The Vinewrath is one of Guild Wars 2 open-world “raids”. Compared to most conventional raids the mechanics/roles are pretty simple, but they do exist. For example, someone in the lane needs to keep an eye on the backline because I’ve seen slingers wreck whole lanes with rock bombards. A couple people in the thrasher champion fight need to deal with pustules. Many lane wipes have occurred from pustules.
Each Vinewrath fight so far had felt full with people map having been hopping between instances of Silverwastes like locusts. Nobody appeared to know the recommended population for fighting the Vinewrath. Players even felt pressured to do the content now! Now. Now! in case it became difficult later on when the active population moved on.
Last night was further evidence that ArenaNet appeared on a very good track for scaling encounters. I had always wondered how far ArenaNet was thinking ahead with the Silverwastes. It is a very difficult map when it is full and players are active. Fighting off a tier-3 keep encounter takes a lot of focus. What would happen when player interest melted away?
Anyway, Mrs. Ravious and I were in the bottom lane for the Vinewrath. Our lane and the top lane were both calling for more warm bodies. It seemed like we had about 10 people, which felt alarmingly low. We asked each other if this raid had failed before it had started.
Now, I always had a feeling about Silverwastes because all of the meta-event bosses are champions. Champions appear intended for 5-10 players (and can be solo’d if especially skilled). I felt like ArenaNet had already kind of told us the “minimum” for the Vinewrath by using champions instead of legendaries. Still, people were edgy.
After we beat down the Vinewrath the responses in the map were “easy peasy” and “best VW ever” since no lane failed. I was covering the back line of our lane, and I found it methodical compared to the chaos inflicted when we had 20-30 people in a lane. It seemed that with the fewer people that knew what they were doing, the scaling really worked in our favor.
I feel ArenaNet’s scaling works on the premise that if the event gets zerged, they have to overscale to remove skill and basically put in “punishment” to be able to inflict any damage on the howling zerg. If the event is done with a reasonable amount of people, skill plays a much higher form. This was pretty clear based on how Vinewrath scaled last night.
It’s interesting to compare this newfound knowledge to the old Marionette fight where the map was split in to 5 lanes, and each lane was then split in to 5 platforms to fight the champion. The skill requirement was a lot higher since just about each person on the platform had to perform well. Platform events also failed way more often than Vinewrath champion events.
I feel that last night Vinewrath, and this open-world raiding in Guild Wars 2 hit a sweet spot. I didn’t feel like it was “zerg vs. one-shot”, and I didn’t feel I needed to perform on the level of utmost skill. It was a nice inbetween. I had knowledge and skill for each fight, and I felt they were used well by the challenge presented. I am actually hoping for more “below cap” Vinewrath fights.