Wednesday, February 2, 2022

It's The End Of The Month And We Know It.

So, we finally have a firm launch date for the third Guild Wars 2 expansion, End of Dragons: the 28th of February. That's a Monday, which I thought was odd at first, but according to my research Path of Fire released on a Friday and Heart of Thorns on a Saturday, so unless you were expecting it'd be a Sunday this time, it doesn't look like there's much of a pattern. I'm guessing they picked the date because it was the latest they could possibly go and not contradict something they'd already said but honestly, I haven't been paying enough attention to know for sure.

It's quite convenient for me, anyway, in that I never work Mondays or Tuesdays now, so I'll get a decent run at it from the start. If I can summon up the interest, that is.

I watched the "Features Trailer" yesterday. That didn't get my blood pumping. I wouldn't say it's the weakest promotional video I've ever seen for an expansion to a major mmorpg but it has to be right up there. Take a look and see what you think:

Normally, if I was writing one of these posts, I'd go through all the listed features one by one and say something about each of them but this time there really wouldn't be any point. The whole package is literally "more of the same". It's the most by-the-numbers presentation imagineable.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Fan service gets a bad press but there's also knowing who your customers are and giving them what they want. 

Case in point: there's something else happening in February (On the 9th, in fact.) that also got a trailer yesterday: the fourth season of Disenchantment. I love that show. I'm all the excited for it that I'm not for EoD and the trailer (Which, bizarrely, also opens with a dirigible going down in flames.) just made me want to watch it even more!

Whether it would affect non-fans the same way is another matter. NME's review of the previous season concluded "You will know by now whether you like Disenchantment, and if you do, here’s five hours of fun for you. The problem is that season three can hope only to retain the interest of that group. Casual viewers will find it more frustrating than funny." I think much the same can be said about End of Dragons. Except for the "funny" part, obviously.

The one thing that did surprise me about the EoD trailer was the apparent lack of anything even vaguely approximating a central villain. Heart of Thorns had an Elder Dragon, Mordremoth and Path of Fire had no fewer than three, Kralkatorrik (Dragon), Balthazar (God) and Palawa Joko (Irritating Joker knock-off.) What does End of Dragons have?

Hmm. Let's think. There's a lack of trust between Cantha, Tyria's most powerful nation (Thanks to their Jade tech.) and the Pact nations, which is causing some kind of political tension. Apparently we need to make the appropriate diplomatic moves to gain their trust. 

Then there are the Aetherblades. You may remember them. They're a bunch of also-ran air pirates who keep cropping up to little effect. They're back with some kind of unspecified plan for "something big in Cantha". If we don't stop them they'll plunge Tyria into war. (That's a direct quote, too, by the way. I wouldn't want anyone thinking I've come over all patriotic.)

Excited yet? No, I didn't think so. Well, how about this?

"The secrets of Cantha. The secrets of the Dragons. We have to uncover them all - before its too late". 

Uh...which secrets would those be? And too late for what, exactly? 

Now, I'm not saying it won't turn out to be a really great storyline. Maybe all of this is so numbingly generic and vague because to say anything more specific would reveal too much. I'm not saying they should put the plot twist or the ending in the trailer like it was a blockbuster movie.

I really hope that's what it is because if the idea was to get everyone all fired up I can't say it's working. Not on me, anyway. Is anyone else excited?  

Well, yes, apparently they are. Just have a look at the comment thread that follows the trailer on YouTube. Here are a few entirely representative samples:

This was the best trailer Anet has ever produced.

This is waaaay better than I expected, really hyped to play soon!

This is what I’ve been wanting to see for months, finally something that makes me want to buy the expansion again

YES. THIS is what I've been hoping for! Awesome work on the trailer! I'm super excited now!

Oh man, this is such an amazing trailer!

And so on and on and on for nearly 800 comments (No, I didn't read them all but I read about fifty and they were all like that.) So, what do I know? I've only been playing the game every day since 2012. And yet, I thought it was a very poor trailer indeed.

Sometimes I think I might be expecting too much or maybe these things just aren't made for me. I'm too old or too jaded or too cynical or too something. I'm never going to be moved or thrilled by a trailer for a video game. Then again...


  1. Hey, I made that REM reference last week, but I feel fine.

    1. Hah! I wonder if that's what put it into my mind? I don't even like REM all that much so it's not like I'm always thinking about them, unlike certain other acts I could mention.

  2. Arenanet like to release stuff on the 28 - Guild Wars, Factions, Guild Wars 2 and now End of Dragons.

    Nightfall was on the 27 and eye of the north on the 31.

    Heart of Thorns and path of Fire are actually the odds ones out with a 23 and 22 release.

    1. Nice research. It's always towards the end of the month, ins't it. I wonder if that's generally true for mmorpg game and expansion releases?


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