The Ruined City of Arah (let's just call it Arah, shall we? We'll take the ruining as read) serves both as the highest-level dungeon in the game and the culmination of the Personal Storyline. Ah yes, the Personal Storyline. That'll be that other thing I'm not doing. The last time I touched it on any of my characters was back around level 40. Mrs Bhagpuss, however, has been steadily working her way through hers, delayed only by bugs (courrtesy of ArenaNet) and disconnections (courtesy of our flaky router).
|Wait for me!|
I'd barely had time to log in and report my first half-dozen bots of the evening when I got the call to come to Cursed Shore. There I joined Mrs Bhagpuss and three others, all from the same guild, waiting to go through the big blue portal to Arah. The group comprised two rangers (us), an Elementalist, a Guardian and I forget the other.
I won't go through the instance in detail. If you don't know it, Zubon gives an excellent account of how it plays out here. Suffice to say that, as a story, it really isn't very good.
As far as gameplay goes, from reading that and several other accounts, I was expecting it to be a lot harder than it turned out to be. Maybe it's been tuned down or maybe our group was better-geared (Mrs Bhagpuss's ranger is head-to-toe in fully upgraded exotics. Mine, um, isn't). Whatever the reason, I thought it was actually easier than several of the earlier Personal Story instances I'd done.
|Ultra-rare! Logan Being Useful|
So much for the story. What about the combat? With all that's been said about the supposed difficulty of GW2 dungeons and the chaotic gameplay that arises from having no dedicated Tanks or Healers, was it really that bad? Okay, it was a Story dungeon, which is easy-mode as I understand it, but even allowing for that I have to re-iterate that it was really a lot easier than I was expecting.
|Yeah, yeah, now just fall over, already!|
Was it fun? Yes. Was it as much fun as a traditional Trinity-style group? No.
|Toto, I've a feeling we're not in High Fantasy any more|
On balance, I think I'd prefer more structure. The current "everyone is DPS, everyone heals, no-one tanks" is fluid and fun in big crowds but in a 5-person instance it seems odd. I'm certainly not suggesting we need to go back to the Trinity as-was but I don't think this version is a complete replacement. It's an alternative, sure, but someone will do a better iteration than this. They'd better.
One thing it did do, though, was remind me how much fun it is to play in an actual group. Got to do more of that.