It's all been a bit of a rush. Didn't get to the Heart of Thorns beta until a couple of hours after it started. First we were doing Tequatl and someone or someones unknown didn't notice the Vigil Megalaser was rapidly melting. That didn't end well.
Then I spent almost an hour (!) trying to finish the worst set of dailies evs on my third account. In the end I had to camp the Veteran Warg on Fort Aspenwood's borderland like it was 1999. That led right into the late evening Maw/Jor, as the back-to-back twofer featuring The Frozen Maw followed by Claw of Jormag is known in our house (by me at least).
By the time all that lot was over I had to get a snack. It was gone ten by the time I flipped through Beta character creation to come up with the most gormless-looking Asura in Tyria (and there's heavy competition for that title). Little time left to get a look at Verdant Brink and bang out a blog post before today's Blaugust deadline expires.
I guess there's no point worrying about spoilers. The major question from the end of Living Story 2 is answered in the first five minutes of the opening episode of our new Personal Story. Look away now if you don't want to know that ...
Destiny Edge did not die in Mordremoth's destruction of the Pact Airfleet. No, of course they didn't. Who ever thought they did? In classic pulp novel style they were captured and taken away for...interrogation? Execution? Breeding? Tea and crumpets?
That we don't know but if anything's even less of a surprise than finding them alive but held prisoner by The Bad Guys it's discovering that we're the suckers who have to go find them and get them out of the mess they've gotten themselves into.
The first episode then proceeded almost exactly like almost any episode of last years Living Story, albeit one of the easier ones. I managed to complete the entire thing as an Elementalist without dying although I was downed twice towards the end. The fights were as tedious as usual although the mini-boss seemed fairly ineffectual and the threatened Giant Plant, who got a big cut scene and looked like he'd be a total pain, never actually appeared in the instance at all.
I strongly hope this is the difficulty setting at least for combat in the Personal Story. Any harder would be painful. It's not like the fights in these instances have ever been interesting.
The plot, however, is a rollicking good adventure. It could have come from a 1930s cinema serial of the Flash Gordon ilk. The final set piece sent literal shivers down my spine. Cheap emotional manipulation by use of cliched tropes it may be but it flipping well works!
When Rytlock appeared over the top of a ridge like Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone I cheered out loud.
I took photos of him. Lots of them. Including this unfortunate pose in which he appears to be trying to give my Asura a run for his money in the gormlessness stakes:
The whole thing wrapped up with a Mastery Point. Too tired to make much of what that means right now. Something to do with gliders or frogs I think. All in all it was fun and it made me realize how much I've missed having this daft story and these ridiculous characters around.
So far, so good. Let's see how things go tomorrow. Just let's no-one tell Rytlock I said he was daft. He's a bit scary. Scarier.