I think amongst all the negative feedback (some of which I can understand - others not) Anet is getting these days, it is a good idea to look on the great work the devs are doing.
Therefore I really want to appreciate some aspects of the latest episode:
- First of all: The Music. I really love it and I have so much fun listening to the music as I explore the Bjora Marches!
- The Design and Visual Effects of the Bjora Marches: I absolutely love this map. It has the darker tone I wanted for so long. It feels spooky and it's really fun to explore it - even with mounts. I like to fly around with my Skyscale or I just walk my way through the terrain. It's really gorgeous. As for the visual effects: Just watch last week's guild chat and you will know how much work went only into the shadow of Drakkar behind the ice. It's insane! That's what shows me that Anet really wants to give us quality content.
- The new strike mission is really nice and it's - in my personal opinion - not too easy and not too hard. It's very difficult to do it right, I think. Because when it's too easy, it's not as much fun and can't bring players to Raids and Fractals. When it's too hard, PvE-only-players might not want to play it. I would only like better rewards OR another reason for players to actually do them more. Like a very rare drop of a (therefore) very expensive cool item (like a specific strike-mission-weapon skin/infusion/armour skin or something). Or a collection tied to them. Be creative
- The story: Storytelling really improved! I think the story is really interesting and one reason for that is the dark and spooky theme. I don't say more here because I don't want to spoiler.
- the new mini dungeons/ light puzzles are beautiful and fun, too
- Let me just say this: I really really love this game and I really do like the current storytelling and living world updates. I am curious to find out against what Jormag wants to protect us
Some additional thoughts:
I know that there are players who are really unimpressed by the work the devs are doing for the living world content. When I read the forums it seems like most of the players are thinking that way. But: most people aren't on the forums or on reddit etc. Most players don't discuss on the forums about things they like but most of the time only about the things they don't like. And because of that the impression that most of the player base is unhappy is pretty strong - but just not true. The forums etc. are like a bubble. And most of the time not the majority of the players is heard but the loudest.
Even though I like the current living world updates there are some things I would like to see, too: a new raid (that would be so awesome considering the current map design and so on! And there would be some great story potential for raids here) or a new fractal. A new expansion after the Icebrood Saga (and I would willingly pay for it!) with new elite specs (and maybe a visit to Cantha? )
BUT: Even though I don't get these things (at the moment) I still can enjoy the game. When you like the game then please enjoy it. Not everything is perfect but there a many people who put so much work in it so that we can play this game.
So tell me what you think.