GW2 Path of Fire: The Departing

It’s pretty interesting how a game can go from “I’m not interested in this in the least bit” to “Okay, I’ll buy the expansions now.” Part of it’s my fault, I’m sure, for reporting that so far, the GW2 Path of Fire story and design is a whole lot better for players of my taste.

Sunday saw Syn and Amoon dust off their old GW2 accounts for the first time in years. Builds were pondered. Mounts were seen and desired. Come Monday, Syn decided she was picking up the boxed set of both expansions. I don’t think she was hyped about it, but she seemed curious, like I was when I dropped cash on the two expansions last month.

So, last night, I helped them both obtain their raptor mount and get to Amnoon. We’ll see where it goes from there.

As for myself, I spent a good chunk of time working through the GW2 chapter The Departing. I’ve heard snippets about this chapter, including the fact that it contains one of the more difficult bosses. Here’s my thoughts.

Story Spoilers for GW2 Path of Fire!

Remember how I said I was hoping that something would knock my commander character down a few notches, simply due to his annoying attitude (which in no way fits the way the character would respondĀ  to things if I were actually in control of the writing)?

Commander faces Balthazar in a scripted fight. I actually held my own quite well — thanks to everyone who suggested great Reaper builds!!! But story dictated it was a no-win situation. So…

Yeah. Commander gets his butt handed to him. He practically dies.

I’m not sure why this pleased me, but it did. (I really do care about my character, I just don’t like the way this story has written him!)

Because he died a traumatic death, he ends up in the Domain of the Lost. Here, I finally got a taste of how they’re going to portray Palawa Joko.

As I suspected, he’s not as amusing as he was in GW1… but it was kinda fun to dupe him out of his own army. I have a feeling when Joko finally gets free, Commander is going to be on his hit list.

Anyhow, the journey through the Domain of the Lost was pretty neat. My character is significantly humbled, unable to remember his name or purpose, both which he needs to find to move on from this place.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, but it was an interesting scenario to work through. And long, too. The game basically condensed the major plot points of the whole game into a series of flashbacks. Some which hit on important memories…

And interestingly, inserted memories my character never had, since I still haven’t finished HoT or started Season 3. For example, this is the first time (outside of a momentary PoF cutscene) that I’ve seen Aurene. I thought she was smaller than that for some reason.

Anyhow, this long sequence culminates in a final battle with a boss that I’ve heard nothing but frustration about — the Eater of Souls.

(Update: They nerfed the Eater of Souls a few days after I beat him.)

I was sorta concerned because I know a number of people have had issues clearing it. Forum posts like this one or this one and this one ask for help or discuss the difficulty. I saw someone ask for assistance on Tumblr… and then I learned that even if you bring friends in with you, they can’t do anything to assist you in this fight.

I gave it a shot, anyhow, and after getting a grasp on what I thought were the mechanics, was able to defeat him the first try. I’m not sure if my Reaper build was meant to take on something like this (thank you again to those who sent help and suggestions!)… or if I just ran away from the boss fast enough so it couldn’t suck me dry and replenish its own life. I suppose I don’t use much in the way of boons for it to steal, so that helped, too.

I can certainly see how this fight could be really, really difficult. I’m not knocking it or folks who are having trouble clearing it. The worst part of this is that hitting a wall on this boss means you have to go back and do soooo much of the story over again. And friends can’t help you!

Anyhow, I cleared that fight, and my Commander returned to the land of the living. It was a happy day for the rest of the group. I think?

Overall, it was a pretty intense chapter. I won’t say that it was without flaws (I feel like the flashback part went on a bit too long), but it was a nice reminder of where your character came from, and things they’ve overcome.

I’m also quite interested in how the writers are shifting ideas in order to write themselves out of the Elder Dragon conundrum they created (oops, we killed them and we weren’t supposed to). I’m not sure if that was something they knew all along, or something that developed along the way, but I appreciate the plot twist and am looking forward to where it’ll lead.

Looks like I’m actually on the third and final act of Path of Fire at this point. Just a few more chapters till I see it through and can begin working on my griffon mount in earnest. Seeing that I’m playing it through a second time on another character (not to mention the previous expansion and Living World 3), I’ve still got a lot of content to look forward to!