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The disappointing story (Spoilers)

Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

There are 2 things that annoy me about the new living world. The first is the portrayal of Smodur and Crecia. The story tries so very hard to make Smodur look like an arrogant fool while Crecia is made to look like the wise mother, who can do no wrong. Trying her very best to save the Char. In doing so the Char are made to look like fools who have no idea what they are doing, a race that cannot be self deterministic and only Crecia the savior knows whats best for them. The Charr have fought the Norn, the humans, the ghosts of Ascalon and somehow a civil war will destroy them? Give me a break!

The second is the opinion of the commander in the story. Why is the commander given lines to disagree with Smodur? Aren't we the commander? Don't we get to choose if we agree or disagree with Smodur? The way in which Smodur was made the antagonist, the game has made me do something no other game before has; taking the side of the antagonist. When exploring themes of morality, there should be grey areas, it should not be as simple as black or white. The witcher does this beautifully. In the witcher. there are consequences to every action (Actions we perceive as good/bad), but when there are only consequences to decisions one side takes, it begins to feel like the writers are not telling a story but rather injecting their opinions of morality in the game. I just don't enjoy that.

Anyway whose side are you on? Team Smodur, team Crecia or team Bangar? If I could pick, I would choose Bangar. A Charr trying to control an Elder Dragon? sign me up!

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Comments

  • Cristalyan.5728Cristalyan.5728 Member ✭✭✭

    I agree with the Smodur point. Suddenly, the diplomat Smodur started to act as a ruthless villain. Not to speak about his lack of imagination or tolerance. A suspect storage on the map? Destroy it. No matter the cost. I wonder what advantages he saw by killing the hostage in front of Ryland? His intention was to made sure Ryland will remain on the enemy side? HM?

    Anyhow, I can see his end. If Ryland survives he will kill Smodur. If Ryland will not survive, Smodur will face Crecia or Rytlock fury. Most probably a deadly fury.

    What I don't understand in the story is how Ryland and his warband (and also nobody else) noticed how the chars turned into icebroods? And how Bangar manages to lead his troops without showing himself. Because )for me at least) is clear that Bangar is already corrupted. At mental level - and most probably at physical level too.

  • Sir Alric.5078Sir Alric.5078 Member ✭✭✭

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    There are 2 things that annoy me about the new living world. The first is the portrayal of Smodur and Crecia. The story tries so very hard to make Smodur look like an arrogant fool while Crecia is made to look like the wise mother, who can do no wrong. Trying her very best to save the Char. In doing so the Char are made to look like fools who have no idea what they are doing, a race that cannot be self deterministic and only Crecia the savior knows whats best for them. The Charr have fought the Norn, the humans, the ghosts of Ascalon and somehow a civil war will destroy them? Give me a break!

    The second is the opinion of the commander in the story. Why is the commander given lines to disagree with Smodur? Aren't we the commander? Don't we get to choose if we agree or disagree with Smodur? The way in which Smodur was made the antagonist, the game has made me do something no other game before has; taking the side of the antagonist. When exploring themes of morality, there should be grey areas, it should not be as simple as black or white. The witcher does this beautifully. In the witcher. there are consequences to every action (Actions we perceive as good/bad), but when there are only consequences to decisions one side takes, it begins to feel like the writers are not telling a story but rather injecting their opinions of morality in the game. I just don't enjoy that.

    Anyway whose side are you on? Team Smodur, team Crecia or team Bangar? If I could pick, I would choose Bangar. A Charr trying to control an Elder Dragon? sign me up!

    I'm on team Crecia, but only because they suddendly decided to make Smodur into a bloodthirsty kitten on a killing spree who also thinks he can boss the PC around like we are one of his minions and not an ally. I hope there is a good reason to explain why he is acting so different from before. Maybe they want to push someone else for the position of Khan-Ur when the civil war is over, so they are trying to make Smodur unlikeable in order to explain why he doesn't get the title?

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    @TheOrlyFactor.8341 said:
    Anyone who's played since near the beginning of the game would remember that Smodur's an opportunist. Anything that brings him closer to Khan-Ur status, he'll do it. He's progressive, sure, but he's progressive to suit his bottom line. His only other competition for Khan-Ur was Bangar and with Bangar out of the running with his shenanigans, Smodur's chance at becoming Khan-Ur is closer.

    Him acting like he did in the latest episode didn't surprise or disappoint me at all. To me, it makes sense. He's so close to becoming Khan-Ur he can taste it. He can taste the blood in the water and he's striking. Sloppily, sure, but striking all the same.

    He seemed a little over the top, but it struck me as Iron Legion has been shown to approach problems. They are smarter/more war machine focused then Blood, but they don't like to waste time. I'm seeing it as partly sick of wasting time, partly not wanting to allow anymore time to pass then needed because of Desertions, attrition, and other factors.

    He doesn't care about bringing the Steel warband back to their side because they had already picked and spearheaded for the enemy. Better to wipe them out and ruin morale for the other side, possibly hurt desertions with that knowledge. "Your heroes are dead, and we've taken back all the land you captured. It's over!" and all.

    This isn't a "Well this war has dragged on for ages and has basically been us randomly lobbing artillery at each other. And we really need forces in other places." This is a brutal, draining civil war that sees his forces desert on a daily basis. He not only wants it over immediately, but he needs it. It's a stain on his record as a leader, I bet he thinks so at least.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @TheOrlyFactor.8341 said:

    Him acting like he did in the latest episode didn't surprise or disappoint me at all. To me, it makes sense. He's so close to becoming Khan-Ur he can taste it. He can taste the blood in the water and he's striking. Sloppily, sure, but striking all the same.

    I don’t mind him for the way he wages war or his actions. What bothers me is the way the story makes him look antagonistic. There was no need for the game to write his dialogue in a way where he orders the commander around. His dialogue is not of an opportunist but rather a bratty kid. Being an opportunist is being smart. It is not smart to get the commander against you. Even the dialog between rytlock and commander is unfavorable towards Smodur, in the end he is unliked by everyone. Again the story is pitching a us against him scenario. Meanwhile we have crecia the perfect who everyone loves and can do no wrong.

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I really like Crecia and I didn't have the same problem with Smodur as some of you.

    I didn't see Smodur as a progressive, I saw him as a populist. I got the impression he would do whatever it took to gain and keep power. I also didn't think he really cared about who he hurt doing it. It's often in life that people point to the great things they're doing, even if they're doing them for all the wrong reasons. I think this was one of those cases.

  • I do not know if it is that the writers do not have time to work on the narrative or find it difficult to do it in this medium, Or perhaps they need to create a story with certain parameters established and do what they can with the bad decisions already made. But they always fail with the logic of the characters that use or feel forced.

    The charr have lived for centuries in permanent war, having a society formed for that state. And they tell us this civil war will be the end of the char? Really?

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It was a bit sudden, but I think Smodur acted correctly - like a Charr during an actual war would.

    I rather choose death.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Smodur acted exactly as I expect a Charr war leader to act.

    I can see why people think Jormag is influencing him, but with Drakkar gone I am not sure that is possible anymore.

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 28, 2020

    Smodur doesn't care about Ryland, he just wants to end the war.
    I think if he could have killed him he would have already done it, which is why it seems to go against what the Commander wants.

    As progressive as Smodur may be, it seems obvious to me that he cannot be weak in this situation, we are talking about a civil war and our faction has lost some of its men.

    But please Anet don't spoil Smodur for the family situation of Crecia, Rytlock and Ryland.

  • voltaicbore.8012voltaicbore.8012 Member ✭✭✭

    @Perihen the Thawk.9527 said:
    I think Smodur's actions make perfect sense for his character. He's progressive in some ways, so sure he's reasonable enough when we talk to him in his office, but he's still a Charr military leader during wartime. He can have progressive politics and still believe in taking no prisoners during war. I'm sure there have been plenty of military leaders in recent history like that in real life. Smodur has in many ways revolutionized Charr politics, but he didn't come out of nowhere. He is still solidly a product of his society.

    I 100% agree with this assessment. I think Smodur of the core game story could afford to be more progressive - but now, the situation is quite different. He's not dealing with ghosts and ragtag renegades (very real but also very manageable issues that the Charr have brought to a point of stability), but an organized faction rallying around a well-liked young hero and a cunning/charismatic leader. If he looks, sounds, and acts a bit different, it could well be the result of him being in an entirely different situation.

    That being said, I also agree with the idea that the story was very sloppily done and overly moralistic. It was ridiculous to have my character just slaughter Dominion forces in the open world, but suddenly have issues with killing. Just stupid, and extremely disappointing from a narrative perspective.

    It would have required more work, but if the devs really wanted to give any meaning or value to the Commander's objection to using the explosive on a staffed bunker, they should have just let Smodur be up front with the mission (why should he feel the need to hide the fact that they're going to kill some more Dominion charr?) and allow the Commander to refuse (for whatever reason - there's still no real logic behind this) up front as well. Then the commander could either just watch helplessly as Smodur sends someone else to do the job, or sends the Commander on some secondary objective while that happens.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    In doing so the Char are made to look like fools who have no idea what they are doing, a race that cannot be self deterministic and only Crecia the savior knows whats best for them.

