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fhqwhgads: So the Charr have been officially stated to have the most advanced mundane technology of any of the races. How in the world did this happen? What about Charr society could possibly have allowed them to surpass everyone else? For example, Charr society is a hierarchical military organization with four competing factions, likely inspired by the Mongol Empire post-Genghis Khan. The first of them to divert resources away from arms and troops towards research would be pounced upon by the others. Furthermore, research is fundamentally unreliable, and any useful invention requires years and years and years of study into the fundamental principles behind it before anyone can even imagine its applications nevertheless make something useful. All those prerequisites would be a huge drain to any Charr faction wanting to invest in research before they would be able to see any actual returns. Even if the Charr managed to discover those principles, there's no guarantee that they'd get anything useful out of them either, and even if they built, say...a model T car, their military society and lack of a free market economy ensures that it would never catch on since it's slower, weaker, and more expensive than an ordinary horse, even if it might eventually be refined into a tank. The only reason it caught on in the real world was because it was a novelty and a display of wealth, things that wouldn't exist in a military society.

In order to make the advances in technology they did, the Charr would've had to have diverted large amounts of potential forces into research that's sure to never give returns for 20 years, and might not produce anything at all. The nature of research is also problematic to the Charr. Since all fields of research are interdependent, the Charr's military society and thus inherent lack of focus on individuality would prevent them from researching in all fields to satisfy individual interests, or simply researching for research's sake. This narrows their research to things with immediate military use, thus severely constricting potential leads and innovation.

The fact that Charr are conscripted into the military shortly after birth also presents a problem. Only one of the four Charr factions has an explicit focus on technology and engineering, which immediately cuts the Charr's stock of researchers to 1/4th what it could be. After conscription, young Charr are then placed into a "warband" which they rarely ever leave. The fact that the warbands are assembled before any of the young Charrs' aptitudes can be determined means that it is near impossible to assemble a warband whose members have an appropriate balance of talents for a research project, and the rarity of Charr leaving their warband makes it that much harder to extract potential researchers from current warbands. A Charr's potential aptitude in research may never even be recognized if they're not given the opportunity to try it, and that's assuming that their superiors even care about research at all, which they should have no reason to since research is expensive gambling that's sure to not pay off in the short run, and each faction needs all the resources they can get to be in top shape to compete against the others.

If anything, human society would be much more apt towards research since humans are free to pursue whatever fields they are best at or are interested in, ensuring that those who have an aptitude in research are much more likely to discover it and take up research than the Charr. Humans are also better equipped for communication which is central in the scientific peer-review process and also have a greater degree of room for independent thought and opinions, which a military structure would strike down immediately. Not to mention that successful inventors could become very rich.

This is simply bad writing in an attempt to include a redeeming quality in a race which should not logically have it. The Charr should at best be at an equal level to the other races by stealing their technology, but should not be able to improve it without all the knowledge and skills that were used to create it. Charr society is fundamentally opposed to the forces of independent thought, personal curiosity, individual desires, and free communication, which fuel research.

