Q&A with the Narrative Team - Page 3 — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Q&A with the Narrative Team

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  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Zafirah's introduction was the best character's intro ever in my humble opinion.

    I wrote about how I feel about Zafirah many times, and I felt her so deeply! I couldn't bear the pain she's suffered not only when she was shooting the bullets at us, but her whole life's story was just so full of pain, searching for something, anything to live for. Really true character as well, I noticed in my life such people like Zafirah. And I tried to be like Aurene, even before I knew our new Hope Dragon in my life.

    You can really fail sometimes, fall into the darkest pit, like Zafirah just waiting for someone to end it all for her, like she begged the Commander to kill her, but no... Aurene saw that Zafirah has so much potential in her, and also showed her Champion that sometimes you need to trust someone you think is untrustworthy.

    I have a tendency to connect with the characters from movies, games, books. And I build a deep connection with every character of GW2.

    Caithe - because sometimes I hide behind a mask. Because she fears to speak up, and when she does it can be so... deep.
    Taimi - because of her openness. She was expected to react weirdly at Blish being a golem, but no... She saw him as something new, something strange - interesting to discover. She feels for everyone, but she doesn't like when someone pities her - as I sometimes do.
    Rytlock - whatever he wants for good, it sometimes has bad consequences. He is still searching for something, and doesn't know exactly what it is. I value his instinct, though - that's what I love about him is he... feels.

    I'd write more, but it'd be too much. :)

    Also a side note: War Eternal trailer was the story itself. It was me that noticed that you wanted to show different stages of grief (as you mentioned even months before on Guild Chats and talking about Braham), but with War Eternal you really showed those kinds of grief so... perfectly. I wrote.

    Caithe is in dispair, Zafirah feels anger, Rytlock's heart beats faster, like me when I am sad, I can recognize it everywhere, because thats how I take grief, Logan talks nonsenses, which ease Rytlock's mind, but also annoys him. Gorrik tries to focus on his work, but its just doing it for nothing, knowing the end is near, Braham takes care of others, because he understood he can't be angry, he will try to ease minds by caring about physical health, Taimi is paralyzed by grief, she has never experienced such pain, the Commander watching on Aurene is ready for whatever fate brings, basically giving room for us all.

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2019

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:

    @WolfsFang.2301 said:
    I have only played charr in my 2.5k+ hours I have put into the game so I am not sure if this question applies to other races. I really liked my warband and would like to see more of them. However after the personal story it feels like everything attached to it was just forgotten and thrown away. Is the story so far ahead and/or are these early personal story elements not relatable in the current GW2 story? Could we see our personal story decisions somehow playout into the current story, may it be even in a small way?

    I guess my real question is, will we ever see something related to OUR personal story? I love the current lore but playing hero all the time is starting to get drawn out when almost every game is doing this.

    I play a charr, too! Hi!

    The challenge you're highlighting comes back to the choices we give players during character creation. That is to say, we've got five unique player races with countless combinations of Personal Story options. We also have a ceiling on the number of lines we can fit into our episodes, both voiced and not, so it's very difficult to service all those branching threads. The goods news is that we're taking a closer look at this as we move forward, and are working with designers to find unique opportunities to tailor the experience in manageable ways where possible. You'll see more of this approach in future Living World content, too, although not as much as we wish we could do.

    It's a charr party! Glad to see this question came up already, because I would probably have asked the same thing.

    One of the things that I enjoyed most about Divinity: Original Sin 2 was the way that your race actually made a huge difference to the way other characters behaved towards you, to the point it could even change the direction of how encounters went, or open up alternative options. I've noticed that it's exceedingly rare for MMOs to achieve this, and that's by no means limited to GW2. Some of this is for gameplay reasons, but most of it seems to be the result of the tight schedules that come with an episodic format.

    However, you've shown us that yes, it is possible to have beast races that aren't just reskinned humans with funny heads and a tail in a MMO. Supposing there was a goal to show that MMOs can have races that feel different to play, how would you tackle that without completely blowing out the development schedule?

    (Wild speculation territory there; I apologise if that's outside the scope of this thread.)

    [Edit]: Let's add a second question for fun. Of all the branches of science to have a good understanding of, what's the most important one for a game writer?

  • Lonami.2987Lonami.2987 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2019

    Few questions, specially about past history:

