18 December 2018

Guild Wars 2: About the Beetle Races and Their Difficulty

I had the calculation already prepared for about a week, but I couldn't find the time to write this blog post due to, math homework (discrete structures), pgdp (abr.: Praktikum: Grundlagen der Programmierung, engl.: apprenticeship: basics of programming) and the winter update for Against the World, but now that I'm almost in the Christmas break... Time! Yes!

What's Beetle Racing?

Beetle Racing has been added to Guild Wars 2 on the patch of the 26th of November.[1] Beetle races are race tracks with checkpoints that have a three-lap racing event to go with them gratulating the first three winners as well as time trial adventures that save yours overall best and daily time for one round or lap. Additionally, there are bronze, silver and gold rewards for these time trials that are achieved by being below a certain time. These racing tracks are designed for the beetle mount that can grow in speed when continuously rolling, especially downhill while having a super-speed ability that is bound to the endurance bar. This endurance bar fills over time, when colliding with objects, drifting or doing tricks in the air (if skilled). ArenaNet added a total of six races, which means there are now eight beetle races in-game.
  • Domain of Kourna
  • Mad Kings Raceway[2]
  • Kessex Hills
  • Gendarran Fields
  • Diessa Plateau
  • Mount Maelstrom
  • Brisban Wildlands
  • Snowden Rifts

About the Race Tracks

Domain of Kourna

This is the first track added to the game, it's an adventure for people to experience the beetle racing for the first time and required you to have quite a good grip with the beetle to achieve gold. Not hard yet.

Mad Kings Raceway

Following the previous one, this is the second race track that was designed for the beetle and added to the game. Before the patch, this needed very good usage of the beetle. There were a lot of places that actually required you to boost and drift well enough. Especially since there were objects that unmount you on collision. It is a fairly short track though. Since the nerf you can do the track with other mounts just as well making it one of the easier ones. It's only available during the Mad King's Eve if at every.

Kessex Hills

Kessex Hills is the first of the six new ones I'm gonna talk about. Kessex Hills actually is less of a race and more a practice run. It is extremely short and asks you to do drift and learn about the speed increase when rolling downhill (if ever slightly) and the loss of speed when rolling uphill as shown to the end. Getting the drift to work and maybe using one boost is enough to get gold. It is, therefore, the one I deem the easiest.

Gendarran Fields

With Gendarran Fields the second of the six new ones were implemented. This one now features a much bigger track there are about three jumps where you can do tricks to gain endurance and multiple chances to use a boost. It's also the first map to introduce you to the water mechanic. The beetle can go over water if fast enough, it does lose speed though. According to an NPC, you can keep more momentum if you jump onto water instead of rolling into it. There is at least one spot where you most likely need to drift, which is shortly before the bridge. I recommend keeping a boost after the first water passage. Aside from that use the boosts where you're sure you can use them well. I'd deem this one the second easiest one of the new ones.

Diessa Plateau

The third one I'm gonna list goes through terrain with obstacles such as trees, bushes, walls and more in the way. There are a lot more places where you actually need to drift to get around well. You get some help thanks to some of the checkpoints working as a "start-to-drift-here"-marker. Aside from that, there isn't much more to say to this one. I deem it harder than the Gendarran Fields one though.

Mount Maelstrom

Now we're starting to get into the tough territory. Oh, and you might notice that I sorted them by the release as well as difficulty. This track starts with a lot of uphills that requires you to place your boosts at the right point. Follows up by mountainous terrain some tight corners and then even more mountainous terrain. There are a lot of spots you can easily get stuck with, you need drifting and if you don't drift correctly you're hardly better than not drifting at all. You really need to make sure you use your boosts at the right places, especially as you get hardly anything out of a boost if you can't get a grip on the ground. The boost in the air does not give you as much push as you get on the ground, quite realistically. Though even with a few mistakes here and there you can possibly get gold as the time is set gratefully.

Brisban Wildlands

Well so much about grateful time. We're starting to get a smaller window for gold now depending on how many mistakes you make. This one is considered the hardest one by people and track-wise, that's correct. However, due to the time window for gold, I do not consider this one the hardest but instead, the most time consuming one. This is the biggest and longest of the races and has many places that are mean, especially the corner at the Thaumacore Inquiry Center [&BFoAAAA=][3]. The end of the track through the Lionshead Outcrops is also tough. Another down, but there are a lot of points you can get stuck on, such as bushes and whatnot. There are some tricks though where you can use jumps to gain endurance through tricks to get faster endurance that way.

Snowden Drifts

Last but not least the one I consider the hardest. This is an extremely short race track but the timing is extremely tight. If it doesn't go nearly perfect you can easily pass on the gold time. Note that you do need to use two boosts at the start to negate the speed loss of uphill rolling, you need to get enough endurance to boost before the endurance refresher later on the track and you need to boost after the drift after the second bridge you cross. Additionally, depending on where you drift, there you might lift off the ground failing to get the angle to stay on track and losing control of the drift and beetle. Also, don't miss the last bridge.. that hurts. Some trees hate you, haha. So, many obstacles, endurance control, tight time, small passages, and drifts on tricky terrain. Yes, I consider this one the hardest.

Overall Difficulty Ranking

Well, to recap I would say:
  1. Snowden Drifts
  2. Brisban Wildlands
  3. Mount Maelstrom
  4. Domain of Kourna
  5. Diessa Plateau
  6. Gendarran Fields
  7. Mad Kings Raceway (assuming you chill through it with another mount)
  8. Kessex Hills
There is to say that this is my own opinion trying to weight the features and challenges each track brings with it. So there may be differences in the ranking.

Next Post Already Planned

So, I wanted this post to be about how many races you need to do or how many days it takes you only doing it daily but this post has gotten too big already. This means I'm going to split it into two posts instead. I hope you enjoy this one nonetheless. I'm probably going to write the next post tomorrow.

[1] https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/61676/game-update-notes-november-26-2018
[2] https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mad_King's_Raceway
[3] https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Thaumacore_Inquiry_Center
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I'm a B.Sc. Games Engineer and I created this blog to share my ideas, theorycrafting, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.