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

GW2 Profession Response: Guardian

Well it’s been a hearty five months since our last reveal, and we’re happy to finally devour our newest profession: The Guardian.

After some questionable leaks last week and some early reveals this morning, ArenaNET finally got around to updating the official site with their side of the story. And I have to say… wow.

Overview
The idea of the guardian is not new to MMOs. It’s our heavy-armor wearing protection class, with a strong focus on defense. The guardian is aimed to appeal to the monks of GW1, with rehashed skills like Shield of Absorbtion and Aegis that will sound quite familiar to those of us who liked to play prot.

I enjoy the idea of this mitigation style of support play vs simply healing. It’s more tactical, proactive, and far less dull. If this is what ANet had in mind for rehashing the MMO-Triad, then I’m even more convinced now than ever that they are definitely heading in the right direction. Shields, absorption, and deflection and knowing how and when to use such skills sounds much more appealing than watching health-bars and making sure they don’t hit 0. Also feels less stressful while still being challenging. So dare I say it, it seems all-around more fun than straightforward healing. Continue reading

The Guardian – Predictions, Predilections, and Prognostications

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’s Aion 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. So many others.

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Psychoanalyzing The Races Of Tyria (For Roleplaying Purposes)

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.

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Humans

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.

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Scandalous! Armor Modesty in Guild Wars (Poll)

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 other outlets 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.

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Seraph : The Second Soldier Profession of Guild Wars 2?

Warning: Minor spoilers for the two novels ensue.
Disclaimer: This was written literally a few days before the Guardian release. That said, I still think the political implications still hold merit. So have fun with it. 🙂

I think we all figure at this point that the 2nd solider class is a paladin-like buff / defensive profession. And that Logan has become one. Agreed? Agreed.

So many moons ago in my re-hashed Guild Wars 2 profession speculation post, I stated that I thought the Seraph was going to be the 2nd solider class. I reiterated the theory on the forums and was generally met with disagreement. I had just finished reading Ghosts of Ascalon which is how the idea solidified in my mind, although I think I had come to the conclusion earlier when I saw repeated screenshots and artwork of winged armor, a motif that’s been attached to the Seraph. I wasn’t the first one to come up with the idea, certainly, but in both cases most people shrugged it off as improbable.

The biggest argument against the Seraph as a profession is the need for it to be multi-racial. From the lore we know that the Seraph were founded by Queen Salma to defend Divinity’s Reach and the new Krytan order. In Guild Wars 2, they are charged with protecting the endangered human race, the remnants of whom as far as they know mostly live in Kryta (although we as players can assume there are survivors in Cantha and Elona, they don’t know that…yet.)

With these facts, I can see why it feels hard to believe the Seraph would open their doors to non-humans. But if we take hints from Guild Wars Beyond, bits and pieces from the novels, and even some artwork from trailers, we gather enough clues to point to clear progression leading up to a sound possibility of Seraph as the 2nd soldier class. And the kicker here is that the entire possibility centers around none other than our elusive Queen Jennah. So humor me for a few minutes as I explain why this can very much happen.

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