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Crosses in Tyria


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#31 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

The swastika's earliest recorded usage was with the Egyptian hieroglyphs. It, as would any ancient symbol work in a game such as GW2 except for the unfortunate genocide now associated with.

I would encourage Anet artists to continue to study ancient writing as they obviously have.

The Krytan written languages symbols may be substitutions for English letters but bare a striking resemblance to ancient Cuniform.

#32 Daenerys

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:25 AM

View PostValkaire, on 06 November 2012 - 05:34 AM, said:

Lions and Lionesses are found in Elona, most notably, Vabbi. Kryta started as an Elonian colony. I'm just as curious about where humans came from. https://www.youtube....h?v=ARZWX51hYYk That video says humans came from a different world, as in an entirely new planet. Try as I might I haven't really found anything to back that up buuuut, it is an interesting alternative :P
I believe the six human gods brought the humans to Tyria through the mists or from space, but I could be wrong!

View PostGraka, on 06 November 2012 - 06:45 AM, said:

The lions thing Valk is right about, but with the God's I just see them as something far beyond our comprehension, as close as I personally believe to the possibility that they are like the Ancients. To me it expains some things such as in Orr you discover that the God's decided that their people should know them so they had Malcor make statues of them all... the question becomes why?

If the God's had been around humanity for along time in whatever previous world they came from you think they would know something of what they look like, so it seems that its a more recent relationship, you also have the ridiculous scope that the Orrians built with. In the Arah storymode when Caith talks about Orr you see the size of some of the things they built, like circular arches that span an entire continent?

To me it explains some things, but if you want a really good question, why do Norns look like big humans? It's like Tyria's version of Humanity, but again why, are they related, is there some further backstory that we dont know about. But sorry if i'm rambling on, I love the lore of stories where you can get involved and try to figure it out. I think that sometimes people just want there to be more to something than there is so they can go WTF. Sometimes a cigar, is just a cigar.
I think that the gods (and it is lowercase without an apostrophe. "God's" is referring to the Christian God like "God is" or something he possesses I believe..) are supposed to be confusing. You brought up a really good question. If the gods did come from another world or universe, and if that universe WAS the same as where humans came from (which I don't believe is confirmed). I wonder what the gods' relationship was with the humans in whatever previous land they're all coming from. What if they were all normal humans, but the gods somehow sucked the magic out of wherever? I don't really like that theory because it's too much of a similarity with the ED's, but if the two spiels were kept separate, what then?

Are you saying you think that humans should know what the gods look like? That wouldn't necessarily be the case. Partially because I'm not sure the gods and humans were of one group.

There's actually another active thread about norn being so human-y, but I will say that I've wondered the same thing.

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#33 draxynnic

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:13 AM

There's a lot of evidence that humans were brought to Tyria by the gods, with an implication that they were fleeing from something. It's unclear what they were fleeing from, though.

My gut feeling is that if it is Earth, it's an Earth from earlier in our history (more like the Deverrians from Katherine Kerr's silver dagger series) - neither humans nor the gods in Guild Wars give the impression that humans are technological society that has abandoned technology. It's possible that the evacuation was post-armageddon, but if so there would have to have been enough time for knowledge of technology to have disappeared.
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#34 Graka

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:59 AM

View PostMockingjay74, on 07 November 2012 - 01:25 AM, said:

I believe the six human gods brought the humans to Tyria through the mists or from space, but I could be wrong!

I think that the gods (and it is lowercase without an apostrophe. "God's" is referring to the Christian God like "God is" or something he possesses I believe..) are supposed to be confusing. You brought up a really good question. If the gods did come from another world or universe, and if that universe WAS the same as where humans came from (which I don't believe is confirmed). I wonder what the gods' relationship was with the humans in whatever previous land they're all coming from. What if they were all normal humans, but the gods somehow sucked the magic out of wherever? I don't really like that theory because it's too much of a similarity with the ED's, but if the two spiels were kept separate, what then?

Are you saying you think that humans should know what the gods look like? That wouldn't necessarily be the case. Partially because I'm not sure the gods and humans were of one group.

