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Guild Wars 2 Column: The Final Beta

By David North on July 17, 2012

Norn, Charr, and Human: we know these races in Guild Wars 2 very well.  We should anyways, as we’ve been playing them through all of ArenaNet’s BWEs.  All three races have their own unique charm, and a starting area that makes playing them extra fun.  I myself have grown very attached to the Charr and Norn, and I’m sure you all have your own favorites.  But I have a feeling that will change for some people after this weekend’s beta.  Finally, after a long wait, we will have the chance to see Tyria through the eyes of the Asura, and Sylvari.

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Now so far we have only had a chance to check out the Sylvari from some videos that were posted yesterday.  If you haven’t checked them out yet you should do so, and don’t worry about any spoilers.  The videos are a nice sneak peek to what we will get to see this weekend, and so far I’m pretty impressed.  The Sylvari look great, and the new environments look even better.  I have a feeling that it’s going to feel like a whole new experience.  

The Sylvari are truly new to the lands of Tyria, so it will be interesting to see not only how NPCs react to the new race, but also the players.  Their way of life is very different, and everything is so new to them, that it might make the players feel like a kid again. Even their character design is strange and very unique.  I see players really having a lot of fun with the character creation.  The face designs we have seen so far are amazing, and have a very wide range from very familiar face structures to very alien-like features.  Personally I will probably be using the more unique designs, as I feel they make the character appear to be more plant like.  I’m sure some players would have a hard time connecting with that type of character, so I understand why some designs have a more human like look to them. 


I do have one issue with the Sylvari design and I’m not sure if I’m being too picky or not.  For many of the Sylvari, everything about them is plant like.  Even in concept art, we see their clothes appear almost like an extension of their bodies.  When creating your character, you get a small taste of what all the professions may look like in their armors.   Now some of the professions continue with the type of design. But others, like the ranger, appear to wear just normal clothing. It just looks goofy and strange.

The Sylvari aren’t just unique in their appearance, but also in how their structures are built.  I love that their city is curvy, and illuminated by plants of all kinds.  In fact, it appears that their city is just a massive garden!  I can’t wait to jump into a giant seed, and float from one level of the city to the next.  It will have a much better view than just taking the stairs.  But the city is probably going to be the least impressive thing in the Sylvari starting area.  The massive trees and plants dwarf the ones I’ve had a chance to walk around in other areas.  Even their look is different, giving the world even more variety to keep things from looking boring.  The world also seems a bit more magical in these parts, as large roots arch out from the ground, covering the path, and floating chunks of earth and plants float high above your head.  The land of the Sylvari is just as much eye candy as the Sylvari themselves. 

I’m really excited to play the Guild Wars 2 BEW.  I’ve explored the lands of the Charr, Norn, and Humans and I crave more.  With the other first three races brining their own unique style of quests, the offering of the Sylvari and Asura should be very impressive.  I’m thankful for ArenaNet allowing us to have one final adventure before launch, and to let us now experience all the races is a huge pleasure.  The only problem is now I have to decide what I’ll play first.


Chances are there will be an Asuran warrior.

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