On the latest episode of Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer was joined by Lead Writer Bobby Stein and Narrative Designer Scott McGough to talk about the story of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ and how it fits within the environment of the jungle. Here are some highlights!
Personal story instances in the core game often use locations from the main maps but rarely reflect what’s happening there in the open world. The narrative team wanted to improve the synergy between the open world and story instances so that characters and events will carry over between them to create a more unified experience. Expanding the repertoire of Masteries allows players to reach more content—even within instances—leading to more difficult achievements. Story instances will also be replayable so that players can experience all of the different paths available without needing to switch characters.
“The Elder Dragon can implant thoughts in its creations…”
Scott and Bobby recommend a playthrough of the story as a sylvari to experience the full psychological horror of Mordremoth’s power. The Elder Dragon can implant thoughts in its creations—thoughts they may even believe to be their own—and only a combination of immense willpower and the protection of the Pale Tree can prevent Mordremoth from taking control. Sylvari receive calls to action in the form of the Wyld Hunt—or the Dark Hunt, for Nightmare Courtiers—and these compulsions act as an access point for Mordremoth’s influence.
While Zhaitan spread terror by turning the corpses of comrades and loved ones against their former allies, Mordremoth can control the living. Players will have to determine whether the sylvari are trustworthy, and the ever-present possibility of betrayal impacts the minds of other races as well.
The secondborn sylvari Canach will join the player’s team of allies, and he’ll have a lot to say about the growing distrust of sylvari and the effects of being close to Mordremoth. The narrative team feels that he’s an important addition to the story; he creates friction, takes direct action, and is both literally and figuratively a bit prickly. Canach’s pride has led him to make some bad choices, and he’s had the chance to experience the consequences of those choices. He now answers to Countess Anise of the Shining Blade, but while she may be his employer, he’s sharp enough to gain some equal ground with her.
As commander of the Pact, players will take an active role in the story—especially now that their ability to talk has been restored! Player characters will now speak more often and have new voiced lines, many of which are unique to their race. Through dialogue and decision making, players will be able to see their choices affect the story right before their eyes.
Check out the recording of the Points of Interest livestream below!