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The "What Lies Within" Story was ...


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The character development stuff was fine, but we seem to have gone nowhere here that couldn't have been dealt with last episode.

Guess this really was just quick filler stuff before we move off somewhere else. Bit of a head scratcher really

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I really enjoyed the slice of life stuff, appropriate dialogue and some fun and varied interactions based on choice, the serious stuff im abit more iffy on. The tunnel segment especially felt weirdly paced almost like it was bugged at times.

The character choices for commanders trauma, some of them felt like the devs were grasping at straws but ehh.

Also im disappointed there was no real tease in the story for where things might go next.

 

One thing i took away from this is that anet can do smaller moments and lighthearted stuff well if they place them and pace them appropriately, they just need to balance the serious moments and the more lighthearted moments better, same goes for big and small moments within the story.

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Short indeed - I consider that a plus. I never had grand expectations for how this little arc would wrap up, so I deeply appreciated that there were no HP sponge fights or massive tedium.

Not saying I want this to be the status quo, mind you. The entirety of this arc felt extremely thin to me. However, I'll tentatively accept this as Anet (as per usual) hurriedly wrapping something up to move onto the next thing.

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I won't lie - the story was really disappointing for me. The latest patch was just absolute gutter. While I liked the idea of revisiting some of the old moments and characters the choice of it was absolutely bizarre. Cinder? I had absolutely no recollection who that npc was..not to mention the choice to pick her was nonsensical. There were far better options - give us Almorra's death, give us the moment when we had to stab Traherne, show us how we lost Eir, the lost mentor of the player's character when they first joined the order (albeit the last one appears as a blue mist for a second).

Overall I am just disappointed, I keep having hopes that the story will get better, but instead it feels like ever since Path of Fire and its LSs, the story just keep going downhill for me.

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Posted (edited)

No final conclusion, as I seem to be stuck on "Full Circle - Read the message from Rama"... I see where the story should progress within New Kaineng when I'm not in the map, but once I jump to the map, I lose my indicator and can't seem to find where I should be... I guess I'll relog and see what happens... If someone can share something obvious that I've missed, that would be great.

Spoiler

Pretty disappointed with the repetitiveness of the Legendary Ravenous Wanderer encounter... You start to lose count on how many iterations of the three or four mechanics your cycling through... Just feels supremely lazy... If the encounter is too short by design, then beef it up... but to just keep repeating the same loop is not great.  

EDIT:  Well, re-logged and a mail showed up, triggering next steps.  Not sure if the re-log was required, or that step was slightly time-gated or something... anyway, we move forward!

Edited by Garrison Storm.3046
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3 hours ago, Ynvir.4079 said:

While I liked the idea of revisiting some of the old moments and characters the choice of it was absolutely bizarre. Cinder? I had absolutely no recollection who that npc was..not to mention the choice to pick her was nonsensical. There were far better options - give us Almorra's death, give us the moment when we had to stab Traherne, show us how we lost Eir, the lost mentor of the player's character when they first joined the order (albeit the last one appears as a blue mist for a second).

The Cinder thing struck me as well. I picked the name because I just couldn't remember who that was. I'm curious if the options varied depending on what episodesof the living world or expansions are unlocked on the account. Chosing Blish f.e. makes little sense if the player has not played LS4. Cinder makes no sense, if you haven't played IBS and so on.

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Overall I was a bit disapointed. With this finale of the EoD storyline. Start and end, the dialogue heavy parts felt fine at best, cringy at worst. I mean, did we actually had to ship the commander? I know it's an option, and within that option, the game let's you chose between three characters. But still, was this actually necessary?
The action bit in the middle felt rushed and not all that exciting. The big battle at the end is kinda boring tbh. Guess it's immersive to actually use tha magical McGuffin device of problem solving. I just don't like when I have to not use my characters profession skills.

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I really thought we would get a whole other half of the map, but all we got was a very thing slice. A tunnel.

Also, there is no indication, hype cinematic, or anything for the new expansion at the end of the this episode. Like I have no idea what the conclusion exactly is at the moment, thought I may have missed something?

I don't see why they couldn't have just released this episode with the last one. 

Personally, I really love the demon theme of the story, and I am excited to see where this will eventually lead.

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It felt like they didn't even try to release quality content like they did during LS4 and earlier.  How much of the story was essentially copy and pasted to duplicate doing the exact same thing?  The entire last instance where you do actually fight something was repetitive.  Even the second part of the meta is extremely repetitive.  It just left the feeling that they were doing the bare minimum to release something.

If the mini expansion follows this same pattern, and we charged to much for it, they're going to lose players.  They made a lot of hype with their announcements of the future but so far they're seriously falling short.

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Beating a random oni boss (jokes on everyone who hoped for Kanaxai, including myself) with the power of good thoughts is not doing it for me ANET. The story after EoD is really irrelevant, shallow and didn't hype anything for the next release. 

If the story is not good, the maps and the metas of it will fall flat as well. 

I don't think cheesy lines and jokes without any excitement can carry the game anymore. It is missing the writing quality guys.

Do something to fix this!

Please.

 

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7 hours ago, Ogwom.7940 said:

I really thought we would get a whole other half of the map, but all we got was a very thing slice. A tunnel.

Also, there is no indication, hype cinematic, or anything for the new expansion at the end of the this episode. Like I have no idea what the conclusion exactly is at the moment, thought I may have missed something?

I don't see why they couldn't have just released this episode with the last one.

I agree that this should have been a single release. If future releases are going to be cut down in content and fun like this, just small bits with no value, I don't think I will be paying for any upcoming story content.

