Icebrood Saga length? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
Home Living World

Icebrood Saga length?

does anyone know how long the icebrood saga will be, or if there will be another LW season before EOD?

Comments

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Nobody does atm, all we know is the expansions is aimed to be coming next year.. I personally think it's gonna be at least a full year away yet so it's possible Ice Brood Saga will go on for a while.

    Some are expecting IBS to end after the next 2 episodes which will match the average 6 episodes the last 2 living world seasons have gotten.
    But it could be more than that, Season 2 actually had 8 episodes rather than 6 so there could be another 3-4 episodes to go in the Saga which if we factor in a 2-3 month release between episodes that easily adds up to the full year between now and my guess on expansion 3's release.

    Plus there is also the fact that this is a Saga and not a typical Living World season so there could be other things involved that we haven't gotten in other living worlds.
    Like the Visions of the Past release which despite not being a full episode of living world did give us new content and is part of the Saga, I'm pretty sure I recall someone saying that there will be more Visions of the Past content coming during the saga so the next release might not be Episode 5 but rather Visions of the Past 2.

    It's really all guesswork though, we've never had a "Saga" in Gw2 before now so who knows what'll happen over the next year or so.

  • dodgerrule.8739dodgerrule.8739 Member ✭✭✭

    The next episode is coming in September. They’re staying on track with every 2 months

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 30, 2020

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    That's assuming 8 episodes remains true, ANet maintains their release cadence that have held since the prologue, and there is another intermission release in the same placement as VotP and Fractal releases.

    End of Dragons thus is coming out either September or November of 2021 - depending on whether we get an epilogue release (either full episode like the prologue or, more likely imo, an intermission episode like VotP).

    While I agree with your argument, why do you assume that the fractal will be a release on its own, instead of something that comes alongside a Living World release? Hell, Anet released the Hall of Chains raid alongside Daybreak, and a raid is much larger then a fractal.

    The way I see it we will get

    • September: fractal/VoTP style side update
    • November: Episode 5
    • January: Episode 6
    • March: VoTP side update
    • May: Episode 7
    • July : Episode 8

    with the expansion coming out in September of November, depending on if we get a prologue type update as you mention.

  • dodgerrule.8739dodgerrule.8739 Member ✭✭✭

    Anything released under Icebrood saga would be considered an episode from. A business stand point

  • @dodgerrule.8739 said:
    They confirmed in the live stream that the next episode is mid September.

    Also 9 episodes would include the prologue: bound by blood

    Got a timestamp? Did they say episode or release? Because there's a pretty clear difference.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Bast.7253Bast.7253 Member ✭✭✭✭

    All I remember them saying was coming in September was the fractal, though I suppose it could come with a Vision as it would make sense to lead into the next map release. Otherwise I'd a fractal in September and MAYBE an episode in November, or maybe just a vision with the final two episodes coming in early 2021.

    Was was the deal with the tomes anyway? It was 9 slots right? But were 2 slots of the tome related to the two halves of the map released in different episodes? If that's the case we would be looking at 4 maps - 8 episodes, plus the prologue.

    Though they could always switch it up and decide to release a full map, which would throw everything out of whack.

    But yeah, I definitely wouldn't expect the next expansion until next August at the earliest. The whole thing seems a little strange though.

    They seemed pretty adamant about there NOT being an expansion during the Icebrood announcement. So either they weren't being honest, or they had a change of mind either due to new management, NCSoft, or ill-received enthusiasm for the Icebrood announcement. If they changed their mind, it's possible they could finish up the saga sooner than expected. I had fully anticipated this saga to last much longer than 2021, so the fact that they stated a solid release year for the expansion makes me think they've made a lot of headway on its development.

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 31, 2020

    @Bast.7253 said:
    Was was the deal with the tomes anyway? It was 9 slots right? But were 2 slots of the tome related to the two halves of the map released in different episodes? If that's the case we would be looking at 4 maps - 8 episodes, plus the prologue.

    The portal tome had 9 slots in it(before Anet added the EoTN) labeled episodes 0-8.

