Elementalist 101 – History and Systems

Guild Wars 2 Elementalist Guide

Severe Weather Warning!!!

Good ol’ Master Bronk taught me the benefits of superior firepower. He liked to say, “When it comes to besting the enemy, there’s no such thing as overkill.” – Asura Biography

Elementalist Profession Series Part 1

So…you are considering making an elementalist in GW2? You wanna control the weather, eh? Make things go *BOOM* *ZAP* *SPLASH* and *CRUNCH*? This article series can help with that decision. In this first installment, I plan to talk briefly about the history of the profession from GW1, race-specific skills that complement the profession, attunements, and weapon skills; all of which are important to consider from levels 1-30 or so (the history lesson is a bonus).

What this article series is: This series is meant to be a quick and dirty guide and advice column about the elementalist profession. I hope to promote discussion and encourage people to play this fun and versatile profession. This is primarily written for PvE gameplay.

What this article series is not: This is NOT a comprehensive strategy guide on how to play the elementalist profession. It does not include a list of all of the skills/traits with commentary. It does not discuss PvP strategy.

I can be long winded in my articles, but I’m also a big fan of tl;dr, so I’ll include that at the end of each section.

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Valentine’s in Dragon-Blasted Times

Even in times such as these, the good people of Tyria need a little frivolity to take their minds off the centaur attacks, the threat of the Elder Dragons and the almost constant smell of swamp water emanating from the local Hylek mercenaries. You are all; I’m sure, well-versed in how to woo a human, but here’s how to romance the other races of Tyria:

Asura

Not prone to sentiment, the way to an asuran’s heart is through their brain. Rather than love poems, they prefer complicated schematics or a nice long equation. Flowers are great, but gadgets and gizmos are better – give your asuran sweetheart a bouquet of new work-tools (sonic astral-mallets, seismic screwdrivers or a set of allen keys made from pure obsidian are particularly romantic). Nothing says “I love you” like an 18ft bright pink golem which shoots chocolate love hearts from a shoulder-mounted blunderbuss. As the day wears on, the true meaning of the festival is overtaken by the need to out-do the other suitors – often, the end of Valentine’s day is accompanied by fantastic magic-filled explosions as exuberant asuran Lotharios push their mechanical romantic creations a little too far.

 

Charr

The charr value loyalty above all else, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a festival celebrating the strength of relationships should be so popular. Charr relationships are often bristly affairs; with both sexes being just as fierce in their compunction to display their affection whilst simultaneously not wanting to seem to have conceded ground to their partner. So, displays of affection are often understated and gifts are balanced out between practical and sentimental – flowers are accompanied by a new revolving-barrel pistol, a new looking-glass and a new great-sword, candies and claw-guards.

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Magnus the Bloody Handed: A Norn in a Changed World

A slow grin began to appear on Magnus’s face, extending into his eyes. “The people of Lion’s Arch are my people. I have chosen my battles. ” Magnus shook his head and laughed ruefully. “The world is changing, Eir Stegalkin. You must change with it. Perhaps I should ask you to join me. Get some sun on that lily skin.

The pirate city of Lion’s Arch is a place of great contradictions; mortal enemies walk side-by-side in relative peace, it is built upon the combined ruins of the former great and righteous Krytan capitol city and the lowly and broken debris of wrecked pirate ships –it is a city of heroes and a city of villains. It follows that the big cheese of such a place would be rife with contradictions of his own; Magnus the Bloody Handed is such a norn.

Norn Pirate

Thought to be Magnus (although, Magnus has 2 eyes, so possibly not!)

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I Want a Norn Girlfriend…

Where you lead, I shall follow my lady...

Does this shock you yet? Or are you simply rolling your eyes and saying- here we go again. The real life irony is the woman I was married to, her maiden name was Noernberg.  One would think that would remind me of her, but hardly. It is merely an interesting bit of trivia…

At any rate, I want a norn girlfriend.

Throughout my research I have actually come to embrace the norn, to the point where I am seriously thinking the norn character I end up making may well be my main. This will be a grand departure for me, since I ALWAYS play the “human” in MMORPGs. The norn are close enough, however, that they count as human to me, if not larger than life.  Now one thing that is noticeable in ArenaNet’s canon of Guild Wars 2, is the dearth of information about the norn origins.  I am certain ArenaNet will fill in the blanks when the time comes… But where as a race did they evolve from? Are they, as some speculate, descended from the Kodan (giant polar bears), or a mutation of human over the years, adapting the strongest of their genomes to survive in their hardy climate? Were they magically created like the Sylvari? Thus far little is known about how they came into being, only that their civilization has been around for a while, and they are a very proud folk whose tales are about as epic as their daily lives aspire to be.

