One superb trailer and a day of hype later, Guild Wars 2’s All or Nothing shall be stay this afternoon for us to play. The episode makes for the fifth installment this season, and I can affirm that it’s off to a robust, impactful begin! As normal, I had the chance to get my palms on the episode just a little earlier than its launch to see what it may need in retailer for us, and I did slightly operating round of my very own thereafter too. What a tremendous begin to 2019 this content material drop plans to be!
On this version of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll dive proper in with some early impressions for an All or Nothing preview. The dev playthrough targeted on the primary chapter of the most recent episode and ended on some map exploration associated to chapter two. Whereas I do attempt to hold previews comparatively mild, anticipate delicate spoilers all through the preview.
The story thus far
I’ll shortly take you again to the occasions of A Star to Information Us so you’ve gotten your bearings earlier than we leap into the preview. An exhausted Aurene gate-crashes a tense summit of the Elonian factions and, ultimately, all hell breaks unfastened: Archon Iberu is slain by Koss simply earlier than Utumishi mounts an assault on the summit. Aurene ploughs by way of a tear to the Mists after the death-branded shatterer and we have to discover her, and Taimi reads anomalies throughout Jahai that have to be investigated.
It emerges that the Branding can solely go up to now underground, so the commander works with the guild and Koss to make a protected haven out of an previous Sunspear sanctuary, which we identify Solar’s Refuge. Earlier than it may be fortified, Taimi leads a frail Aurene in and the Branded amass an assault. It emerges via remark and analysis that Kralkatorrik is intent on Aurene and can assault wherever she is and that the elder dragon is rising stronger with each passing second he spends within the Mists, so Aurene should face him now if she is to save lots of Tyria and the commander should help her. Aurene has a sequence of visions that each one present her failing and flees the heated debates surrounding what she ought to do subsequent, inflicting panic within the Refuge.
Blish calms the storm and formulates a plan to trace Kralkatorrik by means of the Mists with a fitted system however he wants a strong magical lure to draw him. Cue a hunt for Balthazar’s sword led by the commander! On the Skygardens, researchers level us again to the Jahai Bluffs to hint the sword in what’s a herculean sword trajectory. We should strategy Deadeye, a sniper who has claimed the sword from the researchers who discovered it, which is simpler stated than accomplished when Deadeye is a really gifted priestess named Zafirah who needs to complete Balthazar’s work. The commander ultimately speaks sense to her after an extended battle and she or he agrees to assist and relinquishes the sword.
Subsequent on the listing is charging the blade: Rytlock makes use of his sword to deliver Balthazar’s sword again to energy, and the main target turns again to putting a tracker on Kralkatorrik. Braham apologises and makes amends with the commander earlier than the gang enters the Mists by means of one of the Branded portals. Blish accompanies the commander, leaving Gorrik behind in security. The Mists is chaos: Glint has despatched her military to distract the Branded therein, however the lure of the sword’s magic is an excessive amount of and the Branded swarm to attempt to seize it. As soon as the ambush is obvious, the lure is about, and Glint confirms Kralkatorrik is coming for it.
Cue the saddest story ever: The tracker is broken by the sword because it reacts to Kralkatorrik’s strategy, and Blish decides to sacrifice himself since his golem physique can energy the tracker in place of the damaged energy core. The commander should flee and Glint aids by opening a rift simply in time, however Blish is misplaced. Add to that the intestine punch of the century as Taimi reveals that her situation just isn’t in remission and her well being is deteriorating in a life-limiting approach. She resolves to maintain her priorities targeted on saving Tyria, and Caithe pops up from the shadows to assist us discover Aurene once more.
Now that we’re all on the identical web page, I need to give a strong nod to the trailer for this episode. Frontloading the presence of Ogden Stonehealer on this story arc is constructive, and the purpose of the sport is clearly spelt out for many who haven’t been maintaining with story drops. Do or die is on the coronary heart of the trailer and it undoubtedly leaves you feeling the right mix of hopefulness and worry. I just like the stability achieved right here: It’s spoiler-free and protects the content material with out leaving issues too dry.