    Each of these split maps technically has two portal scrolls that take up their own slot in the tome, but you can only have one at a time. These scrolls will transport you to a different area of the map, depending on which scroll you used. For example, the episode 1 scroll takes you to Jora's Keep, while the episode 2 scroll takes you to the western side of the mountains in Bjora.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 1, 2020

    I'm hoping for 3 VOTP updates because if they can somehow recreate Marionette and Battle for LA using strike or open instances like Forging Steel, then that would benefit from a split release, alongside instances for Southson/Canach, Nightmare Tower or some other Toxic Alliance instance and Scarlets introduction at the Jubilee

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Tyson.5160Tyson.5160 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I’m wondering if the last vision is what sends us to Cantha...

  • Elric.4713Elric.4713 Member ✭✭✭

    @dodgerrule.8739 said:
    They confirmed in the live stream that the next episode is mid September.

    Also 9 episodes would include the prologue: bound by blood

    They only confirmed that a new fractal in coming on September 15th.

    👻Legendary Ritualist Stance - Invoke the power of the legendary ritualist Master Togo.

  • Aaralyna.3104Aaralyna.3104 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    I'm hoping for 3 VOTP updates because if they can somehow recreate Marionette and Battle for LA using strike or open instances like Forging Steel, then that would benefit from a split release, alongside instances for Southson/Canach, Nightmare Tower or some other Toxic Alliance instance and Scarlets introduction at the Jubilee

    But what if the new fractal shows some fight from Lws1 like Marionette/Battle for LA or so? It would not be impossible if they take it that way... They did show some map of the new fractal in the latest guild chat but cannot remember how it looked.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Aaralyna.3104 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    I'm hoping for 3 VOTP updates because if they can somehow recreate Marionette and Battle for LA using strike or open instances like Forging Steel, then that would benefit from a split release, alongside instances for Southson/Canach, Nightmare Tower or some other Toxic Alliance instance and Scarlets introduction at the Jubilee

    But what if the new fractal shows some fight from Lws1 like Marionette/Battle for LA or so? It would not be impossible if they take it that way... They did show some map of the new fractal in the latest guild chat but cannot remember how it looked.

    I don’t believe the new fractal is related as it is set on a mountain I believe

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:

    @Aaralyna.3104 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    I'm hoping for 3 VOTP updates because if they can somehow recreate Marionette and Battle for LA using strike or open instances like Forging Steel, then that would benefit from a split release, alongside instances for Southson/Canach, Nightmare Tower or some other Toxic Alliance instance and Scarlets introduction at the Jubilee

    But what if the new fractal shows some fight from Lws1 like Marionette/Battle for LA or so? It would not be impossible if they take it that way... They did show some map of the new fractal in the latest guild chat but cannot remember how it looked.

    I don’t believe the new fractal is related as it is set on a mountain I believe

    It is yes, a Canthan mountain :)

    I doubt we'll get those specific LW1 events tied into visions since they would require a bit of a rework.
    Honestly I don't know why Anet doesn't just put them back in the game as instanced daily meta events.
    Maps are stuck in time anyway so it's not like being able to do the marionette fight would be any more absurd that being able to fight any other world boss over and over again.

  • Bast.7253Bast.7253 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    I'm hoping for 3 VOTP updates because if they can somehow recreate Marionette and Battle for LA using strike or open instances like Forging Steel, then that would benefit from a split release, alongside instances for Southson/Canach, Nightmare Tower or some other Toxic Alliance instance and Scarlets introduction at the Jubilee

    I'm hoping that it eventually becomes more than just an introduction for upcoming episodes and we get to use this as a way of discovering things we otherwise wouldn't, as they happened in history with a definitive point in time unlike Fractals which could be set in an alternate timeline or another dimension, or even another planet for that matter. They did a really good job with the last one and I feel like it's a feature, that if continued, could be great if it were expanded upon. But I see them letting the feature die the same way Fractals and Raids seemingly have. (Except probably not even getting one every year or two like fractals.)

  • @Teratus.2859 said:
    Nobody does atm, all we know is the expansions is aimed to be coming next year.. I personally think it's gonna be at least a full year away yet so it's possible Ice Brood Saga will go on for a while.

    Some are expecting IBS to end after the next 2 episodes which will match the average 6 episodes the last 2 living world seasons have gotten.
    But it could be more than that, Season 2 actually had 8 episodes rather than 6 so there could be another 3-4 episodes to go in the Saga which if we factor in a 2-3 month release between episodes that easily adds up to the full year between now and my guess on expansion 3's release.

