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[Spoilers] Some thoughts after finishing EoD


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3 minutes ago, Tails.9372 said:

In this particular case it's more about the pattern itself, if enough people of a specific group are doing it it becomes rather noticeable regardless if it's just one word. Same if every Asura would tell you about their IQ uppon introduction (or every charr about how many enemies they have killed in battle).

Well, I mean, at least for the Asura, that might fit right in.¬†ūüėĀ

I guess I just have not noticed that pattern. Might just be a case of what some people are sensitive to.

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The charr commander got cat comments in the boat.  I thought that was interesting, because if you've got someone who's never seen a charr before, they're going to make insensitive comments. It's nice to see the insensitivity go both ways, honestly.

Marjorie and Kass didn't bother me because we've all known That Couple in our friend groups, who's overly schmoopy one moment and bickering at each other the next. And of course That Couple has an over-the-top party, an over-the-top wedding, and so on. ūüôā

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Hi. I'm Tach. I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do is bake pumpkin pies with 1/3 the sugar found in store-bought pies. Now let's go whup that dragon!

Feels right. Natural. Yeah.

I actually don't remember Yao. Or anything about Joon's hubby. I tend to gloss over a lot of the, ah, flavor text, because the one thing all my commanders have in common, regardless of all else, is their desire to just get on with it. /e random kitten go!

Also, I've only played all the way through the EoD story once. Same with PoF. I think I may have gone through HoT twice. Can't remember.

Re: Marjory and Kasmeer -- no problem with them being a couple or them getting hitched, but did I have to go to the danged reception? I guess I should be grateful we didn't have to bring a gift. ūüėĄ Also, in regard to their PDAs -- if I was there, in person, and they started in on the sweet nothings, I'd back away like Homer into the nearest hedge. Like, guys! Get a room already. Sheesh.

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I could accept that the increased inclusiveness isn't political in nature. However, the utilization of modern buzz words currently used to insult politically right-leaning individuals doesn't fall under the umbrella of inclusiveness. Having part of a main story quest labelled "Beat up the bigot" or having the player character choose a line of dialog that says: "It's fascist-smashing time!" seems political rather than inclusive.

 

While it's been years since I last played through Guild Wars: Factions, I don't recall either term being used to describe the Ministry of Purity NPCs. If I'm wrong about that, please feel free to correct me.

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2 hours ago, Shining One.1635 said:

I could accept that the increased inclusiveness isn't political in nature. However, the utilization of modern buzz words currently used to insult politically right-leaning individuals doesn't fall under the umbrella of inclusiveness. Having part of a main story quest labelled "Beat up the bigot" or having the player character choose a line of dialog that says: "It's fascist-smashing time!" seems political rather than inclusive.

 

While it's been years since I last played through Guild Wars: Factions, I don't recall either term being used to describe the Ministry of Purity NPCs. If I'm wrong about that, please feel free to correct me.

 

Pretty sure the ministry of purity were mainly in Guild Wars Beyond, a pre-gw2 storyline where they take credit for stopping the afflicted and become heroes. The NPC's were rather... dedicated... back then, so it's not hard to believe they applied control through fanaticism. Their stated ideology, even in those days, were the "freedom of Canthans over foreigners" - an ideology that a certain Tyrian Commander would find inconvenient.

Edited by Westenev.5289
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46 minutes ago, Westenev.5289 said:

Pretty sure the ministry of purity were mainly in Guild Wars Beyond, a pre-gw2 storyline where they take credit for stopping the afflicted and become heroes.

I stand corrected. I forgot they were not part of Factions.

47 minutes ago, Westenev.5289 said:

The NPC's were rather... dedicated... back then, so it's not hard to believe they applied control through fanaticism. Their stated ideology, even in those days, were the "freedom of Canthans over foreigners" - an ideology that a certain Tyrian Commander would find inconvenient.

