GW2 – Jumping Puzzle Frustration

So I would normally post about the fun time I’m having in GW2, but I’ve run up against basically the most miserable experience I’ve ever had playing MMO content ever. That would be the jumping puzzle where a mistake means falling to your death… and this puzzle is in a storyline mission. So unless I can do it, progress is halted on my main char.

The mission is “Bad Blood”. I’m not sure what forks are needed to get here, but my char is an Asuran that opted to join the Durmand Priory. The mission starts with Magister Sieran flying to the other side of a chasm, and I’m left to time runs and jumps over a narrow ledge in order to continue. The puzzle seems similar to the optional jumping puzzle in Metrica province (which I gave up on by the way, because I couldn’t do that either) where the coast is NOT clear – gusts of wind blow intermittently and those generally mean a death fall.

Not every gust kills you – for instance there is the useless ledge I fell onto one time. I tried to jump back up to the narrow ledge but guess what? Yeah, there didn’t seem to be a way back up so I died again. Plus it is hard to rotate the camera to look where you need to when you are flush up against a wall. Maybe there was a way back, but I found death at the bottom instead.

Useless Ledge
Useless Ledge

I like the jumping puzzles (scenic vistas) but I’m really down on the insta-death mechanic added to them, on top of the “gust of wind” timing thing. Especially in a story mission. This is just stupid in every possible way to evaluate providing challenging content. So far I’ve died 10+ times trying to do this, and I’m about ready to abandon GW2 and go back to LoTRO. It’s just awful and really stupid design.

Death #.. oh heck I've lost track.
Death #.. oh heck I’ve lost track.

EDIT: I finally made it over, after so many deaths my armor was basically falling apart. Soon after was a hallway with spike traps, a fight against two enemies, and then the finale… by that point all my armor was broken and I finished up fighting in my undies. My frustration at this mission was maxed out and my GW2 morale almost negative.

Spike trap death
Gust of wind deaths just weren’t enough. At least Sieran could revive me.

Final cutscene of my char in her undies, thank goodness those didn’t break as well.

Finishing scene, mostly undressed
Finishing scene, mostly undressed

Now that I’m not spewing bile I can think about this more rationally. As I said, I do like the jumping puzzles (scenic vistas) but the mechanic there so far has been optional. I’ve been able to get the ones needed for zone completion – the aforementioned Metrica puzzle (which starts in the hidden cave/canyon) must be for a special reward because it isn’t one of the ones needed for 100% completion. I’m perfectly willing to concede my platforming skills might not be up for the toughest ones, and pass on undoubtedly awesome rewards.

I don’t even mind trying repeatedly, because I mistimed a jump or wasn’t lined up or whatever. What sucked was that the penalty for a mistake was death: a plummet through the clouds to a big splat on the ground. Then the game taunts you with the “downed state” animation for ~15 seconds, as you grasp for help that isn’t coming. I was solo, but even if I had a friend along (can you even do that for storyline mode?) what are they going to do – revive me by jumping into the bottomless pit?! Haha the joke is on both of us.

The spike death was avoidable – the game thoughtfully draws overlapping circles where the spikes show up when triggered, so just avoid the middle where you are hit by both the left and the right traps. I rushed through the middle and found myself quickly impaled, but at least Seiran was there to revive me.

Basically, I thought this mission could have had non-lethal falls and still retain 95% of the challenge and flavor of exploring a trap-filled dungeon.

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