"Bless you, Dwayna for my wisdom. Thank you, Grenth and Balthazar, for my prowess in war. Praise to Melandru for my courage, and to Lyssa for my incredible good looks."
Guild Wars is an MMO produced by ArenaNet, a splinter group formed off of Blizzard Entertainment, and published by the Korean MMO giant NC Soft. It has been both lauded and criticized for its notable and unique business plan, which is quite simple: It's an MMO that requires no monthly fee. Part of the reason is due to instancing, and part due to design. Anet has said (to paraphrase) that it's not aiming to be a World of Warcraft killer, but that it's happy being its own niche. Indeed, Guild Wars was largely an experiment to see if this business model could even succeed in the first place, which it undeniably has.The game, instead of one core game and several expansions, features three stand-alone "campaigns" which have independent, if interlinked, plots and differing mechanics. The three can be linked, allowing one character to play all there stories. A fourth release acts as an expansion that can link to any of the main campaigns and is notable for providing primarily end-game content. The original campaign, subtitled Prophecies after the second campaign launched, contains 6 player classes (termed "professions", Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer) and each character chooses a permanent primary profession and a changeable secondary (the order matters). The two additional campaigns, Factions and Nightfall, each feature two additional professions unique to their continents (which are East Asian (mainly) and North African/Middle Eastern themed, respectively). Additional story elements have been introduced in the on-going Guild Wars Beyond, including the War in Kryta and Winds of Change. The intent of these releases is to create a bridge between the original campaigns and the upcoming sequel.The game, instead of a roving world with several human-controlled factions duking it out, instead plays like a console RPG: A storyline-based affair that has a definite ending; thus, it can be beaten. It can be played solo (with AI-based henchmen and heroes), or in groups, and features its titular "Guilds" as organized player groups.Also notable is that it tries to balance both casual and hard-core play, and has both PvE ("Player versus Environment", the "single-player" portion of the game) and PvP, with specific arenas, tournaments, and guild versus guild battles for the latter. The game is virtually devoid of Level Grinding, due to a low level cap of 20, and instead focuses on what skills, abilities, and strategies one brings to the field of battle, instead how much time one has spent playing the game.Stylistically, it's very hard on physical realism, and exploring the world of Tyria for the sheer level of detail put into its architecture is rather breathtaking. As a sort of hybrid between the typical "Persistent World" MMO and a CRPG, the game dips its ice cream scoop of writing into both buckets.A sequel was released in August 2012.Now has a character sheet, still under construction. Feel free to help.
Aerith and Bob: Mocked in one of the NPC dialogues. "We haven't survived this long against the Charr by giving our supplies to every Tom, Dick, and Teardrinker who passes through here."
Alliance Meter: Used to tot up the amount of faction points you have gathered towards Balthazar, the Luxons and Kurzicks, and the Canthan Dragon Empire. Also, titles for the Luxons and Kurzicks show how much faction has been donated towards the respective alliance.
One of the goals of Guild Wars' design was to reward skill and strategy instead of Level Grinding. Maxing your level and getting all the best stuff is easy to do. Knowing how to use it all effectively is the challenge.
Guild Wars 2 plays with this, since the max level is 80 (just like World of Warcraft : Wrath Of The Lich King at the time the decision was made), but apparently it still won't be the major part of how the game works. PvP will apparently scale the levels of the players, for instance. And then there's all the talk about the fact that "each level will require approximately the same time".
Achievements and titles in Guild Wars 2 will be account wide, which should make things a lot easier for players with multiple alts.
The new, web-based "Hall of Monuments rewards calculator" demonstrates the account-based nature of Guild Wars 2 rewards in dramatic fashion (and, by the way, sparked a frenzy of buying and selling in-game as players scrambled to obtain items like crafting materials and miniature pets to put in their Hall of Monuments to boost their scores).
Ironically, many of the titles and expensive items for the Hall of Monuments require extensive money grind. In fact, most of the "no grind" thing was dropped by Eye of the north with the reputation titles.
Anti-Poop Socking : You are reminded every hour on the hour of how long you have been playing and after 3 hours the message "Please take a break." is added.
Anti-Villain: Palawa Joko. At least during Nightfall; his minions will help the players on several side quests.
But in Guild Wars 2 he becomes a true villain, conquering Elona by taking out their water supplies thanks to a dam on the Elon River.
Arc Words: "You lead, I shall follow." is uttered, at some point or another, by at least half of the cast of Nightfall. While the phrase itself seems innocuous enough, it underlines how the Player Character comes to lead the Sunspears, and eventually the entire region of Elona, against Varesh, Abaddon, and Nightfall.
Artifact Title: The game was originally named Guild Wars due to a heavy focus on Guild versus Guild PvP. The concept changed, the name stayed, explained away as something in the lore. There was no Guild versus Guild PvP at release, in fact.
Artificial Brilliance / Artificial Stupidity: The AI sometimes makes pretty dumb decisions, like standing in the middle of an AoE (To be fair, they stopped doing this around Factions), interrupting skills that had too-short a recovery time to make it worth, not use their builds correctly, etc. The Henchmen get it worst and are barely used, especially when you could fill the entire party with heroes. To be fair, the henchmen's main shortcoming is that they all have poor builds, coupled with the fact that there have been little to no upgrades over the past six years. They can use the builds they do have rather well, it's just that most of them happen to have very poor/generic builds. The heroes on the other hand are able to dualclass, and there are some builds that the AI can use rather effectively so the player isn't constantly micromanaging. They actually do hear the player pinging and focus fire on the target they call out, something most players don't do.
A few henchmen go positive. Such as the Domination Henchmen and the Interrupt henchmen. They're able to take advantage of the godlike reflexes and are able to interrupt before most players can even hit their button. Similarly, Herta the earth-elementalist henchmen has the Ebon Hawk and Stoning abilities in her skillset, and knows how to use the combo.
Ascended Fanboy: Several members of high ranked Guilds got their own NPC, some others got references in dialogue, etc.
Ascended Meme: Some players kept a character in Pre-Searing, the tutorial area of the first game (the only place where you can never return to after leaving it), making it Perma-Pre. Some even reached the level cap through the most masochistic and timeconsuming kind of Level Grinding: Have enemies kill you over and over to level them up enough that they are worth XP again for a character close to the level cap, and then kill them. As a reward for these hardcore dedicated players/masochists that need to find a job, Areanet created an achievement for this.
Actually fixed in a patch, adding repeatable quests that have enemies of a level close to one's own, allowing players to get the title without "Death Leveling."
It still takes a few months effort, since you get only 1 quest per day and the experience gained isn't very high.
The Atoner: Kormir becomes this after she accidentally helps unleash Abaddon on the world.
Also, General Morgahn.
Awesome but Impractical: Meteor Shower, which hits for massive damage and knocks things down 3 times with a gap just long enough for them to stand back up, unfortunately it takes 5 seconds to cast, in PvE most enemies have probably already scattered or died by this point and in PvP you'll be lucky to get 4 seconds through casting before someone decides it's time to interrupt it. It is useful against monk-walls though.
Until you use Glyph of Sacrifice note makes your next spell cast instantly but adds 30 seconds to the recharge and Assassin's Promise note instantly recharges all your skills, including itself, upon the death the your target. Then it's AwesomeYet Practical.
Also, the Warrior skill Decapitate, which gets an insane damage boost, is always a critical hit, gives the target a deep wound and drains the user's adrenaline and energy completely.
Badass Normal: In the game you have mages, necromancers, illusionists, spirit-callers, divine conduits, scythe-wielding furies, shadow jumping assassins, priests of healing and smiting, hunters that can charm beasts and summon nature spirits, and warriors. That last one is the only class in the game with no magic whatsoever. At all. And they are awesome. Devona falls under this trope as well.
Technically, through secondary profession, they can have access to any of the mentioned super powerful abilities. On the scale of the whole game, anyone becomes a Badass Normal, since you face a Lich weilding a staff of divine power, armies of Demons, a power-mad Psychopomp, the former God of Death, and an actual god.
also technically, warrior, ranger and paragon all have no magic (they are the only classes with no spell skills). interestingly enough, these three classes are also the only classes in the game with access to shouts.
Engineer from Guild Wars 2 seems to be this. Uses explosives, guns, and elixirs in battle. Special ability is a tool belt. Also, the warrior profession returning from the original Guild Wars.
Bag of Sharing: Every city, town, and mission outpost in the game has a Xunlai Storage chest which any character on your account can access for a one-time, 50gp fee to the nearby Xunlai Agent. For 50gp more that character can also access the shared crafting materials storage space in the chest.
Bare Your Midriff: Wouldn't be a fantasy game if some costumes didn't. But it's not too common compared to other fantasy games.
More specifically, elementalist females do this with almost every set they have. The feel to them is of a tease, what with all the running away and smiting with fire, so it evens out.
Belly Dancer: Female elementalists, especially with armor from Nightfall.
Big Bad: At least one per campaign. Factions is the only campaign where there was just one throught the entire story.
Big Eater: Professor Yakkington. A good number of Nicholas' requests focus on food for the dolyak... or food for Nicholas after Yakkington eats it all.
Bigger Bad: The presence of the Elder Dragons is hinted at in Eye of the North by the creation of the Nornbear and the awakening of the Destroyers.
Big Good: The Master of Whispers, leader of an ancient organization preparing to battle against Abbadon's return. And presumably assist Kormir after she ascends as a Goddess of Truth.
In-game lore for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 indicates that, after Palawa Joko overruns most of continental Elona and wrecks the Sunspears, the Order of Whispers will be the main organization resisting his tyranny.
And they are apparently one of the factions you can join !
Black and White Morality: This trope was played very straight until in Guild Wars: Eye of the North where this trope is subverted with the Charr where they are not always evil.
