Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 season 3 finale predictions

I’ve had enough time to fully reflect on my Guild Wars 2 Living World season 3 experience to date and wanted to circle back through what I now understand to be the state of play in order to gather my thoughts on where the final episode might take us. We’ve bounced across Tyria chasing the White Mantle, bonding with Aurene, helping to secure Kryta, navigating the tricky interpersonal relationships behind Dragon’s Watch members, and helping Taimi get answers about the elder dragons. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ll also have noticed that major expansion spoilers have also been leaked across the interwebs, so my mission is to attempt to draw conclusions for what might feature at the end of this season to lead us neatly into the second GW2 expansion.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to briefly recap on the major story threads of the season so far and will then make some loose predictions about what might happen in the final episode. Note that this piece is most definitely spoilerific for those who haven’t finished the last chapter and also potentially for those who have managed to avoid the expansion spoilers. Feel free to bookmark this one for later if that applies to you!

The story so far

There’s a dizzying amount of ground that has been covered within season 3, but I’ll quickly cover the main threads you should be aware of. Firstly, the pursuit of the elder dragons takes several unexpected turns throughout the season, with our efforts being largely guided by Taimi’s research in Rata Sum. She uses all the complex tools at her disposal to attempt to find some weaknesses that will help the commander deal with the dragon threat once and for all and she must avoid the unwanted attentions of Phlunt as she works in secret with a heavy dose of player help.

Meanwhile, the commander is attempting to make sense of the events that kicked off Heart of Thorns, including the loss and severe injury of key players and the reforging of a new guild that can continue on with the legacy set by the heroes of Tyria. Dragon’s Watch was formed, spearheaded by the commander and including Taimi, Rytlock, Rox, Jory, and Kas. Braham reacted negatively to the formation of a new guild, seeing it as a slight to his late mother Eir, and refused to join, becoming outwardly hostile to the commander while consumed by his grief. Braham wants revenge and takes the fight to Jormag, venturing into the Far Shiverpeaks and eventually cracking the tooth in Hoelbrak, which is a prophesied sign that the time is right to slay the dragon.

White Mantle activity distracts the commander throughout the chapter, and this arc is perhaps the most exciting in terms of its story progression and lore value. What you should have taken away from this particular arc is that the White Mantle is fragmented but is nevertheless powerful: Two main leaders emerged upon investigation, one being Caudecus as the Queen suspected, but the other being Lazarus. Those under Caudecus sought to overthrow Queen Jennah and claim Kryta, while Lazarus claimed to only have an interest in allying with the commander to destroy the remaining dragons and help protect Glint’s hatchling Aurene, even though we followed a trail of bloodstone blasts and magical energy absorption that makes Lazarus very dangerous indeed. A suspicious Marjory decides to accompany Lazarus to his encampments and find out more about his intentions, not satisfied that the Mursaat could truly have turned over a new leaf.

Caudecus is vanquished as a direct result of a White Mantle assault on Divinity’s Reach that was largely diluted by the powerful Queen Jennah and her magical protections. The relationship between Jennah and Logan is cool and practical, with Logan declining an invite to Dragon’s Watch despite the fact that he knows he’s getting nowhere with the Queen. Lazarus is revealed in Caudecus’ Manor, however, to be an imposter, which begins an unsettling period of worry for both the commander and Kasmeer since Jory is right by the fake Lazarus’ side. A trap is eventually set to catch ‘Lazarus’ in some enchanted mirror beams that will ruin the illusion created by the mirror he holds, and the assembled party of Taimi, Kas, Jory, and the commander are shocked to discover that the Lazarus imposter is actually the god Balthazar.

