Hello everyone. I would like to vent about Istan a little bit, because I think it is severely diminishing the quality of the game overall.
In the broadest terms it has the following issues: It over-rewards, it incentivizes bad gameplay and behaviour, and it comes with some extremely questionable design choices.
Let me elaborate.
Long story short, the rewards are so freakin' good that no other map in the game can compete. This leads to overcrowding and thereby trivialization of whichever challenge the content might have had. On the other hand the content is ridiculously overtuned for small populations. Argueably you will almost never see a Istan map with less than 40 players, but in the middle of the night it might happen. If you ever tried to 10-man Palawadan you know what I'm talking about - it's just not meant to happen.
Incentivizing the worst gameplay
Both meta events come with a peculiar core concept: Lots of champions.
Even the legendary superbosses are not the attraction of the events; the added champion trashmobs are. This is extremely out of line with the rest of the game and leads to people fighting for the chance to tag them ASAP before they die. Often times the window of opportunity to tag such a mob is only a few seconds wide.
Because of this you're also not incentivized to actually fight anything, but rather to tag mobs and immediately move onto the next. Killing, ressing or harvesting anything or anyone is a strict net-loss because you might miss out on several champion tags during the few seconds you wasted. This cumulates into people creating engineers just so they can plant turrets in order to assist with tagging champions.
This, naturally, leads to extreme selfish behaviour which is highly uncommon for GW2. It also robs the events of any fun they might have been.
Questionable design choices
The worst part about the things mentioned before is the sheer monotonousness. Every second champion just comes with the washing machine move (spins you around and explodes) or sky-lazers. I'll leave it up to you to decide if this is a gross flavour mismatch with the undead theme. In my opinion it is. To make things worse, the lighting was turned to eleven inside Palawadan, so your whole screen constantly looks like an acid trip; leaving you disoriented and guessing at where the next tag-target might be in the sea of bloom effects.
What's your opinion on the matter? What could be done to solve this (perceived) issue?
Leave your comments below and let's hope ArenaNet listens to some of them.