  • The conclusion reached on the GW 2 Guru forums is that the Humans could handily outpace the Charr if they wanted to, but don't because along with all of their absurdly modern ideals they are very environmentally friendly, and an industrial revolution doesn't bode well for the environment, and that the Asura are focused pretty much exclusively on magitech, so the Charr just don't see any competition from either of them.
  • Perhaps the Charr have changed in the last... what is it, two thousand years or something?
    • It's 250 years, and my references to the tendencies and practices of Charr society were based on this official source.
      • Oh, also, the Charr were already using elliptic curve cryptography in GW 1 (Eye of the North), which wasn't proposed in the real world until 1985...
  • Why assume the Charr don't have the resources or willingness to advance technology in the name of war? As your official source itself states, the Charr do not let their power struggle affect the end goal of the entire Charr race--that is, conquering and dominating the entire world. So, the Ash Legion doesn't just go around killing enemy Charr leaders, because even if the Ash Legion wants control, crippling the other three Legions in the process is detrimental to their overall goals. Simply put, there's no reason to believe that the four warbands are unwilling to share combat theory, technology, magic, or assassination techniques with one another, because they value strengthening the full military might of their race over even their independence.
    • fhqwhgads: That's not what it says. "They each prefer to follow separate paths, but no legion is so foolish as to ignore the single goal of the Charr..." It's saying that each of their paths furthers the goal of Charr domination, not that they're willing to work together. In fact, as far as willingness to work together, it says the opposite. "Perhaps one day the legions will have an enemy so great they will once again put aside their differences-or perhaps one day a single legion will conquer the entire nation and unify the Charr." And I don't assume that the Charr are not willing to perform research. I'm saying that their social structure is entirely counterproductive to research while the Human social structure is much more conductive towards it. You also missed it when I explained how their focus on military might is a BAD thing when it comes to research. Research requires that you study EVERYTHING. Every field is interconnected. You can't just research "weapons", you have to research all aspects of reality, even ones that have nothing to do with war. If the Charr are not willing to perform civilian research as well as military research, they'll fall behind in the long term. The fact that they have no internal economy to drive such civilian research is problematic, as I explained with my example of the Model T car. The fact that all Charr are conscripted shortly after birth is also problematic, as it prevents them from freely communicating, thinking of new ideas, pursuing their own interests, and discovering their aptitudes. How will the Charr inform one another about the latest experiments or freely propose hypotheses when their society is hierarchical? How will Charr researchers stay with their warbands and perform their research when it's unlikely that any of their other bandmates are inclined to research?
    • fhqwhgads: The Charr's focus on war above everything else should pull them into something of a Chinese finger trap. If you try to go straight to one goal, such as weapons development, you'll make a little progress, but eventually stop. You have to go around and look at other fields before the answers become clear and more progress can be made.
      • Nick: Except official sources also state that the Charr legions work together to maintain and expand their empire. Research, development and industry are all an integral part of expansion, are they not? And since the Charr raise and school their young, it's entirely possible they form warbands that specialize in engineering and chemistry from a young age. Sure, they don't have the freedom to let anyone who wants to create something do it, but if they have Charr who were trained in technology from a young age, all a Charr has to do is see an idea delivered to them, and to give them ideas in turn. Considering their culture, the idea of the Charr specifically developing the minds of their young for chosen purposes is not far-fetched.
        • fhqwhgads:You can't just "develop" the minds of a young Charr for a chosen purpose. You can train them, but what if they're completely incompetent at it? They could pick and choose the ones that are good, but then you run into the warband problem and the fact that Charr come as a package deal. So either you go around breaking warbands and picking out good engineers or you have mathematics warbands half of whom don't understand anything the others are saying, or you have a frontline combat warband brought into the city so a few of their members can do chemistry.
          • Nick: So, you're going under the assumption that a person who studies nothing but math from the age of roughly a year old, all day, every day, under the guidance of someone who probably made multiple advancements to mathematics themselves, would not be competent in the field of mathematics? Environment plays a role in developing a person's intellect, and in a society like the Charr where everything is for the honor of the warband and the Charr nation, it seems a likely outcome. Or, in short, the Charr have the mental focus and drive to learn a field even if they don't have a natural affinity for it.
    • I would like to point to the advancements in military technology the Soviets and Germans, hardly states that fosters 'the forces of independent thought, personal curiosity, individual desires, and free communication' made during the 10 years around WW 2, while their lands were being ravaged by war, just like the Char lands are under attack from the dragons' minions. You would not want to go to war with the tanks, planes and to a lesser extent guns they had in 1938 against an opponent armed with the tools of 1948. From bolt-action rifles, tin-cans and the occasional bi-plane to assault rifles, main battle tanks and jet planes. And that's in 10 years. In 250 years, I'm willing to buy they advanced quite a bit. And game balance ensures they still won't be much tougher than the mages and warriors they already had anyway.
  • As for the humans not being technologically advanced, you're looking at the humans as they are regularly shown--the well-rounded, highly adaptive "Marios" of the RPG world. These are not those humans. These are highly religious humans who trust in their gods to aid them and show them the way. They're more like the elves of most RPGs, really--very traditional, very unchanging. They're practically the same as they were in the original Guild Wars. Might be Fridge Brilliance, actually--the Charr were humiliated when they realized they had been worshipping false gods, so it makes sense that they would turn to technology. The Human gods, on the other hand, are very much real--they even replaced one of them they weren't happy with. Why should they doubt their worship then?
    • fhqwhgads: I don't buy the idea that the human gods are preventing them from research. Even if the gods are real, they haven't interfered directly in human affairs for quite a while, so they certainly aren't something which would make physical engineering unnecessary or obsolete. You also can't make the argument that the gods themselves discourage research since there's a god of truth and reason which would certainly be a good patron deity of scientists and engineers.
      • I think you may have misunderstood my point. I'm not trying to say that the human gods are trying to prevent technology, I'm saying that the humans may simply not see a need to research and develop technology when their religion served them so well for so long. Besides, if they're the third most advanced race, we're comparing them to the Asura and the Charr, both of whom are advancing their technology hard, something the humans may also simply not have the luxury to do, what with being down to one major city left in the world. Remember, the Charr have a lot more control over a larger area than the humans, who have been pushed to the edge and are still having to deal with centaurs and the like. Of course, the Asura have been hammered hard, pushed from their homes, forced to find a new power source...but their society is built from the ground up on research and development, too. I'm fairly certain they will eventually overtake the Charr in terms of technology.

