Guild Wars 2 Raids: What are the reasons behind the decline?
In this guide, we explore Guild Wars 2 the reasons behind the decline of raiding content, examining the impact of the complex Boon system on players' experience. We'll also delve into the evolution of raiding across different wings and dissect successful and disappointing boss encounters. We uncover the factors contributing to the fading of raids in Guild Wars 2 and discuss potential improvements for a more enjoyable raiding experience.
- The End of Raiding
- Wing 5 Boss 1: Soulless Horror
- Wing 5 Boss 3: Statues of Grenth
- Wing 5 Boss 4: Dhuum
- Wing 6 Boss 1: Conjured Amalgamate
- Wing 6 Boss 3: Twin Largos
- Wing 6 Boss 4: Qadim
- Wing 7 Boss 2: Cardinal Adina
- Wing 7 Boss 3: Cardinal Sabir
- Wing 7 Boss 4: Qadim the Peerless
↖ The End of Raiding
In the previous guide, we discussed the first four wings that Guild Wars 2 introduced into their game as raids. These early additions showcased a wide range of difficulties, with some innovative and creative ideas, but also some questionable and frustrating ones. The spaces between bosses were sometimes filled with less enjoyable content, creating a mixed experience overall. As we move on to the later game with the introduction of wings five, six, and seven, one wonders if the developers learned from their previous mistakes and implemented changes.
↖ Wing 5 Boss 1: Soulless Horror
Guild Wars 2 is primarily designed as a solo experience, but let's delve into wing 5. we was initially apprehensive about it after coming out of wing four and facing some challenging bosses. However, the first boss of wing five, the Soulless Horror, quickly put my fears to rest. It was an outstanding encounter, and for the first time, we had to play the role of a tank. we had to quickly acquire a whole toughness set from the market board, switch to a Vindicator build, and learn how to tank effectively. The fight reminded me of the Sartharion encounter from World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King, with moving firewalls and various ads to handle. The battle demanded coordinated movement, keeping us on our toes. Overall, we rated it 7 out of 10, a great start to wing 5.
↖ Wing 5 Boss 3: Statues of Grenth
The next challenge was the Statues of Grenth encounter, which presented a different approach. We had to activate platforms to access bosses located at a distance. We started with the Broken King, a frost-based boss. On the other hand, the Eater of Souls was a fight we adored. It was complex yet understandable, allowing us to experiment without instantly wiping if we made mistakes. This made it an 8 out of 10 in our eyes, whereas the Broken King only received a 3 out of 10 due to its tedious gameplay.
↖ Wing 5 Boss 4: Dhuum
Finally, we faced Dhuum, the true end boss of Wing 5. It was an intense encounter, reminiscent of World of Warcraft's Kel'Thuzad from Naxxramas. This boss required a substantial number of pulls, around 45 to 50, over several days. The fight demanded exceptional teamwork and communication, with players tackling various mechanics simultaneously. It was an exhausting yet satisfying experience, and we rated it a well-deserved 8 out of 10. The surprise element added in the last 10% of the fight made it even more thrilling and pushed it to a 9 out of 10.
Overall, Wing 5 proved to be a fantastic raid experience, though the trash gauntlet was a notable letdown. Onto Wing 6, where the signals of a promising challenge were already appearing during the early stages of the raid.
↖ Wing 6 Boss 1: Conjured Amalgamate
As we progressed through Wing 6, it became evident why raiding was on the decline. However, Wing 6 stood out as a shining example of a well-designed raid with a consistent theme. Previous raids had creative boss ideas, but often felt disjointed when brought together in a raid. Wing 6, on the other hand, presented a coherent theme that seamlessly integrated with boss design. One notable improvement was the absence of trash mobs before the first boss, which allowed us to dive straight into the action with Conjured Amalgamate.
Conjured Amalgamate was an interesting boss, reminiscent of similar encounters from older MMOs like World of Warcraft. It had a fun mechanic that rewarded players with a damage boost when executed correctly. However, the challenge came from balancing this mechanic to avoid overkilling the boss. Overall, Conjured Amalgamate was a decent first boss, earning a solid 6 out of 10.
