Guild Wars 2 Wants To Show You The Asura

By John Walker on September 15th, 2011 at 3:40 pm.

It's all far too Phantasy Star Blah blah blah to me.

New video footage and photographs from the Guild Wars 2 tourist board have arrived. This time it’s details on the creepy Asura race. I don’t trust those little goblin things. You could say I’m an… Asuracist! Gosh, I’m funny. Take a look at the new footage, and some new screenshots, below.

This is a video:

These are pictures:

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67 Comments »

  1. pakoito says:

    I’m sticking to asuras since day 1. Little cute know-it-all engineers with turrets? that’s my cup o’ race.

    All aboard the pendanticboat!

    EDIT: And then Wulf came and fucked all the thread, reply by reply. Good job Wulf! Now just SHUT UP http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/09/15/guild-wars-2-wants-to-show-you-the-asura/#comment-800669

    • zergrush says:

      Really like their look / clothing / architecture, but haven’t noticed any facial hair yet.

      If I can’t have a funky pink goatee I’ll have to run a Charr instead =(

    • Metonymy says:

      With some megalomania sauce on top. And their faces. The combination of adorable and demonic makes me squeal like a WH40k fan. They’re gnomes, but somehow even better. I may not be able to resist this one

    • pakoito says:

      Have you HEARD them? It makes it even better.

      http://www.arena.net/blog/angel-mccoy-on-writing-asura

      >Most asura use big words (like “alchemagical”). With the asura, we writers have a license to make up words, combine words to create something fantastic, and use existing words in strange new ways. As a result, we’ve developed intimate relationships with our dictionaries and thesauruses.
      >The asura talk like the little smarty-pants they are. Completely lacking in humility, they show off their genius at every turn and even exaggerate it whenever possible—you might say they have a Napoleon complex. An asura doesn’t speak in layman’s language unless absolutely necessary for communication with “lesser beings.” Why use a short word when you can once again prove your superior intelligence by using a word those around you don’t understand?

    • Dominic White says:

      The little “I love it when you talk dirt” clip in there is great. The writing in this game already makes me smile.

    • Koozer says:

      I’m incredibly annoyed with how…nice they look, regardless of backstory. Ever since finding out the Charr are cats on steroids and not angry Tauren I think I’ll have to go human for the first time in a while…

      PS. I forgot to add I love ever single other thing about the Asura.

    • Dominic White says:

      There’s an Asura character-creator video floating around. They’ve got a huge range of face types, and they can look a lot less cute if you want. Leathery skin, cat-eyes and more visibly lizardy teeth are among the options.

      And afros. You can have an Asura with a honking great ‘fro.

    • Chris D says:

      I’m thinking I’m going to have to go Asura as well. Torn between Engineer and Thief at the moment (“Of course this is original research! It’s just not necessarily my original research..”, “Theft is the continuation of science by other means!”)

      Although really one character will never be enough so I’m also plotting how to cover all the races and classes as efficiently as possible.

    • honest_owen says:

      At the moment, with rumors of 5 character slots, I’m going with (in creation order):
      1. Asuran Guardian (A tiny guy whit a huge hammer, how can I say no? Edit: this is exactly what I’m talking about http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3EaC02CfOd0)
      2. Sylvari Thief
      3. Charr Engineer
      4. Norn Ranger
      5. Undecided race Necro/elementalist

    • Wulf says:

      Actually, the turrets are the creations of the charr, same for the airships. The charr are basically the real world industrial guys. The amusing thing that most people don’t actually realise is that the asura are snotty, hippie space wizards, and I’m amused by that notion. (Though I found it hard to like them when listening to those voice clips. Avoid the voice clips if you want to like the asura.)

      Basically, their stuff is built upon magicks, magical energies, magic crystals, magic fields, and it all feels very new age. It’s sort of like what hippies would be if they were in a fantasy reality. It sort of lessens them to not realise that. They’re not techno-tinkers, that’s what the charr do, they play with the magical fields of reality, man. And they invent things based on that.

      So there’s no use of circuitry, electricity, or things of the like. It’s all… I put on my robe and wizard hat, then turn that pile of rocks into a golem. That’s how they’ve differentiated them from WoW’s gnomes, which are technotinkers.