    • Where was Port Stalwart located? I think the inaccessible coastline between Kessex Hills and Lion's Arch is the best candidate, but a confirmation would still be nice.
    • How did the Kingdom of Kryta react to the foundation of the Dominion of Winds? Should have been a pretty good deal back in the day, but it's not mentioned anywhere.
    • What's the story behind the Handmaidens of Kormir? They look like such cool characters, but we barely know anything about them.
    • What's the political status of Lion's Arch as a nation/faction/organization (city + towns + havens)? Is it correct to call it "Free City of Lion's Arch", like some old sources did? And Ebonhawke, is it correct to call it "Duchy of Ebonhawke"? What about Rata Sum, or The Grove, what's the name of those nations/factions/organizations?
    • How are the followers of each religion called? As for humans, is it "Church of Dwayna", "Priesthood of Dwayna", or something else? Which one is correct? What about norn shamans, are they "Followers of Wolf", "Cult of Wolf", or any other?
    • Are Gorilla, Mink, and Otter real Spirits of the Wild, or just ingame jokes? What's the deal with the Spirit of Dragon? Some say it represents Jormag, while others say it is the embodiment of all dragons.
    • What's the deal with Primeval ghosts, is there anything special to them, like Ascalonian ghosts (cursed by the Foefire) or Bloodstone ghosts (sacrificed at bloodstones)? They're the only ghosts in the whole game who seem to have "free will", and they also respawn once destroyed, something other ghosts don't do.
    • The volcano named Hrangmer, where the Flame Legion found the titans, is the same volcano we see at the Citadel of Flame? The wiki says yes, but lacks a proper source.
    • How are the ghostly creatures found in Melandru's Lost Domain called? I'm talking about the Spectral Bears and Spectral Stalkers. Are they connected to the spectral creatures summoned by the Bloomhunger boss? Are they some sort of druidic animal ghosts, like the ranger spirits?
    • There's a few rare human NPCs with hispanic names ingame. Where do they come from? Doern Velazquez in particular sounds pretty suspicious about his origins. Is there another human nation out there, one we don't know about? Maybe a remnant from GW1's Utopia project?

    Some questions which might or might not be part of the future storylines, so tread carefully:

    • Have we met Mr. E yet? Will he be revealed any soon, this time for good?
    • What happened with the Krytan Royal Locket? This artifact was mentioned during LW2, and was told to reveal the face of the heir to the throne of Kryta.
    • Where was Livia during all these years? And the Scepter of Orr?
    • What happened to the Golem's Eye? What happened to the Catacombs below Divinity's Reach?
    • What's the deal with the Order of Shadows? What happened to the original Order of Whispers after they split, did they fight each other, and one was destroyed?
    • What's the connection between Isgarren, the mage from Wizard's Tower, and Grand Wizard Garren? Are they family? Could they be members of the Krytan royalty, like cousins to Queen Jennah or something like that?
    • What happened with the many once-Sunspear high ranking members of the Mordant Crescent? I'm thinking about High Priestess Amala and Warden Jabari in particular, both powerful servants of good in life, which haven't appeared since Joko's downfall.
    • Where's the real world location of the Twilight Oasis Fractal? Are we ever gonna visit?
    • What's the name of Dessa's Krewe? "Dessa's Krewe", "Mistlock Krewe", or any other? Where was their original lab before they got trapped in the Mists? Will we ever visit it?
    • Will we ever meet the demonic servants who survived the events of Nightfall? Are they still around, or were they finished for good?
    • What's the deal with the Shadowstone? Is it connected to the Bloodstones?
    • Where are Marjory and Kasmeer? Are they still helping refugees in western Elona? Are they safe?
    • What happened with the Forged? Did they go back to the Fissure of Woe? Did they take shelter in Kesho? Do they still roam the desert?
    • What's the deal with the Consortium? Who's their leader, what's their true goal? What's up with the House of Daoud and the Cowrie League?

    Thanks for reading!

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    • In Romke's Final Voyage, the group is momentarily visited by a "Bear Spirit", "Wolf Spirit", "Snow Leopard Spirit", and a "Vision of Raven"; are the former three the actual Spirits of the Wild, or mere messengers akin to Veteran Bear Spirit? Is there any relation to them and the same named NPCs that show up during Means to an End (where 3 Bear Spirits, Raven Spirits, Wolf Spirits, or Snow Leopard Spirits show up - seemingly summoned by Romke's Horn - based on the PC's biography choice)?

    I don't think they are, and I'll explain why. Let's start with the correct terminology for each spirit: The "Animal Spirit" model is barely present in game text and dialogue, if at all. In the other hand, the alternative "Spirit of Animal" model is consistently presented across multiple sources.

    Here's a list of related wiki articles:

    Compiled evidence as for why the "Spirit of Animal" model is the right term for the deities:

    Compiled evidence as for why the "Animal Spirit" model is the wrong term for the deities:

    • "Animal Spirit" is never used outside the NPC names or direct references to said NPCs.
    • There are multiple NPCs with the Owl Spirit name, all of them close to each other across Owl's Abattoir.
    • Multiple instances of the same NPCs with the Bear Spirit, Raven Spirit, Snow Leopard Spirit, and Wolf Spirit names spawn during Means to an End. The same NPCs appear once again during Romke's Final Voyage.
    • There are two separate NPCs representing Bear: Bear Spirit and Veteran Bear Spirit.
    • NPCs by the name of Dolyak Spirit exist, but they don't seem to be connected to the deity in any way whatsoever.

    So yeah, this means those NPCs are not direct manifestations of the Spirits of the Wild, but some sort of avatars or representations, and thus they should be treated as individual entities different from the deities. It's the same thing with the Pale Tree and the Avatar of the Tree, Glint and Vision of Glint, or Balthazar and Avatar of Balthazar.

    Conclusion: Only one Spirit of the Wild appears directly ingame: The Spirit of Wolf. The rest never do, only their avatars/servants.

    Hoping we get to meet them for real soon!

    @Thornwolf.9721 said:
    8. will we get more about asgeir, and potentially the fate of jora at some point?

    I hope Asgeir Dragonrender is the next legendary stance for revenants. He could wield a greatsword and summon fallen Spirits of the Wild, he's just perfect for the job!

