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Guild Wars 2 Videos: Guild Wars 2: The Sylvari (3:18)

Guild Wars 2 developers talk about the creation of the Sylvari race in this new trailer from Arena.Net. The video includes developer interviews and a terrific look at the creative force behind the race with in-game footage.

Guild Wars 2 developers talk about the creation of the Sylvari race in this new trailer from Arena.Net. The video includes developer interviews and a terrific look at the creative force behind the race with in-game footage.
Duration: 3:18
Views: 6,378  45 comments
Game: Guild Wars 2
View More Guild Wars 2 Videos...
Ingvar writes:


Wed Aug 10 2011 9:36AM Report
beej1986 writes:


Coming from a gamer who has been playing games forever, I have tried everything the gaming world has to offer, and while I love the fantasy genre everything taste stale lately. At first I hated the idea of the race, but with the fresh design and concept of something we have never seen before, I am really excited to try something new that has not been done a thousand times. I think I found my breath of fresh air with the Sylvari.
Wed Aug 10 2011 9:44AM Report
Saerain writes:

I am now torn between asura and sylvari.

Why are the race names capitalized here, by the way? It's not like they're nationalities. Inconsistency!

Wed Aug 10 2011 9:46AM Report
causs writes:

I am in love with Guild Wars 2. The atmosphere is insane!

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:05AM Report
daniel!!! writes:

well thats just made me want to make a sylvari now :)  still charr comes first :P

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:09AM Report
MumboJumbo writes:

Impressed.Curious to read the lore on this new race as well. Very good work ArenaNet.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:10AM Report
Nivisiru writes:

Sylvari is really not that new. Sylvan from DAoC, hell the name is even kinda similer

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:13AM Report
Celestian writes:

Never been a race like this before? Someone is ignoring "Sylvan" from DAoC.


Sorry, these guys look like the Jolly Green Giant. I much prefered the previous incarnation. Can only hope they do another revamp.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:16AM Report
demonic87 writes:

You much prefer the "Sylv-Elf" you mean? Nobody agrees with you.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:20AM Report
gaeanprayer writes:


No. DAoC had sylvans. Sylvans are an established part of our mythology, and are usually tiny wooden creatures. In DAoC, sylvans were wooden humanoids. The only comparison between DAoC Sylvans and Sylvari are that they're both woodland creatures. The word "Sylvari" does not sound like 'Sylvan' because of a game comparison, 'Sylvan' exists outside of video games and 'Sylvari' is a play on that. There's no possible way you can compare the design and aesthetic of Sylvari and DAoC Sylvan.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:21AM Report
Elikal writes:

Thumbs up for creativity! ^^

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:22AM Report
Raora writes:

Really trying to like this game. I'm really worn out on the fantasy genre. And all I could this of during this video was the Fae race in EQ2

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:23AM Report
Pigozz writes:

the new design is wicked! Love it

Altough there's one "original" race I liked more:

I know people gonna hate me for that but Draenei from WoW is a race I want to have in every other fantasy nowadays - the race is just too cool to be only in Warcraft franchise :P

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:23AM Report
OctoberJade writes:

Yeah... someone needs to brush up on his Latin.  "Silva" means forest.  It's not a conspiracy or intellectual theft.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:25AM Report
Rolin_1 writes:



anyway, I love the redesign. They were just too plain and boring to look at before. 

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:37AM Report
Chilliesauce writes:


Still the fact remains that this is not an 'original' race. look i am excited about GW2 a lot but some fans are very easy to put 'original' and 'innovative' tag on almost anything. When i saw this race DAOC was the first thing to come to my mind and as it is quite clear i am not the only one.

Everything is inspired from something else, there is no such thing as 'pure' or 'original'.

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:46AM Report
illyana writes:

i was surprised that i saw this video here first before the official blog .... but im loving the new sylvari look, more so now that i see them in action

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:33AM Report
VikingGamer writes:

I think the Sylvari are great. Very creative. I don't agree, however, that they are completely unique. They are essentially a type of dryad and in that sense, yes they are somewhat like they Sylvan of DAoC being a vegetation based magical humanoid creature. But the similarity pretty much ends there. The Sylvari are obviously not only made of wood but also leaves and such. Much more jungle vegetation. Much more variety in their looks. And from the sound of it so far, they have a much more fleshed out story.

Very good stuff overall. And they definitly get points for avoiding the over done Elf theme. But while plant creatures are unusual, they are not entirely unique.

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:36AM Report
Clocksimus writes:

Humanoid plants born from a tree never done before? I'm sorry but that is such a lie  I can't believe she said it with such a straight face.  It is a great concept but I feel they are trying to sell the uniqueness of this game a bit much if they are coming down to lying in such  an open manner which can easily be dismissed with a simple google search.

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:44AM Report
just1opinion writes:

Ree Soesbee could....literally....sell me anything. But it's because she seems so passionate and genuine.  I believe her.  She's writing the lore, and when she says,"Trust me, you haven't seen everything that the fantasy genre has to offer".....I believe her.  The Sylvari are part of that and I can't WAIT to play one.

