Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Ruins of Tyria

The other day I went back to Guild Wars II to check how things are at the moment with the recent discovery of the Tower of Nightmare. Aside from disliking their concept of the living world on the mere principle, I think the people at ArenaNet have some unusual love for destruction and ruin.

They would probably have to say something about their artistic vision at this point, but to my eyes, it is simple ruination of their work. I do not understand them. The three Orr zones were hideous. All grey, full of ruins. It was a desolace. I really hoped not to see anything similar in Guild Wars II ever again. But it seems they do not share my opinion.

Their target this time, was Kessex Hills. The zone before living story hit it, was lush, green, full of life and beauty. A centaur here and there, maybe a cut tree. The most hideous thing you saw in the whole zone by my recollection was the centaur camp located in the far west part of the zone. Everything else was nice and beautiful. The sky was bright blue, grass was green, forests were inviting, the waterfall and lake looked enchanted.

The new Kessex Hills are on the fast way on making me throw up. The sickly green sky, the sickly green grass, the sickly green lake, the sickly green water, the sickly green wherever you look. And a trace of purple just to enforce the sickly green I guess. It is the whole Orr fiasco once more. Orr was also all grey with a trace of purple.

I do not need the whole zone to look like shit to understand that I need to save the world once more. If anything, it is a letdown. When I see one of my favourite zones while I leveled up my Guardian all defaced, and not a shred like I remember it, I will more likely just leave it as it is. I do not care for it. The nightmare court and the krait can have it for all I care. It is ruined.

I think ArenaNet pays too much importance to cheap theatrics. I do not know if the whole change of feel works for other players, and motivates them to participate in the living story, but for me, they could tone down on it. They could just show the tower. The tower alone is hideous enough already. The tower alone and its removal would be a motivation enough to partake in the events of Kessex Hills.

I still believe the original Personal Story was the strong suit of Guild Wars II. And it is a shame, that somewhere along the road, they scraped it for this cheap imitation of a living story. Yes, I disliked the vegetable Mary Sue. We all did. He stole our story. But the initial story was a great experience, a great fun. I found myself rushing through levels, just to experience more of the initial Personal Story.

I loved the interaction between my noble guardian and his best friend Lord Faren. I always hoped I would see him, come along, join the Vigil, saying something like, "I was bored my friend, without you in Divinity's Reach, wooing women was too easy, so I decided to take a break and join you for the time being. Boy, but those beds here are rather hard-looking..."

The initial story was all about you. You did not care for those five from the Guilt trip Guild. You never even heard for dragons. Your story revolved around the political intrigue, protecting the city, killing the bandits, saving your friend from trouble, lying your mouth off to help that same friend score with some random noblewoman. It was a great adventure. And then all of a sudden, you went on, leaving all this behind, replacing it with a vegetable man, and dealing with a dead guild's drama.

Just imagining having Lord Faren come along on all my quests makes things much more exciting. His misunderstood comments, the occasional remarks, just imagining him comment on what Orr looks like. Imagine Lord Faren facing one of the Elder Dragons. I am quite sure, that first thing, he would do, would be telling to the dragon:"I'm rich, you know." It is priceless. And probably something we will never experience. Because now we have the living story.

It is really sad that for all the potential the Personal Story had, Lord Faren, is one year after the release of the game, still sitting IN my sofa. Wasting all his potential.


  1. I totally agree that story-based NPCs should never be forgotten. I mean, take a look at the game with the arguably best NPCs around, Secret World. In a lot of updates, they'll take the characters they already have and flesh them out more, and it's fantastic. Now, I know Lord Faren did have a part in the Queen's Party, or something, and kidnapped by that plant lady? I don't know, I didn't play it. They used him, but they didn't give him more depth. I'd like to see more depth.

    As for Kessex Hills changing, one of the biggest requests ANet has been receiving (aside from Cantha) is for a changing world. Not just a new zone, but for the same world that we know to permanently change. Like cataclysm with WoW, many enjoy seeing a zone they've previously explored completely change... making it look drab and ugly, though... they could've avoided that. You can make a location look menacing and sick without reverting to drab earth tones, afterall.

    1. I know about the request for changing of the world. I must admit I never paid much attention to it, but I always took it to mean more in the lines of less cyclical dynamic events. To be more of what they were promising at the start, that every character you log in will have a different experience altogether, and not the actual changing of the world.


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