Temple of the Ages

"Some say that the stones themselves will rise up one day and rebuild the temple, and on that day, the gods will once again turn their gaze upon Kryta." - In game description

The Temple of the Ages has always been a popular place in Guild Wars. It was a place to meet up with friends or create a new party to visit the realm of the gods. While they were actually explorable areas, everyone treated them more like dungeons. This was because of the difficulty. You didn't have resurrection shrines and if certain NPCs important to the story of the area died, you'd be teleported out of the area. It wasn't free to get into them, either. A fee must be paid to the appropriate guardian of that god to enter his realm.

The temple itself was filled with statues of the all of the gods from that time period. That is to say, Kormir hadn't become a god yet in the in game time of the Prophecies maps. There is no statue of her in the first game's temple. It's not a temple in the sense that it's a building either, rather it's open air on top of a hill.

This makes its Guild Wars 2 location very strange. Despite being on a hill in the first game, the second game has it in a pit underwater. The Black Curtain's swamp has now flooded the temple and all of its statues aside from Melandru's. The land around it is also vastly different. More importantly, though, is that the statues are not really in their original places anymore. Grenth now sits between Melandru and Dwayna instead of Melandru and Balthazar. Balthazar's statue is now missing along with Lyssa's. Where did they disappear to? Now we can see Kormir's statue is in the line-up despite the missing gods. They may have moved the statues around to make room for hers, but then where did the other statues go?

Probably the strangest thing to me, however, is that Dwayna's statue has energy running through it. As a bit of background, when the world had the favor of the gods, the statues would 'come to life'. Balthazar's statue would light up in flames, Grenth's would freeze, Lyssa's would become golden, Dwayna's would be held upright in a pillar of light, and Melandru's would bloom and circulate water. When the world did not have the favor of the gods, though, Balthazar's and Grenth's statues would just appear to be stone, thorny vines would now cover the darkened Lyssa statue, Melandru's appeared to be just wood, and Dwayna's would no longer hold itself up in the light and would fall in pieces to the ground.

We know that the gods no longer have a presence on Tyria as they had before. Judging by the god statues in the rest of Tyria, the world no longer has the favor of the gods. Dwayna's statues, however, remain standing. In the Ruins of Demetra in the Harathi Hinterlands the Dwayna statue still has a pillar of light running through it. The unfinished statues in Malchor's Anguish are all standing as well but lack the pillar of light that is usually required for them to do so (perhaps because they are unfinished).

So if you're looking to find one of the only statues in Tyria that possibly denotes the presence of a god, the Temple of the Ages is a good place to look in the second game since it's easy to find and get to.

With all of this being said, Most of the pictures I have to compare are of the statues because of their new locations but there are also some that show the progression of the land around them as well.




Lornar's Pass - The Temple of Grenth

 "Where is the god to whom I may give my undying devotion? Where is the god to whom I may beg revenge against those who scorn me?" -Desmina (Scriptures of Grenth)


The last post was the Temple of Balthazar so I decided it was finally time to go give the Temple of Grenth another visit. The two temples are very similar to each other in the first game; their architecture is nearly identical to one another, namely the entrances. In the second game, however, the Temple of Balthazar looks very similar to the original but the temple of Grenth couldn't look more different than the first game's appearance.

The statue is one of the more recent styled statues in the time of Guild Wars 2. It kind of makes me wonder what happened to the original. None of the beautiful pillars and entrance-ways are present anymore. The entrance altogether has been caved in and replaced with a more dwarven entrance elsewhere in the temple. It no longer looks like a temple, but a statue tucked away in some hidden recess.

It was interesting journeying out to see this location once again. After making my way through a bunch of difficult enemies in a winding map, I was reminded of what a beauty it once was. It used to lay in dwarven territory, namely around the area of the Stone Summit. Over two and a half centuries later, it's now inhabited with underworld creatures- fitting as it was once a portal to the underworld. We know in Guild Wars 2 of the temples in Orr to the gods, but one could imagine that they'd need other places to worship after Orr sank. It makes me wonder how long these temples have been present.