Our playthrough commenced with chapter one, and we needed to be a part of Caithe within the Priory to get her entry to much-needed info from Ogden Stonehealer. She has spent her time away from us researching Glint’s legacy and brings potential leads again to the commander, realising that each their fates are tied to Aurene and that legacy. Together with her vibrant previous, Caithe would wrestle to get in on her personal, so we’re there to clean her path. Ogden factors us to Thunderhead Maintain: He plans on serving to us forge a brand new dragonsblood spear to kill Kralkatorrik with.
Beforehand, nevertheless, he says that the scion and champion should show their mettle in an extension of Glint’s lair inside the Mists that’s each a refuge for the scion and the entry level to the ultimate trials. Aurene is already inside the refuge, so the commander and Caithe head on to satisfy her. The poor teenager is curled as much as her mom’s crystallised physique in such a tragic little scene that undoubtedly tugs on the previous heartstrings. The duo reassures the younger dragon and the commander and Aurene head on to face the trials forward whereas Caithe hangs again.
Glint leads us by way of a number of trials: I don’t need to overexplain right here to let you expertise these trials for your self, however suffice to say the trials are in an identical format as people who got here earlier than, although some neat new mechanics with Aurene come into play. By the top of the trials, the commander and Aurene efficiently craft a brand new spear and fight some of Aurene’s fears by way of their collaborative coaching. Glint lastly grants a present of understanding to the scion and champion in flip: The commander learns how the journey started (once more, I’ll depart this on your personal playthrough) and is advised that the hope and perception in Aurene’s success and the longer term it might create is the champion’s burden to bear.
Caithe tells the commander that the pair has been gone for 2 days, a lot to their shock. You’ll discover a brand new mannequin for Aurene with some new results and bigger, extra luminescent crystals on her, which could be very cool. Upon heading to the hold, Taimi lets us know that everybody is gathering for the battle. Ogden explains that the dwarves constructed the place, however the dragonsblood forge itself is partly powered and cared for by the Zephyrites and Exalted. The Zephyrite choir for the forge is actually lovely and hanging out right here to take heed to the beautiful singing is very really helpful.
To stop the cast weaponry from cracking, they want quenching in a particular oil that the Dredged extract. Chapter two commences with a quest to go and retrieve this oil, which units us out into the Thunderhead Peaks. The widespread themes present in different episodes – struggling individuals needing assist in the face of large catastrophe and large-scale warfare – persist right here, so the commander will get roped into breaking Model crystals and usually cleansing up. Equally, Gorrik is left in cost of a barracks, which isn’t his forte, so the commander additionally should weigh in right here too. Logan, Canach, and Rytlock practice troops inside the maintain, although usually holding morale up by no means ends for the commander.
Thunderhead Peaks is one of the paciest, most action-packed maps we’ve seen of late: Hearts are well-supported with occasions surrounding them, there’s lots to do off the crushed path, and there’s sufficient verticality to make issues really feel spectacular in scale with out going again to Coronary heart of Thorns insanity. It’s clear that the map was made to make the brand new mastery Bond of Religion really feel superb, which is not any dangerous factor. The map has two meta chains to comply with that revolve round key characters too, which retains issues fascinating and makes the busy work related to the overarching story. Skritt, Dredge, Zephyrites… this map has all of it in case you spend time right here.
In phrases of basic navigation, the clue is true there within the identify. Anticipate to make wonderful use of your mounts to traverse canyons and leap to the uppermost ledges of the steep peaks. Issues that appear out of attain now aren’t, since Bond of Religion provides that additional pop to dismounting. The dev workforce joked that they dubbed this mastery ‘the Yoshi jump’ internally, which provides you a good suggestion of the way it may work should you’re not actively enjoying.
I’ll depart you with a stunning gallery that tracks the playthrough places, however anticipate to see extra imagery because the story progresses and I get to my deep-dive as a result of I’ll guess the motion strikes fairly shortly from right here on out.
Over to you
Let me understand how you’re having fun with this episode because the day progresses. I’m wanting ahead to seeing what comes afterward within the story chain: Though I had entry, I prevented something previous chapter two as a result of of some spoiler warnings we got in the course of the playthrough about later content material, and I additionally didn’t have entry to the top chapter of the episode even when I had reached that time. I can’t wait to spend the day enjoying to see how the motion pans out. I’m positive there’s extra heartache in retailer earlier than this episode is over and I’m unsure I’m prepared!