Slowing down from the big features after the Stronghold beta, ArenaNet discusses some of the new denizens of Heart of Thorns – the hylek tribes. Players should be familiar with the frogmen who appear mostly in Maguuma areas. I feel their biggest gluts are in Caledon Forest and Sparkfly Fen where they have meta-event surroundings their territory.
The new hylek tribes are surfer-dude tree frogs – Itzel, and down-to-the-earth, end-of-the-road bullfrogs, the Nuhoch. The latter of which surprisingly has no “L” in their name. I think the article is a pretty good read for lore fans.
What I want to discuss is the core game’s “lesser races” versus what could be in the Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns. By “lesser”, I mostly mean non-player character races.
Each player race seems to get a couple races attached to it. Charr and norn get grawl and ogres. Asura and sylvari share skritt and hylek. Humans get centaurs. On top of that there are player allied and player enemy versions of each. This is in addition to the antagonist version of each player race (e.g., bandits, Nightmare court, etc.).
Based on the mastery tracks it seems like ArenaNet has narrowed the scope a bit to the two hylek tribes and then the enigmatic Exalted. At least, that is my hope.
I hope it kind of mirrors Guild Wars 1, which had a Tyria tour of climes and peoples with none ever getting a full story. Then as they moved to Cantha and Elona, I felt the stories became a bit tighter because ArenaNet wasn’t trying to cover this whole potpourri… err… pot of the world. The Cantha and Elona “cultures” were tight and didn’t contain every newly-angled fantasy trope in a comprehensive environment.
What this might boil down to is fewer allied races with greater depth of story. One story is already hinted at with the Zintl hyleks coming to try and convert the Heart of Thorn hyleks to their own god. This has nothing to do with the Pact or Mordremoth, but the way that ArenaNet discusses it, I am hoping that this will be a complete side story. It might also be a nice warm blast of freshness to fight say a Zintl avatar of sun and glory instead of yet another mordrem.
Massively OP has a more conversational interview on this information, which is well worth a look for a more lore-oriented tidbits.