[GW] In Medias Res?

Flipping to the Factions campaign with a Nightfall character, it feels like some important story elements were left out. No no, don’t tell me, I can work it out from inference and wiki, but again pretending that you had not already run through Factions, imagine the new player.

There is a plague in Cantha. That sounds bad, and I’m objectively anti-plague (outside the Epidemic skill), so off I go. I meet up with Brother Mhenlo who is an old friend of my character that I’ve never met before. I’m from Istan, who’s this white guy? Oh, he’s someone from Tyria who I meet when I start a Prophecies character. Who apparently trained under Master Togo and, what, did a tour of duty as a healer with the Sunspears? Is that where I met this guy? This NPC is far better traveled than I am.

I was called into Cantha to deal with a plague. Afflicted monsters, check, I’m on this. The plague rots the soul as well, check. First mission, lots of Afflicted, big fights and it ends with Shiro. Shiro is the guy behind the plague, and he is some sort of death god or spirit guide who is breaking the death god rules to take over the mortal world? But he was just in a cinematic, alive and talking to a fortune teller? Vizunah Square is only the third mission in this campaign, but there seems to have been a lot of exposition in that prologue, unless the Factions players are also just along for the ride until things get explained later.

I’m apparently saving these people from a plague and a death god, and I’m off to become some form of ascended being to facilitate that. I haven’t gotten a chance to care about the people I’m supposed to be saving. Most of them seem to be named “Canthan Peasant,” and they live in what appears to be a ramshackle slum that covers a third of the map (big town, desperately in need of some zoning laws). Folks referred to Factions as the quick campaign, and things are indeed moving very quickly. Plague, death god, run across an entire zone, assassins, NPCs on your side who seem to hate you, different assassins, plagued assassins, keep running across zones, more scornful NPCs, take a different winding path across that zone, escort missions with suicidal NPCs, and they’re all timed missions. Go!

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “[GW] In Medias Res?”

  1. “But he was just in a cinematic, alive and talking to a fortune teller?”

    Gotta turn on the post-processing effects. That will make those cinematics sepia-toned, visual shorthand to show that you’re watching the events of 200 years ago that led to the current situation.

    And the story doesn’t feel quite so quick if you start a Factions character so things are at that speed for a character’s entire life. (a good idea, anyways, to at least run an Assassin and, especially, a Ritualist through Shing Jea Island so that you can get a decent stack of skills to put on your Heroes and save you precious plats)

    1. I have that. Until you’ve hit a couple of them, it’s not clear that sepia means “flashback” rather than just a different palette between campaigns, although “sepia means flashback” is a cultural standard for us. Which makes it strange that it is used in the Asian setting, which I imagine has a different way of signalling that, rather than than more European Tyria.

  2. Factions was definitely the least of the three campaigns, IMO, but yeah, the plague is a mystery and you get a lot of expo dumps on the way to solving it.

    At least you have saved the best for last. <3 Prophecies.

    When you get to Kryta, I would suggest seeing if someone will run you back to Ascalon so you can do the story from the "start" (the only way you can do the Pre-Searing Ascalon part of the story, the very beginning, is to start a new Prophecies character) and even then many of the Post-Searing quests, and thus much of the flavor of the story, will be unavailable to you. In fact, you will hardly encounter the charr at all until you do the Eye of the North expansion if you choose to skip the Ascalon->Lion's Arch parts of the story.

    Each campaign really needs it's own new character to really experience and enjoy the full story. :(

  3. Agreed. Factions storyline felt slapped together. Hated the city, hated the city quests. PvE was the big draw for Factions.

    It will get better once you are out of the city, nut that takes a while.

  4. I think Mhenlo is available as a mercenary after a while in Nightfall.
    Check once you’re in Abbadons “land”.

    And Mhenlo you will see in Prophecy.

  5. On the whole Mhenlo thing, technically, the campaigns are in chronological order. So going from nightfall to factions is already putting you in some kind of alternate reality :p

    The game is obviously made to be played in order they where released (story wise that is), and I’m sure I’ve seen a few more of these situations throughout the game (like, why is the lich and shiro dead in nightfall, and then you go and kill them in their storyline) :p

    1. I have found that accounted for in a couple of places in Prophecies. If you play Gates of Kryta with a Nightfall character, it says you are re-creating the past. When you get Olias, however, it refers to Istarians visiting Tyria, so that seems to be in the present tense and aware of campaign crossing — just the primary line is going back in time? Going backwards through the Prophecies zones to the earlier missions is a bit surreal.

  6. I would suggest, that you take the ferry to Shing Jea island and play the first four Factions mission. This not only gives you a little more background. Shin Jea is one of the most beautiful areas in Guild Wars and well worth visiting.

    And it’s always fun to play the early mission with an overpowered team of heroes :) You will need the missions for the protector title anyways.

    The same for Prophecies, as someone already recommended, run back to Ascalon City and start with The Great Northern Wall.

    In Factions you will not miss much if you play the first four mission with a character from another campaign. For Prophecies you should consider to roll a new character to at least play the Pre Searing part. It’s really worth it and will not take that much time.

    This way you will have a chance to meet Gwen the way most players learned to love her.

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