Thursday, July 15, 2021

How To Do Now: An Overview Of Guild Wars 2's Marionette

She's back! For one week only, Scarlet Briar and her amazing Marionette. Performances every two hours, only at The Eye of The North. Get in line now!

Yes, the promised return of Guild Wars 2's best ever structured event began on Tuesday after the update. The public event runs for just one week, ending when next week's patch lands but there's also a private version that should be available indefinitely.

Here's how it works:

Both versions are accessed via the Scrying Pool in current content hub, Eye of the North. You used to have to own the Path of Fire expansion to go there (or have legacy rights from the pre-launch events a decade ago, I guess) but that requirement has been dropped. Now you just need to be Level 80. If you've never been there before, no worries; there's a one-time portal scroll in the mail that will take you there and open the waypoint for you permanently.

The 50-person private Squad instance is always available. If you want to start one, use the Scrying Pool. More likely, if you want to join one, use the LFG function and search under Tyria - Squads. Right now there are lots of people doing it but as folks get the rewards and the achievements they want it will calm down. Based on other, similar content, though, there will most likely be Commanders and guilds looking to form up fairly regularly, especially at weekends. GW2 is very good at keeping older content in play.

When you've found your squad, join up and follow instructions. Do not zone into the instance via the Scrying Pool yourself. Wait for the pop-up invitation and accept that. Then just listen, pay attention and do what everyone else does is my advice.

If you're there for the Public version, check the Event Timer for the next one, arrive around the top of the hour, go to the Scrying pool, click on the Public button when it appears and zone in. Then you can either run around like a lone wolf and tick everyone off or you can join a lane, follow a tag and behave like a socially responsible person. Your call.

The mechanics are virtually unchanged from seven years ago but if you can remember much of the detail you have a better memory than I do. Of course, that may well be the case. Almost anyone does.

Luckily, there are some excellent guides available. This is the best I've seen. I would strongly advising reading through it before embarassing yourself. I didn't but I think I got away with it. No, I definitely got away with it. I didn't do anything dumb. Still, I would have been a good deal more comfortable if I'd known what I was doing, so the point stands.

I was lucky my first run in that the Commander had a squad message up that detailed the basic mechanics for each boss. Plus I got the easy one first time, even though I was in Lane Two, because the people in Lane One couldn't even manage to kill theirs, even though it was the easiest boss. It passed to us and we killed it for them! Go us!

The next two lanes also killed theirs but after that it was fail time for everyone, and we wiped. Second time around we did even worse and then I had to go to bed. It was a great introduction all the same.

This evening I did the public version which is in some ways easier (you can have more people - the limit is 75 rather than 50, I believe) and in some ways harder (you can't vet who comes and you get quite a few lollygaggers and layabouts). We did brilliantly.

The first four lanes cut the chains. I was in Lane Two and my platform was last to get our kill, mostly because the guy I was with took a while to learn we needed to kite the boss over the mines. He got the hang of it after I yelled at him, though.

Lane five failed, which wasn't a shock because the fifth boss is the hardest. Lane One, on their reprise, took him down. Not a single lane let too many mobs through and we finished with the aethercannon still only 25% charged from that single failure. Even back in the day that would have been counted a very solid run. 

Although the exact details of what to do are quite complex, the basics are simple:

Get organized. If no-one else is stepping up then maybe think about doing it yourself.

Have 10-15 people per lane, depending on whether you have 50 or 75 in total.

When your lane is up, kill all the mobs as fast as possible to get the portal open.

Run in fast. It's really embarassing to get locked outside and watch your team fail because you were late.

Kill the boss on your platform using the correct tactics as outlined in the guide linked above or as explained by your Commander, assuming they know what they're doing.

If the idiot on your platform is doing it wrong do yell at them but also tell them how to do it properly!

All the times it's not your turn, concentrate on holding the line. Use all the available tools (barricades, golems, repair hammers) plus all your snares, roots, stuns, knockbacks and so on to make absolutely certain none of the giant twisted clockworks get to the portal. If even a few make it your lane will fail and the aethercannon will charge up some more. You do not want that gun to fire. It will kill everyone. Literally everyone.

If a lane calls out for help (usually when their turn comes around again after a fail and they realize half of their people already left) do not go charging over to help until you are asked! It's really embarassing when the whole thing fails because everyone in one lane went to help another lane and left one poor guy trying to stop a hundred twisted clockworks on his own.

If you win, jump up and down and cheer like crazy. Or just grab your loot and leave. You do you.


I cheered. Then I grabbed my loot. Most of it was the usual nonsense but there's two gold for the first time you do it that day (Maybe. Or maybe it's just the first time ever. Honestly, I didn't check. I'm not doing it for the money.) 

There's a fairly nice set of weapon skins to collect if you're into that sort of thing. Mostly, though, it's about the fun. Marionette is a really well-designed event and I'll tell you why: it's because it keeps everyone engaged from start to finish and makes everyone feel invested in everyone else's success. It's a true mmorpg experience that could not be replicated in a single-player game.

All five lanes have to be held. All five bosses have to die. All five chains have to be severed. Every success is everyone's success. Every failure is everyone's failure. It's a true team effort.

I loved it. I'm just writing this up in the time between the last public run and the next. The private squad version is good but the public one is the real thing. 

I just wish it was staying for longer than a week.


  1. You know, for someone who looked like real lift was going to limit your posting abilities, you certainly made up for it today.

    1. Heh! The thing about keeping the posts short is you can do more of them in the same time. If there's stuff to write about, which there was.


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