    Here's the thing, the Charr DON'T have any idea what they are doing.

    The Charr have all the same problems the Klingons form Star Trek do, in that they are a race dedicated solely to war and violence, but war and violence are only a means to an end, not an end themselves. But the Charr, like the Klingons, have no sort of idea or plan for once that end is reached. Because of this, even if the Charr manage to take over the whole world, they will still need to keep their war machine going, and will inevitably turn on themselves, and consume themselves in that same war... which is pretty much what is happening right now.

    As has been said, the Charr have always had enemies... but what do they do once they don't? They turn on themselves. The ghosts aren't a major problem anymore, the Flame Legion has been defeated, and re-assimilated, there is peace with the humans, and three of the Elder Dragons are dead, including the one that was giving them the most trouble. And now, left absent a major enemy, the Charr society begins its collapse in on itself via infighting.

    What we are seeing now is the Charr's "Undiscovered Country" moment, where the Charr have to realize their entire civilization is fundamentally broken as is, and that things have to change if they want to survive. Crecia is basically the Charr's Gorkon, the leader who is willing to go against the norms to fix things, while Bangar and Smodur are the Charr's General Changs, the guys who want things to be the way they were, even if its obviously stupidly bad for them.

    Its really no different then the Norn's problem of caring about the "individual" to the point they basically lack a society, something even the Spirits of the Wild noticed and led them south so they wouldn't all die trying to take Jormag on one at a time. Or the Asura's egotism being so massive that their civilization basically spins its wheels in the mud all the time since 90% of what they invent is lost because no one is willing to share. Non-human civilization in fantasy and scifi exist to take on aspect of humanity, and personify it to the extreme, to point out the obvious flaws in such a society. This is true of Elves and Dwarfs in fantasy settings, to the Klingons and Romulans in scifi like Star Trek.

    There are so many problems with your statement. What you are suggesting is equivalent to a form of colonialism. Where one race decides whats best for the other race. This has happened in our history. I do not think GW2 needs to explore this side because it is complex, it needs time to be believable and it is very easy to mess up. The Charr have been bred for battle, they have killed, conquered and seen members of their warband fall. If change needs to happen, it should be the Charr that decide their fate. As a commander who is not a Charr and who only knows a single Charr, I should not be in a position to determine the future of the Charr. The sudden change in ones character is detrimental to the story and does not serve it. Game of thrones season 8 is a reminder that for change to happen, it cannot be done instantaneously.

    Star trek is wonderful because of the diversity of the world and the stakes. In Star trek, no attempt was made to change the character of the Klingons. They were who they were. Every other way seemed alien to them the same way we humans perceive morality. I think the devs should follow a similar approach with the Charr. Keep the Charr unique and let them remain the ruthless, warmongering race they are. We do not need humans 2.0 in GW2 where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. One big happy family with the commander at the helm. That honestly makes the commander Emperor Palpatine.

    When you say "their entire civilization is broken" you are looking at it from the perspective of a human. Our norms of what a civilization should be is due to our history, our religious beliefs and our culture. We cannot expect the Charr to have the same ideals as we do. That is impossible.

    Having races that live by different ideals makes the world diverse. It is not diverse if everyone shares the same thought. The Olmakhan are special because they chose a different way of life from their Charr counterparts. Are we to judge which side is right and wrong? Is the commander now a supreme being who decides what the rules are? Again these can be explored but if they are, there are always two sides to the story and both must be given equal opportunity and the ultimate decision must be left to the player, not the writers. But a story like that is best suited for single player games and not a mmorpg.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    I disagree on the OP about Crecia being "a mother figure who can do no wrong". She's made plenty of mistakes in this episode alone. The way I'm seeing Crecia is as a conflicted mother figure - one who selfishly wants best for her child, but also wants best for her nation, and is struggling (and failing) to keep both.

    Name a single instance where we were made to feel that Crecia is conflicted or wrong? From the start of the episode she is shown make all the right decisions. Is Crecia really failing? At the end of the episode, all the Charr leaders and the commander (for whatever reason) openly dislike Smodur.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    I disagree on the OP about Crecia being "a mother figure who can do no wrong". She's made plenty of mistakes in this episode alone. The way I'm seeing Crecia is as a conflicted mother figure - one who selfishly wants best for her child, but also wants best for her nation, and is struggling (and failing) to keep both.

    As to Smodur, I'll just quote myself from the other No Quarter thread:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Although Smodur is established as a progressive charr, the situation we're in now is vastly different than at launch. At launch, charr had enemies on all sides - Flame Legion, ghosts, branded, ogres, and humans - and this was the public reason why Malice and Smodur wanted peace with humans. Smodur has been taking credit for the peace accords, despite the fact that the actions which put everything into play (getting Vigil to retrieve the Claw of the Khan-Ur and give it to Jennah so she could offer it to Smodur to initiate peace talks) was Malice's and Almorra's actions and planning. Since peace with humans, the branded have been wiped out, progress was made against the ghosts, and the Flame Legion are now allied.

    On top of that, Smodur's only "rival" in petitioning for the position of Khan-Ur was always Bangar. Now that Bangar is labeled a traitor to the other two imperators post-Bound by Blood, Smodur basically sees the position of Khan-Ur as effectively gained. This is why he goes about ordering other legion soldiers left and right. Which naturally bothers the officers of other legions (as firmly established by Rytlock, who before was working with Smodur as a more-or-less equal due to being a Tribune in another legion).

    Another possibility for Smodur's apparent change in personality, is due to whom we're fighting - this is the first time we've seen Smodur's attitude towards "traitorous charr". We never once got to hear his take on Renegades prior to Season 5, and in Bound by Blood, he was pretty bloodthirsty towards the notion of getting to fight Renegades.

    Then there's also Ryland himself. Ryland is young, strong, and charismatic. He is quickly showing up to be a rising threat to Smodur's dominance as Khan-Ur. So naturally, Smodur wants to nip this in the bud. Hence his constant regard to dismissing Ryland and the Steel Warband, preferring to just kill them instead of negotiation.

    Finally, and most peculiarly, there's the possibility of external interference. Specifically speaking, Jormag. Throughout the episode, Smodur is repeating a key phrase in various wording: "We don't need traitors". He even says this moments before that critical moment in the final instance. If Jormag's been whispering in his mind that he doesn't need traitors, over and over again, well, that'll get to him.

    TL;DR

    • Change in scenario, leading to peaceful and progressiveness giving way to agressiveness to achieve his goals.
    • Bangar, his only rival, is effectively "out of the picture" and he considers himself Khan-Ur - initiate power tripping.
    • He might simply despise traitorous charr more than anything else.
    • Ryland is an up-and-coming rival that he doesn't want now that Bangar is out of the picture.
    • Jormag influencing.

    While at first glance Smodur's actions felt out of character, the more I thought about it, the more his actions still fit within his character.

    I found this post with all plausible hypotheses really nice, I would like to exclude Jormag because it would make the story a little boring from my point of view.
    I like points two and three, personally I think it's a part of his character. :)

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 29, 2020

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    There are so many problems with your statement. What you are suggesting is equivalent to a form of colonialism. Where one race decides whats best for the other race. This has happened in our history. I do not think GW2 needs to explore this side because it is complex, it needs time to be believable and it is very easy to mess up. The Charr have been bred for battle, they have killed, conquered and seen members of their warband fall. If change needs to happen, it should be the Charr that decide their fate. As a commander who is not a Charr and who only knows a single Charr, I should not be in a position to determine the future of the Charr. The sudden change in ones character is detrimental to the story and does not serve it. Game of thrones season 8 is a reminder that for change to happen, it cannot be done instantaneously.

    Star trek is wonderful because of the diversity of the world and the stakes. In Star trek, no attempt was made to change the character of the Klingons. They were who they were. Every other way seemed alien to them the same way we humans perceive morality. I think the devs should follow a similar approach with the Charr. Keep the Charr unique and let them remain the ruthless, warmongering race they are. We do not need humans 2.0 in GW2 where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. One big happy family with the commander at the helm. That honestly makes the commander Emperor Palpatine.

    When you say "their entire civilization is broken" you are looking at it from the perspective of a human. Our norms of what a civilization should be is due to our history, our religious beliefs and our culture. We cannot expect the Charr to have the same ideals as we do. That is impossible.

    Having races that live by different ideals makes the world diverse. It is not diverse if everyone shares the same thought. The Olmakhan are special because they chose a different way of life from their Charr counterparts. Are we to judge which side is right and wrong? Is the commander now a supreme being who decides what the rules are? Again these can be explored but if they are, there are always two sides to the story and both must be given equal opportunity and the ultimate decision must be left to the player, not the writers. But a story like that is best suited for single player games and not a mmorpg.

