1. #37741
    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/l...ves-next-week/

    S1 E4 coming on Sept. 13. I don't remember this bit at all so it'll be a nice reminder, and cool that they're turning the tower into a group event with public instances as well. No clue how it works, but that's nice.
    To this day I still look at the Kessex Hills loading screen and say, "....the fuck...?"

  2. #37742
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Finished seasons 1 and 2. Before talking about their content, I should probably talk about the new cast.

    The original cast, Destiny's Edge, was voiced of up of big name American voice actors, the two most prominent being Steve Blum and Troy Baker. For season 1, Anet was releasing a patch every 2 weeks (Anet had 4 teams rotating, each spending a month working on a patch). Voice acting for video games and animation doesn't make much money in America, unlike in Japan, so here VAs have to take on as many VA gigs as they can, and also take up part time jobs such as retail to support themselves. So the VAs have busy schedules and it's hard to bring a VA in a two week short notice. In game development, stuff is changing up until the last minute, which is why voice acting is almost always among the last things to be implemented, so even if the VAs had done their voices several months in advance, the script would have likely changed and new voice lines would have been needed to be recorded anyway. Getting the same 5 voice actors every 2 weeks would be very difficult unless Anet wanted to wave money in their face, which Anet was unwilling to do.

    So the main cast of heroes, Destiny's Edge, were ditched (one or two of them make a cameo each episode but that's it). Additionally, the player character is voiceless during the first two seasons (because there are 5 playable races and 2 genders, and getting the same 10 voice actors in the booth every 2 weeks without waving money in their face is impossible). With the cast of the vanilla game gone, Anet had to create a new cast of characters to be voiced by lesser known voice actors, whose time Anet would able to monopolize without having to pay as much money for Felicia Day's time.



    Art by Ruan Jia. If only their ingame models looked anywhere near as good.

    Episode 1 introduces two new characters: Rox, and Braham.




    Braham is quite likeable here, being an inexperienced but brave young man who steps up to the plate when no one else will. If this storyline hadn't been absent from the game for a decade, then Braham would have been much better liked by the fandom rather than being the butt of jokes. Most people became acquainted with Braham in season 3, where he is very rude to the PC and spends most of the season refusing to help. Most people didn't play season 1 as it was removed from the game and didn't return until this year, and it was generally not recommended to buy season 2 as doing so didn't unlock any new maps.



    Her big, cutesy cartoon eyes do not befit a Charr.

    Next is Rox. She was a member of a demolitions warband, but lost them in a cave in. She wants to join Rytlock's warband (Rytlock being the Blood Legion Tribune and one of the most renowned Charr warriors alive), and starts taking odd jobs for him trying to ingratiate herself to him. I was lukewarm to her at first but she becomes more likeable as the story progresses. She starts out trying to be a military hardass, but gradually realizes that she isn't as mean as she thinks she is, and gradually becomes the heart of the group. Unfortunately, he role as the heart is usurped by a new character who joins the cast in season 2, and Rox is eventually written out of the story.




    Episode 2 introduces Marjory and Kasmeer. Marjory is first shown off as a private detective in a cringey film noir spoof. I think it might have been the way Marjory's voice actor did the narration in the 2D movie. Thankfully her voice gets a better as the story goes on, but she never becomes a character I really liked. She is in a lesbian relationship with Kasmeer.

    Finally, there is Kasmeer, the pretty blonde girl. There isn't much to say about her. She's from an impoverished noble family and is now employed by Marjory. She's just kinda "there", mostly being a flower for Marjory to dote on. It feels like she is only really here because she can teleport the party around during missions.


    I guess while I'm at it, I will talk about the 5th and 6th characters who join the party in season 2.




    Taimi and her golem Scruffles. Art by Naomi Baker.

    Taimi is a an Asura engineer whose purpose is to provide technobabble and to whip out new gadgets as the plot demands. Unfortunately, she sounds like a spoiled Californian valley girl. She is very bratty and constantly backtalks. At one point, she throws a temper tantrums that threatens important negotiations to form an international alliance against the Elder Dragons. She is also a teen genius who constantly outperforms pretty much every other expert in the setting (Wesley Crusher!). She also usurps Rox for the role of the heart of the group. She also has an incurable fatal illness that never seems to kill her, even though a decade has passed in lore. She is the most contentious GW2 character.



    Art by Jamie Ro.

    Lastly, there is Canach (voiced by John DiMaggio, aka Bender from Futurama, later replaced by Matthew Mercer). He has had an unfortunate life. He is a Sylvari, a race that has only emerged a couple decades ago. He was captured by a group of Asura and experimented upon. He became a mercenary after escaping. He becomes implicated in a couple of incidents and is eventually arrested (again, stuff omitted from the returning season 1 episodes). In season 2 he is given the option to rot in jail, or to help out the heroes. He is a begrudging ally. He doesn't formally join the party until season 3. He is rather cynical and witty. Having Bender from Futurama (John DiMaggio) as your voice actor is pretty good.

    That's most of GW2's main cast. A couple more characters join but that happens way later. Also, after season 2, Anet's situation changes. The game has stabilized after its disastrous launch and Anet is no longer in crisis mode, and becomes willing to pour more money into the game. Anet also transitions from dropping a patch once every 2 weeks to major patches once every 2 months. So Anet is able to start bringing back some of the original cast (most notably Rytlock, aka Steve Blum), and the player character becomes voiced again.

  3. #37743
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    Lastly, there is Canach (voiced by John DiMaggio
    Man, I never really keep up with who does the voicework in GW2 but I knew he sounded familiar through the filter. I knew there had to be some other reason I liked him beyond his fantastic dialogue, and this sure explains it.

