In this week's article of The Scrying Pool, I look at Guild Wars 2 raiding post-Tequatl revamp.
In each article of The Scrying Pool, I look at what is and what could be. After taking a look at what is present in Guild Wars 2 now, be that lore or game mechanics, I then ask What If? What if this happened in the lore or this feature was added in a future patch.
The latest patch in GW2 brought the revamp to the Tequatl the Sunless boss. The revamp made the fight not easy, with world and server first announcements being very prominent in the days following the patch. This brought to mind the races in other games to get the coveted world first clear on a newly released raid.
The idea of putting raids in GW2 is not a new one. Most MMOs have some form of raids, so it is a little odd that GW2 doesn't offer any form of the large group content. The question isn't whether or not GW2 should have raids, but if they are truly needed and if they would even work in GW2.
When I talked about Guild Halls in The Scrying Pool: Hall of Guilds, one of the things I stressed was that players want content for different reasons and the same idea applies to raids. Why do players want raids? Among the reasons you would hear; players want really challenging content, something to do with a large group or to do as a guild and for better gear.
I was part of the world first kill of the new, revamped Tequatl the Sunless. It easily ranks on my top 10 memorable fights in any MMO and it really felt like raid. Blackgate had failed him multiple times by then; we had all funneled into TeamSpeak and were talking about strategies to use the next time the boss spawned. It was really challenging content, made really fun to come together and defeat him.
Tequatl the Sunless is, in my opinion, an open world raid. It is challenging, large group content that can net you some unique rewards. If you are looking for a challenge that requires a large group to overcome, Tequatl is what you are looking for. I don't think it will stop at Tequatl either. I think we will be seeing similar overhauls to the other dragons to make them a similar challenge for lots of players to tackle together.
The one thing that Tequatl isn't good for, however, is taking groups of friends or a guild to defeat him. The currently packed status of the fight make overflows happen most of the time which are not good for organizing groups. While I am not a fan of how the overflows function, especially in these large scale contexts, it is a topic for another article.
My hope is that, if multiple dragons or bosses have this challenging overall, a semblance of a schedule could arise. Maybe this group of guilds would do Tequatl on Mondays, Jormag's Claw on Tuesdays, etc. and another set of guilds would do those on opposite days. Now overflows are not as much of a problem and organizing to do this content with friends and your guild is much easier.
Until that happens, there are still places for friends and guilds to do content together. Guild missions function almost like a raid night for one night a week. You can go out with your guild to fight bosses, solve puzzles and take on challenges. Then there are the good old dungeons. Sure you won't be able to take many people with you at the cap of five players in a party, but it does offer that group challenge to overcome.
The challenge of dungeons might also be increasing in the new patch coming out on Tuesday. With the patch a level 80 path will be added to the Twilight Arbor dungeon, which was originally a dungeon targeted at level 40-45. While it hasn't been mentioned as being a more difficult path, I'm secretly hoping that it is like a heroic dungeon path. If that turns out to be true, then ArenaNet could slowly roll out these harder dungeon paths giving players the option for group instance content and challenging group instance content.
If all of that comes true and the new “heroic” path becomes popular, I'd like to see an overhaul to how dungeons are approached in GW2. There are eight dungeons in GW2, except there are really a lot more than just eight. With the dungeon path setup there are pretty much 25 different dungeons in the game, yet because they are in the same location and share the same aesthetics they are considered to be a single dungeon.