I have 4 achievements left to get for the first season of WvW before I get that shiny key of who-knows-what. So far it has been generally easy. Jumping puzzles, a mad karma train with Blackgate, and the usual killings have led to a lot of play and the achievements.
Now I’m onto 3 more easy ones that require a tad more focus to complete. I went about halfway through Ruins achievement just with “normal” play. Repairs too… got about halfway, but I admit I did focus a little when I saw a damaged gate or wall. Finally supply camps too got about halfway in normal Tier 1 play. I will probably finish all three before the week is out.
My final achievement is the one that worries me a bit. I basically have three options: 225 yaks, 225 sentry point captures, or 50 WvW ranks. Now I read and read on how I should be able to complete 50 WvW ranks in a mere weekend. Yet, here I am with most of the WvW season’s achievements under my belt, and I’ve only achieved 20 ranks. I just don’t seem to be getting them that fast, and to me it doesn’t feel like a “sure thing”.
Sentries and yaks feel more like a sure use of time, but ArenaNet decided that a relatively large grind would be involved to get either of those achievements. After a few nights of focusing, I’m a little over halfway on both since they kind of go hand in hand.
In a way I think the large numbers are a double-edged sword. The obvious edge is it feels like grind. In normal T1 play Yaks explode if a zerg eyeballs a supply camp, and I am just not good enough to join a havoc squad (which should not be required for major pop. achievements anyway). Yaks have a slight one up on sentries though because much of the time it’s a 2-for-1 deal. The other edge is that players like me are now poking and prodding outside of regular play. There is a sub-game that of the major zergs and squads.
The sub-game are players, like me, that are making a mess of things. Instead of a nice clean signal of information, supply camps are going off at weird times. Sentries are drawing people away from the zerg. People are camping invincible supply camps in hopes of getting a few more yaks. I am seeing different player patterns that really didn’t exist, and it’s kind of cool. But, ArenaNet, it’s still a grind.
So I’ve been grinding on Maguuma’s Borderlands. This week Sanctum of Rall is more or less dominating Tarnished Coast and Maguuma. I think many major players on our server are taking breaks to refresh before we fight Blackgate… again. (Tune in next week when we cry some more with Maguuma.)
The reason I like Maguuma’s Borderlands is because Tarnished Coast is a better server. This means that objectives close to my home waypoint will flip quickly because Tarnished Coast is just across the strand fighting us for a very close supply camp and sentry. Both servers are also good enough to create on-the-fly havoc squads (I still prefer wolf packs) to cross in to enemy territory and flip the sentry and supply camp on the opposite side. Going around the snow-covered lands, on the other hand, feels so much slower.
Last night I had quite the rhythm of heading out, waypointing back, heading in another direction, repairing a keep wall, waypointing back, and repeating. It should’ve been quite boring.
However, there is something about grinding in PvP, which makes it quite different from grinding in PvE. In PvE the rhythm is going to be the same each and every time. In PvP the grind is punctuated by hits of excitement and fear. I could regale you, adroit reader, with a tale of how I came upon a sudden ruin with two engineers fighting it out. Or, I could tell you about the time Mrs. Ravious and I went to the northern supply camp and defeated three players (shame on them too, we’re a ranger and a necro). How about the time 5 of us came upon a poor charr trying to wait out a supply camp, and he didn’t know which way to flee so he ran in circles.
I like all my WvW experiences. It just takes a bit more to reflect on them. I’m sure for many all of these experiences just gloss over into kill or be killed. However, I wouldn’t be much of a blogger if I didn’t take time to reflect on my experiences.
See you around a pile of dead yaks.