[GW2] Bugged Ending

After having a WvW Season One that was so bad I got two months’ worth of “this is really horrible design” posts out of it, the Living World Season One has also ended badly. It’s as if NC Soft is looking ahead to WildStar’s release and preparing people to switch MMOs.

A year and a half in, GW2 has two reputations: zergfest and buggy as hell.

I have needed to update Guild Wars 2 literally every single time I have played since the new content was released. The difficulty has ranged from trivial to impossible, the rewards from luxurious to absolutely nothing, and I really have no idea what to expect when next I log into Guild Wars 2. Commenters on Ravious’s post noted the toxicity of chat during the events, and I think it is strongly fueled by frustration with “No really, I did this exact same thing yesterday and it worked fine, so you must be doing it wrong.” Surprise! The rules changed since the last time you played, and it might be documented if you look in the right place on the forums. Map chat is effectively a series of urban legends about what the rules and scaling might be today. Today someone said that there is now a cap of 50 people dealing damage to an assault knight at one time. Is it true? If so, was it true yesterday, and will it still be true by the time you post your comment?

Some days, the new content has catered to a zergfest. Other days, it has tried to train players not to zerg. Good luck organizing 150 random people in your instance of Lion’s Arch to react to how the rules work today.

The design of the season-ending content could be brilliant. I really don’t know. The execution is so poor and bug-ridden that I don’t know whether it is well-designed or -balanced. It involves many moving parts that may or may not interact properly when you log in. It is a bad sign when you need to include a “just skip to the finish” portal.

Maybe you had a different experience. Maybe it worked a way you liked when you played through. Surprise! There was another update, so maybe you can replicate that experience, maybe not.

: Zubon

Update: is “bug” the right term for “not working as intended and needs to be re-balanced immediately”? Because the content works mechanically, usually. As in, actions happen and numbers fly up. But there have been many updates to change those numbers, to add new mechanics to get balance where it was intended to be, to fix actual bugs, to…

20 thoughts on “[GW2] Bugged Ending”

  1. On TC I managed to have the experience of playing and completing the event once with no real issues, and then defeating the hologram. Great! Only I accidentally left the area without completing the finale due to some ineptness on my part.

    So, I rolled straight round and on the next hour went to do it again. Zerged part one just fine and then… I don’t know what happened, but the hologram simply did not die. People got discouraged and dropped out, and the event failed. I couldn’t work out what went wrong, either. The exact same strategy was used by the server on both tries.

  2. I hate to be negative about the game but I stopped playing it some time ago. I think the turning point for me and some of my guildies was the revamped Tequatl event. It became a focus of everything that was bad about GW2.

    We also had the problem where many of us were missing out on Living World content simply because we did not have time to devote to GW2 on a daily basis. I personally continued to play the game a month or two after Tequatl 2.0 but eventually I stopped caring about the Living World events and moved on to other games.

    I feel bad because the game has brilliant sound, graphics, and art and I do like the combat system yet it seems to have devolved into something that simply caters to large packs of players running from one “super” event to the next.

  3. I have to disagree with you on the “just skip to the finish” portal. It should be there to always provide an alternate option for solo-preferring players, or time-starved players who don’t want to go through mass group content. Anything else would be “forcing” players to group or worse, to raid, just to see the story end. This, at least, lets everyone conclude the story arc to some degree.

    But yeah, between the bugs and quick fixes/changes, the unpredictability of the encounter has gotten very perplexing for the average player to take in. Specifically the gating assault knights. It’s hard to know what can be done better to push a failed event to success, which I think leads to a great deal of player frustration lashing out over map channels, blaming others for being “bad” in general, rather than requiring them to do something specific.

    Certain knights I somehow seem to be doing more damage, despite being on the same character, same build, same buffs. Was it someone near me whose might stacks I caught? Or buggy scaling or health regen on the knights? Not sure, my attention was on the big mob trying to dodge its attacks.

    Certain knights I try to move in to melee to up damage, and omg, bad conditions fly on me and immobilize me and get me killed before I can hit and run. Obviously, there is -someone- in the crowd automatically pressing ALL their buttons during the condition reflect phase, but WHO? Impossible to know. Impossible to correct.

