[GW] The Humans Deserve To Lose

or “NPCs I’m glad are dead for GW2″

On a scale of 1 to suicidal, Prince Rurik is one of the worst escort NPCs in the universe. He’s actually not a bad fighter, but he feels free to dive into large groups of enemies, and if he sees you fighting one group while you try to be his bodyguards, he will take a sharp turn to find more. You must protect him in quite a few missions, and his suicide will lead to mission failure despite the way he dies a completely pointless death a mission or two later. Sara Oakheart from LotRO was a great competitor for “worst escort NPC ever,” as she charged quickly ahead and then cowered, also appearing quite often, but her death meant that you failed an optional side quest, not that the main story arc of the game came to a pause.

I think Nolani Academy is my favorite Rurik moment. He lives in a fort so well planned that a charr scout starts inside and you find the back door by following it out. The idea is to clear the front so that Rurik can come out and proceed safely. If you over-leveled normal mode and are going back, there is a convenient “just let them all come” lever to open the front gate. The problem is that, if Rurik sees you approaching, he will open the front gate to greet you, no matter that there are more than a dozen Charr between you and the gate. That is still the “just let them all come” lever, and Rurik will of course try to solo a dozen enemies that are all higher level than him. The image the game wants you to have is the sneaky skirmisher or assassin, taking out the charr in their encampments, but you are really hiding from the idiot prince.

Many guildmates can be drawn into helping others complete Prophecies just for the chance to kill Prince Rurik when he comes back. I don’t know if GW2 has escort NPCs; I hope not. I don’t know if Undead Rurik will be a dungeon or raid boss in GW2; I hope so. I also don’t know if the charr deserve Ascalon, but the humans certainly deserved to lose it.

: Zubon

21 thoughts on “[GW] The Humans Deserve To Lose

  1. Ian Lake

    Guild Wars 2 does have escort NPCs, but their death does not fail the quest and they can be rezzed just like any other player or NPC. The few that I did during the beta weekend happened to be rather enjoyable, something I never thought I’d say about escort quests / dynamic events.

    1. GLN7

      That is not completely true. There are to-be-escorted-NPCs who are allowed to die, and you can rez them, and there are NPCs where the Event failed if all die.

    2. ArcherAvatar

      There are still some real doozies in store for GW2 players. Don’t get me wrong – I loved almost everything I came across in the BWE, but just go and try to escort a quaggan near the kodan village and then talk to me about “enjoyable” escort events…

  2. Curuniel

    I remember in the early days of Prophecies, it used to be fairly common practice to make sure anyone who hadn’t run the last mission before got to be party leader, so that they could have the pleasure of the final blow in the cutscene. Good times.

    Everyone hates Rurik. The only thing that even slightly balances it is that King Adelbern is possibly an even bigger ass (GW2 lore only adds to that impression).

  3. Michael Hartman

    Do escort quests ever NOT suck?

    Back when I watched X-Play, they had an awesome graphic for it. I tried to find it via google image search but no luck. It was like a street sign with a guy holding an umbrella over another and it was crossed out.

  4. GhostBoy

    GW2 escorts, the ones I did in the beta anyway, suffer from many of the same problems that these types of quests always do: The walking pace of the escort is usually painfully slow, they tend to go down 3 seconds into each ambush, and often the quest involves a long trek with only sporadic action. The saving grace is that a dead NPC will not fail the event (unless you refuse to res them and just abandon the event), no matter how often it happens, and at least they keep walking most of the time when not fighting, rather than take exposition breaks. They are still not good, but at least you are spared restarting it due to an NPC death you might have little control over.

  5. bhagpuss

    Being able to rez NPCs (which as far as I could tell you can do at any time, not just if you are on a quest involving them) is one of the things I really liked about GW2 during the beta weekend. It goes a lot further than that, though. NPCs appear to be treated by the game pretty much as though they are players. You can use them in all kinds of ways to assist you or you can assist them and the result seems to be much as it would have been were you to have teamed up with another player character.

