I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed by how fast Guild Wars 2 content is coming these days. That’s not exactly a complaint… well, maybe a small one. I’ve got lots to do and don’t want to find that time’s run out for me exploring this content before the next batch rolls in.
Anyway, I completely skipped the group-oriented Aetherblades stuff (and will continue to skip similar content until GW2 puts in a group finder), but the new Bazaar of the Four Winds update seemed right up my alley. For now, at least, I’ve reverted back to playing my Engineer and put any alt progress on the backburner.
As I said yesterday, the most exciting feature of this patch for me is the achievement system update. It seemed that it was a huge hit in my guild, as everyone was chittering away about how many points they’ve earned, what they got in the chests, and oohing and ahhing at the UI update. I’m just shy of 2500 points myself, which is pretty low in comparison to many others, but I never was trying to gun for achievements before in this game either.
The Bazaar is a combination of a temporary live event with a new zone. It’s, of course, gorgeous: A town built on a cliff that culminates in a dock leading to a massive air ship. The whole look is indisputably Chinese, what with the bamboo and lanterns and whatnot. I said it reminded me of Guild Wars Factions, although that got me shouted down in guild chat a bit. I’m no GW2 lore expert.
It’s a very amusing place to explore, kind of a black market where you can’t really buy all of the cool weird stuff. But you can at least poke at the items. I have no idea how people constructed this town or live there without several deaths from falling each and every day, because I must’ve perished a good half-dozen times from missteps last night. And there are kids there! Kids! Won’t someone please think of the children?
I spent some time getting the hang of the three new movement skills — the speed dash, the super jump, and the tethered jump. All are fun and play into a zone-wide scavenger hunt, although with my lack of patience for jumping puzzles, I doubt I’ll be completing that hunt.
The rest of the time I devoted to pursuing the various achievements for the live event. I’m still not sold on the story value of these live events, especially since I come away from them with only a vague sense of what’s going on. Perhaps it’s that it doesn’t feel compelling enough to care about what’s going on. But I definitely liked the humorous tone of this zone (GW2 always has great humor), the gorgeous visuals, and plenty of activities to do. I haven’t even really dug into the new minigames, but I’m probably going to need to if I want to earn the mining node that you can put into your home instance. When’s the last time you were at your home instance apart from your story quests? So much potential here.
My favorite moment of the night was completing the Best. Dive. Ever. achievement. There was a helpful Mesmer who provided ports right to the jump, and after I put on my swimming goggles, I did a truly epic swan dive down a thousand or so feet into 24 inches of water. Water being the universal “get out of falling damage free” card in MMOs, I was fine instead of dealing with shattered bones, punctured lungs, and death. Anyway, I definitely recommend doing it at least once, because the view on the way down was breathtaking, especially going through the clouds.