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Sat Dec 11 2010, 07:39AM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

The resiliency of the noble human race has been tested many times. They have paid a dear cost for their security and liberty, yet their spirit remains unshaken.

From the invasion of Ascalon by the savage charr, to the cataclysmic rise of the lost kingdom of Orr from the depths of the sea, mankind has been battered and overwhelmed. They have lost homelands; their prayers go to silent skies. Now, the remaining sons and daughters of man have one last homeland--the nation of Kryta, ruled by Queen Jennah. Harried by bandits and marauding centaurs and torn from within by political intrigue and treachery, the Seraph guard stand watch over a troubled land. Only through courage, will, and unity can the humans retain their storied culture and reach once more to rise above.

For more than a hundred years, pennants have flown above the city of Divinity's Reach, an island of civilization and peace in an otherwise chaotic world. In Ascalon, valiant human fighters in the stronghold of Ebonhawke struggle to keep the last ember of resistance lit against their charr conquerors. They swear that one day they will reclaim that lost nation; that they will never abandon the cities of their ancestors or forgive the charr, who crushed the ancient armies of Ascalon beneath iron boots.

The candle of mankind would have been snuffed out long ago were it not for the courage and dedication of heroes. These defenders of the realm are the best, last hope of their people. Despite all odds, humanity will prevail, bolstered by faith in their gods, devotion to their queen, and the dream of a brighter future for all mankind. They will stand the wall against the enemy once more, from Divinity's Reach to Ebonhawke, and they will not fail.

This is their story.


The humans of Tyria originally came to this part of the world from the south. They soon spread throughout the kingdoms of Orr, Kryta, and Ascalon, displacing other peoples, including the centaurs and charr, in the process. Internal squabbles and wars weakened the human nations, so that they were in no shape to defend themselves when the charr invaded Ascalon.

Ascalon fell before the charr magic of the Searing. Rather than surrender to the charr, King Adelbern invoked the Foefire, a powerful curse that transformed his people into ever-vigilant ghosts. Orr vanished beneath the sea, only to rise years later as a kingdom of the undead ruled by the Elder Dragon Zhaitan. Lion's Arch was inundated and then reborn as a city of many races. Kryta plunged into civil war, and only survived due to the actions of its valiant heroes.

Yet through it all, humanity persevered, protecting the best qualities of its people and history. Although surrounded by challenges and confronted by threats within and without, the race survives and thrives in a world that becomes more deadly by the day.

Divinity's Reach

Humanity's greatest city is Divinity's Reach, founded in the wake of the flooding of Lion's Arch. Built upon ancient Krytan tombs and situated on a bluff, the city provides a strong bastion against a dangerous world. Survivors of the other human nations and refugees from distant lands have poured into Divinity's Reach, swearing fealty to the crown and creating a proud, beautiful city.

The city is laid out like a great wheel with six spokes. These spokes are elevated high roads which reach from the outer walls to the Central Plaza at the city's hub. It is here that a great orrery spins beneath a massive dome of copper and glass, here that the ministers squabble, and here that Queen Jennah rules with a confident hand.

Threats Without and Within

From Divinity's Reach, the long reach of human power stretches out across the surrounding hills and farms, offering protection to the farmers and townsfolk of Kryta. These people are under constant siege from centaurs that have come down from the mountains. The powerful Modniir centaurs have established dominance over the weaker Tamini and Harathi breeds and now urge them to attack human enclaves across Kryta. These raids are major incursions that sometimes reach the gates of Divinity's Reach itself.

Not all enemies are inhuman. Bandit gangs have sprung up in areas beyond the reach of the law, and now large, organized groups of them prey on the local citizenry. The Seraph are entrusted with protecting the people, but they are stretched thin by the sheer number of their opponents.

As if matters were not dire enough, dissension flourishes within the walls of Kryta itself. Queen Jennah is beloved by her people, but the nobility often chafes at her egalitarian rule and the truce that she has forged with the legions of the charr. The Chamber of Ministers is a hotbed of intrigue and plotting, much of it centering on Legate Minister Caudecus the Wise, who many see as a rival of the Queen herself.

The Heritage of the Humans

With the defeat of Abaddon, the human gods withdrew from Tyria. They did not abandon their worshippers, but rather pulled back from directly interfering in their daily lives. Much like parents teaching a child to walk, they let humanity stumble forward and learn to pick itself up when it fell.

The humans of Divinity's Reach realize this and know that the gods expect them to stand on their own. The names of the Six Gods (now called the Six Human Gods by other races) are on their worshippers' lips, and there are still shrines and priests of the faith. Humans do not feel abandoned by their gods; they feel tested by them. As a people they refuse to fall.

Humanity's long history makes other races think of them as hidebound, old-fashioned, and conservative, but they are not afraid of new things. With the rise of other major races, they have sought to adapt and compete with them. They are interested in asura gate technology and charr weaponry. Humans are a people of tinkerers and craftsmen; inventors such as Uzolan the Artist help refine and expand upon their technical knowledge.

Humanity's greatest heritage is heroism. Even the youngest sylvari knows about the great figures of Tyrian legend. It is in their footsteps that the other races must follow.