So why WOULD I want a norn girlfriend anyway? Well, perhaps this sampling of what I have learned about the race might clue you in as to why I have taken a liking to them. Thirteen seems like a good number, since there are 13 cycles of the moon (often tied to women). Here we go then, 13 reasons why I want a norn girlfriend:
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An Interview With a Keg Brawl Star

Talk Tyria recently got a unique opportunity to interview one of Keg Brawl’s rising stars: Jegg “Legs” Edgarson. Few can match the ferocity this norn shows on the ice. We caught up with him after the Leopard’s Spots thrilling 5 kegs to 4 victory over Pour Haus.

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Jegg "Legs" Edgarson

Talk Tyria: Legs! What a fantastic game!

Legs: Keg Brawl is not a game. Keg Brawl is life! Every norn knows that!

TT: Well, at any rate you were very ferocious out on the ice today.

Legs: Snow Leopard gives me speed.

TT: Tell us what happened in the final moments when you led your team to victory.

Legs: Grunn and Algar ran interference for me while I ran zag pattern. Taggart broke past our defense and I cracked him over the head with the keg.

TT: Ouch!

Legs: He went down like raven in a stiff wind!

TT: What happened next?

Legs: I tossed the keg to Volf and broke the ice with a heavy stomp. The defenders went under and I dove over the hole. Volf tossed the keg back and I poured ale to trip up the last defender. With a clear shot to the brewer, I ran the keg in to break the tie.

TT: What a play! I hear your team is leading the tournament. Only two more Brawls to go for the cup.

Legs: That’s right. Bear’s Paws next week and then the winner of Keg for All and Quote the Raven.

TT: What do you think of Leopard’s Spot’s chances?

Legs: We’re going to take the cup. The real question is how many kegs can we get?

TT: In the games ahead or in the celebration after?

Legs: I told you, Keg Brawl is life! Leopard’s Spots will have more kegs than any other team, on the ice and around the fire. You can quote me on that!

TT: Truly spoken. Switching gears, what do you think about the special visitor at tonight’s game?

Legs: Special visitor? I didn’t notice. I was too busy winning.

TT: Why, no other than Rubi from Guildcast, of course! She came to get firsthand experience with Keg Brawl.

Legs: Yes, I remember seeing her now. She was here before the match talking to the brewer. He let her toss the keg around a bit. I’m not sure she’ll make a good keg brawler, but she has definitely brought attention to the sport.

TT: What makes you say that? Does she toss a keg like a woman?

Legs: No. That’s not it. Norn women are some of the most fierce keg brawlers. I have the scars to prove it!

Rubi trying out Keg Brawl

 

TT: I can imagine! One final question: What advice can you offer our readers who might want to try out Keg Brawl?

Legs: Keg Brawl is a norn sport. We invented it. It’s rigorous, fast paced, and played on the ice. Anyone can play the sport, but you have to be tough. Kegs are heavy and your opponents are mean. You don’t see too many asura playing the sport for a reason. To play keg brawl, you must have the heart of a norn.

TT: Thank you Legs. And good luck to you in the tournament.

Legs: Norn do not need luck, we are norn!

TT: Indeed! If you are interested in learning more about Keg Brawl, check out Rubi’s article and photo gallery. And keep reading here at Talk Tyria. We have many interesting articles coming soon!

 

About the author: Belzan enjoys playing and writing about Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 in his free time, when he’s not working on his dissertation and trying to make a living in the field of psychology. His articles range from humor to analysis to observation and he enjoys writing fan fiction about his longtime character Belzan. He also writes a character blog entitled Blog of the Vagabond.

The Norn & The Kodan: Arctic situation heating up?

The last piece of news Anet published for us was a lore pearl, an in-depth overview of an NPC race we’ll probably have to deal with in Gw2: the Kodan!

