The Scrying Pool: Fort Lion's Arch

The Scrying Pool wonders what will happen to Lion's Arch in Heart of Thorns.


The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

The true beginnings of the Lion’s Arch reconstruction efforts have started. Last week’s patch has once again changed the way Lion’s Arch looks as all of the Breachmaker wreckage from Scarlet’s attack on the city early last year was removed. In addition to removing the wreckage and piles of debris, the city is now full of rebar, half built structures and barges carrying construction materials.

Alongside the patch was a blogpost that briefly gave an overview of the reconstruction efforts. Lion’s Arch won’t be rebuilt exactly as it was, but will be designed to be more defensible. While the city will still be home to all the services we expect in a city, the city will be more of a fortress complete with a new Aerodome for airships and air defense.

For this article of the Scrying Pool, I’m not going to talk about the actual rebuilding efforts or the names that players could pick from for the new areas of Lion’s Arch. Instead, I’m going to talk about a teasing question of Lion’s Arch courtesy of one Mr. Colin Johanson.

At PAX South, ArenaNet revealed the Heart of Thorns expansion. Part of that reveal was bringing in some of the community personalities to talk before and after the show. One of them was a friend and guildmate, Richie “Bog Otter” Procopio. The night of the reveal, some of the developers took the casters out to dinner and casually talked about what they thought of the Heart of Thorns announcement.

At some point during the evening Colin asked what they thought was going to become of Lion’s Arch. This question stuck out to Richie as a curiosity, something that felt completely random to him but not so much to Colin. After a brief thought, Richie told Colin that he saw Lion’s Arch becoming a prison camp for all of the Mordrem-turned Sylvari that were once allies. You can go check out Richie’s video to hear more of his thoughts on this.

I had a similar thought to the future of Lion’s Arch, but instead of a fortified prison for the Mordrem Sylvari, I pictured that Lion’s Arch would be overrun and taken by the Mordrem Sylvari.

Lion’s Arch has always been the target of ill will, from the Mad King wrecking the Lion Statue during the first Halloween to the more recent assault by Scarlet. In addition to this bad mojo, we see that the reconstruction efforts are being led by the Consortium, which has had just as bad of luck with its endeavors in building up Southsun Cove. It only seems fitting that the combined bad luck of these two organizations would result in their crowning achievement of building the new Lion’s Arch be swiftly taken away by enemy forces.

Ever since we learned that Scarlet was going to destroy Lion’s Arch, I have been telling anyone who would listen that I wanted Lion’s Arch to be no longer be a city, but another enemy infested map. Alongside this idea was the idea of the Consortium taking over the central city, moving the city to Southsun Cove, renaming it to Karka’s Arch and guarded by the venerable Karkaguard.

While Karka’s Arch might be me having a bit too much fun (and wishing the Southsun’s awesome environment had more use for players), the idea of Lion’s Arch becoming another battle zone sounds really fun and interesting to me. The assault on Lion’s Arch content was amazing, being able to run through attacking enemies in the place I once felt safety.

I don’t think it is too far out of the possibilities to permanently lose a city. In our PAX East interview, we asked if there would be a new city added out in the Heart of Maguuma region. The answer we got was that there wasn’t going to be a new city as they already had enough cities in the game. Jon Peters then added that there is possibly even too many cities already.

Could we see the removal of Lion’s Arch as a city altogether? With the Personal Story Reconstruction, ANet has already mentioned that they will be adding in the ability for stories to exist in old versions of maps, meaning that the personal story wouldn’t be a reason to need to keep the map as a safe haven fit for the personal story.

With the Lion’s Arch reconstruction the city is being turned into a fortress. If the Sylvari helping guard this new fortress turn to Mordrem, it might not be hard for them to take the fortress from within. However, taking the city back might not be so easy depending on how well the fortress is built. It might not be a simple open-world map filled with enemies that we can casually walk into and defeat Mordrem, but a place that will take coordination to assault; a place that we might need to… raid.

Lion’s Arch is the heart of the world of Tyria as we can currently explore, being fairly centered on the game world’s map. If the Mordrem do take over the new Lion’s Arch, then it would truly become a Heart of Thorns.

Matt "Mattsta" Adams had fun checking out the new PvE beta content and the Itzel.

Another week where not much was finished on my current GW2 goals. Still working on dungeons through both running dungeons and completing reward tracks in PvP. I was able to buy one of the T3 sets for the Emperor title which you gain by buying cultural armors. Still have to get a Charr and Asura T3 sets to finish the title. What are you working on while we wait for Heart of Thorns?

If you have a question for me or a topic you would like to see talked about here, leave a comment below. You can also tweet your question and topics to me on twitter @MattstaNinja. Also, check out my site Mattsta.Ninja that focuses on guides and more for Guild Wars 2.


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