The Spirit Evader achievement has Issues - Here is why and how I would fix it — Guild Wars 2 Forums

The Spirit Evader achievement has Issues - Here is why and how I would fix it

Hi there! Before I begin, a few things. I already opened a thread on reddit, but I think it can't hurt to increase visibility by opening a separate one on this forum. So if you read both, please take into consideration that my arguments are largely the same.

For context: I am an average to a bit above average player with a lot of game time, generally only access to LFG for group content and over 37k Achievement Points. Those facts are important when talking about difficulty or about the sample size of similar content I went through.

This achievement is granted by getting through the Maze event on the Siren's Reef fractal on Master Tier (T4) without anyone in the group activating an orb. Sounds easy, but there are a few catches than on their own might not even sound too bad, but in combination result in a tedious and frustrating experience with an admittedly meager reward of 5 AP.

The Issues (in my eyes) are the following:

  • If one fails, everyone fails.
    This is in general not a bad thing, but after checking a good chunk of fractal achievements I found out that every time this structure was used, it was either a trivial achievement, or one that gives you a strong reward. This is neither. In fact, even though avoiding fights is generally desirable, the maze takes too long so no group ever cares enough. This goes so far that people will actively run into the first orb they see to disqualify the entire group, no matter what you discussed beforehand. One guy can ruin the achievement for everyone even if they agreed to go for it, and this is the antithesis of fun; it creates hostility.
    My suggestion is that the achievement should be tied to the individual, not the group. It might allow for people to get it via leeching off, but you can more easily kick those players if wanted and it completely disables griefing.

  • The Maze comes after a boss fight.
    Again, in general not an issue, but if your focus is the achievement, this structure means a long and unskippable wind-up that, depending on your instabilities, might even get difficult to get through, especially with the small pool of people even wanting to attempt it. If you fail, you can't reset the achievement either. You have to leave the fractal and redo everything.
    My suggestion is to implement a mote that resets the maze and achievement at the entrance. This way you still have to clear the first boss fight, but then are free to focus on the achievement.

  • The Master Tier.
    I get why it is labelled as such, in every recent fractal there has been a dedicated Master Tier achievement. But, no other achievement has been influenced as much by instabilities. For a skill-based challenge, having something out of your control dictate not only the difficulty, but in some cases whether you should even try because it synergises badly, can't be intentional. Examples for bad instabilities are, among others: Flux Bomb, Hamstrung, Mists Convergence, Social Awkwardness, Birds (no longer ingame), and potentially Sugar Rush as I'm not sure whether or not the orbs get sped up. In addition, which is also unusual for Master Tier challenges, the Maze's difficulty does not scale with the Tier. The amount of orbs seems to be the same, and how many spirits spawn from one is irrelevant to the achievement.
    My suggestion is to allow the achievement to be done on any tier, but I can see why this won't happen, as I wrote above.

In Conclusion, these three issues combined make something that sounds interesting or maybe even easy on paper in reality tedious, difficult, and basically no one even tries. That is obviously bad. Yes, it's only 5 AP, but achievements are content and should be looked at and, if needed, fixed. I've tried to assemble a group to attempt this every single day since the fractal launched, and had no luck. And I'll continue to do so. But I think much of the challenge is artificial, held up by decisions that we were told they wouldn't happen again (speaking of the long wind-up, if you remember the Living Story season 2, the Dragon Minion in the Grove for instance), and it is easy to correct. Also yes, on the surface, I'm asking for a nerf, but not because the challenge in itself is too hard - I'm asking for a way to make attempting it less tedious and annoying, especially if and when you fail at the first attempt.

As an aside, if someone wants to help me complete this achievement and is on EU, feel free to send me a message. Me completing it will not stop me from having this discussion, as I genuinely think that there is a problem that needs adressing, but it can't hurt either.

Comments

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah, this one can be a real pain, and will be affected wildly by which class you play.

