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How do ectos fit into the lore?


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#1 Mugen

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

This was on of the topics that came a while back during a discussion with a friend. How do ectos fit into the lore? back in GW1 they dropped of mobs in Underworld and that was the only way to get them. Fast forward to GW2 and suddenly they are in every single lvl 70+ rare/exotic equipment that drop. How did that happen?

#2 Taskumatti

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

200 years ago everyone was walking around tyria in their fancy obsidian armors and chaos gloves. Eventually the bearers of these armor died, but because armor were allways customized to their crafter no one else was able to wield them, thus creating mountains of useless obsidian armors and chaos gloves, these items were now considered scrap metal. The armor were then salvaged into all kinds of rare and exotic quality items which we still can find in every part of tyria.

...I guess...

#3 Marc1k1

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

View PostTaskumatti, on 15 February 2013 - 11:23 AM, said:

200 years ago everyone was walking around tyria in their fancy obsidian armors and chaos gloves. Eventually the bearers of these armor died, but because armor were allways customized to their crafter no one else was able to wield them, thus creating mountains of useless obsidian armors and chaos gloves, these items were now considered scrap metal. The armor were then salvaged into all kinds of rare and exotic quality items which we still can find in every part of tyria.

...I guess...

Yeah gotta say that's probably the best explanation you'll get as I imagine the official responce is that, "It just made sense as a way for people to get a high level crafting item"

:/

#4 silavor

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

That explanation actually does make sense from a lore perspective. The greatest heroes of all nations, including Orr, would have had access to the Underworld and Fissure of Woe, and thus at least some of them would have had equipment made with globs of ectoplasm and shards of obsidian. It's important to note that globs of ectoplasm only come from salvaging, there are no natural ecto drops anywhere in the game. That makes sense, since we no longer have access to the Underworld and its endless supply of naturally-forming globs of ectoplasm.

All the rares and exotics you get from Orr are presumably the equipment of long-dead heroes similar to the player character who died in the Cataclysm of Orr. In this case I would assume that the ability to salvage ectos from freshly-crafted rare weapons is just a case of gameplay and story segregation; ectos would become a lot harder to come by if you could only obtain them by salvaging specifically Orrian rares and exotics.

#5 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

It's funny that the creatures that dropped ectos in the UW are still found from time to time in Tyria (Bladed Aatxes). But they no longer drop ectos.

I think another way of looking at ectos from rare+ equip is that the magical power manifests in the items as ectos when salvaged. Thus magic's connection with the gods and their realm.

#6 Elder III

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

I'd be very curious to have Jeff Grub or Ree Soesbee come along and explain it, but in lue of that, the explanations in this thread make pretty good sense to me.

#7 Red_Eye_Dreams

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

Centuries ago heroes, explorers, and hunters alike would enter the underworld to slaughter ghostly scarabs, referred to as Smite Crawlers by humans, repeatedly to obtain this mystical substance called ectoplasm. Most of them were monks with 55 HP who would let the scarabs beat up on them until their own attacks killed them through their holy retribution.  These monks flooded the market with these globs of magical residue, reducing its rarity, and the essence of this ghostly ectoplasm began to infect random objects like a plague.  But it chose only the rarer items to infect apparently, and now after two hundred years, even the most mundane, ugly, and useless rare items can yield this substance, if harvested correctly.

#8 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:16 AM

Ectoplasm, by its nature, is what ghosts and other spectral beings are made of. Ascalon is full of ectoplasmic materials, and that's ignoring the dozens upon such spectral creatures found among Zhaitan's armies (Risen Wraiths), coming from the Underworld (Shades, Aatxes), or just being ghosts spread throughout the continent.

What's a bigger question is why its so rare of a material - then again, Godlost Swamp's heart gives petrified ectoplasm so perhaps it's not as rare as it's made out to be, but the ability to collect and utilize it is so.

But the previous explanations can work too - it's now canon lore that assassins (and other adventurers of GW1's timeframe) in large numbers raided the treasures of the Underworld - this in turn weakened the borders of reality between Tyria and the Underworld at Temple of the Ages (the reason why the Shadow Behemoth's an issue) as well as, to a lesser degree, at Reaper's Gate (in GW1, that area also gave access to the Underworld). Side note: said assassins and other adventurers are the reason why Dhuum awoke and kept on waking from his imprisonment slumber.

So since it's a fact that adventurers raided the Underworld, it'd be no reason not to include that treasure being spread into the world one way or another.

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#9 Evans

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

That's all good and well apart from the fact that you can get ectoplasm out of rare weapons you have crafted yourself, using no ectoplasm in the recipe.

I guess it's one of those "don't think too much into it" sort of things. I rather enjoyed the explanation of huge piles of underworld equipment being reused.

#10 raspberry jam

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:56 AM

Souls need to be bound to matter to exist, but not all matter can bind souls. Obviously, living flesh can. So can ectoplasm - the "physical" bodies of various kinds of spectral beings are made of ectoplasm. The only way for Balthazar's army in FoW to replenish their losses is to use ectoplasm to build new bodies for the fallen, which is why they would reward a GW1 hero that supplied ecto with the honor forging him/her the finest suit of armor in GW1.

There is no reasonable explanation for ecto in GW2.

#11 draxynnic

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:32 AM

View PostEvans, on 04 March 2013 - 07:14 AM, said:

That's all good and well apart from the fact that you can get ectoplasm out of rare weapons you have crafted yourself, using no ectoplasm in the recipe.

I guess it's one of those "don't think too much into it" sort of things. I rather enjoyed the explanation of huge piles of underworld equipment being reused.
My explanation for that is essentially an 'energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can change form' one. In the process of making a rare item (that normally costs bucketloads of fine crafting materials) and salvaging it again, you've converted the magic that was within the fine crafting materials into ectoplasm.
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#12 raspberry jam

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:54 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 04 March 2013 - 09:32 AM, said:

you've converted the magic that was within the fine crafting materials into ectoplasm.
This

Also, I believe that glittering dust is dried, pulverized ectoplasm.

#13 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:00 PM

I think that glittering dust is just... dust... that glitters.

Mechanically speaking, piles of glittering dust in GW1 was the default base common material for salvaging - possibly so for GW2, too. Because no matter what you take, if you dry it and grind it down, it becomes dust.

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