I couldn’t wait to write about this. I was quite literally at an airport writing this after playing a few hours of the patch the day before. I have to say, this is the best Living Story update so far. This is for many reasons: story, exploration, nostalgia but we’ll get into all of that in a bit. I first want to state that I think the break ArenaNet took was well worth it. The first 4 episodes I think were “test” episodes in a way to find a good way to tell the story, unveil new zones and so on. After all, those were the first episode-like content for Living Story. ArenaNet definitely hit the nail on the head with Echoes of The Past patch.
Let’s start with the explorable content. There is a new zone call The Silverwastes. The Silverwastes has a similar look and feel like Dry Top but rather than have map wide tiers to obtain cheaper items (like in Dry Top), there’s a static price for items and a cumulative pre event setup for the main events, kind of like the Karka Queen event chain if you’ve ever done it. I prefer this setup because all events in Silverwastes gives you something on completion. Great content for farmers. Also the achievements are pretty much similar to past episodes but there’s nothing wrong there. In fact it’s better in this map because I actually feel like completing the achievements.
Now for story. I’m not sure how players that have not played GW1 felt but for me and for many others I know (that have played GW1) the story was amazing to play through. I think even non-GW1 players feel that the patch is quite good. The reason that I bring up GW1 is because of nostalgia. In the trailer for this patch we saw Ogden and a crystalline area which as I stated in my last GW2 post, reminded me of Glint and her lair. The trailer made it seemed like we would go through Glint’s lair once again which we do. I have to say, I got a bit teary eyed when I first got into the lair and heard that GW1 Crystal Desert music. Some other neat points of GW1 nostalgia were from reading the books in the Durmond Priory. There are even books for GW2 related lore. Which led to me side tracking a bit to read some of the books. I would have been very happy to just read everything for an hour but my friend who was with me at the time wanted me to continue the story. I had priority over the instance so I was able to get some reading in before we moved on.
I have to say the patch gets a 10/10 from me. The one and only thing I feel you could complain about is the one waypoint in Silverscrapes which is located at the far right side of the map. Makes it hard to navigate and might have to “graveyard run” if no one is around to revive you. There will definitely be an extension to the Silverwastes map. Story is solid and there are more mysteries. Not just in game mysteries either. I have this weird feeling going through the end of the episode that we’re going to finally get that expansion-like content we’ve been asking for the last 2 years. Of course it will probably come after the end of this season of Living Story. I really looking forward to the next patch!