Unlike other some other MMOs, all races in Guild Wars 2 will be allowed to play all professions. Therefore, a height-challenged asura could become an aggressive warrior or a hulking norn could become a sneaky thief. My first lore-based thought came with the release of the guardian. The guardian professions had mechanical ancestry with the Guild Wars monks. Monks drew their power from the human gods. Where did the guardians draw their power from, especially the godless charr (and quasi-scientific asura)?
A lot of the Guild Wars deep lore questions are unanswerable. Or rather, there are misty shapes that can be connected together to create a multitude of finished composites. Think of Guild Wars lore as a type of Rorscach experiment, only ArenaNet can later modify the ink blots with new facts. Playing this lore game I could say that guardians draw upon an inherent power present in all races, and the charr guardians were one of the few charr that stopped to reflect on the need to protect. They redirect their inner virtues to channel aggression in to mettle, bloodthirst into a grim acceptance, and ruthlessness into an unrelenting resolve.
Surprisingly, ArenaNet said “there are professions that are against type for that race, so you won’t ever see a Charr guardian as an NPC.” This confused me full stop. When I talked to Jeff Grubb at PAX East, all his lore answers seemed to be pointing back to an ideology not to paint themselves in a corner. Yet, that’s exactly what I felt was happening when they said no charr guardian NPCs.
I wanted to resolve this with ArenaNet before I posted, and Regina Buenaobra graciously snagged Jon Peters and Jeff Grubb to make sure to clarify their position. Grubb said “the charr do not by their nature reward more defensive or protective individuals, so NPC guardians are few and far between.” Peters echoed that it would have to be a pretty special charr to be a guardian. Still, Grubb emphasized that they were not absolute on no charr guardians (or I suspect other race/profession dichotomies), and that if they needed one to make a better game experience, they would not hesitate to add one. Buenaobra concluded that lore-wise charr guardians would simply be less trusted by other charr due to the magical nature of the profession. At this time there are no charr guardian NPCs.
ArenaNet is side-stepping lore conventions to make way for mechanical conventions. I fully agree that no restrictions on professions for player character creation is the best way. Even World of Warcraft has been eroding it’s race-class restrictions with each passing expansion. At the end of the day, it’s better to give players the freedom, and like I said, it’s easy enough to give a personal reasoning for those unique characters. Still, it would be interesting to see, for immersion sake, ArenaNet’s take on professions that are against type for that race. What story would a charr guardian NPC tell? Twist it up by making her a gladium with no one to protect, and that could be a really cool event. Or perhaps the personal story already takes in to account the player’s choice to go truly against the lore grain. I honestly felt that a sylvari necromancer in the novels was ArenaNet portraying a rarity, but I guess charr hate magical defense more than plant-people hate death.
Grubb wanted to further clarify on a mechanics side that should a player choose a charr guardian their skills and racial abilities will mesh. Even if lore-wise the character is unusual, the character will not be hampered in the mechanical arena.