Category Archives: GW2 Races

Crosspost from Talk Tyria. Asura: Cute and cuddly or heartless and selfish?

Disclaimer: This is a crosspost from my posting over at Talk Tyria. I’m crossposting it here so those following the blog can see it (and so I have all my postings in one central place ^^). If you want to comment/share your thoughts, please head over to Talk Tyria. That’s also the reason I disabled comments to this posting here. It’s a Talk Tyria posting, so comments should go over there. :)

Asura are the smallest of the playable races in Guild Wars 2. They’re the cute* race. Fuzzy, cuddly… wait – are those pointy teeth? And what’s with this maniac grin? Is… is that a golem running towards me? In other words: They are everything but cuddly and cute, that is for sure. I wonder what it will be like playing an asura…

“You give a new meaning to the term “counter-intelligence.”
(Vekk in Guild Wars)

They know that they are very intelligent and they will inform you about this fact whenever possible. Be prepared to be called ‘bookah’ on more than one occasion. They are also very ambitious with their inventions and experiments. So the real question I’m asking myself is: How far do they go? Are they a heartless and selfish race always looking for gaining an advantage, furthering their career and succeeding with their experiments?

“You care more for that walking statue than you do for the rest of us,” said Gyda.
“Untrue,” said the asura. “I just have less invested in you than in it.”
(Ghosts of Ascalon, p. 7)

Asura often organize in “krewes” where they work together on a certain project. Once the project is done, they may split up again and do something else or they may start their next project. They try to excel and outdo every other asura (they do, by nature, outbrain every other sentient race anyway, so other asura are the only real competition they have). This goes so far that some asura have a hard time finding asuran assistants because too many have found their untimely death while working in their labs before. Fortunately for them, they can always find a human or two who apparently need the money and help them out in their labs.

“They find – I’m gonna put the Inquest aside – that directly harming sentient beings is generally considered a bad thing. However they have much more an attitude toward putting others at risk be they Skritt or Humans or lab assistants than risking their own mighty brains.”
(Jeff Grub in the wartower.de interview with Al’Ellisande)

You can see their ambition in every project they do, they ‘sacrifice’ their lab assistants for their work, and in the worst case, some of them – known as the Inquest – even went so far and abused and experimented on Sylvari only because they wanted to know who this race was. The asura that belong to the Inquest apparently do not share the same morals, as your common asura finds such treatment horribly cruel. The Inquest will not be playable for us, though, which is probably for the best.

Speaking of morals, ArenaNet once said that asura want to eradicate the skritt. Wanting to extinguish a whole race simply because it’s annoying to you (although we do not know the exact details of what kind of damage the skritt do to the asura), sounds extreme. And ArenaNet agrees, as you can see in Wartower.de’s interview about the asura.

“That is extreme. I think we may have gone too far at that point. I think the idea that they are a danger to the Asura and the Asura are very concerned about them is definitely there. Eradicate? Maybe too tough.”
(Jeff Grub in the wartower.de interview with Al’Ellisande)

So while trying to extinguish a whole race and torturing sentient races go too far for most of the asura (thankfully! ;) ), they do dangerous research and experiments which has led to countless deaths. Are they rational and without emotions like Vulcans from Star Trek? I doubt it: There is at least one asura that we know of who is very likely to have cried after thinking he was responsible for the death of somebody with whom he had gone through quite a bit adventure-wise. I can’t say where I got this bit from because it could be a spoiler otherwise. ;)

What’s it going to be like playing an asura then? Will you be an asura that leads a krewe with an important research project? Will you try to build the biggest golem you can? Or will you be a tiny little lab assistant trying to get through till the end of the day without having anything explode close to you? And how ambitious will you be?

I could imagine that those questions aren’t that important for us non-roleplayers (I like roleplaying in general but I’m not roleplaying in MMOs) but I can already see that the roleplayers among us will have to make some very important decisions about their asuran characters before they set foot into the game. Where does your character stand morally? How many lab assistants has your character seen come and go so far?

Or, in other words: What’s your story? ;)


*They haven’t always been this cute. Check out this ArenaNet blog posting about previous designs.

Sources (if you want to know all about asura):
Asura in Guild Wars 1
Asura in Guild Wars 2
Angel McCoy on writing asura
Wartower.de interview with Jeff Grubb about the asura
Matt Barrett talks asura environment art
Matt Barrett on asura design
Ree Soesbee on the asura

Information about the skritt

And last but not least, if you want to have a look at Asura in action, I can recommend following these two Twitter accounts (if you know of any others, feel free to leave a comment): Asura Action News and Bamff.

