Thursday, March 17, 2022

Thursday Night FIsh Fry

That blur above is my Elementalist, killing a shark. I suppose I should really call her my Tempest. She's been using the Heart of Thorns elite specialization since it first became available. I still think of her as a Staff Ele. She carries a staff and mostly uses core Elementalist spells. She only uses Tempest for the Overloads. She doesn't even have the Tempest's signature Shouts in her build at all.

I dabbled with the Weaver elite specialization when it was added to the Elementalist's toolkit with Path of Fire but although it was powerful I found it a bit too hands-on for my tastes. I don't like to have to time things to perfection and the Weaver needs a certain amount of finesse to shine.

Then, the Elementalist has always been reckoned a fairly challenging class by Guild Wars 2's admittedly lenient standards. It makes it a strange choice for someone as self-avowedly lazy, not to mention old and fat-fingered as myself. 

Over the first year or two of the game's life I tried all the classes, spending probably the majority of my time with the notoriously easy-mode Ranger but once I started playing World vs World regularly, for reasons I can't now remember or even easily reconstruct, the Elementalist became my favorite. I think I just like setting things on fire. Especially other players.

Fire looks different underwater. I guess it would, wouldn't it?

Luckily for her - and me - she hasn't even started to look at the latest elite spec, Catalyst, yet. According to the latest patch notes, people were just having too much fun with it so it had to be nerfed into the ground

I will get to it. All in good time. I'm working steadily through my End of Dragons to-do list and it's on there, somewhere.

Yesterday I completed the fourth and final EoD map, Dragon's End. I'm sorry to have finished. I wish there were more. The first two maps were relatively straightforward but Echovald Wilds and Dragon's End were so convoluted I would still be working on them if I hadn't had the benefit of advice from some helpful people on YouTube

I would strongly recommend getting outside help when doing map completion in GW2. Either that or hire a local guide. Unless you enjoy spending hours examining maps with a magnifying glass, that is. And even then, you can't know just by looking whether a particular point of interest is locked behind some event that needs to be completed or accessed via a tunnel, whose only opening is on the far side of the map.

Why yes, I bet I do look good on the dance floor. Thank you for noticing.

If you like both puzzles and exploring, though, it can be good time.  I've certainly been enjoying it. After finishing the Dragon's End map I gave myself a little victory lap by finding all the PoIs in the new hub zone, Arborstone. It doesn't officially count as a "Map" in the completion stakes. There's no reward for filling out all the blanks other than your own satisfaction but in a way that makes it even more appealing.

Also, that last PoI, the one that's seemingly impossible to find? It's Canach's casino and it's a nice treat when you get there. I won't spoil it by telling you how find the way in but I will say it's not through a broken stained glass window. Been there, done that, got the splinters.

The vendors at the bar sell all the fish recipes I'd been looking for, there are moa races and a some gambling machines and if you have the patience to collect a thousand of Canach's coins (I got about thirty in an hour so it'll take a while.) there are a few rather spiffy backpacks you can buy.

That really is a long-term project. I'll get back to it. Right now I'm working on my Masteries. That's how I came to be killing sharks.

Sharks, Naga, I'm not fussy.

Back in Heart of Thorns, the last time I worked on Masteries with any intent, I found the easiest, albeit not the fastest, way to get the necessary XP was to buff up with every XP bonus I could grab then go find some mobs in an out of the way place that hadn't been killed for a while and slaughter the lot. 

There's a huge bonus for fresh meat in GW2 although the exact nature of the calculations involved isn't always entirely apparent. Some mobs in the same spot give massive bonuses while others give less or sometimes none at all. Kill em all anyway is my motto.

It took me a while to find a good spot. I tried Echovald but it gets hectic there and it can be too easy to get more mobs than you bargained for. As usual, the neutral, non-agressive animals that everyone ignores are great for bonuses but for every crane and deer I killed, I got a bunch of rebels or jadebots of various kinds shooting at me from a distance. It was good xp but exhausting.