 

The Kodan are a proud race of polar bear people, guided by both a spiritual and a military leader, living their lives on floating icebergs that they sail on around the arctic seas. They venerate Koda, who once formed the world and elected the Kodan as the chosen race to guide and protect the spirits of this world.
Beside the awesome description of this race’s habits, religion and culture, Eric Flannum has brought up the relationship between the Kodan and the Norn. Since they shapeshift into bears that’s pretty logical, however something here sounded terribly off-key to my ears…

“The Kodan do not claim any connection or relationship to the norn race, but some Voices (Kodan’s spiritual leaders) choose to interpret early stories of a lost group of Kodan as an explanation of the origin of the norn. If this is true, they argue, then the norn are failed Kodan who have forgotten their place as judges and protectors of the balance, and that is why their true “bear” form has been replaced with a fragile, furless state. Because of this pressure from their shaman, the Kodan often treat the norn as spiritual failures, possibly even a race moving backwards in the cycle of life, toward primitivism and destruction — and that even as the dwarves before them, if this is true, the norn are a race on the edge of extinction.” Continue reading

The Races of Guild Wars 2 and Who Will Play Them

Disclaimer – This post was written before we knew about the final profession line-up. It’s also kind of dumb / silly. Please take it as humorous satire and nothing more. 

 

As if it wasn’t already obvious, I’ve been playing video games and trolling the internet for a looongggg time (12 year veteran on the latter). Having been active in many online communities including RPs, forums, Live Journal, and MMOs, I’ve got a lot of experience with the different types of … *personalities* you will often find lurking around the web. And I’m being kind, here.

Every MMO that offers multiple races/classes, which is the majority of them, will find that certain demographics of players will stereotypically be attracted to a certain type of character or role. A common gaming stereotype, for example, is that females tend to be healers or casters, while males are more likely to take tanking and melee damage roles.

Now before I get chewed out for saying this, I’m more than aware that these are generalities and do not apply to everyone. But the same way Asians usually are smart, and lawyers usually are soul-less, we have to keep in mind that stereotypes are generally based on observable tendencies within certain demographics.

So anyway, this post is pretty much about this. Guild Wars 2 will offer five races, and here I’ve ranked them in the order of which I predict will be most popular, when, and who will be the people playing them. These predictions are based on an “assumption” that each race can play any profession and that there will be no racial affinities/passives (IE Sylvari have improved bow usage), both of which have a high possibility of being implemented and could change the demographics.

And while I hate to do it, I will be referencing WoW since it has the largest population of players and has been my main source of experience in the past.


Sylvari


Popularity Rank : 1
Player Gender: Majority Female
Popular Professions: Mesmer, Ranger, Ritualist, Monk
Naming Trends: Those related to the mystical, nature, gods, and pointing out that the player is female.
-Melandrus Daughter, Keeper of Wolves, M A L I N A, Hexual Healing, Short Skirt Double DD
Likely Personalities:
-Old School GW players who care about lore.
-15-year-old attention whores
-New GW Players
-Gay Men
It was a toss up between Sylvari and Human for #1, but Sylvari beat them out for several key reasons.
Old school guild wars players are very interested in the Sylvari because they are the only race we haven’t encountered in Guild Wars 1. We’ve played humans for five years, so it’s time for a change.
Gamers who have done MMORPG but aren’t familiar with Guild Wars will likely be intrigued by the Sylvari since they are mystical and unique yet not a generic elf race.
Teen and early college-age attention whores will likely roll Sylvari because they’re pretty with British accents. That would also include the bitchy ones who complain in PvP when you’re losing by 2 points, are offended by “Yo Momma” and “That’s what she said” jokes, and have character names like “Cutey Babe IRL.”

However, I think Sylvari will NOT be the Blood/Night Elves of GW2 because they don’t have much to cater to male players. While they are pretty, they don’t strike me as being “hot”, a big reason guys make female toons. The customization options are a little too out there and the males are too thin and lanky to attract many male players who’d rather play hulking, buff manly men (if you think I’m joking, google why Blizz made blood elf males more built, when they were originally much thinner).
I figure Sylvari to be the most popular at first, but expect them to get eclipsed by Humans with time.


Humans

Popularity Rank : 2
Player Gender: Fairly Even, leaning towards male.
Popular Professions: Warrior, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer
Naming Trends: Generic First/Last names, as well as ones suggesting deep personality. Most likely to be named after existing NPC’s.
-Gerad Omalley, Elena Watson, Cynns Daughter, The Lone Hero, Legend Of Tyria, I Like Swords And Pizza
Likely Personalities:
-Role Players
-New MMO Players
-Lonely Housewives
-Guidos
-Guys who play girl characters.
There really isn’t much to say about Humans. They’re a staple in any MMO, and the most familiar, but kind of generic and boring. Many Role Players will roll Humans because of the familiarity. GW-RPers have often said the descendants of their current toons should be human, and being any of the other races would not make sense. RPers who are new to GW will lean towards humans since they have no idea about the lore of the other races. New mmo players choosing GW2 to pop their cherry will probably go for the “saftey” of being something familiar.
Lonely Housewives and cougars looking for some young, impressionable 20 somethings to make their husbands jealous will probably roll human. Psychologically, people are most likely to fall for a personality behind an avatar they can relate with.
Guidos will be humans cause that’s how they roll.

