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What's going on with the Brand?


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I was looking at the new map and I noticed something: The Brand is distinctly to the east of Thunderhead, yet somehow reaches far further than indicated and hits the east edge of it. This got me looking for errors in other places and I noticed one that's bee there the whole time: The Brand should start in the Blood Legion homelands, to the north of Ascalon, but it stretches only as far as the north end of the Iron Marches, then stops dead well short of the Homelands. Also if you look at old maps vs new maps, the brand is distinctly less crystalline and more just dark with blackish terrain on the older maps.

What is going on with the Brand?

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@Boogiepop Void.6473 said:I was looking at the new map and I noticed something: The Brand is distinctly to the east of Thunderhead, yet somehow reaches far further than indicated and hits the east edge of it. This got me looking for errors in other places and I noticed one that's bee there the whole time: The Brand should start in the Blood Legion homelands, to the north of Ascalon, but it stretches only as far as the north end of the Iron Marches, then stops dead well short of the Homelands. Also if you look at old maps vs new maps, the brand is distinctly less crystalline and more just dark with blackish terrain on the older maps.

What is going on with the Brand?

Old vs. New, I would say is due to Kralkatorrik getting a whole lot more power before and during PoF.

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They created newer, better-looking assets since the initial release, I imagine. We also recently learned that since he's been in the Mists, Kralk gained the ability to create brandstorms anywhere he likes, which explains how they're happening in Thunderhead Keep and other areas outside of the brand itself.

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I suspect it's a combination of both the reasons already given.

In practical terms Anet have been able to develop better looking art assets in the time since release, and maybe spend more time on the Brand since there was so much of it in Elona. (I love the purple crystal, if I wasn't concerned about it's magical properties I'd say someone could get a good business mining it and selling it for decoration - like the Luxons did with the Jade Sea.) But also the Brand will be stronger in and around Elona because Kralk spent more time there. He only flew over Ascalon once (and he was in a hurry at the time), he spent years in and around Elona so he had more time to 'build up' the brand.

Thunderhead Keep is a bit of an anomaly there though because it's north of Elona. The Brand spreading beyond where it was originally shown is fairly easy to explain - the unexplored map is very much an 'artists impression' and a lot of features don't match up exactly, and we know the Brand can spread beyond where Kralk originally went because Ascalon has a whole organisation (the Sentinels) who spend all their time trying to stop it spreading by destroying any branded creatures and plants they find along the edges and even then they apparently have limited success. But it's surprising to see the huge Branded crystals there since it seems likely it was spread 'only' by branded minions and not by Kralk himself. But maybe that's what could have happened to Ascalon if they weren't trying to contain and destroy the Brand?

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