[GW2] The Battle for Wychmire Swamp

Each race’s starting zone has a capstone meta-event that ends the zone in a nice bang. Of the five, I have played every one but the asuran one. The sylvari starting zone finale, The Battle for Wychmire Swamp, is by far my favorite. It also provides a really good starting point for what to expect as far as open world “raid”-like content.

The meta-event kicks off unassumingly when the Nightmare Court (evil syvlari) attacks a small warden encampment, Falias Thorp, in the swamp. After the camp is defended, Gamarien pokes his head out and asks players to escort him as he checks for more Nightmare Court activity because he believes that some summoned husks are harbingers of a greater foe. The summoned husks are tree-like elementals clearly twisted by nightmare. Then players escort Gamarien in a loop around the swamp to eventually land near the center, where chaos begins and Gamarien flees. I would call these first two events, the defense event and the escort event, the prelude to the battle.

The swamp erupts with a large amount of husks, and four separate events spread out across the Wychmire Swamp area. Three of the events involve taking out huge blighted thorn structures surrounded by husks, and the fourth event involves killing a giant blighted grub with its entourage of smaller blighted grubs. Anybody near the Wychmire Swamp area will receive a clarion call that it is going down.

When these four events are finished, the Battle collapses into the center of the swamp as three avatars of blight emerge. The avatars of blight are basically giant summoned husks ready to bring the pain. They aren’t too hard. I’ve seen a few deaths, but since the avatars of blight don’t appear to have the special boss protection, they are very susceptible to crowd-control conditions. The enemy mortars that are up defending the area usually seem to be the things that kill off players. One time I did this an enterprising play managed to pull all three avatars together. The result was swift and brutal as area-of-effect (AoE) skills piled up on the giant husks in triple time.

Yet, this was not the end. A giant jungle wurm erupts in the middle of the blight. It is decreed that the abomination should be destroyed, and it is thus. The wurm has a basic AoE swipe attack, but I think that its poison dart rain, which drops poison clouds, that kills off most players. Having condition removal is definitely helpful in this fight. The wurm’s best trick is to fear the whole area sending players running back through the poison clouds they have so carefully avoided. Players have to watch for the occasional added blighted grub or husk (“adds”) too. I’ve heard that the giant wurm can heat husks to gain health too.

Overall, it is a fairly easy fight involving little reliance on other players. Seriously one or two good Samaritans watching adds, people downed, and mortars out of the whole event population is enough. The meta-events later on, such as Tequatl the Sunless, require a lot more players taking on roles. Still, I think that the Battle for Wychmire Swamp is an excellent introduction. The fights are easy enough, but it gets players moving.

I love the meta event at two points. When the four events drop, it is really interesting to see how the initial escort group splits up. By the end of that phase there always seems to be at least one or two more clumps of players moving about even if most of the initial escort group stays together. The second point is when the giant wurm erupts. Sometimes I have seen players stay clumped, and they will get punished. Other times I have seen the herd wrap itself around the wurm making its attacks much less effective. It is differences like these that keep me replaying the same events. Requires a bit of battlefield awareness though.

Right now I am in the middle of Brisban Wildlands, and it seems much calmer in terms of events. I have pushed past the excellent skritt mountain, and right now I am dealing with bandit outcamps and other oddities. I am looking forward to seeing more intense meta-events though. Meta-dragons, here I come.

–Ravious

15 thoughts on “[GW2] The Battle for Wychmire Swamp”

  1. I can honestly say I was completely unaware of these meta-events. Including beta weekends I’ve probably spent some 50-60 hours at least in the first two Charr maps (Plains of Ashford and Diessa Plateau) and I can’t recall ever seeing anything remotely like this.

    What are the ones for those areas? Maybe I’ve been in one and didn’t even realize.

    1. Hmmm… I don’t remember Plains of Ashford. Maybe they didn’t have one? I do know Diessa Plateau has a nice meta-event in the northeast that opens up a mini-dungeon, Font of Rhand.

      1. Ah interesting. I’ve been in Font of Rhand but it was open when I found it. From comments in this thread I’m pretty sure I have never seen one of these events. I don’t recall ever seeing story text on the right hand side of my screen, for example.

    2. Plains of Ashford is in the north-east corner, fighting Ascalonian ghosts and their commander. You can always easily spot meta events due to the orange box that appears even if there is currently no event of the chain running.

  2. Bleh. Cannot stand the meta-events. Especially the Asuran one. Far too much instadeath (from max health) in them. Especially the Asuran one (where you might as well not bother rezzing people, even just outside the room, because those damned fire spirits *will* plop down an AOE circle and kill you before you can break out of the rezzing animation and hit dodge – especially if there’s even the slightest latency).

    1. That is the only one I have not tried. I know they get heat maps on deaths and stuff, so I hope that info helps them nerf that encounter a bit.

      1. Two things to add. The Charr do not have a meta event in their zone as far as I can find. Secondly, the Asuran event with the fire elemental has been overtuned for quite some time, since BWE3. If they haven’t nerfed it yet, I’m not sure they will ever. The challenge of it makes it particularly memorable in my mind, and it’s by far my favorite.

        1. There is no challenge, only endless death and frustration and elitist idiots screaming for people to attack the adds, never minding that most people were actually doing that and are thus laying dead on the floor while anyone attempting to rez them gets one-shot when a red-circle appears around them and they can’t break free of the rez stance in time.

          1. sounds like you need to go back to WoW. you are use to encounters being handed to you. EQ days there were glitches and impossible encounters but we still had fun. it is good to see a challenge back in gaming.

        2. There’s a few in each zone. Also, not all meta events end in a big boss. Any time there’s a story text on the right, that’s a meta event. For example, in Queensdale, the ongoing back and forth with centaurs around Beetleton is also a meta event.

  3. Still have not experienced one of these in full release which is very strange as I did experience a few in beta (the human swamp was one). Makes it difficult to complete my monthly achievements. I hope ArenaNet increases the frequency of these events.

    1. These events aren’t on a straight timer, they have other events that trigger them. I did the swamp monster three times in one day on one character, and never saw it on the next playing around the same time.

  4. My only beef with the Meta-events is that they seem to be cycling CONSTANTLY atm. I’m hoping this is only due to the newbzerg state of the just-launched game. :x

    1. I think it’s probably good to have them cycling pretty regularly, since after a while there won’t be anything to do if there aren’t any events. I think the real problem is that the events in low-level areas succeed all the time, partly because they’re easier and partly because there are tons of people at those levels right now.

      It’s probably also better to have them going more frequently in low-level areas, so that new players can do lots of them. But eventually, when the hearts are done (or non-existent, like in Orr), and your map’s at 100%, events and dungeons will be all that’s left. I’d be sad if, when that time comes, I didn’t have the option to jump into my favorite map and pick up in the middle of a big event chain to kill a dragon or something.

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