Yes, the recent update for Guild Wars to has restructured many of the larger scale encounters to provide a greater difficulty to the hordes of players that descend on them. Blackgate got the kill first, and as far as I know, only kill so far. There is a youtube video of the event for you to see how it’s done or if you’re part of over 90% of the playerbase that won’t be seeing the event completed in the near future. Whatever it is its ridiculously stupid and rather bad design for an open world boss in my opinion as they have have updated it with a lot of mechanics and features that really don’t hold up that well when placed in the open world.
- Broken scaling.. Check
The events in GW2 have never seemed to scale as well as was claimed, the state of the dragons and how they could be killed in under a minute was proof of that but now we are kind of in the opposite position, this event doesn’t scale down apporpriately which will really harm players enjoyment of it as it isn’t a flexible encounter around the amount of players in the area. This should be a challenging encounter whether you have a group of 20 or 80.
- Require overwhelming numbers… Check
Kind of a result of the scaling issue in many ways but serves the purpose of a) that less popular servers or timezones with less active players will be blocked from enjoying this new content; and b) that once the dust settles and the amount of players wanting to try this new encounter decrease then it just won’t be completable most of the time. It’s also extremely nice lagging to hell during these big fights… makes them so much more enjoyable.
- Ball tactics ftw… check
A uniquely GW2 tactic in many ways that really defies logic. It is the optimal way for spreading damage out and spreading boons and healing. It is a very popular tactic in WvW for many reasons but really lacks that tactical movement you might expect from a encounter likened to a raid. well I guess spamming skills and standing still is easy enough for people to understand
- Severe Raid wipe mechanics… Check
To me the raid wipe mechanic just seemed a little artificial.. “oh, you failed that dps check.. now you die”. That mechanic is determined by a few factors which makes it harder to organise and prepare for at times, I would be ok with the mechanic if it was more determined by player action.. get in the bubble, interrupt this skill, stop adds from reaching the boss but this seems to punishing. Because the event is so tightly controlled within a set time frame a raid wipe pretty much means the event will fail… at least give players one chance to recover.
- Difficulty = more heath and aoe damage… Check
The tried and True Tactic of GW2. Lets not give the boss more mechanics or skills based on player numbers just make the health exorbitant… that’s not difficult, that’s just making it tedious.
- Needed set gear and food buffs in a game about diversity… Check
Soldiers gear and Undead buffing has almost become a requirement for fighting the dragon now. If your helping with adds on turrets and such you can still get away with whatever you want but because the Tequatl can’t be crit, and because of the condition cap it’s optimal to just stack power and then go for survivability. I guess healing power would still be an excellent stat. In a game focused (less so now with ascended gear) build diversity, restricting it for open world encounters just seems like bad planning
- Requiring mechanics for organising large groups that Guild Wars 2 doesn’t even support… Check
The event requires large groups of players to be mostly coordinated throughout the fight. there are multiple stages, multiple points of interest that need defending, and many other mechanics to avoid or utilise. Teamspeak is almost a requirement for beating it because there are no in game methods for coordinating this amount of people effectively. The commander tag is kind of useful but, it isn’t able to direct effectively. without Teamspeak you really can’t organise where people should be at each moment, where to attack, when to buff, when to cleanse, when to heal and many other vital parts to the fight. This is where the lack of raid groups, or even guild only commander tags becomes painfully obvious.
- Poor reward structure… Check
Would we really expect anything better, don’t want people getting of that treadmill anytime in the future. From what I saw it rewarded at pretty much the same level as it did before yet it takes a lot more players, a lot more coordination, and takes much much longer. As much as Arenanet wouldn’t want to acknowledge it they have conditioned there players now to expect extrinsic rewards, from the updates, events and living story stuff everything gives out rewards in huge chunks and this has only kept growing. Anything not deemed rewarding enough for the effort just gets forgotten, and if this dragon doesn’t give extra for the extra effort well..
- Prognosis – won’t be played again after the month without some decent changes. I’m pretty sure there are a few other point as well that probably need addressing before but those are the main points.
From what I’ve seen so far Arenanet have always had trouble creating engaging boss type events and with making them challenging, they certainly know how to make something difficult though but that really isn’t the same thing. And here they are, pretty much making many of the same mistakes they have usually done. There must be a content difficulty level between hilariously easy and frustratingly difficult but it’s much more elusive then they thought. I love the combat system in GW2, sure it might need a bit of balancing and maybe a rework of combo effects, new skills and weapons…. but the foundation they have is extremely solid in terms of fun, enjoyment, being active, and even strategy. WvW is a lot of fun just because how the combat system is created but we don’t really see this sort of play transferred over to the PvE side very often which really is a shame.
Requiring specific key skills might actually be a start, a buff strip now and then, protective wall, portals, bubbles.. all that jazz but then there are many classes that don’t have specific skills or utilities that are unique enough to be required. One thing I thought while lookign at that fight was just how much aoe, and damage there was to deal with but not that much that was meaningful until it stacked up. I think the Aoe should be scaled down but have it more meanigful, an aoe attack that can take you down 2/3 of life or mroe for being stuck in it, actually physical attacks fromthe boss that have to be avoided; frontal cleaves.. that wave attack seemed good but all it really did was a little bit of damage and a knock back when it should hurt and players should be trying to dodge and avoid it. It’s funny that these encounters always seem to end up becoming events where you really don’t have to do, learn, or avoid anything.. all you have to do is follow the zerg.
Challenge in a fight is awareness and tactical use of skills, what we have instead is equal parts tedious and frustrating. Back to the drawing board I guess… or maybe instead of spending all this time creating new mechanics and refurbishing old encounters they could leave these alone and create an entirely new one… I’m still waiting to fight Bubbles