As for getting there, it's known as the Reaper's Gate in Guild Wars 2. In the first game the Temple of Grenth is at the very southeast of the map in Lornar's Pass. It's really tricky getting there in Guild Wars and I recommending bringing a bow to pull enemies rather than charging in headstrong. The locations on the map, however, are pretty easy to spot, but as usual, I've taken a comparison shot of the map to show exactly what you're looking for.




The Falls: Balthazar's Rest

"Lift up thy weapons. For you are my soldiers, and must you be steadfast, strong, and brave of heart. They who neither hesitate nor stumble shall be rewarded. Then shall you have glory. Then shall your deeds be remembered for eternity." - Balthazar

Balthazar's Rest hasn't been completely untouched by Mordremoth, but the inner chambers remain intact. The buildings, once ornate, are now weathered and overgrown. Despite this, and the change of the land formations outside of the temple, Balthazar's Rest remains nearly untouched in the second game.

Again, as I've mentioned in another post before, I have a theory that humans in the first game saw their creations through rose-tinted glasses. In the second game, we get a chance to look at nearly pristine replicas of the land 250 years later. We see that they're not quite as ornate or spectacular. While this can be chalked up to a difference in design aesthetics on the Guild Wars teams between the games, I prefer the idea of an in game, lore-related reason.

The Temple of Balthazar can be found in The Falls area in Guild Wars in the bottom left of the map. Likewise, Balthazar's Rest can be found in the bottom left section of the map in Guild Wars 2. It's easy to navigate the two locations once there; they've done an amazing job replicating it in Guild Wars 2.




The Falls

"Water cascades over the rocks into a pool so deep you can't see the bottom." -The Falls

In the first game, taking a trip to The Falls requires a long trek. In fact, the entire map was named "The Falls" but it's in reference to this particular location, despite the fact that more waterfalls exist in the map. It's a land filled with centaurs, trolls, skale, wind riders, and other more earthly creatures. It has changed a lot in between games in that regard, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the namesake was nearly an exact copy in between both games. If there was ever a location that one would want to see 'Guild Wars 1 with a graphical update', this would be a prime example. It's worth checking them out side by side if you get the chance.

Auric Basin is a really large map; the scale is so much bigger than what it was in Guild Wars, which is probably a common problem that I have when trying to align locations. There are three key locations that helped me to understand the scale and get my bearings. I've decided that I'll do separate posts for these locations. They were breathtaking and so similar to their first game's counterpart that it seems important for them to have their own posts.

The Falls point of interest, luckily, is easy to navigate, especially if you find the rock ledge. Most of these pictures are taken from this point and rotating around. Getting there can be the difficult part.





Lion's Arch

"Where else should a Canthan fleet land? Ascalon is in ruins. Orr has sunken into the sea. The Dwarves don't properly appreciate imported goods. No, it had to be Kryta, and there is no greater city in all of Kryta than Lion's Arch. As they say: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." - Jiaju Tai

Lion's Arch has gone through many battles, but it has always stood strong and found itself built anew. Each new disaster upon Lion's Arch only serves as a reason to build it bigger and better.

Lion's Arch was always a central hub in Guild Wars. The fountain was perhaps the most iconic feature. It became a place for players searching for parties or to sell off their items to other players. In the world of Guild Wars 2, the Lion's Arch fountain is now deep underneath the water of the harbor. Lion's Arch isn't abandoned, though. The more current iteration of the city was built again on dry land after the rising of Orr sunk what is now known as "Old Lion's Arch."

There isn't a lot to see underwater beyond the fountain and the entrance of the city. The fountain now lays askew after an attack by Scarlet sent a drill plunging into the center of Old Lion's Arch. After such attack, some other parts of old Lion's Arch have resurfaced. One of the examples being the last comparison picture before the maps in this post. The mud has been stirred enough to uncover lost parts of the old city.

