I was going through old screenshots, and I happened upon one that tugged my heart strings. I remember taking this one because I am a huge fan of Dear Esther. It also was from a festival that happened almost exactly a year ago, the Festival of the Four Winds. I personally love the Labyrinthine Cliffs. It is beautiful, and fun. I personally wish it was a great city hub.
My heart tells me that we probably won’t get the Labyrinthine Cliffs tomorrow. The Zephyrites are currently stuck in time in Dry Top, and I feel that returning to the Labyrinthine Cliffs would constitute a “Living World advancement”. The map would have to be scrubbed of Zephyrites. It would probably be less without their airships in the sky.
I realized in the hollow of last week that we had just completed the most basic of festivals, the Search for the Portal. All ArenaNet did was add a drop chance to join the next beta to the newest zones. I spent hours and hours in Dry Top and the Silverwastes. I was not one of the lucky ones. Though, I suppose I am in the newsletter lottery.
The latest ‘Festival of the Maguuma Wastes’, I will call it, was very clever of ArenaNet. Not only did it provide an impetus for players like me, but it also re-enlivened the two zones for all the players that had bought the $10 Guild Wars 2. Tier 5 and 6 Dry Tops were popping left and right along with all the Dust Mites and pigs. The Vinewrath became the red-headed stepchild of Mordremoth as we beat it back time and time again.
Then just over a week ago, the clock struck the loot tables, and the zones dwindled down to their usual. A while before that we had the Lunar New Year festival. Not as basic as this last “festival”, but it still provided a bit of an energy to the game for the little actual content it provided.
Dragon Bash is another festival that happened 1 11/12 years ago. There again I feel the work necessary to fix that festival for the smoking crater of Lion’s Arch is too high when the focus is on Heart of Thorns. Unlike Labryinthine Cliffs, Dragon Bash did not get a festival repeat a year ago since Scarlet had just gotten done turning Lion’s Arch into the smoking crater.
Last year Guild Wars 2 had three festivals, and if they repeat for 2015, the two remaining festivals, Halloween and Wintersday, will probably come around the time of Heart of Thorns making that particular bit of energy and content diminished.
Dragon Season just posted something very similar. I find it amusing how bloggers independently come up with very similar thoughts. I do disagree that a small team creating these events and festivals is not worth it. Look at the energy caused by the beta Portal. I don’t need or want a Festival festival where new content is expected. I really just want a bit more impetus for all the content.
The easiest things I feel are to add “bonus festivals”. The sPvP community gets them during tournaments, but I feel they are very short-lived. The other factor is ArenaNet might not want to shove players towards Conquest when Stronghold is going to be their expansion pony. The same, in a way, goes for WvW. Should there be another WvW event, tournament or not, when 3/4th of the maps are going to be replaced with the new Desert hotness?
The Heart of Thorns excitement is going strong coming off three weeks of elite specialization reveals, and with Rubi hinting that something cool is coming this week as well. I guess this translates in game to players getting their elite specialization lined up in terms of weaponry, armor, runes, and sigils. There will also be an oompf of freshness since it seems like a feature pack will come prior to Heart of Thorns with the “core specialization” trait lines and perhaps condition damage changes.
I am not complaining, and like Dragon Season I do want ArenaNet’s energies to be focused on the expansion. I guess I am just a bit wistful with Labyrinthine Cliffs and Dragon Bash. I feel sorry for those that may never get to experience either. Hopefully in the next two months, ArenaNet finds a way to wash that wistfulness away.