Next ‘Guild Wars 2’ expansion is inspired by ‘Elden Ring’ storytelling

Guild Wars 2‘s narrative team took a leaf out of Elden Ring‘s book with the massively multiplayer online role-playing game’s upcoming expansion, Secrets of the Obscure.

In an interview with TRG, Guild Wars 2 narrative director Bobby Stein and narrative lead Indigo Boock spoke on the significance of the conclusion of the Dragon Cycle storyline. “This is kind of a metaphor for us as a studio,” explained Boock. “We also get to figure out what our [own] footing is and who we are in a post-dragons world.”

When it came to defining the game’s future, the two emphasised that an “additional layer” of storytelling was crucial to capitalise on Guild Wars 2‘s “very rich” lore. One inspiration was FromSoftware‘s roster of games that are well-loved for their emergent approach to environmental storytelling.

‘Guild Wars 2’ Credit: NCSoft

“There’s a lot more exploration that we can lean into, and that Dark Souls boss kind of storytelling, about how much we can tell through visuals… was really important to us,” continued Boock.

“Not everyone is going to play the game the same way… our job as narrative designers is to [not only] put in enough so that people feel invested, but also making sure that there’s a bit of flexibility in how people experience the story,” elaborated Stein on Secrets of the Obscure‘s presentation.

Finally, the narrative team looked to “script writing and teleplays” too to balance the influences of both “character-driven drama” and “history-driven drama” for a “much more mature voice.”

Secrets of the Obscure releases on August 22, with subsequent updates building out the story that starts there. Additionally, there will be multiple combat system changes, a revamped rune system, unlocked weapons, a new path for a skyscale mount and two new explorable aerial maps.

In other gaming news, mobile spin-off Monster Hunter Now opened pre-registration for players today and promised global rewards if a certain number of sign-ups is surpassed.