    (Well, ok, I -could- mouse over the immobilize debuff and find out, but in the panic of the moment, one is more focused on trying to remove it and get out the way.)

    If I stop to type “please don’t use immobilize, so that I can get in and out of melee better to increase dps,” the knight is going to pull me and down me before I can finish, making me look like an idiot. So instead I cannot melee and end up ranging.

    I’m also seeing a lack of PvE commanders stepping up to organize this event, compared to the Marionette. Competent commanders/leadership/guidance would really help to coordinate this event, from making sure they have 30-50 on each knight, reminding people of the vigil buff and Scarlet potion to increase overall dps, and -preventing- players from running off on their own to spectate another knight once they’re done (possibly scaling up the encounter.)

    I’m not sure what’s different that is discouraging them, or if it’s just bad luck when I do random overflows for fun and to see what the average player is encountering.

    1. Well, you didn’t quite inspire me to drop 100 gold on a commander tag, but I did pick up a Feast recipe or two before today’s run.

      I tried dropping one by the Vigil guy 10-15 minutes in advance and linking it in chat. People came by at the time, but when I was checking buffs of random people at the knight fight I only saw one with my food. I was almost surprised by the number of people who didn’t even have a Scarlet Potion up.

    2. The nerf to the Assault Knights HP by 25% seems to have done the trick.
      Although it is a bit too easy now (as it was easy when you could just do them in order, but it was more exciting).

      The problem was to convince the 50+ people in red that if they had 30 in red and allowed the other 20 to bolster green and blue to 25-30 each all the knights would go down (well maybe not when you see the assault knight grabbing 20 players every single of his pulls and only a few people capable of dodging it).

      But I guess some people just don’t read the chat.

      Yesterday, I’ve done scarlet illusion phase 2 times. The first despite people saying in chat to kill all the red/green/blue illusion at the same time and “stop killing red!!!” it didn’t work.

      On the second go I took the time to whisper 3-4 people (using the up/down arrows it is easy) “stop killing red”, “kill all the 3 illusions at the same time”. Every single of them replied thanking for the hint

  4. The bugs were tolerable for the most part, most of the event breaking ones were gone after a day or two, but I agree the rule changes have been frustrating and there is plenty of rough edges left:

    Those mender spawns near the blue knight should have been removed, the cause of a few failed attempts.
    Putting in those lasers to prevent AFKers, just messes up players actively particapting and trying for achievements.
    The scaling has really made the Knight’s intolerably long and drawn out. I don’t know how my damaged is halved since the last update. They need to work on scaling big-time.

    The achievements influencing how players approach the fight in a negative way, like focusing entirely on personal survival and being a detriment to the fight.

    I’m starting to dislike the condition reflect mechanic, even if you remove all condis from your own build, other players will drop fields that cause condis by comboing with projectile finishers. I’m hoping they get better at designing for and predicting how the live will react to the events, because they are being naive about things now.

    Delivering bug-free content is one thing, but making it fun and satisfying without having to make changes to the design on the fly is looking quite out of reach at the moment.

  5. Apart from the rule chamges which makes it really hard to get a working strategy up, the mechanics of the fight are nicely done. I think however that they made a lot of mistakes in other areas besides the bugs.

    First of all they are making another mistake with Scarlet imo. All the time Scarlet has been getting out of our way when we were getting close, then how does she now invite us on her airship if manage to kill three of her toys? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Besides that I think they could have done a lot more with the concept of us taking back Lion’s Arch. They could have created a 2-weeks scheduled siege, with programmed progression. A gathered army of heroes enters the LA area from Bloodtide coast for example, Fort Mariner is closed and has to be besieged. You can create a special siege weapon which takes two days to build, in the meanwhile you have to hold back attacks from behind. This way you can slowly conquer back the map. Last fight could be thw cannoneer and once won you use his cannon to take down the airship, there comes the fight with Scarlet.

    Imo that way it makes more sense and it creates the feel of taking back our beloved Lion’s Arch. Right now all the events could have been on Tyrias moon and it would have felt the same. I feel this missed out on a unique oportunity here of exploiting the emotional ties we have with LA. Just my 5 centa though.

