The sequel to Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG developed by ArenaNet and published by NC Soft. Like the original, there are no monthly fees once you purchase the game itself, which has both instanced and persistent zones.The game is set in the continent of Tyria, on the world of Tyria, 250 years after Guild Wars. Five Elder Dragons have awakened and are wreaking havoc across the planet; cutting off continents, flooding cities and, in the case of Zhaitan, raising undead armies.The following races are playable:
Humans - the same old humans played in the original game. Their once-great kingdoms in Tyria have largely fallen to ruin, with Kryta being the only remaining and the home of the modern heroes.
Sylvari - plant people who grow on a tree. They are a new addition to the lore, with the oldest being born 25 years before the start of Guild Wars 2 from a tree that was planted in the original game. They have a powerful Genetic Memory, where new Sylvari are grown with innate knowledge passed down to them by the tree, drawn from the pool of collective experiences of living Sylvari who return to commune with their parent, infusing them with a powerful communal morality. They share their homeland of the Tarnished Coast with the Asura, who in the past treated them rather badly, believing them at first to be nothing more than clever magical automata.
The game has eight professions available, which are divided into Scholars (light armor), Adventurers (medium armor), and Soldiers (heavy armor). Any race will be able to play any profession and each profession has a "unique mechanic" that greatly distinguishes it from the others.
Elementalist - A scholar profession focusing on, not surprisingly, magic based on the standard four elements. Their unique mechanic is "attunements": while the other professionsnote bar Engineer, see below can switch between two weapon sets, Elements switch between four "attunements", one for each of earth, fire, water, and air. These attunements have both passive effects and change the skill bar of the character. Earth skills focus on defense and damage over time, Fire skills on Area of Effect damage, Water on healing and movement interference, and Air on substained single-target damage and controlling mobs.
Necromancer - A scholar profession based on the manipulation of death. Has a number of life-stealing skills, summonable minions, and a range of support abilities, in addition to some direct damage. Their unique mechanic is a "Life Force" resource that builds as deaths occur near the necromancer. Life force is used to sustain a "Death Shroud" state, which gives the necromancer a new skill bar and causes his life force to take damage instead of his health.
Mesmer - A scholar profession focused on illusion magic. A number of their skills involve creating illusionary copies of themselves, either "clones" that look identical to the caster to confuse the enemy, or "phantasms" that are ghostly copies of the caster with less health but more damage. They can also shatter these illusions to damage or debuff enemies or buff themselves. Many Mesmer spells will inflict Confusion; a new condition that causes enemies to take damage whenever they activate a skill.
Ranger - An adventurer profession that can use both ranged (but only bows, not guns) and melee weapons, with the ranged weapons covering a variety of roles and melee abilities being focused around quick movement and defense. May also use traps and nature spirits to defend or influence an area respectively. Their unique mechanic is animal pets, which can be equipped with a number of different skills for different roles, depending on the exact type of pet.
Thief - An adventurer profession that can use both ranged and melee weapons and is the first class announced to use pistols. Utilizes shadowstepping, traps, and stealth in combat. As a unique mechanic, rather than having cooldowns, thief skills consume some of the character's twelve 'initiative' points. The thief can also steal an item from a foe and use it as an impromptu weapon.
Engineer - An adventurer profession that uses guns, Guns Akimbo and rifles, as well as a number of technological gadgets for offense, healing, and control. They can place turrets down on the battlefield, equip backpack kits that allow them to use grenades, med packs, flamethrowers, elixir guns, and consume or toss elixirs for a variety of buffs or cleanses. Their unique mechanic is a tool belt that maps a special ability to every healing or utility skill that the Engineer has equipped. For example, the tool belt skill for the Med Kit is a self-heal, and the tool belt skill for Throw Mine deploys a small minefield around the user. Because of the tool belt and the kits, they also lack the ability to switch weapons, but they end up not really needing it as nearly all Engineers will use at least one kit, if not several.
Warrior - A soldier profession that can use both ranged and melee weapons, with ranged weapons being focused more on various types of direct damage and melee weapons covering a variety of roles. May also use shouts, stances, and warbanners to enhance allies and themselves. Their unique mechanic is Adrenaline, which builds up as the warrior deals damage, increasing the damage of abilities and providing a special ability based on their current weapon when it is high enough.
Guardian - A soldier profession that can use Virtues (Courage, Justice, and Resolve) to aid allies in combat or to power up the Guardian's own passive abilities. While somewhat lacking in pure offensive skills, Guardians bring a plethora of crowd control and defensive abilities, anchoring the effort for any group. Guardian highlights include consecrating the ground to block enemy attacks or passage, curing conditions and provide boons to the party through shouts, or summoning enchanted weapons to help in the fight.
The game currently has a level cap of 80, with skills and abilities being a mixture of weapon choice and individual customization. Instead of traditional quests, it makes use of 'Dynamic Events' and 'Renown Hearts', which simulate quest conditions out in the world for the player to solve rather than filling up a quest log in a town. There are also individualized personal stories based on a player's race and what choices they made during character creation.Since January 2013, the developers have released regular "Living Story" updates. These updates provide episodic story chapters that last roughly a month before being Lost Forever. Since these updates are all building towards a bigger story, for people who want to catch up, a summary of the story so far can be found on the game's official wiki, and some kind Youtubers have thoroughly recorded all of the story update content. As of July 2014, the Living World has become more episodic, with a storyline unlocked for level 80 characters if they log in during the 2 week span and then able to play through the story whenever they want on all characters. Players who do miss this window will be able to buy the chapters for gems.
This game contains examples of:
Aborted Arc: A fairly minor one - after reaching a certain level in the charr story, Smodur the Unflinching will mail you that he is going to keep track of your progress. However, as the game progresses, you will never heard anything from him. It's Rytlock who will actually mail you throughout the story instead of him. It was probably intended that the sender was supposed to be Rytlock and not Smodur, but it's still not corrected.
Another charr-related one - if you decided to spare your father in the quest related to "honorless gladium" background information, he will say that he will keep in touch with you. He never shows up again nor even writes you a letter.
One of the second possible Sylvari story arcs has you work with a pair of Wardens Carys and Tegwen. In a later arc, one of the options you're given is to seek assistance from the very same Wardens, because they have been to Orr before (in the first arc, you join them in that trip). It's not quite an aborted arc, but it is aborted as "your" arc. Resulting in a very awkward scene for the player as they view a scene that seems generalised to work with anyone's story.
Those two show up much later once more when the player plans to attack an Eye of Zhaitan and decides to trap it, resulting in another re-introduction of the characters for players who did not meet them before.
Actually occurs pretty constantly. After you join an Order, the old plotlines are dropped. When you finish the order quests, your tasks don't really pop back up. In general, all personal story arcs outside of Zhaitan lasts for about 10 levels or 3-4 instanced zones, after which it is wrapped and forgotten, no matter what the epilogue might suggest.
Action Prologue: The very first thing you do in the game is take part in a fairly large-scale skirmish that ends with you fighting side-by-side with a former member of Destiny's Edge against a large boss.
A God Am I: Gaheron Baelfire in the Citadel of Flame mission.
Alas, Poor Villain: In the human personal story, Kellach. The combination of an Orr artifact and being followed by the risen did not do well for his sanity. To make it sadder, he still loved his queen even while insane and corrupted.
Always Save the Girl: What broke up Destiny's Edge. Logan went to protect the human queen Jennah from one of the elder dragon's minions just as the group was getting ready to kill the dragon himself. The group failed without Logan, and one of its members and Glint died.
Ancestral Weapon: The Claw of the Khan-Ur, a weapon lost to the Charr for centuries before being returned to them by the humans in an effort for peace.
Sohothin and Magdaer are ancient holy swords, and one of the few weapons which can harm the dragons. Sohothin is now wielded by Rytlock Brimstone, while Magdaer was broken when King Adelbern cursed Ascalon. The sword is retrieved by Eir in the Ascalonian Catacombs, who is planing to reforge it and gift it to Logan in an effort of bring back the members of Destiny's Edge.
Some legends also state that if a member of the royal family retuns to Ascalon with either of the swords the curse of Ascalon will be broken. The only surviving members of the royal family are the current human queen and the duke of Ebonhawke.
Some of the Living World content also falls under this category. One of the more extreme examples is the SNES-inspired Super Adventure Box release, nestled between the first battle against Scarlet and the release that buffed Tequatl.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: The toughest content will be rewarded with gear that has stats on par with the normal gear at that level, but with far cooler looks. It's also untradable, so that having a full set of this armor means that you've beaten that challenge every way possible.
Lampshaded with the description to one of the heart quest rewards: "Nice work, now have some pants."
The majority of the rewards from the Hall of Monuments based on the player's achievements from the first game and Eye of the North.
The rewards for completing the Halloween event are a title... and a hat.
Anti-Grinding: Zig-Zagged. You can get XP by killing random creatures in any area, regardless of level. However, it is by far the least efficient means to gain XP.
On the other hand, grinding for resources is important. Money grinding is very, very common with champion farming (who drop a lot of cash and extra items), and dungeons are required to be done multiple times for dungeon tokens that are then exchanges for various things like exclusive armor skins.
Artifact Title: The Guild Wars are a historical event in the game's universe which had already concluded before the first game even took place. Guild Wars 2 doesn't even have Guild vs Guild content, unlike the previous game, making this even more so.
As You Know: The dialogue is generalized to anyone that hears it. A sylvari will meet Trahearne early on in its story, and will know all about his research. Once you join an order, this is all explained again when you 'meet' Trahearne again.
This is particularly egregious if you're playing as a norn: in one high-level personal story mission, Trahearne explains norn memorial customs, instructing the player on how to properly eulogize a fallen compatriot. If you are a norn, though, You Should Know This Already.
Attack Drone: Almost every class has access to these somehow, and some races do as well, via Racial Skills. Spirit Weapons for Guardian, Thieves Guild and Ambush for Thief, clones for Mesmers, turrets for Engineers, minions for Necromancers, elementals for Elementalists, pets and spirits for Rangers. Warriors are the odd man out, summoning Banners that just give buffs to the party instead of AI-controlled units.
