Gaming

November 18, 2012
Dancing on your corpse, you absolute bitch!

[GW2] The Lost Shores World Event


Tedious, drawn-out, and atrociously scaling, The Lost Shores world event does exactly the opposite of what I imagine ArenaNet wanted for its free trial weekend.

Rather than showcase all the awesome features of the game — the things it does absolutely right — it instead highlights many of the problems with the game’s engine and systems that have been heavily criticised by many since launch: criticisms that I have long blown off as “something ArenaNet will fix sooner rather than later”.

We’re now almost 3 months into the game, and unfortunately the legitimacy of those criticisms is given much more weight.

That’s not to say there aren’t some positives, however.

The Good

World design continues to be superlative. There are jumping puzzles, interesting scenery, nice monster designs. The aesthetic of the area is, as I have come to expect from ANet, excellent.

There are some flashes of brilliance in the event design. I’m typing this during the Ancient Karka event, and while it is dragging on horrendously (see below) there are some excellent and interesting bits: piling boulders into steam vents, dropping trees on its head, tripping it up with landslides…

All of these showcase the interesting ways the dynamic events systems can work when the scaling mechanism does its job properly.

The Bad

Oh that scaling mechanism. I’m sat here typing this during one of the “defeat all reinforcements” phase. The first one took almost 20 minutes. This second one doesn’t seem to be going any faster. To put it bluntly, the event scaling system sucks when you have this many players. For two reasons:

1) Because everything scales up to a level where, even in gear with a lot of toughness on, you can get one-shot pretty darned easily.

2) It’s rather hard to even see enemies when the culling prioritises the closest entities. Surprisingly enough, in the middle of a huge clusterfuck melee, I don’t actually care where my allies are standing — I want to know that there’s a Veteran Karka right there and he’s getting ready to do that one-shot rolling attack.

Dying to invisible mobs and invisible attacks is ridiculously frustrating, and really highlights what WvW players have been shouting out for a while now.

Add to this the somewhat severe repair costs you tally up thanks to the constant deaths, and an event that should be fun is totally the opposite.

(Also, you wiseasses shouting “lrn2dodge” in [M] chat clearly need to be put up on a pedestal as paragons of community spirit. And then shot. Seriously. Trolling isn’t big, funny, or clever, and I don’t understand people who deliberately do so. Sarcasm is no longer the lowest form of wit it seems…)

The Ugly

I’ve already blogged about the ascended items shitstorm, so there’s no real need to harp on about that again. Suffice it to say, the storm hasn’t died down in the slightest, the forums are filled with people threatening to quit (but probably not actually doing so), and ‘discussions’ (I use the term loosely) backed up by the MMO Manifesto and other such “promises” ArenaNet have “made” are everywhere.

The ugliest part of this live world event, however, is the lack of foresight it shows. Right from the initial karka attack on Friday evening (GMT, I’m British :D) it was obvious that there were going to be problems.

Horrendous lag caused by confining the event, advertised as “one-time-only”, into a small portion of the city, then having hundreds of mobs and players all crammed into that small area caused veritable server overloads. And if you lagged out or had to zone/restart your client, you lost any progress you may have made.

Or how about that map design for the karka lair, where your entire zerg is confined to a narrow ramp, where veteran and champion mobs that 99% of the time you can’t see spawn on top of you with their instakill rolling attacks… who thought that was a brilliant idea?

Or what about the standard event rewards… 1 silver doesn’t quite cover the amount required for repairs considering the sucky scaling and instakill mob abilities.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for challenging content. But this isn’t challenging. Challenging content requires coordinated player skill.

This event doesn’t. It requires people to rez each other every five seconds and just keep on mashing those attacks. If you’re lucky enough to actually see a mob attack coming, then skill is certainly involved if you aren’t lagging so much you can actually dodge roll out of the way in time, but how often has that actually happened during this event?

 Just Rewards

Finally the ancient karka one-time event is over, and at least I can say the rewards are decent enough. 2x exotics, 2x rares, and a chest with a 20-slot bag and an earring in it.

I read that people are also getting precursor weapons and stuff, which is nice.

It still doesn’t make up for what was essentially almost 3 hours of poor design interspersed with flashes of brilliance.

What did you guys think, anyways? Am I just being too moody and negative at the moment? Did anyone have a really positive experience with the one-time events? Lemme know in the comments below!

~Dema

 

 



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Written by: demajen
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About the Author

demajen
Jon Burrage, aka Demajen. Urban Sci-Fantasy writer, digital artist, supply teacher, evil genius. One of these things is not like the others...






 
 

 
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2 Comments


  1. [...] Demajen — The Lost Shores World Event. “Tedious, drawn-out, and atrociously scaling, The Lost Shores world event does exactly the opposite of what I imagine ArenaNet wanted for its free trial weekend. Rather than showcase all the awesome features of the game — the things it does absolutely right — it instead highlights many of the problems with the game’s engine and systems that have been heavily criticised by many since launch: criticisms that I have long blown off as “something ArenaNet will fix sooner rather than later”.” [...]


  2. Jeffrey Chen

    The final ancient karka event turned out to be horrendously frustrating for me, as I was disconnected during the final stages of the event, and unable to log in again and obtain my event loot.



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