You may have seen it in the past, the Seaweed Shuffle. People moving from side to side in combat, not stopping until whatever they’re attacking is dead. I had assumed it was a hangover from PvP, after all, it’s harder to hit a moving target. Of course, that wasn’t the real reason people did it and you might be seeing a whole lot less of it after this week.
This week’s patch introduced a lot of little changes to all of the classes. The patch notes were the kind that make your eyes glaze over as you try in vain to digest all the information. While that has been where a lot of attention for this patch has been there was a not-so-insignificant change to some food items. These foods are the ones that increase damage while you’re moving. The movement from side to side has been given the name Seaweed Shuffle because the high-end recipes with this effect have seaweed in them.
In this week’s patch, the food was changed. The percentage of damage gained on it was cut in half. So 10% became 5% and so on. It was said that this was to bring the food in line with other foods that impact damage which now leads me to wonder, why would I pick the food that only gives a bonus when I’m moving over a food that gives me the bonus all the time? Well, that was kind of the point!
The Seaweed Shuffle was never intended and in the patch notes, it even stated that it has had a negative impact on the health of the game. It also mentioned the health of players which makes me wonder how many people got repetitive stress injuries from trying to stay moving constantly.
If this was, in fact, the case why didn’t Arenanet change the food more? Perhaps remove the “while moving” part. If the Seaweed Shuffle was damaging to the health of the game, why didn’t they put a stop to it entirely? Why nerf it instead to the point where it won’t be used anymore?
This isn’t the first time Arenanet has made this kind of decision either. Another notable place it has come up is with the issues around higher tiered leather. Instead of addressing the high leather cost in crafting by reducing the amount of leather needed, a leather farm was introduced. One that has had no noticeable impact, it should be said. In fact, going to Bloodstone Fen and farming the White Mantle is a better farm than the one the developers introduced. When it was said that PvP is too hard to follow because it’s so busy they nerfed the visuals of Elementalist’s Fireball across the entire game.
Arenanet seems to prefer taking a less direct approach with some changes to the game. Sometimes these changes can have a massive and notable impact on the game. Other times though it ends up being ineffective or, like in the case of the Seaweed Shuffle it appears to be randomly roundabout.
Will it work though?
Yeah, it will.
Without the extra boost that was put in place to compensate for the fact that the effect isn’t always active, there’s no reason for you to pick those foods if the extra damage is what you’re after. Which means they’ll be used for what they were originally intended for; a chance for swiftness on kill.
Will people still use the foods?
There might be someone out there who wants a chance for swiftness. It’d be good for getting around quickly if you’re doing a speedrun to level cap. But there are better foods to use for that. Check out my guide to getting to level 80 in a hurry from a few weeks ago for more on that. Could be handy in WvW when you kill someone and need to get away in a hurry. But again, there are better foods.
It seems like these foods have basically been killed without actually killing them. What we have seen is a shift in the market. There was an immediate effect on the price of Seaweed. The item is now mostly used in scribing and for guild improvements. There are also still some other foods that call for seaweed but they don’t have the popularity to support the item at the price it was before.
And once again we have to look at the discussion about insider trading/leaks. It was clearly known that this nerf was coming though no one knew exactly when. There were leaks on Reddit but with no clear sign from Arenanet that the end was coming, nothing really changed. That is until right before the patch released when the recipe for the new favorite power food; Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup saw what can reasonably be called unusual activity. Check out this graph that was posted on Reddit.
Someone clearly knew that this patch was coming and they knew exactly what was in it. This has been an ongoing issue for Arenanet. One that they don’t seem to be taking a very hard stance on. The only thing that they’ve clearly done to address it is change what ingredients are in the new recipes introduced in new episodes of the living story in between beta testing and launch. They don’t appear to be going after the people doing this, or if they are, they’re doing it in silence which is damaging the player’s confidence in the market. A harder, more public stance seems to be needed. Maybe that means dumping everyone in the beta test and getting a whole new group. Maybe it means picking someone on the dev team to just monitor the beta testers and go after the ones who breach contract.
There are a lot of odd things going on around Guild Wars 2 at the moment. I had originally planned to make this week’s article about the quarterly report and it being the lowest it has ever been for GW2 but I suppose that will have to wait for another time.Related: ArenaNet, Column, Guild Wars 2, MMORPG, Patch, The Tyrian Chronicle