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An Island of Mystery

David North Posted:
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In Guild Wars 2, players have spent the last few months facing off against a new threat known as the Molten Alliance.  During this struggle, ArenAnet introduced us to some new characters, Braham and Rox, giving us a taste of how the Living Story will change the world of Tyria.  Through a series of other updates, we took part in new dynamic events, and even a new dungeon.  You’d think with all these updates things would settle down, but no, a new threat is around the corner!   Prepare yourselves for The Secrets of Southsun!

Back in The Lost Shores event players visited a new island, Southsun Cove, where they teamed up to push back the Karka threat.  While victorious in preventing the Karka from invading Lion’s Arch, the Island is still inhabited with these strange creatures, there hasn’t been a really good reason for players to return.

With the major Flame and Frost story arc in the Living Story now complete, you’d think a new chapter would open up.  Maybe players would go in for the final strike against the Dredge and Flame Legion.  But this is so much better.  There are so many mysteries to Southsun Cove yet to be answered.  Who are the Consortium, why do the Karka still linger about, and how are the two connected?

We know players will join a character called Ellen Kiel, a Lionguard inspector, sent to restore some order to the island.  It seems the mysterious Consortium has “graciously” taken in some of the refugees from the Molten Alliance attacks.  But rumor has it the refugees aren’t being treated very kindly.  Prison like conditions are being reported and riots could throw everything into chaos.

To make matters worse, the local animals seems to be acting up.  I think we will find the Consortium to blame.  Just before the Karka attack on Lions Arch months ago, the Consortium began to advertise for a tropical vacation spot.  They also started to harvest a new type of plant found only on the island.  Perhaps they have pushed the Karkas buttons yet again, causing them to be more vicious.  Maybe they‘re forcing the refugees to assault the Karka in an attempt to create more room to build their resort.

Sounds like a fun time until you read the fine print.

We also have a piece for concept art to pull some ideas from.  We see Inspector Kiel hiding, and possibly eavesdropping, on some Consortium guards.  It seems the guards are being aggressive towards some refugees.  Looks like we will have to save them yet again.  The characters are surrounded with what looks like tents.  In the far background we could be seeing a factory, with smoke rising to the sky.  Maybe this is where the refugees are sent to work to process more of the strange plants.  If you ask me, these Consortium guys are bad news. I sure hope we get to take them down this time.

What clues could be found in this painting?

So how will things play out this time?  For those of you who missed out on The Lost Shores event back last year, the events took place within a time frame, happening only once on a single day for each phase.  If you missed out on the event, you missed it.  It didn’t repeat itself.  This was a neat idea, but also a terrible one.  People have jobs, school, and who knows what other duties.  While having an event only happen once does make it feel more special, fewer players got a chance to experience it. 

Another issue dealt with culling.  Karka were invisible to several players, picking everyone off in huge numbers with no way to fight back.  It caused more panic and confusion than fun.  It was a real shame, because it really was a nice event.  But if most players have trouble trying to make sense of things, the immersion within the game is broken.  All your hard work ends up being for nothing.

I do think large scale dynamic events will make a return for The Secrets of Southsun.  ArenAnet has mentioned plans to eliminate culling in PvE.  While it remains an issue, it hasn’t been affecting players nearly as bad as it did in The Lost Shores.  Why say you can fix culling right before an event?   This sounds like they have more massive dynamic events in store for us, but this time, they will be ready. 

The island of Southsun Cove does hold many mysteries.  Ever since players first set foot on its beaches to do battle against the Karka threat, we knew there was something wrong.  We could feel it in the air.  These creatures just wouldn’t leave their home unless it was to strike back.  Either way, no matter what’s going on, it will be up to the brave adventurers of Tyria to set things right. 

Get ready to shake those headcrabs off again!

How do you think the Story for The Secrets of Southsun will play out?  Do you want to take part in large scale dynamic events like those found in The Lost Shores?  Tell us in the comments below.

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.


David North