    Plus there is also the fact that this is a Saga and not a typical Living World season so there could be other things involved that we haven't gotten in other living worlds.
    Like the Visions of the Past release which despite not being a full episode of living world did give us new content and is part of the Saga, I'm pretty sure I recall someone saying that there will be more Visions of the Past content coming during the saga so the next release might not be Episode 5 but rather Visions of the Past 2.

    It's really all guesswork though, we've never had a "Saga" in Gw2 before now so who knows what'll happen over the next year or so.

    I'm like 90% certain that they're downgrading the "Saga" to a normal season. They literally said they wanted to experiment with expansion like seasons and then a few months later reneged. I'm pretty sure that's because the player base hasn't received the Saga the same way they would an expansion. Though I'd argue that's wholly their fault as they gave no new elites or legendaries with it at launch. Icebrood mastery has its moments, but it's meh. Had they promised more then perhaps the community would have taken it differently. I'm guessing 2 more episodes, then we're done.

    Also, they promised in april of 2019 that we'd be seeing more of previous maps with this living world and it hasn't happened. Collections in the old world doesn't seem like the promise of that experiment. There's been a clear change in direction.

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2, 2020

    @Firebeard.1746 said:
    I'm like 90% certain that they're downgrading the "Saga" to a normal season. They literally said they wanted to experiment with expansion like seasons and then a few months later reneged. I'm pretty sure that's because the player base hasn't received the Saga the same way they would an expansion. Though I'd argue that's wholly their fault as they gave no new elites or legendaries with it at launch. Icebrood mastery has its moments, but it's meh. Had they promised more then perhaps the community would have taken it differently. I'm guessing 2 more episodes, then we're done.

    Also, they promised in april of 2019 that we'd be seeing more of previous maps with this living world and it hasn't happened. Collections in the old world doesn't seem like the promise of that experiment. There's been a clear change in direction.

    We know there's 4 more episodes, and at least one more visions-like side update. For a total of a minimum of 11 releases for Icebrood Saga. Much more then a normal season. I'm guessing we will get two more visions like updates, for a total of 12.

  • Firebeard.1746Firebeard.1746 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2, 2020

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

    @Firebeard.1746 said:
    I'm like 90% certain that they're downgrading the "Saga" to a normal season. They literally said they wanted to experiment with expansion like seasons and then a few months later reneged. I'm pretty sure that's because the player base hasn't received the Saga the same way they would an expansion. Though I'd argue that's wholly their fault as they gave no new elites or legendaries with it at launch. Icebrood mastery has its moments, but it's meh. Had they promised more then perhaps the community would have taken it differently. I'm guessing 2 more episodes, then we're done.

    Also, they promised in april of 2019 that we'd be seeing more of previous maps with this living world and it hasn't happened. Collections in the old world doesn't seem like the promise of that experiment. There's been a clear change in direction.

    We know there's 4 more episodes, and at least one more visions-like side update. For a total of a minimum of 11 releases for Icebrood Saga. Much more then a normal season. I'm guessing we will get two more visions like updates, for a total of 12.

    I didn't hear about the 4 more episodes, but it's possible they meant for there to be more than that. That wouldn't cover the duration of an expansion (each has had its own season + core). Was this on a live stream?

  • @Teratus.2859 said:
    It's really all guesswork though, we've never had a "Saga" in Gw2 before now so who knows what'll happen over the next year or so.

    All this talk about Saga being different from Living Story Seasons, and I'm simply thinking that "The Icebrood Saga" is just the name for LS5 similar to LS2 could be said to have been "Scarlet's War", etc.

    Going from this I'm guessing "The Icebrood Saga" will conclude after the usual 6-8 episodes, and we'll be looking at the next Living Story season to start after that plus/minus a break for other events in between.

    Haze Sterrion (Grd), Shadow of Gahaz (Mes), Bondsmith Yharnam (Eng), Oni Wintertalon (Rev)
    Northerner @ Dragon Season (DS)
    Seafarer's Rest since launch!

  • Galmac.4680Galmac.4680 Member ✭✭✭

    Four more episodes of this? Oh my.. I'll take a deep breath and go.

    Praise Joko! And Bangar, we need to talk!

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Nobody does atm, all we know is the expansions is aimed to be coming next year.. I personally think it's gonna be at least a full year away yet so it's possible Ice Brood Saga will go on for a while.

