It’s no secret I love Guild Wars 2, I mean that’s one of the reasons I regularly contribute to this column after all. It’s definitely right there with my favorite MMOs and I’m not going to stop playing anytime soon. But there’s one aspect of GW2 which is a recurring problem for me and it’s the churn and burn nature of the new zones we get with each living story episode. Often if I don’t get everything I want done in a zone it can be prohibitively difficult to go back and get these things done. Honestly, it’s not just related to the new content either, events in the core Tyria maps can also provide challenges. I’ll illustrate this using the roller beetle collection.
As anyone who regularly watches Talking Skritt probably knows I still do not have my roller beetle. I don’t even have my gryphon yet but that’s a whole other level of a thing. Generally speaking the roller beetle isn’t a difficult mount to get, there’s no huge mat or gold sink involved with it, it’s just literally do the things. Most of the requirements are straight forward and easy to accomplish solo. My not obtaining it is purely a function of how busy I have been since it was released. There are however two requirements which the fact I’m behind the curve made it much more difficult for me.
The first roadblock I ran into was the requirement to do a bounty in Kourna. Now, this seems simple enough since it’s not as if they required a specific bounty or the legendary bounty there, any old bounty in the zone would work. Ostensibly this meant I should be able to ask in map chat and generally find it fairly easy to get a group, right? I’m not sure if I just had terrible timing or what, but every time I asked I had no luck finding anyone who had any interest in a bounty. I even tried to solo one just to see if maybe I could do it… it did not go well. In the end, I was fortunate enough to have some friends who were able to help me with it. So, yay task is done but it was a roadblock for a while which was frustrating because when the zone was new people were doing bounties all the time.
The second issue was getting a kill on the Ley Line Anomaly. This is a special fight because only occurs ever two hours and will always spawn in one of Iron Marches, Gendarran Fields, and Timberline Falls. Additionally, in order to know what zone it will spawn in next, you need to have a Ley-Infused Lodestone to find out. Finding this thing is only the first step, once it spawns there’s a chase in which many players must use CC abilities to get it to stop and eventually be able to damage it. When this was still a new event getting a kill was fairly easy but not so anymore. I’m not sure if people have forgotten how it works or is new to it, but I went through a few tries on this fight before I got my kill.
The thing with the Ley Line Anomaly is its inclusion in this collection is clearly an attempt from ArenaNet to get more people to go back and do old content. This enables newer players to experience this content in a way similar to what it was like when it was new. However, the issue is there’s no reason to do this repeatedly, so people get their collection done and are on their way. There is an achievement to kill the Anomaly in each zone which offers some reason to do it a few times but killing it three times is a really limited number if the goal is to keep things perpetually relevant.
The obvious solution is to add something to these events and activities which makes doing them repeatedly is worthwhile. Figuring out exactly how to do this is the difficult part. There are so many zones and so many events which are wonderful and would really benefit from having more people participate more often. You can’t just offer some sort of uber reward for all of these things though because the community as a whole would just gravitate towards whatever is the easiest. Though coming up with unique rewards for every large-scale thing in the game is also a huge task in itself.
These issues are only getting more pronounced as more and more zones are being added to each story episode. Which isn’t to say I don’t want more zones, they add such a huge influx of new things to do and explore, but the community is getting spread out of more and more maps. I wish I had better solutions to offer, but I mostly just see the problems right now. Is this an issue any of you have run into? If so do you have any ideas about how ArenaNet could fix this issue?