Guild Wars 2 Living Story: Taco and a dungeon path

Since the closure of the Crown Pavilion and the end of the Jubilee celebrations there hasn’t been another living story release as such in GW2. We’ve had an update to world bosses and a new dungeon path in Twilight Arbor instead, which I wanted to review quickly before summing up the Living Story so far.

Taco Rising:

The update to the world bosses was under the ‘Tequatl Rising’ name. Tequatl being a difficult word to spell in a hurry, especially if you’re busy trying to kill him, so he became known as Taco by some and Tequila by others. It wasn’t just our friendly water dragon Mr Taco who got an update though, with nearly all world bosses getting at least a health upgrade.

TequatlTurretsTaco was the big headline update though, with a totally revamped fight. There was now a 15 minute time limit to kill him, an armored scale mechanism where he became invulnerable if player controlled turrets didn’t occasionally fire armour piercing bolts at him, a whole army of extra risen attacking in support of him and some real nasty attacks given to him. Taco became so difficult to kill that it took days before any server did it, and a mega guild dedicated to coordinating together to kill him on one server at a time was soon formed. Hats off to the Tequalt Killing Squad for rubbing taco’s face in it so many times.

I never saw Taco killed, in fact, whenever I joined in with the fight on my server we never got him below 90% health.

I think that’s a good idea though, he should be difficult to kill, he’s a dragon after all! My only problem with it was the gimmicky turrets, which many commanders wanted to simultaneously armour pierce taco, heal the zerg and keep itself safe from hordes of risen trying to destroy it. Its not possible for a turret to do all these things and it lead to angry finger pointing when failure followed. Perhaps a tweak to the turrets, or more, would make this a bit better.

maxresdefaultThe best thing about taco’s update was the jumping pads in my honest opinion. Because the battle now sprawls over such an area that Arena Net had the very sensible idea to put in special jumping pads that catapult you across the battlefield rapidly. These pads are incredibly fun to jump on.

Even when taco isn’t on I’ve found myself in the zone going backwards and forwards on the pads, watching my character soar miles high in the sky. Its great fun!

Interestingly enough the most fun I’ve had at the taco fight was late one night when there was a grand total of 5 of us trying to kill him on our server, almost two weeks after the update when most had given up or else succeeded in killing him. We knew we’d fail and so we just had fun fighting a desperate rear guard action against the hordes of risen that continually spawn. It was a great fight and we all supported each other to last the 15mins until we failed overall. We knew we would fail from the start, and that allowed us to just have fun with it.

Other world bosses, such as the Maw, have had a health boost. Others have add other mechanics added, such as the fire elemental having roaming fire embers, which all makes the fights a little more interesting than the previous bland fights. The boosted rewards are nice as well, although some glitches need to be ironed out (such as the fire embers at the fire elemental not rendering – meaning you can die without having a clue you were being sat on by one).

All in all, the taco rising update was a good update to world bosses. Although, it doesn’t seem like enough of an update to explain why this replaced a real living story release. This is the kind of update that should really of happened anyway, alongside a living story release.

Twilight Assault:

243323After the taco update the living story returned, of sorts, with the Twilight Assault release. This replaced the old, pretty much glitched out, Forward Up path in Twilight Arbor which was nearly impossible to clear. I tried this with a group of friends on release day, 3 of whom were in the same room as each other and the other 2 were in contact as well. So, we had good coordination. Despite this coordination we just couldn’t get past the first puzzle, where you have to lead an ooze through a puzzle of fire and fire elementals.

We got stuck there for almost an hour, and gave up before we got grumpy. It wasn’t particularly our failings, for some reason the way the lava elementals spawned they were much more on one side than the other, meaning one ooze could be lead through no problems but even with four people working on the other side it could fail 50% of the time.

I know a lot of players enjoy how difficult the dungeon is, reflected in the very high number of rage quitters that drop out of groups at the slightest cause. To me, though, it wasn’t difficult – it was gimmicky. I don’t mind difficult, fighting off waves of champion enemies where you need coordination to kill them effectively before you’re swamped. I don’t like gimmicky mechanics, just like the ooze puzzle. You could be the best dungeon team in the world and still fail, just because the mechanics worked that way that time.

I don’t find it fun so I will never go back to it, and that means I will never learn the living story advancement which went on in the dungeon unless I read it off-game. I think that’s a problem, when you gate story behind difficult/gimmicky content you immediately cut out a large proportion of the player base who can’t follow it anymore without going out of their way.

Digital Salad – https://lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com

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