      The different I’m trying to establish I suppose is that the asura use the magicks instituted by the gods, whereas the charr use the physical sciences. That’s why I don’t get why the asura are so snotty and obnoxious about their supposed superiority.

      It’d be kind of like if a bunch of gods turned up and offered us everything on a platter, and some scientists took that offer, some didn’t. Some preferred to keep learning their own way, to arrive at their own solutions. But the ones that were handed everything via these new “magicks” became the self-appointedly intellectually superior, the elite, the minds that towered above all others.

      That’s sort of what you have going on with the asura. I always thought that they recognised that, but apparently they’re all in some sort of denial now, and making up for this by speaking the loudest, and insulting the hardest. Hoping that if they do that enough, no one will notice that they’re using magicks as shortcuts, whilst the other races are working their way up and finding their own solutions.

      I could have accepted the asura as cold, logical, and aloof, with the knowledge that they had been handed everything on a silver platter, but the way they’ve designed their attitudes? It’s… kind of pathetic. Petty. Small. They are very small, and not just in stature. I actually feel sorry for them.

    • Chris D says:

      @Wulf

      In a world where both gods and magic are real it seems like an odd distinction to draw. Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. I’m not sure why one should be inherently superior to another.

      As for likeable, they’re not supposed to be likeable unless it’s in a Sheldon Cooper way. Also the Charr are also brutal conquerors if we’re talking racial shortcomings, but the point is that individuals can transcend the limitations of their backgrounds and those are stories worth telling. Alternatively don’t do that and just have fun playing as a brutal conqueror or mad scientist, that works too.

      Having a hard time understanding where all this rancour is coming from. You’ve talked a lot about tolerance for those who are different but it’s beginning to look a bit like that only applies to those who’re different in the way that you like. Hope I’m wrong about that.

    • Consumatopia says:

      @Wulf, it makes sense to me, take a philosophy professor, give him the ability to cast spells, watch how his arrogance multiplies.

    • Metonymy says:

      Asura are doing magic x, no one else is doing magic x, Asura are arrogant about magic x. It all adds up properly. Engineers aren’t special either, they are building up best practices over long periods of time, almost exclusively copying one another, just as you’d expect wizards to.

      I agree that it’s a terrible idea to include voice acting apart from the character models, since they just sound like humans.

  2. Dharoum says:

    I don’t like the name, one interpretation of the name in some beliefs is that they are very dark entities, pure evil. I wonder why they chose that name..?

    • arienette says:

      To annoy superstitious people like you.

    • AchronTimeless says:

      That just brought me joy… it’s the reaction we should all have to superstition.

    • Aedrill says:

      Also because Asura means “one seeking power” which sort of fits this race.

    • Dom_01 says:

      I don’t like the name either, but it’s for a very different reason.

      “BY AZURA BY AZURA BY AZURA IT’S THE GRAND CHAMPION!”

      “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S YOU, STANDING HERE, NEXT TO ME!”

      Oh god, someone please make it stop.

    • Wulf says:

      Have you heard the voice samples? The asura… not nice people. They’re opportunists, superior, egotistical, and they don’t care about anything other than their own advancement.

      http://www.arena.net/blog/angel-mccoy-on-writing-asura

      Just listen to the voice clips there. @_@ I… will not be able to play an asura.

    • Blackseraph says:

      What are you talking about?

      Asura are best this game has to offer!

      http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Trial_of_Zinn

      Read that dialogue, so amusing.

    • jealouspirate says:

      @Wulf

      ” The asura… not nice people. They’re opportunists, superior, egotistical, and they don’t care about anything other than their own advancement.”

      How can you hold that against the Asura and still love the Charr? They’re exactly the same. They’re opportunists (one of the Charr voiceclips we’ve heard talks about how there’s no such thing as a cheap kill), egotistical and are happy to conquer anyone they’re stronger than.

      Hell, at least the Asura generally are showcasing their perceived superiority by building great wonders and showing them off. The Charr showcase their perceived superiority by killing the people they’re trying to prove it to.

  3. Kollega says:

    I have to say, this is some damn impressive location design, even if it’s a bit gauche in places. That’s the kind of thing today’s gaming needs more of.

