Guild Wars 2 races guide


Dwelling in the snowy peaks of the Shivertop Mountains, the Norn are a tall, proud, and durable race. Cosmetically they resemble humans, although they're much larger, towering above the other races with their average height of nine feet. They're considered to be the finest hunters in all of Tyria, and their culture revolves around all aspects of the hunt, especially when it comes to their bond with the Spirits of the Wild, animal gods that offer every individual Norn some kind of guidance as they walk the path of the Great Hunt. Although the norn originally communed with eight Spirits, their number has been reduced to four after a battle with Jormag, a great Elder Dragon. The Spirits of the Wolf, Bear, Snow Leopard, and Raven protected the norn and encouraged them to avoid the genocide that surely would've unfolded had they battled Jormag to the death.

Norn are largely solitary figures, comfortable with the idea of leaving home and traveling the world in search of adventure and glory. Your early adventures will largely see your character seeking to make a name for him or herself by worshiping the Spirits and engaging against ever-more-powerful foes, but you'll also be able to learn from the masters that dwell in the largest norn town, Hoelbrak. During character creation, you'll also need to select a Spirit that has offered you its blessing; this will influence some of the storytelling that you'll encounter. No matter which Spirit you choose to guide you, you will soon come across the Sons of Svanir, a group of male norn that have abandoned the Spirits of the Wild and now exclusively worship Jormag, having been seduced by him into believing that he is the ultimate predator in Tyria.

As your character still communes with the true Spirits, you'll eventually be granted the ability to shapeshift into a wereform, enabling you to draw upon the power of the Spirits directly in combat. Each of the four wereforms has different skills available to it, but you'll have to wait until level 30 to experiment with them, as they're all elite skills.

Racial Skills

As the norn have four elite skills, they only receive two utility skills. The first, Call Owl, is a handy combat opener, as it summons an owl to deal damage but also to place a fairly lengthy bleed duration on your target. Combine this with other bleed skills for extra fun! Call Wurm will be available a bit later, and, as the name implies, will let you summon a wurm to help you defeat your foes.

When your character matures even more, you'll eventually be able to call on the Spirits of the Wild to shift into their totemic forms. Become The Bear will boost your health and offer a number of powerful, straightforward attacks. Become The Raven focuses on inflicting conditions like daze, bleeding, and crippling. Become The Wolf allows you to stack a fair number of bleed conditions on your target, as well as steal their life and causing them fear. The most expensive skill, however, is Become The Snow Leopard, which will let you enter stealth and sneak up on your enemies unawares.