The Living Story sun is setting on Southsun. Canach has been apprehended. Next week contracts will be saved and karka queens will be killed. Then off to the revelry of Dragon Bash to forget all the issues remaining settlers will have to face. This portion of the Living Story was actually pretty good. There are a lot of things going on with the story throughout the island. It’s telling was hit or miss.
The story speaks of Canach, returned from the Molten Alliance “war” where he fought with the Pact against the enemy. He has a standing vendetta against the Consortium, and he feels the best thing to do is free the bonded refugees on Southsun Cove from their contracts of servitude. The best way to do this, of course, is to rile up the local, dangerous wildlife to attack everybody, settler refugees included. Tempers rise and settlers and the Consortium’s goons start to skirmish themselves.
Lionguard Inspector Kiel is tasked with trying to keep the peace across the island, which is in Lion’s Arch interest to keep trade and money flowing. She hunts down Canach with the use of scientific sampling and good detective work, and the players take him down. Kiel crates up Canach, guild bounty style, and ships him off to Lion’s Arch. Good story. Good characters. A nice little Living Story vignette.
How I pieced this story together is another thing. It took two fiction posts by ArenaNet, NPC discussion, following an Kiel across the island, a developer forum post, and a letter from Kiel telling me they found Canach. It’s all over the place. It also ends so quickly that I was left wondering where I could go from there.
I’ve already commented on gathering Southsun samples as a pseudo-quest, but unlike a quest where something is turned in for finality, I didn’t notice a follow up. Perhaps now Researcher Levvi has different text talking about how I helped. Perhaps all the follow up was wrapped in to the Fervid Censer reward item’s text “Canach used this device to spread his wildlife-aggravating toxins on Southsun Cove”, which just adds to another easily missed story delivery means.
The worst bump, in my opinion, were the achievements. All of the achievements are dumped at the first release of the Secret of Southsun. The whole story was spoiled by simply scrolling over future achievements, and it was also really confusing to foresee content without knowing when it would drop. For example, we’re still waiting to kill the karka queen and load the contracts, but players wouldn’t know that on their own. Apparently it’s coming out next week.
It’s easy to complain. However, I really did enjoy my time on Southsun Cove. I really like the story once I pieced it all together. I liked the events that were added. The themes of aggravated conflict between all parties were really carried well through the events. I liked Crab Toss once I was able to play without ultra-lag. I made some really good memories this time around on Southsun, and I have a few neat souvenirs for these updates. For the accelerated time frame that Living Story team was under, I feel they squeezed some good stuff out of Father Time.
I just hope that ArenaNet standardizes story delivery throughout the company. They made their own bed by making Guild Wars 2 quest-less (even though the Personal Story is pretty much a big, long “quest”). Between achievements, items, mail, NPC discussion, cut scenes, post cut scene discussion, blog posts, event “cut scenes”, and dev posts on the forums, it is getting laborious to receive a complete story.