  4. Jake says:

    Well their land looks amazing but I can’t stand those wretched little gnome things, look at them skipping around the place and giggling – I’ll just have to pretend they don’t exist. And the computer screen things look a bit more sci-fi than I was expecting.

    • pakoito says:

      Guild Wars 2 is set in the equivalent of OUR era in a fantasy world, and this guys are a scientific community. The char are industrial workers. Humans are ninnies.

      Mindblowing, huh?

      Plus I’ll be following you with my Asura pj all day, creeping you out :D

    • Jumwa says:

      Right there with you.

      Beautiful zones, but once again it’s another short-race that just irks me to look at.

      I’ll stick with Charr and Sylvari for my characters, I think.

    • pakoito says:

      Sylvary is the most “alien” race of them all. Those glowy eyes…uck!

    • Jumwa says:

      Alien is fine and great. Short and grody, however, is just weird.

      Down with short-races!

    • Jumwa says:

      Thanks, that was very appropriate. I think that spreads the message very well.

    • Wulf says:

      The Sci-Fi is all magic powered, but they do seem too much like gnomes, now. Even I can’t say that they’re not gnomes. I mean, it now looks like the races of GW2 are humans, chharr, human shapeshifters, sylvari, and gnomes. Well, at least there are still the charr and the sylvari.

      Don’t screw those up, ArenaNet. But yeah, I’m more than a little surprised, too. They had a good idea with it all being magicks-based, but I think visually they’ve gone far too much to the tech end of things. It makes them look like gnome rip-offs. It really, really does. I’ll be pretending they don’t exist as well.

  5. Rii says:

    Damn. I didn’t think the Asura were for me, but that video went a long way towards convincing me otherwise. I blame the stupidly charming music. *grumble*

  6. Dominic White says:

    The thing that really sold me on the Asura was this bit of official backstory narrative here:
    http://www.arena.net/blog/mr-sparkles-a-tale-of-the-asura

    They’re such snarky little gits. I want to hate them, but I end up liking them somehow. Kudos the Arenanets writers/designers.

  7. Joof says:

    For some reason, these pictures yell, “FINAL FANTASY” at me. I’m not sure why.

    • Wulf says:

      Because that’s what it is. I’m actually disappointed.

      But like I said, oh well, they can still innovate some in regards to the charr and the sylvari. I’ll just be avoiding the more boring and annoying humans, gnomes, and human shapeshifters.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I think it’s difficult to make architecture involving floating stones with colorful glowing bits that doesn’t look like Final Fantasy.

      But if you could make rocks float with colorful glowing bits with little energy cost and little risk of collapse, you’d probably do it.

  8. Groove says:

    I love the locations in this game so, so much. I could just watch the videos and enjoy the design, never mind the game.

  9. AMonkey says:

    I really like how the Asura aren’t your generic cute and cuddly small race. They’re arrogant and actually look more than small humans.

  10. Cinnamon says:

    I suppose that if you want to play PvP in GW2 then you better learn to love these guys. Their small size gives them a slight advantage in terms of being spotted so they are the only race you will see.

  11. Unaco says:

    Do they make good eating? Does the game have that sort of crafting?

    • Wulf says:

      I suddenly want Charr Chef as a profession.

    • Lazaruso says:

      Good God, you want to boil them alive and eat them?!!! Wulf, the xenophobia in these posts of yours is going to fly all the way around the world and slam into your posts about Darkspore’s aliens and create a hole in the universe that destroys it! You’ve doomed us all, damn you!

  12. Wulf says:

    I’ve figured it out! I know what’s annoying me so much about the asura reinvention! The asura are the perfect analogy of the rich kid who’s used his inheritance to buy a porsche or rolls-royce, and now rubs that in the face of everyone they can, all the time, at every opportunity.

    Blargh. I’ll never be able to play an asura, now. I can’t help but wish they’d gone with how they originally portrayed the asura, these new asura are… terrible. :| Jeff Grubb, what have you done? What have you done, Grubb? What have you done?

    • tyren says:

      Only if you go with your assumption earlier in the thread that because magic “comes from the gods” the Asura’s accomplishments are meaningless.

