When I first saw this tool I thought it would be a very interesting way to do a scavenger hunt for meaningful new information through cinematic clips and audio clips of dialogue. I thought perhaps we would be able to get some interesting new way to connect the dots between various events and see just a bit more insight into what was happening in Tyria. I feel disappointed with those expectations. The problem is that I don’t know what other expectations I was supposed to have for this Atlas?
This is the typical amount of information per node.
The first issue for me is that I don’t know why they couldn’t reveal this information in more traditional routes. It gives less amount of information than through a traditional press release and their own blog posts. It doesn’t do anything special other than to give players an arbitrary scavenger hunt for information that isn’t all that shocking. The one thing that was kind of interesting, with the reveal of a boss to come, they linked to MMORPG to just say "congrats you found it".
There is the aspect that it could be a tool for players to recap information in past Living World releases. If they wanted it to do that they should have given more information with each node than the sentence or two they provide. Breaking down Southsun into the seven sentences, with no link to follow through with, is pretty much downplaying their own story line. Heck, Rata Sum doesn’t even get a mention for Super Adventure Box which started to have a plot behind it.
Tequatl Rises gets more information than Super Adventure Box. What?
In its current state I don’t know what it is supposed to do well that brings a fan back to it, other than the occasional update with each release. If they want players to come back to it they should provide inside information that players can’t currently get access to. Perhaps what is Canach up to now that he has been moved from Lion’s Arch? What is the status of Super Adventure Box? What is Southsun doing now that it has been effectively cut off from everyone else? There is plenty more they could have talked about than just a sentence or two recap of everything done in the past.
I won’t say I have already given up on the Atlas. The guys and gals at ArenaNet have shown they love to get feedback and act upon it when possible. I just hope they do something interesting with it soon or we may just be left to wonder why they put resources to this project that won’t get that much love from the fans.
Let us know what you guys think in the comments below, or throw us a tweet about it at @GuildWars2Hub.