In a land of Dragons and Magic and whatever a Karka is, the enemies a player may face in Guild Wars 2 should not be taken lightly. In my previous articles I have given players some tips and knowledgeable tools to get their bearings after joining, or rejoining, the land of Tyria. In todays jaunt back into the ever-changing world, we’ll be talking about World Bosses and Meta Events, including what they are, and why you as a new or returning player should care.
Many years ago, when Guild Wars 2 was still in development, they wowed scores of interested players when they showed a video of an enormous dragon that players had to band together to defeat. In every zone in Guild Wars 2 lurks a powerful World Boss or Meta Event that requires cooperation from surrounding heroes lest their evil be left unchecked. The premise is epic, but after several years of these bosses, and only a few reworks along the way to balance the enemies, or make bosses more accessible, the World Boss and Meta Events are largely trivial.
“Hark, I missed the battle of the Mighty Shatterer!”
“Worry not Mighty Warrior, he returns nary but a couple hours from now.”
Therein lies the first tidbit of information that players new and old may want to get acquainted with. Boss and Event Timers. Back when the game was new and fresh, nailing down exactly when somebody could expect one of these dangerous beasts to return would be met with shrugs and head shakes. Today, we’ve learned that Dragons and Monsters are creatures of habit, and you can easily find out when they will return by bookmarking and frequenting one of the several Boss and Event Timer sites that have been created to track them.
Nice Big Chests, Rewards Chests
Don’t let my seemingly casual ribbing of these events dissuade you dear reader, World Bosses and World Events are extremely fun and exceptionally rewarding. The triviality of these systems is primarily a functional necessity of MMOs as a whole, but World Bosses and Meta Events, even after all of these years, has found its own die hard following, in a sort of quasi-mini-game where groups get together and bounce from one event to the next for massive rewards, and pseudo-comradery. In fact, this kind of gameplay has become so popular that ArenaNet has recently added the World Boss Portal Device, and for just a few hundred gems, you too can port yourself directly to world bosses, shirking the need to ever visit any of the 3rd party sites previously mentioned, at least for the legacy game.
Rewards for Monster and Meta hunting range from increased chances for rare drops, such as ascended gear boxes, to integral crafting items, such as an abundance of Karka shells from defeating the Karka Queen. You also earn a plethora of other gear items, collection items, and experience which is necessary to increase your masteries. Simply put, you can kill dozens of birds with one all encompassing stone known as Meta Events, and that doesn’t even delve into the fact that each boss has their own set of achievements to clear for the overarching achievement rewards. The only other item left to cover is, what bosses should new players prioritize and why?
The answer will simply be determined by a couple factors. Do you have the expansions, and can you realistically complete these events? The Heart of Thorns Meta Events are some of the most played, and notably well-done of all of the events in the game. While I’m a vocal critic of a lot of the design decision in Heart of Thorns, I have to give ArenaNet credit where they are due. Verdant Brink and Auric Basin are two of the busiest Meta events, and they both require a lot of coordination among the entire zone. Dragon Stand effectively is built around its Meta Event, culminating in a final battle that still feels epic every time I play it. Each of these events, even the meta events in zones like the SilverWastes, are not ideal events for players to cut their teeth on, but rather, these are exceptional end game events that players can reservedly join after they’ve learned some of the legacy battles.
Thar Be Dragons Ahead
A new player can easily show up and participate in the simple, less rewarding events such as the Shadow Behemoth, which will teach players the rudimentary phases of boss battles. Moving up to the Claw of Jormag at level 80 teaches players the use of environmental items, in this case, the launchers that weaken the frozen walls protecting Jormag. The Karka Queen in Southsun Cove is nigh the toughest of the legacy events in terms of difficulty, which is why it’s a fantastic learning experience. The main teaching moment is utilizing the eggs to remove the defiance bar, which is fundamental to beating several of the toughest Meta Events. Lastly, no legacy event list would be complete without Tequatl the Sunless. This event still tops one of the most played events in game, and often requires you to get into the zone early so you get a spot with good zone-mates. This event still routinely fails, as the phases require strong coordination to ensure the mega-laser doesn’t get destroyed.
Once new players have handled each of these and understand the mechanics of how they work, they can quickly move on to some of the more challenging and more fun events, such as the Octovine in Auric Basin. Most events in Heart of Thorns and some in the legacy game do have prerequisites before they begin. For example, the Fire Elemental in Metrica Province is directly preceded by two events, escorting and protecting the C.L.E.A.N 5000 golem. It’s important to take note of the prior events so you know when to expect the events to start, and also, in case the event requires your assistance.
Lastly, many of the best rewards are only handed out once daily. That includes Tequatl and Karka Queen, so unless you just enjoy it for the experience and practice, there are a lot of other things you can do once you’ve obtained your daily reward. I hope this gave players an overview of what to expect from Bosses and Meta-Events. On my next column I’ll be tackling those old, dirty dungeons, and why players might actually want to run them!