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Friday, 21 September 2007

Eye of the North introduces the Norn

The second new race to be introduced in Eye of the North is the Norn. As the Norn mission track was the only one you could play during the Sneak Peek weekend, we'll look at them first.

When exploring Far Shiverpeaks you'll find NPCs that give bonuses next to a resurrection shrine. Initially, you have no reputation with the Norn, and they are suspicious and distrustful. When you meet a new Norn, you won't be able to talk to them until you've defeated them in combat.

The Norn have a special skill that gives them the ability to transform into giant bears, yet still keep their weapons and casting abilities. The transformation skill takes a few seconds to cast which gives you a good opportunity to get a few quick hits off.

Once you defeat your Norn opponent you'll gain some Norn Reputation - if you check in your Hero window you'll see the new Norn Title Track.

Once you've beaten the first Norn in an explorable area you'll be given the Norn Hunting Party bonus. For each creature you kill in that area, you gain one Norn reputation point.

For each 25 creatures you kill, you recieve an extra 15 Norn reputation points as a bonus. If you go back to each Norn you've met in the explorable area who hasn't given you a bonus, they will now give you a random number of Norn points - usually 15 or 20.

For each multiple of 25 creatures you kill, any Norn who haven't given you a bonus become more likely to not just give Reputation Points, but also a skill bonus.

The main one is Strength of the Norn, which is an enchantment spell lasting for 60 seconds. When active you recieve +100 health, and after the 60 seconds are up, you're healed for 100 health.

You may also be given extra levels of the Norn Hunting Party blessing, which add an extra amount of points per kill. For example, Norn Hunting Party Level 3 adds an extra 3 Reputation Points per kill.

With diligent exploring and careful planning these bonuses can quickly stack up, giving you a rapid and massive increase in your Norn Title Track. On some of the larger explorable areas it is possible to get over 300 creature kills.

As has been seen with previous race-specific titles from Guild Wars: Factions (the Kurzick and Luxon Title Tracks) you can't interact with any racial NPCs until you have gained some reputation and progress on the Title Track.

In Eye of the North you need to achieve at least level 3 to start talking to the Norn NPCs in towns.

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