The Commander finding their ideology inconvenient is not in question. Had ArenaNet chosen different words, like they did in Beyond, it wouldn't have broken immersion. Or am I misremembering that too? Were the words "bigot" and "fascist" used in Beyond to describe the Ministry of Purity NPCs?

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3 hours ago, Shining One.1635 said:

The Commander finding their ideology inconvenient is not in question. Had ArenaNet chosen different words, like they did in Beyond, it wouldn't have broken immersion. Or am I misremembering that too? Were the words "bigot" and "fascist" used in Beyond to describe the Ministry of Purity NPCs?

 

Well, that's the thing. Back then they were just villains with good publicity - people the Gw1 hero HAD to work with because they were the only people willing to get the afflicted problem under control. Nobody expected that within 50 years, they'd have the ear of the emperor and essentially shut down Cantha for 200 years in their brutal crusade to fend off all "foreigners".

 

From my understanding, the MoP could very well have lead a fascist government in the truest meaning of the word (suppression of opposition, strong leader figure, strong economic controls that allowed them to cut Cantha off from the rest of the world). Not just a throw about term, like it's used today. And if a person obstinately professes attachment to that belief/prejudice/opinion/faction, they would be a bigot by definition.

 

In short, I think it works in the context of the world laid out back in 2012, and am not inclined to make IRL parallels on modern political beliefs or pop culture.

Edited by Westenev.5289
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Having done a second story playthrough I tend to agree with some of the points mentioned.

Regarding the ending scene with Marjory/Kasmeer. I understand some might feel it cringy; I personally liked it and felt it was fitting. These were two characters that accompanied us through our journey over the years. We've seen highs and lows, moments of doubt and sorrow and how that also caused some issues in their relationship. That moment for me was not about their marriage but more of maturity and closure - for them and for the player. Even for our character, who has gone through a long journey about the elder dragon threats. A simple moment of respite was welcomed to have a little chat with NPCs we've played with, see how they're doing, have a moment to relax and do something non urgent as we got used to. Even the "I'm late because I wasn't in a rush" is a sign of that, it wasn't just a silly scene with a toast ot victory. It allowed us to savour that moment at a slow pace, to settle in that was over. That just like us, they were coming to the end of their journey. For me it just makes sense, it's more about symbolism. That's my opinion, and to be honest I wouldn't want it any other way, was very happy with it and for them.

Having said that...

Ministry of Purity was a major letdown. The whole "these 'ugh foreigners' bigots, amirite?". This is purely how it was presented. This wasn't storytelling at all, and the dog comment in the end made it feel a bit... preachy. The interpretation I took was something in the lines of "don't be fooled, might appear to be a regular person, but a bigot and therefore bad, very bad", might be wrong. But nevertheless that felt extremely simplistic and very unfitting for a story where we've been making hard choices, sometimes feeling like there's no truly positive outcome and sacrifices are made. Or characters that behaved in poor ways due to certain circumstances (Braham) and we try to be understanding and take it as a shortcoming in a difficult moment, not judgmental. I don't remember either - my memory fades here - the game being so judgmental with Caithe having a relationship with Faolian, one that pretty much called centaurs "animals", faked an attack and Caithe ends up killing them all for her. As far as I know they remained in a relationship after that event.

As someone who isn't versed in Cantha lore or events, I wanted to understand. Having been closed off for centuries, it's natural some would offer resistance to our presence, that's human nature, that's resistance to change. But it's clearly more than that, especially considering that there has been a past and reasons to be closed off (that I'm not aware of). I wanted to know more of that past or to be approached in the story in some more detailed way, where their motivations were contextualized. Not a "Beat up the bigot" objective. And I'm afraid this is a not a situation where "the story reflects our inclusiveness in the team" is a good argument.

