Scarab Plague and the Commander — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Scarab Plague and the Commander

So, there is this topic that keeps bugging me. I could get down with that the Scarab Plague does not affect anyone, but humans if I think about that Plague as a chemical weapon from the past. but I don't understand how the Commander is immune to it if he/she is a Human. It was briefly touched as "I died before, so I'm somehow immune." How come?
I mean, it made sense if the Commander is technically an Undead at this point. But this was never noted and noone questioned why the Human Commander is immune to it. This is something that I'd imagine Taimi and Gorrik being fascinated by and they'd both want to figure it out. There are countless possiblities of course, but I think the story didn't give it enough attention. Is this going to be addressed in a Current Event or a Future Episode? Or was this just an excuse to give the Human Commander a reason to be immune as well as the other races?

Praise Joko!

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  • Twyn.7320Twyn.7320 Member ✭✭✭

    @Cregath.7628 said:
    So, there is this topic that keeps bugging me. I could get down with that the Scarab Plague does not affect anyone, but humans if I think about that Plague as a chemical weapon from the past. but I don't understand how the Commander is immune to it if he/she is a Human. It was briefly touched as "I died before, so I'm somehow immune." How come?
    I mean, it made sense if the Commander is technically an Undead at this point. But this was never noted and noone questioned why the Human Commander is immune to it. This is something that I'd imagine Taimi and Gorrik being fascinated by and they'd both want to figure it out. There are countless possiblities of course, but I think the story didn't give it enough attention. Is this going to be addressed in a Current Event or a Future Episode? Or was this just an excuse to give the Human Commander a reason to be immune as well as the other races?

    I think this is one of the biggest plot-holes in the Episode. Basically, the Council of Amnoon are worried about Gorrik walking freely in case he causes a massive outbreak as he's infected. The original reason that we got was something along the lines of: 'Well, the Scarabs probably know who's living and who's dead, so they'd leave you alone.' The problem with this is that the 'Third-Generation Plague Hosts' are all Awakened, and thus, undead. So, using this as an example, everyone that we came into contact with, such as Faren and the other Humans, should have the Scarab Plague as we'd be infected from wandering on the other side of the Thorn Wall. It's the big issue with making one race stand-out in a plague instance, or doomsday scenario. Now, this opens up another plot-issue: How did the Asura die in Fahranur? Considering that the Gates were already there, as Joko had to use Taimi to enter the Portal Room, Joko may have resurrected the Asura but they must have died in some other way to all drop at the same time. This is why it seems very plausible to link their deaths with the Scarab Plague. So, by making all of the races apart from one immune to a doomsday event, without double-checking other areas of the narrative, we actually have a huge plot-hole.

    Could someone share some light on this, because it seems like a huge continuity issue, unless I've missed something major?

  • hugo.4705hugo.4705 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2018

    Ahem Ahem, I will bring here my theory about that maybe it's the dumbest ever or the better, I leave it to you:
    -So firstly for the question of scarab plague and why our character is immune to that, no matters of race:
    I will assume that Joko breed is scarabs, when they was enough big, he killed them and awakened them (since they are insects, he can.), after that moment, they were under his order. Since these scarabs are dead, they will seek for living things: Our character already died so he can't be considered as living, the story stated that scarabs can't grow under Charr, Asuran, Sylvaris skin, but what about Norn, they are pretty close to humans no? So it's a matter of corpse temperature for me and internal liquid of the corresponding host. Since they are awakened, joko could have ordered them to go inside dead corpse and turn them into living bombs.
    -Now about the awakened Inquest of the area: They are two possible plots, first one: Joko brought some of the Inquest he killed and awakened within Farahnur (by the way here, it can be because of branded) and Rata Primus, they came with him here and they started to build their facility calmly. Second plot, but have to be confirmed by Anet: Inquest members were peacefully experimenting there until Joko came and killed them, then re-awakened them to force them to research on what he want. Asuras can't die of the plague, they have to be killed like anything else in order to be awakened.

    +++In creative mood. New Engie Elite spec' DONE, Housing DONE, New asuran expansion DONE, Designing a new lounge "current", New GameMode DONE

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

    I still don't get how the scarabs are only capable of incubating inside humans. No matter how I see it argued, or how I argue it myself, it makes no sense.

    Hell, the generation thing doesn't make sense either, given that first generation and third generation hosts look exactly the same to me, and if the scarabs had managed to survive 1,000 years without hosts, then they would have had to be incubating on wheat (aka "second generation") when found by the Inquest.

  • Quarktastic.1027Quarktastic.1027 Member ✭✭✭

    The other thing about this that bothers me is that one of the primeval queens you speak to during the story says that the plague will consume every living thing in sight. Yet it only affects humans. But it can also infect crops. Is wheat human?