Body Horror: All of the Afflicted. They range from the mostly-humanoid hunchbacks that are their Warriors◊, to the Ritualists◊, which are basically a malformed mass of flesh lurching around on four of its six arms to resurrect its fellow Afflicted. They explode when they die, inflicting damage, and leave behind such lovely Vendor Trash as pulsating flesh and putrid cysts.
The Realm of Torment has the Domain of Pain, which is basically a gigiantic fleshy cave/plain/something, with several giant limbs and organs coming from the walls.
Bonus Dungeon: The Fissure of Woe, Sorrow's furnace, The Underworld, The Deep, Urgoz's Warren, the Domain of Anguish, and Slaver's Exile.
Boom Stick: Staves and wands can help empower spellcasting, but their primary attack is just to shoot magic blasts. Like other weapons, wielders don't need any particular attributes to use one, but it's much more effective if they do.
Boring but Practical: Several examples, one of the foremost is Warrior's Endurancenote Gain 3 energy every time you hit with a melee attack. A very simple skill, and not flashy at all, but allows spamming high damage energy-based attacks. Even melee weapons outside the warrior profession can be effectively abused as the skill provides more than enough energy in a very reliable manner, while the attribute it's linked to provides additional armor penetration. This was so effective in PvP that it was quickly changed back to being a stance.
For awhile, "Touch Rangers" who would have an almost neverending stream of energy (combined with their stats, as well as a skill) and could easily drain health from people. The build was literally just alternating between Vampiric Bite and Vampiric Blood, occasionally using Blood Sacrifice or some other touch skill like Throw Dirt. Want a good way to get people raging at you in Random Arenas? Play one of those.
Boss Battle: Ranging from mixed-in with normal enemies to entire missions built on taking one down. Since bosses are the sole source of elite skills, many players will organize expeditions with the sole object of hunting down and killing bosses and "capturing" their elite skills (capturing all the available elite skills in a given campaign will give you one of the Bragging Rights Reward titles).
Rare weapons and expensive armour, since they've got the same stats as the cheap stuff.
Also due to the account-based nature of Guild Wars 2 rewards referred to above, since a player will only need to obtain one of each of a certain kind of weapon or set of armor per account to accrue the reward point on his/her account.
Breast Plate: Thankfully averted. Female warriors wear just as much armor as their male counterparts, and with the exception of Elementalists and one Monk outfit, most female armor sets are fully and semi-realistically clothed. Also, subverted with one male warrior prestige armor set, called "Male Stripper Bra Set" for a reason. Oddly enough, it was extremely popular. In pink.
Also subverted with some armor sets where men show as much or more skin than the women do.
Well, not quite averted. Female warriors (to say nothing of other frontliners) still show more skin on average than the males, with breasts lovingly sculpted into every last one of their chestpieces.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Kinda/sorta. The small bonuses for sale through the GW store and the preorder bonuses are fun and useful shortcuts to having the most options, but they don't really make you any make you more powerful. If you don't know how to use them right, you'll still get curbstomped in competition.
One quest in Factions requires to literally bribe a Corrupt Bureaucrat with 1 platinum to complete the quest.
Actually, 2 platinum, but a bug allows you not to pay at all. Another quest in Nightfall requires you to pay off a pirate boss, but the same bug occurs here.
Although you can get out of paying the pirate without bugs, thanks to the quest's second option.
Talking to one of the Princes required you bribe him, either with 1 platinum or a vase which you could buy for 1 platinum... or murder the person with the vase for no cost.
Brick Joke: Several, The continents of Cantha and Elona were briefly mentioned on Prophecies even Vabbi, Palawa Joko, Turai Ossa and the Margonites from the latter get a passing reference on the Crystal Desert.
Turai Ossa doesn't really count, however, being the (unnamed in Prophecies) Ghostly Hero around whom the 3 main missions in the Crystal Desert revolve.
Gwen is the ultimate brick joke, if you're willing to accept a tragic definition of the word "joke."
Button Mashing: Inverted. The game will auto-attack once told to attack, and will actually warn a player if they attempt to mash the attack button. Skills can still be button mashed, although this generally doesn't help at high levels of play.
In GW 2 auto-attack doesn't exist anymore, but you can order your character to use a skill repeatedly. And you usually have a skill that will act similarly to a basic attack.
Cain and Abel: Balthazar, the God of War, finds an archnemesis in his half-brother Menzies, Lord of Destruction.
Subverted with Togo and the Emperor in Factions. Had they both wanted the throne, they could have split Cantha into a civil war, but both were wise enough to sort out the succession issue, and both are fiercely devoted to each other still. At the climax of the Factions campaign, Togo gives his life to save his half-brother from Shiro Tagachi.
Cartography Sidequest: You get titles for exploring the map. There is also a mapmaker in Maatu Keep that gives you a quest to visit five points in each explorable area of both the Jade Sea and Echovald Forest.
Also one of the main ways to kill a certain dungeon boss. He keeps re-summoning his minions, and gets tons of defensive bonuses while they're alive, but the spell he uses to revive them costs 5% of his health.
The Chosen Many: The White Mantle hunts these down and sacrifices them on the Bloodstone, so that the prophecy describing the downfall of their gods, the Mursaat, won't come to pass. It's revealed that The player characters are Chosen, and heavily implied that it any of the Chosen can fulfill the fireseeker prophecies, not just a specific one.
Church Militant: The White Mantle (on the side of evil) and the Zaishen Order (on the side of good).
City Guards: Free-roaming in explorable areas. Somewhat helpful in battle, but tend to get themselves killed if the players are not nearby to help.
Collective Groan: for example, in the cutscene preceding the "Venta Cemetery" mission in Nightfall.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Enemy mesmers have the ability to interrupt your party's spells with much more accuracy than any human player can possibly achieve, on the other hand your AI-controlled heroes also have the same ability so...
A good tactic to follow, when engaging an enemy mob that has one or more interrupt mesmers in it, is not to lead off with your most powerful skill, lest the enemy mesmer interrupt that skill and leave you at a disadvantage while it recharges.
Similarly, groups of enemies with interrupts or knockdowns will always stagger the usage with perfect coordination among their members. They also will only begin corpse exploit casts if nobody else on the field is already casting a similar spell on said corpse.
A player-controlled Ranger facing a computer-controlled enemy Ranger has an annoying tendency to receive "Target Obstructed" messages about their own attacks if the terrain is at all questionable, while taking full damage from the enemy, who apparently can get a clear shot. Their arrows should be traveling essentially the same flight path in opposite directions, so a major difference in obstruction without anyone behind cover doesn't make sense.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: At least when the "Inverse Ninja Law" PvP effect is active, causing players to weaken for each nearby ally, and get stronger for each nearby enemy. If the players are all Assassins, then this trope gets pretty literal.
Well, not all creatures in the world have to be agressive.
Copy And Paste Environments: Averted. While areas may use similar textures and objects, the map design varies quite a bit, and the look visibly changes from biome to biome.
However, the careful observer of Eye of the North dungeons will notice that several levels of certain dungeons look very much like each other: for instance, parts of the second level of the Catacomb of Kathandrax and the first level of Oola's Lab, and a good portion of the first level of Arachni's Lair and the third level of the Shards of Orr look virtually identical.
Not virtually identical, just identical. The only Dungeons that seem to have unique areas are those you also visit in story-line missions, and Slaver's Exile.
Actually most of the ministers aren't corrupt so much as completely out of touch with the people. They honestly are trying to help, but between the arguing amongst themselves and all the self-imposed red tape, they get nowhere fast. They don't ever abuse their power, and most of them are on your side. At least one actually tries to help when you have to ask him for something during a quest.
Corrupt Church: The White Mantle, who actually work for beings known as the Mursaat.)
The Shamans, too, ( with the Titans and then the Destroyers. Not to mention their treatment of Charr women, which eventually comes back to bite them in the ass. If the lore recounted in the published novel is an accurate indication, the Shaman caste is now at the bottom of the Charr social pecking order because of their long history of abuse of power).
It is, by Guild Wars 2, The Flame Legion still respects them, but the other three Legions don't exactly like or trust the Flame Legion, and basically regard Shamans as evil sorcerers.
Crapsack World: In the Tyrian continent of the first campaign, Ascalon is burnt to a crisp wasteland, the Dwarf Kingdom is in being destroyed from within by civil war with the Always Chaotic Evil Stone Summit, Kryta is taken over by the White Mantle who use human sacrifice and worship the Mursaat, and the Kingdom of Orr was completely obliterated off-camera by Grand Vizier Khiliborn (otherwise known as the Lich Lord). Cantha (outside of Kainen City, at least) and Elona tone this back to more reasonable levels.
Judging by what's been released about the storyline of Guild Wars 2, the ENTIRE place will pretty much be a Crapsack World after the rise of the Ancient Dragons.
A similar kind of Scenery Porn as in the ruins of Ascalon from the first Guild Wars is the Dragonbrand region in GW 2, corrupted because one of the Ancient Dragons flew over it. Now those guys are badass.
Crippling Overspecialisation: Players may only equip eight skills at any one time, and when you start forming teams, there's a cap at eight characters per party. Without careful planning, it's easy to overspecialize. Therefore, one of the keys to successful play in both PvE and PvP is the careful balancing and combination of skills, and there's a website, http://www.gwpvx.com, dedicated to collecting and distributing builds of particular effectiveness for all the Guild Wars professions. On the other hand though, under-specializing can be just as disastrous.
Apparently you can't do Crippling Overspecialisation in GW 2, since you have at least one healing skill, and five skills (read: half of your skill bar) can be changed willingly (though with a little cooldown).
