GW2: the fall of the Lion

I’d read online about the coming culmination of the Scarlet storyline and the subsequent destruction of Lion’s Arch as the major city for player characters. This strikes me as sad as I loved the design of the city. I guess it may well inspire current players of Guild Wars 2 to jump into the finale of the Scarlet story arc as they fight to save the ruins of the city.

What on Tyria has been going on here?

What on Tyria has been going on here?

I have of course been largely absent from the game since last summer, I did see a bit of the Clockwork Chaos event way back in August but since then I’ve not been a fan of Scarlet or the story direction. This latest, overly dramatic episode just reinforces my lack of desire to return to the game. That the city was destroyed not by an elder dragon but by some random, rather messed-up Sylvari is somewhat strange.

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I logged back in to Lion’s Arch, or … erm, the ruins of Lion’s Arch to find the usual event busy list of achievements. I ported up to a safer location (I’d logged off on the docks) up by the northern exit to the city and logged back off again.

Destroying the main city hub is certainly one way to shake up the game. In my very humble opinion it sounds very much like the Manga obsession with destroying Tokyo (link to TVTropes – be warned you may lose several hours following links…). Surely they could have just had a one-off climactic battle a la the original Karka event near the city and once defeated everyone could feel super-heroic for saving the city and the day? Bare in mind that in the game’s relatively short life Lion’s Arch has already had a fountain destruction moment as well.

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I guess the time I invested in the game was enough to feel something about this, even if it’s just annoyance. That annoyance isn’t just that they’ve nuked such a beautifully designed city – it’s also that the living story continues to be developed in a direction that positively dissuades me from returning.

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6 Responses to GW2: the fall of the Lion

  1. João Carlos says:

    Well, there is a reason why Scarlet is using that giant drilling machine at the middle of LA. We don’t know why so far, but some people think there is a dragon under LA…

    Whatever the problems the first season of the living story had (and they were so many), we need understand that was the first experience Anet made with the concept. They tested diferent ways to tell the story and a lot of that ways don’t worked. And they certainly need a better villains.

    Anyway, it is not rare for Anet destroy the main city. GW1 had a thing named The Searing… but I think it is funny, a lot of players was saying, when this first living story started, that they wanted see permanent changes… IMHO, we are far away form fixing singposts like we done at Flaming and Frost…

    Let’s hope Anet learnt the lessons from the first season and give us a better second season living story. And possibly new zones and new playable races…

    • Telwyn says:

      Agreed especially regarding your last points. I want to see some new zones and a new race would be great. The game needs shaking up not just from a story/base of operations perspective but also from a systems / character choices perspective too.

  2. bhagpuss says:

    The thing about the original Karka invasion is this : the overwhelming majority of players hated it. Personally, I loved it. I absolutely love one-off, drop everything, call in sick if you have to but just don’t miss it events in MMOs. It seems to me to be entirely what they are made for. I think ANet thought that too, but they soon found out how very few MMO players agree with them.

    After the terrible negative response to the Karka invasion (something Trion also experienced after their first and only one-off gotta be there event in Rift) ANet virtually promised they’d never do it again. In my opinion, that was the day the pre-launch vision of GW2 died.

    So, accepting that, the current Escape from LA event isn’t at all bad. Whether LA will be permanently destroyed or whether we’ll have a lengthy “rebuild LA” event after we defeat Scarlet remains to be seen. There’s a strong practical argument for removing LA as a player hub. It was causing the same problem that’s been seen in many MMOs, namely leeching the life out of any number of other areas by providing a no-risk, convenient social hub. That sounds like a good thing but it can be become a real drag anchor and if Anet have decided to bite the bullet and get rid of that before it became too entrenched to shift then I applaud them.

    As for the Scarlet storyline, it’s really picking up. The problem is a year is far, FAR too long to stretch out this amount of narrative. They make a big deal about the Living Story having an arc like a tv series but the entire Scarlet storyline so far would fit into, at most, a two-episode storyline in The X-Files.

    They have the mechanics of the Living Story down pat now and the writing is vastly improved. If they can just get the pacing nailed, Season Two should be a doozy.

  3. Ursan says:

    Yers, it’s good that absolutely nothing, even beautiful LA, is spared from destruction.

    I know a lot of people are clamoring for dragons, but I’m convinced they tossed out Scarlet for their season 1 LS so they can feel things out. I just can’t wait till the finale and for S2 to come rolling along.

    Really agreed with Bhagpuss about the 1-time events. I do hope they’ll maybe compromise and do a 1-time cinematic or something, ala Mad Kings the first year, so even if you missed it it’s not that substantial…..But I can hear the rage from the community already.

    -Ursan

  4. Jeromai says:

    Please, no one-time events…

    Else I shall challenge all of you to attend one set at an Aussie/SEA favorable timing!

    The 2-4 week stretch is great for showing the majority of players changes that are happening, while still being able to change the content with the seasons.

  5. Telwyn says:

    Well it’s bad enough for Europeans when global services have events in Pacific time so I feel your pain Jeromai! I look at Massively a lot but their live streams are always at 1am or later for me. Same with live events in EQ2, usually their way past my bedtime.

    It will be interesting to see if they can spread the playerbase at all. Yes, I agree, that having one hub can hurt a game – Shattrath/Dalaran etc did have a negative impact on the rest of WoW’s cities. Just destroying LA won’t necessarily reinvigorate Rata Sum for instance; any out of the way city will remain mostly deserted in favour of the Vigil temporary base and perhaps Divinity’s Reach? What we actually need is reasons to visit more than one city on a regular basis, such as access to player housing or more use of multiple cities in the Living Story episodes…

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