  4. #37744
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Living World Season 1




    Episode 1 - "Flame and Frost"


    Aside from the banter between Braham and Rox, episode 1 is boring. You raid a huge underground base in the mountains and free enslaved prisoners. Aesthetically it's not very interesting. You fight hundreds of generic Dredge and Flame Legion, which is boring.

    We find out that Eir apparently had a one night stand, birthed Braham, and then promptly abandoned him to go adventuring. What an inspiring hero.




    Episode 2 - "Sky Pirates"

    Raiding the pirate base was pretty fun, with you diving underwater and avoiding mines, jumping across the electric floor, and the first boss fight where you run away from the laser and jump on top of the boxes.

    The biggest WTF is that these pirates hijacked a Pact airship. You know, that state of the art strategic asset that was made by combining Charr and Asura technology and was only just put into production one year prior. As the second highest ranking officer in the Pact, I think I should have been notified that one of our airships had gone missing. I'd also expect that the Orders and the nation leaders would have been grilling Traehearne and I over that. But no, the pirates having an airship goes completely unquestioned.

    Also, Sky "Pirates" implies that there is a lot of mercantile activity to leech on. In GW1, Lion's Arch was trading with Orr, Elona, and Cantha. But by the time GW2 takes place, Orr has sunk, and Elona and Cantha have become isolationist. So who is Lion's Arch trading with? Is there some other wealthy land we have never heard about that ships are sailing to and from?




    Episode 3 - "Chaos"

    We are introduced to the main villain of season 1, Scarlet Briar, who is a Harley Quinn-esque character. She is unconvincing as a mastermind, let alone as a leader that hundreds of sky pirates would follow and die for. Also, surprise! She has ANOTHER stolen Pact airship, and no one told me the Pact Commander about it.

    That's it for S1 episodes that are out now.



    Living World Season 2

    The first half of season 2 is dull. Nothing of consequence happens until the end of episode 4. Before that, you are either wandering around a generic sandstone canyon for hours on end achieving nothing, or doing chores in the ugly vanilla zones. There is no plot momentum.

    My biggest question is why am I, the Pact Commander, leading an expedition into the West with... a city detective, the daughter of a gambler, a dangerous convict, and a bratty teenager? None of the party members have a personal investment in journeying West or official business there, and are just civilians. Why aren't I leading a detachment of professional troops (ie Pact forces, Vigil forces, my Charr Warband, etc). The new cast hasn't cemented into THE group of world saving heroes dedicated to stopping the dragons yet. That doesn't happen until next season.




    Season 2 is the beginning of the Elder Dragon magic storyline that GW2 will revolve around from this point on, concluding in the End of Dragons expansion. There are some interesting nuggets of lore here, but worldbuilding notes and potential story ideas doesn't make for an actually engaging story that is paced well or has tension.

    The Svanir totem still being bugged, 8 years later. It becomes killable before the quest updates to have it become the next kill objective, so if you kill it early you can't get completion and have to wait half an hour for the event to repeat to get a second chance to kill it for quest completion.




    Episode 4: The Dragon's Reach, Part 2

    The timed questions and the limit on how nosy you could be before you got thrown out of the party helped raise the tension.

    The final fight against the dragon atop the Pale Tree felt a little scary, with the dragons trying to claw his way into the tree like the cat from Tarzan.




    Episode 5 "Entanglement"

    The first interesting episode of season 2. You go to the Durmond Priory and get to wander about their library digging for clues on the Elder Dragons. There are dozens of books you can read, ranging from in universe histories on nations, to biographies written by party members you may have adventured with in guild wars 1, to scholarly thesis on the nature of Elder Dragons and magic, to fluff pieces. Nice touch.

    You also get sucked into a magic hourglass that sends you to a bizzare crystalline dimension, which makes for a fun high fantasy adventure. The puzzles there are quite engaging enough, but unfortunately the boss design can be rather infuriating.


    Episode 6

    The plot is now moving at a fast pace as the commander pursues Glint's egg. There is urgency and stakes. Navigating the maze at the end and trying to find the four party members in order on a 20 minute time limit was also engaging.


    Episode 7 "Seeds of Truth"

    The use of an in-universe flashback plot device is interesting. IMO it's done better here than it was in FF14, where the flashbacks were contrived and random. Here, the plot device can only be given out by the Pale Tree, who has been weakened (so only a handful of seeds can be given out), and only work on Sylvari (so the writers just have to be conscious about introducing Sylvari characters if they want to avoid the audience thinking "hey, why can't we just use the flashback seeds on this character?").


    Episode 8 "Point of No Return"

    The music for the final fight was pretty dramatic.

    There were dozens of airships in that last cinematic and every single one of them was destroyed. I don't recall hearing about any airships that evaded the opening attack in HoT. The vast majority of everyone on those airships should have died in the crash, but HoT doesn't show a lot of bodies strung around on the ground or inside the wreckage.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-09-07 at 10:53 AM.

  5. #37745
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Mordremoth harvested all the dead bodies in your last paragraph.

    Cool writeup

    Resident Cosplay Progressive

  6. #37746
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Heart of Thorns

    From here on out, every chapter (about 1-2 hours of story) takes us to a brand new high fantasy zone. The zones also start looking... actually good! They're not cramped and claustrophobic anymore. The environment artists have become better at doodad placement. The new maps are also fun to play, with the vertical design and bouncing mushrooms to jump on and updrafts to glide on, among other gameplay mechanics.

    Verdant Brink and Auric Basin are the best looking maps in HoT. Tangled Depths looks pretty good at certain points on the surface, especially below ground with the ley line magic rippling through the tunnels. Dragon's Stand sadly was an unfinished zone and the only memorable part is the final area. Unfortunately, the game is really hamstrung by the short draw distance which the devs try covering up with fog, but even then the missing chunks are quite noticeable in Verdant Brink and Auric Basin when you look down from high above.