[ Edited Mon Sep 05 2011, 01:09PM ]

Tue Feb 15 2011, 04:01AM
Country: Sweden
Posts: 22

Character Art in Guild Wars 2 - Designing Humans

The humans in Guild Wars 2 story are very much like the humans in the original Guild Wars, but they have all united to survive as a race. Visually, we have made many improvements to our character models since Guild Wars, as you can see in this side-by-side comparison of human females from both games.

In Guild Wars 2, professions will not be as visually distinct. Instead, we’re dividing up the appearance by weight class. For instance, if you’re a warrior, you share the heavy armor class with the guardian (so far). The advantage to this approach is that you have access to all the heavy armors instead of just one branch. The slight drawback is that you won’t have as unique a look for your profession, but the added variety and more robust customization allow you to personalize your character and create your personal identity.

Character customization

With Guild Wars 2, we’re adding a great deal of visual customization. Our armor is divided into six interchangeable parts: helmet/headgear, shoulders, coat, legs, gloves, and boots. We are also introducing the ability to have one piece of armor replace multiple pieces. For example, if your human warrior has an elaborate coat with built-in shoulders and helmet, this is available as one piece and replaces the three pieces on your body. This principle also works with full outfits. Designing armor this way allows us to create outfits that don’t have to adhere to the modular design, allowing for greater diversity.

In Guild Wars 2, we’re also introducing a new and improved dye system to facilitate customization; Kristen Perry talks about the dye system in a previous post. At one point we calculated that six interchangeable armor pieces (each having between one and three dyeable areas) multiplied by the amount of armor we’re producing equals over a billion unique looks for each character.

Read the rest in ArenaNet's blog.

Tue Feb 15 2011, 04:34AM
Country: Sweden
Posts: 22

The Line of Duty – The Three Military Orders of Kryta

The relationship between the three martial arms of the human nation of Kryta is a delicate one. The Seraph are the army, the police force, and the protectors of the populace. The Ministry Guard serve the ministers, government officials, and nobility of Divinity’s Reach. The Shining Blade are the queen’s personal bodyguard and, as the well-informed may tell you, her spies.

Lieutenant Serentine knelt beside the body of the minister, careful not to cut herself on the broken slivers of glass that surrounded his right hand. A shattered goblet lay in fragments across the cobblestones of the alley. Shards twinkled in the light of her lantern. She turned over a piece of glass cautiously and watched a bit of red wine stain the stone beneath. What had the minister been doing in the poor area of Divinity’s Reach? Who was responsible for his death?

“Lieutenant?” One of her men stepped into the end of the alley, saluting. Serentine looked back over her shoulder and arched a brow. He shifted uncomfortably in his red livery, the symbol of the Ministry Guard blazoned on his chest. “The Seraph are demanding control of the crime scene.”

“The Seraph?” She rose from her crouch, adjusting the warhammer on her back. “They have no jurisdiction. A minister has been murdered. This is a Ministry issue.”

“Murdered while he was inside the walls of Divinity’s Reach.” A new speaker pushed aside the Ministry guard and strode down the alley toward her. “That’s clearly our area of concern.” He was handsome, sandy-brown hair hanging lightly across his coppery eyes. “Lieutenant Serentine,” he greeted her as an afterthought.

She narrowed her eyes. “Captain Thackeray. Taking a personal interest?”

“He was murdered by bandits in our city streets. You bet your hammer, I am.”


The most numerous of the Krytan military organizations is the Seraph. They stretch their influence across the nation, with outposts in every major town, and patrols that struggle to keep roads free of bandit attacks and centaur raids. Yet they are also the most beleaguered, struggling to maintain supplies and munitions for their soldiers. The highest rank in the Seraph is captain. At any given time, the queen has from five to ten captains in the Seraph; each operates independently, but in coordination, under her command.

Each Seraph captain is granted authority over a certain territory of Kryta — be it the embattled foothills of High Timber Claim or the lowlands of Nebo Terrace. The troops under their command report upwards to them, and they receive their orders directly from the queen. In recent days, Queen Jennah has been absorbed in her duties to Ebonhawke and the treaty being negotiated with the charr. Most of the command of the Seraph in Kryta has fallen on her closest captain, Logan Thackeray, whose immediate authority covers the city and environs of Divinity’s Reach. Now considered the first among equals, he organizes the body of Seraph response to overall threats against the nation.

Ministry Guard

The second largest martial unit is the Ministry Guard. Typically seen only in Divinity’s Reach, it is their task to keep the peace in the ministry and provide personal security for the Krytan ministers and their aides. This usually also translates into being protectors of the nobility of Kryta, most of whom are heavily involved in the ministry.

Although their jurisdiction is more limited than the Seraph’s, it is also more empowered; the Ministry Guard have the right to overrule Seraph authority where ministers are concerned, in order to keep governmental secrets secure.

The Ministry Guard is headed by the Commander of Divinity’s Reach, who reports to the legate minister, the ministry’s highest office and speaker to the queen.

Shining Blade

The Shining Blade are the queen’s own guard. Derived from the original Shining Blade, freedom fighters during the War in Kryta, the modern Shining Blade watch over the Royal Family itself.

Although they are the smallest and least-known of the Krytan military units, the Shining Blade are superlatively trained as an elite force. Unknown to most of the populace, many of the Shining Blade also perform more covert duties. From spying on political enemies to carrying secret messages throughout the nation, the Shining Blade carries out hidden missions at the request of the Krytan Throne. Their leader is the Master Examplar of the Shining Blade, a position appointed by the queen. The Master Exemplar reports only to the queen, and may supercede the authority of either of the other two branches of military with the queen’s permission.

