I’m a huge fan of Guild Wars 2’s Super Adventure Box, even if I am not the best jumper in the world. My kid loves it, I love the graphics, the rewards are fun – really, it’s something we look forward to every year since it became a permanent event fixture. On the other hand, when the update doesn’t change much from year to year aside from QOL fixes, some of the shine does wear off. I definitely felt that way in World of Warcraft in the years when Blizzard just put the annual events on repeat (it’s gotten better about giving those events refreshes in recent years, I’ve noticed!).
Still, I hate to look a gift sparklepony in the mouth. It could be worse: I could be one of those Secret World players who are practically begging for the return of some of the events they miss from the old game in the new game because they’ve been cut off while Funcom slowly rolls them back out.
Do you get grumpy over MMO events on repeat? Would you prefer them to see a refresh every year, or are you just glad to see any annual events at all in your MMO of choice?
I’ve been playing two games that focus a lot on jumping lately: Trove and Guild Wars 2, specifically Guild Wars 2’s Super Adventure Box content. And it’s been the hardest time I’ve had playing multiple MMOs at a time specifically because of jumping. Jumping in Guild Wars 2 is a one-click, last-second leap into the void, right? You take off and hold your breath that you land, especially in SAB or jumping puzzles, where the visible landing area is actually smaller than the real landing area.
But in Trove, double-jumping is life, and you can even boost your jump skill. You’re pretty much jumping all the time. And I’m seriously struggling moving between the games. Ask me how many times I’ve fallen in SAB this week because my brain wants me to double- or triple- or duodecuple-jump as if I’m in Trove. It’s not pretty!
How do you balance muscle memory for playing multiple MMORPGs? Do you drag around the same keymaps to help out? Is there a particular pair of games that you find butt heads more often than not?
Massively OP’s MJ has never experienced Guild Wars 2’s
Super Adventure Box. Oh she’s heard plenty about it over the years, she has just never taken part for herself. Today, that all changes. She’s jumping into the retro-themed experience to enjoy the ambiance, but she’s not likely to go for the more challenging “tribulation mode”; she’ll keep it simple for her first time. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for MJ’s inaugural dive into SAB.
What: Guild Wars 2
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 30th, 2018
Were you under the impression that Guild Wars 2
was only heralding the return of the wonderful, magnificent Super Adventure Box? Nay, my friends, this year it’s a whole Super Adventure Festival
, complete with a cheesy retro splash page
OK, it’s pretty much the classic Super Adventure Box with frills, but oh, what thrills those frills are! From now through April 19th, players can dive into the retro-themed game to grind out bubbles and earn all manner of prizes. There are musical boom boxes, guild hall decorations, and weapon skins to be had before the event ends.
Players can activate a “tribulation mode” for higher challenge this year, and the Super Adventure Festival page has a free wallpaper and a Rytlock Critter Rampage mini-game to play. Have fun and game responsibly!
If you try to zoom into Guild Wars 2’s
Super Adventure Box today, you’re… going to be wholly disappointed. That’s because while the patch notes
and associated updates are live today, SAB itself doesn’t open up until Thursday, in spite of the fact that my kid is on spring break all week and we really need SAB right now ArenaNet!
According to the patch notes, we’re getting a new SAB-themed race, new achievements, and a whole bunch of bug fixes and quality-of-life adjustments (yay, no more giant cutscene for the first map). The devs have given all classes a hefty balance patch too. And of course, there are new goodies on the Moto vendor already, including new buff food and a bauble node for home instances.
Also worth pointing out are some new bits in the cash shop today: returning themed items like bunny ears (naturally), but also an “Istani Isles Mount Select License” for 1200 gems – that allows you to hand-pick a mount skin from the new bunch of skins rather than gamble for one. But don’t worry, whales; you can still grab a gamblebox for your mounts for 400 gems a pop.
My kid has been pestering me about Super Adventure Box for months now, and finally I’ll be able to tell him just when the April Fools’ Day gag will return to Guild Wars 2
: March 29th. That’s according to ArenaNet’s brief little posting
on the official site today.
“As always, the festival will center around the edutainment Super Adventure Box from Moto, and what awaits players inside. Anyone who ventures into the Super Adventure Box will test their mettle against fearsome foes and perplexing puzzles in pursuit of shiny baubles. Take up your trusty, pointy stick and join us in Creator’s Commons of Rata Sum on March 29 to venture back into Tyria’s most beloved simulation.”
SAB runs through April 19th, but it’s not the only content on the calendar, of course; the studio also notes that season 11 for the PvP League will run from April 3rd to May 29th. And the promised balance update will come out a few days before all that on March 27th.
