In Guild Wars 2, just over a week from now, Season Two of The Living Story will begin. It's been a long old while since the end of Season One and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a lot more people weren't planning on dropping by to see what's new than ever would have seemed likely back in the dark days of 2013.
For a while, back at the start, when the opening dog-and-pony show was stuttering around the low Shiverpeaks and the back end of Ascalon, it all seemed mightily underwhelming. (Oddly, those early skirmishes seem to have been airbrushed out of the revisionist Recap, along with an awful lot else that no-one cares to remember any more). Then, as the achievement mill span up to operating speed and the two-week grinder began to grip, the traffic in complaints began to go the other way as stressed and fractious achievers struggled to keep up with the relentless pace, while non-achievers tutted and shook their heads at the sheer futility of it all.
Somewhere along the way Scarlet Briar introduced herself to near-universal derision and satori was achieved. The perfect meld of content no-one wanted, delivered via mechanics no-one enjoyed, to tell a story no-one cared to hear about a character no-one liked.
And then (was it slowly or was it suddenly?) things began to change. By the time the first story arc thundered to a close in the early months of 2014 the mood had shifted. Naysayers remained but their narrative no longer carried the day. Doubts were being given the benefit. There were mutterings of interest from some corners, grudging anticipation from others. After all, if you put a dragon on the mantlepiece in Act One, surely it has to fly before the final curtain and a dragon pays for a lot.
The long hiatus between seasons (what has it been? Two months? Three?), which seemed such a risk, turns out to have been well-judged. Long enough for exhaustion to slump into ennui, for frustration to fade to boredom. It wasn't so bad after all, was it? Something new to do every couple of weeks, that was alright, wasn't it? Don't you miss that? Even that annoying sylvari with her bottomless bag of tricks and her infuriating giggle, she did have something, didn't she?
The pump's well-primed. Now here comes the first gush of information, sparkling with a rainbow spray of "we hear you". Permanent content. Replayable content. Challenging content. Content at a pace you can control. And, above all, content that comes with an irresistible New Dragon smell.
It may look like nothing more than an IGN squib but in fact it's the drop from this official Season Two Trailer on the GW2 website. That link goes nowhere else. So we must assume, must we not, that whatever that link takes us to is sanctioned and authorized, else why puff it up as a promo reveal?
So, if that's canon, what are we to make of the first half of the opening sentence of the final paragraph?
"While Scarlet may be out of the picture for now..."
Never believed she was dead. Not for a moment. Roll on the first of July.