Despite a weekend set aside for a family visit, we managed to log into GW2 in time for the scheduled third phase of the Lost Shore event yesterday evening. We headed over to the island and started exploring just as the mail came through with instructions, and as the dynamic event popped up on the map.
Bear in mind that we’re only level 59 at the moment. Huge thanks to ArenaNet for allowing level to scale up as well, we took part in an epic event when we haven’t even gotten to level 80 yet! I haven’t played another game that would allow that even where there is a mentoring system in place.
Lots of pictures and spoilers below the cut…
It was a very inglorious start actually. We spent easily 15 increasingly desperate minutes trying to find how to get to the event which started bottom left of the island and ended up top left in an area surrounded by high cliffs/walls that was only reachable from one narrow valley. Naturally we’d wiped just shy of finding this entrance and then in the panic of thinking we’d miss the whole thing we wandered aimlessly trying not to die to the hordes of very angry karka.
Eventually we found our way in, almost dying yet again en route to the very nasty larger karka that seemed rather reluctant to reset when chasing a lone, weak character. I need to find a ‘running through dangerous area’ ability for my mesmer so he can actually escape such situations easier.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the largest collection of players I’ve ever seen in game in one event. We spent the whole event in an overflow server and that was heaving, I wonder how many overflow servers there were?
The first section of the event, fighting up the spiral slope pictured above into the nest of the karka, was pretty tough. More players were joining as time went on but the larger karka had really nasty AoE and ‘rolling path of doom’ attacks. Several times nearly the whole raid wiped. Despite spending two whole hours of frenetic combat: fighting, dying, being ressed, ressing others, desperately trying to avoid surprise attacks and repel counterattacks; there was a very positive mood and a boundless supply of generous spirit regarding ressing in particular. People were risking their characters to res others, this was important for me especially as I had no nearby waypoint for a big chunk of the fight. I’m very happy with the general community on Piken Square EU!
The second phase was a sprawling fight involving the big bad mother karka. This was a multi-phase fight involving hordes of lesser karka, some Lionguard siege weaponry and even turning the environment against the big beast (see below).
The fight was amazing for its design, scope and atmosphere. I liked the distinct phases and the mixture of normal combat with environmental actions to drive the big beast onwards.
I should comment on performance here as other bloggers have raised the lag issue. I have anecdotal evidence of two computers side by side on the same router/network and Internet connection. My Alienware coped flawlessly with the whole fight despite the numbers of AoE spells and siege mortar explosions going off. No invisible monsters, no sudden deaths to lag. My partner’s aging desktop suffered from a decline into lag-hell where framerates dropped into the single digits repeatedly – so I had to warn him where the monsters were and what was happening. I suspect the issues, beyond login servers failing, were more related to the game client not having enough ‘lo res’ options and an individual computer’s graphical performance than any major server-side optimisation problems. There was some very good-natured jokes about “wtb someone’s spare framerates” on map chat though!
After a final desperate battle on the slope of the hive, we drove the monster into the pit and dropped a ton of explosives on it. After two hours of epic fighting it was loot time, I think all present were very relieved to see a gigantic treasure chest appear.
I received a new rare staff for my support spec, plus an exotic torch and exotic pistol (neither of which I normally use but will have to retry now). Also we received the generic loot package with a level 80 accessory and 20 slot bag. The latter is the most immediately useful as more bag space is always needed!
All in all, and despite having missed phases 1 and 2 completely I’m happy to have taken part in this fight. I think ArenaNet should look at how easily they can add in some more client optimisation options for those with lower spec computers – for example omitting other players flashy spell effects could help to make them even better in future.