There's actually another active thread about norn being so human-y, but I will say that I've wondered the same thing.

Its more to me, that if the gods' (thanks btw on pointing out my grammatical error, constantly do that kind of thing) had a relationship with humanity, that we would know them already, like we would know what they look like, or their moods or more about them. In some ways it feels like humans really got to know them once they got to Tyria, not before. The only thing i can come up with to explain this is if we really didnt know them before, that something happened that was so catastrophic that 4-5 (depending if Dhuum counts or not) god like beings showed up and said humanity come with us, or its over for you, and they went. That or they did know something before and like everything else they 'forgot', this is mentioned in Orr that Dwayna tried to help the humans forget the past.

View Postdraxynnic, on 07 November 2012 - 02:13 AM, said:

There's a lot of evidence that humans were brought to Tyria by the gods, with an implication that they were fleeing from something. It's unclear what they were fleeing from, though.

My gut feeling is that if it is Earth, it's an Earth from earlier in our history (more like the Deverrians from Katherine Kerr's silver dagger series) - neither humans nor the gods in Guild Wars give the impression that humans are technological society that has abandoned technology. It's possible that the evacuation was post-armageddon, but if so there would have to have been enough time for knowledge of technology to have disappeared.

Atlantis, I'm calling it now lol.

#35 Wordsworth

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

View PostRickter, on 06 November 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

regardless the previous post has a point, there are other religious symbols in the game that are used by religions other than christianity that are not being discussed as much as the cross.

makes you wonder.

im actually surprised this thread is still open.  i mean, religious discussion is NOT permitted, like, ever.

*taylor swift voice* "WeeEeee are never ever ever, supposedtotalkaboutreligion, like ever!"

I think it's simply the case that people are woefully ignorant of all the other real-world symbolism that's transplanted into the game, and nothing more. So when something obvious comes up, like the cross, it's a matter of discussion despite all the other things slipping right through.

I think with the ambiguity of human origins in GW, ANet could (down the road) easily say common ancestry is how these symbols exist in Tyria. Hell, you could even say parallel development. I'm fairly certain it's just artists choice. Not bad ones either. Monk had awesome skill icons in GW1. Guardian too, except for all the old-man-faces.

Also. I love that song.

Edited by Wordsworth, 07 November 2012 - 02:55 PM.


#36 Lunacy Polish

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

There are only so many simple shapes.  Most cultures use simple iconography for common symbols.

#37 Chava Blue

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

View PostWordsworth, on 07 November 2012 - 02:54 PM, said:

I think it's simply the case that people are woefully ignorant of all the other real-world symbolism that's transplanted into the game, and nothing more. So when something obvious comes up, like the cross, it's a matter of discussion despite all the other things slipping right through.

Um... no, it's an issue for some because it's obvious. ;)

Let me use the bald eagle example given earlier in the thread. Presence of bald eagles in the game? Not an issue. If bald eagles were used as the national symbol of Kryta and appeared on their coin representing 25 coppers? Well... I think people would find it a rather distracting reference to the real world.

Likewise, it's not just that the cross shape appears in the game... that's just a shape. It's that the shape is being used in the same context that we have frequently seen it used in the real world, so it becomes (for some) a distracting reference, not just an artistic motif.

I want to point out again, because it seems hard for people to get, that I'm not offended by this - rather, I find that it breaks my immersion in the game. Immersion is something that's fairly important in game design, and that's why I think it's worth talking about on an artistic level.

#38 rusticgamer

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Not sure if this was said before...but the cross was actually taken by Christians, it is really a pagan sign that was born from the allignment of a few starts...

#39 Rowland

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

As this discussion shows the origin of symbols is something that can be debated.

What is clear is that guild wars uses real world symbols in their game and the question is whether they should or not.

