The Last Stand at Southsun is now available in Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet cooked up this little event to expand on the Secrets of Southsun, which brought players back the deadly island of Southsun Cove. It’s always interesting to see how each Stage in the Living story is executed. Each addition to the game since launch has been done by several different development teams. I’m starting to see patterns, and each team seems to have a certain style with how to present content to the players. It’s kind of neat really. This makes each addition unique, and changes up how players will tackle the new challenges.
But let’s not forget how each team inspires each other. The Living Story team ended The Flame and Frost arch with an awesome dungeon. It would make sense for the Secrets of Southsun to end in a similar fashion, but how can you switch it up? Why not just focus on a singular boss battle?
The Last Stand is pretty much that. Sure we have new dynamic events, but I’m really interested in this new mini-dungeon. Think of it as a story-instance that is best tackled with five players. Now normally you would have to fight through waves of enemies, and defeat several mini-bosses just to face the final boss. But this has players just running straight toward the final fight.
The fight has players facing off against Canach’s golem, and golems are (as everyone knows) awesome. But enough about that, what really makes the fight so unique is that it focuses on control. At first, you can slice and smash at the golem all you want, but once the force field goes up, you have to switch your strategy. Mines are all over the place, and you are given a special gun that can take control of the mines. Now once you control a mine, you and your team must kite the golem over to it. When it hits the mine the explosion will knock out the shields, giving you a small window of opportunity to deal some more damage before the force field goes back up. And watch out, once that golem gets mad enraged energies will float around shocking anyone who gets too close.
This fight can be a long one, or it can be a short one. It really all depends on how well your team controls where the golem moves. The faster you knock out the shields, the sooner you can start bringing the pain! Wait, do golems feel pain?
Believe it or not, I went through several failed PUGs. I can’t just share my awesome digital presence with my guild alone, I need to spread the wealth! Now I usually have good luck with pugs. People know the fights, and if they don’t they pick up pretty quick. But this thing has been tearing players apart. I see many that have no clue what’s going on, running around wondering why ArenaNet would send them to defeat an indestructible golem. Now I’m not picking on anyone, or calling people noobs. Remember, that never helps a person play better. Instead, here is some advice: always read your chat window. The game does give some info on what to do, and if it doesn’t a fellow player will.
I know when you have enraged energies and golems chasing you, it’s hard to focus on the fight and read your chat log at the same time. Fights can get intense. It’s not the player’s fault really. There should be a tutorial to tell you what to do! You’re in luck, because there is.
If you’re having trouble understanding what’s happening in the instance, take a breather and try the single player version instead. That way the pressures of other folks are off your shoulders letting you learn at your own pace. Now keep in mind this fight is different, but shares some of the same design. Instead of fighting a golem, you face off against Canach himself! You can still use the gun to take control of the mines. In fact, you must use the gun to take control of mines! Canach takes no damage from your attacks. The mines are the only thing that can hurt him. Always keep a close eye on the chat window. It will update you with what Canach is going to do next. Is he trying to retake control of the mines, or is he going to set them all off? The chat log knows all! Once you can handle the single player experience you are ready for the 5-player version.
I really like this approach for the Last Stand at Southsun. I love a good dungeon. Name a player who doesn’t! I know it’s not really a dungeon, but more of a challenge that just happens to be in an instance. It’s just nice to see a new take on an old idea. That’s what Guild Wars 2 is all about. I am wondering if the game should have players go through the single player fight before trying the more difficult 5-player version. It’s nice that there is kind of a tutorial, but it’s easy for players to just walk right past it.
David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com. David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them! If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.