After what feels like a too-long break, Guild Wars 2 is back in the swing of things with Season 2 of their Living Story. Mrs. Ravious and I were excited, but in a calm, metered manner. It’s amazing how when the pressure of that 2-week window abated to become permanent content, we’ve decided to take consumption of the content at a more metered pace.
This is a good and healthy thing, in my opinion. It makes Guild Wars 2 feel more friendly in my library of never-ending content. I feel Jeromai is taking his time as well. I feel this is healthy for the continuing life of the game. Get people to drop by, the hardcore will always be around, and make something even more sustaintable.
Yes, as Bhagpuss makes sure to note multiple times this update can feel small. For me, it feels pretty much on par with the Living World updates we’ve had. Sure, one can compare the new map portion to Southsun, which never found its legs, or one can look at the updates like the Tower of Nightmares. A bigger fanfare might have been nicer to launch Season 2, but I don’t feel like the development would have been as tight.
The Dry Top zone feels tight. It feels like one of the most well-polished zones to date. Each bit of the zone is an artistic moment, or a mechanical one. Huge kudos to the map artists that made the map so seamless and varied. I love the crash site, the sandy drifts, and even the mysterious town. It is very well done.
The other part that was given much attention is the dynamic events. It seems like the event designers wanted to incorporate in dynamic event style small bits of other minigames. For example, during the sandstorm when a mine tunnel collapses players have to run explosives to the rock pile. The mechanics are very similar to Guild Rushes, and players have to find traps and run to the “finish line” to drop the bomb. Another event between players and Inquest is like kegbrawl. There are more vanilla events as well, but I think the clever use of mechanics found elsewhere in the game is also notable.
The story… I want to leave that for another power, but so far so good. I want to finish up this episode’s instances first. I will say that some writer definitely deserves a $5 inflation-adjusted milkshake for noting that I used to be a Commander of the Pact. It was even better how non-chalantly my character replied. The writing feels pretty good. I’ve never been as critical of it unless I physically gagged or had an eye-roll, but it feels cohesive. Also the NPC chatter in the zone is always well appreciated; although multiple conversations seem to occur at once.
Overall, I would say whether you are playing Wildstar or quitting ESO, jump back in to Guild Wars 2, at the very least to snag the content for later. However, I don’t think it will take long to enjoy the main tastes of the offerings. I’ll have to get back to you on whether there is actually “two weeks” worth of action in this episode.