The Maddening Clock TowerOctober 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Posted in Festival, Guild Wars 2, Jumping Puzzle, mmorpg, PvE | 15 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
There are a lot of negative vibes going around in regards to the Mad King’s Clock Tower in Guild Wars 2. It’s the Halloween themed jumping puzzle you can find after talking to an NPC inside the Mad King’s Realm. It’s got an achievement and rewards a pair of exotic boots for your armour class.
There are a lot of complaints.
- The time limit.
- The cinematic plays too often.
- Unclear edges.
- Camera movement.
- Length of time to make a successful run.
- Other players obscure view.
- Other players can troll you with various skills.
I’m sure there are other problems, but that’s the bulk of it. Zubon even goes on to say that it is “a new contender for the worst piece of content ever put into a game” which I have a hard time agreeing with. Frustration leads to hyperbole I guess.
My own experience does happen to find most of the above problems to be realistic however. The first portion of the puzzle, up until around that first jump down to a cube is entirely too difficult for all the stated reasons. My camera jumped in and out, I tripped up all too often on impossible to see bumps and edges. I couldn’t see myself due to all the other players, don’t even get me started on norn and charr. And it took me far too long to do a festival activity. Over two hours, maybe longer, doing the exact same thing over and over. That seems to be strange theme Arenanet has going on this festival. Pumpkin Carving anyone? Crafting Halloween themed weapons? Festivals should not be a grind.
But my only real problems with the puzzle are other players obscuring my view, and the miasmic goo rising too quickly during the first half of the puzzle. Remove these two obstacles and the puzzle would become much less of a giant pain in the ass. I can’t tell you how many times I missed a jump because someone was in my way. I counted the number of times I died on the exact same spot, that little jump down to the cube. 19 times.
Here’s the thing. I get the impression the designer wanted it to be difficult. That’s a good thing in my opinion, I like a good challenge. I don’t even have a problem with designing something so that only a certain elite few can complete it. And hey if you’re going to pour a lot of company resources into content it should provide hours of play time, not minutes of farm.
My problem is if something is a piece of festival content it should be for everyone. That’s why you make it available in low level areas, with low level mobs, where everyone can go. That’s why you make it accessible from the big hubs that everyone can get to.
You don’t design festival content that some people will never be able to finish.
That said I’d like to take a moment to discuss some of the finer points of the puzzle. Visually and thematically it is fantastic. The opening cinematic, the voice-over work, the little rhyme at the beginning are all great atmospheric set pieces. The effects as well are well done, the hands grabbing up at you, the goo rising up, the lightning at the end, I even like the spinning. Plenty of cool jumps and misleading paths as well.
I also like the second half of the puzzle much better than the first. Maybe because there are far fewer people, but there is definitely a better pace being set once you make it past that one big drop. It’s less of a mad dash. The reward is pretty good too. An exotic pair of level 80 Mad King’s Slippers. Best piece of loot I’ve gotten in Guild Wars 2 yet.
And yeah the end is pretty great, the jump in and the satisfaction of knowing. Not knowing that you’ve completed a difficult challenge, but knowing that you won’t ever have to do this again. There is a big difference there, and I hope the designer learns that difference.
On a final note, at least go in and check it out, it is worth the look.
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