Crystal Dragon Jesus: Glint, though with four times the crystal and 1/3 the Jesus. She is really more of a benevolent-neutral prophet, but she is a gray dragon covered in crystalline spines, who, using bizarre dragon-magic, lives in a single grain of crystal sand in the Crystal Desert, and she lays crystal eggs. The game has the five elementally-themed pseudopagan gods as the true pantheon, however.
She is one of the first/oldest servants of the Old Gods however, so maybe there is a bit of the Jesus thing involved.
Cutscene: In-game cutscenes, with party leader speaking dialogue. Skippable, so long as everyone in the party wants to skip. It is advised that they are watched as they are very entertaining in MST 3000 spirit.
Not to mention being rather important for conveying the story to the players.
This troper particularly liked the subtitles if the language was set to Bork! Bork! , making cutscenes he had seen dozens of times enjoyable again.
Counterspell: The Mesmer profession has a number of "interrupt" spells that only work on spells and chants, which are given this kind of flavour (as opposed to the interrupt skills available to physical attacker professions, which can usually interrupt actions of all sorts and are given a flavour of hitting you so hard you stop what you're doing).
Damage-Sponge Boss: The infamous Rotscale, a bone dragon that has fairly simple moves, a small entourage of mooks... and over 20,000 HP. In a game where the regular max HP without any boosts is 480, and a SERIOUSLY stacked player might get up to 1,500 (with several other players helping with buffing skills). If you somehow manage not to get mauled by the always-poisoned arena and the mob that's with him, it can still take upwards of ten minutes to whittle him down.
And with the addition of Dhuum to the underworld, Rotscale is dwarfed. After going through what is arguably the hardest area in the game which takes a balanced group up to 3 hours, you get to a boss that has 100.000 health, and can take up to half an hour just killing him. Oh, and he summons Mooks too.
Dark Is Not Evil: Neither the Necromancers or their divine patron, Grenth, are at all evil, and in Grenth's case, he's the usurper of a definitely corrupt deity, and he himself has no power over death, being advertised rather as a god of justice. Though, during Wintersday, Grenth can be kind of a dick.
Of the three Necromancer heroes, Olias is frankly rather creepy. The Master of Whispers, whose real name is Jurah, is a solemn type much given to mysterious utterings. Livia is perhaps the most likeable of the three, being an idealistic young woman devoted to the Shining Blade and its cause of liberating Kryta from the White Mantle (and, in all honesty, for being as hot as the proverbial pistol).
Ritualists as well. Ritualists cast spells by binding angry spirits with ethereal chains or channeling the raw anger of dead souls, but much like Necromancers, can be perfectly heroic people. Heck, Master Togo is a Ritualist, and he's arguably the nicest guy in the entire Factions campaign!
Deader Than Dead: Banned players. When a person's account is banned, they are visited by Dhuum, old god of death, specifically of death eternal. He appears before them and, with a unique skill called "Vengeance Is Ours", cuts them down with his scythe, sets them on fire, and transports their soul to a prison in the underworld. As the skill used to do this says, "Ressurrection skills won't help you. Your account is banned." Let it never be said that Arena Net doesn't have a sense of style when it comes to banning people.
Death Is Cheap: Monks and other professions carry resurrection spells, the real problem comes from death penalty which reduces your total HP/MP, thankfully there are items that can reduce or eliminate the penalty, not to mention that it is also reduced by gaining XP. In fact, the optional tutorial mission in Factions kills you automatically during the mission, to teach you about resurrection shrines and death penalty. If you're a Survivor candidate (trying to get to a certain number of XP without dying), however, death is not at all cheap, because even one death will stop your progress in that title track, forcing you to start gathering the required XP without dying anew.
As originally conceived, a single death in the Survivor title track would permanently bar your character from advancing any further on that track, thus forcing you to roll a new character if you wanted to achieve Legendary Survivor (the highest level).
Lampshaded by Eve in the area after beating the GW:EN storyline.
Devona (Agreeing to not retire from being heroes):"I guess so. And after <player's name>'s great victory, how can we do less? For Ascalon, and for glory!" Eve: "Unless we all die trying.... But that's never stopped us before."
Guild Wars 2 averts this in favour of No One Should Survive That: player characters can't be killed, only "downed" or, at worst, "defeated". Members of any class can revive defeated players, only costing them a little time. Or you can warp for a small fee and be revived as well.
Difficult, But Awesome: Mesmers, when played well, can completely shut down the enemy team. The only problem is, one requires lightning-quick reflexes and a thorough knowledge of the Meta Game to play a mesmer well.
Dressing as the Enemy: Done twice in Nightfall, first to bust up a bad guy negotiation and then (depending on which exclusive mission you took) to rescue your commanding officer. Also used when the players have to stop the Jade Brotherhood from setting a crazed golem into the streets. Your party is listed under a 'disguise' that affects all but non-human characters, leading to some pretty funny dialogue (borrowed fromStar Wars) when they try putting shackles on the bad-tempered centaur.
Interestingly, there is no similar dialogue when bringing in other non-human heroes along. I found it interesting when I brought Zhed and M.O.X. on that mission.
this is because all the other non-human henchmen a) where introduced AFTER nightfall came out and b) would not exactly fit with the chewie joke.
There are also obtainable tonics that can turn you into imps, golems, NPCs of different races...
One of the costumes purchasable in the in-game store allows player characters to wear White Mantle uniforms in both outposts and explorable areas.
Dungeon Bypass: There exist a few methods for this, some designed and some not.
One of the earliest unintentional examples is the Nolani Academy mission, where you're supposed to follow Rurik through a dangerous path and fight through a Charr army after demoralizing them... or go right and end the battle in a third of the time.
Eye of the North added Secret Switches which open doors and allow access to hidden areas. Some are purely loot sources, but others are shortcuts.
Eldritch Abomination: Abbadon seems to have turned into one of these in his confinement... unless all the gods look that freakish in their true forms.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Partial subversion. While the classic four of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water exist as the types of elemental magic, they don't oppose each other or imply weakness. Instead, they vary in their styles: Air focuses on one target, fire hits areas, earth is defensive, and water focusses on disrupting and slowing down enemies.
However, enemies that are related to an element are usually more resistant to it and weaker to the opposed one (the Destroyers come to mind).
In a nutshell, the elements have their rock-paper-scissors effect if the target is inherently elemental in nature, like the Titans and Fire Imps being weak to cold damage. The power to cast elemental spells doesn't require an inherent nature, however.
And the "Breath of the Great Dwarf" skill you aquire in Eye of the North just before the final battle.
Elite Mooks: At least one type per campaign, with the Mursaat and later the Titans for Prophecies, the Shiro'ken in Factions, the Margonites and later the Torment Demons in Nightfall and the Destroyers in Eye of the North.
In Eye of the North, all the enemies past the Northern Shiverpeaks could be considered the equivalent of Elite Mooks in the three main campaigns, which should give you an idea of how tough the Destroyers can be, especially in Hard Mode.
Even Varesh's human army has elite -insert profession here- amongst their ranks.
Anything in the Realm of Torment can turn into this as well.
Enemy Mine: During the Winds of Change storyline, after the Ministry of Purity goes on a killing rampage, the Jade Brotherhood and Am Fah decided to end their rivalry and focus on taking down both the Canthan Empire and the Ministry of Purity. Taken into Serial Escalation levels where in "Calling All Thugs," where the Jade Brotherhood and Am Fah brought in all enemy criminal organizations and corrupt governments the player faced in Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall, and War in Kryta storylines, which includes the White Mantle, the Stone Summit, the Peacekeepers, The Crimson Skull, and the Corsairs. Although additional dialogues indicate that another reason for teaming up is mainly your actions against them if you completed the said storylines.
Enemy Summoner: Aside from NPCs with minion master and ritualist builds, there are also the Torment demons and any Charr who can summon a Hunter Beast.
Escort Mission: While escortees in main missions are fairly competent, they can make bonus objectives miserable.
Escortees are definitely NOT competent. Well, it might be escorters. Also, you get to escort Leeroy Jenkins' embodiment (Kilroy Stonekin) with all the expected difficulty (though you do get an Über-buff from him in return).
You also get allies to follow you around in certain dungeons come Eye of the North, but they can thankfully die as many times as possible, and will come back whenever a room is cleared of enemies.
Kilroy's just an homage to Leeroy - there's a very good reason that Prince Rurik has been known by many as "Prince Leeroy"...
Factions is mostly escort missions. However; the people you're escorting (Mhenlo and Togo) are actually fairly competent at least at keeping themselves up. They heal themselves and attack enemies, and most importantly, hold their ground and most often follow YOU. However, they aren't smart enough to walk around chests, and have been known to get stuck in place during a few missions because a chest spawned in their path.
The "Vizunah Square" mission is especially notorious for problems involving getting Togo and Mhenlo to keep up properly with the party, especially if the party involves a minion-controlling necromancer; Mhenlo will stop to heal the minions. This can result in the player's losing the maximum reward for completing the mission, because most Factions missions are time-dependent (you have to complete the mission within a set period of time to earn the "Master's" reward).
One Nightfall mission, "Venta Cemetery", offers an interesting variety of escort mission: You have to escort six allies to safety, but only one has to survive, and every single one has the Monk profession and will heal each other and your party. You would almost have to be actively trying to get them killed to lose even one. Due to this, a good player can often dispense completely with hero or henchman monks when forming the mission team.
Mr. Fanservice: Somehow, Mhenlo, the pleasant, upstanding, and good-hearted monk. Even he doesn't seem to understand why he's so pimptastic.
This really gets on Cynn's nerves in Factions, where everywhere Mhenlo goes he seems to run into another attractive young woman he knew way back when he was studying under Master Togo in the old days.