    Sadly the water reflections are a massive framerate drop and there is a water texture underneath every single map in the game. GW2 is CPU bound so having a 3080ti won't stop your game from dropping below 60 FPS if you have water reflections turned on.



    The campaign is overall good. It is very condensed, very concentrated. It's four hours long and it feels very action packed. Almost every moment is spent pushing through the jungle towards Mordremoth. The only part that felt like filler was Rata Novus, where we learned that Elder Dragons can be killed. As if I didn't already know that since I killed Zhaitan at the end of the vanilla story. Thanks Taimi for the pointless deteour!

    A simple change to make the Rata Novus deteour actually matter would be to have Taimi discover a mind-machine interface there and to take it, with it later turning out to be a checkov's gun. It would have made the heroes casually suggesting hopping into Mordremoth's mind at the end make sense as they just learned that it was possible, rather than feeling like an asspull out of nowhere. Using a mind machine interface to jump into Mordremoth's mind would also make more sense than non-Sylvari with no magical link to Mordremoth being able to jump into the Dream. The interface could then be either confiscated by the Asura High Council, or broken to prevent the audience from questioning why aren't we using it to jump into the minds of future villains.

    The sound disaster continues. Music bugged out at the end. Mordremoth's 2nd phase music kept playing after the fight end, into the epilogue and played during the ending cinematic.



    Okay, plot holes:




    Once the PC learned that marshal Traehearne had been captured, the chain of command dictates that the PC effectively became the new marshal. This is a crisis situation and the marshal needs to be organizing the Pact, not gallivanting off into the jungle and leaving his men to run around like headless chickens and lynching Sylvari soldiers and be picked off by Mordremoth's forces. The PC should have at least have delegated command to Laranthir or another Vigil Warmaster before continuing the pursuit of the egg.

    At the end of the story, the PC tells Traehearne that the Pact has been destroyed. This is preposterous! Right before the final boss battle, Canach tells us that the Pact forces are assailing the tree outside. Which means that the Dragon's Stand meta event in which hundreds of Pact soldiers participated in is canon, and those soldiers were supported by a supply line that stretched all the way back to Camp Resolve in the Silverwastes. And who knows how many other Pact forces were garrisoned elsewhere in the world, such as at Fort Trinity. It's not like all Pact personnel were on the airship fleet.

    If the writers didn't want the player character to be the Pact Commander anymore, then they could have just written the PC to take a step back from the Pact. The PC already seemingly did in season 1 and the first half of season 2 given that they didn't have any contact with the Pact when they should have. The Pact Commander is about to have his hands full raising a baby dragon. It would have been simple for the PC to pass leadership of the Pact to someone else. No need to destroy the Pact in the process. (EDIT: Thankfully the writers realized just how dumb they were and immediately walk back the Pact's destruction in the next episode).



    Are they still polishing their weapons? Because your guys never showed up when I needed them. Unless they all died in the crash, in which case... RIP.

    Where was the support from the 5 nations of Tyria? At the end of episode 4, we had that summit at the Pale Tree and everyone pledged to support the Pact... and yet in HoT we only see Vigil, Priory, and Whispers personnel. No Seraph, no Blood Legion, no Rata Sum, etc. It seems like Smoldur was the only nation leader who held true to his word by providing Iron Legion choppers.

  7. #37747
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Season 3

    This season takes the player on a world trotting tour to different maps spread out across the world. You get to revisit old places such as Kryta, the Shiverpeaks, and Orr, but also get to visit new places such as the Fire Islands. Two maps in particular are quite memorable.

    Bloodstone Fen from episode 1 is the site of a magic nuclear detonation with ley lines of unstable magical energy everywhere and floating islands:


    It would have been cool if the floating islands and the airship moved around the crater. For some reason GW2 didn't implement moving platforms you could stand on until PoF.



    Staring up at the sky from within the crater. There are multiple crags running down the cliff face where boss fights take place.



    The bottom of the crater.



    The second memorable map is Draconis Mons from episode 5, which is set within a volcano. There are a variety of biomes within the mountain, with a boiling sea dotted with islands inside, a layer with a tropical forest, a top layer with craggy rocks, and this weird stone in the middle that looks like it is made out of mercury or something. This map got me really excited for a potential Primordus themed expansion set underground (look at Pierre-Olivier Vincent's amazing concept art for the Hidden World from How to Train your Dragon 3 that was sadly underexplored). Alas, the map designers moved away from HoT-styled vertical maps. The writers also threw away Primordus in Icebrood Saga, so there isn't much pre-existing story material for the writers to work with for an underground expansion.



    The Boiling Sea. I would have liked this layer to have been fleshed out more. The only reason to come down here is to fight the dragon rares. Also would have been cool if the dragons could blow people off of the plateaus, forcing them to pop their gliders and ride an updraft back on to the platform or be scalded in the water below.



    The steamy tropical shelf.



    The top layer.

    As awesome as Bloodstone Fen and Draconis Mons are, they are really harmed by the game's short draw distance.

    As for the other four maps, Ember Bay is okay, though a little generic since it's just a firery volcano. Bittefrost Frontier and Siren's Landing are better looking than the other vanilla maps set in those regions, but aren't my favorites. The only bad map this season is Lake Doric, which is set in a flat dried out lakebed and is just boring.



    The most visually interesting area of Bittefrost Frontier. Reminds me of Winterspring from WoW. The vertical nature of the forest is sadly underutilized.



    Episode 1 "Out of the Shadows"

    We open with Eir's funeral. I'm not sure why the game acts as if I was a close friend of Eir's. From Vanilla to HoT, my character had only known her for a grand total of 10 minutes.