Charr

Popularity Rank : 3
Player Gender: Mostly Male
Popular Professions: Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist, Assassin
Naming Trends: Many last names compounded with weaponry, attempts at being badass/threatening, taunts, rappers and LoLcat references.
-Cheza Swiftarrow, Thulo Axesmash, Oh Noes Ur Dead, Jay Z Fo Reel, I Can Haz Meow Mix.
Likely Personalities:
-Olllld School GW Players
-Thugs
-Jocks
-Gold Farmers
-12-year-old boys
-Girls who play FPS/RTS
The Charr come in at a close 3rd on the list by a small margin. Old School GW players will love playing the race that, quite literally, shook their world 5 years ago when the game first started. They have a great, war-ridden background story and are likely to attract “Horde”-ish players.
Being the angry beast-race, the Charr will attract lots of the macho-men who like to tear shit up (and who wouldn’t?). 12-year-old boys will also like Charr because either (wrongly) think they are or wish they were as badass as the Charr. Girls who play FPS/RTS games are also likely to play Charr, because they are violent in nature and like bossing guys around.


Asura

Popularity Rank : 4
Player Gender: Fairly Even, leaning towards male.
Popular Professions: Elementalist, Mesmer, Ritualist
Naming Trends: Abusive names challenging the TOS, geeky/nerdy references, phrases of self importance, Engrish, Asian Characters.
-Horney Was Your Mom, Naga Stole My Focus, H A X X E R, Yodas Sister, Rove U Rong Time, 流感吮
Likely Personalities:
-Trolls
-Attention whores pretending to not be attention whores.
-College kids with IT degrees.
-Misguided Felica Day fanboys.
-Asians
The Asura are predicted to be the annoying, short race that the Gnomes have been to WoW, and as such most likely to attract trolls. It’s ironic because they also, as a race, have an unjustified superiority complex to everybody else, most likely compensation for their lack of real credibility shortness. Asura will be the ones dancing on your body in PvP, taunting in general chat, and starting fights in trade/forums.
Attention whores pretending to not be attention whores will be attracted to this race. Asura are cute enough to satiate their need for vanity but ‘different’ enough that they won’t seem like the generic pointy-eared loving facerollers. These are the most dangerous brand of attention whores because they are manipulative and cunning. Most likely the ones to act cool in public but then cry about how their boyfriend left them in WoW for some asian chick who rolled Druid in an attempt to draw you into their trap.

College kids with IT degrees and Asians will like Asura because they will feel a kindred connection to those with an affinity to technology and giant mecha.

Norn

Popularity Rank : 5
Player Gender: Fairly Even, Leaning Towards Male
Naming Trends: Animal references, Nordic/Viking influenced nominers, annoying foreign lettering, references to literature and mythological deities.
-Keeper of Ravens, Cnaiür urs Skiötha, Beowulf From Toronto, The Fist Of Zeus, Woof Bears, Izzies Bank Alt
Popular Professions: Ranger, warrior, dervish, paragon
Likely Personalities:
-Chill Players
-Bored Players
-Canadians
-BankAlts
-Goofballs / Fake RPers
-Short People
I think Norn will be the least played characters because, ascetically, they are just overgrown humans and other than shape shifting they don’t have anything that I feel would attract any specific group of people. Because of this, they will also be the race with the chillest players. They have that “kinda human, but just different enough” feel. People will roll them just to try and then find they’re kinda cool/fun and stick with it.
I feel many bank alts will be Norn, as well as general goofballs because they are such a serious, viking race and it’s funny to imagine them dancing on mailboxes.
Short people will play Norn for the obvious reasons.
I feel like the Norn will be the Tauren of GW2, with a player base that’s laid back and generally liked by everyone, except the Asura because they hate everybody.

Well, with Guild Wars 2 still well over a year off, it’s going to be a long time before I get to see whether I’m right or wrong.
It will be well worth the wait.