Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Golem Rush! : GW2

It's unusual for patch notes to contain information about changes that haven't happened yet. Usually you'd expect to get that kind of news in some form of Press Release or Announcement. Why ANet chose to open the notes for Tuesday's update with a reveal of their latest World vs World special event beats me but that's what they did.

It's a wonder it took them this long to get round to another WvW event. What with Living Story going on indefinite hiatus and everyone left twiddling their thumbs waiting for Heart of Thorns to get even as far as a firm release date it's a fair bet that a lot of players have, like Ravious, wandered off to find something else to do.

Throwing WvW a quick change-up always looked like an easy way to bring bread and circuses to the people so it's very surprising the tactic hasn't been used more often. It's getting close to a year since the last full Tournament and all we've had since then was the Sneak Attack event just before Christmas.

That simply removed some of the notifications we normally get to warn us that towers and keeps are under attack. It was received fairly well in the end, having been heavily criticized on the forums before it happened. Quite a few people, myself included, seemed to think it was an improvement to the regular ruleset and should have been adopted as a permanent change.

It wasn't, though. It came and went in a single week, never to be mentioned again. That was six months ago. The optimistic tone of the press release at the time, in which it was suggested that "This special event gives us an opportunity to freshen up play by bending the rules of WvW, and we’re excited to try out some new things and offer improved rewards for a limited time" led some players to believe it would be the first of a series of one-off rule changes but nothing more has been heard of a second event.

Until yesterday, when we heard we were getting a Golem Rush. In our house that's a phrase that's often yelled excitedly from one room to another as one of us zones onto a map to find Our Glorious Leader shoulder-deep in half-built Omegas.

We love golem rushes Chez Bhagpuss. Of course we do. We play on Yak's Bend, Home of the Golem Rush, after all. It would be a very poor show if we didn't. It must be said, though, that not everyone is so keen. In some circles and on some servers golems are looked down on as the cheesy last resort of skill-impaired PPT siege-humpers who couldn't win an open field fight with a three-to-one advantage.

The reaction on the forums from those quarters has been predictably hostile. The usual suspects are out making the usual claims that ANet just doesn't get WvW. Some posters even feel an event that makes a feature of one of the more controversial tactics in the game is tantamount to ANet trolling its own players.

Counter to that are plenty of people applauding the potential chaos and looking forward to a week of all-out robot war. I'll put my hand up to being on that team. And even among the naysayers there's a sizeable moderate faction pointing out that it's just for one week and we can all surely manage to put up with it for that long or find something else to do if we can't.

As to why Golems have been singled out for this attention there's plenty of speculation. Perhaps it's some clever gold sink? Maybe we won't be able to deploy golems in the Desert Borderlands (which are themselves getting a stress test right in the middle of the Rush) and this is some kind of last hurrah?

I don't know and I don't much care. I just want to be there when the golem armies march. I always want to be where the golems are, whether I'm piloting one (I have a full license), running alongside with the ground troops, making a suicidal run to get a Disabler down or standing on the walls raining flaming meteors on their steel-domed skulls. Offense or defense, golems mean fun.  Unless you're the poor mesmer who has to do the portals. Talk about performance pressure.

The most Omega Golems I've ever seen deployed at one time is around fifty. They kept moving about so it was hard to count. That charge ended in complete disaster since half the people pressed into driving the mighty metal machines had no idea what they were doing and we had so many people in golems we forgot to bring any ground troops.

I'm sure that's going to happen again. I'm hoping we might even get to see all three sides bring half a hundred each for the mother of all battles over Stonemist Castle although I fear if that were to happen my PC would catch fire.

It'd be worth it just for the screenshots.


  1. I would be very interested to know the economic reason behind this test. I hope for one of the John Smith ( the game economist) of the effect of this to the game. I think the goal is to remove some golds or badge of honor from the game.

    I also think it will be fun and I will try to login to WoW the first time since one year !

    1. I have more than 12k Badges on my main WvW account so I guess I should use some of those up. As for John Smith I can never make much of anything he says. He's either got the driest sense of humor imaginable or he is just going right over my head and I can never decide which it is.


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