Awesome, but Impractical: In PVP, any of the shapshifting elite skills like Lich Form or Elemental Tornado is this. Yes, you're currently a godly powerful avatar of death/the elements, but you're also huge so you'll be eating more AOE than normal, and anyone with brains will immediately focus you down. The form's heightened defenses don't matter in the least when you have the force of fifty players bearing down on you.
The elementalist with the right glyph equipped can summon elementals to fight beside them. The type of elemental depends on their attunement at the time of activation.
Benevolent Conspiracy: The Order of Whispers is an extensive spy network with agents planted all across Tyria. It meddles in politics to keep the nations united and strong enough to face the Dragons, and is especially active in helping the humans and charr maintain their truce.
Because Destiny Says So: Played with in the Sylvari's Wyld Hunts, which are one part prophecy and one part mission given to Sylvari in the Dream before they awaken. It instills an instinctual drive to complete their given Wyld Hunt, which can range from defeating a threat to the Pale Tree to simply solving a problem. Additionally, at times, Dreamers can receive visions of important events or people in their future in the form of symbols, such as the eary parts of the Sylvari Personal Story. However, it should be noted that it is entirely possible for Sylvari to fail their Wyld Hunt, as Riannoc did when he was killed by the lich he was sent to defeat.
Big Damn Heroes: Because kill-stealing and ninja looting is pretty much nonexistent in this game, you'll see players constantly coming to the rescue of other players in trouble and even resurrecting them if they go down.
In the personal story, Logan Thackeray gets a Big Damn Heroes moment. After staying behind to hold off a tide of undead with no hope of survival, he reappears just as your airship is going down... on a much bigger, much more powerful experimental airship.
The Big Damn Kiss: The Kiss between Marjory and Kasmeer in the last chapter of the Scarlet Briar-living story. It also confirms all (pretty obvious) hints of their homosexuality.
Big Fucking Sword: Greatswords. Warriors, guardians, rangers and mesmers are able to wield them.
Bioluminescence is Cool: In dark areas, parts of sylvari bodies will start to glow. The player can even choose what color and intensity during character creation.
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Applies to the Asura to some degree. The girls are typically wide-eyed, fairly umblemished and generally look "cute", and even have a few signature hairstyles just for them; the men, meanwhile, basically look like goblins, straight down to pointier teeth and warty skin. If they weren't built on the exact same animation skeleton, it'd be hard, at times, to tell they were the same species.
Similarly, centaurs. The males have the heads of goats and skin covered in brown coat. The females have pale skin and human-looking heads with nice looking horns.
Blue and Orange Morality: The Nightmare Court believe that the morals taught to them by Ventari's tablets are an imposition of an alien culture. Their deliberately evil actions are meant to help the Sylvari gain new experiences and develop their own unique morality.
Dragons kinda zig zag. They are destructive forces that corrupt others but they seem a part of a natural cycles that go like this. High magic -> Dragons awake -> Dragons eat and devour magic -> Low magic -> Dragons go to sleep. Corrupted forms are their ways to find and absorb magic. Krakatorrik didn't even notice creatures he was corrupting, he just flew over them.
Grey and Gray Morality: Wherever Southsun is concerned though, things get a lot more murky. The Consortium is a company that was simply seeking to turn the island into a resort town, despite its status as a Death World, but their attempts to cut corners and save money always backfired and caused problems for everyone involved. And the Big Bad of the Secrets of Southsun event, Canach, was a Well-Intentioned Extremist who had riled up the wildlife in order to free the (then currently rioting) refugees from their forced servitude to the Consortium.
Somewhat interestingly, no race is depicted as purely good or evil. You can fight evil Centaurs and evil Hylek, or be helped by good Centaurs/Hylek.
Born as an Adult: There are no Sylvari children. They come into the world fully grown, with the Dream of the Pale Tree providing all the knowledge they'll need to conduct their Wild Hunts.
Apparently it has come down from Word of God that the Sylvari can't even reproduce on their own, only the Tree can create new Sylvari.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: On some level. The in-game Gem Store uses gems that can either be bought using real money or in-game currency. Most of the items available are purely aesthetic and offer no real advantage over players in either PvE or PvP, but there are a few things that have actual, if small, effects on gameplay. You can purchase items that temporarily increase the amount of experience and karma you gain or convert gems into in-game money.
Increased inventory space, bank space, and resource gathering tools (which save time, inventory space, and money) are the most notable bonuses.
Brick Joke: Wozmack the Wonderful, a magician who appears at the very beginning for Human nobles and disappears in an explosion from a trick gone awry, appears in a similarly comedic manner at the very last minute in fort trinity when you've completed the final quest and waited a while past the final ovations. He will, if spoken to, be completely out of sorts and confused, but he recovers quickly and will even perform 'tricks' for you, read: Turn purple, summon birds that then attack him, and then, for a final 'trick', he summons transparent, multi-colored Moas and everyone, including Destiny's Edge and the Moas, will begin dancing.
British Accents: The sylvari characters speak in a posh English accents. This also fall into the Misplaced Accent lines as well because their names and culture is loosely based out of Celtic, Irish, and Welsh folklore.
Some of their naming nomenclature is also loosely based on Arthurian legends, which is British folklore note Although some historians say it does have some Celtic origins.
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The game has flying, cave-dwelling creatures called bats. Sounds normal, until you take a closer look: they're not mammalian bats at all, but actually scaly, earless, flying lizards. In the original Guild Wars they were instead called "incubi".
Card-Carrying Villain: The Nightmare Court is both justified and subverted. They formed because they view the teachings of the centaur Ventari which guide the "Dreamers" as an alien culture imposing its morals on their race. In their opinion, their acts of evil are meant to ensure their race's survival and growth by allowing the Sylvari to develop their own morality.
Depending on your path through the Personal Story, you could end up meeting any number of seemingly minor characters who go on to play larger roles later down the line. Notable examples include Tegwen and Carys, Galina and Snarl, Elli, and Trahearne.
The early updates and Living Story segments introduced characters who would go on to play a role in future events, like Braham, Rox, and a regular Lionguard named Ellen Kiel.
City of Adventure: Lion's Arch, former capital of the human kingdom of Kryta, is now an adventuring hub where all races converge.
Clockpunk: Often mixed with a healthy amount of steampunk. Takes center stage during the Clockwork Chaos Living Story event, when a whole legion of clockwork robots go rogue.
"Right. The blue and green ones are nice. The red and orange are mean. And the yellow ones are sometimes nice and sometimes mean, depending on their mood."
Completion Meter: The character select screen has a "badge" that shows how much of the map you've explored on a single character.
Confusion Fu: The mesmer likes this one. A nice example is a mesmer wielding a sword getting a skill that lets him summon a duplicate of him to jump-attack an enemy, and another skill that makes him jump-attack the enemy, leaving a duplicate in his original spot. Now Spot the Impostor.
A properly built thief can do this as well, either through judicious use of shadowstep abilities or stealth, preventing their foes from knowing where they might strike from next.
Engineers can accomplish this on a metagame level, on account of their status as an odd sort of Jack-of-All-Trades. A given engineer can be good at one or two things depending on specialization, but what those things are can be pretty much anything, with viable specs for ranged burst damage, close-up condition damage, area control, endless kiting, and everything in between; you won't know which sort of engineer you're fighting until you're already taking damage. In a large-scale PvP fight, getting in a melee fight with a defensive bomb-dropping "bunker" engineer is almost as bad an idea as not chasing down an elixir-and-grenade-lobbing support engineer before he can hide behind his allies.
Continuity Nod: Several landmarks familiar to players of Guild Wars 1 will pop up, mostly underwater. Examples include a statue of Melandru from The Temple of Ages that the Quaggan worship, or some of the old construction of Lion's Arch. There is also a LOT of lore to be found about the intervening 250 years and more. Time will tell if this turns into Continuity Porn or not.
It has. Good lord, it has. There are tons of places from the first game that return, like the Temple of Ages, the Henge of Denravi, Droknar's Forge, Camp Rankor, Copperhammer Mines, and even the Stormcaller itself! Alas, most of them are in ruins after the last 250 years. Indeed, the whole region of the far Southern Shiverpeaks, which was downright arctic in the days of the first game, is now verdant forest, shading to jungle and swamp in places, and dominated by a huge volcano, Mount Maelstrom.
The cemetery of Ebonhawke houses the graves of some Ebon Vanguard veterans, who were Non Player Characters in Eye Of The North. Gwen has a rather humble memorial. Nicholas Sandford and Professor Yakkington are also buried here.
The Ascalon Settlement in northern Kryta is now a major fortress on the front line of the war against the centaurs.
In-game continuity: The levitating grizwhirl of the human circus storyline is mentioned offhandedly as an Inquest invention in the asura Synergetics storyline.
Two different areas have ghosts of NPC merchants from the original game that you must help find peace by helping them remember where they're from and what they were. Luckily for those without encyclopedic knowledge of the first game, just trying all possibilities until you guess right also works.
Another area has a bunch of tombstones, believed to be attributed to dwarves. Two of the tombstones are for "Little Thom" and "Reyna", human henchmen in the first game. Getting these wrong, though, are quite dangerous.
The area in question itself is a callback: it's the Granite Citadel, where some of the original prestige armors could be crafted.
In the Iron Marches, your character will meet a Durmand Priory scholar named Aimee Testibrie, who is looking for artifacts related to her great-grandfather, Kilnn Testibrie (whose scattered armor was the bonus objective of an early mission in Guild Wars: Prophecies.) Not far away in the same area, your character will come upon the very cauldron that was used in the Searing of Ascalon; a dynamic event has you fighting the Flame Legion to stop them from performing a similar ritual, using that cauldron, on a nearby charr village.
Cool Boat: The charr have a submarine of roughly World War One era sophistication.
When you get down to the Mount Maelstrom explorable area, you'll find that the good guys' alliance, the Pact, has a submarine of its own which the Order of Whispers uses to insert and extract agents. It's the same model and design as the Iron Legion's submarine, leaving it an open question how the Order of Whispers got their hands on one...
