Tuesday, March 5, 2019

World of Warclaw: GW2

Well, that didn't take long. The much-ballyhooed and somewhat delayed Warclaw update dropped at 5pm, my time. I took the above screenshot of my Elementalist riding hers at about five to six.

It actually only took me half an hour but I spent a while faffing about doing other stuff. I saw the first person link a Claim Certificate at nineteen minutes past five so I was obviously slacking.

It's a goofy looking creature. Definitely not very warlike. It handles fairly normally, without the extreme lurching of some of GW2's generally abysmal mounts. I'm waiting  to see whether it will end up being an essential part of the meta, an optional extra or something no-one ever mentions again once they've ticked the box.

I'd guess the second outcome is most likely, although I can see the Warclaw's ability to instantly kill downed players being adopted with gusto if it works smoothly. The potential 50k damage per mount to gates could make a big difference to the ability of small groups to take structures, too.

The requirements for the mount were known well in advance so I'm surprised Dulfy doesn't already have a guide up. It hardly needs one. It's very straightforward to get. If you do need guidance, there's a checklist on the forum and the details are on the Wiki but be aware of the current bug that could block progress.

When I logged out to have a muffin and write this post there were queues on all four maps in Tier 1 and all of them were growing. Given that this is still in the middle of the working day for most players, I can only imagine the chaos in North American primetime.

All of the necessary actions to get the mount can be be completed in the Edge of the Mists spillover map, with the sole exception of taking a camp. I believe EotM spins up as many instances as required ( although it's been dead for so long I can't honestly remember.) and it's far more PvE-friendly, so I imagine that's where most will go.

I'd estimate that, for someone who never sets foot in World vs World, it will take several game sessions to complete the necessary Reward Track. You also need fifty skirmish tickets but the collection gives you forty. And some badges, which almost everyone will already have from achievement milestones.

Why anyone outside of WvW would want the thing is another question altogether. It's the slowest of all mounts in PvE and all its skills are specific to WvW. For completionists only, I would guess.

I was dead set against mounts coming to WvW and I remain to be convinced that they will be anything more than an annoyance but we will see. As for the conceit that the event will introduce new players to the game mode, it is to laugh. Ha ha.

What it will do is let PvE players see WvW at its most frustrating, infuriating worst. Team chat will be a conveyor belt of tedious, repetitive questions, insults and memes. Gameplay will consist of mindless Ktraining (zergs rotating around the map taking structures while avoiding each other). Lag will be off the scale. If you have to run to find the zerg you'll be ganked. And before you even get to all that "fun" you'll have to sit in a 30-person queue and stew.

It's an experience hardly likely to persuade any casual PvE player to change modes and it royally pisses off the locals. The only upside is it won't last long. These things never do.

If it turns out I end up liking the mount I'll be sure to post about it. Don't hold your breath.


  1. Developers will never get this it seems.
    Force players who don't want anything to do with PvP to engage in it anyway by locking exclusive stuff behind it, and in the end they'll just feel affirmed in their dislike or hate it even more.

    1. The heavy irony is that WvW players, by and large, didn't want mounts added to the game mode. There was a lot of pushback against the idea on the forums and on Reddit and the Livestream was protested. Way to go to piss off both sides, ANet!

  2. As a PvE player, I want it because I want to be a charr cat sitting on cat armor / warcat.

    (The lore behind it is pretty weird, I didn’t realize there was nothing inside it and it’s similar to the forged, ie. just animated armor. Also somewhat intriguing in a long term conspiracy sense because no one knows its source in fhe mists, and it uses a very Canthan aesthetic.)

    Took me two days of WvWing, as someone who unfortunately has not been playing long enough recently to even think about hoarding WvW reward track potions from dailies. Would have been four days, from the estimated 8 hour reward track, but I broke down on Day 1 about 4000/20000 the way in and realized I should be xp boosting myself out the wazoo with accumulated boosters.