6.5K XP Bonus. That's the bunny!

After a while I jacked that in and tried Dragon's End. The meta had just started so I joined a tag and ran with the pack for a bit. The XP from the big mobs and events was good but there was too much downtime moving from place to place for it to feel efficient. Then we failed on the penultimate phase and the map closed and we all got kicked out so that was the end of that.

It's no wonder people are complaining non-stop about the Dragon's End meta event. I like it but it is very badly judged. It takes a long time, requires a great number of people, has a lot of moving parts and multiple fail states. As someone said in map chat just before we failed, it would go a long way in a two-hour event if there was some reward for trying. There isn't. If you fail you get nothing. That is not a great way to motivate people to keep coming back and if they don't come back they'll never learn to do it better.

Not that it's all that easy to work out how to do it at all. Belghast, a recent convert to GW2, pointed out how badly the game explains just about everything and it's absolutely true. It's always been that way and this latest meta demonstrates that, whatever else ANet have learned over the years, how to let players in on the secret of what they're supposed to be doing isn't one of them.

Naga in the hole!

Killing fish might be a lot less exciting but it's easy to understand and it's steady work. That's what I ended up doing, rather poetically, to fil out the XP for my final Fishing Mastery. I took the waypoint back to Seitung Province and spent a couple of hours in the calm waters just off the coast.

I had the place to myself. Judging by the multi-thousand XP bonuses for every tuna and jellyfish I killed, no-one had been there for a good, long while. I didn't see another player the whole time I was down there. 

What I did see, apart from countless fish and a lot of coral were plenty of chests to open. The sea bed is littered with them. I found an event, too, while I was poking around in a little hole. A bunch of Naga spawned and tried to eat me. That was fun. I did wonder what optimistic developer decided to put an event trigger down a coral tube on the bottom of the sea and just who they thought would set it off but then I thought, well I just did, didn't I? I guess they knew what they were doing after all.

Just as I emerged from the waters like the world's shortest Venus to claim my reward, the final Fishing Mastery, the map meta event kicked off right next to where I was standing. Someone tagged up and started a squad so I joined in just to see what it was all about.

Unlike Dragon's End, the Seitung Province meta takes about twenty minutes, most of it good, knockabout fun. There are even rides! It ends with a big boss fight that we won quite easily. The crowd was in a good mood throughout and everyone went home with presents. That's how to do a meta.

Okay, it's one way. Dragon's End will be a lot more memorable when it's tuned more sensitively and players understand what's expected of them. If anyone's still interested by then, that is. GW2 history shows players will learn if they feel there's a fair chance of success but also that for most of them the bar needs to be set relatively low before they'll make the effort. There are only so many elitie gamers to go around, after all, and right now I imagine most of them are still playing Elden Ring.

Next up on my dance card, Jade Bot Mastery. I'm about three-quarters of the way through. I think that should be something like five thousand sharks.


  1. There are only so many elitie gamers to go around, after all, and right now I imagine most of them are still playing Elden Ring.

    Ouch. But you're probably right. I'd say "elitist", but that's just me.

    1. I had "elitist" in the original draft but then I tend to think of "elitist" as a backhanded compliment in the same way I do "hipster" so even then it wouldn't have been a harsh criticism.

    2. Well, not to sound elitist, but the title of your post reminded me of this old sucker: Saturday Night Fish Fry by Louis Jordan

      Yeah, it's old, like 1949 old, but I heard it once a couple of decades ago and it stuck with me.

    3. Heh! That is kind of where I got it from, although I got it by way of a late-eighties radio show by Stephen Fry called "Saturday Night Fry", which used the Louis Jordan number as the theme tune. I actually misremembered it as "Friday Night Fish Fry", but it wasn't Friday when I wrote the post so I changed it to Thursday. This is why I used to do regular posts explaining my titles!


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