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (November 18, 2011)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).

The big news first: No more NDA for Star Wars: The Old Republic! Have fun talking about your beta experiences! I haven’t been part of the beta despite having signed up as soon as it was available. Alas, I’m a European player, so I never had a chance to even be considered until a few weeks ago or so. Pffft. ;)

Runic Games also came with an update today. Unfortunately, this isn’t such good news. The game will be postponed until 2012. If this is good or bad for them is still up for debate, I guess. The good thing is definitely that they want – and apparently need – more time to finish their game and polish it as much as possible. I think too many games have been released too early, so even though I’m looking forward to certain games (*cough*Guild Wars 2*cough*), I always applaud them for taking their time instead of giving in to the temptation to release NOW and pull another Warhammer Online. ;) Also, I think Torchlight 2 will be able to “compete” with Diablo 3 either way. They’re the same genre and attract the same customers, but Torchlight 2 will be cheaper (20€ in Germany, for example), has LAN multiplayer, offline modus and will include user-made mods. So it does offer different things than Diablo 3. And neither of them requires a monthly fee. So why not get both sooner or later? ;)

Last but not least, last week I was added by somebody on Twitter and I first thought: Weird name for a bot! Turns out, it’s not a bot, after all. ;) Big Eared Girls shows off pictures of well-known pictures/ladies as Asuras. Brilliant, if you ask me! Which is why I need to feature it in today’s Geekwatch! Head over to Big Eared Girls Deviantart Page to see all the glorious pictures (including baby charrs! How cute is that! *g*). :o)

Outdated! Guild Wars 2 in a nutshell – a FAQ

There is a newer version of this article which you can find here.

(Updated: January 17, 2012)

What do we know about the game so far? I’m trying to keep it as short as possible. Knowing me, I will fail at that. ;) For further reading, I’ll include links.

This is also for people who’ve just recently heard of Guild Wars 2 and now want to know more. :) Since the game is still in development and hasn’t even reached beta yet (note: I think I read a statement that they would like to get into closed beta before the end of the year. The release date will then be determined by how well the beta goes and what kind of feedback comes in), about everything is subject to change. Also, new information comes out every now and then which might outdate what you can read here. If you notice any of that – or just errors that I’ve made – please comment (with sources if possible).

I’m going to use the same categories that I’ve used for my “Rift vs. Lotro vs. WoW” posting already.

If you only want a very short overview, the following will hopefully be enough. There are lots of links leading you further down my posting if you want more information!


Before we start, we need to get two questions out of the way (as suggested by Pyzlnar on Reddit):
“Yes, you can jump!” – and no, this game is not an Asian-grinder and it is not made by an Asian company. It’s made by ArenaNet who is located in Seattle, Washington, USA (though they do belong to NCSoft but they only work as a publisher here while ArenaNet is the developer and thus, actually makes the game). Guild Wars 2 will also feature an open world and will not be heavily instanced like Guild Wars 1 is. Again, thank you, Pyzlnar, for these suggestions. You were right, they’re clearly missing and should be the first two points in any GW2 FAQ. ;)

OMG! When’s the beta? How do I get in?
The first closed beta phase started on December, 16, 2011 and ended on December 30, 2011. You weren’t able to sign up for it, though.
If you wonder about open beta, go read this interview with Angel Leigh McCoy. Planning of open beta has already begun, according to her.
Wait, what?

How much does the game cost and which extra security against hacked accounts do they offer?
You will have to buy the game itself but no monthly fees. There will be an item shop similar to Guild Wars. Weapons etc. that give you an advantage will not be offered for real money. Nothing is known yet about security like authenticators.
More on costs and security

What can I play (races and classes?)
5 races: Norn, Human, Asura, Charr and Sylvari.
8 classes (officially called ‘professions’): Engineer, Thief, Guardian, Warrior, Elementalist, Necromancer, Ranger and Mesmer.

No holy trinity! Every class is self-sufficient up to a certain point. No tanks, no healers! But classes can interact with each other through their skills and support others.
More about races and classes

What does the game look like?
In short: Gorgeous, artsy, picturesque if you ask me. It’s important to note that ArenaNet is a US-American company. So don’t even start with “Asian crap” here, please. ;)
Pictures and videos outsourced to below in order to keep the part up here short.

