Tag Archives: Roleplay

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.

LotRO: Ready to move

My little hobbit’s packed her bags and is now waiting for June 1 to move from Codemasters to Turbine. The European community is also wide awake and asking a ton of questions.

One very important one was answered today: The European RP servers will still be supported after the move! That’s great news! I never understood why Turbine doesn’t have RP servers. I figured maybe it’s because they’d like to see RP on all their servers which, in my ideal world, would work perfectly. But from what I hear, there are always people who think it’s their job to make fun of RPers (which seems to happen in other MMOs as well). And it’s probably a lot easier for the RPers to just gather on one or two server(s) so they can find RP-partners easily.

Anyway. Another issue I’ve seen is that some Europeans are concerned about Turbine’s forums. I haven’t posted much in Codemasters’ forums, so I can’t say much about it. There are two big concerns: 1) Turbine censors and deletes postings that criticise them and their game (seen here), 2) they don’t allow off-topic conversations and lock topics when they become off-topic (as in: the main content of the conversation isn’t LotRO anymore) and European players are used to talking about other stuff and that’s what makes them a gaming community (note: I read that on the forums. I don’t know how much of that is true and, most of all, I don’t know how much that happens or doesn’t happen on Turbine’s forums!) – as seen here.

As a result, an inofficial LotRO forum was started. I quote the admin: “Well, let’s say we’re a bit less sensitive when it comes to criticism. That’s not an unlimited access pass to troll and curse though. You can get banned here too.”

Zzeno, producer at Codemasters, also invites the players to use Codemasters’ MMO forum to continue talking to each other after the transition.

Either way, I think it’s great to see the gaming community not only complain but also do something about it. :)