As Guild Wars 2 followers will know, a fan-favourite boss encounter is returning to Guild Wars 2 subsequent week. Called Twisted Marionette, it’s a fancy and difficult battle towards an enormous clockwork automaton that likes to squish heroes below its stomping toes, which first hit the sport in the MMORPG’s Living World Season One, manner again in 2014.

The Marionette has lain dormant in False River Valley since that first look, however now developer ArenaNet is reintroducing it as a problem for followers to sort out whereas ready for information on the sport’s subsequent main growth, End of Dragons, which was simply delayed to early 2022 due to “the real-world challenges of the past year”. The encounter will deliver all of its signature choices that made it a fan-favourite battle, corresponding to its a number of lanes that want cautious defending and 5 platforms that require bands of gamers to divide so as to conquer. However, the studio’s additionally had to make some changes to deliver the struggle into line with the sport’s fashionable choices, which Live Team design lead Joe Kimmes spoke to us about.

“We’ve kept the core of each part of the battle intact – for example, the five lanes and five platforms can feel like a struggle to split your group for, but we wanted to keep the encounter true to itself and not overhaul the structure,” Kimmes tells us.

“What has been updated are a lot of under-the-hood scripts, both to
fix bugs and improve performance with newer script tools, and the moment-to-moment quality of life, such as the enemy’s attack indicators, stun behaviour, and difficulty scaling based on the number of players.  We also added a new bonus skill during the Warden fights – once your platform has succeeded, rather than only being able to wait for the others you’ll get a special skill to cheer them on and bolster their last push.”

As you’d anticipate, there have been some technical hurdles to overcome in bringing again a seven-year-old battle to a recreation that’s since been evolving and updating, one of many first of which was shifting it throughout map variations. “Most of Season One’s content, especially in the open world, was never planned to be permanent,” Kimmes explains. “Fortunately, the Marionette’s various scripts were still intact but dormant in Lornar’s Pass, but one of the first big projects was transplanting it to a new – and older – version of the map, so that its proper battlefield was present rather than its own wreckage.”

Following this, he says, the group set about fixing bugs that had emerged within the encounter following years of modifications and gear updates, although this resulted in some helpful discoveries that benefitted the newer model. For instance, Kimmes tells us {that a} newer script motion let the group scale back one of many boss’ scripts from greater than 200 repeated actions to only one, single motion.

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With the Twisted Marionette being arguably one among Guild Wars 2’s spookiest bosses, given its monumental measurement and inhuman, robotic persona managed by sinister engineer Scarlet Briar, we additionally requested about any modifications made to improve its scary nature within the new-version encounter – and it appears like we are able to anticipate a heightening of this to some extent. “The inhuman clockwork monsters of Scarlet’s armies were a distinctly terrifying aspect of Season One – for the most part, we’ve simply preserved their gruesome nature,” Kimmes tells us.

“However, some of the touch-ups to the battle have helped their goal of striking fear – improved marking on the Marionette’s attacks draws attention to its stomping, and combat tuning on its Champion minions has helped make them as dangerous to modern players as they were to the heroes who originally confronted them.”

The causes for preserving the encounter’s core expertise that long-time followers will recall are mirrored in why it has such enduring recognition with the sport’s fanbase – why Twisted Marionette is so particular and memorable specifically – which Kimmes shares his views on. “I think the size and spectacle of the Marionette itself plays a role, but also the sheer coordination required from players to tackle its fight,” he says.

“It’s hectic but at the same time requires some planning – you need to defend all five lanes, and also be prepared for each lane’s team to have to further split to confront the Warden mini-bosses. Each server’s struggle to master the fight became very memorable, and the fight naturally lends itself to some last-minute heroism as you bring down the final Wardens.”

Twisted Marionette, together with the Triple Trouble wurm battle that initially got here alongside it within the recreation’s Origins of Madness content material, have additionally had a notable affect on memorable battles which have come since, as Kimmes explains. “[They’re] events that strongly push players to organise ahead of time and split their forces between multiple fronts. That coordination challenge has shown up again in a number of meta events – the Silverwastes’ Vinewrath boss, in particular, shares a great deal with the Marionette from its split-holdout battles to each lane fighting a boss one at a time.”

He notes that Twisted Marionette stays one of many “most taxing” of those sorts of occasions, although, given its 5 separate lanes that diverge to get gamers tackling 5 Wardens. “We’re looking forward to seeing players match up against it again!” he provides.

Twisted Marionette returns to Guild Wars 2 on July 13.

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