      Which, to be honest, I really can’t agree with. It’s like saying the laws of physics come from God so who are scientists to get all smug about it? Just because magic comes from the gods doesn’t mean that everyone who knows magic knows everything about how it works, so what’s wrong with the idea that it might actually take serious brainpower to create magitech?

    • Consumatopia says:

      Yeah, I guess it’s like being proud of making a really interesting structure in Minecraft or some other simulated world. The principles that make it work “come from” the “gods” at Mojang, but what you did with them is still your own accomplishment.

      This would be different if magic worked by *continuous* divine intervention, if the gods have to make a decision whether or not to answer your prayer each and every time you cast a “spell”. Which, if you’re a Christian, is I guess how miracles are supposed to work–God decides, somewhat inscrutably, whether to answer your prayer, and if you start acting like the miracle is your own work rather than His then he won’t be supplying any more miracles.

      Somewhat intermediate is a magic system that works according to whether the gods look favorably upon your behavior, but the opinion of the gods is deterministic–like Nethack gods giving favors depending on whether you comply with simple rules. Here, it doesn’t make sense to be proud of the divine favor the gods happen to grant you, but it might make sense to be proud of what you had to do to comply with the rules, e.g. reaching the bottom of the dungeon without killing anyone.

    • jealouspirate says:

      I agree with the other replies, your analogy just doesn’t work Wulf. I don’t know much about Guild Wars lore, but even if magic had some kind of divine origin the Asura are clearly having nothing handed to them on a platter. All their inventions are their own. No God taught them how to use magic or to work the feats they’re producing.

      They’ve learned on their own, through their own intelligence, how to manipulate an aspect of the world around them. The Charr have done the same thing. How magic (or the laws of physics) got there in the first place really has no bearing on how people have learned to use them.

    • jealouspirate says:

      To continue my thought, he’s a quote from the newly updated Asura page:

      “They were uniformly brilliant as a people, analyzing, solving, and utilizing the intricate nature of magic itself.”

      I think that pretty clearly indicates that there was no “divine hand-holding” at work here. Magic, for whatever reason, now simply exists in Tyria and must be studied to learn like anything else. The Asura were not given their magical prowess by anyone, they had to use their substantial intelligence to unwrap the complexities of it. And to their credit, no other race has figured out how to use magic as powerfully as the Asura.

    • Aatch says:

      Ok, so I don’t normally do this. In fact I registered an account just to do this:

      Shut up Wulf!
      You are the most annoying, whining brat I have ever had the displeasure of encountering on the internet. You post the same argument over and over again on thread after thread. Since you dont like something, that seems to mean that you have to tell absolutely everyone.

      Its a comment list, if you have an opinion, then post it, once. Don’t go and then tell the same story about; Asura being Gnomes, Skyrim Dragons not being Dragons, Darkspore’s Aliens being whatever you dislike about them on every other post. I’m not trying to suppress your opinions, but you need to realise that that’s what they are. Opinions, you can hold your opinions, even post about them, but dont go and cram them down everyone’s throats. Its fairly clear that other people have noticed your obnoxiousness on this blog, so do us all a favour and either: Leave and never come back, or Stop being so damn obnoxious.

      We (the readers of RPS) get it, you don’t like Skyrim’s Dragons, you don’t like the Asura, hell people are even willing to discuss your points. That doesn’t give you the right to post the same opinion over and over and over again.

      I apologise to the other reader’s of RPS for being so off topic.

      EDIT: In the mean time, I have found I can specifically block your comments.

    • Aedrill says:

      @Aatch
      *Clap. Clap. Clap.*

      *The crowd follows Aedrill’s lead and clapping is slowly turning into standing ovation. Everyone is cheering and chanting “Aatch, Aatch, Aatch!”. Later on people start throwing flowers at him. When they run out of flowers, they throw underwear, money and little ferrets. Aatch leaves as a hero and gets the hottest girl in the movie.*

      In other words: This.

    • Kaiji says:

      @Aatch

      Thanks for pointing out that you can block users. I hadn’t noticed.

      As you’ve said, Wulf is entitled to his opinion, but he seems to think his opinion is a lot more important than it really is.

