Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

GW2: Catching Up with Tangled Paths

 

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Spoilers Ahead – Though Most Folks Have Probably Already Finished This

After yesterday’s post about GW2, Syn and I decided to pick up where we left off on the Living World storyline last year. This was the early November release of Tangled Paths, which I was already forewarned was short and a fairly frustrating ride. Both proved to be true, and it seemed like a rather paltry addition to the storyline.

Story

Actually, the story only did two things. It established that Caithe can be a creepy stalker and unreliable thief… though I’m not falling for the “she’s a Sylvari, which means we can’t trust her” thing. I’m sure there’s something more there, but they want to plant the seed (pun not intended) of mistrust there.

Then they quickly offed Mr. Master of Peace, who turned out to be just a plot link to introduce the idea that one of Glint’s eggs still exists. Now that the egg has become the most important thing, he’s not really needed anymore, so may as well do away with him to tie up the Zephyrite section of the story. More important things are coming than the misplacement of an entire group of peaceful peoples and the death of their leader and Aspect master. Ah well.

I was actually disappointed when I saw Destiny’s Edge trying to gather back together at the beginning of the scenario… and my character says “Nope! I can’t join you! I got to go off with my pals for this dragon egg!” Man. I’ve been hoping to see Destiny’s Edge back together all this time, and now that they are moving that direction, my character is dissing them for Destiny’s Edge Version 2.0. Bleh.

Gameplay

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No. Go away. No one likes you!

Can I say that I really have come to hate all the Mordrem-type creatures? Give me Risen anyday. At least ALL of them didn’t either yank you around, speed-dive into you, lock you to the ground, bleed you out with these little vines you can hardly see or avoid, and spit pools of poison all over the place.

I guess the idea is to create more challenging and tactical gameplay. But does every little trash mob have to be an annoying fight? Forget trying to melee most of this stuff. Yes, I’m casual and rusty at playing my warrior, but these mechanics don’t make for fun fights for me.

Don’t even start on the whole labyrinth thing… we almost thought it was bugged at the end until we looked up a map to realize we weren’t approaching the center of the maze from the right direction. A maze filled with Mordrem? To annoyingly prolong a tiny sliver of story content? Really guys?

Boss Fight Frustrations

Then come the bosses, which up the frustration level by 200%. We faced two of them during this story, and spent more time trying to raise ourselves from a downed position than actually fighting the boss. If it wasn’t for the NPCs fighting with you (who seem mysteriously immortal lately), we wouldn’t have gotten through these battles.

Yes, there’s a pattern to learn to down the bosses. No, I’m not against learning patterns and finding tactics to down fights. But this has proven, time and again, to be the most annoying thing of the new LW story has introduced this season. An annoying boss fight, often more than one, shoved in your face and gating the story progression.

Syn stated last night that it feels like GW2 is trying to do a poor imitation of FFXIV boss and primal battles. The reason it works for FFXIV is that the battle speed is slower, giving you more time to react to things. GW2’s action battle makes things a hectic mess of red circles, annoying vines yanking you all over the place, and aoe vines bleeding you that you can’t seem to dodge out of. No matter the build, players can only dodge so many times in GW2… and everything seems like it requires break-neck responses to prevent being trampled and torn apart.

Overall

The only up side to this is that I’m continuing to gather pieces of the neat carapace armor as the story progresses. Also, the one Black Lion key I earned from finishing the story netted me a Tome of Knowledge for my mesmer.

I still plan on playing the rest of the LW story, especially since comments and feedback says that it gets better. I am interested in the concept of the Glint egg and possibly having a good dragon on our side. But this installment was undoubtedly my least favorite episode of the story so far.