The Lost Shores aka The Lag Shores Review

Hiya Players! With Guild Wars 2’s The Lost Shores coming to a close, now is the perfect time to evaluate the effectiveness of the weekend as a whole. This was a big weekend for Arenanet, coming out of the highly successful Halloween event last month, so lets see how well they did in this weekend event without a holiday to fall back on.

Courtesy of PC Gamer
Let’s start with the phase breakdown. Similar to the Halloween events, Arenanet broke down the entire event into separate parts to bring players back into the game on different days and play out the events. I think this was a great idea, but I don’t like the way they did it. The Halloween events told us a time and a place for each phase, but no idea what was going to happen until the day-of. I think this was really well done, since it gave the player more incentive to see what the surprise was going to be. With The Lost Shores, we were told everything that was going to happen which left little to the imagination. I do think they did wise by making the first two events last a few times during the day, and the final event only happening once; But telling us before hand what each of those events were going to have us do was a mistake.

As far as phase breakdown goes for content, I was rather disappointed. Phase one needed to be the big jumping point for players; If they were going to get into the weekend this was the prime time to get them, but nobody knew where to go unless they were following on Twitter or Facebook. That’s fine I guess, but that should have been something included on the schedule. I was satisfied with the gameplay of the first phase with the Karka just showing up and destroying stuff, but the lag and disconnects during this phase completely ruined it. They did a good job with that event when it was replayed, as well as with the follow-up quests that had us research the Karka to go into phase two, but by then it took some of the excitement out of it from the failed first impressions we got when it started.

Phase two felt sloppy and just thrown together. The part of the event that took place in Lion’s Arch was bugged, and took almost 30 minutes before anybody could get to Southsun Cove (the island). Once there, it started off well until the NPC bugged out. After the first quest chain, I found I was more or less on my own to run around to the different places and hope for a dynamic quest when I showed up. This was OK, but I’d rather have seen more quests about the lore instead of ‘OMG we’re being attacked again!’ dynamic quests that we were given.

Phase three was supposed to be the grand finale of the weekend. The only problem here is that it took forever and didn’t perform very well. Now to give credit where credit is due, the general premise of the event was great but the execution was really bad. We were tasked with placing explosives in the Karka cave, then chasing the Ancient Karka back into the cave to kill him. While chasing him back, we needed to kill his reinforcements and manipulate the environment to push him back. This was great in theory, but the 45 minutes of killing Karka at each stage in the progress of pushing him back was simply infuriating. At any given time there was around 50-60 (or more) trying to take down these Karka that were doing AoE ground damage that could two-hit most players; This resulted in a lot of people dying quite often. Myself, I only truly died and had to run back 4 times – But I got knocked down SO many more. After an hour, this simply wasn’t fun any more. I wish they had lowered the amount of reinforcements during each stage. When we actually got him moving each time, and had to push him using the environment it was actually pretty fun. But I think the grinding and throwing ourselves at mobs really took away from the event.

What Was Done Well

  • The quests were solid when they worked for the most part. They just needed to fix the bugs before hand, and maybe make the grinding quests shorter.
  • The Lost Shores event was accessible to everybody, regardless of level.
  • Trail invites were great, and hopefully will show up again in a more permanent form soon.
  • Regardless of lag, it was fun to see giant groups of players working together against a common enemy.
  • The new PVP map is fun and gives ranged players at least a little more room to run-and-gun.
  • The new dungeon type gives players something new to waste time on.
  • Jumping Puzzles.

What Could Have Been Done Better

I think that lag and fixing overflow is important. Obviously if people can’t see the enemy or attack, then there is going to be a problem enjoying the event. Having overflow servers is a great idea, but I’d like to see them give more stability to players. There was countless reports this year of people disconnecting during the events, and because of it they were tossed into different overflow servers when they got back on. This is frustrating because it means that all the previous progress they may have made in quest chain needs to be done again; Or worse off they all ready missed part of it. Perhaps a better method would be to lock players into a server for 5 minutes when they disconnect, so that when they come back they can pick up where they left off.

Ancient Karka
Courtesy of One Norn, Two Pistols
The timing of the events should have been better. All of the Lost Shores events started late, and when they did they were bugged. This is now Anet’s second big event, they should be getting an idea of what to expect to launch them correctly. Give that there have now been seven phases to these events, no more excuses.

What I did find frustrating, especially during phase 3, is that most of the dynamic quests were still happening outside of the main event. Because of this, none of the waypoints (with the exception of the starting 2) were available to be used. This meant that I had to sit there and wait or spend 10 minutes running from one side of the island back to the event, it hopes I didn’t die on the way.

The last thing I think would be a good idea is simply to give players some straight-up gold as a reward for each phase. It doesn’t have to be a lot by any means, but enough to cover the repair costs. I know that I went through about 45 silver worth of repairs this weekend from the Lost Shores events, but truthfully didn’t die too often. I’m sure that melee players died quite a bit more than that. Even mailing a player 1 gold at the end of the weekend would suffice, give them a fair trade for putting in the hard work. As somebody who is constantly broke, it had crossed my mind just running the whole event naked (I saw a few people beat me to the punch though!).

Overall

Even with all the lag, dying and disconnecting I think the weekend met the bare minimum of my expectations. It wasn’t want I was hoping for (and I’m not the only one) which is leaving me really wishing that I hadn’t set my hopes so high, but I can’t say that the weekend was wasted either. Hopefully the next event will take what they learned from Halloween, and what they learned not to do from this event, and make up for lost morale.

What did you guys think of The Lost Shores event? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to Like, +1 and Subscribe!

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