When Queen Jennah’s father died and she was invested to the Krytan throne, she appointed Countess Anise to the rank of Master Exemplar. Anise is a cunning political mind in her own right and has served in the Shining Blade for many years. Anise defended Jennah as her personal guard while Jennah was a young princess. The two are very close companions. Although Anise is not thought of as a powerful combatant, her cunning and ability to predict the actions of others has long served to keep the queen safe. Now Anise protects Krytan interests with an equally sharp edge.

The poison in the wine was difficult to track, but unusual enough to make a positive identification. Smugglers, no doubt working on behalf of the bandits, had gotten it to the inn. But what caused Minister Brios to go there in the first place? Serentine paced the wide halls of the Ministry Chamber, avoiding the peasants who scuttled along on business here or there. They did not concern her; only the safety of the ministers did.

Something had to have drawn Brios downtown. Something important enough for him to go quickly, and shady enough that he didn’t bring a guard. Had he been engaging in treason? It was possible. More than a few ministers were on record with the belief that the treaty with the charr was foolhardy; throwing away victories and condemning Ascalon to charr rule forever.

Opening the door to Brios’s office with her master key, Serentine stepped inside. She ruffled through every scrap of information she could find, digging through his desk unreservedly. Receipts, dinner invitations, missives from Ascalon Settlement—the area that Minister Brios represented—and scraps of notes from various ministry sessions. Nothing personal. Nothing that named the inn or implied a reason for him to leave the safety of his apartments.

“Take the schedule-book, and seize any classified files.” She ordered the two guards that followed her. “One of you stay on door duty here, and the other…”

Before she could finish her sentence, Serentine’s eye fell once more on a piece of paper that she’d discounted in her initial search. An invitation to afternoon tea with the Countess Anise, dated the same day as Brios’s death.

“Anise.” Serentine frowned. “Master Exemplar of the Shining Blade.”

But if Brios had been considering treason…how did he walk away from a meeting with the queen’s guard?

Read the rest in ArenaNet's blog.

[ Edited Sat Sep 03 2011, 05:44PM ]

Sat Sep 03 2011, 05:51PM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

Activities – Games Within the Game

I am a legend. I have beheld the countless wonders of these lands. I have stood against the greatest of threats, and I have watched them fall before me. I have walked the path of a hero…and I am in need of a vacation.

And that, my friend, is where activities come in.

The world of Guild Wars 2 is incredibly vast. Between following your personal story, participating in events with other players, exploring dungeons, engaging in PvP battles, there’s no shortage of cool stuff to do.
“No matter your interests, you’ll find an activity that appeals to you…”
But we’re not stopping there. Too many MMOs are satisfied with basing their game content solely on “This is your sword. This is its pointy end. Now go stick it in things until your numbers don’t go up anymore.”

Wait a second—aren’t MMOs supposed to be set in a virtual world? Surely we do more than just go to work or school in real life, so shouldn’t we have options in our games too?

In Guild Wars 2, you have those options. In the capital cities of the five playable races, you’ll find a variety of fun activities that are unique to each location. These are our mini-games, and they cover a wide range of game styles.

Are you looking to prove yourself against others in tests of skill? Sure, we’ve got that. How about team based games? Yeah, we’ve got those, too. What about an out-of-control free-for-all? You’d better believe we’ve got that too. No matter your interests, you’ll find an activity that appeals to you, and best of all, activities aren’t restricted by level. A new character is going to be just as effective at playing an activity as a max-level character with all of the best gear that the game has to offer.

Activities offer us an exciting chance to engage in one of a designer’s favorite pastimes: breaking things. These mini-games let us use the existing rules and mechanics of Guild Wars 2 in different and interesting ways, or they let us throw the established mechanics out the window entirely for the sake of creating something new!

For example, let’s talk about the bar brawl, because that’s something I see continuously getting talked about on the forums whenever we mention it. First, understand that Guild Wars 2 is a game about working together with people towards shared, common goals—whether they are close friends, or total strangers. Our game is built around making cooperative play an easy, enjoyable, and natural experience.

This is not the bar brawl.

The bar brawl is, quite literally, all about downing an ale and breaking the empty bottle over someone else’s head. Ales come in several different flavors, each conveying different effects when consumed—for example, Grenth’s Grog goes down easy but comes up rough, allowing the player to belch out a noxious gas cloud. As you might imagine, this burp cloud is unhealthy to anyone foolish enough to get close, as well as unattractive to prospective dates. “Guild Wars 2 is about having fun, first and foremost. We have created such a wide range of content and activities that you can find something to do regardless of your play style or mood.”Be careful when imbibing ale! As characters become increasingly more drunk, their chance to land a critical hit rises…as well as their chance to totally miss with attacks. In the bar brawl, players can choose to throw an ale bottle to stun someone, or use it as a makeshift bludgeoning object. Bottles have a chance to break on impact, but if that happens, the fun isn’t over yet—you can use your broken bottle to shank people!

