Guild Wars 2 is fast becoming one of the most anticipated MMO-type games since the release of the Guild Wars 2 trailer and follow up articles and interviews. Jeff Grubb – World Designer and Writer for Guild Wars 2 - just back from a busy time at Germany’s Gamescom, and he was graciously able to answer a few questions before heading off to PAX 2009, where ArenaNet will have plenty of events. (Be sure to check out their giveaway times for their 128-page Guild Wars 2 concept art book.) On to the questions!
Short answer – yes. It is the same world, so we will be using the lore and history of the world. What pieces get revealed and explained will develop as the story evolves. And just to drive you mad, at least one of the items listed will be addressed.
The focus of the story in the trailer seemed to be on the unification of the races and one elder dragon, Zhaitan. The other awakening dragons are only mentioned in passing. Will the first Guild Wars 2 story (campaign, story arc, etc.) deal primarily with Zhaitan and Orr, or will we encounter the other elder dragons as well?
The ultimate foe of Guild Wars 2 is Zhaitan, but the influences of the other dragons run deep through Tyria – Jormag’s worshippers are active among the Norn, Kralkatorrik’s brand is carved across the charr lands in Ascalon, and the minions of Primordus continue to surface across the land. But the story of GW2 leads to Orr, and the City of the Gods which is Zhaitan’s lair.
Why did the elder dragons awaken now, and nearly all at once?
By “nearly” you mean “once every fifty years or so over the past 250 years”. This is a lifetime in human terms, but an eyeblink in the history of the world. They are primordial powers that now are growing restive and unleashing their power on the world.
Why exactly are they waking up now? Unrevealed, but they are waking up hungry.
Humans are an interesting wild card in the Guild Wars world. What we know is they first appeared in Cantha, the Empire of the Dragon, and the now-called human gods were very relevant to all the lore built up in Guild Wars 1. Now, with the awakening of the elder dragons and waning of the human race, the human gods are less involved in the world of Tyria. Who or what created the human race and what is their point of origin? Why do the other races seem to hold so little value in the human gods, who allegedly “created” Tyria as we know it?
The full story of the origin of the humans has yet to be revealed. They arrived in the Tyria (the continent) sometime after they first appeared on Tyria (the world). It seems, from their previous appearances, that they have come up from the south, so the “human homeland” may be further south than Elona and Cantha. The idea of human gods “creating” Tyria is viewed by other races with mixed reactions. The charr think of it as theological propaganda (and that the human gods are not true gods, only more powerful, once-mortal, beings). The asura are perfectly willing to accept the idea of gods as (rather large) gears in the Eternal Alchemy. Norn are perfectly willing to allow the idea of gods, but think of them as a different type of their own animal spirits. The sylvari consider them unproven, since the gods have not shown their presence directly to the sylvari.
Which came first to the world of Tyria, the elder dragons or the human gods (current pantheon or predecessor pantheons)? Do they have any prior relationship, especially since the human gods created Glint, a dragon, to shepherd their creations?
The Dragons, as we said, have always been here. The gods predate the humans, but not by much. Much of what we know about Glint comes from Glint herself. The truth of the matter may be very different, and she has her own reasons for saying what she has said.
Kerrsh’s quest line in Eye of the North (ending with the quest The Path to Revelations) is a hotly debated topic on the lore forums. Why are the facets of the human gods depicted as dragons? Can the gods’ cryptic message be explained in terms of Guild Wars 2?
Dragons are power, and the facets reflect the nature of the power that the human gods have harnessed. Both the Asuran Central Transfer Chamber and the City of Arah were built on places of power, which turned out to be directly over Elder Dragons.
It is possible that the cryptic message refers to the Dragons – “a land unwaking” could be the risen kingdom of Orr, and answers to the origin of the dragons do lie there.
Dwarves are also an interesting race in that, according to the trailer, they actually had legends about Zhaitan. Given that they also had legends about the Great Destroyer, the dwarves seem to have much more knowledge about the elder dragons than the other races. What year were the dwarves created, and what legends did they have about Zhaitan?
As one of the elder races, dwarves know more about the Primordus, his minion the Great Destroyer, and their dragon kindred. Only a portion of that was written down in books such as the Tome of Rubicon, but the knowledge still survives elsewhere.
The Mursaat was one of the favorite races of the players, even though their demise was caused by players’ hands. What can you tell us about the few Mursaat that were left after Eye of the North? What have they been up to for 250 years? Will they make an appearance in Guild Wars 2 or will more Mursaat Rallies have to be held?
The Mursaat are a favorite race here at ArenaNet as well, and we have a number of creatives that are big Mursaat fans (which is why they showed up in the Bonus Mission Packs). Their ultimate fate has yet to be revealed, so keep holding the rallies.
Thank you for your time!
Thanks for asking!