Everything Trying to Kill You: One would think that the monsters roaming around the world would prefer the other extant fauna, rather than consistently taking on the heavily-armed adventurers.
At some points, they do - mobs of different kinds of monsters or different affiliations will - if no adventurers are present - beat on each others. Most amusing to behold. It's also a good tactic for players to allow rival enemy mobs to fight it out in areas where it would otherwise be difficult to fight one's way through the swarms of enemies.
Sometimes, but only with certain mobs, the friend or foe logic seems to bug out. One of the most common locations for this to happen is the Fissure of Woe, Where the Shadow army occasionally starts fighting itself, and a few specific groups are always hostile to others of the Shadow army.
Evil Plan: As several quests in the Realm of Torment reveal, the events of the three main campaigns were all driven by Abaddon as part of his effort to escape his prison. The Undead Lich - then Vizier Khilbron - was seduced by a cult of Abaddon, leading to the cataclysm that destroyed Orr, and Shiro Tagachi was tricked into assassinating his liege lord, the Emperor, by a supposed fortune teller who was actually a demonic agent of Abaddon in disguise. And, of course, Varesh Ossa was doing her bit to free her lord and master.
Evil Is Visceral: In Nightfall, the "Gate of Pain" map, which is set in a landscape composed entirely of overgrown viscera, but the whole landscape infected by Abaddon throughout the later parts of the game show signs of this trope, with tentacles and insectoid body parts growing out of the ground, rock formations with eyeballs in them, etc.
Evil Overlord: Palawa Joko sheds his Anti-Villain facade in Guild Wars 2 diverting an entire river to establish a new kingdom in the Crystal Desert (while wrecking much of Elona), and usurps the once-heroic Sunspears to be his personal stormtroopers.
Slightly subverted in that many players prefer "gold" (rare) items to the green items, even though the latter generally have perfect statistics or bonuses. For example, the "gold" Bone Dragon Staff, which drops from the reward chest at the end of the Shards of Orr dungeon in Eye of the North, is a consistently high-demand, exceptionally high-value item, even when the item's statistics are comparatively poor. Conversely, many "green" items are easily farmed and thus are not especially valuable.
The reason for this is that Green items have fixed stats, while Gold ones can have weapon upgrades added to them to get the stats you want on the weapon skin you want.
Expansion Pack: With the exception of Eye of the North, the three main campaigns are stand-alone.
Fantastic Racism: In Nightfall, most of the centaur herds have been enslaved and forced to work on plantations across Kourna. The Luxons and the Kurzicks in Factions aren't particularly fond of each other, either.
The Stone Summit dwarves are rabidly xenophobic and hate both humans or other races that "invade" their mountains, and their saner Deldrimor dwarf cousins.
The Norn are, if not contemptuous of humans, rather skeptical at first of their fighting abilities due to the fact that they're much smaller. Meanwhile, the Asura call humans "bookahs", after a mythological monster that's known mostly for being loud, clumsy and not especially bright.
The Centaurs derisively call humans "two-legs".
In Factions, the Tengu (the avian race) and the Dredge (mole-like creatures, whom the player has previously encountered as slaves of the Stone Summit in Prophecies) have a hard time of it at the hands of the humans. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, the one quest where the player actually encounters a Corrupt Bureaucrat has to do with trying to improve conditions for Tengu refugees in Kaineng Center. And one of the side quests in Kurzick territory involves the player trying to get permission from the Kurzick lord for the Dredge refugees to settle in Kurzick lands. It doesn't happen; Count zu Heltzer rejects the Dredge plea out of hand because most of the refugees have, frankly, been making thuggish nuisances of themselves - they show up as enemies that the player has to kill in most Kurzick areas. And by the time of Guild Wars 2, the Dredge, who were, with the aforementioned exception, neutral or friendly toward the player character in the days of the first game, have turned completely hostile.
And then you've got the revealed details about Guild Wars 2, where it turns out the future emperor basically assimilates the Luxons and the Kurzicks into Canthan culture and exiles ALL non-human creatures from their shores, as well as anyone who disagrees with that. And this is after those Luxons, Kurzicks, and at least one Tengu helps expel a supernatural evil. Real nice.
Then again, the Kurzicks and Luxons had been carrying on a bloody civil war for CENTURIES on rather flimsy premises. No doubt a lot of player-characters who wended their way through the Factions campaign were wondering why the Emperor didn't just exercise his authority, already, and establish order in the eastern regions of Cantha. After all, from several hints dropped during the campaign, both factions are at least theoretically subordinate to the authority of the Emperor in Kaineng Center.
Fantastic Rank System: The tables of ranks of the Sunspears and the Order of Whispers in the Nightfall campaign.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Every human nation throughout the world of Tyria was deliberately based on a mix of real-world civilizations run through a "what if?" scenario.
Fantasy Gun Control: Largely played straight in the first game (the Luxons have cannons), but 250 years later with the sequel, the Charr have developed guns, and the technology has spread across the world.
Fetch Quest: Optional. Collector NPCs stand out in explorable areas, offering unusual items or armor pieces in exchange for monster drops.
Filler: Prophecies fits itself into the definition by the end, especially in hindsight. The campaign starts with your homeland, Ascalon, being destroyed by the charr and you leading refugees to safety in a nearby kingdom, Kryta. You find that this kingdom has its own troubles with undead. After helping out against them for a bit, you find out that your allies so far, the White Mantle, are an oppressive militant church, and you agree to help against them. This leads you on a great journey to distant lands to seek a way to defeat their "unseen" masters, the Mursaat. Along the way, you are occasionally helped by a mysterious vizier who tells you of a power that can defeat the Mursaat. When you finally reach that power, the vizier reveals himself to be an evil lich that wants to use the Titans it summons to take over the world. You defeat him of course, and then the campaign ends. The epilogue has a closing line about the lich's Titans wiping out the Mursaat before getting sealed away, but none of this seems to have any series momentum.
The charr continue to use the power of the Titans (and eventually win in completely wiping out your country by the time of Guild Wars 2, and the War in Kryta events prove that neither the White Mantle nor the Mursaat were ultimately destroyed in Kryta. Even the Scepter of Orr, a MacGuffin early in Prophecies that was scooped up by the villain by the end, ends up conveniently back in the Shining Blade's hands in Eye of the North's epilogue. In other words, the two main plot lines in Prophecies: Ascalon being under attack and the White Mantle's evil are not advanced at all by the actual campaign. The only thing you do is defeat the Lich, who officially reveals himself literally for the last level and has no direct connection to any of the other major events, aside from an off-screen destruction of a country, and even his defeat almost doesn't carry story momentum, as he attempts to do virtually the same thing again in Nightfall, this time from the underworld.
It should be noted however that the original overarching goal (though considerably downplayed later in the story) was the defense, evacuation, and protection of thousands of Ascalonian refuges seeking a new life away from the Charr. The PCs originally joined the Shining Blade only because they would have eventually come for the refugees as well.
Also the Warrior skill "Final Thrust", which deals a high amount of damage - and doubles it if the target is at less than half health - but takes a load of Adrenaline to use and drains all the Adrenaline in your other skills to boot.
Dwarves: Standard dwarves until they transform themselves into immortal beings of living stone in Eye of the North. Their minds are severele degraded by it though, and it is literally said to be the end of the dwarven race as their ultimate sacrifice.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: One of the arguably justified cases; because there are several parts in each campaign in which it's implied you have to tread carefully or don't have time to waste. If you really don't have time to waste, new characters would have some trouble because some of these missions open up when they can get some elite skills that they probably really need.
Sometimes subverted, however. In the first mission of Prophecies, you don't get discovered by a massive horde of Charr just in the story.
Gangster Land: The war between the Am Fah gang and the Jade Brotherhood in Kaineng City.
Get on the Boat: At the end of the Sanctum Cay mission and is the only way to open up the Crystal Desert.
After finishing the tutorial section of Factions, Shing Jea Island, in order to travel to mainland Cantha
In the Nightfall campaign, the mission Consulate Docks has you sail from the large island of Istan to mainland Ehlona's Kourna region
And in every game, if you own another expansion, there'll be a mission that requires you to get on the boat to go to the next continent over so that you can start doing missions from the other expansion.
We are led to believe that every god has gone through this, what with several "predecessors" being mentioned, the fact that we know they are not the first pantheon having existed, and the fact that they are younger than the Elder Dragons, and presumably, event the giants that are mentioned in the lore.
God Is Good: The six primary gods are anyway. Balthazar, god of war (who has an Evil Twin). Dwayna, god of light. Grenth, god of death (who is much nicer than the last guy who had the job). Melandru, god of nature. Lyssa, god of beauty and illusion. And finally ex-human Kormir, goddess of truth.
YMMV, though, if you think through the implications of the lore that forms the backstory of Guild Wars 2. It's strongly implied that the events of the first game, especially the war between the humans and the Charr, were engineered by the Five Gods for inscrutable reasons. In particular, it's hard not to be disturbed by the revelation that the Charr were there first, and the humans, essentially at the behest of the gods, took away their lands and drove them into the north, sparking the long series of wars that eventually led to the destruction of two of the three main human nations on the continent of Tyria and the reduction of humanity as a sovereign entity to basically one huge city-state.
Guild Wars 2 will be similar, limiting PvP to specific areas and events. Outdoor explorable areas will no longer be instanced though, so a degree of kill- and loot-stealing by passing strangers might be possible.
Loot will probably be protected, if the current practice of "assigning" loot to a person on drop holds. Kill-stealing (and perhaps, kill-stealing to get drops) might be a problem.
According to Anet, they're attempting to solve the kill/loot-stealing issue by a very simple decision- all enemies give full exp and drops to all players who contribute to the kill. If they can pull it off, it could spell the beginning of the end of being an asshole to people you've never met for lulz.
