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Living World 2013: The Year in Review


Arenanet's Colin Johanson has just posted a review of the Living Story in 2013, including a synopsis of the major updates and events in the storyline.  The blog post also outlines some of the incoming changes, including the fact that the next update will be on 21 January 2014, which will begin the conclusion of the Scarlet storyline.  The conclusion will be released in four parts.

No new major features will be added to the game from now until after the conclusion of the Scarlet storyline.  The first update after the conclusion of the storyline will be an "feature update," which, as the name implies, will add a lot of new features.

After December 10, there will be just four releases left in the current major world story arc, which we like to think of as season one of the Living World. There are some major unanswered questions that remain: What is Scarlet trying to do? What is the motivation behind her actions? What are the “do not touch” devices? What will Scarlet do with the knowledge she has gained from her various collaborations? The answers to all of these questions, and one epic finale that will rock Tyria to its very core, await you in 2014.

Our first release in the new year will be on January 21 as we begin our countdown to the end of this story arc. We’ll use the longer break to spend extra time to ensure that our final four releases are as polished and exciting as possible.

Due to the size and scope of the final four story releases in season one, the next round of major features will be bundled together into a large “feature only” release that will come after the first season of the Living World 2014 has finished. Once the story has completed, we’ll go into much greater detail on what’s to follow, but for now we want to focus on making sure our last four episodes shine.

On behalf of everyone here at ArenaNet, thank you all for an amazing 2013. Without your collaboration, feedback, dedication, and love for the world of Tyria, Guild Wars 2 simply wouldn’t be the success that it is today —nor could we reach the lofty goals we’ve set for the future.
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#1 Echou

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:14 PM

Story arc...finale? Could it mean that Scarlet....dies?

#2 Gilles VI

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:21 PM

Can't wait for Scarlet to disappear...

The talk about the size and permanent changing Tyria aspect of the releases is funny though, the last releases were a huge letdown compared to how they described it, so I'm not getting my hopes up..

#3 Miragee

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:31 PM

I wait for the epic finale where it's just some un-animated screen with scarlet laughing at you, implying she will run away, that fades out with "to be continued".

Seriously, I hope they will end it as soon as possible. They have "written" themselves into a corner. The story can't be good anymore (imho). But the new part of the Nightmare Tower surprised me a bit (in positive ways). Finally some interesting mechanics in a story instance (riddles instead of trash-mobs), good cut scene, some character interaction and a really changed Kessex Hills (looks cool, Event _and_ Hearts have changed..). Add good story telling and a good story to that and we could actually start to believe again.

#4 P4ndora

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:37 PM

I'm much more interested in the feature-only patch than the finale... Even if the latter is 3 times better than the previous living stories it would be still boring.

#5 Illein

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:58 PM

[quote name='P4ndora' timestamp='1386772638' post='2270078']
I'm much more interested in the feature-only patch than the finale... Even if the latter is 3 times better than the previous living stories it would be still boring.
[/quote]

I still don't get why people get all excited about "feature-only" patches. I mean to me, that only means that the patches up until to the 27th of January, have no content whatsoever in terms of story or theme or anything. They're merely focusing on "features" which could be anything from balance fixes, bugfixes to the account-wide WvW rank.

But I have no clue why people on Reddit etc. think that has anything to do with an expansion or what not.

No idea why that gets people excited, really.

And 4 Episodes left on the Scarlet Living Story, where does that put us? How long is an episode? I imagine the Molten Alliance was one Episode right? So we're looking at at least another half a year into 2014 we can enjoy with Scarlet-patches?

#6 P4ndora

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:03 PM

I didn't say I'm excited though, only that I'm interested what it will be.

#7 El Duderino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:16 PM

[quote]
[b]Without your collaboration[/b], feedback, dedication, and love for the world of Tyria, Guild Wars 2 simply wouldn’t be the success that it is today —nor could we reach the lofty goals we’ve set for the future.
[/quote]

I find this statement to be full of hubris, as it is pretty much agreed by white and black knights alike that the Living Story is fairly lame and most people lament how poorly it has been implemented.

#8 Illein

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:24 PM

[quote name='El Duderino' timestamp='1386775009' post='2270117']
I find this statement to be full of hubris, as it is pretty much agreed by white and black knights alike that the Living Story is fairly lame and most people lament how poorly it has been implemented.
[/quote]

You read it wrong! Collaboration in that sentence, has to mean 'funding'. Otherwise you're right, it'd make no sense.

#9 I'm Squirrel

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:26 PM

Here's a major unanswered question from thousands of GW2 players:

[b]Who the[/b] [b][i]blazing fire balls of Hell[/i][/b] [b]is "Scarlet?"[/b]

#10 El Duderino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

[quote name='Illein' timestamp='1386775492' post='2270123']
You read it wrong! Collaboration in that sentence, has to mean 'funding'. Otherwise you're right, it'd make no sense.
[/quote]

Doh! Thanks for correcting that for me. You're right, it didn't make any sense until now!

#11 Illein

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:45 PM

On as more serious, albeit jaded note, I hope the lofty goals they set for themselves aren't exclusively financial.

#12 Avish

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:52 PM

'Rock Tyria to its core'
Primordus.