    I’ve heard that one of the goals of the GW2 dev team was to create “Everquest without all the nonsense” . Back when I started playing EQ NPCs worked very much like this. You could heal them, buff them, give them weapons and armor and work with or against them to achieve common goals. The world felt organic and complete, with your character’s place in it being equal rather than superior to the permanent residents’. I got some of this feeling in GW2.

    Oh, and I like Rurik. He’s annoying in the kind of way your brash, headstrong, good-hearted friend is annoying. His logic is terribly flawed and his death us utterly pointless, but I always feel emotionally driven to carry on to Lion’s Arch in his memory, so maybe not so pointless as all that.

  6. Tasha

    For an NPC Rurik does take the crown, but for other reasons Alesia the Healer Henchmen requires a mention. Armed with touch skills, and the only healer at the start of the game, she’s been responsible for more swearing than any other henchmen.

    1. Curuniel

      And when they added the post-final-mission instanced area for Prophecies where you can speak to all the NPCs, they had Alesia say something about how for some reason people seem to think she’d make a better priestess of Balthazar.

    2. musik

      i do have a soft spot for rurik, but id really like to face alesia. oh well would be a pretty easy fight considering the fact she doesnt heal. most funny thing was facing her in the norn tornament with an awful melee build. suits her better than the oldfashioned prophecies build.

  7. Ixliam

    I’ve been helping my wife finish up GW for her Hall of Monuments items (I’m at 30/50 which is fine with me). So funny you mention Nolani Academy, as I ran that this weekend. I forgot just how *BAD* of an idiot Prince Rurik was. He reminds me of the tank that never stops pulling of the “go go go go” variety. Add his cheesy dialog, and he’s fun to watch die in Shiverpeaks. I think the only NPC worse than him is Master Togo, who’s just annoying as hell.

    GW2 escorts I’d say are better than the typical version in other MMO’s. I found that if people saw one of the quests going on (shows up on your minimap like an event), they would flock to join up for credit. I started a few of the escorts myself, only to end up with 20-30 people in the group by the time it finished. Some served the purpose of leading you to the next town/quest hub area, so having a large well-armed escort to get you there is nice. But the best part is not failing it due to the npc dying or deciding to pull most of the zone on their path. The pathing for the ones I saw seemed logical, and spawns were dynamic, not having the npc wander into the middle of where the largest group of mobs are. That always annoyed me when you were doing an escort to get someone out of prison.

    “Oh look, I’ve escaped capture. Let me go walk right into the next 10 groups of guards, rather than go around back and avoid them the way the player did.”

  8. ArcherAvatar

    I see folks here saying that the escort event content in GW2 isn’t “as flawed” as the previous game’s.

    While I agree, being able to rez the retarded NPCs is certainly helpful, I have to state categorically that it does NOTHING to improve their feeble intelligence, or their capacity for annoying players.

    Such content in the “early” portions of the game seemed to be rather benign… however, there was a Kodan village in the norn area (song of somethingorother) with a nearby event to escort a quaggan, and this event was anything but benign.

    The quaggan you’re suppose to safe-guard swims in a haphazzard fashion that “appears” to be intentionally seeking out confrontation with already spawned mobs in the area. It’s worth emphasizing; these were not enemies that specifically spawned to challenge the event – these enemies were already present in some numbers, and re-spawned at a horrific rate, and the escorted NPC quaggan would literally double-back to make sure he could attack them.

    I have no experience with Rurik, but this idiotic quaggan sounds very much like his spiritual sucessor… except it completely lacks ANY combat prowess… at all…

    In essence, the way they determined this to be a “group” event was to ensure that the spawn rate of the local mobs was so high that the time it would take to rez the NPC was all that was needed for more mobs to pop, and if by some miracle of sheer bad-assery you do manage to kill all of the enemies quickly enough by yourself AND get the quaggan up and moving again before they re-pop, he WILL wander aimlessly until he finds some more… including, but not limited to, doubling back on his own path.

