One has to select a mastery that one wants to level up, and earn experience towards that goal. Seems to be an alternate advancement system for those who love the leveling aspect of an MMO. Presumably after you unlock it with experience, you can then spend a mastery point to purchase it.
I got to within an inch of gliderhood but unfortunately didn’t quite get it before the first beta closed. Let’s see if they save character progress in between each stage.
Much more of the Verdant Brink map was opened up, though only a few areas were heavily populated by Mordrem so far.
Map has a day/night zone cycle, day apparently set to 75 minutes and night at 45 minutes or thereabouts. I logged in to about 15 minutes of day, and then it quickly switched to night.
There seems to be an overall zone goal of holding/defending Rally Points, escorting Pact Soldiers to said Rally Points and bringing Pact Supplies to build up each Rally Point to eventually unlock more (unknown) stuff. So far only one or two Rally Points got defended consistently, so there will be more to do when it finally launches, I’m sure. I’m looking forward to more organized attempts at this zone goal.
(A beta map is naturally not a place for massive map coordination and organization, everyone’s squirreling off to see the new things, and about 85% of the people were Revenants unfamiliar with their skills and all that.)
After a first hour of intense battlefield Mordrem fighting, I found myself getting tired of the endless war going nowhere (need my organization fix) and wandered off to the quieter and probably still unbuilt areas.
I do hope that the designers don’t forget in their excitement over playing with complex and sophisticated dynamic event chains to look after the little guys, the solo explorers and casual levelers that need a calmer exploration fix from time to time, those surprisingly numerous players who enjoy and miss the feeling of leveling in their starter and intermediate leveling zones – more pastoral surroundings, less tightly packed and threatening mob densities.
Personally, I do suspect we will still have some of these areas, even in the Heart of Maguuma. Even the Silverwastes has its peaceful jumping puzzle, to take a breather from the constant combat chains.
From my short glance at the zone and the spaces and scenery therein, there seems to be a goal to pack a lot into it – something for groups (PUG or organized), something for achievement-oriented soloists, something for explorer-oriented soloists and so on.
But I dunno, I have no words to argue or defend the Vision that others seem to hate so much.
If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t.
So instead, I will just post the screenshots that -I- had fun taking.
I think this one is GW2’s claim to a Skyrim look-alike. The treetop textures, the lighting, the photo-realism just kinda blew me away.
I have… no words to describe the Itzel stare.
More of those Maguuma Wastes-style ruins we’ve all come to know and love in Dry Top and Silverwastes. Dying to know more about the origins or creators of these structures.
They weren’t kidding about the verticality of this zone. (I briefly considered spectral walking my way down – I played a necro rather than a revenant this time around – then in a brief fit of sanity, managed to find the NPC that teleported you into the pit.
Apparently it’s one of those new soloable “Adventures,” which usually challenge you to achieve some sort of task, except that it was either nonfunctional because it wasn’t done yet, or because we hadn’t unlocked the Rally Point that would unlock it, or I was just missing the whole point of what one had to do for the event.)
The cloudy ominous drop that awaits clumsy glider-less travelers.
There were some nearly empty caves under the Wyvern Cliffs, save for a few new Mushroom mobs, which were quite cute, in a nightmarish Mario Goomba sort of way.
And then I crawled through one snaking tunnel and went down another and stumbled into the as yet unpopulated Temple of Ameyalli. (Ameyalii possibly being to the hylek as Mellaggan is to the quaggan, an interpretation of the human god Melandru. Or maybe not and she’s just an unconnected animistic goddess of nature. Who knows, at this point.)
“If it’s a bunch of cobbled together randomness, then why do I want to explore it? None of it is connected to a special narrative, so it exists without purpose, without meaning.”
I would like to counter with a few things.
Firstly, I wonder if we’ve lost the true meaning of exploration after being taught by Wildstar and GW2 that it’s about getting to points on a map and then having an achievement ding.
Or even after being taught by WoW and Skyrim (and Wildstar and GW2) that it’s about going to someplace and having a handcrafted scripted scene or story play out for you.
That seems to me like going for a tour or a guided experience, rather than exploration per se.
(That’s not to say that it’s bad.
The linearity of The Wolf Among Us and the elegant way its aesthetics told a story with a beginning, middle and end made for a wonderfully -immersive- experience…
…but it’s a bit of a stretch to say that one was -exploring- the game, unless one really sat down to map out every last possible branch of story, or even dabbled with exploration by rewinding a chapter or two to see how the story or characters might change.)