Cool Pet: Absolutely bunches for the Ranger, although they can only equip four at a time (two terrestrial and two aquatic). Cool Pet options range from drakes and double-tailed scorpions called devourers to jellyfish and sharks.
The description after getting a shark pet hilariously lampshades this is:
This is your pet shark. That's right. Your very own pet shark. It's your pet. And a shark. Awesome. Sharks rend their foes with powerful teeth, and can even swallow foes whole.
Kralkatorrik can corrupt people into crystalline horrors.
Similarly, in the Shiverpeaks, you can encounter the Icebrood - creatures corrupted by Jormag, the ice dragon.
The Destroyers of Primordius also seem to be "adapted" versions of other creatures, and Zhaitan more or less does that too (although he corrupts corpses instead of live specimens. The Deep Sea Dragon also apparently has tentacle-covered corrupted minions, although we never see any in-game (and indeed, most of the races question whether he even exists). That makes it the norm for dragon minions, with the only exception being the dragon we don't know about.
Mordremoth's corruption effects Tyrian flora, from vining plants that destroy or strangle anything or anyone unfortunate enough to get in the way, to supercharged husks, skeletal sylvari hounds, and plants twisted into forms never before seen.
Crosshair Aware: See a red ring appear on the floor? Get out of it or prepare to be blasted.
Cute Monster Girl: While the male asura often look like your typical ugly little goblins, the females can be made to look more attractive.
Damsel in Distress/Designated Victim: Queen Jennah. Whether it's assassination attempts, kidnap attempts or attempts to overthrow her (and thus killing or imprisoning her afterwards), human players will, during their story quest, have to deal with 3 separate plots against her, and at mid-level players of all races get to join in on the fun. And that's not mentioning Logan running off to rescue her in the prequel novel was what blew his friends' chance to kill of one of the Elder Dragons, and got Snaff and Glint killed.
Deadly Decadent Court: There's quite a bit of this among the ruling class of Divinty's Reach. And the sylvari Nightmare Court, with an extra helping of Deadly. Asuran academia also leans towards this.
Dead Weight: The Bloated Creepers that spawn during the Tequatl fight. They are portrayed as large Risen male norn that explode when they come in contact with a player.
Death from Above: Every class has at least one major trait that allows them to not only halves their fall damage, but also cause damage to enemies around them when they land. The Warrior one is even named Death from Above.
Department of Redundancy Department: Asura players can choose who was their first teacher on character creation. One of them is Blipp who "was known for his redundancies as well as his redundancies".
Hostile NPCs are prefaced with their rank of difficulty (Veteran being slightly above normal difficulty and Champion being a boss), which in at least one case has lead to an npc named Champion Badazar's Champion.
Same with items, who get prefixes according to their stats and the built-in runes/jewels - leading to things like a "Berserker's ring of the Berserker".
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Elder Dragons are effectively living forces of nature that corrupt the living and alter the face of the land with their presence. And in the personal story, you take part in killing one of them.
Difficult but Awesome: Elementalists in this game. While you cannot swap weapon sets like other classes, they are compensated by the ability to attune to different elements. Thus being said, this involves a lot of micromanagement through the attunements because each attunement grants a different set of skills with different functionality and creating combo effects with your skills note For example, you can create a combo field with your fire or water attunement, but you may need to swap to your earth attunement to land your finisher before the field effect ends. Thus being said, elementalists are the most powerful professions in WvW environments because of their strong offensive AoE capacities and providing healing/support capacity to allies at the same time.
Dirty Commies: The dredge, with their commissars, their "Moletariat", their insignia which looks something like the old Soviet hammer-and-sickle, and their place names which are puns on various Russian locations (Moleberia, Molengrad, Dostoev Sky Peak, etc.) They also fit this trope because they're all, or virtually all, hostile to the other races.
There's also a few female asura NPCs who seem to talk about their female partners.
The Ditz: The Sylvari warden Carys you meet on one of the possible personal story routes tries to make up in bravery what she lacks in intelligence. She later appears in all the stories, depending on the path taken.
Carys: Strange. It sounded like Kispik suddenly became smarter. Is such a thing even possible?
Larra: More than possible. That's how skritt operate. When they're alone, they're dumb as an electrocuted rock. Get a few together, and their intellect improves.
Carys: Oh, wow! I wish sylvari got smarter like that!
Divided We Fall: In every race's personal story around lvl 20-30, the 3 orders are aware of a direct problem caused by the elder dragon's minions, but will bicker about how to stop it until the player breaks the deadlock. The members of Destiny's Edge are also busy with a blame-game for the death of their friend in the prequel novel.
Dodge the Bullet: And any other attack, including area attacks. You're limited in how often you can do this, though.
The Dragon: No puns here, but each Elder Dragon has a champion that they invest a good chunk of their power in. A few appear ingame as fightable bosses, including (but not limited to) The Shatterer, champion of Kralkatorrik, Tequatl the Sunless, champion of Zhaitan, and the Claw of Jormag. Others are mentioned in the novels, and three appear in the original Guild Wars,Glint, The Great Destroyer, and the champion of Jormag who can be seen frozen in Drakkar Lake.
Several others were killed by Destiny's Edge in the prequel-novel, but are replaced by the time the game starts.
Drinking Contest: An Order of Whispers mission involves a drinking contest to distract some pirates, then rescuing a hostage while drunk. It doesn't affect your combat skills, fortunately.
One of the Norn personal story options is something shameful that happened at a recent moot, either blacking out, losing a fight to your rival, or losing an heirloom.
The Belcher's Bluff minigame added during the Zephyr Sanctum update. One can even challenge other players with a consumable item.
Dual Wielding: Every class except the Guardian is capable of this in some form or another.
The Thief class has a special version; not only can they wield two weapons at once, but one of their skills depends on which two weapons those are. So Pistol+Pistol will get you a different skill than Sword+Pistol, which is different from Sword+Dagger, and so on.
Dude, Where's Our Car?: Selecting the "Blacked Out" origin for the Norn results in finding out that you and a Charr had lost a war vehicle and need to get it back.
Dungeon Bypass: The engineer rifle skill "Jump Shot", with a little patience to wait out the twenty second cooldown after each use, can make normally tricky jumping puzzles absolute cakewalks. You can even use it to skip large chunks of certain puzzles.
The Mesmer skill Portal can be just as good for those who have trouble with jumping puzzles. So long as the Mesmer can navigate the puzzle on his own, he can ferry dozens of friends to the end to collect the reward through the Portal.
Dying Race: Humanity is at risk of becoming this relatively speaking, at least on the continent of Tyria. Of the five human kingdoms from the first Guild Wars, Orr was destroyed outright; Ascalon has fallen but for the fortress city of Ebonhawke, which until recently was engaged in a never-ending war with the Charr; Kryta is functional, but destabilized by scheming ministers and a war with centaurs; and Elona is enslaved by the Lich Palawa Joko, but presumably there are still people living there. Cantha is possibly the strongest remaining human civilization... but at last mention is being run by a ruthless, xenophobic government. Humans are still above many of the tribal races of Tyria, but they've suffered more losses and setbacks than the other four playable races.
The Asura and Norn both lost their homeland and rebuilt elsewhere. (The subterranean asura founded Rata Sum during Eye of the North, while the norn were simply chased farther south.) The Sylvari are new (under 25 years) and did not have a homeland to lose. Only the Charr are better off then they were in Guild Wars 1, having reclaimed most of Ascalon and thrown off the oppressive yoke of the Flame Legion.
Although,from GW to GW 2 (for the human), only Elona and Kryta is worse than they were. Kryta was enslaved by the White Mantle, Elona by Palawa Joko. Plus, the Charr were the first inhabitants of Ascalon before they were "exiled" by humankind. Orr was destroyed several years before GW1 so it doesn't count.
Elemental Powers: The elementalist's back. And this time, they can change which elemental spells they use in mid-battle, which should help a bit with the practice of seeing 95% of the player using fire exclusively in the previous game.
Elves Versus Dwarves: Humans versus Charr, basically, exacerbated by humanity's great decline in power and the monumental ascent of the Charr.
Enemy Civil War: From the human's perspective, the battle between the charr and the Flame Legion is this, and is part of the reason for the truce between the Charr and the Humans. Between Charr's ongoing fight with the ghosts of Ascalon, their stalemate with the city state of Ebonhawke, and the arrival of the Elder dragons, the Charr have more pressing matters than finishing their grudge match with humanity. On the flip side of things, the Separatists (Human) and the Renegades (Charr) are groups who are rebelling against their respective governments precisely for making said truce, and wage their own guerrilla war against both parties.
Enemy Mine: While there is a tenuous truce between the charr and humans, there is still a lot of hatred between them, but the races need to unite in order to defeat the Elder Dragons.
The three Orders of Tyria - the Vigil, the Order of Whispers and the Durmand Priory - aren't necessarily hostile to one another, but they have very different ideas about how the Elder Dragons and their minions should be fought, and often speak slightingly or condescendingly of one another. Eventually, you, as the player character, will help bring the three orders together into a Pact to battle Zhaitan.
The three loyal charr legions - Iron, Ash and Blood - have some elements of this in their relationship as well. One of the early random events in charr territory involves the player character's stepping in to break up a potentially bloody three-way bar brawl among soldiers of the three legions.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep/Only Known by Their Nickname: The player character. Obviously they can't call you by your name, so each race has a different title or nickname they'll go by. Humans are known as the Hero of Shaemoore for their part in defending the village against the centaurs. Norn are called the Slayer of Issormir(or just Slayer, for short) for their part in the Great Hunt. Asura are called Savant in recognition of winning the Snaff Prize. Sylvari are called Valiant, which in their society is a title given to those born with a Wyld Hunt. Charr are referred to by their military rank, starting with Soldier, then Legionnaire, and later, Centurion. Once you progress in the storyline to the point you've joined one of the Orders, you're referred to by your rank.
Everyone Is Bi: This is confirmed to be in effect for sylvari society, for whom Purely Aesthetic Gender is rather literal. Gender is irrelevant to the sylvari, including in matters of love. In addition, several non-player characters in the game make flirtatious remarks towards the player, regardless of gender (or race).