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:46AM Report
GhostGeisha writes:

Im done with fantasy games but i have to say, i love what they did there. A fantasy game without elfs and orcs deserves a little bit more respect.

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:48AM Report
illyana writes:


Humanoid plants born from a tree never done before...

i never heard her say that, youre putting words in their mouth... you have to look at the whole characteristic and history of the race, not just this one aspect to make sylvari feel diffrent you can can them unique

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:50AM Report
Unlight writes:

The aldryami race predates DAoC by a couple of decades and they are sentient, humanoid plants.  The lore is vastly different though since they have absolutely no fae influence.

Wed Aug 10 2011 12:56PM Report
Fdzzaigl writes:

I like their design.

But they're quite obviously inspired by dryads and similar creatures, plant-based creatures and humanoids also have a long tradition in both fantasy and sci-fi.

There's nothing wrong with being inspired however.

I do feel they're trying to sell their uniqueness a little bit too much, which could lead to serious overexpectations.

Wed Aug 10 2011 12:58PM Report
v2nkata writes:

Really nice, cant wait Comic Con.



If we use your logic - swords and axes are the same thing because they have iron and wood.

Wed Aug 10 2011 1:36PM Report
TweFoju writes:

Even before this Video, i have decided i will roll on a Sylvari, now, even more, doesn't change a thing!

good job ANet!

Wed Aug 10 2011 1:37PM Report
OSF8759 writes:

Best thing about GW2: hot chicks made it.

Wed Aug 10 2011 1:47PM Report
Darktwin writes:

i love the enthusiasm of the developers. I find it infectious. Im more in love with the idea of this game every day. oh, and that hot women are makeing the game is also awesome!

Wed Aug 10 2011 2:24PM Report
Herodes writes:

In future I am going to look at knotholes more closely.

Wed Aug 10 2011 2:35PM Report
just1opinion writes:

@Darktwin I TOO like that hot women are making the!  I have a terrible crush on Ree Soesbee.  *blush*

Wed Aug 10 2011 4:31PM Report
Rabenwolf writes:

A tad too overdone in my opinion, I dont say this just as a player but also an artist who deals with this kind of work.

I have a lot of respect for Nevil Page, who created many of the creatures in Jame Camerons Avatar. He makes sure the creatures could exist, they have realistic mechanics, biology, every inch has a purpose that is believable. Its just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to how he designs new fictional characters.

This is lost with this race. It feels more like some fluffy older female is fantasizing about a generic nature based theme and some how takes all the credit while assuming its remotely original. 

I am alienated by the fact they just toss on leaves all over the place as though its a damn assesory. Leaves serve a purpose on a tree, photosynthesis and all... to have them being used for what appears only to be reinforcing the fairy level theme of these characters makes it more or less silly in my book. 

I guess i am spoiled by the fact there are geniuses out there when it comes to design and that in this case, the game industry shows it lacks those geniuses. In fact I am surprised at the type of people who get good jobs in the game industry, theres a lack of quality.

Wed Aug 10 2011 4:39PM Report
Eladi writes:

@rabenwolf why dont you show us some of your work hm?

The Sylvari are a compleetly new design , no nature people are not original but for the first time the build of the body is done as it should ,as nature actual grows.  their cloths /armor is make the same way, its a bit chaos at first glance but its based on tree's and seeds growing outwards again as nature shows.

next to that the design is based on human models not on a walking tree or walking flower, its a humanoid species.

The creatures in avatar were quite plain to say the best, they were very nicely rendered and painted but all based on human and earth creatures and basicly enlarged whit a paid job, it was a nice movie but in reguards to design it was not the best a artist can make, one only has to browse the deviantart site to find thousends of better mindblowing creature designs.

the Sylvari (if you would take some damn time to read up and watch some pictures ont he main site) are butt naket. just like humans no overdone leaves no wierd pieces , whatyou see in the video is actual armor grown to thier own custom needs.

you are exsactly what a artist should never inspire to be. a real artist does more then trowing around uneducated rants, they inspect every detail of a design the idea behind it and actual show how it could be done better and keep it  workable for the industry a design is made for.

people like you make me sick and whit that im going to stop my own useless typing.  :P

Wed Aug 10 2011 5:52PM Report
Chilliesauce writes:

So what did we learn? do not..ever say anything negative about GW2 ever (even if it is just your opinion) or fans like Eladi will jump on your throat.


It is fans like you who make me sick who have no tolerance for opinions which are not similar as your own. Welcome to the real world where everyone looks at art, culture, music and movies from different prespective.

Wed Aug 10 2011 7:08PM Report
Dinasty writes:

And no one can see what happened to Ree? Holy crap she looks reall good now!

Wed Aug 10 2011 7:51PM Report
Zeroxin writes:

@ Rabenwolf

You'll have to read about the research and work she did to not just create something but create reason for it to be there. You sound like you haven't read her blog post so I urge you to go read it. To think that this video is all there is to her design is doing it injustice.