Here’s Google’s definition of exploration:
The highlights are mine, because I think they rather succintly answer Syp’s question.
You can want to explore something because it’s unfamiliar, because it’s new, because it’s novel. Because you’re checking it out to see if you can find any purpose or meaning in a locale previously unknown to you.
(Many games, when they are new and all their systems and geography unknown, draw explorers like magnets. And once everything is laid out in guides and on third party websites, when all the novelty is lost and everything predictable, that’s where explorers start to get really bored.)
The search for resources or information or knowledge that other people don’t know about is a big deal to explorers. It’s one of the things Bartle checks you out for, before labeling you an explorer.
Many sandbox games dangle resources as the bait for the WHY someone would go out and explore what could be merely a bunch of rocks and sand. Eve Online, A Tale in the Desert, Minecraft, Terraria, Don’t Starve, a ton of other games in the survival crafting genres, need I really go on?
And sometimes you just explore because it’s -there-, because you want to be thorough and make sure you’ve seen its every nook and cranny, because the mountain was there to be climbed, and because the maze or puzzle was there to be figured out and solved.
Not every game has to be played for story and narrative.
Not every player expects a game designer to serve each person the same scripted experience.
Part of the fun in a procedurally generated game is that you yourself may not encounter the exact same thing twice. That your next playthrough can be different. That it can be unpredictable, forcing you to react in a different way.
Others have chimed in with additional points, such as:
Purpose and meaning being in the eye of the beholder and that it can be up to each player to create that purpose, meaning and narrative for themselves in a procedurally generated game,
that player interactions often form the meat and potatoes of story and narrative in such a game and the very fact that they are unique one-off events that will never quite happen again in the same way can be super-appealing for some people,
and that designers can actually use procedural generation in a sensible way and layer set pieces or handcrafted content over other layers that were procedurally generated so that the results look a lot better than what Daggerfall produced in 1996.
I barely moved from the spawn location to snap these shots.
I rolled these up simply for the purposes of this post.
And I don’t know about you, but there’s at least one seed I’ll be revisiting again that just -cries- out for a story of a survivor shipwrecked onto a mostly desert island with some jungle in the distance.
What does the rest of the continent hold, pray tell?
To call it merely a jumping puzzle does it a serious injustice.
What it is, is an entire cavern system that only happens to contain a jumping puzzle.
I spent far more time squeeing over the vast variety of cave environments depicted so adeptly than worrying about jumping.
I also spent an equally long time on the outdoor aboveground portions, taking grand panoramic screenshots of the Silverwastes from angles to die for.
(Yes, there were also plenty of impact craters.)
I’m glad that feedback from Not So Secret appears to have been taken to heart. Near the later stages, a skritt will helpfully rez you so that frustrated raging and having to restart right from the beginning due to one unlucky slip is not necessary.
The gigantic thing is broken up into milestones, that essentially can save your progress over gameplay sessions, if you remain in the map. My first exploration took me through 3 milestones before I ran out of time and had to quit. I’d assumed I’d have to rerun the thing from the beginning, but no, when I logged back on, I still had the 3 milestone stacks, along with my coin buff.
The coin buff is an interesting exercise in self-chosen player difficulty mixed with a goldsink.
If you pay the NPC 1 gold, you get a buff that lasts for an hour that lets you use any handy skritt tunnels (conveniently placed near post-plummeting locations) to go back to the last milestone.
If you’re a more miserly individual, you can pay 1 silver to get a teleport to the second last milestone and 1 copper to the third last.
I started out paying a silver because I’m cheap, but near the end, because I was so captivated with exploring and iterating my way through the new stuff of each checkpoint, I coughed up the gold so as not to waste my own time.
And yes, I did the entire thing sans Dulfy guide, because content like this is chicken soup for my mapping and exploration soul, with the reward of wonderous vistas and the satisfaction of forging your own path through.
(Though the last part was indeed slightly hair-pullingly frustrating from the many false trails/choices that landed you at the beginning of that checkpoint.)
What I didn’t really like was the randomness of the choice, with little indication of what the “right” tunnel to hop into was.
I got past that frustrating portion by calling on my infinite patience when it comes to being more bullheadedly stubborn a mapper than the designer. There’s only a finite number of paths they can create, right? Well, we are brute-forcing EVERY path to figure out where each leads!
So I hunkered down, resigned myself to restarting from the bottom many times, and systematically went down every damn skritt tunnel to see where it would go.
Maybe I was being stupid and missed an obvious clue, but I don’t believe there was any real indication of the ‘right’ path.
