Rebuilding Lion’s Arch Should Have Been Interactive

We now know the new improved Lion’s Arch will be in the next content update for Guild Wars 2. After just shy of a year and a half (about a year in game time) after the city was attacked and ruined, it will finally be rebuilt. Unfortunately Arenanet missed a golden opportunity to give their players a way to be personally involved in the rebuilding effort.

You might be thinking to yourself “hey we got a poll and got to pick names of some locations” and yes we did get to do that. However, how important is a name really? As much as I really dislike the name Phoenix Roost, at the end of the day it is just a name. It’s intangible. We got to actually help people evacuate and helped defend the city; why don’t we get the chance to actually help rebuild as well?

gw281I know we aren’t going to get anymore Living Story before Heart of Thorns launches, we’ve known this for quite a while. What we are getting are various events to fill the time between the end of Living Story 2 and HoT and although the rebuilding could have happened as part of the Living Story, nothing says it has to be a Living Story update.

Imagine instead of logging in one day to a completely rebuilt Lion’s Arch there’s a month long event which progresses in stages over the course of the month. Each week could be a new set of events for players to participate in to help with rebuilding. Some events could be as simple as donating various supplies to the cause, others could be more complex.

Maybe there’s a group out there who don’t want Lion’s Arch to be rebuilt? Maybe they feel like having a city which symbolizes the great things the different races can accomplish when they work together is a bad thing because they don’t want peace between the races? There could be events where players need to protect the workers or caravans arriving with supplies. Or maybe even search out these groups and deal with them directly.

There could also be events where the players could more directly help with rebuilding. Maybe help to clear out the harbor rubble or laying boards and bricks to build the different structures. These events could even be sequential where if the goal for one is met, there will be a break and at a predetermined time the next leg could pick-up where the last left off. If the goal wasn’t met the event would repeat until it was.

At the end of all of this we’d finally get to log in and see what our efforts built. Players would get the feeling of being a real part in the rebuilding and feel like they did something which actually made a difference. We could point to a memorial and say “I helped build that” or a building or road or harbor. There would be real attachment there.

gw284The downside of this is it would be nonpermanent content and some players really don’t like the possibility of missing something. This criticism was a big part of Areanet’s choice to make the Living Story content replayable; which was a great choice on their part. However, nonpermanent content still could play a valuable role in Guild Wars 2. As it is once Lion’s Arch is repaired players won’t be able to go back and experience the different stages it has gone through anyway. So it is already nonpermanent content some people will never see.

It’s also worth mentioning this is likely not the last time Lion’s Arch will be at least partially destroyed, and it would be surprising (and a bit sad) if no other major city is ever destroyed. Even though players couldn’t experience a specific rebuilding event again, they likely would have the chance to participate in others based on the same concept.

At the end of the day I’m glad I got to be a part of protecting Lion’s Arch. I’m glad it stayed in ruins for a substantial period of time. I’m glad it is being rebuilt in stages, and it isn’t being rebuilt to be exactly as it was before. I just wish I could have had a hand in the actual reconstruction.

Gameplay Screens

Just wanted to take a quick minute and post some screens that I took during gameplay this past weekend. Quick disclaimer though. My computer is nowhere near top of the line and the graphics settings were not even close to set to max. With that knowledge in hand lets look at some pictures 🙂

This is a picture of what it looks like when you talk to people to pick-up quests. You also see this screen when you turn in a quest as well.  Also this NPC is one you interact with a bunch and depending on what part of the story you finish you sometimes get an extra piece of loot from the chest in the backround to the left there. There is voice over, but you are not stuck looking at this screen the whole time. You can immediately Accept the quest and then either listen to VO as you go to do something else (or even start on the quest) or you can just cancel out the VO all together if you don’t care to listen to it.

I took this screen during a foundry quest I was doing (my character is in front the npc following me is the one you can really see there).  You see that gold and purple sparkly path there? That is the quest tracking path. You can turn it on and off using “Z” and it will show you the way to go to whatever quest you are tracking, even where you need to go to turn in quests.

That’s just a picture of my Great Weapon Fighter Half-Elf in town at level 12.

There are also Harper Agents at most of the quest hubs. You can talk to them to find out about local rumors and they will open up the foundry menu for you.

Action shot of me fighting during one of the Foundry quests. That person to my character’s left is my Companion whom I named Trevor. You can also see two piles of loot on the ground from mobs I killed before this picture.

Lastly, near the end of beta a bunch of people gathered up and took a picture in town. You can see a couple of the mounts (look at the bear in the middle!) and a few different spell effects.

Hope the pictures were fun and interesting for everyone 🙂