, opened another golem for travel and went into the next instance.

It was much the same as the first, except with a different mini-boss at the end. The first one was so nondescript I didn't even realize he was a mini-boss. This one jumped around like a flea on a flat iron, which was more annoying than dangerous. I killed him, freed the prisoners and that was that.

I came back out and did some more exploring, trying to work my way up to what looked like the top where there seemed to be some kind of portal or entrance. It did eventually get too tough and I finally died about five paces from whatever the thing was that I was heading for.

After that I waypointed back and wandered about for a while, jumped off into the water in the middle and explored the underwater area (nothing there I could find) and after maybe an hour and a half in total realized I was somewhat bored, a very unusual sensation. There's really not very much to do in there, is there?

I left and went to WvW where I had a massively more enjoyable time and I haven't been back since. Unless there's something to it that I've missed I'll probably skip this update and concentrate on the Season. I didn't look at the rewards for the Achievements or the Meta but unless they're very special indeed I predict the tower will be virtually empty for most of the two weeks. It seems like a lot of work for not very much and amazingly designed though it is, there's only so much entertainment to be had from looking at a lot of dripping wet planks.

 I did find a lot of the dialog amusing and there are some interesting hints toward something that might almost pass for a plot. Some of the voice acting is really quite good, too. I'll probably make the effort to finish the story instances just to hear the conversations. Other than that I'll probably give this one a pass.


  1. Really?! That's a great pity, I think this new content is great. The NPC interactions are great, and the scalability of everything is pretty wonderful. I and a friend duo-d most of it, and it was great fun. The little references to your own personal story is a great touch, as well.


    1. I wrote a long, very negative reply along the lines of "I really don't get the point of this update" but then I thought better of it. It's actually been months since I got the point of any Living Story update so why pick on this one?

      The real problem is that the Living Story process has been going on so long now I've gone from disliking it in principle through being used to it and making the best of it to beginning not to pay attention to it at all. I didn't even look at the Achievements this time and once I'd seen the inside of the tower and dashed off this blog I felt I was done with it.

      At this rate it won't be long before I don't even bother checking the new content out at all. If I wasn't blogging I think that stage might already have arrived.

  2. No idea why the update should have a point besides providing fun to players? This update is pretty good, open world, some what challenging, nice stories and NPC interactions, soloable and yet also fun with a group, has an impact on surrounding areas. What more do you want?o.O

    1. Well, lets not forget the fact that "fun" differs for each individual.


  3. I think I've gone into a "must see some character progression" phase. It's probably because both WvW (Ranks) and EQ2 (Levels/AAs) are showing me such clear, linear progress that the somewhat nebulous rewards of some mildly amusing NPC banter and a bunch of Achievements that don't look all that interesting seem very weak motivators by comparison.

    In another mood I might see things entirely the other way around but right now it seems like a very long time since I did anything that let me see practical improvements to my characters rather than cosmetic ones and I'm beginning to hanker after some meaningful, impactful character growth.


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