    I am going to stop this before it goes further

    1. There is absolutely nothing colonialist about the Charr realizing their society is broken, and at least one of them trying to fix it. Colonialism would require an outside force coming in and making them change, this is purely an internal matter. The commander is making none of these changes, Crecia is.

    2. You are fundamentally wrong about the Klingons in Star Trek. In fact, its a pretty big point throughout The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 that the Klingon Empire is broken, and corrupt, and needs to change. Throughout both shows these corrupt elements are exposed and cut out, and it all comes to a head in Depp Space 9 when Ezri Dax tells Worf that the Klingon Empire is dying, and she believes it deserves to die, due to how corrupt it is, pointing out that Worf is the most honorable Klingon she knows, and even he just sits by and lets the corruption fester. This leads to Worf challenging the leader of the Klingon Empire, Gowron, and killing him in battle, and then handing the leadership of the Empire to the Klingon Martok, one of the few truly honorable Klingons, with the show heavily suggesting that Martok will lead the Klingons into a new age of actual honor, and cast aside the blood lust that has ruled Klingons since the Enterprise era. These sorts of large scale changes happen to not only the Klingons, but also the Cardassians, Ferengi, and Dominion. All of them start off with vastly different cultures then they end up with, and what they end up with is something closer to Federation(human) ideals, because all of their societies were shown to be broken as they were, and eventually it just broke down and change was forced. Hell, we know that the Klingons move so close to human ideals that they end up joining the Federation outright sometime in the future.

    3. It doesn't matter how Charr civilization developed, there are basic ideals of unalienable rights that are fundamentally intrinsic to all life. That Charr society allows people like Bangar, and Smodur, to exist, and allows them to throw away these intrinsic rights, means their society is broken, and we are seeing the result of that now. It should not be acceptable no matter the perspective,. Its telling that, in situations like those regarding children and fahrars, even after centuries of separating children from their parents to be put into the fahrars, and being told that you shouldn't really care or look up on your children, that we know MANY MANY Charr do, because even they are, at least subconsciously, aware that the entire system is dumb and broken to begin with. They are just so Stockholm Syndromed into accepting it few do anything about it. I honestly expect that, maybe not within the timeframe of GW2, but at some point in the future, everything that happens in this arc will lead to the breakdown and dismantling of Charr society as we know it currently because it simply cannot hold as is.

    4. The Olmakhan split off to escape the brutal persecution and discrimination of the Flame Legion they came from. The game makes no effort to show the side as anything other then black and white, because the situation was just that. The Flame Legion at the time was indisputably bad, and the Olmakhan left because they couldn't stand it, and are good for it.

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    Also I find the Klingon comparison to be faulty for another reason. The Klingon's value warriors above all else. This is touched upon in an Enterprise Episode (foreshadowing the TOS to TNG and onward shifts in Klingon society). A Lawyer says once he had great honor in the culture due to his post, as did skilled farmers, engineers, craftsmen, etc. But a shift turned to only warriors and glory in battle being sought, leading to those other roles, even as important as they are, deemed lesser.

    The Charr on the other hand, while some warbands/groups (mainly blood legion) praise glory on the battlefield and victory in combat, they honor and support all roles. The farmer is just as important to the "war machine" or society as the warrior. The Engineers and smiths are just as vital as the book-keepers and supply officers. Hell, "Metal Legion" is important as a morale tool. Yes, chunks of their society are warmongering, violence craving fighters. But unlike the Klingons even those at the front understand the people back home allow them to do so.

    Hell, in the new map (about the Fahrar stuff above) we are seeing young. barely "graduated" cubs being pushed into frontline combat. I noticed in a few places there is an "adult" charr with another one. The one is noticable smaller then their companion. At the heli-pad the one is talking about how he's eager for combat, his companion tells him he won't be after fighting. In one of the camps we see two blood legion soldiers lamenting the fact that the civil war has devolved into children killing children on the frontline. The prologue, and this one shows that the unified unchanging Charr society we've seen is fracturing from within, hard. Those that hate humans to the core are bunking next to a person who would sacrifice their life for a human to preserve the treaty and growing friendship. A blood legion warband helped defend Divinity's reach in support of the treaty, and now we see that Jennah has taken Logan from his role in the pact to lead a Seraph task force explicitly to repay that help to the legions. They helped save Divinity's reach at it's possibly darkest hour, and now humanity is repaying the Charr. Rytlock's lament after Aurene died about not even knowing his own children shows how his own ties to the culture are shifting. We see him and Crecia care deeply about their son, infront of Imperators. The highest levels of Charr society are starting to go "Screw the norms. This is our son, we are going to save him if we can. And we'll do everything we can to bring him back home."

    This civil war is breaking everything the Charr know. Warbands split apart and fighting each other (The Charr PC? Finds their sparring partner in the base. The entire warband their rebuilt defected and you fight them as Cache keepers around the map). Blood versus blood, iron vs iron, ash vs ash, flame vs flame. A society built around loyalty, to your warband above yourself, to your legion above all else, is being faced with that shattered. If I'm loyal to Blood, do I stand with Bangar, my imperator? Or Crecia and Rytlock? Do I be loyal to the idea of the Charr above else, or my Legion as part of the united legions?

    Everybody used to talk about how when the Dragons are gone, the Charr would turn against humans and the rest of the world. But now, we are presented a much more serious, and interesting perspective. They have first turned upon themselves, and even in the darkness of these days/weeks, who shows up, uninvited, unexpected, to present material, military, and magic support help? Humanity.

  • Genesis.8572Genesis.8572 Member ✭✭✭

    Kinda surprised that they didn't ask Logan for military advice. One of the repeated stated problems in the episode is that Ryland has been out-thinking other charr leaders because he knows how charr think and work militarily. So why not ask a human, particularly one with some experience in fighting charr in Ebonhawke about how to fight charr who out-thinks other charr at being charr?

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

    1. There is absolutely nothing colonialist about the Charr realizing their society is broken, and at least one of them trying to fix it. Colonialism would require an outside force coming in and making them change, this is purely an internal matter. The commander is making none of these changes, Crecia is.

    This is not the case. the commander is openly opinionated against Smodur and very favorable towards Crecia. I am pretty sure we are going to help Crecia shape the Charr in the image she shes fit. That is colonialism. II'll just ask Aurene to kill anyone who says otherwise. Comply or die! I don't mind if we have the option. If the devs decide to allow us to decide the fate of the Char, they should let the player decide what that fate should be. Should the char change? Or should the Charr stay the way they are? That option should be given to the players.

    1. You are fundamentally wrong about the Klingons in Star Trek. In fact, its a pretty big point throughout The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 that the Klingon Empire is broken, and corrupt, and needs to change. Throughout both shows these corrupt elements are exposed and cut out, and it all comes to a head in Depp Space 9 when Ezri Dax tells Worf that the Klingon Empire is dying, and she believes it deserves to die, due to how corrupt it is, pointing out that Worf is the most honorable Klingon she knows, and even he just sits by and lets the corruption fester. This leads to Worf challenging the leader of the Klingon Empire, Gowron, and killing him in battle, and then handing the leadership of the Empire to the Klingon Martok, one of the few truly honorable Klingons, with the show heavily suggesting that Martok will lead the Klingons into a new age of actual honor, and cast aside the blood lust that has ruled Klingons since the Enterprise era. These sorts of large scale changes happen to not only the Klingons, but also the Cardassians, Ferengi, and Dominion.

    Again this is nothing but a representation of colonization. Worf was raised on earth by human parents. His perspective of morality and justice is from a human perspective. He was a Kingon only by DNA. The terms you use such as honor, justice are all subjective. We derived our laws from religion. Many western ideals are fundamentally different from the values of the East. Can we tell who is right or wrong?

    1. It doesn't matter how Charr civilization developed, there are basic ideals of unalienable rights that are fundamentally intrinsic to all life. That Charr society allows people like Bangar, and Smodur, to exist, and allows them to throw away these intrinsic rights, means their society is broken, and we are seeing the result of that now

    You again define Smodur, Bangar as being arrogant from a human perspective. Their behavior is not acceptable in a human society, but is a human society equivalent to Charr society? No it is not.

    It should not be acceptable no matter the perspective,. Its telling that, in situations like those regarding children and fahrars, even after centuries of separating children from their parents to be put into the fahrars,

    For comparison, some cultures view extra martial affairs as morally wrong as they feel that a married family is a more stable environment for the kids. Are they wrong? Are they right? You see perceptions of what is right and wrong are dependent on your upbringing, your environment, etc. You say it is wrong, but who are you to judge that what the Charr is doing is wrong? Your judgement is based on a human idea of what children are.

    we know MANY MANY Charr do, because even they are, at least subconsciously, aware that the entire system is dumb and broken to begin with.

    Rytlock went from being a bad kitten to a kitten cat who feels victimized and bullied. I did not like that. It is so obvious that the writers want to change the Charr and make them another Human 2.0 race. Next patch are the writers going to tell us that the Asura are too competitive for their own good and they will destroy themselves as a result of their pursuit?

