GW2: That Awkward Moment Where Story Meets the Open World

lonechallenge1

Of course I can!

I’m the Commander of the Pact, Slayer of Zhaitan!

*hypes self up for heroic, legendary, awesome solo battle*

This is the strangest definition of "alone" I have ever encountered.

This is the strangest definition of “alone” I have ever encountered. *turns down graphics in order to not lag*

Wut?

Wut? Not that I want to contradict you, Eir, but did you see the slavering horde the megaserver brought in?

Between all the bugs where a horde of players descend on a dynamic event that was never meant to cope with 40 players charging it at once and promptly breaking it for the next batch of players to come along…

Traffic jam in front of the stubbornly not blowing up gate.

Traffic jam in front of the stubbornly not blowing up gate. Anet person was helpfully crowd controlling by letting everyone know the team was aware and working on a fix, and suggesting either to find another map instance or leave the Living Story be for a while. Meta stuff like this cheerfully dropkicks you out of immersed-in-story mode.

…and the possibility of a landscape that’s forever going to look trashed like this so that players can continue their ‘permanent’ Living Story episodes…

I really liked golden Ascalon a lot better.

I really liked the golden Ascalonian plains a lot better than yet more dragon corruption. Can we get around to fixing the Kessex Hills tower yet?

… I think I’m leaning a lot more towards story staying in instances.

I’m sure there are ways to have a satisfactory batch of open world dynamic events – the scarlet twisted clockwork invasion, marionette and lion’s arch stuff comes to mind (possibly because there was tons of loot involved with the increased scaling of the event) but I’m not really feeling it in this third episode.

All it feels like is a bunch of unwanted interrupted breaks in between a story I’m trying to experience – somewhat like how the Personal Story keeps breaking off so that you need to go visit a bunch of hearts or get more levels.

Minecraft (Hexxit) – The Curse of the Albatross – 6. Is This Real Life…Or is This Final Fantasy…

Early efforts in chocobo breeding were hair-pulling exercises in frustration.

Oh, I tempted the three chocobos I had seen earlier along the red mountain ridge home without problems with gysahl greens.

They kept hopping the fenced pen I had nicely set up for them outside the cottage.

Now converted into a cow pen, along with a stray sheep who thinks it's a cow.

(Now converted into a cow pen, along with a stray sheep who thinks it’s a cow.)

I also realized that all of them were females.

Which prompted another surroundings-spanning search for the rare, elusive male chocobo.

I eventually found one in the snowy taiga, and figured out that males had a colorful feathered crest. Bringing it back, I bred it with one of the females using a rare mutant version of the gysahl green I was farming.

The baby chicobo promptly ran out of the pen when I opened the fence gate to leave.

By the time I herded and prodded it back inside, another two chocobos had hopped the fence again.

It was about then that I realized a simple fenced pen wasn’t going to suffice, and that I had drastically underestimated how much space I was going to need to breed the birds.

Efforts in chocobo breeding were abandoned for a week as I patiently sawed, smelted and mined, amassing large quantities of red cobblestone to turn into brick, fir planks and lots of glass panes.

There were nights of balancing precariously on high, sniping back at skeleton archers who thought to knock me off, and taking out creepers before they ruined construction efforts.

barn

Finally, the chocobo barn was complete.

barn2

I moved the by-now-entirely-escaped birds into their new home even before the final finishing touches of glass were complete, whereupon the baby chicobo again tried to drown itself by getting stuck in the cauldron for drinking water.

Patience with the avian brain eventually paid off with the birth of the first non-wild type mutant, a green-feathered chick.

greenchicobo

This variety, according to the Chocopedia, which had now become my reference for all things to do with the chirping creatures, was supposed to be more adept at climbing than the regular yellow ones.

I guess it was just as well that they now had a new climb-proof housing.

I grew more and more gysahl greens in the search of the lovely and golden variants that would tempt them to breed. Plenty of bonemeal fertilizer got involved.

gysahls

I was starting to drown in regular old gysahls. There were only so many gysahl pickles I could cook and eat.

agrilocker

I was starting to drown in chocobo feathers.

feathers

I was starting to drown in chocobos.

chocobosoutthewazoo

Then came the day they refused to breed.

I think they ran out of space. The overpopulation made them unreceptive to approaching their mates. Oh, they ate my rare gysahls, but refused to move after, or give birth to more babies.