    Some are expecting IBS to end after the next 2 episodes which will match the average 6 episodes the last 2 living world seasons have gotten.
    But it could be more than that, Season 2 actually had 8 episodes rather than 6 so there could be another 3-4 episodes to go in the Saga which if we factor in a 2-3 month release between episodes that easily adds up to the full year between now and my guess on expansion 3's release.

    Plus there is also the fact that this is a Saga and not a typical Living World season so there could be other things involved that we haven't gotten in other living worlds.
    Like the Visions of the Past release which despite not being a full episode of living world did give us new content and is part of the Saga, I'm pretty sure I recall someone saying that there will be more Visions of the Past content coming during the saga so the next release might not be Episode 5 but rather Visions of the Past 2.

    It's really all guesswork though, we've never had a "Saga" in Gw2 before now so who knows what'll happen over the next year or so.

    I'm like 90% certain that they're downgrading the "Saga" to a normal season.

    I am not. What Teratus wrote makes perfect sense.

    They literally said they wanted to experiment with expansion like seasons and then a few months later reneged.

    Did they? I see no sign of it nor do I recall any such official statement.

    Also, they promised in april of 2019 that we'd be seeing more of previous maps with this living world and it hasn't happened.

    We have seen previous GW1 maps/locations, though. Perhaps you misunderstood?

  • @Firebeard.1746 said:
    I'm like 90% certain that they're downgrading the "Saga" to a normal season. They literally said they wanted to experiment with expansion like seasons and then a few months later reneged.

    ANet themselves never actually said it would have expansion-like content. What was said by ANet was that the Icebrood Saga would have releases that don't follow the standard of LW episodes in previous seasons. Which is true - aside from the prologue, every episode came with shared maps; and we got the Visions of the Past and September's upcoming release.

    The whole "expansion-like content" and "it's a saga not a season" were words used by interviewers and the hired PR talker at PAX, never ANet devs (in fact, in the PAX announcement, the devs were calling it a season until the hired talker "corrected" them as if he had better knowledge then the devs).

    Also, they promised in april of 2019 that we'd be seeing more of previous maps with this living world and it hasn't happened. Collections in the old world doesn't seem like the promise of that experiment. There's been a clear change in direction.

    What was promised back then was that post-Episode 4 (which was the last release), we'd see a return to Season 1-styled content updates, like community voting and old maps getting alterations. In other words, that promise is likely to see fruition in Episode 5 - aka, November. Maybe September if we're lucky.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • radda.8920radda.8920 Member ✭✭
    edited September 3, 2020

    @Galmac.4680 said:
    Four more episodes of this? Oh my.. I'll take a deep breath and go.

    Yes this saga is really really bad except the prologue. Boring maps, 0 challenge, bad story, uninteresting environment..
    I can't wait to go to cantha and finish with this kitten

  • Tyson.5160Tyson.5160 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @radda.8920 said:

    @Galmac.4680 said:
    Four more episodes of this? Oh my.. I'll take a deep breath and go.

    Yes this saga is really really bad except the prologue. Boring maps, 0 challenge, bad story, uninteresting environment..
    I can't wait to go to cantha and finish with this kitten

    Really? I thoroughly enjoyed these zones from the Far Shiverpeaks. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  • Kossage.9072Kossage.9072 Member ✭✭✭

    Given what was teased in the Icebrood Saga announcement trailer, we saw a specific progression of the following scenes as a kind of Dream-like vision of things to come in a poetic way:

    1) Grothmar Valley in flames with the charr dam and her cub turning to ash, which was confirmed by Julia Nardin to be part of Jormag's tactic to sway Bangar: "Some people have correctly surmised that Jormag is addressing Bangar (not the player) in the trailer. And it isn't a coincidence that one of the first images we see is a charr and her cub reduced to ash while Grothmar Valley burns around them."

    Basically this foreshadows the charr civil war although it acts more like an ominous preview of the prologue's zone Grothmar Valley.

    2) Kodan mass burial at sea. While we haven't seen this scene in game yet, it might refer to Bjora Marches and Drakkar Lake in particular given the great involvement of kodan in Episode 2's West Bjora Marches. Shining Grove has this to say when we talk to her: "The waters here are long frozen, and my people can't join Koda when we're summoned. So we built these shrines." Whether this implies that the kodan usually had these burials at sea to send their spirits into the Mists and were unable to carry out these rituals by the time their sanctuary was stranded in ice is unknown, but I could see a slight thematic connection here with the Ep1-2 zone.