    Alternatively, getting Bonfaaz Burnfur instead would be pretty awesome too. Who doesn't want to summon some Searing fire magic and burn your enemies alive?

    @Tom Abernathy.5893 said:

    @zealex.9410 said:
    A couple of questions:

    1.What was the thought process behind having a "meaningful character deaths" panel after ep5 regarding the death aurene only to have her back in action in the first 5 minutes of ep6? Doesnt that kinda devalue the whole "meaningful" part? (not trying to be a kitten, just curious on the thought process)

    2.Looking back at it would you have done smth regarding her death and revival differently?

    And finally, the concept of her resurection for many ppl ended up not being quite the surprise some (maybe you guys and gals too) whould've hoped for. Alot of us found the implications of her eating Joko so clear that were expecting her to die past that point.

    3.Do you believe it was the right call to make her imminent revival thanks to eating joko so clear for tho who paid attention to the story? Do you think that could've been handled differently? Maybe in a less apparent way?

    Legitimate questions. I recommend you watch the Guild Chat Julia and I did in May after “War Eternal” was released. I addressed a lot of that in our discussion.

    Too late I guess, but I think having some "mourning" Side Stories would have helped built tension between episodes 5 and 6.

    Or maybe it would have been to cruel, I don't know =).

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    Has there been any seeds towards the new content in either the open world, cities or festivals (incl the current one)? I'm not asking for what they are, but seeding clues used to be a fun thing players used to look for before an episode, but that seems to have dried up. Is there anything added that we can go and hunt for that might give us some early in game clues? Ambient dialogue, map changes and so forth

    We plan pretty far out and, because we can only fit so much into any given release, we have to make very deliberate choices about what we include. In an earlier GuildChat I think we said something to the effect of: "Everything is intentional." That still holds true. We don't want to send anybody spinning down a rabbit hole, but...

    cough — Icebrood valkyries — cough

    @Tom Abernathy.5893 said:

    @Incognito.3529 said:
    Do you guys ever think about returning Scarlet in any form (spirit, clone etc)? I kinda miss this character (mostly thanks to Tara Strong VA performance).

    Speaking only for myself, I’ve thought about it. Haven’t come up with anything I really like yet, and, anyway, that whole area isn’t where we’re focused at the moment. But never say never.

    Don't revive her, please. She had a good death. However, I'm 100% up for a Living World Season 1 revival / remake, that's the right way to do her justice.

  • This one's for any/all of the narrative team members who wish to answer.

    Which #GW2 character...
    (a) are you most like?
    (b) do you find most intriguing?
    (c) is your favorite to write, and why?
    (d) is most difficult to write, and why?
    (e) would you would most enjoy getting a beer with?
    (f) are you most excited for everyone to see going forward? (Not sure if you're allowed to answer that one.)

  • Why did Eir and Braham never shapeshift so far? For a race of shapeshifters the norn ingame spent a suprisingly small amount of time in their animal form. From time to time we see a soldier shapeshifting and fighting as a beast, but even that is rare. Jora lost her ability to shapeshift through Jormags Magic, did something similar happen to large parts of the Norn race, so individual who can still shapeshift are rare? Do most of them just prefer to stay in a humanoid form? I would have loved to see a giant bear braham smashing every awakened he sees on his way to save Taimi.

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

    Will Season 5 feature an obligatory singing episode?

    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. . .

  • maddoctor.2738maddoctor.2738 Member ✭✭✭✭

    As far as storytelling goes, I think Season 4 is the best so far, it had many memorable moments! Also, the addition of new characters, like Gorik, Zafirah and of course Aurene ,as a full character by the end, made this season beautiful.

    Now on to my questions:
    After Ascalonian Catacombs Eir gave Magdaer to a Norn blacksmith for repairs. Are we gonna ever find out who that blacksmith is or if they reforged the blade?
    Rytlock has been back from the Mists for some time, is there a reason why we haven't performed the cleansing ritual again? Now that Sohothin is all powered up by Balthazar it should be more effective

  • @Crystal Black.8190 said:
    Did you originally plan something for Almorra in the final instance of war eternal? While she is on the map, it seemed odd for her to be missing after Kralks death. She dedicated her whole life to kill Kralkatorik, I somehow expected some kind of dialogue from her how she is feeling now.

    This was a tough call. We had only so many characters we could include in the epilogue--you might notice Gorrik is missing, too. Almorra lost her warband and made it her life's mission to take out the Elder Dragons by forming the Vigil and brokering the Ebonhawke Treaty. But she wasn't our only ally who had lost someone close to her because of Kralkatorrik. Rytlock and Logan confronted their past in "War Eternal" as well, helping to finally avenge Snaff and Glint. Having conversations with Rytlock, Logan, and Almorra felt like a bit of a double beat, so we opted to save Almorra's perspective for another time when we could give it slightly more room to breathe. You'll hear from her again.

    A general's work is never really done...

    Julia Nardin
    Narrative Lead

  • I like how you also develope the festivals further, like with the inclusion of the Olmakhan in the current festival. Can we expect something similar for other festivals, like Halloween? Now Joko is in the Mist together with King Thorn, they are arch enemies and I would expect Joko trying to take over Thorns festival. Or Marcello during the festival of the four winds and wintersday. Maybe Marcello is somewhere at the moment I didn't explore the festival much so far.

