The first hints to this year’s Living Story kickoff dropped this morning with an ominously voiced video showcasing the major content of next week’s Origins of Madness. The Origins of Madness chapter is one of the last four for the first season of the Living Story. I think maybe we will learn about Scarlet’s origins? That’s mostly unclear with the official preview page not up yet. I am hoping for some personal story-ish content as well.
Massively, and others, got a press preview of the next chapter. It focuses on two major boss battles. The non-permanent addition is fighting a stories-high Twisted Marionette, which has testing cycles as it seemingly descends from Scarlet’s UFO to stomp on players. The permanent boss battle involves gigantic jungle wurms in Bloodtide Coast.
I am pretty excited. Open world boss battles have become pretty core to my favorite things in Guild Wars 2. I play Tequatl as much as I can, and the Temples and other world bosses are pretty much go to content when Mrs. Ravious and I ask what’s next… especially when we are bit too wound out or wine’d up to play in WvW. (Though, playing drinking games based on commander… uhh, commands is pretty fun. Protip: do not take a sip every time someone yells “stack”.)
I also imagine the difficulties for each boss battle are going to be a bit different. I would imagine the permanent wurm battle is going to be difficult, and an iteration forward in their “raid” content (Tequatl), and I would imagine the Twisted Marionette is on the more pug-able level, perhaps like Scarlet Invasions. The latter would be great, given the transiency of the content; however, I am a bit worried about the former. It already takes about an hour to get in to the “sure” Tequatl killing overflow, and I can do it within half an hour sometimes to get in to OF2 (which usually wins anyway). How will the wurm battles affect the rhythm of Tequatl attacks?
Going past the next update, I really liked reading the hostile interview at Eurogamer. ArenaNet gave some really open and interesting answers to things like sales, server health, and Living Story iteration. Sales are dropping slower than expected, and they are still heading towards untapped foreign markets. Server health is great, especially during WvW times. Finally, they have learned and refined the Living Story for 2014.
I doubt that doge-master Colin and Mike Z told Eurogamer all the Living Story update plans, but it seems like ArenaNet has taken note of all the “expansion” clamor from fans. What he did announce was that they were going to take a [hopefully short] break from the Living Story at the end of Scarlet’s last four episodes. Then they were going to release a feature-heavy update, which would include gameplay changers, quality-of-life upgrades, and more features bundles together.
The reason? It seems that things were getting muddled between story release and feature release. I think it will be interesting to see which gets more attention across the board. They also mentioned two “big” projects happening in the background, and they avoided answering the expansion question more than they usually do.
I like the coined “bumper” update to pause the flow a bit. I feel that the community really seemed to appreciate this winter break from the two-week cycle. Even if we do get an update every two weeks from the 21st on until next winter break, having a feature-related “break” I feel will be a good fresh bit of air. Plus it could give the Living Story teams a bit more dev time.
I am excited to see what 2014 brings. I was actually kind of nervous heading in to 2014 with all the new MMOs coming, but I think that with ArenaNet’s plans and the way Guild Wars 2 works, there is no reason to worry. I see no issue with a bit of raiding in WildStar, a bit of minecrafting in EverQuest Next, and possibly even checking out the RvR-natured Elder Scrolls Online, although I need to hear some more reviews on that first. So far the next big MMO seems to be a love-it or hate-it deal. Guild Wars 2, at least on my playlist, will carry on.