A good story has villains, good villains have motivations or background. The game shouldn't be simply  telling us they're bad, but showing us why they are bad. A great story let us get to that conclusion on our own. Look what you did with Mai Trin: She was involved - maybe with too many apologies, I'd have liked to see a bit more of something else - and in the very end you make us truly think about her actions, recent or past ones, and give us an interaction with Ellen Kiel. Kiel's position doesn't change, naturally. But ours might. It was a nice little gesture that for me gave great agency to players and food for thought.

Yao I don't have much of an opinion, other than frustrating me because of bugging out and compromising the whole meta a couple of times. Though I've seen - in the very same circumstances, crazy-  a couple of "tolerant" players being extremely abusive to others because they used the wrong pronoun. A character that it's there with not much personality or contribution to the story emotionally (nothing wrong with that, not all NPCs have to be involving or provide high immersion), guess I can see a bit why the gender issue feels more prominent in a character with such low impact, but wouldn't say a single line is enough to represent that effect. Unnatural, perhaps. *shrugs*

Edited by Everwyn.8537
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On 4/22/2022 at 7:35 PM, Shining One.1635 said:

I could accept that the increased inclusiveness isn't political in nature. However, the utilization of modern buzz words currently used to insult politically right-leaning individuals doesn't fall under the umbrella of inclusiveness. Having part of a main story quest labelled "Beat up the bigot" or having the player character choose a line of dialog that says: "It's fascist-smashing time!" seems political rather than inclusive.

 

While it's been years since I last played through Guild Wars: Factions, I don't recall either term being used to describe the Ministry of Purity NPCs. If I'm wrong about that, please feel free 

I assumed that a reference to beating up a bigot was a jab against the politically left leaning.

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On 4/22/2022 at 7:47 AM, Tails.9372 said:

I don't think that having these themes / characters is the actually problem here. The main reason why people feel like its forced is because of how "in the face" most of them are (and I'm not talking about MCs here). Take Yao for example: how many people irl introduce themselfs by telling you about their sexual preferences? Exectly. If this kind of trivia was more in the background e.g. in Yaos case in a letter at Eloras workplace then barely anyone would have taken issue with it.

Unless you are speaking from experience, as an LGBT person, sometimes we do include our orientation in introductions or while sharing stuff about ourselves with new people. If you want to critique that I guess that's fine but it certainly won't get us to change that way we orient ourselves with others.

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On 4/21/2022 at 3:29 PM, Bobby Stein.3612 said:

Thanks, everyone for sharing your thoughts and feedback regarding End of Dragons. It represents more than two years of work by the development team, and the conclusion of almost 10 years of story and character development. We poured our hearts into it and I hope that shows. We appreciate your support over the years.

 

Regarding the questions about LGBTQ+ representation and ‚Äúpolitical dogma‚ÄĚ I want to say a few things about our approach to story, and also about who we are as people. For starters, ArenaNet and NCSoft are diverse and inclusive places of business. Our employees come from all walks of life, races, ethnicities, gender identities, nationalities, and political leanings. We reflect the diversity of who we are in our work, and build games and communities that welcome everyone.

 

By extension, the creative choices we make reflect that inclusive nature. To you, it may feel ‚Äúforced‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúpolitical‚ÄĚ to have these themes or a literal handful of characters in our games because you can‚Äôt relate to them, but to us‚ÄĒand to many of our fans who have thus far felt excluded in life and in media‚ÄĒit‚Äôs simply reflecting the breadth and diversity of humanity. Telling stories that need to be told, or simply acknowledging that underrepresented folks *exist*.

 

Marjory and Kasmeer‚Äôs story began way back in 2013, and they‚Äôve accompanied the Commander almost every step of the way leading up to the climax of the dragon story. We felt it important to evolve their relationship over the years and bring that arc to a close in a satisfying and humanistic way. It‚Äôs fine if you can‚Äôt relate to their particular story. Creative choices will appeal to some, but not to all. That‚Äôs the very nature of art. But it wasn‚Äôt done to ‚Äúscore political points‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúfurther an agenda‚ÄĚ. We literally just wanted to tell the story of two people who found each other during an incredibly difficult time in their world. That, at the end of the day, love matters. And since those two were among the longest-running characters with some of the most screen time, telling that story through them was the natural choice.

