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New Lion’s Arch: the Results are in!

Several weeks ago, ArenaNet announced that they would at long last be reconstructing Lion’s Arch in earnest. This announcement was coupled with a player survey that proposed several new names for key iconic locations within the city. Players taking the survey could vote for their favorite name for each location, and the winning names would become the new in-game names of their respective locations. Well, the results are finally in, and the reactions of participants are ranging from excited to enraged. Why, I myself partook in said survey and posted my choices right here on GuildMag, so let’s have a look at how I did!

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Commodore’s Quarter

What used to be the Canal Ward region of Lion’s Arch has officially be rechristened Commodore’s Quarter by popular demand. However, I found that this name felt a bit awkward, and out of the two remaining options from the survey, King Doric’s Court and City Central, I went with City Central. King Doric’s Court just doesn’t apply to the region anymore, since King Doric’s bloodline now rules in Divinity’s Reach to the north and has naught to do with Lion’s Arch. City Central does seem a bit bland, and my friends in the community were quick to point this out to me, but I’d prefer bland to awkward.

Phoenix Roost

This was probably the location that sparked the most zeal within the community. Lion’s Gate, the lighthouse that serves the purpose of guiding ships into the port, has been officially renamed Phoenix Roost, though I cannot help but wonder how. While I did in fact choose Phoenix Roost as my pick for the lighthouse, I felt very much in the minority in doing so. Shortly after the survey went live, all I heard throughout the community was that it was heresy to have chosen any name other than Graidy Lighthouse, though a few people did choose Beacon Point for reasons best known to themselves. The love for the name Graidy Lighthouse stems from its origins: Graidy was the name of a priest who could be found near the lighthouse in-game prior to Scarlet’s invasion. During her assault on Lion’s Arch, Graidy sent the lighthouse workers, along with his own daughter, to safety while he remained behind to signal inbound ships to steer clear of the city. This noble effort claimed his life, and, therefore, many believed that the lighthouse should commemorate his sacrifice. While I did not personally vote for Graidy Lighthouse, I will say that it, too, would have been a fitting name, albeit not as smooth or pleasant to the ear as Phoenix Roost. Phoenix Roost commemorates the entire city’s rebirth from its own destruction, not only from the damage dealt by Scarlet, but from all the tragedies it has been through in the past. So while the vocal minority may have been in favor of Graidy Lighthouse, the silent, less lore-savvy crowd seems to have tipped the scales in favor of the better sounding (in my opinion) Phoenix Roost.

Lion’s Court

Out of all of the locations and their possible new names, this one was the one that was likely a no-brainer for pretty much everyone, myself included. The voting options were between keeping the name Lion’s Court, or bestowing upon this location a new name: Festival Plaza. Lion’s Court, with its trademark Lion fountain, is a staple of Lion’s Arch, and it would have been sacrilege to rename it something so painfully arbitrary and meaningless.

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Lion’s Arch Aerodrome

My reaction to the choices for this location was something along the lines of, “Uh, all of these names are sort of lame…” With the upcoming rebuild, Lion’s Arch will be getting an airbase to house a defensive force of airships and whatever other aircraft the developers can come up with. The choices they gave us for names were a bit lackluster though: Martial Aerodrome, Apex Aerodrome, or Lion’s Arch Aerodrome. None of these options particularly struck my fancy, so I picked Apex Aerodrome merely because I liked the alliteration. I suppose Lion’s Arch Aerodrome is fine as well, I mean, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it. I think we all just wish they could have come up with some better options for us on this one!

Field of the Fallen

Finally, the proposed memorial area that is currently the Wall of Remembrance has been voted to be renamed Field of the Fallen. It isn’t hard to understand why, either. The other choices were the Theo Ashford Memorial and the Forever Memorial. Forever Memorial just sounds off, and Theo Ashford Memorial would require people actually caring about Theo Ashford as a character, which they don’t. He was a member of the Captain’s Council that was assassinated at the beginning of season one of the Living World by the Aetherblade captain Mai Trin so that she might take his place on the council. He bore no significance to anything before that point, and therefore merits very little consideration here. I voted for Field of the Fallen not only because the other two options weren’t great, but because Field of the Fallen has a very somber beauty to it. Theo, we hardly knew ye.

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All in all, not a bad round of names. In all honesty, though, I think the community is much more excited to see these new locations live than they are about what they’re called. The concept art for the new Lion’s Arch looks like nothing we’ve ever seen in-game before, and I think everyone is very much on the edge of their seats eagerly trying to picture how such grandiose architecture might fit into the ramshackle, piecemeal amalgamation of cultures and structures that is, and always will be, Lion’s Arch!

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