The beta starts Friday, and I really wanted to come up with something special for all of my followers as we head into the beta. I’ve done several posts before on being a good tester, things to help you enjoy the beta, not overdoing yourself in the beta, etc. But, I wanted something really different that could make the game even cooler for you. So, here goes:
With so many in the world, the odds are that you know a few Star Trek fans. Everyone loves to hate on them for being obsessive nerds, setting the stereotype for everyone everywhere. It’s not just knowing all the names of the major characters or all the plot lines. It’s knowing every minor character, half the episode numbers, every weapon and piece of technology, and even learning to speak Klingon. The odds of one of those few Star Trek fans you know being able to speak Klingon is pretty high. While you’re outwardly commenting on how nerdy they are, be honest for a moment: you secretly think that level of devotion is admirable and kind of cool. There are plenty of Lord of the Rings fans that are fluent in Elven. One of my friends can actually learned the Dragon language in Skyrim. We may not have a full language in Guild Wars 2, but we do have a alphabet in the lore that is heavily used.
New Krytan in the Lore
Similar to real world history, the invention of the printing press by the charr created a real need for literacy in Tyria. Afterall, what had been the of a common man learning to read when few would write? If all reading material has to be hand-written, there isn’t an overwhelming desire to put out anything that required more than one copy. Once the charr had invented the printing press, it was easy to mass produce written material. With this power in mind, the Durmand Priory set to teach the world how to read. They combined Old Ascalonian (pictured below, from the official GW wiki). and Old Krytan alphabets to produce the New Krytan alphabet, so that written communication may be universal throughout Tyria. Since its creation in 1105 AE, New Krytan has been spread by the Durmand Priory to all of the major races. While all of the major races have accepted it and learned to read it, some (mainly the asura) still largely reject New Krytan and continue to teach their own language and alphabet as well.
Teaching Yourself New Krytan
There’s likely a few of you that just read that section title and are thinking, “why would I want to learn New Krytan?” First off, it’s easy. Second, if you’re a really dedicated Guild Wars 2 fan, it’s a must. Lastly, there is a s**tload (yes, a standard unit of measurement) of signs, bottles, and other things in the game that are written in New Krytan. ArenaNet hasn’t published the alphabet for us. Instead, valiant GW2 fans have hunted through every screenshot and every part of the game available to us to finally come up with all of them. The alphabet is listed here on the official wiki. The first step in teaching yourself New Krytan is to simply write the alphabet out twice (or more if really necessary) on a piece of paper, like so:
Pay attention that you try to write as best as you can at the beginning, to train yourself with all of the nuances present with each character. Since I’ve been doing this for months, I’m a little sloppy, as you can see. Next, move the alphabet you just wrote somewhere that you can’t see it, and grab a new sheet of paper. Now, start writing out a few words with different variety of letters. Picking out a lot of different words and names in the lore is a good place to find a bunch of words with a good variety. Now that you have these words in mind, start writing them out. If you can’t remember a letter when you’re writing the word, leave it blank and keep going. After you’ve written all of your words, use your alphabet you wrote to fill them in. Do it again tomorrow, the exact same way. After you finish doing it for the second time, write out the alphabet completely blind. Check back on any letters you missed after getting to the end. By that point, you should be mostly set.
As I said before, writing is the easy part. Reading New Krytan takes a bit more. The best thing you can do is go looking around on forums and finding things people have written out in new Krytan. Reading what you wrote doesn’t help you, because you know what you wrote. Find things that you didn’t write out there (there’s quite a lot, believe it or not), and translate all of those. For an example, the above picture is the second part of what I tell you to do to learn to write (ignore the absent-minded ‘w’ in place of ‘u’ in ‘human’ and forgetting how to spell ‘Zhaitan’). At the beginning is a list of all of the races. Then follows the list of the different homes of each race. Afterwards are the list of all of the elder dragons, followed by the list of the members of Destiny’s Edge. You’ll have to figure out the last bit by yourself.