It’s easy to dismiss Guild Wars 2’s Living World updates as “not enough content” if you’re not a fan of the game, or are anxious for a true expansion to Tyria. But as more and more of the Living World is released, I’m beginning to think that ArenaNet is painting a larger picture than episodic story content and biweekly updates to the Gem Store. I played through the latest episode, Seeds of Truth last night and while it had a bit of an underwhelming finish, it’s plain to see that it’s building toward something big in Guild Wars 2.
I won’t spoil too much of Seeds of Truth here, but if you’d rather leave most of the preceding tale unspoiled you might want to turn back now as I’m going to mention at least some of it.
Since the end of last season’s run with the unfortunate story of Ceara (Scarlet Briar), we’ve known that a new dragon by the name of Mordremoth is threatening all existence in Tyria. But what we’ve discovered thus far in Season 2 is that there’s another dragon egg. We even found that egg in the last episode, a beacon of hope for all of us. Perhaps a weapon to use against Mordremoth… only to watch as Caithe stole it and ran off god knows where.
And that’s where the story picks up, with us meeting the weakened Pale Tree Avatar and getting special “seeds” that allow us to view Caithe’s memories as long as we’re near an area where she created said memory. So you and Marjory wander across the world tracking what Caithe knows from her early days as an awakened Sylvari, and finding out where she might have gone with the egg. You never find out why she took the egg in this episode, but you do get a fair share of hints as to what her reasoning might be. When the Sylvari were young and at odds with the Asura, it’s clear to see that there was some discord between the first born Sylvari and the Pale Tree.
In the story, though there’s no real climax here as in the Tangled Paths episode, we do get some great insight into Caithe’s story, the terrible things she’s seen in her young life, and why she might be overprotective of the dragon’s egg. And all of this builds us to what will likely be a very riveting chapter just before Christmas. I’m just already dreading the epic-sized cliffhanger we’re going to be left with between the next episode and the long break where we’ll get a nice sizeable feature patch and find ourselves waiting until 2015 for the next bit of story.
Season one of the Living World focused on setting up the destruction of Lion’s Arch, which while epic, kind of left everyone sad that Lion’s Arch is no longer the glorious hub it once was. These recent stories have shifted the focus to the Silverwastes, pretty much the de facto hangout for level 80s right now with all of the meta achievements and loot to be found during the zone events. Each new LW update adds a bit more to the zone, and it’s quickly become a fan favorite of all areas in the game. The verticality of the area, the mix of rocks, desert and jungle… it’s a very pretty place to play. The whole update has us focused on this area to the northwest of Tyria, and I keep looking at the large swathe of the southeastern part of the map that lies completely unused.
But I’m not so sure that’s where we’re going next. There’s a big sneaking suspicion I have that ArenaNet is taking us back to Cantha. The Empire of the Dragon makes sense after all; both with the recent launch in China and the focus on two new dragons we’ve been following. We’ve also long known that Cantha might still exist due to the sailors sporadically washing ashore on the Tarnished Coast. Not to mention that Marjory Delaqua, one of the major focal characters of this story is of Canthan descent herself. We’ve also seen hints that the Zephyrites (flying traders and all) were able to reach Cantha because they need not go through Orr’s waters, and that the people of Cantha are still indeed active to the southwest.
Unless it’s all just a slight of hand to draw our attention to the notion of Cantha making a return to Guild Wars 2, I’d be willing to bet that 2015 brings us back to the Asian-inspired empire across the Unending Ocean. I’d wager that crafting will rise in level again to use Jade as a key ingredient, and maybe, just maybe… this might be an actual expansion. Could we see new classes (give me my Monk!), new professions, and new features in 2015? It’s possible, no matter how many times ANet has said otherwise. With the massive success of GW2 in China and the continuing prominence of the game here in the west, I know they must be at least thinking about a “refresher” on store shelves in the form of an expansion/new campaign.
For now though, I’m just interested in finding out where Caithe went with the egg, and why the heck we haven’t yet heard from Rytlock. I miss that dude. I’ve also not even touched the new PVP settings yet, though it certainly seems like a more straightforward way to get in and experience the structured PVP. And in the meantime, I should probably finish the personal story on my Guardian one of these days… What are your thoughts on Seeds of Truth?