Developer Update - Guild Wars Beyond
War in Kryta Overarc Quests
The first bullet point from the build that I'd like to talk about is the inclusion of new overarching quests. The War in Kryta was an interesting experiment for the Live Team, telling a sweeping story over the course of numerous updates. The community and web teams were also heavily involved, pushing the Shining Blade vs. White Mantle campaign. What we ended up with was an evolving piece of content. Each new build brought anticipation about where the story was going and where the action would take place. For the people that took part in it, I'd like to believe that made for an engaging experience. However, for the people that missed out on it, the viral nature of the content may make it confusing to navigate. The good people who work on our wiki have made a very useful flowchart that shows players how things progress. While that is very cool, I feel like it shouldn't be required reading.
Guild Wars has seen a lot of players returning recently thanks, in no small part, to the inclusion of the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator. I want to make sure that these players aren't missing out on the new content that was added. There's also a large portion of our player base that plays the game, but doesn't use external websites such as the wiki or fan forums. The War in Kryta Overarc quests were added to help guide them to and through the content, getting them up to speed on the new story now being introduced. Some changes have also been made to the flow of the content to make the content quicker for players who are completing the War in Kryta using multiple characters.
Battle for Lion's Arch Difficulty Adjustments
For many people, "The Battle for Lion's Arch" has been a stopping point in the War in Kryta content. Trust me, I've seen the threads on the forums, and I've read the discussion pages on the wiki. In the interest of helping people progress to see the new content, we've toned down this final battle some.
In the future, we will be pursuing options for new content that will allow us to have Hard Mode versions of quests. The idea is that people who wish to can simply play through and enjoy a new story at a reasonable level of difficulty. For the people that are looking for better rewards and a greater challenge, that option will exist for them as well. Both are completely valid ways of playing the game, and they do not have to exist in a manner that is mutually exclusive.
The story of where Keiran has been since the War in Kryta is ready to be told. If you've finished "The Battle for Lion's Arch" and reported his disappearance to Gwen, then it's time to begin your search for signs of the missing Lt. Thackeray. Hint: your first stop is somewhere in Kryta. Finding the appropriate items will allow you to revisit the past through visions in the scrying pool, seeing through his own eyes where Keiran has gone.
It has been a while since we've revisited the Bonus Mission Pack-style of storytelling, but for what I wanted to accomplish with Keiran's story, it made the most sense. His portrayal during the War in Kryta hasn't won him many fans, due to his reliance on the player doing everything for him. I didn't want this to end up being a repeat of Kormir: you do all the work, she takes the credit—or, in this case, you do all the work, he gets the girl. Keiran needed a chance to stand on his own, and prove himself as a character. This is the most visceral way we have of providing that experience, and I hope that players will be able to appreciate the changes that the missions put him through.
Along those lines, this was also a good chance to try something new with our missions, by having intrinsically symbiotic character builds. Keiran has a series of skills with specific effects, but they do additional things if the right conditions are present—conditions that his partner can apply (and vice versa). This is a case of mechanics built to complement storytelling; the two characters work well together, and I want the experience to reflect that. This gives us a chance to play around with some new things, and I hope that players find the end result enjoyable. The best thing to watch out for is the Promise of Death skill—when you use Keiran's Sniper Shot on a foe suffering this hex, it's basically an instant kill. Nailing it is very satisfying.
We finally have the answer to where Keiran has been. However, the greatest question this content will never answer persists: is Keiran actually amazing, or does it just seem that way because you're seeing things through his eyes?