Evil Brit: Across from the Nightmare Court, there is also Scarlet Briar (the Big Bad of the Season 1 Living Story content).
The Fair Folk: The sylvari are both an example and a subversion of this trope (although if the Nightmare Court has its way, they'll just be an example). On one hand -given that their entire race is barely 25 years old and that they're living plants- they are honestly alien to the world, and they operate on a sort of fairy tale logic wherein everyone "born" by the pale tree gets his destiny and his lifegoal revealed shortly afterwards - naturally, the player characters is to slay Zhaitan. On the other hand, they're quite capable of negotiating with other races, and even the the Nightmare Court has very understandable motives (they're xenophobes, and want to pollute the Dream of Dreams so that other sylvari become as isolationist and insular as they are - and a lot less naive in their optimism about the world).
Fallen Hero: King Adelbern. The former hero of the Guild Wars has since been reduced to a vengeful ghost that only cares about fighting the Charr for eternity.
Fantastic Racism: Humans hate charr. Charr hate humans. Norn distrust humans and consider them cowardly. The asura consider everyone else irredeemably stupid and the sylvari to be especially idiotic.
Of course while the human, charr, and norn relationship can be a bit icy, the asura-sylvari relationship is milked for all the comedy it's worth. Since the asura think themselves above everyone and the sylvari are almost literally wide-eyed children, a lot of the "racism" comes across as schoolyard bullying, such as comparing a ditzy Warden to a salad.
Similarly, some races tend to be actually friendly if not tolerable to one another. Charr and norn tend to respect each other due to their ways of viewing one's worth being similar, and the Iron Legion side of the charr like to trade technology with the asura (which is even praised by the asura themselves).
Also, while the asura consider everyone beneath them, they hate the skritt. Before Primordus drove them to the surface, the asura attempted genocide on the skritt, though they prefer the term "extermination". This is motivated by several factors, including concerns over their explosive population growth, irritation over their theft of asuran technology, anger over their ability to only recreate or modify existing technology, and a secret rage over large groups of skritt being smarter than asura.
Centaur have a deep-seated hatred of humans, which they have extended to include all two-legged races. The humans return the hatred, having spent centuries dealing with their raids.
Fantastic Slurs: Pop up most often between the openly antagonistic races, but also present between mildly friendly races. Carried over from the first game are "mouse" (Charr to human), "two-legs" (Centaur to human), and "bookah" (Asura to everyone else).
Fantasy Axis of Evil: Each race seems to have its own evil group. The charr have the Flame Legion, the sylvari have the Nightmare Court, the asura have Inquest, the norn have the Sons of Svanir, and the humans have the Bandits. Humans and charr also have "separatists" and "renegades" (respectively), groups of their respective races that oppose the peace treaty between them.
It's important to note that, for the Nightmare Court at least, they are not necessarily evil - they're just a group of individuals that disagree with the viewpoint presented by the player character's faction. The Nightmare Court in particular has a very understandable and morally grey objective, but unfortunately, this probably won't be communicated very well in-game.
The reverse is also true of the separatists, thanks to actions by the Ebon Vanguard and their leader Gwen Thackeray, the Goremonger.
Keep in mind that the Charr don't hand out names like that unless they're earned. Says a lot about how much they respected and feared her.
Also becomes an almost-literal Axis of Evil in one area, where three of these factions (Nightmare Court, Inquest and bandits) team up.
Scarlet Briar forms a fairly straightforward Fantasy Axis of Evil in the Living Story.
There are also purchasable finishing moves, paid for with gems. The first involved dropping an animal on the fallen. Subsequent finishers released involve shadowy assassins, quaggans in a display of cuteness, pixel nukes (a la Super Adventure Box), jungle wurms, miniaturized laser cannons, and other silly circumstances.
Fire-Forged Friends: Fighting together is how Logan and Rytlock became friends in the first place. And their friendship ultimately gets reforged again once they fight together in the Citadel of Flame, making this trope a bit more literal.
Five-Man Band: Since parties and especially Dungeons are restricted to five man teams, build variety is very healthy and a lot of fluff (race, personality, etc.) has no impact on combat, you are very likely to end up with a player character five man band. This may have actually been a defining design decision, suggesting that a member of ArenaNet is One of Us.
High Men: Humans (they're for all intents and purposes elves with rounded ears)
Fantasy Gun Control: Aversion, as firearms of all sorts, ranging from pistols to machine guns, along with other modern military hardware such as rapid-firing cannon, mortars and remote-controlled land mines, have been developed in the 250 years since Guild Wars. The Asura even have a humongous laser, which they deploy on the southern shores of Sparkfly Fen against Tequatl the Sunless. And again, against Zhaitan in the story mode of the final dungeon to be opened.
Flash Step: There are several rapid movement skills for various classes, and all of them have dodge rolls that evade attacks. Thieves' invoke this fully by having what seems to be more of a flash step than an actual roll. Their steal skill is also like this.
Specifically, Thieves' various Shadowstep skills look like teleports, but only occur if you could actually walk to the location, making them more Flash Steps than teleports.
The Guardian has three skills, that teleports him in melee-range of the enemy.
Food Porn: The Chef crafting discipline enables the use of and experimentation with gathered ingredients to produce all manner of delicious meals. There are hundreds to discover, with the more exotic dishes requiring a combination of less complex, inedible cooking ingredients (themselves a "dish") to make.
For the Evulz: The Nightmare Court is an interesting case where this trope applies yet they still have a bigger purpose: by committing evil, they hope to add more terrible memories (both from themselves doing evil and their victims being tortured) to their race's pseudo-Hive Mind, thereby bringing their race around to their point of view.
Not particularly Knight Templar - what the Nightmare Court hope to do is make the sylvari less idealistic and optimistic as a race, since this is seen as naivete by them. The trope still stands as their method of going about this, though.
For Science!: Seems to be the asura's motivation for doing anything.
Fun with Acronyms: The asura are quite fond of this trope, with most of their inventions being long and complicated names that essentially mean exactly what the acronym spells out. For example, one of the rewards for helping a researcher in Metrica Province is an Alchemic Regression Dual-Utility Inter-Nodal Operator. Which, you'll notice, spells Arduino, a name for a brand of hobbyist microcontroller circuit board.
"Yes, it's a rather long name for something so simple, but these have revolutionized the home golem-making industry."
Future Me Scares Me: One of the asuran storylines concludes with your character facing an evil version of yourself from a possible future.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In all related works, the Asura are not very athletic, and generally have to ride golems to keep up with the other races, or jog to match their walking pace. On the other end of the spectrum, only a Charr is really big and strong enough to pick a fight with a Norn, and most of the more powerful Norn can match a Charr warband on their own. Weapons and magic level the playing field quite a bit, but by all accounts, the Asura and the Sylvari are downright frail compared to the Charr or the Norn. In game, all races are exactly the same, except for a handful of racial spells that can't be used in PvP.
Global Currency Exception: Karma vendors. Subverted by these vendors being all over the world. Karma is only earned through events.
There is also a vendor by the mystic forge who accepts skill points for certain items.
The laurel currency offers special rewards for doing the daily or monthly achievement as of January 2013. Laurel traders are available in every major city.
Running through the various dungeons gives you a token, which can be redeemed for armor exclusively themed to that dungeon. These vendors are located solely in Lion's Arch.
Glory Seeker: Norn in general are like this, due to their philosophy that people only really die when they are forgotten. Thus, seeking out glory and spreading their 'legend' becomes a central motivation for them.
Gimmick Level: Almost all the Fractals of the Mists have one section like this:
Aquatic Ruins: Everything takes place underwater. There also may be an event where you are turned into Dolphins to avoid Krait.
Cliffside: You need to pick up a Cultist Hammer to damage the Seals in order to progress. The catch is that anybody holding it gets a corruption counter- they get stunned at 30 seconds of corruption and die at 40 seconds.
Snowblind: Your group needs to light bonfires to become warm, or else a cold debuff that does damage over time will start stacking up fast.
Swampland: You need to get three wisps to three tree stumps within 30 seconds, or they all reset. Not so easy when there are crippling traps and Mooks all over the area. Including a legendary mook.
Underground Facility: Some players have to stay behind to stand on a switch while the others get through the open gate.
Urban Battleground: You play as a Flame Legion Charr trying to invade Ascalon. This involves loads of turrets and arrows raining on you as you lay siege to gates.
Volcanic: Instant-death boulders roll down a hallway, and you need to stay in the alcoves to avoid certain death.
Uncategorized: Lots of platform jumping around and electrical traps.
Solid Ocean: Fight a huge tentacle monster in the jaded sea. Possible final fractal.
Aetherblade: Formerly living story (new free content, only available for a month) now brought back in parts. First part of the Aetherblade-dungeon up to the first bossfight. The final bossfight is brought back as one possible last fractal.
Molten Furnace: More living story. Same as the Aetherblade-dungeon they brought back the first part up to the first bossfight and the final bossfight for the final fractal.
Thaumanova Reactor: Connecting some living story in new content. Objective is to retrieve a core sample of the reactor and escape. The players are transformed to asurans and have to fight several living story-foes.
Godzilla Threshold: When the charr breached the gates of the human capital, King Adelbern used a Fantastic Nuke to wipe out the entire city, which also raised all the human dead as ghosts that still fight against the charr. Of course, King Adelbern was kind of a Knight Templar in the first Guild Wars, so whether the threshold was truly crossed is debatable.
Griefer: Averted. ArenaNet has made significant efforts to eliminate things like "kill-stealing" in the game mechanics. For instance, kills now give full experience and drops to all players who participated in the combat, and players earn experience points by healing other players or NPC's. The objective is to promote cooperation between players in such things as random events and boss fights.
Outside of combat, the mod squad also practices a strict zero-tolerance policy for Trolls and exploiters (understandable, given how a free-to-play game tend to attract them like flies to honey). This has lead to a general accusation of them going a bit too far, however.
Grim Up North: The Elder Dragon, Jormag, inhabits the northern areas of the Shiverpeak Mountains, where he drove the Norn originally living there to the south.