#13 JACK the Somnolent

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:07 PM

I'm not too excited. It was evident in the beginning that the living stories were going to suck because the personal story sucked. Sorry Bobby Stein, but you are kind of not very good at the whole "writing" thing. I mean, how many more cliched lines must we sit through to get some interesting writing? And why is it so hard to find out about GW2 lore ingame?
I am no writer myself, but I know good writing when I see it and I've yet to see any come out of GW2. I also wonder what lame fight awaits us at the end of Scarlet's story, perhaps a mashup of everything we've seen so far?! Or maybe Scarlet is letting loose some ancient monster?! HOW EXCITING AND UNEXPECTED.
But seriously, Bobby, stop trying to make stories "funny" and "exciting". It only creates a "campy" environment. Nobody wants that shit. I should [i]want[/i][i] [/i]to know what happens to Scarlet. I should want to know what she's been planning. But quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

#14 davadude

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:17 PM

[quote name='Illein' timestamp='1386776716' post='2270135']
On as more serious, albeit jaded note, I hope the lofty goals they set for themselves aren't exclusively financial.
[/quote]

Nah, they already achieved that.  Unless, of course, an expansion is on the way.  In that case, yep!

[quote name='P4ndora' timestamp='1386772638' post='2270078']
I'm much more interested in the feature-only patch than the finale... Even if the latter is 3 times better than the previous living stories it would be still boring.
[/quote]

Same, I just want to see content that is useful to the player and the game world.  The mechanics and overall UI could use some good upgrading, and this may be the opportunity.
Davadude - Guru Village Idiot

#15 Illein

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Thought of something today that would probably make PvE for me a lot more interesting. For some reason I am really bothered by the fact that I basically only farm gold in this game to get what I want or wallow through marches of checklists on a bi-weekly basis.

So, how could that be spruced up a little? Well why, when they 'revamped' the fractals they didn't change it in a way that actually makes me feel like I am progressing when I am doing them or get rewarded for playing higher levels, engaging higher challenges? Why couldn't they just resort to giving you 1 ascended token each time you complete a 50+ fractal and you can't get them a second time in the same level - when you've got 20 of those ascended tokens (level 70) - you could exchange them for an ascended armor piece of a unique skin not available in the cash shop or outside the fractals.

I really, really miss something to do in this game that rewards being triumphant in the face of difficulty. I have no problems working towards something, but if it's just a gold hurdle, it gets old fast.

Just wish there were more content that actually proposes a challenge or is fun for more times than the first time you see it, but alas there just isn't such a thing and instead I can look forward to another couple months of rather dull living story updates that "reward" me for logging in, but don't reward me for playing well.

I am looking forward to their 2014 forecast which I hope will come somewhen around January, so I can see whether they change the things that annoy me - or whether they are satisfied with the product they have and really just want to keep it complacently running for as long as they can now.

That and the quality of newer MMORPGs will definitely determine whether it's time to cut my losses or stick through the 1.5 half year long low point, hoping there'll be better times.

#16 Graka

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:06 PM

[quote name='El Duderino' timestamp='1386775009' post='2270117']
I find this statement to be full of hubris, as it is pretty much agreed by white and black knights alike that the Living Story is fairly lame and most people lament how poorly it has been implemented.
[/quote]

I have actually liked the living story. With each implementation they have been getting better, and I look forward to 2014. With taking more time to do the end of the Scarlet story, I feel they really want to do it with a bang more than a fizzle and use all the knowledge they have learned over the last year. This is the first time a game company has really done anything like this trying to keep its game having a living, changing world. If you honestly thought there be no mistakes or hiccups you are truly delusional. Trying to say you speak for yourself and your opposition is a true sign of hubris for as I said myself I have enjoyed the LS, as have most of my friends.

#17 Jentari

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:34 PM

Glad to hear Scarlet is coming to an end  Sad to hear that there is still 4 more story arcs involved.

#18 Feathermoore

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:39 PM

[quote name='Graka' timestamp='1386788816' post='2270348']
I have actually liked the living story. With each implementation they have been getting better, and I look forward to 2014. With taking more time to do the end of the Scarlet story, I feel they really want to do it with a bang more than a fizzle and use all the knowledge they have learned over the last year. This is the first time a game company has really done anything like this trying to keep its game having a living, changing world. If you honestly thought there be no mistakes or hiccups you are truly delusional. Trying to say you speak for yourself and your opposition is a true sign of hubris for as I said myself I have enjoyed the LS, as have most of my friends.
[/quote]

Many MMOs have had systems in the past that were the same, similar, or even more powerful than the Living Story in GW2. It is not a new concept or even a new implementation. The only thing that makes it different than many of the previous systems is the turn around time on how fast the story moves. Horizons, A Tale in the Desert, EVE, The Secret World, Tabula Rasa, Shadowbane, Ragnarock, and even the original Guild Wars had systems that were either the same or obviously helped to inspire the Living Story.


I personally am ecstatic that the current arc is ending. I have found the story to be mindless and derivative. Hopefully they will actually use the Living Story to move the game forward instead of just being an excuse for random updates. They have a vehicle for actually evolving their story and hopefully they feel comfortable enough after Scarlet to actually use it.

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#19 Arkham Creed

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:15 PM

So for the living story finally we're going to get answers that should have been given at the beginning, and if had been might have made more people actually care. Good job Arena Net 2.0; you continue to pale in comparison to your predecessors.

#20 El Duderino

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:15 PM

[quote name='Graka' timestamp='1386788816' post='2270348']
I have actually liked the living story. With each implementation they have been getting better, and I look forward to 2014. With taking more time to do the end of the Scarlet story, I feel they really want to do it with a bang more than a fizzle and use all the knowledge they have learned over the last year. This is the first time a game company has really done anything like this trying to keep its game having a living, changing world. If you honestly thought there be no mistakes or hiccups you are truly delusional. Trying to say you speak for yourself and your opposition is a true sign of hubris for as I said myself I have enjoyed the LS, as have most of my friends.
[/quote]

I don' think I recall saying that Graka and his friends didn't like the Living Story. I'm happy you have your opinion, Let me ask you; did you collaborate with ANet on the Living Story like they said?

Maybe you should try rereading what I said before making such delusional arguments.