Character Development: Guild Wars 2 Roleplay Part 1
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
This week my husband and I started playing Guild War 2. He’s playing Charr Engineer while I’m playing a Sylvari Elementalist. I’d heard that RP in Guild Wars 2 was nonexistent. So I’ve set out to find some. And after a week of playing I haven’t seen anyone rping at all. Though to be I’ve spent most of my time in Caledon Forest with only a brief break to check out my future Charr companion in his starting area. But before I get into the game too much I should mention how much I love the character creator.
When we first bought Guild Wars 2 my husband joked that his catboy would enjoy digging his claws into my plantgirl’s bark. It amused us both so we decided what the hell, let’s try those two races together. Later when our characters met for the first time we had to take a few minutes to laugh at how ridiculous the size difference is between the two of them. We’ve never played a game that had such a huge difference in the sizes of the playable characters.
But! Again, I’m getting ahead of myself. Character creation is the topic right now. It is amazing. To me, customization is vital to how much I enjoy a game. That’s not to say that limited character customization is bad either. But you won’t ever see me playing a game where you look like everyone else. There is so much detail in how you can make your characters look, including special things for each race. Sylvari have funny ears and skin that can be as soft as a flower petal or as hard as bark. Charr have funny ears too as well as horns. The customization goes so far as to let you pick how big or small you want your horns.
Armor has three color areas which you are able to dye. This makes your look very unique. There are a ton of hairstyles to choose from. Though when I was playing around with making a lady Norn wearing a helmet I ran into a problem that often comes up though usually never so spectacularly. How does she get all that hair in a helmet that looks like it is nearly a perfect fit for her head? Some things you just have to look past.
But you know, it wasn’t the customization that stood out to me so much. There are lots of games with varying levels of customization. It was the questions afterwards, the ones that form your character’s attitude towards life, their past and their future that really make Guild Wars 2 amazing. These questions form your biography. There are five questions total and what questions you get changes depending on what you are playing. The first question is profession related, it helps define what weapons you start with. The second question is about overcoming adversity and determines your personality. It is the only universal question that everyone gets no matter their race or class.
The final three questions are race specific and help determine how your personal storyline will go. I have a problem though, and it’s a pretty big one. I want to try out all the possible combinations. A minor problem, I know. But the temptation is just so hard to resist that I find myself staring at the option to return to the character screen while going about the game. But on the other hand I really want to get out into the wide world before I start anew. I doubt I’ll be able to resist for much longer.
While running around the lovely forest I’m currently calling home I’ve run into all sorts of people. But you know, I haven’t said a word to any of them. And they haven’t said anything to me either. You don’t have to group up with people to get credit for taking part in events or kills. And while this is a great thing for regular gameplay it makes for a very silent game because no one is forced to talk and discuss tactics. And by not forcing them to talk you never really get the chance to learn who is and isn’t a roleplayer. I suspect this will continue as I branch out into other areas of the world. And that rpers will gather in hubs and only there will be where you can really start meeting people. But for me, just like in The Secret World, I plan on walking everywhere. I kind of think that walk is the ultimate sign that someone is a rper, after seeing them rp of course. If I see someone walking I’ll stop and say hi. So far though, I haven’t even seen anyone walking.
There is a great tool for roleplayers. www.guildwars2roleplayers.com tells you which server to play on for roleplaying, and even has a running calendar of events for both North American and EU servers. This is a first for me honestly. In the past I’ve only ever found websites that cover North American or EU servers, making it feel like one is superior over the other. So far there only seem to be two repeating events for EU players, both of which seem to be a sort of weekend night at the bar. North Americans really have it together though. There are regular Sunday In-Character quest groups scheduled, in character patrols, and even a Norn History Appreciation event. I hope that EU starts doing more events. If not I may jump ship and go to the NA rp server.
My adventure in Guild Wars 2 is just getting started. I’ll be sure to write about Guild Wars 2 roleplay again in the future when I’ve had a bit more of an opportunity to experience it. I just recently bought TERA, so be on the look out in the future for my experiences in TERA. I promise though, I’ll wait until I’ve actually rped with someone before I write about it.