The third chapter of GW2 Living World Season 4 will be released tonight (26th June)! The previous chapter, A Bug in the System was released back in February, so I’m sure we are all ready to continue the journey… I know I am! You can watch the “Long Live the Lich” release trailer here!
The next chapter of Living World was announced last night! This will be the second chapter for Living World Season 4 and will be released on Tuesday 6th March. If you haven’t seen the “A Bug in the System” release trailer, check it out here! It looks like Braham and Rox are going to feature heavily in this chapter, and it looks like it could be an eerie one.
The first episode for Living World Season 4 was brought to Guild Wars 2 on Tuesday. I didn’t manage to play this on release due to work commitments, but I managed to finish the story this weekend and now I feel like I’m ready to talk about it.
As with the LWS3 episodes, Daybreak came with a new explorable map, Domain of Istan. This area can be found on the very south of the map:
I’ve not fully completed this area yet, but I like it’s layout and environment. There is quite a lot of water with pirates to the north, but my favourite has to be the Arbitrary – it’s beautiful.
There’s also a new mastery “Volatile Magic Resonance” which can be found under the Crystal Champion Path of Fire Mastery line. This costs two mastery points, and on completion allows you to collect Volatile Magic throughout the Domain of Istan (similar to Unbound Magic in Bloodstone Fen). Volatile Magic is the map’s specified currency.
Moving onto the story: I did enjoy the story for the opening episode, and I’m looking forward to what happens next. My only issue is that the story instances play as though I should be partied in a group with other players as the fights are far too overwhelming for one player. It’s not that they’re difficult as such, there are just way too many things to avoid or you become stun locked and die. The story characters do contribute to the fights, but they do not take aggro of the enemies leaving you to take damage from everything. If for any reason you have to retreat, all the enemies will chase you, and your “allies” will also run after you without attacking the enemies as you yourself aren’t damaging them.
Besides that, I loved the progression and variation between open world and story instances similar to the style of Path of Fire and to me this story felt longer than the episodes in LWS3 were. I won’t spoil any of the story, but it was easy to follow and an interesting start to the journey ahead. I’m definitely looking forward to episode 2 and to where we will end up next.
The weekend was the Demo weekend for the upcoming release of the next Guild Wars 2 expansion, Path of Fire. From the 11th August to 13th August, players could opt into creating a new Demo character in order to play and explore the new features in the Crystal Desert. Anyone who has a Guild Wars 2 account could participate so this was a great opportunity to see what’s to come in the next instalment to the game.
Unfortunately, since I work weekends, I didn’t get round to playing as much of this as I would have like to, however, I didn’t want to play it to death as the progress you make during the demo is not saved to your account (hence making the demo character). At least it’ll be more exciting for me when it’s actually released!
This demo weekend did not include the trial of the new Elite Specialisations, I’ve heard that will be next weekend.
After the story instance (which I only played part of) you spawn in the Crystal Oasis. This is the first new area of five that Path of Fire will bring to Tyria. The demo did not let you explore the entire map, so there will be at least a third more of the Crystal Oasis to explore on release.
The other four areas should be located within the red box (my prediction) due to some noticeable markings on the map. In the release video, there were shots of snowy terrain so I think there will be a new area north of Crystal Oasis.
The demo allowed you the use of the Raptor mount. A button to the right of your Elite skill will allow you to access your mount at any time while out of combat. A drop down menu will appear like with your other skills allowing you to select which mount you want to equip, but for now we can only use the Raptor.
I found the setting of (starting movement) animation really awkward on the Raptor as it sways to the side slightly before moving forwards. I can imagine this will be annoying when trying to slowly move a bit closer to a ledge as it seems to want to go in a different direction to start with. You cannot side strafe while on your mount and jumping consumes a small amount of endurance. It also doesn’t jump as high as you might think but there are other mounts for height purposes anyway. They can also withstand a decent amount of fall damage.
