Twilight Assault. There's a post up at GamingSF that so neatly sums up my own feelings I could almost just link to it and leave it at that. Almost.
There's a purely delicious irony in the idea that anyone could take a step back from Tequatl and say to themselves "Y'know what? This isn't happening. Let's go to Orr. We can kick back and have some fun!". Remember Orr? It's way down in the deep south and a lot of players were just discovering it for the first time around about a year ago. For many it turned out to be the place where they decided they'd seen about as much of Tyria as they cared to and suddenly found they had better things to do.
Orr has seen several rubs of the polishing cloth since then, all to its benefit, but it's still not what you might call a holiday resort. It's no Southsun, that's for sure. Okay, bad example, but the point is this; just how stressful must what you were doing have been if Orr feels relaxing in comparison?
I got into a short, good-natured spat in Map chat after my fourth (or was it fifth) failed Tequatl in a row last night. The plan was to stay up until reset, when I thought there was a reasonable chance we might down him. I'd asked during each previous fight whether anyone knew of any plans for a concerted attempt at reset. No-one did although like me several people were hopeful.
Because I play on a US server, reset currently comes at one o'clock in the morning. Tequatl decided to make his final appearance of the day just before then. We had our best run of the evening, taking him to somewhere around 80%. It was the only time we even got the megalasers up, although they didn't hang around long enough to charge.
At this point someone else asked about the next attempt after reset and got the reply that Yak's Bend hadn't managed to kill Tequatl all weekend. I took that to be my cue to leave, figuring I'd be far better off in bed asleep than waiting up for another attempt that would almost certainly fail.
Before I had time to log out a discussion started in Map about whether the Tequatl fight was "hard" or not, during which I felt honor-bound to observe that any event that failed almost every time must, by definition, be "hard" or else the term "hard" risked losing all contextual value. It wasn't a popular observation, or at least not with the self-identifying "Gamers" among the crowd.
The Tequatl Rising event has had quite an impact in a number of ways, the most pernicious being a hardening of the already-noticeable polarization of the playerbase into opposing camps roughly approximating the old "hardcore" vs "casual" dichotomy. Considering GW2's firmly-established place in the gaming canon as the casual MMO par excellence, any argument between its players over who's "harder" might seem about as cute as a fight between a kitten and a bunny rabbit, but as anyone who's spent much time around either of those cuddly creatures knows, when the claws come out someone could lose an eye. And anyway, as usual, the argument is really one of semantics.
The Tequatl fight is not "hard" in the sense that Gamers understand the term. The mechanics are simple to understand and easy to execute. In a larger sense, however, it's very hard indeed, requiring firstly the guaranteed presence of more players than are ever likely, naturally, to be present on the map at the time it takes place and secondly the means to organize them effectively should they, by some immense effort of will, be persuaded to come.
The much-discussed tactics that have been used to greater or lesser extent to gather and direct a sufficient critical mass of players so that this evolved dragon can reliably be put in his place are clearly unsustainable over anything other than the short term by any less than the most determined, organized, dare I say obsessive players. That's fine. Those people are there; they are as entitled to content that suits them as anyone else who's not paying the non-existent sub.
For the rest of us, the non-obsessives, we gave it a shot, it didn't pan out, the carnival moves on. Unfortunately, it moves on to what will in all probability be another divisive two weeks, the third Living Story segment in a row to offer at its center a single-location, self-consciously "difficult" set-piece event complete with those all-important bragging rights.
Ah yes, bragging rights. ANet have a variety of markers for those; Achievements, Titles, Mini-Pets, Armor and Weapons and Backslot Items. The trouble with Achievements is that other players have to make an active choice to look at yours. And Titles aren't so hot either, because other players can switch yours off. Minis are alright but you have to remember to keep summoning them. No, things you wear or wield are better and backpacks are the best of all. Always there, right in the faces of the little people running along behind you, so very hard to ignore.
The official announcement hammers the point home with all the subtlety of a Norn challenging a Charr to a game of Belcher's Bluff. "Show off your prowess with the new Slickpack back item. It glows, it
gleams, and it lets the whole world know that you bested the dangers of
Twilight Assault!" The small portion of GW2 players who give a damn, maybe. The whole world? I think not.
As for me, I'll pass on Orr as a post-Tequatl chill-out zone and I may well pass on the new dungeon path too (and come to think of it, isn't a single new path and a few bonus chests for WvW a tad light for a Living Story update?). No, I think I might just toddle off to somewhere a little more light-hearted, just for a while. Now if only I could think of somewhere to go...
There's More To Life Than Watching RMT
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