Hardcore Asura

September 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 15 Comments
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Golem and city. One of the new wallpapers.

Gone are the days where much significant information can be sniffed out through videos but I still love seeing them. I’ve always loved game trailers for instance, nothing compares to how they help create excitement.

I wonder if Arenanet will have some form of launch trailer.

Today in Asura week news they have a video showcasing the asura capital city of Rata Sum, and another showcasing the animations of the little guys, and just how believable they make 3 foot tall creatures battling it out with swords.

The first video is on the updated asura race page. Unfortunately there is little to gleam from the updates, a lot of the lore dates back to the release of Eye of the North, although we do see a bit about the colleges, and more interestingly this bit.

Rata Sum is a huge floating cube riddled with interior passages, its upper reaches divided into smaller cubes. The highest locations are the labs and meeting rooms of the Arcane Council, the rulers of the asura race. The depths of this great cube are still being excavated by unsleeping golem servitors.

Probably a dungeon in those depths I would suspect.

We also get another glimpse at the inquest whom we’ve heard so little about.

Known as the Inquest, these asura combine their resources into a larger organization and share their knowledge among their own members — never with those outside the Inquest. They are more involved in the activities of individual members, and they are less hampered by morality than the other asura, going so far as to use and abuse the spirits of sentient beings in their relentless research. As a result, they are both highly effective and extremely dangerous.

Each race has it’s internal threat, probably so Arenanet can include the player races as potential opponents without having to draw up new models, but also because hey, storywise nothing is more sinister than a mirror image of the hero.

Anyway I found Tigerfeet had a much more interesting lore interview at her blog (that I kept forgetting to link) and in particular there was one genius level question.

Q: If they have such sharp teeth, does that mean they are primarily meat eaters?

Jeff: Asura are omnivores. Their teeth are adapted particularly for catching wild game in the Depths of Tyria and ripping apart the stone-like fungus that infests those caverns.

Stone fungus eating asura. That is hard core.

Here is the capital city video.

The blog post goes on to explain just why they went the direction they did with the asura animations. It’s one of the most notable things about the asura now that we’ve seen them in action, their acrobatics, their running animations, heaving heavy weapons on to their shoulder. It’s adorable, but it also had to be justified to Arenanet.

If we hadn’t already known from the gameplay considerations, just looking at a lineup of the playable races would have told us there was no way the asura could be presented in any kind of realistic fashion. Given that this was already a break from the rest of the Guild Wars characters, my advice to the animators was just to go for it. Anyone who was going to choose an asura as his character was probably onboard already.

The video shows some animations that seem to be pretty good examples of why it’s not quite a laughing stock that an asura is able to take on a charr. Kind of curious as to just how short that charr is though.

Anyway that is it for today, can’t wait to read some fiction tomorrow.



  1. I enjoy that the ‘Battle Suit’ can be piloted by team-mates, Its interestig to see them go and make skills that anyone can get a boost out-of, Player to Player interaction is looking better and better.

    • I wonder how they’ll make that work though, a charr climbing into one of those? Seems weird. It will make for interesting diversity of gameplay though so I’m all for it.

  2. Another great thing about playing a tiny race like the Asura…carrying weapons that look like they weigh more than you do. Just check out that video where the swing almost knocks him off balance! Adorable!

    • Just makes me wonder how much effort other games have put into animation for tiny races like this. Didn’t notice much to talk about with the dwarf in Rift, not familiar enough with WoW.

  3. Personal tastes vary… for me, THAT is the starting area I want to explore! This week has just confirmed the asura as one of my top two race choices for characters in the game, and after looking at the video for Rata Sum, there’s a fair chance that ALL of my characters will be spending at least some time there regardless of which race they are a member of.

    • No particular starting area is taking precedence over another for me. They all look equally good, with maybe divinitys reach looking like a more spectacular city than the rest.

  4. I find it interesting that the possible “enemy” the asura will have to fight are not in any way “corrupted” but simply have a different moral philosophy to the rest of the asuran race. You’d think that instead of slaughtering them (as I kinda expect us to be doing with the sons of sanvir and the nightmare court etc) the asura would be just as happy sitting down and having a robust debate with them over morality, philosphy etc.

    • Depends on just how dangerous they are, how much control they want, and what kind of scheming they’re up to. If they’re threatening lives there probably won’t be much room for debate.

      • They are asura… remember, they will be evil geniuses… so, extremelly dangerous.

        • Mad scientist dangerous.

  5. First off, I love how the city looks. Heck, I even really liked it in it’s previous forms (from what we could see from the Races and the first trailers). I think the new textures on the cube itself is a vast improvement.

    Thus far I haven’t been able to see the entrance portal for the city zone like you can in videos with the other cities. So I’m wondering if maybe Rata Sum also includes some areas on the ground with maybe gates to provide access to the floating part above.

    I also plan on trying to jump off the side just cuz I think it would be fun.

    • A thought just stuck me. If there are areas around the cube in the zone it’d be pretty hilarious if some random player(s) just fall out of the sky around you while you’re merching or just standing around in the lower areas. That’d be just begging for some “It’s Raining Men” music videos.

    • Theres going to be so much jumping off of things that I don’t think it’ll look out of place at all. The freedom to jump will not be taken for granted and will be used ad nauseum.

      • They really should tie Jumping to the same energy bar that Dodging uses… still gives us access to the Z axis but perhaps it would limit the amount of random, constant bouncing that is often a plague in MMOs.

        Or just set it up so that anyone performing 10 consecutive jumps without some other meaningful interaction with the world (other than just movement) is automatically logged out, and required to log back in before being able to continue annoying the rest of us in that manner.

        • I understand what you’re saying but that doesn’t sound like something I’d be on board with. Jumping is fun, don’t limit it.

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