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Member Since 07 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 05 2013 06:19 PM

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The Lost Shores Grand Finale: A Survivor's Memoire

19 November 2012 - 06:38 AM

Although there's certainly no shortage of strong opinions to be had about the Lost Shores Event in these fine forums, I figure I might as well share mine -- in the form of a long, drawn-out retrospective that I hope will capture the true spirit of the weekend for my fellow players who couldn't experience this grand, glorious, once-in-a-lifetime event, and want to know what they missed.

Wade into this loquacious, polemic word-storm at thy own peril...

The Phantom Menace

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Fig. 1: A massive battle, not being seen.

In the end, the greatest enemy was culling.

The battles were epic in the sense that there were massive numbers of players, as well as several total wipes caused by sudden spawns and those "bowling ball" attacks by the champions and veterans. These attacks often literally came out of nowhere, because they usually started far enough away that players couldn't see them coming due to culling. So it was basically the luck of the draw: sudden, unavoidable death without warning. I have many, many screenshots of the resulting carnage and piles of blue/black skull icons on the map.

And when I look at them, it reminds me that despite the presence of hundreds of players, you couldn't see most of them. They are almost all pictures featuring maybe a dozen or two players in the foreground, and giant karka in the background standing around on a barren plain with no one near them, because the people fighting them can't be seen.

This was a great opportunity for players who haven't experienced WvW yet to intimately understand what people have been complaining about. Fighting invisible monsters, monsters becoming visible next to you after invisibly attacking you, looking around wondering where the zerg went when the zerg is, in fact, still standing all around you, etc.

Vast, terrific battles were fought at Southsun Cove this day. Alas that no one could witness how vast they actually were.

Perhaps they should have named the meta-event "The Secret War".

Shell Shock

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Fig. 2: How to locate a Lost Shores event.

The karka are tough. Very tough. And they have those nifty new shaders to let you know their shell is taking damage, with a hazy, unspoken implication that when their health bar resets, it's not because it reset due to a bug (which is normally what that means), but because their shell has been "broken", and now you're actually hurting the giant, delicious crab monster inside.

Unfortunately, extra tough doesn't mean extra fun, and for everyone who started at 12:00PM on the overflow server I was on, it was a long, drawn-out two-hour test of endurance. Combat consisted of trying, and usually failing, to get tag credit on monsters that took absurd amounts of time to kill. This was between being instantly downed by giant exoskeletal bowling balls rolling in from off camera or poison fields the size of football fields. It was like the land was covered by DE end-bosses, all of which took just as long as any other major DE boss, but with no reward for killing any one of them.

The rest of the combat experience was reminiscent of "tunnel farming" at the Cursed Shore at the height of "bot season". By the time you could get a skill off -- a process that could take up to twenty seconds or more in the worst cases -- the smaller mobs were usually already dead. I'm glad I took my Engineer, because at least turrets don't lag -- once you can get them to spawn, anyway -- and I was able to make myself at least marginally useful by keeping my medkit equipped, spamming drop heals and running around rezzing people, which was a full-time job for a lot of us.

In the end, the living envied the dead, and on the grim, barren landscape of Southsun Cove, surrounded by invisible monsters and hidden danger, death was our only faithful companion.

The Toughest Job You'll Ever Hate

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Fig. 3: A relaxing way to spend an idle two hours.

After a series of difficult, slow, confusing, relatively unrewarding DEs that gave the usual XP/Karma/pittance that could be picked up in five minutes on Orr, the chest at the end was a pleasant surprise, and the loot was pretty darn cool. And it only took two hours of extremely tedious and repetitive, lag-plagued, invisible monster combat to get there.

As always, the concept of this weekend was grand and glorious. I'm sure it looked great on paper, and I can see what they were shooting for. I like that ArenaNet aims high. It's something I truly respect and admire.

But also, as always, the vision was clouded by hard reality. The truth is that all too often, what was supposed to be "epic" in theory was "tedious" in fact. Throughout the second hour, I found myself yawning more and more, spending more time on screenshots. Running around sightseeing while massive battles went on, and finding the best hiding spots to go AFK for bio breaks and snacks.

Epic? Sure. An epic slog that felt more like trench warfare than a heroic mission. At the end, as we filed out, I could swear I heard one of my comrades singing "Over There".

