Wahey! The Halloween patch is here!
And I’m super-excited and majorly hyped!
Ironically, I haven’t even touched ANYTHING Halloween-related besides one or two random carving pumpkins and the beginning story instance (which I must happily note is apparently soloable and groupable.)
The Living Story takes another measured step!
Heading to the GW2 Reddit is always one of the initial things I do after a new patch hits, in between reading official patch notes, downloading it, scanning Dulfy’s new skin galleries and logging-in to scrutinize new changes in the Achievements tab.
The reddit threads tend to be the source of “unofficial” changes – glitches or exploits that got nerfed, inadvertent changes or screw-ups, and most interestingly to this explorer soul, the purposefully dropped but unannounced breadcrumbs left for players to discover and discuss on their own.
Invisible wall? Krait?
This I had got to see.
I briefly debated which waypoint to pick in Kessex Hills and eventually settled for visiting the quaggans at Moogooloo.
And promptly ran facefirst into said invisible wall.
Piles of logs were strewn everywhere under and above the water.
What used to be forest, was now denuded.
Rising above it all, a mysterious shadowy object
that extended into the clouds.
Talking with the NPCs reveal some intriguing teasers. They suspect it’s a mesmer illusion of some kind. An asura named Mistress Kari has gone to investigate but is overdue and hasn’t returned, leaving her golem AUX-1 to wait and occupy itself by setting up the camp. Kasmeer being a mesmer has been called in as well, Marjory’s come along for whatever reason and they’re sitting around trying to figure out how to dispell the illusion and reveal what the krait are doing beneath it…
…to be continued next patch….?
In between dancing around with glee with the thought that we might be seeing more hints of Bubbles the as-yet-unexplored-in-the-lore Elder Dragon and the prospect of possibly more underwater combat sophistication and skills and new underwater zones (I’m weird, I know!)
“Self,” said I, “I have a pretty good inkling of what that shadowy structure is.”
I did, after all, engage in some elaborate reading of the wiki while speculating on the Colossus and any possible relation to the Labyrinthine Cliffs and/or Abaddon and/or the Unending Ocean and managed to make a brief sidetrek regarding krait, who also happen to all be somewhat interconnected – what with the only known instance of a Temple to Abaddon being now sunken into the Straits of Devastation as the Cathedral of Hidden Depths and infested with the reptilians.
I mentioned there was a surprising amount of lore regarding them, and was intrigued but did not cut and paste the section on their religion at the time:
Religion is at the heart of krait society, and in turn, the obelisks are at the heart of krait religion. The obelisks are rare, eerily smooth stones made from a unique material found on the ocean floor. According to the Oratuss, the priesthood of the krait, the obelisks mark the sites of the “ascension” of ancient krait prophets to some higher realm, but land-based scholars speculate that they are simply ancient krait monuments whose purpose have been long-forgotten due to the oral nature of the krait’s religious texts.
Krait doctrine fortells the return of the obelisks’ prophets, bringing with them massive armies to flood the surface of the world and destroy other species. It is to these prophets that the krait sacrifice their slaves, believing that they will serve the prophets as they expand their otherworldly armies. The krait regularly use magical and mathematical means to attempt to predict the time of the prophets’ return, but have yet to be successful.
Like their obelisks, all krait are steadfast and immobile in their beliefs. Their legends say those on land were driven out of the sea by the prophets and forbidden to return. This regarded with a degree of scepticism by other races but the krait refuse to listen such things and are happy to kill to ensure that the krait religion is not defamed. All krait are willing to die for the continuity of their species and for the cause of their prophets.
The religion of the krait is what allows the Oratuss to control the entire race. Religious “texts” followed by the krait are passed down verbally through these priests and priestesses. The vast length of the texts allows the priests, who have dedicated their lives to the texts, to make subtle changes to the wording and manipulate the interpretation of their legends to serve their purposes and support their power.
I suspected we would be seeing the krait again eventually, since a decent amount of work seems to have gone into developing their backstory and culture from the beginning of the game, but had no idea it was going to be this soon.
Which is utterly, utterly cool.
That shadowy structure, you ask?
I give you the concept art by Kekai Kotaki.
They make me swoon. I am utterly in love.
I cannot wait.
Coincidentally, there are references to krait prophets somehow ‘ascending’ to higher realms and here we have Scarlet having touched the Eternal Alchemy and all that thematic ‘gods’ and ‘mists’ jazz.
And we already have invasion technology in place – a very popular activity at that. (Calling it here, armored scale prices will plunge when the krait invasions start, just as ancient bones are plummeting from Halloween now…)
I guess Tequatl might be dropping rare aquabreathers for a reason, after all.
Hindsight, unfortunately, while 20/20, is still hindsight.
I’m rather miffed that I did not make the link of the beach and tree silhouettes and sky in the background of the first picture with the Kessex Hills, which would have hinted at a planned creeping krait invasion as a potential Living Story development some day.
I can only make the excuse that I don’t play human characters very often and thus spend very little time in that zone.
This also unfortunately means that I don’t have any ‘before’ screenshots of Kessex Hills unless I took one or two by pure chance, and do not feel like trawling through thousands of them on the off chance that I did.
Luckily, the wisdom of crowds being what it is, -somebody- else must have and Google Image search and the GW2 wiki come to the rescue yet again.
Fortunately for our purposes, he left his minimap in the screenshot, and it was easy enough to figure out the spot where he stopped.
Fairly drastic clear-cutting has taken place around the same area.
I miss the flowers the most.
As for the old Auld Red Wharf?
As usual, I’m kinda torn again between sorrowfully missing the old stuff and kinda gleeful that things are changing.
I guess it’s easier to swallow this time around because all we’re missing for now is a couple of forests that looked all the same anyway and a ruined village that just got even more flattened.
But you know, I’d get those last looks at the view clear across the lake while you still can.