    Blaming Traehearne for not commanding from the rear is silly. Traehearne led from the front because that was how generals commanded in a world before radio. They HAD to be there. Radio did not exist in GW2 before HoT. When a zombie navy was advancing on Lion's Arch in the vanilla story, Claw Island had to light signal towers to warn LA. From Vanilla through the end of season 2, if you wanted to contact somebody, you either had to send them a letter, or visit them in person. If we had radio, you could bet that he would have warned Traehearne about the Sylvari's connection to Mordremoth the moment we learned about it.

    I play a Charr, and I am not a member of the Durmond Priory, so why is my character suddenly a history buff on a Krytan cult that seemingly died out 200 years ago? I could understand if the White Mantle were Ascalonians (the people the Charr have been fighting for the past 200 years), but a Charr should not give a crap about Krytan history.



    Episode 2 "Rising Flames"

    The male Charr PC's voice actor was recast from Ron Yuan to Lex Lang. I've been listening to him for a couple episodes now, and... well, it's not very good. The voice doesn't have the fervor, the passion, the warmth that the original had. It feels rather dry, and his dialogue at the end of this episode sounded as if the actor was reading the lines out loud. Hopefully it gets better.




    It becomes more obvious as Aurene grows older in the next expansion, but her rhino horn looks extremely similar to Mordremoth's horn. The ending cinematic of HoT shows energy from Mordremoth's tree travelling to Tarir and entering into the egg, so that's probably the in lore reason. If Aurene had hatched before Mordremoth had died, I wonder what she would look like. Out of universe, her character designer, Ronald Kury, seemed to just like Mordremoth's face.



    Episode 3 "A Crack in the Ice"

    The episode begins with the PC playing with Aurene and trying to teach her virtues. The Exalted also help. One question, though: why aren't the Zephyrites also here? They were disciples of Glint for the past 200 years. They were the ones entrusted with the egg. They deserve to see the fruits of their efforts, and they had 200 years to prepare for this role. They should have a lot of valuable info on how to raise this dragon.




    Braham, you know I wasn't involved in the planning process for the Pact Fleet's invasion of Maguuma at all. I spent the whole pre-invasion build up chasing after the egg, with YOU! By the time I returned back to the Pact the fleet had already been wrecked. And besides, no one knew at the time that Mordremoth's vines were that agile or could reach so far upwards. No one knew that the Sylvari were sleeper agents who would begin butchering their comrades and blowing up their own airships either. No one could have forseen the Pact fleet being annhilated.



    Episode 4 "The Head of the Snake"



    Queen Jennah is apparently such a powerful magus, she envelops the ENTIRE CAPITAL CITY in a shield that lasts for hours or days (it's not clear how long episode 4 takes place). Sheesh! With Jennah being a queen with a kingdom to run, there is no way she could have devoted all of her time to becoming the best wizard ever. Imagine how powerful people who dedicated all of their time to being the best wizard could be! If only we had mages with a fraction of her power shielding the airships in the Pact fleet, perhaps the invasion wouldn't have been a catastrophe.

    We see hundreds of White Mantle in Lake Doric, and Logan calls this a "civil war" so there could be an army of thousands of them in lore. How on earth could the White Mantle have remained secret for 200 years? Once a conspiracy grows larger than a half dozen people it generally becomes impossible to prevent it from leaking out.

    The White Mantle allying with the centaurs seems extraordinarily short sighted. The centaurs have been massacring the people of Kryta for decades, and now the White Mantle is relying on them to storm the capital. What does the White Mantle think will happen once they do? That the savages won't start butchering civilians left and right? Being responsible for the sack of the capital isn't going to help endear the populace's sympathy towards the White Mantle.




    Episode 5 "Flashpoint"



    This is a nice tidbit of GW1 fanservice. You can come across the golem M.O.X. If you played Guild Wars 1 then he was probably the first hero you acquired. The player character immediately recognizes M.O.X.'s sentience (he was created 200 years before the golem uprising which led to the Asura lobotomizing their golems), and kindly invites MOX to come with them back to Tyria. Sadly MOX never appears again after this.



    Episode 6 "One Path Ends"



    The big bad, Balthazar, has absorbed a magic nuke that would have wiped out half of Tyria, the largest continent in this world. Why are we pursuing him without first coming up with a plan to deal with his sheer raw power? Trying to shoot him with an arrow might not work.

    It doesn't make sense for the Shining Blade - a human organization - to welcome in me, a Charr. The Charr were responsible for wiping out two human kingdoms. The only reason why we didn't get around to Kryta was because our momentum slowed down. Also, last time I checked, I am still an active member of the Ash Legion. You know, the Charr spies. Why on earth do these people blindly trust me and think I wouldn't pass any juicy info I receive up to the High Legions?

    My player character is now a member of FIVE different organizations: The Ash Legion (Charr nationalistic organization), the Vigil (swears to renounce prior loyalties and fight for the greater good), the Pact (fighting against Dragons), Dragon's Watch (fights against whoever they deem to be bad guys), and now the Shining Blade (Krytan nationalistic organization). There is quite a lot of conflict of interest here.

    I'm not fond of the sheer amount of sarcasm and snark in this episode. It undermines what is supposed to be an immersive fantasy story.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-09-18 at 01:04 AM.

  8. #37748
    Herald of the Titans Lotus Victoria's Avatar
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    Just finished the original personal story, again, on another character. Last finished it back in 2013.

    Damn. Anet's writing and pacing improved by a TON. Like, it's not even the same game.

    Too bad free to play players have to stick with the slow paced, and mostly underwhelming supporting cast and villains.


  9. #37749
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    Season 3

    This season takes the player on a world trotting tour to different maps spread out across the world. You get to revisit old places such as Kryta, the Shiverpeaks, and Orr, but also get to visit new places such as the Fire Islands. Two maps in particular are quite memorable.

    Bloodstone Fen from episode 1 is the site of a magic nuclear detonation with ley lines of unstable magical energy everywhere and floating islands:


    It would have been cool if the floating islands and the airship moved around the crater. For some reason GW2 didn't implement moving platforms you could stand on until PoF.



