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Guild Wars 2 Column: Picking a Race

By David North on August 14, 2012

Tick tock, tick tock.  You hear that?  That’s the clock ticking down the days till the release of ArenaNet’s ambitious MMO Guild Wars 2.  Just think, it was years ago that we read about the game’s development, and over the years info slowly poured over us.   It feels like yesterday in fact.  I can’t believe it’s been that long. Anyway, with the release coming up, some players will have to decide what race they should play.  Well, since I have had a chance to play each of the races, I thought I would be able to help.  Here are my general impressions on the races of Guild Wars 2.

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Charr

I want to start out with the Charr, which just happens to be one of my favorites.  The Charr are a headstrong race, both in body and mind.  And I can’t forget about mentioning their tempers.  If you see an angry Charr, run!  The Charr have overcome hardship, fought to take their land back, and then revolutionize technology in ways no one thought possible.  

The Charr are also a split people, as many have decided to abandon the ways of the old Gods.  They now put their faith in something more physical, like a war machine.  There are still those who continue to worship the old Gods, and this has kept the Charr from being a fully unified people.   But even with a battle coming at them from every angle, they keep their heads high and meet their challenges head on. 

Sylvari

The Sylvari are the most unique race I’ve ever had a chance to play in an MMO.  And I’m not just saying from a visual standpoint.  The Sylvari are a young race, exploring the world and in awe every moment they wander around in Tyria.  The Sylvari may be young, but they are not without enemies.  The undead are constantly roaming their roads, causing the Sylvari to grow up quickly. 

When you have enemies, you must also make allies.  The Sylvari may have a strange look about them, but they have made friends with other races of Tyria.  They’re a noble and kind people, offering help to those who ask for it.  This has allowed them to make friends quickly, but will this also cause them to make friends with the wrong people?

Humans

The Humans are still considered, by some players, to be the main race of Tyria.  The Humans were once a proud race, driving the Charr out and creating new settlements.  Time has not been on the Humans’ side however, as tragedy has forced them to lose their lands, and hope continues to diminish from the reign of the Dragons.  While some do answer the call for heroes, many choose to hide behind a large city wall, sipping on wine to forget their troubles. 

Asura

Next we have the strange and interesting Asura.  The Asura first appeared in Guild Wars: Eye of the North, after being forced from their home underground by the terrifying Destroyers.  They didn’t ask for pity though.  Instead, they wasted no time and created a city that is a technological marvel.  And though the Asura are incredibly small (don’t tell them that), they make up for it with powerful minds.  If they can’t lift something, they simply build a robot to do it for them. The crafty Asura have had to fight an uphill battle to adapt to their new home, but this race is just too stubborn to give up. 

Norn

I love the Norn.  The easiest description you can give for the Norn would be giant Vikings.  While other races are battling for their lives, the Norn fight just for the thrill of it.  The race actively hunts massive creatures, only hoping their kill is more impressive than their peers.  The Norn do not fear death, but welcome it, as songs of their epic final battle will be sung in the halls of Hoelbrak. 

There is a deeper side to the Norn, a very spiritual one.  The Norn don’t worship gods as the Humans do, but rather the great spirits.  They have created entire buildings to honor these spirits in Hoelbrak.  By following the path given to them by the great spirits, the Norn will benefit with amazing strength and wisdom as tools to aide them in their hunt. 

The playable races in Guild Wars 2 are very diverse.  ArenaNet has spent years crafting, and molding them into a complex society for the player to interact with.  We all have choices to make when we create our characters.  Do we go with a Norn, a Human, or perhaps a Sylvari?  I’m sure most of us, including myself, will play all of them.  But that only presents another question.  Which one do you start out with first?

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