Flameseeker Chronicles: The end of an era for Guild Wars

THIS IMAGE IS NOT A METAPHOR FOR THE STATE OF GUILD WARS
The countdown on Guild Wars 2's official site has ticked away to almost nothing. The Guild Wars 2 community is getting increasingly anxious, and at the same time, the Guild Wars community is getting increasingly sappy. Tapping into both of those sentiments, ArenaNet set up a celebration that started this last weekend and will run until August 30th. The celebration, called Wayfarer's Reverie, gives players a chance to celebrate their time spent in Guild Wars and rewards them, at the end, with a Tormented weapon, which, depending on their Hall of Monuments progress, could give them up to two points.


Blast from the past

There are a lot of landmarks and special locations scattered throughout the Guild Wars campaigns and expansion, meaning visiting all of them would be fairly ridiculous. Instead, the Reverie takes players around to 32 different spots across the map. Some of them are as simple as trotting out to Gwen's garden directly outside the Eye of the North, while others are considerably farther afield. While the rewards from each of the four Wayfarer quests cannot be traded or sold, they can be transferred between different characters on your account, which means that if you don't have a single character that's explored all of the continents, you can still complete the quests and receive your grand reward. I had one particularly enjoyable experience as I traveled to the quest location in the Falls. The Falls is where I fell in love with farming back when Totem Axes were the coolest. Running back in there was jam-packed with cool memories anyway, but at the end of the trip, I was rewarded with a Totem Axe! I heard a couple of stories of other folk getting similarly nostalgic or meaningful drops as they ran through the quest.

Flameseeker Chronicles End of an eraThe quests are entirely straightforward; each step requires only that you visit a specific location that is very clearly marked on your map. There's nothing tricky about the whole business, and that's not the point of it; the point is to revisit places you've loved and take one last spin through all of Tyria as it was. For some people, it isn't the last spin. They'll keep logging in so long as there's a game to log into. But events are running ahead of Guild Wars and on into the future.

The weekend also had multiple event bonuses running concurrently.

Another addition of the event update was a whole passel of new NPCs. In addition to quest-givers and item collectors, main cities have been have been strewn with NPCs with names based on ArenaNet employees. You can run into Rubi Slayer, Grubb, Myke Zadorojny, and many other Tyrian alter-egos. They've all got quite lovely things to say to anyone who wishes to listen.

This good-bye is absolutely a celebration. My friends list and guild roster is busier than I've seen it in months and more. We visited places we haven't seen in ages. One of those places most folk have long since moved on from is Ascalon City, which, while not directly necessary for the quest, saw a lot of action on Saturday. There was a fantastic End of an Era event put on by GW-EN that brought a whole bunch of folks together to remember awesome times we've had. I hope you were able to attend!

"Fear not this night, you will not go astray. Though shadows fall, still the stars find their way. And though the night sky's filled with blackness, fear not! Rise up."


The song of the Pale Tree

This whole to-do is about looking forward. In fitting with that whole idea, a song from Guild Wars 2's soundtrack has been released. Fear Not This Night, with lyrics written by Ree Soesbee, is the song of the Pale Tree to her children. We've heard a precursor of it; the trailer released at Gamescom 2011 has a simpler version of the song.

Flameseeker Chronicles
And other stuff

When information first trickled out about copies of Guild Wars 2 being region-specific, there was some worry about whether or not that would wind up punishing globetrotters. Some information released in the past week suggests that it will not. The region of your copy of Guild Wars 2 only matters for setting up the initial account, so if you've bought a North American copy of the game, you have to register it while in North America. After that, the game can be accessed from anywhere. That was a welcome bit of clarification.

Another bit of clarification that's been made is that guesting will not be accessible at launch. For those unfamiliar, Guild Wars 2's home worlds work in such a way that once you've selected a server to roll on, all characters you make are bound to that server. You cannot create a character here and there, skipping between servers as you like. The solution to the problems such a system creates is guesting, which lets you play on any server on which you've got friends. Players can switch to a new home world by paying a variable fee (it will cost more to transfer to a high-population server than medium-population) and may transfer only once a week.

All of that will be instituted after launch, however. When the game first goes live, transfers between servers will be free and not restricted to once-per-week. There are a few reasons for this. It'll help stabilize populations as players group with friends, find servers that suit their needs, and generally settle into the game. It will also cut down on the amount of customer service tickets from people who misunderstood the concept of home worlds, which is good. We can all hope that by the time populations have settled and transfer fees and guesting go into effect, the concept of home worlds will be more or less cemented.

So! I won't see you here again until the day of official launch. If you're in the headstart, good luck to you! Remember that the servers could potentially open up to three hours early. Excelsior!

Elisabeth Cardy is a longtime Guild Wars player, a personal friend of Rytlock Brimstone, and the writer of Flameseeker Chronicles here at Massively. The column updates on Tuesdays and keeps a close eye on Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and anything bridging the two. Email Elisabeth at elisabeth@massively.com.
This article was originally published on Massively.