This week Matt looks back at the very first Scrying Pool and the events of Season 2.
The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.
In this week’s article, I will be talking about Sylvari and where they stand in the story leading up to the Heart of Thorns expansion. If you have not yet played through the Living World Season 2 content, be warned that we will be entering into some very big spoiler territory.
It has been over two years since I started the Scrying Pool here on ZAM. In the very first article, I talked about the Sylvari and speculated about where they had come from. I postulated that the Sylvari were remnants from the last time the dragons rose, machinations of a long dead race as a weapon to combat the dragons as they were immune to their corruption.
While not too far off, I topped it all off with combating some speculations I had seen around the community by essentially saying that it would be terrible if the Sylvari were dragon minions. Foot meet mouth as the Season 2 storyline confirmed that the Sylvari are minions of the jungle dragon Mordremoth.
This article isn’t to recount my words at the time, as two years ago the idea of Sylvari being dragon minions really was terrible. To give some different perspective, the first Scrying Pool article came out the week before Flame & Frost: Prelude, the first patch in what would one day become the Living World.
Up to that point the only examples of ArenaNet’s storytelling prowess was in the personal story as part of the game’s original release and a couple of patches with the Mad King’s story during Halloween and the assault on Southsun Cove to combat the Karka. While I have loved this game since launch, what we had seen up until that point had not given me much hope for a great and compelling story. This lack of hope continued well after the article was written as Season 1 continued to fumble over its own story throughout the rest of the year.
It is one thing to tell a story about an enemy. The player is the hero fighting this evil that must be vanquished. Even if the story is fumbled around a bit and becomes convoluted over time; this underlining battle of Good vs Evil will still shine through.
Making Sylvari the dragon’s minions makes things more interesting, but also makes things more complicated. The question of whether Sylvari are still good or minions of an evil force weakens the Good vs Evil aspect of the story, which means it won’t be there to pick up the ball if the story is fumbled.
Hope returned to Tyria however, as the story grew into its own. The end of Season 1 ended on a high note and the story driven second season excelled on all fronts. While not perfect, Season 2 showed that ArenaNet knows how to tell a compelling story through their game. Building meaningful characters and telling enough for a good story while leaving room for speculation to bloom all have me incredibly hopeful for HoT’s personal story.
Throughout Season 2 I had speculated that Caithe was evil. There was something off about her and with each episode it felt like there was more and more evidence to point to her not being the hero of the famous Destiny’s Edge. Then in the last episode we discover that she is perhaps not the evil, but has been fighting against a truth that she knew was going to soon be revealed. The truth that Sylvari were created as minions of an elder dragon.