What’s there to fight against (PvE)?
No raids in this game! Instead, dynamic events in the open world that scale for up to 100 players. And dungeons (story mode and the more difficult explorable mode). No standard quests for levelling.
More about PvE

Who’s there to fight (PvP)?
Structured PvP similar to battlegrounds (WoW), warzones (SWTOR),… everybody will be max level and wear standard armor. So no gear advantages.
World vs. world vs. world is the second mode. Three servers will fight against each other (no fighting players from the same server. There aren’t any factions in the game like WoW’s Horde and Alliance etc.). Servers will rotate every two weeks. You can level your character in WvWvW.
More about PvP

Grouping and socialization
In Guild Wars 2, you will be able to join as many guilds as you like with one single character (I assume you will be able to create more than one character. So don’t misunderstand this sentence ^^). If you want to read our opinion about it, go here. If you don’t, well that’s just as well. ;)
Grouping will be in the game but in its own way. You will not compete for XP or loot!
More about Grouping and Socialization

I want to be on my own sometimes (- or: What can do I solo?)
The first thing that comes to my mind is the personal storyline. When creating your character, you get asked a few questions and can choose between different answers. That determines the starting point of your personal story. Other choices later on will further determine how your story evolves. You can bring a friend along to your storyline. But it will essentially be your story.

Guild Wars 2 will also have achievements. So that’s something you can do. You can also roam the world on your own or play a lone wolf in WvWvW – though I’m not sure how viable the latter is. ;)
More about stuff to do solo

Crafting
8 professions (you can have two at a time): Weaponsmith, Huntsman, Artificer, Armorsmith, Leatherworker, Tailor, Jewelcrafter and Cook.
Every character can gather resources. Nodes can be used by several players. No stealing possible!
More about crafting

Fluff
There will be non-combat pets. Mini games were also mentioned but not much is known about them yet. “Bar brawl” was mentioned, for example. You will also have a home instance which should not be confused with what we think about when we hear “housing”! It changes with your personal story but you can’t put furniture in etc. Also, you will be able to change the way your armour looks. And there will be 400 different dyes in the game. Each piece of armour has 1 to 3 areas that can be dyed.
More about fluff

That was the short version. Its bigger brother will follow now. Including links for further reading (most of the information can be found on ArenaNet’s blog, though, or in the offical wiki for Guild Wars 2. Some other information came out of the recent GamesCom and PAX or from fansites/interviews).

Click here to see the full entry

Sylvari week coming soon! Asura still left

Yesterday, ArenaNet announced that the Sylvari week will take place before Gamescom. They will also be playable at Gamescom. I can’t wait! :)

But let’s look at some dates: Gamescom will be from August 17 – August 21. If Sylvari week is to take place before that, it will have to start before August 16. That’s in just a bit more than 3 weeks – in the worst case! Thus, we’ll probably see more about them very, very soon.

The biggest question for me now is just: How many stations will they have and how long will the queues be to test the game? ;) I’m also really curious about how the movement/controls feel. I’m hoping for them to be/feel like World of Warcraft and not like Lord of the Rings Online. If you know both games, you hopefully know what I mean. ;)

Unfortunately, that also means that Asuras will probably not be playable at Gamescom. I was really hoping they would be. I’m also waiting for Asura week more or less impatiently. The reason is that so far, I really love the race from what I’ve read in the Guild Wars books. And I love how they look in the current Guild Wars game. I don’t, however, like them as much in the previews for Guild Wars 2. Something seems to… plastic-y about them. Let’s have a look at a rather well-known picture showing two Asuras (also note how it’s not too hard to differentiate between males and females):

In Guild Wars, Asuras look like this:
Note that it’s difficult to tell who’s female or who’s male. I can just assume that they want players to easily tell them apart because it might be weird to choose a character where you can’t easily see whether they’re male or female (on the other hand… elves… ^^). In case you’re wondering, I wrote about the differences between males and females here: Females tend to have rounder ears than males. That difference doesn’t appear in the above GW2 screenshot.

All in all, I much prefer the look of the “older Asuras”. But maybe they’re not done yet? And whenever I see the GW2 version in a video, I really love their animations. So while I prefer the old look, it won’t stop me from creating an Asura in Guild Wars 2 (preferably a guardian or even a warrior. We’ll see which class I’ll like more). ;)