Sunspear Sanctuary / Sun's Refuge

We relit Kormir's protections fire inside the Chamber of the Sun - which will protect the inner chamber from Kralkatorrik's attacks - and gave our reclaimed sanctuary a new name: Sun's Refuge. -"My Story"

Small ponds have become fire pits since we left the sanctuary in the first game. The brand has left its mark on the village outside. Even after the wrath of Joko and the destructive forces of Kralkatorrik, the inner sanctum becomes a refuge for the Sunspears again after 250 years.

The Sunspear Sanctuary was a hub of quests and vendors in the beginning of Nightfall. Visiting it several times was inevitable and maybe that's why the reveal of Sun's Refuge appealed to so many players; it was a place that a lot of players of the first game could recognize easily.  In Guild Wars 2 it has become similar to a home instance, where you could build up your surroundings.

I chose to take these pictures before upgrading due to Koss's line about it probably being untouched since he left it. This was probably the best opportunity to see how it has truly aged between both games. If you're looking to take a look between both games, I suggest standing where the Xunlai chest is to get your bearings. The portal next to the chest and the center of the map are points that you'll want to keep in mind as you move around.

The Astralarium

"This open-air laboratory, with its multiple solar reflectors and pedestal-mounted astrolabes, is the center of astrological and astronomical study in Elona." - In game description

While the Astralarium began as a small outpost in the first game, it expanded into the tower surrounded by gardens that we see in the second game. Unlike most of the other places we've covered from the Isle of Istan, the Astralarium seems to have become more Vabbian in style. It's amazing how similar the land maps are despite these major changes between the games.

It was difficult to orientate my character for screenshots between the games because there are no real guides on the ground. Instead, I had to look at the shape of the land to get the approximate locations between the screenshots. I highly suggest doing the same if you want to compare them yourself.

Sunspear Great Hall / Mordant Crescent Great Hall

"Change blows like a wind across our land. But our people are like the plants of the plains...we may bend under pressure, but we shall never break." -Sehti

The Sunspear Great Hall is another outpost from the beginning of the Nightfall campaign that has seen a takeover by Palawa Joko in the second game. Similar to Kamadan/Palawadan, the main statue of the outpost has been replaced with one of Palawa Joko instead. Unlike the major city, however, the outpost keeps most of its distinctive layout which makes this an easy place to connect the two games together visually.

Kamadan / Palawadan

"Built around relics and statues from the days of the Primeval Kings, Kamadan has earned the title, Jewel of Istan." -Outpost description

The Jewel of Istan may have survived more than two centuries between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 but not without major changes. While the layout is pretty similar on the map, actually walking between Kamadan and Palawadan shows that a lot has happened since Palawa Joko took reign. The stairs have been inverted in front of the statue and new buildings have sprung up around the merchants area from the first game, for example.

Kamadan is really simple to get to since it's the first major city of Nightfall. Palawadan, however, is filled with enemies; the best time to get a good look at it is after the meta event has been cleared. I recommend starting at the statue in the west and running clockwise to get a feel for the area between the two games.

Grand Court of Sebelkeh

"From here, one may ascend to the floating Sebelkeh Basilica itself, the most ornate and magical temple in Elona, and the heart of the Lyssan faith." -Outpost description

The Grand Court of Sebelkeh gets its name from the large floating court above the Mirror of Lyss, called the Sebelkeh Basilica. The namesake has been branded in the second game, however.

The Grand Court of Sebelkeh is simple to find on the Domain of Vabbi map in Guild Wars 2; just look for the square north-eastern section of the map. Finding the outpost in the first game is just as easy since it happens to coincide with a primary mission. If you're looking to take pictures, you'll need a skimmer mount in Guild Wars 2 or willing to keep up with the debuff that causes damage over time.

Augury Rock - Outpost

"This was where the Chosen of Tyria once attained Ascension to be closer to the gods. They were heroes who saved Tyria from the mursaat, from the Lich, and from the titans." -Kaidenna (Guild Wars 2)

Like the mesa part of Augury Rock, the outpost is an amazing choice to start with if you want to see places in the Crystal Desert that are nearly a perfect match between the two games. 

If you want to see for yourself the similarities in both games you should stand on the end of the teleporter and pivot your character to get a panoramic of the area. Paying close attention to the two gates' locations also proved useful but this is one of those locations that you will likely see the similarities instantly. 

Augury Rock - Mesa

"Before you can gain entrance, you must first pass three tests. The former commanders of Elona await you at the base of the Rock itself. They will tell you all you need to know."

Augury rock was an important part of Guild Wars Prophecies because it was the story mission where your character reached ascension. It's clear that the Guild Wars 2 team wanted the iconic location to be an important part of the Elon Riverlands map. They pay homage to Guild Wars by including Josso Essher, a forgotten, as a world boss. In the Guild Wars 2 iteration, Josso Essher has been branded by Kralkatorrik but in Guild Wars he was originally a boss in a different mission called "Thirsty River".  Josso Essher will often summon doppelgangers of the people who fight him, which is a nod to the fight your character would have against a doppelganger of themselves as the final mission to become ascended.

There are other NPCs in Augury Rock that make an appearance in both games as well. In the first game they're mostly there to just point your character in the direction of the three missions you need to clear to gain access to the interior of Augury Rock. In Guild Wars 2, Ritual Priest Zahmut has taken to standing outside of the closed mesa and telling travelers of the forgotten unless Josso Essher has been defeated. He then moves to an interior chamber and stands with Joziah, Mendoza, and Valodor.

A lot of the desert in this Guild Wars 2 expansion has replicated Guild Wars locations perfectly. I've honestly been a little spoiled for choice in what to take pictures of. It's really easy to match the maps up thanks to several standing markers, labeled points of interests, and surprisingly a lot of the same landscape shapes.

 The best way to get a look between both of the games is to stand on the very center of the 'transportation pad' just outside of the mesa (for Guild Wars it's the one nearest to the glowing rocks and in Guild Wars 2, it's where Dawnwynn stands). If you're looking to view the inside of the mesa between the two games, in Guild Wars 2 it's best to ride the event train until they defeat Josso Essher. In Guild Wars you'll need to have cleared the story up until that point and then I suggest taking ranger as primary or secondary profession and only having your pet equipped (Comfort Animal) instead of any other skills. The pet will likely keep your double busy while you spend time exploring, just make sure to keep them healed.