Guns Akimbo: An option for thieves and engineers, also used by Phantasmal Duelists.
Have You Seen My God?: The human gods have been missing for centuries. Most humans are still very devout in their faith, but the recently awakened sylvari are reserving judgment on whether the human gods exist at all. Later on in the storyline depending on your choices you manage to greet a reaper (physical avatar of a asceneded friend and ally in arms) of the human god of Death and Judgement, Grenth and the ruins with some "interesting" effects of the fallen god Abbadon.
The quaggan have some form of this with their goddess, Mellaggan, which they believe was killed. Humans note that due to similarities between Mellagan and Melandru, the human godess of nature, they might be one and the same. Word of God states that the humans are right.
Hero of Another Story: All the Destiny's Edge members are this and are implicitly doing their own thing parellel to your character's personal story. Your path meets with theirs in the dungeons.
The High Queen: Queen Jennah, ruler of the last human nation of Kryta.
Hive Mind: The skritt have one similar to the geth. Skritt close enough to each other are in constant communication, allowing them to compare ideas, form hypotheses, and plan almost instantly, allowing their effective intelligence to rise exponentially. Thus, while a single skritt is somewhat dim, an entire colony can easily outwit an asura and replicate their technology. Which is a good thing (for them), as the asura hate them.
The sylvari have an entirely different kind of hive mind. Their memories and experiences are automatically added to the Pale Tree, from which all of them are born, and the unborn can see those experiences in their dreams while they are still unborn and also gives them a telepathic empathy with the other sylvari. Sylvari who have abandoned the hive mind due to a desire for individuality or sociopathy because of Nightmare Court influence are called soundless, and are noted to be either shy, emotionless, or outright unpleasant.
Humans Are Special: A surprising aversion, given the extreme focus the original Guild Wars gave to humans. Humanity has become the race that has lost the most ground since the first game, in contrast to their rivals, the Charr, who have gained the most.
Take a close look at human NPCs that are labeled as Old Women◊. Since there aren't any faces for older people, they really look more like white-haired girls.
With the correct starting face and judicious use of appearance sliders, you can create the face of an old man or old woman. However, it will be baby-smooth, youthful skin everywhere else, starting at the neck.
And of course, according to the lore, Norn seem to be rather longlived, so Eir might be "old" only when compared to humans.
Dialogue between a hunter in Hoelbrak and a shaman suggests that "age", as the Norn view it, is not measured in years but by the capacity to complete deeds. A hunter who has accomplished many things in life, but who has sustained great injury that limits his ability to live up to his youth, is said to have progressed in "seasons", and is encouraged to devote their time training others or passing on wisdom as a transition from that youth. Because Eir had accomplished things which most Norn could not hope to match, but has since refused to pursue that goal, she may be considered "old" by society (and indeed likely considers herself to be old) and thus passes her experience and wisdom to the Slayer as a result.
Insatiable Newlyweds: One couple in Ascalon Settlement. It's the first time they've been outside in 3 days. They plan on having a picnic, then decide, skip it, let's go back in!
Interface Screw: The Giant Ice Elemental in the Snowblind Fractal does this as a move- not only does it obscure most of the screen, but it also makes you move randomly about and makes you get lost.
Interservice Rivalry: The three Orders of Tyria - the Vigil, the Durmand Priory, and the Order of Whispers - are multi-racial organizations dedicated to combating the awoken Elder Dragons. Each of the orders have their own philosophies about what tactics will ultimately defeat the dragons. While they are rivals at times, they recognize that protecting Tyria is the most important goal which they each share.
Likewise, the three charr legions have a lot of tension between them and have trouble working together and sharing information, as seen in the first chapter of the charr storyline, especially in the Ash Legion story.
In Kryta, relations are pretty tense between the Seraph and the Ministry Guard. This is in large part due to the fact that the latter work for the Deadly Decadent Court that wants to oust Queen Jennah from the throne.
It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: In Diessa Plateau, a charr festival called "Meatoberfest" is held in the area known as Butcher's block, what's implied in dialogue to only be an annual celebration goes on every day of the year.
I Will Fight No More Forever: In the Bad Future the Pale Tree shows the player and Traherne, four of the Destiny's Edge companions are still bitterly fighting among themselves. As a result, Caithe declares she's sick of trying to stop the others from bickering, and accepts her ex's offer to joining The Dark Side instead.
Jack-of-All-Trades: Most classes have shades of this, being able to fill different roles depending on trait and equipment specialization, but Engineer is especially versatile. Different from most examples of the trope in that an engineer trying to emulate another class's strength generally isn't any weaker than the profession it's emulating, just less reliable, more situational, and/or harder to use; for example, an engineer using the Bomb Kit and a trait to heal allies with bomb blasts can pull off a Guardian's "heal nearby allies while dishing out consistent melee-range damage" schtick very effectively, but the delay between placing a bomb and its detonation makes it impractical for use against quick-moving casters, unless the engineer can predict his/her target's movements and drop bombs in its path with perfect anticipation.
Of course it's not just the engineer. The Ranger also competes for being the most Jack like in spirit of the GW 1 ranger who was almost as varied any GW 2 profession. While the Engineer is a Jack-of-All-Trades from his delightfully random and diverse set of tools, the Ranger is a Master of None thanks to their pet. Their pet is a very significant portion of their damage, so they personally do less damage than other professions, but are just as capable of filling all roles. Since a ranger's build usually doesn't affect their Pet's fighting style, a Ranger isn't punished for choosing a pet that fills in for their own shortcomings, but each is sort of like a half person making them together a real Master of None.
Guardians themselves aren't slouches, and while they have a slightly narrower purview (ranged caster, healer, bubble mage, and tank) they double-down on the versatility with spells that summon extra weapons, allowing them to spontaneously switch between more than the usual two weapon sets, and thus change roles, without exiting combat at all.
While not a true Jack-of-All-Trades out of the caster classes that in general provide a ton of utility, the Necromancers stick out a lot being able to take conditions of all allies and sending em to one enemy or eat them to heal themself (or create the second highest AoE heal area for their allies that purges conditions of them if they shoot stuff trough it), to share conditions from the said enemy to all around him and then turn into a death cloud that heals allies around themself and then again healing upon exiting the form on a pretty regular basis, but even so every class can fall under it if built that way.
Kicked Upstairs: The asura are officially governed by the Arcane Council, which is supposed to consist of the asura's best and brightest. But since most asura would rather be experimenting and inventing in their labs, those on the council were the ones that couldn't find a good enough excuse to get out or trick another into taking their place.
Kill 'em All: The Foefire, King Adelbern's final gambit to protect Ascalon City from the charr, killed everyone in the city, and turning all the humans into vengeful ghosts that kill anything they see inside the walls.
There is also a Heart Quest in Wayfarer Foothills called "Help Bjarni Honor the Hare Spirit that basically amounts to you playing a game of keep away with a bunch of rabbits that have a Megaton Kick capable of knocking even the biggest norns flat.
Kill It with Fire: Elementalists in fire attunement, naturally. Engineers have a flamethrower as well.
Some of the siege weapons in World versus World could count as well. Trebuchets' shots are rather much on fire.
Land Mine Goes Click: An Engineer skill. With the right traits, Engineers will also automatically deploy a small minefield when at low health, potentially discouraging melee attackers for long enough for him/her to heal.
A lot of norn and asuran NPC dialogues can fall into this. Heck, even the male norn and asuran playable character battle guotes are very hammy.
Lava is Boiling Kool-Aid: You don't take damage from lava unless you are actually standing right in it, and the damage is fairly minor at that. It's also quite possible to wade through waist deep rivers of the stuff.
Lethal Joke Character: The asura as a race were designed to be funny, but an asura character is just as effective as any other race. If sillier looking.
Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Of the super-special hard copy variety, with various bits and bobs of physical swag, as well as the digital deluxe edition, with bunches of special in-game stuff, which is also included in the other edition.
Living Statue: What the dwarves have become since Eye Of The North in order to defeat the Great Destroyer. They're a Dying Race now (being made of stone and unable to reproduce) but the survivors continue to fight the Elder Dragons.
Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: The Jotun in Guild Wars 2 will be the same barbaric giant tribes they were in the first game, but with more backstory about their once proud history, illustrated by ruined monuments of their once-great civilization.
This also applies to humanity. Nothing but ruins are left of the human kingdoms of Ascalon and Orr, Elona has been conquered and enslaved by the undead, and Cantha was conquered by a xenophobic, tyrannical empire. There is a non-insignificant portion of the populace that has learned nothing (thankfully, Jennah isn't one of them).
Lost Forever: Invoked pretty harshly with the Living Story content. Didn't get a chance to finish those achievements? Busy during the weekend where that new group instance was available? Couldn't invest enough time to grind for that unique equipment? Only just now joining the game? Too bad, because now those dozens of hours of content are gone.
There's also a lot of "limited time only" items available in the gem store on a regular basis. Fortunately they're usually cosmetic, although those unlimited-use gathering tools can be pretty handy... A few of these have cycled back around into the shop.
Mad Scientist: The asura as a whole, but those belonging to Inquest in particular.
As of June 16th, the Rocket Boots now have the intended purpose of launching the Engineer forward without knocking them down.
Magic Knight: Guardians are the most obvious example. Thieves have some magical elements as well (stealth and shadow steps). The revealed casters also have weapons sets that are oriented towards up close fighting, but the effect is more "tough/close up caster" than "combination of weapons and magic".
Surprisingly, mesmers are also able to use a pistol, two swords and greatswords. Greatswords are used the same as a staff, and deal more damage as a ranged weapon by firing lasers that deal more damage over range and are just bad as 'Knight' weapons.
Magitek: The asura's approach to technology, as opposed to the charr's more traditional technological advancement.
Master of Illusion: Mesmers, even more so than in the first game. They're now less about mental magic and more about summoning phantasms.
Medieval Stasis: The charr kick this trope in the groin and run away laughing. Even if some societies have remained technologically stagnant, they're isolated cases.
