Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Up Above The Roofs And Houses : GW2

I was on Reddit last night reading the leaked/faked (delete as applicable) upcoming patch notes that supposedly reveal details of ANet's plans for server merges and other "fixes" for World vs World's many problems, when quite by chance I came across a thread entitled "Thank you ANet, for polishing Black Citadel. It's beautiful."

Putting aside my mental image of a team of ANet developers in community service fatigues hanging from the girders of The black Citadel on bucket-chairs wielding mops and dusters, I read on to learn that, as a direct result of the addition of gliding to Core Tyria, someone had taken the time and trouble to "polish up, rework the newly accessible areas a bit" and sort out "invisible walls, low res props without collision, etc that needed fixing".

The Black Citadel has always been my favorite Tyrian city. I've sung its praises before, more than once. Over the years I've poked my whiskers into its many back alleys and wild places. But I've never seen it from the air.

This evening I spent an hour exploring the old place. Honestly, I couldn't with any certainty say what parts were or weren't newly accessible. The place always was a maze. For example, I'd have said the whole perimeter of the Great Imperial Smelter would have been unreachable without a glider but as I made my way back on foot from the far side I found myself next to a vendor and next to him was a ramp going up, so maybe you always could take that tour.

It's also not impossible that you might have been able to jump down onto the jury-rigged, flat, riveted rooftop of the Gladium Canton, although I rather doubt it. In places the collision is still touch and go - I fell through what looked like a sheet of solid boiler plate steel while I was gawping at the sunset.

I purely love rooftops. There's a famous romance to the world above the houses that's been celebrated in many a book and film from Mary Poppins to Rooftoppers. As a teenager I used to take every chance I could get to climb out of a window or up a wall and sit on a roof ridge or a parapet.

I'm getting a tad past that now but my characters aren't. The roof over Gladium is a joy, although it's also an architectural disaster. I really hope no Asura "geniuses" ever happen to see it, but for atmospherics and mood it can't be beat.

There were two places I managed to reach that I'm certain weren't on the tourist trail before gliding came to Tyria. To the South of the Gladium Canton there's a sector from which the map's fog never clears because no-one was ever meant to go there.

It was scenery. Now it's a picnic spot. There's not much there except trees and grass but it makes a great staging post to swoop down on that tricky vista.

Most satisfying of all, though, was the flight I took from the ledge of the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch all the way across to the ruins of the Great Northern Wall. Those fragments of archway have taunted me for years, granite ghosts of a past that won't fade. Landing on their ledges and sitting in their shade made an old Charr feel the war was finally over.

So, yes, thank you Justin of ANet, for going above and beyond the call of duty and adding yet another paragraph to the palimpsest of The Black Citadel, the greatest city in Tyria. May her steel always shine and her roadways never rust.


  1. I feel the same about Divinity's Reach. In fact every single toon I have is human just to have that home city. Cant get enough of that Disney castle feel. The 'living world' Anet was shooting for would really benefit from a housing system like BDO's.

    1. Or indeed any housing. Personal instances very definitely don't count.

    2. Strongly agreed! I always thought that if they would at least let us paint the walls of the buildings - that little but of customization would go a long way. But wow you're right. There is no personalization at all so how can it really be called player housing? Another failed promise.

  2. I love gliding around cities, although it does make it a little more obvious that either some of the scenery is there to fake a sense of scale, or that Divinity's Reach is home to some really tiny people.

    1. The one that always puzzled me was Citadel in the Alpine Borderlands. Those huge, towering buildings with the endless windows - just who lived there? Of course, with no gliding in WvW, they will keep their mystery even when the Alpine BLs return

  3. It's very different, but I've always loved the pseudo-Renaissance of Divinity's Reach; and Hoelbrak with its alpine/nordic feel. The Black Citadel was always just a little too "raw industrial" for my tastes. But to each his own. You've got some great shots here.


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