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March Madness

David North Posted:
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Over the past two months a storm has been brewing in Guild Wars 2.   ArenaNet has launched the new Living Story feature to tell an epic never ending tale. The next installment is just around the corner with The Razing. Things are heating up in the snowy north, but will we be ready?

I’m really getting into this Living Story. Maybe it’s the idea of a story that constantly evolves, like a good D&D game. The announcement of The Razing has me really pumped. The Gathering Storm chapter of the story threw more fights at players, and it seems like things are going to pick up even more with the March installment. The attacks from the Dredge and the Flame Legion are getting more aggressive. Two new heroes are stepping up to the threat. A Norn named Graham, and a Charr named Rox will assist players as they launch a counterattack against the threatening alliance.

The Flame and Frost storyline has really shown the Dredge as a fierce race. Fear the mole people!

With new important NPC characters being introduced into the story line, I have a feeling we are going to see much larger dynamic events take place. It would seem silly to introduce these characters just so that we could collect another item to exchange towards another title. This isn’t the end of the story, but it would be really nice for the pace to pick up. Let’s bash some skulls in!

This is the third installment in a four part series. But there’s another part of the March update. The long awaited, and much needed, update to WvW. This month ArenaNet will show the world their answer to the issue with culling. The culling problem is what’s causing many players to avoid this entire part of the game, but can you blame them? No one want’s to go up against an enemy they can’t see.

I love WvW, but I find myself moving away from it as well. I still have a ton of exploring to do, but enemies I can’t see kill me. It really ruins the magic of the moment. This has made it incredibly difficult to talk my friends into even thinking about joining the fight. The maps in WvW have just as much detail as those in PvE. Even if you’re not into fighting other players, it’s still a great place to just go out and explore. You never know, you might find yourself loving the thrill of the fight after your first kill. The blood lust is in all of us.

Can ArenaNet really pull it off? I sure do hope so. The brief time that I spent with WvW during launch was incredibly memorable. But culling isn’t the only change we will be seeing in WvW. The new rank system is being added, allowing you to let other players know that you are a true warrior! Some players may be afraid that the new rank system will be set up making it incredibly difficult to reach promotions. Like the PvE style of play, if you do something, you’ll be rewarded. By helping out in events, and killing enemies, you’ll gain ranks.

Don't make the Charr angry. You wouldn't like them when they're angry.

But is there a perk to having a higher rank? I mean sure, it’s always great to have a respected title, but it’s not just for show. While you gain ranks, you’ll receive a type of currency that you can turn in for some new abilities. It seems like you’ll be able to pick passive abilities like reduced damage from siege weapons, and other bonuses to WvW-centric stuff.

This new feature may be just as important as the culling issue being addressed. Guild wars 2 has a ton for players to do, but once you reach max level you don’t have a way to progress further in terms of character strength.  These passive abilities are a way for players to make their characters stronger after reaching that max level. Now if only they could do something like this for PvE.

ArenaNet has been spoiling its players over the past couple of months, releasing patches that offer something for everyone. Guild Missions, a new Living Story, and even a brand new PvP map stacks even more content to keep players busy. Now with a fix to the culling issue, an entire part of the game that has been “unplayable” to many players will soon be like new again. If you haven’t had a chance to try out WvW yet, now is the perfect time to start thinking about about doing so.

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