As it’s been about a year now, I know that pretty much nobody remembers John Smedley’s ill-fated Hero’s Song. For a while there, we were cheering it on pretty hard, even though it wasn’t a full-blown MMORPG. The retro stylings and promised agile development blossomed some excitement, especially for those of us who wouldn’t mind a modern MMO with a 16-bit aesthetic.
There certainly aren’t a lot of these types of MMOs out there, and those that do exist are pretty niche. Guild Wars 2 has its goofy Super Adventure Box sub-game, Realm of the Mad God makes the most of its permadeath world, and the upcoming Dragon of Legends has had my interest for a while now.
Would you be interested in a retro-styled MMORPG, one that would use pixel art, be presumably in 2-D, and yet have most of the features of modern games?
The other day, Bree was complaining about how so many screenshots from modern MMORPGs suffer from a bland and monochrome palette. Coming to the rescue, then, is our team of expert One Shotters, scouring online games for vibrant looks and colors!
Zulika Mi-Nam kicks us off with this delectable piece of Portal Knights scenery: “The last few days I have been playing Portal Knights. I guess it is like a Stargate/Minecraft combo? It scratches the same itch that EQ Next did for me, not that I was a builder. I just like exploring and some type of progression. This is more combat oriented though.”
How’s that doggy going to get down, Zulika? Throw that dog a bone already!
Super Adventure Box departed Guild Wars 2 last week, so you had to expect we were on the brink of seeing another episode of the living story. Indeed, ArenaNet has just announced that very episode: It’s called Flashpoint, it’s apparently the next-to-last episode of season three, and it’s launching in just one week on May 2nd.
“Flashpoint finds the forces of good fighting a battle on two fronts. The fight against the now more powerful Elder Dragons seemingly has turned in their favor with news that Taimi’s research has resulted in a machine that can stop them with a single decisive blow. Meanwhile, the powerful mursaat Lazarus – who returned mysteriously purporting to be an ally – has been revealed to be an imposter. Marjory Delaqua attached herself to him to investigate and is now headed back to Rata Novus without discovering much about the truth of his identity. Both paths converge as Lazarus is on his way for a confrontation; in Flashpoint, players will uncover shocking secrets and come face-to-face with a threat unlike any they’ve seen before.”
ArenaNet is also permanently dropping the price of Heart of Thorns by 20 bucks, meaning that the cheapest buy-in for the game’s first expansion is now $29.99. (Maybe it’s another hint that the under-construction expansion isn’t that far away, eh?)
Today we are sitting down with ArenaNet
Lead Composer Maclaine Diemer
, who players might best know from his work on Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
and Living World Season 3. Diemer picked up the baton from Jeremy Soule
, the original composer for the base game, and has been pumping out terrific music for the MMORPG ever since.
Massively OP: At this point in your career at ArenaNet, how many pieces of music have you composed for Guild Wars 2?
Maclaine Diemer: I think about this from time to time, but I honestly don’t know. I’d say it’s in the “several dozen” range, between all the holiday festivals, Living World content, Heart of Thorns, and other miscellaneous stuff like cinematics and marketing videos. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
One of my favorite MMO April Fools of all time is Guild Wars 2’s playable Super Adventure Box. It’s so brilliantly designed and executed that it goes far beyond mere joke territory and became an institution. A fun game-within-a-game.
Reader Little Bugbear took advantage of an initial foray into SAB to take what I consider to be a very arresting picture. It’s almost a silhouette of a character lounging against an 8-bit skybox. “Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy a nice day of gaming,” Little Bugbear said.
Before we get into the rest of this week’s lineup, I want to share the news that we’ve made some further improvements to our comment system that should allow you to share your screenshots in bigger and bolder glory, especially when you post one at a time!
If you don’t like tricks and jokes, just stop reading right now, turn the lights off, and go climb back into bed. Nothing on the internet is going to bring you joy today, so just sit this one out. Trust us.
For everyone else, there’s April Fools’ Day! Follow along as we rattle off all the great MMORPG pranks and events we’ve found so far this morning.
Super Adventure Box has returned to Guild Wars 2 today! We’ve previously reported that there is no World 3 this round, but there is a new Crimson Assassin weapon set that you have until April 20th to finish farming.
So far the best addition has to be the new glider in the cash shop, which is the Infantile mode happy cloud with rainbow.
The area outside the zone-in and the hub inside were just as packed as last year when I took a peek earlier this afternoon. I zipped through the first two maps to try to remember my old routine, and I didn’t notice anything too different from usual.
“Awww yisss time to care about GW2 again for a month,” one dude said cynically as I zoned in, but let’s be honest: This is the kind of event you can enjoy even if you no longer play the game itself, which is a rarity in the genre, and it’s genuinely fun (and challenging, especially if you’re not a hardcore platformer!). Welcome back.