[GW2] Just can’t get their throat stuffed

Back from summer break, which I spent castle hunting and aching from bike tours, I was reluctantly excited for the Bazaar of the Four Winds update in GW2 which follows ANet’s recent announcement of aiming for bi-weekly content patches in the future. Yep, that sounds wild – and you’ve heard it here first! Really, it’s a rare thing when a MMO developer goes and fulfills what you’ve wished for specifically on your blog in the past. That has me convinced I need to continue my wishlist category!

In the end however it’s not just the frequency of new content that matters. Is it content? – Or is it rather that someone at ANet just can’t seem to get their throat stuffed on back items?

gw827

Ye shiny graphics, they don’t fool me.

GW2: The Magic Formula

As you arch an eyebrow at above expression, let me elaborate: it’s a liberty I am taking on this here blog from time to time that I literally translate sayings and idioms over from my native tongue. Every now and then there’s an expression just too perfect and impossible to translate adequately – and in this case it’s GW2 (and other MMOs for that matter) just not getting enough already of the same item-grinds and achievements. Are we there yet? Do we have enough yet?

Seems not. They can’t get their throat stuffed (or full) of the same old or maybe it’s really what the player base wants. I don’t know – it’s not like anyone is allowed to complain much about an essentially free-to-play MMO but then, I’ll keep doing it. Personally, I find it highly insulting that we aren’t only grinding items and achievements with every new “content patch” but the same items! Welcome to GW2’s magic event formula: new weapon and armor skins, new back items, mini-games and jumping puzzles! Oh and that last one is all around you this time because the friggin’ bazaar is sky-borne! I have been to one of the world’s biggest, most famed and wondrous bazaars: it was dark, cramped and stuffy, like a city’s underbelly maze. I would’ve preferred this a hundred times over to the lofty acrobatics required to get to the Bazaar of the Four Winds – but nomen est omen so doh @self!

Magic formula ranting aside, I am still looking for the actual content here. My first impressions are bitter and sarcastic (I’m sure you needed this update) but Syp is having fun and so I shall give this investigation some more time. I understand that several achis are linked to an event further down the line, so maybe I can bring myself to care about that. That said, I am starting to take grim pride in the pitiful amount of achievement points I’ve accumulated on my character so far (which apparently is going to disadvantage me now too); it’s one of the more bizarre side-effects this current generation of MMOs has had on me that I am developing inverted snobbery where things like gear or achievements are concerned. Achieving nothing is the new purple!

Anyway, there’s apparently a “best dive” achievement for this event that sounds right up my alley. Nothing feels more adequate than throwing yourself off a high cliff in desperation after facing even more back items and jumping puzzles! Fingers crossed my PC won’t crash again as my character swan-dives from 10’000 feet altitude. Geronimooo!

9 comments

  1. I expected to loathe this update. I do have very negative feelings towards the Achievement revamp but the zone itself is superb. I am poor at jumping puzzles and I completely fail to understand what in hell they have to do with MMORPG gameplay as I have ever understood it but the Bazaar seems to me to have precious little to do with a jumping *puzzle* – it’s just a place where you jump, which is completely different.

    It’s probably far too late but I would suggest two things. First, don’t read anything at all about the update, not even, indeed especially not even, the Achievements themselves. Second, imagine you’re on holiday in a foreign city where you can just about understand the language if you listen closely. Wander about, listen to NPC conversations, talk to NPCs, feel yourself into the world. It’s magical.

    The whole thing would be a hundred times better without any of the achievements at all and if it was a permanent zone, but hey, we take wht we can get.

    As for the anti-expansion thing – why???!!! I love expansions. Expansions are effectively new versions of MMOs you already know you love, like sequels to movies or the next book in a series. Dripfeed content is a pathetic, feeble excuse for real full-blooded expansion content. I’d far, FAR rather play an MMO that had no updates at all for 11 months and then a real full-on expansion than this fiddle-faddle.

    If some MMO one day works out how to give out content that is genuinely equivalent to expansion content on a free and frequent basis that would be an improvement but I’d *still* rather have a real expansion that I could look forward to and pay for. Paying for stuff that I want is an extra pleasure on top of getting it. All else being equal, free things are not as enjoyable as paid for things.

    1. Good advice I should probably follow. the small details and little storylines are simply not the first thing that stands out with these patches. I was also mildly annoyed that once I had gotten to both story-NPCs(?) at the bazaars, they had nothing more to say and there were no quests from them. that seems weird to me considering you’re supposed to go find them – but maybe I am missing something here.

      I am probably becoming over-sensitive to anything that has to do with more achis and jumping around in GW2 in general. the fun of those different temporary abilities just eludes me completely and apparent you do need to best them to get to certain more remote areas. so I’d call that a JP.

      “As for the anti-expansion thing – why???!” …hehe, for all the reasons explained in the linked post really. I see tons of bad side-effects with expansions; I don’t believe in adding big chunks of content to any persistent world tbh. it just feels unnatural to both a narrative and environment.

    1. I can’t believe you’re still resisting ;)
      now, this certainly isn’t the greatest post to promote GW2 but I am whining about specifics almost 1 year in. (I can only repeat myself that you won’t get a better bang for your buck from any other MMO presently out there though, especially if you’re cool with more casual playstyle and alting. :)

    2. Haha, I would recommend testing GW2 from a friend or applying for trials of some of the gaming network websites! It’s a pretty good game, but a lot of people have moved on :)

  2. You know the hamster wheel has been refined to a gleaming polish when they have us chasing shinies with not even any increase in stats.

    Attempted snark aside, I’m happy doing it. I’d much rather play a game where the stats playing field is level past a certain point and players are still motivated to chase after particle effects and cosmetics, than one where the stats exponentially increase over time. One feels more optional, the other doesn’t.

    As for the term “content,” it means different things to different people. I’m fairly fond of the last update – it has sneaky story linkages to the past (any development in GW lore is content for me), it has some various small activities to do, some new gear and crafting recipes to work toward if desired, and my alt leveling is getting a boost from opening random kite fortunes dropping across the open world.

    Some other people might not consider it content if it doesn’t contain a new permanent dungeon or zone or new race or class, in which case, well… keep waiting. And maybe slake some of the thirst on the temporary new dungeons and zones that have appeared.

    1. “You know the hamster wheel has been refined to a gleaming polish when they have us chasing shinies with not even any increase in stats.” QFT.

      That said, I TOO actually prefer GW2′s approach with cosmetic gear over endless stats hunt. however, it becomes silly and insulting if all I do every 4 weeks I grind for a new (often ugly which is why I don’t anyway) back item. what’s up with back items in this game lol? when it comes to other armor and diversity, I am actually somewhat underwhelmed by GW2 compared to GW1. especially if they keep adding gear or skins that turns every humanoid female character into a nude dancer…

      I guess what I lack personally right now in GW2 is more impact and features that allow for player creation. things like player shops, housing, player music etc. go a long way in other MMOs. so do personal/class questlines and generally longer lore-based content you can do at any given time. GW2 lacks diversity somehow when it comes to alternate gameplay options. also, I still find the global economy and market system very ill-conceived.

  3. For me Guild Wars 2 feels like one of the most polished mmorpg games created. The features were good, the mechanics were great, but I always felt is lacked something, after you reached max level. The game was actually huge in terms of player base, but at some point of time they all migrated on to other games. I absolutely love this game, but I think I have closed the chapter and will move on to find other great games to play :)

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