    Staring up at the sky from within the crater. There are multiple crags running down the cliff face where boss fights take place.



    The bottom of the crater.



    The second memorable map is Draconis Mons from episode 5, which is set within a volcano. There are a variety of biomes within the mountain, with a boiling sea dotted with islands inside, a layer with a tropical forest, a top layer with craggy rocks, and this weird stone in the middle that looks like it is made out of mercury or something. This map got me really excited for a potential Primordus themed expansion set underground (look at Pierre-Olivier Vincent's amazing concept art for the Hidden World from How to Train your Dragon 3 that was sadly underexplored). Alas, the map designers moved away from HoT-styled vertical maps. The writers also threw away Primordus in Icebrood Saga, so there isn't much pre-existing story material for the writers to work with for an underground expansion.



    The Boiling Sea. I would have liked this layer to have been fleshed out more. The only reason to come down here is to fight the dragon rares. Also would have been cool if the dragons could blow people off of the plateaus, forcing them to pop their gliders and ride an updraft back on to the platform or be scalded in the water below.



    The steamy tropical shelf.



    The top layer.

    As awesome as Bloodstone Fen and Draconis Mons are, they are really harmed by the game's short draw distance.

    As for the other four maps, Ember Bay is okay, though a little generic since it's just a firery volcano. Bittefrost Frontier and Siren's Landing are better looking than the other vanilla maps set in those regions, but aren't my favorites. The only bad map this season is Lake Doric, which is set in a flat dried out lakebed and is just boring.



    The most visually interesting area of Bittefrost Frontier. Reminds me of Winterspring from WoW. The vertical nature of the forest is sadly underutilized.



    Episode 1 "Out of the Shadows"

    We open with Eir's funeral. I'm not sure why the game acts as if I was a close friend of Eir's. From Vanilla to HoT, my character had only known her for a grand total of 10 minutes.




    Blaming Traehearne for not commanding from the rear is silly. Traehearne led from the front because that was how generals commanded in a world before radio. They HAD to be there. Radio did not exist in GW2 before HoT. When a zombie navy was advancing on Lion's Arch in the vanilla story, Claw Island had to light signal towers to warn LA. From Vanilla through the end of season 2, if you wanted to contact somebody, you either had to send them a letter, or visit them in person. If we had radio, you could bet that he would have warned Traehearne about the Sylvari's connection to Mordremoth the moment we learned about it.

    I play a Charr, and I am not a member of the Durmond Priory, so why is my character suddenly a history buff on a Krytan cult that seemingly died out 200 years ago? I could understand if the White Mantle were Ascalonians (the people the Charr have been fighting for the past 200 years), but a Charr should not give a crap about Krytan history.



    Episode 2 "Rising Flames"

    The male Charr PC's voice actor was recast from Ron Yuan to Lex Lang. I've been listening to him for a couple episodes now, and... well, it's not very good. The voice doesn't have the fervor, the passion, the warmth that the original had. It feels rather dry, and his dialogue at the end of this episode sounded as if the actor was reading the lines out loud. Hopefully it gets better.




    It becomes more obvious as Aurene grows older in the next expansion, but her rhino horn looks extremely similar to Mordremoth's horn. The ending cinematic of HoT shows energy from Mordremoth's tree travelling to Tarir and entering into the egg, so that's probably the in lore reason. If Aurene had hatched before Mordremoth had died, I wonder what she would look like. Out of universe, her character designer, Ronald Kury, seemed to just like Mordremoth's face.



    Episode 3 "A Crack in the Ice"

    The episode begins with the PC playing with Aurene and trying to teach her virtues. The Exalted also help. One question, though: why aren't the Zephyrites also here? They were disciples of Glint for the past 200 years. They were the ones entrusted with the egg. They deserve to see the fruits of their efforts, and they had 200 years to prepare for this role. They should have a lot of valuable info on how to raise this dragon.




    Braham, you know I wasn't involved in the planning process for the Pact Fleet's invasion of Maguuma at all. I spent the whole pre-invasion build up chasing after the egg, with YOU! By the time I returned back to the Pact the fleet had already been wrecked. And besides, no one knew at the time that Mordremoth's vines were that agile or could reach so far upwards. No one knew that the Sylvari were sleeper agents who would begin butchering their comrades and blowing up their own airships either. No one could have forseen the Pact fleet being annhilated.



    Episode 4 "The Head of the Snake"



    Queen Jennah is apparently such a powerful magus, she envelops the ENTIRE CAPITAL CITY in a shield that lasts for hours or days (it's not clear how long episode 4 takes place). Sheesh! With Jennah being a queen with a kingdom to run, there is no way she could have devoted all of her time to becoming the best wizard ever. Imagine how powerful people who dedicated all of their time to being the best wizard could be! If only we had mages with a fraction of her power shielding the airships in the Pact fleet, perhaps the invasion wouldn't have been a catastrophe.

    We see hundreds of White Mantle in Lake Doric, and Logan calls this a "civil war" so there could be an army of thousands of them in lore. How on earth could the White Mantle have remained secret for 200 years? Once a conspiracy grows larger than a half dozen people it generally becomes impossible to prevent it from leaking out.

    The White Mantle allying with the centaurs seems extraordinarily short sighted. The centaurs have been massacring the people of Kryta for decades, and now the White Mantle is relying on them to storm the capital. What does the White Mantle think will happen once they do? That the savages won't start butchering civilians left and right? Being responsible for the sack of the capital isn't going to help endear the populace's sympathy towards the White Mantle.




    Episode 5 "Flashpoint"



    This is a nice tidbit of GW1 fanservice. You can come across the golem M.O.X. If you played Guild Wars 1 then he was probably the first hero you acquired. The player character immediately recognizes M.O.X.'s sentience (he was created 200 years before the golem uprising which led to the Asura lobotomizing their golems), and kindly invites MOX to come with them back to Tyria. Sadly MOX never appears again after this.