And apparently you can't kill other player characters outside PvP areas anyway.
Griefer: Random Arenas love hosting players who just flat out quit before the match begins.
Heel-Face Turn: Morgahn. Granted though, if you've played any evil empire story, you know that at least one general on the opposing side is going to do it..and upon seeing how Morgahn is the only one who doesn't have "Bad general" written all over him...
He Knows About Timed Hits: In the various tutorials, NPC allies will talk about Fourth Wall-breaking game elements. Kormir, in particular, can be annoyingly long-winded while teaching the player character about those game elements.
Hello, Insert Name Here: While NPCs in cutscenes will only use pronouns to refer to the player when speaking, the captions accompanying the speech will regularly place the player's name where it makes sense.
Many players have had fun naming characters stuff like Carmen Sandiego names.
Heroic Sacrifice: Prince Rurik, while holding off the enemy forces while the player(s) lead the Ascalonian refugees through the Frost Gate. We all are very grateful that it happened. Luckily, he is Not Quite Dead and we get to kill him again ourselves.
And back when there was only the first campaign you also had the opportunity of capturing his not-too-bad (at the time) elite skill.
That elite skill, Hundred Blades, is once again considered a highly desirable one by Warriors and other players who use Warrior skills. Especially for farming.
The same goes for Master Togo, who takes a killing blow meant for the emperor in Factions, and Kormir, who reincarnates as the new goddess of truth in Nightfall. Does anyone see a pattern here with our close friends/mentor figures dying every game?
Once AGAIN with the new War in Kryta updates Captain Langmar dies helping people escape from the White Mantle.
And in Prophecies and Factions, the male player character is voiced in cutscenes by Steve Blum, aka Spike f'ing Spiegel. As is the Charr hero Pyre in Eye of the North.
In Guild Wars 2, Zojja, an important Asuran NPC, will be voiced by Felicia Day.
And for anime fans, Logan Thackeray is voiced by Troy Baker (Greed from full metal alchemist) and Rytlock Brimstone is voiced by Steve Blum (Spike Spiegel from cowboy bebop and Amon from The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra )
Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: There's a quest chain involving an accidental engagement to a Norn and finding a polite way to cancel the engagement. For female characters, the prospective husband mentions that he wants to raise a dozen half-Norn children. Also, as half-giants, the Norn themselves could be the product of this, however a A Wizard Did It is more likely and far less horrific.
Humans Are Special: Played straight in the first campaigns, although it has been steadily averted from Eye of the North onward.
As of the second game, many of the other races see humans as an old race in its decline, too caught up in their strange religion to move forward.
Humans Are White: Averted. The player can choose from a lot of skin tones, but will tend toward colors and features appropriate for the setting - European for Prophecies, Asian for Factions, and African for Nightfall (where even white PCs look quite Mediterranean). The different regions in each campaign have noticably different dominant skin tones, with only the Ascalons of Tyria being typically white. (Everyone else around Kryta seemed South American or African) The dwarves and norn, however, are all pretty uniformly white, but are also confined to one small geographic area (corresponding to the Alpine and Scandinavian regions of Europe).
I Like Those Odds: Nightfall has this in the first mission, when you get a good look at the opposing forces:
Player Character: There sure are a lot of them. Koss: No, there are three of us note (the PC, Kormir and himself), and only two corsair ships. We outnumber them!
Impossibly Cool Clothes: The "15k"/Ascended armor sets. Ironically, they don't provide any extra protection over basic "maximum" armor; they just look better and can be put in a player's Hall of Monuments.
Infinity+1 Sword: Subverted. Weapon damage reaches a limit, and most weapons sold for high prices merely have unusual or rare appearances. Mechanically, they're nothing special.
Arguably exists though with the ridiculously rare weapons that have damage +15% with no downside at all. However these weapons only dropped for a relatively short amount of time before they were patched out for being unbalanced and before that they were already the rarest weapons.
Insufferable Genius: Vekk (just read some of his quotes), and all of the Asura for that matter. Especially Gadd.
Gadd is so insufferable, indeed, that even his son Vekk can't stand him.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: since your character cannot actually jump over things, this would seem to be a common problem, but it is usually avoided through careful terrain design. A few places in the original campaign still fit the title exactly, however.
Guild Wars 2, however, will include a 'Z-axis' which will allow characters to jump over obstacles and the like.
In fact, the lack of Z-axis in GW 1 allowed melee characters and creatures hit others that were on top of a bridge they were standing under. And vice-versa.
And sometimes even body-block creatures standing under or above themselves.
Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Partially subverted. Keys must match the correct region, and there are items called lockpicks, which work anywhere and have a chance to be retained with use.
Done twice in Prophecies. The intro even states "the last day dawns on the kingdom of Ascalon".
Justified Tutorial: One for each campaign, where you are introduced as a fresh recruit to the Ascalon army; a student of the Shing Jea Monastery; and a fresh recruit of the Sunspears.
Kangaroo Court: Zinn's trial. The prosecution calls themselves the "persecution" and doesn't call any of the 32 witnesses they've gathered ("No need. Everyone knows [he's] guilty."). Talking to the various participants reveals that Oola's bribed members of the Council and witnesses for their help in exiling Zinn.
Based on comments by Asura other than Zinn and Blimm, this was somewhat tame for the Asuran. Zinn made the mistake of thinking the court was about truth, while the real purpose was political manuevaring and strategic bribing.
However, a piece of endgame weaponry for the Assassin in Factions, Shiro's Blades are katanas. They're very good weapons (though inferior to regular modded daggers), and unique, as Assassins usually use daggers, not swords.
Kill 'em All: Seems to be ArenaNet's default way to end an event. The preview for the game, before Prophecies came out, ended with hundreds of clones of Gwen annihilating everyone in Ascalon City with ridiculously powerful fire magic. Wintersday tends to end with Grenches running around murdering people, while Dwayna revives the fallen, only for them to get Grenched again.
To be more specific, that happens during the finale, if you're playing on Grenth's side during the Grenth-versus-Dwayna contest. (This is one reason why it's noted above in the Dark Is Not Evil entry that Grenth can be kind of a dick during the Wintersday celebrations.)
Heck, they even do this in player-run events. A sizable crowd of players got together and threw a party/protest in hopes of getting the Mursaat a role in the upcoming Eye of the North game. A-Net's response? They listened...and spawned an army of Mursaat to slaughter all the partiers.
Knight Templar: The Ministry of Purity in the Winds of Change chapter of Guild Wars Beyond, while starting out seemingly upstanding and virtuous, is willing to dedicate massive effort to exterminating the local gangs in their entirity, and in NPC dialogue are noted to insult the Luxons and Kurzicks as "not true Canthans."
Xan Hei:How naive can you be? Evil exists in this world; we're fighting to end it! If people misunderstand what I must do to make the world better, then so be it. I knew from the start that I didn't belong in the world I was helping to create.
Large Ham: Dhuum, Grenth's less-than-pleasant predecessor, who is also a Third-Person Person. And most of the dwarves, especially Kilroy Stonekin.
Last Disc Magic: Averted. The power of a skill is dependent on one's rank in the associated attribute. Therefore, skills acquired at the beginning of the game are not necessarily worse than those found at the end.
Somewhat played straight with elite skills, which are usually better versions of regular skills, but they're not dramatically better and only one can be used at a time unless you've "captured" a second or third elite skill in an explorable area. Theoretically, if there were enough bosses of your primary and secondary professions in a given area, you could have up to 8 elite skills in your skill bar while you were in that area!
This last was reduced when they set a limit on "PvE-only" skills; now you can have a max of four elites, and temporarily more if you utilize some of the skill-stealing moves right.
Level Grinding: Averted. In all three campaigns, one reaches the level cap of 20 rather quickly. This might be changed in Guild Wars 2, though.
The later Title-grinding have introduced much grinding (to the dismay of some fans), providing in-game bonuses for high ranks, and being required to craft certain armors or consumable items.
Level-Map Display: There are actually three map displays; a radar-like map of your immediate area which shows the location of friends, neutrals and enemies; a "mini-map" which shows the larger mission or explorable area with objectives and paths; and a map of the entire continent which is obscured at the beginning by "fog of war" and which becomes more detailed and reveals various places as you explore more of the map.
Living Statue: The dwarves have to become this in order to defeat the Great Destroyer in Eye Of The North.
Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair: The Crystal Desert is filled with the ruins left by those who failed to Ascend. The ghosts of the slain pilgrims still linger, lamenting the hubris that destroyed their people.
Mentor Occupational Hazard: Each of the four campaigns has a mentor figure who ends up biting the dust. Rurik in Prophecies, Master Togo in Factions, Kormir in Nightfall, and, at least for Vekk, Gadd in Eye of the North.
And in Beyond, Captain Langmar who was Gwen's mentor.
Ritualists can also summon minions. However, their Spirits, while they don't require corpses, asre stationary. Ritualists also have the Spawning Power attribute, which boosts the health of all summoned creatures. "Summoned Creatures" includes Necromancer minions, so a Ritualist can dabble in Necromancer-style minion mastery as well. With mixed success.
Money Spider: Mostly played straight, but also averted in that collector items are mostly monster body parts and some monsters can be seen wielding weapons of the general sort they drop (bosses are almost always seen wielding their own green weapons, for example).
Following a major game update in 2009, a new NPC, "Nicholas the Traveler", appears in a different explorable area of the game each week; you can trade him a number of a specific collector item for special items obtainable only from him, including rare weapons and miniature pets.
