Monday, May 26, 2014

Pack Your Bags. We're Going On A Long Journey : GW2

Back in the 1980s I read a lot of Superman comics. Well, not only in the 1980s. I read a lot of Superman comics in the 1960s and '70s too. In fact, I didn't really stop reading Superman comics until the mid-1990s...

Goes out. Comes in again.

Back in the 1980s I read a lot of Superman comics, most of them written either by Elliot S! Maggin or Cary Bates. The scripts weren't scintillating and the plots often didn't bear close analysis. Or, really, any analysis. That didn't matter, though, because I wasn't there for the emotional heft of the narrative or the labyrinthine intrigue of the plot. I wasn't even there for the super-heroics or not entirely.

No, I was there for the one or two pages in every issue where we got to see the day-to-day workings of the WGBS news room, where Clark Kent worked as a TV news anchor alongside Lana Lang (on whom I've had a crush since I was about 5 years old), dealing with flak from his boss, the sinister Morgan Edge, and insults about his manhood from boorish sportscaster Steve Lombard. Come for the cape, stay for the soap, in other words.

GW2's Living Story reminds me of those days, only now, instead of looking forward to finding fragments of soap opera buried under piles of plot, I'm trying to tease out tiny hints of an actual storyline buried under mountainous helpings of fluff, fancy and fisticuffs.

Seems that trick that still works on me. When's the next issue out?


  1. Not a lore fanatic; there is a story fragment about the zephyrites (from the first zephyr event) recovering a bunch of bits'o'Glint (within the last few years in Tyria's calendar), since that'd come after Destiny's Edge's disastrous encounter with Kralkatoric. The story fragment as well as the ambient classroom discussion on the prow of the Zephyr Sanctum sorta sums up to, "dragons consume but don't destroy magic, the elder dragons are better interpreted as forces of nature (hint, you can't really destroy forces of nature). Bits of ex-dragon are magical too." So they've loaded a whole bunch of bits'o'Glint, and for all we know, a bunch of Zhaitan bits too.

    Given the nomadic asceticism of the zephyrites, not sure they have any specific destination, "the journey is the destination" and all that. The only thing they really consider holy is Glint's council and sacrifice (eg, ambient singing mid-ship).

    1. The odd thing about the sequence I screenshotted above is this: in any other medium whatsoever - tv, movies, comics, prose fiction, radio drama, you name it - I would be absolutely 100% certain that dialog contained either ironic foreshadowing, plot hints or both. I would be certain that:

      a) the contents of the crates was a significant plot point
      b) the Zephyrites were not what they seemed
      c) whatever trip they were making would be materially significant to the plot
      d) I would, in time, get to find out what was in the crates, where the Zepyrites were going and what they were up to

      In an MMO, and particularly in GW2, I have no such certainty. I *hope* all that is the case but I'm aware it could just be a meaningless bit of background filler. I really, really hope that doesn't turn out to be true.

  2. Came here for the Dolyak races, stayed for the Dolyak races.

    The Labyrinthine cliffs really do emphasize GW2's beautiful, beautiful movement. Gosh I don't know of any other game aside from select platformers which had such comfortable movement.


    1. I couldn't do the dolyak race, as in I literally couldn't get to the end without falling off. Despite the nets I died twice and the timer ran out before I'd even gotten as far as the lightning jumps. Normally I'm pretty facile with the various movement skills in Cliffs but not, apparently, when dressed as a foot-high quadraped.

      I'll be spending a lot more time there when the WvW Tourney ends on Friday. Maybe I'll get the hang of it then.

    2. Too much time fighting for the honor of the Yak, and not enough time channeling one!

      Break out those tonics and MOO!


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