Where ArenaNet has hit the highest marks for their live-game updates, in my opinion, is where it affects community interaction. For content on its own, even good content such as the Cragstead instance, it’s neat, and then I move on. It is where the Living Story has changed the momentum of daily playing where I feel ArenaNet’s dev energy has had greatest positive effect.
With The Secret of Southsun update Southsun Cove was turned in to the place to farm. It was a comfortable farm too. One could join a snake of players through the northern Southsun Shoals as they train along running over young karka. There was also the skelk wading pool, which just became too bloody efficient. My favorite was farming the instigator events.
There are two instigator events. One is located near Kiel’s Outpost, and the other is located in the middle of Southsun at Driftglass Springs. The event has players dealing with a champion settler who riles up settler adds and throws AoE firebombs. There is a decent chest at the end of the event as well as the champion’s loot. The zerg rocks back and forth between these two events while dealing with a few other events in between. It’s actually pretty relaxing and fun.
The conversations are relaxed. Jokes fly. People share what they got with their loot drops. It’s a good community vibe around such an oft-reviled activity. Of course, with the buffs provided by the island’s inhabitants to kick up magic find 200%, how could the community not rally around utilizing that to the fullest?
I’ve always felt that ArenaNet has been fantastic with festivals. This morning ArenaNet launched their Dragon Bash festival page detailing everything that will come next week. That means mid-June the inhabitants of Southsun can finally breathe a sigh of relief as players crash back to Lion’s Arch. There activities will form around the festival’s mini-games and PvP game. The community will be herded under the glowing holographic dragon.
This is not a new thing in the MMO genre, but usually it is in regard to the next tier of weapons or the next zone. The community in that MMO then focuses on obtaining the next newest power level. ArenaNet is doing this a bit differently by changing the activities. The rewards are much different than increased power level too. Perhaps when Guild Wars 2 is a year old I will take time to pull out ye ol’ scrapbook and bank notes.
The biggest thing for this post is the community’s focus. It massages rough edges of gameplay. It’s more fun to be around people doing a somewhat fun activity than it is for me to be alone playing great content. It’s fun to farm with my herd.