    3) Centaurs leading enslaved humans on a march in some forest, potentially Woodland Cascades given what the recent art book revealed about the region on page 123: "[Centaurs] lived on the plains of Kryta long before any other, and they have never forgotten when the humans stole away their lands. While war rages between the two races, it is said that they are gathering somewhere in the Woodland Cascades—preparing an attack to reclaim their home."

    While we haven't seen centaurs in the saga yet, there has been core Tyria dialogue from Whispers agent Fural Rageseeker who mentioned Gaheron's Flame Legion and Ulgoth's Centaur Alliance having clandestine meetings to potentially set up an alliance: "We sent out some agents to keep an eye on the centaurs to the west. There are reports that centaurs have been seen meeting with the Flame Legion. If that's true, it's quite concerning."

    This bit in the trailer seems to suggest Ep3-4 zone Drizzlewood Coast although we've yet to see any evil Flame Legion remnant (with one such remnant potentially led by Crecia's evil Flame Legion shaman sire who's yet to make an appearance unless he's died off since Crecia was adopted into the Blood Legion) + Centaur Alliance partnership manifest, let alone a scene of centaurs enslaving humans. I could see Jormag trying to sway the centaurs, who have lost lots of their troops during Ulgoth's demise in Harathi Hinterlands and in the failed Siege of Divinity's Reach at Lake Doric, to embrace the Ice Dragon's gifts so they can be empowered enough to join forces with the Frost Legion and take on humanity. I could also see a rebellion forming among the centaurs as there's lore that many in the Harathi and Tamini don't like the Modniir threatening them to cooperate in the alliance.

    4) An aftermath of a naval battle at sea with norn and what look like krait sinking into the depths. We've had some old, fascinating concept art about racial flagships such as the asuran stingray and dragon carracks with what look like charr and norn inspired designs (including a shared dragon flag, curiously enough), but will we ever see an actual naval battle realized with the in-game engine? The devs have certainly dabbled with some quasi-naval combat such as the corsair raid during the Palawadan meta in Istan, or the Whispers naval route during the Orrian campaign's story instances, but it would be lovely to use the current, improved airship and ship physics to actually deliver a full-fledged swashbuckling adventure on the high seas!

    If the images in the trailer follow a chronological progression, perhaps the next zone covering episodes 5-6 could be the Sea of Desperation, which Eernst has said is "A sea locked on all sides by ice. I could assemble an expedition and sledge the boats across. I doubt anyone's ever done that. We'd be first!" Given Eernst's suggestion that the sea is in the Shiverpeaks and is surrounded by ice, the only real candidate would be the sea Jormag's original rising (between GW1 and GW2) created as it flooded what was once known as Varajar Fells, so the ruined Olafstead might be the one notable landmark on an island in a vast sea that could be half-frozen by now while the sea itself would be located between Drizzlewood Coast and Eye of the North.

    How the krait will feature into the saga is as curious as centaur involvement at this stage unless Jormag decides to go after the krait obelisks for the magic they contain. The question then becomes if the deep sea dragon has already seized most of the obelisks in the centuries it's been awake (with Scarlet only acquiring what seems to have been one obelisk chopped into parts during Season 1, potentially with Mordremoth's subtle guidance to convince the krait splinter group to join the Toxic Alliance) or if more available potent obelisks exist out there in remote locations where the krait had taken them in the ancient past...

    5) A party of weary, injured norn and their canine companion trekking through the Shiverpeaks to a distant lodge while some of them succumb to their injuries. Just a nifty transition, or possibly teasing Norrhart Domains or the southern half of Ice Cliff Chasm as an episode 7-8 zone? Norrhart would be a nice area to visit as it has the remains of Gunnar's Hold which Jormag tore apart with a massive glacier. This shot may or may not tie to the final shot of the trailer which shows Jormag and the icebrood horde (with three potential champions: a kodan, a charr, and a norn) emerging from the blizzard to face Rytlock, Braham and Jhavi leading the defense of what may be Eye of the North. As both Norrhart Domains and Ice Cliff Chasms can be designed to connect to the area surrounding the Eye of the North, we might see the vast landscapes depicted in the norn trek and the stormy lowlands invaded by Jormag should this be the grand finale zone unless there will be episodes 9-10.

