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Thoughts on the Temple of Balthazar event

pve balthazar event

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#1 xxAoPxx


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I have recently played my last class to level 80 and am now in the process of map completion. Having been to Orr with 5 chars before this one gave me sufficient insight to say this event has never been easy, but not seeing it completed once for days in a row was new to me, especially since Gandara really is quite populated. I tried to write down my thoughts on the issue. Input is very welcome.  


Every player who reaches the upper end of the level range and sets foot into Orr knows the Cathedral of Glorious Victory aka the Temple of Balthazar and the chain of map events that is supposed to allow the PACT troops to claim it from Zhaitan’s minions. In theory, it is a very well designed and motivating group experience. In reality, it is synonymous with some of the most severe design flaws that Guild Wars 2 has to contend with, hence this waypoint, skillpoint and Karma merchant being unavailable 95% of the time. In my opinion, the reasons are fairly obvious.

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  • Losing in the early stages is way too easy. The final battle against the Risen Priest of Balthazar is preceded by a lengthy escort mission. During this mission, the PACT troops may not lose their fighting spirit, represented by a morale bar that quickly drops from the initial 100% and can not be brought up again. Fallen PACT members despawn and can not be revived. Naturally, they draw a lot of attention from ambushers and just love AoE.
  • The fight is ridiculously tough. 10 minutes to take down a Legendary type champion, that behaves unpredictable, deals AoE damage of enormous proportions and spawns minions is pretty tough already. Getting people up from a downed state is very challenging since the priest prefers to attack field medics. Getting people up from death is nearly impossible.
  • Whether you’re forcing people to run back from Rally WP, the only waypoint in this half of the map that is not contested 90% of the time, or you’re reviving people in groups hoping to get them up before the medics go down – all that is damage not hitting the boss – or the minions that heal him. Again: 10 minute time limit!
  • People won’t come back. Racing through hostile-infected territory, getting crippled, immobilized etc. hoping to maybe make it back in time just to get butchered again – or see the event fail? Not what people are looking for – let alone repair costs after one death already exceeding the coin reward.
  • People need to know the event, the boss behaviour and the whole group has to coordinate efforts to even have a chance at this. More people increase the chance of mistakes, weakening the effort. Not ideal for a task as huge as this.
  • Last but not least, and I firmly believe this is what many other events suffer from as well – there is little to no incentive to participate. This is a level 75 event, meanng “Gold” reward in case of success is 13,650XP,  356 karma and 1 silver 75 copper plus a chest which, “glorious” or not, usually holds crappy items. [1] Even looking at twice the reward, for both, escort and boss fight, does not make this more appealing, not lastly because the escort is time-consuming as well. In the end, one might be doing several smaller events in the same amount of time. Even getting the skillpoint is easier in a dedicated push from a small group of players than hoping for this event to succeed and take it afterwards.
Why do other similar events work better?
  • Dungeon pre-events are essential since people want to play dungeons.
  • The Straits of Devastation are not an 80 zone. Players will travel through but not necessarily stay around when they’re done – or fed up, since Malchor’s Leap and Frostgorge Sound both cover the same level range while including 80. Therefore, the population to draw from will be lower.
  • Other temple assaults are easier to do or more intuitive, Temple of Grenth aside maybe, or more rewarding even in case of failure. The Temple of Grenth event might not be very intuitive either, but profits from being located in a level 80 zone with a dungeon, which means the zone will often have a large amount of active players around.
It seems at this point that the Temple of Balthazar event will need to be redesigned or at least significantly adjusted if it is not supposed to become permanently ignored. In its current state, the event is plain and simply not attractive and not worth the effort.


Edited by xxAoPxx, 07 January 2013 - 06:30 PM.

#2 Impmon


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

The event I'd say like many others was designed around the time there actually was enough players to complete it.  When I first got to 80 that temple was always cleared because there was always 50+ people in the area.  Now you're lucky to have any waypoint in contention in the entire zone other then those at the entry points.

#3 chrisbdrake


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

I did a Balthazar run just last night at around 2:00 AM on the west coast.  There was easily 30 people making the run.

#4 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

Which event or content on this game is worthy of the waste of time doing it? Hehe. But well, now sometimes rarely you can hope to get a rare, whoah. The event is dead because of Anet smartly adding fractals and design them as a core content. They killed the game with their hands hehe. I truly miss that event with 30+ players struggling to complete it, instapwned. When i saw it completed by 5 players, i was speechless.
And guess, when 5 peeps do it, others comes ( if happens to take a look on the map and in the mood to go there for personal reasons). To use the merch, they didn't help at all lolz.

Edited by Lucas Ashrock, 07 January 2013 - 08:39 PM.

#5 BnJ


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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:08 PM

Ever since FotM was introduced, I've only ever seen that WP uncontested twice on my server.

Maybe it's just my server, maybe I login at the wrong time, but I really don't want to have to transfer servers just so I can use the merchant there.  I think it's time for some adjustments ANet.

