Hitherby some spoilers
The Edge of the Mist is quite possibly the most beautiful map in Guild Wars 2. The only negative I have is I’m a bit unsure of all the clouds getting in my way. Otherwise I am just in awe. The land is so rich. I stop and stare at some statues with tattered flags, and get run over by a zerg. The landscapes in Guild Wars 2 continue to get better and better.
Edge of the Mists, the new World vs. World (“WvW”) map is also rich in secondary mechanics. For instance, one can turn into an invincible ball of light for a few minutes to scout. Or, sick of your professions lack of awesome? Turn into a Kodan with all new skills that make the current kings of Guild War(riors) 2 jealous. There are bridges to destroy, pre-built cannons to fire, and it feels much more like a huge sandbox instead of the comparatively sterile environment of WvW proper. I like it a lot better, but I am going to have to spend significant time to understand it all. Initial reports say it is amazing for small scale PvP, and bring your stability and knockbacks because falling deaths are what’s on tap.
I think everybody understands, including ArenaNet, how poorly Scarlet was conveyed. It sucks for “The Enemy” to feel so trope-y and distant. Her story is hopefully coming to a close, although with a nuclear bomb of a closer it seems.
On the other hand, I am in love with Destiny’s Edge Zwei! Braham and Rox were a little rough in starting. However, I’ve really begun to love Braham’s caricature of rebellious teen. He reminds me a lot now of Conner from Assassin’s Creed 3. Rox is pretty good, but I feel much of her story is in Rytlock’s shadow. Hopefully that will change.
My favorites are Marjory and Taimi by far. Marjory’s text and voice overs are just brilliant. She gives off that 1920’s radio hour vibe without it being overdone. Taimi is an asuran youngster who relies on her golem in the way many kids rely on their wheelchairs. ArenaNet is doing a brilliant job of it just feeling real. She’s not the disabled asuran, first. That’s just a bit of her. Notable, sure. But not forced down our throats.
It’s the same way with Marjory and Kasmeer’s relationship. They seem like good partners. I can label it lesbian, homosexual, or whatever, but ArenaNet has done such a good job of showing That Doesn’t Matter. What matters is they are a pair. Braham and Rox might become a pair too. Good for them. It’s just so good to view things for what they are instead of having all these labeled prejudices and connotations come first.
Kasmeer is the one I’m still not sure about. She feels the least fleshed out. She’s in Marjory’s shadow, and she kind of has that ignorable pretty, rich girl vibe. Kasmeer’s not quite comic relief in some conversations, but it comes close…. so that kind of puts her even more in the prop room. Hopefully she will have a chance to shine later on.
The main story instance was a bit long, but it’s a good recap. What I really liked throughout this bit of the Living World portion was that I was the conveyor of a critical bit of information: the Lion’s Arch probe turning green. I had something to tell the NPC’s, which is kind of an MMO trope role-reversal. It was good. It seems each release the story is getting clearer and better.
The chatter is also great. I find that each time I enter the Edge of the Mists I want to see what Braham and Taimi are chatting about. The NPC chatter has become such a great feature in the Living World updates, and I hope ArenaNet continues the trend. I feel like the chatter puts me more immersed in the world than if I ran up to named NPCs and clicked on them to see what vital information they had. I think the chatter also allows ArenaNet to impart more run-of-the-mill talk that would be seen as a waste if I had to click through it.
I want to know what’s behind Scarlet. My guess is either a god (one of the evil three of Guild Wars 1), or something greater than a god. I tend to doubt it’s an elder dragon. Scarlet and krewe seemed unconcerned with that. But, I am also ready for her to be finished as the story’s fulcrum. Honestly, Taimi’s interest is what is really driving my interest in Scarlet at all beyond mere Big Bad.
Back to learning the crazy world of Edge of the Mists.