    Episode 6 "One Path Ends"



    The big bad, Balthazar, has absorbed a magic nuke that would have wiped out half of Tyria, the largest continent in this world. Why are we pursuing him without first coming up with a plan to deal with his sheer raw power? Trying to shoot him with an arrow might not work.

    It doesn't make sense for the Shining Blade - a human organization - to welcome in me, a Charr. The Charr were responsible for wiping out two human kingdoms. The only reason why we didn't get around to Kryta was because our momentum slowed down. Also, last time I checked, I am still an active member of the Ash Legion. You know, the Charr spies. Why on earth do these people blindly trust me and think I wouldn't pass any juicy info I receive up to the High Legions?

    My player character is now a member of FIVE different organizations: The Ash Legion (Charr nationalistic organization), the Vigil (swears to renounce prior loyalties and fight for the greater good), the Pact (fighting against Dragons), Dragon's Watch (fights against whoever they deem to be bad guys), and now the Shining Blade (Krytan nationalistic organization). There is quite a lot of conflict of interest here.

    I'm not fond of the sheer amount of sarcasm and snark in this episode. It undermines what is supposed to be an immersive fantasy story.
    I have no clue about GW2 at all and kinda just fell into this post, but fun read all the same.
    Kinda curious about what's involved in getting into GW2, but another part of me tells me it's bad to tempt myself with another mmo, though it being paid upfront (right?) might actually make it better.
    This is a signature of an ailing giant, boundless in pride, wit and strength.
    Yet also as humble as health and humor permit.

    Furthermore, I consider that Carthage Slam must be destroyed.

  10. #37750
    Herald of the Titans Lotus Victoria's Avatar
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    The best thing about GW2 is that you can take all the time in the world to do whatever you want in the game. One time purchase + no subscription fee + horizontal progression (once you get good equipments, you will forever be strong) makes the game feel fresh everytime you come back to it.

    With the mastery system, GW2 now has a very fun and different endgame if compared to other MMO's, and it's always a good time to hop on a group and do some metas.

    Try it out!


  11. #37751
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loras View Post
    Kinda curious about what's involved in getting into GW2
    You can try out the vanilla game's content for free. However, the bulk of GW2's appeal lies in its gameplay, and I personally think that the gameplay of the vanilla game is overall lackluster. The map design is mediocre by the standards of what comes later, and look visually unappealing. The mobs in the vanilla game offer hardly any engaging challenge. If you play with no expansions, then you can only play with your class' core specializations, which the design team have neglected as they only really focus on making the expansion specializations fun to play. That isn't to say I think that the vanilla game is bad, but for years the common sentiment has been to recommend new players to start with the HoT expansion (interesting map design, good looking areas, mobs aren't braindead, your class becomes more fun to play), as that is less likely to turn off new players. That being said, if you really want to go through the content in chronological order, the story from vanilla to HoT is only 30 hours long, and nowadays you can level insanely fast (1 to 80 within a few hours), so if you can tolerate that then go for it.


    it being paid upfront (right?) might actually make it better.
    Anet is deceptive with the true nature of GW2's pricing. The website advertises a "complete collection" that gives you all three expansions for $50, but it doesn't give you access to all of the content. There is actually another $52 in patch content that you have to purchase: the living world seasons. Each episode unlocks a new map, and the seasons actually provide more new zones to visit than the expansions. So in order to get the whole game, you have to drop $102 on it.

    Before you drop any money, you should download the game and at least see if you even like the barest idea of GW2. Do you like how it feels to move around, do you like the action combat (there is an action camera mode you can enable that can change the feel of the game), do you even like the races or the classes, etc. If you do like the idea of GW2 but think Vanilla is shoddy, then you can lay down $30 and skip to HoT's content and start playing around with the expansion specializations. That is a good indicator of what GW2 is like after HoT, so you can decide whether to cut your losses and move on, or to go all in.

    If you do buy into GW2, then there are a few other things you should know. The best looking cosmetics are sold in the cash shop (that scarf and cloak and quiver I wear? Cash shop items. There is no free cloak or quiver that looks like that). All mount skins are from the cash shop and cost about $20 per skin (unfortunately you just missed the August sale where all of the mount skins were being sold, so if there is one in particular you want then too bad you have to wait until it goes on sale again). The character creator at the start of the game hides all of the possible customization options to you; you have to drop $5 for a total makeover kit to see the hidden options. Staring at an appealing character will increase your enjoyment. You also acquire loot at an incredible rate, so buying extra bag slots will greatly improve your quality of life. The Griffon flying mount (which WoW is copying for Dragonflight) costs 250 gold, which takes a long time to farm ingame but can be bought for about $15 (there is legalized gold selling through an ingame interface).

    In total I think I've dropped about $250ish on GW2 over the years. That might sound like an intimidating upfront cost, and sure Anet is scummy, but I think it was well worth it. I've had several hundred hours of fun from GW2. Other MMOs charge you a $60 expansion every two years AND a $15 a month sub fee. If you play WoW or FF14 for 10 years then that costs you at least $2,000, and those games STILL have cash shops. And when you compare dropping a couple hundred bucks on GW2 compared to other possible hobbies, such as building and painting Warhammer armies or model trains or slot car racing, GW2 is relatively cheap and a very good value proposition.
    Last edited by Val the Moofia Boss; 2022-09-25 at 06:26 PM.

  12. #37752
    So ANet really wants to encourage people to buy...alternatively sourced...keys I guess, what with all the bundles and making it difficult to buy expansions alone.

