By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Resident Tyrian
Have you logged in Guild Wars 2 yet this week? There’s an all new zone, a new group of weirdo hippy sky people. Oh and a zone filled with a bizarre bazaar with unique travel difficulties. Some are calling it an annoying jumping puzzle masked as a zone, while others think it is an exciting new addition and opens all sorts of possibilities in the future. Either way, this is an update that should not be missed.
The first zone in the Deldrimor Front, Labyrinthine Cliffs is a small zone, no bigger than a city which features massive cliffs pressed against perfectly clear water. The highlight is a large bazaar where people from all over Tyria are selling some very bizarre things. Of course you can’t actually buy any of those. There are plenty of things you can buy though. Food supplies for Karma, Zephyr Supply Boxes for crafting supplies. Just 8 OrichalcumOre can get you a box. Or if that is a bit too pricy for you can go as low as 250 Green Wood Logs. With a variety of prices it really is a great way to get rid of that surplus of materials you have. Unless you’re like me and decided to sell them all off last week. But the real highlight (or pitfall) for the zone is the travel. Three temporary types of travel allow you to move in ways you never could before, jumping higher, moving faster, and using lightning to pull yourself. These allow you to stand on the cliff sides, run through waterfalls and leap from platform to platform to collect crystals. Really it is all one big scavenger hunt for achievement points. But with the new achievement point reward system that is something everyone is after these days.
Achievement Point Reward System
Today anyone who has been in the game for a while got access to the gorgeous Zenith Weapon Skins thanks to the new Achievement Point Reward System. The new system rewards players for doing the awesome things they already do, completing daily achievements, killing bad guys, and just generally doing things! Every 500 points rewards a new chest filled with Gem Shop items, Karma, WvW Blueprints, Badges of Honor, Boosts, and much more. On top of that every time you get a new chest you get between 1 and 30 gold depending on the level you’re at AND 1-10 laurels AND a permanent boost to XP, Magic Find, Gold Find, or Karma across all your characters. And when you reach the 5,000 and 10,000 levels you get 400 gems on top of all that! In between there are Zenith weapons, armor skins, and who knows what might be in the Massive chests! Though there were initially a lot of complaints, I really don’t think anyone has any room to do so anymore. These rewards are awesome and easy to earn, though perhaps a little time consuming.
An enormous flying ship called Zephyr Sanctum has docked at the top of the cliffs of the Bazaar in Labyrinthine Cliffs. The ship itself is amazing, and has what is by far the best diving location in the game. But the people who live on it, the Zephyrites are a little…off. I’d even go so far as to call them cloud hugging hippy weirdos. They have a religion which, sure it is actually pretty normal. Harnessing Sun, Wind, and Lightning for their own livelihood and enlightenment. They’re lovers of peace, and believe that the Dragons aren’t evil. Oh no, they’re just a force of nature. Like wind. This is when my alarm bells started going off. I don’t know what Arenanet has planned for the future, but this makes me think it isn’t good. And the Zephyrites won’t be helping when the time comes.
On top of all of this there have been a ton of little changes to improve the quality of life in the game. A new user interface for the Achievement Points which makes my OCD both celebrate and whimper in fear, small class updates here and there, and perhaps the biggest of them all, blueprints for WvW are now tradable. That means we can sell them. And finally, one thing which still hasn’t been seen out completely yet, a new crafting material which allows players to create Celestial items that give small(ish) boosts to everything.
I’m going to go ahead and say it right now. Bazaar of the Four Winds is the best update to Guild Wars 2 to date. Now, I know everyone won’t agree. And maybe it was just a stroke of luck with the timing and all these things coming together. For now though, I’ve been converted. I’m a fan of the Living Story, and I can’t wait to see what Arenanet gives us next.