The January update hit a few days ago, and among the things it brought was a one time, story-driven, living story. This event will undoubtedly change the landscape of the world in one form or another.
The story takes place in Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau, as you have to help refugees from the Far Shiverpeaks escape a calamity (some are saying the ground is shaking and the sky is falling). The refugees are heading to Hoelbrak and the Black Citadel. In both the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau, there will be heralds that will tell you somewhat about what is going down (not so much at this point, they are kind of bland, hopefully ANet fixes this, since right now if you don’t know what to do or where to look, you are kind of like a chicken with its head cut off).
There will be stars on your maps when you are in those two zones (and the two cities) that pinpoint the heralds. In the zones, if you get there at the right time, an event will activate, with a simple quest to do in order to help the refugees. While in the zones, if you don’t make it in time, you will find the refugee’s dead. Loot them and you will grab a memento. Take that memento to one of the stars on your map, and it will go towards your “Volunteer” title that you can get during this story. Also, in your travels of the zone, you will come across wounded refugee’s. Healing them will sometimes trigger an ambush, but once you take care of the ambush and finish healing the refugee’s, that will also go towards your title.
So hurry there now, and you can either help the refugees, or you can just stand by and scoff at them, but remember what Wil Wheaton says, “Don’t be a dick!”