Today we saw the end of this Living World season and the Scarlet story arch within Guild Wars 2. Lion’s Arch (LA) gets left in a completely wrecked state from the rain of debris that came from the exploding Breachmaker and the last efforts of Scarlet’s armies to hold everyone at bay. This event marks the culmination of twenty eight Living World updates and has left me appreciative of ArenaNet’s storytelling.
When walking through Lion’s Arch today I felt my heart string being tugged between joy and sadness. That damnable Breachmaker finally being brought down was absolutely a great sight to see. Then they quickly reminded me of all the loss and despair that was happening for the characters through those memorials. It was like that all throughout my walk through LA while I watched looters pick through the wreckage and former citizens try to protect their homes. I hope your parents signed your Feel’s Trip form.
It was an excellent form of ambience and storytelling on ArenaNet’s behalf. The void of life, the quietness and that clear sense of despair was palpable and shows how far they have come since Flame and Frost where the character loss was partially dismissed while we ran to and fro for events. Having this update just slow things down, let us explore and absorb the impact of everything without us running about in a fury to get loot was a nice touch to really hammer things home. They absolutely imparted that feeling of “We won but at a great price”.
After my little tour through the violated LA I headed over to the Dead End Bar for the party and to see what the b-iconics had to say about everything. Once again they did not disappoint and let us feel the impact of everything through the characters eyes. Having Rox finally say she’s sticking with the guild made me smile and I hope we can see that moment where she confronts Rytlock (with the guild at her back, hopefully).
My only complaint about that time in the Dead End Bar was the fact that it wasn’t a fully cinematic conclusion. I know they guided us out with the “To Be Continued…” but I would have loved to see the conversations take place in that same style we saw Kasmeer kissing Marjory in. I felt just slightly disconnected as I had to initiate with the character, with the icon above its head, in order to continue the story. Other than that the words felt organic and the mood was perfect for the moment and the contemplation of what might be coming next.
Despite the ups and downs through the season I thoroughly enjoyed it and this conclusion reminded me of that fact. ArenaNet has shown us that they can create a Living World that is rife with happiness and sadness or life and death. I’m eager to see what they do next for this upcoming season and hope they can keep on these great moments of life in a fantasy world.