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Loss and Defeat in the Living World

I've noticed that as the game has gone on we've begun to deal with much darker themes.

Core Game: You lose someone close to you. It began with your mentor, someone you trusted and cared for who sacrificed themselves so that you could push onward to protect others. Next it was a partner, it might've been an optimistic Demolitionist or a resolute Lionguard who stood with you against the tide. Or it might be someone you thought you could trust who turned to plant a dagger in your back. These hurt, they were painful experiences that sometimes you can't save everyone and that other people believe or fear you enough to take matters into their own hands regardless of consequence.

S1: The world is shaken by a madman. You see enemies thought subjugated rise up to stir up troubles just as you've gained a foothold against the Elder Dragons, upsetting what you've striven for so you once more rally allies and take to the front lines to protect others. In the final culmination, you ultimately lose because while the madman is defeated you find they have completed their mission with a grin on their face.

S2: Your allies who helped you become the Commander begin losing their loved ones. New friends find themselves torn apart from within. Old comrades betray you and refuse to explain themselves. Everything begins to shake apart as no one has a cohesive goal anymore. So you bind them all together again facing another Elder Dragon--another threat to make the world focus.

HoT: You lose almost all of your allies in a single war. The Pact is a shadow of its former self. The world no longer has any faith in it except as a ragtag collection of the Three Orders. They've lost their Marshall. Nearly all of the heroes from Destiny's Edge are damaged in some way, your own new allies are injured, battered, and bruised, and while you ultimately come out triumphant with a new hope born in Tarir the world looks at the Pact as a bunch of dreamers who nearly brought their own ruin. Only by dint of your own status do you remain anything of note in this new world.

S3: Ancient enemies resurge. New chaos befalls the various races of the world. Ancient magics return and a Rogue God's pride begins a spiral into damnation. You chase these threats across the Tyria trying to put out a hundred small fires from every corner while your own allies disappear with their own agendas. It's a race to see what you can accomplish when the clock starts ticking against you, and when you finally catch up it slips away to pursue an even more reckless backup plan and you no longer have your allies with you.

PoF: Faith, resentment, exhaustion, illness, beseige your old friends. The Commander barely has any allies left and so you start hunting for new ones, trying to build up a force to stand against this threat. And while you're busy trying to keep this war from destroying the world the larger portion of the world completely ignores the problems or stays out and watches from a safe distance while you and those few who are strong enough to still stand with you struggle against the hurricane. Although you succeed, you find this has simply shifted the problem from one threat to another.

S4: A time of despair. Friends suffer. Friends die. Friends begin to pull away and pursue their own lives, looking for happiness in a world that can never seem to be at peace. Even though some reconcile with you, others can't continue the fight and step aside or sacrifice themselves. And your enemies can all see it--they see that no matter what you do the world keeps slipping into darkness even though you've brought a new Light to the world. And when the dust settles, the beast slain, and the dice stop rolling, every single person who has joined you throughout this now questions if YOU are the biggest threat there is.

IS Prologue: That fear of you begins a tangible thing, and you find yourself begin confronted on it. Even though they sparr around you with your allies, the Commander is being seen a less of a hero and more of a threat to be cautiously evaluated.

IS: The Commander and his allies are now a threat. Something to be eliminated. While you have allies who stand with you, you begin to grate against them. Darker choices are made, mercy becomes a luxury. And all the while a threat is stirring and has taken a personal interest in you with the hope you could become an ally.

The game has gone from the hopeful rise of a hero to the desparate struggles of someone to save a world that is selfish, paranoid, and cruel.

And I love it!

Comments

  • voltaicbore.8012voltaicbore.8012 Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 17, 2020

    I like that you like the story as much as you do! I disagree on several points though.

    S4: Not sure "every single person who has joined you throughout this now questions if YOU are the biggest threat there is." Joko brings it up, sure, and we found out in PoF that our dragon-killing spree was bad for the planet. However, I can't think of a single long-term ally that seriously questioned that the Commander intends to do good/is good. If anything, everyone just agreed that we needed to figure out a different solution - nobody ever questioned that the Commander would be part of that solution. Also, the writers erased the one true spot of darkness we could have had at the end with Aurene.

    IS: "The Commander and his allies are now a threat"... to the Commander's enemies, sure. How is that any different from every major adversary we've faced, beginning with Zhaitan? Zhaitan, Mordremoth, Balthazar - all of them saw as as threats and pointedly wanted to kill us. Nothing new here whatsoever. As for mercy becoming a luxury - that applies maybe to Smodur and the United Legions, but certainly not to the PC. The Commander apparently has no problem being offended by (routine by IRL standards) executions and dropping a grenade into an enemy weapons development facility. Sure, kill a bazillion Dominion that assault you on the path, but suddenly balk at killing a few in a bunker? This just shows that the lack of mercy is only because the Commander is not leading this particular operation, not because there's just no room left for mercy.

    I guess I saw the game world and game writing differently than you did, from the very beginning. I feel it's pretty clear from the personal stories to the Order/Pact, the people around us shower us with respect and titles... yet we accomplish precious little at great cost every step of the way. For as many people who call us Hero and Commander, there are just as many rivals, resenters, and even more people who just don't care at all. Most of the darkness is whitewashed (and still is), but it was always there.

  • Opopanax.1803Opopanax.1803 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 17, 2020

    I feel like they have done a good job shuffling characters in and out. I dont like static NPCs that are there, all the time, no matter what. I prefer that characters like Rytlock, Braham, Canach, Taimi split off and do their own thing. It's more realist and it keeps it more fresh.

    I was bummed on 2 deaths that occurred, but since the OP has done such a good job not laying out spoilers, I will not divulge the ones that bothered me!

    However, I think the writing has been good.

    That said, I would also like to see a focus on technology, mystery, etc instead of the incessant "end of the world threat" that I feel has been going on for a long time.

    • Maybe explore an ancient lost civilazation?
    • Journey into the mists to see what resources it holds?
    • Journey to unknown terrain in Tyria simply in order to discover the unknown?

    I would love to see something other than just straight up save the world, and GW2 is so good at exploration, why not make it a side story to take a break from dragons for a bit?

  • hugo.4705hugo.4705 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 1, 2020

    Ancient civilization? Quora Sum, depths of Tyria, the whole asura past. Or more about Jotuns, Janthir... but they decided to not do that and instead satisfying the nostalgia with cantha and eye of the north: recycling old things over new horizons.

    But about the topic itself:
    I feel like LS maps don't consider enough what happens if we lose, fail events: Why, in kourna, once the thorn wall is destroyed; the awakened aren't ruining the pact camp? Plus, the village at the north is trapped into having loyalist at south and awakened at right. What I don't get, is why that, even if disabling cannons is ignored, they aren't bombarding the pact and assaulting.
    In any map you feel like the foes stay nicely on their side, doing nothing: apart bjora and drizzlewood.

    Shiny links, take a look!
    ->Ideas: Housing , Designing a new lounge , New GameMode
    ->Project: ASURAN EXPANSION available on WIKI.
    ->NEW: Crucible of Eternity path 4: Legacy on WIKI

  • battledrone.8315battledrone.8315 Member ✭✭✭

    you actually WANT to kill dragons, to save a pale buraucrat? to each their own..not enough FANTASY for me though
    im gonna root for the dragons, at least they look cool