When the Dragon Bash event was first announced I was really excited to experience it and see all the new things Arenanet had come up with. I must admit after the weekend I am a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong the holographic dragon flying around Lion’s Arch is pretty cool, and the fireworks are pretty neat as well. My annoyance really centers around three specific things: the cost of the holographic dragon wings, moa races, and the Dragon Ball.
To earn the holographic wings through the festival you have to collect 100,000 candies. How do you get these candies? Well you can get 1 from every Dragon Piñata you break (which is the most anemic piñata I have ever heard of) or from Dragon Coffers which drop from mobs out in the world or from destroying the dragon holograms. Thankfully there are a variety of methods to gain these candies but you still only seem to get one candy per thing. Not to mention Dragon Coffers don’t always have candy in them. It just feels in the end the price for the wings is a bit high.
Moa Races are fun because it is pretty amusing to watch them run around and try to guess the right one. However, for me the annoyance is in the fact you need a certain number of wins to get the related achievement. In addition you are betting on the moas so if you want the achievement the Moa Races are basically a money sink. Thankfully you do get some money back if your moa gets second or third, but unless you are very lucky you will leave with a lighter purse.
My last complaint is the Dragon Ball, though the issue is only slightly an Arenanet issue and more of a player issue. The set-up of Dragon Ball is actually a really interesting one. You join a five person team to fight against another team. Everyone starts with just one ability but there are orbs around which will grant additional abilities. There are also other orbs which will return health and will power you up. In addition there are tunnels to run through and air jets which will shoot you all over the map. If everyone in a fight is playing, Dragon Ball is a ton of fun… If.
Over time players have started looking at MMOs with less of a “what can I do which will be fun” outlook and more of a “what’s the fastest way for me to get x achievement”. I personally don’t really get that style of play, for me I like to play games to have fun and achievements are just a dandy bonus, but it is valid for people to just have the goal of getting whatever achievement they want. The issue is many people I have come across in Dragon Ball queue in and then just stand there waiting for the match to end. They don’t attack anyone, or try to dodge or anything. They are just there to be fodder.
Now I agree with Arenanet making the requirement for the achievement be participation in matches instead of wins. If players had to win 20 matches we’d have a whole other can of worms on our hands. What they should have done was to allow people to queue up with other people for the fights. It probably would have made the queues longer but at least then you could be sure to have a team who will at least try to play, for those of us who actually like to do things in MMOs.
Aside from these things I am mostly happy with Dragon Bash, just a couple of tweaks could have made it an all around exciting event, instead of being mostly good with a few large downsides.