The good news was that I didn’t have to pull out the pencil and graph paper.
After being essentially forced to iterate from the start a dozen times over, simple visual memory was taking over and locking in landmarks to differentiate one section of the puzzle from another.
“Oh yeah, with these two ramps here, the correct tunnel is X. And the one over here with the bright yellow sand area and the two planks, do NOT go to Y or there will be a great gnashing of the teeth. Instead run over to Z, which is way over there, yes.”
All in all, this seems to be the biggest slice of content that arrived in the Seeds of Truth patch, assuming one doesn’t cheapen it by just blindly following a guide. (Of course, if you hate stuff like this and just want the shiny at the end, then guide away to waste your time less.)
I forsee figuring out how to get all the Gold Lost Badges (a few of which I passed while doing the jumping puzzle, tauntingly placed out of reach) will take another hefty chunk of time, along with a hefty chunk of gold from waypoint fees from failed assumptions on where to climb, and simple failures to balance appropriately on the tip of a pin.
All good though. Finishing the jumping puzzle netted me 16 already. I expect another trip through the puzzle keeping the ctrl key down and eyes open might net a few more.
If one is really stuck, there is always googling for the solutions of other people. But until then, I’m enjoying the satisfaction of figuring it out on my own.
(After all, this isn’t vanishing in two weeks, right?
Or maybe it might significantly change visually after a month… the whole structure should still be there, though.
Right? That whole byline about “Points of No Return” is just marketing speak… I hope.
Or maybe Mordremoth will wake, and we all know what happens when Elder Dragons move.)
Truth is, it’s going to take me a while to absorb everything that just came down in a big info dump in the Game Update patch notes.
I haven’t quite made it through all the profession changes yet, just sort of went through the guardian notes that are my primary interest and glanced at the rest.
The Collections are interesting, if a tide underwhelming at present. I’d been under the impression that many little tchotchkes would become easy collections to get some achiever dings over – things like food, or drinks or bags of loot.
Instead, the only fun one seems to be the junk collector with the Honorary Skritt title and the rest look a little more laborious. There’s -some- food, but only steak so far. No burgers, no pizza, no soup or vegetarian collections or stuff like that.
There’s certainly potential to expand, and I hope it will soon(TM), but at the moment, I’m finding it more attractive to offload some of the named exotics I’d been hoarding in the bank, wondering if they’d ever turn into precursors – looks like they won’t, but at least they’re collectibles now – at the currently inflated prices.
The Combat Log is something I’d really like to gush over.
I think it’s gone unnoticed by many, but it’s actually USEFUL now.
The color scheme used in the combat log is a touch eyebrow raising, but sort of oddly reminiscent of oldschool MUDs where stuff is color-coded with a bunch of esoteric meaning. Presumably, since only those interested in the technical and numerical stuff would ever look at it, it’s ok.
Purple is being used for condition damage and orange for direct damage and green for healing, as far as I could tell from a quick glance at it.
All the condition damage is being reported *swoons in ecstasy* and even my clone damage from exploding was captured, so I presume other professions’ pets are also getting logged. That’s really really sweet.
I don’t know if someone will figure out a way to parse this yet, but there’s at least some -clear- data here.
One still can’t see other peoples’ damage and so on, which I think is for the best, since that might lead to comparisons and exclusion, but in the interests of -personal- improvement or optimization/efficiency, this is at least a tool that can actually be read and used now – rather than having to video record stuff and manually count white damage numbers and guess at other things.
The Miniature changes are surprisingly underwhelming for now.
I bound a few of my favorite minis that had been sitting in my bags, but was mildly dismayed to see that it was likely going to be hidden all the time (even from me!) on my toaster settings anyway.
Considering how I normally struggle with frame rates, perhaps it’s for the best that I don’t even see my own puppy following me most of the time. (Though if I’m alone and wandering the open world, even if the map is crowded, you’d think I ought to be able to see my own mini until I walk into the equivalent of world boss or WvW zerg congestion on my screen.)
The Trading Post changes have been mildly disorientating.
I’m not sure if it loads faster, and I kind of miss the tab that was just for taking items away from the TP. Right now, I have to load the whole damn TP and extra info just to collect some money, feels a little more clunky in that respect.
I -do- like the new filters, though it takes a bit of getting used to, after you’re accustomed to the old way of doing things.
Searching for armor my new mesmer alt could wear, within his level range, and with some Power on it, was a lot smoother and gave easier to choose from options.
But then again, I tried to type “Superior rune of the flame legion” into the search box and ended up cut off before being able to specify “flame legion” – which led to a whole bunch of other superior runes displayed.