It transpires that he wishes to take Taimi’s latest creation, a machine that entangles the energies of opposing dragons and pits them against one another to destroy them, and in the battle that ensues Balthazar seriously wounds Jory while Kasmeer freezes in awe. Balthazar makes off with the weapon and Kas, totally torn by the revelation, decides that she cannot possibly accompany the commander and flees, leaving behind the injured Jory. Balthazar takes the device to the Fire Islands, where we discover Primordus deep within Draconis Mons. He uses the machine to channel energies from the dragons and into himself, claiming that his power has been greatly diminished by unnamed adversaries he simply refers to as ‘them’ and that vengeance will come even at the cost of Tyria itself. Taimi has already worked out that Tyria will be destroyed if her creation is used to kill the dragons, so the commander battles to stop a god in his tracks. Taimi overrides her machine and sends the two dragons into a supposed slumber, but Balthazar is nowhere to be found after the resulting blast.

The Balthazar conundrum

The theme that is most fresh in the narrative’s weave is undoubtedly the identity of the fake Lazarus and the events that occurred after his identity was revealed, so this serves as an excellent starting point for the myriad of questions I have after episode five. I am bursting to know who he believes has dulled his light and what events led to his apparent loss of power. We know the mirror he carried to hide his identity was a creation of Lyssa’s, but why would a god feel the need to hide his true self when walking among mere mortals? Is Lyssa an ally of his still, or how else might he have gained access to the mirror in the first place?

Perhaps the other gods caused Balthazar’s loss of power and disbelief in the honour of war. If one god is back in Tyria, perhaps others have returned too: Why else would Balthazar wish to conceal his identity? If this does transpire to be the case, I highly suspect that Jennah and Anise could be Lyssa, and perhaps Balthazar chose the facade of Lazarus so that he was positioned with a faction that naturally had some interest in opposing the Krytan ruler, because even though Caudecus was the one who was obsessed with the throne, being able to place such a weighty distraction between himself and potential-Lyssa could be invaluable in maintaining distance. I doubt that any answers in terms of this line of thought will be clear at this stage: The theme of the upcoming expansion seems to hint at answers being found at a later stage.

Dragon’s Watch is in tatters

I believe that the main focus of the final chapter will be in the fractured relationships of the Tyrian heroes. With dragons in rest and Balthazar missing, this is the time to regather and find answers, hopefully determining the fate of the other gods and working out Balthazar’s next move. Dragon’s Watch is a fractured mess before it has even truly got off the ground, following much the same pattern as the guilds that came before it. I feel that there are three arcs to further before the expansion rolls in: Our most pressing priority is surely tracking down vengeful Braham before he risks the future of Tyria in his mission to vanquish Jormag. This will be an interesting task considering how embittered the young Norn is due to the formation of Dragon’s Watch, especially since Braham has already cracked Jormag’s tooth and the Norn people expect great victory.

Secondly, Taimi will be in serious trouble now the dragon lab has been exposed and Phlunt uncovers the extent of her dangerous work behind his back. There’s no hiding the fact that Taimi has broken every conceivable rule and endangered everyone in Rata Sum (and beyond) through the fruits of her labour and Phlunt will want to see her punished for her undeclared inventions and the repercussions of her research falling into the wrong hands. Of course, the commander had full knowledge of Taimi’s research and trusted her entirely, which might also bring Phlunt’s wrath and create another difficult relationship for the commander to juggle in the aftermath of Balthazar’s stand.

There are the two lovers to consider too: Kasmeer was so awed that she shielded her eyes and froze in the presence of one of the Six, and then she compounded the hurt caused by her deference by refusing to accompany the commander and fleeing from the wounded Jory’s side. The pair were already bickering before ‘Lazarus’ arrived in Rata Sum, and I fear that the relationship will only get worse from here. Kas saw one of her gods smite down her Jory, and I fear that she is not strong enough to stand with Dragon’s Watch while they oppose one of the Six and Jory is off her feet.

