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Guild Wars 2 Character Creation
One of the new features of Guild Wars 2 is the choice-based questing system, in which many of the beginning quests are determined by choices that you make during character creation. There are five races to choose from:
- The diminuative and headstrong Asuran arcane scientists
- The noble Sylvari, who awaken to life already knowledgeable from their dreams
- The resilient Humans, staunch defenders of Kryta
- The pragmatic and tough Norn, who hail from the frozen wastes of the north
- The conquering Charr, fierce and unwavering
Guild Wars 2 launched with eight primary professions (think classes, if you play other MMOs). In the current version of the game, there is no method available to change your primary profession as you could in Guild Wars 1, but this may change in the future. The currently available professions are:
- Elementalists command the elements to bring down destruction upon their foes. This role is nearly that of a "glass cannon" - think extremely high DPS with minimal defensibility.
- Engineers tinker with explosives, mechanical goodies and elixirs, using these and other tools to bring their enemies to their knees. Engineers cover many roles, including DPS, buffs and debuffs.
- Guardians are the protectors of Guild Wars 2. They are specialized fighters that use their abilities to shield others from harm, while drawing upon the powers of their chosen deities. This is considered to be mostly a tank role.
- Mesmers are reintroduced in Guild Wars 2 in much the same role as they had in the previous installment. They are considered to be the masters of illusion, using their magic to blind and confuse their enemies. The role that they play is greatly that of debuffing, with moderate DPS.
- Necromancers are adepts of the black arts, raising the dead and stealing the very lifeforce of those that choose to stand against them. They command the powers of life and death, even being able to revive those that have died around them, pressing them into service. This profession is much like that of a summoner, with moderate DPS and debuffing abilities.
- Rangers are the masters of ranged damage within Guild Wars 2. Unmatched in archery, they have the ability to fell enemies from a distance, frequently preventing them from ever reaching the ranger. This is a classic ranged DPS role with moderate survivability.
- Thieves in Guild Wars 2 are the classic embodiment of the assassin. Clinging to the shadows, they're typically undetected until they've delivered their deadly strikes. Owing to incredibly agile moves, they're nearly impossible to hit. This is the perfect role for those stabbity types that prefer to remain unseen.
- Warriors are the all around fighting character. Wielding nearly any weapon and wearing the heaviest of armors, these extremely versatile characters deal out loads of damage. They make incredibly flexible characters with the ability to tank, deal out damage or even place debuffs on their enemies.
The character customization page offers many options to tailor your character, including many details that most other games lack. The level of detail that you can change will insure that you can define your very own, unique look. The dye system from Guild Wars 1 was implemented as well, allowing you to unlock new colors as you find them.
As you progress further in creating your character, you're eventually asked a series of questions which will dramatically modify the quests that you're given in the beginning. Using this system, it's possible to make two characters of the same race and class, yet have a totally different experience. It's also important to note that if you want to group with friends during the early levels, it'll be necessary to make the same choices -- otherwise, you'll be doing different quests.
After you've finished making your character's life choices, you're given a summary screen that offers a rather cunning way to choose your name. You are asked to sign your chosen name to a document that lists your choices. As soon as you click next, you're whisked into a cinematic and your first quest.
All in all, ArenaNet has made character creation a process that allows you to customize your character and the major questline that you'll be completing. The possibility of replaying the game with a totally new experience is one that will bring this reviewer back to play many times over.