    I honestly expect that, maybe not within the timeframe of GW2, but at some point in the future, everything that happens in this arc will lead to the breakdown and dismantling of Charr society as we know it currently because it simply cannot hold as is.

    I will agree with you on this. Crecia, Ryland or Rytlock with the help of the all powerful commander will help the Charr rise from their oppression of the Fahrar and will go on to lead a more peaceful, subtle lives. They will raise their young by themselves, even send them to universities! The Charr will then use their ingenuity to eradicate poverty in GW2 and uplift all the races in Tyria. Perhaps they will also destroy all the statues of their heroes as they are an indicator towards their "destructive" past. YAWN!!

    1. The Olmakhan split off to escape the brutal persecution and discrimination of the Flame Legion they came from. The game makes no effort to show the side as anything other then black and white, because the situation was just that. The Flame Legion at the time was indisputably bad, and the Olmakhan left because they couldn't stand it, and are good for it.

    I respect the Olmakhan because we had no say in their opinion of their lifestyle choices. We met them as they are. We did not judge them nor did we congratulate them for their way of life. The Olmakhan are proof that Charr can be self deterministic. They do not need Crecia nor the commander to decide their fate.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    "Wrong" is a bit subjective - that's part of the issue, I guess - but literally the first and last instance shows her as conflicted. Especially the moment when Smodur kills Cinder. She wants to bring Ryland back, but she protects Smodur from Ryland, because she doesn't want to lose Ryland and she doesn't want to lose the unity of the High Legions. And you can see the guilt in her facial expression during that cinematic (masterfully done imo), where she realizes just what she had done by protecting Smodur from Ryland.

    What is wrong is never made clearer in this episode than anywhere else. The commander is given lines unfavorable towards Smodur. The story tells us that Smodur is wrong and Crecia is right. The story never questions Crecia's action, there are no consequences for her decisions. The last instance is not a portrayal of her conflict but rather further antagonism of Smodur. Crecia here is made a victim like Ryland. Both were cheated or betrayed by Smodur. The cinematic further emphasizes this point where she is made the victim of being betrayed.

    So yes, she is failing. She's constantly trying to keep peace between the Imperators by playing both sides, but also clearly favors Malice which Smodur notices and increasingly agitates him. She tries to keep Ryland safe but also wants to end the war. She's trying to play the peacekeeper, and she fails - quite spectacularly at the end.

    I wish the story explores this weakness of Crecia you mention where her protective nature for Ryland might be bad for the united legion's efforts in the war. But that side is not even explored! The story could have put in an instance where the commander and the legion are lured into a trap by the dominion due to Crecia's softer approach. Then there is potential to question Crecia's approach and compare it to Smodur's. But the story is not interested in that. The story has no intention to portray Ryland as someone who is really with Bangar in his plan for domination. The story wants Crecia and Rytlock to be reunited with Ryland. Ryland will have a deliverance arc I am sure of it. Does this make a good story? It is so predictable and boring.

    And "for whatever reason"? Smodur tricked the Commander to committing a literal war crime (bombing non-combatants), after already been seen executing POWs (another war crime by most standards), and at the end he personally executes another POW (again: war crime) which ended any chance of a peaceful resolution of the war. It's pretty kitten obvious why the Commander are upset with Smodur.

    First. Smodur did not trick anyone. It was so obvious that there were people down the hatch. Second if the player wants to take that course of action, the commander should not have lines written against that course of action. We are playing the commander, the writers aren't. They tell the story and the path to take should be in the hands of the player. I have no problems with the actions Smodur took because I agree with them, however the commander I play seems to have a mind of his own and I do not like that.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    This is not the case. the commander is openly opinionated against Smodur and very favorable towards Crecia. I am pretty sure we are going to help Crecia shape the Charr in the image she shes fit. That is colonialism. II'll just ask Aurene to kill anyone who says otherwise. Comply or die! I don't mind if we have the option. If the devs decide to allow us to decide the fate of the Char, they should let the player decide what that fate should be. Should the char change? Or should the Charr stay the way they are? That option should be given to the players.

    Feels like you're using a ridiculously broad definition of "colonialism" here. In this hypothetical scenario we have a charr leader reshaping charr society in response to events that have shown a weakness in the traditional social structure, and you essentially seem to be calling it "colonialism" because there's a member of an outside culture who agrees with them and is supporting them to do so.

    I recently shared something on social media talking about the dangers of conspiracy theories, which might be seen by people in the US. As I am not a US citizen, does this mean I am engaging in colonialism with the USA? Plus, there's also the question of the Commander themselves possibly being a charr... does this become colonialism because the Pact Commander has been exposed to outside influences? Does this make it colonialism if anyone ever makes a decision about their country that has been influenced in any way by exposure to ideas from outside their country?

    Colonialism, as per the accepted definition, is one country exerting at least partial control over another. Charr leaders choosing to implement reforms, even if those reforms are inspired by or implemented with the assistance of outside parties, is not colonialism as long as the charr leaders are still genuinely making their own decisions. It could be called foreign influence, and whether that's something to be considered undesirable is open for debate, but calling it colonialism cheapens the term.

  • Scoobaniec.9561Scoobaniec.9561 Member ✭✭✭

    My blood legion charr "commander" went from a slayer to a kitten in one episode. Let that sink in.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    What is wrong is never made clearer in this episode than anywhere else. The commander is given lines unfavorable towards Smodur. The story tells us that Smodur is wrong and Crecia is right. The story never questions Crecia's action, there are no consequences for her decisions. The last instance is not a portrayal of her conflict but rather further antagonism of Smodur. Crecia here is made a victim like Ryland. Both were cheated or betrayed by Smodur. The cinematic further emphasizes this point where she is made the victim of being betrayed.

    "Right and wrong" go beyond war crimes though. And there are consequences to Crecia's decisions. Hell, I explicitly stated the consequence of her actions in my previous post. Crecia is not made a victim, and I don't fathom how you believe this.

    I wish the story explores this weakness of Crecia you mention where her protective nature for Ryland might be bad for the united legion's efforts in the war. But that side is not even explored!

    Last time I checked, you don't need something slammed in your face to have it be presented. It's there. Replay the episode, pay attention to context and wording. Or wait til voice overs are added, I'm sure the tone and emotion will expose it more thoroughly for you.

    First. Smodur did not trick anyone. It was so obvious that there were people down the hatch. Second if the player wants to take that course of action, the commander should not have lines written against that course of action. We are playing the commander, the writers aren't. They tell the story and the path to take should be in the hands of the player. I have no problems with the actions Smodur took because I agree with them, however the commander I play seems to have a mind of his own and I do not like that.

    1) The trick wasn't that we were killing people, it was how they were being killed and why. Though when we were first sent there, Smodur did lie about what our objective was. And it wasn't just the Commander and Rytlock - the Flame Shamans were also implicated by enchanting the crystal without being told what it was to be used for.

    2) There actually is an option where the Commander can not throw the grenade. Sadly, Rytlock does it for you.

    If you agree with committing war crimes, I am glad you're not in the military.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    Feels like you're using a ridiculously broad definition of "colonialism" here. In this hypothetical scenario we have a charr leader reshaping charr society in response to events that have shown a weakness in the traditional social structure, and you essentially seem to be calling it "colonialism" because there's a member of an outside culture who agrees with them and is supporting them to do so.

    I recently shared something on social media talking about the dangers of conspiracy theories, which might be seen by people in the US. As I am not a US citizen, does this mean I am engaging in colonialism with the USA? Plus, there's also the question of the Commander themselves possibly being a charr... does this become colonialism because the Pact Commander has been exposed to outside influences? Does this make it colonialism if anyone ever makes a decision about their country that has been influenced in any way by exposure to ideas from outside their country?

    Colonialism, as per the accepted definition, is one country exerting at least partial control over another. Charr leaders choosing to implement reforms, even if those reforms are inspired by or implemented with the assistance of outside parties, is not colonialism as long as the Charr leaders are still genuinely making their own decisions. It could be called foreign influence, and whether that's something to be considered undesirable is open for debate, but calling it colonialism cheapens the term.

    In this entire patch, we are killing Charr soldiers on the other side. We are not going after Bangar, we are not preparing the defenses for Jormag, we are not taking a neutral stance. What part of this does not seem like colonialism? If anything our actions are further weakening the Charr. We are not just an outside influence. We are the commander of the pact who has an elder dragon and an army. If anything, our actions in this episode validate Bangar's quest to get a dragon of his own.

    We also are not talking about exposing the Charr to other cultures. We are talking about redefining the Charr. The strongest leader wins. If Crecia and the other Imperators can take over and change the Charr WITHOUT the commander's help, then I have no problem with it because it is basically a tenet of Charr society that the strong prevail.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    1) The trick wasn't that we were killing people, it was how they were being killed and why. Though when we were first sent there, Smodur did lie about what our objective was. And it wasn't just the Commander and Rytlock - the Flame Shamans were also implicated by enchanting the crystal without being told what it was to be used for.

