In case you missed it, ArenaNet has once again delivered the Guild Wars 2 goods with another week focusing on a specific race in the upcoming MMO. This time it was the norn, a large, shape-shifting race who worship the Spirits of the Wilds. As with Human Week earlier this month, there was much discussion of the lore revolving around these oversized animorphs, as well as new screenshots, audio clips and of course a brand new video showcasing the norn homeland, the Shiverpeaks.
The defining feature of the norn is their ability to take on one of the four primary Spirits of the Wild. The animal forms include: Bear, Snow Leopard, Raven and Wolf. Each represent the virtues and vices of the individual creatures they inhabit, and have their own set of strengths and weaknesses for players to choose from.
A Norn who chooses to follow the path of only one Spirit is known as a shaman. These shamans devote themselves to a single Spirit's shrine and protect that territory as well as follow the traditions of the Spirit's culture. A special shaman who serves as a direct servant of the Spirit is known as a havroun, and there can only be one!
There are also those who follow the path of the Dragon, a Spirit that does not belong with the others. These followers, known as the Sons of Svanir, are not accepted by the other norn, as Dragons have nothing to teach but treachery and corruption. It will be interesting to see how this unease escalates throughout the timeline of Guild Wars 2.
ArenaNet also shared Guild Wars 2 audio clips from the norn to help us get accustomed to their typical conversations. These snippets give a greater impression of the unique attitude of the norn, which is surprisingly optimistic considering their tumultuous history. One important thing to keep in mind for those who never played Eye of the North is that:
"The norn are absolutely not ‘big humans.’ They have their own culture, their own ethics and morality. A norn seeks to master herself and drive her own body and soul to greatness through constantly testing her own physical limits."
The new information doesn't stop at background lore though. Game designer Jeffrey Vaughn gives a very detailed rundown of exactly how the starting area (Wayfarer Foothills) became as fun and interesting as it will be once the game releases. The focus of Guild Wars 2 seems to be the dynamic events that will constantly be changing the world the players inhabit. The events are what ties each map together, and the amount of QA for each map is staggering. It definitely explains the long wait.
Wayfarer Foothills focuses specifically on the four shrines of the Spirits mentioned above. While each shrine could have been a "carbon-copy" of the last, the team decided instead to make each shrine an entirely unique experience so the players can become invested in their characters.
ArenaNet is dedicated to keeping us entertained and informed. At this rate we should have Sylvari, Charr, and Asura Week before the end of April, and right now ArenaNet is on its way to PAX East to show off yet another demo to a crowd of anxious gamers. Is all of this news reigniting all of you Ranter's enthusiasm for the Guild Wars sequel?
Guild Wars 2 might release sometime this year for the PC.
Source: Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet Blog