Instead, the right keywords to use are “sup rune flame” or something oddly truncated like that.
That character text limitation is a little annoying to work around.
-Selling- things feels like one has to absorb a lot more info than before.
Having to drag a slider bar when one could previously just click a button to sell all is a step up in annoyance.
Sure, you list both fees now, but you don’t even helpfully provide a net profit summation, so now we’re expected to mentally subtract both fees ourselves. I think it’s -far- more likely that more people will be deceived by the total price and continue to pay TP tax without realizing it.
It’s more than a bit annoying to see that only the last 5 prices are visible at any time and that you have to scroll down to see the rest.This is a lot more game-able than the old system which let you see more prices at a glance, -if- you looked up the buy prices. Many won’t bother to scroll down. Expect traders to put up little honey traps in groups of 5 to knock the old prices off visibility.
Take, for example, this random rare dagger that drops as random loot.
The first trap is easy to spot, someone posted one for 64.46 silver when the rest are selling at 66.46 silver.
If you take the trouble to scroll down past the 66 silvers, there’s a jump that’s almost invisible here, between 66 and 69 silver.
It is entirely possible that someone may buy up daggers up to this price on a fairly regular basis and that if you post this dagger for anywhere 69 silver and under, it’ll sell. How many people will be bothered to look through this, scrolling through a pathetic 5 prices at a time? Much less than before, I suspect. Expect lots of lazy selling at whatever minimum is offered.
I don’t know if all the changes really made anything clearer or not, it just feels like there are different places people will get caught out, and different places wily traders can come in to profit from those too lazy to work it all out.
And finally, the New Player Leveling Experience.
I’m not really radically against it, like many screaming over the forums and on Reddit.
I took a new charr mesmer up from level 1, playing through like a complete newbie, up to about level 9.
The tutorial tips that show up seem to be quite explanatory, with the option of leaving it up or quickly closing it via pressing the ‘X’ for close window. This catches that group of slower tactical learners who want time to read through instructions over just jumping in and doing it.
The leveling experience at low levels does seem to have been sped up slightly, which means that those used to the game can very quickly speed through the most limiting and annoying ‘locked weapon skill’ stage past level 2 and 4.
In truth, the only time I really chafed at the weapon skill lock was when I was trying to tag mobs in a crowded Defend the Armory from Flame Legion event, which had somehow attracted a good seven veterans or so – presumably in search of the new hearts. Only having mesmer scepter skill 1 is NUTS, it is so SO SLOW when you’re trying to tag or cleave as many things as possible before all these crazy exotic-geared 80s blow everything up. I got about 2 of every 4 mobs that spawned, if I was lucky.
I was really happy to finish that heart and get the event xp and then run as fast as my little clawed feet could take me out of there and go back to slowly and methodically single-targeting random mobs to death.
Going from heart to heart following the content guide did offer a more streamlined experience than previously, rate of experience gain included.
The profession loot seemed to be working for me, as I got a number of white and blue drops that were usable upgrades. Some +Power clothes that I could wear, and very attractively, new weapons like a sword, pistol (level 2, but not usable until level 7 when offhand unlocks, *gasp*), a greatsword and a staff.
Since I was getting bored out of my mind with the slow rate of the scepter autoattack – but the torment isn’t half bad if you can successfully block with skill 2 and layer 6-7 stacks of torment on , and the skill 3 confusion stacks are SICK, thank you combat log – I took advantage of this to swap and try out the other weapons, presumably as intended, though lord knows if new players will figure it out if it isn’t spelled out for them too.
Plains of Ashford apparently had two new hearts added to it. My memory isn’t the best, but it appears to be the cows immediately next to the starting drop-off point and the skritt/cannon area, which I did always think was a little weird that the area had nothing but a skill point and a dynamic event up there.
The clarity and fanfare with each level up does feel more pronounced now.
Around level 9, I started getting a bit restless with the pace and took a break away from the content guide, heading into the Black Citadel and for the nearest Trading Post. Why they removed the handy one near the starting drop-off point is beyond me – too confusing for newbies? A little subtle proding to veterans seeking convenience to pop one if they want to use one, maybe?
There I grabbed all the usual twink gear – the cheapest +Power stuff at the off-level of 6, minor runes of +Power and level 10 +Power jewellery, wandered off the beaten track to hit a few yellow mobs and push myself to level 10.
