On the latest episode of Points of interest, Narrative Director Leah Hoyer joined host Rubi Bayer to talk about the design and lore of the Mordrem Guard. These dragon minions present a personal threat to the remnants of the Pact by the very nature of what they are—or rather, who they used to be.
Every Mordrem Guard was once a sylvari. As Pact members and Pale Reavers who fell under Mordremoth’s influence, they have access to the same tactics and information they had before their corruption, and they still possess the intelligence and autonomy to put that to use despite their total devotion to the dragon. Although they’ve undergone physical changes to make themselves hardier and larger, Mordrem Guard maintain some aspects of their previous identity; members of the Pact may experience the horror of recognizing their former comrades among Mordremoth’s forces.
Mordremoth’s commandersare especially dangerous, and possess an array of elite skills. They and other Mordrem Guard are also tasked with the creation of new Mordrem. They collect corpses and take prisoners, using them as templates for cloning. While Zhaitan’s corruption forced the Pact to burn many of their dead to prevent them from rising, they must resort to burning the fallen in the jungle to avoid giving Mordremoth a replicable source of intelligent, knowledgeable troops.
Because sylvari are susceptible to becoming Mordrem Guard, Leah said that they encounter heightened prejudice and mistrust, and playing through the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ story as a sylvari character will have an impact on the overall experience. Sylvari characters can hear the voice of Mordremoth, which may prove both a blessing and a curse ; they have the chance to gain greater insight into the dragon’s behavior, but it serves as a reminder that they are at constant risk of corruption. Leah mentioned that players will encounter a sylvari character who struggles with resisting the dragon’s call, and whether or not the Pact commander is a sylvari will affect the outcome of their story.
Leah also said that the Mordrem Guard and the Nightmare Court are separate factions, and joining up with Mordremoth isn’t necessarily in line with the court’s ideals. She hinted that players can look forward to seeing this explored in the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns storyline.
While the story has been finished at a high level for some time, the narrative team is working hard on execution. Details are often fine-tuned, so Leah likes to be in the recording booth during voice-over work to catch any discrepancies. She said that the cinematics and dialogue are only a small part of the game’s narrative and that many elements created by several different teams come together in the final product to provide an immersive experience.