[GW2] Charr Rule

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?

14 thoughts on “[GW2] Charr Rule”

  1. I am afraid you are a little too optimist. People who don’t know Guild Wars might see the Charr as furry Steampunk-weirdos.

  2. Maybe fanbase favourite, but I still can’t wait to set this furr on fire with my human ele :). What can I say? Old habbits die hard ;D

  3. “None or Six.” I would be fine with either hehe. That section about the Charr females was really interesting. Also the story and lore from Ree Soesbee looks really good, reading it now!

    Cannot wait for the Asura week and hopefully next profession. I wonder when those will be out… I am just hoping the Asura week will give me some more info to further progress my obsession with them.

    Great article!

  4. Hang on a second… are you saying the Charr are felines?

    I played Guild Wars long enough to feel I’d seen more Charr up close than I ever needed and I never for one second thought there was anything the slightest bit feline about them. I thought they were chitinous aliens, something liek a cross between a lizard and a woodlouse.

    They’re cats??? Like the Kzinti in Ringworld, perhaps? I’d better log into GW again and have a closer look.

    PS. Ok, I just checked the links. Those are cats alright. Guess I know what race I’ll be plying in GW2 now. And maybe I better get my eyes tested.

    1. Yeah, they are four-horned, four-eared feline anthropomorphs. I like the hulking warriors best. The wizard ones that stood straight up always struck me as odd.

  5. You’ve mentioned the criticism the Voice Acting gets lately. People should really read up on that subject if it hurts them so much, A-net stated already that in their “Race weeks” their giving us unpolished and “raw” audio clips. I really wonder how many time’s we’ll we go through that talk ;p Cheers.

      1. True, forgot about that. But are we sure they’re after post-processing? After all if we’re getting raw audio it means it’s not finished.

        1. Well no, nothing is sacred in the demo to survive launch. I would assume given the cost of voice acting that it would not be re-done for lunch.

  6. I think voice-overs are fine, of course that’s an opinion of someone is hearing impaired. Still I can hear voices, I know the difference between Morgan Freeman’s voice and Fran Drescher.

    I think all these opinions about voice-overs are highly subjective. I can have you listen to a audio clip twice and you might give me two different opinions of the same audio clip. Especially if I told you one is “enhanced” and other is “raw” despite no real change. You’re ears only hear what you want to if you’re going be judgmental about it.

  7. Next profession to be announced: Engineer or something like that. At least in my oppinion. In norn weeek we had story about one who sought revenge and got a spirit to teach him stealth and all that. In Charr week, we have Smodur who is engineer. Coincidence?
    Last will probably be Mesmer.

  8. Pretty much everything released about this game makes me want to play as that race or class. I see a serious case of alt-itis in my future.

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