Yesterday I had the fun pleasure of going in for surgery to remove my gallbladder, which came out just hunky-dory. While the whole thing was an out-patient procedure that went according to plan, I like to imagine that something like this happened while I was under anesthesia:
With that out of the way, I’m spending the next couple of days playing the “stay as still as possible on the couch so as not to aggrivate the tummy monsters” game. Also, Guild Wars 2. Thank goodness for laptops.
This immobility paired up nicely with the recent Guild Wars 2 living story update titled “Reheated Leftovers for Chinese Appeasement.” Well, that’s what it SHOULD have been called, because let’s be frank: that’s what it is. Two past updates, slightly changed and smooshed together with the aim of giving the new Chinese audience the one vaguely Asian-themed zone in the game. Welcome to Tryia. Go climb a cliff wearing a panda hat.
Lest you mistake my tone, I’m not disagreeable to this patch, because at least it’s something new(ish) since mid-April’s feature pack. Working through the achievements to get the nice fat meta reward is perfect to take my mind off of the pain. And the meta isn’t all that hard to get, either. I got 13/14 by night two. I figure that when I get done, I’ll try my hand again at the Queen’s Gauntlet to see if I can make good progress, and barring that, thank the update for its time and return to Mapping with Necromancers. C’mon, you can’t tell me that that wouldn’t be an AMC smash hit.
Because other than the achievements, there’s not a lot in this update for me. I’ve either done it before or don’t care to do what’s being offered. And while I’m always up for a good rewarding zerg, it’s not here this time around. ArenaNet has made a couple of pointed decisions aimed at curbing zerg farming that I would otherwise be doing.
The first decision was the big ol’ nerf to the Queensdale champ train. Most champs have been downgraded to vets for the interest of shooing map chat-yelling old timers out of the place. I can understand the choice to change this, although I won’t lie by saying that I’m indifferent to it. This particular champ train was relaxing, had good rewards, and was great for finishing up certain dailies. Plus, for all of the chat vitriol that it sometimes spewed, it also brought out teamwork and comradeship. I’ll really miss heading up to the boar hill to see generous guild buff banners flying and people dancing the wait away.
The loss of the Queensdale train was definitely overshadowed by my excitement to return to the bigger champ farm of the Crown Pavilion, which was by far one of my favorite living world experiences in the past. Like it or not, Guild Wars 2 is a zergy game, and the pavilion champs were perfect for the swarm to hop back and forth farming merry loot and keeping the action going.
But… yeah, this happened to be the one thing that ArenaNet decided needed to be changed/fixed/nerfed. Instead, we now have the boss blitz, which eliminates those pesky rewards like loot drops and XP, and instead implements a brazen gold sink to activate an event where six bosses must be downed before anyone gets a goodie bag. There’s a lot of strategy to this, and if the mob can split up to do all of the bosses quickly, rewards will be showered upon them greatly.
I have yet to see that, however. Every time I’ve been in there, it’s been a long, long slog through six bosses for two goodie bags after maybe 30-45 minutes. It actually penalizes zergs by making the bosses too hard if you have too many people there (kind of like the robot fights in Lion’s Arch a couple of months ago). It’s so bad, in fact, that I was rushing to get it done this week out of a fear that players will simply give up on it soon and make the deed-getting impossible.
Maybe these are two disconnected things in the same update, but it really feels as if the devs are seeing that players enjoy champ farming and are taking pleasure at putting a hard stop to that. No fun for you; here, have headache!
Under the Pale Tree makes a good point that employing the intended strategy for the gold reward in the boss blitz is very much hampered by a lack of support and UI to organize and coordinate groups. And Kill Ten Rats concurs that it languishes instead of being a nice farm.
Pity. I just hope this doesn’t indicate that there’s a stubborn movement at ArenaNet to quash the zerg farms in a game that’s encouraged them greatly to date.