Maybe ale isn’t your thing and you’d prefer to use a weapon that’s a little closer at hand—what’s a brawl without being able to punch someone? Outside weapons aren’t allowed in the bar brawl, so you’ll have to rely on your fists and feet a lot. Kick someone into a table, splintering it into pieces, then send another opponent flying by swatting them with one of the boards from the broken table. Use your surroundings to your advantage! If you see someone else engaged in a fight,why not be the opportunist and chuck a keg at them from behind? There’s no teamwork here; you’re in it for yourself, and just like an actual brawl, you’re encouraged to fight dirty in order to win.

You might ask yourself, doesn’t that sound like it’s running counter to the cooperative spirit of Guild Wars 2? OK, even if you didn’t ask yourself, I’ll answer for you: no, not at all.

Guild Wars 2 is about having fun, first and foremost. We have created such a wide range of content and activities that you can find something to do regardless of your play style or mood. If you’re not interested in playing an activity centered on kill-stealing and fighting dirty, then there are plenty of other activities out there for you to enjoy.

Maybe you’re in the mood for a more arcade-style game? Try your hand at the shooting range, where you’ll compete against other players to rack up the highest score before time runs out. This activity isn’t just about being the quickest on the draw—you’ll have different abilities like firing a spread shot or an attack that can pierce through multiple targets in a row. You can’t use these special abilities often, so you’ll have to tactically use them at the right time. But you’d better think fast, or someone else might take the shot for you!

Perhaps you’re in the mood for some good, clean (occasionally yellow-tinged) fun? Then you might enjoy revisiting a time-honored Guild Wars tradition, the snowball fight! A Tyrian tradition for over 250 years, snowball fights just goes to show you that even the looming threat of the Elder Dragons isn’t enough to break the spirit of the people. Just remember: if you let go of the precious little joys in life, you’re letting the dragons win.

Those are just a few examples of some of the activities we’ll be offering. We understand that each activity won’t be for everyone, and rather than shy away from that, it’s something that we’ve embraced. A bar brawl should feel like a proper bar brawl, or else why bother having it? We believe designers should know firmly what kind of game they’re making and invest themselves in making it the best that it can be. As soon as one begins to compromise integrity for accessibility, you run a very real risk of watering down content and creating bland, unengaging activities. In Guild Wars 2, we’ve crafted unique activities for you to experience, and part of the fun lies in traveling from city to city and trying them all. As an asura, you might find that you particularly excel at a rough-and-tumble norn sport.

Whether activities are a pit stop on your path to greatness, a way to unwind with friends at the end of a long adventure, or something challenging to master, Guild Wars 2 has something to offer you. Whatever your interest, we’ve got your game.

[ Edited Sat Sep 03 2011, 06:06PM ]

Sat Sep 03 2011, 05:56PM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

Talking Heads: VO and Dialogue in GW2

Hey there. I’m Bobby Stein, the Lead Writer for Guild Wars 2. My group writes and edits a variety of game content, from voiced scenes and cinematics to in-game books and UI text. We work closely with content and world designers, artists, programmers, sound engineers, and QA personnel to ensure your eyes are entertained, your ears are pleased, and your funny bones are tickled ever so subtly. If you’ve been keeping track of our development progress, you already know something about our combat system , how dynamic events work, and our unflinching commitment to storytelling. It’s time you learned how we’re bringing Tyria alive with world-class voice talent and a new approach to dialogue.

Crossing the Picket Line

MMOs and CORPGs have relied on text bubbles for years to establish mood, develop characters, and create ambience throughout hundreds of hours of play time. They denote who is saying what at which moment in time. If you’re not looking directly at the “speaker” or eyeing your chat log, you could completely miss the information.

We’ve learned through experience that text bubbles fail miserably without audio.

They remind you that you’re playing a game, that your characters are lifeless, soulless, and silent. In a fight, word balloons serve as little more than protest signs that taunt your enemies. This isn’t news to anyone who plays video games. What is news is that we’re crossing that proverbial picket line into the 21st century and giving our characters voices. Entire cities of them.

Shut Your Eyes and Open Your Ears

To help you get a feel for the level of immersion you’ll experience while walking the streets of Divinity’s Reach, we asked one of our talented voice actors to read the next few paragraphs aloud. We then layered in-game sounds over his dialogue to give you a sense of the rich soundscape in Guild Wars 2. When you’re ready to begin, play the sound clip below and read along!

The first time you set foot in Divinity’s Reach, humanity’s threatened sanctuary in northwestern Tyria, look away from the bustling marketplace and looming towers. Shut your eyes and listen. Above the din of the crowd you hear children laughing, locals gossiping, and the occasional political debate. Down one street is a tour guide pointing out local landmarks. A side alley is creeping with unsavory types striking underhanded deals. Just outside the Busted Flagon you overhear patrons spilling their most intimate thoughts over a pint. Open your eyes and walk around a bit. Chat up the locals and find some deals on weapons and armor. It helps to be prepared.

Once you’ve had your fill of the local flavor, it’s time to head outside city gates for some exploration. You amble down the road past Mayor North, who is trying his damnedest to maintain order in Shaemoor, a town relentlessly battered by centaur raids and bandit attacks. Past him, fruit stands encircle a large tree at the foot of the hill, where farmers hawk their freshest harvests for consumption. Some ripe watermelons catch your eye. You drop a few gold and ready your mouth for a rush of sweetness when a loud fisherman runs past yelling about some creature down by the dam. Should you help, or should you stay and enjoy a moment’s peace? Moments later, the sun dips below the horizon, street lamps burn a steady glow, and slumbering crickets awaken for their nightly performance. A light breeze rolls past, almost concealing the wing flapping of bats in the distance.