    I’m pretty sure that developers who design these types of quests/events only do so in their spare time… you know… when they’re not engaged in their full-time job of torturing puppies and kittens in front of little children so they can harvest the tears…

    1. Armanant

      Yeah that sounds a bit disappointing. If only they caught this kind of badly balanced or overtuned event in Beta. You’d figure the kind of people that would write a 7 paragraph complaint about it as a blog comment would also have written a 2 paragraph report about it to Anet, the people that could have actually fixed it. Oh well, too late now.

      And even worse, you’re forced to do it to get the unique event reward! Where else are you going to find karma/xp/gold than escort events?

      1. ArcherAvatar

        I submitted 9 bug reports during the course of the BWE… everything from graphics anomolies, to pathing errors, to certain traits not functioning.

        Odd that you would assume that someone as obviously willing to share their opinion on a topic would fail to do so when it could meaningfully impact a game they also obviously care about.

        I shared my opinion here, and on THIS specific topic because it was the focus of the OP, and touched on something I had very recently encountered. If you want to call it “complaining” that’s your opinion. If you think ArenaNet are not reading this blog you are dead wrong. Even if I had not utilized official channels to relate to them that this encounter had certain tuning/scaling flaws in it, they would see it here.

        Besides which, now is especially not the time to grow overly thin-skinned. This is exactly when complaints should be voiced loud and clear if there is to be any hope of having them addressed prior to the game’s launch.

        If you want rainbows and warm summer breezes blown up your backside, I’m not the man to do it, and this isn’t the time for it even if I was so inclined.

  9. ceolstan

    I actually loved Rurik.

    I remember from the original E34E that Rurik was almost impossibly hard. Then, through the following Beta Weekends, it was clear that AN was trying to get Rurik to be smarter. Also, the side quest was horrifically bugged.

    Then the game was released and Rurik was actually fun! The trick was not to pay attention to him. The initial escort through the charr lands was a bit of a pain, but once you got to the charr camp in the fort, you could leave Rurik at the gate, grab the side quest, and then pick off all the charr within shooting distance of the wall. My warrior with a zero spec long bow would plink away, 2 points at a time, until they were dead.

    Then you’d go inside, kill everything, and then get Rurik. Even now, 7 years after release, I still can play that entire mission without getting bored. I still delight in hearing Rurik caution us against the hordes of charr that are now dead–the result of sneaky play!

    1. nugget

      I started my very first GW character in prophecies, as a monk. And I LOVED Rurik. I freaking loved him. I was kinda sad when he died.

      Why?

      …because Rurik was a suicidal as all the other (presumably equally noob) warriors I’d get in PUGs, only he was tougher and actually stood a chance of surviving.

      XD

  10. Aly

    There’s a rather fun/stressful escort in the Diessa Highlands I think that involved helping a cattle keeper from one point to another (oh hey, nod to Nightfall…just noticed that) and on the way you are attacked by bandits or wolves. It caused just the right amount of stress, but it was doable and not painfully slow. I won’t be dreading it when the game goes live. Now when your escort bugs out just before the quest completes, that’s irritating.

  11. Helistar

    Ahhh.. escort quests. When I stumble on an idiot NPC I decide that natural selection has the right to work on them, and I deliberately let them die of their own stupidity. Then I cancel the quest and (not being sadist enough to repeat it and kill him again) go my own way ignoring it for the rest of time….

  12. Armanant

    Well, the nice thing with the GW2 escort events (and every other event in fact) is that they’re entirely optional. Completing an escort event gives you the same reward as completing pretty much any other in the area – if you hate escorts with the burning passion of a thousand suns, nothing is forcing you to do them.

    If something isn’t fun, you’re no longer forced to do it by the carrot, as there’s just as many identical carrots everywhere else.

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