Exploring Tyria; where no games have gone before.

 

Submerged Lion’s Arch

Guild Wars 2 has some breathtaking sceneries. From cities to charred fields, even the sewers under Lion’s Arch offer a great view, so much so that you can actually smell those Oozes attacking you. Yuck. But did you know that you can also see what stood in those places, 250 years ago? I’m talking about Guild Wars 1, of course.

Players are familiar with the story, accustomed to places, and it’s those settings that will get Guild Wars 1 players emotional when they see it, and new players wondering what’s behind it. The screenshot above was taken in the waters of Lion’s Arch by an avid player. This is Old LA, folks. Statues of lions now keep company with the fish and underwater residents, old steps leading the crabs to what used to be a bridge, now a forest of colorful algae.

A Guild Wars 1 & 2 enthusiast has gone even further than simply exploring what used to be. On her fan blog, ProjectTyria, she put up a few pictures of the “before and afters” of Tyria. One thing I absolutely love about Guild Wars 2 is the exploring aspect (you would think that’s obvious, being one of the exploration writers!). So when she showed me what she has done with those, I was floored… In a good way, of course! Continue reading

Sylvari – The Elves of Guild Wars 2!

The sylvari, together with the asura, are the races we haven’t yet gotten to play either in the closed beta or during the first beta weekend event. They both were playable during some gaming conventions (like GamesCom 2011), so we know they exist in a playable state, at least! But of course, not having been able to play them myself, I am very curious about them. I know I will love asura. There’s just no doubt about that. But what about the sylvari?

For me, they come close to what elves represent in other fantasy games. Think of your standard fantasy settings and now think of how many games include some kind of elves: Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft, Everquest, Rift,… the list goes on. Elves are usually the fragile, elegant, gracious, wise and oooooold race. The sylvari are all of that with one exception; They are a very young race with the oldest sylvari being 25 years old. I’d assume that sylvari will most likely be the race to play when you’re usually an elf-lover because of their looks. But from their personality and their background, they’re rather unique.

They are a tree’s interpretation of humans. (Kristen Perry in Talk Tyria’s lore interview)

Let’s take a look at the sylvari: They can have elf-like ears (pointed, that is, in case you didn’t know). You can find a video showing the early sylvari character customization here (it starts at around 3:30). Their ears are pointed because they’re leaf-shaped. Which, oddly enough, is what Tolkien had in mind for his elves (see Wiki entry above). But it’s not that easy. Sylvari aren’t simply “the elves”. You have to look a bit closer to see the differences between elves (or humans) and sylvari. They are, in fact, plants that were built after humans because the Pale Tree, out of which they were “born”, knows what humans look like and modelled the sylvari after them. ArenaNet had published a blog post about Kristen Perry’s redesign of the sylvari (they did actually look very much like regular elves before). Continue reading

Diversity in Sexuality

Yeah, I'm gay and amazing! Check me out!

 

Okay fine, there’s not much diversity per se because we fall into one of three categories: Straight, bi or gay. Well, before I continue, I figured that another article about how diverse characters on Guild Wars 2 will be based on traits/races/professions/weapons/skills/play styles or any combination of the six will just be rehashing what everyone is saying and it doesn’t really contribute much for discussion. We’ve already established that very well, thank you very much, so let’s move on.

I decided on a topic that’s rather personal to me because being gay and a gamer, I was very pleasantly surprised with the way ArenaNet decided to handle this controversial issue. Drawing your attention to Ree’s interview with Wartower during Gamescom 2011, she was asked about the relationships between sylvari since everyone was making a mountain out of a molehill regarding the fact that the sylvari don’t have the ability to reproduce despite having the proper physical parts and the fact that Caithe and Faolain were hinted at being lovers.

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Asura: Cute and cuddly or heartless and selfish?

Asura are the smallest of the playable races in Guild Wars 2. They’re the cute* race. Fuzzy, cuddly… wait – are those pointy teeth? And what’s with this maniac grin? Is… is that a golem running towards me? In other words: They are everything but cuddly and cute, that is for sure. I wonder what it will be like playing an asura…

 

“You give a new meaning to the term “counter-intelligence.”
(Vekk in Guild Wars)

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Ghost of Holidays Future

His jokes'll slay you!

With the eighth Guild Wars Halloween coming to a close (we had two Halloweens in 2008, if you recall) it is time to work on our Sweet Tooth titles, time to dye our new costumes, time to sport our new Tricornes and Reaper’s Hoods, and time to look forward to the future.

But let us not forget about the past.

Halloween 2005 was the first holiday event ANet introduced. Before the time of titles and expansions, Mad King Thorn’s influence spread only over Lion’s Arch and Droknar’s Forge and only 4 treats were available to players. The hat that year was the Pumpkin Crown and sadly, it’s the only one I don’t have. You see, I was new to GW then. I had just started playing in September 2005 and knew nothing of this new event. Instead, I helped hand out candy that year.

Still, it was the start of numerous annual events from April Fools Day to Talk Like a Pirate to the longer lasting, and more well known, Wintersday, Dragon Festival, and Canthan New Years. Interestingly enough, there are no Elonian holidays… Lots of consumables to be had for titles and lots of hats and special items to share and show off.

Now to the present.

 

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Snaff, the Greatest Asura

SPOILER ALERT! Please be forewarned that reading from this point forward is going into material covered in the book Edge of Destiny and from an impromptu Q&A with Lore Master Jeff Grubb!

“Snaff might be the greatest Asura in history and it’s not because he is the smartest but because he is personable and treats others with respect.” – Jeff Grubb, PAX Prime on Sunday.

Hello and Welcome everyone, BigCat72 here with a new post for you today on a subject that has been on my mind for the past month! Snaff, the Greatest Asura! I didn’t feel I had enough information on the subject before to write out what I wanted to write, but thanks to being at PAX Prime and being able to speak with Jeff Grubb in a pseudo 1 on 1 Q & A, I feel confident with the information I can bring to you today! I will start out by going over what I do know of him from the book and then move into the information that I later learned while having a pleasant discussion with Jeff Grubb.

So here we go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.

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GuildWars2 Machinima: Thoughts and Suggestions

A game’s community consists of a wide variety of aspects. Today I want to talk about a part of the extended experience offered by a game’s community: player-made videos. Otherwise known as Machinima. For years now YouTube and other video sites have been swarmed by videos of gaming footage, music video’s, series and even South Park episodes entirely created in-game. It allows players to enjoy the game in new ways as a self-sustaining part of community plus it offers free promotion to get your game out there.

Now the current development of GuildWars2 had me worried for a bit. There’s no way to unlock the camera angle at the moment and even other features such as spectator mode are still early in development or just under discussion. Wouldn’t it be cool to receive some freedom with the camera so you can really enjoy the environments around you, or get that perfect angle for your scene? Or maybe you want to show off a great kill you scored in a recent PvP match.

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