We have a new contender for the worst piece of content ever put into a game. The Mad King’s Clock Tower is the holiday jumping puzzle for Guild Wars 2.
Begin your mix with every problem caused by character models and camera movement. Add in a map with lots of spinning, with ups and downs, so the camera will definitely be moving around things and objects will be between the camera and your character. Add in a time limit.
Now come the brilliant part: make it impossible to run alone, so that other players’ characters block your view of your character and the platforms. Let any of those characters throw up a speech bubble to block the rest of the view. Implement it during a holiday event and make it available for a limited time so that more players will run it, and all the Achievers and completionists will keep running to make sure the population stays high. Just in case they pass it, add a great reward at the end that is available per-character so they have a reason to keep coming back, with little rewards along the way to give them even more incentive to keep filling the map and blocking the view. Don’t advertise that the jumping puzzle is not a requirement for the holiday meta-achievement.
Take a game designed around the idea that we are all on the same team, then make it so that having anyone around makes things much harder, especially the 2/5 of the races that are much bigger than the others. Not only does having other players around make the content harder and worse, there is no way to avoid them except moving to a low population server and playing during off hours so that there are fewer.
Note that there is no combat. This is actively anti-social Socializer content.
Update: many people (mostly elsewhere, since we do not have many comments yet) are confusing the argument “hard because of bad design” with “hard means bad design.” The difficulty is not the problem — the source of the difficulty is what makes it a problem, somewhat the interface issues but mostly the design that makes the content worse as more people play it. That is a rather critical flaw in a multiplayer game.