The latest patch brings a lot of changes to the Living Story. As always, I have documented those changes to the best of my ability and today I have screenshots and much more to share. There are changes in all four zones, Wayfarer Foothills, Diessa Plateau, Hoelbrak, and the Black Citadel, and the story has spread to Lion's Arch. I have previous outlined changes to the Living Story throughout February here, here, here, and here. Today I will go over the changes in the cities and introduce the events thus far. Tomorrow, in part two, I will look at the action in Wayfarer and Diessa and detailed conclusions.
A quick summary of the events so far would go like this. Disaster has struck Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Steam is escaping through underground fissures and is causing changes in the weather patterns. At the same time there are rumours of Flame Legion and Dredge attacks in the affected areas. Players have been actively participating in these events by plugging fissures and helping the refugees on their journey.
With the latest patch the stakes are upped, rumours are confirmed, and new questions are raised. A blog post by Angel McCoy on GuildWars2.com gives us a sense of where Arena Net is headed with the story in March,
With the February release, we’re further advancing the Flame and Frost storyline in fun ways, but we still consider this to be teaser content. You’ll get to experience saving homesteaders and ranchers in a more direct way, no longer just as volunteers, but becoming actual defenders of the residents of the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau.
These first couple months of teaser content have allowed us to ramp up to make the long-term Living Story an even fuller and more satisfying experience for you all. As designers have come off other projects and joined us, we've increased the amount of content we’ll be delivering, starting at the end of March.
March sounds like it will be another slow month with the main bulk of the content coming in the next patch and beyond. The amount of content released on Tuesday is nothing to laugh at as it easily exceeds everything released in February put together. If we can come to expect this much content in the Living Story on a weekly basis then I really think Arena Net is on to something. The Living Story really will become like a TV show that you can tune into each week. Enough generalities. Lets talk specifics.
You've got mail
Each race received a different letter introducing the new content. I thought it was neat that they added this touch. Luckily I have a character of each race and was able to get each letter. Here they all are for those that are interested.
An individual who claims some preposterous connection with a former colleague of mine recently contacted me, and while his claims concerning that connection are dismissible he does bring up a good point. Refugees have been streaming into the Black Citadel, Lion's Arch, and Hoelbrak from the northwestern quadrant of the Diessa Plateau and the northeastern quadrant of the Wayfarer Foothills. I don't know what's going on there - and I'm too busy to investigate personally - so, it will have to be you. Go look into it at your earliest convenience. Don't bother reporting back. I trust you to handle the matter with efficiency and style.
Good luck, and watch your ears out there.
I've got a job for you. My friends (most days) Rytlock and Eir have requested help. I can't go myself - Nightmare Court trouble - so I'm sending you instead. If you will go, of coarse. Here's all I know - some nasty situation in the Shiverpeaks is killing norn and charr on either side of the mountains. It's gotten ugly, and the survivors have started migrating to Hoelbrak and the Black Citadel to get away from... whatever it is. Take your pick. Go to either the Wayfarer Foothills or to Diessa Plateau, and see if you can assist the fleeing norn and charr. Watch out for their injured pride, though. It's likely to be the sharpest thing you encounter. I'll see you soon.
Next, a letter from Rytlock Brimstone for Charr players,
Your characters name -
Interrupt your current orders. Recent events in the Black Citadel require your attention. Refugees from northwestern Diessa Plateau have been flooding into the city, and it sounds like the same thing's happening over in Hoelbrak. I'm even hearing reports that they're seeing refugees as far west as Lion's Arch. Get there as soon as you can. WE need all bodies responding to this. I've got refugee troubles up to my eyeballs, so you'll be my soldier in the field on this one. Just do the best you can to help them.
You're needed in Hoelbrak. An upsurge of dredge has forced steadholders out of their homes, and they're arriving broken and battered. Knut and I are doing all we can to heal the wounded and to arrange food and shelter, but it takes time. I need someone who can go up into the Wayfarer Foothills, towards Dolyak Pass, and help anyone left behind or still fighting. We're not getting accurate reports from the area, so I'm not sure what's happening up there.
Rytlock sent notice that he's experiencing the same thing in the Black Citadel. Charr refugees are fleeing to the city as their home are being destroyed and their friends and family massacred. Much like here. I hope he's handling it better than we are here. Organization has never been one of our more epic qualities.
Dear your characters name,
I reach out to you with the utmost urgency. It has been brought to my attention by two other members of Destiny's Edge that they're experiencing some trouble in Hoelbreak and the Black Citadel. Something, or someone, is burning both norn and charr out of their homes and forcing them to seek shelter and security in the cities. This is unprecedented, and I'm concerned. As a favor to my friends, I'm asking you to travel to one or both of these cities and see if you can offer any assistance. If this is as bad as they say, it may eventually threaten Krytan citizens as well. You're the perfect choice to deal with this. I'd help, but I have the queen's business to attend to.
All of these letters essentially give the exact same information. What is nice is that it highlights some of the interplay between the members of Destiny's Edge that we see in the dungeons and personal stories. It was something that Arena Net could have easily gotten away without doing and most likely most players will not even notice this. I thought it was neat enough to point out and share. Also, let the Logan jokes begin...