Mordor: The Ring of Fire volcanic islands where you fight the Big Bad of Prophecies. Subverted at the beginning of Prophecies though, where the blasted and dead lands of Ascalon are the home of the good guys, then completely averted in Eye of the North, where the homeland of the Charr, the fire-worshipping beasts that destroyed Ascalon, turns out to be beautifully wooded pastoral grassland.
The fallen god Abaddon plays this straight in the Realm of Torment. Now who wants to take a hike through that spider-infested swamp of teeth and diseased flesh?
It was originally a fortress to keep Abaddon in though, and was said by an NPC there to be corrupted by him.
Ms Fan Service: Livia, Jora and Xandra. If the engine allowed it, you would definitely be expecting lots of jiggle from those three. Instead, you have to make do with lots of heaving bosom, especially from Livia, during the cutscenes.
Elementalist females dancing DO appear to jiggle, however, so by default Cynn does when she dances...
Acolyte Jin has a rather noticable jiggle every time she fires her bow.
My God, What Have I Done?: The devoted General Morgahn in Nightfall, after realizing that his master Varesh Ossa's actions are evil (in the cutscene preceding the "Grand Court of Sebelkeh" mission).
Mysterious Backer: The Order of Whispers and their Master himself, in Nightfall. The player character even lampshades it. "I don't trust you or your Order, but we have a common enemy, so I'll help you."
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Most of Prophecies is spent undoing your own actions ( save the Scepter of Orr from undead, give it to the Mantle, steal it from the Mantle, give it to the Big Bad (who's in charge of the undead), release the Titans unknowingly, who destroy the Mursaat that have actually been keeping the Titans under control, then kill the Big Bad and seal the Titans back up)
In Eye of the North, the Charr arc is caused by the character's actions in Prophecies - after the hero sealed the Titans away, the Charr began to worship the Destroyers, prompting your attack into the Charr homeland. In this case, it's more in the nature of an unintended consequence.
Nightfall's plot revolves around this, too, except you're dealing with the results of Kormir's actions.
To be fair, the campaign's backstory strongly implies that Varesh was already sniffing around to find out how to free Abaddon before Kormir ever did anything; for instance, the cutscene after the second mission shows Varesh and one of her generals, Kahyet - soon revealed to have been Varesh's initiator into the worship of Abaddon - discussing the events in a way that shows they already knew what was going on. It's implied later on that Varesh has been a secret worshiper of Abaddon well before the events shown in Nightfall. Even if Kormir had kept her mitts off the ancient artifacts in Istan, it's possible that Varesh and her minions would have awakened the ancient evil anyway.
The only Guild Wars campaign in which this trope doesn't play a part is Factions. Some players might argue that Togo's death at the hands of Shiro, thus enabling the Betrayer to regain his mortal body, is an example, but this is debatable, seeing that Togo was defending his half-brother, the Emperor, from being assassinated by Shiro; it's quite possible that had Shiro succeeded in murdering Emperor Kisu, the power he'd have gained would have made him truly invincible.
In fact, it was the only way Shiro could actually be killed, he would have done a lot more damage if he had remained as a spirit.
Honestly, Tyria probably would have been a better place had the heroes not existed.
Letting the Charr annihilate Ascalon completely, the White Mantle and Varesh win would have been a better outcome??
And though it hasn't been released yet, the sequel may very well carry on this fine tradition. There are eight dungeons planned that you must first go through in story mode where you advance the plot, which is supposed to be relatively easy with a full group. After doing that, you unlock the explorer mode where, according to Area-net, you get to clean up the consequences of your actions in story mode. Since explorer mode will be more difficult, this implies at least eight occasions where you make matters worse. One announced dungeon, Ascalonian Catacombs, will have some Sealed Evil in a Canbeing released in story mode.
Not the Intended Use: Charge and similar abilities are more often used to get places faster than to actually, you know, charge.
One of the first successful, and most popular farming builds was based around a skill which reduced all damage above 10% of your maximum hitpoints to that same 10%, meant to protect from powerful spiking skills. With enough items that reduced you health, and sufficient regeneration, you would get an invincible character taking only 5 damage per hit and regenerating 16-20 hit points per second.
Obstructive Bureaucrat: Cantha's Celestial Ministry. These are people who will deliver mirrors to the hungry, sick, and homeless Canthans, and who will dismiss you to talk to their superiors, who are standing five feet away. The most telling is a mission involving them named "Red Tape". The bureaucracy has gotten so bad, in fact, that many Canthans now prefer to appeal directly to the emperor to answer their needs.
Obviously Evil: Vizier Khilbron, a Necromancer from Orr, a kingdom which was recently wiped out by a mysterious magical catastrophe which shattered the peninsula and killed and zombified most of its' population. In fact, Lore dictates that he himself cast that spell (albeit manipulated by Abaddon).
Of Corsets Sexy: several outfits available to Mesmers and Necromancers (for example, elite Kurzick armor). Also, Gwen's basic outfit.
Considering they created an entire series of events around their romance and subsequent marriage, Gwen and Keiran are the definitive "Official Couple" of Guild Wars.
Old Save Bonus: The Hall of Monuments in the Eye of the North records your titles, trophies, elite weapons and armor, and favored companions. Your Guild Wars 2 characters, centuries in the future, will inherit bonuses and benefits based on the contents of your Hall, though Arenanet insists these will mostly be tangible Bragging Rights Rewards instead of unfair game-breakers.
As of October 2010, the beta version of the "Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator" is now available at the Guild Wars 2 website. As promised, the bonuses awarded to players with a stated number of points (up to 30 of 50 so far, though it's possible more "tangible" rewards may be added later - from 30 to 50 points, it's strictly titles) are goodies of various kinds, some of which, judging by the reaction on various discussion forums, players have been waiting/hoping for for a long time. The reaction to the new schedule of rewards has so far been overwhelmingly positive, though it did spark a major run on crafting materials, miniature pets and other such items by players anxious to fill up their Halls of Monuments (even though Guild Wars 2 is, at this writing, likely to come out somewhere in 2012).
One-Gender Race: All in-game harpies look female (except for the ambiguous gryphons which may or may not be the same species as harpies) and all in-game dwarves and wardens look male. Strangely, while all living centaurs are male, some of the undead ones are female.
The Dwarven NPC hero Ogden Stonehealer makes a sly reference to this in one of his random lines of dialogue: "How do you know you haven't already met a female Dwarf? Eh? Eh?"
Onehanded Zweihander: Some swords are really huge but the characters will always wield them with one hand.
There are still normal giants, and several varieties, which are still quite a lot bigger than the half-giant Norn. Not to mention the extinct Giganticus Lupicus mentioned in the Lore. Bones the size of small towns in the crystal desert are presumed to be theirs.
Patchwork Map: Subverted. The world map actually makes sense: the Elonian desert was formed from rain shadow of a Himalaya-like mountain range, swamps and bogs are the lowest in elevation, etc.
Playable Epilogue: Beating each campaign will send you to an explorable area where everybody is celebrating your victory. In addition, the current Guild Wars Beyond content can only be accessed by completing the main campaigns.
Power Copy: Several Mesmer skills, like Inspired Hexnote removes a hex from an ally and is replaced with that hex and Arcane Mimicrynote copies over with an Elite skill an ally knows, but only temporarily. The universal skill, Signet of Capture, involves permanent acquisition but is limited to one use. It also used to be the only way to acquire Elite Skills in PvE.
Power Creep, Power Seep: ArenaNet semi-constantly updates the power, recharge, and costs of skills to balance things. Naturally, this makes some strategies obsolete, and allows for new ones.
Generally, there is more creep than seep, as some skills which were decent when Prophecies came out are simply terrible by now.
Pre-Order Bonus: Normally, small things, like unique weapons or "mini-pets."
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Oh so much. Our heroes ? Crazy God-worshippers, masterless killers, racial enemies helping because they have no choice (especially Zhed), pirate, Master of an obscure organisation, bodyguard, actor, enemy soldier, protomatter with human form, a grown-up annoying little girl, criminel and traitor, Glory Seeker, golem...
Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The Charr culture, in a nutshell. Although when it comes to their treatment of humans, there's a lot less Rape and a lot more Eat.
Real Men Wear Pink: Paragons, male and female alike, wear skirts hemmed above the knees. To a lesser extent, male Warriors can sport Gladiator armor, which bares the midriff for both sexes.
Religion Is Magic: Shrines to the gods can enhance many powers of the characters. Many forms of magic, at least in original guild wars, are assumed to come from the gods as well, though this is more along the line of the gods introducing the potential for magic into the world, and everyone being able to use it, rather than gods directly creating the magic at people's request. Monk abilities are called "Prayers" though, so it's possible...
Religion of Evil: The followers of Abaddon, Dhuum and Menzies. And don't forget the White Mantle.
Repeatable Quest: Many of the quests offered at the annual "Wintersday" festival (which falls around the time of Christmas-New Year's) are repeatable, enabling players to farm huge amounts of holiday items.
Retcon: The original game, Guild Wars, was given the subtitle "Prophecies" to distinguish from the later two campaigns. For the same reason, Tyria is both the name of a continent and the entire world, as originally there was only one continent for that world.
Abaddon; however, there is a location in the first game called "Abaddon's Mouth".
The Charr not having magic until they got it from he Titans.
This is incorrect, the lore states that the Charr had magic long before the Humans even settled on Tyria (Ecology of the Charr lore). However, their magic was more natural and not powerful enough to combat the Humans, who were god-powered. This allowed the Humans to mount their first offense against the charr (before the Charr even knew what a Human was), purging Charr by the bucketload so that the greedy Humans could steal their lands. (Sound familiar?) One caste of the Charr tried to prove that they could out-magic humans only to learn that the human gods were still more powerful. After that, the charr turned to technology and atheism.