For this question it matter not (as much) where the symbol came from, but what the symbol reminds us (or most of us) of.
Guild Wars would find it difficult to use a swastika because of the terrible connotations to it. This is a clear case for a symbol better avoided.
There are however many, many, symbols and real life types and structures in the game that should not or can not be avoided. The reason for this is that these symbols and types tell us things about objects, people and places it would otherwise take a long time to explain. Even though inventing a fully new set of symbols and types is interesting it would take very long to understand these things. Let alone the amount of content they would need to create to tell you why and how these symbols work and came to be. It's worse than learning a new language.
  For this reason banks look like banks, swords look like swords, npc's from cold regions have Celtic paters and people from warm regions look like Egyptians. It is to make it easier for us to categorize the objects, people and places.
  Thus they help our immersion because they prevent you from constantly asking why and how things are as they are. Games based on a totally new symbolism would be cool and once you get into it (and a lot of effort is put into perfecting it) it will be awesomely complex and eyeopening.
   Problems occur once these symbols remind you more strongly of an exact real life phenomenon than a type. This I think is what bothers some people here. The cross on the ground tells you its a grave, which is fine, but it reminds people so strongly of Christianity that it breaks their immersion. This shows for one how strong the christian symbolism is ingrained in our western minds we 'can not un-see it'.

Now what alternatives could have been used for grave markers that will make you instantly think of a grave without thinking of the culture it originated from?


Pyramids could be adapted to fit the asuran pretty well, it is one of the few times in guild wars a whole new type was introduced (rata-sum)

Sylvari don't need a gravestone I think (not that familiar with the particular lore around their death)

That leaves the Charr, the Norn and possibly the most difficult to find a good alternative the Humans. So any good suggestions?



Of course it's not for us to decide, but I think (or hope) the people who did get to choose made a conscious decision, apparently that decision was that the crosses over graves where so common people would not have a second thought about it. Turns out some of us do, I don't think that should mean it should be changed, as long as different races have different cultures and use different symbols, whether contrived from real life or made up, we should not accuse A-net of being biased and accept that not every element of the game can be tailored to each player. imho the grave markers have a more direct effect on how I view the environment of a graveyard and help shape my emotional response, have a more obscure or even new concept might not be as effective, for me they help the immersion.

p.s. sorry to have taken so much of your time.

Edited by Rowland, 08 November 2012 - 10:38 AM.


#40 Daenerys

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:55 AM

View PostGraka, on 07 November 2012 - 02:59 AM, said:

Its more to me, that if the gods' (thanks btw on pointing out my grammatical error, constantly do that kind of thing) had a relationship with humanity, that we would know them already, like we would know what they look like, or their moods or more about them. In some ways it feels like humans really got to know them once they got to Tyria, not before. The only thing i can come up with to explain this is if we really didnt know them before, that something happened that was so catastrophic that 4-5 (depending if Dhuum counts or not) god like beings showed up and said humanity come with us, or its over for you, and they went. That or they did know something before and like everything else they 'forgot', this is mentioned in Orr that Dwayna tried to help the humans forget the past.
I see your point. We don't know too much about them in the span of things, although we don't really know their relationship with humanity before their modern presence in Tyria. Malchor did see them, so we know what they look like and roughly about them. I don't know of any lore that actually would dictate that the gods would have a relationship with humanity, just as they don't have a relationship now. What is there to say that they had the same relationship in the past, where they were gods that didn't have contact with humans?

My inner conspiracy theorist brain has officially wandered. Could it be possible that the gods did something awful and power-hungry in [previous location or time], and Dwayna helped the humans forget it, which allowed her and the other gods to maintain power, etc?

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#41 draxynnic

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:21 AM

It was actually Lyssa who helped humans forget.

View PostGraka, on 07 November 2012 - 02:59 AM, said:

Atlantis, I'm calling it now lol.
Well, Orr is the main source of orichalcum, although I've always assumed that Orr is a direct reference to Atlantis itself rather than Atlantis being the source of Tyrian humans. Plus, Atlantis would imply that the previous generation of gods were the Greek gods - the legends of Atlantis specifically mention a temple to Poseidon at least, although that could be because of the Greek habit of lining up their own gods with foreign deities.

