[GW2] Jump in dee Line

Most players want to rock that monthly on time. With the New Year came January’s Monthly Achievements in Guild Wars 2. The evergreen monthly WvW player kills achievement remains evergreen, and the fractal completion has continued from last month. Monthly event participation has returned from the early days too. The new monthly achievement is Intrepid Explorer – find the locations of Tyria’s jumping puzzles.

Monthly achievements, in my mind, are one of the developer’s ways of herding players towards the better parts of Guild Wars 2. WvW kills has remained because WvW is a really good, active part of the MMO. The Fractals of the Mists dungeon is the best instanced group content in my mind. The monthly achievements have also heavily highlighted the holiday events where high concurrency is desired. Now the jumping puzzles, one of the heralded jewels of Guild Wars 2, get their turn in the monthly sun.

The new monthly achievement is a little tricky because it is not completing a jumping puzzle; it is finding one. Or rather to fill out a month, find 30. Except that players do not have to find 30 unique jumping puzzles of the 40+ currently in game. Theoretically a player could “find” a single same jumping puzzle a day for the month and get the achievement. I am not sure how this works on different characters either, but I would guess that each character can “find” the same jumping puzzle. With three jumping puzzles in Lion’s Arch, some knowledge of completing the monthly can game it a long way.

Then it gets more interesting because of the Lion’s Arch overflow, which has presented a thoroughfare for many, many “time-limited” achievements. In Lion’s Arch overflow X, a character can “find” a jumping puzzle. In Lion’s Arch overflow Y, or the server’s instance of Lion’s Arch, the same character can “find” the same jumping puzzle in the same day. There are supposedly sweet spots where players logged out, logged back in with the same character, different overflow instance, and “found” the jumping puzzle without even moving. I will assume that overflow jumping was not what ArenaNet intended for the makings of an intrepid explorer, but it is either a bug or a limitation of their overflow technology.

Anyway, for players that just want to win, and win immediately, that portion of the monthly achievement was completed the first day of January. Casual, knowledgeable players will use the “finding” tricks at their leisure, and casual players that don’t read fantastic blogs might think that they have to find 30 unique jumping puzzles, which is a quite a task.

The direction of the monthly achievement is good, and I really like that ArenaNet took the time to make it “find” a jumping puzzle instead of “complete” one. Every holiday jumping puzzle I see cries of difficulty. I’ve even seen players have serious trouble with the lighter jumping elements in the Fractals. I don’t like how easily the monthly achievement was gamed, but I feel that those that gamed it would have received the least benefit anyway.

On one hand, players that want to win have likely already done quite a few jumping puzzles. “Finding” more jumping puzzles does not really have much of an effect if they are going to be around the whole month anyway. On the other hand, for a player to find 30 jumping puzzles without gaming the system would be quite a task. It is nice to nudge them towards one of Guild Wars 2 jewels.

I started out wanting to win, but about halfway through I stopped. There were quite a few jumping puzzles I had not seen. If I wanted to game the system I could always do that in the second half of the month. Now I decided to use ArenaNet’s nudge as momentum towards seeking out a bunch of jumping puzzles I had not done. And perhaps that is all ArenaNet intended to happen.

Players in the middle ground, like me, that play pretty consistently but have left a lot of jumping puzzles untouched might find it a good idea to check them out before the “big” January and/or February updates. Players that just want the notches in their belt regardless of fun, can do so. It’s hard to break MMO efficiency, but I found last night that it becomes much easier to savor the monthly achievement if I accept the nudge to seek out new jumping puzzles. Now that the little quaggan has rez’d my character, I am going to attempt to take another one down.

–Ravious

12 thoughts on “[GW2] Jump in dee Line

  1. jcSadOne

    Hmm… I don’t know why I lived under impression, that there is 100 jp to make this month :D. With my “get the jumping badge” every second day, on all 8 characters… it will give me a week (+1 day) to do it unintentionally.
    But I disagree on Fractal level. I’ve done them so many times, that all of them become boring to the point, I can’t stand them anymore. And I don’t believe FotM need more herding towards their way. All the “ascended” crap, works like a magnet for everyone. I thought I will cry when I saw them again in monthly… because I wanned to make month or even two break from them. Oh well – I’ve got whole month to do it, guess I can squeeze some time.
    I’m starting to really hate myself for the urge to get all daily and monthly. Every month closer to the line “ain’t fun anymore dude”. And I don’t say it’s a flaw in my thinking. It’s just pushing me into wrong direction…

  2. Jonathan

    Mm. I am a bit unconvinced on the monthly. My immediate reaction was to note that it stll has fractals this month, so I immediately wrote it off, and now have no pull to do it.

    The structure has a logical “and”, so if any part is a showstopper, it has no impact. Which is fine — I actually treat the monthly as a pat on the head for broad play, not a requirement. But I’m curious how much motivation it really provides.

    The daily is so straightforward and achievable that it provides me with motivation to do “just a touch more.” The monthly, less so, by far.

    1. Ravious Post author

      I think that ArenaNet has preferred players that dip their toes in many ponds. That’s the feeling I get anyway stemming even from GW1. You are right though, at least with the monthly it is easy enough to decide whether to ignore it or go to that pond you don’t like.

      Dailies, I totally game. I go to starting areas a lot, etc. I really dislike daily events. That’s the worst part because so many times I have to actually leave my area of exploration to go to a place with higher event density… for efficiency though.

