I recently got a press preview of the newest episode of the Guild Wars 2 living story; A Bug in the System. If you don’t want any spoilers then you shouldn’t be reading this. But, if you want a little taste of what you’re about to dive into. keep reading. Yes, there are spoilers ahead.
Charr players rejoice! There’s finally some love for the master race. Out of my 28 characters, only 3 are Charr. This is partly because they don’t get a lot of love from the devs, so I was really surprised to find out that Charr would play an important part in A Bug in the System. In fact, they play a huge role in the new zone, Sandswept Isles. There we find a new branch of the Charr family, a peace-loving branch. These peaceful island dwellers have a problem though. Their home is being taken over by the Inquest.
In fact, it is in this episode that we learn the Inquest are a lot bigger than they originally appeared to be back in the old world. They have their very own floating city. Is it fully populated? I wasn’t able to get inside to find out because it is heavily guarded, but in the area around the city, they did have some very interesting experiments going on that seem to play with gravity. I was venturing into these areas on my own and the Inquest presence on the island is quite substantial so I never really stuck around in one place for very long.
For the guided tour, we were lead through part of the story in an Inquest lab where experiments are being performed on all sorts of different creatures. Because I prefer to have the whole story all in one go and roleplay it I purposefully ignored the plot as much as possible. but one thing I did catch was that the Charr used the word “tribe” to describe their people. It raises a lot of questions. How long have these Charr been cut off from the rest of Charr society? Why are they so far away from the Charr homelands? I hope we get to know these new Charr throughout the events of the story.
It was in this story instance that we saw two new things that ArenaNet pointed out. The first was that these Inquest golems have been given a bit of a visual upgrade from their older brethren on the main continent. I asked if they would be expanding this visual update across the game to all golems and they said that there aren’t any plans for it at the moment. So no, but they have left themselves an opening so they can change their mind in the future if they want to. If I’m honest, I didn’t really see much of a difference, I was busy shooting them with fireballs.
The other cool new feature they showed off were elevators that would take you up to the next floor. The moving platforms were a fun new addition to Inquest labs and I actually find myself wondering now how we’ve managed to go this long in the game without them, and not really missing them either. Either way, yay for new tech! I can’t wait to see how it gets implemented in the future. It would be really fun to see the elevator technology added to the main cities of Tyria in the future. The seed elevator in the Grove is fun, but ultimately it’s just teleporting you with a cutscene. This would allow you to get around seamlessly. It would also be great in Divinity’s Reach where there are stairs that teleport you up and down. It’s unlikely that this will happen however as most MMO developers prefer to focus attention on moving forward rather than going back to older content.
If you’re a big fan of large-scale events then you’re in luck as the Sandswept Isles have one for you, and its mechanics will drive you mad. You’re fighting massive earth elementals while howling winds from a tornado pull you around and around. Every encounter has a few of the elementals and you’ll end up aggroing all of them. Eventually, I managed to find a sweet spot in the geography where the wind couldn’t push me around anymore, but all it took was getting knocked around once before that sweet spot was lost and you were stuck in the twister again. Will people enjoy it? Maybe, once everyone has the hang of it and knows what to do. But personally, I found it to be a really annoying mechanic. It’s especially bad if you’re playing melee. Range is a must as you’re stuck on this merry-go-round of irritation.
There was another feature on the island that I quite enjoyed. When you’re standing in some of the tall grass on the island you become stealthed. It seems like a feature that works best when you’re there alone or when you’re trying to get aggro off of you. From a roleplaying perspective this was a really cool feature, and again I could see it being used elsewhere. Gendarran Fields is the first place that comes to mind. It would give a bit of a tactical advantage in the Bandit bounty events, many of which fail due to a lack of participation. What actual purpose it serves on the isles I’m not entirely clear on, but this may be one of those things that will become clear once I have the rest of the context for the zone.
If you haven’t already watched it I highly recommend you watch the teaser trailer for this episode, if only for the new version of Fear Not This Night which is haunting and beautiful. I really hope that a full version of it gets released in the future. Next week I’ll be writing my thoughts on the full episode after I’ve had time to play the story and play around on the island with the new Charr. A Bug in the System is available to play right now if you own Path of Fire, so what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and log in!ArenaNet, Column, Guild Wars 2, Living Story, MMORPG, Path of Fire, Preview, PvE, The Tyrian Chronicle