    I know it's a fairly narrow group of people affected by this (returning players who own HoT) but being told that you must buy a HoT/PoF bundle to get PoF is kinda silly. And don't tell me what Reddit drones all say about, "HoT is free, you get it when you buy PoF" because the newest expansion is $30 so there's no way the last expansion is also still $30. You're buying HoT and PoF and there's no way around that.

    No, it's not a big deal. Just kinda silly is all. And like Val said, no matter what you buy you don't actually get all the expansion content anyway, there's a price tag on that too.

    Always feels like ANet has a habit of doing a mostly good job and then jamming a stick in their tire at the last second.

  13. #37753
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loras View Post
    I have no clue about GW2 at all and kinda just fell into this post, but fun read all the same.
    Kinda curious about what's involved in getting into GW2, but another part of me tells me it's bad to tempt myself with another mmo, though it being paid upfront (right?) might actually make it better.
    GW2s content is cut up into several segments

    Core, Heart of Thorns, Path of Fire, End of Dragons - This is your vanilla game and the 3 expansions. The Core game is free. Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire are now bundled. End of Dragons is the newest expansion.

    Stuff unlocked outside their story.

    Core - Gives you access to the vanilla game
    HoT/PoF - Gliding, Five of the games mounts, Raids. 18 Elite Specs (expansion to the classes)
    EOD - Base level mounts and gliding if you dont have the previous expansion. Strikes (like FF14 raids), skiffs, and fishing - 9 elite specs

    Then you have the Living Story, the way sizable content is introduced between the expansions. Kind of like DLC. They are denoted by seasons. Season 3/4/5 come with new maps and a bunch of other stuff. All of these can be purchased for in-game gold or unlocked with real money. They are free when the come out until a new one is released.

    Season 1 - Free
    Season 2 - Only reason to buy this one in 2022 is for full access to the story and a collection that involves all the seasons.
    Season 3 - Requires Heart of Thorns - 5 maps
    Season 4 - Requires Path of Fire - 5 maps, 2 new mounts
    Season 5 - Requires Path of Fire - Strikes (separate set from those mentioned above).


    Anet has a $50 bundle for all the expans, Steam has it for $60. If you create your account on Anets site you have to buy from there, if you create your account on Steam you have to buy from Steam. Steam has $100 bundle that gives you everything (living story stuff included). Anet doesn't sell a complete bundle yet but they do have one that gems you enough gems to buy the living story stuff for the same price.

    Steam:




    Anet:



    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    Anet is deceptive with the true nature of GW2's pricing. The website advertises a "complete collection" that gives you all three expansions for $50, but it doesn't give you access to all of the content. There is actually another $52 in patch content that you have to purchase: the living world seasons. Each episode unlocks a new map, and the seasons actually provide more new zones to visit than the expansions. So in order to get the whole game, you have to drop $102 on it.

    .
    It's only deceptive if people don't read. Not sure why people buy stuff without reading.
    Last edited by PACOX; 2022-09-25 at 10:20 PM.

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  14. #37754
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    It's only deceptive if people don't read. Not sure why people buy stuff without reading.
    Not sure what you mean by that, a new player would have no reason to think that there's secret paywalled content on top of the "collection".

    Shit, the store page for the collection even outright says, "All content in one collection". So why would a new player...well, read...that and not think it means what it says?

  15. #37755
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost of Cow View Post
    Not sure what you mean by that, a new player would have no reason to think that there's secret paywalled content on top of the "collection".

    Shit, the store page for the collection even outright says, "All content in one collection". So why would a new player...well, read...that and not think it means what it says?
    Get the ultimate experience with the Ultimate Edition. You'll get the entire collection of Guild Wars 2 expansions, everything in the Deluxe Edition, plus 4,000 gems to spend in the Black Lion Trading Company.
    Its not that hard to comprehend.

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  16. #37756
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Its not that hard to comprehend.
    So you're a new player and you're buying this "collection" and the page says things like, "All content" and "The whole world" and YOU assert that it's just a matter of reading comprehension if that player doesn't know that - in fact - this doesn't actually mean "All content"?

    I guess said new players are just meant to glean this information via 5G signals or chemtrails or something.

  17. #37757
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    A brand new player has no idea what seasons are or what they entail. Seasons are not advertised on the GW2 store and do not receive anywhere near the same level of marketing as expansions (and the latest expac was already a ship passing through the night when it came to marketing). Even if one does follow a news website like Massively OP and see Elliot talking about new GW2 episodes and speculating about seasons, a new player isn't going to know that you have to pay for old patches if you weren't playing when they were current.

  18. #37758
    The Unstoppable Force PACOX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost of Cow View Post
    So you're a new player and you're buying this "collection" and the page says things like, "All content" and "The whole world" and YOU assert that it's just a matter of reading comprehension if that player doesn't know that - in fact - this doesn't actually mean "All content"?

    I guess said new players are just meant to glean this information via 5G signals or chemtrails or something.
    Brother, dealing with new players in this old ass game is kind of my thing. They only people who are deceived are those who click purchase before they read what they're actually buying.

    I honestly don't care. The information is there plain as day. Its plain as day on Anets site, its plain on the wiki. Its plain on Steam. If someone still thinks its "deceptive" thats on them.
    Last edited by PACOX; 2022-09-25 at 10:46 PM.

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  19. #37759
    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    Brother, dealing with new players in this old ass game is kind of my thing. They only people who are deceived are those who click purchase before they read what they're actually buying.
    And we're back to the "reading" part.

    Tell me what a player is supposed to read on that page to know about Living Story unlocks. The page doesn't even mention them. Doesn't say they're not included, doesn't say they're optional unlocks, doesn't even say they exist.

    What is it that you think they should read on that page to understand that "All content" and "Entire world" don't actually mean that?

    Please, if you're going to keep harping on people "not reading" tell me what you think they should have read on that page.

