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Guild Wars 2 Column: A New Warrior Approaches

By David North on February 18, 2013

One of the biggest differences between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is the ability to choose between different playable races.  It felt a little odd to only play as a human  back in the day, but ArenaNet has caught up with the rest of the MMO pack by offering a selection of races to choose from.  The Norn, Sylvari, Charr, and Asura all offer something pleasantly unique to the fantasy genre.  But players still hope and wish for more.

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The main reason players talk about this is for the chance to explore something new and different.  The weird thing is the Charr may be the least played race in the game.  Maybe the players don’t like cats.  Guild Wars 2 still has several other races living within it.  All these other races have become fan favorites, and it’s interesting to see which ones the fans have fallen in love with.  

I could start things off with the most obvious choice, but let’s start things off weird.  This request from players really caught me off guard, but the Quaggan has captured the hearts of players everywhere.  A special plush Quaggan backpack has even been thrown into the gem store!  These cuties have become a big hit, but why play as one?  The Quaggan don’t look like fierce warriors such as the Charr.  Maybe it’s the way they speak.  I could see players now typing in chat, “Quaggan plays as Quaggan.”  Players sure are weird.

Maybe the players love the Quaggan because they resemble Mudkips.

The Tengu have always been a fan favorite since the original Guild Wars.  Much like the Charr, the race has several different looks that help make them unique from one another.  Players could also choose to fight alongside, and partially control, a Tengu warrior, so Players have already gotten pretty close to being one.  But after the Winds of Change event, the Tengu began to isolate themselves from the outside world.  Some wounds still need to heal, but with The Living Story now in motion, they could become part of a large plot line.  That certainly would be a great way to introduce them as a playable race.

The Tengu could offer a ton of customization options for players.

The frog people known as the Hylek are another race that come from the original Guild Wars series.  Beforeplayers were pitted against them, but now some tribes have become friendly.  The Hylek have one of the most unique visual styles in the entire game.  But this will probably prevent them from becoming playable.  Already the Charr and Asura have some weird variations of armors that look better on the more humanoid races.  Trying to get those same sets of armor to fit on the Hylek would be a nightmare!

I see a surprising number of requests for the Centaurs.   This may come from all the awesome concept art that was done for this race.  Nearly every illustration shows them as rough and tough, and wouldn’t think twice about ripping your head off.  The Centaur have also proven to be formidable opponents throughout the game.  Their war against the Humans is just epic!  But I think that fact kills their chances.  You don’t fight alongside the Centaur, which would really make it difficult to bring them to playable status. For the Centaur fans out there, I think you have a better chance of asking ArenaNet to release some more awesome Centaur illustrations than you do of them making the race playable.

Yep, the Centaur look awesome!

While the Norn supply us with a playable race that is epic and warrior like, think a giant Dwarf, the Kodan would be a pretty neat addition.  Their mostly human like form would make fitting armors to them pretty easy.  They also fight alongside the Norn, which makes them friendly.  The only downside to the Kodan is that we don’t see them that much.  They tend to stick to the cold northern parts of the world, traveling the seas on their giant glacier city.  The Living Story could bring the Kodan out of the frozen north, and onto other lands, but we will just have to wait and see.

Playable races haven’t been written off by ArenaNet.  Every time I asked about the subject during the Beta Events I got the whole “No Comment” speech.  Who knows what they are planning.  Some of these minor races could play a larger part in the world.  Some could even die!  They’ve done it once, so who’s to say they won’t do it again?  But if they were to bring in a new playable race, it would have to be one that really highlights their unique line up.

What race is your favorite in Guild Wars 2?  Which would you like to see become playable?  Tell us in the comments below.


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