The five primary societies all have reasons for their Medieval Stasis or lack thereof: The charr need technology to make up for their lack of magic after the Shaman caste is disgraced. Humans rely on their gods for a good chunk of their might (although this has led to them being pushed down to one of the weaker races). Norn don't really have a centralized society and rely almost exclusively on individual strength. The sylvari, as a race, are only 25 years old, so that's their excuse (and they do in fact have some rather advanced "technology", like plant-guns, turret-flowers and seed-elevators.). The asura take a more magical approach to technology, and are about on par with the charr, but do it For Science! instead of for war like the charr.
It should also be noted that a promo-video showing the human capital of Divinity's Reach and the surrounding lands show quite a bit of technology that didn't exist in the first Guild Wars (automated irrigration systems and some sort of planetarium). They just didn't turn half the country into a Industrial-age furnace like the charr did. That said, in-game books note that almost all of this technology, including the steampunk airships seen in Lion's Arch, was invented by the charr and subsequently sold to or stolen by the humans.
Also Trahearne mentions that the Gunship used by the Pact to take on Zaithan incorporates charr, asura and human technology. Note the absence of the norn and the sylvari here. This means that while the humans no longer lead the field of innovation in either magic or tech, they still can hold their own among the other races.
The Consortium is a less-evil, travel-oriented Mega Corp.. They've made some poorinvestments in resort destinations, but seem to get the finer details of their operations right, such as a public relations department which has kept them on good terms with Lion's Arch (and, by extension, the player characters) while pulling off a scheme to conscript refugees as unwitting indentured servants; Word of God has said that their central command is terribly out of touch, hence their awful ideas but good execution. They're still too greedy and reckless to really be considered "good guys," but they're clearly more concerned with the consumer services business than taking over Tyria.
Missing Steps Plan: One of Eir's plans for settling the bad blood between Logan and Rytlock is to give the former Magdaer so that the two will have matching swords. This fails to take into account how matching weapons would actually repair the hurt feelings and past mistakes made by the offenders.
Mordor: Orr as a whole is this, being the territory of Zhaitan himself. It's a desolate wasteland populated by Risen and sparse vegetation.
The Dragonbrand cutting across Ascalon is a smaller example. A long stretch of land was turned into crystal when Kralkatorrik simply flew over it and all lifeforms in it became Branded.
Moral Myopia: Many charr are quick to condemn the humans as cowards for using the Horn of King Doric to rain sorcery down on them as they invaded Ascalon. They of course also sing praises for the Searing, which not only more or less did the same thing, but was the work of the now vilified Flame Legion.
Of course, the charr nowadays consider The Searing a terrible thing. One event pretty much involves preventing a smaller scale of it. One of the charr even argued that the artifact should be destroyed.
Multiple Choice Past: A character's past and personality are determined by a multiple-choice survey. The first 2 chapters of the personal story are almost entirely determined by this.
The human story choice "missing sister" leads to a similar choice, where the player can decide to be of Tyrian, Canthan or Elonian descent. Notably absent is Orrian (which, admittedly, was mostly wiped out 250 years ago).
Mushroom Samba: The "At the Roots" quest, which you get by working with the Order of Whispers as a Sylvari. Over its course, the Player Character drinks some spiked ale and starts to hallucinate. He or she then must fight off ghostly wargs and oozes that only he or she can see, while buildings randomly catch on fire and NPCs turn into moa birds.
The Musketeer: Warriors, rangers, thieves and mesmers are all equally proficient at range and close-up.
All classes have ranged and melee weapon sets, as being able to choose your engagement range is necessary for some parts of the game's balance.
My Greatest Failure/Parental Abandonment: Two of the possible background choices human characters as to what their biggest regret is, are not knowing the parents that left them at an orphanage and not recovering the corpse of their sister when centaurs killed her. For players who feel this smells too much of Wangst, not joining the circus is the other choice.
Nature Spirit: The norn revere many. The primary four are Bear, Raven, Wolf and Snow Leopard. There is also a quest involving Hare (Bunny to the faithful), Minotaur plays a major role in one of the norn opening storylines, and one can investigate the ruins of Owl's shrine, who died fighting Jormag.
The Napoleon: The asura are entire race of Napoleons, thinking they are better than everyone else despite coming up to about the waist of a human.
Nay-Theist: After how they wereburned in the last game, the charr have gone in the opposite direction and now actively resent religion, to the point that their intro explicitly states "We created great machines of war, and with them, we killed our gods."
Charr NPCs have different stock sound clips depending on their legion, and all three have variants on the same creed: "Rely on iron, not on false gods," for the Iron Legion for example, and "Rely on strength, not false gods," for Blood Legion.
Never Found the Body: Human players have the option of having a dead little sister whose body was never recovered after her Seraph unit was wiped out in a centaur attack. You later find out that she survived.
Never a Self-Made Woman: She may be queen of Kryta, but Jennah is Logan Tackeray's love interest first and foremost to the point where a major hinderance to Destiny's edge is their resentment over his choice to save her over Snaff - the fact that Kryta's future depended on her safety never even comes up.
Nice Hat: For characters of the Adventurer professions, completing the story mission for any of the dungeons rewards you a very stylish hat.
One of the Story Paths for the Norn has you fighting Nollar for his VERY Nice Hat.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's been announced that all eight dungeons will have a story mode that you have to play through once to move the plot which then unlocks a much harder adventure mode, a change which will reportedly follow naturally from your actions in the story mode. So whatever Sealed Evil in a Can is in that dungeon becomes much more dangerous just after you've visited. It sounds like the fine Guild Wars tradition of the players screwing the pooch during their adventure will continue merrily.
Nostalgia Level: The Super Adventure Box event solely for this reason except it's completely original material while still keeping a distinct 8 bit graphics and music.
Occupiers Out of Our Country: Why some charr and humans alike still seek to drive the other out of Ascalon (originally charr land, then conquered by humans for centuries, now charr land again for centuries). Also revealed to be the motives of the centaur war against Kryta: the centaurs are fighting for their own homeland against the Krytan humans who have occupied the region for centuries.
Old Save Bonus: Players of the original Guild Wars who owned Eye of the North, and built up their Hall of Monuments, get some nice free stuff (weapons and armor and such like) and cool titles.
One-Hit Kill: Crucible of Eternity's Second-to-last boss Kudu has an ability called "Killing Shot", guess what it does to you.
The Jade Maw has a laser attack that does this to a player, signified by a red skull appearing over them before it fires. However, if that player is holding a Reflective Shard, it charges up the shard instead, and the player can throw it back to the Jade Maw for massive damage.
One Stat to Rule Them All: Magic Find is starting to become this, to the point that plans have been announced to remove it as a stat on gear and instead have it be unlocked as an account-wide bonus (though there will still be Magic Find consumables).
Only One Name: Both asura and sylvari society seem to abide by this rule, with quite a few norn having only one name, as well.
Overrated And Underleveled: The members of Destiny's Edge have, in the prequel novel, beaten several of the Elder Dragon's Champions and came very close to killing one of the Elder Dragons themselves. You meet and fight together with each member during the personal story quest lines, and even the tutorial mission where they are only slightly stronger than your level 1 character. Then again, they may simply suffer from the same effect that causes players to be effectively de-leveled while they are in a zone that's intended for low level characters.
Our Centaurs Are Different: Pretty much the same as the original Guild Wars, of interesting note(and this applied in the first as well), their upper bodies more closely resemble charr than humans. One of them is also responsible for the creation of the sylvari and their philosophical beliefs.
Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They're (mostly) extinct, with the few surviving existing as animated stone. Dredge seem to have taken up the mantle, and are a blind, mole-like race that's achieved a surprising degree of technological sophistication, particularly with sonic technology. They're also communists.
Our Elves Are Better: By name, no elves exist, but developers have confirmed that the humans do indeed fulfill the narrative niche in the story usually reserved for elves, being beautiful, magical, highly civilized, have an ancient civilization, very loud about those facts, and are in severe decline as the younger, more energetic races begin to dominate the world.
Our Goblins Are Different: Asura bear a strong physical resemblance to goblins, even thought they are (mostly) on the side of good. They are small, scientifically curious, and extremely dangerous in their inventions.
Our Ghosts Are Different: Ascalon has become a ghost town. Not to say it's an empty city. King Adelburn killed all of his citizens in a final attempt to keep the city from the charr. As a result, all the citizens were killed, but came back as ghosts. They eternally haunt their homeland, attacking any living creature, thinking them to be invading charr.
The Paladin: While Guardians do not get their powers from a divine source (the Nay-Theist charr are capable of being Guardians), mechanically, they function very similarly to the traditional view of a Paladin.
Path of Inspiration: The Sons of Svanir worship Dragon as the strongest and most powerful totemic spirit. Dragon is of course the Elder Dragon, Jormag, who's responsible for driving the Norn from their homeland.
While an infinite number of random events is impossible and will thus run on a loop, starting these events may be very long (ie. finding a book in a wizard's tower, weather occurring over a certain landmark) or relatively short (ie. bandit raids on a nearby farm).
Additionally, and even more fittingly, the game has now implemented the 'Living Story' system, in which every few months, special one time events are ran that tell a continuous story and may sometimes have lasting after effects on the game world, such as changed landscapes, or new NPCs.
Petting Zoo People: There are people that are based off of cats, rats, snakes, mole rats, cetacea, and frogs, among others.
Pillar of Light: A sword-shaped one hovers over Ascalon City, created by the Foefire.
Pirate: There's the zombie pirates controlled by Zhaitan, and the de facto ruler of Lion's Arch is a norn ex-pirate. Not to mention the multitudinous bands of pirates and buccaneers infesting the areas east and south of Lion's Arch.
And more literally in the case of the Rune of the Pirate, an upgrade item that increases the chance of finding magic items... along with a chance to "Yarr!"
The uniform of the Lionguard, the combination army/constabulary of Lion's Arch, is very obviously derived from traditional pirate's garb; tricorn hats seem to be especially popular.
One dynamic event chain in Lornar's Pass has, of all the incongruous things, a quaggan seeking to become a pirate. A nearby skill challenge has you spar with a quaggan to learn piratical combat skills.
Sky Pirate: The Dragon bash event introduced us the Aetherblades, who basically fit into this trope. Oh, and they are backed and supplied by the Inquest.
