It’s a good thing I waited until I’ve gained some perspective before writing this recap. (Not to mention, some shiny exotics after phase 3.)
Had I gone with my initial urge to make a post just after phase 2 “one-off event” completed, it would be full of the most vulgar expletives and cursewords ever to plague this blog. Every other word would probably be the f-bomb, and your eyes would likely sear after reading it. What happened, you asked?
Well, it started out promising.
I got to Lion’s Arch. An overflow, anyway. (Take note, this will be important later.)
No one knew where to go. There was discussions in map chat. Nothing over Twitter as yet.
Being the inveterate explorer that I am, I took the initiative to revisit the old locale of phase 1 to see if anything changed. That, after all, is what Guild Wars 2 prides itself on, that stuff can keep changing in their world.
Sure enough, I halted in my tracks and blinked. Was this trebuchet here before? I don’t think so…
No one else was around the area in my overflow at the time, so I am quite happy to say I was probably the first guy to find it on that particular server. (It’s the little things that make us explorers happy, y’know.)
I was chatting up the NPCs, getting more and more sure I was on to something here, as the event state finally switched at around 12.06pm server time and reported the Lionguard and their alchemical weapon thing.
Three minutes later, more people started noticing the treb and it was reported in map chat. (I was admiring the workers going for their beer break at the time, hoping something would start.)
Which led to a vast crowd of people around the treb, climbing on the treb, jumping around, all manner of spell effects as we waited, and waited, and Waited, and WAITED and WAITED some more, in perfect befuddlement as the workers cycled between banging on the treb and having so much beer that their bladders ought to have burst.
At 12.27pm, nearly half an hour later than the event was scheduled to start, the trebuchet FINALLY completed itself on our overflow server.
Cue more perplexed stares as absolutely nothing happened for another three minutes.
When the only thing that happened (aside from a bored someone growing a pine tree on the treb) was a tiny event state change (blink and you’ll miss it) that said the Lionguard had moved on from their alchemical weapon thing and were now launching an assault on the karka colony.
One minute after that, the “coat your weapons with solvent” event finally began…. wherein I made the largest mistake of my virtual GW2 life.
While wading through the combat lagfest that had just hit, the ubiquitous overflow queue thing popped, where it asked if I wanted to travel back to my home server. I didn’t think, just went with the vague feeling that hey, this might be more fun if I did it with my home community with recognizable folks, and hit the “Travel” to get to Lion’s Arch back home.
Wherein I popped up in utterly quiet surroundings, no event around me, and a mail in my inbox pointing me to Southsun Cove.
Oh shit, all the servers are on different timers… I should not have done that! I missed that part of the one-off event!
Apparently, as I gathered in mapchat later, the event for them popped for only a couple minutes, they got to the big boss, which bugged out, and then shoved them the mail that shoved us all to Southsun Cove.
And if you bothered to read my guildchat, apparently for some of my other guildies, the workers on their overflow server were still enjoying their beer, half an hour later into the event.
Immensely pissed off at this point at ArenaNet, myself, the world in general, I decided to close my eyes and pretend that the trebuchet fired their alchemical weapon, we coated our weapons in the solvent and killed all the karka in Lion’s Arch, purely in my imagination (which probably was better than the real thing) and board the ship to Southsun Cove – because no doubt, MORE one-off events would be firing there that I didn’t want to miss either.
The Southsun Cove fights went a little better. We ran with Inspector Ellen Kiel through several DEs, capturing control points and what not. I think there were a little less people around than in the Lion’s Arch fights, so all our framerates were better.
Being able to hit the big karka for real damage (my weapon is coated, really, just PRETEND with me here, okay?) was quite a refreshing change. I admired the armor knocking off thing that Anet was so proud of before. I vaguely reflected it would probably look better to me if my graphic settings could go up any higher, but y’know, crowds and all that. Still, it was pretty cool.
There was a sinister growing speck of unease that this effectively gave the big karka multiple very big health bars and locked us all in place attacking and attacking for quite a long time, but for now, it was all still rather new and exciting.
We set up outposts, built roads, smashed through trees for a little bit, running in a big zerg that was vaguely reminiscent of launch day crowds.
Then we hit the fork in the path.
I honestly don’t know how many people realized how “momentous” this was. I spotted it for what it was, a way to separate people and get them following different DEs, dividing the crowd, and also making sure that each experienced a slightly different story.
Except, I’m really not sure how appropriate this is for one-off events. I really don’t like missing out on anything. Call me entitled, but that’s just how my feelings roll.
Eventually, with a heavy heart, as I watched the majority of the zerg, 98% of them, race off after Inspector Ellen Kiel on her bulldozing road steamroll of justice, I decided I would rather see the path not taken, and followed the Asura to find the mysterious lost expedition’s camp.
We (and there were only 5-7 of us at this point) fought more karka and escorted the advisors to the lost camp. The reduction in player numbers did make the events more enjoyable and playable, not to mention a little less auto-attacky, we actually used other skills.
We took over the abandoned camp and set up the outpost or whatever…
It eventually segued into a retrieve consortium crates DE which I was beginning to suspect would run on even after the one-off event. That left me feeling a bit empty, like maybe I might have just missed out on whatever Inspector Ellen Kiel was doing, god knows where.
I did however enjoy being possibly one of the first to spot a splendid chest on top of the lost camp’s roof, and made my jumpy way up to get it and a jumping puzzle achievement.
In retrospect, examining the screenshot, it is ironic that Ellen Kiel’s chain also completed around the same time and I got a bronze medal for it. I don’t know what happened with her, and never shall, unless I check out a youtube video.
Feeling a little sad, and lost and empty, which are very strange feelings for a new zone with new content just being opened… I stared at the rest of the island on my map, unsure of where to go next, whether there was any other one-off dynamic events that I was probably missing out on…
Sighed, and gave up.
The island would be here for good. I could take more time later to explore it at leisure. Running about lost and aimless trying in vain to catch another one-off event or another, while being uncertain whether this one DE would be here all the time or which other DE was a one-off…
…it was just too depressing to fathom.
So I logged off, feeling oddly disappointed and feeling like I missed out on very crucial bits of the story.
My entire misadventure with phase 2 gives me a lot more sympathy for those who couldn’t attend the event, could only attend bits of it due to real life, who may have inadvertently crashed or disconnected, who had bad luck and ran into event-stopping bugs, and basically everyone who might have missed out on a specially advertised “one-off event.”
It doesn’t feel very inclusive or community-building at all.
And if the attitude of those who did catch it is “lol, too bad, I saw it, you didn’t, and that makes it all the sweeter and more special,” I’m not sure that kind of elitist schadenfreude is the kind of attitude we want to be encouraging with Guild Wars 2 either.