    Do you internally know what is down below in the catacombs and sewers of divinities reach? I am waiting for a long time what is the cause for the missing persons down there. This is also the place where the golems eye is and probably the scepter of Orr. This gate in Divinities reach that leads in the Catacombs is there since release and I would really like to be able to use it.

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2019

    Gosh I love this Q&A!

    But I'm going to ask about Rox - is she really gonna leave Dragon's Watch? Or she will still be in our team? Or she will just want to live a peaceful life on the nature (maybe learning to become a Druid?)

    Rox's arc was so well developed this season, too.

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • @Batel.9206 said:
    Yay; personal story development questions! [ahem] I was reading Edge of Destiny, and I realized something: Trahearne's never mentioned, even when it would have been logical to introduce him or just hint at his character. So now I'm quite curious: at what point in the game's development did you come up with Trahearne's character and his role in the story?

    This is ancient history in dev terms (dating back a decade or more from concept to completion) but I’ll do my best to dust off the cobwebs! The novel was written by a freelancer, Rob King, and released in 2010—almost two years before Guild Wars 2. A lot of the story beats and characters from the Personal Story didn’t make it in to the novel probably because they were still being developed. It’s very possible Trahearne hadn’t been conceived or fleshed out enough in the game by the time of the novel’s writing. Or perhaps a conscious decision was made not to cross that character over for another reason. I don’t really know as I was only tangentially involved in both the tie-in novel projects and the Personal Story back in those days.

    I do remember a lot of discussion happening around Trahearne’s character during the last year of GW2 development (2011 – 2012), so I’m guessing that since he appears to non-sylvari players starting in Chapter 6 of the Personal Story a lot of changes happened in that final year. In short, I assume that Trahearne hadn’t been fully defined in the game when the book was being written, so it was probably a conscious decision to just leave him out of the book. Hope this answers your question!

    Bobby Stein
    Associate Narrative Director
    Charr Staff Elementalist
    Recovering Musician
    Foodie

  • @juniterio.1245 said:
    What's your favorite Quaggan?

    I'm gonna go with Drooburt. Even in death, he's still wheeling and dealing!

    Alex Kain
    Writer/Narrative Designer

  • @Arden.7480 said:
    Gosh I love this Q&A!

    But I'm going to ask about Rox - is she really gonna leave Dragon's Watch? Or she will still be in our team? Or she will just want to live a peaceful life on the nature (maybe learning to become a Druid?)

    Rox's arc was so well developed this season, too.

    Thanks, Arden! Rox has indeed joined up with the Olmakhan by Episode 6 (which you can hear in her dialogues with Boticca in throughout War Eternal). For the moment anyway, she isn't going to be actively adventuring with Dragon's Watch. That said, it's entirely possible she may cross paths with the Commander and DW sometime again in the future.

    Alex Kain
    Writer/Narrative Designer

  • Batel.9206Batel.9206 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2019

    @Bobby Stein.3612 said:

    @Batel.9206 said:
    Yay; personal story development questions! [ahem] I was reading Edge of Destiny, and I realized something: Trahearne's never mentioned, even when it would have been logical to introduce him or just hint at his character. So now I'm quite curious: at what point in the game's development did you come up with Trahearne's character and his role in the story?

    This is ancient history in dev terms (dating back a decade or more from concept to completion) but I’ll do my best to dust off the cobwebs! The novel was written by a freelancer, Rob King, and released in 2010—almost two years before Guild Wars 2. A lot of the story beats and characters from the Personal Story didn’t make it in to the novel probably because they were still being developed. It’s very possible Trahearne hadn’t been conceived or fleshed out enough in the game by the time of the novel’s writing. Or perhaps a conscious decision was made not to cross that character over for another reason. I don’t really know as I was only tangentially involved in both the tie-in novel projects and the Personal Story back in those days.

    I do remember a lot of discussion happening around Trahearne’s character during the last year of GW2 development (2011 – 2012), so I’m guessing that since he appears to non-sylvari players starting in Chapter 6 of the Personal Story a lot of changes happened in that final year. In short, I assume that Trahearne hadn’t been fully defined in the game when the book was being written, so it was probably a conscious decision to just leave him out of the book. Hope this answers your question!

    Yes, this answers a lot, actually! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. :D

    I kind of thought that, because the novel was released so far before GW2 actually came out, Trahearne's character just hadn't been fully fleshed out yet (or even thought of). But I was also curious because...well...there are a lot of things in that novel which actively contradict or just ignore previous lore (how asura gates work, for one thing). So I wasn't sure if Trahearne's omission from the novel was simply because Trahearne didn't exist yet, or because the author dropped the ball a bit. This clarifies a lot about the novel as a whole, truth be told - it's likely that a lot of the lore errors/contradictions/random weirdness simply weren't fully fleshed out at that point in the game's development.

    ...also, I asked because Trahearne's my favorite character, and any tidbits of information about him are great. :innocent: (And one of the reasons I'm still dragging my heels on finishing Heart of Thorns. I know what happens, and I don't want it to! Darn you all for making me feel this much about a video game character! [shakes fist] :tongue: )

    fear not this night
    you will not go astray

  • @WolfsFang.2301 said:
    Of all the branches of science to have a good understanding of, what's the most important one for a game writer?