Pistol-Whipping: Depending on what other weapon you wield alongside your pistol, you can do this.
Platform Hell: Super Adventure Box's Tribulation Mode is ArenaNet's best effort to recreate I Wanna Be the Guy in an MMORPG engine, and meets all of the listed criteria on that page (and contains most of the listed traps, in one form or another), making it a very rare example of a 3D Platform Hell. If you want one of the fancy holographic weapon skins awarded for completing Tribulation Mode, expect to die many, many times.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: Every norn in existence. Charr play with this, depending on their Legion. As a whole, they fall into the proud soldier race variant, but Charr of the Ash legion focus more on stealth and subterfuge, and Charr of the Iron Legion focus more on their technologicaladvances. Charr of the Blood Legion, however, play this trope very, very straight. The Hyleks also profess to be a proud warrior race, and they back it up, even if the effect is somewhat lost as they're a race of tribal frogs.
Pun: Thieves have a special resource for attacking called Initiative. They have a skill that allows them to roll away from whoever they're fighting and gain Initiative. The skill is called Roll For Initiative.
Puzzle Boss: The only way to harm the Fractal of the Mists' Legendary Rampaging Ice Elemental is to make it stand under the molten metal vats, then drop the molten metal on it. This makes it heated for a while and causes it to lose its Nigh-Invulnerability. Oh, and it uses a healing move if you take too long to do this.
Word for word the same with the Prototype Dredge Mining Suit, the alternate boss of the area.
The Separatists, self-styled freedom fighters waging a guerrilla war against the charr to liberate Ascalon more than two centuries after it became a lost cause. They're also rebelling against human authority for making a truce with the charr to begin with, and aren't above assassinating people on the streets of Ebon Hawke. Charr have their own version of this, the Renegades.
The Dredge also show signs of this; after successfully rising up over (and slaughtering) their dwarven slave-drivers, they now wish to assassinate the last living dwarf on the surface. At the end of the third explorable path of Sorrow's Embrace, it's implied that the dredge you just helped overcome their megalomaniac general are about to initiate a Soviet-style purge against his sympathizers.
Also an integral part to a specific Vista found in Lions Arch, where you literally have to jump from the shore onto a small rock outcropping. Unfortunately said outcropping is well outside of the normal range of a characters jump distance. So leave it to an intrepid Asura NPC to come up with a Rocket Booster Rifle that will get you onto the platform.
Rock Monster: Earth elementals litter the land of Tyria. Of particular note is the Earth Elementals that the centaur shamans summon that are so large, the players have to destroy the two giant earth elemental hands than attack it directly; one of these are found at the end of the human introduction zone.
Rule 34 : This interview, published shortly before sylvari week, opens by asking whether or not the sylvari can have sex. Apparently, they can, leading to this trope to apply.
Sadistic Choice: Human street rat characters get one early on in the story. Your old buddy Quinn gets in over his head and ends up procuring supplies for a gang leader who wants to poison the city well, and needs to hide after going to the authorities. However, the guards are outnumbered, and if left on their own against the bandits, they won't be able to stop the poisoning in time to save everyone. The player has to choose between getting Quinn to safety or saving innocent townspeople, and it really hits home no matter what you do, especially since the latter choice leads to Quinn being gruesomely murdered.
There's another one in the human story where the player, during an undercover mission, has discovered that the bandits are plotting to attack both an orphanage and a hospital at the same time. Logan gives the player the choice between defending one or the other. Regardless of your choice, Logan will tag along with you and leave behind a lower-ranking Seraph to handle the location you didn't choose. You and Logan successfully rescue the civilians at location of your choice, then you get to watch the other location get blown to smithereens with the civilians inside before you and Logan can do anything about it.
Itīs also what ultimately broke up Destiny's Edge, Logan had to chose between staying with his friends, who were about to face one of the Elder Dragons or going back to protect the queen from the minionns of the same Elder Dragon. No matter his choice, someone was going to die.
In the Synergetics storyline for asura characters, you learn that the reason the Inquest were able to run off with your Snaff Prize entry is because the leader of your krewe betrayed you in attempts to snag a seat on the Arcane Council. Your other krewemate is kidnapped and you're given the choice to either go after your leader for what he did or go break your krewemate out from the Inquest. Based on your decision either the traitor gets away without any consequences or your krewemate is unceremoniously murdered. Really neither choice is pleasant.
A bit more subtle in your charr character. During the character creation screen you are asked to pick which charr is your sparring partner: Marverick, Clawspur, Euryale, Reeva, and Dinky. They all appear in the tutorial, and even though you managed to get out unscathed, the characters you didn't pick die from the war.
At the end of "A Light in the Darkness," the Pale Tree will ask you what your greatest fear is: letting an innocent die, being dishonored by your allies, or forcing someone to suffer. Whichever answer you choose will lead you down a different set of quests, all of which end with a Player Punch. And in all of them, it's your fault.
Not to mention many of the views you get from vistas, particularly the ones on mountain peaks. The ones in the Shiverpeaks zones are especially breathtaking.
Scenery Gorn: Most of Orr is a desolate wasteland littered with ruins and bizarre coral growths. During and after the Battle of Lion's Arch, the well-known city was reduced to a burnt, uninhabited wreck.
Schizo Tech: Justified, sort of. The primary innovators are the asura and charr, who are (respectively) too arrogant and too belligerent to share their technology. Though the asura do trade bits and pieces of it in return for labour and good will in order to insinuate themselves with the other nations, while assiduously maintaining the advantage for themselves.note for example, installing networks of impressive magical gateways to connect various nations in commerce, meanwhile retaining exclusive proprietorship of the powerful Magitek governing their own breathtaking levitating city
Note that it's not really beyond them to trade technology. Lion's Arch was mostly did with charr, and there are Non Player Characters showing how charr and asura helping each other out in regards to innovation.
Charr lands are dotted with tanks and missile-equipped war machines, yet most of them walk everywhere and swing swords.
Schmuck Bait: One environmental weapon you can get has a skill called "Red Button" with the description "Has 'Do Not Press' written on it." Using said skill blows up the weapon, setting you on fire.
Starting in the "Nightmare Within" patch, there are large structures called Mysterious Probes scattered all around Tyria. Whenever the player character approaches it, the player can press the action button to Touch it despite having a DO NOT TOUCH label on it. Touching a Mysterious Probe would knock the player back along with a message telling them not to do it again. Doing it repeatedly will cause the player to die along with the a message saying that they shouldn't have done that.
Serious Business: Taunting and posturing between servers that share a World Vs World group is this on some forums, with a distinct heirarchy being set that can cause quite a stir when a normally bad server starts overtaking the others in points. An example would be the Denova's Rest/Fergeson's Crossing/Kaineg server group, with Fergeson's usually being the dominant force over Denova's and Kaineg, though this is begining to change.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The asura speak this way pretty commonly. As an Anet blog post says: "Why use a short word when you can once again prove your superior intelligence by using a word those around you donít understand?"
Shining City: Divinity's Reach. It is described as "a breathtaking monument of white parapets and high, pale towers".
Shoot the Medic First: Played straight when fighting the Flame Legion Effigy. There are two groups of three acolytes that heal it to full once its hp gets to around 75%. However, they are shielded and invulnerable to damage until they heal the boss, so you need to kill them quickly when they drop their shield!
One Guardian skill summons a magical shield, which can be launched to hit multiple enemies. Its name? Shield ofthe Avenger.
The Iron Legion base on the Plains of Ashford is called "Exterminatus"
Speaking of Warhammer 40,000, one of the NPCs during the Kralkatorrik's Legacy event says "Walk softly and carry a big boom stick".
One of the renown heart quests in Diessa Plateau involves helping out a ranch. Once finished, you can purchase cow bells which serve as accessories, and they contain the flavor text "there needs more cow bells".
In the Harathi Hinterlands area, a minor random event involves the player escorting an NPC guard on his patrol. At the end you're ambushed by a large spider, and Guard Muldoon's reaction is a simple, "Clever girl."
During the Mad King Thorn event celebrating Halloween, children NPCs are running around in starting towns and Lion's Arch. In Lion's Arch, you'll find two Charr cubs in certain costumes. One dons a certain white robe and hood, scaring the player that he'll do swift assassination kills if you don't coffer candy corn. Another wears black gloves and boots with a grey coat, saying that he's a dark knight who likes to prowl on rooftops and scaring crooks.
On the east side of Bloodtide Coast there's a cave of pirates headed by one Captain Penzan. They are known as Penzan's Pirates. And yes, the captain sings a Guild Wars version of "Modern Major General". And it is awesome.
Also from the Super Adventure Box event, other than the many references to older video games, the Asura in charge of the whole event is named Moto, and the princess you must rescue within the game is called Mia. Mia and Moto.
The password reset page on the website reccomends you look at this XKCD comic before coming up with a new password.
During the assault on the Infinite Coil Inquest base, one technician exclaims that the temperature of the reactor "has exceeded 9000 degrees".
And the Engineer to the Ritualist, with turrets replacing spirits, kits replacing Weapon spells and the ash summons, and the tool belt simulating the spells that utilized the number of Spirits summoned, how many were on cooldown, etc.
Spoony Bard: The eighth profession was revealed to be Minstrel at first...
But the reveal was actually an 'illusion' and attempting to click the link broke the illusion and revealed the eighth profession to be none other than the Mesmer.
Standard Status Effects/Status Buff: Conditions and Boons, respectively. Plenty of abilities give them out or remove them, with some that even turn one into the other or move them from person to person.
Starter Villain: If you create a Sylvari and choose to dream about the Knight in Green Armor, Bercilak of the Nightmare Court is this - the early stages of the main story have you looking for a way to defeat him and circumvent his magical armor, and by level 10, he's dead and you're moving on to bigger things.
In the asura prologue, the hero meets a certain member of the Inquest. This Inquest member appears in all the initial stories for asura, and she is killed by the end of the 1-10 storyline.
Several personal stories have characters that qualify, such as Legionnaire Urvan Steelbane for Blood Legion Charr, and Teyo of the Inquest for the Asura.