Ribcage Ridge: The Crystal Desert, home to many epic and long-forgotten things.
The Desolation as well (which is basically a nastier southern continuation of the Crystal Desert)
Scenery Porn: Seriously... a lot of this game is just plain gorgeous.
Schizophrenic Difficulty: Factions plays this most, as the other three have relatively mild difficulty curves. The first mission is an obvious tutorial where Yijo and Master Togo more or less hold your hand and guide you through the mission. The second mission is a little harder. Vizunah Square, however, was a huge Newbie Trap. After that, the missions got harder and harder before...the difficulty dropped for a little while. Then you're thrown into Unwaking Waters, and the final mission is quite easy after what you went through to get there. Nightfall, thankfully, has a much more fair difficulty curve.
Part of the reason was that they assumed most people playing Factions would have already played through prophecies first; however plenty of people joined around Factions, in part because it practically skyrockets you to 20 as fast as possible. So unfortunately, a lot of people who didn't know common strategies were stuck at Vizunah Square, which was designed for 20s. (And even then, it was fully possible to reach it at level 12.) Vizunah was thankfully nerfed.
Schizo Tech: The Asurans and their brand of Magitek, justified somewhat by a tendency to discard common sense and logical progression in favor of imagination and inspiration. After all, why bother with combustion-powered vehicles when you can make teleportation gates, or armored tanks when you can make giant robots?
The response to the new Engineer profession has been mixed because of this. While the steam-punk feel of some skills will match reasonably with the aesthetics of the Charr, not everyone is convinced that modern-style grenades, land mines with blinking red lights, and automated turrets will mesh particularly well with the human or sylvari art style.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The Titans and Abaddon, with the Lich Lord and Shiro, Big Bads of the first two campaigns, now sealed with him. Fitting that, come Nightfall, their realms were revealed to be connected.
Don't forget Palawa Joko!
The five primordial dragons of Guild Wars 2 are either sealed or just hibernating, then get turned loose into the world sometime after the end of Guild Wars. Two of them can be seen now, with one entombed in the wall of the Great Destroyer's cavern and another making up the large ridge between two regions.
There is also a sleeping dragon in Drakkar Lake, said to be a lieutenant of Jormag. Even sleeping, its presence was able to corrupt Svanir and turn him into the Nornbear.
Secret War: The Fogotten and Order of Whispers against the forces of Abaddon.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The game offers displayable-for-bragging-rights "titles" to those looking for 100% Completion, be it map exploration, PvP, or merely guzzling flagons of virtual alcohol.
At least one title were added to recognize this type of challenge. Many players refused to leave Pre-Searing Ascalon, and went so far as to pain-stakingly grind their way to level 20 in a zone where that is nigh impossible. For this, the developers introduced the "Legendary Defender of Ascalon" title.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: Prophecies has a couple hard missions but some of them are because a monk boss might spawn in the worst possible spot and be near impossible to kill unless you're being run through. Factions meanwhile...Despite that it's far easier to hit the level cap (quests give you thousands of experience points whereas quests in Prophecies gave you hundreds) the game does not screw around and immediately throws you in some difficult missions early on. (Vizunah Square was nerfed, though.) Nightfall is perhaps the friendliest; it doesn't take forever to level up or get started, and it doesn't throw you into the hard missions before you even had a chance to get an elite skill yet. It does have several tough missions, but they come in late into the game after a steady difficulty increase.
The main reason Prophecies is easy by now is mostly due to power creep of skills not in the original and the introduction of Heroes, customisable NPC's which you can take along instead of the henchmen with pre-set skills. Try playing trough it with only prophecies skills, no consumable items and no heroes, and you'll see how some missions are a lot harder than you thought them to be. Granted, the skill sets of some enemies are simply outdated by now.
Sequel Hook: Palawa Joko in Nightfall, the colossal hibernating dragon that opens its' eye in the Eye of the North ending cinematic.
Sequence Breaking: In the Prophecies campaign, players can choose to "run" through certain, long, difficult explorable regions to reach cities earlier instead of playing the missions. Factions outright prevents this, and Nightfall comes in between, allowing players to explore but not permitting them to perform missions out of order.
You can get max weapons and armor very early though. For instance, in Nightfall, it's common for experienced players who have just created a new character to obtain a "ferry" to a certain mission outpost (Consulate Docks) where a NPC trader offering max armor is available, so that their new character can equip with the best possible armor at the start of the game. "Ferries" can also be obtained to the Factions campaign, as max armor and weapons are also to be had in Kaineng Center.
With Eye of the North, you can experience the EOTN storyline even before you complete more than half of the missions in any campaign, all of which occur before the EOTN story. Many players choose to do this in order to get the necromancer hero Livia, who is a key component of the multi-necromancer-hero "Sabway" and "Discordway" skill builds.
There was actually a glitch that sent players a couple missions ahead of time. Naturally this would lead to some confusion - because in the mission they started in, they're helping the white mantle...then in the apparent next mission, they're trying to subvert the White Mantle.
Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Jora. Most Norns have the ability to transform into gigantic bears; she doesn't. It's because of a curse. Strangely, even after the quest in which the curse is lifted with the player's help, Jora still can't transform into a bear.
Many character names. The Kurzick elite armor crafter in Factions is named Giygas, an Asuran named Sokka is a warrior and tinkerer, another couple of Asurans named Hicks and Vask accompany you when burning out a bug nest, and there's an Inquisitor Bauer who's very enthusiastic about torture. And that's just for starters.
All the dance emotes.
The Halcyon and its crew are obvious shout outs to Firefly.
As are the Warden boss Jayne Forestlight and his unique weapon drop, Vera.
Just before you complete a side quest in Nightfall, there's a James Bond shoutout. "Do you expect us to give you the scythe?" "No, Sunspear. I expect you to die."
When you take a character below level 20 into the Eye of the North expansion, they have an effect called Journey To The North that bumps them up to level 20 while they're there. The description of the effect says "Don't stop believing."
Sidequest: In Prophecies, rewards typically include skills, arguably the most valuable reward one can get from a sidequest. In Factions and most of Nightfall, they don't.
They do, however, include tokens that can be redeemed at Quartermasters for various items (keys, salvage kits, etc)
Nightfall allows you to redeem "hero points" (earned when you attain a new level in reputation) for skills, as does Eye of the North. The skills you can get are quite limited though in both cases.
The skills obtainable by expending "hero points" are limited in number, to be sure, but include some of the most useful in the game. For example, the Luxon/Kurzick skill "Summon Spirits" in Factions is indispensable to Ritualists, as it moves the player's spirit minions instantly from one place to another and simultaneously heals them. It's also possible to get some "regular" skills by using "hero points" that you would otherwise have to pay a skill trainer for, which can save you some gold.
In Eye of the North, many quests give skills as one of the rewards. One skill awarded for completing an Asura quest, "Pain Inverter", which reflects an enemy's attacks back upon itself, is much-sought-after for various builds.
Since a major update in 2009, certain quests and enemy bosses are now designated every day as "Zaishen Missions" and "Zaishen Bounties", which award "Zaishen coins" in copper, silver and gold that can be redeemed for rare items (elite tomes, for example, and large-capacity backpacks which are only available through this avenue).
Another major update (spring 2010) added the "War in Kryta" subplot, which provides daily "Shining Blade bounties", similar in concept to the "Zaishen Bounties" (except that this time the player is directed to kill specifically White Mantle bosses), in exchange for "War Supplies" which can be redeemed for so-called "Royal Gifts", which, when opened, give the player scrolls or rare items (some of which, such as certain miniatures, can be obtained only from these gifts).
Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke : Meteor Shower would be an example. Sure, it's heavily damaging, but not much more so than your regular Fireball. And since it is affected by armor, it's actually less damaging than many other, armor-ignoring spells against high armored of fire resistant foes.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In Prophecies the player is, for better or for worse, the driving force of the plot. In Factions, you could take out the player, leave Togo and Mhenlo as the protagonists and put in a few Red Shirts that help them get from one plot-critical action to the next, and you'd have trouble spotting the difference. Nightfall and Eye of the North fix this by having most significant NPCs be the Heroes that take orders from the player. Exactly how big the role of Destiny's Edge will be in Guild Wars 2 remains to be seen, but as of now a lot of the information on the story (including an entire novel) has focussed on this group of NPCs.
From what has been revealed of the game to date during public betas, the Destiny's Edge NPC's are the player character's key interlocutors throughout the character's "personal story" (a personalized storyline which the player sets up when creating a character) and will fight alongside the player character in quests related to this storyline. It's widely speculated that one of the player's primary missions will be to re-unite the Destiny's Edge members, following their breakup chronicled in the aforementioned novel.
Squishy Wizard: Played straight with the mesmer. Low armor rating, almost no direct damage dealing capabilities, and a lack of self-heals all combine to form this. Averted with an earth elementalist though.
In fact, the armor rating is dependant of the primary profession of the character. "caster" professions get 60, which is considered standard (and are usually called "squishies"), the more front-line oriented have 70, and the Warrior and paragon have 80. Some professions get some additional effects, such as the warrior's +20 vs physical damage, and the dervish's standard +25hp.
Storming the Castle: Raisu Palace, which is played with because Shiro is holding the emperor hostage in his own castle and you need to get through the Elite Mooks occupying it. It even has a bit of big battle added added, since you have to select two allies to buy you extra time by sealing off reinforcements.
The Consulate Docks, Ring of Fire, and Abaddon's Mouth are also versions of this.
The Prophecies mission "Thunderhead Keep" does this from both sides. Your team has to liberate the titular fortress from the Stone Summit who are occupying it, and then defend it from a combined force of White Mantle and Mursaat.
