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Guild Wars 2: Is it too Late for New Races?

By Steven Weber on February 21, 2019 | Columns | Comments

Guild Wars 2: Is it too Late for New Races?

When dragons first reared their heads, the first responders of Tyria were the Asura, the Charr, the Humans, the Norn, and the Sylvari. With their powers combined, they created an alliance which culminated in a slew of playable races with semi-important perspectives and mostly forgotten racial abilities.  For we the players, it only takes a few short hours of the legacy game to realize, there are over a dozen other races in Tyria, some of which are quite popular with fans new and old.  After days of cavorting with Hylek, and meeting the Mursaat, one might think the possibility of another playable race is right around the corner. Unfortunately, my friendly Tyrians, I fear you are wrong.

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Before you slap me with a wet Quaggan, the key to understanding my point of view lies within the initial creation of our characters, and the mostly forgotten legacy story. As players create their first character, they work their way through a story that has largely been completed by the larger population.  While some areas of the legacy game are populated, primarily when it comes to world and special events, the finely-tuned early game story can’t magically be changed retroactively.  Magically, it probably could, but that kind of developer magic should never be wielded.

What I’m trying to convey here, is that the legacy story is not an option to host a new race. Story content as a whole now travels down a parallel yet different avenue now. We have a single, direct, point A to point B narrative, and in order to mix in a new race, ArenaNet would have to fine tune an entirely new perspective. A new Commander. Thus far we’ve become so entrenched in who the Pact Commander is, we’ve left little room to deviate without wholly dedicating an unrelated expansion specifically to a late-game race.

Another important point to take into consideration is ArenaNets lack of a Race Change service. As of late you can change everything from your height to your gender, but they still omit race and class from the character makeover service. In nearly 7 years they’ve been hesitant to even let your characters change races within the current legacy story, it would be pandemonium if they decided to add a new race at this point, while not catering to those that would want to change their main toons to that race.  One interesting addition we’ve had at our disposal, however pointless it may be, is the opportunity to utilize tonics to portray our favorite races and characters. Regrettably, the tonic system is more of a gag than a serious system used to play the race of your choice.

Still, we the fans of Guild Wars 2, can always postulate on the possibility that new playable races could one day appear, either by update or expansion.  Who hasn’t entertained the idea of playing as a Kodan or thieving as a Skritt. At this late stage of development, I fear that we have seen all the playable races we will see. I even fear we may have seen all of the professions we will see, with any new changes revolving primarily around specializations.  I hope, for all our sakes, I am wrong, as nothing excites players more than something starkly new and unexpected.  With any luck, if the clamor for new races crescendos loud enough, we may just see some of our favorite races as playable options in Guild Wars 3.

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