On the latest episode of Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer was joined by Narrative Designer Peter Fries and Environment Design Specialist Josh Foreman for a tour of the rebuilt Lion’s Arch. The port city has existed for hundreds of years, and over time it has transformed from the Krytan capital to a den of piracy, and then to a thriving center of commerce and trade. The redesign was intended to bolster the city’s defenses and reflect its current role in Tyria while staying true to its nautical roots.
The history of Lion’s Arch lingers on in other ways, too. Years ago, the city was attacked by rampaging karka, and a little cleanup work is still needed in the nooks and crannies. Alexander Youngblood designed a karka-hunt achievement that rewards you for finding intrusive hatchlings by giving you your very own karka. The good news is that Princess will devour your excess dragonite ore rather than devouring portions of Lion’s Arch.
You might find yourself in some out-of-the-way places while you’re crab hunting, so keep an eye out for Josh’s signature coins. He plants these in areas he refers to as “negative possibility space”—places that players can reach with effort, but that contain no content. The coin is an acknowledgement that explorers have done something cool by finding a way into those places.
Many major landmarks have returned in a much different form. The Crow’s Nest tavern had a crack in its foundation and needed to be rebuilt, while the old diving board at Diverse Ledges was condemned. The highest diving spot is now located atop the Phoenix Roost lighthouse. Although fans didn’t vote to name the new lighthouse after Priest Graidy—who died heroically in Scarlet’s attack—Graidy’s daughter resides there to offer Dwayna’s blessing to travelers.
Peter and Josh pointed out some of the little details that went into the reconstruction. Hero-Tron now sports a ribbon proclaiming his heroic status, while the Consortium is running the Tyrian equivalent of a depressing corporate office. An aid worker has decided life is too short for her to be untrue to herself and has come out as transgender. The official Lion’s Arch tour guide has some choice criticism for the architecture and design—and she should know, since she’s sure she could have done a much better job. A bowl of raisins exists purely to torment Environment Art Team Lead Dave Beetlestone. NPCs ride broomsticks, use portals, converse with each other while passing by, and take waypoints to their destinations. Lots of rooftop vantage points were built in so that you can look down at the streets from on high while exploring.
Josh mentioned that the Design team wanted to give a nod to role-players, so Lion’s Arch has several open areas to meet and greet others and hang out. There’s even a wedding chapel players can use to stage in-game ceremonies, although you’ll need to arrange for your own officiant!
If you missed Points of Interest, check out the recording below!