    Can't speak for everybody, but for me it's psychology. Also: sociology.

    Julia Nardin
    Narrative Lead

  • Psientist.6437Psientist.6437 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2019

    A question concerning more nuanced races. Are there general lenses you use to analyze the races, such as economic, religious, or magical affinity/disposition? Personally I would love to see more attention paid to Tyrian economics. I think it would be fun to write and play and build confidence in the player economy.

    Does the writing staff have any input into rewards or reward metas based on the narrative?

    When you write about people using magic, do you have an image of what that person experiences? What does their body experience, what is their inner dialog?

    Would you still be willing to give the PC narrator control over an NPC? Or has the response to Caithe made it inappropriate?

    The Requiems were a great idea. I don't think the three we had so far were used correctly. That being said they did a lot of work. They added dimension to characters, kept attention focused on Tyria during content droughts, and gave writers a new way to project themselves. Are you considering something similar for the future? You could safely release narrative about unimportant characters.

    Your word count budget was just increased by 15%. What would each of you send those words on?

    all primes work and not tearing down has value
    ready purrlayer @ any parsed feels enhance the value of something that is already worth everything
    what other chordal approach but penultimate singing along with other quantum cuddle clocks

  • Zuldari.3940Zuldari.3940 Member ✭✭✭

    Something that has bugged me since playing sylvari is Malyck. Who is he? what is he? they say he is the harbinger , of what? Where is he and why havent we seen him again. He went to get his people and tell them about the pale tree. But that was the last i heard of him. Who are these other sylvari? I thought only the pale tree sylvari were the ones that ronan planted. This is very curious to me and will we see Malyck and his people again? Inquiring minds have to know!

    Coo! Quaggan Love's You! ♥♥♥

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

    @Zuldari.3940 said:
    Something that has bugged me since playing sylvari is Malyck. Who is he? what is he? they say he is the harbinger , of what? Where is he and why havent we seen him again. He went to get his people and tell them about the pale tree. But that was the last i heard of him. Who are these other sylvari? I thought only the pale tree sylvari were the ones that ronan planted. This is very curious to me and will we see Malyck and his people again? Inquiring minds have to know!

    They sort of answered that earlier in the thread with this quote. We also know one of the former writers was also toying with something around Malyck after he was cut from the HoT story, but all we know for now is as below

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Fans keep bringing up so-called loose ends and plotholes... what's your (collective) perspective on that? Specifically:

    • If you had an extra episode to resolve issues, what plotholes would you prioritize?
    • Are there any complications that you've put in the story deliberately, with the intention of leaving any resolution up to our imagination?
    • Can you talk about one/more gap(s) for which you had a great plan... then ran out of time/resources to implement properly?

    Thank you for bringing this up! My answer to this one is going to be pretty broad, but I'm hoping it cuts to the heart of what you're asking. There are a lot of questions in this thread about the future of specific threads like Malyck, Zojja, Rytlock's past, Spirits of the Wild, Wizard's Tower, etc. that would require specific answers we aren't in a position to give at the moment. However!

    Lately, the team has spent a lot of time discussing the game’s foundation and all the stories that different configurations of designers and writers have told since Guild Wars 2 launched. We’re very aware there are certain plots, characters, and lore that our players are curious about and want to see explored or resolved, so we made plans for future content with many (but not all) of those things in mind. The team is actively looking for opportunities to shine the spotlight on areas of the world that haven’t gotten as much attention as others while balancing the need to drive the narrative forward.

    It's impossible for us to address everything without things getting muddy or feeling randomized, so we have to prioritize by picking and choosing what works best for the direction we're going. One of the reasons we wanted to do this Q&A was to let you guys know that we are listening because what you have to say is important to us. We're looking forward to sharing what we've been working on at the August 30 event, when we can be more specific in regards to what we say about what's coming.

    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. . .

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:

    @WolfsFang.2301 said:
    Of all the branches of science to have a good understanding of, what's the most important one for a game writer?

    Can't speak for everybody, but for me it's psychology. Also: sociology.

    Wow, after reading this, I just can't resist asking.

    Is there really no cure for the Nightmare Courtiers? I just can't get over this, especially when some of them (ok, just Gavin probably) show at least as much honor as many of the Dreamers. And after they spent years of "getting rid of the shackles of Ventari's tablet and be free" only to find out about daddy Mordy, one would expect at least some of them to use their brains and see the whole thing from a new point of view. Or is it something about the sylvari being what they are, that prevents them from really having a choice? Considering there are quite many sylvari pirates, which is not exactly a honorable and moral occupation, I don't really understand some Courtiers haven't had doubts far sooner. And after reading the Requiems, I just can't shake off a thought that at the very beginning, Faolain just took the whole Nightmare Court and wiped her behind with it and instead of being twisted by it, she twisted the Court.

    The Soundless. What do they actually try to do? Weaken the link to the Dream? Keep others' feelings out? Keep their own feelings just for themselves? If a Courtier did it, could they just go live somewhere away and ignore the whole Nightmare basket of kittens?

