Spoiler Warning: This article contains significant spoilers for Edge of Destiny and minor spoilers for Ghosts of Ascalon.
And so it is: human week has concluded & we’ve got a lot of tasty information regarding the race as a whole. While we’ve been given a little more insight to their mysterious monarch Queen Jennah, she is still a figure who’s hard to understand and plays a role in Guild Wars 2 that’s yet to be determined. Needless to say, a huge war has erupted among the fans of Tyria in regards to whose side they’re on.
Considering she is the Queen of Kryta, and essentially all of humanity, we still know precious little about Jennah and her true goals and motives. We’ve gotten a handful of tidbits from few sources: passing mention in Ghosts of Ascalon and a few cameos in Edge of Destiny, along with what we learned in human week. This forces us to kind of piece together what she’s all about. One big issue is that a lot of the information we’re getting isn’t really factual at all but rather opinions from the people around her, which makes it difficult to pin-point exactly what’s going on.
One reason I think she is unpopular now is because of Logan. He’s lost a lot of credit with fans due to his actions in EoD and their “romance” has painted a confusing and unpopular picture of Jennah. Still, I find her to be extremely intriguing and am probably in the minority of fans who support her. Many see her as a manipulative selfish monarch at worst, or needy little girl at best. I fully disagree. I’ll get into that later but first, let’s take a look at what we know for sure so far.
“What is your story?” If ever there was a tag-line that encompassed the major difference between Guild Wars 2 and its predecessor, it is this. It is not the new skill bar. It is not the new playable races. It is not even the new combat system. Quite simply: it is the story. All sequels and expansions address game play and add new content. Guild Wars 2 adds a something MMOs have been missing for a long time: Role-Playing.
Several months ago Ree Soesbee, Lore & Continuity Designer for GW2, wrote an article about the personal story of GW2. I recommend giving it a read, if you haven’t already, before you continue reading this article. Ree covers a lot of ground talking about how GW2 will be taking a lot of steps toward making our game play experience something, well, personal. Skipping over the dynamic events system for a moment, I would like to focus on the personal story and what it offers to both hardcore and green role-players alike. Continue reading →
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 →
Most people who keep an eye cracked for Guild Wars 2 news have heard about the PC Gamer article that did some name-dropping in the caption of a GW2 image. The “Blue Mace Lady” that we have all come to know and love has an official name: the guardian.
Until this coming Thursday, the newly-named profession remains shrouded in mystery. Since speculation about this heavy-armor magic-user has run rampant for quite some time, however, the faithful (and frequently rabid) GW2 community has come up with plenty of hopes and theories.
Comparisons to other games have, naturally, cropped up ( – as well as cross-medium references to such heroes as the Green Lantern!)
Many forum-members across the fansites have been quick to point out the existence of a Guardian class in Lord of the Rings Online, a highly-defensive heavy tank that focuses on keeping aggro. Since GW2 is hoping to do away with the conventional idea of tanking and replace it with an emphasis on control, the analogy couldn’t be perfect, but the defense (or support, to use GW2 verbiage) aspect of the LotRO Guardian has inspired comparisons. NCSoft’sAion has a moderately well-armoured melee magic-user called the Chanter, to whom tentative comparisons have also been drawn. Wielding a staff offensively and switching to a mace and shield for more defensive play, the Chanter offers effective DPS (and debuffs), player-based AoE buffs, and only minor direct healing. Since many fans have long speculated that the BML is one of the options that will cater to those who enjoyed Monks in the original Guild Wars, the Chanter’s support-oriented blend seems like a likely parallel to the guardian’s theoretical role.
(In support of the guardian-Monk relation, folks have pointed out that the Monk skill “Guardian” seems to fit right in with what we’re expecting from the support in GW2.)
And, of course, one cannot talk about a heavy-armor support class without suddenly being hip-deep in references to WoW’s Paladin. These gentlefolk are popular for their ability to withstand heavy damage, as well as providing support through their auras, blessings, and seals.
There are others. Somanyothers.
If you’ve been keeping up with Guild Wars 2, you’ve undoubtedly researched the various playable races. Humans, charr, asura, norn, and sylvari. All distinct races, with various traits which give them character. With the release of Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny, we’ve been able to take a deeper look at each race.
Providing us enough information to further analyze the races of Tyria…so we can roleplay them better of course.
If Sigmund Freud had a chance to sit down with the human race of Tyria, he’d find them to be much different than those in our universe. The down trodden race of Tyria, the humans have had their egos put into check over the past few hundred years.
They have the charr, dragons, and themselves to thank.
Being so defeated, what can we find if we dig deep into the psyche of humanity?
First, they’re highly emotional. Just look to Dougal Keene and Logan Thackeray from the Guild Wars 2 novels for prime examples. [spoilers: highlight to read]Logan became the primary reason behind the breaking up of Destiny’s Edge. Running off to save his queen because his emotions got the better of him[/spoilers]
For those looking to truly roleplay the human experience come game time, you’re really going to be using a lot of frowny faces. You’ll find yourself with a sense of pride, many times false pride. I would also say that if you do it right, you’ll have some trust issues towards other races.
As GuildMag‘s resident fashionista, I talk a lot about trends and styles in Guild Wars in my seasonal column, something I’m looking forward to continuing come Guild Wars 2. Huge props to Kristen Perry; the lovely ArenaNet designer whose genius is responsible for a lot of armor design in Guild Wars. She has spoken at length on the process in brainstorming, drafting, and finalizing the sets and pieces for both games at length on ANet’s official blog (and dye systems!) and otheroutlets as well. A good chunk of us, whether armor collectors or just fans of fashion or textured digital art, love being able to see those come to life. It’s be a huge part of what makes a game such a great experience.
Many players might think “Is the look of armor really THAT important?” The answer is obvious. Just look at the intense response to transmutation stones where people took the concept of being able to keep old looks with better armor stats and ran with it (or shot off into space, might be more accurate).
"What you lookin' at?"
Now, I love what Kristen and her crew have done for GW1 and am thrilled to see what the sequel will bring. But gloating aside, I have seen a concern among players pop up a few times. And that’s on the subject of modesty.
Let’s face it. Guild Wars has ever been shy with cleavage (I’m looking at you, Livia), norn are notorious for wearing close to nothing in a blizzard, and Elementalists obviously have mastered the use of combating hypothermia with fire magic. There have been a few select armor sets in the game that have raised eyebrows more than others and been the topic of discussion on a few occasions. Many players think some of them are really pushing the boundaries of what’s sexy and what’s skimpy.