Guild Wars – Battle for Lion’s Arch

The final-ish part of the War in Kryta chapter of Guild Wars Beyond dropped awhile go, but I didn’t have the time or sheer will to complete it until last night.  The Battle for Lion’s Arch might be one of the most intense instances in Guild Wars.  The road to this mini-mission (a quest with its own instance) can be long and frustrating, but the end result is very much worth it.  Even the rewards along the way are pretty nice.

The Battle for Lion’s Arch is the final conflict between the White Mantle with their mursaat lords versus the free peoples of Kryta lead by newly crowned Queen Salma.  Since heroes of legend (read: players) have been assassinating remaining mursaat in well-fortified keeps, the mursaat have decided to risk everything with an attack on the capital city.  With a win, Kryta is freed from the tyranny of the White Mantle, and Queen Salma creates the royal guard, newly named the Seraph Guard, which has been well noted in Guild Wars 2 lore.  A few new weapon skins are then available, and the bounties can be continued in the frame of a historical re-enactment.

One interesting possible lore conflict comes from the timeline in the free Guild Wars 2 book Ghosts of Ascalon preview.  The timeline claims Ebonhawke, the human citadel in southeast Ascalon, is established in 1080 AE while the Ebon Vanguard was recalled.  In 1088 AE Kryta unifies behind Queen Salma.  However, in game, Kryta “unifies” behind Queen Salma at the destruction of the White Mantle, yet Gwen, of the Ebon Vanguard, remains at the Eye of the North trying to find her love interest who was lost in the Battle for Lion’s Arch.  Gwen is one of the founders of Ebonhawke.  I guess it can be argued that Kryta will not completely unify for nearly a decade after the Battle for Lion’s Arch, but Queen Salma’s speech in 1079 AE (after the Battle is won) made that sound unlikely.  It’s not a huge deal, but it is a little surprising because ArenaNet seems to run a tight lore-ship.

Anyway, I actually ran the Battle for Lion’s Arch completely solo.  This is doubly difficult because not only did I have to rely on heroes and henchmen more than happy to sit in enemy AoE’s, I also had to take 2 level 10 henchmen that are not infused against the mursaat’s Spectral Agony.  I had planned on going with a friend, but he was nowhere to be found last night.  I am not sure he could have joined me anyway since he has not started any War in Kryta stuff.  I took an Aura of the Lich / Minion Master necro (me), a Signet of Spirits hero, a Panic hero, a necromancer / ritualist healer, the elementalist henchmen, and the monk henchmen.

The Battle is a defense against waves and waves of assaulting White Mantle and mursaat.  Players do not have to be the absolute frontline because there are quite a few friendly NPCs standing their ground.  They are mostly speedbumps that resurrect from time to time.  If the party dies, they are resurrected at Queen Salma to rush back toward the battlelines before too many speedbumps die.  Of course, if the enemy gets to Queen Salma and kills her, the quest fails.

The first bit was not too hard.  Waves of fleshy human White Mantle crashed against our wall of minions and spirits while being constantly interrupted by Panic.  There were a couple deaths with the level 10 henchmen when a group of White Mantle would warp right on top of me, but I was pretty confident in maintaining the battlefield.  Then the mursaat and their constructs started coming.  Minions were dying way too fast against the mursaat’s spectral agony, and enemy AoE spells were ripping apart our spirit walls (and dumb NPCs).  I was burning through consumables to keep my Death Penalty as small as possible because we were dying plenty.  The final wave with 2 mursaat (one of them a monk!) and a boatload of their constructs made it to the Keep’s doors.  Somehow we killed the mursaat monk because he was continuously interrupted by my mesmer hero, and I knew the fight was ours.  I came so close to defeat, which would’ve been a big deal considering all the consumables I used.

I feel very confident in saying that the Guild Wars Live Team has really hit a great stride with the War in Kryta.  The content that was actually playable, like the mini-missions and bounties were an excellent addition to the game.  I feel the next bit of Guild Wars Beyond will focus on Ascalon since a lot of hints like Kryta’s ambassador to Ascalon gone missing and the uncompleted Gwen love story.  It will be exciting to see.

–Ravious
zinnsational

8 thoughts on “Guild Wars – Battle for Lion’s Arch”

    1. Without AotL creatin 10 minions to give us /any/ breathing space, it would’ve been nearly impossible. The SoS didn’t help as much as I thought. Prolly would’ve been better bringing an ele nuker.

  1. I did it H/H as well, it took me loads of attempts though. Tried so many builds, even ones I’d not used before, in the end had to use Barrage/FGJ/SY! on my warrior, because what I ended up doing was standing on the hill with my heroes and pulling the mobs to the bottom of the stairs where they bunched and could be hit with AOE and Panic. Maybe it was different when you did it, but the last wave just stood in the middle of LA for me and could be pulled when I’d reset my heroes on the hill and the NPCs revived. In the end it was intense experience and a great sense of triumph when it was over, a great ending event.

    Storywise there was some elements that were a bit off, like opening the gates in the first place, Salma, Blimm and Zinn having so little impact in the battle, they even were sly to remove some of Salma’s healing skills, and not giving her some special skill like the White Mantle bosses had.

    1. I agree. Salma didn’t even thank the Asura for their wild card after the battle was over. Was kind of anticlimatic considering how much trouble we went through with the Asura in the first place.

  2. I can’t help but be a bit bemused that as a casual player of GW1 the only way I would know about any of the stuff you post about it is by reading your posts.

    Maybe that’s common for sufficiently casual players of most MMOs tho. For GW I am part of the “silent majority” that doesn’t frequent the website, only plays solo or with RL friends, etc. GW truly is terrible for delivering info to players in-game about how to access content. I’ve been spammed by NPCs that EPIC THING X is happening in FAR OFF LAND Y! and that’s literally all I get, no clue how to get to Y or what to expect when I get there.

    MMOs in general have a VERY long way to go as far as getting players information that they can do anything with. I’ve been glad to see LotRO doing incrementally better updating the new player experience in this way, but the complex and emergent nature of MMO gameplay really defies such efforts at tutorializing.

    1. I agree in part. GW, unlike LOTRO, ain’t likely to get better in that regards. F11 or something will pull up all manner of wiki links, and GW has one of the best wikis around. It’s a poor bandaid in that respect, but it’s the best I got.

      Also, what you are referring to is the cross-campaign notice, which on it’s own is kind of half-assed because the campaigns are separate games in one respect.

  3. I can’t do it. As a casual player, this has been a real disappointment.

    I’ve tried over 100 times, consecutively. It’s now to the point there are perhaps 10 items dropping during the whole quest, because it’s assumed I am farming this god damn thing.

    Even better, I must have missed the moment of others doing it as there are certainly no PUGs going any more. So I am stuck with heroes and henchmen.

    I’ve tried every build I can think of, plus 90% of whats been posted on the guru forums, and either I have really bad luck or this quest is simply too hard for the ‘normal’ player.
    It is perhaps the most disappointing moment in my whole 5 years, 2500+ hours of Guild Wars.. A sad day.

  4. biofrog, don’t give up. I was able to do it eventually with H/H. Actually only took maybe 5 tries to be honest. As a mesmer, I took Panic as my elite and it worked great. I took an Aura of the Lich mm hero, which worked great for the first half of the mission. Eventually ran out of corpses. I’m sure I took a Rit hero… Definitely took a fire elem hero… For henchies, probably healer+warrior.

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