Thursday, May 09, 2013

Guild Wars 2: The road to a legendary (or two)

I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 for a while now and talking to several guilds about their gaming experience. Aside from the stunningly visual nature of the game and the interesting stories that can be sussed out of NPCs, ambient conversation, or just from general exploration there’s also a great deal of gamification. I mention the stories because many of my guildmates come from Guild Wars and they sometimes to back because of the story.

I would love to delve further into that to see how people from GW tend to view and interact with GW2, especially those who took their guilds out of GW into GW2 and now interact and run the game with members who only know GW2.

One of the things that GW2 does to keep people playing and focus on not just story but also the gamification is the construction of legendary weapons—a truly hardcore experience.

As a result, I’m going to try to get one (or two.)

Part 1: The Gift of Battle

Guild Wars 2 has two particularly annoying elements to it that I strongly dislike: open PvP and jumping puzzle. These two elements are tired directly together with an important component of crafting a legendary called “The Gift of Battle.” This gift requires 500 Badges of Honor—earned only from a jumping puzzle in the open PvP area (aka World vs. World vs. World, or WvWvW, or WvW) or from killing people there. Of course, the drop rate of badges from kills is absurdly low, and it’s possible to receive no badges from a kill.

It will require 500 badges for me to make a Gift of Battle for one legendary weapon.

Now, since WvW fighting can be extremely slow for earning badges and I have no time to do this, I find myself needing to bow my head and do the jumping puzzles through which I can earn 3-6 badges for each run. A run can last between 10-30 minutes each.

The normal solution to this is that people run it with all of their alts, daily, gaining 3-6 badges per alt per day. I have about eight alts (could be nine if I felt like it) but I don’t know that I want to suffer through this nine times a day.

There’s also another, more treacherous, jumping puzzle in the middle of the WvW instances (called the Eternal Battlegrounds) that gives on average 15 badges a day per account.

This is going to be a very slow, frustrating process that will involve something that I don’t like about this game. So far, it has caused me to seriously hate jumping puzzles; and worse, trying to get badges has taken all the joy I had about WvW out of the process entirely.

I already have 100 badges from this week alone.

I’ll update everyone as this continues to unfold.