The Secrets of the Obscure Guild Wars 2 expansion is here, and with it comes a new story divided into several acts, each containing specific achievements. In the following article, I’ll share my videos and livestreams related to this expansion. This article will be updated over time.
- Day 1 – Secrets of the Obscure Release Day
- Story Arc 0: Prologue – Uncertain Times
- Day 2 – The story continues… and concludes!
- Day 3: Reflecting on the "Secrets of the Obscure" Story
Day 1 – Secrets of the Obscure Release Day
On August 22nd, the Secrets of the Obscure expansion was released. As players and I logged in, we were greeted with two exciting new features right from the start: The Wizard’s Vault and the new Relics system. Both of these elements deserve articles on their own. Before delving into the new Story Arcs, I decided to explore these features, which you can see in the Day 1 Livestream.
When you first open the Wizard’s Vault, which has replaced the old Daily system after 11 years, you are presented with the option to select your preferred game modes. The Wizard’s Vault then assigns tasks for you to complete within those game modes. In my case, I chose both PvE and PvP game modes since I don’t often engage in World vs. World (WvW) gameplay. However, even though I regularly participate in PvP, it became challenging to complete these daily tasks due to an influx of players with new and unkown builds entering the PvP arena.
In hindsight, if I had the opportunity to choose again, I would have opted for only PvE tasks during the first week of the Wizard’s Vault. The Wizard’s Vault resembles the free battle passes seen in other games, with the notable difference that there is no paid version of it. You can obtain all rewards, such as skins and emotes, simply by playing the game.
When players log in, they will also receive a bonus chest that offers the opportunity to acquire a relic of their choice. These relics can be equipped to enhance your stats, but you can only equip one relic at a time.
These relics essentially function as additional accessories and have a similar feel to runes. To be honest, I haven’t delved too deeply into relics just yet. I selected one that aligns with my playstyle and left the other chests untouched for now. I plan to choose them as players discover more effective and efficient playstyles and adapt accordingly.
Story Arc 0: Prologue – Uncertain Times
Caution: The following section contains minor spoilers about the Secrets of the Obscure story. I will do my best to minimize the number of spoilers.Kyosika
In the Prologue, you are provided with a new communication device to communicate with your allies. Before entering the story instance of Act 1, be sure to contact all of your allies to unlock the “Beta Tester” achievement.
To make the calls to your allies, use the “Upgraded Comms Device” found in your Inventory.
Story Arc 1: Commander without a Cause
After a brief prologue in your home instance, players are directed to visit Kessex Hills, where the Wizard’s Tower has mysteriously vanished. It doesn’t take long to suspect that a group known as the Astral Ward may be responsible.
Within this story instance, there is one achievement to be obtained called “Commander without a Cause“. This achievement can be easily earned by completing the objectives displayed in the top right corner of your screen.
Upon concluding this instance, you will confront a champion Demon with a break bar. Ensure that you have some crowd control abilities to break the bar and defeat it with ease Following that, you’re in for quite an adventure.
This story instance serves as an excellent starting point and uses features we’ve previously encountered in other Guild Wars 2 expansions and Living World episodes.
Story Arc 2: Hell Breaks Loose
After being pulled into a portal, the player finds themselves in… hell? This place immediately reminds me of Diablo 4 and the Dark Souls games. I’m uncertain about what’s about to unfold, but it’s clear that we’re in for quite a journey.
Soon, we are greeted by a mysterious demon that we cannot defeat. No need to worry though, there are no achievements tied to this encounter. Fortunately, players can escape its grasp and venture through a portal to a new world.
After being defeated by this demon, an unknown ally teleports us to a new location in this hell. We then have to hide from the same demon that was chasing us. Luckily, in the end, we spot a portal that takes us to another dimension.
Personally, I really enjoyed the battle and the hide-and-seek with the demon. It reused some familiar elements and made something new and creative out of them.