All these elements layer atop one another to blanket you in sound (and that’s before you factor in Jeremy Soule’s stirring new musical compositions). Whether you’re listening through a pair of headphones or surrounded by a 5.1 setup, you’ll notice a big leap in audio density from the original Guild Wars to Guild Wars 2. Just be sure to take an occasional break while you’re out slaying drakes on the plain. You just might overhear something interesting.

Getting Perspective

Early on during Guild Wars 2 development, we discussed how much voice we wanted in the game. Everyone agreed that simply recording cinematics wasn’t enough, but how much would we need to immerse players in our world? We thought about the kinds of experiences we’d had in our favorite audio-heavy games like Grand Theft Auto IV, and we started paying attention to all the different ways that they employed voice-over to not only tell an engaging tale, but to literally surround you with sound. We talked about our planned content types, how we wanted to use audio in combat scenarios, and the different ways that we could both entertain and educate players about our world. We made a decision that, quite frankly, questioned our sanity.

We’re voicing the equivalent of more than 60 feature-length films.1

Granted, you won’t be absorbing most of this dialogue through traditional cinematics. Instead, we’re evenly distributing story bits, lore, gameplay information, and ambience over hundreds of hours of play. Yes, we’ve got gorgeous, stylized cinematics that will make your jaw drop, but much of what you hear simply happens all around you, or at specific dramatic points in your personal story.

We’re also aware that there can be too much of a good thing, which is why we’ve developed a sound throttling system so you won’t hear the same combat chatter repeated over and over again during fights. Those concerned about the game being diluted with “snappy one-liners” can breathe a sigh of relief. You won’t hear quips every five seconds, and most of them aren’t smarmy in nature. That annoys us just as much as it does you.

Now with Less Forsooth!

The Guild Wars universe is most definitely a high-fantasy setting, but that doesn’t mean its denizens speak like Renaissance faire performers. Events in Guild Wars 2 take place about 250 years after the original series. To match the new setting, we’re cutting back on the stereotypical ye olde English speak in favor of tighter dialogue in active voice, because “…most people don’t identify with characters who speak in archaic expressions and passive language.”most people don’t identify with characters who speak in archaic expressions and passive language.

To be clear, there will be certain characters or races that speak in more formal terms, but by and large the inhabitants of Tyria speak more naturally than they did in the past. Judging from our internal tests this is absolutely the right direction for our game, and one that won’t alienate old fans or newcomers to the series.

More to Come

I haven’t even mentioned our huge cast of voice actors or the new things we’re doing with character interaction, but I’ll save those for a future article. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for more details on Guild Wars 2 development, including a piece from our audio team colleagues. Thanks for listening.

Source: click here
By: Bobby Stein, the Lead Writer for Guild Wars 2

[ Edited Wed Oct 19 2011, 08:00PM ]

Sat Sep 03 2011, 06:04PM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

Against the Wall: Humanity in Guild Wars 2

My name is John Ryan, and I’m one of the writers on the Guild Wars 2 design team. We’ve been working hard to make the world of Tyria a living, breathing place filled with amazing sights and terrific adventures. In this post, you’ll find a small sample of how we’re giving humanity a voice in Guild Wars 2.

For us, voice plays a crucial part in establishing a world. Voice gives us the opportunity to tell stories with drama, humor, and—more importantly—a realistic tone. If we can make the humans of Tyria look, act, and sound real while making it feel like you’re humanity’s champion in its darkest hour, then we’ve succeeded. It’s a high bar, but it’s one we are committed to reaching.

Humanity has taken a beating in the two hundred fifty years between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. They’ve lost their homeland of Ascalon to their enemy, the charr, and they lost contact with the lands of Elona and Cantha after the rise of the dragons. Most of what’s left of humanity has relocated to the opulent city of Divinity’s Reach in Kryta. It is here you will start out as a human character.

From a random stroll through the streets…

When you arrive in Divinity’s Reach, take a moment to walk through the massive city, and then visit the nearby farming plains of Shaemoor. As you explore, you’ll run across a cross section of humanity who are either struggling to get by, gossiping about family matters, or anxious about what the future holds.

…to a much wider world.

Guild Wars 2 features a larger, more complex world than its predecessor, one where humans aren’t on top of the food chain. The asura are smarter, the norn are hardier, the sylvari are optimistic, and the charr are organized and on the march. Like it or not, humanity is going to have to cope with the truth that new powers are rising. While humanity happily embraces the innovations created by other races, they definitely have opinions about a more multicultural Tyria.

A question of faith…

Humanity has suffered a number of setbacks over the years, but one of the deepest is the withdrawal of the Six Gods from their daily lives. The humans have not lost their gods—they evoke them in their prayers and at shrines to the Six found throughout Divinity’s Reach. Some still devoutly pray to the Six while others have a more lighthearted approach to their faith. A few, however, have had a stronger falling out, believing that the withdrawal of the Six is a sign of ill omens.

…and the use of power.

With the Six Gods gone, humanity relies more than ever on the powerful to protect them. For now, Queen Jennah sits on the Krytan throne. She’s a popular figure, but she’s drawn scorn for signing a cease-fire with humanity’s long-time enemy, the charr. Meanwhile, the charismatic Minister Caudecus is gaining popularity, thanks to his popular carnival that distracts the masses from their worries. As you wander through Divinity’s Reach, don’t be surprised to hear people taking sides in the constant power struggles.

