[GW] Sequence Breaking

Eye of the North is more of a sequel to Prophecies than any other campaign, and coming from Nightfall, running Prophecies explains a lot of things that are taken for granted. For example, there is a quest in the Asura lands involving the White Mantle. I completed it with no idea who these people were or why they hated us so much. There are clans of dwarves, and I am for unexplained reasons allied with the first ones and fighting the latter to the death, although that’s normal with dwarf clans. There is Gwen, who I recognized from having tried pre-Searing Ascalon years ago on a friend’s account but who loses some of her impact if you never saw her there.

Because of the semi-random order in which I have seen Prophecies, I am sure that I am missing part of the story, but it seems like there was a big switch between Acts I and II. We open with charr and bandits, then the Searing, then the charr drive you out of old Ascalon, then the charr completely disappear for at least 60% of the story. Joining Prophecies as a character from another campaign, there are no charr around at all unless you revisit the early missions. Nothing. It is all about the White Mantle and the secret masters behind them. Unless you started with Prophecies, you could plausibly beat all three campaigns and never meet the charr outside the Ebon Vanguard arc.

I am reminded at this point of Asheron’s Call. The big cataclysm there involved the olthoi who were then absent for most of the game. There is something to be said for keeping the big villains as the big villains, rather than having them level up along with the hero, but it was a great shift when an update flipped the endgame to being olthoi, olthoi everywhere. Oh yeah, this is what Asheron called us to deal with. (I imagine the story has moved on.)

The entire opening of Eye of the North seemed rather confusing, at least at the point I reached it. Destroyers are trying to destroy the world, or something, and these dwarves have for whatever reason enlisted me, as the nearest person?, to help them. And then there is this other short dude, from a race that I have not found outside EotN but who seems familiar to everyone else. And then the Ebon Vanguard appears, and the charr are villains again. The norn seem explicitly new, so that’s comforting.

Another moment of crossed threads comes near the end of Nightfall. The end bosses of Prophecies and Factions appear as minions of the Abaddon. I had met the boss of Factions, but not Prophecies, so I did not know this was a subjugated archvillain. Reaching the end of Prophecies made Nightfall make more sense, except in the sense that I destroyed the departed spirits of my enemy in Nightfall before they perished in the earlier campaigns.

Maybe it was a mistake to avoid the wiki and go into the storyline unspoiled. Much like the gameplay, the story seems to be assuming you have the wiki or already know everything. Since my Nightfall character apparently met Mhenlo … sometime, maybe he also already has the in-character knowledge of what is going on that I could acquire outside the game.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “[GW] Sequence Breaking”

  1. Well, the Asura lived entirely underground, so it’s not surprising that Humans wouldn’t know of them until the Destroyers drove them upwards (while it makes sense for the mining Dwarves to know them).

    You’re recruited for the fight against the Destroyers, but that’s mostly because Ogden is desperate for help in the fight, though you soon prove yourself a lucky choice.

    But, yeah, EotN is basically a Prophecies sequel, with Factions and Nightfall not really being needed for comprehension.

    The chronological timeline basically goes, despite being able to do them simultaneously and in almost any order:

    Prophecies & Factions ->
    Sorrow’s Furnace (which leads directly to EotN down the line, specifically High Priest Alkar’s portion of “To Sorrow’s Furnace”) ->
    Nightfall (2 years after Proph & Factions) ->
    Eye of the North (5? years after Nightfall) ->
    War in Kryta (couple of years after that) ->
    Winds of Change ->
    Guild Wars 2 (250 years later)

    Basically, all that is needed for Guild Wars 2 comprehension is Prophecies -> Sorrow’s Furnace -> Eye of the North, MAYBE the War in Kryta. Factions, Winds of Change, and Nightfall (though I hear the Order of Whispers plays a small part in GW2) are *completely* disposable, at least until expansions start coming along.

    1. *spoilers ahead* proceed at Your own risk ;)

      I think War in Kryta is “must” not “maybe”… well – if You play human at least. All the stories about Queen, the Orr case (and Livia inside story) and the White Mantle who became later one part of Human force triangle (Seraph I think). Especially understanding the problem with White Mantle will make easier understanding the political struggle in GW2 human area. Or I’m wrong ;).
      But yeah – GW2 have very little to do with Factions and Night Fall. Maybe it will change with future expansions?

  2. You mostly missed the Ascalalon -> Kryta transition of Prince Rurik leading refugees from Ascalon through the Dwarf owned Shiverpeaks and into the care of the White Mantle protectors of Kryta. You then get the whole White Mantle/Shining Blade storyline that lasts through the end of prophecies and ends with the more recent War in Kryta content.

    I cant believe I managed to say that without giving any spoilers…

  3. The story of the game proceeds in the order the campaigns were released. If a player chooses to do the campaigns out of order, then obviously things will make less sense, but what can Arenanet really do about that? They can’t force you to do them in order, since unlike a typical MMO players don’t have to own all the pieces and could start with any of them (except EoTN). Forcing players to purchase and play Prophecies before “unlocking” any of the others would . . . not go over well.

    The thing about the Charr in Prophecies is that they’re NOT the big villains of the campaign. They’re back story. They destroyed Ascalon, but that’s it. The White Mantle and their Mursaat allies are planning to enslave the entire world, not just one of several human kingdoms. The Charr are essentially just another nation, not an epic villain. That’s partly why you don’t see them if you switch to prophecies from another campaign.

    I’ve beaten all the campaigns except factions . . . I really need to do that one of these days.

    1. The White Mantle may have been planning to take over the world, but all the Mursaat were really interested in was finding as many Chosen as possible and sacrificing them on Bloodstones in order to keep the Door of Komalie (leading to the Foundry of Failed Creations in the Realm of Torment) sealed nice and tight. Creating and helping the White Mantle was just a means to that end.

  4. When I started playing Guild Wars, my first campaign was factions. After playing through factions, I jumped straight into EotN. Since factions by itself felt rather secluded from the rest of world, I guess I just took all of the new EotN races for granted; they were just as new to me as the charr. Of all the storylines, I enjoyed EotN the most despite missing all of the prophecies back story at first.

    A large part of the problem for me is that it was difficult to enjoy the story when I was grouping with friends, especially when those friends have already done the content. After playing through most of the content once, I found myself pouring over the wiki to get my fill of lore. In fact, even when we were playing the new WoC content, I had the wiki open on my other monitor and was reading current quest’s dialog while we were running around killing stuff.

    It seems like the biggest struggle for story sequence in Guild Wars is that the campaigns were (more or less) stand alone to play through but not standalone in their stories. In all three campaigns there was back story you missed by not creating your character there. I like how GW2 promises to give a personal story that you have to play through in order, but at the same time allows you to group with friends for whatever content the group wants to explore. Basically, you are free to break the story sequence so that you can play with friends, but it should be pretty obvious why the sequence is messed up.

  5. been keen to try Guild Wars again – I think I played the original when it was first out.

    The various expansions really confuses me though, I don’t mind buying the whole thing but really could use some help about where to get started.

    I think I’m mainly going to be playing for the story.

    1. If you have the original, any of the other three are effectively expansions for you, although you can play Factions and Nightfall as your “base” campaign the same way. Eye of the North carries on from the end of any/all.

      It’s probably cheaper to buy the Trilogy, unless you can find Factions and Nightfall separately cheaper. Then you would also buy Eye of the North. There may also still be a GW Factions Platinum edition (and then buy Nightfall separately), which could be cheaper. Dunno. Or just throw money at the NC Store for any or all, separately or together.

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