    • ffordesoon says:

      Or, stripping away the vitriol:

      Okay. Look.

      Wulf?

      You’re very smart, you express yourself well, and you think deeply – very deeply, some would say too deeply – about the media you consume. And you express those thoughts passionately.

      That’s all fine and dandy.

      The problem is, you treat the RPS comments section like it’s your personal blog. You post long, rambling screeds about trivial minutiae you – and only you – notice; you ask questions no one here can answer definitively enough for your unwavering standards, and dismiss any answers as mere theories; you only acknowledge anyone else’s existence inasmuch as it furthers your Grand Unified Theory Of Whatever The Hell It Is You’re Talking About; and you treat everyone else on here with an air of gently condescending disdain. “Oh, my,” you seem to say, chuckling gently as you ruffle our hair, “I thought silly little things like that when I was your age. Gosh, I just can’t wait for you kids to grow up!” And then you shoo us away, explaining that Daddy is working on a Very Important Project. And then, every so often, you tell us to come sit on your lap, because you have to teach us a Very Important Lesson. Or we overhear you ranting to Mother about the Science Council’s inability to accept new ideas.

      Which would be fine, were we your rascally children and you our doting inventor father. But we are not. We are your equals. We’re all RPS commenters, and we all deserve to be treated with respect, not condescension.

      And here’s the thing: I would totally agree with Aatch above, were it not for the sheer [i]quality[/i] of your writing. You can actually express yourself eloquently. And you waste that eloquence on incessant rants about Xenophobia and If I Were In Charge Of Computer Games and Gee, Things Were Better When I Was A Kid and If Only You Could Talk To The Monsters. And when we try and tell you that (and even the harshest of us are saying only that, really), you self-mythologize it away with a chiding “You’ll understand when you’re older.” But the problem is not that you’re saying all this crap and spamming multiple comment threads with your tired arguments and lists of resentments. I mean, it is, but that’s not the real problem. The problem is that you could take it somewhere else and build a real following, but you don’t. You stay here, because it’s safe, and because when people are getting mad at you, at least they’re paying attention. There’s no guarantee of that on the Outside. I get it.

      But goddammit, man, we’re trying to tell you to stop yammering about your nonsense here and get your own blog or site or whatever, where you can post what you like and gather a following of like-minded people who care about, uh, whatever it is you’re always going on about, and then you can maybe make a real difference in the gaming community! No, maybe it’s not as safe as chilling here and saying what you say and smiling smugly when someone tells you to shut up, but it might effect the change you’re always agitating for, and just posting here will never do that. Even when you make a good point, you make it in a way that’s all about you, and that’s just not appropriate for a comments section on somebody else’s website. And, every so often, you even make a great point that isn’t all about you, and people stop caring as soon as they see who posted it. They straight up do not read it, because you’re a leper here. And when it is something people need to hear, it breaks my heart.

      Please, Wulf, please! If you must agitate for your pet causes, do it somewhere with people who’ll actually listen! I don’t give a shit, but I promise you there’s someone who will. The internet is vast, like a desert, and it’s time you built a house instead of running up an infinite tab at the local pub. Okay?

  13. mandrill says:

    Of the three big MMOs that are incoming (this, PS2 and SWTOR) this has to be the one I’m most looking forward to. Its abso-bleeping-lutely gorgeous.

  14. DrSlek says:

    I’ll take this game over SWTOR or WoW any day of the week. Loving everything I’ve seen.

    • Lemming says:

      I agree completely. And you know what? If everyone thinks the same it will be a very, very good thing for the genre. It could completely change the business models for MMOs in the future.

  15. JackShandy says:

    This post marks the time when I realized that the Asura are fancy dwarfs.

    • Dominic White says:

      Eh, GW1 had dwarves, and they were pretty fancy. Their entire race kinda got transmuted/ extincted at the end of Eye of The North, though.

      The Asura don’t seem much for the standard dwarf tenets of mining, industry and gold-hoarding. In fact, those are probably the three things they’d most likely get robots or minions to do for them so they can focus on creating doomsday weapons and weather-control machines

  16. The Dark One says:

    Man, Feersum Endjinn would be a great place to set a game in.

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