    Are you seriously suggesting this was a surprise? From the beginning the story does everything to make Smodur look like a maniac. Anyone could see this happening. Ask yourself, what purpose did this instance fulfill? IT fulfilled only a singular purpose along with all the others instances in the story which is to make Smodur look bad. They should just rename the episode to "Smodur's folly", it would be so much more fitting.

    If you agree with committing war crimes, I am glad you're not in the military.

    The entire episode you kill Dominion Charr who you have not met, who haven't personally wronged you. There is no higher ground to take here.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    Actually the Dominion Charr in question have gone out of their way to judge every non-Charr race as worthy of death, therefore I do actually think they have personally wronged me and should be killed. Immediately.

    However at the same time I don't see a reason to go out of my way to be cruel, nor to not accept surrender if offered. the R&D crew was unarmed, I would of considered custody once they were cornered.

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    @Tazer.2157 said:
    In this entire patch, we are killing Charr soldiers on the other side. We are not going after Bangar, we are not preparing the defenses for Jormag, we are not taking a neutral stance. What part of this does not seem like colonialism? If anything our actions are further weakening the Charr. We are not just an outside influence. We are the commander of the pact who has an elder dragon and an army. If anything, our actions in this episode validate Bangar's quest to get a dragon of his own.

    We also are not talking about exposing the Charr to other cultures. We are talking about redefining the Charr. The strongest leader wins. If Crecia and the other Imperators can take over and change the Charr WITHOUT the commander's help, then I have no problem with it because it is basically a tenet of Charr society that the strong prevail.

    Because Bangar is NOT present on the battlefield, and is infact, beyond Wolf's Crossing, which the Legions are trying to secure. The whole point of the two-lane push is to be able to actually get to Bangar.

    We are not the Commander of the Pact, and Aurene doesn't even make a presence in this episode. We don't have an army. We helped lead the joint forces against Kralkatorrik but guess what happened the moment he died? We backed out of that spot. The alliance remains but now each group has returned to their homes to rebuild. The only force we could even be considered to be "in charge of" outside Dragon's Watch is the Crystal Bloom order. That being because they are a group following and revering Aurene. Even then, they consider Caithe to be their leader.

    If Crecia and the other Imperators win, they will be changing the Charr. I highly doubt the Commander would have any say in the deep process of rebuilding their culture. For example, look at Elona. Did the commander have ANY part in the restructuring of those nations after Joko? Nope. And they peacefully split into three groups, reorganized their society and started to rebuild.

    @Tazer.2157 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    1) The trick wasn't that we were killing people, it was how they were being killed and why. Though when we were first sent there, Smodur did lie about what our objective was. And it wasn't just the Commander and Rytlock - the Flame Shamans were also implicated by enchanting the crystal without being told what it was to be used for.

    Are you seriously suggesting this was a surprise? From the beginning the story does everything to make Smodur look like a maniac. Anyone could see this happening. Ask yourself, what purpose did this instance fulfill? IT fulfilled only a singular purpose along with all the others instances in the story which is to make Smodur look bad. They should just rename the episode to "Smodur's folly", it would be so much more fitting.

    "Smodur would kill traitors" is not a surprise. "Smodur would TRICK allied forces into deploying a searing crystal into a research lab without even telling anybody what was going on inside" is a bit of a surprise. See, up until that point I assumed that we built the cannon near the overlook to launch a special ordnance against a specific Dominion target, like Steel warband's tank. He had been talking about how they had captured/stolen/obtained Iron legion weapons/war machines.

    If you agree with committing war crimes, I am glad you're not in the military.

    The entire episode you kill Dominion Charr who you have not met, who haven't personally wronged you. There is no higher ground to take here.

    Actually, if Charr PC you've met the Cache Keepers. They are Charr PC warband recruits who have defected. The Charr under the Dominion also advocate that other races should be subjected or killed off, so they have presented themselves as a clear threat. They also believe they can actually get a dragon to obey them.

    Of course, there is a very, very big difference here. One is walking up to a supply depot, dropping an extremely powerful bomb inside, and then finding out everybody inside was non-combatant researchers instead of crates of guns being the only thing there. The other is fighting a soldier face to face on the battlefield and killing them as they are trying to kill you.

    Here's the reason it's called a war crime. A: everybody was tricked into doing it. B: It was a searing crystal used against non-combatants. And Searing crystals carry a very dark history for the Flame Legion. Flame Legion is reforming and dragging itself back from it's evil history, and the searing is one of the biggest stains on their record. They don't want those things coming back into use.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Tazer.2157 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    1) The trick wasn't that we were killing people, it was how they were being killed and why. Though when we were first sent there, Smodur did lie about what our objective was. And it wasn't just the Commander and Rytlock - the Flame Shamans were also implicated by enchanting the crystal without being told what it was to be used for.

    Are you seriously suggesting this was a surprise?

    That what we were using was a bomb that produced something very similar to dragon corruption? Which would be akin to using a high radiation grenade?

    Yes, that was a surprise.

    The entire episode you kill Dominion Charr who you have not met, who haven't personally wronged you. There is no higher ground to take here.

    There's a difference between killing those with weapons aimed at you or your fellows, and killing unnarmed prisoners or non-combatants.

    A world's difference.

    I am pretty sure that what Smodur did, and implicated the Commander, Rytlock, and Flame Shamans into doing, violates the Geneva Convention rules.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Jokubas.4265Jokubas.4265 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 29, 2020

    I'm on no one's side, and it's one of the reasons this chapter's story was so hard to get through for me (the gameplay was great, but the story made me consistently uncomfortable).

    Early on you have Smodur's firing squad, which I understand the distaste of, but the idea that we were supposed to condemn it as the most disgusting thing ever felt completely forced and a bit hypocritical. In Bjora Marches we have a Norn massacring the Sons of Svanir (Norn defectors) and insisting its justice, and its worded like we're supposed to accept their justification. Even worse, they try to hammer it in later by reminding Smodur that he'd have the people to build his war machines if he didn't execute his traitors, which doesn't make any sense, because they were traitors. They wouldn't help him do anything. Even if he forced them to do it, they might sabotage what they were working on, and that's not even getting into the ethics of forcing labor.

    Of course, then they have him jump off the slippery slope throughout the chapter, by having him increasingly be a jerk until he outright has you commit what they even call a war crime (which was telegraphed from a million miles away but you can't stop).

    But that makes future events even more baffling to me. So Smodur ruins the plan and betrays everyone else, and then they save him. Why? Why would they save him? Not only does everyone else hate him at this point, but he himself now proved to be a traitor. I mean, the other characters have shown a tendency to want to redeem their traitors, but letting Ryland get his revenge might have been a way to salvage the plan, and in exchange you get to remove this dangerously rogue element from your own side. I mean, seriously, at this point, no one can trust Smodur. He's significantly more dangerous than Bangar's forces, because Bangar's at least open about being our enemy and isn't in our midst.

    Onto the next character though, you have Crecia and Rytlock. Their obsession with their child has gone beyond reckless at this point. Under normal circumstances I'd hate that, because while I can understand a character's sympathetic motivations of family, they are putting the entire rest of the world in danger because of their personal problems, but it stands out even more here because it's contrary to Charr culture. They're not only endangering everyone because of their refusal to believe that their child made a bad choice, their own people aren't even going to think it's sympathetic for them to do so.

    This probably annoyed me the least, but when they were bullying Smodur about it early on in the chapter, I totally walked over to him and thought to myself, you're right, they need to let him go. I saw his backstory, Ryland had a chance to prevent any of this from happening, but he chose loyalty to an obvious monster over loyalty to his people or morality. That sort of enabling is how evil actually wins. A monster can only do so much without followers who will look the other way and carry out their orders.

    If that didn't make it obvious, I wouldn't choose Bangar. Bangar is an almost cartoonish fool and a horrible person, and no matter of "culture" can justify that. The fact that we keep having to see him be smug and walk away untouched (at least that wasn't in this chapter) is one of the things that makes this arc as a whole so annoying. I preferred back when he first escaped from us because he at least had Jormag's storm protecting him. When Braham got to Hulk-out right in front of him, and somehow both Bangar and Ryland got away unscathed, that was the limit for me. He's just a Charr with a massive complex, he's not a superhero. He should die as easily as anyone else.

    One final team I'm not siding with, but isn't a character, are the Charr themselves. The idea in this chapter that the Charr are defecting en masse, even with everything we know about Bangar, it says more about the Charr than it does any one character. "Culture" does not give you a blank check to do whatever you want. It doesn't suddenly become "good" to murder people or sacrifice them to a god against their will just because it's your culture. It doesn't suddenly prevent that victim from having grounds to be considered a victim. Despite constant attempts to say that we shouldn't hate the Charr like in Guild Wars 1, they are consistently failing to be shown as anything other than warmongering, violent monsters who have an insatiable need to be killing things on a regular basis. That is not okay.