#6 LavaSquid


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:26 AM

If only guesting is available, then we can start to rally players from all servers to do the event together.

#7 Wifflebottom


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:31 AM

View PostShroomhead Fred, on 07 January 2013 - 10:08 PM, said:

Ever since FotM was introduced, I've only ever seen that WP uncontested twice on my server.

Maybe it's just my server, maybe I login at the wrong time, but I really don't want to have to transfer servers just so I can use the merchant there.  I think it's time for some adjustments ANet.
Wouldn't surprise me, "Why do anything else when you can run fractals for ascended gear." -Arenanet :P

#8 Sword Hammer Axe

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

They have designed this event for an amount of people that was appropriate at the time of release, but not appropriate in the long run. The game was designed with the intention of people being able to put it down and pick it back up later, meaning they must've known that the maps would be less vacated as soon as the release mode has lessened, but some of the group events still require an amount of players that cannot be said to be proportionate with the game. This event is a good example.

I think what they need to do is introduce a reward that is completely unique to this boss and make the events just slightly less dependant on the amount of people in the event. We get the chest, which is fine (although the drop chances could use a boost) and we get the karma vendor, but all this karma vendor really has is the same freaking armor that every other of the priest karma vendors have, albeit with a different rune. If they truly want people to do this they should at least make it like the dungeon vendors, meaning the armor is completely unique and there's a unique, unobtainable elsewhere, weaponset. I bet a lot more people would be interested in seeing "Balthazar's Armor" and "*Weapon* of Balthazar".

#9 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

Mix the concept of Fraks with Dailies and put group DEs in the center of it all.
What this would mean is that each day players would have a selection of group DEs from all around the world that would give improved rewards. Players could either walk to those DEs or group up in a central hub and then enter a portal, which would transport you to a starting group DE (this would transport you to a RANDOM group DE!). The game would then group multiple groups, depending on the size of the group DE.

#10 Swoopeh


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

I've tried this recently again (on Gandara) and there should have been enough people to get him down but we didn't. A big problem is that he often 1 shots players and, instead of releasing and running back, fully defeated players just sit there until someone resses them (sometimes shouting RES FFS in caps). At one point there were literally more defeated players than people alive and noone could be bothered to run back.

This poses a multitude of problems:
- Dead people don't contribute to DPS and the longer they wait the more unlikely the event is to complete.
- Ressing someone from dead takes a very long time and during that time the rezzers are at risk of getting 1 shotted, especially when grouped up. Also ressing players don't contribute to DPS.
- People say that defeated players actually heal the priest although I haven't found anything to confirm that (maybe in his buff tooltips?). If that's true then any dead player waiting for a res makes the fight more difficult.

I'll happily res downed players because thats fast but I refuse to res people fully dead on this event for at least 2 of the above reasons. What would help if the WP wouldn't get contested so at least people would just release and respawn when fully defeated. That alone would make this substantially less painful.

Also a lot of people focus on the abomination meaning less DPS on the priest and the smaller adds so the DPS is really quite split up. It's also said that the smaller adds heal him when he eats/absorbs them, also not sure if that's true but I just assume it is. Sometimes the smaller adds aren't dpsed down at all which could mean he heals from those as well.

But yeah, world events either need to be easy-ish to complete fairly quickly or they need to have actual incentive. I have no problems with uber hard events, however the tactics need to be clear and the reward substantial. Chest with a tiny chance on a precursor is about enough to have people farm dragons, Balth is more painful than the dragons though so this needs to be retuned or give a substantial recurring award (or a chance of one).

#11 Gruunz


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

The DE completion for the balthazar temple should really be higher.

As in how your standard regular DE completion gives the regular "13,650XP,  356 karma and 1 silver 75 copper", the balthazar temple completion reward really should be on another tier reward level e.g. "20k exp 1k karma 5 silver" or something like that.

Just so it is more enticing to other players. To those who don't need legendaries or already have their karma exotic sets. There really isn't any appeal in helping out because as we all know it's quite difficult. But if said players were to randomly help out, it would be kinda "all that for meh shoulda just did that dragon event that was just up."

#12 NeoPomStar


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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

The only reason people put up with this event is because the karma vendor after owning the temple is the only npc that sells obsidian shards used for crafting legendary components, since using tokens from FotM is not a very convenient way to farm them.

#13 Lucas Ashrock

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Let's not mention the funny full-of-junk chest lol :P No thanks, i'll pass. Like everyone else as we can see, there is way better places to spend my efforts and money waste for repair :P

Edited by Lucas Ashrock, 08 January 2013 - 05:41 PM.

#14 Guardian of the Light

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:12 PM

I like the fact that there's a DE chain as hard as the Balthazar event in the game but I feel it's misplaced being in the 70-75 zone instead of the cursed shore. Also I agree the rewards need to be better in it.

In general Anet needs to make it so difficult events that require groups of people reward a bit better. Right now it's too easy to either zerg or solo to get karma.

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