Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Know thine Enemy: The Minor Races

"See that tree over there? The one with the kind, old face; the one tending it saplings - yeah, that one."

"Uh huh"

"Kill it."

"What?! Why?"

"Just cus, man. Just, like, kill it and stuff. Go on...!"



That's what every MMO is like. You go out into the world and every single moving creature is hungry and angry and is out there to kill you. Oddly enough, these bloodthirsty creatures of destruction are more often than not just wandering about a field, minding their own business. There is often little back story to who they are, why they are there or what they are up to.

Aion is a prime culprit of this sloppy world-creation. Take, for example, the Shugo:

When I first started playing that game, I was enjoying gliding everywhere and being all anime and shizz and then I came across one of these adorable little bastards.

I stood and looked at him and and thought: "what are you?"  Everyone else seemed to be jogging past totally unawares. I had to educate them: "WHAT IS THIS?! Can anyone else see this?!"

Was no one bothered that there was a ferret-man standing in the middle of town? Through the entirety of the game there was very little explanation as to who they were and where they had come from (there's even a high level dungeon where they are dressed as pirates, for christ sakes!).

So far, the Guild Wars 2 speculation train has been throwing off great boxes of lore regarding not only the races and professions of the upcoming game, but also the other creatures you might encounter.

A while back I posted about the Kodan - a spiritual race of gigantic polar bears. Since then we've heard about the Hylek (a race of tribal frog-people) and the Skritt (sneaky rat-people whose intelligence increases as they gather larger groups). Each article has told us about why the race has come to the forefront (rather than just being another mindless mob to slaughter), we've heard a little about their society, their spirituality and their allegiances with other races.
The reason that this kind of information is so vital is that it is all little tidbits which go towards enriching the game world.
Furthermore, If you were actually a world renowned hunter, or a feared Norn warrior, you would know your enemy. You wouldn't just charge out blindly and smash random creatures across the noggin with your hammer. You'd know why your foe was there, their strengths and weaknesses. Sun Tsu would be proud of ANet.

If ANet continue to provide us with a world rich with lore then the dynamic events will seem all the more compelling. Who cares if random toad-men set up a camp near your home town? No one, thats who. But if a new aggressive Hylek tribe start making forays into your territory, then you might start to get worried - maybe consult with the local friendly Hylek cheiftain to endeavor to drive them out (or, indeed, ally with the new tribe - depending upon who appears to be the most poisonous!).

We are able to make these judgements for ourselves because the lore base is already there. If ANet can continue to translate the lore after the game has launched (to those who might not have looked it up beforehand on the blog) then you can see how the whole game world will become much more compelling.


  1. Shugo got nothin on the warhammer merchant goblins.

  2. Shugo got nothin on the warhammer merchant goblins.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...