Saturday, October 27, 2012

GW2- ACT2- Shadow of The Mad King

Yesterday Act 2: Shadow of The Mad King released. This act released at more of a decent hour for NA, I was surprised and jumped in about an hour after it had released. A friend of mine started playing recently and sent me a text about the event. I wanted to see how things were going to ramp up. *Spoilers below*

This act offers a new scavenger hunt, to my dismay it seems to go up in levels, where you will need to travel. I was able to finish the first part with a character in the 20's, but only because I followed higher levels in, I am sure it is possible with the second act, but I predict many deaths in trying to do so. The first part was mighty hard at level 22, many traps on the last part (ACT1) killed me instantly, I had to make many tries, eventually I completed it. The first reward is a book that straps onto your back (pictured below), very cool and the appearance goes for any class, I love it on a caster class, which was why I did it on a lower level. The second book looks the same but instead of having a faint green glow it has orange flames coming from it.

Other events include PvP objectives. These are holiday PvP events with holiday related objectives on special maps. I participated in a few, they were fun. This was my first time really doing much with PvP, your abilities change within this realm, the scenery was lovely and it had a real holiday feel. If you're a fan of PvP then you'll probably enjoy these special maps.

There is also a jumping map, you can access these areas by finding a door outside any major city. I ran outside of the human starting area and found one very quickly. Once in you can access where you want to go by speaking to the NPC inside or by stepping on the teleport pad to travel into the labyrinth.

I have not yet tried the Mad King's Clock Tower, which is the jumping puzzle. I hear it is tough, timed, and have heard a lot of complaints about it this far. If you want to look at it before trying it out- this is a good video. I plan on trying it today, I hear there is a limit to how many times you can do it (per hour/day), so keep that in mind. It looks fun and is neat for those who really love the jumping puzzles. For those that have bad coordination, yes, this just might be your worst nightmare. *breaks out the ol' wrist brace*

My favorite part of this event was the labyrinth. You will want to stick with the group(s) of people while in here but it is fun. I enjoyed getting caught up in the event running around with the pack. It is a nice feeling in an MMO to be surrounded by people working together, all on our own accord, at the same time. There are pumpkins to carve, candy corn to mine, treat bags to be looted, and bosses to kill. Tons of mobs all over too, glow in the dark skeletons, mummies, all kinds of creepy critters. Decent loot while you're in here. I hear there are diminishing returns (anti farming loot mechanic A-Net added into the game), I didn't have the problem at 25, my bags were too full... everytime I turned around, so it may be [mostly] higher levels that run into this problem.

In the labyrinth you can get exotic mad king gear. My bud got an item at level 6, so it seems anyone can get it.  The instance scales you up to level 80 upon entering, so all levels can participate. I was a bit dismayed that this mad king armor does not have a special holiday skin, it has a recycled skin from 70-80 exotics. Not a huge deal, I suppose you can always dye your armor black and orange like I did ;) Give yourself your own holiday makeover!

Other than that, there are random events popping up, besides the doors there are more quests to kill baddies, escort NPCs and so on. I headed to the human starting area and found many of these going on. Once again very fun, very festive. I had a lot of fun getting caught up in the fun, with all the people participating. It has an epic feel, all of these activities. I think it really made it feel special because everyone worked together for the event, these events had a very large scale feel to them, you don't feel alone yet you don't feel forced to group either. Very good balance.

If you're looking for more special holiday rewards, this really isn't the event for it, IMO. It focuses mostly on experiencing the events and gambling if you want halloween skins (cash shop). That doesn't mean you still can't enjoy this event. It is gorgeous and fun. Not a huge incentive for some but once you get caught up with the event it really starts to be enjoyable. Was it my most memorable MMO holiday event? Not quite, it was decent. I wanted to make sure I did give it a fair chance and try it out. It is definitely one of the most scenic, gorgeous, events I've seen in any MMO. The art team really outdid themselves.

It isn't over yet though! Act 3 Starts tomorrow, from what I hear- if you want to see it then make sure to get the times right! I'm not sure if it is an opening for the act or the whole deal that is one time. I'm not big on things like this, I think this excludes players even if that isn't your intent. Not a good thing, not good business. Sure, it's just a game, you don't have to be there, but if you play I'm sure you want to be there. If you can't, then I guess it's tough luck and a huge damper to something you may have been looking forward to. There won't be any second chances, as of now. You can find the time, on the official site, here.

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