Selecting your race is the first thing you must do when creating your character. You have the choice of Humans, Charr, Norn, Sylvari or Asura. All Races are given the choice on what they use to gain favour. The question that gives you this choice is as follows:
"Trouble may follow me but I use my" Dignity/Charm/Ferociousness "to overcome it". There are several other options to choose form after this dependant on race and class. I will do my best to list them all below as they do have an impact on the characters story line quest which is personal to them.
Known as the defenders of Kryta have lost their homeland due to a great war with the Charr, Ascalon was conquered, however the awakening of a dragon created a tidal wave that destroyed coastal areas and Lions arch, the biggest human city of that time. Six of their gods have left mankind to fend for themselves but this is see as a test by the humans and they carry on regardless with spirits high and will power remaining determined to succeed against all odds. They are given the choice of who brought them up, you can choose between the common folk, In the streets or amongst nobility. You also have to answer a question about your biggest regret, your choices are that you never searched for your true parents, you never recovered your sisters body or you never joined the circus. Both of these choices affect your storyline quests. Their adventure starts in Queensdale.
Forged by war and war alone, its all they know and all they understand. There are three legions amongst the Charr. The Iron Legion, The Blood Legion and The Ash Legion. Each fights war the only way they know how, by sabotage, by brute force or using machinery to gain them dominance over anyone who gets in their way. Currently there is a fourth high legion who have fallen form grace due to their worship of false gods. The Flame Legion now wages war against the Charr in the hope of regaining dominance over all Charr. As a Charr you are given the following choices. You would die for which one of the following sparring partners, maverick, Euryale, Clawspur, Dinky or Reeva. You are also told that the soldier that sired you was one of the following, A loyal soldier, a sorcerous shaman or an honour-less gladium. This battle begins in Ashford plains and continues ever more brutal as you venture further outward to the world of Tyria.
I love the Norn, they remind me of Vikings of old but with better manners. they are all about being victorious in the hunt and achieving glory through battle. It is all very honourable but make no mistake the Norn can be brutal in battle. They too have lost their homeland, driven form it by the ice dragons. The Norn are given the choice of which Quality is their most important. Is it that they have the strength to defeat ancient foes, the cunning to protect the spirits or the intuition to guard the mists. They are also the victims of a celebratory Moot held in Haulbrek and you have to decide what it is that happened to them. Would it be that they blacked out, that they got into a fight or that they lost an heirloom. Again this impacts your characters storyline quest line. They begin there journey in the Wayfarer foothills with one of the earlier quests being the one regarding the Ravens.
Awakened souls from beneath the Pale Tree. During their lives the live in a dream state called the pre-life dream and they awaken when they summoned to serve their purpose. This race are connected through the Pale Tree and whilst on their travels, the knowledge they learn is fed back to the pale tree to the Sylvari that still lie in dream state. The easiest comparison to make would be to say that the Sylvari are like the Borg but better mannered and with more nobility about them. Their choices are made of visions, what did your character see in there vision, was it a Stag, the green Knight or the shield of the moon. Another choice you need to make questions when the Pale Tree awakened you. Dusk, Dawn, Noon or Night. Each has significance so choose wisely. The path to their destiny starts in their Dream state and with victory behind them in that dream state they will finally awaken in the Caledon Forest.
Look small but think big. The Asura are the genius's of magitech basically. They are alchemical inventors that believe the clever survive over the strong and that one day they, the Asura will rule all. Like the Charr and their own three legions, the Asura have a choice to join either of the three main colleges. The College of Statics, The College of Dynamics or The College of Synergetics. They can also choose what there fist invention was. Did your Asura invent the VAL-A Golem or the weather changing machine called the Transatmospheric converter or the infinity ball which may or may not give you the future. These choices do have an impact on how your character is played and there will be a more detailed post about these and the Charr legions shortly.
So there you have it. A quick guide to get you started on ideas for which Race to try out. They are all fun to play but I have to admit the Norn are my favourites. Which ones yours?
Information taken form in game text and Guild wars 2 official wiki
All pictures taken from my own in game footage courtesy of Arena Net