Flameseeker Chronicles: Prepare for crazy Karka in Guild Wars 2

This image has nothing to do with anything, I just like it

I hope you've all been enjoying your time in sunny Southsun Cove. We talked about it last week, so if you're a little lost as to what's going on, I'd suggest reading back a bit.

Wooden Potatoes recently posted an excellent recap of what's changed and happened in Guild Wars 2 from launch to the present day. It's an good reflection, which will hopefully give us a good perspective as we look at where the game might be going.

At almost precisely nine months of launched life, Guild Wars 2 is at something of a defining point. It looks as if the team is going to be moving to a more rapid cadence. That's not a guarantee, but as we're seeing more consistent releases, I'm prepared to get my hopes up a little bit. We're also seeing more sPvP and WvW features coming down the pipe; the last few updates set that in motion, and the preview for today's patch seems to be following up in support of those.

Flameseeker Chronicles Prepare for crazy Karka in Guild Wars 2

Today marks the second living story patch for Guild Wars 2 in May. All we really knew heading into the last patch was that there was tension between the newly relocated settlers who had fled the Molten Alliance and the Consortium members who have kind of been running Southsun Cove. We've got a whole lot of story and lore this time around. After the last patch, we got a dose of story in the form of a story about Kasmeer's first meeting with Inspector Kiel and got some background about the Consortium from ArenaNet's Scott McGough. More recently, we learned about the grim character who will feature prominently in this new patch, Canach.

The Last Stand at Southsun appears to be all about a final showdown between the Consortium and Canach. We'll be teaming up with Kiel to try to stop Canach's crazypants plan to turn the Karka against the Consortium.

The patch includes a story dungeon where we'll face down Canach. We've also got some open world stuff to look forward to if the remaining Secret of Southsun achievements are anything to go by. We know that Canach has some plan involving the Karka that we've got to stop; we've been told that a "massive final onslaught of rampaging wildlife" is on its way. I'm not precisely expecting the same sort of once-off finale as we saw in the Lost Shores weekend, but it'll be interesting to see what happens.

Flameseeker Chronicles Prepare for crazy Karka in Guild Wars 2

Not everything in this patch is going to be focused on the living story. WvW is seeing some improvements in the form of improved World XP gain (you'll now get it for doing a lot more stuff) and rewards (new World ranks now grant you a bonus chest), new WvW abilities, and (drumroll, please) the addition of some Ascended gear to WvW. You'll be able to make use of new Infusions that give WvW bonuses. We're getting some sort of matchup changes that are apparently meant to shake up some of the rather repetitive nature of the current system.

I don't know whether I prefer living story-type updates or expansion-type updates. I guess in a perfect world, we'd have both? I know there are people who aren't sold on this sort of thing, but I am not one of those people.

If this update-every-two-weeks cycle keeps up, it'd do an excellent job of keeping people who are unlike me in terms of long-term interest involved. For example, I could probably go a couple of months with no new content before it occurred to me to wish for some. That's because I've got a very specific set of interests that happens to include leveling roughly a billion alts through a bunch of different ways.

For the people who are not me, though, I imagine that it's better to have a thing to look forward to every month or so than every six months to a year? I imagine that there are plenty of people on both sides of this issue. As anecdotal evidence, it's really adorable that every time the whole living story concept comes up for discussion, there seem to be an even number of voices saying that "there's not enough stuff in each update; I don't feel engaged" and that "wow, I'm not at all engaged because I walked away for like three weeks and now stuff's different and I can't catch up." There are no perfect solutions for everybody, which is why we have such a marvelous array of games available to us.

Flameseeker Chronicles Prepare for crazy Karka in Guild Wars 2

Personally speaking

As is no secret, I'm leaving the Massively family/pantsless yacht party. I didn't talk about it in this column previously because there's really only so much sappiness that I can really handle in myself, but I guess it's time for goodbyes.

This is my last entry in the Flameseeker Chronicles. I understand that the inestimable Richie Procopio (of GuildCast and Massively Stream Team fame) will be taking over for some length of time until we more permanently fill my vacancy. His entries might be in a new-fangled, fancy vidya format, as he's pretty canny with that stuff. After that there will somebody else, and I'm fully certain that that person will be marvelous. I'm looking forward to seeing what he or she has to say in this space.

This has been such a privilege. I've tried a time or two to adequately convey my gratitude to the Massively staffers because they've made this just the most excellent work environment I could've hoped for. I'm also grateful to you as readers. I've so tremendously enjoyed getting to blather at you week after week, both in this column and in its comments section. Thanks for being such a great community of folks to be a part of.

I leave with nothing but love and appreciation for the Massively staff and most of you.

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