Guild Wars 2: Hoelbrak Screenshot Gallery

With Hoelbrak, the series of screenshot galleries is finished… for now. As soon as they let us into Rata Sum or The Grove, me and my print-hitting finger will be back! ;) Unfortunately, Hoelbrak was also the most boring one for me to go through. As the wiki entry says, Hoelbrak is basically a hunting lodge that became the biggest settlement. When you go into Hoelbrak expecting a settlement, it’s alright, I guess. But I went there after having been to Divinity’s Reach and it was a bit disappointing because the latter is a city/town and Hoelbrak… isn’t. The colours in the sky are still amazing, though. I always love regions like that in MMOs, especially during the summer. ;) All in all, it was a bit too much ice and blue at once for me. Anyway, here it is, the last screenshot gallery (for now!).

It took me quite some time to take all those screenshots, sort through them and upload them here. However, they’re not just for looking. If you want to use them (e.g., as a desktop wallpaper, for fanart, in your blog,…) feel free to do so – as long as it complies with ArenaNet’s copyright, of course, and you’re not saying it was you who took those screenshots. ;)


  1. Thanks for the screenshots! :)

    I have mixed feelings about Hoelbrak. On one hand it is awesome, fantastical and what you would expect from the Norn. On the other it is kinda disappointing since doesn’t feel like a city or even a settlement for a large population in the ways that Dinity’s Reach and the Black Citadel do.

    Regardless, I think I might spend quite a bit of time there. Since I never had personal experience with snow in my life I just have a strange fascination with it. In the case of Hoelbrak all the snow there gives me a very relaxing, comforting feeling.

    Now the only real place I am curious about is The Grove. Rata Sum I just expect to be awesome considering asura’s culture. :)


    1. I feel the same way about Hoelbrak. It does have its great looks and all, but it didn’t feel like a town. I mean, compared to real cities, of course, Lion’s Arch and Divinity’s Reach are tiny. But for an MMO, they come very close to that feeling and it’s great. Black Citadel very much looks like a headquarter that’s expanding to the size of a town.

      What I miss in (almost) all of those places is the feeling that people LIVE there. They exist there, they sell their wares, they go shopping, they talk about their plans to defeat the dragons, etc. But at the end of the day, they do not live there… okay, Divinity’s Reach and Lion’s Arch are different. In Divinity’s Reach, I even found houses that have kitchens. However, none of them had any restrooms. Why don’t they ever include restrooms in MMOs? Or just toilets even. ;) And just a handful of kitchens.

      You’ve never seen real snow? Hard to imagine from where I come from… hehe. I love snow but it’s never there when I want it (namely: around Christmas) and always there when you don’t need it (around my mother’s birthday in January which means that half of the invited guests for her birthday party won’t show up because they don’t dare driving in the snow).


      1. Exactly. Divinity’s Reach at least does a decent job of faking the idea of being a city and Black Citadel that of a military headquarters that could stand a war or two. Hoelbrak feels more like a tourist attraction.

        As for restrooms, I could be wrong about medieval times, but I believe they didn’t have any and used… uh… *grabs the dictionary* a beak? Hm. That doesn’t sound like the right word. Anyway, it was kinda like a small basin thing. Although I think people in farms did have outhouses for it. Or maybe they had public primitive toilet places now that I remember a dungeon from EQ2 hmmm… Oh, well. It is not a point I am that interested in to research. :x

        Yeah. Only place that has snow around here during the winter is in the extreme south. And people I meet in MMORPGs always get shocked when I say we don’t have snow during christmas here. It is like I am saying “Hello! I am from planet Lgffg. Take me to your leader.” Even if we had snow it would be spring here at that time of the year. :x


        1. Oooh, you’re right. We’re not in a scenario where toilets with water flushing are appropriate. ;) As you can see, I haven’t thought this through properly either. But I know that I’ve seen the odd outhouse in World of Warcraft, the human regions. It does add some sense of reality, so I’d love to have them. But they’re not game-breaking either. ;)

          Having friends in Australia, I know that it’s not always Christmas in winter, but it’s still odd. Probably like when you think about Christmas, you don’t exactly see yourself standing outside freezing your ears and nose off while drinking hot spiced wine while burning your tongue. ^^


          1. *nods* Agreed!

            Well, I watched enough american movies that having a mental image of that isn’t so hard. Now if I would think that would make things more… interesting that I could only say if I experienced it. Somehow I think I will stick with my christmas on springs though. It is more comfortable at least. @_@


          2. Nu-uh! There’s nothing more comfortable than that. Of course, you need lots of friends around you, snow, and that stuff gets you drunk in no time – which is why, of course, I only drink it when I’ve taken the bus to the Christmas market.

            Ok yeah, maybe it would be nice to have warmer weather but for me, something’s definitely missing then. I spent one Christmas in Italy which wasn’t too warm but definitely warmer than here. We even got to eat breakfast outside on one day, with jackets on, but the sun was still warm enough to be able to do that at all. I *hated* it. Never again. I want my cold weather and I want to bitch about it being cold. ;)


          3. I have to agree with Rakuno here, being another Aussie who has NEVER seen snow in real life, I have some kind of wonder about the Norn area’s. I love standing on the top of the Mountain’s and checking out the beautiful snowy view you get :)
            And when in Hoelbrak, just standing next to one of them fires gives you a warm cosy feeling, I love it!!


          4. I definitely like it as well in general. It’s just “enough” after a while and then I want to see other areas. Especially those with richer colours. ;)


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