Looking Forward to the Sylvari and Asura

Only a few more days until we can finally get our hands on the sylvari and the asura! Last year, they have been playable at gaming conventions like GamesCom. Have a look at our sPvP videos from GamesCom 2011 to see sylvari and asura in action. However, they were not playable in their respective starter areas and we haven’t been able to play them during any of the beta weekend events.

If you’re wondering what to do until next weekend, here’s a selection of links that will give you plenty to read and listen to. I wrote two posts at Talk Tyria about the sylvari and the asura. I had looked at the asura from a more roleplaying point-of-view: Are they cute and cuddly or heartless and selfish? How much will we be able to identify with our asura characters? And then we have the sylvari. I have a friend who always makes an elf character when that race exists. Will players like him be happy with the sylvari? How much “elf” is in a sylvari? Okay, I am mostly focusing on their looks and not their character. But you’ll see that if you read the entry.

The reason I even remembered those postings in the first place and thought about putting them here was that AJ Wolf on The Tyrian Order recently wrote about sylvari and asura as well. They’re much broader than my postings as she gives a general overview of the races, their history, important characters (careful: those parts contain spoilers for the novels if you haven’t read them yet and don’t want to know what happens), and so on. She also lists her sources (as did I on Talk Tyria), so there’s plenty of further reading if you can’t get enough of those two races.

If you don’t feel like reading, you can listen to the two TowerTalk interviews for the sylvari and the asura instead: The one about asura is a bit older by now, but the lore shouldn’t have changed that much in the meantime. Don’t let the German website scare you. The interviews are in English! “Englische Transkription” is – probably easy to guess – the English transcription of the interview. The sylvari interview was released not too long ago. Both are really great interviews with lots of information and insight about the two races.

Last but not least, as you know, I have taken lots of screenshots so far and while I do not have any from the sylvari and asura cities yet (you will get to see those galleries here after next BWE, of course), I did take a couple that show those two races and I thought it’s the perfect way to end this short article.


  1. Hm. Good question about people who love elves and the Sylvari. I always assumed people who enjoy playing elves in other games would feel right at home by playing a Sylvari. But the more I think about it, the more the answer feels more complex. I guess it depends a lot on what kind of things make elves attractive to them as a player race. If they want intrinsic goodness, purity and being more in tune with nature (I am guessing the last part for the Sylvari) then yes, I think the Sylvari will be a good fit for them. If it is an ancient, rich history, a certain natural nobility and artistry to everything they do, then no, I don’t think the Sylvari would be a good substitute. They are too young a race for having most of those traits, after all.

    On a side note, I just listened the TowerTalk interview about the asura and now I am really tempted to make one of them my first character. I guess I will make a final decision about it during this beta weekend. The amount of explosions that will happen during it might influence my decision too. ;)


    1. Not everything about the Sylvari is “perfume and roses.” What intrigues me about the Sylvari is how this race has such beauty, not just physical appearance but their nascent culture, their philosophy, their chivalrous actions and relations. Yet at the same time they have a dangerous side, in some cases poisonous. The creation of the Nightmare Court and the atrocities it commits are something that players will have to deal with. Also, how will this race deal with death, killing, suffering, all the unfortunate results of creatures using their agency for evil but still remain true to their core principles.
      Full blog post here: http://ruinsofrin.blogspot.com/2012/07/beauty-and-poison.html

      Asurans – I’m just going to have to play them. If I have a blast, I’m sold but I don’t think they’ll replace the Charr as my favorite. Maybe I can think of the Asura as short, shaven charr…with out horns and a tail.


      1. Oh, I know full well about the Nightmare Court and I think they are among the most cruel factions in the game, perhaps even getting the top spot. Also the whole business that end up being the reason for their creation to be pretty tragic too.

        The way I was thinking was more from the point of view of player characters as I don’t think the players will get a choice to switch sides and join the Nightmare Court. Of course, that doesn’t stop anyone from roleplaying as a member of it or even roleplaying something more nuanced than a bright-eyed child who is just discovering the world.


        1. No, we definitely won’t get to have our characters join the dark side. ^^ But as you said, if you’re roleplaying, everything is open to you.

          I am curious if we’ll at least get to know the Nightmare Court better than from a “those are the bad guys” point of view in the personal storyline. I mean, yes, they are bad. But they have a reason to be the way they are! And just like in the novel, I would like my character to question whether her way is the right one or whether the Nightmare Court may be right.

          Those pure good vs. evil stories are a bit boring and most of the time also a bit unrealistic. :)


          1. The personal story for the asura and sylvari will involve much greater “intimate” contact with the Inquest and Nightmare Court respectively.

            Which makes me very happy since those will be predominantly the races of my army of alts (possible one human could still slip in… not sure…)


          2. It will? I have tried to avoid all “spoilers” so far and I guess I’ve missed this because of it – which isn’t bad, of course. ;)

            Oh well, just one more month and I’ll find out!


  2. Bioluminescence is so much cooler than tattoos imho, and there is an option for “glow in the dark” eyes for both of these races which makes me very happy. I can’t wait to lose hours of my remaining life to tinkering with the character creation options for both of these races.
    *snoopy happy dance*


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