However, it is confusing to me at least that the humans are less technologically advanced than the Sylvari--the druidy, hermitlike plant-people race that only cropped up into existence like 25 years ago. What's up with that?

  • fhqwhgads: sorry, my mistake. Fixed the OP.
      • Proof please on where it says that the Sylvari are more techincaly advanced then Humans? I'm pretty sure their either even or the Sylvari are behind.
        • fhqwhgads:You're a bit late. If you'd look at the post you responded to, you'd see that that claim was a mistake and has been fixed.

To be honest, I think the real headscratcher about the Charr "Why aren't they all at least partially deaf?" Admittedly, I might just not understand how sound and hearing work very well, but according to the GW 2 official wiki, the charr have two sets of ears, one for high frequency and one for low frequency, and they apparently have difficulty hearing mid-frequencies, which is apparently part of why they have trouble with humans (can't hear them speaking well) even though their own vocal frequencies sound mid-range. Also, the Charr now live in an industrial society and a militant state, a place that would be a cacophonic symphony of high and low frequency noises, and not entirely useful once but deafening ones. So I just ask: Why aren't Charr deaf by the time they're adults?

  • The entertaining thing here is that the simple answer is usually the most accurate one, and if we weren't so very vainglorious, we wouldn't be able to overlook it so easily. Firstly, the charr have a very socialist culture, they have no need for capitalism. In that world, socialism was successful and worked as an ideal for technological development. If you don't believe that, then read up on the most recent charr lore. The other element that's painfully obvious is that the humans are not the most intelligent race on Tyria, far from it.

All it takes is one sylvari to understand asura magicks, then they all do via their hivemind. The charr have a higher level of objective thinking and a greater critical capacity, leading them to make advancements in the physical sciences faster whilst humans are still bogged down by religion. (Remember that episode of Family Guy where Stewie took Brian to a world where religion had never existed, and thus humanity is one thousand years more advanced? Yeah.) The asura dabble in high-end magic, they're basically the high elves of that world, despite being so short, and they do things with magic (not technology, check the race pages) that most of the races couldn't dream of, and are somewhat insufferable geniuses because of their command of magic.

And then you have the norn, the norn are endlessly wise, and this has been demonstrated by Gullik in Ghosts of Ascalon, and apparently this is a common element of the norn, they carry some of the wisdom of their spirit animal with them, so they're always good with advice and thinking things through before diving in.

Essentially the humans in Guild Wars 2 are the impetuous youths and the least intelligent race of the lot, which is why (despite any and all delusions of grandeur) they've had, what, 8 of their cities destroyed? They have one left now and they're on the brink of extinction.

There you have it, humans of Tyria? Just not very bright. Charr? Asura? Norn? Sylvari? All incredibly intelligent in their own ways.

The only reason they got as far as they did was due to the divine powers of their gods (as mentioned in many lore entries), but their gods abandoned them a while back, and since then they've been on a downward spiral, with some humans still being crazily co-dependent and refusing to believe that the gods are gone (see any human intro for Guild Wars 2).

The reason the charr have achieved what they have is due to raw intelligence and the drive and verve to see it through. the reason humanity hasn't achieved much is because... of everything I've just explained. Humanity is hanging by a thread in that reality. (Compare and contrast with the successful charr, who have four major cities at least and are still expanding.)

