How can this iconic Guild Wars race get any cooler? Their pseudo-leader is named Smodur the Unflinching. They are badass. Possibly one of the most badass fantasy/sci-fi races ever created, especially on the protagonist side. Take the hardness and grimness of Sparta, the structure and purpose of Ancient Rome, and make them anthropomorphic, meat-eating predators.
I remember an old Ang Lee interview where the director talked about making the movie Hulk where he really wanted to play up that childish impulse to just smash things recklessly. It plays to our id, if you will, that we usually repress so we can have nice things and bigger wallets. The charr are the Guild Wars 2 race that call to similar primal instincts to dominate, to bully, and to win at any possible costs. Hey look, Guild Wars 2 is also a PvP game that will attract PvP players.
This week I felt that ArenaNet went a little softer than usual. Whereas the norn community stock was lower before their norn week, the charr have always been a favorite. Especially since Colin wants to play one. The week started with a few interviews, and then Devon Carver wrote a piece on the charr starter area. I really liked the piece which both touched on the iterative process and charr iconics, but I was pretty disappointed we didn’t get a single screenshot of the area. It seems odd to write a whole article on an area but only show concept art. Scott McGough followed up with the race week vignettes (including background audio clips). I really like these articles because they provide nice bite size bits of lore with a media sauce. This sparked heavy criticism on the voice acting end over at Tap Repeatedly.
My favorite article of the week was the in-house interview with Katy Hargrove. Hargrove was the one that came up with a concept of these original adversaries to the humans in Tyria. She takes us through the design process including watching out for race-creation pitfalls, what key elements they wanted to include in the design, and even how they wanted to keep the female more similar to big cats in nature instead of the tired male-version-with-boobs. Hargrove definitely has to be proud that she helped create one of the most interesting fantasy races I’ve seen in a long time, and definitely a Guild Wars 2 fan favorite.
Finally, Ree Soesbee rounds out the week with an excellent lore and fiction article. It really focuses on the chain of command firmly embedded in the race’s culture, and where their loyalties truly lie. The charr have three legions (plus one licking their wounds in the mountains) that are tenuously at peace while they deal with the ghosts of Ascalon and other threats. Smodur the Unflinching, imperator of the Iron Legion, seems to head the cause in the charr capitol of the Black Citadel. I think it’s cool that the Iron Legion, the engineers, are the leaders instead of the warriors of the Blood Legion. It would have been more of a twist to have the Ash Legion in charge, but given that they are the Legion of subterfuge, the charr as a whole would feel a lot different. Flame Legion, the sorcerors who lead the charr during the time of Guild Wars have been broken.
What are the charr? Rage with loyalty. Abrasiveness with family. Fury with structure. They feel like greenskins of Warhammer universe or the orks of Earthdawn in a more refined (and furry) light. We have two remaining race weeks left with perhaps the most alien of species: the egotistical, techno-magical asura and the wide-eyed, plantborn sylvari. I am guessing sylvari will be saved for last, but we will see. I am hoping the “mesmer” profession is next.
when will you rage?