living world

Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire story

I feel as though the time is finally right to talk to you all about the awesome chunk of story that dropped with Guild Wars 2‘s second expansion, Path of Fire. In terms of narrative quality and the amount of story content received, the expansion has fared very well indeed, so it’s been killing me not sharing my story thoughts with you sooner. The return to Elona has been handled beautifully and the area’s rich history was well presented for the uninitiated. There are enough unexpected twists and turns to keep things interesting, yet it still heavily relies on utilising the familiar dynamics of the NPCs we know and love.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I will cover the first two chapters’ major story points for you: I’ll leave my usual hated and rated sections for the end of the story deep-dives. This article will contain significant spoilers for those who have not yet completed the expansion’s story for themselves, so I recommend skipping this article or proceeding with caution if that applies to you. You have been warned!

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Exclusive Guild Wars 2 interview on Path of Fire’s launch and philosophy

Spurred on by my excitement for Guild Wars 2‘s second expansion, Path of Fire, I reached out to ArenaNet shortly before release to secure a post-launch interview to ensure all my most burning questions could be answered. I drafted my questions not long after launch, and while I most definitely wished to discover whether the initial launch hiccups affected the immediate uptake of the expansion, beyond that I sought more information on the development of such a decisively different expansion than Heart of Thorns was.

This launch diary installment will share ArenaNet’s responses to my PoF questions: Mounts, elite specializations, and the new maps were huge topics of discussion aside from the more general launch and development questions I had. Read on!

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Guild Wars 2’s Mike O’Brien on classic Guild Wars, PvE-PvP ratios, and building social MMOs

Forbes has a new interview out this week with ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien all about the Guild Wars franchise, beginning with something most people have probably forgotten: Classic Guild Wars was inspired as much by Magic The Gathering as by MMORPGs, specifically in the idea that card games allowed players to collect far more skills than they could use at a time. The strategy for playing such a game came in choosing which skills to tote along, not in how many skills you’d accrued.

Eventually, however, the team wanted to expand the world itself. “You can’t go halfway on a world,” he argues. “A world is such a powerful thing. It’s where your friends are. It’s the relaxing place where you hang out in the quiet moments between challenges. It’s the home that you grow to love, and that you’re ready to fight to defend when the story asks you to. We came to realize that the world wasn’t the setting; the world was the game.”

And that led ArenaNet to Guild Wars 2, with its focus on horizontal progression, character customization, and social systems. In fact, O’Brien suggests megaservers amounted to crucial tech for the development of the game and its social emphasis.

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Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire launch diary: Initial impressions

My initial impressions on Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch are rather late to the table, owing to some fairly significant connection issues since launch that ran up until yesterday, but I’m delighted to share my first thoughts on the second Guild Wars 2 expansion with you at long last. I really count yesterday as my first day of play since the instance creation issues prevented me from progressing my Path of Fire story chain until then, so although I’ve had all weekend, this first launch diary entry will simply detail the things that I noted within the first day of play.

Don’t worry about story spoilers being contained below: I’m not ready to share story details with you yet and wouldn’t even if I could! Expansions are a long time in the making and fans deserve to enjoy all that entails first-hand without it being spoiled. Anything at all problematic will be marked with spoiler tags just in case. Enjoy my list of the good, the bad, and the janky, and check out my screenshot gallery at the end of the article too (though skip this if you don’t want location spoilers).

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PSA: This is your last chance to grab the end of Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 3 for free

Coming back to Guild Wars 2 this week due to the hullabaloo over Path of Fire? You might end up with a nice content freebie if you act sooner rather than later. The Guild Wars 2 team sent out a reminder that this is the last week for players to get One Path Ends for free.

Even if you’re not into the game right now, you might as well log in and grab the chapter for some possible future date. Otherwise, the episode will end up costing you 200 gems if you decide to purchase it later. (It should be noted that, as with all Season 3 episodes, this one requires the Heart of Thorns expansion to access.)

Curious about this episode while you’re patching up? Check out the trailer and the expert analysis of MOP’s Tina!

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Choose My Adventure: The return to Guild Wars 2

Many moons ago, when I was first hired on Massively-that-was, my fellow hire at the time was a lady by the name of Rubi Bayer. We hit it off pretty well and became friends. She was also very excited about a title that had yet to come out at the time, a game by the name of Guild Wars 2. For those of you coming to this story without knowledge of names, she’s now working for ArenaNet on that exact same game, along with two other former writers from our staff, all of whom are people I consider friends of mine.

So perhaps it’s a bit odd that I’ve not played Guild Wars 2 since well before Heart of Thorns launched. I have some history with the game, but it’s never been one of my main titles. And now that I’m heading back into it for its second major expansion, I think it’s a fine time to walk back through my experiences there, what I hope to find, and also ask a few reader questions along the way. Because that’s how polls work, after all.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Impressions of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire preview weekend experience

I’m delighted to have found a moment to bring you an extra edition of Flameseeker Chronicles that outlines my thoughts on the first Guild Wars 2Path of Fire preview weekend. From last Friday until Sunday, every player was invited along to take some tentative steps into the Crystal Desert and get to grips with the raptor mount. We were also treated to a little bit of introductory story that ties the new zone directly to the Living World Season 3 finale without missing a beat.

