Originally uploaded by Mellicious.
I am totally obsessed with GuildWars, aren't I? Well, I don't care, it's fun. (Cut to spare the uninterested, anyway - and those who wish to remain unspoiled!) (although, on the other hand, being spoiled for Guild Wars is kind of a comical concept, in my mind... still, I don't want to piss somebody off!) The other day, Columbine mentioned some nonsense name that turned out to be from a tv show, and I promptly said, "That's too long to be a GuildWars name." I was more aware of the length issue because "Alessa Silvershaper" exactly hit the length limit. (I think I wanted a name that sounded like it could come from D&D.) You get 19 letters AND your name is required to have at least one space in it, which is sort of different from anything else I've played. I think if I create any more chars - and I'm sure I will - I will give them the same last name as my original character, Tehanu. Maybe just Mel Tehanu, although I'm not really too crazy about that combination. (Actually, my very first character was "Rima Tehu" and she's still visible in that picture, the first one of the small characters on the right. But she was created for the Factions preview and those chars are supposed to be reset when Factions is released later this month. And since I don't think I'm going to be ready to play Factions for a good while, I'll probably just end up deleting her, at least when I get ready to have a fourth Prophecies character.)
Alessa never wears that helmet that's in the picture -or at least, you can't see it, since hats and cloaks can be made invisible if you want them to be. I usually leave my guild cloak visible in town, but I keep the hat hidden all the time. It annoys me. Alessa just has dark hair pulled up in a bun - that seemed the most warrior-like to me! She has already gotten rid of part of this armor - the red ringmail shirt and the gloves - so she looks a little different. And as soon as she gets out of pre-Sear, which will be soon, she'll probably get yet another set of armor, anyway. (I guess that will be the bustier-looking thing that Columbine's Io had on in that other screenshot (here).
You can't change the character's overall face shape, I don't think - at least, not the shape of their jaw. But you can change haircolor, hairstyle, their facial features, and the color of their clothing. I guess you're stuck with the hair and the face as long as you keep that character. The clothing color, of course, disappears as soon as you get new clothes, anyway. (Dye is a drop, and that's the only way you can change your clothing colors after the original outfit.)
The thing that I said was a spoiler was about the Searing. You can tell the difference if you compare the screenshot I linked two paragraphs ago, which is post-Sear, with this one - and you can even tell the difference a little bit in the three headshots at the bottom of the picture of Alessa. Pre-Searing Ascalon is beautiful - it's autumn, and there are falling leaves, and flowers in the fields, and so forth. There are hints of what's coming, though, if you're attentive. There are Charr attacking the walls - the big cat-people. When you do the last pre-Sear quest, the NPC who gives it to you asks you if you're SURE; you won't be able to come back "for a while," he says. And then what happens, not very surprisingly if you've paid attention at all, is some sort of apocalyptic event. It's not very well explained, except that the Charr get through the wall, and things blow up, and so forth. (This being a D&D-style world, you have to assume that the explosions are created by magic, I guess.) So in the rest of the game Ascalon is just ruins - although I suspect that eventually we will get to some other places that aren't quite so nasty-looking. We have gotten up into the mountains a little in the past couple of days, and it looks pretty normal. Y'know, except for the ice monsters and things - but the pre-Sear mountains had those too.
(The screenshots are really spoilers by themselves, aren't they? - because if you compare the idyllic blue skies of some of them with the red sky in the one of Rima & Io, you're going to figure out that there's a difference!)