  • edited July 3, 2018

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    I still don't get how the scarabs are only capable of incubating inside humans. No matter how I see it argued, or how I argue it myself, it makes no sense.
    Hell, the generation thing doesn't make sense either, given that first generation and third generation hosts look exactly the same to me, and if the scarabs had managed to survive 1,000 years without hosts, then they would have had to be incubating on wheat (aka "second generation") when found by the Inquest.

    There are plenty of creatures in the natural world that have evolved to feed on or parasitize a particular species, and many whose life cycles involve contact with several types of creatures. The liver fluke begins its life cycle spending a few hours being hosted by a snail, where they pass through two more stages of their life cycle before passing out of the snail to encyst on grass, which is eaten by sheep. The flukes mature and reproduce inside the sheep's digestive system, and their eggs pass back out to be hosted again by snails.

    Guild Wars 2 is a game where people can conjure magical ice bows out of midair to fight spiders the size of Volkswagens. You're free not to worry about the science of the game's insect life, especially when we've given you an entomologist character to give his interpretation.

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

    @PeterFries.1057 said:
    There are plenty of creatures in the natural world that have evolved to feed on or parasitize a particular species, and many whose life cycles involve contact with several types of creatures. The liver fluke begins its life cycle spending a few hours being hosted by a snail, where they pass through two more stages of their life cycle before passing out of the snail to encyst on grass, which is eaten by sheep. The flukes mature and reproduce inside the sheep's digestive system, and their eggs pass back out to be hosted again by snails.

    That... kind of goes in favor of my statement and confusion, no? The dialogue implies that this breed of scarabs ONLY incubate in humans. Most parasites can incubate in multiple species - the liver fluke is one such, as it can infect multiple mammals (including humans). Parasites might evolve and focus on a particular species, but they can thrive in others. This makes non-humans' immunity strange.

    And if it weren't continuously slammed into our face that it's a pestilence and, seemingly, a natural one at that which "just so happens" to only be dangerous to humans, I'd probably be able to pass it off as "fantasy setting". But the whole "Gorrik's explanations of the Scarab Plague" kind of hits similar to midichlorians in Star Wars. An answer, which doesn't make sense/harms the setting, to a question no one asked.

    Even if we slap it all off as "magically altered scarabs", it feels weird, simply because of these constant reminders from Gorrik.

  • Daishi.6027Daishi.6027 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2018

    The "I already died and that makes you immune, to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague." Thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2018

    @Daishi.6027 said:
    The "I already died and now makes you are immune to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague" thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

    I'm presuming the Oath still holds because you're still able to speak about the Shining Blade and it's secrets. It doesn't matter that you already died, spilling those secrets will still result in death, you could only come back once due to special circumstances, it's not an ability you can forever have :P

    The above was written as part of an attempt to waste time.

  • Cregath.7628Cregath.7628 Member ✭✭✭

    @PeterFries.1057 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said: The dialogue implies that this breed of scarabs ONLY incubate in humans.

    The original, first generation scarabs only incubate in humans. The adults can eat any species. The eggs can be carried on wheat. The Inquest had researchers working on the original plague scarabs, investigating their potential as bio-weaponry. Joko Awakened them to step up the destructive potential and they began testing them on the Kournan populace. His end goal is to unleash a version capable of killing everyone in Tyria.

    The Commander is immune for admittedly magical reasons—you've died and returned from beyond, something that the Primeval Queens could sense about you. Presumably, that makes you unappetizing as a host.

    That is very strange to hear, considering that the trend is that everything wants to consume magic. To me everything points towards the Commander being something... different at this time. Is the Commander and Undead or something similar to a God carrying vast amounts of Magic in them (though clearly (hopefully) not as powerful)?

    Praise Joko!

  • Daishi.6027Daishi.6027 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2018

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Daishi.6027 said:
    The "I already died and now makes you are immune to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague" thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

    I'm presuming the Oath still holds because you're still able to speak about the Shining Blade and it's secrets. It doesn't matter that you already died, spilling those secrets will still result in death, you could only come back once due to special circumstances, it's not an ability you can forever have :P

    I mean... Maybe? But for all we know the magic keeping us bound to the secrecy could have expired on death, prob to off topic to go to far down this rabbit hole, but there are various times in the story when the dead has been able to communicate, or people have become ghosts, and they are still able to speak. What happens if any of them had taken the same oath?

    If the plague counts us as already dead, can the oath kill you if other magical effects considers you dead? (keep in mind if we're not worrying about the science like @PeterFries.1057 suggested I'm guessing some magic is involved.)
    I guess an answer might arise in the manner of how the oath kills you assuming it is still tied. You may count as undead but if it beams ultraviolet radiation down from above with enough intensity to vaporize you it wouldn't matter so long as it can target and hit you. xD

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

    @PeterFries.1057 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said: The dialogue implies that this breed of scarabs ONLY incubate in humans.