 

If it makes you uncomfortable because you didn’t see your relationship reflected onscreen it its place, we get it. But imagine what it must feel like to always feel unseen, ignored, or villainized? That’s why this kind of representation matters. Tyria’s a big world that has room for all sorts of characters and relationships, including yours, but also including theirs.

THANK YOU. Exactly!  What some people don't get is that because LGBT+ people are so rare that introducing ourselves and who we are whether ambiguous or not is sometimes our self-defense getting into gear to humanize ourselves with others so that they don't harass or kill us.

It's only "in your face" quite literally because it's never been in your face before. BAM.

In addendum, Kaz and Jory have supported us and been through terrible things that they deserve, at the minimum, this happy story completion arc. Here's hoping the commander will get a few romance options in the future also ;D

Edited by HotDelirium.7984
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Personally I dont mind introducing those topics into the game, so long as it is done properly : The storyline and the events do not spend enough time on the characters that drives them forward, and so we're less invested into knowing them. That's why a lot of the topics appear ham fisted to many people : they feel like it's spelled out to them rather unsubtly. 

Yao is a good exemple of how to handle in storyline but we dont get to interract long enough with them to learn more about them, hence the post meta dialogue appears extremely blunt and unnatural. In my book, Yao should probably have been included more into the latter part of the storyline, they could have acted as an insider informant from Jade Tech during our time on the run for exemple, with options to call them and ask for intel (Similar to how we could chat with Taimi throughout Path of Fire).

 

Edited by Naxos.2503
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On 4/21/2022 at 6:29 PM, Bobby Stein.3612 said:

Thanks, everyone for sharing your thoughts and feedback regarding End of Dragons. It represents more than two years of work by the development team, and the conclusion of almost 10 years of story and character development. We poured our hearts into it and I hope that shows. We appreciate your support over the years.

 

Regarding the questions about LGBTQ+ representation and ‚Äúpolitical dogma‚ÄĚ I want to say a few things about our approach to story, and also about who we are as people. For starters, ArenaNet and NCSoft are diverse and inclusive places of business. Our employees come from all walks of life, races, ethnicities, gender identities, nationalities, and political leanings. We reflect the diversity of who we are in our work, and build games and communities that welcome everyone.

 

By extension, the creative choices we make reflect that inclusive nature. To you, it may feel ‚Äúforced‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúpolitical‚ÄĚ to have these themes or a literal handful of characters in our games because you can‚Äôt relate to them, but to us‚ÄĒand to many of our fans who have thus far felt excluded in life and in media‚ÄĒit‚Äôs simply reflecting the breadth and diversity of humanity. Telling stories that need to be told, or simply acknowledging that underrepresented folks *exist*.

 

Marjory and Kasmeer‚Äôs story began way back in 2013, and they‚Äôve accompanied the Commander almost every step of the way leading up to the climax of the dragon story. We felt it important to evolve their relationship over the years and bring that arc to a close in a satisfying and humanistic way. It‚Äôs fine if you can‚Äôt relate to their particular story. Creative choices will appeal to some, but not to all. That‚Äôs the very nature of art. But it wasn‚Äôt done to ‚Äúscore political points‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúfurther an agenda‚ÄĚ. We literally just wanted to tell the story of two people who found each other during an incredibly difficult time in their world. That, at the end of the day, love matters. And since those two were among the longest-running characters with some of the most screen time, telling that story through them was the natural choice.

 

If it makes you uncomfortable because you didn’t see your relationship reflected onscreen it its place, we get it. But imagine what it must feel like to always feel unseen, ignored, or villainized? That’s why this kind of representation matters. Tyria’s a big world that has room for all sorts of characters and relationships, including yours, but also including theirs.

