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Video Game / Guild Wars 2

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For generations, war and chaos raged across the land of Tyria. Then the dragons woke.

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. In addition, with the release of the first expansion, the core content has become free to play, with a few relatively minor restrictions. Purchasing the game gives full access to both the core and expansion content with no additional cost. Unlike the original, much of the PvE content takes place in persistent zones, while instanced ones are still used in the form of dungeons and story missions.

The game is set in the continent of Tyria, on the world of Tyria, 250 years after Guild Wars. Six 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 human kingdom on the continent.
  • Norn: The oversized but otherwise human-like race of proud and philosophical Norse warriors, capable of transforming into the forms of animals. Driven south by the frost dragon, Jormag, they make their home in the Southern Shiverpeaks.
  • Charr: A ferocious and feline race who were enemies in the first game. Half blood knights and half egomaniac hunters, with a strong streak of self-determination. They have reclaimed Ascalon from humanity and now reside there.
  • Asura: A diminutive, big-eared, formerly subterranean race consisting of insufferable geniuses, responsible for the Asura Gates and various other nifty magical technologies. Driven from their underground civilisation by Primordus at the end of Guild Wars, they now control much of the Tarnished Coast from their breathtaking floating city, and shrewdly leverage their position as the local Higher-Tech Species to compensate both for their small stature and their small numbers.
  • 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 core professions available, with a ninth — the Revenant — introduced in the Heart of Thorns expansion. These classes are divided into Scholars (light armor), Adventurers (medium armor), and Soldiers (heavy armor). Any race is able to play any profession equally well and each profession has a "unique mechanic" that greatly distinguishes it from the others. With the addition of the expansions, every class also gains access to several elite specializations, which add new profession mechanics and grant access to a new weapon type. The first indentation is the specialization that requires Heart of Thorns to access, the second are the ones that require Path of Fire, and the third requires End of Dragons.

    Information about classes and specializations 
  • Elementalist — A scholar profession focusing on, not surprisingly, magic based on the standard Classical Elements. Unlike most other classes, instead of swapping weapons, the Elementalist can swap "attunements", which change all five weapon skills to a new element; fire focuses on damage-dealing, water on healing, air on crowd control, and earth on defense. With their slew of 20 weapon skills combined with a wide variety of utility skills, they are highly versatile in combat.
    • The Tempest wields a warhorn, perform shout skills, and "overload" the attunements to generate large and strong AoE-effects.
    • The Weaver has mastered the ability to wield two of the elements at once and use stances. They usually wield a sword in their main hand, while their other hand controls a second attunement, and their third skill is unique, dependent on the two elements wielded and the weapons used.
    • The Catalyst channels elemental energies through a summoned Jade Sphere to grant various boons to nearby allies. They also use warhammers in combat.
  • Necromancer: A scholar profession based on the manipulation of death. Both the death of surrounding creatures as well as numerous skills build up a resource named "Life Force". This can be used to cloak the necromancer in the "Death Shroud", which replaces the weapon skills and layers a second health bar, absorbing the damage from Life Force rather than the actual health. Together with their naturally large health pool this gives them quite some steadfastness.
    • The Reaper, grants access to the greatsword weapon, shout skills and an alternative "Reaper's Shroud". Their skills offer slow but powerful damage and crowd control, invoking the style of classic movie monsters and classic Death Knights from other games.
    • Scourge, on the other hand, essentially give up their shroud ability to summon sand wraithes that they can channel abilities through that can either heavily corrupt their enemies or protect their allies with barriers of sand. They use a torch to help them with this. They use Punishments to defeat their enemies.
    • The Harbinger employs the "Harbinger Shroud", which taps into the characters health points to fuel various special abilities. They also use alchemical elixirs and pistols.
  • Mesmer: A scholar profession focused on illusion magic. Their fighting style is based around the creation of doppelgangers, that can be shattered to hurt enemies and/or buff themselves. They are divided into phantasms (easy to spot, additional effects) and clones (identical but powerless). These illusions can be furthermore used as a distraction. The Mesmer also applies Confusion with many of their attacks, a negative condition that inflicts damage on the victim whenever they use any sort of ability.
    • With the Chronomancer, the Mesmer gains an elite specialization that revolves around time. They can equip shields for increased defensive and supportive capability, and gain abilities to alter their allies' skill cooldowns with an effect called "alacrity" and slow down their enemies actions and increase their cooldowns.
    • In the desert, mesmers instead specialize as Mirages. They wield an axe in their mainhand, and give up their ability to dodge for the Mirage Cloak, which allows them to avoid hits without interrupting their actions or requiring a dedicated dodge roll. They specialize in Deception magic.
    • The Virtuoso replaces their ability to summon clones with the ability to create blades of psychic energy and fire them at opponents. They also use physical daggers as weapons.
  • Ranger: An adventurer profession with an animal companion. Those companions are permanent and follow them into battle, can tank for the ranger, since they are much more difficult to hurt than other creatures. Both the ranger and their pet revolve about boon sharing and wearing down the enemy with an array of skills that allow them to stay away from the enemy. Equipped with the longbow, the ranger has the longest range of all classes.
    • The Druid is a step towards a classic healer. They can wield staffs and temporarily transform themselves into Celestial Avatars capable of healing and sustaining small squads of allies. They learn glyphs that change function whether or not the druid is in Celestial form.
    • Soulbeasts learn to merge with their pets, not only learning new Stances but some of their pets' skills. They wield a dagger in their main hand.
    • Untamed can channel primal energies through either the ranger or the current pet. They also gain the ability to use warhammers in combat.
  • Thief: An adventurer profession that makes use of their vast mobility to surprise attack single enemies. Instead of having cooldown timers on their weapon skills, the Thief consumes "Initiative" instead. Thus they can spam a strong attack multiple times before running out of initiative. Their set of skills revolve around evasion, stealth and 'stealing' to gain a unique, one-use attack that differs depending on the target enemy.
    • The Daredevil takes the concept of the duelist further, granting a third endurance bar for more dodges and an array of physical utility skills that interrupt and disable enemies. Their trademark weapon is a staff, but used as a melee striking weapon rather than a magical implement.
    • The Deadeye is a sniper class, using a rifle to shoot enemies from afar. They use Cantrips to increase their accuracies, and have a new mechanic of Malice that does extra damage to their marked target.
    • The Specter wields a scepter and shadow magics that support allies while striking foes.
  • Engineer: An adventurer profession that uses guns, Guns Akimbo and rifles, as well as a number of technological gadgets for offense, healing, and control. Like the Elementalist, they are only able to carry one weaponset, but makes up for that with "kits", that replace the weapon skills for different purposes. Additionally the Engineer has 'toolbelt' skills, gaining one each for every utility skill equipped. Thematically they're able to set up little gadgets and turrets to fight with, including comically inspired skills like a battering ram on a spring, rocket boots or spilling slicky oil.
    • The Scrapper uses drones to manipulate the battlefield and provide various forms of utility autonomously. They wield a gigantic hammer in battle, specializing in area of effect damage, crowd control and some defensive capability.
    • The Holosmith picks up a sword and a Photon Forge, that allows them to summon various holographic weapons. They use Exceed skills, and have a heat meter that relates to how they use their forge.
    • The Mechanist loses their toolbelt, but gains access to a Jade Mech and a range of mech-command skills. They also use maces in their main hand.
  • Warrior: A soldier profession and master of arms that can use nearly every weapon in the game. Every weapon grants access to a very strong attack, consuming adrenaline which the warrior builds in combat. Their variety of skills allow the Warrior to be used in multiple roles, whether as the frontline of a squad, focused damage dealer, or supportive player with crowd control and Banners for stat buffs.
    • The Berserker elite-specialization gives the warrior a Super Mode that greatly enhances their adrenaline-based attacks. They can equip a torch and deal powerful fire-based condition damage and become significantly more focused on offensive capabilities, to the point where even their unique heal skill requires doing damage to get the most out of it.
    • Spellbreakers are a boon-denial Mage Killer dueling class, wielding daggers in both hands and specialize in Mediation skills. They give up one rank of Adrenaline in order to be able to Full Counter enemies.
    • The Bladesworn uses a gunsaber and offhand pistol. The warrior ability of Adrenaline is replaced with Flow, which can be channeled through the gunsaber to boost its damage.
  • 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. Many skills carry an offensive and a defensive component, which makes their use a double edged sword. They're mostly found in melee range, while lacking strong ranged moves.
    • The Dragonhunter gains the ability to use a longbow and trap skills. Virtues also become more physical when activated, manifesting as a spear of immobilizing light, wings that convey the Dragonhunter to a target destination, or a wall-shield to block enemy attacks.
    • The Firebrand, meanwhile, trades their virtues for Tomes, which allow them to summon ancient books. They also learn Mantras, which each have 3 charges, with the last being more powerful than the previous two. They wield an axe in their main hand.
    • The Willbender can dual-wield two swords, and gains increased mobility.
  • Revenant: A soldier profession introduced in Heart of Thorns, and restricted to players who have bought an expansion. They can use their connection to the Mists to invoke the power of legendary figures and channel attacks from/through the Mists. Their access to legends give them access to different playstyles, as support, pure damage, condition damage or healing. The Revenant has the fewest choices for abilities, being limited to one ability for each slot for each legend they can invoke. Their concept is loosely based on the Ritualist from Guild Wars: Factions, which could summon spirits and channel powers from the mists.
    • The Herald elite specialization allows them to channel Glint, the benevolent dragon that rebelled against her masters and sought to protect Tyria instead. Heralds can equip shields to protect and heal allies. Invoking Glint provides access to "facet" skills which provide auras and buffs when first activated, and can be consumed/re-activated to unleash powerful area-of-effect blasts.
    • The Renegade elite specialization summons Kalla Scorchrazor, the female charr who helped fight the shaman caste and allowed females to fight in warbands once more. They wield a shortbow, summon Kalla's warband members to buff allies, and can tear a fabric in reality to do various attacks.
    • The Vindicator channels the two Canthan heroes Saint Viktor and Archemorus. They use a greatsword in combat.

The game 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. Some characters will also react differently to players depending on their class, race or background selection.

Since January 2013, the developers have released regular "Living Story" updates. These updates provide episodic story chapters that last roughly a month before being made unavailable. 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. In February 2023, ArenaNet announced that subsequent story updates wouldn't follow the "Living Story" pattern, but be released quarterly and be free to anyone owning the linked expansion.

On October 29th, 2015, ArenaNet released their first Expansion Pack, "Heart of Thorns". This expanded the game by adding explorable areas to the west, adding a new class, and giving each class ways to expand via elite specializations. Unlike many modern MMOs, the level cap has not be raised, and there is no new gear tier. November 17th added in other elements promised in the expansions, such as raiding, the new squad interface allowing for a party of 10 players, and new legendary weapons that can be unlocked. Heart of Thorns was followed by Living World Season 3, expanding on the White Mantle faction from GW1 and providing new locales to explore all over Tyria.

After a major leak of information, Anet officially confirmed that they were working on a second expansion intended for release some time in the second half of 2017. On September 23, 2017, the second expansion, "Path of Fire" was released, taking place in the Crystal Desert and northern Elona. Mounts were added to the game, with each unique animal offering new forms of movement through land, sea and sky. A new set of elite specializations were also added for each class. Living World Season 4 followed afterwards, focusing on the dragon Aurene as she reached maturity and dealing with the remaining threats in Elona: Kralkatorrik, and Palawa Joko.

When Season 4 finished in May 2019, ArenaNet moved immediately into Living World Season 5, known as "The Icebrood Saga", dealing with Jormag and a new threat arising from the charr horde. During a livestream celebrating the 8th anniversary of Guild Wars 2, a third expansion, "End of Dragons", was finally announced, promising a return to the highly requested Cantha. "End of Dragons" was released on February 28, 2022.

On June 27, 2023, ArenaNet announced the fourth expansion, "Secrets of the Obscure". Now that the Dragon Cycle has ended, a new threat to Tyria's safety has emerged. The expansion was released on August 22, 2023.

This game contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Aborted Arc: There are a lot of loose threads in both the personal story and even some odd strands from back in Guild Wars. However, a couple of these have returned later on. It's implied that some will be resolved in the living story. Here's a sample of ones that might not be picked up.
    • 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.
    • Another sylvari storyline involves meeting another sylvari named Malyck. He is apparently born from a different tree, and ends his arc by going off to find it and his brothers and sisters born from it. Most believed he would return during Heart of Thorns, when we go deep into the Maguuma Jungle to kill Mordremoth, but he never appears, nor do any other "Pale Trees", as this was apparently cut for time.
    • Eir went into the Ascalonian Catacombs to retrieve Magdaer, reforge it and give it to Logan in an attempt to remake Destiny's Edge. This is never seen happening and Logan doesn't show up wielding it. However, Rytlock's angry reaction to her plan to give it to Logan might have convinced her that giving it to Logan right away may not be such a good idea. The main reason this story is probably abandoned is because Eir died during Heart of Thorns.
    • 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. On the other hand, some elements of these stories do come back later, such as the relic of Balthazar from Gladium charr story or Lord Faren from the Noble human story.
    • One instance in Orr manages to have three possible dropped threads. You have the options of obtaining a map from the ghost of Romke and his crew or performing a ritual at the Cathedral of Silence with Priestess Rhie and an Asuran krewe. Depending on the choices you made creating your character, as a norn, Romke might be your ancestor, as a human, you might have worked with Rhie to save Queen Jennah from Kellach, or as an asura, this might be your Snaff Prize krewe. None of them will acknowledge you in any way.
  • Achievement Mockery: A few of the achievements fall into this category, such as the one for standing in the wrong place when a dragon attacks.
  • Achievement System: The Achievement tab of the Hero Panel keeps track of most achievements available in the game. Some of the achievements have a specific reward, and for every 500 achievement points, an achievement chest is awarded to the account.
  • Action Prologue: The very first thing you do in the game is take part in a large-scale skirmish that ends with you fighting side-by-side with a former member of Destiny's Edge against a large boss.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: In the second story mission for asura who created the VAL-A golem, there's a character that you must talk to who goes all-out, with the Savant even adding a little. First he tries to shoo you away while he's conversing with a couple of skritt, whom he refers to as his entourage.
    Savant: Your entourage...?
    Keppa: Yes. These fine-furred fellows fervently frisk the fighting floor, finding functional fragments.
    Savant: Fascinating. Sort of like finding and fiddling with my VAL-A golem blueprints?
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Rata Novus is this, essentially. An asura krewe that fractured off during their ascent to the surface, still staying somewhat underground, they developed technology both ancient and advanced compared to the Rata Sum asura. Most significant about them is that they have a dedicated dragon research lab. They also all disappeared long before the Five Races could find them again.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: The Durmand Priory falls into this during some of their field missions. They're the order focused on looking to the past and knowledge to defeat the Elder Dragons, so many of their field missions involve searching for artifacts or lost knowledge, fighting plenty of monsters along the way.
  • Aerith and Bob: A whole lot of Aeriths and a handful of Bobs. Non-humans have mostly fantastic names like Trahearne and Rytlock Brimstone. Humans sometimes have fantastic names like Kasmeer, but also sometimes have more benign names like Logan Thackeray. Norn split the difference, with vikingesque names (example: Eir Stegalkin).
  • A God Am I:
    • Gaheron Baelfire literally claims as much in the Citadel of Flame story mode, when he gains fire-based powers and grows in size.
    • Palawa Joko poses as a god-king figure to his people, but has the power to back it up.
  • 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.
  • The Alcatraz: As revealed with the Head of the Snake update, The Bastion Of the Penitent raid acts as one for the Mursaat towareds their main captive Saul D'Alessio, who was kept alive for over 250 years through the mystical Eye of Janthir.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The map of Dragonfall has five distinct parts, three of them being regions of The Mists that Kralkatorrik flew through before Aurene shot him out of the sky.
    • A jungle region (Melandru's), containing enemies from the Maguuma Jungle, Bouncing Mushrooms, and Oakheart's Essence (last seen in Draconis Mons)
    • A desert region (Grenth's), full of undead, spirits, and heavily reliant on Sand Portals and other mounts for traversal.
    • A burning forest (Balthazar's), filled with fallen warriors and firebreathing beasts, and with a network of Thermal Tubes for mobility.
    • The Pact field base, a callback to both the base in the Silverwastes and the three mechanically distinct combat lanes of Dragon Stand.
    • The normally inaccessible rocky center of the map where Kralkatorrik itself crash-landed, which, when cleared up, features three of the teleport Shrines last used in Siren's Landing.
    • Furthermore, War Eternal's final story mission takes place inside Kralkatorrik's mind, and teleports you around to fight against echoes of the Mouth of Zhaitan and the Mind of Mordremoth, both complete with their original battle music.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: One of the playable races were previously thought to be vicious, Always Chaotic Evil butchers who were mankind's greatest enemy and once almost destroyed them in a devastating war, but were eventually revealed to have previously been a noble Proud Warrior Race before they were led astray into demon worship by their own sorcerer caste and eventually broke free, redeemed themselves and returned to their roots, now fighting with Steampunk technology while maintaining a still very strained relationship with humans. Wait, there are Orcs in this game? Oh, you mean Charr!
  • Alt Itis: Each class plays completely differently, and the personal story branches depending on race, backstory options selected at character creation, and missions chosen while playing, encouraging players to make multiple characters to get a well-rounded experience. The game almost encourages this, as some rewards are equipment that are better stats for a lower character, or a Daily PVP achievement being to win a match as a specific class.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Largely averted, as even the most antagonistic race tends to have at least a few friendly individuals in it and many of them really do have good reasons for acting the way they do. Played completely straight in two cases, however: Dragon Minions (whether created outright or victims of The Corruption) and the reptilian Krait are never shown in anything even remotely resembling a positive light, and the Krait in particular are more or less an entire species of professional puppy kickers (despite lacking feet to do the kicking).
  • 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, Snaff, 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. It was traditionally wielded by the leader of the charr, the equivalent of a king or a high general.
    • 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 planning 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 returns to Ascalon with either of the swords the curse of Ascalon will be broken. The only surviving member of the royal family is the duke of Ebonhawke. While nominally queen of humanity, Queen Jennah is descended from the royal family of Kryta, not Ascalon (Kryta and Ascalon were actually at war with each other just before the start of Guild Wars 1).
      • Sohothin demonstrates its true power in Path of Fire when Rytlock gives your character the sword, and you use it to mow down Balthazar and his minions.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Saul D'Alessio was kept alive (see The Alcatraz) for centuries in a cell specifically designed to feed on the worst aspects of his character while preventing his death. The Mursaat had intended to use this torture to break his will and shape him into their puppet but they were wiped out meaning that until the player he had no chance of freedom.
    • The last Spearmarshal, Tahlkora, was killed by Palawa Joko on an isolated plateau. He then used necromancy to bind her soul to her body without reanimating it, trapping her in an immobile corpse. Had Kormir not granted Tahlkora the ability to see through her Griffons and communicate mentally, she would have spent the following centuries completely alone and immobile.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Completing the personal story ends with the Pact gearing up to take down the next Elder Dragon.
    • At the end of Path of Fire, Balthazar has been defeated, but Kralkatorrik, powered up by much of Balthazar's power, flies off, creating yet more Branded territory.
  • 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 untradeable, 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.
    • Festival meta-achievements will generally reward you with a seasonal piece of clothing for completing them.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Achievements which require the collection of multiple items often give hints as to each individual item's location. This is especially helpful in the case of collection achievements where the different objects all have the same name.
    • Despite the many annoyances added, Tribulation Mode in Super Adventure Box also adds additional save points to areas where the changes make for a significantly longer trek between the original check points. Later updates also caused the invisible spike traps to remain visible after being triggered to avoid dying to them yet again.
    • The game is very very stingy with money compared to other games. Repairs, at the time one of the biggest money sinks in an MMORPG, costs nothing. Instanced missions often include an anvil as well.
  • 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.
    • Many of the achievements are nothing but grinding, which most players wouldn't do unless there was an achievement tied to it. Some achievements give little rewards, other than achievement points, unless all the achievements in a "set" are completed.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Over the course of your personal story, you'll meet a lot of characters. Not all of them will make it through alive.
    • The Heart of Thorns expansion expanded the story of the core characters, and some of them die, too. Three major characters die during this arc: Faolain, the once-leader of the Nightmare Court and former love interest of Caithe; Eir Stagalkin, one of the founding members of Destiny's Edge and Braham's mother; and Trahearne, leader of the Pact and close friend to the Player Character.
    • The Path of Fire expansion goes one step further to show how anyone can die and has the Player Character die in an ambush courtesy of Balthazar. Thankfully they get back to life, but it takes some time, and is implied to be a one-time deal.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • A collection of journal entries from three members of the White Mantle provides most of the backstory for the Bloodstone Fen disaster in Living Story Season 3. The journals were written by a religiously fanatic Mad Scientist, the General Ripper in charge of security and a young apprentice who tries to warn her superiors but gets ignored and eventually executed for it. Tellingly, the achievement to collect all pages is named "A Conspiracy of Dunces".
    • A similar journal could be found scattered throughout Ember Bay of the once team leader. Unlike the previous example, these logs are lost once discovered and cannot be reread in any fashion.
  • Arc Number: 6. Six human gods, six Elder Dragons, six major races (counting the unplayable tengu, which were originally supposed to be playable), each corresponding to the awakening place of each Elder Dragonnote , six racial skills per race (for humans, they correspond to one of the six gods each), six orbs in The All and the supposed vision of the Eternal Alchemy in Omadd's machine (which, again, seem to correspond to the Elder Dragons)...
  • Arc Words: "This is my story."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Guild Bounty target "Devious Teesa" is a near-literal example, being wanted for "theft, attempted assassination, and incorrect filling of Patent Form 12.21-D".
  • Art Evolution: Look at this image comparing Guild Wars 1 with Guild Wars 2.
  • Art Shift:
    • Zigzagged in the cut scenes. They are usually 2D images, moving slightly, but can have actual sprites integrated into them, like the introductory cutscene and the introduction to an Order. This includes your character, so you look like you and not just some placeholder.
    • Super Adventure Box had blocky, 8-bit like sprites and landscapes. This can be pretty jarring since you are still rendered as you are anywhere else.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: NPC AI in a lot of the personal story missions is simply broken; the NPCs simply don't have an aggro range at all, so even ones specifically accompanying you for your protection, or your Order mentor, will stand around cleaning their nails while you fight an entire mission's worth of enemies single-handedly. They'll only fight if they themselves take any damage from an enemy, but enemies are coded to exclusively attack you and will ignore the NPCs completely, leading to ridiculous circumstances where an entire Pact squad can be standing literally nose-to-nose with a small horde of Risen without flinching while the Risen beat their commander to death. The only way to get them to fight is to bait them into an enemy AOE attack.
  • 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. Of course, this example in particular is relaxed slightly with a bonus cutscene between the sylvari PC and Trahearne.
    • 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. Even if you are a norn.
  • Attack Drone:
    • Almost every class has access to these somehow, and some races do as well, via Racial Skills. 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.
    • The elite racial skills for asura, charr, human and sylvari can also summon attack drones. Asura can summon an autonomous golem, charr call upon their warband mates, sylvari summon a druid (an ancient wood spirit creature), and humans summon two Hounds of Balthazar for the player as attack drones.
    • And just to round out the list, anyone who pre-purchased the game, or later purchased the Deluxe edition, has an elite skill unlocked for all characters on their account that lets them summon a spirit wolf.
    • As of the Heart of Thorns expansion, engineers can, after unlocking their elite specialization, have small, steampunk helicopter drones follow them around that provide various functions.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some of the bosses are huge! And don't move around much.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Transformations morph the player into something else with a unique set of skills. While this trope is the case in PvE-areas, this trope is mostly averted in PvP. Every transformation is worth a pick. It also grants a hard-to-remove stability and one selling point to make a better job at some aspect in a combat. The Tornado gives a powerful AoE-knockback, the Plague is incredibly durable, since it can also blind an enemy in vicinity, the Lich gives access to an immensely strong and piercing auto-attack and the Juggernaut is a powerful Hulk Out, that makes the character a temporary Lightning Bruiser. It may bring you to the attention of the enemy fraction, but smartly used it can turn the tide of a battle.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • In the Super Adventure Box platforming game, your foes are mostly either cheerful and smiling, or "mean" in a non-threatening way like most mooks from classic games. Great care was taken to make the Tribulation Cloud, an invulnerable Demonic Spider only encountered in Tribulation Mode, look as crazed and bloodthirsty as possible without breaking the cartoony art style.
    • Anyone who consumes too much bloodstone dust seems to end up in this category, attacking anyone who moves and screaming nonsense.
  • Back for the Dead:
    • During "Head of the Snake" chapter (season 3, episode 4), Demmi Beetlestone returns after no mention since the initial Personal Story. She dies in the final instance of this chapter by her father's hand, who we then subsequently kill.
    • Last seen in Guild Wars 1, Glint's son, Gleam/Vlast, was killed in his first appearance in a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the main character.
  • Badass Army: All of charr society is structured around their Badass Army.
  • Badass Boast: 'I will not let you pass!' and variations of it when your Order mentor faces certain death to buy you time during the Battle of Claw Island.
    • The player character can have some of these, with each dependent upon the class and race.
    "The storm shall bend at my word!"
    "Come on, hit me! I'll hit back!"
  • Badass Bookworm: Pretty much the point of the Durmand Priory. The asura also count, having studied in a college before taking on their chosen profession.
  • Badass Creed: All of the Factions available for the Player Characters to join have one.
    "Fight, what cannot be fought/Know, what cannot be known/Kill, what cannot be killed." — Whispers
    "Some must fight so that others can Live/Some must fight so that all may be free" — Vigil
    "Your power is only equal to the sum of your knowledge" — Durmand Priory
  • Badass Longcoat: Invoked by some armour arts, most prevalent in medium armor for adventurer classes.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to the more magical/technical classes, the Warriors. They never use magic or devices in fighting (the closest are the banners and they're not used for offense but for support) and all of their abilities are raw strength. Taken up to eleven with Berserker, which amplifies said raw strength.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: The battle against Mordremoth. Since Mordremoth's whole body is the Maguuma jungle, it can't be fought conventionally. Defeating it requires the protagonist to enter its mind and fight distorted memories of their companions and a manifestation of Mordremoth's mind.
  • Beast Man:
    • There are people that are based off of cats, rats, snakes, mole rats, cetacea, and frogs, among others.
    • Norn can transform into a Bear, Wolf, Raven, or Snow Leopard form. The kodan look very much like permanently-transformed Polar Bear men. Dialogue in Bitterfrost Frontier suggest that this might be inverted for the norn, originally being kodan.
  • The Beastmaster:
    • Rangers specialize in being this.
    • 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.
    • Ogres wear this trope as their cultural Hat. Few ogres are ever seen without their pets and they often make heavy use of them in combat.
  • 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 first chapter 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.
    • The Pale Tree believes strongly in this trope.
    Pale Tree: Do not question the Dream. We must all play our part.
    • Subverted with Ceara, later Scarlet Briar, from the moment of her awakening.
    Mender Serimon: Sapling? I’m here to help you acclimate. To help you understand your place in this world and identify the purpose Pale Mother has given you.
    Ceara: I’ll find my own place, thank you very much. And it’s hardly my purpose if someone else gives it to me.
    Mender Serimon: You’ve awakened with a wealth of confidence. But don’t presume too much. We all make choices in life, but sometimes choices are made for us. Especially we children of the Pale Tree. It is the way of things.
    Ceara: The way of things? Thank you for attending my awakening, mender. But where my life is concerned, I will be the one who chooses.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: A note in Jahai Bluffs reveals that Vizier Khilbron, the man who destroyed Orr, believed it was better for the nation to be destroyed by his hands than allow it to fall to the Charr.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Quaggan, a race of roly-poly anthropomorphic manatees. When they get mad, they increase in size, turn sharp and craggy, and gain More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
  • 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 in the final chapter. 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. Necromancers are also able to in the expansion.
    • Interestingly, mesmers do not use them as swords, but as a focus for Frickin' Laser Beams.
    • The elementalists can summon 2 giant flame swords.
  • Big Head Mode: One of the April Fools pulled was Bobblehead mode, where all the creatures had their head enlarged and bounced around elastically. Later, bobblehead fountains were put on the gem store for purchase can could be placed on open-world maps for other players to turn this mode on again.
  • Big Red Button: See Schmuck Bait below.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Icebrood Saga ends with both Jormag and Primordius defeated and destroyed and the Dominion dismantled, ending the Charr civil war, but Rytlock was forced to kill his own son, who spend his final moments denouncing his parents for never acknowledging his accomplishments until it was too late, Almorra is dead, leaving the Vigil in an uncertain position, the death of Smodur and imprisonment of Bangar has left the Charr leaderless, and there's no telling what effects, good or ill, two Elder Dragons dying at the same time will have on Tyria.
  • 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.
    • With the second season of the Living Story, you can earn pieces of Bioluminescent armors by completing related episode achievements.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Applies to the asura to some degree. The girls are typically wide-eyed, fairly unblemished 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. Weirdly, when it comes to the Modniir, the most powerful and ugliest of all centaurs, the hunters have male speaking lines, but female battle noises and death cries, while the rest of the classes have all male vocals.
  • Black-and-White Morality: This trope is played more straight than the original Guild Wars. Good luck trying to find a hero or villain with some moral ambiguity. note 
    • 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 zigzag. 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. Kralkatorrik 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, almost no race is depicted as purely good or evil. For instance, you can fight evil centaurs and evil hylek, or be helped by good centaurs/hylek. Krait are always hostile, and quaggans and kodan are always friendly (except when they've been corrupted), but every other race serves as both allies and enemies.
  • Black Knight: The Revenants wear black armour and practice a form of necromancy by communicating with ghosts of ancient warriors to gain their strength. That being said, they do not necessarily have to be evil, or even wear black armour, or even wear that much armour at all (Guild Wars 2 has plenty of revealing, Conan the Barbarian/Red Sonja-esque heavy armour outfits), but their basic archetype is this, as shown by Rytlock Brimstone.
  • Blamed for Being Railroaded: Although in the Personal Story has branching storytelling, the story after that is relatively linear, no matter what type of character you are playing as. They only get to make small minor changes to the story as they progress. Braham, one of the later characters, starts blaming the player character, for absurd things, even though they've really only had one railroaded storyline to progress.
  • Blood for Mortar: Almost everything built by the minions of Lich King Palawa Joko in Vabbi is made entirely of large bones, many of them human. This includes an enormous bone wall separating Joko's kingdom proper from the no-man's land of the Crystal Desert. Joko's palace is reportedly made entirely of centaur bones.
  • Bloodsucking Bats: Bats are an environmental enemy. Some steal health/hp (which is portrayed as red droplets); others cause bleeding, a Damage Over Time condition.
  • Boats into Buildings: Many of the buildings in Lion's Arch and other areas occupied by pirates appear to be made from ships. Notable examples include the Guild Initiative Headquarters and the Crow's Nest Tavern (both before and after reconstruction).
  • 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.
  • Botanical Abomination: The Elder Dragon Mordremoth. The Elder Dragons are all Draconic Abominations, and Mordremoth combines this with being a plant creature whose body is a whole jungle.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Despite their single-shot appearances, rifles and pistols have a high rate of fire. A thief wielding Guns Akimbo can practically shoot at full auto. Acceptable Breaks from Reality and Rule of Cool apply here. Bows also have bottomless quivers.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: Rangers, warriors, and thieves. Guardians and revenants gain the option with elite specializations. Elementalists can also conjure both weapon types, making them (and anyone who picks up their conjured weapons) pseudo examples.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: During the sylvari story quest where you try to repair some golems to help the skritt fight off the Destroyers:
    Larra: Hmph. These golems are barely functional. We'll be lucky if they don't tip over, explode, or tip over and explode.
  • 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 unbreakable resource gathering tools (which save time, inventory space, and money) are the most notable bonuses.
    • Heart of Thorns later boasted purchasing the expansion will grant you an instant level 80 boost to one character. Thankfully, this was also offered to anyone who had already purchased the expansion. All expansions add an additional level 80 booster in a new shared slot, and these boosters automatically stack.
  • 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: 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.
    • Less involved than the above, during "Taimi's Game", Taimi will offhandedly mention she needed Moto's help to get the combat simulator working. The third wave in the simulator is actually an 8-bit monkey, just like the ones you'd find in Super Adventure Box. Don't underestimate him, though.
    • In "Be My Guest" Palawa Joko makes more than a few jokes about Braham's intelligence and early on asks if he can even spell "epidemic", taking his silence as a no. At end of the mission Braham says that Joko was wrong, apparently referring to his "The Reason You Suck" Speech... only to boastfully spell epidemic.
    • In the 2018 April Fools patch notes, it mentions that "Praise" and "Joko" have been added to the profanity filter. Near the end of the notes, it says that Revenants gain access to the Palawa Kitten stancenote .
    • In the prologue for Secrets of the Obscure, your character is tricked into giving an interview to a Canthan reporter. At the very end of the storyline, as you're wrapping things up and talking to your allies, you come across a hologenerator in the Wizard's Tower that's broadcasting that reporter's account (and the dialogue is keyed to whatever answers you picked during the interview).
  • Broad Strokes: Considering the nature of the game (choose your own path for the story, different starting stories for different races, total freedom that you aren't forced to do stories, etc.), and that Season 1 is unavailable, the game's narrative starting Living Story Season 2 onwards puts the player in a sense that they did something that they technically never did.
    • Living Story Season 2 assumes you have completed the personal story, including the death of Zhaitan, regardless whether you've finished the base game's personal story or not.note  The most recent release indicates that ALL of the personal story events happened, even if they aren't part of your own background.
    • Living Story Season 3 begins after Mordremoth has been defeated, including starting with a spoiler from Heart of Thorns, Act 1.
    • Lord Faren acts like he has known you for quite a while even though you could technically not be even introduced at him at all.note 
    • In the World Summit chapter, the racial leaders act like they have only met you for the first time even if you started with them (i.e. Queen Jennah not knowing you despite talking a lot with her in the human Personal Story).
    • Demmi Beetlestone leaving Caudecus Manor and joining the Order of Whispers, even if you joined a different Order. Even if you did join the Order of Whispers, your character doesn't react when she cites Tybalt as her mentor.
    • Unlike most games, the previous expansions aren't required to be bought to play later ones (ie. Path of Fire can be played without doing Heart of Thorns content). This means that some of the previous content might be mentioned, even if the player hasn't experienced it.
    • While 2022's Living World Season 1 revamp retained the season's main story beats and content, certain subplots were left out, including the Captain's Council election, the attack on Southsun Cove which served as Canach's introduction to the story, and a good chunk of Hero-Tron's early appearances.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Since they're all children of the Pale Tree, every sylvari couple is technically this. But since sylvari can't reproduce by themselves, it really doesn't mean anything.

  • 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.
    • Griffons, to a small degree. While they are strictly fictional beings to begin with, these griffons aren't strictly half-lion half eagle as they are in mythology; the bird half is more commonly an owl.
  • 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.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: The dredge leader Varya states her people will not help fight Kralkatorrik as they have already suffered too much. Late in the battle, the Commander's path is blocked by rubble and Branded are closing in when Varya and a squad of dredge erupt from the ground. They clear the path and hold the Branded back, with Varya stating the Commander is the only hope for the spirit of revolution.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • 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 Lionguard Ellen Kiel.
  • Circus Episode: Human characters can opt for their biggest regret to be that they turned down a chance to perform in the circus. They get a second chance in an early story arc that involves joining and infiltrating a circus that's actually a front for criminal activities. Head of the Snake confirms that most of the carnival workers were former Ascalon soldiers, organized under Caudecus's direction.
  • 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.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: While core Tyria has plenty of waypoints on every map, any map added from Dry Top onward tend to have the waypoints fewer and farther between.
    • Averted as of Path of Fire in the various instances. While some of the newer instances are pretty long, they added in a checkpoint system so that reentering the instance will restart as of that point.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The hyleks. Lampshaded by some asura children.
    "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 originally had a "badge" that shows how much of the map you've explored on any single character. Checking the world map on a character has a bar that tells you how much of the world and your current zone you have unlocked.
    • All affinity heart events, and most other events have a bar that shows how close the event is finished, or how much health a boss has left.
    • Mastery points have a bar to indicate how close training is to being unlockable with mastery points.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • The mesmer embodies this one. A nice example is the ability Clone: the mesmer will shimmer and two identical clones will spawn in the same area as the mesmer, while the original might've moved a bit. 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 they can hide behind their allies.
  • Continuity Nod: Several landmarks familiar to players of Guild Wars 1 will pop up, some 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. It's so thick, it's practically Continuity Porn.
    • 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 prominent 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. Nebo Village just to its west, which was a tiny hamlet in the first game, has now become an important town and is also a major human-centaur battlefield. The area in which both towns are situated, Gendarran Fields, was North Kryta Province in the time of the original game and was heavily forested in those days, in contrast to its modern status with numerous farms, orchards and estates.
    • In-game continuity: The floating grizwhirl of the human circus storyline is mentioned offhandedly as an Inquest invention in the Asura Synergetics storyline.
    • Similarly, the steam creatures menacing the Lake of Lamentation are a creation of an alternate future evil version of the player character if the player is an Asura who created an Infinity Ball. Season 2 implied that it was actually Scarlet Briar who made the steam creatures.
    • In Metrica Province, notes found in Oola's Lab reveal she was the one responsible for getting Zinn banished from Rata Sum. At the time, it just looks like Asuran scienciopolitics as usual, since Oola mentions it offhandedly in some sarcastic notes about dealing with politicians. Flash forward to Living Story Season 3 and Draconis Mons, and Zinn's recordings reveal he was so far removed from ethics and possibly sanity that Oola possibly did Rata Sum a favor by getting rid of him.
    • The Balthazar relic recovered during the charr Honorless Gladium storyline shows up again in the Durmand Priory story after Zhaitan starts attacking the orders.
    • 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.
    • Blazeridge Steppes contains the remains of several areas that were important stops in the early going for Guild Wars: Prophecies characters.
    • In Timberline Falls (which occupies the general area where the region called Snake Dance was in the first game), the ruins of Camp Rankor — which was, in the original Guild Wars, the first southern outpost of the famous/notorious "Droknar's Forge run" — are now a Durmand Priory archaeological excavation site, and the location of a key step in your character's Personal Story, where they and Trahearne must rescue members of that Priory expedition from an onslaught of Risen.
    • North of Timberline Falls, Lornar's Pass, which still retains its Prophecies-era name, is still the main highway to the southern Shiverpeaks, though nowadays it's much more heavily settled, mostly by norn in their southward migrations, and is also the home of the Durmand Priory. The out-of-the-way shrine to Grenth, which could be visited by players in Prophecies days, is still there.
    • Dredgehaunt Cliffs, to the east of Lornar's Pass and south of Hoelbrak, hosts not only the Granite Citadel but the dungeon which was once known as Sorrow's Furnace and is now called Sorrow's Embrace.
    • The Temple of the Ages, once a key outpost in the jungles of central Kryta and a gateway to the Underworld and the Fissure of Woe, is now, like Camp Rankor, a collection of ruins being explored by the Durmand Priory. It's still highly dangerous because it continues to be plagued by creatures which keep leaking through portals from the Underworld, including the formidable Shadow Behemoth. Fortunately, the undead which used to infest the surrounding areas have long since vanished, though they've had their places taken by bandit gangs and centaurs.
    • Sparkfly Swamp, the location of two dungeons in Eye of the North, is now Sparkfly Fen. The dungeons have long since vanished, but the area is a key part of the front line in the struggle between the Pact and Zhaitan and his Risen minions, particularly since it's the haunt of Tequatl the Sunless.
    • The "Ruins of the Unseen" location in Caledon Forest is the same location near the old asura outpost of Vlox's Falls; Caledon Forest itself occupies much of what was Arbor Bay, plus several coastal zones to the north. The Grove, the sylvari home city, is built on the site of the centaur Ventari's old settlement in Arbor Bay.
    • Kessex Hills, north of Caledon Forest, occupies more or less the same area that was called Kessex Peak 250 years ago, and includes the Wizard's Tower, which floated off the southwestern edge of the area in those days but has now been moved by its current owner to a location outside the village of Garrenhoff, at the southeastern corner of the area.
    • Shaemoor, the village/suburb outside Divinity's Reach where human characters kick off their adventures, was the site of a mission location in Guild Wars: Prophecies. Divinity's Reach itself, the human player's home city and the capital of the kingdom of Kryta, is built on the site of the old village of Divinity's Coast (the objective the players were supposed to reach in the aforementioned mission), and the area to its immediate west, a heavily overgrown jungle with only minimal paths in the time of Guild Wars 1, is now thoroughly cultivated and occupied by numerous farms.
    • To the east of Divinity's Reach, Beetletun, an outpost in Guild Wars: Prophecies, is now one of the most important towns in Queensdale, the seat of Queen Jennah's rival Lord Caudecus, and the site of a dungeon.
    • Yak's Bend, once a key stop on the road for refugees and adventurers from Ascalon on their way to Kryta, has been reduced to a minor waypoint in southeastern Frostgorge Sound, occupied mainly by Priory researchers and local grawl tribes. The Iron Horse Mines to the west, once a major dwarven community, have long since been taken over by dredge.
    • The Silverwastes, added November 2014, while now arid desert, was once the lush jungle/forest known as the Silverwood in Guild Wars: Prophecies. Artifacts found at the old forts in the area indicate that those facilities may have at one time been occupied by the White Mantle, whether during their period of power in Kryta or while fleeing their defeat in that kingdom's civil war. The fortress known as Indigo Cave, in the center of the area, occupies more or less the same position as the old Shining Blade outpost known as Quarrel Falls. The Silverwastes are directly to the north of Dry Top, an area whose name and character hasn't changed in 250 years — except that the centaurs inhabiting the area are much friendlier to humans than in the old days.
    • Much of Auric Basin overlaps with the Guild Wars 1 map of Magus Falls, including Zinn's old lab and a hero challenge tied to the old statue of Balthazar inexplicably found in the area.
    • The map continuity is strong enough that players have overlaid the Guild Wars 1 Tyrian map on Guild Wars 2's, and while a couple of things have shifted or moved, they more or less line up.
    • Living World Season 3, Chapter 2 takes us back to the Fire Islands, where we see an old mursaat base, and a dwarf, reduced to little more than a head and a thumb. The map name, Ember Bay, calls back to the Ember Light Camp.
    • Path of Fire's expansion into the desert and northern Vabbi takes pain to place major landmarks in more or less the same spot as they were in the original game, including Amnoon, Augury Rock, the Mouth of Torment, Kodash Bazaar, the Tomb of Primeval Kings and Glint's Lair.
    • End of Dragons has a surprising one: the mysterious blue orb that you steal from the Krait to protect Fort Trinity was somehow brought all the way from Cantha, where there are several more of them.
  • Cool Boat: The charr have a submarine of roughly World War One era sophistication.
    • The airships are pretty nice, part zeppelin and part magical ride. The prologue to Path of Fire makes a joke about how the main character tends to crash whenever they ride on an airship.
    • 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...
      • Then again, the airships are explicitly mentioned to be fusions of asura, human, and charr technology, meaning that the leaders of said races consented to a tech trade. It might not be a stretch to say that the Order simply requisitioned one from the Iron Legion.
  • Cosmic Keystone: At the climax of Season 3, Episode 5, Taimi discovers that the Elder Dragons are more irrevocably interwoven with the flow of magic in Tyria than they thought- and if you kill any more of them, the world will be destroyed! After this revelation, what are you even fighting for...?
  • Crosshair Aware: See a red ring appear on the floor? Get out of it or prepare to be blasted.
    • Inverted when calling targets. Anyone in the party will see a crosshair logo above the target's head, but no one else will.
    • Some new enemies have attacks that will put a small crosshair symbol of the player's head. That means a mobile attack will follow the character.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Invoked pretty literally with the scion of Glint, Aurene. She's worshipped by the Zephyrites, is prophecied to save the world by defeating Kralkatorrik, and even resurrects herself after he kills her. And yes, she's a crystal dragon.
  • Crystal Landscape: The Dragonbrand has many landscape features (plants, rocks, and even animals) turned to crystal. The Brand is a menacing, Mordor-like area, primarily due to the crystals, the scar of the crystal dragon Krakatorrik's arrival.
    • There are a handful of crystals left over from the Searing in Ascalon, but they are unrelated to Kralkatorriks' corruption.
  • 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, which got Snaff and Glint killed.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The necromancers are back, and the charr are now playable.
  • Darkest Hour: At the end of "All or Nothing" the plan to kill Kralkatorrik fails, leading to the death of Aurene. With her gone, the Commander and their allies believe there is no way to prevent the end of the world until she comes back to life.
  • Decadent Court:
    • There's quite a bit of this among the ruling class of Divinty's Reach, particularly the ministers. Minister Caudecus is the most prominent opponent.
    • The sylvari Nightmare Court strongly resemble old school elven courts. Nightmare Courtiers of note tend to have Names to Run Away From.
    • Asuran academia also leans towards this, although deaths are usually due to malfunctioning devices rather than the competition killing each other.
  • 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.
    • Karka hatchlings will make suicidal runs at players, then add a condition that reflects them attaching themselves to the player. This condition cannot be removed through skills.
  • 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".
  • Death of the Old Gods: In the time between Guild Wars 1 and 2, the human gods withdrew from Tyria and stopped answering prayers. During Living World Season 3, we learn that Balthazar remained behind, cast out by the others after he wanted to fight the elder dragons and the other gods disagreed. The "Path of Fire" expansion focused on defeating him and preventing him from killing Kralkatorrik.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: All the races (except, rather pointedly, the sylvari) have child NPCs. While human and norn children are pretty much what you'd expect (if a bit larger for the norn), charr cubs are rather endearing, but even they have nothing on the absurdly tiny and adorably cute asura progeny.
    • In the reconstructed Lion's Arch (which integrates refugees from the minor races into its population) there's an adorable mini-event where an asura progeny and a tiny skritt kit (the only other race as small as the asura) team up to steal apples from a vendor. This is also quite heartwarming, as asura and skritt had a relationship similar to the charr and humans.
  • 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, Champion being a boss, and Elite being somewhere in-between), which in at least one case has lead to an NPC named Champion Badazar's Champion.
    • Same with items, who get prefixes and suffixes according to their stats and the built-in runes/jewels — leading to things like a "Berserker's Ring of the Berserker".
  • Developer's Foresight: During the final chapter of the Heart of Thorns storyline, one section of the battle is keyed to which Order your character joined back in the core game's personal story. Anyone who bought Heart of Thorns got a free level-80 booster, meaning they could install the game, boost a character to level 80, and play the Heart of Thorns storyline without ever playing the personal story or choosing an Order. So, what happens in that part of the battle? Instead of a vision of your Order mentor as a servant of Mordremoth, you see Trahearne in that role. Not quite the same punch, but since Trahearne just helped you get into Mordremoth's mind for the battle ....
  • 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. The first two major releases (the base game and Heart of Thorns) ends with you killing one of them.
    • Balthazar is the human god of war and fire and has been around for millennia. The third major release concludes with you killing him.
    • The fourth major release involves you dispelling a primordial force of chaos that has possessed and corrupted the final elder dragon, who is the mother of the other five elder dragons and the being who literally created Tyria out of the Void.
  • 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. 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 . This being said, Elementalists are powerful in WvW environments because of their strong offensive AoE capacities and providing healing/support capacity to allies at the same time.
    • The Holosmith elite specialization for the Engineer adds further complexity to an already complex and varied class by giving access to the Photon Forge and resultant heat meter. On their own, the new Exceed skills are underwhelming and the tool belt skills mediocre. Activating the Photon Forge, however, effectively serves as another kit skill that puts out massive point-blank AoE damage, and when the heat from using the Forge passes a threshold (half without a certain trait), those previously average Exceed and tool belt skills get bonuses that make them drastically more powerful to the point where the damage output causes veteran-level enemies to melt. Just make sure not to overheat.
  • Digital Distribution: After the initial release, the game is almost exclusively available on-line. The expansions especially are only available through on-line shops.
  • 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.
  • Discount Lesbians: Caithe and Faolain.
    • There's also a few female asura NPCs who seem to talk about their female partners.
    • And to keep it fair, there are also a few Discount Gays, such as the male sylvari couple Dagdar and Eladus you meet early in the sylvari personal story if you dreamed of the Green Knight.
  • 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!
    Larra Me too, fluff wit. Especially right about now.
  • Divided We Fall: In every race's personal story around level 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 during the prequel novel.
    • Living World, Season 2 focused on uniting the 5 races, after much of the Pact died in the assault on Zhaitan.
  • Dodge the Bullet: And any other attack, including area attacks. You're limited in how often you can do this, though.
  • Double Unlock: Essentially the Mastery system. A mastery path first gets unlocked by achieving a specific task (usually reaching a specific area), but then the player must earn a certain amount of experience, then spend a certain amount of mastery points (which are expansion-specific) to be able to actually use the skill.
  • 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 in-game 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 four appear in the original Guild Wars: Glint; The Great Destroyer; Drakkar, the champion of Jormag who can be seen frozen in Drakkar Lake; and Kuunavang, who becomes Soo-Won's champion in the current Dragon Cycle
    • Several others were killed by Destiny's Edge in the prequel-novel, but are replaced by the time the game starts.
    • Episode 4 of season 2's living story introduced Shadow of the Dragon, Mordremoth's champion. This is especially notable since it is near identical to the one sylvari characters fight in their starting area.
  • 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.
      • The Belcher's Bluff minigame added during the Zephyr Sanctum update. One can even challenge other players with a consumable item. This mechanic is near identical to the one from the Order of Whispers mission.
    • 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Every class except the Guardian is capable of this in some form or another. Even then, guardians can wield 2 one-handed weapons.
    • 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 Dagger + Pistol, which is different from Pistol + 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 their own, they can ferry dozens of friends to the end to collect the reward through the Portal. Later jumping puzzles integrate a flag method to ensure people actually do the puzzle instead of getting warped to the end.
  • 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 than 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 about 2 years before the first game, so it doesn't count.

  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The direction of the core Guild Wars 2 story relies a lot more on player choice than all of the Living World and expansion pack stories that follow after it.
    • The fight against Zhitan is largely impersonal, as you blast it from afar with enormous airship cannons. All future battles with Elder Dragons are personal, direct confrontations.
    • The core story of the game is fully voice-acted, including the player's character. This voice is suddenly absent during Living World Seasons 1 & 2 (mostly speaking through dialogue boxes, if needed), then returns for Heart of Thorns onwards.
    • In the core story, cutscene dialogue is shown via a special splash screen with pre-rendered closeups of the characters involved. These splash screnes are absent in Season 2, and from Heart of Thorns onward the conversations take place entirely in-game.
    • Heart of Thorns introduced the Mastery System, but the Mastery Trees it introduced on launch are a lot more costly than later releases' trees would be.
  • Easy Level Trick: Averted, the introduction of mounts would have made many jumping puzzles cakewalks, so now there are distinctive No Mounting/Gliding zones present around them in the open world. But, since jumping puzzles are supposed to be hidden, this leads directly to something else.
  • Eating the Enemy: How Palawa Joko is ultimately disposed of, in a scene that's equal parts hilarious, cathartic, and disturbing.
  • Effortless Achievement: Within minutes of the starting "Sparking the Flames", an achievement called "No Deductible" is earned for merely not crashing the airship. This mocks the fact that most of the times the PC has been on an airship, it ends up crashed.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Elder Dragons are closer to this than normal dragons.
  • Eldritch Ocean Abyss: Implied, though the deepest sea is never shown in game. The depths of the Unending Ocean are occupied by the Deep Sea Dragon, an Eldritch Abomination who's sent the other residents packing. Such residents include the Krait, an Always Chaotic Evil race of snake-people, and the Largos, a mysterious race of creepy (though not necessarily evil) humanoids with Vader Breath.
    • It's later revealed that Soo-Won, the Deep Sea Dragon, is actually benevolent. The darkness in the ocean only emerged after she left to protect Cantha a century ago. Which means that the mother, and most powerful, of the Elder Dragons, was in the depths trying to protect the world from something that dwelt down there in the darkest parts of the ocean. And now she's dead.
  • Elemental Powers: The elementalist is 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 players using fire exclusively in the previous game.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Happens in two different Expansions:
    • Path of Fire:For the final battle against Balthazar's Forged army, his mighty Warbeast, and the God of War himself, Rytlock gives you his Flaming Sword Sohothin to wield. It's incredibly powerful, capable of unleashing huge swaths of flame which can cut through Forged like butter, and has two "super moves" with extremely long cooldowns that can annihilate (or at least knock huge chunks off) everything around you.
    • End of Dragons: No matter how good of a player you are, you will eventually fall to the waves of Void enemies while trying to repower Joon and Taimi's siphon cannons. Aurene reaches out to you from her mind-scape, then infuses you with her own magic to get you into the fight. When you get back up, you're larger, glowing, wielding the Aurene-themed legendary version of your weapon of choice, and your DPS shoots so high that even Elite mobs get killed in seconds. And you have extra jumps.
  • Elves Versus Dwarves:
    • Humans versus charr, basically, exacerbated by humanity's great decline in power and the monumental ascent of the charr.
    • To a lesser degree, sylvari versus asura. The sylvari are very flighty and curious, while the asura are highly industrial. It doesn't help that some asura did experiments on some of the early sylvari.
  • 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 the 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.
    • As of Living World Season 3: the White Mantle, lead by Caudecus, still exist and have been plotting against Queen Jennah for the Krytan throne, right in the middle of the dragon conflict and the Charr Truce. During "Out of the Shadow", the first episode of the season, doubles down with Lazarus, a mursaat and one of the former gods of the White Mantle, fractures from Caudecus's branch for some other purpose. However, between the end of Episode 4 ("Head of the Snake") and Episode 5 ("Flashpoint"), both groups have been all but destroyed again.
    • 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 insultingly 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.
    • One of the NPC commanders in the final assault against Mordremoth's physical body is a duchess of the Nightmare Court, working together with Pact and local Hylek forces because in their own twisted way, the Court are about freedom (from things like laws or morality), and Mordremoth's psychic domination is an intolerable affront to them.
    • During the prologue of "The Icebrood Saga", when it seems like the charr are finally unifying into one again, the Imperator of the Blood Legion, Bangar Ruinbringer, splits off to conquer Jormag as his own dragon.
    • One of the meta events in End of Dragons involves ending a gang war in Echovald Forest between a group of amoral magitech smugglers on one hand and a cult of environmental extremists on the other hand so their forces can be used to fight the rapidly-approaching apocalypse.
  • Energy Weapon: Mesmers have a default attack that sends out lasers that grow stronger with distance — on their greatswords.
  • Equipment-Hiding Fashion: The Outfits are purely cosmetic and hide your armor. Similarly, nearly every piece of equipment can be transmuted to any other piece of the same type with the help of transmutation charges.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"/Only Known by Their Nickname: The player character. Obviously they can't call you by your name in recorded dialogue, so each race has a different title or nickname they'll go by. Humans are known as the Hero of Shaemoor 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. After the Pact forms, you become the "Commander", which is the title held for the rest of the game.
    • The living story main characters, being outside of the orders and of different races, just call you "Boss" until Heart of Thorns, when "Commander" becomes the default address.
    • NPCs in Elona call you "Outlander".
    • Partway through Secrets of the Obscure, you're given the title "Wayfinder".
  • 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 Army: Each of the Elder Dragons has their own, thematically appropriate version. Balthazar also has his Forged army.
    • The middle portion of Path of Fire revolves around stealing an Evil Army from the local Sealed Evil in a Can and using it to fight Balthazar.
    • Palawa Joko's Awakened can easily be rallied into an army, including the Mordent Crescent, former Sunspears killed and awakened by Joko himself.
    • The Void creates shadowy copies of the other dragons' armies, including Soo-Won's saltspray dragons
  • Evil Brit: Apart from the Nightmare Court, there is also Scarlet Briar (the Big Bad of the Season 1 Living Story content).
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • In order to combat Balthazar's Forged army in Path of Fire, you end up manipulating the Mordant Crescent (Elona's local opressors) to join your cause.
    • Mad King Thorn and Palawa Joko have a rivalry stretching all the way back to before the original Guild Wars, though it's mostly Played for Laughs as part of Tyria's Halloween festivities.
    • Although rarely seen, the various dragon minions would supposedly fight each other if they ever met. In fact, Primordus and Jormag are defeated by forcing the two into a conflict where they end up destroying each other.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • When an ettin is given a sudden boost in intelligence (and verbosity) by an asura researcher's experiment, he first starts by criticizing her "clumsy" technique, then suddenly realizes the real flaw... which is that he is about to turn into a giant rage-filled monster.
    Ettin: Administration through injection would have likely proved cleaner and more effective.
    Researcher Jonga: What are you on about? My device worked perfectly.
    Ettin: She doesn't see it. Surprising. I wonder, should I even bother attempting to explain? I suppose it seems only charitable to elaborate. You see, had you administered by serum, you could have compensated for my plasma osmolality...oh.
    Researcher Jonga: What? What is it?
    Ettin: I would appear to be on the verge of demonstrating the flaw in your procedure.
    • Asura researchers at Mount Maelstrom are experimenting on Risen parts, trying to put them together...
    Lab Chief Arpi: I'm pretty sure that doesn't go there.
    Lab Worker Flinka: Well, I didn't put it there.
    Lab Chief Arpi: So it just magically reattached itself?
    Lab Chief Arpi: ...Exactly like this leg is doing right now.
    Lab Worker Flinka: Uh-oh.
  • Extreme Doormat: The quaggan, who embody this trope so much that they are known to agree to an aggressor's terms simply because they don't want any trouble. Subverted in that if you hurt/anger them too much, they undergo quite a transformation. To quote from that exact source:
    "We started pushing around the little butterballs. All in fun, of course. Then they got mad, and that’s when the REAL problems started."
    Argoth Onehand, former adventurer
  • Eye Remember: One personal-story mission deals with an attempt to use this trope on an Eye of Zhaitan. However, what's pulled up isn't the last thing the Eye saw (since a vision of you killing the Eye would be less than helpful) but an earlier event that points to a possible weakness.
  • Face–Monster Turn: At least one open Player Versus Player event from a beta weekend event involves some players being corrupted by Krakatorrik and being turned to his side. Failing the map event in Bjora Marches allows anyone who was part of the failed event turn against their fellow players to attack them.
  • 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 naïve 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 and have a special hatred towards skritt.
    • 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, who have been heard praising their work.
    • 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. Though it should be noted that in game this hatred for skritt is far from universal. Many asura are content to simply study or exploit the presence of skritt, and a few even use them as assistants for menial tasks.
    • Centaurs 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.
    • As of Heart of Thorns, characters of all races consider sylvari to be untrustworthy at best. Almost justified because the sylvari are constantly in danger of falling to Mordremoth's corruption, but there are plenty who don't, and they're treated with suspicion regardless of their contribution. Even high-ranking officials (including you, if you're playing a sylvari) face open disrespect from their subordinates.
    • The Commander really hates Joko and his Awakened forces. When entering Vabbi, an Order of Shadows agent has to explain not to kill all the Awakened on sight because you can't just forcibly liberate the Vabbians that way. This is gradually further justified by the fact that Joko's treatment of the Awakened is pretty horrifying. The Boneyard is full of still-conscious discarded Awakened wandering about waiting to be called to serve, for example, and Joko uses Awakening for torture as easily as he uses it as gift. Moreover, while he claims that he gives the Awakened back to their families, he can call them back to his control and turn them into soldiers/meat-shields/suicide bombers at any moment using the very fact that they spent their lives being brainwashed by his propaganda.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Pops 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 everything bipedal), and "bookah" (asura to everyone else, but mainly humans).
    • A fun addition in this game is "jellybag" (Krait to everything not Krait).
    • Rytlock calls Caithe a "conniving vegetable", and a group of charr at Camp Resolve complain about taking orders from "mice and talking cabbages."
    • All by herself, Larra in one of the Sylvari early chapters goes through "cabbage", "artichoke", "salad", "green bean", "weed", and "houseplant".
  • 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 landmines, 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 final personal story.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: By the end of Heart of Thornes, Destiny's Edge is definitively dissolved; Eir is dead, Zojja is left crippled and indefinitely bedridden due to the torture Mordremoth put her through, Logan replaces Trehaerne as Pact Marshal, Caithe retires in order to serve as Aurune's caretaker, and Rytlock joins the Commander's new guild, Dragon's Watch.
  • Fembot: The Watchknights introduced in the Queen's Jubilee event are a Clock Punk variant.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Multiple examples:
    • The 3 professions classes fit these categories, with Soldiers (Warrior, Guardian, Revenant) being Fighters, Scholars (Elementalist, Mesmer, Necromancer) being Mages and Adventurers (Engineer, Ranger, Thief) being Thieves.
    • The three legions of the Charr roughly fit this — Blood Legion (Fighter), Iron Legion (Mage) and Ash Legion (Thief).
    • The three Orders of Tyria — the Vigil (Fighter), the Durmand Priory (Mage) and the Order of Whispers (Thief).
  • Final Solution: Before the Destroyers drove them to the surface, the asura made a concerted effort to wipe out the skritt.
  • Finishing Move: Mandatory for PvP due to the "Fight for Survival" mechanic. For most races, the characters lift their arms into the air, yell in triumph, then runs them through with a victory banner.
    • 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.
  • Fireworks of Victory: At the end of the core game Personal Story, once you return to Fort Trinity you get a cutscene showing celebrations across Tyria, including firework displays at three of the racial capital cities. (The Grove is too flammable for fireworks, and the norns of Hoelbrak throw a beer bash to celebrate instead.)
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Each character begins with a cinematic that ends with "This is my story." Despite this, Traherne has become the primary protagonist by the end of the main game's Personal Story. This is not continued into the expansions, where the Commander takes a more prominent role in events.
  • 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.
    • During the second part of the sylvari personal story, should you choose to go with the asuran method of using !!science!! to extract someone from an Orrian artifact, you briefly have to carry a dimensional anchor, which, conveniently, is the shape and weight of an actual anchor. Naturally, you can beat enemies to death with it. The skills you gain while it is equipped teleport you and your targets around somewhat randomly.
  • Fluffy Tamer:
    • One of the possible Guild Bounty targets is the Skritt Brekkabek. He's wanted for keeping bears as pets. During the fight to subdue him, he throws bears at people.
    • During the instance Confessor's End, rangers have the option to tame a Hunting Hound its abusive tamer has been starving.
  • 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 ingredients, sometimes even combining previously cooked meals, to make. At the high end the player can create intricate feasts for multiple people that look like something out of a high end buffet.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • The Mesmer elite skill Moa Morph turns enemies into far less dangerous moa birds (or tuna fish, if used underwater).
    • The fight with Xolotl is based around it, with her regularly turning the characters into different forms.
    • A random event, involving opening a chest and chasing down a Skritt Burgler, may turn you into a creature based on where the event is started.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: While most of the wooded areas are very green, the Charr lands of Ascalon are done up in red and orange foliage.
  • 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.
    • Heart of Thorns further explores the Nightmare Court's philosophy. Some people thought they might be an offshoot of Mordremoth's corruption. However, what they really want is free will, the ability to choose their life's path rather than be forced down one by their creator. Regardless of whether their creator is the Pale Tree or Mordremoth.
  • For Science!: Seems to be the asura's motivation for doing anything.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Siren's Landing the player can collect parables of the Six Gods. Unlike previous benevolent depictions, the parables cast them as harsh and quick to punish or abandon their mortal followers. Path of Fire would reveal the reason the Six had withdrawn from Tyria was they foresaw the awakening of the Elder Dragons and decided to abandon the planet and its residents rather than risk being drawn into a war they thought impossible to win.
    • Halloween 2017 added Awakened mobs to various locations in Central Tyria for Halloween specific achievements that require killing Awakened mobs. At first, it seems like it was done just so players who don't own Path of Fire could still earn these achievements. However, Daybreak reveals that Palawa Joko has access to Asura gates, giving him the ability to drop Awakened minions anywhere through portals in Tyria. Could it have been a test all along?
  • From Zero to Hero: The intended path for the player character. For a Human (Street Rat or Commoner) or Charr, they start off as an ordinary, lower-class citizen or low-ranking soldier. Over the course of the game rise to become commander of the Pact, slayer of the Elder Dragon Zhaitan, and save the world multiple times. For Sylvari, the character Really Was Born Yesterday, so starts from zero. For Norn or Asura, their background averts the Zero aspect of the trope, starting as the winner of the Great Hunt or a recognized genius respectively.
  • Fungi Are Plants: The sylvari are Plant People who all grew from a single tree, but some of them have mushrooms for hair.
  • 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."
  • Furry Reminder: In case you forget that the charr are basically huge bipedal cats, they run on all fours when out of combat.
  • Fusion Dance: The Soulbeast elite specialization allows the Ranger to fuse with their pets, empowering them and giving them access to new abilities.
  • Future Me Scares Me: One of the asuran storylines concludes with your character facing an evil version of yourself from a possible future.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Engineer profession is all about this.
  • 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 spirit shards 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. Laurels have since been moved into the daily login rewards.
    • 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.
    • Every map added past the core game has at least one unique currency used with the vendors in the area.
  • 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.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Only permanent version is one of the 3 starting headgear options for the Necromancer.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Karka from the Lost Shores event are rather crab-like. Some destroyers also have a crab-like structure.
  • 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.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: The Engineer skill "Utility Goggles" which breaks stun and grants immunity to blindness and criticals.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In-Universe, in each zone of the Game Within A Game that is the Super Adventure Box resides a Glitch Entity. Hunting it down gives you a Glitch Entity chest at the end of the zone that can contain a Glitch Entity weapon.
    One adventurer's glitch is another adventurer's game.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: The game is encouraging this more and more, especially with the new collection achievement category for collecting all of a certain type of item, or unlocking all of a skin.
  • Grave Humor: In Shaemoor:
    He thought he could
    Outrun a centaur
    He learned an important lesson about fighting
    Don't stand in water when casting lightning
    He proposed to an ettin and look what he got
    One face said yes to him and the other did not
  • 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.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Good luck getting some of the crafting skills, particularly Chef, up to 400 without a guide. A lot of the components needed to make the higher level items are just so rare, obscure, and hard to find that figuring out all the recipes can be nearly impossible. And not everything can be bought from the Trading Post.
    • Finding all the jumping puzzles in the game. While some are located near their namesake waypoints (eg. The Sector Zuhl jumping puzzle is located in, believe it or not, Sector Zuhl.) others are VERY well hidden in the world. And in at least one case, a jumping puzzle is not located in its namesake cave, but instead on some rocks outside and around the side of the cave.
    • Reaching some of the Vistas can cause this as well. Most of the time, it's fairly obvious where to go, but some require platforming from a starting point a great distance from the Vista marker itself, and may even require traversing terrain that's difficult to tell from the sections you can't actually climb.
  • Guns Akimbo: An option for thieves and engineers, also used by Phantasmal Duelists.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with the Thieves Guild elite skill that summons a guy with dual pistols and a girl with dual daggers.

  • Half-Human Hybrid: Explicitly averted. Ignoring the allusions to human/norn interbreeding in the first game, Anet developers have said that none of the sentient races are capable of interbreeding.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The bickering between Mad King Thorn and Bloody Prince Thorn.
  • Happy Ending Override: The past few centuries have NOT been kind to Elona, making it this for the Nightfall campaign. Palawa Joko conquered Elona and set up an authoritarian regime with him as the figurehead and remains in power through a combination of brainwashing, historical revision, and brutal crackdowns. Some Nightfall characters, like Koss and Tahlkora, have met a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Super Adventure Box has the brutal Tribulation Mode. Completing a zone on this difficulty not only rewards a large number of baubles but also a token used to create themed weapon appearances.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Yep, the harpies are back.
  • 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 (a physical avatar of an ascended friend and ally in arms) of Grenth, the human god of Death and Judgement, as well as the ruins with some "interesting" effects of the fallen god Abbadon.
      • In a shocking twist, the antagonist of Episode 5 of Season 3 and the power who had been impersonating Lazarus the Dire turns out to be Balthazar, passing as Lazarus with the aid of a mirror apparently enchanted by Lyssa herself. Even worse, he's willing to destroy Tyria in order to destroy the Elder Dragons with no regard for the creatures living on it, and even scorning to face the Pact Commander in honourable combat when they attempt to challenge him.
      • During the storyline of Path of Fire, you find out that the gods really did abandon Tyria. Once they'd left Balthazar in the Mists, they decided that was that, and all but Kormir left the mortal plane entirely to avoid any further conflict. Even after the player character and the rest of Dragon's Watch ask Kormir to stay and help against Balthazar or with the Elder Dragon problem, she too nopes out and all that's left of the gods are Balthazar and his insanity and the Judge and reapers Grenth left behind.
    • 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 goddess of nature, they might be one and the same which the quaggan deny. Word of God states that the humans are right.
    • The Norn's Spirits of the Wild initially guided them south after Jormag's initial attack, three of them (Owl, Dolyak, and Wolverine) dying in the process, but they have rarely been seen since. Lampshaded by generic norn dialog.
      I pray to the Spirits of the Wild. They rarely answer.
  • Heal It with Water: The Elementalist profession has an attunement to water that uses water magic and focuses on healing.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Various people you meet throughout your personal story will die like this, most notably your Order mentor at the Battle of Claw Island.
  • In the final chapter of the Core Story, if you go with the Vigil's plan of rolling in Charr tanks into Orr, this happens twice. First, Tegwen, a character Sylvari Commanders will potentially meet early in their story, detonates a Ghostfire bomb while still in the blast radius to take down an army of Risen Giants. Then, Tactician Beirne, the very first NPC a Human Commander meets, sacrifices himself to save Crusader Deborah from a Risen archmage.
    • One of the most tragic parts of the Heart of Thorns main story is when Scruffy sacrifices himself to connect the power cables to open the lab doors in Rata Novus. Rarely do you get so emotional about a robotic death. Taimi was especially sad about this tragic but necessary act.
  • Hero of Another Story: All the Destiny's Edge members are this and are implicitly doing their own thing parallel 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.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Not exactly extraterrestrial considering this is fantasy, but still quite disgusting and alien-looking.
    • The Karka, introduced in the Lost Shores, are a crustacean-like marine version of this trope, coming from the depths of the sea. They invaded Lion's Arch and were later roused by Canach in the Southsun Cove.
    • The chak, the secondary antagonists of Heart of Thorns. They are a race of underground magical creatures that feed on Ley Line energy and are thus in direct opposition with both the Mordrem and the Pact. They are also responsible for destroying the local asura city, Rata Novus, centuries ago. Gameplay-wise, they are much weaker than other Heart of Thorns mobs, but there are always lots of them — and, boy, do they look disgusting.
    • The scarabs born from the Scarab Plague are completely unnatural. They gestate with human bodies, devouring them from within, before bursting out to seek new prey and hosts. Once out of a body, the scarabs will eat anything, though only humans can properly host them.
  • Hub Under Attack: Lion's Arch is the trading hub of the world. Normally, there are no attackable enemies there and it is mostly dedicated to trading, crafting, and related activities. However, in Living World Season 1 the city was attacked and almost completely leveled by Scarlet Briar, and existed in a destroyed state for at least a year in player time. Eventually, it was rebuilt and given a completely new design.
  • 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.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The charr view humanity as this, not that they're exactly innocent victims either.
  • Hungry Jungle: The Maguuma Depths was already full of decidedly nasty wildlife, frequently hostile natives of the poisoned-arrows-from-the-trees variety, assorted killer plants, a species of insectoid horrors and other entertaining features of that general type. Then Mordremoth woke up, and it got worse. Much worse. Mordremoth IS the jungle. The Dragon's roots and tendrils reach everywhere within it, effectively turning the whole region into a giant and extremely hostile organism.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The article about the sylvari redesign is filled with plant-based puns.
  • I Am Not My Father: A charr player will seek to distance himself from his father if the player chooses the Honorless Gladium or Sorcerous Shaman option.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Early in Heart of Thorns, one meta-event involves a group of sylvari Pact members working with a group of charr Pact aviators. Since this is early in Heart of Thorns, it's just after large numbers of sylvari were taken over by Mordremoth, and the charr are somewhat skeptical about working with sylvari at all. Five missions into the six-mission chain, an annoyed Laranthir finally drops this trope on the charr leader.
    Chief Aviator Skybreaker: Dunno if I like letting you out of my sight…
    Laranthir of the Wild: Chief, had we wanted you dead, we wouldn't have gone to all of this effort.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun / Hurricane of Puns: When dealing with some double-crossing hyleks (a race of sentient toads) by double-crossing them first, we get this little gem.
    Pellam: A double-cross? Oh, no. I am toad-ally surprised. How unhoppy for us! Wart are we going to do?
    Dengatl Speaker: Stop it! That's not funny!
  • Inflation Negation: A meta example. In Guild Wars, money was only measured in gold and platinum (100 gold). In this game, 250 years later or so, money comes in copper, silver and gold coins. Platinum coins aren't found outside of doubloons.
  • Informed Deformity:
    • Eir Stegalkin, the Norn member of Destiny's Edge, is constantly referred to as old — this is how she looks for overall design. Of course, according to the lore, norn seem to be rather long-lived, 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Interface Spoiler: Subverted. Path of Fire advertises four mounts that are added to the game, but there is a fifth, secret mount that becomes available after the campaign is complete. It is entirely possible to complete the story campaign without unlocking the fourth mount. This extends to the mastery trees, as there were also four mastery trees added during Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire had one for each mount. Unlocking the fifth mount will reveal that there's a fifth mastery tree for that mount.
  • Interservice Rivalry: The three Orders of Tyria — the Vigil, the Durmand Priory, and the Order of Whispers — are multiracial 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 Decadent Court that wants to oust Queen Jennah from the throne.
  • Interspecies Romance: Mostly averted, surprisingly, as Word of God says that none of the races can interbreed with each other, not even Humans and Norn (which are, physically at least, basically just large humans). However there are a few noticeable exceptions:
    • Hints of a Ship Tease between Braham the Norn and Rox the Charr in Season 1 of the Living World.
    • Both Speelunk and Dawkurra develop rather adorable crushes on Sages in the Auric Basin, despite them being skritt (rat-people) and the Sages being Exalted (essentially living armor). Dawkurra is especially forward about it, calling Volaar her "shiny king". They both get let down gently by the Sages.
    • NPCs will flirt with or have crushes on the PC no matter the races (or genders) involved.
    • Finally played incontrovertibly straight in Path of Fire during the mission "The Departing", where you meet a human called Nicholas and a norn called Yngvild who have become a couple after they bonded and who you find cuddling together (with the smaller Nicholas cradled in Yngvild's arms). Unfortunately for them, the experience they bonded over was helping each other reclaim their names and identities after entering the Realm of the Lost when they were killed when Mordremoth destroyed the Pact fleet. But at least they've agreed they'd rather spend eternity together in purgatory than part from each other.
    Yngvild: I know. I'm supposed to join Raven. And he should go to be with his god. But we'd rather spend eternity with each other here. I suppose the afterlife is what you make of it, too.
    • Updates for The Icebrood Saga added another official pairing of Norn and Human, this time a same-gender couple of npcs in Hoelbrak.
  • Intoxication Mechanic: The game features a range of alcoholic beverages: some that you need to drink if you're trying for an achievement, some that act as buffs during special events, and some that are just there for players who want to bar-hop across Tyria. Drink too much of any of them, and the screen image begins to ripple.
  • Item Farming: You want that legendary equipment? Then prepare to have a stock of various fine and rare crafting items. This is particularly egregious with the legendary weapons introduced in Heart of Thorns, which require even more mystic coins and globs of ectoplasm, along with assorted other high-priced items.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The team has decided that all maps are frozen in time based on their initial release, so this was sort of inevitable.
    • In Diessa Plateau, a charr festival called "Meatoberfest" is held in the area known as Butcher's Block. What is implied in dialogue to only be an annual celebration goes on every day of the year.
    • In Divinity's Reach, Caudecus has been hosting a festival for the people for years.
  • It's Personal: During the final battle of Heart of Thorns, Mordremoth creates Blighted illusions of your allies. Most of the time, the Commander simply recognizes they're illusions. But the final illusion is of your Order mentor, who died so you could escape the attack on Claw Island, and the Commander is ticked.
    Commander: <Mentor Name> ? You'll pay for this, Mordremoth!
  • It's Up to You: NPCs in story missions are usually capable of absorbing much more punishment than any player character (often simply being tagged as invincible) but do almost no damage to enemies, meaning you're going to have to do about 99% of the killing. A lot of the time, supposed "allies" accompanying you in a mission won't react to enemies attacking you at all and will stand around gormlessly picking their noses while you get assaulted by waves of monsters while shouting desperate warnings (the enemy will ignore them too to focus on you). In missions which are balanced around you having NPC assistance to deal with your attackers you sometimes have to bait the enemy into hitting your erstwhile ally with an AOE attack before they'll finally decide to pitch in.
  • 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 Faolain'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.
    • 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 still 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 them 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 through it), to share conditions from the said enemy to all around him and then turn into a death cloud that heals allies around them 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.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much the asura's hat- it's extremely rare of to find one who isn't self-centered, arrogant, outright rude, or at least a bit snarky (although they do exist, such as Tonn the Demolitionist and his wife Ceera the Medic). The question is usually whether they're a Jerk with a Heart of Gold or a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk
  • Jump Physics: One of the reasons Guild Wars 2 can get away with having jumping puzzles in an MMO is the fact that it has platformer-like jumping physics like mid-air repositioning. Compared to, say, World of Warcraft where one wrong step can make you bounce off a wall and careen helplessly into the abyss, let alone if you simply miscalculate a jump by an inch, because all you can do is watch as your character falls to their doom.
  • Kaizo Trap: The Antre of Adjournment jumping puzzle ends on a large seemingly flat platform of rock. Directly between the spot where the player reaches this platform and the chest is a hole that will drop players back at the start of the puzzle. This would not be such an issue if the camera didn't need to be adjusted significantly to spot the hole.
    • Tribulation Mode in Super Adventure Box adds a variety of inconveniences to the Game Within a Game, which are often positioned to create these. Hidden spike traps placed directly in front of (or after) checkpoints are a favorite.
  • 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.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Watch Commander Talon during the defense of Claw Island. note 
    Talon: Claw Island has stood for nearly a hundred years. It cannot fall! We'll fight them to the last soldier! To the last sword! We'll never surr-
  • Killer Rabbit: The Woodland Creatures in the April Fools game Rytlock's Critter Rampage fall into this.
    • 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. Since the quest area was originally located on top of a very high cliff, these cute bunnies could literally be Killer Rabbits if you were unfortunate enough to be kicked off said cliff by one of them!
    • Sometimes the grawl will unleash a bunny. While the rabbit itself isn't deadly, if you don't kill it, a frost wyrm will spawn, killing it and then attacking you.
    • In the Uncategorized Fractal, one of the enemies in the holding area is a Champion Rabbit. It will One-Hit Kill any player it manages to attack.
  • Kill It with Fire: Elementalists in fire attunement, naturally. Engineers have a flamethrower as well. Guardians have a virtue that grants them regular burning damage.
    • Some of the siege weapons in World versus World could count as well. Trebuchets' shots are rather much on fire.
  • Konami Code: In the second Super Adventure Box update, the third world was briefly accessible, allowing the player to speak with a genie who orders you to destroy the "true enemy's" box. Displayed beneath the genie is the Konami code which allows you access to the lab of the Super Adventure Box's creator so you can sabotage them.
  • 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.
  • Last Bastion: Ebonhawke, for the kingdom of Ascalon.
  • Large Ham: Mad King Thorn and his son, Bloody Prince Thorn.
    • Palawa. Joko. He treats the entire confrontation post-his unleashing the Scarab Plague as if it were a scripted play and hams it up appropriately. And yet he's still the straight man when it comes to his and the Mad King's rivalry against each other.
    • 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.
    • NOT, however, in Mount Maelstrom. The huge lava pool at the bottom of the caldera (where one of the so-called "world bosses" spawns) is deadly to any character that stays in it for more than a few moments.
    • The Ring of Fire has plenty of lava pools. Standing in one of them adds 10 stacks of burning on you, adding more if you don't get out of there quickly enough.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • Season 3, Episode 3 suggests this idea: using Jormag to fight Primordus. It might not be a direct fight, but their energies fighting each other.
    • In the Order of Whispers personal storyline, Tybalt comes up with a variation on this trope — he challenges some pirates to a drinking contest, three of them versus your player character.
      Yarr, me hearties! I'll wager my buddy here can drink you foul-smelling lot under the table!
  • Lightning Lash: One ability available to elementalists is to attack their enemies with a whip made of electricity.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The collector's edition of Guild Wars 2, only available as a preorder before the game's release, came with a detailed statue of Rytlock Brimstone, in addition to everything from the Deluxe 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. It's revealed in the Icebrood Saga that because the dwarves are now made of stone, they're actually now vulnerable to corruption by Primordus.
  • 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 World: The Heart of Maguuma, aka Magus Falls, seem to be a direct invocation of this trope. There are saurians, thick jungle, the lost civilisations of the Exalted (with an El Dorado expy as that civilisation's capital), the druids and the Rata Novans, and primitive hylek tribes.
  • Mad Scientist: The asura as a whole, but those belonging to Inquest in particular.
    • And the engineer class has flavors of this too, since a lot of his gadgets appear to be in-universe work in progress. His elixirs have randomized effects, and his rocket boots just propel him backwards and knock him down.
    • 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). Revenants to a degree, but more through spirits than classic 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.
  • Magic Potion: Artificers can create potions that give you combat bonuses against specific types of enemies, as well as tonics that temporarily change your character's appearance into a different species. They are made by combining gems, gatherable vegetables, and specific types of low-value items dropped from monsters.
  • 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 and would have remained well and truly ahead of them if they ever stopped bickering.
    • 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 irrigation 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.
  • MegaCorp: The Inquest is one part this, one part Mad Scientist cabal...even by asura standards.
    • The Consortium is a less-evil, travel-oriented MegaCorp. They've made some poor investments 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.
  • Mercy Kill: If you pick "Make another suffer" as your character's greatest fear during the vision quest with the Pale Tree, the story chapter that leads to will end with a NPC who looked up to you becoming one of Zhaitan's Risen. Everyone in the group sees killing her as this trope.
    Apatia's gone and we have to set her spirit free.
  • 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 and only recently dredged from the bottom of the ocean. It's a desolate wasteland populated by Risen and sparse vegetation.
    • The Flame Legion does its best to create this wherever it sets up shop, with their base at the Citadel of Flame being surrounded by volcanic wastes.
    • 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.
    • The Heart of Maguuma is a subversion of this trope. Unlike other Elder Dragon domains, it is lush, relatively bright and teeming with life. Unfortunately, most of this life happens to be Mordrem, and even those that aren't are still quite nasty. It is by far the most dangerous region of Tyria, both in-universe and in the game itself.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • "The Hero of Istan" is a relatively light-hearted mission at first glance, with the player getting an entire prison drunk of super-grog and breaking out of their cell in a way that feels comedic. Then you get to the top of the stairs and hear Taimi over your radio, sobbing, panicked, and terrified as she pleads for you to answer her. And worse yet you end up hearing this throughout the following boss fight.
    • Researcher Siris in Jahai Bluffs claims to have a device that can reverse Awakening and bring people back to life. In practice it transforms the test subjects into random animals that promptly drop dead. This is funny until you reach the final encounter and discover Siris was the sole survivor of his krewe and the device was meant to free them from Joko. He tries it on one of his Awakened krewe only for it to kill them, devastating Siris.
  • 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.
  • Multi Shot: Bow-armed Warriors shoot pairs of arrows at the same target as a basic attack. They, along with shortbow wielding Rangers, can also loose a fan of piercing arrows to burn/poison multiple enemies.
  • 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 Ascalonian, Krytan, Canthan or Elonian descent. Notably absent is Orrian (which, admittedly, was mostly wiped out 250 years ago).
  • Mundane Made Awesome: According to the hilarious bottom post of these patch notes, sitting in chairs!
    * Hoelbrak: The undisputed capital of sittable furniture clocks in with a record-shattering 547 chairs. Legends say that one day, a mighty Norn will sit in every chair in Hoelbrak and then lead their people to victory against Jormag.
  • 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.
    • One of the mist-displaced areas in Living World Season 4's "A Star To Guide Us" chapter is a cavern full of otherworldly mushrooms, which slams you with a "Bad Trip" debuff if you hang around in it for too long. The Commander's speech gets a little... loopy.
  • 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 Fist Forgives You: During the "Enemy of My Enemy" chapter of Path of Fire, the Commander impersonates a high-ranking member of Joko's military. When an Awakened guard briefly attacks them before realizing who they "are", the Commander has the option of either ignoring the guard or decking him. The guard will see the second choice as this trope.
    Brutal. But fair.
  • My Greatest Failure: 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.
    • Norn have a similar choice. During a recent alemoot, they either lost a valuable heirloom, got defeated by a rival, or blacked out (and went on a drunken romp).
    • All characters will be asked by the Pale Tree what their greatest fear is. Whatever you choose will happen in Chapter 7, and be a personal failure for your character.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
    • Most of the hostile races have at least one small friendly sect somewhere in the world. Of the sentient races, only the krait remain Always Chaotic Evil.
    • In Season 2 of the Living World, a friendly centaur tribe appears. According to one of them, they have broken off from the warlike Modniir-led ones in the hopes of reclaiming their old, peaceful traditions.
    • The Olmakhan of Season 4 are a faction of Charr who broke away from the Legions. The military dominates a typical Charr's entire life, even so far as taking over the role of raising children, the Olmakhan live in tune with nature and as traditional families.

  • Naïve Newcomer: Most other races, especially the asura, view the sylvari as this, the entire race having been born only twenty-five years before the release of the game.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
    • The Nightmare Court, and the titles of its members (Count of Decay, Knight of Lies). This is on purpose. They want you to run away really fast and tell others about how scary it is. See For the Evulz.
    • Tequatl the Sunless. It more or less translates (from faux-Nahuatl) to "venomous serpent removed from all that is good".
    • Also Zhaitan, which is one stressed consonant away from Shaitan, another name for Satan.
  • 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.
    • One of the skill sets of rangers is to summon various spirits that give bonuses to friendly allies.
  • 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 were burned 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: for example, "Rely on iron, not on false gods", for the Iron Legion, and "Rely on strength, not false gods", for Blood Legion.
    • Asura as well, to a lesser extent. They acknowledge the existence of the human gods, but see them as merely playing their own roles in the Eternal Alchemy.
  • The Necrocracy: Elona is now ruled by the Lich Palawa Joko whose Awakened minions act as army, free labor, and much of the government. His living subjects are all indoctrinated to worship Joko and believe that being Awakened after their deaths is a great honor.
  • Necromancer: Two professions focus on two different forms of necromancy. The Necromancer focuses on controlling bodies, warping his fallen foes into minions and sapping the enemy's lifeforce, while the Revenant communes with the ghosts of ancient legends and uses their powers.
  • 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 Thackeray'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 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.
    • Your Commander has a major screwup that haunts them for a good while depending on what they say their greatest fear is to the Pale Tree. If your greatest fear is "letting an innocent die", you unwittingly end up forcing a young man into a situation where he must sacrifice himself to save you and your allies, leaving his wife devastated and furious. If your greatest fear was dishonoring your allies, one of Zhaitan's agents tricks you into murdering your own men. And if your greatest fear was letting another suffer, you're forced to leave an ally behind after a botched mission, dooming her to a horrific Fate Worse than Death.
    • A major plot point of Path of Fire is that the other five gods cast Balthazar out after he announced his potentially apocalyptic intention to kill Kralkatorrik. He was freed by Rytlock Brimstone, who was unaware of exactly who he was freeing in exchange for re-igniting Sohothin. Of course, that comes back to bite him...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When the Commander uses Sohothin to kill Balthazar during the expansion's climax.
    • Also in Path of Fire, the Commander gets the idea to steal Palawa Joko's army of Awakened because Joko won't shut up about how fearsome said army is. He's also chained in the Realm of the Lost and unable to stop them.
  • The Nicknamer: The skritt will often exemplify this trope, in part because of their intellectual limitations. All skritt are obsessed with "shinies", and will use descriptive terms to refer to any item that grabs their attention.
  • No Man of Woman Born: Shows up in the personal story for sylvari who choose to join the Durmand Priory. During the final part of the mission, the character is carrying the sword Caladbolg (grown by the Pale Tree from one of her own branches).
    Mazdak the Accursed: Know this before you die: no weapon forged can harm me. You face your doom!
    Character: I carry a weapon that was never forged, Mazdak.
  • Non-Combat EXP: The game gives experience for almost everything, from harvesting materials in the world, to crafting, to exploration.
  • Non-Elemental: The Elementalist's Arcane utility skills.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries : Sylvari are Plant People and follow this trope, although it's clearly explained that these aren't functional breasts and merely a shape to make the female sylvari attractive (which was one of the design paradigms for the sylvari). Justified in-universe as the Sylvari race's body template was apparently based on the human form. Inverted by the asura and charr, who are mammals but whose females have no visible breasts.
    • This was directly explained by one of the Anet artists. She insisted that female charr would either have no visible breasts or six. (Note that female charr still have six nipples, but their mammary glands are flat and concealed beneath their fur, like actual cats.)
    • Played straight, however, by Krait. Explained with Krait being a race with heavy active Metamorphosis and malleable genetic structure, easily adapting to environments; in the end, both male and female krait can come with and without mammaries (e.g. most toxic krait still have pronounced ribcage, but no boobs)
  • Noodle Incident: The Sewer Incident at the beginning of the Asura Personal Story (Synergetics). We don't know exactly what happened, but apparently it happened in the protagonist and Pol's past. Pertinent bit of dialogue:
    Protagonist: Are you sure? Nobody wants another Sewer Incident.
    Pol: Okay, look___ that intern said he wanted to travel. It's not my fault half of him wound up in the sewer. Besides, we put him back together.
    Protagonist: It was more than half, Pol. And the mouth kept yelling at us while we searched.
    Pol: Yeah, that was... troubling. But you found the rest of him before it got flushed away. Once we reassembled him, there wasn't even a scar. Oh, and let me say again: sorry I busted that overflow pipe.
    Protagonist: So am I. We both stunk like skritt scat for a week. Now, let's go get our translocator.
  • 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.
    • Returning to Glint's Lair in Season 2, Chapter 5 was a blast from the past, although it looks remarkably different now than it did then. Going through an Ascension-like ritual in Chapter 8 was similarly nostalgic of the Crystal Desert.
    • Somewhat more recent but still has the spirit of this trope. The final story instance of "Head of the Snake" chapter is returning to Caudecus Manor. You play the dungeon in reverse, with various references back to events of the dungeon both Explorable and Story mode. You are also joined by Countess Anise and Demmi Beetlestone, and the latter has so much callbacks to a certain Order's personal story.
  • 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 Curse Limit: Elder Dragons mutate mortal races into dragon minions unique to each dragon, such as Zhaitan's undead and Kralkatorrik's branded. Once turned, a dragon minion cannot be turned by another Elder Dragon. This foreshadows the reveal that the Sylvari's immunity to Elder Dragon corruption is because they were created by Mordremoth.
  • 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 Size Fits All:
    • One personal story option for norn characters involves said norn donning a dredge mining suit to infiltrate a dredge mine. Norn are 9 feet tall, and going off the cutscene art dredge are maybe half that. The suit fits perfectly.
    • A similar incident happens when infiltrating an Inquest base at the start of Living World Season 4, Episode 2. In order to blend in, your character fits into a stolen Inquest golem. While all the other races complain about it being a bit cramped, the asura admire how it's a perfect fit.
    • Shows up again during "What Lies Within", when Taimi loans your character Scruffy so you can test an invention safely — "He's roomier than he looks!" An asura Commander is impressed with how roomy Scruffy's interior is, but any other race is cramped.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Magic Find became this, to the point that it became an account stat increased by consuming orbs of luck. Other methods of gaining magic find, such as potions and food, can still increase this even above the hard cap.
  • 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 philosophical beliefs.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're malevolent entities from the Mists.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Elder Dragons, more akin to primordial forces of nature who warp their surroundings simply by existing than dragons.
  • 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 Different: 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, having an ancient civilization, being very loud about those facts, and being in severe decline as the younger, more energetic races begin to dominate the world.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The sylvari are type three, specifically of the Nature Spirit variety.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Asura bear a strong physical resemblance to goblins, even though they are (mostly) on the side of good. They are small, scientifically curious, and extremely dangerous in their inventions.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: All of 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. Other ghosts exist across the realm. Most are spirits like above, but have forgotten who they were in life, or otherwise ripped from their body. A few actually return from the Mists through portals torn in space, for varying lengths of time. Path of Fire even has the Commander die, which, since they may be sylvari and they meet at least one sylvari spirit, proves even dragon minions have souls. Most human ghosts are found in the Underworld, however.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: One-eyed body painted giants, jotuns, and two-headed ettins are all present.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Large, hungry predators, typically half-owl instead of half-eagle. One can become a mount in Path of Fire.
  • Our Humans Are Different: Humans are one of the five main races in Tyria, and while typical humans in most respects they play the roles elves usually do in fantasy settings. They were once very powerful and Tyria's dominant race, but have fallen into severe decline as the younger, more energetic races begin to dominate the world. They tend to be highly conservative and favor magic over technology, and consequently are socially stuck in the past, especially the isolated nations of Elona and Cantha. They also have a special affinity and respect for magic, due to it being granted to them by their gods, who brought them to Tyria. The other races view them as long past their prime and doomed to vanish from the world.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: While they're physically fairly standard, culturally they defy the cliché in several ways. They aren't particularly stupid (ogre intelligence seems to be roughly the same as that of humans), they aren't particularly given to eating other sapients and their main cultural Hat is The Beastmaster: Ogres are Tyria's undisputed masters of animal taming, keeping large, dangerous creatures (which even rangers can't tame) for labor or combat, or simply for companionship.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Grawls are roughly Neanderthals and seem to be extremely prone to worshiping any powerful creature as a god. Or tall structures, like giant crystals or old statues.
  • Our Spirits Are Different: They're entities from the Mists that have acquired some degree of intelligence.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: The norn, who can use their connection to the Spirits of the Wild to shapeshift into werewolves, wereleopards, wereravens, and most often, werebears.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: Wyverns look like tiny (1-3x the size of a human) dragons that breathe fire or electricity; some adults have goat horns. While actual dragons exist and are quite important to the plot of the game, wyverns are unrelated to them and instead are a flying relative of drakes, a common environmental enemy that resemble alligators.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The Risen are a Type V, being the minions of Zhaitan that are created from the reanimated corpses of those who have died. Just about all types of fauna can be zombified, and even some flora.
  • Panthera Awesome: Charr, the Snow Leopard spirit and several ranger pets.
  • 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.
    • The Flame Legion follows the word of their shamans, who claim to speak to gods of fire. As far as anybody knows, there are no such gods note , and it's all a scam to keep the shamans in power.
    • The White Mantle are a religious order following the will of the Unseen Ones, supposedly benevolent deities that defended humanity against the Charr invasion and controlled the human kingdom of Kryta during the era of Guild Wars 1. The Unseen Ones turned out to be the Mursaat, a deeply amoral race of spellcasters who used the White Mantle to collect human sacrifices for use in various works of magic. The Mursaat were eventually discovered, defeated and (mostly) destroyed, but the fanatics of the White Mantle managed to hang on in the shadows. And as of the Living Story update "Out of The Shadows", they're back in the spotlight.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • "Living World Season 1" was only available for about a month before being removed from the world, never to be seen again. This was especially bad as new content was being provided every 2 weeks. Starting from Season 2, new content was made permanent, with new players being able to buy it for gems. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Season 1, there is no practical way to add any of this content back into the game, though Anet was able to compromise by adding an optional event that shows the main important events of Season 1 via flashbacks, as well as exposition on several major characters who debuted in that Season. Four of the combat instances can also be accessed through the Vision Pool when visited during the Icebrood Saga, while some of the shared dungeons became Fractals. In 2022, Anet added Season 1 back to the game.
    • There are also "limited time only" items available in the gem store on a regular basis. Fortunately, these are mostly cosmetic skins, although those unlimited-use gathering tools can be pretty handy. A few of these have cycled back around into the shop.
  • Perpetually Static: The game aims to avert this trope with its "Dynamic Events" system.
    • While an infinite number of random events is impossible and will thus run on a loop, starting these events may be very long (eg. finding a book in a wizard's tower, bringing a specific dropped item to a certain location) or relatively short (ie. bandit raids on a nearby farm).
    • Additionally, and even more fittingly, the game has implemented the 'Living Story' system, in which every few months, special one time events are ran that continues the story of the game and may sometimes have lasting after effects on the game world, such as changed landscapes, or new NPCs.
    • In a step backwards, ArenaNet has said that every map is now effectively locked into the time zone in which it was created. So while it may seem like the charr-human peace treaty is taking a while, it's merely time-locked. This was done to allow major characters to appear in open-world maps, such as Laranthir appearing in Verdant Brink.
  • Pillar of Light:
    • A sword-shaped one hovers over Ascalon City, created by the Foefire.
    • One was emitted when the dragon egg was placed in Tarir.
  • 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 as a thief. Warrior rifles have a similar skill, along with many of the environmental long guns.
  • Planimal: Fern hounds, which are basically plant dogs, originate from the Pale Tree as well, although they are born as pups. Most of the Mordrem also count, such as the terragriffs (plant-based griffons).
  • Plant Hair: The Sylvari, being plant people, can have leaves grow in a style as if hair. Other hair options include bark, twigs, thorns or a mushroom cap as a hair style.
  • Plant People: The sylvari. An article explaining the redesign actually goes into detail on how they used the common properties of plants when designing them.
  • Platform Game:
    • The April Fool's day game called "Rytlock's Critter Rampage". You play as Rytlock trying to get his treasures back from Woodland Creatures. And just like many Retraux-style games out there, it is Nintendo Hard (although getting the Heart Containers makes it easier).
    • Super Adventure Box was mostly this. Although you used skills to defeat the monsters, getting through the levels will usually involve jumping around in the 3D environment.
  • 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.
    • Normal post-launch jumping puzzles sometimes fall into this deliberately as well as a way to increase the challenge from the original set. The Mad King's Clock Tower, for example, must be done quickly as the platforms disappear behind you, and you cannot retry it immediately since the puzzle restarts on a timer. The Skip up the Volcano jumping puzzle from Ember Bay has an unclear path and places necessary to stand that are nearly indistinguishable from slopes that will otherwise drop you into lava, so much that it's been nicknamed the Chalice of Tears.
  • Player-Generated Economy: The Trading Post is controlled almost exclusively by the player base. Prices must be a certain percentage more than the vendor price, but otherwise have no development interference. This extends somewhat to the cash shop as well, as the exchange rate between the in-game currency and cash shop currency fluctuates based on which direction the players have been moving currency in.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Some of the high-tier Masteries can be this, due to only being useful in a limited number of maps. The highest tier upgrade the Glider can let you follow special ley-lines that only appear late in the Heart of Thorns content. The mounts typically get a buffing, AOE version of their normal attack at their highest rank, but the Sand Jackals take the cake in that their special movement upgrade simply lets them traverse sand portals that appear in key locations of Path of Fire.
  • Prestige Class: Elite Specializations are only available to level 80 characters and require Hero Points in excess of what can be earned through leveling. They provide new skills (often of skill categories unavailable to characters without the Elite Specialization) and allow the character to equip a specific kind of weapon, shield, or focus that they could not previously.
    • Played with with Masteries. A Level 80 character (and then some, as Mastery Points usually require XP to obtain) is required to unlock them, but they apply to all characters on an account once unlocked. For example, a level 80 character obtaining a glider at the start of Heart of Thorns means that all characters on that account can use a glider from now on, even if they're below level 80.
  • 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 technological advances. 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.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: In terms of gameplay, there is no functional difference between males and females.
    • This is even more true for the sylvari in-universe. They're all born from the Pale Tree and their forms are, for all intents and purposes, imitations of the more humanoid races.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The story modes for all the dungeons put together involve Destiny's Edge putting aside their own hang-ups and reuniting to kill Zhaitan once and for all.
  • 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.
    • Most of the end bosses in Living World chapters are this. For instance, slaying the Shadow of the Dragon in Episode 8 requires forming a circle of flames before the boss can even be attacked.
  • Raising the Steaks: If it breathes, chances are you'll find an undead version of it. There are Risen versions of all the sentient races (which include Beast Men), grubs, sharks and even chickens. Not sylvari, however, and this is actually specifically noted several times. Rumors abound as to why they are immune to being corrupted by Zhaitan, although the most prominent theory related to them being minions of the dragon Mordremoth.
  • Random Loot Exchanger: With the Mystic Forge, you can put in four items with the same quality/rarity to get a random item back. Sometimes the random item will be higher quality, but most of the time it's the same classification as what you put in.
  • Rat Men: The skritt are generally regarded as pests by the more advanced races of Tyria due to their attraction to anything shiny and tendency to run off with said shinies. Skritt are individually weak and not particularly bright, but they share a pseudo-hivemind of sorts thanks to their constant ultrasonic chittering which makes large groups of them capable of surprising feats of intellect (such as repeatedly outsmarting the asura, the resident Insufferable Genius race).
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized:
    • 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 Ebonhawke. 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.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: The charr can't stop talking about how much they love meat when you wander around their cities, and even have a town that has Meatoberfest. But since they're based on big cats, meat's the only thing they can eat that gives them enough nutrition.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Inquest really like to make their uniforms and golems in these colors.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: At least one for every playable race:
    • Minister Caudecus's guards and Bandits who all seem to have secretly been White Mantle members and the Separatists to Humans.
    • The Flame Legion and the Renegades to the Charr.
    • The Inquest to the Asura.
    • The Nightmare Court to the Sylvari.
    • Sons of Svanir to the Norn.
    • The Inquest and the Sons of Svanir aren't exactly renegade, though. They have their representatives in Rata Sum and Hoelbrak, respectively, but are almost never found friendly outside of the towns.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The krait, a sea-dwelling race of lizardmen that seem to be Always Chaotic Evil, and have quickly gotten most of the fanbase howling for their extinction. Given how they are (they're especially fond of being mean to player-favorite quaggans), and just how often a player dies when fighting them underwater, this is understandable.
    • On the other hand, the krait are one of the most common requests to be added as a playable race.
  • Reverse Grip: Used by all dagger-armed characters.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: A drastic inversion; back in Guild Wars the primary currency was gold coins and the secondary one was platinum bars (worth 1000 gold). In the sequel (set 250 years later) the basic unit of currency is the copper coin. 100 copper coins equals 1 silver coin, and 100 silver coins (or 10,000 copper coins) is a single gold coin (and there is no higher currency, unless you count gems, which have an in-game exchange rate for the free currency as well as being purchasable with real money). Ironically, platinum is now just a middle-tier crafting material, despite the fact that a bar of platinum from GW1 would technically be worth 10 million copper coins. There's no in-story justification for it; they just changed the currencies between games and didn't make a fuss about the details.
  • Rocket Jump: Give an Engineer a rifle and they'll be launching themselves with reckless abandon. Notably, it does no damage to the Engineer, just whoever's in the blast radius and whoever the Engineer is landing on.
    • 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 character's 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. With gliding added to core Tyria, this is less necessary.
  • 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 this trope to apply.
  • Running on All Fours: Charr do when out of combat.

  • 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 commoner 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 the 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.
    • It's also what ultimately broke up Destiny's Edge, Logan had to choose between staying with his friends, who were about to face one of the Elder Dragons or going back to protect the queen from the minions 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 poorly. And in all of them, it's your fault.
    • In the Orr chapters, you're given the option of joining attacks on Zhaitan from land or sea, or going after a missing Priory expedition that was looking for an artifact important to a later mission. No matter which you choose, someone's going to die, and all of them are people you might have met before in your personal story depending on your race and choices. If you pick Land, Tegwen and Sam Beirne die; if you pick Sea, Agent Zott dies; and if you go after the expedition, Ferghen and Kekt die.
  • Safely Secluded Science Center: The Inquest, a group of evil Mad Scientist Asura who have been pushed to the fringes of Asuran society, have a number of secret labs in obscure locations throughout Tyria. These are typically located in isolated, rural locations far from any settlement and are often partially underground.
  • Scenery Porn: Just look at the videos of the six big cities: Human, Norn, Charr, Sylvari, Asura and Lion's Arch
    • 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, until its long-awaited rebuilding.
    • The town of Prosperity after Season 2, Chapter 2. After players were able to visit this small but thriving town in Dry Top, it gets savagely attacked by Mordremoth's vines. Several of the NPCs met during that initial 2 week period are seen caught in a stranglehold by the vines, including fan-favourite Droobert.
    • While the Fire Islands were never inhabited, the landscape there is bleak with many dangerous lava pools and rivers scattered about Ember Bay.
    • Visiting the Crystal Desert can feel like this for returning players from the first game. Cities and landmarks they knew have been either destroyed or twisted, whether by Joko or Kralkatorrik.
  • 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 
    • 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.
    • From the "Nightmare Within" patch until their ultimate destruction, there were 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.
    • In the same vein, a reward for watching the Season 1 review (or playing some of the missions in the revived Season 1) is a Gift from Scarlett. Interacting with it will instantly put the character into the downed state.
  • Serious Business: Taunting and posturing between servers that share a World Vs World group is this on some forums, with a distinct hierarchy being set that can cause quite a stir when a normally bad server starts overtaking the others in points. An example would be the Devona's Rest/Fergeson's Crossing/Kaineg server group, with Fergeson's usually being the dominant force over Devona's and Kaineg, though this is beginning 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 don’t understand?"
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Dry Top and the Silverwastes (known collectively as the Maguuma Wastes) are a subversion of this trope. There is shifting sand and lots of it, but the Arabic elements are nowhere to be seen (the Tyrian counterparts to the Middle East are Elona, which was inaccessible until Path of Fire, and Orr, which is a different trope and was showcased before) and the main threat in the region is the Elder Dragon Mordremoth and his Plant Mooks, who wish to convert the desert into a Garden of Evil.
  • Shining City: Divinity's Reach. It is described as "a breathtaking monument of white parapets and high, pale towers".
    • Also New Kaineng, a massive, sprawling metropolis filled with technological wonders all powered by the latest in dragonjade technology.
  • Ship Sinking: "Head of the Snake" confirms that Logan's feelings for Jennah are one-sided, and he seems to be moving on.
  • Ship Tease: While no-one seems to acknowledge it, there are definite hints of something odd between Braham and Rox, particularly in the later stages of the first season of the Living World. When Rox tells Braham that she's going to get accepted into a warband if she can kill Scarlett, Braham reacts like a jilted lover. The overtones are so thick it's palpable:
    Braham: Rox, your devourer—
    Rox: Chewed on your axe handle. I know. Sorry. Listen. You won't believe what Rytlock just said. If I kill Scarlet, I'm in the warband. Definitely.
    Braham: Oh. I see.
    Rox: What's the matter? I thought you'd be happy for me.
    Braham: I just don't understand why you need some warband you don't even know. I mean, you've got me. And we've got a team of our own. Look around. They're all here, with you.
    Rox: It's a charr thing. You wouldn't understand.
    Braham: A charr thing? You'd rather be in your fancy warband than with people who've been beside you all this time?
    Rox: That's not what I said. It's a big deal to get into the Stone warband.
    Braham: Why? Because it'll make you special? You're already special. At least, to me.
    Rox: sigh You'll still see me after I get in.
    Braham: Uh huh.
    Rox: You will. Sometimes. Braham starts to walk away Braham? Braham! We have to talk about it sooner or later.
    Braham: I have to go clean my gear.
    Rox: Braham! growl
    • If that didn't hammer the point home enough, there's what happens during the confrontation with Scarlett at the climax of the season, when Braham's leg is broken and Rox sacrifices her chance to get into the warband when she refuses to leave his side:
    Rox: Braham! Talk to me. Your leg...
    Braham: ...Is broken. I know groan I'll be okay. Go. Get her.
    Rox: What? Go? No. I can't leave you here like this. It's too dangerous. We have to get you out of here.
    Braham: Go Rox. It's your chance to get in the warband. You have to.
    Rox: I don't have to do anything. I'm not leaving you alone in such a vulnerable position
  • 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!
    • If you even come across Mordrem Menders, kill them first or they could heal their allies back to full.
  • Shout-Out: Several, in historic Guild Wars tradition.
    • When some rangers summon their pets, they might occasionally say "I choose you" or "Return".
    • An event in the first Sylvari area involves repelling waves of undead using plant-based mortar turrets. Hmmmmmmm.
    • When human males get a Fury buff, they tend to yell out "Urge to kill RISING!"
    • In the Stronghold of Ebonhawke in Fields of Ruin, there will be some chickens which look like regular harmless critters... Until you try to kill one, and then a large group of them flock towards you and attack you.
    • Warriors have a Might and Fury-granting battle cry called "For Great Justice!" They even shout the line, so prepare to hear it a lot during long fights.
    • Omnomberries
    • In the graveyard east of Shaemoor, there's a tombstone with the following: "Kah Meena, His will be the sword that pierces the Mists".
    • Rue was apparently transitioned from Panem to Tyria and buried in the graveyard at Ebonhawke.
    • One escort quest has you bringing a group of kids in search of pirate treasure and befriending a giant (creature) with sweets. If you manage to find the jumping puzzle Fawcett's Bounty, you'll even find the underground pirate ship!
    • One Guardian skill summons a magical shield, which can be launched to hit multiple enemies. Its name? Shield of the 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".
    • Sometimes killing a Risen will result in it screaming "Damn your eyes!".
    • A minor one that may be accidental: The archivist in Rata Sum (who works with a huge Magitek computer system) is named Grep.
    • Ogres in Blazeridge Steppes occasionally say the line "I will love him and pet him And Call Him "George""
    • A fort at the southern end of the Timberline Falls zone is named Caer Evermore.
    • One of the NPCs in the Durmand Priory's members-only section is Scholar Wikki.
    • In Butcher's Block where Meatoberfest happens, a cub NPC will approach another NPC tending "cheesy meat".
    Rija Firemasher: This cheesy meat will go great for Meatoberfest.
    Cub: Can I has cheesy meat?
    Rija Firemasher: Hungry cub is hungry.
    • A just-for-fun "quest" is the Hungry Cat Scavenger Hunt — feed cats at different locations in Tyria their favorite food, they then move into your home instance. The favorite food of one cat you can adopt this way? A cheeseburger.
    • One of the golems you repair for a renown heart quest in Metrica Province will say "Primary function: Kick bottom and chew bubblegum. ERROR: Out of bubblegum!"
    • In the same area, one asura will comment that "All your golem are belong to us."
    • 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."
    • The bridge in crossing the Brand known as the Steeleye Span
    • 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.
    • Upon rescuing Demmi (daughter of the evil Minister Caudecus) from the pirates, she asks the hero, "Aren't you a little sober to be a pirate?"
    • Completing the Only Zuhl jumping puzzle gives you a somewhat familiar looking loot chest.
    • The limited time Super Adventure Box o' Fun offers a random transformation when you jump to break a box above your head.
      • 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 Miya. Miya and Moto.
    • The password reset page on the website recommends 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".
    • Conversation between asura and sylvari gate attendants in the sylvari city. The asura's golem freaked because the sylvari wanted to know if golems dreamed, and asked it questions about turtles in the desert and about its mother.
    • You can get an achievement by donning a pair of goggles and jumping into a pool of lava, which works about as well as you expect. Its name? "The Goggles Do Nothing!"
    • One of the renown heart givers in the Plains of Ashford is named Strum Bassclash.
    • In the asura personal story, a scientist named Gorr comes up with the theory that magic is being consumed by the dragons. This may be a reference to former American Vice President Al Gore, and how he gives lectures about climate control changes.
    • A fairly well-hidden easter egg is a texture that contains translatable asuran script. Hidden within are a number of references to Metroid, Portal, Mass Effect and Firefly.
    • In "Snaff Would Be Proud", the first quest for asura characters who chose the 'College of Statics' background, your krewe hatches a baby raptor from a giant egg you find, prompting your krewemate Kozzak to start gushing over it.
    • During the Ogre Wars meta event in Fields of Ruin, at one point an ogre enters the fight by breaking through a wall. His name is Khulaid.
    • One of the achievements for Living Story 3 chapter 4 is called "Gems of Beach City". It involves picking up pearls and the achievement's flavor text mentions that they'd go well with some rose quartz.
    • In the mission "Further into Orr", one will have to fight Veteran Risen Prince Alhazred.
    • The names of the Berserker specialization's traits are references to fighting games such as Primal Rage, Killer Instinct, Dead or Alive and Eternal Champions. In addition, the icon of the trait Smash Brawler is a reference to Ridley from the Metroid series.
    • A recurring event in the Straits of Devastation involves an attack on a Pact mobile hospital. "Commander Blaike" and "Medic Kellye" are clear references to Major Henry Blake and Nurse Kellye from M*A*S*H.
    • In the Super Adventure Box, there is an optional miniboss called the Queen Bee Dog, which is basically a dog with bees in its mouth and when it barks it shoots bees at you.
    • In the achievements for "A Bug In the System", there's a three part collection quest to revive a little Inquest bot and teach him how to be a hero. The quote for the third part? "You are who you choose to be."
    • Among the achievements for "The Realm of Dreams" (Secrets of the Obscure February 2024 expansion content) is one called "Please Take a Seat", which requires your character to sit at a specific cliffside spot in the Inner Nayos map. The flavor text for the achievement is "But you'll only need the edge!". Both of these phrases are part of the welcome to new subscribers given by streamer and ANet partner Mukluk.
  • Side Bet:
    • Early in the Level 70 personal story, the player character gets a letter from their racial mentor. If you're playing an asura, Zojja's letter starts out by thanking you — she just won 100 platinum off a college friend by betting you'd find a way to retake Claw Island note .
    • At least twice during the expansions, Canach heads off to a casino to bet on the Commander's success. His reaction to the Commander fighting their way back to life in Path of Fire is to double that bet.
  • Skill Gate: In most areas of the core world, there is a maximum level cap, and players too high above the local fauna will be brought back to the same level. Sometimes, though, players are reduced to a level lower than the monsters in the area, making it impossible to brute-force things.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: World 2-3 of the Super Adventure Box minigame is a clear shout-out to this trope, super-slippery ice and arctic-themed enemies included.
  • Snake People: The krait.
  • Soft Water: Death by falling is very much a thing in the game, especially in cities where floors are layered (Rata Sum and the Grove come to mind). However, dropping from an equally great height into water lets your character get away perfectly unscathed. There's even a small set of diving achievements where, dressed in nothing but a pair of goggles and your race's default underwear, you leap off a high point; the achievement is awarded when you successfully hit the water. A Verdant Brink diving achievement takes this up to eleven: you have to dive through forest right into a small pool of water that can be easily missed because you can't see where you're falling.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Early in the penultimate story chapter of End of Dragons, right after a cutscene shows the Dragonvoid breaking free all across Tyria, Rytlock makes a comm call:
    Commander, whatever mess you've gotten yourself into has turned into a real clusterf-(static) for us over here.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Primordus and Kralkatorrik, while not yet appearing in the core game, are covered in spines in the original Guild Wars.
    • Charr armor designers also make liberal use of spikes, but see Dark Is Not Evil.
      • Charr actually seem to LOVE this trope and tend to put spikes on just about anything. Including plant pots and looms.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Thief to the Assassin.
    • The Guardian to the Monk and Paragon.
    • 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.
    • The Revenant is also a successor to the Ritualist in theme, calling back long dead spirits. It also has an energy bar as its unique mechanic, similar to how mana worked in the first game.
  • 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.
    • Marcello DiGiacomo is a musician who appeared fairly regularly throughout Season 1, always for comedic effect.
  • Springy Spores: The Heart of Thorns maps (and several others after that expansion) have "Bouncing Mushrooms". One mastery track includes the ability to use them to jump up to otherwise inaccessible areas.
  • 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.
    • Several personal stories have characters that qualify, such as Legionnaire Urvan Steelbane for Blood Legion charr, and Teyo of the Inquest for all asura.
  • State Visit: A couple chapters of Living World Season 2 are devoted to the Pact Commander's efforts to pull the leaders of all the main races together for a summit. Since the Pale Tree can't travel, she hosts the other leaders in the Grove.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Pretty much all of the female norn.
  • 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.
  • 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 sent 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. Apparently, the Flame Legion have this attitude towards women of other races as well, if a female dredge's complaint to her commissar is any indication.
    • The Sons of Svanir have a similar attitude; since Jora killed the Nornbear in Eye of the North, women are banned from the cult.
    • In one of the Dredge tunnels, you can find a "strongly worded" letter from a female dredge to her superior warning what will happen if they attempt to follow suit to the above.
  • Steampunk: The charr and the engineer class, as well as the villainous Aetherblade organization.
  • Stealth Pun: The Super Adventure Box festival's Bee Dogs are bugs riddled with patches.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: The Game provides plenty of them.
    • Lock and Key Puzzle: Plenty of quests include to collect objects from the environment and bring them to a location. Sometimes they turn out as environmental weapons.
    • Two-Keyed Lock: Langmar Estate provides a room with six sets of two-keyed locks. One identifies a painting's 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.
      • A current event quest involved getting an enchantment placed upon the player, then needing to find 5 beacons scattered around the map. Using a special skill showed in which direction the beacons lay, and roughly how far away.
    • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: When King Thorn appears at Halloween, he plays Your Mad King Says with Slash Commands. If you don't follow the order, or follow the order when he doesn't use this specific phrase, you die.
      • Season 3, Chapter 1 has this as the code to realign an asura gate. You can choose to bypass this and just beat up some golems instead.
      • A mastery point in one Path of Fire map involves lighting up switches in the correct order three times.
    • 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.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: The asura, who function for this reason as Higher-Tech Species to the other races, and whose schtick is basically that they've been studying the foundations of magic for so long that they've turned it into a form of high technology.
  • Superboss: The Legendary Bandit Executioner, who may show up if a player has a certain item when a unique bandit leader is killed. Proportional to the level of the characters fighting them, they're absolutely brutal — and completely optional.
  • Super Mode: The Necromancer Death Shroud, which is Cast from Hit Points to give them access to some... ok spells and one pretty powerful (although it also makes you nearly invulnerable while the pool lasts), but then there is always LICH FORM! The Necromancer's elite specialization grants access to Reaper Shroud as a replacement to Death Shroud, which is effectively an upgrade to it (and especially so with the right gear and traits).
  • Supporting Leader: Trahearne, Marshal and leader of the Pact, towards the end of the personal story. The Player Character, the Commander, serves as his second-in-command.
  • 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.
  • Sword and Gun: An option for thieves and mesmers.
  • Sword Beam: All three of the scholar professions (Elementalist, Necromancer, and Mesmer) use normal melee weapons as magical ranged weapons. This trope is played most straight by the Mesmer's Greatsword basic attack, which is a literal beam weapon.
    • Subverted by the Necromancer's Reaper elite specialization. It gives Necromancers access to the greatsword, but is actually used as a melee weapon.
  • Updated Re-release: Living World Season 1, which was originally only available for a short time, was added back into the game in 2022 with new achievements and plentiful foreshadowing for future storylines in the form of various notes scattered throughout.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Quite a few.
    • One example is the ghost of Justicar Hablion in Bloodstone Fen, who would be a lot more difficult to defeat if he didn't use an attack that teleports players upwards into the sky...where they can use the extremely powerful aerial skills unique to the map to bomb him to smithereens.
    • The Mouth of Zhaitan in Victory or Death throws Fire Orbs at you as it chases you around the boss arena. These are the only thing that can interrupt its Vortex attack and make it vulnerable for a few seconds.
    • The Jade Maw can't be attacked directly. It has to be tricked into firing its One-Hit Kill eye beam into a reflecting crystal (dropped by its minions). The charged crystal can then be thrown to deal damage to the boss.
    • Captain Mai Trin can only be defeated by luring her into the lightning fields dropped by her ally, First Mate Horrik. If Horrik didn't use the lightning blasts (which do a lot less damage than his fire shells in any case), Mai Trin would be completely impervious to harm.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Primordus and Jormag are only vulnerable to each other. A large part of their storyline revolves around getting them to fight one another while also making sure they're at equal power, otherwise one will survive and become unstoppable.
  • 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?"
    • An NPC in Path of Fire mentions "That accursed Lich-King!", and is definitely talking about Palawa Joko.
  • Take That, Audience!: One character, Redeemer Kossan, says that he prefers to be second-in-command because it gives him the freedom to go out on adventures while someone else takes care of the paperwork. This is most likely a response to complaints that the player character is the Commander, second in command of the Pact, rather than the one in charge.
    • Before this, General Soulkeeper offered the Commander the role of Marshal after Heart of Thorns. She then stated the Pact leadership had concluded the biggest problem in that campaign was that the Marshal was on the frontline and thus unable to command effectively. Therefore the Commander as the new Marshal will be safely ensconced in an office far, far from any fighting.
  • 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 was 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. This has been slightly modified so that characters unlock each story chapter every ten levels (leading to a bit of a Sequence Break when Ascalon Catacombs unlocks before Destiny's Edge reunite in Lion's Arch), but you can take your time between each story instance.
  • Technobabble: The asuran trademark. It's even a skill that can be used to daze enemies at long range.
  • Temporary Online Content: Living World Season 1 was an experiment in continued content release, making each chapter available for about one month before being removed permanently. Don't log in during that time? Too bad, even if it affects the world at large. Complaints about this revised later seasons to be entirely replayable and locking each map in time as far as story is concerned. As of 2022, the long-missing Season 1 content was finally restored to the game, averting the trope.
  • 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.
    • In Heart of Thorns, Blighted Canach. At certain points in the fight, regular Canach will tell you to stand in his reflective bubble to reflect the boss's damaging grenades back at him, breaking his defiance bar and making him vulnerable again. Eventually he loses the will to fight and tells you to do it yourself, letting you pick up his shield and play a literal game of tennis with the grenades. Or you could just break his defiance bar yourself.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works and The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Warriors have a greatsword skill called Bladetrail. It's also a Precision-Guided Boomerang that cripples people.
    • And when wielding a sword in the offhand, the Warrior can throw their sword, impaling their target, and then they run 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.
  • Tile-Flipping Puzzle: "Where's Balthazar" of Living World Season 3 has two of these puzzles. Each is a "ring" of 8 square glyphs to just fully set to either of two settings. Toggle one, and the two adjacent ones would toggle as well.
  • Time Skip: 250 years have passed since the first Guild Wars and its expansions.
  • Together in Death: The game's first interspecies couple, Nicholas and Yngvild, fell in love when they bonded over helping each other reclaim their names and identities when they both slipped into the Realm of the Lost after their traumatic deaths. They'd rather spend eternity together in purgatory than move on to their respective afterlives and be separated.
  • Too Funny to Be Evil: Lich Form, a necromancer's 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...
  • Trial by Combat: If you're playing as a human noble, in an early Personal Story mission you find proof that another noble is working with bandits. When you bring him to trial, he immediately invokes the "most ancient tenets of Krytan law" to make it trial by combat instead of a normal trial. It was a set-up — the noble in question was told to do that by Minister Cauducus, because if he won he'd be ruled innocent and if he lost no one would find out he was working on behalf of Cauducus.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: Rocket boots and boots that spray an oil slick will be available to the engineer.
  • Tron Lines: Asura are incredibly fond of this trope.
  • Trope Makers: Guild Wars 2 was developed with the idea of taking all the annoying and cumbersome points of current MMOs and removing them to make player cooperation the main focus. As MMOs adapt to a post smart phone market new players to GW 2 will see them as standards rather than innovation. E.g. spontaneous world community events, clean interface, nearly everything being Account Bound rather than Character Bound, instanced gathering and loot drops, rewards based on participation rather than damage, several warp/teleport points, experience for exploration, etc.
  • 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: Do not anger the peaceful quaggan, for they will rage and get quite violent.
  • Underwear Swimsuit: The "Dive Master" achievement calls for donning diving goggles at various places around Tyria and going for a dip. Donning the goggles automatically strips the player-character down to their race's preferred underwear in lieu of a swimsuit.
  • 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.
  • Vapor Wear: Quite a few of the armor choices, as well as a number of NPCs. Riel Darkwater and Eir Stegalkin come immediately to mind.
  • 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 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. Also, since you can get 100% of the credit for a kill so long as you help out even a little, the game actively encourages you to help other players kill enemies whenever you see them struggling.
  • 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. There used to be a daily achievement to kill a bunch of ambient creatures, so this behaviour was even encouraged.
    • 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.
  • Villain Shoes: Not major villains, but in three of the Fractals of the Mists you play as members of an antagonist organization.
    • Urban Battleground Fractal — you're Flame Legion charr, attacking a human city. note 
    • Thaumanova Reactor Fractal — you're Inquest.
    • Twilight Oasis Fractal — you're Mordant Crescent (Palawa Joko's elite military force).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Logan and Rytlock were this in the past. Now they're just vitriolic. Part of the original plot is to help heal this rift.
  • 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).
    • Destroyers, being minions of the fire dragon, all exhibit this trait.
  • Warrior Monks: The Durmand Priory.
  • 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 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 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. Some of the bandits turned out to be White Mantle members.
      • 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 over 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 powerful 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. Heart of Thorns expands on this idea, revealing the Nightmare Court want to true freedom, not to be told what to do by the Pale Tree, a tablet from a long-dead centaur or the dragon Mordremoth who technically created them.
  • We Have Reserves: Although there's nothing evil about them, Necromancer player characters often display a pretty cavalier attitude towards their minions.
    "Kill my minions? I'll just make more."
    • Although the female human necromancer occasionally inverts this...
    "No! I hand-raised that minion!"
    • The female sylvari voice as well:
    "Aww. That minion was so loyal..."
    • And who could forget the female asura?
    "Glad I didn't name that one..."
  • Video Game Vista: Vistas are downright a collectable in Guild Wars 2. Reaching specific points in the map (usually requiring some platforming to reach) causes a cutscene to play out that zooms out and shows around the surrounding area, usually a particular point of interest. Getting all the Vistas is necessary to 100% complete a zone.
  • Vine Tentacles: Some Nightmare Court enemies also use vine whips as their main weapons. You can use one at one point in a Sylvari personal story.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Present as usual, and actually lampshaded in the personal story mission "Estate of Decay", where your character will actually comment on the fact that the servant they're talking to is repeating the two lines over and over. That's because the servants are all undead disguised by mesmer magic.
  • 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 Season 1. 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 and awakens another Elder Dragon.
    • The last chapter of Act 1 of Heart of Thorns has you finding a bunch of prisoners in cages, including Eir and Faolain. While trying to escape, Eir stops to help Faolain up and is rewarded with a thorn in her back. Eir throws the thorn into Faolain's back as she runs away. Neither one of them manages to escape.
    • Season 2, Episode 8 also ends with a bit of a shock: the sylvari were meant to be dragon minions, created to serve Mordremoth, the jungle dragon.
    • Living Story Season 3 starts with a Wham Episode:
      • The Maguuma Bloodstone explodes and somebody siphons off most of its power.
      • Minister Caudecus Beetlestone, who's been suspected of working with the White Mantle for a while? He's actually Confessor Caudecus. He is the leader of the White Mantle. Or at least he was... until Lazarus the Dire returns, proclaiming that human squabbles for the throne of Kryta are irrelevant to his goals and absconds again after incinerating a number of White Mantle who doubted his divinity.
      • And finally, Taimi drops the Wham Line: "Primordus is active."
    • Living Story Season 3 episode 5, Flashpoint, is also a Wham Episode. While it was known that "Lazarus" was an imposter by this point, his true identity being Balthazar, the human god of war and fire, still manages to be a major wham. And if that's not enough, it turns out the dragons are Cosmic Keystones, and killing any more of them might destroy the world...which is a little bit of a wrench in what your character has been fighting for since the beginning of the game.
    Taimi: Paradigm: shifted.
    • Path of Fire includes a mission called "The Departing". You head to a spot where you arranged to meet your friends, expecting a standard "here's what we do now" dialogue break. Turns out your friends aren't there yet...but Balthazar is. He toys with you for a while, including reviving you if you fall, which seems unlike him, until Aurene arrives to save you. The ambush was a trap. You were the bait. He easily captures her, then comes back to finish you once and for all. You, as the player, are probably thinking "what's going to save me this time?" The answer? Nothing. Your character dies. Departing, indeed!
    • End of Dragons starts with you investigating the return of the Aetherblade Pirates from Season 1, and their activities on Cantha. Then, in chapter 7, Deepest Secrets, that entire plot gets thrown out the window. It turns out that Soo-Won, the Elder Dragon of Water, was willingly bound into jadetech reactor that powers New Kaineng City. But she is attacked by the leader of the Aetherblades, who uses Aurene's magic to overwhelm Soo-Won and drive her into a ranpage. As Soo-Won is consumed by magic, the Void she fought to keep out begins to re-enter Tyria, resulting in reality beginning to break down across the globe.
  • 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 later learn that sylvari can have more than one wyld hunt if the first one is completed.
  • Winged Humanoid: Harpies are back. So are the mursaat.
  • 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."
  • World of Pun: From the dredge's communist Moletariat to the charr's cow-launching cattlepult.
    • Also the dredge areas of Moledavia, Molensk, Molengrad, Molodets, De Molish Post, or the names Molenin and Molachev.
    • Or the skritt city of Skrittsburgh.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: A downplayed example because currency is still made out of gold and silver coins, but of the various ores that can be mined for crafting in the game, gold and silver are generally considered the least-useful, as the only crafting discipline that makes extensive use of it (and even then only as 2nd and 3rd-tier materials out of 6 tiers) is Jewelcrafting, generally considered the most underdeveloped and least-useful of the main crafting disciplines (it caps at 400 rather than 500). Platinum at least is capable of being forged into Darksteel for use in upper-middle tier weapons and armour.
  • 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 that isn't contested. 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).
    • With the addition of guild halls, players can be instantly transported there at any time they are not dead. One of the guild hall upgrades is creating a teleporter that opens a portal to other areas of Tyria quickly, mostly revolving around Guild Quests although there is a teleporter to Lion's Arch.


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Path of Fire expansion introduced the Deadeye elite specialization for Thieves, allowing them to wield rifles and use cantrips of shadow magic.

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Main / MageMarksman

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