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Reflections On A Living World

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March 24, 2014 - 5:10am -- Lee B.
Reflections On A Living World

The first season of the Living World was a roller coaster of highs and lows. We struggled with its first implementation in Southsun but watched them soar with it when they started introducing the b-iconics. Most of all this season was amazing to be part of for the sheer reason of seeing how a company like ArenaNet went about reevaluating the standards of what MMOs can provide to us.

When ArenaNet first brought out the Living World model they announced they would update the game with significant updates every two weeks. That was unheard of and frankly kind of crazy when they announced it. They pushed out release after release despite the opinions of said release and the opinions of the release schedule itself. They proved that it could be done and they have improved their own quality of release as they did it. That is impressive of an MMO developer.

Some may say it isn’t very impressive however. The short-comings of a few releases brings down the entirety of the Living World model and therefor the playability of Guild Wars 2 itself. It is a fair thought. An expansion to World of Warcraft was the whole reason why I quit the game.

On the other hand would you quit a television series because you disliked a single episode? That is how I view these Living World updates: episodic releases with a bunch of extra, free features added on to make the game more enjoyable for all. That is partially why I can say I enjoyed the last season of the Living World. I hated some episodes, or updates, but over-all I can say I liked what I got to experience.


There were plenty of experiences to go back about and talk about, too. I partially talk about some of them in my top five article I wrote not too long ago. The most impacting experience, however, was the implementation of the Ascended gear, Fractals of the Mists and how the Living World brought them to us.

Through the Living World we got to see them get implemented into the game so early after the release. Imagine how long that would have taken to get to us if we were on an industry standard release and expansion cycle? I warrant we would just now be seeing an expansion being announced that would just now be giving us everything we have in the game. That means we’d have to wait even longer to get them and then pay another hefty sum out of pocket.  Maybe we’d get a new class on top of this but I highly doubt we would see any new content that we haven’t already seen nor would we see it as detailed and story-driven as we have seen it.

So over all the first season was much more than anticipated. Something tells me the guys at ArenaNet say something along the same lines, too. I can’t wait for this second season. I hope one episode we get to see Logan and Jenna get married.

Tell us what the first season was like for you in the comment section below or shoot a message at @CanadasMathlete and tell him what you think. 


Galen's picture
Submitted by Galen on

I can't agree more with all of this.  I think, over all, this first season was a great success.  Yes, their were bumps along the way, but I can't wait to see what anet dreams up for season 2.

An important point, imho, is that Anet was well aware how difficult a thing they were attempting.  Looking back, you can see how they started out, did a few months of updates, then looked at what we had to say and made changes for the next few months.

That is one of Anet's greatest strengths.  They truly listen to their players and are able to seperate qqing from valid feedback.  Not only can they do it, the depend on it.  They setup their time tables on this so that they could make mistakes, get feedback and craft new elements to address the issues they saw as most needing correction.

Just a few months ago people were complaining that the living world had no real lasting effects on the world of Tyria, that content came and went and no one was the wiseer.

Take a look at Lions Arch and say that now.

I think the greatest success here is anets ability to listen to its players and give us what we want, even when we are busy complaining about stupid stuff that has nothing to do with the game.


I like your comparison to tv and a few bad episodes.  In a year, who will even remember those bad episodes?  It might be nice for you to make a second article about the 5 greatest failings of LS1, so that in the future we can look back and say "Wow.  that realy happened?  I can't believe it."