GW2: Post-Patch Piranha Bend Much Improved

Fairly elegantly too, imo, for such a swift turn-around time.

The place now aesthetically looks like a dangerous cascade of rocks and timber has just fallen across the rapids, but the fake difficulty aspect of the malfunctioning water spouts has been removed and is now markedly more reasonable to navigate for Normal Mode.

The task of timing jumps carefully and short hops from rock to rock is still there, in less time critical form, by the presence of piranha leaping from the rapids potentially blocking your next jump to a rock.

It is surprising how a small change like the removal of rapid water doing damage can have a big effect. The knockdown is still present, but less violent. This promotes a determined striving to fight the force of the water and recover to the next safe spot – preferably before getting knocked into turtles or crocodiles which DO do damage or flung off a waterfall into the abyss should you reach the end of the rapids.

Big change from how one just used to helplessly fling hands in the air and give up and let the water kill you slooowly because you were either flung back too far past a checkpoint or had a good chance of dying before managing to clamber onto dry land.

As usual, any adjustment to difficulty has brought out the opposite end of the spectrum, determined to verbally fight to the death to keep things exclusive, hardcore and thus somehow more prestigious to their eye.

It’s a little sad that the changes to normal mode apparently echoed into tribulation mode as well, as both factions seemed quite happy to stay in their respective variable difficulties in general (beyond a few trolls just out looking for forum fights.)

But you know, this is real time MMO design. Game has limitations. Engine has limitations. Hotfixes are hotfixes. The inexorable pressure of the Living Story waits for no one – dev or player. It’s really easy to type out ideal dreams in a paragraph, now you try actually doing it in a couple days and run it by QA and all that, with as swift turnaround as Josh managed.

(I expect further tinkering and polish to World 2 will sneakily turn up when the SAB next hits with World 3. After all, there did seem to be a polish pass here and there on World 1 this time around too.)

Personally, I’m impressed. I haven’t seen this level of dev involvement and interaction since the early heydays of City of Heroes.

For those of you who have been holding back or having trouble on SAB World 2, this is a good time to try out normal mode. 2-1 at least has gotten to a very sane and reasonable level.

I don’t know if the decision to tweak was made on the basis of greatest good for the greatest number (ie. allow more people to actually try and enjoy special content) or simply continuing to move closer towards the original design intent, but I’m sure happy it was done.

Let the trolls throw their tantrums. Guild Wars 2 was never meant to be a game celebrating exclusivity. World of Warcraft elitism and cutthroat competition is over that way.

GW2: Your Chance to Vicariously Live Through SAB World 2-1 Piranha Bend With My Latency

  • Multiple repeated attempts in one small area. Check.
  • Breaking down the problem into as small parts as possible to narrow down its location. Check.
  • Documentation via video and writing. Check.

Yep, I feel like I’ve just beta tested some content!

I had some time yesterday and decided to spend it on exploring World 2-1 Rapids on normal mode.

The compulsive draw was the prospect of discovering secret stuff, and wanting to experience the difficulty level prior to the impending fixes.

(What can I say, I’m a masochist that way, I need to experience things firsthand both ways to do a PROPER comparison. I would not feel good telling you guys that things are easier/better if I never even tried it prior.)

I pulled out the last of my continue coins from the prior update (all seven of them) to add to the three collected via World 1, resolving to give up and wait for fixes when they were all used up.

The first piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to play SAB’s world 2 is to GO SAVE UP 325 BAUBLES, look up a guide and buy yourself the nunchakus / chain-sticks from World 2-2 on Infantile.

This eases up the difficulty of mob fights considerably, especially if you’re prone to being a little laggy or slow on reaction times.

Much of the rest of 2-1 is then fairly manageable difficulty, though it may still seem quite lengthy during the process of finding the right jumps to get from checkpoint to checkpoint.

If your latency is no good, you may experience a little more problems at areas with moving water. In most places, there are secret ways to either bypass a good bit of that water or break down the jumping across dodgy rapids into small jumps by looking out for and staying on solid rocks as much as possible.

(If your ping is such that you can get flung off solid rock, then I have no solution for you besides waiting for the fix rumored to hit today or tomorrow, and praying it is effective. Sorry.)

With the exception of notorious Piranha Bend with multiple water spouts.

You can bypass the first part of it up to the checkpoint by using the lower flower, shooting into the secret passage through the waterfall, moving past the bears and onto the top platforms.

I suggest breaking down each jump if you’re having difficulty coordinating flawless swift bounces by each separate solid rock. Take your time to grok the pattern of the appearing and disappearing spouts, bomb your turtle if you need that additional platform stability, and do your best to get to the safe rock.

This is highly ping-dependent at present, so I will not stoop to being condescending. Your system and connection will either handle it a lot better than mine if you live nearer the servers, or you may have a similar or worse experience than me and be absolutely helpless to do anything about it. We’re all eagerly waiting for that fix in the hopes it will clear up the problems.

I ended up quite badly defeated by the penultimate jump with three geysers.

Two possible strategies if you want to try them. With good ping or a sight unseen count-off from the rock to compensate, wait for the part of the pattern where all three geysers appear at once and do a continuous swift hop from spout to spout to spout to rock. Dulfy managed this. I consistently couldn’t.

If you live around South East Asia and have similar ping to ArenaNet’s servers (200-300ms), you can also attempt this method. Wait for the three geysers to appear. Hop onto the first geysers. Do not jump yet. Wait for the second geyser to vanish. Begin counting once it vanishes. “1, 2, jump!” Jump on the word jump. If your timing and ping coincides, you’ll faith leap right onto the second as it appears.

Stay there. The third geyser should vanish in the next split second. Count off again. “1, 2, jump!” and faith leap onto the third. Hop from there to rock.

I got close three times with this strategy. From the last geyser, my advice is to hurl yourself to the right. I had to blindly leap into the waterfall and if you just go straight ahead, you’ll risk banging against rock and still being in water sweeping range.

There is no advice I can give for the random syncing errors with moving water that you may encounter, besides wait for a fix. Share in our misery in the meantime.

In total, I started with 25 lives and 290 baubles at that checkpoint. I started video recording at life 12 when I managed to analyze where my problem area was. I was down to life 3 and 184 baubles (just from bombing turtles) when I finally managed to luck across the waterfall.

The two attempts in real-time that you might like to watch for the methodical step-by-step and count-off strategy are here:

If you feel like watching my six attempts at trying to do the jump in one continous motion Dulfy-style and getting screwed up by lag, have at it. It’s highly tedious, even at doubled speed.

Add on seven more attempts that were screwed up due to operator error (to err is human, after all, and I am far from a pro jumper) if you have the stomach for repetitive content.

Now double the time you just spent watching the videos to get a little closer to what it felt like experiencing it in person.

I really hope that fix works.