Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chaos Ensues...

It has been a rough week, to say the least.

I just got laid off last Friday from the title company I was railroaded into transferring to (a long sordid tale of buyouts and sellouts). To say  I saw this coming would be a gross understatement, but like anything else that has happened to me, I prescribe to the Maya Angelou philosophy-

"I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it."

Today I am taking a break from the applications, and infinite resume tweaks, to play some much needed Guild Wars 2; just in time for the latest living story update, which reflects the chaos going on inside at this moment. I figured now was as good a time as any to both recap what has been going on in the world of Tyria, as well as kill some time doing something creative. This having been said, perhaps you can indulge me.

For those who have not been keeping up, ArenaNet, creators of Guild Wars 2, decided on a two week cadence for their content updates, in the form of an ever evolving story that literally can change the face of Tyria as it goes on. While this began with a more sluggish pace back in winter past, over the last couple of months it has ramped up considerably with new celebrations such as Dragon Bash, and the Queen (of Kryta)'s Jubilee.

Our man Bel was at the Dragon Bash ceremony with a good friend, Ellen Kiel, when the forces of discord disrupted the shindig by killing one of the members of Lion's Arch city council.

An investigation ensued, and eventually the culprit was brought to justice... but also revealed was a new enemy faction that would come into play over the next few updates... The Aetherblades (aka Sky Pirates).

I might also add that their base in the Gendarran Fields is now a permanent jumping puzzle that is sure to tax your platforming prowess... if not drive you mad in the process.

Naturally, the loss of one council member created a void that needed to be filled. As luck should have it, a curious group of merchants / mystics named the Zephyrites docked their massive air colony (cannot really call it a "ship") to the far reaches of the Deldrimor Front area. During the time that the Zephyrites were anchored, we (the players) were treated to a shopping bazaar the likes of which has not been seen in Tyria before or since.

The heads of Lion's arch decided to use this to their advantage by brokering a trade agreement with the Zephyrites. Two candidates for the council- Ellen Kiel, our old friend; and Evon Gnashblade, CEO of the Black Lion Trading Company (aka the in game cash shop) vied for the vacated council seat by trying to seal the trade deal.

The game playing populace on all servers were asked to support whichever candidate they wished by casting as many ballots as possible (democracy runs a little differently in Tyria). Of course during this period, the Aetherblades made brief appearances to remind us that they are still out to cause mischief, but their attacks were sporadic at best.

In the end, Ellen Kiel won out. With her victory will come a new mini dungeon in the famous Fractals Of The Mist, as well as lower teleportation portal prices for a brief period, and a couple of other various perks.

With the issue in Lion's Arch settled, and the Zephyrites pleased with the outcome, we left Lion's Arch to continue business as usual, as the Zephyrites undocked their air colony, and flew off to parts unknown.


Enter Divinity's Reach... last human city on Tyria, ruled by the benevolent Queen Jennah. This year (ingame) marks the tenth year of her reign as queen, and to celebrate, she had commissioned the building of a new sector to the city to replace the huge sinkhole that had been dubbed "The Great Collapse". What she had built was a pavilion to be used for gladiatorial matches, a place to test your mettle against Tyria's best, or at least most infamous foes. It is said to be a monument  to humanity's resolve, and their will to survive.

It is magnificent, to say the least.

Anastasia Merrimox (my thief alt) made it to the opening day ceremony, where Queen Jennah unveiled the new clockwork guardians for the district- the Watchknights. You know when you just have that "feeling" that this can end in no good way? Let's just say I hate it when I am right.

A mysterious sylvari figure known only as Scarlet, disrupted the ceremony with what appeared to be asuran based technology- portalling in her vaunted Aetherblades, her minions apparently.

We were able to dispatch them with relative ease, but Scarlet however always seemed to be one step away, and lived to fight another day. Aside from the Aetherblades attempting to stop emissaries from all over Tyria from attending the celebration, the two weeks of the Queen's Jubilee passed largely without incident after that.

And now we come to this week, and the closing ceremony for the Queen's Jubilee. With security forces of both Countess Anise (of the Shining Blade; the Queen's guard), and Logan Thackeray's Seraph Guards on edge, the expected happened. During the ceremony, Scarlet made her presence known and felt by placing bombs around the district, attacking in an unexpected way- by reprogramming the Watchknight robots into grotesque killing machines capable of reconfiguring and splitting into smaller entities.

She also attempted to abscond with the Queen but was stymied by the surprisingly heroic efforts of one Lord Faren (who should be familiar to human players of noble blood). Faren's fate remains unclear, though the Queen was spared any tragic demise.

Scarlet has declared all out war on Tyria, attacking many zones at random with her portal technology, and it appears she has the following of the steam creatures from Lornar's Pass, the Molten Alliance which months ago assaulted both norn and charr lands, as well as her Aetherblades. It has been discovered by an asura named Vorpp that she is also trained by all three asura schools of magical technology, and utilizes all those skills she has learned to give her army an advantage in both surprise and their ability to reinforce.

In short... it is absolute chaos right now in Tyria! For new players, there is no better time to jump in and level up swiftly, and for us veteran players, rewards abound in spades! What happens next is anyone's guess, but I am sure it is about to get turned to 11.

Perhaps it is a good time for me to be temporarily unemployed... at least now I can catch up on the Guild Wars 2 I have not really had the time to play lately. Though I have to admit... the only thing that would make me feel better, is if I could play this game for a living, and be paid by ArenaNet.

Hey, a man can dream............. right?