Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A glimpse at how the story changed at the start of season 4

 Now that season 4 has ended I can finally share this because it's safe to say nothing of this will ever happen. As some of you might recall back in the day Arenanet mentioned on stream how they decided to rework the story and maps at the start of the season.
In most cases this kind of information gets lost forever but in the chaos some of it did accidentally end up in our client including things like unique models, mini pets and even some story steps. I contacted Arenanet about it just in case some of these characters would show up in future episodes (they did not) and most of it was removed by the time episode 3 came around.

Episode 1: Daybreak

  • To get started I like to mention the cut instance that bridged Istan with Fahranur, you can still access this long winding cave (that starts at the gate where you enter the final instance) underneath the map and it was said to be cut late in production so the story wouldn't drag on too long.
  • A "mystery" mini pet also showed up out of the blue. It had no name if you linked it in chat but people noticed his icon looked a lot like Phlunt wearing inquest gear.
  • To further elaborate on our mystery inquest friend they added several unique highly detailed models of both him and Taimi in identical poses. These were never used in the episode and all I can do is speculate that they were probably planned for the boss fight at the end of the episode.

Episode 2: A Bug in the System

  • At this point our inquest mini friend got renamed to something generic like "Awakened Inquest Engineer" but there still was no way to earn him.
  • For this episode I managed to recover a quite a few internal descriptions of the old story steps, I've roughly placed them side by side with we what got here. To sum things up:
    • Gorrik: Nowhere to be seen, they still use his placeholder name Glubber in the final version indicating he was added at the very last moment.
    • Lonai: Also completely absent, they had to rework the final boss fight around her.
    • Hadya: Some people might recognize her name, she's a priestess of Kormir and can be found in the Crystal Oasis. Did she go on a rampage? Got corrupted by Joko? Didn't like time gates? We'll never know but it looks like she was going to be the main villain we were tracking down this episode and the final encounter.
    • Phlunt: looks like our mystery inquest was Phlunt all along! He probably would be playing a much larger part during the entire season revealing him to be an inquest leader all the time.
    • Final encounter: originally had escape pods, jumping puzzles, Phlunt, Hadya and the gravity hammer that ended up in the Magnetics Lab in the open world.

Episode 3: Long Live the Lich

  • Everything mentioned above was completely removed from the client by this time and at this point the new map (Kourna) and entire season had been rewritten around the new characters and events.
In the end we could've had a very different season that focused more on Phlunt than Joko, but as it stands now he didn't turn to the dark side (yet) and Hadya is still happily sending refugees to Amnoon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Upcoming features from the May 14 patch

I've left out a LOT of loading screen images, text and items in this post so you don't have to worry about major spoilers.