    No queue in by now fallen Tarnished Coast during Oceanic timezone, though Eternal Battlegrounds and Stonemist were relatively populated, as opposed to entirely deserted. Watching the Commander led PUGs was fairly depressing, though I gave it a game two-attempt try, only to be run over repeatedly by far more organized servers chomping at the bit to test out their OP first-day mounts (now nerfed.)

    So I harnessed my hermit stubborness and left the herd to wander around independently chasing PPT and camp flips. I had zero idea of what I was doing on a firebrand that I hastily flipped to some gruesome combination of celestial with a few residual grieving gear pieces. I had zero real idea of what my F2 and F3 skills were doing and only a vague sense of the F1 book, and mostly got by with my knowledge of what scepter/torch did (oh wow, they changed staff skills.)

    Still, I’d say I had a little more fun. Did my level best to avoid any outnumbered confrontations; started getting bored and suicidal nearing the end of the track on Day 2.

    Voluntarily tried to engage a roaming warrior at a ruins sentry - with zero idea what I was doing, I was shortly losing and about 3 seconds away from dying when the commander PUG zerg ran right over the warrior with 30 people in tow. I kinda felt bad for the guy. He woulda won the 1v1 that I, too big for my britches, instigated.

    Ran to the rescue of home SW camp and -somehow- with no real clue of what I was doing, exploded into a massive flaming ball of AoE fire that downed two enemy players and put the last one into full flight, having changed the odds. Much to the admiration of the player I rescued, while one of the downed enemy sent me furious whispers. I had zero heart to tell either that it was a fluke, probably because they had already used their skills on cooldowns, but much amused. Revenge was soon theirs when the fight repeated, but it was funny.

    Then there was the time some random roaming mesmer and I bumped into each other on Desert Borderlands and wound up going to an enemy supply camp after we waffled about which way to go next - sentry or camp. I shoulda followed my instincts and gone with the sentry, but I gamely followed the mesmer (who may have been following me) into the camp. There we found an enemy Platinum Raider building an Omega golem, among all the veteran NPCs. You’d think the odds were with us, but patently neither of us knew what we were doing. Everything was aggro’ed, I did my level best to first burn down the NPCs, then finding myself targeted, ran around like a stricken chicken pulling out every trick in my heal and support books in random order, hoping the other guy would effing do something. I lasted some 30 seconds, which felt pretty respectable given how much I -didn’t- know any of my skills, but unfortunately chose to prioritize the player over the NPCs. Not a good decision in retrospect. He probably had a better clue what his skills were doing and outlasted it all. I died, then the other guy died in shorter order. Still, it was amusing, and sort of offers the promise of a better time if I’d actually put in the time and practice to figure out and refine the build.

    But given the recent patch updates that have just dropped for Warframe and Path of Exile, that’s not happening any time soon.

    1. There's lore? Where did you find that!?

      The short-term effect of the PvE incursion on Yaks Bend has been fun. First day all BLs were queued and tags were specifically carrying anyone who was interested through the collect stages. Second day ony EB was queued.

      Third day, yesterday, was the best: I came home and logged on to find we owned everything on Anvil Rock's BL and some of BG's too. Both of them had been kicking our asses all match so that was unexpected. AR were salty as hell, not surprisingly. They brought 40+ to take our T2 garrison, twice, and we wiped them both times. Then we got Garri to T3 and I logged out. Best session for some time.

      The mount itself is annoying, as I knew it would be. It's already facilitating a number of exploits, most of which ANet will probably take months to fix, if they even bother. Since plenty of people still don't have it, zergs have comet tails. I refuse to use mine most of the time so I'm in the tail. I have two accounts with no PoF so they won't even have the choice. All in all I think it's a poor implementation of a terrible idea. It can only make WvW more divisive and elitist than it already is. I am absolutely certain ANEt couldn't care less. WvW is a legacy system they haven't quite got the guts to terminate so I expect to see plenty more abuse of WvW to sell items to PvE players from now on.

    2. I think it was the Warclaw vendor/NPC on the home BL that I spoke to. There was also a piece of paper near Golanta supply camp in Eternal Battlegrounds that I walked into, which unlocked some sort of collection. Haven’t looked for the remaining pieces yet.


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