    The original, first generation scarabs only incubate in humans.

    Which begs the question "how did they survive 700 years without a host for first gen scarabs" (and also: "how did they come about" since as we all know, humans weren't always around, and the scarab plague itself only came about a few hundred years after humanity on Elona).

    Logically thinking, the scarabs would have died out without a host to carry its children.

    And if the answer is "they survived by putting eggs on wheat for generations" then that begs the question of why we see first gen scarab plague in modern times...

    And yes, I realize this is getting super nit-picky, but like I said the whole "immune to humans" and "generations of scarabs" feels like an attempt to explain something that didn't need explaining, and, IMHO, only dampened the setting of the scarab plague, and results in such questions. Why not just have every race / most races vulnerable to it? That would have added an extra layer on the psychological side of the siege, in that anyone (but the Commander, Aurene, and ghosties) could die in the fight due to exposure to the scarabs. As the Commander would be immune, through "I smell like a corpse" means, it would do nothing to hamper the actual gameplay.

    TL;DR
    From a lore standpoint, adding it just creates "so many questions". From a design standpoint, it only seems to serve to lessen the severity of the situation that you spent two full episodes building up.

  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Daishi.6027 said:

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Daishi.6027 said:
    The "I already died and now makes you are immune to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague" thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

    I'm presuming the Oath still holds because you're still able to speak about the Shining Blade and it's secrets. It doesn't matter that you already died, spilling those secrets will still result in death, you could only come back once due to special circumstances, it's not an ability you can forever have :P

    I mean... Maybe? But for all we know the magic keeping us bound to the secrecy could have expired on death, prob to off topic to go to far down this rabbit hole, but there are various times in the story when the dead has been able to communicate, or people have become ghosts, and they are still able to speak. What happens if any of them had taken the same oath?

    If the plague counts us as already dead, can the oath kill you if other magical effects considers you dead? (keep in mind if we're not worrying about the science like @PeterFries.1057 suggested I'm guessing some magic is involved.)
    I guess an answer might arise in the manner of how the oath kills you assuming it is still tied. You may count as undead but if it beams ultraviolet radiation down from above with enough intensity to vaporize you it wouldn't matter so long as it can target and hit you. xD

    I think you’re over thinking the Oath personally. The Shining Blade Exemplars will punish you with death if you disobey, not some magic from the heavens. ^^

    The above was written as part of an attempt to waste time.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Daishi.6027 said:
    The "I already died and that makes you immune, to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague." Thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

    And if you get married in game, are you still married? Til death do us part, and all that.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 4, 2018

    @PeterFries.1057 said:
    His end goal is to unleash a version capable of killing everyone in Tyria.

    So is it “is” or is it “was”? :)

    @PeterFries.1057 said:
    The Commander is immune for admittedly magical reasons—you've died and returned from beyond, something that the Primeval Queens could sense about you. Presumably, that makes you unappetizing as a host.

    Reminded me of World War Z when I was playing and read that the scarabs were being selective.

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

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Daishi.6027 said:

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Daishi.6027 said:
    The "I already died and now makes you are immune to what I presume is a somewhat magical? and biological plague" thing kind of calls other things into question and sets other interesting precedents vs things that could affect us, like.... Do we still have to keep the Oath of Confidence?

    I'm presuming the Oath still holds because you're still able to speak about the Shining Blade and it's secrets. It doesn't matter that you already died, spilling those secrets will still result in death, you could only come back once due to special circumstances, it's not an ability you can forever have :P

    I mean... Maybe? But for all we know the magic keeping us bound to the secrecy could have expired on death, prob to off topic to go to far down this rabbit hole, but there are various times in the story when the dead has been able to communicate, or people have become ghosts, and they are still able to speak. What happens if any of them had taken the same oath?

    If the plague counts us as already dead, can the oath kill you if other magical effects considers you dead? (keep in mind if we're not worrying about the science like @PeterFries.1057 suggested I'm guessing some magic is involved.)
    I guess an answer might arise in the manner of how the oath kills you assuming it is still tied. You may count as undead but if it beams ultraviolet radiation down from above with enough intensity to vaporize you it wouldn't matter so long as it can target and hit you. xD

    I think you’re over thinking the Oath personally. The Shining Blade Exemplars will punish you with death if you disobey, not some magic from the heavens. ^^

    It was actually said the oath would kill someone so that should an Exemplar get captured, they cannot spill secrets.

  • Eekasqueak.7850Eekasqueak.7850 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @PeterFries.1057 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said: The dialogue implies that this breed of scarabs ONLY incubate in humans.

    The original, first generation scarabs only incubate in humans.

    Which begs the question "how did they survive 700 years without a host for first gen scarabs" (and also: "how did they come about" since as we all know, humans weren't always around, and the scarab plague itself only came about a few hundred years after humanity on Elona).

