Ashford Abbey - Ascalon

"Situated just outside of the catacombs, Ashford Abbey is the resting place for many of Ascalon's most distinguished deceased citizens."

I have a theory that the Ascalonians (and humans in general) in Guild Wars saw their world and structures as being much more grand than they actually ever were. Ascalonians had the most pride for their country and may have remembered their structures more detailed, more beautiful, than what was actually there. I think that is why, in Guild Wars 2, we see these buildings a lot more differently than we may have in Guild Wars. The wear and tear and effects of the charr and the searing have, of course, torn most of the Ascalonian architecture down, so we no longer see them in their former glory, or even at all, in the second game.

Ashford Abbey has quite the history itself. It started out as an abbey and catacombs, then turned into Sardelac Sanitarium- a location for those driven mad by events in the searing. Now the abbey ruins are down to bricks and the entrance to the catacombs. While we can no longer enter the section of the catacombs seen in the first game, there is the Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon that we can assume is a connection we could not see in the first game due to shut off doors and large chasms where rivers ran to cut us off from the rest of the building.

The best way to find yourself around the area in both games is to head inside of the catacombs. In Guild Wars that's a little easier to find as it is it's own separate map you find inside the abbey. In Guild Wars 2, however, you should look for the "Abbey Ruins" text on the map and head inside of the hollowed out area in the rocks. As soon as you find the stairs inside of the entrance, everything else should be easy to find. 

Eye of the North

"I have recorded your deeds so that we never forget the heroes who saved Tyria."

The Eye of the North is probably one of the most recognizable areas in between the games due to the fact that it hasn't really changed at all. The building still stands just as firm and tall as it ever has. Getting to this area is easy between both games as well; in Guild Wars you only need the expansion pack and to be level ten before getting the mission to arrive there from the main city of your campaign. In Guild Wars 2 all it takes is getting a portal stone (usually from a skritt in a cave in Lions Arch these days or upon character creation.)

Because the two rooms are circular, it's easy to stand and pivot on one spot in each room to get a full view of the rooms. This works in both games, making it perhaps the easiest place to explore both games versions.

One of the most interesting things to note in this area is the fact that the Xunlai chests haven't moved from the outpost between the games. This is the only time we see a Xunlai chest in Guild Wars 2.

If you're interested in seeing some of the previous screenshots from outside of the building, head to this post Here. Don't expect it to be a finished product since the outside was not meant to have been seen. 

Ascalon City - First Person View

"It's a glorious day to be alive, is it not? I know some might think of these as dark times with the Charr threatening us from the north, but Ascalon is the greatest nation in fair Tyria. We shall never fall before the Charr, never!"   - Prince Rurik

It's been recent since we've gotten the option to have a first person point of view in Guild Wars 2, which will make screenshots a lot easier now. As such, I decided to go explore Ascalon City between Pre-searing and Guild Wars 2 times and document the changes. It's the first time I've been able to document specific locations within the city. That being said, there isn't much left to see on Guild Wars 2's side. This is probably likely due to the lore that the Charr have been tearing down the human buildings since taking over the area again (as we see in particular events in game as well, not in the city but regarding the wall in the Iron Marches).

The best way to go in game and look at these specific locations in the city yourself would be to find the bridge to the academy (like the first picture shows.) Pivoting on this spot in both games is how I've taken many of the pictures included in this post. Since this is one of the few places visually that both games have in common for the city, it's easier to navigate starting from this point. 

Glint's Lair

I recently got to go back and play the Living Story Season 2. I'll be doing a bunch of comparisons, especially showing the writers behind the books, later on. For now, I wanted to do a comparison of Glint's Lair between both games. Since it's not really the same construction between the two games, I decided to just choose two screenshots that I felt displayed the same sort of normality between the two.

Living Story Season 2: Fort Salma and Concordia

Living Story two is upon us and it has already brought many changes with it! In the Entanglement update we see two different forts attacked by vines. While I knew that Fort Concordia was going to be attacked based on the trailer, I had no idea about Fort Salma. I actually had to dig up pictures not far from the start of the game; I only wish I had gotten pictures of the inside.

Fort Concordia

Lions Arch Map Progression

Lions Arch has now gone through several different changes, some of them more subtle while others are in your face kind of changes. I decided to take all the map screenshots I had and combine them to see just how the area has progressed. I'm really impressed by the minute details that I barely noticed or never even noticed until I put all the maps together! I thought that the original map and the post Karka attack map wouldn't have changes other than the areas that the attacks had happened, but it seems Arenanet had snuck some quality changes into the rest of map when they updated.

If you're interested in more progression of Lions Arch, I also have a post on the changes to the fountain: Progression of the Lions Arch Fountain

I've included in this post a gif of the changes as well as the single pictures used to create it. You can click each picture to view them larger.

For the original pictures:

Serenity Temple

While I'm working on my Blazeridge set, I decided to go ahead and upload what I have of Serenity Temple as kind of a sneak peak!