Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Another Chance To See: GW2

When the Mad King burst out of the fountain in the plaza in Lion's Arch for the first time I was concerned that the damage shouldn't be permanent. It took a while but eventually the statue and the dancing fountains were restored to their full glory.

Then Scarlet came along and flattened them again along with the rest of the city. By the time the all-new, pirate-free, slick Vegas Hotel version arrived it seemed people were so glad just to have bridges you didn't fall through and all the services up and running again that no-one really seemed all that bothered about the landmarks that had vanished forever.

Only, as I discovered today, when my original, oldest character idly picked up his Personal Story where he'd left it at The Battle of Claw Island two years ago, Old Lion's Arch hasn't completely vanished after all.

It's only a smallish section but it's the part I remember the best. The Lion Statue is just out of reach behind the warning that you're going to be kicked for leaving the instance but it's close enough to watch the fountains play. The Bank and the Mystic Forge are fully accessible although not in the least part useable. All of Canal Ward is free to explore, at least until you finish the chapter.

Of course the whole place is teeming with Risen (the fancy Tyrian name for undead) and all the citizens are cowering or running or fighting back, but who cares about that when there are photo opportunities to be had? It made me wonder whether there are any other examples of MMO makeovers that didn't 100% take.

There must be plenty. That's the wonder of having static storylines, told in instanced zones, woven through a living, changing online world. It leaves great chunks of the past embedded in the present, unchanging, unable to be changed except at unreasonable effort and expense.

With the stated aim being to move all future content development to Heart of Thorns maps and, by implication, content beyond that to the next expansion and so on, it does make me wonder how the original Personal Story, Lion's Arch itself and, for that matter, the racial home cities are going to fare. Every successful MMO runs into problems keeping old areas relevant but ANet seem to be going out of their way to make things difficult for themselves.

That will all resolve itself in due time no doubt. Meanwhile at least I know that if I ever want a stroll round Ye Olde Lionne's Arche all I have to do is grind through another Personal Story. One day I might even finish one.


  1. I was curious how they handled the Lion's Arch bits of the personal story. Now I know. Must be really confusing for new players who came on after the reconstruction, though.

  2. (Being confusing may be ArenaNet's best skill...(

    Well, damn. Y'know, that whole ships-as-buildings architectural design motif was/is absolutely brilliant, and I thought they were fools to get rid of it. I miss it a lot, but hell if I miss the Personal Story -- which I would love to get off my screen once and for all. Go, you, bravely skirting the ridiculous and irritating undead for nice postcard shots from our lost city.

    (Vegas... Yeah, no kiddin'. bleh)

    -- 7rlsy


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