You know how when you order a nice big steak dinner, and they forget the side of creamed spinach you ordered. They bring it out with apologies. You do not attack the creamed spinach as if it has now become the only item worthy of eating on your plate, ignoring your medium-rare steak, twice-baked potato, and that wedge of fiber, water and bleu cheese they call a salad. You incorporate it in to the rest of your meal. Welcome to Guild Wars 2 Living Story.
Of course most players didn’t know how the new content was supposed to work until last night when Bobby Stein clarified the goals for Flame and Frost: Prelude. He writes:
The Flame and Frost story content progresses over time. You will not see everything today, tomorrow, or even the next day.
Expect subtle changes at first. Maybe you’ll encounter some familiar characters. Perhaps you’ll be introduced to some new ones. You might see a new structure where there wasn’t one before.
The Living Story content is initially about the thrill of discovery. We’ll put some markers on your map, maybe send you a letter, or parcel out details through certain characters, but the rest is up to you.
As the weeks progress, you’ll notice bigger changes in the world. New events may appear. Plots will advance and characters will develop.
I am all for content additions of this nature, but ArenaNet has again explained their position largely after players already had set expectations. I am thankful Stein did this at all, but he is a game developer. He is not public or community relations. ArenaNet keeps trying new ways to parcel out content, which is good, but it also can easily confuse players.
Now that we are finally all on the same page, the content last night was fun. It was part of the whole game instead of the entire reason for playing. I spent time in Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau as well as Orr, Southsun Cove, and who knows where else.
Basically with the new content, there are refugees streaming in from the affected areas towards their capital cities. Players can help them out by fixing signs to guide refugees, lighting campfires, helping wounded refugees, finding hidden dead ones and scavenging their mementos, or doing some new events. Do this 75 times and players get an achievement, a title, and most importantly a Refugee Child’s Drawing (karma consumable) for this portion of the Living Story.
It was exciting seeing a lot of people in those small zones. Seeing legendary footprints in the early zones was kind of funny too. Lots of events were going off due to higher populations, and even if the events didn’t deal with Flame and Frost, players were attacking them with gusto.
Those events are currently the cause of the refugees. Seems ruptures from underground are causing environmental effects, which are adding to the blizzard and dust storms. Unstable elementals rise up during these ruptures, and in a helpful manner, killing them results in a chunk of material that can plug the ruptures. Frost and flame and questions abound.
The obvious answer is destroyers. The go underground. They are fiery. Yet, these are in areas where destroyers have had no presence. Jormag might be the other half of the Living Story’s title. There are other theories involving Flame Legion, Sons of Svanir, and even the dredge. Right now it seems we are in that confusing part of the beginning of the story where our bearings are not even set. I would personally really like to question the refugees beyond the blizzard and dust storms. Perhaps we’ll get a chance as the discoveries continue.