Guild Wars 2's maelstrom screenshot

After an entire year of basically no new content outside of raids and cash shop items, ArenaNet has finally unleashed the Living Story: Season 3 upon Tyria with Episode 1 - Out of the Shadows.

There's ~2 hours of new story content to go through, a whole variety of achievements to endlessly reset instances for, a new Fractal and PvP map, as well as a whole bunch of quality of life changes and balance fixes. If you're interested in quick overview, here's the recently posted trailer, though do be warned, there are some Heart of Thorns spoilers in there:


I've only done the story content so far, but I have to say that its pretty damn good and well worth the hour or two it will take you to complete. However, while I did truly enjoy it I can't help but feel that an hour or two of story every couple of months is just not enough to be considered a substantial update. Most of this comes down to the fact that the story content is a "one and done" type of affair and outside of your desire to hunt for achievements you're probably never going to revisit it again. While certainly a unique feature of Guild Wars 2, its also a massive drain on developer resources that could've gone towards creating more Raids, Dungeons, Fractals, or even entire new Zones to explore, aspects of the game that are designed to be enjoyable over and over again.

This minor complaint aside, if you've stopped playing Heart of Thorns like I did because you've done literally everything you could, Out of the Shadows is well worth coming back to and exploring. Best of all, its completely free for those that simply log in during its run-time, after which it will become available for purchase in the in-game store at a rather reasonable fee, much like Season 2. Have fun!

Guild Wars 2's tentacles in the shadows