Getting Started in Guild Wars 2: Character Creation

Lets start with the very basics of Guild Wars 2 – creating a character.  You have a number of choices which will affect your gaming experience in different ways.  I’ll go through each and how you might want to consider things.

1. Choosing a Race

There are five races in Guild Wars 2 – Charr, Human, Norn, Asura and Sylvari.  All races can play all professions (or classes).  Choice of race will affect the following:

  • Your starting area
  • Parts of your Personal Story (the quest thread running through the game)
  • What armour will look like on you
  • Race can have a minor affect on jumping puzzles with Charr being considered difficult due to its size and Asura to be the easiest to use here

But there is one important thing that should influence your choice of race above all other things: choose the race you like best.  After all, you’re going to spend a lot of time looking at it.  If you don’t understand the implications of the points above don’t worry about it.  Read the descriptions and pick something that sounds like fun.  A brief summary of the races might be:

  • Charr – warlike cat people in the midst of an industrial revolution (were the baddies in GW1 and are not popular with the old timers)
  • Human – exactly what it says on the tin
  • Norn – very tall humans with viking lore tacked on
  • Asura – small, odd looking, obsessed with technology and magic (gnomes in WoW player speak)
  • Sylvari – plant people with elvish traits

2. Choosing a Gender
This has no impact on the game at all other than on the appearance of armor.  Choose whatever you want.

3. Choosing a Profession
There are eight professions in Guild Wars 2.  Again, you might want to read the descriptions.  This is the choice that will affect your gameplay the most.  Each Profession is different, with different abilities.  Read the descriptions on screen and these will give you a flavour of the class.  Professions are also limited to certain amour and weapon types.  In Guild Wars 2 each Profession has different abilities for each weapon they use.  This means that there are many unique Profession-Weapon combinations.

There is no easy way to decide what Profession is best for you other than to give them a try.  Some are fairly classic fantasy fare for players who have played other MMOs and RPGs.  Again a quick summary here:

  • Elementalist – this is a mage with different abilities not only per weapon but per element used (wears light armour)
  • Warrior – exactly what the name suggests (wears heavy armour)
  • Guardian – this is a paladin (wears heavy armour)
  • Engineer – lots of turrets and explosives, this is a steampunk inspired Profession (wears medium armour)
  • Ranger – other games might call this a hunter and you do get a fighting pet (wears medium armour)
  • Necromancer – lots of evil looking minions to go along with this class (wears light armour)
  • Thief – other games might call this a rogue, think stealth and backstabbing (wears medium armour)
  • Mesmer – this class is a little different with a focus on creating clones who do specific things, which you can then shatter to do other things (wears light armour)

One thing for players of other MMOs to bear in mind – there is no tank-dps-healer trinity here.  Do not assume that your mage will be ranged dps or your warrior a tank.  This game does not work that way.

I would suggest trying things to see how they work out for you.  I have a Sylvari Mesmer at level 80 and for use in blog posts I will be levelling a Norn Ranger.


4. Choosing your appearance
Guild Wars 2 characters are highly customisable.  Have fun.  Make sure you put some time aside for this as it will take a while.

5. to 9. Select Background
These will be a series of features about yourself.  They depend on your Profession and Race.  Combined, they create a story for your character and they will affect your personal story.  6. is a choice of personality – charm, dignity or ferocity.  Everyone gets the same three options and this is intended to affect gameplay, but doesn’t really at the moment.

10. Name
Thats it! You can now pick a name.  This can be one or two words and needs to be unique to you.


The final step is to watch your introductory video!


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