I can never tell what is a social experiment in GW2 and what isn’t. The team has often admitted that things in the Living Story, in particular, were a process of experimentation. Apparently, that experiment didn’t go quite as they thought because now there’s going to be an expansion that we were told years ago would never happen. Ah, well.
When they razed Lion’s Arch over a year ago, I kinda felt like that was yet another experiment to see how the population would deal with not having a central gathering hub. The destruction of Lion’s Arch, followed by mega servers, did change things from a social perspective. Folks who used to park their characters or meet up in LA now went to other towns. Divinity’s Reach became a substitute social hub, especially for RPers, from what I understand.
In the end, a large group of players are going to gather in one social spot, and I don’t think there’s a lot anyone can do about that. I wonder what Anet’s experiment told them… because now, they’ve finally decided to bring back Lion’s Arch. And they didn’t just build it back the way it was before, but they’ve rebuilt it to be completely different from the ranshackle boat-city that was frustrating to navigate, but we’d grown to love.
When I first saw the concept art for this, I felt pretty uncertain.
It was… interesting… but didn’t give off a traditional Lion’s Arch vibe to me at all. So I was a bit concerned about how this was shaping up. Not to mention that the team kinda suddenly sprung the fact on us that they were bringing Lion’s Arch back after having left it sit in rubble for so long.
I guess I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to see more of a gradual step-by-step rebuilding of the city. But seeing how intricate the outcome was, I understand why they probably couldn’t have done it. Because it looks nothing like it used to.
When I logged in on Tuesday to check it out – and I still haven’t seen all of it – I did so with hesitation. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
It’s a little sad that the boat-houses and basic pirate structures were scrapped. However, the stone structures and wide open spaces that were put in its place were much more reminiscent of the old Lion’s Arch in GW1.
Of course, they’ve fancied things up with neat sea-themed decorations everywhere. And they now seem to have beefed up defenses with cannons and ships (smart move).
Overall, while I am still a little bummed out that they wiped our main social hub back then, I will admit that I like the feeling of the new Lion’s Arch. It is much easier to navigate, and was built with the idea of hosting events and gatherings that may bring a large number of players to one spot. I have yet to fully explore the city, but I’m content to make it my new log-in and log-out spot as I pop in to get my daily chests. 😄
I’m totally lost with what they’ve done to our skill tree, though. Don’t even ask me what my builds are anymore, either. But at least the city is pretty again. That counts for something in my book.