    And now for something completly different:
    Will Laranthir find love? (Well, I admit this is more of a plea than a question, so... please, pretty please. A simple mention in a dialog would be enough, just let him be happy, ok? :) )

    I really like the dredge sage Ninukab in Thunderhead Peaks and his differentiated dialog (as well as other such dialogs, but this one is especially good). Could we please get more of these candies? There simply can't be too much.

    Thanks for all the fi... this thread.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • brenda.9723brenda.9723 Member ✭✭✭

    There is a big GW1 mystery about Rata Sum being an anagram for Mursaat. Why was this mystery never answered? Why was is not answered during LW season 3 when the last of the mursaat died :(?

    Why did the writersteam deside that Lazarus should be killed of? Looking back at the mursaat plot do you think it would have been more interesting to keep Lazarus alive?

    What is the history between livia and lazarus?

  • Matt H.6142Matt H.6142 Member ✭✭✭

    What can you say of the Crystal Bloom faction? Do they see Aurene as a Savior and Caithe as her herald? Are the awakened linked to her as she is now part Joko? Does that perhaps explain why the Awakened remain functional? Are all Sunspears Crystal Bloom now?

  • Matt H.6142Matt H.6142 Member ✭✭✭

    Re: Melandru what has caused her presence in game to be underdeveloped? Her domain is largely unnamed, and she doesn’t have an outfit in the store leading to Warden Amala turning into a core sylvari model.

  • Hello! First time posting on the forums, so here goes nothing! I'm mostly asking for myself, but also for my fellow (Zephyrite Role-players) guild mates, so I apologize on the long list ahead. As a role-player, I have many questions in regards to the Zephyrite lore (as well as Exalted/Forged).

    1. In episode 5 of season 4, we hear comments made by the Corsairs near the airships within Symphony's Haven (In Thunderhead Peaks) how the Zephyrites don't eat their dolyaks. Should it be taken as face value (meaning they simply don't eat their dolyaks) or does this imply that the Zephyrites don't eat meat in general?

    2. Where were the Aspect Masters during Episodes 5 and 6 of season 4? Would they have been at Thunderhead Keep/Dragonfall?

    3. How did the Zephyrites know to assemble at Thunderhead Peaks (if not already there)?

    4. Was the Zephyrite Choir a certain cell in the Zephyrite Order or is everyone a part of the Zephyrite Order a part of the Choir?

    5. Are the Exalted from Thunderhead Keep's Forge stationed there, or did they come from Tarir?

    6. After Path of Fire, what happened to the remaining Forged (if any) and their bases? Did they fall apart or continue to survive due to the similar Exalted rituals performed to construct them?

    7. The Master of Peace told Aerin he broke his Zephyrite vows. What are the Zephyrite vows? When are Zephyrites permitted to swear them (age-wise)?

    8. Do the Zephyrites have their history written in books or scrolls, or is everything oral history and through song?

    9. Are the Zephyrites able to use the Aspects without crystals?

    10. Do the Zephyrites use other profession magics (non-elementalist) as well as using the Aspect magics?

    11. How did the Zephyrites travel before they had the Zephyr Sanctum?

    12. What is the process for new people joining the Zephyrite Order?

    13. What is the ranking system like? EG we have heard there are "initiates," we've also seen Guides, Adepts, Honor Guards, and Masters for the different Aspects. Are these broad categories, or can there only be a few at a time?

    14. Do Zephyrites perform marriages, and if so, what would a ceremony look like?

    15. Do Zephyrites burn or bury their dead? Or both?

  • What is the current status of the Pale Tree? Has she recovered? Is she dead? If she recovered, why not one single mention of her since Lw2/HoT? As sylvari main I miss mommy.

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder when Balthazar was imprisoned?

    Will we ever get to know when the Gods had had enough of Balthazar?

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @VAHNeunzehnsechundsiebzig.3618 said:
    What is the current status of the Pale Tree? Has she recovered? Is she dead? If she recovered, why not one single mention of her since Lw2/HoT? As sylvari main I miss mommy.

    There was a Caladbolg quest that showed the Pale Tree was still recovering, then before and during Season 3, Caithe mentioned that the newborn Sylvari awoke.

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • @Alex Kain.6492 said:

    @Arden.7480 said:
    Gosh I love this Q&A!

    But I'm going to ask about Rox - is she really gonna leave Dragon's Watch? Or she will still be in our team? Or she will just want to live a peaceful life on the nature (maybe learning to become a Druid?)

    Rox's arc was so well developed this season, too.

    Thanks, Arden! Rox has indeed joined up with the Olmakhan by Episode 6 (which you can hear in her dialogues with Boticca in throughout War Eternal). For the moment anyway, she isn't going to be actively adventuring with Dragon's Watch. That said, it's entirely possible she may cross paths with the Commander and DW sometime again in the future.

    I have to ask about Marjory and Kasmeer. I really missed my Canthan Reaper! Are they going to make an appearance in LS5?

    Fort Aspenwood forever!
    36 characters!

