The most recent Guild Wars 2 release has gone live – Cutthroat Politics! Thanks to the actions of Mai Trin and the Aetherblades, there is now an opening on the Captain’s Council in Lion’s Arch, and two characters – Ellen Kiel, a high ranking member of the Lionguard, and Evon Gnashblade, leader of the Black Lion Trading Company – are both competing for the position. And we, as players, get to ultimately decide who wins the spot on the Council, by collecting support tokens and voting with them.
It’s a pretty neat idea, especially as who you pick will change what we ultimately get in-game – Kiel is promising a waypoint cost reduction for four weeks, whereas Gnashblade will reduce the costs of Black Lion Keys for four weeks. There will also be a new fractal, depending on who wins. Kiel wants to push research into the Thaumanova Reactor, whereas Gnashblade wants to find out about the fall of Abaddon.
I decided pretty quickly who I am supporting. Fractals are really not all that important to me – it isn’t content I enjoy, and I don’t do them frequently. I do not buy Black Lion Keys, as there’s enough RNG in this game and I don’t like paying for more of it. Waypoints, however, I use constantly. I have 8 characters at level 80 – those waypoint costs really add up quickly.
So it wasn’t a difficult decision for me to throw my support behind Kiel. She is also, as a character, one that we know better. We’ve worked with her frequently since the Living World updates started – she was there on Southsun Cove both times there was trouble, she headed the investigation of wrong-doings at Dragon Bash, and she came with when we took on the Aetherblades. We know she’s a take-charge person. Gnashblade…well, he sits in the trading post. That’s about it. If he has any fighting experience, we’re not aware of it. If he’s ever done anything other than try and line his pockets further with our cash…we’re not aware of it.
“But what about the fractals?”, you ask? Well, personally…as I said, I don’t like fractals. However, a lot of people will vote based on that. As I mentioned before, Kiel wants to research the Thaumanova Reactor, while Gnashblade wants to research the fall of Abaddon.
I really think that Kiel has the edge here.
Hear me out on this one. The fall of Abaddon – what caused him to be struck down as one of the Tyrian gods – would be awesome to see. I’m not saying it wouldn’t. However, when it comes to relevance to Guild Wars 2…Abaddon has next to none. He was a human god, for starters. Four of the five playable races do not even believe in him as a deity – charr actively revile the human gods, norn follow their animal spirits, asura believe in the Eternal Alchemy, and sylvari are agnostic to the existence of gods.
There’s also the fact that a good deal of Guild Wars 2 players will not even know who Abaddon is meant to be, or why he would be important. Let’s be real here. Many, if not most, Guild Wars 2 players were not players of Guild Wars 1. Abaddon’s only real mention in Guild Wars 2 is the underwater temple that you visit during a personal story quest. And even for the former Guild Wars 1 players, as the fall of Abaddon concerns things that happened long before the events of that game, for the most part only those who were heavily into the game’s lore (like myself, to be honest), would care how that happened.
But it’s an event that is long past, and any effect it had on the world is also long in the past. Whereas the Thaumanova Reactor is something recent. The fallout of it is not even close to being taken care of, as is clearly obvious by the mess it’s made in Metrica Province. It was originally an asuran city, destroyed by Inquest experiments. The chaos energy released from the explosion there causes creatures to continuously be teleported in and out from regions all across Tyria, and effects of the experimentation have spread as far as Iron Marches, creating the Chaos Crystal Cavern jumping puzzle there.
It is a recent event, it is one that has widespread effects across the continent, and it is one that is actually relevant to the events of Guild Wars 2. It is also something that is familiar to all players of Guild Wars 2, which is very important here. We all know of the mess that is located there. Most of us have fought that fire elemental at least once. And we all know that the Inquest like to poke their noses into things they really have no rights messing with. Their attempts at harnessing dragon energies have already resulted in some interesting creatures in Crucible of Eternity – just what were they getting into this time to cause all of that destruction? And what were their plans with whatever they were experimenting with?
For me, it was an easy choice. Team Kiel all the way. I love Guild Wars 1 lore, but I would really love to see Guild Wars 2 build more upon it’s own lore, as opposed to relying on the contents of the predecessor.
And, y’know…cheaper waypoints. Gotta love that. So who are you voting for?