    But even if we did follow that logic. If we're supposed to accept that the Charr need to be killing something in order to preserve their species and that makes it okay, then the Charr need to understand that everyone has a right to stop the Charr in order to preserve their species, since if the Charr can't help themselves but kill, they are innately a danger to everyone around them. It's absolutely ridiculous. Ironically, the best perspective we've seen for redemption so far have been the Flame Legion, who actually do seem like they can do something other than kill, and actually seem to feel bad about it now.

    I want a chapter where we care less about Bangar specifically, and let the Flame Legion shame the rest of the Charr for not really being any better. I mean, who cares if we stop Bangar from getting an Elder Dragon on his side if any Charr leader (like Smodur) is going to want to go to war and go to any lengths to fight it?

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    @Jokubas.4265 said:
    But that makes future events even more baffling to me. So Smodur ruins the plan and betrays everyone else, and then they save him. Why? Why would they save him? Not only does everyone else hate him at this point, but he himself now proved to be a traitor. I mean, the other characters have shown a tendency to want to redeem their traitors, but letting Ryland get his revenge might have been a way to salvage the plan, and in exchange you get to remove this dangerously rogue element from your own side. I mean, seriously, at this point, no one can trust Smodur. He's significantly more dangerous than Bangar's forces, because Bangar's at least open about being our enemy and isn't in our midst.

    The plan is to end the war, not "save Ryland at all costs".
    Having a different approach from the Commander, Crecia or anyone else does not mean to be wrong regardless or to be a traitor.
    His actions are shareable or not, depending on the point of view, but Smodur wants what the other legions want, that is, to stop Bangar and prevent Jormag from awakening.

    Just to make a guess, in the end the Commander's approach may turn out to be too forgiving and bring Jormag to awakening.

    Smodur's death means losing the support of Iron Legion in the war, this in other words means having zero chance of victory against Bangar already this is more than enough reason to save him.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    @Tazer.2157 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    Feels like you're using a ridiculously broad definition of "colonialism" here. In this hypothetical scenario we have a charr leader reshaping charr society in response to events that have shown a weakness in the traditional social structure, and you essentially seem to be calling it "colonialism" because there's a member of an outside culture who agrees with them and is supporting them to do so.

    I recently shared something on social media talking about the dangers of conspiracy theories, which might be seen by people in the US. As I am not a US citizen, does this mean I am engaging in colonialism with the USA? Plus, there's also the question of the Commander themselves possibly being a charr... does this become colonialism because the Pact Commander has been exposed to outside influences? Does this make it colonialism if anyone ever makes a decision about their country that has been influenced in any way by exposure to ideas from outside their country?

    Colonialism, as per the accepted definition, is one country exerting at least partial control over another. Charr leaders choosing to implement reforms, even if those reforms are inspired by or implemented with the assistance of outside parties, is not colonialism as long as the Charr leaders are still genuinely making their own decisions. It could be called foreign influence, and whether that's something to be considered undesirable is open for debate, but calling it colonialism cheapens the term.

    In this entire patch, we are killing Charr soldiers on the other side. We are not going after Bangar, we are not preparing the defenses for Jormag, we are not taking a neutral stance. What part of this does not seem like colonialism? If anything our actions are further weakening the Charr. We are not just an outside influence. We are the commander of the pact who has an elder dragon and an army. If anything, our actions in this episode validate Bangar's quest to get a dragon of his own.

    We also are not talking about exposing the Charr to other cultures. We are talking about redefining the Charr. The strongest leader wins. If Crecia and the other Imperators can take over and change the Charr WITHOUT the commander's help, then I have no problem with it because it is basically a tenet of Charr society that the strong prevail.

    And if we don't intervene, Jormag wins.

    If anything, we're helping the legitimate government (well, three-quarters of it) drive off an attempt at colonialism. We're not the colonial power, we're enforcing a Monroe Doctrine against an Elder Dragon. Let's also keep in mind that Bangar has invaded a non-charr region (the Mysterious Journal makes it clear the region was previously inhabited by tengu, humans, and norn) and has expressed plans to establish "a charr dominion that will extend from the Shiverpeaks to Cantha" - the very fact that the fighting is happening on the western side of the mountains implies that if Bangar wins, he's probably going to sweep down into Kryta. Which makes it a potential Krytan problem even if the Krytans didn't want to "repay the favour" (was it colonialism when the charr joined the fighting in Lake Doric?). I'm pretty confident at this stage that the next chapter will be south of the current one as the Frost Legion pushes south and even the headquarters at Umbral Grotto need to be evacuated.

    It's also very clear through the episode that the ultimate objective is to get to Bangar. However, since we can't just portal directly to his location, and it's pretty clear his army is an invading force, we have to fight his troops in the meantime.

    You could call it foreign interference. You could call it a Cold War-esque proxy war between Jormag and Aurene. But these are different things to colonialism. We are not attempting to exert control over the Imperators (well, apart from Smodur, and in that case it's because Malice and Efram are also trying to make him less of a loose cannon). The legitimate charr government is making the decisions, and we're just providing support. We're acting as allies in support of the legitimate government against a coup backed by a foreign power that is trying to exert control over the charr.

    Plus, it was Bangar who got us involved. The whole reason we were invited to the party in the first place was probably so Bangar could set up an opportunity to steal Braham's bow.

    As for the whole "we have an Elder Dragon" thing: I meant to say this in the previous post, but forgot. It is an important plot point in previous episodes that we cannot just sic Aurene on our enemies. Despite what Bangar thinks, she has her own mind, and would probably refuse even if the Commander asked. Like the Pact as a whole (note that while there are individuals who are part of the Pact getting involved, there is no overt Vigil, Priory, or Whispers presence on the ground?), Aurene won't get involved until it is clearly a dragon-related matter.

    @Jokubas.4265 said:
    But that makes future events even more baffling to me. So Smodur ruins the plan and betrays everyone else, and then they save him. Why? Why would they save him? Not only does everyone else hate him at this point, but he himself now proved to be a traitor. I mean, the other characters have shown a tendency to want to redeem their traitors, but letting Ryland get his revenge might have been a way to salvage the plan, and in exchange you get to remove this dangerously rogue element from your own side. I mean, seriously, at this point, no one can trust Smodur. He's significantly more dangerous than Bangar's forces, because Bangar's at least open about being our enemy and isn't in our midst.

    I think Crecia was acting largely on instinct there. She didn't have time to think it through - she saw the enemy she was parlaying with suddenly jump at an ally (however questionable) and didn't have time to think, just act.

    It's entirely likely that she realised that maybe she should have let Ryland kill Smodur a second after she lost the opportunity. There's a distinct "I'm not sure I just did the right thing" look on her face in the cutscene.

    I want a chapter where we care less about Bangar specifically, and let the Flame Legion shame the rest of the Charr for not really being any better. I mean, who cares if we stop Bangar from getting an Elder Dragon on his side if any Charr leader (like Smodur) is going to want to go to war and go to any lengths to fight it?

    Gotta admit, I was thinking myself "I think I'd say I'm team Efram on this one."

    @Revolution.5409 said:
    Just to make a guess, in the end the Commander's approach may turn out to be too forgiving and bring Jormag to awakening.

    Heck, consider how things might have been different if Rytlock had killed Bangar when the latter dared him to.

  • Sajuuk Khar.1509Sajuuk Khar.1509 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    @draxynnic.3719 said:
    I'm pretty confident at this stage that the next chapter will be south of the current one as the Frost Legion pushes south and even the headquarters at Umbral Grotto need to be evacuated.

    North according to the Shaman, and the massive bridge on the map that obviously goes somewhere. The bridge is just like the door in the mountains in Bjora from episode 1.

    Its been stated that Bangar is going north to try to waken Jormag. Ryland and the forces he is commanding are likely just there to stall us. While we got ambushed by Frost Legion forces at the Bridge the end of this release, we also still canonally hold all the territory. If anything, I suspect Ryland will go north to meet up with Bangar, having delayed us a sufficient amount of time already.

    I would suspect we go north to find Ryland/Bangar, have some big fight at some ice fortress of doom, the Charr Civil War conflict is ended(not that Bangar or Ryland are dead mind you), and then the rest of the season is us still chasing down Banger, he wakes up Jomarg, we do something to remove Jormag as a problem(either we kill it or something) and then maybe we get some sort of tease to lead into the Cantha plot.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

    Present-day Mongols aren't conquerors.

    No they got beaten back by the much stronger Chinese Quing dynasty. No nation survived by being weak.

    Circumstances have changed dramatically. The charr are experiencing a similar shift, and Rytlock is among the first to start questioning the way his culture does things.

    Ah yes poor Rytlock who went from being a bad kitten into a wimp who always talks about the past. Poor victimized Rytlock. Great character arc!

    This doesn't mean he's going to go out and buy a baseball mitt and play catch with his cubs--but it does mean he's no longer shunning his impulse to be more involved in their lives.

    Rylock taking the kids to the park everyone. Yay!

    Historically, charr haven't been allowed to invest much in their young; that doesn't mean they wouldn't.

    Yet they manage to reclaim their land and be one of the stronger civs. They must be doing something right.