I will defend Kryta…

When we were writing humans, we discovered one the best ways to let players understand humanity’s conflicts was to see it through the eyes of children. The average human child, especially in Divinity’s Reach, acts out the world’s conflicts through games. The children know, in simple terms, who are the good guys and the bad guys, and who they are more afraid of. If you keep an ear out, you’ll likely overhear a bunch of kids playing a Krytan version of “Cops and Robbers.”

…or die trying.

While the children play with toy swords against pretend foes, the adults face the real thing as they risk their lives outside the city gates. These days, humanity is warring for survival with nearby centaur tribes. The centaurs keep coming, and the resulting sieges, fought on rolling plains and against stone garrison walls, are taking their toll on Kryta’s defense forces. Yet even in the face of constant death and mayhem, humanity is ready to give as good as it gets.

The Last Word

They bicker and fight and laugh and pray. For all their setbacks, our humans never give up, and writing them is almost inspiring. Out of all the races, writing human characters goes to the core of what being a hero is all about: standing up, defying the odds, and going from underdog to champion. Sure, things are looking grim for our humans, but they won’t go down without a fight. They survived the Searing more than two centuries ago, they endured the loss of their homeland and countless lives, but they still have the mettle to take on dragons in Guild Wars 2.

And frankly, I can’t wait for you to be humanity’s next hero.

I’ll see you in Divinity’s Reach.

[ Edited Mon Sep 05 2011, 01:10PM ]

Wed Oct 19 2011, 04:31PM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

Guild Wars 2 Human Male Intro English

Guild Wars 2 - Human Female Character Intro

[ Edited Wed Oct 19 2011, 04:44PM ]

Mon Feb 20 2012, 11:18AM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

[GURU] Human Character Creation (Male & Female)


Mon Feb 20 2012, 01:13PM
Country: Romania
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[GURU] City Tours: Divinitys Reach

Guided City Tour - Divinity's Reach

[ Edited Mon Feb 20 2012, 01:19PM ]

Fri Apr 06 2012, 05:32AM
Country: Romania
Posts: 1286

Human Lore Audio Interview with Ree Soesbee.
Source: click here

Note: This is the English version of "TowerTalk Lore Special: Humans" with Al'Ellisande and Ree Soesbee (ArenaNet's Lore & Continuity Designer) all credits go to ArenaNet and

Elli: So, let’s start with a basic in human lore or in human history. The humans have three different kingdoms or they were based in three diferent kingdoms. So what kingdoms do we have?

So, once long, long ago, the gods of the humans brought the humans to Tyria. And they founded a kingdom called Orr and the city of Arah. And Arah was the city of the Gods. The Gods actually lived there among the people much like the forbidden city at the center of China’s main city. Arah had an area, where the gods lived and the humans lived around them and worshipped them and adopted Tyria. From there the humans spread north and east up and to a land they called Ascalon, where they founded the kingdom. And from there they headed around to the west to Kryta. When Orr fell some hundred years later the gods went back to heaven. They were no longer needed to guide the human race directly. Orr fell to the Charr. Ascalon and Kryta were the two nations we had in the original guild wars game. They were sort of allied and sort of estranged. The king of Ascalon and the leaders of Kryta had a lot of political differences and in the end the king of Ascalon went crazy and doomed his own country. So at that point the last human nation was Kryta. In Guild Wars 2 we take Kryta 250 years later and we portray how that nation might have grown and evolved and through the course you’ll see how Ascalon is changed and how it is fallen, it’s no longer a human nation. You get to visit Orr with a lot of human history there. The race that gets the most lore out of Orr are the humans, because it was their original country.

Elli: What Gods did we have in Arah?

Originally, we had Dwayna, she was the queen of the gods. We had Melandru, the goddess of the earth. We had Balthazar, the god of war. We had Grenth, the God of death. You had Lyssa, who is the twinned god of mesmer illusions, beauty, romance. Kormir was new. And Abaddon is the god of secrets and water. Originally you did not have Kormir and Grenth but the five gods and Dhuum.

Elli: Was Dhuum sent apart?

We don’t have a lot of lore on Dhuum. We have a little bit background in Guild Wars. He sort of considered himself equal to the other gods. Grenth took his position just as Kormir took Abadons position. She became goddess of justice.

Elli: Abaddon made the humanity a special gift. What was it?

Magic. The gift of magic to the humans really opened a whole new dimension for them and began to blur the line between what is a god. Is a god just a human with tons and tons of powerful magic or a seperate creature and that was what the gods didn’t want open up. They didn’t want that discussions. So giving magic to the humans really made them condemn Abbadon.

Elli: The humans weren’t very happy with the magic. I mean, they were happy with the magic, but what happened then?

They were a little too happy with the magic (laughs) and the gods had to take it back and they had to infuse it into a bloodstone and they had to break that up among the world. No one mortal could have all the magics they used, tight yourself or studied once the kind of magic or necromancy or are supposed to gather secrets of all magic.

Elli: Can you explain why they are called bloodstones?


Elli: It’s from the King Doric…

It’s out of our hands. It’ll get out there eventually! (laughs)

Elli: So we have these bloodstones. Is this the same magic that the asura refer to and they use?