    I originally decided that it will eventually get completed down the road after enough fractals. Then a few days in, while running with a guild group, just soloed the achievement with my chrono while the others were waiting outside the maze.

    I believe the best approach is, even with a PUG group, to take it slow and have 1-2 people do the achievement. A few hints:

    • movement skills are obviously your friend. Mimic+Blink on Mesmer. They won't help with moving while you carry a bag, but after throwing it or emergency evading or getting past the eyes while not carrying
    • once at the end, typing /gg, /ff , /forfeit etc. will get you to the start of the maze safely. Make use of this after delivering a bag to the top.
    • predict movement of eyes ba tracking I what angle they will hit a wall since they sort of bounce off the wall (think pool and original angle equals outgoing angle)
    • dodges are a resource for both evasion, repositioning and speed. Make use of the two you get accordingly
    • the biggest danger is around spots where the eyes change direction since they can surprise you.

    Good Luck.

  • thrag.9740thrag.9740 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 12, 2019

    kitten OP, I wish you were on NA, me and 3 friends are going to try 4 manning it this weekend (because we don't have a 5th who would really be interested). And yeah, at the very least a reset button should be available.

  • Presumably the same thread is running on Reddit.
    https://redd.it/bbuqpq

    I tend to agree with most of the responses I saw there: it's an achievement, and some chieves should actually be tricky to complete. I don't agree that it's too hard, even though I haven't come close to getting it. I figure once enough people are familiar with the mechanics, instead of brute forcing the maze, it will become common place to do it flawless or nearly so.

    Hype is the path to the dark side. Hype leads to unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment leads to anger. Anger leads to disgust. Disgust leads to "oh, new shinies! I'm back!"

  • To make it easier i recommend using 2 holos with traited holo2. You can give perma superspeed to the one carrying the treasure, making it faster to reach the destination and also helps with avoiding the eyes. If he gets to the point where he cannot move just change the player carrying to continue.

  • Sorry for not answering earlier, I forgot to check this forum.

    @Cyninja.2954 said:
    Yeah, this one can be a real pain, and will be affected wildly by which class you play.

    I originally decided that it will eventually get completed down the road after enough fractals. Then a few days in, while running with a guild group, just soloed the achievement with my chrono while the others were waiting outside the maze.

    I believe the best approach is, even with a PUG group, to take it slow and have 1-2 people do the achievement. A few hints:

    • movement skills are obviously your friend. Mimic+Blink on Mesmer. They won't help with moving while you carry a bag, but after throwing it or emergency evading or getting past the eyes while not carrying
    • once at the end, typing /gg, /ff , /forfeit etc. will get you to the start of the maze safely. Make use of this after delivering a bag to the top.
    • predict movement of eyes ba tracking I what angle they will hit a wall since they sort of bounce off the wall (think pool and original angle equals outgoing angle)
    • dodges are a resource for both evasion, repositioning and speed. Make use of the two you get accordingly
    • the biggest danger is around spots where the eyes change direction since they can surprise you.

    Good Luck.

    Your pieces of advice are good. I actually didn't know that the bounces off the wall followed this pattern, and since then I tried to observe which point is the one where the orbs start to "bounce off".

    @thrag.9740 said:
    kitten OP, I wish you were on NA, me and 3 friends are going to try 4 manning it this weekend (because we don't have a 5th who would really be interested). And yeah, at the very least a reset button should be available.

    I read that often. Can't do much about it I guess.

    @vaxjani.9073 said:
    To make it easier i recommend using 2 holos with traited holo2. You can give perma superspeed to the one carrying the treasure, making it faster to reach the destination and also helps with avoiding the eyes. If he gets to the point where he cannot move just change the player carrying to continue.

    Another interesting tip, sadly you generally don't have a choice what classes join an attempt. Even asking for chrono and druid to get through Steve is an issue.

