Guild Wars 2 Interview

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!

Now that the gates have opened on Guild Wars 2 information, will any secrets to Guild Wars 1 be further explained, such as Bahltek, the undeciphered Asuran banner, or the giganticus lupicus? 

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!

34 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 Interview

  1. Agar

    Omg! Great questions! I am a big fun of the lore of GW1 and i cant wait to see what happens at GW2! Thx for the interview!

  2. Jecht

    Finally, an Interview that asks better questions than:
    How does World PVP work?
    Guild Wars 2 will be persistent, why and how did you do this?
    Can you tell us about the new Races?
    ect, ect, ect.

    A very well done interview.

  3. Ethic

    I’ve played Guild Wars and I have no idea what you are talking about. Are you telling me there is a story? I should try reading something once and a while.

    1. Dark kilk

      yes there is a story behind guildwars u dont really have to read anything, u can piece it together by doing the missions and watching the cut scenes

  4. Ravious Post author

    Ha. Yeah, ArenaNet said this year they are talking about the art, story, and lore so that’s what I stuck to. ArenaNet has plenty of quest text, but their lore is so deep. It reminds me of an MMO equivalent of Half Life series, where much of the lore is shown, but not told. I tried to wiki-link the head scratchers… but I can talk about Guild Wars lore for hours.

    1. Darcy

      Great interview. I agree that it is wonderful to find someone interested in more than game mechanics. Thank you for this.

  5. Marcus Ferret

    Great interview, Rav! Enlightening as well…

    “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.”

    Now I do wonder if the Human Gods had saved Glint ages ago as we had saved her offspring… The wheel ever turns…

    Excellent questions and a great read!

  6. Somnyus

    Great read!
    I know the GW lore goes very deep, but I seem to have neglected it for a big part, since only a few names or races ring a bell…
    I knew about Glint, the dwarves and all new playable races in GW2, but the other dragons and history were always a mistery to me…

  7. Jenosavel

    I’m glad you asked the question about the gods. That one in particular has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s nice to get some insight, even if we won’t get solid answers until the game itself (and even then we may have to dig for them).

  8. Scott

    Great questions and keeps us teetering on the fringes on madness through being vague and evasive.

    Great foreplay Jeff, now where’s the main course (I’m in no rush – just motivated you understand)

  9. Yoh

    Well, I suppose it is nice to hear more on GW2, even if it is just lore.

    I think i’d rather know more about the core mechanics of the games, such as does it have levels? Are you retaining the lvl 20 cap if that is the case? What major changes if any are you making to the skill system? Are there still professions? If so, which ones? Etc, etc, etc.

    Lore to me is more like fluff, sure it’s nice, but there is no substance to it. And no matter how good the lore is, it won’t carry the game anyways.

    Sigh….. I guess I’ll have to be patient.

    ~Yoh

  10. Death Sligher

    the undeciphered Asuran banner

    .. gata el ya
    gya.. balas ya

    … the cat and
    gya.. bullets and

    Got it almost^^(spanish translation), I guess it means the charr with guns in gw2.

    1. Cheeto

      its strange that they use gatA with an a because in spanish you are supposed to use the masculine version of the word when talking about a group with atleast 1 guy in it

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  15. Baka

    Meh …

    I like lore as much as any true rpg fan , but come on …
    THere hasnt been much actual info about the game’s mechanics so far , so yeah i agree with those asking about gameplay .

    At most we had a nice but not really demonstrative trailer , and ever since gw2 was announced , very vague infos and the usual promises of great story + event done by every mmo developper , and stuff we knew before hand like gw2 being without subscriptions being confirmed .

    give us some meat already !

  16. Xtc Blade

    Very interesting questions and even better answers.

    But I was wondering, the game’s name is GuildWars2, and there inlays the question. Will the game continue to revolve around Guilds, and will there even be Alliances in GW2 ?

    Now if we could get an answer to that question that would be an exceptionally great answer.

    – : )

  17. Aly

    I imagine world PVP will still be as guild-centric as it always was. Also, info regarding game play is scheduled to be released early next year. This year, only more info regarding races and lore will be released.

  18. Dark kilk

    great interview, the only one I’ve been able to sit down and read all the way through I’m so ready for GW2

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  20. Ravious Post author

    Yeah, like I said above. It’s really like Half Life in a way. Sure there is a lot of lore in the quest text, but there are many “mysteries” that you have to dig a little deeper for. Like another level for E’s. It’s fun and frustrating at the same time.

  21. Javier Segarra

    You know I would have love to see a question related to the GW novels that are coming and if they will shed some more light about the lore of the world as the story goes.

    Beside my first comment I thank ya for asking all this great questions since I’ve been wanting to know the answers.

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