Yes. It is basically the magic of Tyria, the gods of the humans brought here. The other races were here.The charr ruled Ascalon and the humans beat them back and the asura existed deep beneath the earth. They had their own culture and used magic. The Asura legend would be that once there was a all powerful magic and suddenly it stopped working. We don’t know why and it was probably a quest. The Asura tried to figure out why the world changed. The gods really impacted Tyria in a lot of significant ways. They really altered the world. When they first got here magic wasn’t as powerful as it is now. Tyria has not always been this filled with users of magic and with magic items and magiccreatures and things. Magic has got more powerful over the centuries.

Elli: The Asura have a different access to magic than the humans have. What do you think is the difference for the humans?

The humans put a lot of faith in everything. The principles of magic are the same, but an asura is doing it very logical and scientific. For a human it’s more like art, more like creation, an understanding how magic works. It’s a lot less mathematic but more faith-based. The humans don’t consider magic to be a gift from the gods. Abbadon brought it to them. Even after Abbadon’s legend was forgotten magic has been intimitadely tied to the gods. We see that in many different ways, in the monk class, in the way mesmers dedicate themselves to Lyssa. They don’t divorce the two.

Elli: You touched the topic briefly “the gods left Arah.” Where did they go?

Into the mists.

Elli: So this is something that not only exists for the humans but for all the races?

Well, the other races don’t worship these gods. They are gods to the humans. Other races have other religions. The Asura believe in the great alchemy which is the movement of the world, how the world works and everything. They don’t see a sense in speaking with gods. The humans do and have seen the faces of their gods in the history and talked to them. There are legends of their gods choosing individuals for a certain task. The charr don’t believe in gods at all. The charr think, very powerful people have tricked you and they are worshipping them just like the titans. The sylvari don’t have a prospective of religion. The sylvari are very young and are trying to explore. The norn believe in the spirits, these wise totem-animal-like things. They don’t worship them, they want to become powerful and strong by the virtue of the spirits. To the humans the gods are something to be worshipped and revered. They are guarding lights, they are examples of how we should live our life and what we should struggle to achieve, even if we can never be as perfect as the gods themselves.

Elli: So the humans in Guild Wars 2 are pretty much at a low point. The gods have gone, a lot of their lands that they once used to inhabit is lost to the charr or others. So what do you think? Sometimes humanity is at its best when they are at a low point. Although the asura think we are a dying race…

(laughs) The asura say that about everybody. We didn’t want our humans to be on top in the game. That is important for our story. The humans have lost a lot, the gods have distanced themselves. I wouldn’t say abandonned because priests still pray to the gods, they still see miracles in the world and the gods are still guiding them. In former times the gods really moved in Arah, then they told us what to do and now they let us choose. It’s like the stage of growing up with father and mother teaching and guiding you. When you are a baby, your parents care what to put in your mouth and what not. When you are a young child you go around to explore for yourself and they intervene that you don’t do something dangerous. When you are a teenager the parents really want to see who you are and they don’t step in. It’s important that you learn to resolve your issues. That’s the attitude the gods have. Some humans feel that the gods have abandonned them, but the majority still have a strong faith. They are still there not holding your hand but expecting you to be responsible, save yourself and protect yourself. That doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. It means that they trust you even more. You have priests, chapels, churches. The mesmers still call back to Lyssa. When two people fall in love, it’s still said, Lyssa blessed them, but they don’t really expect to see Lyssa’s hand in this.

Elli: What about the mursaat? For the white mantle they were considered the unseen ones as gods.

The mursaat were considered to be new gods. We saw in Nightfall that Kormir too became a god. It is not that deeply variant a thought to think that these unseen things could have been something immortal. The humans don’t know where the gods came from. We look at the mursaat a little bit like the charr. Their believes can’t be entirely discounted, but at the same time they are considered heretical. The gods in Arah were very open and the other ones very shady. The humans generally don’t believe that this is how gods should act. So the worship of the unseen ones has been left behind with the mursaat.

Elli: Do we have charr who believe in gods or humans who believe in spirits?

I’m sure we do. You have people convert from religion to religion. It’s an individual choice, but it’s very hard, because a charr who takes the human religion would accept the doctrine of the human gods with all it’s consequences: We love humans best! We took them here! The others don’t matter. That’s a hard prospective to take for a charr. The charr believe that there are no gods. I think some humans have picked up the idea of the Asura of the great alchemy. It has told the asura a lot how magic and the world works. One of the themes in Guild Wars 2 is the races working together and that means that they have some commonalities. But you have to work with that different point of views in religion and find a way of the races to come together at the end.

Elli: We used to have different nationalities in Guild Wars 1. Acalonians, people from Cantha, Elona and Krytans. What is happening to those different nationalities?

They are still people with very distinct cultural pride. You have Ebonhawke in Ascalon and they believe themselves to be the right and true descendants of humanity. You have the Krytans who have accepted a lot of different cultures into their midst, when the dragon of Orr cut off all contacts to Cantha and Elona. There are districts of Divinity’s Reach that are based on those different heritages. You have the choice when you create a human character to give him the background. Where your familiy has come from, can be very important to a human. And you have humans who see themselves only to be from Kryta.

Elli: You just mentioned the different districts in Divinity’s Reach. What about the district of Cantha?

