Do Sylvari Dream of Dragons?


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Earlier today I was thinking about what we know about Guild Wars 2’s new race, the sylvari, compared to the existing ones. Each race so far has had its own strengths, but also its own inner turmoils. For the humans it is the tension between the Ministry Guard, the Shining Blade and the Seraph. For the norn it is their dealing with the Sons of Sanvir and for the charr it is the Flame Legion Shamans stirring up trouble.

For the sylvari the tension is likely to come from their dealing with the Nightmare Court.

On my own blog I mentioned how it’s possible that the Pale Tree has some wider connection to the welfare of the planet, and how it might be imploring the sylvari to deal with the growing threat (no pun intended) which the Elder Dragons pose.

The sylvari have popped up in the 23 years preceding the events of Guild Wars 2. They emerge from the Pale Tree fully grown and are forever linked to it. Whilst they are growing inside the tree they experience dreams through which they learn the knowledge of their race. They also report that they experience nightmares – however, most sylvari attempt to ignore or at least not pursue any further knowledge of them. The sylvari that do embrace these nightmares are called the Nightmare Court.

Guild Wars 2 Sylvari - Concept Art

Just chillin’ wit my peeps.

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Caithe of the Firstborn


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It’s tough to talk about the sylvari because there’s still so much we don’t know about them. The newest of the playable races, they’re the only ones we haven’t encountered in Guild Wars and so we lack any hindsight for their existence or basis to really compare to. The state of their design also adds to the enigma; due to their nature as “plant-people”, their physical appearance is very important to understanding how they work in general. Do they use the sun for energy? What effects does seasonal “birth” have, if any? Etc.We won’t know for a while, and until then our primary source of information comes from the sylvari characters we encounter in the two companion novels. Which brings us to Caithe, the most well-known sylvari of them all.

 

Appearance:
Despite the cartoonish original design of the sylvari, Caithe’s looks always seemed much more elegant. Specifically, her current 3D model skin tone is fleshy and short silver pixie hair is..well, not particularly leafy. However, in most of her concept drawings her skin has a greenish tint to it, as we’d expect from her race.

There’s yet to be any official word on her season, but most fans believe she is winter due to her cooler and more subtle features, as well as her darker personality.
Whether or not she’ll get a model re-design as well has yet to be determined. There seems to be no real indication of it so far.

Personality:
Like most of her people, Caithe has an innocent, almost brutal honesty that makes her companions a little uncomfortable at times, especially when she points out those awkward yet obvious things nobody seems to want to bring up. This is especially true when she speaks of Rytlock and Logan’s rather entertaining banter. She’s blunt and doesn’t really care for fickle nuances and sometimes simply cannot grasp metaphorical language.

She also differs from general conceptions of her race in a few ways. Most notably, it’s been stated that Caithe has a more fearless nature, willingly “seeking the shadows” to find truths that most others shy away from.

It has only been a score of years since the first twelve sylvari awakened from the branches of the Pale Tree; a handful of lives scattered into the world like petals on the wind. These Firstborn were quickly followed by others, more and then more, until the Grove was born in the heart of the Caledon Forest. Caithe was among those first to step upon the earth of Tyria, but where the others turned toward the sun, she sought shadow. While her fellows revel in the beauty and joy the world has to offer, Caithe has never been afraid to gaze into darkness–or to seek truths that others fear.

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Guild Wars 2 Expansions: New Professions vs New Races vs New Content


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This is a pretty hot-topic that’s been coming out again and again over the past few months and got a little buzz recently due to some confusion over a “no stand-alone compaign” comment.

We’ve known ANet plans on adding expansions in one form or another for Guild Wars 2. Those sorts of things come naturally with most in this genre of gaming. But with their plans on bending MMO conventions, it’s fun to think about what exactly would an expansion entail. What sort of shiny, new gifts under the tree can we expect, or dare we desire, for future content? And how, exactly, should they be released?

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The Skritt


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The latest in-depth lore post on A-net blog was about the rat-like race called the Skritt and wow, it was a good one!

 

The Skritt are a race of rat-people who was forced out in the open world from their homes underneath, like the Asura. What is not like the Asura though, is the Skritt’s brain and intelligence, the actual way it works: while the short sharp toothed geniuses are the smartest race in Tyria (each one of them is as smart alone as in team) the Skritt’s intelligence is positive correlated to the dimension of the group…the more Skritt there are, the more intelligent they get!

Their unique way of trasmitting information between race members allows large groups of Skritt to better and faster understand their surroundings, it is like if their faster comunication techniques would allow them to gain more benefits from information shared in a limited time than any other race, therefore the more Skritt are gathering and sharing info, the more the group’s intelligence will be precise and brilliant. At the point where even an Asura would risk entering one of the Skritt’s camps.

Skritt weapon carrier = Skritt Warrior

Their body form pushes them towards sneaky combat styles, the Skritt are no match in physical strength to anybody but what they lack in personal power, as for their intelligence, they gain within a group: Skritt attack in large groups and, like mice, with their high birth rate they have to be killed fast in order not to give them time to create larger armies.

Asura and Skritt were at war during the time they both lived underground, a war that has been revitalized on a different battlefield when the Dragons awakened.

While Asura adapted perfectly to the new life, Skritt had some trouble due to the loss of unified big groups that are so crucial for them, due to their escape from the Dragons.

A race with such a high rat-like birth rate (a female Skritt can give birth 3 to 5 times during a lifetime) will surely start to threathen others as long as they have enough time to multiply; I can easily see them playing a not-so-secondary role in the event chain. The true danger of this race is the combination of their fast growth and ever growing strenght to the almost total lack of a true leadership with a unifying political strategy. These rats are like a virus that spread throughout Tyria without a path, they multiply and steal technology from whatever they can land their hands on, quickly becoming as powerful as other “bigger” races.

Their strength though, is very delicate: as soon as the group is divided, their power is greatly reduced. The key to defeating the Skritt is to take down the head in order to let the body parts scatter: once divided they won’t put up much of a fight anymore.

The whole idea of their powerful group intelligence being able to understand even advanced technologies it’s fascinating: what if a skritt colony invades an outpost and lay its hands on some weapons and armors for enough time to understand how to replicate it? We would then end up with a high number of mice well equipped with a random leadership. A lot of awesome dynamic events coming up!!!!!

Skritt bike riders...no mercy...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author:  Ubi Maior is a student from Italy, long time GW player and fan. He found in TT a place where he can contribute to the community by sharing his ideas and opinions, and he hopes you enjoy his thoughts! He’d love to hear yours. He can also be found on twitter.

 

‘Hyleket,’ Anyone?


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This is about a rather trivial change in the language of Guild Wars 2, the name-change of the race of frog people from “heket” to “hylek,” and why it pleases me.

One word has changed. The nature of the hylek really hasn’t changed at all. They are a sentient people with which we as player characters may have peaceable relations or full-on warfare. We see that they still look very much like the frog-men we’ve all come to love stomping on. Their tribal culture seems relatively unaltered. They are still more or less behind on the technology curve, since they have to trade with other sentients for weapons and other goods. The hylek are in most ways indistinguishable from the heket – which leads many people to beg the question “why change the name at all?” What purpose does this serve?

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From Tabletop to Laptop: Putting the “RPG” back in MMORPG


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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

Psychoanalyzing The Races Of Tyria (For Roleplaying Purposes)


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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.

——————-

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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