So today, I will break down my preview experience into the main points, including my highlights and unfortunately ending on a pretty crummy negative. I’m hoping that further development based on the feedback from this weekend will help to lessen or negate my issue though, so I won’t be frowning for very long! Note that this article will contain some spoilers regarding the introductory story, so it’s best avoided if you are waiting until September to find out more on that front.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Cautiously optimistic about Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion

ArenaNet chose to very cleverly stave off the post-season blues by teasing a long-awaited, much-anticipated, and very-spoiled Guild Wars 2 expansion announcement as a close to the living world’s third season. We didn’t have long to wait before August rolled in and the expansion announcement was upon us, and now I’m even more hyped for the beginning of Path of Fire. Putting the core Heart of Thorns and season 3 stories to bed is bittersweet since I am one of the rather uncommon creatures that largely enjoyed the direction the last expansion went in and I doubly enjoyed the last season’s breaking of the great content drought in such a spectacular, confidence-building fashion.

PoF will be upon us next month, and I don’t have much article space remaining before it drops in our laps, so I thought I should begin the lead-up to launch with an overview of my thoughts about the expansion announcement and the main features it highlighted for us. I know you’ll have been expecting the final edition of my look at season 3 instead, since I have only given you some Siren’s Landing impressions so far from the finale, but talking about the big news felt far more pressing, and I feel that it’ll give those who are currently revisiting the game due to the expansion hype time to catch up with the season before I spill the beans.

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Check out trailers for all Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire elite class specs, mounts, and Elona

Yesterday, ArenaNet formally revealed Path of Fire, Guild Wars 2’s second expansion in five years. This standalone, campaign-like expansion won’t introduce a new class, but it will roll out a new elite specialization for all nine of the existing classes, just as Heart of Thorns did. It’ll also add mounts that we’ll be using to romp around parts of the nostalgia-laced Elona desert from Nightfall.

Since the stream, the studio has released videos of damn near everything. Let’s dig in.

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Mike O’Brien announces Mike Zadorojny as lead designer for the second Guild Wars 2 expansion

We’ve reached the end of the third season of Guild Wars 2’s story, and now… what comes next? A new expansion, we all know that. If you’ve forgotten, that’s being announced on August 1st, so you have a bit longer until you find out about it; until then, you can rest with some assurance knowing that Mike Zadorojny is the lead designer on the second expansion. This was announced as part of a lengthy letter from current director Mike O’Brien recapping the game up to this point and where the studio sees it heading in the future.

O’Brien’s letter is largely positive, expressing a sentiment that the game has hit a good balance with this season of the Living World and its content releases. Others are slightly less positive, pointing to Heart of Thorns as something of a blunder and the game subsequently struggling to find its footing and deliver the sort of content players were expecting. So it remains to be seen what sort of reveal will be coming on August 1st, but we can bet money that it’ll be significant. (And will probably line up perfectly with the mountain of leaks about masteries, areas, titles, and everything else, but we’ll just pretend those don’t exist.)

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Guild Wars 2 team answers living world questions while dancing around expansion spoilers

Is it too early to declare this the week of Guild Wars 2? What with the release of the much-anticipated One Path Ends season finale and teasing the expansion reveal, all eyes seem swiveled toward ArenaNet, hungry for information. To feed the ravenous player population, the team subjected itself to an AMA on Reddit yesterday to tackle questions about the update while dancing around any potential expansion spoilers. It also kicks off with a producer’s letter of sorts.

“As the season finale, today’s episode is a conclusion and also a lead-in to what comes next,” Mike O’Brien posted. “Our goal was to do it in a meaningful way, not with a simple cliffhanger that’d get spoiled as soon as we announced the next expansion. I can’t say more without revealing too much, but I love it that we get to make episodes like this and tell stories like this. I want to congratulate the episode six team for the care and crafting that went into getting it just right.”

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 One Path Ends is live, plus first impressions of Siren’s Landing

I realise that you were probably expecting some rather excited ramblings that contained my first impressions of the Guild Wars 2 season 3 finale, One Path Ends, to drop the moment the episode became playable, but the structure of my coverage for this episode is a little different than the rest of this season’s articles. This time around, my pre-episode playthrough with the devs was very different: The episode itself remained locked for the playthrough hour and the press accounts were deactivated afterwards to ensure that the finale would be an absolute surprise for everyone involved with no spoilers. We instead had a guided group tour of Siren’s Landing, the new open world zone that holds the bulk of the action in this episode.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share my thoughts on the new zone with you while also talking about the zone’s relative location and basic meta. My full thoughts on the actual episode will come in the next edition without the usual first impressions piece, so you won’t have to wait too long for that if you are not playing for yourself and are living this season vicariously through others! Please note that the article contains meta and zone content spoilers, so read on with caution if you prefer to see that for yourself first.

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Guild Wars 2’s living world season 3 finale is ‘One Path Ends’ – here’s the trailer!

Bummed out over that weak Guild Wars 2 fractal tease last week? We’re getting to the good stuff today: ArenaNet has just announced that the third season living world finale is titled One Path Ends.

“As the season began, the heroes celebrated their victory over the Elder Dragon Mordremoth—unaware that the magic formerly channeled and absorbed through Mordremoth was coming undone and flowing out of control. At the same time, the sinister White Mantle cult was destroying one of the five ancient bloodstones used by the gods to seal magic away from humanity. In an explosive cataclysm, they unleashed its magic and used it to resurrect their long-lost leader and god (or so they believed), Lazarus the Dire.

“As the Pact Commander investigated the consequences of slaying Mordremoth, the young asura genius Taimi discovered that its unbound magic had infused and strengthened two of the remaining Elder Dragons, Primordus and Jormag. She developed a machine that would pit Primordus’s fire magic against Jormag’s ice magic—and neutralize both at one go. But Taimi made a shattering discovery: if her machine killed even one more Elder Dragon, the resulting magical chaos could annihilate Tyria.

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