Lion’s Arch is burnt down and swarming with the forces of Scarlett. It’s not exactly a surprise, there’s pretty much been big flashing lights pointing it out for weeks, but it is quite a surprising change for the game. Lion’s Arch, the centre of Tyria and the real focus of the world is gone (for now). So how is the fight for Lion’s Arch to play, and what does it mean for the Living Story as it comes to a close? Digital Salad reviews, a little late but better than never!
Its inescapable for any GW2 player at the moment. Lion’s Arch, the capital city and focus point for nearly everything is a smouldering wreck. The fight to save any remaining citizens is the theme of these two weeks of Living Story content, leading up to a final showdown with Scarlett in Lion’s Arch and the culmination of what Anet is now calling Living Story Season 1.
First important question. Is Escape From Lion’s Arch (EFLA) fun?
It’s not too bad actually. I know; that’s practically a glowing endorsement compared to my recent glum overview of the recent state of GW2. Don’t get too carried away though, there’s plenty of buts!
I’ve taken part in a few events now, charging in to the city with the Lion Guard and my fellow players. For most of it you will be fairly busy in large events that do get really excitingly intense if you’re with enough players – in fact, I’ll give Anet their dues here, they seem to have got scaling pretty much right with EFLA.
Sadly though, there are times when you might well find yourself without much of a fight going on nearby, it tends to get a little too centralised around one big zerg even though the mechanics aren’t really meant for that play style. I guess the zerg-bug is difficult to shake off, which is a shame in some ways but understandable as well.
Talking of zerging, the lag seems to be horrendous even when you’re not in the zerg. Even on best performance (which runs smooth as anything with a busy Tequatl kill for me) I lag awfully when practically alone and not doing anything in the burning Lion’s Arch. When I hit zergs the frame rate drops like a brick, and its painful. I don’t know why the lag seems to be so bad on this release, but it seems to be quite a problem that really reduces enjoyment. Lag reduction is definitely something that Arena Net should make a priority with such flagship releases as EFLA.
Second important question. Is the Living Story fun?
I don’t know if that’s an entirely fair question, but what is really important is if all this chaos in Lion’s Arch really makes much sense and if its headed for a good conclusion.
I think the answer to that has to remain a probable no. It doesn’t look like there will be a satisfying conclusion to season 1, with Scarlett facing off against our heroes in a final battle in Lion’s Arch in a week which will lack the epic feel it really needs. After that, she almost certainly won’t be dead. But we shall have to wait and see!
All in all, the Living Story Season 1 remains a disappointment for me. There was great potential with EFLA but its missed the mark. Technical problems, as well as questionable design that left too much room for dull zerging to dominate, have made it a let down that seems to be headed towards a conclusion that will leave many players feeling unfulfilled.
Keep tuned to Digital Salad in the coming weeks as I take you through the latest developments, and my opinions of them, on GW2 as it closes one chapter and begins to open another.
Digital Salad – lifeasadigitalsalad.wordpress.com