The written language is the
focus of the latest href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2">Guild
reveal. We’re given the advance scoop on something
that’s a bit different than solid gameplay mechanics like href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84465">Dynamic
Events or href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/personal-story">customizable
stories. This time around
ArenaNet is taking a look at written language within GW2. Writing is
really important to any civilization because it allows us to save
information in a convenient format that can be retrieved later by
anyone who can read that language. This works both ways for GW2. The
first is from a lore standpoint where it helps reinforce a realistic
and detailed touch to the game’s fictional story. The second
is from the community building standpoint where the community can come
together and work through various Easter Eggs in the game.
Lingua, Idioma, Language
Literacy wasn’t very
prevalent before the industrial revolution. It would make sense that
the great citizens of Kryta wouldn’t have much in the way of
education or book learning given the time period and state of the
world. Yet as time advances it would only make sense for the world to
grow and with it the written language.
It’s interesting too
that the Durmand Priory is powerful enough to bring the races together
and help unite them to form a single written language on Tyria. This is
just a meager 35 years from the invasion of the Charr into Ascalon,
meaning that the Durmand Priory becomes influential within the world
very quickly and will have situated itself deep into the lore long
before we see Tyria 250 years in the future.
Concept art has shown that the
Charr become metal workers, but the fact that their technology is
capable of producing a printing press tells us that the world will be a
lot more advanced for not only the Asura, but also the other races as
well. The Charr are a barbaric species, but the fact that
they’re capable of developing (or assisting in the
development of) a printing press tells us a lot about the direction the
world is taking.
Small details like these and
larger details like Dynamic Events and Personal Stories are adding up
fast and helping accelerate GW2 from a game that has a story somewhere
on the official site to a game where you’re actually going to
be in a world developed from the ground up in which players will live
out the story live. This is the first time I’m actually
anticipating playing an MMO for not only the awesome gameplay but the
in-depth story as well.
This just isn’t about
the gameplay either. The fact that there will be more translatable
languages is kind of a big deal for some members of the community. The
community has worked together to translate every possible rune,
alphabet, and scribble except for a single Asuran banner. These
“easter eggs” were placed into the game by Matthew
Medina who developed these “languages” while
working on assets for the game. Not all objects in the game are
translatable, but there are a large number of props in the game that
contain lettering which can be turned straight into the English
have already translated the text on this sign.
These letters weren’t
just used in the game for aesthetics either. The War in Kryta viral
campaign required players to translate Old Ascalonian in order to find
the URL to the next website they had to visit. The same may apply to
GW2. Finding something in the world that’s translatable may
lead players to some secret area or reveal some other Easter Egg within
Another thing about
translatable items is that it can help build a sense of community.
Something that may be difficult to translate can become a hotbed for
community discussion and bonding, especially if it’s a
prevlant part of the game instead of just something associated to a few
random props throughout the world.
I’m enjoying the
length that ArenaNet is going to in an attempt to provide us with
details about GW2, even if they’re smaller updates focusing
on a small aspect of the current GW1 community. It shows that ArenaNet
is watching the community and is focused on making a game that appeases
not just themselves but the community.
Speaking of the community, why
not come visit our community forums and share your thoughts about the
alphabet in GW2? Do you think it’d be fun to work on
translating ancient runes or are you more of a bash your hammer into
things until they die kind of person? Let us know!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.