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Presumably the same thread is running on Reddit.
    https://redd.it/bbuqpq

    I tend to agree with most of the responses I saw there: it's an achievement, and some chieves should actually be tricky to complete. I don't agree that it's too hard, even though I haven't come close to getting it. I figure once enough people are familiar with the mechanics, instead of brute forcing the maze, it will become common place to do it flawless or nearly so.

    The thing is, I agree on the specific maze part. The actual achievement in itself is fine. I also wrote that one issue in itself isn't as bad, the combination makes it bad.
    The main issue is the large amount of unskippable time wasting before an attempt, in that you have to reset the entire fractal and redo a boss for every time someone fails once.

    This has nothing to do with being tricky, this has to do with respecting players' times, as much as I dislike to use cliché phrases. Imagine having to redo Escort every time you fail Keep Construct with the challenge mote. This is what it is. Having an option to cut out the irrelevant fluff to actually focus on attempting the achievement, preferrably via a reset node, alleviates every single pain point of mine in one go.

    Have a troll? Reset, kick the guy. If someone fails and everyone has to reset, it's no longer as bad, because you can go right at it again.

    Have bad instabilities? An attempt isn't far away, instabilities that make the fight beforehand difficult are not an exponentially worse issue because you only need to defeat it once. At that point only being able to do it in T4 isn't as bad anymore, because you have a reasonable frequency at which you can tackle even more dfficult instabilities in the maze.

    Can't find enough people? It's probably easier to find people that help you with one boss. Even if they leave, you can try it solo or invite dedicated people for the achievement.

  • @Ultimate Shingo.2374 said:
    sadly you generally don't have a choice
    Have a troll?
    Have bad instabilities?
    Can't find enough people?

    I just don't feel that any of this justifies a change. How is that different from any other group-oriented achievement? Reduce the chance of failure enough and it's no longer an achievement; it's a daily.

    The other reason I don't think it's that important for this achievement is: like most chieves, this is one & done. As many fails as you have, you only need one success and after that, it doesn't matter. (For example, no veteran bothers avoiding all the hazards during molten fractal.)

    Having an option to cut out the irrelevant fluff
    The main issue is the large amount of unskippable time

    I wish you had started and stopped here; I think nearly everyone can get behind this. It's a design principle: add more check points in instanced parts of the games, so that people are spending time on the interesting bits, rather than wasting time repeating the rest.

    There are important exceptions: SAB is built around having fewer checkpoints, Leave No Hero Behind. For the most part, though, there's no entertainment value in forcing people to restart an instance to complete a specific challenge within the instance.

    tl;dr forget about Siren's Landing & Spirit Evader: let's ask ANet (again) to have more reset motes in the game.

    Hype is the path to the dark side. Hype leads to unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment leads to anger. Anger leads to disgust. Disgust leads to "oh, new shinies! I'm back!"

  • I agree with SAB being a special case, and I don't mind LNHB strictly because the test or challenge is active in the entire fractal. Being able to skip something in there would actually nerf the achievement.

    I can also agree with more reset motes where needed. I just think, and your mileage may vary, that this specific achievement in this specific fractal is an egregious example of that. It being an achievement that's one and done, or only worth 5 AP, all that doesn't matter in principle, at most in terms of how urgent it is.

    I mean, I could go into why and how Siren's Reef as a whole has many issues, but for one, everyone who played it can see it and many in LFG even speak out as much, for another, reworking an entire fractal is a lot of work for devs and one of my points was that my particular point is rather easy to fix, and lastly, achievements are very often not seen as content that sometimes also needs a second look if something is off exactly because generally all of it is one-and-done, the group of people actively caring is small, and there are a lot of issues with achievements in general that this group will more or less just fight through because you gotta get those AP.

  • Outernet.2610Outernet.2610 Member ✭✭
    edited May 27, 2019

    This is also the only one of its kind that is tied to a specific tier that I can think of. If the whole group has to do it, don't restrict it to only tier 4. Or if it has to be done at the highest tier, then make it worth more, cause 5 points is not worth the pain of this achievement (in my opinion).

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