By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Tyrian Explorer
If you’ve been playing part 2 of the latest living story in Guild Wars 2 which takes place on Southsun Cove you may have noticed the plot seems a bit, disjointed. In part one we were trying to find what, or who was behind the strange behavior the wildlife of Southsun Cove was displaying. The random attacks on workers and basically anyone on the island. Then, part two starts, we not only know who is behind it all, we know where he is and we’ve been sent after him. So how did we make this jump from investigation to all but catching the guy?
As it turns out there were a few short stories released that I completely missed! And from the sounds of it on the forums I’m not alone in this. Now sure, someone who is just your average player, someone who doesn’t visit the site often or follow the game on social media it can kind of be excused that you missed it. But I write about the game! I follow GW2 on Facebook and Twitter as well as visiting the site at least once a week. Either way, I managed to miss it. My fault really and I don’t blame ArenaNet for it one bit.
But I have to wonder, why have they opted for the less in your face approach to story telling in game? In my mind short stories posted to the site are a great way to tell a part of the story that didn’t make it. Like say if Eir and Braham made up somehow. They should be a supplement to the story, not the most important part.
In one particular thread I read on the GW2 forums it was pointed out that talking to NPCs gave you a sense of what was going on, or at least gave you parts of the puzzle. And while this is a fantastic way to form a story the actual story itself is better lived out by the character.
Would it not be better if we found Canach’s bloody footprint somewhere, or even caught him in the act? I know, understand, and accept that in MMOs you are less the hero of the story and more the soldier in a vast army at war. Already though there are parts where this isn’t the case. Look at personal stories for example. We can all be the Slayer of Issormir/Snaff Savant/Hero of Shaemoor…and so on. So we find ways around it. We make it unique to our character as best we can while still highlighting the achievement we’ve made.
I do agree that it is a better told story because it was written out instead of played out in game which comes with all sorts of restrictions. But, forgive me for this, if you wanted to tell a story without the challenges of sticking it into an MMO perhaps you should be a novelist.
But, in the end this isn’t something unique to Guild Wars 2. It happens in MMOs all the time, including the seemingly unbreakable World of Warcraft. And most importantly I cannot wait to get out there, kick some Karka ass, and see what the next Living Story has to offer.