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Pharaoh Package: Naming / Theme Issues.


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Does anyone else find this extremely unfitting and/or problematic?
Neither of them mesh well with the Guild Wars universe just by name alone, and then the theming of both sets doesn't fit either.
It feels outright from a totally different game instead.

If this was supposed to be an "Elonian" outfit, then it probably would've been recolored and the named after the Mordant Crescent or designed in style of the Desert King items. 
The Shrine Guardian items aren't blatantly called "Kitsune" anything. So why is this outright "Pharaoh" and "Royal Anubis?"

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2 minutes ago, DeanBB.4268 said:

Same as the Samurai, how does that fit anywhere?

Yeah! That too. These two outfits seem out of left field entirely.
I don't like that it's a possible trend that may be starting... That doesn't bode well for End of Dragons IMO?

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Posted (edited)

They don't bother me. The naming could be better, sure. But aesthetically, they look good and fit in the world.

You know what doesn't? Cute cat ears, and legendaries that shoot rainbow unicorns. 

Edited by Aodlop.1907
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1 hour ago, DeanBB.4268 said:

Maybe it'll fit perfectly with EoD: Samurai is the Warrior elite, and Pharaoh the Necromancer?

 

How will an Egyptian themed elite spec that would belong to Elona fit into Cantha?

 

And why would it be called "Pharao" in the first place (since it would make every player "God King")?

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Yes. These outfits come in a long line of recent ones that, while high definition, ride on the back of PoC exoticism, and to ignore this factor is to ignore remaining threads of racism in Western audiences. It's never "just a cosmetic." Simply renaming it to something that fits in lore- whether that be the Mordant Crescent, Primeval Rulers, or simply Amnoon Nobility- would have been the proper approach rather than take a sensationalized design of Egyptian culture that is used as an influence within regions of Elona but not specifically named.

 

Paying respects to an incredible culture is one thing, and should absolutely be done, but not by creating a revealing cosmetic that will be plastered onto every fair skinned human and norn female you encounter.

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Hard agree on the naming. The outfit itself I don't really have a problem with (in fact I immediately wanted to slap it on my Elonian character), but I do find it troublesome that we've been given specifically named outfits that are not of the GW2/GW universe.

 

The samurai outfit is a really good example. As far as I know, there are no samurai, or any samurai-themed organizations/characters.

 

Oh, but what about Cantha? From the Wiki:

 

Southeast Asian cultures. That's all very well and good. But so far what we've seen from Official Cantha has appeared very Chinese, with the exception of Tengu being more Japanese. If it's supposed to be a "generic Asia" like we've seen in other films and video games far too many times... That's kind of a yikes from me. The experiences of one or even two Southeast Asian cultures is not representative of ALL Southeast Asians. From what I've seen in game of GW2 and what I know of the universe, Cantha has always been shrouded in mystery, but from the vibe I get that it's mostly Chinese. Which leads me back to the Samurai outfit. Putting out a samurai outfit - while cool - can be misleading since players might equate "this is Asian, and therefore Canthan" which, ya know, again, a whole lotta yikes.  Which, isn't fair to the other cultures it might also be representing. Anet hasn't given us much details on that, and I'm honestly really hoping that EoD clears this up for us.

 

I've always had this gripe with Cantha: Almost everywhere I go, I hear Cantha = Asia, even though Cantha has clear German/Greek names. Even I feel that way. I'm excited for Cantha because of Asian aspects, but not Greek. Where is the Greek/German hype? Near non-existent, apparently. If Cantha is "just China with Greek and German names", that just sounds like someone decided to do a smashup of things that they thought would be cool without really delving into the things that made them cool/interesting/unique in the first place. An Asian-Greek culture could be really cool and ultimately kitten. I want to see that. In the end, I don't mind which culture folks want to represent - just pick some and do it well. Don't generalize. Really delve into that culture and all of the bits. Does Cantha include Japanese culture as an influence? Or is the Japanese themes only for Tengu? I hope EoD clears this up too.

 

I know ArenaNet can do better. They've done better. Elona came out really cool. I thoroughly enjoyed Path of Fire. I know teams don't often get the time to develop languages, but the subtle touches with words like "Ahai" and "Outlander" really sold it for me, along with the different architecture, clothing designs, and far too many details to list. Elona was and always will be amazing to me. I just hope that Cantha is treated just as well, tastefully, and respectfully to all of their influences. It's important now more than ever to make sure we get this right.

 

 

But going back on topic. I'm not Egyptian, Arabic, or from any part of the Middle East. I cannot speak for those who could be bothered by the pharaoh outfit by appearance or name. However, I can speak as someone who sees trends and gets worried bout them. I don't want a culture to be generalized and only have certain parts of that culture shown and marketed, as mine so often has been. I'd rather it be celebrated. I could write an entire essay about that but I digress.

 

 

To give Arenanet the benefit of the doubt: Let's say they did this for fun, and the Pharaoh outfit was not intended to be a part of the Elonian culture, as is the same with the Samurai outfit. As it was mentioned, we have rainbow unicorns too, and other things that aren't pertained to the GW2 Universe. Great! And honestly I'm not that bothered by these. I know rainbow unicorns don't really exist in the game, it's probably something fun that the devs wanted to put into the game that they liked. Awesome. Dig that. In an ideal world, all devs should love and continue to be in love with the content they are making.

 

However, if that's the case, I hope that there is a distinction, or some kind of statement from Anet that this was the intent and not tied to Elona or Cantha, respectfully. Because of the lack of distinction is what's causing ruckus and getting folks upset.

 

 

To close: some years ago, I read an Avatar the Last Airbender comic, and one of the scenes stuck to me. In the scene, Aang, the last of a nomadic tribe of Airbenders, is greeted by a woman who donned herself in Airbender clothes, and tattoos. She tells him about the group of people who are trying to revitalize his culture and even are calling themselves Airbenders. He becomes insulted and the line he says will always stick with me: "My culture is not a costume."

 

I don't want a Pharaoh or Samurai costume. I want an Elonian and Canthan outfit. I don't want to buy either until I know there's that distinction.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, kilobytten.7402 said:

Hard agree on the naming. The outfit itself I don't really have a problem with (in fact I immediately wanted to slap it on my Elonian character), but I do find it troublesome that we've been given specifically named outfits that are not of the GW2/GW universe.

 

The samurai outfit is a really good example. As far as I know, there are no samurai, or any samurai-themed organizations/characters.

 

Oh, but what about Cantha? From the Wiki:

 

  •  

Southeast Asian cultures. That's all very well and good. But so far what we've seen from Official Cantha has appeared very Chinese, with the exception of Tengu being more Japanese. If it's supposed to be a "generic Asia" like we've seen in other films and video games far too many times... That's kind of a yikes from me. The experiences of one or even two Southeast Asian cultures is not representative of ALL Southeast Asians. From what I've seen in game of GW2 and what I know of the universe, Cantha has always been shrouded in mystery, but from the vibe I get that it's mostly Chinese. Which leads me back to the Samurai outfit. Putting out a samurai outfit - while cool - can be misleading since players might equate "this is Asian, and therefore Canthan" which, ya know, again, a whole lotta yikes.  Which, isn't fair to the other cultures it might also be representing. Anet hasn't given us much details on that, and I'm honestly really hoping that EoD clears this up for us.

 

I've always had this gripe with Cantha: Almost everywhere I go, I hear Cantha = Asia, even though Cantha has clear German/Greek names. Even I feel that way. I'm excited for Cantha because of Asian aspects, but not Greek. Where is the Greek/German hype? Near non-existent, apparently. If Cantha is "just China with Greek and German names", that just sounds like someone decided to do a smashup of things that they thought would be cool without really delving into the things that made them cool/interesting/unique in the first place. An Asian-Greek culture could be really cool and ultimately kitten. I want to see that. In the end, I don't mind which culture folks want to represent - just pick some and do it well. Don't generalize. Really delve into that culture and all of the bits. Does Cantha include Japanese culture as an influence? Or is the Japanese themes only for Tengu? I hope EoD clears this up too.

 

I know ArenaNet can do better. They've done better. Elona came out really cool. I thoroughly enjoyed Path of Fire. I know teams don't often get the time to develop languages, but the subtle touches with words like "Ahai" and "Outlander" really sold it for me, along with the different architecture, clothing designs, and far too many details to list. Elona was and always will be amazing to me. I just hope that Cantha is treated just as well, tastefully, and respectfully to all of their influences. It's important now more than ever to make sure we get this right.

 

 

But going back on topic. I'm not Egyptian, Arabic, or from any part of the Middle East. I cannot speak for those who could be bothered by the pharaoh outfit by appearance or name. However, I can speak as someone who sees trends and gets worried bout them. I don't want a culture to be generalized and only have certain parts of that culture shown and marketed, as mine so often has been. I'd rather it be celebrated. I could write an entire essay about that but I digress.

 

 

To give Arenanet the benefit of the doubt: Let's say they did this for fun, and the Pharaoh outfit was not intended to be a part of the Elonian culture, as is the same with the Samurai outfit. As it was mentioned, we have rainbow unicorns too, and other things that aren't pertained to the GW2 Universe. Great! And honestly I'm not that bothered by these. I know rainbow unicorns don't really exist in the game, it's probably something fun that the devs wanted to put into the game that they liked. Awesome. Dig that. In an ideal world, all devs should love and continue to be in love with the content they are making.

 

However, if that's the case, I hope that there is a distinction, or some kind of statement from Anet that this was the intent and not tied to Elona or Cantha, respectfully. Because of the lack of distinction is what's causing ruckus and getting folks upset.

 

 

To close: some years ago, I read an Avatar the Last Airbender comic, and one of the scenes stuck to me. In the scene, Aang, the last of a nomadic tribe of Airbenders, is greeted by a woman who donned herself in Airbender clothes, and tattoos. She tells him about the group of people who are trying to revitalize his culture and even are calling themselves Airbenders. He becomes insulted and the line he says will always stick with me: "My culture is not a costume."

 

I don't want a Pharaoh or Samurai costume. I want an Elonian and Canthan outfit. I don't want to buy either until I know there's that distinction.

This is incredibly well put, thank you for sharing. I am worried about about EoD because of how distinct every Asian country is from each other yet frequently get lumped together as simply "Asian." I would love to see recognition of India and Middle Eastern culture when we do go to Cantha because they are so frequently left out when working in themes from Asia, but I don't know at this rate how it will turn out...

Edit: The main issue with the outfit itself, while it is very pretty on its own, is some context that PoC in certain media frequently get displayed in ways more sexualized than peers, which is a form of exoticism. For female outfits in GW2, maybe in the light and heavy armor types show more skin than the male counterparts, but in this case it's another Elonian outfit where both female and male models have it very open.

Edited by steph.1895
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35 minutes ago, kilobytten.7402 said:

Southeast Asian cultures. That's all very well and good. But so far what we've seen from Official Cantha has appeared very Chinese, with the exception of Tengu being more Japanese. If it's supposed to be a "generic Asia" like we've seen in other films and video games far too many times..

I take it you didn't notice the EoD concept art then that was on the summer plans blog.

The bottom three images all look like Echovald Forest.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, steph.1895 said:

 I would love to see recognition of India and Middle Eastern culture when we do go to Cantha

Elona has Middle Eastern (and a little bit of India) influences.  It's a mash-up with Egyptian and North African influences.  I honestly don't understand what you're saying.  Djinn at all?

Edited by Chaba.5410
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6 minutes ago, Chaba.5410 said:

I take it you didn't notice the EoD concept art then that was on the summer plans blog.

The bottom three images all look like Echovald Forest.

 

Oh hey I did forget about these! Very cool images. Alas they're all concept art and from my experience, many times the concept art looks really cool but when they become the finalized... The final product sometimes doesn't look the same/carry the same vibe, or in some rare cases, look nothing like the original concept. 😞 Sometimes the artists are directed a completely different direction too, and they're forced to take on something they weren't really keen on doing from the get go. Because marketing/someone higher ranking than them said so. And as someone who once wanted to work in the field, I get it. I really do.

 

I'm really hoping that's not the case. Really, I am. But I've been disappointed before. So I'm still fingers crossed over this.

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2 minutes ago, kilobytten.7402 said:

 

Oh hey I did forget about these! Very cool images. Alas they're all concept art and from my experience, many times the concept art looks really cool but when they become the finalized... The final product sometimes doesn't look the same/carry the same vibe, or in some rare cases, look nothing like the original concept. 😞 Sometimes the artists are directed a completely different direction too, and they're forced to take on something they weren't really keen on doing from the get go. Because marketing/someone higher ranking than them said so. And as someone who once wanted to work in the field, I get it. I really do.

 

I'm really hoping that's not the case. Really, I am. But I've been disappointed before. So I'm still fingers crossed over this.

I would be very surprised if the direction changed that drastically for Kurzick areas given that there is an established precedent from GW1.  They certainly didn't change that much for Elona areas from GW1 to GW2.  They did change the well-established "offline" to "off-line" though so there's that.  🙂

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42 minutes ago, steph.1895 said:

The main issue with the outfit itself, while it is very pretty on its own, is some context that PoC in certain media frequently get displayed in ways more sexualized than peers, which is a form of exoticism. For female outfits in GW2, maybe in the light and heavy armor types show more skin than the male counterparts, but in this case it's another Elonian outfit where both female and male models have it very open.

    

Google the word "pharaoh" and look at the images, particularly the ones in ancient hieroglyphs. You're basically saying that the main issue with the pharaoh outfit... is that it actually looks like a pharaoh's outfit.     

    

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, tclark.8956 said:

    

Google the word "pharaoh" and look at the images, particularly the ones in ancient hieroglyphs. You're basically saying that the main issue with the pharaoh outfit... is that it actually looks like a pharaoh's outfit.     

    

 

No, they're saying that the main issue will be white female humans and chonky norn appropriating from a culture that's been dead for thousands of years.

(Edit: Just in case it wasn't clear, that's not how cultural appropriation works, usually requiring a non-dominant living culture that's been marginalized or oppressed.)

Edited by Chaba.5410
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1 minute ago, Chaba.5410 said:

I would be very surprised if the direction changed that drastically for Kurzick areas given that there is an established precedent from GW1.  They certainly didn't change that much for Elona areas from GW1 to GW2.  They did change the well-established "offline" to "off-line" though so there's that.  🙂

 

Too true about the offline/off-line thing! 😆 I haven't played enough of GW1 to go to Echovald forest so I have no idea how that looks like in there. I've seen games that revamp and rework their world's entire lore and completely change things around. I understand Anet hasn't done that yet, and doesn't really seem the type tbh.... Which is why I haven't been on forums or even Discord touting my opinions about all of this, because in the end it just boils down to "I have to wait until EoD drops to see for myself." Since a lot of my worries are from speculations and not necessarily hard facts. Just seeing trends doesn't mean the end result will be that way... But I can still be worried. I've seen others do it poorly. I just hope Anet doesn't fall into that hole.

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