GuildWars 2: “The Floating Grizwhirl”

I was a fan of the orig­i­nal Guild­Wars online MMORPG from the first moment I dis­cov­ered it includ­ed the Mes­mer pro­fes­sion for play­er char­ac­ters. I played it for sev­er­al years and still do on occa­sion, but I long since did every­thing I could and even cre­at­ing a new char­ac­ter with a dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sion was­n’t all that inter­est­ing any longer. Now I’ve found a sim­i­lar inter­est in the sequel game, Guild­Wars 2.

Three years ago, Are­naNet released Guild­Wars 2. One of the great mys­ter­ies sur­round­ing the release was the final char­ac­ter pro­fes­sion, which was (as many play­ers were hop­ing) again the Mes­mer pro­fes­sion, much changed from the first game, alas. Guild­Wars 2 was, like its pre­de­ces­sor, a non-sub­scrip­tion game, with only the ini­tial pay­ment for the client soft­ware the only main out­lay to play the game. At the time, and since, I could­n’t real­ly afford the (admit­ted­ly min­i­mal) cost, plus, at the time, I did­n’t have a fast enough Inter­net con­nec­tion that could han­dle the mas­sive size of the client down­load. There­fore, I parked my inter­est in the game and car­ried on with oth­er things.

Just recent­ly, how­ev­er, Are­naNet “unlocked” the game, so peo­ple could play it for free. Grant­ed, access is lim­it­ed to only two char­ac­ters, and oth­er aspects are lim­it­ed or locked, but the core ele­ments are still avail­able. I decid­ed to give it a try and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Of course, I had to cre­ate a Mes­mer char­ac­ter, actu­al­ly two of them. Part of the char­ac­ter cre­ation is a series of ques­tions about the char­ac­ter’s past. The one human char­ac­ter (the oth­er char­ac­ter is a Norn, which are very large human-appear­ing beings: I tried a Syl­vari (plant-based crea­ture) but I was­n’t sat­is­fied with the visu­al image, although I may return to that race in the future) was asked about what they wished they had done in their past: hav­ing seen the ques­tions and the results before, I answered the ques­tion with “run off to join the cir­cus.” That deter­mined the series of quests in the sec­ond seg­ment of the char­ac­ter’s per­son­al devel­op­ment sto­ry, involv­ing the Float­ing Grizwhirl.

The Floating Grizwhirl

The Float­ing Grizwhirl was a hyp­not­ic device used by the Ring­mas­ter (no, not that one) to foment chaos and destruc­tion with­in the cap­i­tal city of Divin­i­ty’s Reach and the ulti­mate over­throw of Queen Jen­na. The char­ac­ter is drawn into the plot through the machi­na­tions of a par­tic­u­lar Min­is­ter and the need to res­cue a lost child. That leads to a con­fronta­tion with hyp­no­tized carnies, a per­son­al try­out for the car­ni­val, a pri­vate meet­ing with the Ring­mas­ter and the ulti­mate con­fronta­tion with the Ring­mas­ter and the hyp­no­tized audi­ence. Along the way, the play­er’s char­ac­ter gets hyp­no­tized by the Ring­mas­ter and led to believe that every­one around them is a mon­ster, who are sim­i­lar­ly hypnotized.

The above video is the first quest, where the char­ac­ter inves­ti­gates the miss­ing child. Note that the video above unfor­tu­nate­ly cuts out near the end. How­ev­er, the play­er char­ac­ter is a Mes­mer, which is why I used it.

My only quib­ble is that we nev­er get to see the Float­ing Grizwhirl in action. I was hop­ing for some pret­ty seri­ous spe­cial effects here, at least some spi­rals or swirls.

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