The Gateway To Guild Wars: Diversity
A nice choice of playable races is always a must for the modern day MMO. My only main gripe with the original Guild Wars was the fact I was stuck playing as a human. For the most part, a lot of the players looked the same in terms of cosmetics during their time in the original Guild Wars.
When I heard that Guild Wars 2 was to feature multiple races I was more than hyped. The race selection of Guild Wars 2 follows the general consensus (humans, beast-like humanoids, massive guys, elves and the ‘cute‘ race) but that doesn’t mean the choice is dull. The choices cater for most player types and every race is interesting in its own right.
The Humans do their normal job of being the regal looking race, along with their ‘defined’ posh voices. Their starting area and home city reflect their traits perfectly given the grand nature of the cities. While the Human race is given the staple of being rather ‘dull’ they do offer up a genuinely impressive starting zone.
The race overall is often the ‘safe’ choice for many players given how normal and familiar they look in most equipment. While they may not be the most exotic race on offer they do provide some of the games nicest sections and story arcs.
The surprising inclusion to the playable races was the Charr. The fierce enemies of past Guild Wars stories , the Charr fill the ferocious roll in the race rooster. Their size and animalistic look and mannerisms make them one of the most interesting races to play as. While the Humans are regal and graceful the Charr and bulky and destructive. It’s the perfect counter balance between the two which adds a interesting option to play between.
The Charr’s attitude and ethos are mirrored by the Black Citadel – form the steel tainted walk ways to the siege weapon filled court yards, the Black Citadel is the perfect home for the Charr. The bulky, intimidating physical nature of the Charr creates a instantly recognizable difference between them and the Humans. This difference is essential when creating a sense of individuality between players and races. Needless to say, the Charr look imposing when equipped with a large weapon and full plate-mail.
The Norn provide a middle ground between the Humans and Charr. The Norn carry human traits in terms of looks but their size is much closer to the Charr. Their tribal nature, and honour based traditions, are also reminiscent to the honour in combat beliefs of the Charr. The Norn’s classic Conan like look make them instantly appealing to fans of classic fantasy films,comics and novels.
Their purist glory, deeply seeded in the hunt, creates a deep and enjoyable lore to the race that purists can enjoy. Given their methods and beliefs the Norn do not inhabit a home city that is as grand as other races, but this is yet another appealing trait. Seen as the ‘strong outsider’ type, the Norn are a popular player choice given how brutal they appear in almost any equipment. Tribal tattoos and towering height with elements of Norse mythology, the Norn add a real spice to the variety.
The Sylvari are one of the most interesting races given they are essentially humanoid plants. Shrouded in mystery, the Sylvari are the product of the Pale Tree. Focused on exploration and fuelled by curiosity the Sylvari are new to the world of Tyria. Their travels and experiences are relayed back to the Pale Tree, essentially making the Sylvari a conduit rather than a fully developed race.
With the world of Tyria being new to the Sylvari , new players may be able identify with their story and origins. The plant like look of the Sylvari gives them the most scope for looking totally unique. Their skin colour is so varied to the point that it’s rare to see two Sylvari that look the same. The creativity in terms of cosmetics makes the Sylvari possibly the most interesting race within Guild Wars 2.
The Asura are small in stature but tall in creativity and intelligence. Their quirky nature makes them the comedy relief and the softer side of Guild Wars 2. Essentially mad scientists and crazy inventors, the Asura have immense appeal as a playable race. The lore behind their race and culture further explores their determination to push their field of science to dangerous limits. Confident in their ways, the Asura often create their own problems which becomes clear during their story. Their look and animations allow them to stand out from the crowd. There’s nothing more humorous than watching an amour-bound Asura laying waste to a towering Charr.
No one race feels like ‘filler’. They all bring something to the world, be it their attitudes, beliefs and mannerisms. Walk into Lions Arch and behold the sheer variety and range of races running around. Look closely at how each player looks different to the next. It’s a small touch that results in a sense of a true living world instead of just another video game. Guild Wars 2 provides a diverse selection of races that anyone can appreciate. Role playing purists will enjoy the lore surrounding each race, everyone else can enjoy not looking the same.