living story

Flameseeker Chronicles: Our preview of Guild Wars 2’s Long Live the Lich, now live

We’ve waited out the short delay, and today’s the day when we get our hands on the third episode of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season. Long Live the Lich promises to be an intense addition to the season: A deadly plague in the hands of an angry Palawa Joko is no laughing matter, after all. I am delighted that we have some new content to uncover and the new roller beetle mount certainly helps, so I’m ready to settle in today and explore the gorgeous new map, the domain of Kourna some more. I was able to get a guided tour with some of the dev team before the weekend and was very impressed with the new map and mount, so I can’t wait to uncover more today.

In this episode of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll start off with a short recap so we’re all up to speed before I discuss my first impressions. I played for around 45 minutes and we didn’t go into any key story details, so this article shouldn’t reveal any more lore spoilers than the episode trailer, but if you’d prefer to go in without any info about the patch at all, give this one a skip until you’ve played yourself.

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Guild Wars 2’s fourth living story season has officially landed

Guild Wars 2’s first living story episode since the apparently tepid launch of Path of Fire has officially launched this afternoon. Dubbed Daybreak, a name sure to raise MMORPG player eyebrows and confuse our tagger, the episode kicks off the game’s fourth season of free content, including a new fractal called Twilight Oasis and raid called Hall of Chains – and a key category in the wallet! Woot!

“After the Brandstorm engulfs the free city of Amnoon, the Commander receives a mysterious vision, revealing that an encounter in ancient Elonian ruins might determine the fate of Tyria. The Commander embarks on a search for a secretive order of warriors who guard the way into that ancient city, just as the consequences of past choices come home to roost. In addition to Guild Wars 2’s signature storytelling, Episode 1 delivers further delights:

  • New Legendary Focus: A relic shrouded in mystery.
  • New Fractal – Twilight Oasis: Journey to the past and witness events that shaped Elona.
  • New Raid – Hall of Chains: An influx of murderous undead relentlessly hunt innocent worshipers of Grenth. Infiltrate the Underworld and join the struggle for control over the fates of the living and the dead.
  • A notable and much-asked-for quality of life improvement: A new keys category has been added to the account wallet, which contains a currency version of several existing items which are used to unlock caches of treasure. These items can be consumed to convert them into the new currencies.”
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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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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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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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Flameseeker Chronicles: First impressions of Guild Wars 2’s Flashpoint

I can’t quite believe that we are already on the penultimate chapter of Guild Wars 2‘s third Living World season, but if I were under any illusion that the story is rolling quickly toward its climax, then it was shattered upon watching the fabulous trailer for this story instalment. The fifth episode of Living World Season 3 is available to experience for yourselves right now and I know so many of you will be thrilled with its shocking reveals and fast-building action. The episode in question, dubbed Flashpoint, takes us into the thick of the action in yet another lore-rich zone that’s bursting with intrigue. Logging on any time from now until the release of the final episode of Season 3 will bank Flashpoint in your story journal for later play, so don’t forget to relog if you aren’t actively playing right now.

I was invited to another super-quick playthrough with the developers on the stage client in preparation for today’s launch so that I could throw out some quick first impressions to coincide with release day for this week’s Flameseeker Chronicles. I had a 30-minute guided session with the devs followed by free rein over the last weekend, but large chunks of what I experienced is information I’m not allowed to divulge just yet. I played through a little over a chapter during my playtesting and my jaw was on the floor for most of that time, so I do urge you to check out the content for yourself if you’re at all invested in the lore. Although my coverage will be as spoiler-free as possible, proceed with caution until you have played through for yourselves if you’re worried.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s The Head of the Snake

Now that I’ve had a little time to sink my hours into completing the episode after my initial impressions piece two weeks ago, I’m ready to bring you a more detailed breakdown of Guild Wars 2‘s most recent addition to the Living World’s third season. The Head of the Snake was battle-heavy and pacey, leaving us with yet more questions that we hope shall be answered before the season is over. I was left wanting to know more and hoping that the episode would also feature some story asides from outside of the Kryta and White Mantle arc, so I was very eager to get playing so I could share my thoughts here for you.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll unpack the story presented in The Head of the Snake and present you with my favourite elements and disappointments as well. The article will contain spoilers throughout and is not safe reading for those who have not yet completed this episode. Feel free to bookmark this one and revisit it when you’re all caught up should you not have had a chance to play for yourself yet.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: First impressions of Guild Wars 2’s The Head of the Snake

If you’re reading this, then the poor ArenaNet team has finally managed to battle the crazy weather and pressed the big red button: The Living World season 3’s fourth installment will be playable right now should you log in. Minor delay aside, I am absolutely thrilled to see another episode of gripping story is already with us, especially since the episode in question focuses on the stunning surroundings of Divinity’s Reach and wider Kryta. The Head of the Snake can be unlocked on each player’s Guild Wars 2 account simply by logging in any time from now until the next episode releases, so don’t forget to dust off your account if you’re not actively playing right now but wish to bank the story for later.