After going through the portal, we encounter Zojja and a new Mursaat ally. In this alternate dimension, which is just Tyria, we acquire the Heart of the Obscure after defeating a number of Kryptis. The Heart of the Obscure serves a multitude of purposes, including sealing Rifts in open-world content and a myriad of other applications.
After closing the Rift, players find themselves in a courtyard that had been overrun by Kryptis. After defeating them and sealing the remaining Rifts, a conversation with your allies ensues. Some of these instanced Rifts require the use of a Skyscale. If you don’t have one at your disposal, you can use the Skyscales conveniently stationed at the courtyard’s center. You won’t require any masteries to use them.
The video below takes you through Story Arc 1 and 2, demonstrating how to obtain the “We’re friends now” achievement. This video contains spoilers.
Story Arc 3: Mother of Stars
Once you’re done with “Hell Breaks Loose,” it’s time to dive into “Mother of Stars.” Here, you’ll kick things off by closing some open-world rifts and cruising through the new Skywatch Archipelago map to catch up with your allies.
Then, you’ll jump into a story instance with Zojja, and there’s an achievement connected to it called “Reader of Notes“. To get that achievement, all you’ve got to do is find two research notes, and don’t worry, they’re pretty easy to spot.
The first note? Right after you come up from a quick swim.
You’ll stumble upon the second note at an arena where you’re fighting a possesed Dagda.
This story instance feels more like your typical run-of-the-mill story instance: get to point A and take down enemy B. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t introduce anything particularly groundbreaking or fresh. It’s a straightforward story instance, much like the ones you’ve encountered before in other Living World episodes or Expansions.
Story Arc 4: Voices beyond the Veil
“Voices beyond the Veil” is a story act that unfolds entirely in the open world. To complete it, you can travel all over the world to close Rifts. This also provides a good opportunity to close Rifts in Core Tyria. There are specific weekly achievements that encourage you to close Rifts in these areas as well.
While closing these Rifts, we are guided by a mysterious voice, Peitha, who communicates with us through cryptic messages.
Day 2 – The story continues… and concludes!
On day 2, I’ve made progress by completing additional masteries, delved into the new Skywatch Archipelago, and gathered extra experience.
Story Arc 5: The Missing Facet
“The Missing Facet” begins once more with a substantial chunk of open-world content, which has started to feel somewhat repetitive at this stage, especially when it primarily involves participating in open-world events or closing Rifts. This constant back-and-forth between open-world activities disrupts the pace of the story in my opinion.
In the instanced version, after the player has successfully completed numerous Rifts and open-world events, the narrative takes us to the Wizard’s Tower. Here, we follow one of our new Dwarven allies, Lyhr, who guides us through the next steps required to gain entry to the Wizard’s Tower.
Story Arc 6: Tower of Secrets
“The Tower of Secrets” begins immediately after completing “The Missing Facet” without the need to reload the instance. This part of the game takes players on a tour around the Wizard’s Tower. When you start, you are presented with two options: assisting Lyhr or assisting Mabon. Both options have associated achievements, so to earn both, you’ll need to complete this instance twice – once while assisting Lyhr and another time while assisting Mabon.
As you explore the Wizard’s Tower, you’ll come across various objects you can interact with, such as journals, letters, and other items. It’s crucial to interact with these objects because you will need them later on. All the objects you interact with will be remembered, and you’ll need to return to them later in the game.
Once you reach the end and unlock the door, you must search for the Bastion Keys. These keys are the objects you could interact with earlier. If you’re unsure where to find these keys, check out the following video for guidance.
After returning all the keys, you will receive instructions to interact with the Astral Locator. Once you’ve completed this step, the “The Tower of Secrets” story arc is concluded.
Story Arc 7: Mabon’s Fate
Shortly after completing “The Tower of Secrets,” you have the opportunity to explore the (Northern) Wizard’s Tower at your leisure. This map serves as the central hub for the “Secrets of the Obscure” expansion. It has numerous crafting vendors, a bank, a trading post, and a Mystic Forge. It’s an ideal place to unwind and craft your new Legendary Weapons!