  • "Charr society is fundamentally opposed to the forces of independent thought, personal curiosity, individual desires, and free communication, which fuel research." Really? Tell that to Pyre Fierceshot and Kalla Scorchrazor, both of whom were fiercely independent and individual. It seems to me like you're forcing a very narrow view of the charr which the lore doesn't support and then basing your logic on that, and by doing so your logic is flawed. And this quote in particular - "This is simply bad writing in an attempt to include a redeeming quality in a race which should not logically have it." - makes this 'headscratcher' sound possibly like a case of fantastic racism. You're coming over just a wee bit too xenophobic for your own good to me, here.
  • Umm to person that mentioned Dream letting the Sylvari master everything: The Sylvari Dream doesn't work that way... Each Sylvari only get a small portion of the collected memories, which in turn are vague, They'll know it, But will still have to do it themself and learn it fully. Lore has states that Humanity have the most well documented history, Norn are individuals so while one is Wise like Eir, another can be like Gyda, obnoxious and ignorant. The Charr are highly intelligent but also have as a whole a distrust of magic especially defensive magic that is almost downright silly. Every Race in GW 2 has good and bad points, That is the whole point of the plot, That the races have to -band- together and use their skills. Humanity is just as needed as others and it wasn't so much a case of being not to bright but simply being seriously unlucky between Gw1's time and Gw2.

"And then you have the norn, the norn are endlessly wise, and this has been demonstrated by Gullik in Ghosts of Ascalon, and apparently this is a common element of the norn, they carry some of the wisdom of their spirit animal with them, so they're always good with advice and thinking things through before diving in." Not to be rude, but this statement has a huge hole in it. The Norn may be wise, but as a race the Norn are individuals. Period. Their entire "society" if such a term can even be applied to them since they do what they want, when they want and are as organized as a bar-room brawl, is to be Famed in Story. They drink till they bust a gut, climb mountains and take on the biggest damn monsters they can, alone more often than not, for the sake of living forever in legend. Many of them are wiser than they lead on or are very attached to the spirits, but to other races much of what they do is suicidal and extreme. They throw themselves into life seeking glory and consequences be damned. The same Gullik who is wiser than he looks or comes off to be is also the same guy who screwed up an honor duel before he grasped the bigger picture, and threw himself axe-first at a monster the size of a hill on his own, Leeroy Jenkins style. Granted he's a 9-foot-tall,badass, but the point is that while norn like Eir seek wisdom and fame through their craft, many norn aren't viewed as overly wise or overly brash, just hungry for prestige in what they do. For all other questions see The Other Wiki in fact all other questions can basically be solved with GW 2 wiki for anyone actually wanting to do their research.

  • Where are the playable Tengu? I always wondered why the devs decided to develop new races (Norn, Sylvari, Asura) and make them playable, rather than the existing ones like the Tengu? Yeah, they certainly went with Charr, which people have wanted since Prophecies, but why were the Tengu given the short end of the stick?
  • The Tengu are busy hanging out in the Dominion of Winds. So their probably either going to be an expansion race or A-net just don't see the Tengu as playable race?
  • I think another important reason is that areanet wanted to make its own races, which is why the dwarfs who were made in the same mold as Tolkien's dwarfs got the shaft in Eye of the North. Tengu, similarly, are named after Japanese mytholical creatures, just as centaurs are based on Europian mythology and will also not be playable.
    • Despite that they took a lot of creative liberties with it to make them stand out...and you know that this is indeed the perfect opportunity to develop them more - I mean, they don't see anything wrong with Shapeshifting vikings (Come on, how many societies are we going to see based off of Nordic culture?) or plant people that look more like nature sprites from popular mythology. The Centaurs in Guild Wars were actually not so much half-man half horse but were half gazelle and were african - something that's very underrepresented in RPG settings. They wasted a few perfectly good societies.
  • I believe Word Of God stated that the Centuars can't be made as a playable race due to the coding nightmare of having to make armour that'd fit not just them but the other races. For other bipedals, Expansions are planned so who knows, Aparently players of the beta have noticed that the Tengu wall is large enough to house say Oh one starting area...
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