They have obviously replaced story content with tons of achievements that aren't very interesting, either, to keep people busy, and ugly skins as "rewards". That's a bad story model for an RPG.

Perhaps they should focus on updating the engine/developer tools to get it over with and only release a fractal and/or strike every once in a while? I would prefer that to story content that is neither satisfying nor well told but short and rushed, with no exciting twists and turns, fully anti-climatic. In one word: boring.

And there I was several years ago, complaining about Living World Season 4 being released at such a slow cadence -- that was because it was well told and kept me interested and I didn't want to have to wait several months to see the story progress and wait a year and a half for its conclusion. I feel silly now and want that type of quality story-telling back...

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ashantara.8731 said:

Perhaps they should focus on updating the engine/developer tools to get it over with and only release a fractal and/or strike every once in a while?

I would prefer this as well. Updated dev tools would help the studio further down the line, and engine upgrades would (presumably) improve everything everywhere. Sure, they told us they're already working on those two thing, but I agree it would be okay if they really put their focus on such internals. This most recent release was not worth taking away effort from those more fundamental improvements, imo.

I'll reserve full judgment on the matter until we start seeing the new releases on the new schedule, but I get the feeling I'm also going to be in the "no more money" boat until the game direction seems better.

  

3 hours ago, Ashantara.8731 said:

And there I was several years ago, complaining about Living World Season 4 being released at such a slow cadence -- that was because it was well told and kept me interested and I didn't want to have to wait several months to see the story progress and wait a year and a half for its conclusion. I feel silly now and want that type of quality story-telling back...

Thankfully I don't have this problem lol. Just like most others, I also burned through LWS4 quickly as it came out, but I have enough grindy goals to occupy me between releases, so I've never felt the sting of content cadence quite like a lot of others on here/reddit/wherever. 

Edited by voltaicbore.8012
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Posted (edited)

I get they didn't want to just have a singular episode be the start and finish to the new direction of what narrative they wished to tell, but with how hollow this was with such an absurdly long wait really made me ask myself "Why the hell did we just wait three months for this?" It was hilariously short and the ten week wait could have been summarised in two weeks with each log being done back to back daily and after you hear all of Gorrik's logs, you jump into the conclusion the following reset to end this chapter.

I came out of it feeling underwhelmed by the pacing of the release more than anything- doing this alongside with a friend of mine, we stopped and had to be cynical of the narrative choices- which is a bad thing, by the way; I like being optimistic and generally oblivious to things like this but jfc I was sitting there with the repetitive question (mentally and vocally) of "Why".
Like: why the hell do we care about Cinder (who from what I read had some bizarre interactions with Chul-moo of all things) when she was a bargaining chip and also our enemy caught in a megalomaniac's war and died as fast as she was introduced, Blish (I get some people got behind him and cared about him as a character but I felt nothing personally while my commander was forced to feel remorse for someone who hadn't been on the team for long) who was also torn from us as fast as he was introduced: and Vlast - I get Vlast is a big figure in Aurene's life but *once again* he was gone as fast as when we saw him to really care let alone harbor any guilt- it's a reoccurring trend with characters in this game and I tire of it.
Then we have Aurene who was the one we had the longer connection with that made some semblance of sense to our despair-- but why not have it hit harder when we lost her back in Thunderhead when we had to wait three + months to learn if she was coming back or not? That hurt a lot of people - myself including- and having the character reflect upon her and Kralk might've made more sense than her birth place if you wanted to hit the "you don't know what you have until you lose it" trope.
These choices felt really out of touch for me, and more so to have Trahaerne, Almorra, the mentors and Eir be someone who comes to support you emotionally right at the end for a few seconds to bolster your courage in defeating this unpredictable foe who we're struggling to contain/defeat rather than be at the core of our emotional trauma. It feels like the writing team has forgotten the game's lore and don't know what's important to the commander truly as a character and that just feels really bad.

That's probably my other problem: I've been thinking hard about the commander's RNR from all the trauma they've endured for 10+ years and this felt like such a weird way to address their emotional distress by them becoming bait for a 'friend's' plan to overcome a new enemy who is empowered by emotions: if Gorrik and the team had any sense they would have just said "take some time off, come back when you're ready" rather than "we're gonna exploit you lmao and here's our recorded process of how, hf" as the bulk of building the story for the new expansion.
This could have been done in a 2 episode, random fluff "just enjoy yourself and reflect on your journey" conclusion at the end of the expansion before jumping straight into the thick of danger again and having characters be emotionally unstable in an environment they're clearly not suited to be in. The fluff they did have was actually nice but the fact they ironically addressed the "full circle" of going back to the teahouse after a quick "one and done" really feels jarring tbh.

(PS: what the hell happened to Jory and Kasmeer's wedding?)

Being an avid lover of this game for 9+ years now I really just keep coping that they'll give us a good story that doesn't feel rushed and baked with some social issue undertone of trying to appeal to the modern generation through their game: it does more harm than good. Unfortunately today it has really soured my opinion on the story for this game and I'm feeling underwhelmed with every content release with EOD so far to the point it's just disappointing and I don't want to come back. I hate being a doomer: I want to be excited, I want to be passionate about this game again and continue playing, and look forwards to the new content Anet have to give us but if this is what we're expected to get both narratively and gameplay wise in the future then I'm probably done for now.
 

Edited by Darkness.3942
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Posted (edited)

I enjoyed most of the game content, including the icbrood saga. Comparing drizzelwood coast with this release felt required. What lies beneath/within fell short in every aspect, the meta wasn't as good, and the story wasn't as compelling (an understatement). Some dialogs were ok through. It is scary to think that this is the new direction that the game is taking.

Edited by Rhinala.1739
made a bit more coherent
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