Monday, June 29, 2015

She's Filled With Secrets : GW2

Lion's Arch continues to fascinate. There's a tour you can take but with amazing timing I joined the group just as the guide went on her break. She sent us all through the portal to Gendarran Fields and said she'd meet us on the other side. Then she stalked off in the opposite direction.

We all waited by the bridge for a few minutes. Then I took matters into my own hands. I decided to make up a tour of my own. Well, not entirely my own. While I was exploring I also filled out the formal Map Completion requirements. Map completion was always exploring by numbers but with the addition of the onscreen pointers now it's more like one of those "nature trails" beloved of infant school teachers the world over.

If I was any kind of efficient I'd have taken the trouble to pick up a rifle from Turl Sharptooth and potted a few Karka along the way. Mrs Bhagpuss has already bagged Princess for both of her accounts and I haven't even started. Must get on that before I drown in dragonite.

Reason I didn't bother with the rifle this time is that it'll be no trouble to go round again. Any reason to spend more time in this rich and strange city is welcome. There's so much to see and hear, so much to do, so many secrets to discover.

Oh yes, secrets. Lion's Arch is full of them. Sya has one. To be honest, it's not much of a secret, not any more. There's a twelve-page thread about it on the forums for one thing. If you happen on her, where she stands near Fort Mariner, she'll gladly tell you about it, if you ask.

Her secret. Sya used to have another name. She's changed. And more than just her name. She's not someone I know well, more an acquaintance, really. We met at the refugee camp a while back. He was Symon back then.

Wait, she tells it better than I can:

Tyria is becoming a new kind of world. Maybe having a clear and undeniable enemy helps us to focus on what's important. (The elder dragons. Remember? Big, lizardy, lots of teeth...) Makes it easier to understand what matters and what really doesn't. To make choices. Perhaps that's it.

Old Tyria was big on lines you wouldn't want to cross. Charrs and humans, that was one. Remember the big deal when Rytlock and Logan even got as far as not trying to kill each other on sight? That was progress, then. Now we have Jordyn and Leyah and their Asura Guardian, blurring all the lines.

Of course, those two always had vision. Let me remind you what Leyah told me when we bumped into each other a while back. She said "I'm teaching Jordyn how to be a soldier. She's going to be in my warband, and we're gonna be Ash legion, 'cause we're spooky".

I said I didn't think humans could be in a Legion but she already had that all worked out. She told me "They couldn't be before, but me and Jordyn are gonna change that when we're tribunes. Probably in a couple of years or so."

Grammar is not a high priority in the Fahrar curriculum
The way things are going will it even take that long? Look at Snikk and Scratch. Best friends forever, when they should be natural enemies, or at least experimenter and experiment. All over Lion's Arch you can find multi-racial groups of children at play. Human children and charr cubs seem to have a mutual attraction that rivals the bro-bonding of adult Charr and Norn. Or maybe those are Norn children. Whatever. When these kids grow up everything will change.

Already, though, Tyria in general, Lion's Arch in particular, looks to be in the vanguard of social change. Gender reassignment and sexual orientation (Hi, Jory! Hi, Kas!), racial harmony and who knows what else. It's heartening for sure. But let's not paint too bright a picture. There's a worm in the apple.

I ran into Inspector Lizzi on the beach. She'd found something. Something very bad. The twisted corpse of a sylvari on the sand. I stopped to see if I could help. What she told me brought a bitter chill to the bright day.

Blood speaks to blood as the sap runs thin. There will be an accounting.

Right now, Lion's Arch is at peace, or so it seems. Enjoy it while you can. It won't last. It never does. Remember, we all stand together or we fall.


  1. I am pretty impressed by ANet at this point - the way manage to include these topics without much hubbub. Bioware have done it but somehow it always ended up becoming some big media drama and trollery. It's interesting how other MMOs "just do it" (also thinking of Allods same-sex marriages), put it in there and that's that. No discussion, love it leave it or much rather, get a fucking grip.

    But maybe that too has to do with making decisions, resolutely, as you said above. There is magic in that.

    1. Maybe it has something to do with that you really have to look for it in Guild Wars 2 as well? I'm way too impatient myself. If not for Bhagpuss' regular Easter eggs (by lack of a better word), I'd probably miss all these cool things!

    2. Lion's Arch is an exceptional case in that they seem to have gone out of their way to put in at least as much new incidental dialog and vocal work as there was in the original launch version, but in general they do seem to put an inordinate amount of effort into the background work. It's one of the best features of the game, I think. Whenever I find something new I want to chat about it and speculate on what it might mean - I used to love The Egg Baron's blog for that, before he vanished never to be seen again.

      Mostly I just drive Mrs Bhagpuss mad with "Have you seen this?" and "What do you think that means?" before posting it here in the hope someone might have some ideas.

  2. Thanks for this great overview of this. I may be grouchy about some things Anet has done, but I do like the overall direction of Lion's Arch. I hope they recognize the importance of a haven like this for peoples of all kinds and not use it as a point of plot destruction again. I kinda get the feeling that too much work went into restoring it to wipe it out again. :)

    Anyhow, I haven't really taken time to explore the new city well, so I appreciate all the little details. GW2 always did these little things well!

    1. ANet seem to positively relish destroying their own hard work. I give it a year, tops, before the next disaster, although they might pick on Divinity's Reach or The Black Citadel next I guess.


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