Guild Wars 2 – What a Nightmare

The Nightmare Tower
The Nightmare Tower

The recent content for Guild Wars 2 is not well balanced to be fun for any but the strongest players. Here’s an example.

The first installment of the Tower of Nightmares spawned an evil tower in Kessex Hills and some recurring events around the tower and in other places. It was ok if you were with a very large group and were above level 40. Kessex Hills is a 15-25 area. But for one thing, you can’t play that area until you are about 35, and if you go near any of the new content at less than 40, you are instantly dead. I’m talking with Green [Masterwork] equipment, not just white or blue armor.

These events were so scary that it was very fitting that they occurred during Halloween.

So in early November, the second installment is up for this content. The Nightmares Within.

Give It a Try

I first went there with my level 50 Elementalist, again with Masterwork equipment. After a little while, it became apparent that I was toast no matter what I did. I should mention that you are buffed to level 80 when you do this content. But that doesn’t matter. The Elite Veterans and Veterans hit so hard and there is so much other damage going on that you are toast, even at level 50 in light armor.

48 Charr Guardian
48 Charr Guardian

I went back with my level 47 Charr Guardian and made better progress. I was able make it to the first “instance” with help from lots of others in a big group, and Solo’ed that first instance. There are four sub-dungeons along the way up the tower, but apparently you have to wait to get into them. I gave up and never did 2nd one.

On level 2 of the tower, I went down in a group killing a champion wurm and lay there waiting on the next group to come by for about 20 minutes. After that I died again and had to wait. You get the idea. I couldn’t really work this area effectively with Masterwork armor at level 47 when buffed to 80.

Masterwork Gear
Masterwork Gear

My conclusion is two-fold. The stuff is too hard. It’s made for level 80 players. And even they will die frequently. It’s not very much fun to go down all the time even with good gear.

And the buffing to level 80 doesn’t really work any better than the down-leveling works. Another example of disadvantaging lower level players.

I waited on level 2 for a while to get an instance, but it never opened up. Not clear what they are accomplishing by making you wait for the side instances. Are there too many players trying to get into these?

Another thing that irked me. I was in the overflow, but started to play, and when the Queue came up, I entered the main instance, and was instantly in a group of only 3 people. Instant Death. You can’t play this content without a group of 10-30 around you, no matter who you are. WoW prides themselves on 10 or 25 player dungeons. Well these “dungeons”, which is really what this is, require many more players to effectively accomplish. The events along the way up the tower respawn quickly so you need to move on. But road-blocks keep you from skipping the events, so you can just Run the dungeon.

The Last Battle

At the top of the tower, I was able to open the Tricolor chest, for which every account got the 3 key parts to make a key. So I opened the chest, and then entered the instance [ a Dungeon within a Dungeon] at the very top of the tower.

Last Battle Map

These instances are designed to be Solo’d and apparently “Scale” to the number of players in the party that takes them on.

Well I had completed the first one solo, and it’s nice that you get two NPCs that heal you along the way. If you die, you can start from a check point.

In the lasts instance, the NPCs were so ineffective, and my masterwork gear – which I had repaired by the way – was so lame, that I died over and over again. Finally I actually skipped the next to the last Veteran boss after killing the portal since I had tried to kill him 3 times to no effect. But killing a portal was enough to complete the event and move on to the final encounter.

Here there was a nasty Sylvani Champion, which after a couple of deaths I was able to defeat. And then she spawned a hybrid champion krait, which I could not defeat no matter what I did.

Trashed Armor

My armor was so trashed by this time that it was completely ineffective. So I shut down the program to get out. The only way out of the instance is to exit the program. Usually there is a button to get out of an instance, but not this one.

Only Way Out is to Exit
Only Way Out is to Exit

I guess you aren’t supposed to leave no matter what. Of course this worked and dumped me out to the outer dungeon. Where I could repair my gear – 5S 40G or some such. Highest repair bill I’ve seen so far. And then I tried to leave the dungeon via the door.

Died Outside
Died Outside

Where I immediately died, because they think its a good idea to cause an event to spawn there with an Elite. So basically you are dead by the time you wake up from the spawn through the portal. Nice one.. Great design.

My conclusion over and over again is that Guild Wars 2 is designed for high level players only. Get to level 80 any way you can, but not by playing the game. Crafting sounds like a good idea, or doing the Champion Train in Queensdale. Anything to avoid actually playing the content that is way too strong and too unfair for any but level 80 players.

– ww