Festival content in Guild Wars 2 has always been content that sees a great deal of play, with lots of players returning or upping their hours when some of their favorite content comes rolling in to town. Events like Halloween, with the Mad King’s Labyrinth, or Wintersday and the Winter Wonderland, and of course the Super Adventure Festival, have been huge and iconic parts of the game. In recent years, this content has been put on the backburner in favor of increasing the rate at which content like Living World updates, Expansions and other core game updates can be released, as well as the quality that can be put in. This has meant that now, every year, the content released for the festivals has been recycled from previous years, leaving some veteran players miffed at the lack of new stories or rewards to aim at.
Festivals are popular for their great content, and for an ability to create a very ‘living’ world for the players that adapts to the time of year. Vastly more important for a majority, however, are the rewards. Festivals in any MMO are a time where players can get some unique and even lucrative rewards for their game time, incentivizing you to come back and make the most of time off school or work on your holidays by playing the game. In Guild Wars 2 this holds true, with some of the best rewards and farming potential coming in during holiday seasons. To take the most recent example, the current Super Adventure festival offers players a unique set of skins with different colors, with certain colors being harder and harder to obtain. It also offers unique and popular Guild Hall decorations, unique musical instruments, miniatures, backpacks and even more like glider skins through the gem store. This combination of rewards, coupled with some extremely entertaining gameplay, has made it hugely successful and has given players a reason to log in for the festival.
This year, however, has seen criticism by many veteran players who were unable to obtain anything new from the festival. Although there were new sets of gem store items from the festivities, there was no way to farm the new weapon skins aside from a set number coming from daily completion. Players who had already completed all the worlds and their Tribulation mode counterparts suddenly had no reason to go back inside the box, and with no new world or other new content, many simply have been giving the festival a miss this year. For a new player, though, or someone unable to complete the content last year, the festival remains a huge success! With a lot of discovery, achievements and worlds to do, as well as many rewards to be obtained, it remains a highly successful festival that caters to a very large number of players.
A lack of repeatable content for veterans is definitely a game developers fast track to the complaints section, as many of the game’s most loyal players are also bound to be its most vocal critics, with more invested in the game than some others. Whether or not these complaints would represent a majority however is a different tale. Whether it be the story of The Mad King Thorn or a world in the Super Adventure Festival, there is a huge amount for a new player to get in to, especially during time limited events. Rewards also are very hard to fully earn in a single event, weapons like the King Toad or Storm Wizard skins from the Super festival can take hundreds of hours to earn in the game’s tribulation mode. Even though some players might already have it all and want a new collection to farm, many more will not even be close to this achievement, and will still have goals to work for during the festival.
For me, focusing development on Living World and Expansion release is the best thing that can be done for the game right now. Some veteran players might be up in arms, whether it be on official forums or on the sub reddit, but at the end of the day at least the time is being put towards content that they will be playing and enjoying in the days to come. For others, though, what’s more important? The continuing commitment to Living World and Expansions at the cost of new festival content, or bringing our new content and rewards for festivals even if it means a slower release on a Living World update or Expansion?
On the topic of rewarding content, it’s time to announce our winners from last week’s World versus World giveaway! Our three prizes and their winners are as follows-
Our screenshot that best captured the essence of World versus World, and the winner of 1200 gems, was user Illaina! For a brilliant shot of a can-do attitude, and fitting a boatload of enemies on screen, we thought this was a fantastic snap, not to mention the YOLO Charr at the front.
Our Artist’s Choice, as chosen by the fantastic Vasburg, was this snap from Flurdeh. Vasburg loved the way Flurdeh used his surroundings to create a fantastic shot of his tiny Asuran, and said that the use of surroundings is what gave Flurdeh an edge of the other beautiful shots sent it.
And finally, our grand prize winner, as chosen by the almighty RNG, was Dhanrahl, with his wonderful day and night glamour shots. Dhanrahl will take home a whopping 3600 gems for his fantastic snaps of both the Alpine and Desert borderlands!
Thank you to all that entered, and I hope you enjoyed your foray in to World versus World for us!