I Want to Be the Failure

After thinking a bit about the story roller coaster in Guild Wars 2, I can’t stop thinking that maybe I want to be the failure, not the success.

Now, what I mean with “story roller coaster” is the fact that the game starts with a high note and then simply drops all and starts over again. Take, for example, the human story[1]: You wander off Divinity’s Reach, you see a small town under attack by centaurs and then, without any previous knowledge on how to fight (you know the basic attack with your main hand, and that’s it) you not only save some people, but you also repel an army of centaurs, destroy a huge elemental and escapes almost unharmed (well, you remains unconscious for 3 days, but that’s it, no permanent damage or anything). Think about it: Without any huge knowledge of combat, you killed a bunch of centaurs that were terrorizing a small town and fought a huge elemental! And what you do next? You fight ruffians in a bar.

Sure, the elemental — and the ice wurm and the spirit-controlling-a-huge-statue — are part of the tutorial level, which should give an idea on how powerful you are and how strong the enemies you’ll find will be.

But the problem is: You can’t fail the destruction of the earth elemental; you can’t fail killing the ice wurm; you can’t get beaten by the spirit-in-the-statue. No matter how bad or good you do, you will forever, in the game, be the savior. And maybe, just maybe, there should be some sort of failure even in those events.

If we talk about the Norn tutorial, what if you get severely beaten by the ice wurm, so Eir had to step up and save your sorry ass? In that case, people won’t call you “Slayer” all around, but “The one who failed the great hunt”. All you had to do is make Eir say something like “I can see that the spirits still smile upon you, even after your failure. Maybe you’re, indeed, someone who will make a great legend one day” — and everything, from there on, would still follow the same path (except for the “slayer”/”the failure” change).

Eir had to step up ’cause you didn’t fought as hard as you could; Thackery had to destroy the earth elemental himself ’cause you weren’t up to it; Rytlock had to fight the statue of king Adelbern ’cause you were a sorry excuse of a Charr (and, who knows, Caithe had to fight the nightmare court latest plot ’cause you didn’t had the roots to combat it). But all of them would see something different in you, or still believe in your because at least you went forward and fought the problem and they will give you chances to recover your legacy.

At the same time, I understand that, for something like this, ArenaNet would need to provide a more comprehensive tutorial, explaining dodge mechanics, how you can move and still attack, using skills at the right time… It would be more complex and, thus, taking longer instead of “fast road to glory” ’cause, you know, you don’t want people to believe that failure is the only option. And, on top of that, I bet several lines of voice-over would have to be remade, just to cover things like the change from “slayer” to “failure”.

Still, I’d like failure as an option for the tutorials.

[1] I’m using the human story ’cause it’s the only one I can remember what happens after the tutorial.