Spoiler warning! This Guild Chat episode discusses details of Flashpoint’s story.
On the latest episode of Guild Chat, Rubi Bayer talked to the developers behind the latest Living World episode, Flashpoint. In the first segment, Game Designers Aaron Roxby and Link Hughes talked about the two story instances they created for the episode.
Aaron, the designer behind the Taimi’s Pet Project instance, said the team hinted at Lazarus’s identity early in the season by surrounding him with fire effects. The actual reveal went through several revisions, and they used a cinematic to focus on Kasmeer’s reaction. Because the Six Gods are part of the foundation on which Kasmeer has built her life and identity, Balthazar’s actions left her reeling. Aaron added that he wanted Phlunt to have a redemptive moment to show that while the character isn’t a good person, he isn’t truly evil either.
Link worked on the Heart of the Volcano instance. He wanted to emphasize the feeling of a massive descent, and the map ended up being the tallest in the game. The gameplay was tricky, because Guild Wars 2‘s engine wasn’t built for extended midair combat. His goal was to balance the instance around spectacle over challenge, so Link asked coworkers who are easygoing Guild Wars 2 players to test the gameplay.
The team knew the fight would take place on top of Primordus, and Link felt strongly that players should be able to see the dragon. Because the Elder Dragons are so important, even showing Primordus’s nose is making a commitment to its appearance. While the instance was being built, Josh Foreman used a giant version of the Super Adventure Box’s alligator in place of Primordus’s snout.
Next, Producer Paul Ella discussed legendary armor. He explained that the team originally wanted to release it with the Forsaken Thicket raid, but they didn’t feel the armor was up to their standards at the time. He also said they wanted to add a rune-swapping option for legendary weapons as well, but after studying the potential economic effects, they determined it would have a negative impact on the game’s economy.
Finally, Environment Design Specialist Josh Foreman and Game Designer Tyler Bearce discussed their work on the Draconis Mons map. Josh wanted to create a volcanic cavern that was different from the barren landscape of Ember Bay, and he put a great deal of thought into designing distinct biomes and arranging subfloors to strike a balance between exploration and clear travel progression.
Tyler explained that the Oakheart’s Reach Mastery was originally created as part of a renown task in Ember Bay, but the team thought it was too interesting to limit it to one small area of a map. It went through several iterations and was at one point a spider that attached to the player character’s wrist and shot webs instead of vines.
Have you noticed a spider creeping around your home instance after offering M.O.X. a place to stay? Aaron hypothesizes that the ancient golem may be full of them. It’s a good thing Webby’s friendly!
You can watch a recording of the episode below: