We’re back with the remainder of our interview with the YouTube lore-legend himself, WoodenPotatoes. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out part one of this interview!
And if you’re ready, be sure to hit the jump and check out the rest of our interview!!
Who is your favorite villain in Guild Wars?
My favorite villan has got to be Hablion. He’s one of those guys you meet early in the plot, come to know and trust, and then suddenly you realize is nothing that you thought he was. My first time through Bloodstone Fen, the mission where you kill the Justiciar, I was never really impacted as much as I think I should have been. Here we had this guy who was responsible for our very existence in Kryta, who had saved us and put a roof over our heads, that was now also our worst nightmare. The change in his voice when you see him with the chosen, calling himself the ‘Scythe, bringer of salvation’ is just a fantastic moment. Even after his death, the guy manages to cause trouble by sparking what could be considered all out war between the shining blade and mantle, and the eventual deaths of many at the Henge of Denravi later. I think the icing on the cake where Hablion is concerned, however, is when you get to see him by your side once again in the bonus mission pack when playing as Saul. He’s your friend again, and it’s one of the most bizzare experiences knowing that just a year or two later, this character would be murdered by you, and that so much would change. I guess the same can be said for Dorian, too, but he never seemed to have as much depth as Hablion. May he never find rest in the mists.
Who is your favorite member of Destiny’s Edge and why?
I think it’ll have to be Eir for me. There are a lot of things people will pick out of the other characters that you can easily say ”this guy is cool” at. Rytlock is badass and has a wicked sense of humour, Caithe is mysterious and quirky, Zojja might be big-headed but she has good reason for it. Even Logan, hated by many, can be painted as the charming, honorable guy fighting for the love of his life. But Eir? She doesn’t get enough credit. She probably has one of the most layered personalities of the lot of them, with her artistic side and norn virtues, but, more importantly, she was the leader. They wouldn’t have made it past the first hurdle as a team without her, and, no matter what they did or didn’t accomplish the first time around together, it was always Eir that saw the team through. She’s a bit of a tragic character as far as Zojja is concerned, too. After the events of edge of destiny it’s on her that the burden of their journey falls, she’s blamed personally for what happened, despite having the best intentions. I’ve always liked those kinds of tragic characters in Guild Wars, and maybe it’s that same under-appreciation for her in the community that draws me to her even more.
How do you, personally, feel about Logan Thackery’s decision?
I think that if, in truth, it was due to some Mesmer magic on Jennahs part, then what Logan did is more forgiveable. I certainly don’t dislike him as much as others do. People forget that hindsight is 20/20. For all Logan knew, she was going to be killed without him there, and also, for all he knew, Kralkatorrick could have been defeated even with his departure. What I would find interesting is asking people their opinions while reading the book. As soon as he makes the decision to leave, do we suddenly hate him? I know I certainly didn’t – he made the best decision he could with the information he had at the time. If everything had worked out perfectly, would we love him for doing the same thing? One thing I will say – the discussion on whether he was right or wrong is probably the best thing to have come out of the book. I love grey areas, and I love that the writers were willing to make one of these iconic characters something people don’t always see eye-to-eye with. They could have played it safe, but they didn’t. They made things ambiguous and respected that we, the audience, were mature enough to appreciate it as good story-telling. And that took guts.
What is the one feature you’d add, remove or refine to the personal story mechanic in the game? How would you handle it if tomorrow they gave you the lead design responsibility for that part of the game?
