Flameseeker Chronicles: What lies ahead

Pre-Searing
To say last week was exciting for Guild Wars 2 fans is a bit of an understatement. Mike O'Brien gave the community the news it's been dying to hear, Ree Soesbee told us all about the Jotun (no, seriously, I hate those guys and their stupid KDs), and... well, some other things happened too.

We've got lots to talk about, so hit the jump and let's dive right in.

Launch this year confirmed

Mike O'Brien was my favorite person last week thanks to all of his beta information and confirmation of launch this year. You've heard of shooting the messenger? I wanted to give cookies and gifts to the messenger this time! I'm incredibly excited that the wait is coming to an end -- I want to get my hands on this game very badly.

It's always fascinating to me to see where the community goes with information after exciting news like this because I immediately start speculating myself. "Later this year! Does he mean in the next six months? Maybe even in May? What if it's not until September? Oh no!" I jump straight to analyzing each syllable and pondering the beta information we have, weighing it against other games slotted for a 2012 launch and sending my brain into overdrive as I try to come up with a narrower window.

It's an exercise in fun and frustration, one that most hardcore fans find it very hard to resist. It feels like we've been waiting forever and now that we have confirmation that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, so we can relax, right? Of course not -- we're more eager than ever, but it's thrilling to know that we're so close.

That's not all, though; we got more Guild Wars 2 goodness this week. Read on!

Introducing the Jotun

Ree Soesbee can tell such a great story, whether she's writing fiction or just telling us about the history of a race on Tyria. To be quite honest, I never cared about the Jotun in Guild Wars 1. They're big and ugly, and unless I'm packing Pain Inverter and a ton of minions, their knockdowns ticked me off to no end. I didn't want to know what the history was, where they lived, or anything. I just wanted to kill them and move on with my life.

As it turns out, all I needed was a proper introduction. Don't get me wrong; I won't be sitting down at their campfire for some roast Wendigo any time soon (in large part because it sounds like they might poison my food and loot my corpse). I am, however, fascinated to learn what they used to be, what they've become, and why. The fact that Ree delved into even the unseen corners of their culture really brought them to life, and I want to know more. I love these little bits of lore -- they really flesh out the world for me, and I hope to get more before launch. Even more so, I hope to continue learning more about all the inhabitants of Tyria after launch.

What lies ahead

Now we come to the really difficult part of today's column. January 25th was Flameseeker Chronicles' second birthday, and after two full years, I'll be passing the baton. I've received an exciting opportunity and made the decision to accept it, so Sunday, February 5th will be my last day at Massively. (No, I cannot say where quite yet.) Later today we'll be posting an open call-out for the next Guild Wars 2 columnist, so if you're interested, keep your eye on Massively and apply.

This is bittersweet for me. I'm thrilled about what's next but so sad to be leaving here. I'll have a few writing pieces to do over the next week, but this is my last "this is me talking" article for Massively, so I'll indulge a bit: The past two and a half years have been an amazing ride. I made a living doing something I love so very much. If you ever left a comment, sent me an email, offered constructive criticism, chatted with me online, played an MMO with me, or said hello to me at a convention, then you are part of why this was such a joy. Thank you for making my experience here great.

And to the Massively crew: You've taught me to be a better writer, made me laugh so hard I cried, seen me through personal ups and downs (and let me do the same for you), put up with me when I was stressed out and short-tempered, and consistently made my job a place I was happy to be. I love you guys, and I'm going to miss you like crazy. My IM window had better not remain empty, and if you go to a convention without looking me up, I'll come to your house and chalk "TWSS" all over your front door. You know I'll do it, too.

Onward and upward!

Rubi is a longtime Guild Wars player and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column keeps a close eye on all the events in Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Rubi at rubi@massively.com.
This article was originally published on Massively.