  • Pyreo.8517Pyreo.8517 Member ✭✭

    I'm not sure if this is answerable, but I got the feeling we were shown the final line of 'Darkness pays Orr a visit' back in S4E4 so that we might speak to Trahearne's spirit and let him know what the line was. It wouldn't have been out of place in the final episode, one dragonslayer to their old mentor, with all the Mists mayhem going on and spirits coming back and forth in several episodes surrounding that battle. I know that no sylvari spirits have been referenced from the Mists but still... am I crazy for thinking that seemed almost planned out? Or was it just there to make us sad? Cause it made me sad :p

    (PS. I hope you guys don't take it too seriously when people moan all the time about Kas and Jory being unlikable because they dare to reference being in a relationship. Everyone I know finds it adorable. I don't know how you handle hearing constant demands for character appearances that wouldn't fit within episode constraints and are planned for better, future things that you can't talk about)

  • Batel.9206Batel.9206 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 1, 2019

    This might seem like a tongue-in-cheek question, but I'm being serious (as much as is possible for me, anyway, haha) : is there a lore reason why we can't reforge Caladbolg as any weapon (staff, torch, warhorn, rifle, etc.) but instead only as a select few?
    shameless pleading mode activated: please can we get a Caladbolg staff/full set of weapons, pretty please with a Taimi on top?

    Does the sylvari player character still have a Wyld Hunt to kill all of the Elder Dragons, or did their Hunt end with the death of Mordremoth?

    (I haven't played past the end of HoT, so if either of my two questions are actually answered sometime in the later stories...ignore this. XD)

    fear not this night
    you will not go astray

  • Fomivee.3065Fomivee.3065 Member ✭✭
    edited August 1, 2019

    Is Ellen Kiel dating Evon Gnashblade?

    Will we ever hear from https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Tyrian_Protector s ever again?

    Can we get a Kodan city? I love their architecture.

  • @Fomivee.3065 said:
    Is Ellen Kiel dating Evon Gnashblade?

    Evon and Ellen have some fun banter during the Festival of the Four Winds, but that's just them constantly trying to one-up the other. At this point, I believe both have a fair bit of respect for what the other has accomplished. Also, Evon knows that Ellen and Zalambur maybe have a thing going? He's got ears everywhere, I figure!

    Alex Kain
    Writer/Narrative Designer

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Alex Kain.6492 said:

    @Fomivee.3065 said:
    Is Ellen Kiel dating Evon Gnashblade?

    Evon and Ellen have some fun banter during the Festival of the Four Winds, but that's just them constantly trying to one-up the other. At this point, I believe both have a fair bit of respect for what the other has accomplished. Also, Evon knows that Ellen and Zalambur maybe have a thing going? He's got ears everywhere, I figure!

    I personally think this small "awwww" talk Zalambur and Ellen had was just very cute!

    [...]Zalambur: I see. Well, I suppose trust must begin somewhere.
    Captain Ellen Kiel: I'm sure we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
    Zalambur: Perhaps we can discuss this further here in my office over a fine Elonian wine, Captain Kiel.
    Captain Ellen Kiel: Or, better yet, back in my office over a bottle from the Eldvin Monastery vineyards.
    Zalambur: Oh, my. Are you married, Captain?
    Captain Ellen Kiel: Please, call me Ellen.

    Also I believe her VA - the amazing Courtney Taylor - kind of nodded at that.

    if that romance thing is legitimate, and we don't know yet what's going on, but if it is that she doesn't hid it completely. And that she brings some of that into the world with her. Because I think it will make her more interesting and happier. And that'll sort of go outwards into the world and just make her efforts even better.

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • Bawalbaba.3274Bawalbaba.3274 Member
    edited August 1, 2019

    What happened to the gods?

    Last we heard that most had left for another world where they would prepare it for their faithful but what exactly are they doing?
    And since most of the elder dragons are gone and we have a benevolent Elder on our side, will the gods come back? Will Grenth come back and restore his seven reapers?

    And will Balthazaar's mantle be taken up by someone else in his absence, other than what is left inside Aurene that is? The closure we got with Kormir wasn't exactly satisfying. And it kills me knowing that most humans don't know about their pantheon having left them. I think it is a big enough event or news for them to at least acknowledge it properly.

  • Shadeste.4935Shadeste.4935 Member
    edited August 1, 2019

    With the Festival of the Four Winds back in town, one Solitary Sylvari in particular has been gaining some due attention again because of his really intriguing dialogue. Me and my guild have been really curious about him and what he means since he first appeared! And so we were wondering: Was he part of the Mordrem Guard 'proper' and underwent the according physical changes, or was he one of the Sylvari who responded to Mordremoth's Call, yet managed to fight back before fully losing himself to Mordremoth?

    That said - Thank you so much for all your hard work! I truly can't stress that enough.

    1. Was the order of the Crystal Bloom just created for the Episode 6: War Eternal
      and was disbanded after Aurene becomes an elder dragon or we will see it later too?

    2. Aurene absorbed the power of Kralkatorrik, did some of his magic escape
      and reached other remaining dragons too or it's solely hers now?
      (we know that when a dragon dies, his magic gets absorbed by other dragons in a distance)

    3. Now that we know that dragons can hold multiple magics. Was it the same with Glint?
      Did she pass the "light" magic to Aurene on birth or it got transformed as from Kralkatorrik's magic?

  • Alesthes.4287Alesthes.4287 Member ✭✭
    edited August 1, 2019

    I have noticed that, as the Living Story progresses, we have seen more and more emphasis on sci-fi, technological imaginaries. I wonder why and if you plan to continue this trend in the future.

