How do you want to play versus who do you want to play.
We’ve been posting profession descriptions for the last month or two. In Guild Wars 2 your choice of profession and weapon will dictate your combat style in PvP and PvE. However, the game is also going to feature lovely lore and storytelling – courtesy of Jeff Grubb and Ree Sosebee. The kind of story you experience will be driven largely by your choice of race. Consider this my rough guide to race choices. Lots of you are probably importing beloved characters from other games, so perhaps this will help you decide where you want to start your character out. Conveniently it also gets the damned information out of my head and onto virtual paper, freeing up room for concerns about bees and fieldwork.
First, a quick overview of the RPG part of Guild Wars 2.
Besides the overarching story of the world, as told through dynamic events, story-mode dungeons, and renown quests in different regions, each player gets an individual, branching storyline, told through instanced quests. The path you take is determined by your choice of race, plus a number of personality and background choices you make during character creation. There are additional choices to make later on that can send you off on different paths as well. Your choice of profession has no bearing on the story you’ll experience.
Paraphrased from a recent blog post on personal story that Mozu linked to :
There is an initial 3-way split for all races that sends you down different story-lines. Furthermore, each of those three stories contains decisions you must make that further affect how the story plays out. This means that, to experience every potential storyline being told from level 1 to 10, you’d need to play the game 30 times (5 races times 3 initial stories times 2 internal branches in each storyline). And that’s just the first ten levels of the game. We have 80 levels of progression for your character, and every ten levels or so, you’ll begin a new chapter in your story. The game does not sputter out at the end, either, as you’ll be experiencing some of the most involved and epic story steps in the game with huge battles and fearsome bosses…
The overall story apparently has you re-unite a multi-racial group of heroes – Destiny’s Edge – who may be capable of defeating the dragons. Unfortunately the novel Destiny’s Edge, about…er…Destiny’s Edge, was unwisely given to a non-staff hack writer, a decision which boggles the collective Bearzu family mind. It is technically worth reading, as the lore is quite important to the upcoming game, but expect a Hollywood script full of snappy one-liner and debatably witty dialogue. The NPC members of Destiny’s Edge that you will first meet will be determined by your race, but who knows what other plots will be woven in, involving other Destiny’s Edge members, or unrelated NPCs.
For a much-less-terribly-written lore intro to the game, check out Ghosts of Ascalon, written by Jeff “Fuck Yeah” Grubb. Similarly, it features a multiracial group of adventurers/treasure hunters, but features much more interesting and likeable characters, and also contains some great bits of lore.
There are five playable races in GW2: Humans, Asura, Norn, Sylvari and Charr. I’ve tried to summarize each race’s general culture, the major factions you will chose between when creating your character, and some of the major antagonists you might encounter as you follow your personal story. I’ll also include a bunch of links for lore nerds who might want to know more.
At any rate, over the next few weeks, enjoy a tour of the playable races of Tyria, starting with the Asura.