Lastly, there is the small matter of following up with Rytlock after he was escorted to the Back Citadel to account for his powers and the time he spent in the Mists. We have been made aware how serious the charges against Rytlock actually are, despite his personal nonchalance, and I also deeply suspect that he knows far more about the activity of the human gods than he has so far revealed. Questioning him about his journey and uncovering the secrets he found there could be paramount in shaping the story leading into the expansion. I keep coming back to those blindfolds: Although Revenants aren’t actually blind, I do wonder if the custom surrounding their use runs deeper than the supposed inner focus rationale.

Some missing NPCs need a resurrection

I still want to know how the Pale Tree is and I most definitely feel that she has been absent from the narrative for suspiciously long at this point. I know that I should adjust to her being a main focus during the Mordremoth story arc and temper my expectations, but for such an icon to be wiped from an entire season doesn’t work for me. I hope she is able to communicate with the commander before the next expansion hits, though I’m not holding out hope of furthering that particular thread. E is all the more intriguing after discovering that Balthazar is back: I want to find out who E is more than ever due to the accuracy and timeliness of his messages. Could our mysterious advisor be another god who is wanting to direct events through us? While I find it unlikely and believe that the E thread will also remain open for a long time yet, it’s fun to hypothesise. I really miss Zojja and Taimi could use her mind and support against Phluunt if she could manage it, so I hope she is reintroduced soon.

Over to you!

What do you expect in the last episode of Season 3? Is there a particular story arc you’d like to see brought back to the fore before we head into the second expansion? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Tina Lauro has been playing Guild Wars 2 since it launched and now pens the long-running Flameseeker Chronicles column, which runs every other Wednesday and covers everything from GW2 guides and news to opinion pieces and dev diary breakdowns. If there’s a GW2 topic you’d love to see covered, drop a comment Tina’s way or mail her at tina@massivelyop.com.
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16 Comments on "Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 season 3 finale predictions"

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Rizvi Hasan

All revenents may not be blind, but i think rytlock probably is.

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Bryan Turner

He sure didn’t see the Citadle coming for him that’s for sure.

eldryth
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eldryth

About the Pale Tree being absent- have you done the Caladbolg questline? Because after that you can find out how she’s doing.

miol
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miol

^

Skoryy
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Skoryy

More Fridging, Shalyman-esque twists, and trampling of all the lore that made players invest in Tyria to begin with.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

Which happens first: George R.R. Martin finish The Winds of Winter or GW2 lets us know who “E” is? Livia? Pale Tree? Evennia? Scepter of Orr?

Dotting “I’s” and crossing “T’s” is an issue for sure with stories in the Pacific Northwest. I really enjoy their overarching storylines, meaning I really feel like they get the macro storytelling right. The microstoytelling like dialog and moment to moment stuff can be cringe-worthy though. They need to stay away from the romance dialog the same way George Lucas should have stayed away from it in the prequels.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

I’ll be pleasantly surprised if even half the loose ends get tied. My main interest is Anise. I literally never believed she was who she claims to be from the very first time I remember seeing her in the Living Story. Every time she speaks her dialog is freighted with double meaning, elision, evasion or ironic deflection. It took longer before I began to doubt Jennah but for a good while it’s been difficult to believe she’s merely the human queen of an embattled city-state. Lyssa being both of them would be quite a satisfying resolution.

The idea that Rytlock saw something of the fate of the Six while he roamed The Mists is appealing too. Not sure if it makes much sense, lore-wise, but it would explain a lot. I don’t fear for him for a moment. If anything I’d back him to come out on top of any political (or merely physical) power struggle.

Kas and Jory are in a death spiral. Not fun to see. Taimi is growing up the hard way. Also not fun any more. Rox, meanwhile…uh, Rox? Anyone there?

Braham’s perhaps the most interesting. He has all the requisites of a future arch-enemy for The Commander. Ex-ally, tragic backstory, psychological issues, feels betrayed by everyone he trusted and about to see that proved beyond all doubt. If he gets a power upgrade from somewhere he could easily be the main villain in LS4.

