Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Judgment Day


Today, ArenaNet announced the date for the final instalment of the Icebrood Saga. It's April 27th, next Tuesday.

It's called Judgment and it's described as the "fourth and final chapter of Episode 5 of The Icebrood Saga". Hang on. Wait a moment. Is it the end of the saga or isn't it? How many chapters are there going to be? Is #5 the last or what?

This reporter seems to think so. Let's take her word for it. I want it to be true. Not because I haven't enjoyed the saga. I have, by and large. It's more that if we're finally done with this storyline it means we must be on the cusp of the announcement we're all really waiting for: the release date for the third expansion, End of Dragons


With the Living Story going on hiatus this spring, the timing would seem to be auspicious for an autumn launch. That's sooner than I was expecting. Complete radio silence since the initial expansion reveal meant I was about ready to hear we weren't going to see it until 2022. Digging back through my own commentary, though, it seems the very first PR salvo did give a firm 2021 launch window so maybe I was being too pessimistic.

A lot of people on the forum have been speculating on an August/September release. That sounds a little early to me but Path of Fire released at the end of September 2017 after just three months warning of the official date, so maybe not. If I was going to bet, I'd put my money on November, after Halloween ends. Then again, maybe I just want an expansion for my birthday.

Never mind what might be coming six months from now. What are we getting next week?

Scaly Capes!

Glowy Eyes!

And of course... 

Big Fight!

 That's about all that gets picked out in the video. No mention of any Dragon Response Missions for once, although I imagine that could still be the delivery mechanism for the narrative, just like it has been for a while, now. 

Nothing about more allies. or the Eye of the North, either. I do wonder what will happen to that place once the saga's finished. It's hard to see how we're still going to be staging out of the Far Shiverpeaks when the action moves to Cantha. I suspect I'm going to feel quite pleased I never took the trouble to upgrade my facilities there.

I might be less smug about having ignored the Dragon Slayer mastery track. If you finish that, which you'll be able to do with the Mastery points available in this coming episode, it opens up access to rare item drops. That sounds like something that might finally give the otherwise pointless excercise some traction. 

There's one more thing: a new world boss. I like world bosses so that caught my interest right away. Then I remembered the last so-called world boss we got: Drakkar

I did Drakkar once. It was a large scale meta-event but it was not a "world boss". The wiki agrees. The event is not included in the list of world bosses except in a footnote: "Drakkar has been referred to as a world boss by ArenaNet previously, but does not fit on to the main timer". Take that, Drakkar!

We'll see if the next one qualifies. The signs look good. For one thing, it comes in an open-world version that spawns every two hours on a strict timer, which is what all the other world bosses do. For another, there's an instanced version that can be be triggered by squads, which is kind of how Tequatl and Triple-Headed Wurm work. 

That just leaves the story itself. I left that for last because a) I have no idea what happens and b) it looks ridiculous. Or perhaps I should say the trailer makes it look ridiculous.

It appears the conclusion to this eighteen-month storyline comes down to a Hulk vs Thing slugfest between two NPCs. When Ryland sneers "Nice of you clear out the trash, Commander" it sounds altogether too convincing. Too often that's been the player-character's role in all this.

As for Braham taking on the vacant position of Primordus' Champion... yeah, convince me. Maybe it will make sense. Maybe the reason the episode's called Judgment is in reference to Braham and his not having any. Perhaps those Spirits of the Wild (all the minor ones Norns don't really worship any more, let's not forget) know something we don't. Can't see it but perhaps that's just me.

What I'd like to know is where Taimi is in all this. What happened to that big brother/little sister relationship the two of them had for several years? Did they even talk about any of this? And did Braham ever think that Taimi might need him to be... Braham? She has a terminal illness, let's not forget. Not that anyone on the writing team seems to remember.

Ah, well. It wouldn't be Guild Wars 2 if it made any sense, would it? And anyway, does it really matter? Tune in next week for the amazing conclusion of the Icebrood Saga. Then carry on playing for another six months as though none of it ever happened.

That's why we're here, isn't it?


  1. Braham and Taimi have already talked about it in Metrica Province DRM. Taimi was glad that Jormag "came to their help against Primordus" and most of the Asura Council shared her opinion. Braham was disgusted by that and that's also the first time when he starts feeling presence of the Destroyers. I doubt Braham wanted to talk with Taimi again after that.

    1. I remember that (vaguely) but I was thinking of his actual decision to becoem Primordus' champion. I don't think that was mentioned although now I think about it I'm not sure... it may have been. Either way, you're right about the rift between them over whether or not to go along with Jormag's version of events. I agree that Braham most likely wouldn't consider discussing his ideas with Taimi for that reason alone.

    2. I think Anet writers would've liked to explore this further, but there's only so much they can do while rushing through the story (because most devs are working on expansion and IBS was obviously cut short) and tackling multiple themes at once. I only hope that EoD is good enough to make it worth.


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