There isn’t much but speculations about heart of Thorns(HoT) yet. But ArenaNet is usually an open book and when they feel something is ready to be released, they will increase the hype as much as possible and most of the time the result is incredible.
I cannot speak only of HoT without mentionning the whole Living Story. ArenatNet first started this living story thing back in january of 2013 with Flame and Frost. At the time, nobody knew what it would look like and I think they didn’t know either as they were trying out a unique way of evolving the whole world.
The flame and Frost story was about a certain type of enemies in the Guild Wars Lore called the Dredge that would normally live underground but suddenly decided to attack the Norn and Charr (Tyria’s Races) homelands.
They also introduced two characters with these events but at that moment, we didn’t really know what would happen with them or let alone their importance. The story ended on the players entering the Dredge furnace and bringing it down. We wished we had though.
The next important living story started on June 2013 which introduced the Sky Pirates to the world. Overall, they are overall a bunch of outlaws ruling the skies with airships. They weren’t such a deal combat-wise but they brought a lot of good things to the game. New armors, jumping puzzles and the most important, Asura technology bursted out of these events.
Later that year, on July, they invited the players to vote for 2 candidates and each of them would bring new content to the game. Of course, only one could be elected thus leading us into a big choice even though it wasn’t such a huge deal. The winner would have a specific dungeon featured in the game.
A month later, a festival was announced in the Human capital. It didn’t take too much time and Scarlet Briar, the main evil character of the Living Story Season 1, crashed it by sowing discord. We also discovered that she was the patron of the Aetherblades (the pirates mentioned earlier) and she was responsible for bringing the Dredge to the surface.
It goes downhill from there because now that she had revealed herself, she wouldn’t stop. Arena Net even mixed the halloween events with Scarlet by surfacing a huge tower in the middle of a lake releasing naga-looking creatures called Kraits. This is also when two new characters were featured into the game; Kasmeer and Marjory.
The sylvari was searching for something, she worked with the Inquest, an Asura group focused on technology even if it means losing 3 assistants in the process. She has created mechanical creatures and placed probes all over the map analyzing the ground. She also unleashed a giant marionette which she made out of the Watchknight she stole at the Queen’s Jubilee. Taimi was introduced to the players on that event.
On february 2014, she attacked Lion’s Arch, the capital of the game. She used dredges, aetherblades, mechanical creatures and kraits in one decisive assault. The players were to go into the city to rescue merchants and civilians. It was a shock for everyone to see it completely destroyed.
The next step in her plan, she showed up with this gigantic drill and pierced the ground. We, as the players, were to stop her with the help of the 5 NPCs (Rox, Braham, Kasmeer, Marjory and Tami), which we did… too late. Scarlet was laying down on the ground lifeless, but she had made it. The dragon had awaken.
This is what ended the Living Story Season 1.
The second season started on July 2014 and was split into 2 parts. It was very different than what we had known. ArenaNet opted to go for completely new zones for level 80s which is what the community had been asking for a while. We would be hanging with the band of 5 heroes to discover a bit more about Scarlet which would lead us to know more about the awoken dragon.
Releasing a little every 2 weeks, the players managed to unite the five nations against the imminent threat. Filled with interesting characters and unique boss fights. ArenaNet makes your character feel like it was doing something important. Since most of the dialogues are voiced, it’s easy and not a burden to go through all these events. One interesting thing is that they also brought back the old heroes, Destiny’s Edge, to play major roles into the season 2. ArenaNet also decided to take a trip to Guild Wars 1’s lore and it was a blast. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t like it. Afterall, it’s always fun to see successful content back to your favorite game.
Now that we’re all on the same level of knowledge. This is also why I wanted to write about it. As said earlier, we can only speculate about it because we will know a lot more, I hope, on january 24th. But what’s happening right now is this:
The Sylvari, a playable race of Tyria, is the product of the Dragon awoken by Scarlet. We’ve seen things similar if we compare to Alliance and Horde of World of Warcraft. But imagine picking a race you wanted to play and 2 years later you discover you are be the enemy.
I don’t know how ArenaNet will play this card, but I surely hope they will epicly do it. Heart of Thorns could be an expansion, the final of season 2, the end of the dragons, the reborn of Glint or even the path to the Crystal Desert. No matter what it is, ArenaNet hyped it like only them can do…