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Bryan Turner

I bet you he comes back a Sentient Champion or Jormag, think Arthas from Warcraft 3, Jormag could take some of those Mental Powers from Mordremoth to accomplish this, this could have happened off screen prior to Balthazar putting both dragons to sleep. You could then have Brahm on the periphery in the Crystal Desert hell bent on killing Kralkatorak in order to transfer the energy to Jormag (so perhaps he may become the mouth of Jormag as well.).

Nibbana
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Nibbana

I am so struggling with whether or not to dive back into GW2. I left because the story was so generic, and I love dungeons but was way too intimidated by the bro-force and min/max builds required of them. If I was in it for the leveling journey and the PVP, I suppose I might be able to jump back in. Any advice from the community about where GW2 excels these days? What itches does it really scratch? And are Necros still underpowered?

xhieron
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xhieron

Necros aren’t underpowered, but they’re definitely not core for the raids meta at the moment. They’re great for fractals (or at least they were before the most recent Epidemic nerf; I’m not sure now since I haven’t tried mine since, but my understanding is that it’s not as bad in practice as it seemed to be on paper). They’re still perfectly serviceable in PVP/WVW.

I don’t know when you quit, but I just started again relatively recently (maybe a month before HoT got its price reduced), and I’ve been playing pretty regularly despite having always taken a very casual approach to the game. Elitism still exists, and I still have the same grievances I’ve always had despite conceding that some of the most onerous, poorly-communicated changes have been good for the long-term health of the game (namely, everything tied to ANet’s abandonment of the manifesto and foundational accessibility principles), but the game is still fundamentally good at what it’s always been good at: marathon-style ascent toward long-term goals.

The leveling journey, PVP, and the wealth journey are all that, a long, slow burn toward incremental improvement. Whereas the WOW-clone style game scratches the Skinner-box itch–log on, do a thing, get a new piece of gear (maybe), with GW2 you’re going to get a little gold every day, maybe, but you’re not going to get a big payoff until everything you’ve been working for comes together at once and you finish a piece of Ascended/Legendary gear. You can make the process go faster by playing more and doing more content, and you might even get lucky and get a lucky box in a fractal, but whether it’s the mastery grind, a reward track, or a lifetime of pouring your hard-earned money into the toilet, success in the game is a long-term undertaking, and it requires that kind of sensibility to enjoy it.

–Unless you’re a fat-cat dirty TP flipper who’s already rich, in which case none of this applies to you because your soul already belongs to the Dark One.

Nibbana
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Nibbana

My soul may be in question, but not for TP flipping. Thanks Xhieron, this is really helpful.

ojimaru
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ojimaru

As far as we’ve seen, Zojja and Logan were the only living beings ever to be rescued from a Blighting Pod and exposure to Modremoth’s power. If Grenth rears his head in the expansion, will we see these two changed by his Death magic?

Why did Balthazar protect Aurene from Primodus’ minions? Could the gods be planning to kill the Elder Dragons in hopes of focusing the entire spectrum of magic into a baby dragon? Then what?

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McGuffn

The big question is how could a piddly god of war defeat Marjory, Private Eye turned Necromancer turned Reaper. The answer is that Balthazar stole Marjory’s mirror. Yes, Marjory is actually Lyssa, or at least one half of her, Kasmeer is the other half, but doesn’t know it because she has (hiccup induced?) amnesia.

Taimi, reeling from the loss of her secret dragon lab, is adopted by Phlunt. Rox does whatever she’s done for the last few years, she doesn’t really have a story. Braham breaks his other leg and regrows his hair by transforming into Bear. Unbeknownst to Rytlock, Caithe is shaping the Pale Tree’s tendrils into a vine bridge to the new expansion: Cantha! For months, Zojja has been communing with Oola’s hologhost in an attempt to fuse Scarlet’s dead body into a golem. Will Logan be called to Queen Jennah’s side before he can stop this dastardly plot?

xhieron
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xhieron

… Nailed it.

wpDiscuz