Tuesday, May 24, 2022

I Love LA

The second instalment of Guild Wars 2's revised, revamped, restored, Unlimited Edition of Living World, Season One, Chapter who-the-hell-knows? dropped in today's regular Tuesday update. ArenaNet gave it a title: Sky Pirates. Maybe I should just have called it that.

The first and last time we saw this content was the best part of a decade ago, so forgive me if I can't remember if it was called "Sky Pirates" the first time around. It wasn't, though. Possibly a part of it might have been. It's a portmanteau of the original version, several bi-weekly episodes welded together with all the loose, awkward bits lopped off.

Or I guess it is. I've only played the first part. That also has a name. A weird name. I mean, if you were sitting around a table or in a bean bag or hanging over the divider of your cubicle or however they do it at ANet Towers, a bunch of you blueskying ideas on what to call to call your opening act, would you have come up with this?

"Ceremony and Acrimony." Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Okay, yes, well, maybe it does, meliflously-speaking. It has mouth feel, I'll give you that. But it reeks of academia. Is that the first impression you want to make? 

And subtitling it "Memorials on the Pyre"? That just makes the whole thing sound even more like an essay title you'd be unreasoningly proud of until your tutor trotted out that line about killing your babies.

Whatev. I played through it. Took me, I don't know, fifteen minutes? I wasn't counting. 

I remembered it very well, once it got going. It's the one where you get invited to the inaugural Dragon Bash in Lion's Arch and get to stand there like Magnus's spare prosthetic while the one-eyed pirate introduces all his pirate pals and makes some piratical jokes that are about as funny as you'd expect. 

Then all the minor races or whatever now-unacceptable phrase we used to use back in the Personal Story waddle or stride or slither forward (No, come to think of it, no-one invited the Krait.) to throw their memorials onto the pyres.

I always found that part a little strange. I don't think you get any idea what the "memorials" are. I couldn't see them but then I was having a lot of lag. Gendaran Fields was a slideshow, thanks to everyone standing about pointlessly just outside the gate to LA. and my PC was still struggling to recover for a while even when I got into the instance.

As soon as the pyres catch fire, a whole load of pinky-purple lightning shoots out and zaps everyone. It was quite a shock the first time around but I was expecting it this time. As I said, I could remember nearly everything, much to my surprise. 

At the time it seemed like everyone either got zapped into the air or ran away or fell over but I see from the above shot that really all that happened was everyone stood there gawping as if it was all part of the show. Probably the most realistic thing in the entire episode, then.

After that there's a whole load of yelling, all of it by Ellen Kiel, at this time still some kind of officer in the Lion Guard, I think. I won't spoil the plot and tell you what happens to her later but it was one of my favorite parts of Season One... other than the result. Vote Evon!

Eventually a dolyak turns up, towing what looks like a scout tent fitted with anti-grav. You, the Commander, get drafted for escort duty as the hairy yak plods across the big bridge that goes to... dammit, I should know this... some part of the Old Lions Arch I used to visit all the time... no, it's no good, it's gone.

The main reason I was hyped to play this right away was the rumor I heard that we'd get to see the old Lion's Arch again. Not the original original, the one that was damaged by the Karka Invasion. That's gone for good, I think. This would be the one after that, with the lighthouse still in ruins and some of the wooden temporary bridges still in place.

I never thought we'd get  a free run at the whole city but I did think we might get to see the Lion Fountain again. I wasn't sure about that, either. It got destroyed at least twice and rebuilt at least once but I couldn't tell you without looking it up what state it was in when Dragon Bash came along.

Wouldn't have made any difference if I could because the Captain's Council had the thing replaced by a hologram projector for the festival anyway. I remembered that as soon as I saw the ugly Asuran contraption. (You can see it in the picture at the top of the post, if you really want to.)

You can see from the above map exactly how much and which part of Lion's Arch you get to reminisce over. From the Grand Plaza to Fort Mariner. Fort Mariner! That's the bunny! Geez, my memory...

It's not much but it gives you the sweet taste. It's a tease to be able to see the rest of the city, just out of reach. Clearly they could give us back the whole thing if they wanted. Maybe in another chapter. I seem to remember Dragon Bash itself took place right across the city.

Of course, they'll have to bring back the entire map if they plan on doing Scarlet's attack on Lion's Arch and I don't see how they could conceivably run Season One without it. By then, though, half the city's a smoking ruin so it'll hardly be the same.

I would happily have carried on with the next chapter but Beryl the Dog chose then to go completely crazy and I had to spend half an hour throwing things for her in the garden until she calmed down. It's a puppy thing. I'm working tomorrow so it'll probably be Thursday before I get to carry on.

Here's hoping we get to see more of the Old Lion's Arch, while it's still almost in one piece.


  1. Damn you, now I gotta fire up some Randy Newman.

    “… Peep, peep, peep.”


    — 7rlsy

    1. Hah! I was thinking of Starcrawler but Randy Newman works, too.


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