Nothing story wise that was released on the 9th was truly a surprise:
Tengu shot of so hard they literally do not know what's going on outside their walls? typical retroactive excuse fro when ever tengu should have at least reacted in the past
Jormag not understanding what they are doing is bad? OH GEE a immortal ice being that used PRESERVE in reference to saving a world, WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK (certainly not lore theorists.
Brahm going primordus champ? well it was plastered all over the place so not really a surprise.
The only true surprise was canach's appearance aiding us in one DRM and of course the voice acting of his as Di margio is probably busy with animaniacs.
SO far it does sounds a bit pessimistic BUT thats merely on the level of twists and surprises.
Presentation wise the story in this update is exceptionally descent, reactions of character to horrible atrocities are on point, Jokes are just right to loosen the tightness of the dire situations. The pacing was competent and right on spot. Music use as decent as ever, variety in locals are enough to not get boring at all, the wolf form is a bit clunky but its obvious what anet tried to do there (maybe prototype for usable balanced norn transformations?)
It's not a masterpiece, but sure as hell is not anything bad....
(excuse me this going to be rant from here on out and does not effect the content patch itself but something more long term that has been an issue of discussion for years)
The beginning of the Saga's final was over shadowed in the character department with one GLARING issue.
In the past I was one of the few that played devil's advocate and tried to find, usually successfully, bits and points to bring absolute Taimi haters to at least say "Fine I guess" ( of course not all but those I found), as most people who did like taimi never really bothered to find actual good arguments to defend her (no, you guys didn't) and just wrote haters off entirely without even considering they might have an angle.
However the Metrica DRM confronted me with something that I could not at the best of my abilities excuse or defend:
Taimi's blatant disregard of what just happened for MONTHS right before the final.
The commander and Brahm together have witnessed for months friends and comrade lynch each other in the frozen north after listening to the voice whispering into their ears, Fallen beasts kodan and Norn shamans have been twisted and warped into instruments of violence and betrayal. Jormag's forces on the dragon's behalf mowing down anyone that stood in their way, with jormag ONLY offering to talk after it's forces pushed into a corner. And then only to start civil war by influencing bangar and ryland through suggestions.
ALL THAT is nothing to Taimi as some fire bois try to "burn down the Asuran"...
"STONE MADE HOMES!"
I jest as asuran lives were also in danger, but taimi completely ignored everything that the commander and brahm witnessed FOR MONTHS, including that trusting jormag can only backfire (see bangar) and supported full heartedly the alliance with jormag. (and the commander's retorts where not great either)
She did only stated that jormag has to be dealt with eventually as if it was more of an annoyance than a threat, as she "rationalized" for herself ANY potential danger away to provide jormag information and intel ( "JoRmAg CaN bE sPoKeN wItH, rEaSoNeD wiTh*snobbish undertone"). Not only do we all know that Jormag abused this knowledge to attack lake doric but it also prompted jormag to act like that in the first place.
Taimi is in part responsible for what happened at lake doric and snowden drift and what's still going to happen.
Now one might say she is horrified by the actions of Jormag and the frost legion. And while it is indeed true, it is also true that no responsibility was pinned in part to her AT ALL in the writing and delivery.
It is the first time that I can not from a story perspective tolerate the character protection that is done here, intentional or not.
I do not ask for taimi to be torture or imprisoned. BUT the story need some small catharsis, snapping at her with one or two words in a condescending tone....but nothing.
The perfect opportunity would have been when the commander repeated Taimi's line "the council got what it wanted". A sarcastic undertone when emphasizing "the council" with taimi getting spooked would have been ENOUGH. Just something from that caliber really that states "YES, YOU'VE DONE FUDGED UP, TAIMI!"
And I do not ask for this because I "hate taimi". I say that most times those who did hate on her are expecting to much, sometimes even completely ridiculous things just to hate on her.
But in the context discussing taimi as a character and how she is written and finding some level benefit of doubt towards her in the past, it'd be hypocritical of me NOT to call this writing-blunder out.
And it's not that it would have been 5-10 min more content, just literally a different emphasis on one term and a tiny spooked squeak from the asura could have made ALL the difference.
Could they address it later? Sure they could but knowing how A-net handles their writing and such things, this is a detail they probably didn't even bother to notice. so I doubt they actually WILL address it even in the smallest possible form ever.
So in short as much as I dislike it to say, this time if someone dislikes Taimi or how she is handled as a character in the Icebrood Sage final...they have all right reasons to do so.