I debated slaughtering some of the ordinary yellows for food.

But… they were all named already, and I didn’t have the heart to kill them in front of their fellows, or to lead them out unsuspecting only to cut their throats.

There was only one thing left to do.

barn3

They got a second barn.

The birds were living in a bigger space than I was.

It was around this time, during one of the mining trips in between mad chocobo breeding, that I met the shade with purple eyes again.

enderman1

It did not look happy.

It was not a pleasant meeting.

We exchanged furious blows, with it teleporting in and out, and me relentlessly chasing it down.

I could have sworn at one point that I struck a killing blow, but then it healed, that strange twin-lived being and again vanished before I could strike it down once more.

On a second trip, I had the fright of my life when I thought I saw TWO pairs of purple eyes in the dark.

enderman2

Surely there cannot be two of them…

Tell me I did not create a second shade in that earlier fight…

A night or two after that, there was yet again a resounding crash-thud in the dark.

Unsuspecting, I walked along the northeast path, my usual path, the path I had always walked… to the tower, to Weisferd, the albatross path…

…to find that there was something entirely new.

theportal

Minecraft (Hexxit) – The Curse of the Albatross – 5. Domestic Interlude and Dungeoneering

I was starting to realize that I was going to be stuck here for possibly a long haul, and that the cottage was now home, modest as it was.

home1

I spent a day or two adding more storage space with shelving and lockers.

home2

One of the yellow secretary bird-like creatures – chocobos, they were called, according to the book I found – appeared to take a liking to the root vegetables I was carrying. Gysahl greens, said the book.

home3

It followed me home, seemingly hoping for more treats, and appeared docile enough, so I converted the ground floor’s stables to house it.

Using the fruits of my smeltery labors, the sliding door to accommodate its height and width took a little longer to install.

home4

It even let me saddle it up and ride it, though I kept banging my helmeted head against the ceiling when moving it in and out of the cottage. Not much I could do about that though, raising the ceiling or lowering the floor was going to affect other already built up areas.

Having cleaned up the cottage some, it was time to clean up elsewhere.

I now had plenty of iron to reinforce my modest wooden bow, and even jury rigged two iron bows together with a mechanism that let me fire two or three arrows at once.

Traveling northeast again to the strange tower, I weathered out a nasty blizzard.

51-snowstorm

There was an awfully loud crash-thud that night, and later, along the way to Weisferd, I found the source of it.

50-meteor

A large meteor had struck near the plains by the abandoned blacksmith’s.

(The horse had proven quite uncooperative to ride – Olive was far more maneuverable and agreeable, though she kept shedding feathers all over the house.)

In the morning, with better visibility, the golem and I traded off firing projectiles at each other.

52-golembattle

There were moments where I had to back off and find a nearby water source to put my flaming armor out before I got roasted alive, but ultimately it fell.

53-towercollapse

And so did the tower with it.

There was no way I was going to get up to the top in time. That ship had sailed when the golem took out multiple floors of stairs much earlier on, but at least I could walk by without feeling its one eye always watching… and fearing a fireball in the back.

Later, I  found a smaller meteor site by the river near Weisferd, most of it submerged underwater.

meteor2

The frequency of meteor landings was getting a bit disturbing, and I hoped there was no alien intelligence behind them.

56-unknownmeteor

The last meteor I found on the trip back didn’t allay my fears any, for a strange alien creeper appeared as I was mining the meteorite from it and exploded in my face. My armor caught the brunt of it, fortunately.

There was also an odd chest deep in the meteor’s very center, containing glowing red gems that did not look like they were from this land, or any earth, for that matter.

stone stair

It was along the journey back, along the flight path of the albatross, keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of what it might have been indicating, that I found the stone stairs.

stone stair island view

Climbing it for a better view of the surroundings, I spied a curious floating island in the sky. Was this where the albatross laired? A place where only fliers could get to?

stone stairs behind

Dropping down behind the stairs, it turned out that it was also a grey stairwell leading downward into what turned out to be a dungeon, complete with chest mimics and minotaurs.

That last chest has legs and thinks I can't see it. I could.

That last chest has legs and thinks I can’t see it. I could.

55-minotaur

On the return trip home, pondering various ways to get to the floating island – a bridge or tower would work, but be terribly inelegant and not very mobile…

Eventually, I decided I was going to need more than just Olive.

I was going to need a -lot- of chocobos.