Tyrian Times – Failure to Launch
The week in review
By Meredith Watson
After a considerable amount of hype, this last weekend saw the release of the November update for Guild Wars 2. The Lost Shores Event was shrouded in mystery from the onset. There were cryptic messages, new ships in the harbour, and washed up sea creatures. The posters promised us fun in the sun. We were excited. Somewhere though it all went terribly wrong.
The first day of the event, the 16th, at 8am GMT we were introduced to the new baddie in Tyria. The karka were ushered in through a fairly short but impressive cut scene followed by an all-out assault on Lion’s Arch. The problem was the lag. At one point, there was at least a three minute delay between key press and action resulting in hot bars blinking like traffic lights. It was fun in spite of the lag, the deaths, bugged NPCs and the inability to contribute for most of it. The new island, Southsun Cove, became available on the second night of the event and in true Guild Wars 2 style is gorgeous but as you would expect, full of karka. The final evening resulted in many players losing out on rewards due to disconnecting in the finale; however, ArenaNet has stated they are working on a fix.
“We have a team looking into disconnection problems that prevented some people from receiving their event rewards. We will implement a solution so that people who participated will get their rewards, but this takes work on our end, so it will not happen today. Keep an eye on our forums and social media channels, we will let you know once we have the solution in place.”
Overall, it was disappointing. Even if it had gone according to plan I am not sure it would have been anything more than what the current events offer.
While the one-time event was rife with problems, the Lost Shores update offers us some new content and items. There is a new PvP map: Temple of the Silent Storm, two new jumping puzzles, new events in the new area: Southsun Cove which is a level 80 zone. Ring and back Ascended items allowing the Infusion upgrade are now available with the complete set of Ascended coming with later content. Ascended items, on the scale of rarity, fall between Exotic and Legendary. Infusions are upgrade components that can be fitted into Infusion only slots on gear. Currently Infusions slots are only found on Ascended gear but different types of Infusions are promised for later content releases. There is, however, some controversy about Ascended gear. Players are complaining that another type of gear will make the game a “gear treadmill”. ArenaNet has stated “Our goal is not to create a gear treadmill. Our goal is to ensure we have a proper progression for players from Exotic up to Legendary without a massive jump in reward between the two. We will not be adding a new tier of gear every 3 months that we expect everyone to chase after and then get the next set and so on.”
Fractals of the Mist is a new type of dungeon included with Lost Shores. While it is designed for level 80s, any level can participate and will effectively become level 80. Fractals of the Mist, a series of nine mini-dungeons, scale in difficulty as each round is completed. After level ten difficulty bosses begin inflicting Agony, which is a new ability also introduced with Lost Shores. Agony is a damage over time condition that cannot be removed. To alleviate the effects of Agony players will want to use Infusion upgrades.
The Consortium is a new faction of merchants in Lion’s Arch. The Consortium wants to turn Southsun Cove into a vacation resort which has angered the karka. With the Consortium comes the new Consortium chest, a rare consumable that does not require a key. The chest can be purchased through the gem store or be made with the mystic forge using items from Southsun Cove. The chests can contain materials, armour and weapon skins, clothing and mini pets.
Guild Wars 2 is a great game and a lot of fun but ArenaNet totally missed the mark with Lost Shores according to a lot of players. All you have to do is read the multitude of Reddit threads or various forum topics that highlight how invested the players are in Guild Wars 2 and how they expect so much more from ArenNet. But do they really have cause for complaint? The game is free after all. We didn’t pay for the event and new content. The price of the game has more than paid for itself in entertainment. So, before you rage quit, why not give ArenaNet a chance to redeem themselves? We know they are capable of better. Let’s see if the December update will live up to the expected hype before we all throw our toys out of the pram.