Choose My Adventure: Hitting my stride in another round of Guild Wars 2 Tyria mapping

    
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I was almost certain our last Choose My Adventure vote would be a blowout one way or the other, but you fine folks had some pretty differing opinions about what “mapping” in Guild Wars 2 means. Ultimately, base Tyria won out over the Crystal Desert by just three votes, so this week was pretty much second verse same as the first. Not like that’s a bad thing, necessarily.

Once again, though, I am hitting a comfortable stride with how I complete this assignment. Also once again I got frozen a bit as I started to try and chart my course but instead got waylaid by the presumed enormity of my task. Even as I’m taking this activity in bites and appreciate that Tyria isn’t really a world so much as a collection of boxes and rectangles stitched together, there are also a lot of boxes and rectangles.

Mercifully, this bout of mental brain freeze didn’t last too long as I zeroed in on the general direction of Tyria mastery points. That, in turn, took me south through the Dredgehaunt Cliffs, Timberline Falls, and Mount Maelstrom, then northwards through Sparkfly Fen to the Bloodtide Coast. But first, there was some Plains of Ashford and Blazeridge Steppes things to finish off.

Ashford didn’t really take me too long, particularly since I had pretty much cleaved through this portion of the map between now and then. Blazeridge also didn’t really take much time either, but ended up being one of the more eventful. As I made my way through the zone, I happened to come up a hill and saw a huge collection of players gathering in one spot. Naturally, this piqued my curiosity, particularly since I hadn’t really experienced any large-scale group play yet, so I joined the crowd and waited, wondering just what it was everyone was gathering up for.

…and then a giant crystalline dragon called the Shatterer landed.

I’ve fought at least one giant-sized boss encounter in GW2 before – specifically the Shadow Behemoth back at launch – but it has been a pretty long time since I got into a fight of that size and scale, so naturally I died almost immediately because of some misplacement. After a quick revive and a settling of my scatter brain, however, I swapped out to my staff, went into general healing mode, and did my part, what little that part might have been.

Unsurprisingly, this fight didn’t really last long once I had gathered my senses and started paying attention, primarily because I basically rode the zerg wave, so victory – and rewards – came pretty easily. Even so, it was genuinely wonderful to be so surprised, to be surrounded by so many other players, and to watch a dragon explode into a bunch of pieces as it tried to fly away. All in all a very satisfying moment across the steppes. Beyond that, it was pretty much business as usual. Right until I got distracted by a slowly walking talking pig, which I fruitlessly followed for more time than I care to admit.

Once I had done all I cared to do in Blazeridge, I zipped back to Hoelbrek and made my journey south through Dredgehaunt. It was nice to move from temperate environs to snowy ones, though the activities here once more hit a routine, though there was one underground location that ended up kind of annoying me with its vertical navigation. It didn’t help that my poor plush Springer bird was bonking its head on scaffolding I didn’t see above me. It’s OK, though, he has a squishy head.

There wasn’t too much that really struck me as distinct here. In fact, I would almost go so far as to call Dredgehaunt boring, but then that’s likely more due to the fact that I’m pretty comfortable with the Weaver. I even went so far as to swap out to my staff for a little bit of time to fight a few things solo. That didn’t last long, though; the Weaver is just too much fun.

Perhaps the biggest thing that’s making this whole project seem routine to me is the fact that hero points and progression are both coming via a significantly tighter sort of drip feed. The Weaver pretty much demands large chunks of hero points to unlock the more interesting skills and passives that I want, so mapping Tyria and getting those one point at a time is a bit of a slog. Also, the post-80 XP rates feel a lot slower. Even so, when I didn’t pay close attention to the glacial pace of those bars filling up, I was enjoying myself in the moment-to-moment gameplay of Tyria’s map.

Naturally, this will be an ongoing project for me, and I will very likely be taking my sweet time in doing this – being wildly un-optimized seems to be how I enjoy myself in GW2 – so this week’s poll vote won’t ask about mapping anymore. In fact, the vote tally was so close that I will now switch gears to go back to the Crystal Desert for a brief moment. However, this does pose a question about what to do while there, and so that brings us to our first poll.

What should be my focus in the Crystal Desert?

  • Basic mapping. Unlock the points and waypoints and other stuff. (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Main questing. Continue following the story. (19%, 7 Votes)
  • Both. I mean, you're kind of aimed down that path anyway. (75%, 27 Votes)

Total Voters: 36

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As for the second poll, I’m once more seeking input on a secondary activity. The voting was pretty close last week, but most people seemed to feel like legendary weapon crafts were pointless, and one comment seemed to suggest I would fall over and melt into a puddle if I looked at what I would need to do anyway. Still, I am curious about something else: the dungeons that litter the world.

I’ve done one before when the game launched but haven’t seen the inside of a dungeon since, but I also get the vague sense that most are doing fractals and raids instead. So I once again turn to the GW2 fanbase (and anyone else reading this, of course) on whether this idea has merit or not.

Should I run a dungeon or two?

  • Yes. Why not take a peek? (84%, 32 Votes)
  • No. Nobody's doing them/nobody cares. (16%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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Polling will once again wrap at 1:00 p.m. EST this Friday, December 16th. For now, it’s further southwards as I get those points and fill those hearts in the central Tyrian landmass.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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