Some people are calling it filler and bemoaning both the reuse of “old” content and the lack of Living Story but I’m actually rather enjoying the Festival of the Four Winds in Guild Wars 2 and I don’t care who knows it.
Partly it’s because I missed the Bazaar of the Four Winds last year (along with all of Season 1 of the Living Story until the attack on Lion’s Arch this year) but largely it’s because it’s damn good fun! The Boss Blitz is a blast and the Labyrinthine Cliffs are seriously beautiful. The rewards are pretty nice, I’m enjoying the expanding stories of the main characters and there seems to be some rather nice teasers dotted around that I hope will lead to something down the line. All in all, apart from the grind of getting the reward tokens (and that wasn’t really all that bad, trust me), I’ve had a fun time. Let me break down my thoughts a little…
Boss Blitz: Wowsers this was fun! True it’s a circle-zerg but I quite like zerg content. And this was clever zerg-content in that that whilst a zerg could do it, it could be done faster (and for greater reward) by a small number of co-ordinated groups. To be honest, were I a more structured player I may have found this very aspect annoying as the public nature of the event meant that even with a coordinated group zergs could drop in and blow all the good work by scaling up the bosses, but I’m not so I liked it. I got bronze most times (i.e. zerging it) and a couple of silvers when I ran with people desperately trying to organise a coordinated effort (all of which were fekked up by zergs). The worst part was map chat which became a furious rant-fest so I turned it off.
Gauntlet Matches: I only had a brief goo at these and they were fun. In the end, duels are just not my bag so I had little interest in them. Still they looked and played beautifully (love the opening floor idea!)
Charged Crystals and Baby Doylak Racing: Both were great fun. I love the cliffs and the idea of the aspect crystals and I made as many tokens here as I did in the blitz, just with a lot less map-chat rage and carpal tunnel than with the blitz.
Crystal hunting and other cliff events: Jumping puzzles tend to annoy me and PvP stuff just isn’t for me so I never tried those. Sorry Anet, I’m sure they were great though 🙂
Divinity’s Reach and the Labyrinthine Cliffs: I really miss the Great Collapse in DR. Sure the Queen’s Pavillion is amazing (and it really is!) but I can’t help thinking that the Collapse was such a wonderful well of story ideas that was erased in favour of an arena, albeit a very beautiful one. The Zepherytes’ cliff-side home is just beautiful! What an amazing build! I would love Anet to make it even bigger so I can spend more time exploring – and using aspects to get around is a joy, what a shame I can’t smuggle those powers out into the rest of Tyria 😉
Living Story: I know there’s not much as it’s not a LS release, but the summary of Season 1 for the Chinese & returning players is really nice. I know there have been criticism of the charactisation and writing of the heroes known as “Edge of Destiny 2.0”, but I’m really enjoying their exchanges. Tiami is funny as hell, it’s nice to see a couple in love with Kasmeer & Majorie and I think the Braham & Rox team is a really interesting friendship to watch develop. Hopefully they’ll avoid making the Norn too dumb as I’d find it harder to identify with a dunce then I do with a simple man of action. Ultimately though this don’t give any more clues as to what will come in Season 2 and I don’t mind that. Time and place, I say, time and place..
Other story type stuff: Now, beyond the summary of LS season 1 I think Anet have been clever about sprinkling a few tidbits around that could (hopefully will) lead to more storylines that could be (hopefully will be) unrelated to LS Season 2. Taimi is talking about the Zephryites getting ready for a long journey – but where to, when & why? What about the Jade Fish Statue? Does that link to the Jade Sea and therefore Cantha? And then what about the paranoid guy Carden? He’s forever trying to desperately sell something shady but when the Zephyrites see whatever it is they won’t deal with him anymore because of what it is and who he got it from – what is it and who did Carden take it from? I’m sure there are more hooks I’ve missed but these stand out as potentially really interesting adventure leads that, were this an open world or paper-based RPG, I’d be following instead of the road leading to the jungle dragon.
So there you have it. I’m really enjoying the Festival of the Four Winds and I don’t care who knows it 🙂
p.s. Kookoochoo is amazing! See him now!