Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hello Moto

It's back. The April Fool's joke that didn't know when to stop. Yes, it's Super Adventure Box, now upgraded to Festival status.

Some people love it, of course. It's the highlight of their year, apparently. Bree at Massively:OP called it "The best thing ever added to Guild Wars 2". I don't think it would make my Top Fifty (and no, I am not doing a list).

I definitely don't hate it. It's okay as far as it goes. I've killed a few idle hours inside Moto's box along the way. There were a couple of years when we had some little mini-guild outings there, back when there was someone in our guild other than me and Mrs Bhagpuss.

As the years pass, though, I find less and less to amuse me in the nursery colors and shapes. Last year I didn't get around to visiting SAB at all. This year will pass the same way, I imagine.

I did speak to Moto when I was taking a few screenshots for this post, just to see if he had anything new to offer. He didn't. I think even his line about bug fixes and polish goes back a few years now. 

The patch notes are a little more forthcoming. There are some new "ooze enemies...tucked away in each zone" and you can get an ooze mini by completing the annual meta achievement. There are some other new achievements and the usual additions to the weapons and items you can buy. And the "responsiveness of the bouncy mushrooms and trampolines" has been improved. About time! I'd been losing sleep over that one.

One thing I do think might be new is the extremely detailed set of instructions on the official website. I don't recall seeing anything like those before. It's so comprehensive, in fact, I wouldn't hesitate to call it a walkthrough. 

I'm a little puzzled as to why ANet feel it's necessary after all this time. Is customer service inundated every year with floods of puzzled, frustrated players, unable to figure out what to do? Are they expecting a massive influx of newcomers who've never seen a pixillated cloud before?

It seems like a lot of effort for something everyone's already so familiar with but I guess it can't hurt. It would be a little churlish to complain about getting too much information after so many years of calling devs out for not giving us enough.

Last and definitely not least on the "Really?" scale we have the Doritos promotion. Here's the offical press release: 

"Enter to Win A Year’s Supply of Doritos® Snacks

All that bouncing is sure to make you hungry. Awesome news! Every time you complete your daily Course Work: Super Adventure Festival meta-achievement, you’ll earn one entry to win a year’s supply of Doritos® snacks. Just log in every day and accomplish three of the superbly educational tasks offered under the Daily Super Adventure Festival category in your achievements panel".

I'd make a sharp remark but honestly it's beyond irony. You could get a term paper out of the internal contradictions of that one paragraph and a dissertation out of the cultural implications of the promotional contest itself.

There are giveaways in game, too. They're underwhelming. A free Super Adventure Box Of Fun and five Continue Coins. Those can just stack on the ones I already have in the bank.

But as I said, I'm not hating on Super Adventure Box. It adds color to the game. It's (mostly) harmless. People like it. Well, some.

I still think ANet missed a trick by not spinning it off into a standalone game and developing it separately. It sits uncomfortably inside GW2, where it struggles to fit the lore (although they've made a brave attempt to shoehorn it in). As an annual festival it spends most of the year gathering virtual dust, when plenty of people would like to be able to play it. It's not to my taste but even I can see it has more potential than it's been allowed to realize.

For me, it's not even the real Superadventure. That name belongs to the hardback annuals I sometimes found at the foot of my bed on Christmas morning as a child.  

Comic annuals are a British tradition that hasn't entirely died out even to this day. Growing up in the sixties and seventies I used to get half a dozen or more most years and the Superadventure series, which collected stories from what seemed like a random selection of DC comics, were one of my favorites.

I'd be a lot more interested in that kind of Super Adventure. Maybe someone at DCUO could give it some thought.

For now, though, we'll have to make do with the Super Adventure Festival. It's with us for twenty days. The lid comes down on the toybox at noon PST on April 27. 

Better get jumping.


  1. "I'd make a sharp remark but honestly it's beyond irony. You could get a term paper out of the internal contradictions of that one paragraph and a dissertation out of the cultural implications of the promotional contest itself." LOL. As a college professor, can confirm. You are not wrong.

    I wonder how this squares with the laws and regulations in the many jurisdictions Guild Wars 2 supports. "Enter an in-game lottery with valuable real-world material rewards?" It sure sounds like it would fall afoul of gambling statues in the US unless they have provided a way for players to enter the lottery without paying a sub to the game. If the latter, it would be fun to find out what that is.

    1. The official page has a link to the terms and conditions. I debated putting it in the post but I'm just reporting it, not promoting it. You'll find it through the "detailed instructions" list if you're intereted - its all on the same page.

      The T&Cs are incredibly long. I didn't even attempt to read them all but at the very top in bold print is this: "NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE ONE’S CHANCES OF WINNING. THE SELECTION OF THE WINNERS WILL BE MADE AMONG ALL ELIGIBLE ENTRIES." I guess that covers the gambling issues.


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