Wed Aug 10 2011 9:26PM Report
Unlight writes:

@ Chilliesauce

Hey, Rabenwolf didn't stop at expressing an opinion.  He went right on to denigrating everything from the artwork to the artists themselves.  For anyone who felt moved by what they saw of the sylvari, Rabenwolf's comments basically take a dump right on top of their heads.  And don't be myopic.  That was the intent.  It had nothing to do with offering anything substantial for debate.

So don't get all high an mighty defending him.  If he'd remained civil in his critique (the way he started), he would likely have received a civil response.  But it seems pretty clear that his intention was to inflame, and that's what he got.  If he'd been a tad bit clumsier with his words, I would have just reported his self-righteous ass and been done with it.  But that's really the trick to these "discussions" isn't it?  How to piss people off without getting your hand slapped.

Now I'll politely await my own hand slapping...

Wed Aug 10 2011 10:08PM Report
Rabenwolf writes:

@Unlight, Eladi,

Reading comprehension might not be your strong point, but thats just a guess since your posts really serve the purpose of attacking my own and for many reasons not actually present in my own.

That said, I clearly state it is my opinion, I state I spoiled by the extent of genius artists and quite frankly unless you work in the game industry you will never truly understand how "low level" or for a lack of better word, "unskilled", many of those who find their way into the industry are.

I never once made a claim targeting a specific person as being such, but made the broad statement regarding what I observe. Lets put this into perspective too, you can be a great artist and even designer, one where details matter. You can work in the game industry where you are lucky to get paid $70,000 year (top position) or you can make $10,000 a week by doing freelance work for the film and animation industries. Make sense? The best will go where they are appreciated more and where their actually ability gets them more.

GW2 looks like a great game/product, i like most of their design choices from a challenge mechanics standpoint. I can see exactly what they are doing and why they do it. The art direction is generally very good as well, though this video and the way they designed the Sylvani come across as badly done. It is possible to do too much and over do it. That is my opinion which i clearly stated was opinion. It really seems like very little foresight was given during the character design phase other than generic appearances and typical theme-age from what appears to be the seemingly generic female designer in the game industry. 

You are free to disagree of course, but if you wish to do so, relax, take a breather and respond without twisting my post around to suit whatever bias preset you already have. 

Wed Aug 10 2011 11:03PM Report
Chilliesauce writes:


I re read the entire post and personal attacks by Eladi were uncalled for. Raben didn't make any personal comments towards yu or Eladi unless somehow it is your responsibility to defend honor of GW2 devs? not everyone is going to like GW2 but i guess it is really that hard to understand.

Thu Aug 11 2011 4:56AM Report
Fdzzaigl writes:


The cute lady said: "The sylvari are entirely unique, they are new to our world, they are new to every world, there's never been a creature like this in the fantasy genre."

This is untrue as there have been creatures like this in the fantasy genre period. Don't try to oversell your uniqueness. Be inspired and in turn inspire others.

Axes and swords are alike in that they're weapons and chopping tools, they have nothing to do with the point I was making.

Thu Aug 11 2011 6:42AM Report
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Fri Aug 12 2011 10:16PM Report
Rimcy writes:

Video looks kind-of kiddy to me, I hope the game doesn't look like that. I have been looking at this game for a while. "No questing" was all I needed to hear for me to try it out.

Sun Aug 14 2011 1:45PM Report
kosac writes:

nothing new :(

Mon Aug 15 2011 2:08AM Report
samblade19 writes:

Aldryami are Gloranthan plantmen, nature and sun worshipping-mainly worshipping Aldrya, deity of plants. Unlike Tolkienesque elves, they are alien, physically plant-like and often hostile to normal humans (meat men). Like many other fictional elf races, they are excellent archers.

Sylvan:Sylvan: Made of the trees they "reside in", Sylvan master nature easily and work well as casters, but with high strength they make avid fighters as well.

Essentially by both definitions these races or typically dryads and in many interpretation they are both considered a Fey or "Fae" race. When you research they are considered "plant-like" having characteristics of plants but not necessarily a plant being. The closses you come to sylvari in other lore is the most common representation of dryad when they are made completely of wood and thier sustanance is the tree they are tied to. Both races are mentioned to have the ability to reproduce where as the sylvari have no reproductive organs and as we know at this time cannot reproduce on thier own and they Sylvari are uniquely "born" from their mother which is a sentient tree. Sylvari are literrally plant creatures with "humanoid characteristics" not the other way around as the aformentioned races are. As the other races are described they wear clothing made up of plants meaning the material is of the forest or they wear clothing not of thier race where as the Sylvari literrally grow thier own clothing from thier bodies. While the Sylvari may seem like what we have seen before at first by definition they are a completely new race never before seen as stated in the video.

Other sources:

Tue Aug 16 2011 3:52PM Report
Sirmatthias writes:

anyone think she was stoned? or maybe the Sylvari gave her some of their weed lol

Tue Aug 16 2011 4:01PM Report
samblade19 writes:

The Sylvari get thier name from the word "sylvan" which is why the race 'Sylvan' are named sylvan because of the word's definition:

Tue Aug 16 2011 4:02PM Report