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Designing Human Characters in Guild Wars 2

The human week goes on for those fanatic Guild Wars 2 fans. Today, Aaron Coberly, character art lead, gives us some information about character art and armor design, using human characters as examples.

The character work for GW2 has been very exciting and rewarding for us. We've had a lot of upgrades in technology for this game: normal maps, real reflections, per vertex specular, new skin shaders, more polygons… I could talk forever about the new technologies, but I would probably bore you all. Suffice it to say, we're very happy with where we are and where we're going with the visual design of characters and creatures.

Being Human

The humans in Guild Wars 2 story are very much like the humans in the original Guild Wars, but they have all united to survive as a race. Visually, we have made many improvements to our character models since Guild Wars, as you can see in this side-by-side comparison of human females from both games.

In Guild Wars 2, professions will not be as visually distinct. Instead, we're dividing up the appearance by weight class. For instance, if you're a warrior, you share the heavy armor class with the guardian (so far). The advantage to this approach is that you have access to all the heavy armors instead of just one branch. The slight drawback is that you won't have as unique a look for your profession, but the added variety and more robust customization allow you to personalize your character and create your personal identity.