“Who does ArenaNet think they’re fooling? Sylvari are obviously just plant elves.” When I first read about Guild War 2’s Sylvari I quickly dismissed them as mere plant elves. I might be eating my own words. When ArenaNet had Sylvari Week I thought the redesign was beautiful but I still just saw them as plant elves. My mind might be changing.
After the BWE I was jonesing for some Guild Wars 2. It started simply enough: hitting the “F” key every time I walked up to a quest giver, wondering why my Jedi Knight wouldn’t dodge. But it kept growing, eventually I just decided to pick up a copy of Ghosts of Ascalon. It was a relaxing, easy read that proved to be an excellent introduction to Tyria for a Guild Wars neophyte such as myself. The book gives a sort of Cliffs Notes version of Tyria’s history through different characters explaining “their” side of the story, most in a human vs Charr manner. It also introduces readers to the four playable races in the members of the party of adventures at the center of the story. Each character seems to be a poster child for their race: the down-but-not-out human, the battled-hardened Charr, the vivacious Norn, the arrogant Asura, and finally the inquisitive and adventurous Sylvari: Killeen.
I may have been blinded by elf hatred but Killeen isn’t what I was expecting from the Sylvari. She is intelligent but with a child-like sense of wonder, inquisitive and adventurous with a thirst for knowledge. Best of all she has a complete disregard for social norms in the name of curiosity. She doesn’t mean harm or insult through her eccentricities but that doesn’t stop her from relishing in them. While her teammates are apprehensive about encountering ghosts, as a necromancer she’s overjoyed at the opportunity. She knows that they don’t want to be used as her undead minions if they die but she doesn’t fully understand their reasoning behind that request. These aspects of her personality intrigue me and, as an explorer Bartle-type, I can relate to her sense of wonder and thirst of knowledge.
If Killeen is a model of the Sylvari, I may be finding myself playing one sooner than anticipated. I’m hoping that the next BWE will add the race so I can grab a better picture of the their zeitgeist and see for myself. I still plan to start out with a Norn Guardian but I might just roll up a Sylvari Mesmer along side of him.