    Given that we've approximately had to wait 2 months between saga releases, how Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire had a colon as a punctuation mark, and how the End of Dragons teaser suggests the 2021 date for the expansion, it means we should get at least one more Visions of the Past release at some point as well as however many episodes remain. Depending on how the fractal release and the upcoming story release are placed in the schedule, we could see some plot progression by November at the latest, followed by bimonthly releases for January, March, May, June and possibly September if the expansion stuff is supposed to come around November (I would see anything before September as being too early as the devs couldn't have been working for the expansion that long based on the expansion's narrative lead Kwan Perng still working as the narrative lead for Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire during Icebrood Saga development before transitioning to the expansion team, but Rubi Bayer's and Clayton Kisko's off-hand, somewhat vague comments during streams have suggested a pretty hectic time at the studio with expansion development in retrospect). This would then potentially mean one Visions of the Past release, Episodes 5-6, Episodes 7-8, and an Epilogue (or Episodes 9-10 if they stretch the expansion release window to November) release.

    Out of the four Great Spirits, we've only gotten Raven-related masteries so far. I wonder if we'll get anything for Wolf, Snow Leopard and Bear to balance it out, let alone the other Spirits such as Griffon, Hare, and Owl who all deserve some recognition now that Ox, Eagle and Wolverine received the essence masteries. But if they intend to use these masteries and whatever other non-Spirit related masteries there may be (like the charr waystation), they'll be in a hurry to fit them into the related episodes by the time End of Dragons arrives.

    It could be that the saga was initially intended to be a larger scale narrative before the powers that be pushed for the hectic schedule for the next expansion release (possibly around Mike Z's departure; if the expansion was already in development during the Icebrood Saga announcement stream where Z was still present, surely NCSoft would've allowed the slightest of concept art teases, like the blog post's image of Shing Jea, to hype the audience that even more was to come after the saga). While I look forward to the expansion, the suggested 2021 date feels too soon for me; I worry that we'll get yet another rushed expansion like HoT and PoF (to an extent due to all the late rewrites) ended up being. Cantha deserves a longer story with more fleshed out locations and more developed characters and preferably villains who aren't just three-scene wonders (as Joko and many of his lieutenants ended up being). The Emperor, the potential Empress who might have greater narrative impact should she be ambitious, any imperial heirs they might've produced, the Prime Minister of Purity, the Emperor's three elite servants (the Emperor's Blade, the Emperor's Hand, and the Emperor's Voice) etc...they could go wild with it depending on how antagonistic the empire and the various Ministries of Cantha (not just Purity but Flame, Earth, Water and Wind) end up being. Not to mention other regional threats like the oni, naga, potential krait involvement, remants of Kanaxai's nightmare horde etc.

    What troubles me is that the rushed expansion release will nip the promising saga in the bud. I'm surprised that the threads about the saga story being lackluster have received so many upvotes when I, as a lore focused person, have enjoyed the saga episodes for the most part so far. While we've had some weird moments like Smodur's odd change of character (not talking about his violent handling of traitors with the exception of that one execution scene, but his antagonistic, short-tempered role against the Commander and Rytlock who he had been friends with and underestimating Malice who he should know is his greatest threat to Khan-Ur after Bangar) and some plot-crucial stuff happening off screen (the Svanir and Bangar alliance and how he figured out the importance of the Spirits of the Wild and the totems related to them, which is only ever hinted at in the story journal for the final Ep4 instance), we've also had lots of lovely scenes involving a few of the Spirits, and some development for a few of the heroes and antagonists.

    Will they try to cram krait, centaurs and humans (potentially even the Separatists who Malice mentioned were growing stronger and who should thus realistically be making the move against charr in the post-Drizzlewood political landscape where the charr have lost some of their leaders and must now recover while trying to select new imperators with all the trials and tribulations that come with it) into the remaining episodes? Will there be hints of Adelbern, Barradin and Foefire ghosts growing in power as realistically they should've received a power boost from the same ley line that also fed Kralkatorrik's (and presumably Balthazar's) magic to Jormag and Drakkar?

    Will they (hopefully) involve Asgeir's grandson Knut Whitebear and his family (his sons Skarti and Sigfast, and his so far unseen adventuring wife Gaerta Whitebear) into the saga as well given the prophecy surrounding Knut which some say predicts his death but which actually says "...and the muttering voices will call for his blood" which might refer to his bloodline aka his sons?

    Are we going to meet Tribune Fume Brighteye who might be competing with Tribune Mia Kindleshot due to their different political views on the charr's future and what Iron Legion should become?

