Monday, 18 November 2013

A Year Of Guild Wars 2: Part 1

There has been a rather long break with this blog, I thought that starting with a summary of how the game has grown and evolved since release seems apt. Firstly, we had the Karka attacks on Lion's Arch, this gave us Ascended gear, Southsun Cove and a group of story based events which brought us to the defeat of the ancient Karka. This was the first major event within the game, it showed a few problems with the initial design in terms of the culling and overflow server population. The event wasn't the best experience since there were several issues with client side performance and even when there wasn't so many issues; the culling removed a great deal of players from view. ArenaNet have been working and, for the most part have solved the issues which surfaced with the lost shores update (the Karka event).

Once the lost shores update had come to an end, many players were left wondering what the living story would bring next and the reception to this type of update was mixed. Next came the Mad King; Guild Wars 2's Halloween event, this was received much better than the lost shores but only contained temporary content (aside from a group of skins and a small selection of achievements). ArenaNet have since been working with two different sets of living story content; the story of the world and festival based updates (Halloween, Christmas etc). The Mad King was part of the latter of the two sets. Soon after this event, a much larger, world story based event began; Flame and Frost, this event covered over four months of living story updates and introduced a wide variety of both permanent and temporary content from weapon and armour skins to complete dungeons and dynamic events. This event was received well but was slated for being not within the general story of the Guild Wars universe in that the story didn't follow on from any of the lore already developed within the world.

The Flame and Frost group of events were centred around the alliance between the Dredge and the Flame Legion charr, known as the molten alliance. The story evolved on a small selection of zones, namely wayfarer foothills and diessa plateau.
"Refugees fled in search of a new home safe from the ongoing attacks."
First, air pockets began to pierce through the surface, cracking and breaking craters within the earth. Steam bellowed from the earth below, strange appearances of flame legion and dredge led to the destruction of many small villages and towns. Refugees fled in search of a new home safe from the ongoing attacks. The refugees fled to the Black Citadel, Hoelbrak and Lion's Arch. The cities could not hold this number of people on top of the normal flow of merchants, travelers and residence; they had to find somewhere for them to live. The attacks continued and became more and more threatening to the population of the areas involved. The attackers used new, devastating weapons which combined the engineering capabilities of the dredge with the flame magic of the charr flame legion; they had to be stopped! Finally, we found their weapon facilities, if we could bring them down; it would mean the end for their power in these areas. The player teamed up with two heroes who had been forced out of their homes to take the facilities and their alliance down.

Once the Karka were forced from Southsun and the molten alliance were halted, the living story took a more casual turn. The Super Adventure Box; a retro styled jumping puzzle area based on many of the old platform games around the nintendo 64 era was added to the game. The idea behind it all was that an Asura named Moto came up with the first virtual reality simulator in Tyria. Moto is situated in Rata Sum where the event was held. Within the Super Adventure Box there were four worlds, originally, only world one and the start of world two were available (more worlds have since been added). It was a game requiring jumping puzzle skill with retro style enemies, hidden areas and lots of baubles. The patch also introduced a group of weapon skins and a backpack skin all in the style of the Adventure Box. This patch was amazingly well received with most players wishing for the return of the Super Adventure Box and many wanting the addon to be a permanent addition to the game.

When writing this post; I soon realised that it would be massive, and so would need to be split into two sections. Each of these sections will cover approximately six months. Part two coming soon!