    Not everyone would agree with him, though. Bangar certainly wouldn't--because Rytlock's way of thinking is a threat to his authority.

    Ofc we just kill all the Char that disagree with Rytlock while claiming the higher moral ground.

    Again: Sociological, not biological. These things aren't fixed. They can and do change.

    Yes I am sure the sharp claws, the muscular build are all social and none of it given them an advantage at war. The Charr do not like like herbivores. They are made to look like predators. They are imposing. I guess we will declaw them.

    You could make an MMO where all the cultures are based on chimpanzees or dolphins or ravens -- which are some of the most intelligent animals on our planet -- but without nuance or a human spin on them, it's probably not going to be very interesting.

    There is no nuance with what they are trying to do with the Charr. GW2 is trying to achieve what WoW has with the Orcs. The difference is that WoW had years to tell a good and believable story. GW2 is rushing things out and everything seems forced and fake. Right now I do not see the Charr as being monstrous. There is no genuine compulsion for the Charr to change. They make a stereotypical villain like Banger and think that is enough justification? It seems to me like the plot needed a villain and the villain is the driving force for change here and not the plot.

  • Revolution.5409Revolution.5409 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Revolution.5409 said:
    Just to make a guess, in the end the Commander's approach may turn out to be too forgiving and bring Jormag to awakening.

    Heck, consider how things might have been different if Rytlock had killed Bangar when the latter dared him to.

    History would probably have had more interesting developments.
    So far we have seen nothing but Crecia's attempts to bring Ryland back, but the actions of the latter from my point of view cannot be forgiven, this character is as responsible as Bangar for what is happening.

    I was wondering, but do other Emperors know that Ryland is the son of Crecia? And especially if Ryland had been on our side, would Crecia have chosen a diplomatic approach anyway? Or this is dictated by wanting to save Ryland.

  • Tazer.2157Tazer.2157 Member ✭✭✭

    @Kalavier.1097 said:

    Because Bangar is NOT present on the battlefield, and is infact, beyond Wolf's Crossing, which the Legions are trying to secure. The whole point of the two-lane push is to be able to actually get to Bangar.

    You certainly help my point that the story is bad. You say we don't have an army, so why aren't we building one to get ready for Bangar? Why aren't we interested where Aurene is? Are you telling me that the Char civil war took place faster than we can follow Bangar? Is the commander on a Snail mount that Bangar manages to venture further north, recruit the Charr, turn them into icebrood and have the Charr return back to fight the war? The commander seems to be getting old!

    If Crecia and the other Imperators win, they will be changing the Charr. I highly doubt the Commander would have any say in the deep process of rebuilding their culture. For example, look at Elona. Did the commander have ANY part in the restructuring of those nations after Joko? Nope. And they peacefully split into three groups, reorganized their society and started to rebuild.

    I don't even care or remember what took place in Elona because there was no need to care. All the story told me was Joko bad, kill him and there will be peace and no infighting. Yup sounds believable. Sounds like they want to make GW2 a bedtime story where everyone lives happily ever after.

    Actually, if Charr PC you've met the Cache Keepers. They are Charr PC warband recruits who have defected. The Charr under the Dominion also advocate that other races should be subjected or killed off, so they have presented themselves as a clear threat. They also believe they can actually get a dragon to obey them.

    So why is it a war crime to kill them? A good story would make the argument that having a softer approach to war might lead to losing the war and that the war should be won by any means necessary. That would make Smodur's reasoning compelling, But the story does not present that side at all. I remember in the Witcher 2 there was an elven woman being beaten by guards, on intervention the guards tell me that the woman is a rebel and a radical. I have a choice to make. Either save the woman or join the guards. On killing the guards, the woman leads me to a waterfall where she tries to kill me. Now that is a good story. It is not simply be Crecia good and Smodur bad.

    Of course, there is a very, very big difference here. One is walking up to a supply depot, dropping an extremely powerful bomb inside, and then finding out everybody inside was non-combatant researchers instead of crates of guns being the only thing there. The other is fighting a soldier face to face on the battlefield and killing them as they are trying to kill you.

    I would rather take out researchers. The nuclear bomb, chemical weapons, biological weapons were all created by researchers. Researchers have killed more people than soldiers ever did.

    Here's the reason it's called a war crime. A: everybody was tricked into doing it. B: It was a searing crystal used against non-combatants. And Searing crystals carry a very dark history for the Flame Legion. Flame Legion is reforming and dragging itself back from it's evil history, and the searing is one of the biggest stains on their record. They don't want those things coming back into use.

    Yes yes I know Smodur is bad and Crecia good.

  • Genesis.8572Genesis.8572 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    I will say that one of the most disappointing things about the story in this episode is that (if you are a charr) you find out that one of your own warband has betrayed you to join Bangar. In the same episode that stresses the importance of loyalty to one's warband, a charr character will inevitably find out that one of their own has betrayed their warband.

  • Kossage.9072Kossage.9072 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 30, 2020

    @Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:
    As has been said, the Charr have always had enemies... but what do they do once they don't? They turn on themselves. The ghosts aren't a major problem anymore, the Flame Legion has been defeated, and re-assimilated, there is peace with the humans, and three of the Elder Dragons are dead, including the one that was giving them the most trouble. And now, left absent a major enemy, the Charr society begins its collapse in on itself via infighting.

    I'd disagree with the idea that charr have no threats left even if the developers themselves seem to support your idea. My reasoning is this based on lore:

    1) Ascalonian/Foefire ghosts

    While Rytlock's ritual in Season 2 was partly successful, it only really weakened the ghosts at Barradin's tomb and not the Foefire ghosts at large. Adelbern has been defeated a few times even before Ascalonian Catacombs story, but he always reformed and returned to continue his plans.

    What's also significant is that Tom Abernathy has teased that Aurene may not have been able to contain all of Kralkatorrik's magic upon her ascension and thus some of it spread into the world. We already have proof that at least Jormag was affected by this as the journals in Western Bjora Marches discuss how Drakkar's whispers grew louder after each Elder Dragon's death until Kralkatorrik's demise made them unbearable. We also see volatile ley-crazed Icebrood champions in Asgeir's Legacy, which shows that the magic Balthazar's demise introduced to the environment (as seen in Elona) has affected beings as far north as there.

    Looking at the probes Scarlet planted on notable ley line routes and the place of Kralkatorrik's demise on top of a significant ley line nexus, it stands to reason that some of the magic (the bits that Aurene couldn't absorb) heading north via ley lines from Dragonfall must have passed Ascalon on the way to Jormag and Drakkar in the Far Shiverpeaks. As we've seen ghosts going crazy when absorbing excess magic (see e.g. the bounties at the Desolation), it stands to reason that Adelbern, Barradin and the remaining Foefire ghosts should've received a significant power boost too and should arise and become a major threat eventually with their newfound strength. Imagine a sorcerer-king of Adelbern's caliber becoming even more powerful if he can actually control all that new magic...and even if he can't, he'll now be even more unhinged than before with the power to actually turn himself into a bigger menace this time around.

    It would be logical that Adelbern eventually delivers on his promise from Ghosts of Ascalon novel to invade the surface world with a massive ghost army with likely new abilities spawned by magic derived from Kralkatorrik, Balthazar etc. This would necessitate a return to the Heir of Ascalon and the Krytan royal locket plot to find the heir ASAP, as well as use King Adelbern's crown, Magdaer and Sohothin to end the Foefire curse and release Adelbern and his spectral ilk from their madness. Given Logan's comments during Season 2, Rytlock may have misunderstood what is needed to end the curse; perhaps the ritual needs the two swords and the crown plus heir and wielders to succeed, so we could see Logan wielding Magdaer to represent Ascalon's human past, Rytlock wielding Sohothin to represent Ascalon's charr present, and the heir wearing the crown to represent Ascalon's future with a truly harmonious coexistence between charr and humans.

    I'd love to actually see Rurik and Althea appear in such a storyline and convince the cleansed Adelbern and Barradin to aid us in the battle against Jormag's forces, and maybe see Adelbern and Barradin sacrifice themselves in a heroic last stand to save the remaining charr from ruin from Jormag's massive invasion, thus redeeming themselves while allowing Rurik and Althea to lead the remaining ghosts to a well deserved rest in the afterlife as they bless the heir as their successor. The heir would then acknowledge the charr's presence and a true end to hostilities between man and charr, perhaps even turn Ebonhawke truly independent from Kryta, and usher in an age of enlightenment while persuading the Separatists to turn into Royalists to support the heir in the now peaceful endeavors so some of the Separatists can be redeemed as well.

    2) Flame Legion

    In the Bound by Blood prologue, Efram specifically states that he only leads those from the Flame Legion who sought peace, so most of Flame Legion still remains at large and is not assimilated into either Bangar's Dominion or the United Legions. This suggests that there should be more factions out there who refused to see reason and continue being a threat. Given how the Iron Legion has at least six tribunes, the Flame Legion should have approximately the same number too. Even if the two slain tribunes from core Tyria were never replaced, that'd still leave us with at least four remaining evil Flame tribunes and possibly a new Hierophant to replace the late Improaster as I can't see Efram ascending to become the new Hierophant before he became the would-be Imperator.