    Are we going to meet any evil, not-Jormag-related shamans of the Spirits such as Vilnia Shadowsong in any capacity? What about the havrouns of the other Spirits, or the four Speakers of Hoelbrak, to mention a few?

    Will we have the time to delve into jotun lore (both the ancient jotun-kings as well as the current jotun such as Bergris whose tribe and "king" Korag were tempted by Jormag) given how they were the elder race closest to Jormag's location in the previous dragonrise and were involved with the fire magic of the jotun scroll that Asgeir and Braham used to damage Jormag?

    What about the grawl (Gara) and quaggans (Shashoo and Baroosh) who also have a bone to pick with Jormag after what the dragon's lieutenants did to their respective homes in the personal story?

    What about the Sanguinary Blade with its crazy powerful corruptive properties (one nick from that blade made from Jormag's frozen blood, and the victim instantly turns into an icebrood, while the sword's wielder is corrupted over time)?

    What about Bangar's sleeper agents within the orders? Will they be dealt with off-screen like the White Mantle moles were in Season 3?

    These and many more related questions remain unanswered. While I imagine at least some of these points get addressed, it's unfortunate that this saga could've easily encompassed at least 20 episodes without losing steam given the richness of charr and norn lore, let alone the lore surrounding the mystical elements (Spirits of the Wild, and we might even learn about the Dragon Spirit who theoretically should've existed as the embodiment of all Tyrian dragons as per Skuld's suggested dialogue) and other races who have a bone to pick with Jormag.

    I could see the devs saving the empowered Adelbern's revenge plot for later, though, if they decide to tackle the Krytan royal locket and prophesied Heir of Ascalon storyline (maybe even tying it into the Separatist resurgence plot if, via an ironic twist, the current leader of the Separatists was revealed to be the destined Heir, so we need to figure out a way to sway them from their "evil" ways to become the hero they're meant to be and save the charr and the ghosts before all is lost while hopefully involving Dougal Keane and Duke Wade Samuelsson, maybe even Riot Alice, in the shenanigans too). It would likewise be nice to see Rox, Boticca and the Olmakhan return and make amends with Efram's Flame faction while we (hopefully) met with Crecia's evil shaman sire leading an evil Flame remnant as a contender for the vacant Flame throne.

    The big problem with the saga's narrative has ultimately been the allocated budget and some curious story decisions (e.g. using Tom Abernathy's suggestion to make Bangar use very vulgar human cursing which seems weird for a charr who has tended to use more traditional and lore-specific insults, or turning Smodur antagonistic to progress Ryland's story arc; I still hope we get to meet Smodur and Cinder as Mist Wardens, and maybe meet Pyre, Jora, Svanir, Glint and Vlast too should they appear on Tyria due to Jormag's schemes in the Mists). As the devs have a specific budget for how much dialogue and text there can be per episode (including localization costs), it requires cutting corners where they can whether it's with text related stuff or models (thus Drakkar was remodeled to fit Aurene's frame as the guild chat suggested there simply wasn't enough budget for Episode 2 to give both Aurene and Drakkar their own rigging). That may also be one of the reasons why we didn't get additional lore in Drizzlewood about the lich Zoldark the Unholy who once infested Vloxen Mine with his very Jormag-like persuasive powers, or why there hasn't been any talks about Efram's past in the Flame Legion and in the post-Gaheron Baelfire political landscape beyond his opposition to the Molten Alliance, let alone an actual on-screen confrontation between the old rivals Bangar and Smodur, just to mention a few.

    Despite the fiscal limitiations, the Narrative Team and the devs as a whole have done a valiant job with what they have during this saga, and I've found their efforts quite enjoyable for the most part even though those rather curious decisions make me scratch my head at times. I just wish there was enough budget for there to be more of this stuff as it feels like we're missing out on what could have been. The potential is certainly there as the narrative is both intimate and grand with some intriguing character development whenever it's allowed to flourish.

    I look forward to the remaining episodes and seeing where it all leads beyond the teases we've had, but I do lament how short the saga will end up being out of necessity to fit into the expansion release schedule. Perhaps we'll see a continuation of some of these story threads in later living world seasons, perhaps not; for now, I'll enjoy what the devs have to offer and what wonderful moments they'll let us experience as the saga moves closer towards its conclusion. :)