Originally posted on Gamebreaker November 15th, 2013.
Over the last year the main story line of Guild Wars 2 has seemed to drift away from the Elder Dragons, but they are still there and need to be dealt with.
While the personal story builds to a final fight with Zhaitan, the elder dragons just seem to be part of the setting more than anything else. I was talking to a few friends a couple of days ago and we got on the topic of the world dragon fights and how some people think The Claw of Jormag is Jormag. One thing we all agreed on was how the fights with The a Claw of Jormag, The Shatterer, and Tequatl are all fought on a larger scale than when we fight Zhaitan. The dragon world events are easily the biggest fights that players regularly can take part in, so it’s not surprising for some people to think they are elder dragons, especially people who have never finished their personal story. Really though, how can we keep fighting them over an over, and what does make a “regular” dragon different from an Elder Dragon?
The Shatterer isn’t the name of a particular dragon champion of Kralkatorrik, it is a rank which is assigned to the highest ranking of his dragons. Yep, dragons. As in there are many of these dragons flying around all the time. Think of it this way, if Glint hadn’t turned on her master she would have surely been the first Shatterer. However dragons like Glint are not elder dragons; elder dragons are on a completely different power and size scale than other dragons in the world. In Edge of Destiny Kralkatorrik is described as being 20x bigger than Glint, which means he’d probably cover the entire Blazeridge Steppes map. In fact the concept of fighting him is likened to trying to fight a hurricane.
There’s actually a handy image on the GW2 Wiki which shows the size difference between the Elder Dragon Zhaitan and Tequatl:
The large dragon is Zhaitan and the smaller one is Tequatl. Now think about how big Tequatl (or any of the other dragon champions) is in comparison to your character… and scale it up. The same differential also exists when it comes to strength. The difference between power and size is fairly equivalent between all the Elder Dragons and their champions.
The Claw of Jormag isn’t a rank passed on from dragon to dragon there are many Claws at any given time. Which makes sense if you think about how many animals only have one claw. In the same way that it makes sense we can keep fighting The Shatterer, it makes sense we can have many fights with The Claw of Jormag… although the name is a bit misleading since it absolutely does make it sound like there is only one. Plus everyone refers to the fight as “Jormag” which doesn’t help keep clarity between the two.
Tequatl the Sunless seems to be a bit of an exception to the other Dragon Champions because there apparently only ever seems to be one of him. We still get to regularly fight him because we never really kill him, we just force a retreat. He’s also the only dragon to receive a mechanics update so far since the launch of the game, which changed him from the easiest dragon to kill into the one which requires the most coordination to do. And yet, he still isn’t an elder dragon.
For players who did finish the story mode of Arah it is easy understand how some of them would think the dragon champions are equal to the elder dragons. During the fight players are never fighting directly against Zahitan. He’s always off in the distance and only really ever sends his minions to engage players. As a result, we never get a real feeling for the huge difference between the two types of dragons, when really the difference is immense. Better conveying the size and strength of the elder dragons in a fight is the challenge Arenanet faces if we are ever going to deal with them in game. But really, how does one fight a hurricane?