Dynamic events are something we all experience, often regardless of whether we want to or not. Unless you’re really good at avoiding things and you don’t care about karma or achievements, chances are you’ve experienced at least a few. The good news? Some of them are doable if you’re alone. The bad news – very few of them are. Most of the time if there are no kind citizens around to help you, you might as well just move on and try your luck elsewhere. In highly populated zones, this shouldn’t be a problem, but the quiet areas are the ones that suffer.
Let’s briefly go over the different types of events:
Escort – Fairly simple. Get the NPC from point A to point B without said NPC dying. Where it varies is the different types of enemies you fight, and what the NPCs are trying to accomplish. Escorting a dolyak to a trading post is very different than helping a sylvari repair natural defenses around an oasis. What I like (and how it differs from the original Guild Wars) is how even if the NPC dies, the quest isn’t automatically over; it gives you a chance to revive them.
Gathering/Building – Basically collecting. Different variations on the items and how they’re used (bad grapes to turn into revenge wine was one of my favorites), but essentially the same thing. Oftentimes monsters pop up just to make things interesting.
Straight up fighting – This is usually where you see the most people. Whether it’s a centaur or a dragon, everyone wants a piece of the action, and the nice chest that accompanies most big monsters. These are often the result of an entire event chain.
Destroying/Protecting – Seek and destroy, or defend. Whether you’re storming the castle or defending it, you’ll need a good team and a decent strategy.
Claiming – This land is my land, this land is your land – oh wait, that’s mine too.
My first piece of advice to you – do not try and do an event alone. I know I just told you some of them are soloable, and some are. But if you’re just coming across one, wait and see exactly what it is before rushing in guns blazing. If you have done the event before with someone else and it was super easy, great – go ahead and go in. But if you and another person struggled, do not do it. It’s not worth dying 20 times trying to kill a drake that regenerates its health faster than you can blink. Oh, and if it says [Group Event], please for the love of all that is holy do not attempt to go anywhere near it without at least 5 (or preferably 10) people. As awesome as your tricked out character may be, it still doesn’t mean you can take on The Shatterer all by your little self. Now this advice may seem obvious, but you won’t believe how many people I’ve seen make these mistakes. I’ve even made them a few times before giving myself a virtual slap in the face.
There’s something to be said about the teamwork in this game, and it’s never more obvious than it is in events. From the littlest escort quest to an all out 30-person brawl with achampion, I’ve seen people execute the perfect dodge roll in order to get to a fallen ally before jumping back into the fray, or throw down an electric field that someone else can shoot through. If there was ever something that makes us feel like we’re in an action movie, it’s rolling around on the ground while throwing all of our best attacks at one giant thing, along with 50 of our closest friends (or strangers). But is it superficial? Maybe. After all, the game does give us gobs of experience for helping others. However, I beg to differ. I’ve seen players go out of their way to help someone in need, even when it didn’t necessarily benefit them. I’ve even done that myself. I think instead of only giving lazy players incentive, it’s made them realize what they get out of it other than experience. Is Guild Wars 2 actually making nicer players? In some cases, yes. I still see the occasional adolescent troll (“Lulz dun h8 cuz I flamed u”), but their numbers have been fewer as of late. As a whole, the people I’ve come across have been at the very least quiet but helpful. I remember when I stupidly took on the aforementioned drake, and before it could obliterate me, two people rushed in to help. One started reviving me while the other drew aggro away from us. When I was up, we had a much easier time taking it down. I think ArenaNet accomplished what they set out to do – they made us work with each other. (I suspect they had a rousing rendition of The Beatles’ “Come Together” in the office.)
If you really want to feel like a hero, then take a chance and try an event by yourself. I’ve only tried a couple times, but they’ve been successes. Whether or not that was sheer dumb luck, I’ll never know. My favorite was in Bloodtide Coast, where I helped an Order of Whispers member infiltrate a pirate cave to rescue another member. Some rather amusing dialogue ensued, and we were allowed entry. I listened to the asura pirate captain ramble on about his different nefarious plans, and then ran around like an idiot for a minute trying to find what I needed to light the fuse before I finally found the torch. Now here’s where I went wrong, but it actually worked out: When I lit the fuse, I ran away as fast as I could all the way out of the cave, before the pirates even had time to turn bad. That meant whenever the gate slammed shut, I was on the outside. I destroyed the gate and the guard, clearing us an escape route. Then I went in to rescue my Order buddy and her friend. It was a very close call – we made it out literally as the countdown hit zero. Talk about a heart-pounding thriller. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but I did sigh in relief when we made it in one piece. Doing events solo is very gratifying, (not to mention an ego boost). If you think you’re prepared, go for it!
Whether farming for karma and gold or traveling half a zone to help someone in need, events are a huge part of everyday gaming life. At times they can be frustrating, but for the most part they’re enjoyable. And who knows, you might find a new friend in the fray. So suit up and get out there, because they’re going on right now, and they wait for no one.