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Friday, 9 November 2007

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Eye of the North heroes: Jora

Jora should seem pretty familiar, as it's a picture of her on the front cover of the Eye of the North box. Of course, if you got the box that has a bear on the front - that's still Jora, just a bit less recognisably so. Helping Jora paves the way to getting the Norn onside as allies against the Destroyers, and so she's a pivotal hero whom you will meet early on in Eye of the North.


Eye of the North lore has this to say about Jora:

Jora is a younger Norn, beset by tragedy. Like most of her generation, she has been seeking to establish her name and reputation. Only the hunters of the greatest prey are considered worthy among her people, and as such, she and her brother Svanir trekked through the icy uplands and valleys seeking the most challenging prey.
On one of their hunts, Jora and her brother encountered a great, dark power, and were transformed by it. She lost her Nornish ability to shapeshift into bear form, while her brother suffered a darker fate. Now without a family or homestead, she hunts across the Norn lands of the Far Shiverpeaks seeking redemption of her name and forgiveness by the Bear Spirit. To achieve her goals, she will undergo any ritual, achieve any quest, and seek any treasure needed. She will even accept the help of humans.

Taking the Primary quest Northern Allies introduces you to Jora, who will be waiting at the bottom of the ramp that leads up to the Eye of the North. Completing the Primary quest Curse of the Nornbear will unlock Jora. This quest is part of a larger story arc of three missions:

  • Tracking the Nornbear
  • Curse of the Nornbear
  • Blood Washes Blood

Not only will completing these quests give you a big jump in your Norn Title Track, but they will also unlock a number of Norn skills, some entertaining Norn side quests, and also re-introduce you to the Charr. This is the first time you will meet them again, and they are a lot tougher than they ever were in Ascalon.

Jora is unable to use the Norn skill to turn into a bear in combat - the reasons why and how to solve this are unveiled in the above quests. Sadly this means her default skillset doesn't include the Norn bear form skill:

  • Gash
  • Healing Signet
  • Resurrection Signet
  • Savage Slash
  • Sever Artery
  • Shield Bash
  • "Watch Yourself!"

Jora is equipped with Norn warrior armour, which has +20 against physical attacks, and an armour rating of 80. As with other Eye of the North heroes, her armour can be upgraded to Brotherhood Armour with Cloth of the Brotherhood, and to Deldrimor Raiment with Deldrimor Armour Remnants.

One of Jora's best quotes is a paraphrasing of Ash in Army of Darkness: "Good. Bad. I'm the girl with the big weapon"

Few can resist the opportunity to have a tall blonde babe with a massive sword tooling around Eye of the North with them. Jora makes an excellent tank and with the amount of customisation available with heroes, she can be a powerful addition to your party.

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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Eye of the North heroes: Kahmu

Kahmu is another hero who has travelled to Eye of the North. An Elonian Dervish, Kahmu is a bit different, as he's not trying to help his homeland, nor is he on a mission - he seeks combat, and the challenges it brings.


As the manual says:

Kahmu is an Elonian Dervish, a native of Vabbi, who seeks wisdom through combat. Over the years, he has drifted farther and farther north, matching his skills against all manner of challenges, considering no fight too small—or too large.
Once Kahmu arrived in Norn territory, he challenged—and bested—some of the Norn's greatest warriors, and his name became legend around the campfires. Some claim he is a spirit, others that he has been blessed by the spirits of his homeland, and still others that he is a Norn born in the wrong body. Kahmu only laughs to hear these whispers. When the hunting here grows stale, he will simply move on.

Like Xandra, Kahmu can be unlocked by taking part in the Norn Fighting Tournament, which is received by talking to Magni the Bison in Gunnar's Hold. Once defeated in the Tournament, Kahmu is unlocked and can be added as a hero to your party.

His default skills are:

  • Chilling Victory
  • Faithful Intervention
  • Heart of Fury
  • Mystic Vigor
  • Resurrection Signet
  • Victorious Sweep

Kahmu's armour is labelled "Vabbian Armor". As it's Dervish armour, it provides +25 health and +2 energy regeneration, with an armour rating of 70.

As you travel around Eye of the North, keep an eye out for the idle quotes from your heroes. Kahmu comes out with probably the best one: "Lay off the reaper jokes. I've heard them all."

