Its been a little while since I blogged about the Guild Wars 2 Living Story. Since then we’ve had the Halloween update rolling onwards for a few updates. We had the story of the Mad King’s lost son, the Bloody Prince, and the zerging of the Mad King’s Realm. Now we’ve had the arrival of the ‘toxic alliance’ and look set to soon have a show down with them and Scarlet.
For me, the Halloween updates have been fine. They haven’t been bad, nor good, just fine. I’ve reasonably enjoyed the fights you can have in the Mad Kings Realm and now Kessex Hills. Its been lacking a lot though, a major part of which has been variety – its all been content about the zergs!
That aside, I wanted to put down a few ideas that I’d like to see for future living story releases.
When I say new content I mean releases that are a decent sized release, a fairly big addition or change. The Mad King’s Realm or the changes to Kessex are probably good examples of that, but I want to see content that stays. These changes will disappear in time and all will be forgotten.
Aside from the Crown Pavilion in Divinity’s Reach nothing remains of the Queen’s Jubilee as an example – just a big empty glorified hole in the ground. If they release a new big content bundle like the changes to Kessex this week, I want them to properly stay and not just as a background picture like the Pavilion has become.
I guess that’s a broader thing too though. For me, I’d rather less focus on releases every two weeks and a larger content release every month or longer. Longer between the updates, but a larger release would be some serious new content – entirely new areas for good, maybe even new maps like Southsun was.
In the end I want to see the world expand, I want many more maps to open up full of new people to meet, new sights to see and things to do. The Living Story is the perfect vehicle for such releases, but at the moment the releases are too much temporary parties. I want to see new and amazing places arrive, and stay.
Just look at the map just above this and see how much of the world there is left to be explored, so much potential just wasting away!
Revisit The Lore
I don’t want to sound like a lore fanatic here, but the way that many Living Stories have been shoe-horned into the pretty comprehensive lore from GW1 and 2 is jarring. So many questions are left hanging and so many wonderful stories are ignored, and in some cases contradictions created.
When such a wealthy of stories already exist, waiting to be taken back up, why have the Living Story teams gone and created Scarlett and her ‘alliances’. I would care a damn sight more about any of the existing lore plots, for instance a plot about the lost sea dragon (known by most as Bubbles) which had a perfect chance for development during Southsun but was totally avoided. There could even be a Living Story about attempts at re-colonising Orr following its cleansing at the end of the GW2 story. So many opportunities, so why Scarlett and her toxic/molten/and I’m guessing frosty alliances.
I just wished they’d be a bit better at telling stories, and the Living Story should be all about this.
I say new mechanics, but what I really want to see most of all is something that breaks up the zerg-fest that GW has turned in to in all ways. Champions – there’s a dedicated zerg for that. The living story temporary zone events – there’s a dedicated zerg for that. Want to change it up and try out wvw for a change? – there’s a dedicated zerg for that.
Any mechanic that breaks up the zergs and gets us playing cooperatively rather than cooperatively – adventuring separately and supporting each other where and when it is needed – would be very very welcome. I like some zerg play, but the entire game is becoming clogged with it.
I don’t blame the developers for this, they developed a game that just had room for players to create an exploit. Players will always take the path of least resistance – the path for maximum gain in the shortest time span. That’s what accidentally happening in GW, and it created all these zergs. Its long overdue attention, and Living Story release that encourage it are ruining the gameplay.
That’s my wishlist, if you like, for the future of the Living Story. Its by no means totally ruined, there’s lots of potential left in the concept. However, right now, Living Story is heading in a direction that isn’t all that good for the game long term.
Comment with what you’d like to see in future releases!
Digital Salad – https://lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com