The Story Journal is a tab on the hero panel that tracks and displays character progress through the narrative of Guild Wars 2. The journal has section for the personal story, expansions, and each season of the Living World. Each section is further divided into chapters and episodes for the personal story and Living World respectively. Each chapter or episode is further divided into a series of instances that are completed sequentially.
Switching stories and replaying episodes
To switch between stories or to replay an episode, simply select the story or episode in the journal. Incomplete stories will show a button to "Switch to this story," while completed episodes will show a button to "Replay this episode." These actions will replace your character's currently active story, and you will lose any progress you had made in the current chapter of that story. Please note the Personal story can not be replayed.
While replaying episodes, you can progress through the episode as if you were playing it for the first time, following the objectives indicated by thegreen star map icon. Certain chapters that include achievements will always be available directly through a purple star icon for characters that have already finished the episode at least once, allowing you to replay only the necessary part without the whole story. Several instances also offer direct checkpoints, both for replaying achievements and for a case of disconnecting.
- See also: Biography
At character creation the player can choose different biographical information which will change aspects of what occurs during the story. This might include the social status of the character, their belief, or other things. Each race has different choices for their biographical information. The profession chosen will also have a minor effect.
During gameplay there will be a variety of different decisions the player can make when they resolve different situations, resulting in splitting the storyline into multiple branches.
The choices made throughout the game will affect the appearance and services in the character's home instance as they progress through the story. The choices will be recorded in each character's individualized Story Journal. Players following the same storyline who assist you in yours can choose to accept the same outcome or replay the mission to make their own choices.
Replaying a mission does not grant additional rewards. Only the first playthrough will.
Enemies within story instances will drop no loot. Rewards are given at the end of the mission.
All missions reward experience and coin, but other rewards vary depending on story progression. All missions will have a similar selection of rewards at their equivalent points of the story for the same profession regardless or race or story choices. Here are some examples of such rewards:
- Gear equippable by the current character presented in different ways. For example:
- An item with selectable stats from a variety of stats combinations.
- An item from a selection of three different item types with the same stats combinations and upgrades.
- An item from selection of three items of the same type and with the same stats combinations, but different upgrades.
- Sometimes gear may have unusual skins, like cultural armor or cultural weapon skins.
- Spare crafting materials.
- Containers, including :
- Consumables, including:
- Essences of Luck
- Bags of Spirit Shards
- Gemstore items like Black Lion Chest Keys
My Story follows the character through the personal story of Guild Wars 2. The story details the humble beginnings as a local hero to commander of the Pact in the fight against Zhaitan. The story is split into eight chapters. The story as a whole must be played through in order, and no part of the story can be replayed.
Chapters are unlocked every 10 levels, starting on level 10.
The first three chapters deal with the character's early rise into renown, significant portions of which are based on choices made in your character's biography, ending with your character joining one of the three orders: the Vigil, the Durmand Priory or the Order of Whispers. These three chapters' names in the Story Journal change dependent on the character's race.
Chapters 4-6 follows your character's progress through the ranks of their chosen order. During these chapters, your character will recruit one of the minor races to fight against Zhaitan and participate in the major battles on Claw Island.
Chapters 7-8 begins with the formal creation of the Pact, who then advance through Ruins of Orr while preparing for the final assault on Zhaitan.
Living World Season 1
Season 1 begins the tale of Tyria after the defeat of Zhaitan, and deals primarily with Scarlet Briar and the alliances she formed between the various hostile factions of Tyria. Her plans culminate in an attack on Lion's Arch, with the intent of disturbing a major ley line which lies underneath the city, in order to complete the awakening of the Elder Dragon Mordremoth.
The story journal was introduced after first season was complete and it is not available in the journal in its original form. ArenaNet has announced plans to add the season back into the game as a series of episodes in the story journal. The re-implementation process of Season 1 started in April 2022 and ended in November 2022. Remembering Scarlet's War was a short recap of the major events from Living World Season 1 and was intended as a transition from the Personal story to Living World Season 2 while Living World Season 1 was not available.
Living World Season 2
Season 2 begins with the sabotage of the Zephyr Sanctum over the remote region of Dry Top. While the Commander investigates the crash site, Mordremoth's power grows until it threatens all of Tyria.
Heart of Thorns
The first expansion, Heart of Thorns, starts where Living World Season 2 left off, and follows the Commander's trek through the Heart of Maguuma to find missing members of Destiny's Edge, tracking Caithe and Glint's Egg, and the fight against Mordremoth. To complete the Heart of Thorns expansion storyline, the following masteries need to be trained: Glider Basics, Bouncing Mushroom, Exalted Markings, Updraft Use, and Nuhoch Hunting.
Living World Season 3
Season 3 begins with a memorial to Eir Stegalkin and the return of the White Mantle. While the Commander investigates Minister Caudecus's disappearance, they are met with the return of the mursaat Lazarus and the rising activity of multiple Elder Dragons.
Path of Fire
The second expansion, Path of Fire, sees the Commander travel to the long-isolated desert realm of Elona to prevent Balthazar, the human god of war, from killing the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik and destroying the world.
Living World Season 4
Season 4 begins with regrouping with Dragon's Watch before a brandstorm strikes Amnoon. While part of Dragon's Watch keeps tabs on Kralkatorrik's actions, the Pact Commander finds themselves facing off against Palawa Joko's forces.
The Icebrood Saga
The Icebrood Saga sees the Commander traversing the Far Shiverpeaks to stop Bangar Ruinbringer and his Dominion forces in their attempt to awaken the Elder Dragon Jormag and bend it to their will.
End of Dragons
- It is not possible to hide the story until every single available story line is completed.
- Personal story does not have an option to quit.
- Quitting a living world episode while personal story is not completed yet will go back to the current personal story chapter.
- Quitting a living world episode while personal story is already completed but any living story episode is not will go to the earliest uncompleted one.
- Story Journal was added to the game with Gates of Maguuma release, serving as a foundation to implement future Living World content.
- Story characters — a full list of non-player characters in all the stories (caution: spoilers)
- Story Unlock
- Story Journal/table — a table with all the currently available stories
- Introducing the Story Journal, ArenaNet blog
- Guild Wars 2's Living World Returns on July 26, ArenaNet blog July 12, 2016