  20. #37760
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    You can try out the vanilla game's content for free. However, the bulk of GW2's appeal lies in its gameplay, and I personally think that the gameplay of the vanilla game is overall lackluster. The map design is mediocre by the standards of what comes later, and look visually unappealing. The mobs in the vanilla game offer hardly any engaging challenge. If you play with no expansions, then you can only play with your class' core specializations, which the design team have neglected as they only really focus on making the expansion specializations fun to play. That isn't to say I think that the vanilla game is bad, but for years the common sentiment has been to recommend new players to start with the HoT expansion (interesting map design, good looking areas, mobs aren't braindead, your class becomes more fun to play), as that is less likely to turn off new players. That being said, if you really want to go through the content in chronological order, the story from vanilla to HoT is only 30 hours long, and nowadays you can level insanely fast (1 to 80 within a few hours), so if you can tolerate that then go for it.




    Anet is deceptive with the true nature of GW2's pricing. The website advertises a "complete collection" that gives you all three expansions for $50, but it doesn't give you access to all of the content. There is actually another $52 in patch content that you have to purchase: the living world seasons. Each episode unlocks a new map, and the seasons actually provide more new zones to visit than the expansions. So in order to get the whole game, you have to drop $102 on it.

    Before you drop any money, you should download the game and at least see if you even like the barest idea of GW2. Do you like how it feels to move around, do you like the action combat (there is an action camera mode you can enable that can change the feel of the game), do you even like the races or the classes, etc. If you do like the idea of GW2 but think Vanilla is shoddy, then you can lay down $30 and skip to HoT's content and start playing around with the expansion specializations. That is a good indicator of what GW2 is like after HoT, so you can decide whether to cut your losses and move on, or to go all in.

    If you do buy into GW2, then there are a few other things you should know. The best looking cosmetics are sold in the cash shop (that scarf and cloak and quiver I wear? Cash shop items. There is no free cloak or quiver that looks like that). All mount skins are from the cash shop and cost about $20 per skin (unfortunately you just missed the August sale where all of the mount skins were being sold, so if there is one in particular you want then too bad you have to wait until it goes on sale again). The character creator at the start of the game hides all of the possible customization options to you; you have to drop $5 for a total makeover kit to see the hidden options. Staring at an appealing character will increase your enjoyment. You also acquire loot at an incredible rate, so buying extra bag slots will greatly improve your quality of life. The Griffon flying mount (which WoW is copying for Dragonflight) costs 250 gold, which takes a long time to farm ingame but can be bought for about $15 (there is legalized gold selling through an ingame interface).

    In total I think I've dropped about $250ish on GW2 over the years. That might sound like an intimidating upfront cost, and sure Anet is scummy, but I think it was well worth it. I've had several hundred hours of fun from GW2. Other MMOs charge you a $60 expansion every two years AND a $15 a month sub fee. If you play WoW or FF14 for 10 years then that costs you at least $2,000, and those games STILL have cash shops. And when you compare dropping a couple hundred bucks on GW2 compared to other possible hobbies, such as building and painting Warhammer armies or model trains or slot car racing, GW2 is relatively cheap and a very good value proposition.
    Thanks for the summary!
    At present i am intermittently playing WoW mostly due to being a sort of "all or nothing" person due to health issues relating to memory and focus, so i burn through everything it has to offer in one or two months tops, though more if the general gameplay is genuinely good and accessible (haven't seen that since Legion).
    I figured GW2 might be more accessible to such a playstyle since it takes away the consideration of "If i buy playtime i will feel compelled to play, but i dislike actually getting gametime because i dislike the feeling of compulsion" which makes it so that it's only worthwhile so long as there is genuinely good stuff in the game, like fresh levelling stuff in example or good pvp.

    But i also realised i am a bit too invested in WoW already, and also that my internet is frequently shit, so i think i should scratch my itch with single player stuff moreso than go for this sorta stuff.

    Still thanks for the info and the read, it's interesting!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by PACOX View Post
    GW2s content is cut up into several segments

    Core, Heart of Thorns, Path of Fire, End of Dragons - This is your vanilla game and the 3 expansions. The Core game is free. Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire are now bundled. End of Dragons is the newest expansion.

    Stuff unlocked outside their story.

    Core - Gives you access to the vanilla game
    HoT/PoF - Gliding, Five of the games mounts, Raids. 18 Elite Specs (expansion to the classes)
    EOD - Base level mounts and gliding if you dont have the previous expansion. Strikes (like FF14 raids), skiffs, and fishing - 9 elite specs

    Then you have the Living Story, the way sizable content is introduced between the expansions. Kind of like DLC. They are denoted by seasons. Season 3/4/5 come with new maps and a bunch of other stuff. All of these can be purchased for in-game gold or unlocked with real money. They are free when the come out until a new one is released.

    Season 1 - Free
    Season 2 - Only reason to buy this one in 2022 is for full access to the story and a collection that involves all the seasons.
    Season 3 - Requires Heart of Thorns - 5 maps
    Season 4 - Requires Path of Fire - 5 maps, 2 new mounts
    Season 5 - Requires Path of Fire - Strikes (separate set from those mentioned above).


    Anet has a $50 bundle for all the expans, Steam has it for $60. If you create your account on Anets site you have to buy from there, if you create your account on Steam you have to buy from Steam. Steam has $100 bundle that gives you everything (living story stuff included). Anet doesn't sell a complete bundle yet but they do have one that gems you enough gems to buy the living story stuff for the same price.

    Steam:




    Anet:



    - - - Updated - - -



    It's only deceptive if people don't read. Not sure why people buy stuff without reading.
    A clear and concise summary of all versions and costs, very nice, thanks!
    As i said to Val i have decided against pursueing it at least for now, but perhaps i'll change my mind - but even then such a summary is likely useful for other interested ones as well.
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    Yet also as humble as health and humor permit.

    Furthermore, I consider that Carthage Slam must be destroyed.

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