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Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Eye of the North trailer

In case you missed it (or just to watch it again, as it's great) here's the Eye of the North trailer:

Thanks to TwrZ for posting this up on YouTube.

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Guild Wars: Your Favourite Soundtrack Poll Results

Well, the results are in, and thanks to everyone who voted in our Soundtrack Poll. It seems that the Eye of the North soundtrack is by far and away the most popular, with 61% of your votes.

Prophecies was the next most popular soundtrack, capturing 22% of your votes, with the Factions soundtrack trailing with only 16% of the vote. It looks like the Battle Pak One and Nightfall soundtracks are the least popular, with nobody voting for them. Shame, I really like "Festival of Lyss" from the Nightfall soundtrack.

Head on over to Direct Song, where you can purchase the full, high quality soundtracks to all the Guild Wars chapters and expansions.

Keep checking back to our Eye of the North blog, where we'll have another poll up soon. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote!

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Monday, 5 November 2007

Eye of the North heroes: Xandra

Most of the heroes in Eye of the North are unlocked by completing Primary Quests. There are however a few who only appear in side missions. We'll look at one of these heroes - Xandra, a Luxon Ritualist. If you've played Factions you might remember the Luxon Captain Juno - Xandra is her daughter.


The Eye of the North manual has this to say about Xandra:

Xandra is the daughter of Juno, leader of the Turtle Clan, from the lands of the Luxon people. Trouble in her homeland forced Xandra to leave the area at her mother's behest, traveling to the far lands of Ascalon on what was called an ambassadorial tenure - but which Canthans know to be exile.
Xandra thinks well of her mother despite the unexpected travel, realizing that an intricate web of politics is what keeps her so far from home. Juno, suspected of killing the previous captain of the Turtle Clan, has sent her daughter into exile to keep her safe - or, some say, to prevent a repeat of the same scenario. Either way, Xandra is determined to make the best of the situation, and to honor her clan with brave actions in these strange, wild lands.

Xandra can be recruited and unlocked by defeating her in the Norn Fighting Tournament. Note you don't actually have to complete the tournament - as long as you can win the match with Xandra, she will be unlocked.

Xandra's default skills are:

  • Channeled Strike
  • Cruel Was Daoshen
  • Resurrection Signet
  • Soothing Memories
  • Spirit Rift
  • Vengeful Weapon

Xandra's armour is Turtle Clan Raiment, with an armour rating of 40. As with other Eye of the North heroes, her armour can be upgraded to Brotherhood Armour with Cloth of the Brotherhood, and to Deldrimor Raiment with Deldrimor Armour Remnants.

An excellent way to use Xandra in your party as a Ritualist/Necromancer Explosive Creation hybrid build. You can find the full details on the PvX Wiki.

Having unlocked Xandra in Eye of the North, I find her constantly in my party. I can recommend giving Xandra with this build a go.

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Friday, 2 November 2007

Eye of the North heroes: Livia

Another new hero in Eye of the North is Livia, a Necromancer from the Shining Blade. She has been sent to find a powerful weapon that can help the Shining Blade bring peace to Kryta - at any cost.


As a human Necromancer, Livia's default skills are:

  • Life Syphon
  • Strip Enchantment
  • Unholy Feast
  • Vampiric Gaze
  • Well of Blood
  • Resurrection Signet

If you're unfamiliar with Necromancer skills, I should point out that 'Strip Enchantment' doesn't do what you're hoping, and is nowhere near as entertaining as you would like it to be. Sorry.
Livia has Shining Blade Necromancer Armour, with an armour rating of 60 - which you may not believe, as she's wearing practically nothing, even by Guild Wars standards. Her bra also appears to be made from shoelaces, which I'm fairly certain would result in a 'wardrobe malfunction' during combat.

Her armour (what little there is of it) can be upgraded to Deldrimor Armour using Deldrimor Armour Remnant, and to Brotherhood Armour using Cloth of the Brotherhood. Once her armour has been upgraded she can be added to your Monument of Fellowship in the Hall of Monuments.

Livia is first introduced when you embark on Primary Missions for the Asura. She joins you on the quest 'Finding the Bloodstone', and is unlocked as a hero once the mission is successfully completed.

With Necromancer's making a great team member - either as interrupters or Minion Masters - I'm sure many people will be finding a place for Livia as they explore Eye of the North. And certainly not because she's not wearing much.

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