    Logically thinking, the scarabs would have died out without a host to carry its children.

    And if the answer is "they survived by putting eggs on wheat for generations" then that begs the question of why we see first gen scarab plague in modern times...

    And yes, I realize this is getting super nit-picky, but like I said the whole "immune to humans" and "generations of scarabs" feels like an attempt to explain something that didn't need explaining, and, IMHO, only dampened the setting of the scarab plague, and results in such questions. Why not just have every race / most races vulnerable to it? That would have added an extra layer on the psychological side of the siege, in that anyone (but the Commander, Aurene, and ghosties) could die in the fight due to exposure to the scarabs. As the Commander would be immune, through "I smell like a corpse" means, it would do nothing to hamper the actual gameplay.

    TL;DR
    From a lore standpoint, adding it just creates "so many questions". From a design standpoint, it only seems to serve to lessen the severity of the situation that you spent two full episodes building up.

    It could always be a Jurassic park situation where the inquest cloned dead scarabs that were preserved somehow, either in honey or amber or similar. There's even insects preserved in amber as an in game item.

  • Palador.2170Palador.2170 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Okay, so let's see if I can figure this out.

    Before humans, you had the scarabs. They were the normal, non-plague version. Humans come along and settle the area, but eventually someone does something and it causes some of the scarabs to mutate into the plague scarabs. (This "something" may be what causes our roller beetle to start mutating after it eats Gorrik's samples.)

    Eventually, all of the plague scarabs are killed off, leaving just the non-plague versions which continue to survive. It's possible that the mutation/extermination cycle happened more than once, causing the plague to unexpectedly spring up in places that were thought to be clear of it and adding to its terrifying reputation.

    Finally, the Inquest come along, and figure it out. They not only learn how to mutate the normal scarabs into the plague scarabs, but they discover that only a very narrow range of hosts will work (including humans). Joko takes this, and begins working on a version that's more flexible on what hosts they can infect.

    Is this more or less correct?

    Lip synching is just mime karaoke.

  • I assumed that the "only humans" part of the 1st gen scarabs was due to some magical aura that all humans have, due to them being aliens from another part of the universe, and that the natural races if the world, (charr, asura, etc.) have a less "tasty" aura. This also would make it so that the aura from the Domain of the Lost masks the tasty human scent.

  • Funky.4861Funky.4861 Member ✭✭✭

    @robert what if it was more like War of the Worlds; native species are immune but aliens are vulnerable and get wiped out? My sylvari commander is perfectly fine with the plague scarabs, he keeps a few in his beard :p For human commanders, perhaps their resurrection changed their identity, though i've yet to see an undead give me a hug in Orr...

  • Pax.3548Pax.3548 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 4, 2018

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @PeterFries.1057 said:
    There are plenty of creatures in the natural world that have evolved to feed on or parasitize a particular species, and many whose life cycles involve contact with several types of creatures. The liver fluke begins its life cycle spending a few hours being hosted by a snail, where they pass through two more stages of their life cycle before passing out of the snail to encyst on grass, which is eaten by sheep. The flukes mature and reproduce inside the sheep's digestive system, and their eggs pass back out to be hosted again by snails.

    That... kind of goes in favor of my statement and confusion, no? The dialogue implies that this breed of scarabs ONLY incubate in humans. Most parasites can incubate in multiple species - the liver fluke is one such, as it can infect multiple mammals (including humans). Parasites might evolve and focus on a particular species, but they can thrive in others. This makes non-humans' immunity strange.

    Well, I don't find it too lore conflictive, ancient elona was ravaged by the scarab plague and back then Elona was mostly populated by humans, did you hear or read about any centaur getting infected?, why are you finding this so troubling? The inquest dug out some sample from the ruins of Fahranur, they actually managed to revive the plague, Joko took the experimental scarabs and made his own experiment until getting the most deadly version of the plague that could infect anything and everything, is that so unrealistic?

  • Astralporing.1957Astralporing.1957 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Funky.4861 said:
    @robert what if it was more like War of the Worlds; native species are immune but aliens are vulnerable and get wiped out? My sylvari commander is perfectly fine with the plague scarabs, he keeps a few in his beard :p For human commanders, perhaps their resurrection changed their identity, though i've yet to see an undead give me a hug in Orr...

    From what they already explained, it's just as simple as scarab eggs starting their growth phase only when inside a living being. All the infected awakened were infected while still alive, apparently. Now, it probably doesn't protect you from being attacked by fullsize, grown scarabs, but as i understand it's eggs, not adult scarabs, that end up actually killing people.

    The whole point of a social game is to play with the people you want to play with, not be forced to play with the people you don't.

  • Robertdebrus.7184Robertdebrus.7184 Member ✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018

    @Funky.4861 Yes, exactly like that!
    @Astralporing.1957 Yes, I think that is right

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