Then I went through the Personal Story in a big chunk and rather enjoyed it. Mobs stayed at level 10, even as the Personal Story completions were awarding XP and pushing me through the levels, so things felt more doable and there was less of those old ‘stuck’ points where you were facing a +3 level challenge and unwilling to go off and get more levels before coming back, leading to repeated deaths and restart at checkpoints. I was level 12 by the time I finished.
Considering that I hadn’t even map explored through half of the Plains of Ashford, -HOPEFULLY- this will finally stop those ridiculous complaints of “help, I’m underleveled and have completed my starting zone” and the equally ridiculous advice to jump through portals and map complete another race’s starting zone to fix that. HOPEFULLY, newbies will find themselves level 15 at the point they’re really supposed to transition to the level 15-25 zone.
The one thing I did find a little disappointing was skill points being pushed so far back to level 13. This invalidates a number of skill trainers in the starting zone, which give you the “successfully passed” message and is somewhat disorientating, especially when you realize later that you’ll have to retrace your footsteps -back- to them to get SP. That’s… more than a bit weird.
So far, so good, I guess. I got to level 13 in a couple of hours, which -seems- like the pace that newbies would expect.
The biggest mixed feelings I get from this new player experience is the distinct sensation that we’ve moved over from stressing an Explorer experience to focusing on an Achiever one.
Personally, it doesn’t disturb me too much either way because I have tendencies in either direction. I can adapt to Achiever signposts if a game chooses to go that way, and I can jump into a sandbox with the best of them and explore and go read third-party wikis and websites to figure out what to do next.
I’m an EASK, after all, both playstyles are my primary and secondary, and I’m also strong enough an Explorer to figure out how to set the defaults back to the way I prefer it.
I mean, if I really let my inner elitist speak, I’d say, “If folks aren’t Explorer enough to figure out how to shut the upper-right compass off, then they’re the subset that the straightforward little arrow was meant for.”
That was the FIRST thing I went for, when I logged into my level 80 main and went, OMG, what is this awful thing in the corner, TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF.
So I brought up the Options menu, read through stuff, saw the new “Content Guide” drop down bar option, and promptly set it from Default to Off, glancing through the other options in the process and thinking, ok, those might come in useful when I’m leveling a new alt or going on focused map exploration. (It -would- be handy if we could set it per character, and not a one-size-fits-all account setting though.)
Then I went for my regular jumping puzzle visit, popped an Enchanted Map piece, went “Kewl, a sekrit to explore!” and promptly ran around visiting jumping puzzles I hadn’t visited for a long time, hoping to pop another map piece. Somewhere in Diessa Plateau, I overheard mapchat complaining bitterly about compass arrow, how it was hand-holding and so on, while another person asked if it was possible to turn it off, and the complainer went ahead and said something like, oh, I don’t think it’s possible until you hit level 80 or complete the Personal Story or something.
Rolling my eyes with the utter INCORRECTNESS of this, I had to speak up over mapchat and pointedly “handhold” the map into looking at Options => Content Guide, whereupon they realized, OH, we -can- turn it off, after all, while other people went, oh, these other options might be useful for map exploring, etc.
No, really, some things -aren’t- obvious to everybody, and I don’t see too much harm in clearly spelling it out for them if they require it. The clearly demarcated dodge tutorial, for example, at least ensures that more lowbies will figure out that they do have a dodge button. If that’s what they need to learn, so be it.
The only sadness I get is that it’ll be a bit trickier to guide an Explorer down this Achiever centered road now. Gone is the “world is completely open and ripe for the plucking” feeling from having weapon skills unlock from use, from having a wealth of skills and traits and options at an early stage. What is “overwhelm, too many options, too little direction” to an Achiever or a newbie is the “world is my oyster, ooh, so much complexity and depth” discovery feeling for an Explorer.
We somehow have to get the message out that it’s still going to be okay to turn off the Content Guide and strike out cross-country, immersing into the world, poking one’s head into every nook and cranny.
I know I will, on my other alts when I want the exploration and world immersion feel, but I’m used to the old way of doing things and can figure these things out for myself.
Maybe I guess it’s better to trust that the Explorers will know how to tweak settings to match their preferences over the Achievers. Maybe.
Did we want to risk losing the Explorer cohort in favor of the Achiever crowds? I guess one subset pays better than the other? Or many of the Explorers are already here and past the lowbie experience… the novelty of new content is still pretty far away in November, though.
Dunno. Certainly there’s still one thing Explorers can explore. The entire new level up system, its rewards and the whole ‘feel’ of taking a character through it.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see on how it plays out over time, once the knee jerk reactions to sudden change are done.
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.
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.