Friday, February 11, 2011

In Focus: Human

Once the dominant species of Tyria, the humans have not fared well in the last few years. Their kingdoms, once spanning the entire continent, lie in ruins, leaving only Kryta. As the previous threats waned, an even more deadly one, that of the Elder Dragons, has threatened the very existence of the human race.
Humans are one of the five playable races in Guild Wars 2.

Human concept art.

Character creation
Selecting a human character will start players off in Divinity's Reachin Kryta. Salma District will be where the character's home instance is located.
During character creation, human characters have three race specific biography questions that they can answer, affecting their personal story:
the social status the character was raised as.
what one of their biggest regrets is.
which of the Six Gods they are blessed by.
The human personal story begins with the character deciding to see the world outside Divinity's Reach for the first time, to discover the area under attack by centaurs and they assist with the defense. It is known that later on in the story, a human character must choose between saving an orphanage and saving a hospital.
Human racial skills seem to center around the human gods.

There is little to separate the appearance of Guild Wars humans from actual humans. The physical differences between different human races has been used to differentiate the different human cultures in Guild Wars - those of Elonian descent might look African, while those from Cantha can look Asian. Kryta and Tyria is dominated by those of Tyrian descent so many have a white European appearance.

The separation of time and distance has meant the human race, more than any other race in the game, has developed a variety of different cultures within it. As human refugees flooded into Kryta from the crumbling edges of human civilisation they stayed together to try and hold on to aspects of their history and culture which connected them to the homelands they could not return to. No other place shows this more than the human capital - in Divinity's Reach many of the districts are named for and filled with the architecture and the peoples of Ascalon, Cantha and Elona.
Humanity is filled with examples of great social inequality, homeless on the streets struggling through each day while the rich dine on fine food in opulent homes. But this doesn't mean they're stuck with the lives they have. Every human has the opportunity to take life and make something more of it - to make a difference to not only their life but the lives of those around them.
The other races view the humans as a dying race - doomed to disappear from Tyria just as the dwarves did. But the humans struggle on, refusing to give up where others might walk away. In Ascalon, for example, the inhabitants of Ebonhawke, against the odds, still stare down the charr each day from that fortress' great walls.
Humans typically wish to bury their dead, however recently with the influence of Zhaitan and the number of undead increasing many choose to be cremated instead.

Another concept art.

Humans are very dedicated to the worship of their pantheon; the Six Gods. Balthazar, Dwayna, Grenth, Kormir, Lyssa, and Melandru are each patrons of several broad areas of concern including war, healing, death, truth, beauty and nature. These gods are attributed with bringing the humans to Tyria and had historically taken a large part in the development of the human race often using their powers to intervene in events. However, in the past 200 years the Six Gods have stepped back and while they still answer the prayers of their followers they are much more distant than before.
This silence from their gods had done little to dampen the human's devotion. Temples are still made devoted to their worship, the streets of Divinity's Reach are named and decorated for each of the gods. Some even choose to devote their lives to the worship of a particular god - a Priestess of Dwayna might find herself working in a hospital or a Priest of Balthazar arranging competitions for his god. Historically several festivals were held devoted to one or more of the gods, in particular Wintersday, but whether these are still celebrated is unknown.
The human race is governed by a hereditary monarch and a body of senators which contains representatives of all the human races. The senators design law and present their proposals to the queen, who authorizes or rejects their implementation into society. Initially, this system was designed as a temporary government for the refugee camps, but in the 150 years since the flood of Lion's Arch, it has become a stable system, a respected government, and a cornerstone of Krytan culture.

Due to humans being the only playable race in Guild Wars they have a significant amount of historical lore. For details on the lore pre-dating the Guild Wars game read the Guild Wars Wiki's section on human history. For the time covered by the Guild Wars games read the articles covering the storyline. This section focuses on the time between the end of Guild Warsand the beginning of Guild Wars 2.
At the end of Guild Wars humanity was still the dominant race in Tyria. Spanning three continents with an extensive trade network and significant population, humanity had spread to every corner of Tyria. From these heights humanity started to falter and for the past 250 years they have been in decline.
The human's war with the charr continued in Ascalon. On the back-foot since the searing, the humans repeatedly lost ground against the charr. From 1080 AE to 1090 AE, King Adelbern was able to maintain a tenuous grasp on Ascalon, until the charr marched on Ascalon City and in his madness he unleashed the Foefire turning much of the human population of Ascalon to ghosts. After the Foefire Ascalon was completely controlled by the charr but for the human fortress of Ebonhawke which stands against the charr to this day.
Cantha was united in 1127 AE under the strong fist of Emperor Usoku who then embarked on a campaign to drive out non-human races from the continent. Under his tyranny Cantha became increasingly isolationist and contact with Tyria became increasingly rare. When the minions of Zhaitan cut off sea routes to Cantha all information was cut off too.
Horrible famine swept through Elona after Palawa Joko dammed the Elon river - with the humans so weakened he was able to walk in with his undead armies. In approximately 1135 AE, he had completely taken control of Elona. Joko's stronghold in the Crystal Desert made, and continues to make it near impossible to access Elona via land while Zhaitan makes it impossible to cross to it by sea.
In 1219 AE, the great wave which accompanied the awakening Zhaitan smashed through the Krytan capital, the largest human settlement in Tyria at the time, and all of the coastal areas. Lion's Arch was completely destroyed and abandoned as the capital. When Lion's Arch was born again it was founded by pirates and it became a free city and was no longer under humanity's sole guidance.
Kryta, united under Queen Salma in 1088 AE, became the last stable, reasonable human nation and refugees fled to it from all of the troubled corners of the three continents. The new capital Divinity's Reach became the center of the human universe and their last hope to recover their feet even as it continues to struggle against centaurs and bandits. Many a human would die before letting anything harm Divinity's Reach and their queen.


  1. I can wait to preorder Guildwars 2, I love when you can customize your character that much.

  2. I love the detail they put into everything they do at Arena Net. This game is gonna be so good.

  3. So what race are you most looking forward to?

  4. Very informative article. I never had the luck to play GW (WoW fan here) but I should really give it a chance.

  5. @rickysha Charr. Charr will be definitely be my first and main when GW2 comes out. Next post will be Charr. :)

  6. Ah always my favorite race to play in an RPG

  7. I always play Human in rpgs :>

  8. humans kinda sound like they would be boring to play as

  9. cool post - i always go for dwarfs in rpg's for some reason - there's probably some physiological meaning behind it

  10. good post man! but they seem kinda meh to me

  11. Human race is always the go-to for most players in games.

  12. Necro is my favorite. But humans arent that bad either!

  13. I'm a big human player too. I just do.

  14. Thanks for the post. Rather informative and helpful.

    Supporting as always!

  15. saw the new races and classes videos, I AM GOING TO PREORDER IT SO EARLY =)

  16. Wow these posts are such great detail. Thanks again!