Some of you already got that headline there. Are you with me on how ridiculous the watchknight designs are in the new Guild Wars 2 event? I mean, they’re wicked cool, no denying, but it’s like someone with a weird Barbie doll fetish decided to marry that passion to a passion for clockwork pin-up girls. And then make them shape-shifting bodyguards. That have stiletto heels and body parts that are detachable in all the right places.
Guild Wars 2, everyone!
Oh, I jest, I jest, because when it comes to the Queen’s Jubilee, I don’t have much to gripe about. This past weekend I had a terrific time tooling about with the new content, and I think that this will make a fine annual holiday for the game if that’s what ArenaNet is doing here.
Again, it’s a pretty story-lite type of living story, although my colleague at Massively was able to mine all sorts of pretty fascinating details that completely escaped me. I did like the opening ceremonies — it was interesting and occasionally humorous, although I got a really bad headache when my eyes involuntarily rolled as the 15-year-old queen introduced her new elite stiletto robo-chicks. I don’t care if she’s older than 15, that’s how the game makes her look, and she’s not really impressing me with her maturity level if creating a gladiator pit and the progressive fembot brigade are what she spends her citizen’s tax dollars on. Reminds me of Rome in decline — give the crowd bread and circuses, and maybe they’ll ignore the fact that the human race has just (counts) two cities left.
The fun for me began with the events and general mob farming that went on in the crown pavilion itself. I latched onto the zerg and enjoyed roaming from legendary mob to legendary mob, making my graphics card groan underneath the weight of all of the visual effects going off, and looting to my heart’s content. Guild Wars 2 is really making up for my disappointment with the unsexy loot in Guild Wars 1, that’s for sure. I looted two exotics over the weekend, 5 skill point scrolls (which I sent right to a lowbie alt), and so much vendor trash and auction house goods that I went from 8 gold to 21 gold in two days.
The achievements this time around are a lot more forgiving. I rolled through them pretty quickly as I ping-ponged between events, taking turns representing different factions. What I *really* liked is the addition of a living story achievement to the dailies, which means that if there’s a standard achievement that you don’t want to get or just can’t do, you can make up for it with a daily. It gives a LOT more flexibility to getting the meta achievement, and with the help of three such dailies and the rest of the standard achievements, I completed the meter and got my own lil’ watchknight to keep me company when I want to think about the downfall of the human race and the excesses of the royalty that led it there.
Apart from the events, I spent a couple sessions with my guild doing a grand tour of the world via balloons. I don’t know about you, but I was let down when ArenaNet built up this event as so balloon-centric, and yet you don’t really get a proper ride on one — just a fade-to-black. Who else wanted to ride around Tyria on a balloon? Anyway, we went to 30 or so of the balloon towers and did many associated events with them, leading to a lot of funny chatter and general groaning at the stupidity of escorts. Because when you have a world with Asura portals, insta-waypoints, and airships that can go from point A to B, why are you making this poor sap run through hostile territory?
I was less impressed with the Queen’s Gauntlet, however. I did the first tier the other night, but nothing about this succession of boss battles grabbed me. The loot wasn’t really that awesome, and… yeah. It was just kind of there. I have like 60 tickets, although now I’m tempted to hold onto them in case ArenaNet lets me sell them later on like they did with the voting slips (and how many of you would’ve saved those votes to exchange for cash if you knew in advance? You were literally throwing your money away and you didn’t know it).
What makes me happiest about all of this is that for the first time in a while, I feel like I was able to enjoy most of the new two-week content without feeling rushed, and I can ignore it for the rest of the month while I concentrate on personal projects in-game.
And because I think that they’re related, a watchknight from GW2 and SCORPIO from SWTOR: