Why are magic users so rare in GW2, and why are there no academies at all? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Why are magic users so rare in GW2, and why are there no academies at all?

witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited October 15, 2017 in Lore

In GW1 spellcasters were rather common and an important part of the world.

But in GW2, in a time where magic is supposed to be even stronger, spellcasters are very underrepresented in society (if not extinct) and magic academies seem to have vanished entirely. How come there is nothing in Kryta or inside Ebonhawke? Not even in Vabbi, as the students in Vehtendi Academy seem to learn history, arts, and martial arts rather than anything needed to become a mage of some kind.

I know the asura have their own version of academies but that's more like science and architecture rather than stuff like Mesmer magic or Necromancy. I miss the days when the asura used magic and it wasn't just an interchangeable word for electricity which powers their supercomputers.

GW1 used to have places like Nolani Academy and Shing Jea Monastery, to mention a few. It's just odd how magic almost doesn't exist among NPCs these days unless it's some PvE mob.

Comments

  • Ayakaru.6583Ayakaru.6583 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 15, 2017

    Because magic is more native than you think. There are instances of kids casting magic. There's a town south of DR, near the coast, where kids are taught from on early age to tame elementals.
    Everyone had a little magic, and maybe it's so inherent your parents just teach you, and them you develop further yourself. Or you find a tutor..
    But you're wrong in the sense spellcasters are underrepresented. Because everyone has a little magic. and just because we don't run into them doesn't mean they're not there. You also can't see a pharmacy in DR, or a bakery. Are we to assume they're not there either?

    To defeat the dragons, see the good in them.
    Zhaitan reunites lost ones, primordus creates fertile land, mordremoth spreads the green, and jormag..
    ..jormag? Who's that?

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Really? Living World Season 3 Episode 4 gave me the impression that almost every Human is either a Guardian or a Mesmer - and they must have learned that from somewhere!

  • Rognik.2579Rognik.2579 Member ✭✭✭

    How is magic underrepresented when 4 of the 8 base classes are rooted in magic? Elementalists, necromancers and mesmers do almost nothing but cast spells, and guardians are magic-based warriors who focus on healing (which in any other game would be called a paladin). Revenants are also highly magical, using hammers are ranged weapons and tearing rifts in the fabric of space. Even the more martial classes, like rangers and thieves, have their own magical abilities but display them in more subtle ways. Didn't you find it slightly odd that the first elite specialization for rangers was the druid, a highly magical spec?

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I think the short answer is that they do exist - it's just that, unlike GW1, they're not a part of the story and thus they're largely ignored (unless you're asura).

    What seems to be happening, though, is that magic is at a point where it's considered 'mundane' enough that it's taught as part of the basic education of the society in question - people who have the talent and interest take classes in magic along with mathematics, history, and other topics. We have quotes that compare mastering a spellcasting profession to getting a PhD: we could probably conclude that getting a basic knowledge in a spellcasting profession might be equivalent to a bachelor's degree. If you have the talent and inclination, you start with some basic courses in magic in your early teens (or equivalent), steadily specialising in a specific profession over time until you eventually graduate as a spellcaster.

  • Djinn.9245Djinn.9245 Member ✭✭✭

    Great answers. I will add that in High Fantasy, Wizards / Mages are "special" so they have special schools. As people have said, in Tyria magic is commonplace, not special.

  • witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 15, 2017

    @Rognik.2579 @Djinn.9245 talking about ingame society, not player characters, and it's not commonplace at all

    Go to Queensdale or DR and find me one friendly NPC who actually uses magic. Even if it was commonplace academies should still exist to refine that and learn more, same way as having a book doesn't make you a priory scholar.

  • Just because there is more magic doesn't mean people know how to use it. Lore wise human magic had been on decline ever since the Exodus of the gods. Without the Gods directly teaching humans magic; they focused more on the Guild Wars and war in general. After the elder dragons awoke; everyone was focusing on surviving. It makes sense when half the population of Tyria became refugees that they fell behind on education in general let alone magic.

  • Ayakaru.6583Ayakaru.6583 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The problem is, you don't see all magic. Even warriors use magic to bolster their armour and strength. Magic can be used to enhanced they body's function like strength and stamina.
    Just the fact everyone uses runes and sigils is a form magic. However, most forms of magic are so simple most people don't notice it.

    Most people just use little bits of magic to be lazy in life. Farmers use it in minute amounts. However, magic requires both talent and training. So suffice to say a local farmer will never compete with palawa joko. But they have enough magic to light a candle.. and blow it out.

    I suppose in DR there's little use for magic, so you don't see anyone use it (much). It takes a lot of training to fire a proper fire bolt, so i guess most people take the lazy option and just pick up a rifle

    To defeat the dragons, see the good in them.
    Zhaitan reunites lost ones, primordus creates fertile land, mordremoth spreads the green, and jormag..
    ..jormag? Who's that?

  • Rognik.2579Rognik.2579 Member ✭✭✭

    @witcher.3197 Well, I can certainly explain why magic in Vabbi might be restricted. Joko wants to keep the citizenry complacent, and education gives people the tools to rise up and depose a dictator like him, so it makes sense there's no magic school down there.
    Schools in core Tyria, on the other hand, don't exist. Like, at all. Outside of the asuran colleges and that one group of progeny in Metrica Province, there really isn't that much formalized education that we can see. I suppose there is a fahrar in the charr home instance, but we don't know exactly what they learn there, and charr don't encourage their cubs to learn magic (not that they will tell a soldier not to use it). I believe this falls under the "acceptable breaks from reality", though. We don't see any toilets or outhouses, even in or around the houses we can go in, even in the large and sprawling Caudecus Manor. Presumably, people still eat at least 3 meals a day and thus excrete waste, it just doesn't happen on camera. Similarly, we don't see a place where students are specifically studying the ins and outs of magic.

  • Djinn.9245Djinn.9245 Member ✭✭✭

    @witcher.3197 said:
    @Rognik.2579 @Djinn.9245 talking about ingame society, not player characters, and it's not commonplace at all

    Go to Queensdale or DR and find me one friendly NPC who actually uses magic. Even if it was commonplace academies should still exist to refine that and learn more, same way as having a book doesn't make you a priory scholar.

    The fact that people don't make comments about it doesn't mean they don't do it. NPCs don't comment about a lot of things they most likely do in their everyday lives.

    And I still agree with Ayakaru: if magic is common, then everyone would have to learn about it. So the teaching would occur the same way any other subjects occur that everyone has to learn. As I said, there are only special schools in high fantasy because being a Wizard / Mage is more rare.

  • Zenith.7301Zenith.7301 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Rognik.2579 said:
    How is magic underrepresented when 4 of the 8 base classes are rooted in magic? Elementalists, necromancers and mesmers do almost nothing but cast spells, and guardians are magic-based warriors who focus on healing (which in any other game would be called a paladin). Revenants are also highly magical, using hammers are ranged weapons and tearing rifts in the fabric of space. Even the more martial classes, like rangers and thieves, have their own magical abilities but display them in more subtle ways. Didn't you find it slightly odd that the first elite specialization for rangers was the druid, a highly magical spec?

    That's not the point. The point is that we don't get to see the origin stories for these specializations in the gaming world.

  • All professions are magic users.

    • Guardians use light magic a lot. Light so intense it can burn.
    • Revenants basically use just magic on all of their skills. Even their weapon attacks have fundamentally magic effects, from swords to hammers.
    • Warriors use magic in the most innate way. Rather than creating spells cast on others, they concentrate their magic inwards and empower themselves and anything they do.
    • Engineers do not use magic directly. Instead, they charge magic in their devices, tools and elixirs.
    • Rangers use nature magic.
    • Thieves use shadow magic. A form magic that appears to mix a bit of light with lots of dark to both empower themselves and harm enemies.
    • Elementalists use most forms of elemental magic. And arcane magic that appears to use magic in its raw form.
    • Necromancers use death, dark, spectral and blood magic, and a bit of ice.
    • Mesmers use etheral, light and a bit of dark to create illusions and chaos.

    There used to be trainers for all these professions, but they got removed instead being left for lore. If you puzzle bits and pieces of lore, you get mostly something like this:

    Guardians and warriors are often trained by garrisons and armies.
    Revenants seem to be people who fell into the mists in some way, and someone there taught them how to use revenant powers before returning. Hence 'revenant'.
    Engineers are often self-taught, but craftsmen, alchemists, artisans and the asura colleges are often involved in their education.
    Rangers seem to be mostly self-taught with through their innate bond to nature.
    Thieves are mostly self-taught, unless you are in the Ash legion.
    Elementalists often have mentors who teach them.
    Necromancers are also a profession that tends to be taught from mentor to apprentice.
    And mesmers seem to be mostly self-taught by those with an innate talent for arts and illusion.

    I wish they brought back the trainers jus for lore, and that they added elite specialization NPCs to HoT.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I seem to remember Kasmeer once talked about coming home from her mesmer lessons to find her father had been arrested. But I can't remember which story chapter that happened in so I can't find the actual dialogue.

    But I agree with the people saying magic is so common place in Tyria that they don't have separate schools for it, it's taught alongside everything else. Someone mentioned the charr Fahrar not teaching magic, but my understanding is that they teach everything the charr might need to know as an adult. Their culture is highly militaristic, and they distrust magic users claiming superiority because of their power, but they don't ban or even discourage the use of magic and there are plenty of charr casters and more who build and use magic weapons. (The Iron Legion personal story is even about your character creating a new magical weapon to fight the ghosts.)

    As for humans I can think of numerous examples of NPCs using magic:

    • Queen Jennah and Countess Anise are both powerful mesmers.
    • Kasmeer & Marjory (mesmer and necromancer) obviously.
    • Logan is a guardian and therefore uses magic. The one I remember seeing most often is Sanctuary.
    • The Priests in Divinity's Reach will enchant you with a speed boost (they claim the power comes from their gods).
    • Right after the tutorial ends you meet a Priestess of Dwayna who uses magic to heal the injured in Shaemoor.
    • There's a Shining Blade agent in Lake Doric who is stealthed and casts an illusion on you to make you look like a White Mantle soldier.
    • Even the circus performers in Divinity's Reach (part of the personal story if you picked the circus option) cast spells as part of their performance.

    And that's just what I remember. I'm sure there's dozens more examples if you went looking for them. There's also things which probably don't look like magic at first glance, like asuran golems and DR's watchknights, but which are actually magically constructed and powered. But then there's a famous saying from Arthur C. Clarke that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" which works just as well the other way around.

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

    "In this town, we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song! In this town, don't we love it now? Everyone's waiting for the next surprise!"

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @MithranArkanere.8957 said:
    All professions are magic users.

    • Guardians use light magic a lot. Light so intense it can burn.
    • Revenants basically use just magic on all of their skills. Even their weapon attacks have fundamentally magic effects, from swords to hammers.
    • Warriors use magic in the most innate way. Rather than creating spells cast on others, they concentrate their magic inwards and empower themselves and anything they do.
    • Engineers do not use magic directly. Instead, they charge magic in their devices, tools and elixirs.
    • Rangers use nature magic.
    • Thieves use shadow magic. A form magic that appears to mix a bit of light with lots of dark to both empower themselves and harm enemies.
    • Elementalists use most forms of elemental magic. And arcane magic that appears to use magic in its raw form.
    • Necromancers use death, dark, spectral and blood magic, and a bit of ice.
    • Mesmers use etheral, light and a bit of dark to create illusions and chaos.

    There used to be trainers for all these professions, but they got removed instead being left for lore. If you puzzle bits and pieces of lore, you get mostly something like this:

    Guardians and warriors are often trained by garrisons and armies.
    Revenants seem to be people who fell into the mists in some way, and someone there taught them how to use revenant powers before returning. Hence 'revenant'.
    Engineers are often self-taught, but craftsmen, alchemists, artisans and the asura colleges are often involved in their education.
    Rangers seem to be mostly self-taught with through their innate bond to nature.
    Thieves are mostly self-taught, unless you are in the Ash legion.
    Elementalists often have mentors who teach them.
    Necromancers are also a profession that tends to be taught from mentor to apprentice.
    And mesmers seem to be mostly self-taught by those with an innate talent for arts and illusion.

    I have a different opinion to this.

    Guardians, Warriors and Rangers are often trained by Garrisons and Armies. Guardians and Warriors make the meat, while Rangers are the trackers.
    Elementalists, Thieves, Engineers, Necromancers and Mesmers would all likely have mentors or apprenticeship schemes, if only to stop prospective new applicants from frying themselves too often.
    Revenants, I feel, would be more akin to a dream since we've had confirmation that Revenants don't have to go to the mists to learn that branch of Magic. I think a more lore friendly aproach would be that one day, the Revenant suddenly realised the voices in their head weren't just make believe - and so they listened, and learned Swordsmanship from Shiro Tagachi, how to use a Hammer from Jalis Ironhammer, how to use a staff from Ventari, etc, etc...

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    I seem to remember Kasmeer once talked about coming home from her mesmer lessons to find her father had been arrested. But I can't remember which story chapter that happened in so I can't find the actual dialogue.

    I have a vague memory of Kasmeer giving her sob story sometime in the second half of S1.

    She definitely mentions classes in S2E3, albeit not specifically mentioning magic (the focus of her statement is that siege warfare was NOT in her classes). This does indicate that human nobles at least have some kind of educational system, though, even if we don't see an institution ingame.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 17, 2017

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    I seem to remember Kasmeer once talked about coming home from her mesmer lessons to find her father had been arrested. But I can't remember which story chapter that happened in so I can't find the actual dialogue.

    I have a vague memory of Kasmeer giving her sob story sometime in the second half of S1.

    She definitely mentions classes in S2E3, albeit not specifically mentioning magic (the focus of her statement is that siege warfare was NOT in her classes). This does indicate that human nobles at least have some kind of educational system, though, even if we don't see an institution ingame.

    It was the Origins of Madness release. The specific quote was "I'd been with my tutor, working on staff spells"- so not an institution or academy, per se, nothing that would necessarily be housed in a distinctive eye-catching building, but still an education from a professional.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Ayakaru.6583Ayakaru.6583 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    I seem to remember Kasmeer once talked about coming home from her mesmer lessons to find her father had been arrested. But I can't remember which story chapter that happened in so I can't find the actual dialogue.

    I have a vague memory of Kasmeer giving her sob story sometime in the second half of S1.

    She definitely mentions classes in S2E3, albeit not specifically mentioning magic (the focus of her statement is that siege warfare was NOT in her classes). This does indicate that human nobles at least have some kind of educational system, though, even if we don't see an institution ingame.

    It was the Origins of Madness release. The specific quote was "I'd been with my tutor, working on staff spells"- so not an institution or academy, per se, nothing that would necessarily be housed in a distinctive eye-catching building, but still an education from a professional.

    just my two cents, but i think common folks rely on the magic taught by parents and friends, with maybe some basic classes in school, while nobles have access to private tutors

    To defeat the dragons, see the good in them.
    Zhaitan reunites lost ones, primordus creates fertile land, mordremoth spreads the green, and jormag..
    ..jormag? Who's that?

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ayakaru.6583 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    I seem to remember Kasmeer once talked about coming home from her mesmer lessons to find her father had been arrested. But I can't remember which story chapter that happened in so I can't find the actual dialogue.

    I have a vague memory of Kasmeer giving her sob story sometime in the second half of S1.

    She definitely mentions classes in S2E3, albeit not specifically mentioning magic (the focus of her statement is that siege warfare was NOT in her classes). This does indicate that human nobles at least have some kind of educational system, though, even if we don't see an institution ingame.

    It was the Origins of Madness release. The specific quote was "I'd been with my tutor, working on staff spells"- so not an institution or academy, per se, nothing that would necessarily be housed in a distinctive eye-catching building, but still an education from a professional.

    just my two cents, but i think common folks rely on the magic taught by parents and friends, with maybe some basic classes in school, while nobles have access to private tutors

    That's what we've been told in the past. Humans and norn typically learn from their parents, charr in the fahrar, asura in the colleges, and sylvari from the Dream and experience.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Pirlipat.2479Pirlipat.2479 Member ✭✭
    edited October 19, 2017

    For asura magic is science. They got a school and a whole university city.
    Sylvari learn magic in the grove and in starting area and/or they are guided to improve their abilities by mentors. https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Garden_of_Noon
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Thainre
    Norn kids seem to learn rituals (and probably magic) at home at home: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Kill_the_bears_rampaging_around_Victor's_Point

  • Weindrasi.3805Weindrasi.3805 Member ✭✭✭
    edited October 23, 2017

    You don't see blatant magic around DR, because most magic isn't blatant. Magic is only going to be blatant and noticeable if it's rare in the first place, or if some elementalist is raining fire down on things.
    Magic is as commonplace as eating lunch or pooping. There's no need to state that you must eat and poo--everyone eats and poops. There's no need to state that you lit a candle or cleaned your house with magic--everyone does that... and everyone probably assumes you do too.

  • Ayakaru.6583Ayakaru.6583 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Pirlipat.2479 said:
    For asura magic is science. They got a school and a whole university city.
    Sylvari learn magic in the grove and in starting area and/or they are guided to improve their abilities by mentors. https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Garden_of_Noon
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Thainre
    Norn kids seem to learn rituals (and probably magic) at home at home: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Kill_the_bears_rampaging_around_Victor's_Point

    A small additive that a big part of magic is innate knowledge of the Dream, sylvari don't know where the knowledge comes from, they just know a big part right after birth. The rest, they learn during life

    To defeat the dragons, see the good in them.
    Zhaitan reunites lost ones, primordus creates fertile land, mordremoth spreads the green, and jormag..
    ..jormag? Who's that?

  • Rognik.2579Rognik.2579 Member ✭✭✭

    @Weindrasi.3805 said:
    There's no need to state that you must eat and poo--everyone eats and poops.

    I don't know about you, but I do not poop. I absorb 100% of all food that I ingest. :p

    To make this post at least somewhat relevant, I'm going to ask the OP (if he's even still reading this), I just realized you say that magic was common in GW1 but not in GW2, but then disregard all the major characters. I'm sort of curious, how many non-monster non PC characters are magic users?

  • Ardid.7203Ardid.7203 Member ✭✭✭✭

    IMO the magic has become so commonplace that the need to study and formalize it, and make formulae or recipe to make it work, simply have faded. Surely there are some teachers and institutions that can help you focus your magic in some way, but overall the mere professions are more than enough. They can help you to become stronger, but they are no longer needed to do magic in the first place.

  • At the "no schools" thing, don't forget that the Priory has a reasonably large college in the mountains. You even interrupt a class in session during the ls3 (I think, might be HoT) story

    Permanently Embiggened

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cuon Alpinus.7645 said:
    At the "no schools" thing, don't forget that the Priory has a reasonably large college in the mountains. You even interrupt a class in session during the ls3 (I think, might be HoT) story

    LS2, although that was a lecture for members of the Priory. It didn't appear to be open for non-members, and the Priory itself was a pretty perilous commute until New New Lion's Arch bored a tunnel through the mountain.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Ayumi Spender.1082Ayumi Spender.1082 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ayakaru.6583 said:
    Because magic is more native than you think. There are instances of kids casting magic. There's a town south of DR, near the coast, where kids are taught from on early age to tame elementals.
    Everyone had a little magic, and maybe it's so inherent your parents just teach you, and them you develop further yourself. Or you find a tutor..
    But you're wrong in the sense spellcasters are underrepresented. Because everyone has a little magic. and just because we don't run into them doesn't mean they're not there. You also can't see a pharmacy in DR, or a bakery. Are we to assume they're not there either?

    Isn't there a chef crafting area there?
    And I thought there was some physician(s) somewhere in Queensdale.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    As far as teaching goes I think people are right that's it's taught as part of other things rather than in separate schools/classes.

    A bit like what's happening with computers in real life. When I was in school in the 90's we had entire classes devoted to how to use a computer. Literally the really basic stuff - what a mouse, keyboard and screen is, how to use the mouse, how to type (no, really), how to start a program.... (in DOS, fair enough, needed teaching, but when Windows came along it got a bit absurd to have a lesson on finding and clicking an icon). Then "advanced" stuff like how to make and format a Word document, how to make a PowerPoint presentation (where every bit of text zoomed in with it's own effect and sound), how to put basic formulas into Excel. Sounds ridiculous now, seemed ridiculous to me as the kid who grew up with a ZX Spectrum and then various PCs, but for other kids those classes were the only time they used a computer at all.

    These days those classes have been scrapped. Why? because it's integrated into everything else. Even the kids who don't have computers (or at least tablets/smart phones) at home will use them in all their other lessons. They don't need a class on how to make a Word document because they'll be using it to write their English essays, making Powerpoint presentations on their science experiment, creating a website for their project. There are computing classes but it's focused on programming and other more advanced stuff, and even that is being worked into other subjects now.

    And it's the same with magic in Tyria. Why have a school or even a class just to learn about what magic is and how to use it when they'll have heard about it and seen it used since birth and will be using it in all their other lessons/everyday activities? Why teach them generically how to cast a spell when they can learn how to light the fire with magic when making dinner, or how to heal themselves when they fall over, or power up their swing when chopping wood? Or whatever it is they're doing.

    Danielle Aurorel - Desolation EU. Mini Collector.

    "In this town, we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song! In this town, don't we love it now? Everyone's waiting for the next surprise!"

©2010–2018 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, ArenaNet, NCSOFT, the Interlocking NC Logo, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCSOFT Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.