The source of most of the news in Hoelbrak is the refugee coordinator found at the entrance to the refugee camp between wolf and bear lodges. The refugee coordinator's dialog has not changed since Monday but it makes a lot more sense in the context of the rest of the changes that came on Tuesday with the patch. Here is what she currently has to say,
On Monday, there was no evidence of refugees in Lion's Arch and the generous benefactor was a mysterious character. Both issues have been cleared up as I will discuss below in the Lion's Arch section. This coordinator also confirms the the rumours of Flame Legion and Dredge involvement in the recent disaster. For the first time players can confirm this for themselves. I will have more details on that in the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau sections tomorrow.
There is a new NPC in the Hoelbrak refugee camp, another blacksmith. Here is his dialog.
He also confirms that the Dredge and Flame Legion are working together. The only other thing that has changed in Hoelbrak is the dialog of the Heralds that you can find near the Asura gate to Lion's Arch and the exit to Wayfarer Foothills. There isn't much here but I have the dialog below for completeness sake.
I am still disappointed that none of the Whitebear's (Knut, Sigfast, Skarti) have anything to say on the event. They are the leaders of the Norn people and the Wolfborn so they must be involved. This is a small detail though.
The story in the Black Citadel is similar to the one in Hoelbrak. The Herald has new dialog.
As before he directs us to the main refugee camp near Memorial Waypoint in the northern end of the Black Citadel. He also gives an overview of the problem in Diessa Plateau and Wayfarer Foothills. Heading over to the camp we find that the coordinator's dialog has changed as well. Here is what he has to say,
Again we get news that the refugees are beginning to move to Lion's Arch. That is where I will be heading next. There is a lot to learn there. Exploring the Black Citadel further and talking with Rytlock reveals he still has nothing to say on the matter despite being a leader of the Charr I suppose the interaction we receive with him is through his letter to the Charr characters. Finally there is a new NPC, a refugee cub, who has interesting details about her attackers,
Ah, so the Flame Legion are using the Dredge weapons. I wonder why? Aren't their own spells and magic enough? I do not get that. I will have to keep it in mind though.
Lion's Arch appears to be the new hub of activity for the refugees. We can start off by talking to the herald near the Asura Gates or north of the bank, although they will just direct you to Wayfarer and Diessa.
Next, if you look to your map you will see a star near Farshore Waypoint in the southeast section of the zone. This indicates the location of the refugee camp in Lion's Arch. If you head here there is a lot to learn.
One of the first characters you will encounter is this Lionguard who seems to be acting as the camp coordinator. Talk to him to get an overview of the camp.
Seems our friends from the consortium are back. They are the mysterious benefactors we learned about on Monday. We first met them during the Karka Island events in November. I was wondering if that story line would some how connect into this and its seems it may. Talking with the various consortium agents you can learn a lot. Administrator Elpida Callis is in charge.
She tells us of a plan to help relocate the refugees here in Lion's Arch and to Southsun Cove. Something seems fishy here. Like read the line where she says, "we Consortium, <sarcasm>out of the kindness of our hearts</sarcasm>, have put together..." Did you hear the same sarcasm I did when reading that? A guildmate of mine even went so far as to suggest that the Consortium hired the Flame Legion and Dredge to attack the Norn and Charr in the first place. I am not so sure yet. This administrator seems like a smooth operator. Wouldn't put anything past her. She also speaks of some objects lost by the refugees on their journey here. To find them we will have to head to Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau (more on this tomorrow). Before that though there are a couple other consortium employees we can talk with.
How rude. This one seems shady. I will have my eyes on him. Maybe this other representative will know more.
Not really. The fact that the Consortium seems to take every advantage to brag about their accomplishments seems to suggest some other motive. Maybe they are just braggarts. Looking around the camp there is a group of grawl. It seems they have been effected by the disaster as well. No one ever thought about them.
Their leader has a lot to say. Seems like a new controversy is growing.
The Grawl seem to be the refugees of the refugee camp. Are we seeing some discrimination here? I wish I had checked this area out more before now to see if the Grawl actually were there first. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out. Perhaps something will grow out of this conflict. Or maybe Arena Net is just setting us up to have a soft spot for the Grawl.
Next there are two refugees that need the players help. You can talk with them to get their individual stories.
Seems this young charr has lost her toy wooden soldier. While exploring Diessa Plateau be sure to keep an eye out for this. There is also a Norn you can speak with.
And, typically, this norn is nothing without his favourite beer goblet. He has dropped it somewhere in Wayfarer Foothills. I will have more about both these stories in tomorrows article.
I am going to avoid drawing too many conclusions until I finish this article tomorrow with a look at Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. In general though, I am feeling upbeat again about the Living Story. There is a lot of new content to explore and with the ramp up coming next month I think this will become a great part of the game.
Which of the story lines presented in the cities so far most interests you? Do you think the consortium has any malicious intent? or is it really all generosity? Will the anything become of the grawl's exclusion? Will the norn Kirk ever be reunited with his lost ale goblet? I will keep discussing these topics tomorrow. Let me know what you think of the Living Story so far in the comments. See you tomorrow for part two.