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Member Since 20 Aug 2009
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In Topic: Lion's Arch Destroyed - What Then?

06 April 2014 - 12:35 PM

It does pose for an interesting question...

It probably is reasonable to say that Lion's Arch is about as destroyed as a city can be, short of being flooded by a tsunami and the ruins remaining drowned beneath the waves. However, that more extreme example has, of course, happened to Lion's Arch before. In the long run, Lion's Arch is just too valuable a site to remain abandoned indefinitely. The question is one of who will (re)claim it, and under what circumstances.

The obvious, and most likely explanation is that Lion's Arch will simply rebuild off its own back. Yes, there are challenges to be faced - but if there's the will, the extensive trading network that Lion's Arch has created probably gives them the means to overcome them. The Captain's Council might even take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild LA with some actual city planning rather than the haphazard way it was put up in its last incarnation, similar to the Great Fire of London.

If Lion's Arch and the Captain's Council themselves can't or won't rebuild, then Kryta will probably step in. While relations have normalised since, Kryta has probably never forgotten that LA used to be the Krytan capital, and given half an opportunity they'd probably like to reabsorb it either over or under the table. Plus, it's too valuable a site just to be left open. If Lion's Arch is left effectively abandoned, then Kryta could simply move in. Otherwise, if the LA citizens and authorities find they can't rebuild off their own bat while protecting themselves against other threats, Kryta could offer assistance... likely, however, conditional on Kryta receiving at least one seat on the Captain's Council (under the exceptional circumstances, the current Council may accept expansion of the Council in recognition of exceptional contributions). Jennah recognises the value of a cosmopolitan Lion's Arch, so the open door policy to all races would likely remain - however, Lion's Arch could, like Ebonhawke, become a de facto Krytan protectorate, and while everyone wants LA to continue its legitimate business as a multiracial trading hub, Kryta would probably use whatever influence it has to rein in LA's seedier side. Given that a pirate group played a big role in destroying this incarnation of Lion's Arch, then the next incarnation might be quite happy to readopt a hostile outlook towards pirates rather than its previous relatively permissive one.

The third most likely possibility, if everybody else drops the ball, is the centaurs seizing it. The centaurs are fighting Kryta because the centaurs themselves need arable land, after all - a Lion's Arch that remained mostly abandoned would make a tempting target that's softer than Kryta, and which could serve as the centre of a centaur nation that runs along the western edge of the Shiverpeaks from their current homeland north of the Harathi Hinterlands down to Timberline Falls. If the centaur leadership at this time was sane enough to prioritise establishing a homeland over settling old grudges, they could offer a peace with Kryta in exchange for recognising the new centaur nation (including release of prisoners), offer normalised relations to other interested parties such as the orders, and offer to reopen Lion's Arch as a port that's open to all, and I think the rest of Tyria would accept that (maybe begrudgingly, but if the centaurs make a good enough offer in exchange for acceptance, is it worth fighting over?)

I considered the tengu making another land grab, like they seem to have a tendency to do, but I don't think that will happen. Seizing Lion's Arch would put them in de facto control of the entire northern coast of the Sea of Sorrows. That might work if they kept Lion's Arch open as a port to non-tengu, but that would require them to give up at least some of their isolation. Trying to maintain their isolation and block off Lion's Arch along with the former D'Alessio Seaboard and Sanctum Cay would be just too big for the other powers of the world to ignore, and if they provoke too much, they'll probably find that their wall helps them even less when push comes to shove than a certain other wall helped Ascalon.

With all that said... most of these scenarios are going to take time. If they wanted Lion's Arch destroyed for the rest of the game's life - because they wanted to redirect players to congregate in other locations - they could, and in fact that would be more realistic than LA returning entirely to something similar to its former glory within a year or two.

In Topic: Kralkattorik and Drascir

19 March 2014 - 05:06 AM

Orrians going to Drascir may have been a case of "you need to learn how to use magic somewhere where it ISN'T readily abundant to everyone".

Otherwise... it's basically a mix of arrogance and attrition. Ascalon had long since stopped thinking of the charr as any real threat - before the invasion, there was probably more Ascalonian territory north of the Wall than behind it. They'd also lost a lot of their best potential over generations of conflict with Kryta. Basically, they got caught by surprise with their military resources depleted.

In Topic: Dragons and elder dragons corruption and their magical control

19 March 2014 - 04:56 AM

My interpretation is that they used to, and technically still do. The distinction is that in the years immediately after the Exodus, there was very little magic around except that coming directly from the Bloodstones, so if you wanted to be a mage of any significant power, you had to draw from the bloodstones and accept their restrictions.

Nowadays, enough magic has built up in the rest of the world so that isn't so strong any more. The Bloodstones still seem to exert some influence (in that we still have four spellcasting classes rather than different specialisations in one superclass) but the amount of magic that's available from other sources loosens the restrictions substantially.

