Doing Guild Wars 2 Stories Again
There is a marked difference between the GW2 Story Trials or Instances and the FFXIV Story Instances. I have many GW2 characters of all races and classes, but haven’t played it much recently. Back when Path of Fire came out I worked through the story and maps enough to get many of the mounts: Raptor, Springer, Skimmer, Jackal and Warclaw. I recently decided that I’d like to get the Griffon mount. To do this I need to complete the Path of Fire story on at least on character. So I started with my Necro, which was farthest along this journey. After about 4 hours I gave up in “The Departed” when I could not figure a way to kill “The Soul Eater”.
GW2 Story Instances
As you do these instances, you often have NPC helpers – Rytlock and Canach in this case. In some portions the NPCs will heal you and in this case not. So you should expect to die and “Retry from a Checkpoint”. Thankfully, your equipment does not take damage and you are resurrected at full health and after a few of these you get a slight debuff. But this gets extremely tiresome after 20 or more times. You can bring party members into these instances, although I have not done so yet with these Path of Fire instances.
Even with this ability to restart, which does not cause the bosses to reset their HP and does not cause mobs to respawn, there are tricks and “loadouts” that are the best way to complete these instances. But none of the tricks make them “reasonable”. I’m not looking for “easy”, but dying 20 or more times is not, in my view, reasonable.
None of these trials or story segments in GW2 are dungeons or designed for parties. While, as I said, you can bring party members, it is not “Expected”.
FFXIV Story Trials
In Final Fantasy 14, the story instance segments come in three types: Solo story instances, Dungeon story segments and Trial story segments. Dungeons are multi-foe encounters where a team of party members are found through the standard dungeon finder since the story segment appears as a standard dungeon in the game. Trials are single boss encounter instances, but are otherwise exactly like dungeons. And solo story instances are performed by only the player and possibly one or more NPCs. These are typically between easy and reasonable for well geared players. If you fail one of these the next attempt gives you the choice of “Easy”, “Normal” and “Hard” difficulty. And who wouldn’t chose “Easy” at this point to move on. But none of these that I’ve seen recently are all that hard for a character 5 or more levels above the requirement and with good gear. These instances are typically “Level Scaled” to a max of four levels above the requirement for the instance. Here’s an example from a video guide for “The Steps of Faith” near the beginning of “Heavensward”:
As you can see, the dragon boss is no push over. But the dungeon is usually completed the first time by a group of folks most of whom have either done it before or have studied a guide and are appropriately geared.
If the group “wipes” then they start over with a maximum time limit of 60 minutes.
How Long Does It Take?
This points out another huge difference between GW2 and FFXIV when it comes to story segments. GW2 instance story segments can take almost an hour. Even if you are well geared and know what you are doing. FFXIV story instances, even the longest dungeons, rarely take longer than 20 minutes. The solo instances are typically 5 to 10 minutes.
Here’s an example of a simple GW2 Hero Point in the Path of Fire expansion. I had just done this solo in about 4 minutes and then someone else showed up so I stayed to help them. Just one “Veteran” mob in this fight. But if you’re not familiar with the pace and devastation of GW2 foes, then this will give you an idea. Watch how fast he moves and how bad his attacks are.
Did You Kill the Bad Guy?
Both of these games have taken to designing multiple encounters with the story’s primary antagonist with all but the last of these ending in “the bad guy letting you live” or “letting you die, to be resurrected somewhere else”.
In GW2 Path of Fire, Balthazar is stopped from killing you the first time when a dragon sacrifices itself to save you. And then later you spend 30 min or more as Balthazar toys with you over and over while healing you as soon as you go down. What a waste of time.
In FFXIV, Stormblood and Shadowbringers, big bad guys repeatedly take you down in solo instances only to walk away without killing you. This drags out the story until you finally meet these folks and take them out.
I will press on to get the Griffon mount on my account in GW2. I’m tired of seeing everyone else fly when I can’t. But it’s not as much fun as it could be, which is why I’ve moved on to FFXIV.
May you too walk in the light of the Crystal.