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Q&A with the Narrative Team

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  • ArenaNet Staff

The ArenaNet Narrative Team is here to answer your story-related questions through Friday, August 2!

Please use this thread to ask us about the game’s characters, plot, or lore—we’ll respond as we’re able. Although we can’t get into specifics about our upcoming Living World content (we’re saving that for our streaming event on August 30), we can speak to previously released content as well as the craft, their process, and what it’s like to be in a writers’ room.

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https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/82958/forgottens-were-chained-up#latestWhy were the Branded Forgotten in chains? They weren't captive during GW1. Is it related to the attempt to cleanse Kralkatorrik? Can we get more details on the ritual?

Any reason we didn't attempt to see if we could find and rescue Blish (dead or alive) in the final instance?

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Caithe's Branding was quite an interesting thing to see, and I wonder how the Pale Tree and other Sylvari will react to her being... different.

I wish to ask if there will be any consequences of this situation in the future, but I will impatiently wait for Season 5 :)

What actually made you to put Caithe in such a big spotlight?Was it because you wanted to let her leave her shadows? Or maybe connect the Sylvari (the Dream) with Aurene?

I thought about the Pale Tree vision from Season 2 instantly when I witnessed the Crystal Bloom cinematic. And I thought that it was the Pale Tree that made us realize how important the Egg aka Aurene was...

When Kralkatorrik said "Mother"... Did he call the Mother Tree?

Gosh Season 4 made me ask so many questions, and I thank you for that.

I also like how Aurene talked to Kralk and the Commander - She calls them by who they are, she is so transparent, so... prismatic.

Grandfather. Look at me!

I cannot explain what's about to happen, Champion...


So much empathy... I always knew Kralkatorrik was different.

The Forgotten's ritual worked, but only on his Heart, Glint was too blind to notice, and Aurene noticed that instantly.

There are things about the Ascension that can only be expressed between Dragons... She said.

Heart to Heart.

I want to share it with you. All of you.

Gosh... every word you choose for Aurene to say was spot on, no other words would be more perfect.

Thank you for tears and laughs this Season, Guys.

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Heya, hope you can answer :)

EDIT2: Already answered ones in bold.

-Can we expect Zojia to return or characters like Marjory delaqua?If Zojia isn't coming back why not putting Phlunt as destiny edge could be very funny.

-Will Gorrik and Taimi continue together even if Blish isn't here anymore?

-Will some mysteries will be answered like the deep sea dragon, E or the floating wizard castle?

-Dominion of winds: one day or never?

-Possible investigation on race past like asura technological apogee, how is going charr homelands?

-More charismatic vilains?

-Taimi: Will be dead soon? Possible Taimi-bot?

-What about ??? in jahai, will we see those mushrooms again

-Will all dragons be killed until none left?

-Why killing joko so fast instead of waiting at least, one more episode?

-Phlunt: Still phlunting Taimi researchs?

-Lores: Why not more lore based quests/ side collections? Would enjoy completing a bestiary or collecting with a data pad infos about anything, creature, organizations, locations, race past....

-Lost asuran cities: Possible to see an extension of the Rata Novus arc? Was pretty fast.

Existencial ones:

-If dragon minion can't be corrupted by another one, how do you explain subject alpha, subject beta and kudu's monster? What happens if a test subject undergo laser beams from each dragon simultaneously?

-Where are scarlet alliances who fled especially aetherblades with their obvious red airships?

-Where's Blish?! We should recover him!

My Bonus:

-Have you thought about a tortuga style map where all the baddies from any race meet to trade stolen goods, golems or slaves?

Edit: thanks Randulf for the answer to steam creatures.

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Sure this has been asked before, but what really happened with Rytlock being taken into custody by the Adamant Guard at the end of LW S3? He shows up again in PoF, still holding the title Tribune - but what was that all about? Because he refused to return to the Black Citadel and deliver a report? Why would he refuse to do so?

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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?

...also, dare I even ask if we'll ever find out what happened to Malyck? :tongue: (Probably not, if that falls under "can't talk about upcoming content"...ah well, never hurts to ask!)[Edit: Oh darn, someone beat me to asking!]

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@Julia Nardin.9824 said:

@"Batel.9206" said:Is this just for previously released
Living World
content, or can we ask questions about the Personal Story as well? :)

Personal story is fair game, too!

Oh goodie, I got some questions of old content that had recent debates over on the wiki, so clarification would be a major boon!

  • 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)?
  • Why are sylvari "immune" to dragon corruption? In Season 2, the Pale Tree and later Ogden suggest that it is their connection to the Dream, and this implication was furthered in HoT promotion articles, but in Season 4 when Caithe is "branded" by Aurene, Taimi states that sylvari couldn't be corrupted due to being dragon minions (the common playerbase belief despite the existence of minions corrupted by multiple dragons such as Subject Alpha and Kudu's Monster). Which is it?
  • Why was Aurene able to resurrect herself via Joko's lich magic despite 1) not being undead, and 2) Elder Dragons never being shown using non-cosmic beings' magic (e.g., Primordus never uses asura gate portal magic; Zhaitan never used magic from Orrian artifacts; etc. - Elder Dragons have only ever used magic obtained from dead Elder Dragons and fallen gods)?

Now for some questions that aren't focused on settling conflicts and debates that pop up now and then:

  • If there is a story/plot that you wish you could redo or expand upon, which would it be?
  • Around last year, Matthew Medina was writing up drafts for bringing Malyck back. He was unfortunately among those hit by the layoffs. Has anyone picked up on this project?
  • Redux of Randulf's question: Why didn't we try to recover Blish?
  • Has the Pale Tree recovered yet? It's been nearly 5 years now.
  • Will we ever find out what happened to the Molten Alliance, Toxic Alliance, and Aetherblades? We never killed their leaders according to devs back in 2014 (Mai Trin being the only one we know).
  • Season 1 return, when? :)
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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.

