Sometimes changes like this don't quite come across but I'd heard good things. Jeromai at Why I Game was waxing positively lyrical. The first time I ever went to Orr (and how long ago that seems) was on a Sunday morning, so with some symmetry I woke up the same character who made that journey, my ranger, and sent him off to do what rangers do best; explore! (Quiet in the back there!).
I took the waypoint express to Signal Peak at the easternmost tip of Orr's most northerly promontory and from there I meandered all the way down to Shipwreck Rock, which is the furthest south you can go. Took me about four hours.
The three maps known collectively as "Orr" are Straits of Devestation, Malchor's Leap and Cursed Shore. Straits begins as lush swampland and ends in bare, brown rock. Malchor's Leap is a weird, ghostlike, ruinous landscape. Cursed Shore looks like it sounds. The northern end of Straits is relatively normal but the further south you go, the fewer living things you meet. By the time you get to Cursed Shore about the only things left alive are players and The Pact.
|All the colors of the rainbow, in oils|
Well, it made a better impression this time. The northern half of Straits of Devestation almost seemed like a pleasant place for a picnic. Whole areas had no aggressive mobs at all, just harmless, flittering insects and grazing herbivores.
|A bridge too far?|
|Orr just makes me feel blue...|
|Wow, you just shot up since last I saw you!|
Malchor's aside, then, all in all I felt it was a much improved experience. Whether its sufficiently improved to merit regular visits, that's another question entirely. I enjoyed my day out and with more time to stop and look around in relative peace it's easier to see that the same exquisite care and attention to detail has been taken in Cursed Shore as on any other of GW2's gorgeous environments. It's still almost all undead all the time, though, which still wears out its welcome after an hour or two. And its still mostly purple, except where it's brown.
Dulfy's guide beforehand I probably would have saved my Karma, but hey, what else do I have to spend it on? I spent 4550 karma on my Jewellery Box and inside I found three drops of liquid karma worth a total of 1200 points and three pieces of nameless junk that sold for fifty copper each. Shan't be doing that again.
Still, what kind of a Sunday stroll would it be without a few coins thrown away on ice cream and buns, eh?