The Asura Aesthetic: Playful Functionality

One of the really nice things about the asuran race is the way that they have not fallen back on “intelligence” meaning “modernist”. Being so blessed with intellect, the asura could have easily fallen prey to the overtly functional style of design and only been concerned with creating structures which served a purpose and nothing more. Rata Sum could so easily have been a city of blank grey cubes; flat and faceless entities which, whilst perfectly serving their purpose, offered up no example of imagination or life.

The plants and magic provide mystical light sources

In fact, the asuran architecture has a real sense of playfulness and gayety to it. Instead of great functional blocks to house their krewes and council, the asura have phantasmagorical floating cubes suspended by powerful levitation magic which spin and oscillate in time with the ebb and flow of the Eternal Alchemy. Instead of run of mill walkways to traverse the ravines and crevices of the Tarnished Coast, the asura build great vine-twisted bridges, studded with gems and bursting with isometric energy. The whole city is bedecked in gigantic flowers, leaves and thick vines which live side by side with whirring info panels and buzzing electronic cuboid structures suspended on ethereal strands of synergistic energies. The city of Rata Sum pulses with energy, life and va-va-voom!

Rata Sum fuses the natural and the asuran

Rata Sum is a perfect embodiment of the asuran fervor for displaying their vastly superior minds. It is an all too tempting trap to make an intellectual race into cold and calculating dullards; but the asura aren’t all about making a structure which is the most efficient; they want the most impressive, the biggest and most glittering testament to their fantastically immense intelligence.

The screen says "If you can read this, you aren't working hard enough."

To the readers: Do you like what they’ve done with the asuran capital city? Does the city match your expectations?

About the author:  Distilled (Will) has been playing Guild Wars for almost 6 years, he works as a clinical researcher in the UK but has aspirations of getting into social research. In his spare time he enjoys a being a secret agent, crawling through air vents and tazing unsuspecting security guards . He writes regularly on Guild Wars and gaming over at Distilled Willpower. You can also follow him on Twitter at @Distilledwill!

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  • ArcherAvatar

    Rata Sum is not a city of scientists… it is a city of MAD scientists! (Que maniacal laughter and rubbing hands together vigorously whilst smiling in a not entirely pleasant way.)

    The recent video showing off the starting area of the asura was tone and pitch perfect for me.  I’m looking forward to spending many hours there exploring, and will likely visit it often even with characters of other races.  Lion’s Arch is still my favorite place shown thus far but, Rata Sum is a very close second.

    From a simple aesthetic perspective, it’s quite beautiful but, I can’t wait to “see behind the curtain” as well, and learn about the fantastical nuts n bolts of how the city operates.

  • Michael Szuminsky

    whats the old saying, if you’re going to do something do it big. seriously rata sum was exactly what i expected.  Pure functionality doesn’t scream superior. over the top floating things just becuase i can does.

    The Charr are functionality

    Asura are all about being superior.

    Any bookah can build something, the asura build it and then add as much wow and dazzle factor as they can.

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