As many of my old Second Life friends will know, I had (have) a penchant for horns. So far I’ve been unable to carry this across to other words as easily as Sal has taken his skin colour. It seems blue skin is almost always OK, but ruddy great goring aids atop your noggin isn’t. I blame low door jams.
Guild Wars 2 is a little different in so much as I can have horns, but only if I want to be a Charr. Unfortunately I don’t (not ever, just not now) as I like to play more humanoid characters in order to relate to them more fully. Maybe it’s all that fur. Yes, I know I had fur in SL but it was short. And I took a lot of baths. But I digress. The point is I can’t have horns unless I’m a great stinking Charr.
But I can have branches! Oh yeah, you heard me, branches! And ever since seeing King Balor in Hellboy 2 I’ve wanted branches…
…and the Sylvari in GW2 can fulfil my desire in spades! Take a look at the next video – after the Charr opening cinematic you get to see a demo-limited view of how wonderfully nearly-human-yet-utterly-alien the Sylvari look. They don’t have bones and tendons and flesh and skin. Instead they are plants made from strong heart-wood, movable cell-structures, elongated leaves, overlapping petals and, of course, branches. Their faces do not have cheek bones or eye brows, they have specialised leaves and flower parts that replicate a humanoid shape. They are not dryads for they are not spirits. They are not elves and will not moan endlessly on about the end of the world like certain elves in another game. No, they are plants that walk, talk, eat, laugh, think and fight and by god they are going to be glorious!
I may not be a half-gazelle on Tyria, but damn if being a Sylvari isn’t going to be the closet I’ve ever been since leaving Second Life a year ago.
Here is homeland, the Pale Tree that bears them as fruit.
And finally here are the designers discussing their creation.