The Lost Shores update is here! I am a little bit surprised that it came well before the Lost Shores event starts (11/16, 1200 Pacific), but here it is. Lots of good improvements all around.
The biggest change, for me, is in the Items section. Now level 80 loot will drop for level 80 players as long as they are playing in level 55+ content. I feel this is fair, and it will stave off most of the issues of low level ‘EZ-mode’ farming. I am pretty sure that the calculated drop rate (i.e., gold/hour) is set according to the content level. Still PvE decompression from Orr is A Good Thing. The other advance is that killing champions and veterans (as well as dirty Sorrowsites in WvW) has a better loot table with a higher chance of getting a rare or exotic. I’ve never rolled an exotic from an open world mob, so I am hoping that now even with the RNG hate of me, I might.
Obviously the headliners are the new dungeon Fractals of the Mists (opens Friday) and the new zone Southsun Cove (opens Saturday). GW2 Hub has two great previews: one on the Fractals of the Mists and the other on Southsun Cove. I am very excited about the new dungeon, despite its likelihood of overshadowing the other dungeons, and the new enemy type in the Southsun Cove looks like a challenging alternative to Risen, Risen, Risen. To combat the shadowing of the dungeons, the way loot is distributed has been changed so that decent loot is handed out at each stage of the dungeon including dungeon tokens at 3 explorable bosses per path.
Apart from the ascended armor, which I personally want to see how it plays out before soothsaying ahead, the other hot topic is going to be Consortium Chests only available for a “limited time” and having unique miniatures and skins. It gets a bit confusing in that all special items in the Consortium Chests will drop as rares “during the Lost Shores event”. So I am guessing that after Sunday, Southsun Cove will not drop the limited time Consortium Chests items as rares, and eventually the Consortium Chests will disappear. If you feel like showing monetary support to ArenaNet, this is a good place to do it. The gold-2-gem conversion has already skyrocketed in response.
A chest created for an event is a much better iteration over the Black Lion Chests getting chances of limited time stuff. If this is the way ArenaNet garners a monthly fee from players, I am all for it. It’s a good chance for players to play the gem market, buy some gold, or get a neat token of the event… apart from, you know, all the other event achievements, titles, and tokens players can get. I definitely like that the items can be received outside of the Consortium Chests too, but players are likely going to be farming the events until they pass out to bypass the need for gems. Still, I like that ArenaNet creates a pretty snazzy option for throwing money at them.
All in all, I am quite impressed. The reward structure seems to be moving in nice direction, and new content is always appreciated. Lost Shore from an interview with ArenaNet’s Izzy was started to be worked on post launch, and they plan to keep the pace. To be honest, between this and Shadow of the Mad King, I am more than impressed. Now, I have to go hone my hexes. Karka gonna bleed.