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Through the Flame and Frost!

David North Posted:
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It seems like ArenaNet is constantly making something happen in Guild Wars 2.  It keeps players busy and helps the game continue to evolve.  The Flame and Frost event brought us more updates to the game, and a small story that will be an omen of things to come. It also has a really cool name. 

My favorite part of any update is the story, but we will get to that in a moment.  Since launch the daily achievements have required players to gather, kill, and complete events.  Now thanks to the new update, the dailies require something new everyday (though it’s usually a mix of a few main achievements).  This ranges from dodging enemy attacks, completing jumping puzzles, and crafting items.

I like this change quite a bit. Every day the stuff you can do feels different and fresh.  And so far the only daily I don’t like is crafting.  Crafting in games has been a pretty boring experience for me.  The only reason I did it was to craft my exotic gear.  Aside from that, I don’t have an interest in it.  Now it feels forced.  The same goes for those who don’t enjoy doing the jumping puzzles, or even hunting down veterans, aren’t good at dodging.  Oh well, you can’t win them all.

With all the running around our characters do, their feet are probably throbbing! A mount could help take a load off.

The UI has changed making it a lot easier to track your progress for each individual daily achievement.  To do this before, we had to go to the Hero menu and click on the achievement tab every time we wanted to see our progress.  It wasn’t something that ruined the game, but it was annoying.  It’s the little changes like this which make playing the game more comfortable to play.

The final addition to dailies, and the monthly achievements as well, comes in the form of a new currency called Laurels.  These Laurels can be used to get some new Ascended gear and infusions that are not specifically for the Fractals.  But why not go further?  Why not use Laurels to get black lions chest keys or high level salvage kits?   I still feel karma is higher priority when I compare the types of rewards.  Still, it will be interesting to see what they do with this in the future.

One more thing before we get to the story.  New gem store items were added, including a flying broomstick mount.  Why is this worth mentioning?  Well, I believe ArenaNet is testing this out to see how players react.  The broomstick is a mount a player can ride, with the only downside being it doesn’t make you go faster.  You just look more interesting while you travel.  In the past ArenaNet has talked about looking into mounts.  Perhaps this is their test run for that idea.

The signs tell the refugees were to find safety.

Ok, I think we all knew that the Flame and Frost update for January was going to focus on updating the game rather than acting as a huge global event.  ArenaNet is using the January update as a prelude towards something much larger.  In the land of the Charr and Norn, strange things are happening.  Refugees are wondering the lands in a confused and weary state.  Some refugees can’t recall what happened.  Others still hears the screams from a horrible attack.  Some remember seeing the very earth beneath their feet shatter, releasing steam and earth elementals.  Many lives were lost, but there’s still hope to save the few that are left.

This is where the player came in.  By speaking with a herald players were pointed in the right direction.  By sticking to the roads, players found refuge outposts to light campfires, and some signs to put up.  Some refugees could be found walking, wounded and ready to give up.  By patching them up they could continue towards the outposts for help.  Bodies of the fallen refugees are also scattered along the roads.  Players could find a memento and turn it in at a camp so that it could be returned to family members.

The best part is the new dynamic event.  The players have heard tales of the earth splitting open, but the player can see it for themselves.  Geysers pop out and an army of Earth Elementals protect them, allowing the inner earth to spew chaos into the sky.  Players must band together, and plug the geysers up.  The event was pretty tricky, with lots of veterans spawning.  I found this event twice, once in the Diessa Plateau, and again in the Wayfarer Foothills. In Wayfarer is involves Ice Elementals, rather than Earth.

Some refugees have made it to the major cities. Sadly, the numbers are few.

Completing the prelude story line gives players a new title and some karma.  More importantly, it gets us ready for a huge and ever changing story.  The changes to dailies are great addition to the game, but I would like to see the Laurels offer more rewards than just more gear to complete Fractals.  I still can’t get over the broomstick mount though.  Will we be riding Moas across the lands of Tyria sooner than we thought?

What are your favorite new daily achievements?  What mounts would you like to see to to Guild Wars 2 if they keep coming?  Let us know in the comments below. 


David North