When they built Divinity’s Reach, they built it rather quickly. They built the city on a site that seemed to have a strong foundation. They didn’t have a lot of time or a lot of choice when they realised that a part of the site wasn’t stable and a part of it collapsed. One of the tour guides in the city has a lot of story of the district of Cantha.

Elli: We don’t have any information on Cantha for the moment?

Not to a certain point, because you can’t sail past Orr anymore.

Elli: But we still have descendants from the Canthan nation, who are in Kryta.

We are now 250 years after Guild Wars 1 and 75 or 100 years after the rise of Orr. That’s several generations and for the descendants is Kryta where they live. But they remember their descendancy. They keep their stories and their history.

Elli: We have a very traditional society in Kryta. We have a monarchy. Were there any revolutions or tendencies towards it?

It’s less a monarchy. We have a queen who makes final decisions, she arbitrates the law and she presents things to the ministry. The ministry has a lot of power with a sort of senatorial system to which areas send representatives. They advise the queen and in some cases they can overrule the queen. For a long time there was no monarchy and a lot of Krytan areas became independent. When Queen Salma came and reestablished the Monarchy she saw that independence is a positive thing. So she helped to establish the ministry.

Elli: Are the ministers selected?

Yes, they are selected by an area or a town and go to Divinity’s Reach and then back and forth to inform their people. They carry the peoples concerns to the ministers. And then back to their area to bring money or new laws.

Elli: Do we have any problems between the different classes?

Oh yeah. You have the simple problem of never having enough money to go around. Some people are poor and some wealthy. You have landowners who control large areas of Kryta and you have people who work to fields. There are some difficulties, but the humans try to merge this together with their faith. They look at things as if the gods have inspired this. Their faith brings them together as a nation of Kryta. The faith binds them together.

Elli: What do you think makes the humans strong? The asura are very intelligent, the charr very brave, so what do you think is the strength of the humans?

Fortitude. Humanity has been through a lot as I mentioned before. Yet they continue to survive and having to do this has taught them a lot about working together and a lot of what they are capable of doing. A charr will look at something and say: “We have to attack and kill it!” And a human would say in the same situation: “I can survive that for this long and I can get these people out and I can help this thing.” They have an immediate sense that this is not the end of the world. Their faith and their long history has proven that they can survive and that they will survive. The humans don’t really doubt that. Other races say, humanity is in decline. The humans say it’s just another period of our history. Heroes have always risen from the human race. The gods will choose a hero and humanity has never lost its belief in that.

Elli: Last time I talked about the different Asuran colleges. Is this something similar in the human race?

Really the class system is what distinguishes them. The different cultures of the Asura teach them different things, the same with legions of the Charr and the spirits of the norn when you follow different spirits with different values and virtues. Humanity has the gentry and they are taught that it is their responisbility to lead. If you choose a human character a lot of the story pieces you see are people turning to you to solve their problems because you are a leader and come from a long line of distinguished individuals who have always been looked to for guidance. If you choose a commoner then you have to live through all the troubles of the people and be resilient. You know what it is to work and to have virtues of bettering yourself and others. You work together as the common man. You have a sense that you can’t do this alone. If you come from the streets then you really know hardship. You know how it is to ask for help to others to get you out of trouble. And then to repay that in kind when you have gathered your strength. They have the same ability and will in the end and become a hero as the other two classes and from their starting point that was a long journey.

Elli: What happened to the orders like the order of whispers over the last 250 years?

The order of whispers discovered the dragons! They were the first and they didn’t tell anyone when they discovered them first. They compiled information and researched and found out. They have very much turned their prospective to: “We must find a way, we must survive. We have to fight these dragons.” Humanity sees a lot of the other races as persecuting them. They have their war with the charr, the Asura say they are a dying race, the sylvari don’t seem to know enough to help the humans. They are very new learning themselves. The norn say, why can’t you do it on your own? So humanity has a sense the other races aren’t helping them and they have to do it alone. In Guild Wars 1 they did it alone. The humans solved the threats, they were the heroes. So the humans feel that burden. So the order of the whispers says, something has to be done and we have to do it.

Elli: Do we have other orders as well?

We have the Durmand priory and we have the Vigil. Whispers is a stealthy sort of underground group, who tries to manipulate people (Elli: Sounds like the Asura (both laugh), Ree: The asura are a little bit more sneaky about). The Durmand priory are lore masters and explorers. They find things that have been lost. The Vigil is building an army. They feel like, you only have to know enough about them to defeat them. The three have very different ways of adressing the dragons. All three comprise of all races. The order of whispers was founded by humans in Elona and still has the cultural sense to it. Other orders were founded a little more egalitarian. A charr named Amora was the general of the Vigil and was the one who created the Vigils, because she saw how a dragon destroyed her homeland. Durmand Priory was founded by the people of Lion’s Arch. A human collected the library of Lion’s Arch and he also talked to the norn and asura and collected that knowledge as well.

Elli: When I read the books, I have the impression that the humans are the glue between the different nations. Do you think this is one thing where the humans can play out their strength?

Absolutely. There comes a point in any difficulty where all the knowledge you have and all the strength or the wisdom you have will fail. And you simply have to take that last step on faith and believe in yourself and your companions. That is the moment humanity brings forward.

Elli: So I think it sounds like a grand plan to play a human?


[ Edited Fri Apr 06 2012, 05:36AM ]
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