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  • ArenaNet Staff

Thanks for the thoughtful questions, everyone! It may take us some time to respond, and we'll probably respond out of order as different members of the team are available--so if you don't see your question answered right away, don't despair. We won't get to all of them, but we'll address what we can. Feel free to keep them coming, too.

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when did you all know you were going to go for the "dragons are also victims of magic" bombshell plot point? the writing has been on the wall since S3Ep1 (the bloodstone crazed white mantle and Pact soldiers), so what made you all decide that S4Ep6 was the right time? was it back in S3, or in S4 and you all decided to pay off on the other stuff?

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@hugo.4705 said:Heya, hope you can answer :)

-What about steam creatures? We saw them in asuran ps with infinity ball after, never heard of them again...

I'm just gonna leap in and answer this one. The Steam Creatures were a large part of early Season 1 with further points of origin explored in Season 2 by activating Scarlets hologram in her Dry Top House. To summarise in the context of the open world, they were portalled in by Scarlet who was making an army of such creatures. It was why she was so interested in the Watchwork technology during the original Queen's Jubilee (which you can see in the Pavilion right now as Watchwork guards).

For a better explanation see the wiki entry below

! In 1327 AE, the Pact Commander's adventuring party discovered that the steam creatures in Lornar's Pass and the Brisban Wildlands were likely to be the creation of Scarlet Briar, who had used scrap iron from black-market dredge contacts to build steam minotaurs in the Town of Prosperity prior to her transformation from Ceara to Scarlet. Ceara noted in her holographic diary that the steam brains showed signs of emerging intelligence, designing their own steam portals and creating further steam creatures when under threat. After Ceara had used Omadd's mind opening device to gaze into the Eternal Alchemy and became Scarlet after being subjected to the whispers of Mordremoth, she reported no longer needing her steam creature prototypes and sent them through a portal to Lornar's Pass and the Brisban Wildlands.[5]>!

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Will Blish be gone for good? It seems his remains could be recovered, he is attached to tracking device. We also saw that Snarf's golem was only partially branded in glints lair. He could also be revived as shown in episode 3, where he was disconnected and reconnected to the golem network. This seems like the only loose end not resolved at the end of LS4. It seems there were a ton of clues showing he could be brought back, similar to how lich magic was used with another character.

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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?
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I enjoyed you showing what happened to the risen and awakened after their enslavement ended. Are you planning on doing something similar for the mordrem, forged and branded?

  • Did the Mordrem and corrupted sylvari go back to the grove or rejoined the pact? What is the Nightmare Court up to after all the events during HoT?
  • Did the Forged fell apart after Balthazars Death and their souls returned to the underworld? Because they are similar to the Exalted, did they join them or being teached by them?
  • I am sure the forgotten branded could tell some interesting things to the priory or the commander, now that they are no longer forced to serve Kralkatorik.

Will we ever get some more lore about the flying castle?

With the Introducion of Kuda and her experiments will we see a continuation of the crucible of eternity story? Subject Alpha escaped and is still missing. Will the Inquest get returning Characters and goal again like it was the case in the core games story?

Are there any plans for Mai Trin and the Aetherblades return of her secret mission in the mists?

Why were Majory and Kasmeer not included in Story episodes of LS4?

Will there be more of Evon and Kiel, now both are in the Captains council and i find them quite enjoyable as background characters. And Evon has still so many Secrets like the Asura Gate in his Vault, that is guarded by mimics.

Is Hero-Tron's Story Arc considered finished? Is he happy in Lions Arch or will he stumble in some more adventures?

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Oh! That's a nice initiative! Please allow me to throw few random questions, if one of them seems interesting enough to be answered.

  • About Blish, I suppose the operation leading him to "become" a golem is using the technology developed by the Inquest and that we can see in personal story (very nice idea, by the way!). I also suppose this is not a common case in the inquest. How did Blish and Gorrik manage to convinced the Inquest to let them use the technology? Who in the Inquest can take the decision to allow a process like this?
  • Less about the story in general, more about the writing process, what are the difficulties to write tragic character development, as we can see several example in the last season, with all the constraints linked the the amount of time for each character, or the number of character?
  • More in general, about asura culture (please let me be my asura nerd!), we can see that the history of the race before the exodus is not very known, except few city names, traditions and the technical knowledge. Is there a reason behind this lack of knowledge about this pre-exodus era? I suppose the real reason is of course that this lore has not been written, and the story never had a good opportunity to deal with this topic, but I'd like to know if there were a "canon" reason to this. (Also information about the process of creating these kind of information would be very interesting!)
  • Still in that topic (Sorry!), is there a terminology about asura city names? What does a Rata refer to? The shape of the city? The fact it is not an underground city? The politic system of it?
  • In Divinities Reach, there is a NPC having lines about the fact he didn't believe that Elder Dragons exist. How important is this "Elder dragon denial" stance in the population of Tyria?
  • What is the order of whisper stance about the order of shadows ? Does the death of Palawa Joko impact it?
  • While writing a character, is there any attention given to avoid racial stereotypes (Norn = often drunk brutes a bit stupid lacking of subtleties, Asura = overconfident pseudo-genious that makes mistakes because of their self esteems, sylvaris = naïve but careful often surprised, etc...) or is the balance is found naturally?Hoping questions are understandable and interesting enough.
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  • ArenaNet Staff

@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.

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