I’m pretty weary of writing about Guild Wars 2 so this is going to be a short post. Mostly it’s just to note that I did finish the new Episode 5, All or Nothing last night. I don’t say what happens here, but there is one big hint below (from ArenaNet) which is plenty to work out what happens, so beware.
I hadn’t logged into Guild Wars 2 a single time since I finished episode 4. I started this one on January 9th. Sometimes I didn’t play more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
Being enamored with RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress, I didn’t really feel like playing Guild Wars 2, as you might guess from the fact that it took me 11 days to finish precisely 2 hours and 50 minutes of content, but I felt I *had* to play it, because if you don’t play new content *immediately,* someone will spoil it for you, even if they don’t mean to. I don’t know why anyone bothers to post day-one reviews of content or even previews anymore because who is going to be foolish enough to read them? It’s a pretty awful feeling to feel forced to play a game, and doesn’t really lend itself to enjoying the experience.
Obviously I didn’t play it fast enough, so spoilers were everywhere, even when people didn’t exactly say what happened, but hey guess what? We’re all smart enough to figure out what you mean when you drop hints. That’s what “spoiler” means you know. People seem to think a “spoiler” is detailing exactly what happens. But a spoiler is actually any kind of hint. People seem to get some sort of self-satisfied pleasure out of trying to think of a way to give a hint that indicates *they* know what happened, without actually *saying* what happened, thinking they’re being clever and keeping the details hidden while simultaneously revealing all the details. But most people are smarter than that. When you combine a bunch of off-handed remarks and hints together, you can work out the details pretty easily. Stories usually don’t have very many different possible outcomes. ArenaNet themselves in fact tweeted out a massive hint on their feed that made it about 98% likely to guess the end.
Anyway I pretty much knew how it would end, so it was a chore and kind of a bore to play through the episode. The ending had no impact on me whatsoever. It was kind of huge letdown actually. ("*That* was what everyone was talking about?? I forced-marched myself through this content for 11 days for *that*?") I actually thought the previous episode had a lot more emotional impact than this one.
Beyond the final five minutes, which admittedly was new and interesting within the context of GW2, or *would* have been, if you played on day one I guess, the rest of the episode was more of the same. I kind of slept-walked through most of this one. Most of the dialog was like listening to Star Trek techno-babble. Just went in one ear and out the other. “We’ll deal with it by using the [static] [bzzt] [white noise] [insert techno babble here] and then we’ll win!”
I only have one plot comment: I thought killing Elder Dragons was a big no-no now in Guild Wars 2. I thought basically everything that had gone wrong in Guild Wars 2 in the last two expansions was directly linked to our hero killing off Zhaitan and Mordremoth. But in this episode they were super gung-ho for killing off this big purple dragon without a second thought. That was the biggest plot hole that jumped out at me. I imagine there’s some explanation for it somewhere in the minutia of the lore. Possibly during those technobabble dialog sections I tuned out. It doesn’t really matter at this point.
I even zoned out completely during most of the fighting. Just mashed keys and ran around and eventually I won, only downed a couple of times and I think I only had to restart once during the big fight at the end, mainly because the game didn’t tell me where to go next so I had to run around aimlessly for a while. (I took all the optional buffs and whatnot too.)
Oh, one other thing I chuckled about: All the Celtic knotwork on the architecture.
It looked quite a lot like someone has the same little book on knotwork that I have. Of course it’s buried in a box in a closet right now so I can’t find it to take a picture of it. But trust me, those knots look like they were copied from a book. Here’s one I doodled from the book for Inktober a while back.
How do Tyrians know the Celts anyway? Is that significant? Or something we’re supposed to overlook?
So the lesson here is: Make sure you force yourself to play and finish the new content on day one if there is any story to be seen. And people wonder why MMO players “rush” through new content. We have no choice, if we want to see the story as it’s intended. The studio itself will spoil the story in a week. Square Enix does it with Final Fantasy XIV, too.