If the Bazaar of the Four Winds and that weird election represented a low point of my recent interest in Guild Wars 2, then the combo of the Queen’s Jubilee and the Clockwork Chaos represent a rebound of tremendous proportions. Of course, maybe that’s the good thing about this “every two weeks with the new content” strategy — like everyone is fond of saying of their native state/country, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.” So if you don’t like the content, just wait two weeks.
It’s not that these recent releases have really upped the story oomph any. I mean, to give it credit, there have been a few interactive scenes that were entertaining while I went, “Hey, who’s that character? Who’s that? Oh, I guess we have a new villain now that nobody knows anything about. Makes sense that it’s a plant-elf, tho. Probably Tremaine’s long-lost sister or something.”
What’s made me happy is that the activities of these two updates have played to GW2′s strength: Getting people together in big, happy, chaotic groups and unleashing them on bosses. It’s exactly the same thing I love about RIFT, what with the dynamic world events and all.
Maybe they don’t require a lot of hard strategy and careful maneuvering, but I prefer these messy battles where craptons of stuff is going on all at the same time and everyone’s pulling together to accomplish something. Even a year after GW2′s launch, I still see players rezzing each other almost constantly, and that does make me happy. And amid the rezzes and zergs and land-rending battles, I’m a happy clam. I’m getting to play alone together as much as I like here, and I don’t have to worry about letting my team down so much as just chipping in and doing my best.
Plus, the loot. Oh my goodness, the loot. I got hooked on these invasions after the first time through them, seeing how my bags grew to bursting from 45 minutes of play. Guild Wars 2 does loot right in a weird way. I mean, a lot of what I’m getting, no, I’m not going to use. But it’s fun to get it anyway, and occasionally you get the cool consumables or exotics or hugely valuable mats that make it worthwhile. And you get LOTS of it. I’m running around these invasions with my trusty flamethrower, vacuuming up loot, hoping for champions, and just really enjoying the madcap mayhem of it all. Reminded me a lot of the maze from the Halloween event.
Fending off an invasion and downing Scarlet felt like a good accomplishment (and it’s nice that ArenaNet still rewards you with a consolation prize if you can’t go all the way), and I’m not complaining about all of the achievement points I’ve been getting. But the best part is after an invasion is done, I zip over to Rata Sum and spend about ten minutes sorting through all of the goods I won and selling them through the trading post and a vendor. I do keep the skill scrolls (I got about 30 of these from five or so hours of play this weekend), karma potions (um… more of these than I can count), black lion chests, and queen’s gauntlet tickets (I’m hoping that we’ll be able to sell those to a vendor after the event is done), but the rest goes on sale.
I made it a goal of the weekend to raise funds to buy enough gems to afford a magitech armor set that I thought would look awesome for my engineer. Even with a spike in gem prices, it became really doable as I was pulling in 3-7 gold with each invasion. Before I knew it, I surpassed my 800 gem goal to rake in 1224 gems, and the fancy new outfit is mine (see above right).
So a great weekend based on my satisfaction and accomplished goals. I’m sure that these nonstop invasions will get old after a while, but I wouldn’t mind a couple more weeks with them to pad my bank account.