living world

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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Guild Wars 2’s season 3 finale will include a brand-new fractal

When ArenaNet announced the sixth and final episode of Guild Wars 2’s third living world season yesterday, it was a one-liner post with a teaser screenshot that points us right back to Orr. Today’s Facebook teaser has even less info, if that’s possible: cackling laughter and a promise that a new fractal is on the way with the episode. The video isn’t even big enough to mine for a header image, so here’s a picture of a llama instead.

Expect it all on July 25th. In the meantime, we’ve got the video right here, and don’t forget to check out our recap of the whole season from earlier this week!

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The last episode of Guild Wars 2’s living world season 3 arrives July 25

The sixth and final episode of Guild Wars 2’s third living world season launches on July 25th. We’d like to tell you more, but the announcement is literally one sentence and one image long. We don’t even know what it’s called yet. (But the image is a good tease!)

That could be because ArenaNet has been working hard to solve the connectivity problems from earlier in the day, or it could be because it doesn’t want to spoil something amazing. Either way, the hard date on the finale should get you excited since ArenaNet’s previously discussed the expansion timeline to follow, not that we know anything about that from anything but leaks either.

Totally lost on the living story? No problem: Massively OP columnist Tina Lauro Pollock posted a lengthy recap of the whole season just yesterday to catch you back up. Don’t forget to log in before the 25th to lock in your claim on the current episode!

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Guild Wars 2’s gem store gets a huge overhaul

Have you ever found yourself in this situation: You are flush with cash and desperately want to dump it on Guild Wars 2, but you find the store interface too confusing or obtuse, so you end up buying insurance and stock options instead? Well, that sort of regrettable scenario is a thing of the past, as today the game introduced an overhauled gem store to the playerbase.

Gem Store 2.0 offers a more intuitive and robust shopping experience. The new store includes a faster interface, a better search function, revised categories, improved sorting, and more preview options to help you decide whether or not to make that purchase.

Looking to get caught up on Guild Wars 2? Make sure to read Tina’s extremely comprehensive review of the Living World Season 3!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2’s living world season 3 in review

The Guild Wars 2 story arc found in the Living World’s third season has contained more twists and surprises than even I had anticipated, and I feel that an in-depth recap of the season to date will help keep the meandering threads of lore fresh in our heads as we await the final episode of the season. Although I have an extensive back catalogue of episode deep dives for those who want more detailed information, I felt the need to summarise the key events of the season in one place for simplicity’s sake, especially since that last episode will be upon us relatively soon if the usual ArenaNet content release cadence is anything to go by.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, you’ll find a complete summary of the Living World season so far, complete with links to more in-depth coverage of each episode for those who perhaps missed a little story along the way. Remember to log into the game to bank the current episode, Flashpoint, while it’s live to save the need for a gem purchase down the line.

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Global Chat: Getting a hit of that EverQuest nostalgia

Ahh… smell that? Smells like a new batch of EverQuest nostalgia, served up to us as a fresh progression server. For some of the faithful, the chance to get a hit of that nostalgia is absolutely irresistible.

“I love EverQuest,” blogger Stargrace writes. “I love the excitement that comes with playing on a progression server. I love how busy they are, and watching chat channels fly by. I love the community and the fuzzy feelings I get when I think about that time in my life.”

Kaozz explained why this server was in such high demand: “My son was baffled how many people want to play on this type of server. I’ve been waiting on one for years and keep up with the requests in the forums I have seen for so many years.”

And The Ancient Gaming Noob finds it baffling that Blizzard isn’t cashing in on these kinds of servers with World of Warcraft. “Nostalgia sells, these servers are popular, they offer something people want and, more importantly, something people are willing to pay for,” he said.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 season 3 finale predictions

I’ve had enough time to fully reflect on my Guild Wars 2 Living World season 3 experience to date and wanted to circle back through what I now understand to be the state of play in order to gather my thoughts on where the final episode might take us. We’ve bounced across Tyria chasing the White Mantle, bonding with Aurene, helping to secure Kryta, navigating the tricky interpersonal relationships behind Dragon’s Watch members, and helping Taimi get answers about the elder dragons. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll also have noticed that major expansion spoilers have also been leaked across the interwebs, so my mission is to attempt to draw conclusions for what might feature at the end of this season to lead us neatly into the second GW2 expansion.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to briefly recap on the major story threads of the season so far and will then make some loose predictions about what might happen in the final episode. Note that this piece is most definitely spoilerific for those who haven’t finished the last chapter and also potentially for those who have managed to avoid the expansion spoilers. Feel free to bookmark this one for later if that applies to you!

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