  3. greibach

    Unfortunately, for those of us who already did all the jumping puzzles (like myself), the entire monthly achievement feels like I might as well “game it”. I’ve done them all, most of them multiple times, and I just don’t really feel like traversing the whole world again just to tick off a fake “discovery” of them. I don’t really mind it, it’s really nice for those who haven’t gotten around to jumping puzzles yet to get them to find them, I just kind of wish it could detect if you’ve finished 30+ of them already and just give you credit.

    I’m actually pretty tired of FotM being in the monthly too. I just plain don’t like them that much, and my main guild doesn’t like them. Only 7 isn’t hard to do, I just don’t really like doing them. Alas, I suppose everyone always has something they don’t like to do for the monthly, I’m just tired of it being the same one repeatedly.

    1. Ravious Post author

      Sure, which is why I hope ArenaNet doesn’t really change being able to game them. The people more likely to game it, IMHO, are the ones that would least likely benefit from doing them the intended way.

      7 fractals is easy and quick, especially with a guild group. 7 fractals for someone that doesn’t like fractals is easier than 50 WvW kills for someone that doesn’t like WvW.

      1. greibach

        Yup, totally agree. I don’t MIND the WvW kills, but I do tire of seeing it every month too, and I know that people that don’t like PvP at all hate that part of the achievement. It’s all relative though, I think it’s still a good system =D

      2. feycat

        7 fractals is actually NOT all that easy to do. I’m sure it seems that way to people who do have a regular group, but for the casual player, 3 or 4 would have been much more doable.

        Personally, for me, fractals is cursed. I have never yet completed a full trio, because someone in our party DC’s EVERY SINGLE TIME before the end. We may finish 1 instance, or 2, but never all 3 – and it’s never the same person every time.

        My instance peeps have pretty much written the Fractals off until this gets fixed, which means that my options for completing that portion of the monthly are to pug, or forget it. Sooo I forget it.

  4. bhagpuss

    “7 fractals is easy and quick, especially with a guild group. 7 fractals for someone that doesn’t like fractals is easier than 50 WvW kills for someone that doesn’t like WvW.”

    I very strongly disagree with that. Mrs Bhagpuss didn’t do last month’s monthly because of the Fractal requirement and she almost certainly won’t do this month’s either. I did do it last month (and blogged about it) but having done it once I really do not want to do it again.

    Even in a good group (and I had one extremely good group) three fractals take more than an hour so seven would probably take two-and-a-half hours. In PUGs it took me around 7-8 hours in total to get all seven over three sessions. Less than half of that time could reasonably be described as “fun” for any of the people involved, all of whom were gritting their teeth and sticking it out through failure after failure just to complete the monthly (I was sticking it out because I wanted to write about the experience).

    In contrast, I completed my 50 WvW kills for January long before the end of the first day of the month. T get those all you have to do is log in, find your team’s zerg and run around AEing (I did a lot more than that because I WvW for other reasons than getting the monthly done but back in September that’s what I did and it took me two short sessions in EBG).

    The big difference is that the fractal requirement is the ONLY Monthly or Daily task that obligates you to join a formal group. Requiring that goes 100% against the spirit and ethos of the game in my opinion. There should never be anything in the Monthly or Daily that cannot be achieved through GW2′s signature “turn up and be counted” inclusive gameplay.

    Thanks for explaining about the jumping puzzles, by the way. I assumed that you wouldn’t be credited for one until you completed it and got the achievement. I had already written this month’s Monthly off as a result. I still probably won’t do it, but it’ll be because of the Fractals, which were a novelty once but not something I have any desire to do again, let alone repeatedly. Of course, there’s nothing in the reward for the Monthly that I actually want or use (other than the silver) – every jug of Karma and Mystic Coin I’ve ever got is still in the bank and likely to stay there – so it’s no hardship to stop doing them.

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  6. Juno

    The jumping puzzle achievement is a bit of a joke. I feel this way because they went with “find 30 (any)” instead of “complete 10 (unique)”. It would have been much more satisfying to find 10 unique jumping puzzles and complete them. There are 40 in the world (as stated by the OP in this topic).

    The puzzles range in difficulty but none are as difficult as any of the holiday jumpers. None are timed (except the one in karka-land with the platforms that vanish — just skip that one). Most are more like “puzzles” and less like “jumpers” because the challenge is finding the correct place to jump too instead of making difficult jumps.

    Instead GW2 went with “find 30″ which is horribly slow if you try finding the thirty by unique puzzles only. Even using the wiki as a guide it’s still a slow process. I completed 6 unique puzzles over a period of 3 hours (these were the puzzles in Ascalon per the wiki). Some of that time was spent on completing the puzzle — why not since I was at the puzzle.

    That’s just too slow to complete 30, and then do all the other monthly and daily achievements (the daily takes some time and if you’re going for the monthly then I guarantee you’re also doing the dialies).

    The result? Most players (including myself) finished the 30 completely within Lion’s Arch. You can get 2 “finds” in a minute. Switch toons and repeat. If you are fortunate, you can leave your overflow to the main zone and get the 2 “finds” again. That’s 4 finds per toon in little time. You can also repeat with the same toon by logging out and back in because you’ll probably end up in a new overflow. Ironically this joke is facilitated by fractals which keeps LA in perpetual “overflow” mode.

    Typical ANet so far on GW2 — good ideas, poor execution.

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