    Now, I am not questioning the presence of these elements in general: they are clearly part of the Guild Wars lore, especially in association with the Asura. Still, I cannot but notice that they are becoming increasingly prominent, in my modest opinion at the expenses of other more intruiguing fantasy elements that used to give a sense of mystery and authenticity to the setting.

    Nowadays we know of dragons because of some installed tech device instead of relying on ancient prophecies; we are constantly told what's happening by Asura geniuses that analyze some batch of data instead of listening to some Ancient Order that has been guarding Elder Dragons for centuries; we seek audience with a Goddess, but not much comes of it, while on the other hand we are constantly updated through "cellular phones" in our ears about what's going on in the world; etc.

    Mind you: I do not want to crudely dismiss entirely these elements, and I understand that sometimes they can make the life easier for the writers to the benefit of the story presentation (like: clearly since we now have "cellular phones" you can deliver many lines of dialogue from different characters even when the player is venturing alone in the new maps). But is it all there is to it? Or are you consciously trying to make GW2 more a mix of sci-fi and fantasy?

    Personally, I would really love some more of the "arcane" side of the world to come back: give me ancient scrolls over phones, give me prophecies over data, give me obscure magic over devices, give me gods that act mysteriously over teenage Aura geniuses that solve world ending crises in 2 seconds with their clever plans...

    My 2 cents and honest curiousity. Your efforts are appreciated and I eagerly look forward to know more on August 30th...

  • Hey hi ArenaNet writers! Very interesting thread so far. I have a question about some ancient lore!

    All the way back in 2007, the Movement of the World introduced us to a lot of the lore we ended up seeing in Path of Fire, including the Mordant Crescent. One paragraph that always sort of intrigued me was this one:

    Palawa's price for benevolence was tribute, forced loyalty, and all those who bore the name Ossa delivered unto his care. Periodically, a few more descendants were found hiding in the hills of Elona—and all were delivered unto the undead ruler of Elona. From the descendants of his ancient enemy, Palawa created a living army to match his undead one, reveling in the irony that Ossa's children owed their lives—and their loyalty—to him.

    I proudly reported on this tidbit in a lore video before PoF came out, but when PoF came out, Joko's living army was nowhere to be found. I think that in retrospect, the decision to cut this made a lot of sense (feels like there were already a lot of new groups to introduce the players to), but I'm still curious about it! Did this get retconned, and if so, what was your reasoning behind it? Or is there a lore reason for this army no longer being around at the time of GW2?

    Thanks a ton!

  • @Tom Abernathy.5893 said:

    @Edelweiss.4261 said:
    I'm not sure if this can be answered, but here goes. Back toward the beginning of GW2's life, I remember reading that the Elder Dragons were supposed to be more along the lines of forces of nature(and thus incomprehensible to mortals). With Mordremoth and Kralk, it feels like there was a shift away from this concept as both have very human aspects(pride and fear/familial love respectively). Was this intended from the start or did the plan change somewhere along the way?

    The way we’re currently thinking of it is that, pre-Aurene, mortals understandably perceived Elder Dragons in the way you mention, thinking of them as forces of nature—but that our principal characters inevitably have seen Aurene as a person (if you follow the distinction I’m making), as well as Glint, Vlast, and even, most recently, Kralkatorrik. As a result, they’re re-examining some of their long-held assumptions. For example, all Tyrians used to refer to an Elder Dragon as “it”; as they get more visibility into the inner life of Elder Dragons, some Tyrians are coming to refer to them with gendered pronouns where appropriate.

    (In all candor, treating the EDs as people rather than impersonal forces also allows us to therefore use them as actual characters in our storytelling. A hurricane doesn’t have motivation or reason or emotion or a soul; a character does, and is thus a kitten of a lot more useful from a storytelling perspective.)

    Are there any postgender beings or societies in GW2?

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:
    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.

    Hmm. Nuance could be a problem in the GW2 story set up based on overall stylistic choices for the narrative. But it's certainly doable for very alien Terran animals. I'll refer you to Adrian Tchaikovsky's recent novels Children of Time and Children of ruin, featuring uplifted spiders and octopuses. Granted they do also have human characters but for the bulk of the novels the focus of interest is on the fascinating, very nonhuman psychology of the main races.

    That said, thank you for this solid look at Charr lore, I'm definitely referring my guildies to this post :)

  • @Donari.5237 said:

    @Julia Nardin.9824 said:
    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.

    Hmm. Nuance could be a problem in the GW2 story set up based on overall stylistic choices for the narrative. But it's certainly doable for very alien Terran animals. I'll refer you to Adrian Tchaikovsky's recent novels Children of Time and Children of ruin, featuring uplifted spiders and octopuses. Granted they do also have human characters but for the bulk of the novels the focus of interest is on the fascinating, very nonhuman psychology of the main races.

    That said, thank you for this solid look at Charr lore, I'm definitely referring my guildies to this post :)

    Man, I would love to write some dialogue variants for some spiders and octopuses. That sounds rad.

    Julia Nardin
    Narrative Lead

  • What has been the most exciting part about planning the lore for Cantha in the next expansion? ಠ‿ಠ

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

    @Rapturos.6937 said:
    What has been the most exciting part about planning the lore for Cantha in the next expansion? ಠ‿ಠ

    Clever ;)

    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. . .

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