  6. The combination of bugs and rules-fiddling certainly soured the first few days to the point that once I had beaten Scarlet and seen the fight I had little desire to repeat it. Compare that with the Marionette, which I did several times a day every day for a month.

    Even leaving the bugs and so forth aside, the whole thing is just too damn long. The knights take about 15 minutes and Scarlet takes about 30 and then at the top of the hour it begins again. When you factor in dealing with the loot and repairs it can take up fifty minutes of every hour if you let it.

    I also completely agree with Lohrian. The entire set-up defies all logic, even internal game-logic. Scarlet is intensely focused on her drilling operation, her forces have full control of Lion’s Arch and there’s literally nothing we can do to stop her. I know she likes to play games but all the evidence so far is that she only ever plays games she knows she can’t lose. The more I think about it, the less sense any of it makes.

  7. I’m baffled by what they’ve done and not done with GW2. Am I really in the minority in wanting them to add more persistent content and new zones similar to the campaigns in GW1??? Can’t they do both? No one – not a single person that I know in rl who was playing at the start of GW2 is still playing now. It boggles my mind. And most fo them departed before I did. grrr.

    1. Living Story has nothing to do with expansions.

      Living Story keeps a good cash flow and allows Anet to spend their time working on an expansion.

      Also Anet is weary of adding to many zones too early – twice the zones with the same population equals half of the population density.

      Also for how long will you play a new zone?

      1. Until you complete the content and move on to the next level of progression. New content to go with new progression isn’t new in the MMO space. Everyone I know that left was tired to doing dailies in the same old zones and the temporary content / living story wasn’t appealing enough.

        1. See, next level of progression thinking is very WoW-inspired. Not every game needs to have an insanely exponential stat gain system.

          While I wouldn’t oppose new zones/content that sticks around for longer or permanently, I would oppose ever increasing levels of vertical progression in a game that I came to, precisely because it doesn’t follow WoW’s formula.

          That said, there -has- been permanent content added to GW2, especially more recently. Ironically, some have been less played without the Living Story calling attention to them. New fractals, new TA Aetherpath, “redecorated” Kessex Hills, triple trouble jungle wurm, Edge of the Mists and so on.

          If you ask me, those people calling for more permanent content akin to the leveling zones they’re used to… should be calling for EASIER relaxing exploratory content, because the trend appears to be ramping towards more difficult, coordination and organization-required content with every patch.

          1. Yet, Labyrinthine Cliffs, a very chill, beautiful zone involving sky crystals to jump to and explore at leisure, still seems to be the most popular update of many people.

        2. Something like 3-5 hours per zone then.
          An expansion with 20 zones would be done in a couple of months at most.

  8. Wow. Some content is good, others not, So what? You could substitute the title of any game into these posts, different events but with the same complaints. Sometimes, and some events, there is better loot and worse loot. Some are longer and some are shorter. Some to like less and some to like more. Some to participate in and some just to peak at and leave.

    I’ve been having a lot of fun leveling a new class…Not the way some guild members I know do it, running the champ train in Queensdale. I’ve been experiencing anew the world content. New story, new skills, new traits, new synergies, new builds. With GW2 there is every reason to replay the areas again.

    For those who have reached the end of the game, created all their characters, reached max level, and just want to farm this event for mats and horns, I guess it does get old. And, since the only content for them is the end content it grates when it does not meet expectations. That is about the time the hardcore players move on to another game. The gaming community did not grow by a million when GW2 came out, it just reshuffled.

    For the casual player there is much to do and come back to,

    1. Yes, your paragraph cuts to the heart of reviewing: some things are good and some are bad. We say good things about the good and bad things about the bad. This seems strange to you?

      1. With a title like “Bugged Ending”, no, I was not surprised to see that as the focus of discussion. What I was surprised to see was that for the most part, there were posts with complaints so venomous that they “seemed” to have ruled out that there was any pleasure left in the game.

        But, you’re right. You give plenty of balanced and favorable reviews. I was going to post instead, “Geez Zubon, what have you done lol?” If there was ever a post inviting people to flame the game, that title was it. That did not happen though, the post or the flaming. Still, I was stunned at the depth of the upset the “bugs” caused some people.

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