    The Flame splinter groups would oppose Efram's ambitions but also each other; we could see one faction being shaman zealots led by Crecia's high-ranking but so far unseen shaman sire (who was referred to in the prologue), one could be a counterintelligence faction full of Flame stalkers (spies) reminiscent of the famous Fireshadows of old, and a third faction could be all about brute force or actually being a faction of Godforged who are dedicated to trying to resurrect Gaheron again as they view every other would-be Flame imperator as pretenders to the vacant throne. Maybe the Godforged could even succeed for a time and bring Gaheron back for a neat cameo role for an episode, and he may hold knowledge about the Eternal Flame etc. that we need to help defeat Jormag. The fourth tribune could very well be the leader of the Molten Alliance, as Angel McCoy once stated in an interview that the leaders of the Molten and Toxic Alliances are still out there with identities unknown to us, so who knows if the Molten Alliance ever returns to haunt us alongside these Flame splinter groups (at least we got a shout-out to Molten Alliance during dialogue with the Flame shaman near Smodur's pavilion).

    As recently as Season 2, Smodur mentioned that the Flame Legion were still a serious threat even without Gaheron to lead them. Given how busy he was fighting against ghosts, Branded, ogres, Separatists, Renegades etc. at the time, I've no doubt that the evil Flame splinter groups can return to threaten us later on if the writers ever choose to want to bring them back. I could see quite a few juicy plot possibilities here with potentially one evil Flame splinter group seemingly atoning and joining our side only to backstab us by later once they've used us to get rid of most of the competing factions' leadership so this "atoning" faction can try to assassinate the last candidate, Efram, and then install their own faction's leader as the de facto Flame Imperator. Bonus points if one of the high-ranking officers of this treacherous faction actually grew close to the Commander in a way Gavin did in the White Stag storyline for sylvari, and we'd see this officer genuinely conflicted about orders to kill the Commander and Efram while still being loyal to their tribune. I'd love to see some tearjerking moment of a friendly enemy who is torn between loyalties just like we are torn about whether to bring them down after they've proven themselves to be a great ally prior to the scene of their superior's inevitable betrayal.

    3) Separatists

    According to Malice, charr still have to deal with human threats. She mentions in the prologue that the Separatists have had a resurgence lately. I find this statement curious as the Separatists lost many of their notable leaders in core Tyria (e.g. Monique DeLana who died during Caudecus's Manor story mode), and their major backers from the White Mantle (e.g. Caudecus via his funding) were cut off after the White Mantle's collapse in Lake Doric. If the Separatists are becoming a threat again, it begs the question who their new charismatic leader is and where that leader is getting funding from since the defeat of the Mantle and their backers in the Ministry. We already see tensions rising between some Seraph and charr in Drizzlewood Coast in ambient dialogue (which is significant considering that the charr who view the humans only as temporary allies and potential enemies in the future are still the same charr who didn't defect to Bangar and remained loyal to the High Legions). Likewise, Marjory discussed how Logan and Kasmeer would attempt to keep the volatile human factions at bay as news of Bangar's rogue actions would add fuel to the Separatists' fire, so the animosity between charr and humans seems mutual even though we also see friendships forming between the two races (e.g. Logan and Efram's heartwarming banter and bonding during their assault events).

    I wonder if the Separatists will play any part in the saga. I'd be happy to tie them to a potential future Heir of Ascalon and Foefire cleansing storyline (see the section about Adelbern and Foefire ghosts above) where the heir might be able to redeem them by turning them into new Royalists to honor that old faction from Ascalon's pre-Searing past except these new Royalists wouldn't be a threat but a supporting force for a new era between charr-human friendship if everything went well. If we ever run into the current Separatist leader, I want them to be a memorable antagonist who hopefully lasts longer than just one story instance as there's juicy plot potential for the mystery behind the Separatists' new rise and if it may tie into some bigger conspiracy (such as the necromantic Cult of Verata if it survived over the centuries and how it might tie into Marjory's backstory trying to investigate a case of macabre human sacrifices in DR with some unnamed minister being involved in such and perhaps even tie in Riot Alice's unresolved story about a potential conspiracy surrounding the events of the Great Collapse in DR).

    4) Branded

    While some believe that the Branded are more or less gone, I'd disagree with that notion. The Risen and Mordrem continue being a threat (even if a diminishing one) years after their dragon master's defeat. Their champions, while less threatening now, still continue spreading corruption in any way they can while the Pact and allies do their best to cull the minions' numbers.

    Given how vast a horde Kralkatorrik created, I doubt that even Aurene's active flyovers and the Pact/legions' efforts were able to fully eradicate the Branded a year since Kralk's defeat. Some champions will still lurk out there for who knows how long and continue carrying out Kralk's last orders to the best of their abilities, refusing to stand down. They may not be as big a threat as they once were, but Sentinels will continue fighting the Branded to the unforeseeable future as far as I understand it based on the Unchained Risen/Mordrem lore.

    5) Ogres

    We know less about the situation with the ogres, but I'd be surprised if they weren't still causing some havoc here and there. Given how Bangar had apparently kept the majority of his forces in Blood Legion lands (as there were only two tribunes in Smodur's Ascalon rather than more Blood tribunes appearing there to help with the war effort), these forces must've been doing something since the end of hostilities with Ebonhawke. While some may have fought some ghosts here and there, maybe the rest of them focused on fighting against the ogres in the east? If so, the ogres should still continue to be somewhat of a threat (even if they might be arguably the least of these five threats the charr face) and thus no joking matter given how tenacious they can be when they pour down from the mountains.

    What we are seeing now is the Charr's "Undiscovered Country" moment, where the Charr have to realize their entire civilization is fundamentally broken as is, and that things have to change if they want to survive. Crecia is basically the Charr's Gorkon, the leader who is willing to go against the norms to fix things, while Bangar and Smodur are the Charr's General Changs, the guys who want things to be the way they were, even if its obviously stupidly bad for them.

    This is how I see it too. This "civil war" (I hesitate to use that term as technically the four legions are more like the hordes that formed after Genghis Khan's death and thus should be considered autonomous states) will definitely decide what path the charr will take and which ideology, if any, reigns supreme by the end. Perhaps the charr will wisen up and actually melt the Claw of the Khan-Ur for good to prevent any future temptations, and they may take a cue from the Olmakhan and establish their own Council of Five consisting of elders and/or respected figures within charr society rather than relying on bloodlines or legion identity per se. Time will tell where the Icebrood Saga takes them. I do hope that the legions at large get to interact with the Olmakhan beyond the teases we had in Season 4, though; I'd love to hear the current imperators' opinions on the Olmakhan, and a potential reconciliation between Efram and the Council of Five and if the Olmakhan can learn to forgive at least Efram's splinter group for the sins of the past. :)

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    Imagine thinking that the Charr were ever even 1/4th as honorable as World of Warcraft orcs, or that their society was strong after going on a thousand year losing streak via infighting before only winning the land back by pledging themselves to a demonic dark god of their own will and desperation.

    Imagine.

  • Kalavier.1097Kalavier.1097 Member ✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Imagine thinking that the Charr were ever even 1/4th as honorable as World of Warcraft orcs, or that their society was strong after going on a thousand year losing streak via infighting before only winning the land back by pledging themselves to a demonic dark god of their own will and desperation.

    Imagine.

    The charr are far more honorable then the Orcs will ever be in warcraft.

    The charr don't lie about what they are. The orcs will act reformed but they've shown they will follow obviously evil, vicious leaders without real complaint from the majority. They've done so repeatedly.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 31, 2020

    @Kalavier.1097 said:

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Imagine thinking that the Charr were ever even 1/4th as honorable as World of Warcraft orcs, or that their society was strong after going on a thousand year losing streak via infighting before only winning the land back by pledging themselves to a demonic dark god of their own will and desperation.

    Imagine.

    The charr are far more honorable then the Orcs will ever be in warcraft.

    The charr don't lie about what they are. The orcs will act reformed but they've shown they will follow obviously evil, vicious leaders without real complaint from the majority. They've done so repeatedly.

    I point you to Rytlock saying 'We've changed' to Gwen Thackery and receiving, rather pointedly, the reply: 'So you keep telling me.'

    There are orcs, like the Frostwolves, who genuinely reformed and had done so for decades. They do not try to justify their past, despite having more reason to considering they were corrupted by demonic magic to do things out of their control, while the Charr did everything of their own choice. The Legions not only excuse their behavior as 'defending their ancestral homeland', which, mind you, they stole from the Grawl and Dwarves. But also avoid any attempt to change, to the point where we wind up with our current situation.

    Heck, the Iron Legion has an entire history full of lies, a state sanctioned interpretation of events that's fed to every cub. Not only do they lie, but they make lies their stock and trade, it's why Smodurs actions are completely unsurprising. Like, it's not even a contest. The Orcs did far more to be better people then the Legions ever did.