Upon your arrival at the Wizard’s Tower, you’ll be directed to embark on your journey to the last map, Amnytas. Before starting a new Story Instance, you’ll be instructed to participate in more open-world events. Here, the player must battle their way through countless Kryptis to locate a possessed Mabon. To discover what happens next, you can watch the livestream linked above.
Story Arc 8: Into the Obscure
“Into the Obscure” once again begins with an Open World Rift hunting session, which has started to feel somewhat tedious by this point. This might also be because I’ve been progressing through the story rather quickly. If you pace yourself with one Story Chapter a day, you might not find it as bothersome as I do.
The story instance transports the player to the Bastion of the Obscure, where we are tasked with investigating unusual circumstances. There’s an achievement associated with this instance called “Tracking with Gladium.” In this achievement, players must guide the NPC “Gladium” to three corners of the bastion.
First, upon entering the Bastion, head to the bottom left of the area where you’ll encounter a brown cow. Second, proceed to the bottom right of the instance where you’ll find a group of rats worshipping another rat. Third, make your way to the exit of the Bastion. Completing these steps will earn you the achievement. If you’re having trouble locating it? Navigate to the “Tracking with Gladium” on my Livestream.
Story Arc 9: The World Spire
“The World Spire” is the last story instance of “Secrets of the Obscure.” This story chapter unfolds within an instanced story version atop the Heart of the Spire in Amnytas. Here, our task is to defeat numerous Kryptis and defeat a possessed Isgarren. Once this is achieved, we must overcome even more Kryptis to obtain Raw Essences. These essences are then thrown at Isgarren to guide him to his next destination while he’s disoriented.
Upon reaching the final location, it becomes apparent that Isgarren is being used as a conduit to transfer messages from another realm. After defeating him once more, we are teleported to another dimension. During this battle, it’s recommended to have Crowd Control abilities to break Isgarren’s breakbar.
Story Arc 10: Treachery
After defeating the possessed Isgarren, you and Isgarren are transported to another realm. Here, you encounter the demon that had been pursuing you in Story Arc 2. Furthermore, you gain insight into the demon’s identity and name: Cerus. Cerus is revealed to be the brother of a demon found in Bastion of the Penitent named Deimos.
During Story Arc 2, we were unable to defeat Cerus. However, it’s revealed that Peitha is Cerus’ sister, and she comes to our aid in defeating him.
After Cerus’ defeat, you, Isgarren, and Peitha are teleported back to the Wizard’s Tower. Here, Isgarren and Peitha discuss the imminent danger approaching Tyria.
Day 3: Reflecting on the “Secrets of the Obscure” Story
As I delve deeper into the “Secrets of the Obscure” story, my thoughts are becoming more clear. Here are some of my thoughts:
- Pacing: The story seems to have its pacing issues, particularly in the early chapters. The repetition of open-world activities, like Rift hunting, can make it feel a bit monotonous. However, I realize that this might be less of an issue if played at a slower pace.
- Character Development: The introduction of new characters like Lyhr, Mabon, and the revelation of Peitha as Cerus’ sister, adds depth to the narrative. I’m eager to see how they evolve in the stories to come.
- Plot Points: The story’s mysteries and the exploration of different realms, including encounters with Cerus and learning about his connection to Deimos, have me hooked.
- Gameplay Integration: I appreciate how the story seamlessly blends into the gameplay with achievements and interactive elements.
- Setting and World-building: The Wizard’s Tower as a hub for the expansion offers a convenient and immersive setting. Its inclusion of crafting vendors, a bank, and a Mystic Forge is a thoughtful addition for players.
- Foreshadowing: The discussion about the impending danger for Tyria between Isgarren and Peitha has me intrigued and eager to continue the journey.
Overall, while there are some pacing concerns, “Secrets of the Obscure” continues to weave an engaging narrative with intriguing characters and mysteries. I look forward to uncovering more secrets and discovering how the story unfolds in the coming chapters.