I think this two-week period in Guild Wars 2 is good. A lot of people are returning to school, and honestly a break is a good thing. Whether intended or not, I think ArenaNet has given many the break with the return of Super Adventure Box. There’s still plenty for the casual hardcore to do in the way of working on ascended weaponry, but there’s no push to keep beating back invasions.
Ascended weaponry is a good point between exotics and legendaries. It requires a substantial commitment, but nowhere on the order of chasing a legendary. The time-gating is rather light compared to getting that daily laurel for ascended trinkets. However, it is a commitment. It takes a commitment to get to crafting level 450, but players need to salvage exotics anyway for the Glob of Dark Matter (account bound exotic “glob”). It takes commitment to mine or chop a couple hundred tier 5 nodes (or buy from the trading post). And, the biggest hurdle I see, is it takes commitment to do more Guild Wars 2 content, specifically those that give empyreal fragments.
Like a legendary weapon, ascended weaponry requires that the core content gets played for account bound materials, and it is not insubstantial. The 500 piles of bloodstone dust needed are ridiculously easy to get with all the champion farming going on. If nothing else just defend against one now-intermittent Scarlet invasion. The 500 dragonite ore requires a bit more, but is easily gained over time if players watch the world bosses or Orrian temples. It’s the empyreal fragments that are going to be the last thing I need because their drop rate feels rather low outside of dungeons, but it might be nice to figure out a daily jumping puzzle / mini-dungeon run for these. All of these items are available from WvW events as well.
If figure it’s going to take some considerable time to outfit my main with ascended weaponry, perhaps not even both builds by the end of the year. I’m okay with that. It’s another long term goal to keep in mind as I am doing what I want each play session.
As Luck Would Have It
The other long term, possibly “unfinishable” goal is account magic find. Now players can salvage greens and blues to get essences of luck. Each essence usually worth 10, but sometimes 50, 100, 200, and even 500, is used to fill up the luck bar. Once the luck bar is filled, voila!, +1% permanent account magic find. Next time though, it takes a couple more essence to fill that luck bar. I saw a claim last night that to get to the maxed out 300%, it would take over 4 million (4,000,000+) luck. I am in no rush.
There is a genius in this mechanic, and I really tip my hat to ArenaNet on this one. Greens and blues were before the bread and butter of gold making. After I perused my bags for trading post and salvage items, it was a couple-dozen sell clicks to the merchant. Now I am faced with the dilemma, do I want gold or do I want to invest in my future loot rolls?
I know a lot of players are probably looking at the dark horse of ascended weaponry as the economy’s needed money sink, but I think that grinding out luck is going to play a huge part. Whereas before blues and greens were simply generated gold, now the same activities will result in a much-lessened generated gold amount as players are sacrificing blues and greens for luck. Rich players are creating markets for the blues and greens so they can max out account magic find. My personal goal is to invest in luck until I get to +100% account magic find. After that, I don’t know. The monthly and daily achievements also give out 50 and 500 luck, respectively.
Super Adventure Uppercut
World 2 is harder. Straight up. Each zone is longer and harder. I’ve only gotten through the first two zones in Infant Mode before being straight up blocked by 400 baubles in the third zone. For people just wanting a tour it doesn’t really make sense to require them to grind out 400 baubles to pass through a frozen waterfall. Plus, it’s not really a tour. Jeromai gives his account of using up all his free continue coins in Infant Mode.
In World 1, the mechanic that will take the jam out of anybody’s donut is the rapids that knock players down and bounce them around a bit. It’s also a bit buggy. This video should raise the blood pressure of any Super Adventure Box player. In World 2, the assassins become a major concern as they require Liadri-level dodge mechanics to defeat. Players should strongly consider cheap-shotting them with everything else (sling shot, whip, etc.), but it can be hard to move off of Sword #1 especially with a bauble cost attached to some skill use. World 3 adds a slidey-ice mechanic, but didn’t seem so bad up until I was blocked by the ice waterfall.
Regardless, Josh Foreman says he might have miscalculated average skill level of the player, and he is considering some fixes because he doesn’t want to alienate a ton of players (like he intended to do with Tribulation Mode). Super Adventure Box is always going to be a love-or-hate piece of the Living World. I came to slowly love it the first time around, but I feel like I am almost back at square one again with wariness. Will I fall in love again once I get out of Infant Mode? I might hold off on that one to see what ArenaNet’s official-patch response is, if any.
I know I’ll be happily exploring his other creations and open-world jumping puzzles for empyreal fragments while I do.