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Guild Wars 2 – Thoughts On Raid Mechanics: Wing 1 To Wing 2

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I’ve beaten the first raid wing quite a little while ago but never really commented on it. So this post will be about the first wing, what I’ve learned in a nutshell, and about raid wing two and how it changes the way teams play it out mechanics-wise.

Raid Wing One

In raid wing one we had a bunch of things we learned such as:

  • The tank is the person with the highest toughness
  • Slick shoes is great for bosses like Gorseval
  • Utility Chronomancer is amazing for quickness and alacrity to shave time

Then there was the boss mechanics such as Vale Guardian landfall that at least four people had to be on to prevent party wipes, Gorseval’s prison mechanic which required people to keep moving and not into another person’s path to prevent getting get encased, & Sabetha’s flak attack which targets the farthest person from her. What’s interesting was that each of these boss fights in raid wing one went from being less mechanically dependent to more dependent for individuals in the squad.

For Vale Guardian, you needed melee (for the most part) to not stand on blue teleports, some knockbacks for seekers and at least 4 people always going for green landfall. Nothing really to hard about that. The tank would just need to move the boss accordingly so the squad didn’t eat lava floor and the landfall would be in the right area. You’d also need good breaks which a power Revenant with staff and another person could easily fill. Gorseval required 3 people to have cripple, chill, or immobilize to slow down Charged Souls, a tank to lead Gorseval around, ideally someone to pull in spirits when going to a wall, and one or two people clearing spectral orbs so the squad can move around to avoid getting damage debuffed. The dependency on the entire group falls with getting to the wall where the tank was pulling so that Enraged and Angered spirits could be cleaved out and to avoid the Ghostly Prison mechanic which slows DPS.

Sabetha required a lot more group dependency on the mechanics. You have two to four jumpers going up to destroy cannons but the squad needs to be aware that almost anyone can get the green bomb which you need to throw onto a pad where the jumper needs to be. Since there’s four pads, everyone needs to be aware of where they should throw if they get the bomb. There’s also timed bombs where if you’re the person closest to Sabetha you get from time to time. You need to move yourself out of the group to avoid doing damage to every one but you also have to not hit jumpers and the person who’s on flak duty if possible.

In all three fights you can have a few people purely DPS and have some players handle the other mechanics such as tanking or flak shots. So far, raid wing two sticks with the idea of progressively adding group dependency for mechanics.

Raid Wing Two

I’m on Slothasor right now and I have to say this fight is mechanically intensive for everyone. I personally feel like this fight is really easy but it’s hard at the same time. It’s really easy because I find it’s very simple on what your squad has to do to beat Slothasor. It can be hard because depending on how people handle the mechanics, execution on what to do can be a nightmare.

Slothasor introduces mechanics that requires everyone to do well. And I mean everyone. There is a random Fixation mechanic where Slothasor will target a specific player as the tank. This changes from time to time so people need to be aware when they’re the tank and move the boss accordingly. There’s also a Volatile Poison mechanic every 25 seconds where a person will be targeted and has a few seconds to drop a growing poison field in an area away from where the squad is going. All the while you’re traversing a poison floor that the pathing can be made via an imbued mushroom that turns an ally into a Slubling who can eat a path way. The Slubling ally can be hit with spells so you have to be careful where you cleave and so on. These few mechanics alone makes this fight easy or hard depending if people are aware of the icons on their heads and if they can move to the proper locations in time. Essentially, every need to learn how to tank and move the boss properly like with Vale Guardian & Gorseval and move dangerous stuff out of the group like with Sabetha. So if players have never done these mechanics on these fights because they let other people handle it or don’t know how to move a boss, it can get really hard. There’s even a small orange circle AoE that appears at people’s feet; 3 of them are placed based on your location. The squad needs to collectively move after 2 seconds to reduce the spreading of that AoE. If hit, you take substantial damage and are knocked down for 5 seconds per circle. This orange circle mechanic is similar to Gorseval’s prison mechanic and Vale Guardian’s blue teleport field mechanics where getting hit will result in a loss in DPS. Of course you still have other mechanics specific people can do such as clearing path, reflects and pulling/cleaving enemy slublings out.

Personally, I like Slothasor this way. It shows who needs to work on what. Well, I think everyone can work on something; it’s the first week it’s out after all. However, for some players it may be more than the next person. Slothasor also rewards squads are on point and who truly understand the mechanics of the fight. It may seem easier to some groups because of the experience gained with raid wing one, the group understanding the mechanics, and understanding the professions they’re playing to optimal potency. For some groups it’ll be harder because they need to learn the mechanics, to survive a lot better, to watch their positioning more, and the need to get the best out of their professions which they may or may have not been doing before.

I’m hoping the rest of raid wing two will be like this. I haven’t done research or looked at much outside of Slothasor; I’ve heard some things about the other bosses like the second one is easy and so on. It’ll be interesting to see what they will be like. For now, I’ll be doing some Slothasor homework this weekend and brushing up on mechanics.

