Of Bark And Grass

The sylvari redesign is finally here!

When I first learned that an entire race was being redesigned, my expectations were modest. I never thought they would be getting a drastic theme or form change. From what I saw of when Daniel Dociou was talking about it, I expected a distillation, a refinement of what the sylvari were. I wasn’t disappointed.

In the past I have bemoaned the lushness of the sylvari, of the grove, even the pale tree. I complained that, while jungle is all very nice, where were the other biomes? It irks me when thoughts of nature automatically equal wet and lush jungles, dripping with foliage. That is nature, yes, but so are the less-loved grasses and lichens and barks and succulents of colder and drier biomes.

In wishing for more grasses and a larger variety of flora, I was not vindicated. Don’t think for a second though that I’m complaining. My ideas, riots of plant life variety, were the path that the previous sylvari were on. Green-skinned girl picks leaves, twigs, moss, or grass for hair. Boring paste-on parts. The sylvari are not grasses, they are not moss and they are not frond or fern. They are the children of the pale tree. They are not some hodgepodge of different greenery, they are the sentient fruit of a single plant. This redesign brings the oneness of the sylvari into new clarity.

Don’t think for a second though that this oneness needs to equal a similar lack of customization. Plants are wonderfully varied, even within the same species. Take for example, the common pumpkin. Its species is Cucurbita Moschata. Now look at the pumpkins to the right. Every one of those is also a Cucurbita Moschata, all the same species. Even though they may look wildly different, they’re still quite obviously all pumpkins. Likewise will the sylvari be unique with different shapes, sizes, and colors, but all unmistakably children of the pale tree.

I feel compelled to note that, as an heirloom gardener myself, there are actually THOUSANDS of different cultivars of C. Moschata. Plants are really, really cool.

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  • Comments (1)
    • Xant
    • August 11th, 2011

    I believe that the Character artist Kristen Perry, mention something about maybe adding more body skins for more variety. So that will broaden the range of characters that we can create. Personally I’m happy about this redesign, since i when into it expecting to be disappointed. 😀

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