In Topic: Why so many poor female Norn?

12 February 2014 - 04:01 AM

If it's not coincidence, I'd probably mark it down to the following:

1: Norn are known for being impulsive and taking risks that members of other races probably wouldn't in the name of building their legend. Thus, if a storyline involves a character getting in over their head on something, there is a good chance that character will be a norn.

2: Rightly or wrongly, bad things happening to female characters generates a stronger emotional reaction in most people than bad things happening to male characters, so to maximise drama, tragedy should involve a female character.

2.1: Apparent circumvention of the above can if a male character has a strong emotional connection to a female character. However, this is not really a circumvention, as in that case drama can still be harvested through the female character's loss at the male character's death - arguably, following the idea that it's worse to be the one that's left behind, this is still essentially a bad thing happening to a female character.

2.1 examples: Snaff and Zojja,

2.2: Norn are probably the least suitable race for leveraging 2.1, since norn in general and female norn in particular are more independent and individualistic than other races, and norn culture is more inclined towards responding to death by celebrating the legend of the deceased and getting back on to building their own than through heart-wrenching grieving scenes.

Put them together, and a disproportionate number of poor female norn is the result.

In Topic: Dragons and elder dragons corruption and their magical control

07 February 2014 - 09:17 AM

Lots of questions here, some of them explicitly leading to others. Some of these don't really have answers, but a couple I can have a go at:

Part of the effect of dragon corruption, as shown in Edge of Destiny, is that the corrupted creature essentially has the same personality - except that overlaid across it is absolute loyalty to the dragon. They might even still pursue their own goals, but when there is even the smallest conflict with the dragon's interest, the dragon's interest wins. And since anything that isn't a dragon minion already is a potential threat to the dragon, however minimal... well, that's why they indiscriminately kill everything else, however much they may be crying inside, but a dragon minion might still have the presence of mind to, say, preferentially kill enemies of the dragon that they have their own grudge against before other enemies.

In Glint's case... the spell removed that level of compulsion, but at that point, she had still been used to thought patterns of absolute loyalty to Kralkatorrik all her life. Even once she had the freedom to not be loyal to Kralkatorrik... she still also had the freedom to continue to be loyal to her master (much like Sons of Svanir freely choose to come under Jormag's wing). To use legal terms, she still needed a motive to abandon her master as well as the opportunity.

Physical corruption, as you say, seems to be permanent, but there are other forms of transformative magic as well, so this probably isn't entirely surprising.

When a dragon dies, it seems that their magic stays in their remains. Glint, while a lesser dragon, still had power that she had collected from the Crystal Desert in her remains, and that's the power that the Zephyrites have been tapping in to for their aspects magic. An interview with Jeff and Ree has indicated that something similar has likely happened with Zhaitan's corpse, and that when the Pact (or someone else...) gets to it, it would be a massive repository of magical power. My speculation would be that a dragon's corpse is similar, magically speaking, to a sleeping dragon, with the corpse slowly seeping out magic.

The Crystal Desert's status is undefined - like many things, it probably depends in part on just what the overall political situation is. As for the gods drying it out... they didn't choose to. It was a side-effect of the devastating energies being thrown around by Abaddon and the other gods, and that destruction was part of the reason given for the Exodus.

In Joko's case:

The conventional wisdom is that there were essentially three types of undead in GW1. There were minions, which simply raised a corpse without affecting the soul - such minions were short-lived in GW1 (longer in GW2....) and had no real intelligence, only basic programming. Then there are the ghosts and spirits, which are untethered or lightly tethered to their body.

The third type, which covers most of the Cataclysm undead, Joko's army, and generally most undead opponents in GW1, seem to involve the soul of the dead being remaining within the corpse, giving the resulting undead creature a true sapience along with greater power and resiliency than minions. However, creation of this form of undead does not (or at least, does not necessarily) involve draconic corruption.

Zhaitan's Risen appear to be something else entirely, however, they do seem to come in all three flavours - there are some spirit undead that we see that are corrupted, some that are simply mindless automatons while their spirits are elsewhere, and some that contain the souls that once inhabited the body.

Certainly, this is quite different to Joko's undead, since Joko's undead don't have the absolute loyalty that dragon minions do - there are multiple cases of Joko's undead rebelling against him.

Regarding the elder dragons and the bloodstones - while Zhaitan being in Orr in the first place might be an indication that he had a pretty good idea of where it was, I think the short answer is that the dragons can't feel the bloodstones. They know they're out there, and Zhaitan's forces certainly made use of bloodstone shards, but half the point of the original Bloodstone seems to have been to hide the magic from the dragons - it seems logical that they would have done what they could to stop the dragons from sniffing it out too easily.