Choosing A Race In Guild Wars 2July 24, 2011 at 12:52 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 44 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
Like all giant nerds, I am planning out what race and profession I will be playing when Guild Wars 2 comes out. I was reminded of just how little we’ve seen of the asura and sylvari when on the Guild Wars 2 panel at Comic Con it was mentioned that the sylvari will be featured in a race week sometime before gamescom where they will be playable.
This is a bit of a surprise because we’d been told the sylvari were undergoing an overhaul, and I expect everyone thought the asura would come first, as I did.
Nevertheless I’m pleased. I haven’t pinned down what race I’m definitely choosing but asura and sylvari top the possibilities.
The charr will always be monsters to those who played Prophecies first. They crushed the innocence of Ascalon in the original game and even though they’ve been somewhat retconned to be more noble or more easily empathized with I think there are still a lot of people out there that hate their filthy hairball guts.
That said their ferocious nature, their cat-like aspects, their sheer alien and unique qualities ought to draw in a large number of people. There are plenty of furries in the world and the charr are for them. I think a lot of people just want to get their frustrations out when they game and playing a powerful, vicious, snarling, creature with fangs really appeals to that mindset.
For me, I’m not really a fur person. I’m in need of a more visually appealing aesthetic. The charr are hunchbacks with spiked shoulder blades, 4 ears, and snaggletoothed maws for mouths. They’re too gruesome and too monsterous for me. Their history is interesting, though little is known of their past before humans arrived in Ascalon. I also like that they’re essentially atheist. I’m an atheist and rarely do you see atheists in (any media really) games.
While some of those aspects are appealing, and ultimately I’ll be playing each race, charr will never be my main, or a favourite.
Humans are another option I’m not really interested in. The only race in the original Guild Wars was human, so I’ve got about 9 humans already, and somehow that just feels like it’s been done. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not agreeing with me but human just feels like the most boring choice. I don’t even think this is unique to Guild Wars 2, playing a human in any game is so played out.
We know what they’ve been through, who they are. We know their attitudes and motivations, because heck, we’re human. In Tyria they’re beset by challenges and have long histories, but we know what it is to be human. Some people may find that easier, or more appealing, or they might feel more comfortable with an avatar that more closely resembles who they are and what they would be about.
I game to do something else. Something different.
Don’t get me wrong, out of all the cities, Divinity’s Reach looks to be the most incredible, followed by Lion’s Arch. Any original Guild Wars player will feel more closely attuned to the story of humans and their struggles than any other race. The feelings of nostalgia in the human areas are bound to be one of the most joyous parts of Guild Wars 2.
But I can’t take playing another human, at least not as a main, and not at first.
Which leads me to the race I’ll probably be playing 3rd. The norn. One of my first impression of them was that they were human but taller. That’s a bit of a shortsighted assessment but at the same time all too true.
While aesthetically a taller, more muscular, and wider human isn’t all that interesting to me, I am interested by their culture, attitude, and other aspects. I’ve always loved vikings. There is something incredible about their viciousness tied with their ambition to explore. I’ve still got factoids about Bjarni Herjolfsson and Thorvald Eiriksson tucked away in the back of my brain from my childhood. The norn are all that only more drunk. A sort of land based viking minus the pirate sensibility plus the drunken debauchery and chauvinism.
Their boisterous personalities, especially as displayed by Gullik in the Ghosts of Ascalon novel, is inherently likable, even when in real life, I don’t think I could stand to be around someone that drunkenly out of control.
Their cold habitat, their sense of glory, their idea of self worth. All of that is intriguing even if ‘big human’ isn’t that appealing to me.
Finally the two races I’m most interested in attract me for entirely different reasons.
The sylvari, even though I have yet to see their remodeled look, are bound to be the most visually appealing race. Neither the asura or the charr can be said to be attractive, while the humans and the norn look alike. I think sylvari are meant to be the most aesthetically pleasing race.
While that does appeal to me, I think what I like about the most is that they’re new. Perhaps it’s society’s fascination with anything new and interesting but I’m much more drawn to sylvari because they are so unknown. They didn’t appear in Guild Wars at all while all other races were seen.
They also have a world view that is pretty unique. While I’m no fan of their similarity to some types of elves, in that sylvari and elves seem attuned to nature, their young race being only 25 years old at the time of Guild Wars 2 flies in the face of most elvish lore.
Finally their look will almost certainly be different from nearly every other race in games. A plant based bi-pedal species? Visuals that include “hair” made up of leaves and petals? So intriguing.
Which leaves me with the asura. A highly intelligent, narcissistic, sarcastic and downright mean at times race with the ability to backup their pompous nonsense. The perfect race to coddle ones ego. Any nerd with any sense of pride in their intelligence should consider the asura their spirit animal.
They also have a very visually unique look although it isn’t as appealing to me. Based in part on some sort of combination between a shark and a mole, they are the smallest race and bound to be worth playing for their look alone.
However I would not condemn anyone for not liking the look of a sharp toothed, big eared, rodent looking, little person.
Having been pushed out of the depths of Tyria by the hordes of dragonspawn, their history should be interesting. We know little of their past in the depths and returning to their ruins, meeting their enemies, find out about them.
So while I’ve made some choices about what race to play, I’m still torn between sylvari and asura, not to mention the problem of eventually wanting to play all the races and see ALL THE THINGS! in the game, or play with friends as their race in their area.
And those are just some of the main points about what race I want to choose. Don’t get me started on choosing a profession.
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