I was invited along to have a quick playthrough with the devs on the stage client before the launch today so that my first impressions would be with you as soon as the episode dropped in this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles. While I can’t say that the small glimpse at the episode’s content ranked as highly in my estimations as episode 2 did, I very much enjoyed the freeform skirmishes and political subterfuge that I experienced in the one chapter I played in its entirety during my guided run-through and short excursion on my own over the weekend. As ever, I’ll attempt to keep this piece as spoiler-free as I can, so anything questionable will be placed behind spoiler tags to make your reading experience better.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Ten things I’d forgotten from Guild Wars 2’s Living World Season 1

I spent quite a while poring over a recent gem of a video that served as a fantastically nostalgic trip down memory lane through its condensed retelling of the Living World season 1 story. The cleverly constructed movie was made possible by the historic work of several Guild Wars 2 enthusiasts, with several contributions being knitted together in a coherent order by Youtuber Dreamy Abaddon in an almost 3-hour delight. Although much of the content has not been voiced over or personally recorded by Abaddon, the amount of effort that has gone into creating the piece has to be commended. It’s fantastic to remember the roots of the Living World system in this way since we can no longer revisit what many would consider it the best season to date.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to take you through a lighthearted list of particular moments or sentiments I’d forgotten about in the haze of all that story content, which I hope will inspire you to check out the full movie for yourself, especially if you missed out on Season 1. My list is a little spoilerific for those who aren’t up to date with Scarlet’s story, but since it’s such old content I doubt any of you will shout over that. In any case, I hope you enjoy my list of forgotten favourites from Season 1 and will collate your own best moments in the comments below.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s A Crack in the Ice

I’ve covered plenty of ground since my initial impressions piece went live last week, and I’m hoping that you’ve had time to play Guild Wars 2‘s most recent addition to the Living World’s third season by now because I am bursting to share my thoughts with you all! A Crack in the Ice passed me by rather quickly, but I nevertheless greatly appreciated such a well-paced chunk of story landing on my lap on the shy side of the holidays. My preview pieces are always light on spoilers due to the lack of time I get to sink into the story in advance, especially since I never want to ruin the launch day suspense for myself prematurely.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll give you a blow by blow account of A Crack in the Ice and present the highlights and lowlights as I see them. There are no bones about it: This article will be jam-packed with spoilers for those who have not yet completed the episode. If you’re behind in terms of story, I recommend skipping this one until you’re ready to discuss the story!

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First impressions of Guild Wars 2’s A Crack in the Ice episode

ArenaNet gave us all word of a seasonably frosty addition to the Guild Wars 2 Living World story last week: The third instalment of season 3 is upon us right now just in time for Thanksgiving and is unlockable for anyone who logs in over the next few weeks. A Crack in the Ice will take players on a journey into the Far Shiverpeaks as we track the activity of Jormag after Taimi’s bombshell about his recent activity levels. I was left expecting plenty of references to old Guild Wars: Eye of the North content and also noticed the trailer’s music called back to Living World season 1, which has had the desired effect of piling me onto the Season 3 hype train once more.

I managed to fit in a guided tour of both the new (but distinctly familiar!) fractal and the new zone in the short window between the episode’s announcement and its launch today, and while it’s difficult to follow the impressiveness of episode 2, I’m no less excited to bring you my early thoughts on A Crack in the Ice. I played through one chapter and had a good toddle around in the new zone over the weekend, but as ever with these launch day impression pieces, I deliberately tried not to spoil too much of the story for myself and will be keeping the write-up fairly spoiler free as well. Anything at all questionable has been placed behind spoiler tags for your reading convenience.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Fully unpacking Guild Wars 2’s Rising Flames

I’ve been aching to share more of my thoughts about Guild Wars 2‘s second Living World instalment for Season 3 and am finally convinced that enough time has passed for most of you to have experienced the story for yourselves. You’ll remember that my last edition of Flameseeker Chronicles shared my launch day first impressions, but a fuller breakdown seemed most necessary since I had played such a small proportion of the content in advance of its release and was asked to keep my impressions detail-light to avoid spoilers anyway.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll give you a rundown of the goings-on in Rising Flames and will again present the best and worst parts of the story from my perspective. If you haven’t had the opportunity to play Rising Flames in its entirety just yet, I recommend skipping this article for a while until you do unless you’re happy for some major story spoiling to happen: There will be several spoilers throughout the article for those who haven’t played this episode.

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