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Guild Wars 2: The Icebrood Saga Champions, Chapter 3 first impressions

Published: 18:52, 09 March 2021
ArenaNet
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet released another Champions chapter, bringing a few interesting plot points but other than that it's the business as usual in Guild Wars 2's Dragon Response Missions.

Guild Wars 2 continued the Icebrood Saga with the latest addition, Chapter 3 of the Champions plot where the story progressed a bit but everything else was pretty much what everyone expected.

There are three additional Dragon Response Missions, located in Caledon Forest, Bloodtide Coast and Fireheart Rise. None of them are particularly challenging content on the default settings and just about any build and loadout will get you through them, if you are just looking to progress the story.

If, on the other hand, you want some more challenging content, there is the regular DRM NPC that allows you to tune the difficulty up. 

The first mission has you going up against Icebrood as you help out the Tengu and ANet keep hinting at them having a bigger role in the future. It is the Exalted, however, that make this mission a walk in the park since you can speak with their Sage to transform you into Enchanted Armor for two minutes. While in this form, you will plough through the regular enemies and easily break the defiance bar of the final boss.

Speaking of the boss, there are some interesting mechanics at play here. There is a major blizzard in the area and you will get stacks of hypothermia which will deplete your HP at an increasing rate. You have to keep Tengu fires up in order to keep yourself warm but the boss will keep putting them out. This will give you a nice little minigame to make the fight more interesting than just beating on a massive block of HP that occasionally hits like a truck.

Bloodtide Coast, the second DRM in this chapter didn't really have anything that struck me as new but the boss was quite annoying. You stroll down the dragon minion lane, beat them up, get the boss out and then his mechanics come into play. He will have periods of invulnerability, which is never a fun thing to encounter but you can shorten them by using the nearby ship cannons to shoot the obstacles.

Fireheart Rise is the final of the three new missions that has you battling Primordus' minions in Flame Legion's homelands. This is basically a horde mode where you and your allies stand and wait for waves of Destroyers to beat them down. There isn't much new to speak of, except one detail you may not believe - Braham became dumber. As it appears, this was indeed possible.

There is one story instance in the new chapter and as you may have guessed by now, it is a Scrying Pool vision. Aurene shows you a vision of Brand who came to her with an idea that perfectly illustrates the void that ate up all of his intelligence and then you explore his descent into deep idiocy.

One bright spot of this mission is that even though you play as Braham, you get to keep your own abilities. On top of that, you will gain access to Wolf's skills, which should allow you to chew through the Destroyers easier.

ArenaNet Guild Wars 2 - Braham's mission can get tricky, especially if you allow one too many Bursters to live Guild Wars 2 - Braham's mission can get tricky, especially if you allow one too many Bursters to live

Another thing to note is that the voices in Chapter 3 definitely sound different on characters that we encountered before and heard a lot from. It is currently unclear if this is a result of ANet's difficulties in recording the audio due to Covid-19 restraints or a permanent change to go in a different direction. 

The most noticeable change is in Canach's voice but also the writing of his character. He retains the sarcastic tone but it is no longer his old brand of witty banter and it's quite possible we won't see the Sylvari at his best, like in the era when we chased a certain treasonous minister.

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