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Blog Carnival: The End of Living World Season 1 – Community Thoughts

Two weeks ago we asked the Guild Wars 2 community “what was the first Living World season like for you?” – and it responded. Since the Living World began, we’ve had highs and lows, with a mixture of open world content, instances, permanent features and temporary events; and now it’s all over, at least for the time being. Fans everywhere have been voicing their opinions on their time spent playing through Scarlet’s quest to awaken Mordremoth, and we’ve  loved reading the range of views that are out there. So without further ado, we present to you our sixth blog carnival and its diverse range of opinions.

“Tell Me a Story” – The Traveller of Tyria

… “Well, to be honest, I was very confused when I heard the term “Living Story,” and I was exactly sure what to think of it. Were they to be progressive updates with a purpose? Perhaps they would be more akin to a TV series where everything and everyone constantly changes (my mind goes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Maybe this was their way of giving us an expansion full of work over a period of time! Imagine the potential; imagine the possibilities.

It seems I was mostly wrong on all fronts, with a hint of accuracy.” …  Read more

Reflections on a Living World – Guild Wars 2 Hub

… “Some may say it isn’t very impressive however. The short-comings of a few releases brings down the entirety of the Living World model and therefor the playability of Guild Wars 2 itself. It is a fair thought. An expansion to World of Warcraft was the whole reason why I quit the game.

On the other hand would you quit a television series because you disliked a single episode? That is how I view these Living World updates: episodic releases with a bunch of extra, free features added on to make the game more enjoyable for all. That is partially why I can say I enjoyed the last season of the Living World. I hated some episodes, or updates, but over-all I can say I liked what I got to experience.” … Read more

Thoughts on the War – Virtually Interrupted

… “The Aftermath release feels very right to me.  The bulletin boards expressing grief and desperate pleas for missing loved ones are very powerful; as Star and I said to each other, a video game isn’t supposed to make you cry.

While I didn’t play all of the Living Story releases, I was excited by how it all began with Flame and Frost.  I didn’t gripe much as the seemingly disconnected parts of the story unfolded, since, as a student of literature, I figured they were just laying the groundwork.  By far my favorite parts of these early releases were the scavenger hunts for missing belongings and Whispers’ agent notes, and the Molten Facility dungeon.” … Read more

Season One in Review – Black Lion Chest

… “Favourite release: The Nightmares Within

In the patch prior to Nightmares Within, we saw Kessex Hills devastated by Scarlet and the Toxic Alliance, and uncovered a giant tower right in the middle of the zone. This was our chance to get into the tower itself, battling our way up from the bottom through swathes of Krait and unnerving hallucinations, dodging exploding plants, until we reached the pinnacle. There, we entered the heart of the tower and killed the Champion Toxic Hybrid, viewed by the Krait as an incarnation of their prophets.

What I liked most about this release, largely in retrospect, is that it gave us a good range of content to explore, both in groups and solo.” … Read more

Living World Wrap-up – Under the Pale Tree

… “The dungeons we were given through the Living World updates were phenomenal. Molten Facility, Aetherblade Retreat, and Aetherpath were all dungeons that brought some challenge to the game, but with a bit of skill and time to learn the mechanics, were not horribly difficult. I didn’t do Aetherblade Retreat as much, but Molten Facility we ran basically daily, and Aetherpath is something we still do on a semi-regular basis. The Tower of Nightmares was an interesting intanced area that was like what an open-world dungeon would be like. It was fun to go through, but I admit that I did not actually go through the Tower more than once or twice.” … Read more

Living Story Season 1 – The Season of Change – Relics of Orr

… “As the first season of the Living Story (LS) comes to a close, I think it’s worth taking a look back at where we came from, what we’ve seen, and where we’d like to go. One consistent pair of  themes that I have seen over this past year and a half has been that of change and evolution. There have been some mistakes along the way, but in my honest opinion, ArenaNet has fairly consistently demonstrated that they are capable of learning from their mistakes and improving their future endeavors, and I think we’ve seen that this season already. There’s a lot of areas to hit, so I’ve broken them down by related classifications.” … Read more

Season 1 Thoughts – Kill Ten Rats

… “As part of the GuildMag hosted blog carnival, I am writing about the end of Living World Season 1. The tl;dr even in my mind is… I think I had fun? It’s kind of a weird feeling. I know I am a Guild Wars 2 ”fanboi” in the best and worst senses. So we have that. But, then I think I am honestly critical of where I see flaws in my favorite MMO.

