Every player who reaches the upper end of the level range and sets foot into Orr knows the Cathedral of Glorious Victory aka the Temple of Balthazar and the chain of map events that is supposed to allow the PACT troops to claim it from Zhaitan’s minions. In theory, it is a very well designed and motivating group experience. In reality, it is synonymous with some of the most severe design flaws that Guild Wars 2 has to contend with, hence this waypoint, skillpoint and Karma merchant being unavailable 95% of the time. In my opinion, the reasons are fairly obvious.


  • Losing in the early stages is way too easy. The final battle against the Risen Priest of Balthazar is preceded by a lengthy escort mission. During this mission, the PACT troops may not lose their fighting spirit, represented by a morale bar that quickly drops from the initial 100% and can not be brought up again. Fallen PACT members despawn and can not be revived. Naturally, they draw a lot of attention from ambushers and just love AoE.
  • The fight is ridiculously tough. 10 minutes to take down a Legendary type champion, that behaves unpredictable, deals AoE damage of enormous proportions and spawns minions is pretty tough already. Getting people up from a downed state is very challenging since the priest prefers to attack field medics. Getting people up from death is nearly impossible.
  • Whether you’re forcing people to run back from Rally WP, the only waypoint in this half of the map that is not contested 90% of the time, or you’re reviving people in groups hoping to get them up before the medics go down – all that is damage not hitting the boss – or the minions that heal him. Again: 10 minute time limit!
  • People won’t come back. Racing through hostile-infected territory, getting crippled, immobilized etc. hoping to maybe make it back in time just to get butchered again – or see the event fail? Not what people are looking for – let alone repair costs after one death already exceeding the coin reward.
  • People need to know the event, the boss behaviour and the whole group has to coordinate efforts to even have a chance at this. More people increase the chance of mistakes, weakening the effort. Not ideal for a task as huge as this.
  • Last but not least, and I firmly believe this is what many other events suffer from as well – there is little to no incentive to participate. This is a level 75 event, meanng “Gold” reward in case of success is 13,650XP,  356 karma and 1 silver 75 copper plus a chest which, “glorious” or not, usually holds crappy items. [1] Even looking at twice the reward, for both, escort and boss fight, does not make this more appealing, not lastly because the escort is time-consuming as well. In the end, one might be doing several smaller events in the same amount of time. Even getting the skillpoint is easier in a dedicated push from a small group of players than hoping for this event to succeed and take it afterwards.

Why do other similar events work better?

  • Dungeon pre-events are essential since people want to play dungeons.
  • The Straits of Devastation are not an 80 zone. Players will travel through but not necessarily stay around when they’re done – or fed up, since Malchor’s Leap and Frostgorge Sound both cover the same level range while including 80. Therefore, the population to draw from will be lower.
  • Other temple assaults are easier to do or more intuitive, Temple of Grenth aside maybe, or more rewarding even in case of failure. The Temple of Grenth event might not be very intuitive either, but profits from being located in a level 80 zone with a dungeon, which means the zone will often have a large amount of active players around.

It seems at this point that the Temple of Balthazar event will need to be redesigned or at least significantly adjusted if it is not supposed to become permanently ignored. In its current state, the event is plain and simply not attractive and not worth the effort.

[1] http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Defeat_the_Risen_Priest_of_Balthazar_before_it_can_summon_a_horde_of_Risen