Johnny got his gun.

Dust In The Wind

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Fig. 4: The most memorable event of the day.

It's sad to think the talented people of ArenaNet put so much effort into content that is now gone forever. Although I'll admit I'm frankly not all that sorry to see the more tedious content disappear forever -- in fact, surprisingly relieved -- it still feels like a loss.

It's like a Buddhist sand painting: intricate, complex and painstakingly crafted, only to be briefly appreciated before being swept clear and ultimately forgotten. It would feel unbearably tragic if it weren't for the fact that in the end, when the explosives went off and dropped the Ancient Karka we'd been beating on for the past two hours into the traditional pool of molten lava, I was kind of hoping those same explosives would cause the entire island to sink beneath the waves, never to be seen or spoken of again.

I appreciate that ArenaNet wants to bring in new content with a bang, in a way that changes the world, and I think that's super. But I would strongly prefer that they put more effort into quality assurance and persistent content that can be enjoyed by both current players who can't reschedule their lives around GW2 and future players, and invest less on grand spectacles that are, more often than not, spectacular disasters.

Thanks for the memories, but all I really wanted was a good time.

Lost Shores Event: November 17 @ 12:00PM PST -- Late?

17 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

It's 20 minutes in, and no event. I'm on an overflow server, and some people are saying things are happening on the regular servers, but not overflow.

Can anyone confirm this? So far NOTHING has happened on the overflow server I'm logged into.

GW2 Outage 10/28/12

28 October 2012 - 08:35 PM

MOD EDIT: Let's keep the image spam, conspiracy theories, and overall complaining about the game out of this thread. This thread is to keep everyone updated on what's going on, not to serve as your personal blog space. Thanks.

I got booted from the game and can't log in. Pings to GuidWars2.com are failing.

This looks like possible problems with the GW2 datacenter.

Anyone else seeing this?

Password Reset: Beware

25 October 2012 - 07:22 PM

In response to the prompt to consider changing my password on the login panel, I followed the link to the official site and changed my password, filling in the information exactly as prompted, and saving the password change with LastPass.

Before leaving the page, I verified that the password LastPass stored matched the password I had typed twice at the prompts, and it did.

To test the change, I logged out of the official site and attempted to log in using the new password. Login using LastPass failed. I then entered the new password manually. Login failed. I then entered the old password. Login failed, and it started clearing the account name field at that point.

So now I can't log in to the official site with either the new password or the old one.

I decided to see if I could at least log in to the game using the account name and password stored by the launcher, and I was able to log in. I'm not sure if that's because the password didn't change on the game authentication servers or if the launcher has some sort of ticket or cookie stored for login, but so far it still works.

Suffice it to say that I am now reconsidering changing my password, because I would rather not be locked out of the game. Because of this unprecedented problem, I created a support account (first time I've needed to, ever), requested a password reset, and am waiting on that.

Naturally, the first thing I assume when I see reports like this is user error. However, I do, in fact, know how to change a password, maintain them on literally hundreds of sites around the Internet without incident and the passwords I'm using for GW2, both new and old, are being entered accurately. I also changed both my account email and my password back during the big "account hacking" imbrogio and had no problems doing so -- and did so exactly the same way I just tried today.

Perhaps LastPass is a factor in this, but it saved the password I wrote down correctly, I've been using it successfully since BWE2, and never had any problems with it. Login to the official site fails regardless of whether I enter the password manually or as stored, and they match perfectly.

Anyway, as things stand, I can't log in to the official site, can log into the game (for now), am stuck in a state where neither new nor old passwords work and must wait for someone in customer support to intervene before I can do anything on the official site.

If anyone else has run into this, I'd be grateful to know. Alternatively, if anyone has any suggestions for how to handle all this, or where I may have gone wrong, I would also be grateful.

In the meantime, I suggest that fellow players BEWARE that if this happened to me, it can happen to you, whatever the reason.

Anyone Else Not Able To Log In? (Thursday, September 4, 2012 1:48 Am PDT)

04 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

After tonights downtime, I had trouble teleporting to waypoints. Twice i was stuck at a loading screen for about five minutes each time.

Now I'm seeing "Guild Wars 2 has encountered an error." with the game client unable to access the login server error.

There has been no change to my computer or network connection, and obviously I'm able to post here.

Is anyone else seeing this?