3 Thoughts About Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 4 Episode 1 Daybreak
Only a month or so after the release of the second expansion Path of Fire, Guild Wars 2 are back at it again with the new content. The Living World series are a continuation of the game’s main story. Each season offers brand new locations, currency, and rewards that spans the release cycle of the episodes. This time around, Season 4 comes much sooner after the expansion. ArenaNet have two dedicated teams, one for expansions and the other for the Living World. That results in players getting new content much faster, which is great.
“Daybreak” is the first episode of the new Living World Season 4. Continuing right after the epilogue of Path of Fire, the Commander (you) and the supporting cast are investigating what’s going on in the aftermath of events from the expansion. Here are 3 quick thoughts after having completed the episode in under 6 hours total.
#1 Satisfying Story With Throwbacks To Guild Wars
I really like how the story just fleshes out everything that’s happening since Path of Fire. It gives more weight to the events of the climax in the last expansion, and sets off an urgency for the season ahead. Staple characters from the past also come back in this episode, and will have important roles to play. What I felt ArenaNet deserves credit for is the fan service for every little tidbit that throwback to Elona in the original Guild Wars. I’m not going to spoil anything in this article, so I’ll just say there are references to Sunspear events and characters that will make you smile if you’ve played Nightfall.
The entire story in this episode plays out in about six chapters that are decently paced. The Domain of Istan as a new map integrates with the story very well, as do the landscape and map events that happen organically. As usual with Guild Wars 2, everything happens for a reason and that’s my incentive for getting invested in the story.
#2 Tasks Are Beginning To Feel Like Busy Work
One area I feel that’s deteriorating in the current game are heart tasks. The Heart of Thorns expansion way back in 2015 did something bold – these tasks were removed entirely from the landscape. At the time, you can understand the rage from the playerbase. These tasks are GW2’s version of quest objectives that’s not directly related to the story, and as a result offers a traditional quest hub crawl from area to area. It becomes sort of a guideline for map progression too. Unfortunately in recent times, it seems that it now serves as a repeatable chore that serves no purpose at all. It’s great that tasks are back, but making them repeatable and must be completed in order to use the Karma vendor just seem so petty.
#3 New Group Content Is A Great Sign
Daybreak also offers something for end-game players, with a new raid and fractals. This is a positive for the game, in addition to a new legendary weapon (Focus) that gives players something to work towards this season. What I really want to see is some love shown to dungeons as well. These smaller group romps have a lot of story in them, and will be a great way to further explore the lore in the region. I cannot understand why ArenaNet are not leveraging dungeons as another means to offer players more group content to do, to keep players active in the new zones. I though Path of Fire would have been a great expansion to introduce a host of new Crystal Desert dungeons, but it didn’t happen. So hopefully we’ll get to see them in upcoming episodes.