↖ Wing 6 Boss 3: Twin Largos
Moving on to Twin Largos, this boss fight was an absolute blast. The encounter involved some enjoyable trash mobs that added to the overall fun rather than feeling tedious. Twin Largos were well-liked by the community, known for its difficulty. While we didn't spend an excessive amount of time on this boss, it was engaging and challenging enough to keep us entertained.
One of the highlights of this encounter was the forced split of the raid into two teams, which matched perfectly with Guild Wars 2's group-based mechanics. The competition between the groups, along with their banter and cheering, added a great dynamic to the raid. The only downside was some slightly awkward visual effects, but overall, Twin Largos offered a fantastic experience, earning a solid 7 out of 10.
↖ Wing 6 Boss 4: Qadim
Now we come to the pinnacle of raid design in Guild Wars 2 - Qadim! This boss fight was an absolute masterpiece, setting a new standard for the game's raid content. With many phases and individual tasks, Qadim kept every player engaged throughout its approximately 12-minute duration. The complexity of the fight made it mentally taxing, but the satisfaction of overcoming it was unparalleled.
Qadim required players to execute multiple independent tasks, ranging from navigating underground mazes to dealing with separate mini-bosses. The climax of the fight involved a visually stunning spectacle that turned the whole room into a jumping puzzle. The pacing was expertly handled, breaking up the long encounter to keep players engaged and excited.
In terms of raid boss design, Qadim was on a league of its own, easily earning a perfect 10 out of 10. It was by far the best raid fight we've experienced in Guild Wars 2, and it truly showcased the game's potential for incredible boss encounters. Unfortunately, the lack of similar visually stunning giant bosses in other raids was a letdown, but Qadim one stands as a shining example of raiding excellence.
↖ Wing 7 Boss 2: Cardinal Adina
In Wing 7, Cardinal Adina takes the stage as the second boss. To sum up the wing before diving into this encounter, it seems like it wasn't thoroughly tested. While we can't say it was completely untested, it felt like some issues could have been ironed out with more testing and feedback. The fight involves breaking pillars with the help of paired players, and the idea of teamwork and coordination is commendable.
However, the execution has some flaws. The fight becomes progressively easier as players die, resulting in fewer pillars and a less challenging experience. The fight's gimmick, with constantly changing shapes and area denial, is interesting, but the difficulty diminishes as the player count decreases. Overall, the concept is solid, earning it a 7 out of 10, but there's room for improvement.
↖ Wing 7 Boss 3: Cardinal Sabir
Moving on to the third boss, Cardinal Sabir, it's an optional encounter and unfortunately disappoints with its ease. The fight takes place on three major platforms, with the boss gaining a new mechanic on each one. Despite looking impressive visually, the mechanics are relatively simple, and the boss was defeated quite quickly. The encounter lacks depth and substance, feeling more like a mini-boss. Hence, it receives a three out of ten rating.
↖ Wing 7 Boss 4: Qadim the Peerless
Finally, we reach the fourth boss of Wing 7, Qadim the Peerless. Though some players expected surprises, the encounter turned out to be underwhelming. After killing previous bosses blind and developing unique strategies, the fight initially appeared to clash with Guild Wars 2 typical mechanics. The concept involved manipulating towers to create links that provided buffs to damage the boss. The first two minutes were the most challenging, but the fight became progressively easier, resulting in a relatively anti-climactic ending. It seemed like the encounter was not thoroughly thought out and lacked a sense of finality. The disappointing experience left players feeling unsatisfied and uncertain about the development of Guild Wars 2 raids.
Wing 7 as a whole seemed to lack the necessary testing and polish, leading to mixed results and a somewhat lackluster ending to the raid series. It's possible that limited resources affected the development, but deeper issues may have contributed to the overall disappointment. As the last raid in Guild Wars 2, it left players wanting more, but not in a positive way.
Guild Wars 2 raiding underwent significant changes to fit into the game's mold. The absence of the Holy Trinity didn't work out, leading to the introduction of mechanics like toughness and boss fixations. The developers adapted the raids around these changes, resulting in a constant shift in direction and focus across different raid wings. With the introduction of new systems and content, there's hope for a more consistent and enjoyable raiding experience in the future.
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