View PostRowland, on 07 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

That leaves the Charr, the Norn and possibly the most difficult to find a good alternative the Humans. So any good suggestions?
The norn would probably have something to remind people of what they were best known for. Humans could have a symbol representing their favoured god, defaulting to Grenth or Dwayna depending on the individual culture (the Canthans at least believe that worthy spirits go to Dwayna, with Grenth taking responsibility for the unworthy). Charr could have their rank insignia, their legion symbol, or their favoured weapon.

Edited by draxynnic, 08 November 2012 - 05:23 AM.

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#42 Wordsworth

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:49 AM

View PostChava Blue, on 07 November 2012 - 08:02 PM, said:

it's an issue for some because it's obvious. ;)

Yup, that's what I said (notice "other"). The cross here is a matter of discussion because the OP recognizes it, unlike another symbol like the ankh. Otherwise this thread could be broadened into the question, "Why do real world symbols, along with their meanings, exist in Tyria?" The cross is under no special scrutiny here, it's just that some people don't recognize the other symbols that the inclusion of the cross specifically is being discussed. Those who do recognize at least one other real world symbol transplanted into the game are probably thinking, "Well, yeah... That happens." And it does. I doubt there's any special meaning to it  and it was just the designers choice.

Edited by Wordsworth, 08 November 2012 - 08:00 AM.


#43 Alexwentworth

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:52 AM

If we are getting so excited about crosses, why not worry about more deliberate use of religious symbols in Tyria?

For example, the dervish profession from GW1 borrows nearly everything (from its look, to its emotes, to its lore, to its name) from a real-world group of people in central Africa called "dervishes". (These are where the expression "whirling dervish" comes from)

IRL, dervishes are a particular type of Sufi, a member of the mystical tradition of Islam (somewhat like a Hindu guru or early Christian Gnostics). This is a direct use of a name with a great deal of religious/spiritual connotation for many people (even more specific than monks, as many religions have them).

When the world of Tyria can bring in specific real-world cultures and ideas, the use of very generalized religious symbols (crosses, pentagrams, crescents, etc.) becomes a heck of a lot less surprising
.

#44 Daenerys

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:59 AM

View Postdraxynnic, on 08 November 2012 - 05:21 AM, said:

The norn would probably have something to remind people of what they were best known for. Humans could have a symbol representing their favoured god, defaulting to Grenth or Dwayna depending on the individual culture (the Canthans at least believe that worthy spirits go to Dwayna, with Grenth taking responsibility for the unworthy). Charr could have their rank insignia, their legion symbol, or their favoured weapon.
I could also see the norn wearing some symbol representing whichever Spirit they identify with the most, similar to the personal story options in Norn character creation.

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#45 Imrahil Greywood

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:07 AM

View PostAlexwentworth, on 09 November 2012 - 12:52 AM, said:


When the world of Tyria can bring in specific real-world cultures and ideas, the use of very generalized religious symbols (crosses, pentagrams, crescents, etc.) becomes a heck of a lot less surprising
.

So true. I see this as a non issue. Probably just some people so anti religion they want a simple symbol gone.

#46 Valkaire

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

Thought I'd bring it up by saying the Ankh seems to be a lot more common on gravestones from what I've seen. If they aren't just plain markers that is.

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#47 Chava Blue

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

View PostImrahil Greywood, on 10 November 2012 - 05:07 AM, said:

Probably just some people so anti religion they want a simple symbol gone.

Totally the opposite. I didn't want to get into too much personal religious discussion, but part of the reason I find it so distracting is that the cross is used as a symbol of my actual religious beliefs. So please don't assume.

As I've said about five times, it doesn't offend me, and I don't think that it makes sense to remove it at this point. Best to just leave it; changing it is not worth the effort now that the game is post-release. That said, it does break my immersion in the game, and if that's true for a noticeable percentage of their playerbase, it's something ANet ought to think about in their future design decisions. By that I don't mean so much crosses versus no crosses, but much more broadly whether they are being helpful or distracting when they use symbols with real world versions.

Edited by Chava Blue, 11 November 2012 - 06:45 PM.


#48 draxynnic

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:16 AM

Temporarily locked to give people a chance to calm down.
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