Flailing In The Brush

I wandered back to Guild Wars 2 Guru today.  I haven’t really visited the place for months, well, since just before Gamescom.  The most I noticed was the same debates, speculations, and arguments running in circles.  Most everything I saw, I’ve seen before.

Chiefest among the activity though, seems to be talk about the final design of the sylvari.  You’d have to be blind not to realize that, among eager fans, the sylvari are the most popular race.  Charr come in at a close second, but whenever I see something about the sylvari, the tone, excitement, and sheer amount of attention far outstrips that generated for the other races.

I was browsing through a sylvari speculation post (looking for images, and admiring the artwork of other Guild Wars fans) when I stumbled upon a link to a video.  In it, Daniel Dociu is talking about the art of Guild Wars 2.  The link directs to a specific part of the video where he mentions something rang absolutely true.

The point is just about at 6 minutes in.

He refers to the realization of the final sylvari design as a ‘crystallization’.

I knew immediately what he was talking about.  I’ve heard other artists talk about this phenomena, and I’ve experienced it myself when working on my own stories.  You can tell there’s something not right but you can’t see it, and you don’t know in which direction the truth lies.

Your only option is to flail around.  That’s ArenaNet’s design process.  You make many different images hoping you’ll stumble upon the right one.  The magic happens when you find it.

The truth, the right idea, word, image, or concept, when found, is so startlingly obvious you don’t know how you could have missed it before now.

I think the sylvari have been embroiled in controversy for so long exactly because the design wasn’t final.  They looked a little too much like elves, too muck like plants, or not enough like either.  With any opinion came the undercurrent of ‘There’s something not right‘.  As a race, they weren’t quite their own.

None of the other races have that problem.  The charr are what they are and there’s no mistaking it.  It’s the same with the asura, and the norn.

After listening to that interview I’m very excited to see the polished sylvari.  If they got it right, the concept should stand on its own and the truth of its existence should be self-evident.

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  • Comments (2)
  1. Should come to the GW2Forum then! 🙂

    I’m excited to see the Sylvari too. After reading both GW2 related books, the sylvari based characters came off as my favs.

    • lawl holmes
    • November 22nd, 2011

    Actually Guild Wars 2 forums is better, sorry bro. I love the Sylvari in GW2 too.

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