Oh, yeah. Rin was the capital of the human kingdom of Ascalon. We never got to see it intact in GW1; by the time we get there, the charr have already burned it heavily and it is lost to us.
It was definitely nostalgia-lane running around the charr lands, reading the in-game notes on bits of ruin from recognized landmarks. When we last saw those areas they were burned out husks of their former glory, but in GW2 they have been nearly completely restored to their autumnal beauty. It’s like being in the starter zone of GW1: Prophecies all over again…. yet so different. Very mixed feelings!
It’s awesome that the two games could invoke those kind of feelings and offer that sort of experience.
Personally, I only have GW2 to go on (and my ravenous reading of lore tidbits on wikis and other sources) but I did spend some time reading books in Divinity’s Reach, talking with certain NPCs, and generally doing some archaelogical style exploration during the BWE. I loved it.
I kept trying to join the Durmand Priory via the recruiters at Durmand Hall in Divinity’s Reach (absolutely GREAT books there btw!) but they kept telling me I need more “wordly experience” and to try again later. *chuckle*
Apparently, you’ll either need to be quite a bit higher level before you can begin your “Indiana Jones style” exploits, or it simply wasn’t enabled for the beta (which is very possible.)
The Durmand Priory also have a “dig site” in Lion’s Arch (which I’m sure quite few folks came across) which is intriguing as it stands, but hopefully has further functionality / interactiveness that has yet to be implemented. I would love to know more about what they are looking for there…
The overall feeling of “age” in the world was quite impressive to me during the BWE. I’m very much an “explorer” type and spent a fair amount of my game time heading off the beaten path (and was very happy that there actually WAS a “off the beaten path” to begin with – even in the beta) and I came across numerous “ruins” scattered throughout the world, and constant reminders that “things were not always thus…”
Realizing that I only made it into the 20s (in terms of levels) and only had a very rushed, and cursory glance at the relatively few areas I was able to see in the beta, which are only a fraction of what will be in the launch version of the game… it boggles the mind… this game world is absolutely immense! And the level of detail in it defies description.
I was enthusiastic before getting a chance to play… now? … I have drunk the cool-aid. *shoves chips to the middle of the table* I am ALL THE WAY in! I cannot wait to continue my explorations of Tyria at a more relaxed (and much more thorough) pace.
Oh, and if you do make it to the ruins of Rin (it’s out behind the Black Citadel), there are members of the Durmand Priory there who will dispense tidbits of history for you. It’s really lovely! The world really is huge, just immense, and there is something almost in every corner without feeling terribly gamey.
GW2 does a really stunning job of providing abundant lore tidbits. Not just a couple random books sitting on a table, but a real dense smattering of history at every turn. And it’s all optional too, the lore junkies get their fix, and the others don’t have to ever know the depth of story under their feet.
Drink up, there’s plenty of kool-aid to go around!