Players of the long-running Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, Guild Wars 2, can now jump into the latest installment in their “Living World” series called Rising Flames. Season 3, Episode 2 went live this morning, bringing long-time players versed in the lore of Tyria to a location that will seem all too familiar to them. The newest update to Guild Wars 2 brings players to the Ring of Fire Islands where they investigate the threat of yet another Elder Dragon, this one named Primordus.
For those playing catch-up, Legate Minister Caudecus revealed himself in the previous Living World episode to be the leader of the nefarious “White Mantle.” However, the mursaat called Lazarus threw the organization’s plans into chaos, accusing Caudecus of being a heretic. All the while, Primordus, the aforementioned Elder Dragon, is stirring, giving players an all-too-familiar reminder of the chaos an Elder Dragon can weave into the world.
In a preview playthrough of the new content, MMORPG.com’s Bill Murphy speculated that Rising Flames might just be a “turning point” for Guild Wars 2.
“Rising Flames just may be a turning point for Guild Wars 2 in the post Heart of Thorns Tyria. There’s no mistaking that the expansion was divisive, despite being initially well-received by players, due to how content and its replayability ended up. […]the first episode of Season 3’s Living World was well-received for its new (but small map) and bombshells with the story. Episode 2, Rising Flames, goes one step further by bringing back a content structure people fell in love with in the original game – and it’s a ton of fun.”
Set in Ember Bay, part of the Ring of Fire Islands, players will be able to take advantage of Heart Quests, and many will be happy to note they are fully repeatable daily quests. In my meeting with ArenaNet at PAX West, the team seemed eager to show off the new zone, and it’s quite the looker. The Ring of Fire Islands definitely earn their name, recalling a primordial expanse brimming with explosive energy. And the team hopes it hearkens back to Guild Wars 1, especially with the mursaat and Skritt presence.
Released today in tandem with the Rising Flames update is the new PVP arena, the Eternal Coliseum. In the new map, shown over the weekend during the Guild Wars 2 World Championships, teams will have to balance their typical conquest objectives, as well as secondary ones giving the map more strategic and tactical depth. For instance, the Roman-inspired map has “artifacts of the gods” which are available for capture. These artifacts give buffs and debuffs which can turn the tide of battle. Capturing the Sword of Reaping will automatically defeat any downed player on the opposing team that you strike, as well as provide a 20% damage bonus to your whole team. Conversely, the Shield of Life will give the player that wields it the ability to resurrect a downed teammate. This is in addition to the 5,000 bonus health and 100 toughness the Shield gives the team.
Guild Wars 2‘s release of Rising Flames and the Eternal Coliseum continues the timeline that ArenaNet has tried to adhere to, releasing new content for the Living World every two to three months. Players can start to check out the new content today, and hopefully, for ArenaNet, the infusion of the newest content is a step in the right direction to earning players back who might have stepped away following Heart of Thorns’ release.
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[Featured Image by ArenaNet]