The Path of Fire Mastery system will continue with the ideas from the Heart of Thorns Mastery trees. The first tree for the Crystal Desert Mastery is for the Raptor mount with four sections. I believe each mount will have it’s own mastery tree and probably a few extra trees will be added also (since HoT had so many Mastery trees to complete).
The Mastery points are purple for the Crystal Desert and earning them is different to just communing with them like the previous ones. I’m not sure if they will all be like this, but the one I came across involved me completing a memory game with 3 rounds before awarding me with the Mastery Insight.
Other features will include new mount races, bounties, world bosses and map events as well as other content such as crafting materials, currency and the introduction to Unidentified Gear (which can be identified by Heart Merchants or salvaged for materials). I imagine there will be plenty of new armour sets and weapons available to buy/earn/craft and there are also new character customisation options.
The human customisation features are already in game and can be used with the style and makeover kits as well as in the create character section. Most of the options can be seen below for the human female (there’s more than one page). I’m unsure whether the other races will be getting any new customisation options, but I sure do hope so!
I’m really looking forward to the release of Path of Fire and seeing what more is to come in the Crystal Desert as well as continuing the story. If you played the demo this weekend then let me know your thoughts, and please let me know if I’ve missed anything!
ArenaNet have officially announced the release of the next episode of Living World Season 3 on May 2nd! I have been waiting for this for weeks as it will have been 12 weeks between the release of episode 4 “Head of the Snake” and episode 5 “Flashpoint”.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for Flashpoint, you can see it here:
Living World Season 3 started July 26th 2016 with the first episode “Out of Shadows”. All these episodes have been free for everyone who logs into Guild Wars 2 anytime during the period where that episode has been the most recent release. Unfortunately if you’ve missed an episode I’m not sure if you’ll be able to get it before they put it up in the gem store for purchase like they did with Living World Season 2.
These episodes have each been released with a new area for you to explore. Some of these areas provide great event chains, bosses and farming runs such as the favoured leather farm in Lake Doric (which was released with episode 4). I’m not sure if you can play episodes if you don’t own the one before, but you have to own Heart of Thorns to be able to play them even though you can receive the episodes for free without the HoT expansion.
As you can see by my terribly edited map (it was too big to screenshot in one take), I have numbered the areas that were released with each episode, showing where they are.
- Bloodstone Fen – Released with Episode 1 “Out of Shadows” (July 26th 2016 – Sept 18th 2016).
- Ember Bay – Released with Episode 2 “Rising Flames” (Sept 19th 2016 – Nov 20th 2016).
- Bitterfrost Frontier – Released with Episode 3 “A Crack in the Ice” (Nov 21st 2016 – Feb 7th 2017).
- Lake Doric – Released with Episode 4 “Head of the Snake” (Feb 8th 2017 – May 1st 2017).
These areas all count towards the HoT mastery system, so all experience in these areas will add towards those Heart of Maguuma mastery levels. Mastery insights and achievements awarding mastery points are also in these areas as well as new perks being released with every episode that can be found in the Ancient Magics mastery path.
I’m really looking forward to playing this episode as I’ve been waiting for what seems like ages! Originally ArenaNet said they were going to release and episode every 6 – 8 weeks, but like I said, this will have been 12… That’s way too long considering I completed the episode 4 story the day after it was released.
I won’t give any spoilers in case some of you haven’t played them yet, but I’m liking the story so far and I’m interested in seeing where the new area will be and what it will be like.
At the end of the trailer it states there will be 2 more episodes to come, so enjoy them while they last as it will soon all be over… Although obviously you can play them again. And don’t forget about the current events that are still being updated, the most recent being the Feb 22nd update where you can complete a story mission to unlock an ascended Caladbolg weapon (Greatsword, Sword Dagger, Scepter and Shield). You can unlock all 5 by purchasing them with unbound magic too after you’ve completed the side story (this story can only be played after completing the HoT story).
That’s all for now, hope you all enjoy the episode and the content when it’s released on May 2nd. Have fun!