Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Lost Shores

The Lost Shores was the first content release for Guild Wars 2 that created a story not linked to a festival or event such as halloween. The update introduced a new zone for us to explore and brought a group of unique and exciting world one-time events. It kicked off the idea of the living story and brought forward a group of technical issues with the game. This blog is based around the story and lore for the game, and so these living story posts while aiding readers in understanding of how the events panned out we need to ensure a lore focus. A previous unseen region within the Sea of Sorrows (formally the Bay of Sirens) surfaced, exactly when and how; we can only speculate. I like to believe that the island has been there since the emergence of Orr. After the defeat of Zhaitan, the people of Tyria were given some breathing space. An interested party known as the Consortium sent a Sylvari named Canach along with an expedition to survey the island. It is a tropical island, perfect as a tourist attraction. The expedition team used loopholes within their order to research the flora scattered on the island. The research into this flora led to the scattering of it's pollen, this led to more aggressive behaviors in the local wildlife. The Karka - the animals which inhabit the island - moved to the island since the threat of the deep sea dragon. Seemingly without warning; the karka attack Lion's Arch in great numbers. The team researching into the island and flora had led the Karka to Lion's Arch, Garrenhoff (south east Kessex Hills) and Caledon Forest.

Within this update there were a group of additions to the game, most importantly; the Fractal of the Mists dungeon. This was a dungeon with difficulty levels which increase based on the levels that you have completed. There are fractals, these are dungeon sections, three of these smaller dungeon sections are randomly chosen and placed together to create a full fractals dungeon run. As the difficulty level increases, so does the quality of loot rewarded. Other additions include a new PvP map known as the Temple of the Storm, new Lost Shores items from the black lion trading company (the gem store) and new ascended gear and infusions. Previous to this update; the highest rarity armour you could get was Exotic, this changed with this update, bringing in the ascended rarity gear.
"...until the ancient Karka was plunged into the depths."
This was an addition to aid the completion of the new dungeon since at higher difficultly levels, you would need agony resistance infused into your armour pieces. This is interesting since in the events of the first game, you went through 'Ascension' which gave you the resistance infusion allowing the player character to withstand the power of the Mursaat's agony magic.

The update also entailed three one-time events which told the basic story of the whole update. There were several performance issues within the client during these events since there was such a huge number of players moving to the same zone at the same time and the culling issues increased these issues further. The first of the three events was based around defending Lion's Arch. The Karkas assaulted Lion's Arch, the people of Tyria must teamed up and fought off the oncoming horde, a progress bar was displayed in the top right of the screen. Slowly but surely they were pushed back into the sea of sorrows. The next day was spent getting items together to repair the damage done to the structures around the city and getting any soldiers together to ready a counter invasion. A day later the assault on Southsun began, the first time players were able to step onto the beautiful beaches of southsun. The third and final event was a long battle from the shores to the nesting ground of the ancient karka. This was a drawn out event over an hour or two as we made it closer and closer to the ancient Karka, taking parts of the island piece by piece until the ancient Karka was plunged into the depths.