[GW2] A Taste of the Poison Paradise

Last night facing The Nightmares Within update was rough. At first I gleefully skipped in to the toxic tower with Mrs. Ravious, the inside of which is a mini-zone akin to the Queen’s Pavilion. I crossed the threshold from the safe area and “wham” I was dropped like a sack of flour. Now wait a minute, I’m a celestial/berserker well necro… I don’t die easily. Yet there I was facing floor.

Guild Wars 1 players of yore have been comparing the inside of dark tower in Kessex Hills to open world versions of the famed Underworld and Fissure of Woe instances. They are tough. There are loads of elite enemies with all sorts of condition hate. There are mines that can kill any ‘zerk in a single hit. There are twists and turns, and there’s an environmental poison to make sure players don’t hole up. It is a nightmare.

My knee jerk reaction was frustration. It felt like a zerg was necessary for playing the content. However, this puzzle of a zone was simply too complex for a zerg used to such challenges as Scarlet’s Invasions or the graveyard run of Queen’s Pavilion. Nope, there were dead bodies everywhere. Once in a while I would get lucky with a zerg that had enough force and self-awareness (rez’ing) to bash through easily. Still, it was a challenge.

Now, I am reveling in the challenge. I have already decided to head back to a condimancer, especially since I am not doing Tequatl much anymore. I’ve been thinking of ways of duo-building with Mrs. Ravious’s ranger. It’s put a kind of thought worm in my head that doesn’t normally occur with the easier Living World launches.

Zubon notes the elegant ways ArenaNet brings players together, and there are also ways that players are pulled apart. Killing mobs and reviving allies would be the most direct. There are also little side chambers a player can waylay herself too for a much easier romp through a portion of the tower.

Even with a pretty easy guaranteed (?) rare from the tri-key chest at the top, I am not sure how long players will stick around past the achievements. I’m not even sure what players would. It is a difficult place to farm. I think a dedicated group really pushing for keys could likely make a good profit at it, but I’m not sure it would beat out the current mindless champ farm.

The final instance was challenging, but fun. The cinematic at the end was amazing, and it was a nice recap of Scarlet’s “jokes” so far. However, I do agree with one forum poster that Lead Writer Bobby Stein responded to. How does this fit in to the story at all? Scarlet creates another amalgamation. Then she leaves. At one point there was something said by the Nightmare Court which made it seem like there was an experiment, which worked, but if I recall, they also said Scarlet left before it happened? I am not sure.

This reminds me a lot of some sci-fi TV shows, like X-Files or Fringe, where there was a metaplot but each episode was not directly related to it. Still, the writers found ways in those 40 minutes to give some crumbs. I think the best way, like the scene I failed to describe and remember above, is to see the enemies talking to one another. In this case I am reminded of a Fringe episode where people could become wereporcupines. At the end of the episode we see that the wereporcupines are on a ship out at sea with many other Fringe entities. That was enough. In Guild Wars 2 it is not enough to just say “Scarlet wants the hybrid for something.” If ArenaNet does indeed have some master plan they need to start giving better cues, hints, and lies as to what it may be.

Anyway, fans posit that the next update is going to be Fractal based so we might get a break from Scarlet for a bit. I know many are really interested in learning about what truly happened at Thaumanova Reactor. I know I am, as sour grape tasting as it will be.



11 thoughts on “[GW2] A Taste of the Poison Paradise”

  1. The Champ trains are such a blight to this game. At least when CoF 1 farming was possible, there was a modicum of a barrier to overcome (grouping, zerk gear). Champ trains are just way too easy and too profitable. Diminishing Returns should be applied to Champ loot.


  2. I was running it as an upleveled turret Engineer. The instances were soloable with work. The open world area was a suicide run solo, but we were managing a zerg using a commander tag and frequent shouts.

    Given the continuous condition damage in the last open world area, we were laughing about people in full berserker.

  3. I have really enjoyed the gameplay that these living story updates have brought, but holy crap, is Scarlet terrible, even by the astonishingly low standards of GW2 plot, character and storytelling. Embarrassingly bad dialogue, embarrassingly bad voice acting, embarrassingly bad nonsense attempt at a story.. please, please, just stop. Sack the writers and hire a few more programmers. Just give us new action every two weeks without any explanation.

  4. I started a reply but it grew out of hand so I turned into a post at my own place. Suffice it to say I liked the look of the tower, the banter between the various characters and some of the voice acting (Scarlet is really quite funny) but that was about it.

  5. I liked it well enough because of the challenge, though maybe in a slightly different way. It reminded me of Orr a few days after release. That was my favorite area at the time because it forced you to play so much better than anywhere else had to that point. The tower was similar (though I’m happy to say that I’m not /quite/ as bad now as I was the first time I got to Orr!); I had to actually pay attention inside the tower.

    (Not sold on all the zerk hate, though. At least, I didn’t have any real trouble once I got the hang of the area, and I’m always running a full zerk mes. There are little safe spots from the continuous damage in the third level, and while fighting through the whole portal event does kinda suck, it was still doable. And I had a different experience with the final instance: I thought it was a complete cakewalk solo.)

    I’m agreed on replayability; there wasn’t much to keep me there after the first couple hours of learning the mechanics and running the final instance a few times (I passed on the open lots of chests and complete lots of events and chambers achievements). So that’s a bit of a shame. The new content was fun, made me think a little, and wasn’t repetitive, but it was over really fast.

    1. Here’s how I naively view the ‘zerk crowd. There’s (1) the most skilled PvE players in the game with ultra-high situational awareness, excellent dodge ability, skill and, food/buffs to complement, etc, who use ‘zerk because it is the best armor to maximize their performance, and then there’s (2) the people who wear ‘zerk for huge hits, the end. Who do you think I’ve seen complaining about being one-shotted in the tower?

      p.s. You definitely seem more the former. :)

      1. It’s those bloody mines. I’ve had a rotten shock quite a number of times rounding a corner and not seeing one until it’s too late with not enough energy on the dodge bar to react. With something like 12k hp, that’s either an immediate down or you’re left gasping with under 1000hp for something else to lay you flat.

        I’ve learned to a) take corners more carefully and b) let anybody else near me go ahead and don’t immediately follow them because it’s highly likely they’ll trigger one. Once it explodes, it’s even safer and you’re no longer cursing and swearing because their clumsiness has kindly mine-swept for you instead of killing you.

        Also, if I’m on my MM necro, don’t follow me until the mines explode. Really. My minions have no sense of self-preservation and are summoned again in less than half a minute.

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