With the new story update Visions of the Past, the Eisbrut saga in Guild Wars 2 is not going into the next round – the conflict with the old dragon Jormag is currently on hold (ha!). However, the new content package Visions of the Past invites capable adventurers and attracts with many incentives. We looked into the update before the release, experienced refreshing battles and examined the rewards associated with it. Because in the end the question arises: Is the patch a successful addition to GW2 without continuing the story?
In this preview it is difficult to avoid talking about the events of the last episodes, which is why we have one from here Spoiler warning pronounce.
In visions of the past, our hero still licks his wounds from Bangar's sneak attack at the end of shadows in the ice. But he enjoys the best company, because prismatic dragon Aurene welcomes him to the north eye and enables him to look into the past of Tyria over the observation pool. This option is taken directly from Guild Wars 1, where we have already had bonus missions with other heroes.
As part of "Stahlschmiede", the mission we can undertake, we experience what Ryland Steelcatcher and his steel squad did before we could even explore the Bjora swamps in the episode "Whisper in the Dark". The whole thing is available as a public or private mission – as is the case with attack missions.
While this large-scale expedition changes the appearance of our hero to a charr recruit, we can keep our class, skills, and stats – so if you were concerned about playing any prescribed charr builds, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
Meta and map – do you need more in GW2?
Basically, "steel and fire" plays like the meta of a map – without the whole thing. We can do events that help the steel squad and give more rewards when completing the mission. For example, before the charr team around leader Ryland sets out, we collect ingredients for the cook, try out the sniper's rifle or test the special tank. These events give us good starting conditions (like full ammunition for the tank that always accompanies us) and also introduce us to the mechanics that we can expect. After a timer has run out, events are over – the steel troop sets off and sets off north, against the hordes of the old dragon Jormags.
We can comfortably drive and fire in the tank, or we can stay on foot, where we can collect ammunition or repair the vehicle at checkpoints. This is extremely fun because the fights are demanding but also varied. In addition, we can also loot the opponents, which is otherwise not the case in story missions. The adventure also reveals lore information that is particularly interesting for GW1 players.
In the end, the whole thing leads to a boss fight that has washed up: we are fighting a gigantic golem, which we had already met in a similar form in GW1 and in the GW2 dungeon embrace the sadness. The metallic monster throws hordes of opponents at us and relies on a few tricky mechanics that require good cooperation. Above all, the coordinated use of anesthetics is essential – maybe stun-refusers will finally learn something about this. If the construct is destroyed, there are several chests with loot, which is based on how well we did in the mission and how many bonus events we had mastered on the way to the boss.
Solo tour with Ryland reveals more about Almorra
After this adventure, a solo mission is waiting for us, or rather for Ryland. Through his eyes we explore the Dark Rock Caves. There we also fight alongside Bangar Todbringer and finally even cross the paths with Almorra Soul Keeper, whose tragic fate has puzzled the episode "Whisper in the Dark". But we don't want to continue talking here, leave the story to you … and look much further back into the past. For the first season of the Living World.
First Season of the Living World missions
If you weren't there in 2013 to witness the war against Scarlett and getting to know Canach, Rox and Braham, you can finally catch up in the game seven years later. Four missions of the spy pool allow us to catch up on these key moments. So we fight against the then guerrilla fighter Canach and get to know Rox and Braham. On top of that there is the fight against the Toxic Alliance in the Tower of Nightmares as a mission. The latter was partly available in fractals, but not in this classic form.
Rewards in the new update of GW2?
As interesting as such adventures are of course, what else does the player get out of it? Through the visions we come across all sorts of new skins, namely the weapons from Rylands Stahltrupp:
- Two-handed flame saw
- One-handed sword
These are each available as a variant of the steel squad and also in four legion forms for fire, ashes, iron and blood. It is cool that the steel squad variant always spits flames (whereby the flame saw always comes with fire, but in different colors).
The visual highlight is the rune armor. This magnificent set looks different in light, medium and heavy. There is also a cape that we can unlock! However, the armor is not a financial treat: 750 gold costs the complete set, and we also have to pay around 350,000 points of karma. Alternatively, there is another way to get these pieces of armor. Because the strike bosses of the past episodes can now drop special items as a reward that we exchange for specific pieces of armor. For example, with luck we can loot the rune gloves from Jormags Fraenir. The breastplate can be snatched from the voice and claw. How high the probability of this loot is, is unfortunately still unclear – accordingly we do not know whether the purchase is a must instead.
The NPC for armor, the scouting pool and more can be found in the reworked Eye of the North. So far, the iconic location from GW1 was only intended for players who could collect rewards from their Hall of Monuments there. Now it is becoming a hub, which we are gradually filling with all sorts of practical NPCs and crafting stations. From here you can also start the strike missions or even unlock a direct portal to the cities and your home dance.
Is the Update Visions of the Past Good?
While we couldn't see what the drop chances for the new skins would be, playing visions of the past was a lot of fun. Because the expedition of the steel squad is basically a meta-event without the hassle of preparation, the new armor looks overwhelming and the insight into Ryland's view of history is a welcome feature. The fact that we can now make up for season 1 missions is a cherry on the cake for nostalgics and people who missed the whole thing back then.
We wish you a lot of fun with the steel team and of course the best possible drop chance with the new items from visions of the past!
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