Lampshaded by Mad King Thorn: "How are a paragon and a drunk alike? Both like to shout at strangers and run around without any pants."
Some players take the view that certain female Mesmer outfits, with their short skirts and thigh-length boots, are also examples of this trope. The "Elite Enchanter" female mesmer outfit, for example, looks much more like something one would wear in the bedroom than on the battlefield. The female version of the Krytan set has an open jacket over a sheer top, the jacket seems to stay in place with magic.
Female Assassins are known for wearing half the clothing as the male assassins. However, that depends on the campaign - the Nightfall armour for them seems pretty useful.
Arguably justifiable to some extent; Nightfall takes place in an African-like continent, meaning it gets pretty hot. However, that doesn't explain why female elementalists never freeze to death when they go up to the north....
The interaction of textures, polygons and shadows on female necromancers' Krytan armor sometimes make it look like there's a Wardrobe Malfunction.
Monks have some armour sets consisting of underwear and tattoos, while necromancers have sets consisting of underwear and tattoos or scars.
Ranger Elite Druid armor. Essentially a bra and a loincloth.
Supernaturally Marked Grave: In "Factions", Shiro Tagachi caused this on a massive scale, unleashing the "Jade Wind" with his last breath which transformed everything for miles into stone or jade.
Take Your Time: Plenty of occasions, arguably justified so you can actually prepare for the missions more effectively. Varesh never completes any ritual in Nightfall, Togo and Mhenlo never get slaughtered by Shiro'ken and afflicted in Factions, Evennia and Saidra never get sacrificed on the bloodstone in Prophecies, Thunderhead Keep never truly goes under siege until you go there...Pretty much a lot to count.
Team Switzerland: For the most part in the storyline, this is the role of Vabbi. After the princes of Vabbi are rallied, this role is taken by Palawa Joko's undead army who acts as their own faction and only really teams up with the player and the sunspears because Varesh is in his way.
Techno Babble: This is an actual Skill that you can use on enemies, which you earn from the technologically advanced civilization of the Asura. It damages and dazed your opponent, obviously.
Thriving Ghost Town: Doomlore Shrine in Eye of the North seems to be this. It used to be the main hub for players seeking so-called "dungeon runs", but after a skill rebalance in early 2010 "nerfed" one of the key skills used in the most popular Monk "dungeon running" build, many players abandoned the outpost. Since it's still the only outpost in the three Charr explorable regions (Grothmar Wardowns, Dalada Uplands and Sacnoth Valley), it hasn't been completely deserted though.
And with the development of builds for running dungeons which don't depend on the "nerfed" skill, Doomlore Shrine is becoming active again.
For a real ghost town, try Maguuma Stade in the Tangle Root explorable area in the southern part of the Wilds (to the west of Kryta). The only perceptible reason for such a remote outpost seems to be to give players a place to start from when doing "vanquishes" of the area. As such, it's virtually always deserted except for the occasional player or team on a vanquishing expedition.
This is lampshaded in the in-game lore, which comments that Maguuma Stade is the long-deserted, almost totally overgrown ruins of what may have been a gathering place for the jungle's Druids.
Another locale in Prophecies which may qualify for the sobriquet is Marhan's Grotto, south of the Thunderhead Keep mission location. Usually, the only players who come there are those intending to vanquish the nearby Ice Floe explorable area or purchase elite armor from the artisan located there.
In the Nightfall campaign, Basalt Grotto, on the western edge of the Vehjin Mines explorable area, is always pretty much deserted. Aside from the fact that it borders Joko's Domain in the Desolation and provides a convenient stopping-off point for vanquishers, there's really no reason for it to exist.
In the Factions campaign, the "odd man out" outpost is probably Bai Paasu Reach in the northwestern corner of the Maishang Hills explorable region. Again, there's no special reason for anyone to go there and its main reason for being seems to be to provide an additional town for Luxon-aligned guild alliances to "own".
Most mission-outpost are now highly underpopulated compared with a few years ago. The introduction of the Zaishen quests, that daily designated a single mission, boss, area and pvp-battle for being worth an extra reward, was done to concentrate the remaining players so that forming a pick-up group becomes much easier.
Even that expedient hasn't been a permanent solution to the problem of finding players to fill a group, as the number of active players has continued to decline, so another update was put in place that enables players to fill their entire group (up to 8 slots) with NPC heroes, instead of just 3 as was the previous limit.
Trailers Always Lie: The trailer for Prophecies depicted Devona, Cynn and Aidan fighting hordes of undead in what appears to be the Ring of Fire Islands (except for the castle-fortress at the top of a volcano), in the game you mainly fight Mursaat and Titans in that place. Devona is shown to be wielding dual blades while Cynn attacks by hitting with her staff, in the game Devona wields a hammer instead and Cynn, being an elementalist, never engages in physical combat.
Moreover, Devona, Aidan, Cynn, Eve and Mhenlo don't become available to the Prophecies player as "henchman" NPC's until perhaps 2/3 of the way into the campaign, after the player has "Ascended" following the Crystal Desert missions.
And a few "Students", I.E. Actual people, used to demonstrate various conditions and hexes for you. Most of them are "allied", though, to keep you from hitting them yourself. When you're the "Student of Burning", it may be time to switch your major.
Tsundere : Gwen to Keiran Thackeray in the "Hearts of the North" content, and Cynn to Mhenlo as well
Turtle Power: The Luxons use turtles as mobile siege platforms.
Twenty Bear Asses: Generally avoided for quests, but there are a few such quests, and even then about half of the time the required item will drop from every enemy of the proper type. The other half are among the most annoying quests in the game. It's the NPC collectors who will give useful items for the proper number (usually five, but it can vary from 1 to 250) of an item.
Underground Monkey: Sometimes models are reused for similar enemies, sometimes not (and the ones that are will often be subtly altered).
The various amphibian groups (Heket, Agari, Gokir, Ophil) are an example of this. Justified in-game on the grounds that they're all branches of the same species (indeed, for a Nightfall quest that requires you to collect legs from fallen amphibian enemies, you can complete the quest by killing amphibians in the Asura regions of the Eye of the North campaign area).
Un-Person: Actually an Un-Deity. The Five Gods banished nearly every monument, structure, writing, or individual with knowledge of Abaddon into the Realm of Torment, along with Abaddon himself. Even one person having knowledge of him would strengthen his grasp on reality. Unfortunately, enough escaped the Gods to allow Nightfall.
Also, since 2009, many "collector's items" dropped by enemies can be redeemed by the NPC "Nicholas the Traveler", who'll ask for a different item each week and give you one gift per stated number of items, up to five per player account per week.
Might be played straight nowadays, though, in the case of many once-rare "gold" weapons. Due to the longevity of the game and the fact that a number of areas boasting once-highly-desirable weapons have been excessively farmed, many once-rare weapon skins are now considered strictly merchant fodder.
We Buy Anything: While true, there are special supply-and-demand-based merchants who offer floating, but usually better prices for specific types of items.
Rare scroll traders, rune traders, and material and rare material traders. Any of these will offer you better prices for items in their category than "ordinary" merchants.
What Could Have Been: Guild Wars Utopia, a planned fourth campaign with an Aztec theme. Eventually canceled in favor of doing an entire sequel, since Arena.net found themselves so limited by the current game. Instead, they put out Eye of the North, a smaller expansion that presumably reused some of the assets, like the Mesoamerican stuff in the Asuran areas and the Silver Eagle armor.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Subverted in the final confrontation in the quest What Waits in Shadow. This in turn leads the character to realize that The Ministry of Purity may not be as good as they seem.
Reisen the Phoenix:Maybe you think we're a nameless evil, but our way of life has existed for hundreds of years. Each and every member of this gang, everyone that you have killed, is a person. Reisen the Phoenix:Their families will never see them again, and why? All because the Ministry's answer, your answer, to anything they consider wrong is to remove it.
Further in that quest chain, the dialogue of the player character that leads the party will subvert it to the point of Lampshade Hanging, given the sheer number of mooks every player character has killed by now.
Wild Mass Guessing: Before GW:EN, the fate of Gwen. Somehow an inconspicuous little girl managed to provoke thousands of people to write fanfics and ask what happened to her. Of course, it was shot to hell by GW:EN which blatantly told us.
Winged Humanoid: The Mursaat, who don't actually use them, and just levitate around instead. Paragon spell animations also feature wings heavily, and promotional art of the class typically displays very real and very solid-looking wings.
Also the harpies and at least one variety of Margonite
People who buy Aion, another NC Soft game, get a code to get an item that gives them wings.
World Building: Done surprisingly well, creating three continents with their own history, culture and mythology.
Wretched Hive: Kaineng City, even before the plague. Mhenlo comments on this at the beginning of the quest that introduces non-Factions characters to Kaineng. Leaving aside the Afflicted victims of the plague, the various districts of the city are infested with thugs from the Am Fah and Jade Brotherhood criminal gangs.
Wutai: Cantha; interesting to note that the game is American, and spent a lot of work designing a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and original features.
Yandere: Cynn, dear God Cynn, if you are female and try to approach Mhenlo you risk being turned into a pile of smoking cinders by her.
You Mean Xmas: Wintersday, which features a battle between Dwayna, goddess of life and Grenth, god of death, in the form of a Snowball Fight. And Grenth's minions are very much Dr. Seuss/Grinch inspired.
And the whole purpose of the Dwayna vs. Grenth battle is inspired by, of all things, Groundhog Day. (No, not that one.)
You Will Be Assimilated: If you want to unlock Elite skills for your characters and heroes, you have to beat them out of bosses by defeating them and using the Signet of Capture on the corpse.
Zip Mode: You can travel, at will, instantly to any public area that your character has yet visited, making it unnecessary to trek there more than once.