This post makes me sad, really. It feels like you either genuinely don't understand the problem, or don't actually care. People aren't upset about representation, women being in powerful positions, or who is canonically banging who. The problem is that good storytelling is being sacrificed at the altar of representation and inclusivity. It's "forced" because you put dialogue, people, plot points in places where they make less or no sense because you had another box to tick for someone who can apparently only relate to an individual on the most outer, superficial of levels. 

Tell me, as I would love to be educated, what was the narrative purpose of putting the scene with Jory and Kas as the final chapter of the epic 9-year story arc of fighting the elder dragons? What specific plot relevance did that have to fighting Soo-Won or the void? Could you not have put it elsewhere in the story? Perhaps in the side-quest where we follow Jory around Cantha? All of dragon's watch should have been thrown the parade to end all parades for ending the elder-dragon cycle outright.

What was the inspiration behind instead focusing that entire end on two characters' engagement? Genuine question.

Edited by LuckyThirteen.4576
changed a word
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On 4/27/2022 at 4:27 PM, LuckyThirteen.4576 said:

This post makes me sad, really. It feels like you either genuinely don't understand the problem, or don't actually care. People aren't upset about representation, women being in powerful positions, or who is canonically banging who. The problem is that good storytelling is being sacrificed at the altar of representation and inclusivity. It's "forced" because you put dialogue, people, plot points in places where they make less or no sense because you had another box to tick for someone who can apparently only relate to an individual on the most outer, superficial of levels. 

Tell me, as I would love to be educated, what was the narrative purpose of putting the scene with Jory and Kas as the final chapter of the epic 9-year story arc of fighting the elder dragons? What specific plot relevance did that have to fighting Soo-Won or the void? Could you not have put it elsewhere in the story? Perhaps in the side-quest where we follow Jory around Cantha? All of dragon's watch should have been thrown the parade to end all parades for ending the elder-dragon cycle outright.

What was the inspiration behind instead focusing that entire end on two characters' engagement? Genuine question.

My wonder here is that - they are either never going to be in the story again or they are now the main characters and we are the third wheel experiencing their story. 

Rip, my other post was removed, again. Seriously the censorship that has struck these forums is kinda insane. 

Edited by Gorem.8104
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3 hours ago, LuckyThirteen.4576 said:

This post makes me sad, really. It feels like you either genuinely don't understand the problem, or don't actually care. People aren't upset about representation, women being in powerful positions, or who is canonically banging who. The problem is that good storytelling is being sacrificed at the altar of representation and inclusivity. It's "forced" because you put dialogue, people, plot points in places where they make less or no sense because you had another box to tick for someone who can apparently only relate to an individual on the most outer, superficial of levels. 

Tell me, as I would love to be educated, what was the narrative purpose of putting the scene with Jory and Kas as the final chapter of the epic 9-year story arc of fighting the elder dragons? What specific plot relevance did that have to fighting Soo-Won or the void? Could you not have put it elsewhere in the story? Perhaps in the side-quest where we follow Jory around Cantha? All of dragon's watch should have been thrown the parade to end all parades for ending the elder-dragon cycle outright.

What was the inspiration behind instead focusing that entire end on two characters' engagement? Genuine question.

A possible natmrrative reason (I can't know what the writers where thinking) is to end more down to earth. In the end people don't fight for some abstract cause most of the time, but family and friends they care about. 

 

You don't end with some everyone is happy, but with these characters I'm supposed to care about are happy. 

 

It didn't have to be the engagement of Marjory and Cass mind you, it could have been a Taimi and gorrik thing  etc. But as relevant human characters to use in the story it makes sense to use them. 

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12 hours ago, HotDelirium.7984 said:

Unless you are speaking from experience, as an LGBT person, sometimes we do include our orientation in introductions or while sharing stuff about ourselves with new people. If you want to critique that I guess that's fine but it certainly won't get us to change that way we orient ourselves with others.

