Guild Wars 2 Episode 5 Impressions: ‘Power’ Brings Fun
After a nice break with Wintersday, I’m ready to resume the next chapter of Guild Wars 2 Icebrood Saga. I still look forward to story updates, but lately I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I expected. The first chapter of Episode 5 was a “staging” episode, which can be interesting, but often isn’t very exciting. When it was first announced, this chapter would have four dragon response missions instead of three; I was a little worried that this chapter would be one mission leading to the next without any story that ties them together. Fortunately, the time I spent with the preview for this chapter showed me that my concerns were out of place.
Chapter 2: Power kicks off with a cry for help from Kas, who is in Ebonhawke and is overrun by destroyers. Of course, we’re heading there to help them, but so does Crecia, who is raising issues with the humans there. After all, she is an Empress, and the first to set foot in the city since the signing of the treaty. Nonetheless, we do it pretty quickly and head to Thunderhead Peaks.
I hadn’t been back to Thunderhead Peaks since I finished the story so coming back now was a bit of a treat. This is also where we meet the Dwarves of Deldrimor and learn a bit more about how they fight destroyers and how we can help each other. There is also a fascinating dialogue with Braham and another notable character, who we haven’t seen in a while. It was refreshing to see Braham not arguing this time around, and I think some of their conversations have substantial clues to the future story. However, don’t be like me and blindly follow them through the dungeon. Otherwise, you will find that you will have to go back a bit to move the mission forward.
After the Thunderhead Peaks mission, we take a little break from DRM and visit Tiami in Rata Sum for an update. Of course, Ryland is there for the same reason, although he doesn’t really speak to the Commander. This is a small snippet of the story, which may seem unimportant, but the information revealed at this meeting seems to affect everything that happens next. However, I was a little annoyed going to Rata Sum only to turn around and immediately return to the Eye of the North. It’s always better than this story that takes place all over the coms and DRM. Having a little break was a nice change.
I don’t want to go down too much of the story as there are some big spoilers here. What I want to focus on are the new DRMs that we have. Overall, these felt a lot more focused and cohesive than the previous three. I can’t put my number there specifically yet, because the way they progress is basically the same format as the previous ones. Maybe I just got used to how they work, but I had a lot more fun with these than in any of the previous three.
In addition, ArenaNet has improved its game a bit with the final bosses for each new DRM. Each of them was interesting and offered a little different challenge than I expected. I’m reasonably sure I’ve never fought something like the boss at the end of Thunderhead Peaks before. It is a kind of rock salamander that breathes fire. The bosses of previous DRMs felt like you really needed to crush them until you won; these all have mechanics to pay attention to that somewhat remix the expectations of boss mechanics.
Of course, since this is another chapter episode and not a full episode, the story is always shorter. However, the pace and the way it all unfolds felt a lot more like an episode story. Also, with the events of Global Faction going on, I hope this update allows me to play and have fun a lot more regularly.