The biweekly update schedule for Guild Wars 2 continues, with the newest patch, the Queen’s Jubilee, having gone live this week. And, well, remember how a few weeks ago I had said that the Bazaar of the Four Winds had been the best patch yet?
Well. The Jubilee has replaced that, I think.
I’m really enjoying this patch so far, and there’s a good number of reasons why. The first is the quality of life changes that were added, the biggest of those being the account wallet. Now, I run dungeons a lot. I just got my 7500 achievement point chest last night. I do fractals on occasion. And I have a lot of alts.
What this meant before was that I had far too much bank space being taken up by tokens, badges, and relics. Shifting money from character to character for big purchases was time-consuming and annoying. I had karma on low-level alts that was basically useless for them.
Now, none of that is a problem any longer.
All of your gold, karma, laurels, badges, glory, tokens, and relics will now will be contained in this wallet, that can be accessed from either the bottom of your inventory window or the hero panel. Yeah, you have to log into each character for their loot to be deposited (items in your bank are added automatically), but the result is that you never have to scramble around for gold or worry about bank tabs being taken up by tokens or anything of the like. And as the items are no longer physical items, there’s no stack limits to worry about.
My one quibble is that there is no longer any way to deposit money in the bank, which means that it’s harder to set aside money and just not spend it, since you always have all of your cash on hand at all times. But ultimately, it’s a minor quibble. The wallet is otherwise amazing and I’m glad it’s there.
So I haven’t even really gotten into the meat of the patch yet. Queen Jennah is celebrating 10 years on the throne of Kryta, and everyone is invited to the party! But this is no usual party, and most of the celebration consists of killing lots and lots of things. It kicks off with a story instance in Divinity’s Reach…which, personally, I loved. A number of familiar characters have returned (Rox! <3), there’s a good amount of sass from the NPCs, and it’s just plain fun to participate in.
All across Tyria are balloons that can bring you to Divinity’s Reach for free. Each balloon has a chest, and there’s events going on associated with each – whether it’s defeating a champion of Jennah’s, escorting an emissary, or fighting off an Aetherblade attack. These events happen very frequently, which I really enjoy.
Once in Divinity’s Reach, there are a few new events to participate in. One is the Crown Pavilion, and another is the Queen’s Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a series of opponents you fight against, but I haven’t actually tried it yet, so I can’t say much about it. The Pavilion is essentially one huge arena split into six areas, each having a different common enemy type. Here, you can fight and kill veterans to your heart’s content (seriously – nearly everything in here is a vet), as well as participate in events where you have to defeat an enemy of Legendary difficulty. It’s great if you want something to do with a group, and it really highlights another change that was brought in with this patch.
Yes, the champion loot. Champs used to guarantee nothing, then an item of blue or better quality. Now, when you kill a champion (or legendary) enemy, you get a loot bag – different enemy types carry different bags. These bags contain karma, money, and other various items – ranging from skill points, crafting materials, and gear – including new weapons with unique skins.
Tied to that is another new change that I especially love. When you run dungeons, the normal money reward you used to get for killing bosses has been removed, and replaced with the champion loot bags. On top of that, you now get a straight gold reward at the end of the dungeon, ranging from 1 to 3 gold. Now, I love dungeons. I definitely prefer them to fractals. But previously the rewards from them simply were not worth it most of the time. Now, you know that you’re always going to get a set amount of money, on top of tokens, on top of champ bags, on top of all of the other loot you get. Suddenly they are far more rewarding.
As a side note, I feel like drop rates in general have been tweaked a bit; maybe it’s the fact that we’re simply fighting more things right now, but it feels like enemies are dropping more loot.
I feel like the new content added to this patch are things that will keep people occupied with that content for the entirety of the patch. Ravious wrote a bit about it earlier today, saying how it goes back to the core of what Guild Wars 2 play is about – events in the world – and I agree. There are meta-achievements, of course, but the basis of essentially everything you do for it is events, and the events are frequent. It succeeds in spreading people into zones they normally wouldn’t go to, for the balloon events, and with the rewards being as good as they are, keeps people playing.
Also, I must say, the way of handling the meta-achievement this time is pure genius. Dailies now contain one Jubilee achievement, and these count towards the meta-achievement. You, in fact, need to complete at least three of these to finish the meta; and if you don’t have a ton of time, just by doing dailies you’ll be able to complete it without any problems. Brilliant idea, and I hope it’s one that they stick with.
The past few patches have definitely increased in quality with each one, and it’s a trend I’m hopeful will continue. The next patch we’ll find out about next week on Tuesday…and do note that the game’s birthday is coming up at the end of the month, in just a few short weeks. I wonder if we’ll finally find out what they intend to do for their anniversary?