I feel with the end of Living World Season 1 like I did after each season or the finale of LOST. It was an awesome journey. There were horrible plot holes, silly episodes, and moments of TV-gold. At each “end” of LOST, it felt like the whole season was just swept away, and all that was left was a fine point. I have great memories I can dredge up about the journey, but the journey is over. Now, I just want to look ahead. I don’t know if I can write this post without trying to look behind.” … Read more

A Collection of Articles by Bhagpuss from Inventory Full

Living Story – First Annual Report

… “Graphics – A Minus
The high point. Consistently inventive, innovative and impressive. Art Department, take a bow.

Finale 
– B
Hmm. Hmmm. Inconclusive. Satisfingly unsatisfying. Intriguing.

Overall – B Minus
Could do better. Should do better. Will do better.” … Read more

Learning to Listen

… “Arguably (and I’m arguing it) the true strength of the Living Story narrative lies neither in what Scarlet is (or was) up to, nor which Elder Power looked back at her when she looked into the Void, nor yet what all that tells us about the future.

No, the strength of the design rests firmly on that ever-growing cast of characters the Season kept on adding right until the end, and most especially on the serendipitous approach Anet took with their individual and collective stories. While Scarlet leads the players down the main thread of the plot, all the various characters spin off in to intrigues and fancies of their own, filling in back stories, adding texture and context and sometimes opening up entirely new possibilities to puzzle.” … Read more

Enquiring Minds Must Know [Spoilers]

… “It’s such a fine example of what I was praising yesterday. An entirely undirected fragment of narrative, an important one, too, waiting just out of sight to be discovered. First you have to be curious enough to wonder what happens if you don’t do what the game tells you to do. Then you have to be reckless enough to risk staying in a building on fire to find out. If you do that you make a discovery but only if you’re playing a class with the requisite background and training do you get, fully, to understand and interpret what you’ve found. And even then you still end up with more questions than answers.

That’s how it should be done. No clues, no pointers, no hints or nudges. Just you and the world and your eyes and ears and imagination. Someone in the thread congratulated ANet for planting a nice Easter Egg for Engineers. I congratulate them for understanding at least a few of the possibilities of the medium within which they work.” … Read more 

Aftermath [Gallery of the Aftermath]

… “The fires are out. The fighting is done. It’s a victory of sorts. Lion’s Arch still stands, barely.” … Read more

Reddit Responses

“I enjoyed to a certain extent, but what I hated most was being shoved in an overflow all the time and not being able to finish events because of the lack of people. I feel like most do not know the story, or at least the backstory behind many things, especially the ending to season 1. I had to watch separate videos to understand what was going on, as I am big on lore and theories. Like some I do not enjoy scarlets character, but I don’t hate her either, but I feel a more complex and interesting personality would have compelled me to invest more in the story. The idea of the LS is very compelling, all anet needs to do is to find the right formula. Although when all the gears aligned I enjoyed it quite a bit.” – Tashinglory from the GW2 Reddit

“Living World has done more to keep me excited and curious about an MMO in years. I didn’t absolutely adore everything they did but they knocked it out of the ballpark enough times for me to give it a big thumbs up, 9/10, would play again and can’t wait to see what Season 2 will bring.” – OKarizee from the GW2 Reddit

“In the first LS season, we’ve had tremendous ups (personally for me they were escape from LA, Marionette, Battle, Queens, Dragon Bash, and Bazaar), but we’ve also had dull lows (such as Tower of Nightmares and Twilight).

We’ve also had a bunch of, what I consider, experiments both in the story and gameplay. Whether they’re equipment acquisition, boss mechanics, character development, cutscene presentation, these are all things that have been played around with during the LS to really find that sweet spot for players. For that, I applaud them for trying out new things even if it did potentially piss some players off.

Overall it was a roller-coaster, some parts I absolutely loved, some parts I was bored with. Ultimately I can’t wait for S2.” – inthesunsetmeonfire from the GW2 Reddit 

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our sixth blog carnival, whether it was through a blog or via a forum/Reddit! We loved reading all your entries!

If you haven’t voiced your views on the Living World yet, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

 

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