Digital Salad: Escape From Lion’s Arch

So, I’m still just about keeping on board with the relentless progress of the GW2 Living Story Season 1 train as it hurtles towards its final station; which it should hit on 4th March. This week has seen the announcement of the penultimate episode, where we see Lion’s Arch under assault from a combined Scarlett attack force. All very predictable so far! Lets see what this new release might mean for the game though.

The airships are on the horizon!
The airships are on the horizon!

So, in keeping with their recent trend, ArenaNet have release a teaser trailer for next Tuesday’s patch – Escape From Lion’s Arch. What does it tell us?

Not a great deal other than all the alliances that Scarlett has (somehow) been smushing together for a little under a year are all going to descend upon Lion’s Arch for a final battle. It’s all a bit predictable really, especially after clues with giant flashing lights started appearing in recent Living Story installments (a map of Tyria in Scarlett’s liar with Lion’s Arch clearly marked for an attack is just one of several the forums have been discussing).

Potentially, this installment could mean some more permanent changes to Tyria; which could be a positive step. That said, Lion’s Arch won’t be changing all that much. We already know that the Mystic Forge will be destroyed, but reinstated at a new location in the Vigil Keep in the south of Lion’s Arch. So that almost presumes that at least the Vigil will hold on during the attack.

So who exactly is escaping if the Vigil and others will be holding on?

Well, the best guess is the citizens of Lion’s Arch. Where to? Probably Divinity’s Reach – it’s the only other city that’s cropped up much in the Living Story in relation to Scarlett and its the easiest to get to. Protect the refugee convoy events in Gendarran Fields? I’m betting on it!

Gendarran Fields - also to become a battlefield this month?
Gendarran Fields – also to become a battlefield this month?

Then its down to the Vigil and our Living Story heroes to fight for Lion’s Arch. Its likely that this will turn Lion’s Arch into some sort of raging battle ground for the two weeks of this installment, until the final release where the final showdown with Scarlett will happen and all gets wrapped up – or will it?

Lion’s Arch as a battle ground sounds potentially like a good idea, with impacts that will likely be physically visible for the foreseeable future. I worry if its too little too late though. Player numbers already seem to be dropping off a cliff, leaving only the core fans behind on GW2. If this Lion’s Arch ‘battle’ is nothing more than a zerg-fest, like every other Living Story release before, a potentially solid concept could be totally ruined.

Escape From Lion’s Arch, and the following finale really is the make or break point of GW2 for ArenaNet the way I see it. They seem to be responding to this pressure, putting out fairly solid concepts that should get the player base involved. However, if the concept implementation goes sour and it all descends into a generic zerg-fest it could well be a nail in the coffin for GW2 in terms of player numbers, with it struggling to attract and retain players with so many new MMOs scheduled to release this year.

I’m keeping tabs on the Living Story of GW2 for now, trying my best to keep up with the relentless schedule of releases. What happens in the next few weeks will really decide how I, and I think a great deal of other players, will view GW2 into the future – with many of us signing off for the final time if it all goes wrong. I genuinely hope it doesn’t, and that Escape From Lion’s Arch bowls us all over, but I’m not going to bet on that!


Digital Salad –


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