Having seen so little of the personal story so far, it’s hard to see how it will hold up through all 80 levels. Does the plot become too predictable? Is there enough consequence to our actions? How much is the home instance really used? Are the somewhat limited or clunky dialogue cutscenes really that bad, or will we get used to them? Assuming this is all fine, though, I’m not sure there is anything I would change. I would say, though, if I had been there on day 1, the personal story as a whole would have been remarkably different. Instead of making hundreds of choices and branching stories that dilute the experience for a single playthrough, I think I would have rather made a game that presents one long, epic, compelling, well-paced story. Pool all the time, effort, and rescources of making hundreds of choices into one mammoth experience. I think thats what Tyria really deserves. The setting is fantastic and has been lovingly crafted, but I don’t think that adding voice acting will be enough to really make it compelling enough to suck your average MMO-player into it. There needs to be something more. Something that makes us cry when some important character dies, or shout at the screen when we finally kill the antagonist that has been heckling us for the past ten hours of the game. Something that makes us feel for who our character is and makes us care, really care about the fate of Tyria. That’s the kind of thing that would get more people into the lore and more excited about stories like the tragedies of Turai Ossa and the elonians. Can a story that has been split fifty times to heck really provide that? Possibly, to an extent, but can we really expect Guild Wars 2 to send chills down our spines the way a feature-length film might? Perhaps I’m too cynical, but I’m not convinced. However, having said all this, I appreciate why an MMO, of all types of games, benefits from giving players so much choice. You can’t underestimate the importance of making players feel unique among their peers, and Arenanet’s vision of the personal story is certainly doing wonders in that regard.
What is the most exciting piece of Guild Wars 2 lore in your opinion?
I can’t really rate it all against one another. But so far from the stress tests the thing that got me most excited, or made me sit up the straightest, was the re-appearance of the Wizards Tower from the original Guild Wars at Garenhoff. I love that ArenaNet didn’t remove this seemingly random bit of story from Guild Wars, and that whole town is just full to the brim with lore about whats going on up there and teasing about the future stories we have to see. Will it be a part of someone’s personal story or an expansion? Whatever the case, I am itching to explore it, and right now that quiet little village on the coast, with such a striking view, is probably my favorite place in the entire game. I’ll be spending an awful lot of time sitting idle on the balconies overlooking the water and watching the golems go by, without a doubt. If there was ever an example of a place to go to and speak to NPCs, just for the sake of learning more about the world and what you’re seeing – this is it. It is fantastic.
Where or how would you like to see your Guild Wars content develop after the games release?
The release of the game is going to mean a lot for my content, for sure. There is a fundamental difference between what an audience waiting for a game to launch wants and an audience of players of that same game when it’s out. Right now I have the advantage of having played the first Guild Wars from the begining and followed Guild Wars 2 since its announcement, but none of that will really matter once the game launches. There are hundreds of thousands of players out there that will, in an extremely short space of time, learn far more collectively about Guild Wars 2 than I ever will be able to in my lifetime, so keeping up with the times will be much harder. My daily Q&A show will continue for as long as people have questions and I have answers, but there will also be a lot of achievement guides (as I earn them myself) and 100% completion tutorials for the various maps going up. Those are the useful things I think people will want to see for themselves, because, ultimately, I think a lot of us will be going for them ourselves at some point or another. Beyond that the let’s play will be returning. Just like my Guild Wars LP, it will have its twists and turns. I think it’s important to be different because, let’s face it, every man and his dog will be doing an LP of Guild Wars 2. I have lots of crazy plans which, without spoiling too much, will involve multiple accounts and perspectives. We’ll have to see how that goes. All in all I’ll be more PvE focused, I think. Sort of a one-stop-shop for all PvE stuff. At least until ArenaNet give us our spectator mode and then the wonderful world of PvP will be well and truly on the table, too. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Do you think the ArenaNet developerss know about you and/or watch your videos?
Aaaages ago during my Guild Wars stuff, one of the members of the community team, Stephane, tweeted me. So that was cool. Very very recently, though, Peter fries, or one of the writers, told me they’ve all been watching my summary videos.
Any other things you’d like to say?
I’d just like to give a shoutout to the guys on the Durmand Priory of Guild Wars 2 Guru and elsewhere that really know their stuff about Tyria. Honestly, people often look at me as someone who knows a lot, but if I could give a number they would be a 10 and I would be a 6. The difference is just that I’ve done an awful lot of talking about the lore and sharing Tyria with players en-masse, while they’ve never stopped learning and theorizing. I’m entry level – and I encourage anyone to join the discussion with them sometime, they’ll probably open your eyes wider than I have.
A very big thank you to WoodenPotatoes for taking the time to sit down with us and answer these questions. The humble man behind the YouTube lore videos is always hard at work, so be sure to check him out on his YouTube channel.