Diving underwater, it's pretty dark now, but it's really easy to find your way around using the key monuments in the city. The fountain, of course, is one of them. Just north of the fountain would be the entrance to the Lion's Arch Keep. The new city of Lion's Arch once had the ruins of the keep, however they have since been replaced with a monument instead.  Another is the building with the two lion statues. It still stands, but it doesn't really have an interior as we can assume it once may have. Instead, you can find your way to an ectoplasm gambling skritt merchant through the walls. Lastly, there is the large platform that once housed the merchants' circle in Old Lion's Arch. Like the fountain, it is now tilted from it's original position, but still marks off a necessary part of Old Lion's Arch. 






The Granite Citadel

"Located between the Stone Summit hotbeds Tasca's Demise and Spearhead Peak, the Granite Citadel is a grand fortress held by the Deldrimor Dwarves. A safe harbor in a deadly ocean of hostility, the outpost here sells relief to weary adventurers. "

Maybe it's time to break up the unending Ascalon posts. While Ascalon is probably filled with the most significant locations leftover between the two games, the rest of Tyria has a lot to offer as well. The Granite Citadel in the Shiverpeaks is such a location. Originally sitting between Tasca's Demise and Spearhead Peak, it now lies in the large map of Dredgehaunt Cliffs.

This location is a little odd when it comes to it's transfer over into Guild Wars 2. It's completely turned around. In Guild Wars it was set so that the houses were at the south exit and the citadel itself was situated diagonally with the northern tip facing the west. In Guild Wars 2, the houses are now at the north exit and the northern tip is now facing east.

In Guild Wars, it didn't feel as if the Granite Citadel was a really lore centric area. It was mostly an outpost where you could buy some of the Prophecies prestige armor or to warp to if you planned to go into Mineral Springs to get ascended without the trouble of going through several missions again. In the sequel, however, they pay tribute to the characters within and around the area with the heart task. Reading many of the graves, it would ask a question about a character, usually what they were collecting, selling, or what their role was. The Priory seems to be camped out in this area and looking into relics concerning the dwarves who once lived there.

Seeing as this outpost has been turned around, it was difficult to decide if the pictures needed to taken with the current orientation or not. I chose to take them based on the specific features.






Grendich Courthouse

"When I was just a young hooligan, I found myself before a judge on a regular basis. I stood here, inside this very building, as my punishments were read by the Magister. Back then, I can remember wishing this building would be hit by lightning or destroyed in a great fire. Never did I think it would come to be." -Warmaster Labofski

Before I start off this post officially, I want to bid welcome to all of the new players of Guild Wars 2, be it new to the series or a veteran from the first game. I'm glad to see that the game and community will be growing ever bigger with your help! I hope that this site will continue to be a valuable resource to those who visit it.  If you ever find yourself with map related questions, feel free to contact me through here or in game and I'll be more than happy to help.

Grendich Courthouse was always one of the stops I would make while running players between Lion's Arch and Ascalon. It's a good place to stop and find rest before entering the Shiverpeaks or continuing through the Diessa Lowlands. We never got to see this place before the searing but post-searing all we saw were the shambles of what I believe to have once been a brilliant courthouse. In Guild Wars 2, however, we know the land to be called Diessa Plateau and the courthouse is known now as the Grendich Ruins. It's a fitting name as it still remains in ruin from what happened during the searing.

However, it seems that they may have worked on the outpost a bit before abandoning it. We can see now that a wall within the courthouse has been rebuilt. The rest of it, however, has mostly degraded even more from it's Guild Wars counterpart. Magic runes that once lived in the courtyard are now gone but the once dead trees have been taken over by newer, living versions. The hills and valleys we could once see from the broken wall are now rolling and nearly smooth, and more noticeably- not as deep.

Walking into this place, it should easy for Guild Wars 1 players to recognize it, but underneath the recognizable features, a lot has changed.