Guild Wars 2 State of the Game Q1 Update Thoughts

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Greetings all! Guild Wars 2 Game Director Colin Johanson recently made a State of the Game post for the first quarter of 2016. There are some things we know and some new things we don’t. I’ll summarize each piece coming this year and my thoughts will be laid out at the end; so you can skip to that if you read the state of the game already. Now, let’s delve in.

What’s Coming January 26th

Gliding To Central Tyria: If you have the gliding mastery you’ll be able to use your glider in any open world map or city in Central Tyria (no dungeons, story instances or Fractals). There will be some No-Fly zones around some areas such as the end of jumping puzzles to prevent skipping content.

Updated Shatterer Fight: This world boss fight is getting an update as well as an achievement category, upgraded reward chest, increased experience earned & unique back item.

World & Raid Boss Decorations: Speaking of bosses, certain raid and world bosses will drop tokens your guild can use to buy decorations. These decorations can be further upgraded into trophies that resemble the chests after you defeat these bosses.

Quality of Life Fractal Updates: LFG tool will be updated to help for looking for higher scale fractals. Daily fractals will appear as the daily in the top right daily achievement UI when inside Fractals. The fractal hub will also be updated to allow players to swap fractal level while inside to negate rezoning to Lion’s Arch to do so.

Healer Recognition: Healer’s will still have to tag an enemy for participation but healing, removing conditions, and applying buffs to allies will now count for additional contribution.

Squad UI Upgrades: Squad leaders will have access to markers to place on the map that show up for squad in the game world and the mini map. Leaders can also make lieutenants to help lead subgroups, invite/remove players & broadcast messages.

WvW Upgrades: Secured, Reinforced and Fortified objective upgrade levels for objectives will be done after a certain number of dolyaks have reached the objective; this is to allow upgrade denial. Each kill in WvW will award 1 point to your world’s War Score. The number of players that can rally of a kill will be reduced from 5 to 1. Finally, a player cannot revive fully dead players while in combat.

New Stronghold Mist Champion: Tybalt Leftpaw will be a Mist Champion available to players by completing his reward track.

Major Balance Update: an update to balance each profession for a new meta. You can read about that here.

More Controls: There will be additional key binding controls for action camera, snap ground targeting, auto targeting to allow for push-to-toggle or hold-to toggle use. A new check box for viewing object names in the world (without holding down a key) will also be added.

Eldvin Monastery Brew of the Month Club: Master Brewer Desch Metz in Queensdale is starting a monthly brew club. Visit a major city once a month to receive a package in the mail for that month’s brew. After getting all 12 brews, you will receive a title, a brewer’s backpack skin and a guild decoration.

Future Early 2016 Content

Note that this content is set to come out between now (January) and the end of March.

Lunar New Year Event: the yearly lunar event will be available in Divinity’s Reach on January 26th till February 9th. There will be Dragon Ball PvP, fireworks, and decorations.

New Raid Wing – Salvation Pass: Later in the year, the next raid wing will continue investigating the missing PAct Squad along with new challenging bosses, rewards, masteries and access to more for the legendary armor collection.

New PvP League Season: Ranked season will start on February 23rd with all new improvements to the League system. Badges and the guild leaderboard will be reset. You can continue building your legendary PvP back item.

Pro League Season 1 Finals + Relegation Tournament: In February the Pro League Season One Championship will take place where team will compete for a $200,000 USD prize pool.

Later In 2016

Living World Season 3:  This will continue the story post HoT and hit on some questions that weren’t answered in the main HoT story line.

Fractal Update: This includes the needed steps to finish the legendary back item, fractal leaderboards, brand new fractals, polish and balance to existing fractals, rewards, and instabilities.

Big WvW Update: This is the big overhaul to WvW that was suppose to come out before HoT. This project has been worked on  for the past year to solve core WvW issues like population balance, scoring, rewards, and the need for 24-hour coverage. There will be a beta phase for this sometime later. WvW tournaments will return once this update comes into play.

My Thoughts On The Content Coming

So I’m not personally excited for all the changes coming at the end of the month. I will admit that some of these changes are great. Gliding in core Tyria will be fun, I’ll be jumping off all the things, and looking forward to the Shatterer fight. Fractal and Squad UI quality of life changes were really needed. I like the viewing object names option we’ll be getting as it’ll let me free up ctrl key for key bindings. I can honestly say the major balance update has me more on the edge of my seat than anything else due to waiting and seeing what happens to Thief (which is my main profession). I have very strong opinions when it comes to Thief balance.

Early 2016 content were expected things but I am interested in. The 2nd season of PvP League will be better due to a stronger ladder to climb without (hopefully) dealing with fewer exploitation issues. Of course, I want to play the new raid wing as well; I feel that the first wing was done really well and is one of the best things about Heart of Thorns.

Later in 2016 content is what I’m really interested in. Living World was always something to look forward to, new fractals would be fun and the WvW overhaul will be very interesting to see since it was to be shipped (ideally) before HoT. Sadly this will probably be around or after June. I think personally I’ll have enough content to do until the bigger changes roll in.