Please don't use "we", thanks.

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13 hours ago, HotDelirium.7984 said:

In addendum, Kaz and Jory have supported us and been through terrible things that they deserve, at the minimum, this happy story completion arc.

Caithe/Faolain would like a word with you about going through terrible things and a deserved happy story completion.

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While not exactly story content-related, I have to question the design choice to limit the player character's movement options throughout various parts of the story, including the last chapter. We are forced to walk instead of run and our skills are disabled. Compare this to the last chapter of Path of Fire, in which we could run and use movement skills. It's a completely unnecessary irritation for the player. For the players who actually enjoy being slowed down like this, the option is always there to walk and not use your movement skills.

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  • ArenaNet Staff
8 hours ago, LuckyThirteen.4576 said:

What was the inspiration behind instead focusing that entire end on two characters' engagement? Genuine question.

You're confusing the main Elder Dragon plot with character arcs. The main Elder Dragon plot was resolved at the end of The Only One story chapter.

 

The character wrap ups with Aurene & co. in Arborstone and your friends in the Dead End Bar are contained in the epilogue titled The Cycle, Reborn.

 

The credits literally play while you're in Arborstone before the character arc wrap up in Divinity's Reach.

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  • ArenaNet Staff
3 hours ago, Shining One.1635 said:

While not exactly story content-related, I have to question the design choice to limit the player character's movement options throughout various parts of the story, including the last chapter. We are forced to walk instead of run and our skills are disabled. Compare this to the last chapter of Path of Fire, in which we could run and use movement skills. It's a completely unnecessary irritation for the player. For the players who actually enjoy being slowed down like this, the option is always there to walk and not use your movement skills.

This is more of a narrative design question, but I can at least answer on a hypothetical level. Content is added to a map or level after it's been roughed in. Sometimes character walk/run speed is controlled to allow dialogue to finish before reaching a destination, or to prevent them from reaching a combat encounter before a story beat completes, or for dramatic effect. Lots of different reasons why that technique might be employed, since it's easier to control a character's movement speed temporarily than it is to request the art team to add 10-20 seconds more travel time by adding landmass to a level.

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3 hours ago, Bobby Stein.3612 said:

This is more of a narrative design question, but I can at least answer on a hypothetical level. Content is added to a map or level after it's been roughed in. Sometimes character walk/run speed is controlled to allow dialogue to finish before reaching a destination, or to prevent them from reaching a combat encounter before a story beat completes, or for dramatic effect. Lots of different reasons why that technique might be employed, since it's easier to control a character's movement speed temporarily than it is to request the art team to add 10-20 seconds more travel time by adding landmass to a level.

I figured this was the likely reason. The first couple times it happened, though, it was a bit jarring and I looked all over to see what debuff or condition was on me.¬†¬†ūüôā

Edited by Tanek.5983
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2 hours ago, Bobby Stein.3612 said:

This is more of a narrative design question, but I can at least answer on a hypothetical level. Content is added to a map or level after it's been roughed in. Sometimes character walk/run speed is controlled to allow dialogue to finish before reaching a destination, or to prevent them from reaching a combat encounter before a story beat completes, or for dramatic effect. Lots of different reasons why that technique might be employed, since it's easier to control a character's movement speed temporarily than it is to request the art team to add 10-20 seconds more travel time by adding landmass to a level.

While I can understand the logic behind this, I still believe it should be up to the player to decide how the game flows. If I want to run ahead and engage the next enemy while an NPC is giving their speech, I should be able to. If I want to shadowstep from Braham to Rytlock at Marjory's and Kasmeer's wedding announcement party, I should be able to. If I want to run around and get every NPC giving their speech simultaneously, I should be able to. I personally take it slow and listen to everyone on the first playthrough. On the second, I like to speed things up as much as possible. This design choice robs me of that freedom.

Edited by Shining One.1635
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