This is an article intended for those who have completed Episode 5 of Season 3 of the living story. If you haven’t finished it and don’t want any spoilers, come back after you’ve finished it for a discussion about the Elder Dragons in Season 3.
A Bit of Background
Back in July, we learned that Primordus was active at the very end of Out of the Shadows. The fear then was that we would be facing a Mursaat and an Elder Dragon. We were then lead to Ember Bay, following a trail of magic from Frostgorge Sound south all the way to Orr. It was also during Episode 2, Rising Flames we learned that Jormag was active.
So at this point, we had 2 Elder Dragons and a questioningly helpful Mursaat on our hands. Knowing that they couldn’t survive taking on two Elder Dragons at the same time, Taimi came up with a plan to have the two dragons fight.
In the most recent episode, we learn that killing the dragons is, in fact, a very bad idea. Making the two of them fight could very likely destroy Tyria. So our new mission is to stop Lazarus Balthazar before he kills Primordus who he is face to face with deep inside Draconis Mons, the largest volcano on the planet. In order to stop him, we must fight him and destroy the machine he’s using. In the end, we manage to put Primordus back to sleep, and possibly Jormag as well. It looks like we’ll find out for sure in the next episode which happens to be the last.
So to TL;DR it…
Lazarus saves the world by consuming a bloodstone explosion.
We learn Caudecus is the leader of the White Mantle.
Primordus is awake.
Jormag is awake.
Aurene is cute.
We kill Caudecus.
Taimi gets an idea from the most recent Godzilla movie; Let them fight.
Lazarus turns out to actually be Balthazar.
The plan turns out to be not so good.
Primordus is back asleep, and Jormag might be too.
The Problem with the Season
This leads us to my problem with the season; it feels like we’ve gone in a big circle and the entire season was just make work to keep us distracted. Let me explain my reasoning. Throughout the season the Elder Dragons were the primary story line. We had the prospect of fighting not one but two of them, something bigger than anything we had ever done before. Everything seemed like it was building up to an expansion in which we were stuck in the middle of two Elder Dragons fighting each other. Then suddenly at the last minute, after nearly a year, that threat is gone and the dragons are sleeping again. We’re right back where we finished Heart of Thorns. What did we get?
Braham being a massive d-bag.
Balthazar being a massive d-bag.
Caudecus is dead.
Queen Jennah is a badass.
Little baby Aurene is cute.
We forgive Caithe even if she doesn’t deserve it.
Rytlock is arrested.
Logan is in charge of the Pact because…reasons?
Zojja is “resting” (To be fair though her voice actor did just have a baby.)
A dragon killing device.
Part of a Dwarf.
What you don’t see on that list is anything about the two Elder Dragons who were the primary driving force for the season, which is why it feels to me like the entire season was meant just as a distraction. Are all or at least some of the things I listed above going to be important during the next expansion? We don’t know yet, but hopefully!
Aurene certainly hasn’t been used yet. She has a purpose which we may or may not see in the next expansion. The Balthazar story seems to only be getting started and in fact, in the recent AMA the devs said this wouldn’t be the last we saw of him. It’s unlikely that his part of the story will wrap up in the next episode so this may be the start of the introduction of the Gods to Guild Wars 2. Who knows, we may end up seeing all of them in the expansion. If that does happen we could have even more concerns come up as the Charr aren’t fans of the Human Gods, but that seems like it would be a minor plot point in the future as it is unlikely we will suddenly have the players divided into warring factions.
With one episode left in the season, we will be dealing with Braham, Jormag, and possibly even the entire Norn race. This makes sense if you take a look at how the rest of the season went.
Episode 1: Out of the Shadows – Caudecus and Humans – Created by Team A
Episode 2: Rising Flames – Primordus and Asura – Created by Team B
Episode 3: A Crack in the Ice – Jormag and Norn – Created by Team C
Episode 4: The Head of the Snake – Caudecus and Humans (With some Charr tossed in too) – Created by Team A
Episode 5: Flashpoint – Primordus and Asura – Created by Team B
Which leads us to…
Episode 6 – ??? – Jormag and Norn – Created by Team C
After this episode is when we can expect expansion hype to begin. It will be another 3 months or so before it releases, giving us lots of time to talk about what has already been leaked as well as the things that haven’t.
Right now though, I would love to know what you thought of the season so far and Flashpoint in particular. Did you work out Lazarus was Balthazar before it released? It was the theory I supported the strongest and it was sadly confirmed for me before I ever even got to play the episode, not because I read spoilers, but because of the minis that Arenanet released. It would have been better if the minis came out the week after.
Do you agree with me that this season was a whole lot of stuff to keep us busy and a tiny bit pointless? Let me know in the comments. Keep in mind that this article is expansion spoiler-free, let’s keeps the comments that way too, please.Related: ArenaNet, Column, Guild Wars 2, Lore, MMORPG, The Tyrian Chronicle