Stay in the Kitchen: Literally the offer of a group of Flame Legion soldiers to a female Blood Legion soldier to join them. Goes back to the history where the Flame Legion send all charr women to the kitchen, which bit them in the ass when the women of the other legions did join the fight against them. Seeing how the above offer is rejected and the soldiers respond by attacking her and all other Blood Legion soldiers, including the player, they didn't learn their lesson yet.
The Sons of Svanir have a similar attitude; since Jora killed the Nornbear in Eye of the North, women are banned from the cult.
Two-Keyed Lock: Langmar Estate provides a room with six sets of two-keyed locks. One identifies a paintings expression and his partner imitates it.
Metal Detector Puzzle: Again Langmar Estate has a room where the players need to find objects to build an improvised battering ram from rubble piles around. To succeed at many events, the players have to find certain objects and deliver them to a NPC.
Waiting Puzzle: Explorable Mode, Path two in the Citadel of Flame. It's played for laughs, as the timer jumps from 28 Minutes to 15, then to three and finally to zero.
Weighted Switch Puzzle: In the first part of the Underground Facility-Fractal players have to use pressure plates to give access to a switch, which has to be activated for 10 seconds straight while being under attack. Twist: a dead player has no weight to activate the pressure plate.
Stuff Blowing Up: Engineers can do a whole lot with explosions, as well as other tricks. Lots of explosions are also a regular phenomenon when the charr are around.
To many players' chagrin, at that. ArenaNet have been blasted by very large portions of the community due to Trahearne's... unique involvement with the plot. His sudden commandeering of the story have sprouted memes such as 'Trahearne's Story' and 'Saladbolg', and he is often compared to Guild Wars 1's Kormir due to how they both take all the credit for the player's actions and leave the player feeling shafted.
Playing as a sylvari gives some insight to Trahearne, but otherwise the other races are left blinded on who he is.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: (Captain Rendar) "Pira- oh! You're Captain Thackeray's friend, aren't you? No, no pirates here. Good day to you, move along."
Take That: When asked about subscription fees, Colin Johanson responded by asking "If you're paying a monthly fee for a game, what are you playing for?"
Take Your Time: Regardless of how urgent matters may seem in your personal story, you're still free to gallivant around the world doing your own thing. The instance holding your next quest will patiently wait.
This is especially noticeable from some personal story missions having a level recommendation of up to three levels in difference from the one you just leveled up to do.
Which doesn't stop some missions giving you a Sadistic Choice to pick your next mission, because you just don't have enough time to save everyone. And then you have to spend an hour leveling up for the only mission you had time for.
Technobabble: The asuran trademark. It's even a skill that can be used to daze enemies at long range.
Tennis Boss: The Jade Maw. The main mechanic is the boss' One-Hit Kill beam, and the reflective crystals that appear whenever a flunky appears. If a player is holding onto a reflective crystal when they are hit by the beam, it charges up the crystal instead. Throw the charged crystal at the boss for massive damage.
The Usual Adversaries: Because of the Dynamic Event System, you'll constantly be defending towns, capturing and holding bases from enemies such as the Dredges, Centaurs, Flame Legion, Separatists, Ascalon Ghosts, etc.
And when wielding a sword in the offhand, the Warrior can throw his sword, impaling his target. Then he runs up and rips it out for even more damage.
Rangers can also throw greatswords as well with Crippling Throw. Unlike Bladetrail, the sword doesn't explicitly return to the wielder, but justified in that the skill is typically used in close quarters.
Worried about the sword not returning back? As a mesmer, you can fling a mere illusion of your greatsword.
Too Funny to Be Evil: Lich Form, a necromancers short term transformation that unlocks the full powers of damnation gained in trade for the countless lost souls (and their own as Palawa Joko mentions), it does the... Carlton dance...
Tron Lines: Asura are incredibly fond of this trope.
True Companions: Charr warbands, who are raised and trained together from a young age. A charr's Warband is the most important thing to them in charr culture, and one of the race specific questions for charr in their personal story is which member of their warband they're closest to. Also the only one who survives your first mission.
Turns Red: Why you don't anger the peaceful quaggan.
Vestigial Empire: 250 years ago, humans ruled Tyria. Save for the region conquered and enslaved by the undead, humanity in Tyria is now down to one city, a small swathe of territory around it, and a long besieged fortress. And it's implied that they're losing, thanks in no small part to the Deadly Decadent Court of Kryta. Even Lion's Arch has ceased to be a human city and has become a multicultural hub for every race in Tyria.
Video Game Caring Potential: Strongly encouraged. You can find allied NPCs lying unconscious throughout the world and can revive them. This often contributes to Renown Hearts quests.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: There are a variety of small harmless critters roaming around the world that don't attack you and can't fight back. You get achievements for killing them, which in turn can net you extra experience, money, and items. They also count for "Enemy Kill Variety" requirement of the daily achievement, so killing them is pretty helpful in obtaining the achievement fast.
There is an achievement for dealing very high amounts of damage in a single hit. Harmless critters are always level zero and take very high damage from every attack. Do the math.
Volcanic Veins: The sylvari have a bio-luminescent form of this on their bodies that's mostly only visible at night (And even then, clothes and armor usually cover up most of it). The player has a wide selection of the color and intensity of their sylvari's glow (Hint: There's a "Dim lights" option on the character creation screen).
Although the female human necromancer occasionally inverts this...
"No! I hand-raised that minion!"
Wham Episode: The Battle of Claw Island. Throughout your character's personal storyline, you ruin and dismantle plots by all manner of local villains, construct warbands, expand the spiritual knowledge of your people, recover ancient artifacts, save your nation, and secure the alliance of a village of neutral creatures. And then this mission comes along. You discover hints that a massive Risen invasion force is coming to Lion's Arch, and set off to an island fortress to warn and reinforce the local defenders. It falls anyway. All that history, all those successes against all the threats in your story so far, and you are powerless to stop the Risen armada. The fortress falls, all but a handful of the defenders are slain, and your mentor, who had been fighting by your side for two successive story arcs, dies. You lose. The rest of that particular story arc focuses on regaining the ground that was lost.
The "Escape From Lion's Arch" patch serves as this for the Living Story. Scarlet succeeds where Zhaitan failed when she launches an all-out attack on the city with her three armies (the Molten Alliance, the Aetherblades, and the Toxic Alliance) and successfully sacks it. What used to be the center of player activity in the game gets reduced to a hostile warzone, with all the facilities moved to the Vigil Headquarters for the duration of the patch.
The end video of the Battle for Lion's Arch shows, that the huge drill hits the leylines of Lion's Arch it awakens another Elder Dragon.
World of Pun: From the dredge's communist Moletariat to the charr's cow-launching cattlepult.
Also the Dredge area of Moledavia.
Or the rat-like Skritt's city, Skrittsburg.
The Wild Hunt: It's actually a sylvari concept, fittingly. Certain members of the race are called to a mission for the Pale Tree (the Genius Loci "mother" of the race), and by extension the sylvari as a whole. This quest is called the Wyld Hunt, and it presumably often involves destroying threats to the race as a whole.
We ARE Struggling Together: All races have a faction that opposes the rest and serve as NPC fodder. The human faction is the most deserving of the Too Dumb to Live label. While the political dominance of the humans in the first Guild Wars has been reduced to one main city that's under constant siege, the Deadly Decadent Court continuously plots murders of civilians and the best Seraph soldiers just to make the queen look bad.
Every faction opposing the players have at least a few points in their favor:
Humans: The Deadly Decadent Court thinks the queen is too young and many don't agree with the truce she managed to create with the Charr, since this means relinquishing one of the oldest human kingdoms to an ancient enemy. However, they are not above using bandits to terrorize the countryside in order to make the queen and the Seraph look like incompetents.
Charr: The Flame Legion believe that true power comes from the worship of divine beings, since this is what gave the humans the advantage to dominate known Tyria 200 years ago, and keeping the ancient tradition of their people. Still those traditions proved to be their downfall and refuse to change after all these years. The Renegades are a lesser, distinct faction that defected from the Legions to keep fighting the humans.
Asura: The Inquest believe that their research goes beyond ethics and morals. To their credit, they've created pretty impressive technology, but at what cost?
Norn: The Sons of Svanir believe that Jormag is a valid Spirit of the Wild, as the most powerfull predator, as such they want to expand his influence.
Sylvari: The Nightmare Court believes that the teachings of Ventari's Tablet are too idealistic, and therefore want turn the Pale Tree into a cynic by using their connection to the Dream to show the Tree how dark and cruel the world can be.
Whip It Good: One ability available to elementalists is to attack their enemies with a whip made of electricity.
Some Nightmare Court enemies also use vine whips as their main weapons. You can use one at one point in a Sylvari personal story.
Witch with a Capital B: A Norn woman thinks that her son is "sneaking off to nuzzle up to that she-wolf [she] forbade him to see."
You Bastard: A conversation between a Sylvari and a Norn Mist Warrior in Lion's Arch sums up the typical player attitude in World versus World.
Sylvari: What is evil, anyway? Isn't it just a different view of the same thing?
Norn: Spend some time in the Mist War, and you'll get it. Evil is the enemy. It will destroy us, so we must destroy it first.
Sylvari: I see so many go through that portal who never come out again.
Norn: That's evil's work. You recognize it by how it kills; without purpose, need, or gratitude.
You No Take Candle: Skritt, when alone or in small numbers, tend to speak like this. Interestingly, this isn't (always) an indication of low intelligence, but a side effect of their own language being extremely fast and efficient.
Zip Mode: As in the first Guild Wars, players have the ability to travel instantly, at will, to any "waypoint" that they have discovered in their exploration of the world. Unlike in the first game, however, such "map travel" now costs a fee, which is generally quite small but varies according to the distance the player would like to travel, and also scales with the player's level. There are also "Asura Gates" available in the major cities which can be used to travel between said cities (Lion's Arch is the central node of this network, so in order to travel, say, from the Black Citadel to Hoelbrak, you will need to go through Lion's Arch, much as air travelers often have to go through a "hub city" and change planes in order to reach their destinations).