Our dry spell of updates is at an end and the guys at ArenaNet are ending it with a bang. The Festival of the Four Winds will be coming out on May 20th and promises to revisit some of the event in the first Living World season, preview the Second Living World season and work on Lion’s Arch. It promises to be a huge event and along with it a lot of questions about what is happening. I think it is worth taking a moment to dissect what came with the announcements made yesterday and what we already know.
In the real world the reasons for this party is to highlight the Chinese release of Guild Wars 2 that occurs on the 15th. This update is meant to catch-up the Chinese players to the rest of us, in the terms of the Living World stories, and gets us all properly synced up moving forward. It is a necessary step for us to be all on the same page and not leave all these new players completely shell-shocked as they are thrown in to the chaos that will be the second season.
In the game’s terms we know that the Zephyrites are honoring their trade agreement with Lion’s Arch. Here we will see steps taken towards rebuilding Lion’s Arch by “participating in challenges and activities to raise funds to rebuild the city they helped defend.” This festival even has a call back to the popular Queen’s Gauntlet where we will face even newer foes to test ourselves against.
I am pretty shocked at the decision to rebuild Lion’s Arch, however. I had really thought that the destruction of Lion’s Arch was the way ArenaNet proved to us that they would touch any part of the game and change it for good. I thought this would be their way of saying that, despite all the work necessary to adjust the personal story, they would touch anything to improve the game for the players. I wanted to see more player involvement when it came to the next choice moving forward for a player hub. Perhaps if they offer us some decisions to make for Lion’s Arch, and allow us to vote on it like we did during Cutthroat Politics, then I think we could all feel like we had an actual voice in the game once more.
My second concern is for the Chinese players who will be slightly fresh to the game. We are going to be going through history and a Gauntlet that was truly difficult. I wonder if the fresh-faced players, and I mean players who only are just experiencing Guild Wars 2 for the first time on launch day, will be acclimated enough to the game for this step of the Living World? I know I want an update but is it too much to expect them to be ready to absorb a limited-time experience on top of all the other experiences the game is providing? The chaos that occurred during the Karka invasion was bad enough for us and we had a lot of time to get ready for the game. We can only hope those new players don’t get cut out of experiences merely due to their limited exposure to the game.
The last concern on my mind is the worry of rehashed content we are potentially facing. I will say that ArenaNet can bring back old content and still make it fun ala the Super Adventure Box. I will also say that seeing something like the Gauntlet return makes me wonder how they can keep it fresh and relevant. I understand the Gauntlet and the Zephyrites were some truly unique experiences and to show them to the Chinese market is a great way to show them all the things the game is capable of; but, I hope it is done also to keep us all equally entertained.
I’m eager for the 20th to see what ArenaNet has been keeping up their sleeves all this time. I hope it will be a release that can show off why such a long wait was needed. If they do it right I could be satisfied solely on the tease they have for us on what is coming for the second season.