Norn Again: Guild Wars 2’s Norn Footage

ArenaNet are revealing more and more of the shape-shifting Norn characters in Guild Wars 2, including a video, which you can see below. And oof, this look good, particularly in stuff like the incidental character animations and the environments. The bit panning across wooded valleys is just breath-taking.


  1. Zyrxil says:

    /obligatory Norn *groan*

  2. Inigo says:

    Creatures was such a long time ago.

  3. mcnostril says:

    That was some spiffy music.

    I was eating my morning toast and it became THE MOST EPIC TOAST.

  4. lumenadducere says:

    When are we going to get past this ridiculous notion that all female armor in fantasy games needs to be revealing? Especially in a cold, northern setting where they should be even more bundled up?

    • Dominic White says:

      They’re were-bears. They spend a lot of their time walking around naked (with fur). The guys are often completely topless.

      Most of the female equipment shown so far has been pretty conservative. The costume designer is female, I believe.

    • stahlwerk says:

      One word: bitchintattoos

    • Jumwa says:

      They’ve written some things on this topic, but basically it boils down to: it’s idealized fantasy, and they aren’t restricted by such rigid rules, and the armour for both men and women is equally revealing and intended to be attractive for both.

      Which works for me. If I’m going to be spending dozens of hours working on my character and gearing them up, I want them to look appealing to me, male or female.

    • DXN says:

      @Dominic White: Can’t say I buy it. All the dudes in the video were showing, at most, a bit of collarbone. And sure, I’m sure we’ve all seen worse examples in videogames, but it’s still a pretty wholesale continuance of a moderately ridiculous trend…

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      @Jumwa: Actually what they said was that they are aware of this issue and want both covered and revealing styles for both genders so you can choose which one you prefer.

    • Chalky says:

      @DXN: Define “collar bone”
      link to

    • Nick says:

      DXN.. doesn’t matter if you buy it or not, the male Norn in Guild Wars: Eye of the North are mostly topless.

    • The Dark One says:

      They’re were-bears. They spend a lot of their time walking around naked (with fur). The guys are often completely topless.

      They must spend a fortune on the breakaway armour.

    • Wulf says:

      Also, call me crazy, but isn’t the last male Norn, right before the video cuts out, the one that we see a close-up of also topless?

    • MajorManiac says:

      To be fair, have you seen what most women wear on a cold saturday night when they go clubbing.

  5. DrazharLn says:

    Jim used my pun! *swoon*

  6. skyturnedred says:

    The game looks so good even the trailer makes my computer die of exhaustion.

    • Horza says:

      The shogun ad seems to be a bit of a resource hog.

      Advertisers: please don’t use flash ever again, thankyou.

  7. McDan says:

    So much excite for this game.
    Hey, I tried to think of a terribl pun involving “norn” and I couldn’t, all the good ones were gone. Also this lecture is killing brain cells faster than I could with a hammer.

  8. DXN says:

    Pretty cool stuff (hurr hurr) but jeeze, heaven forbid a female fantasy character cover up any but the minimum of bare skin, even when it’s cold enough that they’re wearing furs.

    • Wulf says:

      If you look at the armour human women wear, it’s incredibly conservative. If you look at the armour Norn men wear, it’s equally as open. There is much art that shows this, there are scenes in the video which details this, and there is a pile of screenshots and art which backs me up on this. Also: Eye of the North.

      Interestingly, the Charr seem to be the most armoured of all the races, by a huge margin. This is because they’re the most pragmatic of the races, culturally, whereas the Norn are the least so. That might explain a thing or two. Keep in mind that the people in this video aren’t what you’d expect of usual fantasy faire humans, they’re Norn, and Norns are basically… how to explain Norns…

      Norns are vikings, and Norns are celtic warrior heroes, and Norns have spiritual animal beliefs. They’re focused around creating legends, doing the most ludicrous things so that stories will be told about them and songs will be sung of their deeds. A Norn is the sort of character who’d risk their life for a good story. And…

      “I stood there, almost naked and bleeding in the snow as I beat the last bit of life out of that dragon with nothing but my hands, and a boulder I found nearby.”

      …sounds more impressive to a Norn as a story than…

      “I stood there in my invulnerable armour, quite comfy and warm, and lopped off the head of that beasty with my axe – which has these nice magic runes on it that allows me to kill just about anything in a single stroke. You probably could’ve done it yourself considering my equipment.”

      The idea of a Norn is that no one should be able to do what they do, not even other Norns. You could probably get Norns to almost die of hypothermia by challenging them to a contest of whom can wear the least armour. They’re just… like that.

      For that reason, the Norn aren’t my favourite choice (that would be the Charr, who’re pragmatic to a fault and also leading the industries/sciences in Tyria, fields in which they have no peers). Not my favourite race, no, but I can understand why they’re the way they are, and why they look the way they do.

    • Martha Stuart says:

      i thought the little dudes that are techno/mages were the tech leaders in this world?

  9. kirkbjerk says:

    Midgard for life!

  10. Zepposlav says:

    Conan the Barbarian theme FTW!!! Das ist Cimmerian wald!

  11. HeroJez says:

    I can’t help but think: This sounds like music from Lord of the Rings, or Narnia or whatever.. and I’ve been here before; and if the only cool thing is that you can set your arrows on fire by shooting through an AoE affect on the floor, then I don’t known if I can be bothered.

    Of course, your retort as better people than me will be ‘Good, stay away from our precious!’… but how will Guild Wars 2 succeed in the face of WoW and the nerd-herd honey pot that is SWToR with such a textbook approach.

    They should have made Guild Wars 2234 with Robots and 100 futury stuff! Or not, but well… good luck to them. I wonder if they’ll adopt a subscription model. Have they said either way?

    • Recidivist says:

      They’ve said they will never charge a subscription.

    • loshon says:

      Guild Wars 1 & 2 don’t compete against WoW or any other P2P or F2P MMOs, they’re the only one in the B2P market, so… if it’s as good as the first one, + marketing hype = 8 million sales in the first 3 years.

    • captain fitz says:

      The fire arrows are probably the least of the cool things they’ve showed. How about the huge dynamic world events or the combined weapon/skill system or the ability to dodge and roll and revive teammates L4D style or the way they’re trying to abolish the typical class system–things that are almost certain to make it feel very different from every other MMO.

  12. Jharakn says:

    I think its impressive they managed to make a trailer where the enviroments in an mmo look almost as good as a graphics showcase singleplayer rpg (skyrim).

  13. Tei says:

    It looks like Age of Conan, but Age of Conan do the Cimmerian thing better, so AoC wins this one.

  14. Jim9137 says:

    I’m sorry, but I honestly can’t get past those necks.

    – Neckful Jim

    PS: MAGNAMIOUS BOOBS related magic

  15. theleif says:

    If you toss little norn children around, could you say you chuck Nornies?