Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yet Another War In Kryta Rant

Yeah, I've been playing GW1 lately.  GW2 just doesn't feel the way I wanted it to.  It should have been a Guild Wars MMO, but it ended up being an MMO in the Guild Wars universe.  Crafting professions were unnecessary, and the auto-debuff system basically means you'll never actually feel like your character has gained any strength at all.


So I finally decided to take another shot at doing the very last part of the second-to-last War in Kryta quest, Mustering A Response, where you escort Livia, Zinn, Blimm, and a bunch of Ascalonian settlers from the Ascalonian settlement to Lion's Arch.  Being a War in Kryta quest, it throws ridiculous numbers of overpowered enemies at you and calls it challenge.  All you can really do is run.  If you stop to fight, you're dead.  In fact, even the wiki article for the quest recommends flagging a sacrificial hero or two behind the party to divert the horde's attention ever so briefly.

After failing it because Blimm died when I was almost there, I got an idea.  All we're doing is running, right?  Let's go with that.  Warriors have an elite skill called "Charge!" that makes all allies within earshot move 33% faster for a while.  It lasts around half its recharge time, but I have a party of six available, all of whom could be configured to have "Charge!" on their skill bar with enough attribute points in Tactics to matter.

Entered the quest with a party of six, all with 12 Tactics and only "Charge!" on their bar.

Blimm died when I was almost there.  Ugh.

A second try would be much more successful, and I was finally, after all these years, able to move on to the final quest in the most horribly designed quest line ever: The Battle For Lion's Arch.

On the tin it looks like a standard "defend the area from waves of enemies" quest.  Which is exactly what it is.  Except for one thing: it's a War in Kryta quest.  Which means every wave is 20-30 enemies.  As it goes further, more and more of the Mursaat's Jade constructs get mixed in, with their frustratingly high armor levels.

I lost count of how many attempts I made.  The furthest I ever got was the wave just after the one with Oizys the Miserable.  When Zinn activates the Spectral Infusion buff way too fucking late to be of any use whatsoever because all the NPCs it's supposed to protect are dead by this point, and the enemies rushing the town are so far out of the remaining NPCs' league that they don't last very long anyway.

I've ranted about War in Kryta before, so I'll summarize what I've previously said:

Up until this point, two enemies with the same name had the same build, guaranteed.  Not so here.  The primary profession is usually the same, but the secondary can and will differ, and the skills they bring will of course vary.

Up until this point, if enemies carried resurrection skills at all, they were rarely used or semi-easy to deal with.  Sole exception going to post-skill-rework "We Shall Return!" in Nightfall.  They never did rebalance Awakened Cavaliers after making that change.  Even then, you can deal with their newfound spammable insta-res, because you're riding giant undead wurms that can siege the fuck out of them.  The War in Kryta pretty much requires your party to contain a Ranger with Frozen Soil to prevent the enemies from using their resurrect skills.

So, what have we learned from this?
  1. First, whoever designed the difficulty brick wall for the War in Kryta content needs to be shot.  Repeatedly.  Until they die.  I would say this to that person's face.
  2. Second, the Winds of Change content in Factions is probably much of the same.  Probably even the same person in charge.  I haven't yet started it because of the foul smell, taste, and experience of War in Kryta.  Plus I hate Factions PvE anyway.  It was thrown in as an afterthought.
  3. Third, this whole quest line showcases horrible design decision after horrible design decision.  It's not just a little bit different, it's completely different from the entire rest of Guild Wars 1.
  4. Fourth, I don't know if this is ArenaNet's definition of "fun and challenging", but I assure you it's neither.  It's tedious and frustrating.
Now, let's try to be constructive.  How would I take this War in Kryta mess and produce a balanced quest line out of it?
  1. Make sure that entry into the content was willing on the part of the player, and provide a means to pause or disable it without having to complete it, while remembering where the player was if they decide to pick it back up.
  2. Tone down the enemy group size.  It reeks of Factions PvE.
  3. All enemies with the same name would have the same exact build.
  4. No more than two enemies with a resurrect skill per group.
  5. Tone down the armor on the Jade constructs.  It takes several minutes to kill one of them, and you get four or five thrown at you at once...
  6. Longer pauses between waves.  Give the player a bit longer to recover, and maybe actually let them go pick up some of the items that dropped.
  7. Allow the player to put together an 8-person party for the entire quest line, regardless of where they start from, since all War in Kryta content appears to be designed for parties of at least 8 players, which is a bit of a punch in the babymaker since the maximum party size for anywhere other than elite missions is 8.
  8. When taking henchmen into War in Kryta, automatically buff them up to level 20 with appropriate armor and skills.
  9. Have the auto-resurrection timer be shorter than 10 seconds on The Battle For Lion's Arch when the player has been pushed back to Lion's Arch Keep itself and is resurrecting while still under fire from the spells that killed them in the first place.
  10. Make the NPCs who are defending Lion's Arch with you actually have decent armor and skill sets.
  11. Do the auto-res thing for all the defending NPCs, not just only certain named ones.
  12. A mission effect similar to the bounties received from people at res shrines in Eye of the North, so that death penalty can be gotten rid of without using consumables.  Basically, a bonus every 25 kills.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments because when Blogger originally implemented a spam filter it wouldn't work without comment moderation enabled. So if your comment doesn't show up right away, that would be why.