Guild Wars 2’s best boss battle returns next week after a 7-year hiatus
At the start of Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet tested a series of updates that in many ways predicted the craze for live services today. The first season of what she called “The Living World” featured a series of episodes that temporarily altered the maps established in the service of the current plot. In the dramatic season finale, the main city center of Lion’s Arch was transformed into a battle zone that players had to fight to save the city later being completely redesigned after its destruction.
However, it turned out that gamers generally didn’t appreciate having only two weeks to experience every part of the story going on – a lesson on the downsides of FOMO with which many game developers as a service. count today. For seasons to come, the structure of the Living World has been changed so that each episode is a permanent addition, usually taking place on a brand new map.
So while new players can revisit almost all of Guild Wars 2 history, the first season remains lost in time, experienced only through NPCs dedicated to explaining what happened, and through some Fractals missions and , more recently, Visions of the Past. Next week, however, ArenaNet brings back one of the best encounters of this first season: The Twisted Puppet, back more than seven years after its release and early departure.
Originally part of the release of The Origins of Madness in 2014, the twisted puppet was arguably the blueprint for the next seven years of Guild Wars 2 design. While the game still featured world bosses – huge ones. fights that encouraged the entire population of the map to work together to take out a big bastard – the puppet required an extra degree of cooperation, as the server organized itself into separate lanes to complete the objectives in tandem. This design philosophy would be advanced in the first expansion for Guild Wars 2, which was almost entirely focused on map-scale meta-events, and remains a mainstay in more recent releases.
At the time of its release, I called the Twisted Puppet one of the ArenaNet’s best encounters, and I’m fascinated to go back and see how it holds up. I think it will be very different now, in part because a lot of the infrastructure in Guild Wars 2 has been redone. Back then, the cards were tied to the server you were on, which gave the encounter a sense of community and camaraderie. It took our server several tries to get used to it, but the excitement grew each time we got closer to the end.
Now, Guild Wars 2 has largely done away with the concept of servers – they’re actually only used for World vs. World multiplayer, and even that will change soon. Additionally, the specializations added with both expansions of the game have resulted in an increase in player power, which means that many meta-events seem more automatic than they perhaps once were in the past.
Elsewhere in the game, ArenaNet prepares players for the upcoming End of Dragons expansion with a series of retrospective releases encouraging them to revisit previous episodes of Living World. Each week, new achievements direct players to older maps, with powerful rewards available for completing them all. For some, the highlight of the overall meta-achievement is the opportunity to score a guaranteed precursor for one of End of Dragons’ new legendary weapons. Personally, however, I’m more invested in the luck of having a 32 slot inventory bag.
More generally, ArenaNet is currently in an interesting position. A studio update released earlier this month promised more open communication with the studio, as well as the return of key figures to the development team, including former game director Colin Johanson. Along with this article, the studio revealed that they are working on an update to DirectX 11 that is slated to roll out in an activation beta later this year, which will hopefully finally fix poor CPU performance. multithreaded of the game.