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.