I’ve been accumulating news snippets about the as-yet-to-be-formally-scheduled release of Guild Wars 2 for an email newsletter I send out to my friends and acquaintances in the Guild Wars community. The early part of this week was very slow, but Thursday was ArenaNet’s Press Day and Friday was Fan Day, so lots of information started to come out on Friday morning.
Part 1: Discussion of previous news
- If you listen to podcasts, you might want to subscribe to the Guildcast weekly podcast
- Reminder: the official Guild Wars 2 wiki is still growing, so it’s worth checking it out now and again for new information.
- Talk Tyria considers the debate about ArenaNet’s announced ‘no stand-alone expansions’ policy. “We’ve known ANet plans on adding expansions in one form or another for Guild Wars 2. Those sorts of things come naturally with most in this genre of gaming. But with their plans on bending MMO conventions, it’s fun to think about what exactly would an expansion entail. What sort of shiny, new gifts under the tree can we expect, or dare we desire, for future content? And how, exactly, should they be released? Ignoring the stand-alone component, traditionally new expansions come with new explorable areas and quests, a new class or two, a brand new story, a few tweaks and upgrades to the world, graphics and mechanics, and something novel to the game.”
Part 2: Guild Wars news
- Reminder: If you’d like to keep track of the upcoming Winds of Change and other Guild Wars Beyond material, keep this page bookmarked.
- Guild Wars now has an official support forum. Here is the FAQ for the forums.
- Official reminder about password security for your Guild Wars account.
Part 3: Guild Wars 2 news
- Flameseeker Chronicles: Of revolutionary design, babies, and bathwater. “The “revolutionary” aspects of Guild Wars 2 might be an old topic, but it’s one that’s been on my mind lately for two reasons. First, a couple of my colleagues and I got some hands-on time with Star Wars: The Old Republic at E3. One consistent feeling was that it’s a good, solid game but nothing revolutionary. (I was very impressed with it overall, even though I feel it’s not a game for me.) That sparked a lot of discussion regarding the fact that BioWare never claimed that the game would be revolutionary, so the argument is pointless. I can certainly get on board that train of thought, but it still set me thinking about this aspect of game design.”
- Kill Ten Rats Guild Wars 2 Fanday. “A couple weeks ago ArenaNet contacted me and 14 other lucky fans for a huge event. We were all invited out to Seattle to visit the new ArenaNet office on June 24! For this humble blogger, this was seriously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. [. . .] Thursday will be travel days for most of us, with the fans from Europe possibly starting earlier. That night we will have a meet’n’greet dinner with the Community Team. Friday, we head to the brand new studio! ArenaNet has filled the day with tons of activities, most of which they won’t tell us so as not to spoil any surprises. We will get to play a Guild Wars 2 demo (with no NDA, but no video), and developers are taking time out of their busy schedule to join in on the fun.”
- MMOsite: More juicy details on profession selection. “In a recent long interview with Tap Repeatedly, Jon Peters and Jonathan Sharp, two game system designers from ArenaNet, disclosed some details about Guild Wars 2‘s profession settings. Here, let’s have a quick reading about the information they disclosed in the interview.”
- Arenanet and the Seattle Symphony at PLAY! “The Guild Wars 2 arrangement of PLAY was, unsurprisingly, gorgeous and breathtaking. ArenaNet told us in their blog announcing their inclusion in PLAY that they had prepared a new cinematic for it, which got people excited and curious. Here’s what stood out to me. It’s not comprehensive, as I don’t have cameras in my eyes (and I abide by the rules of the concert hall of course).”
- NCsoft announces San Diego Comic-Con events and schedule. “If you’re planning to attend the San Diego Comic-Con next month, and if you happen to be a fan of Guild Wars or City of Heroes, then NCsoft wants you to swing by its booth while you’re in the neighborhood. Attendees will be able “to meet artists and developers from City of Heroes Freedom and Guild Wars 2.” NCsoft will be giving the latest news on City of Heroes‘ recently announced free-to-play transition as well as giving fans the opportunity to take Guild Wars 2‘s Engineer class for a spin. In addition to all of that, City of Heroes‘ Desdemona will be making appearances at the booth while City of Heroes comic artist David “Noble Savage” Nakayama whips up free illustrations of selected CoH players’ characters. The artists of Guild Wars 2 will also be present to sign limited-edition postcard art books.”
- Jonathan Sharp talks underwater combat. “Here at ArenaNet we don’t think breathing is fun. We figure that you have to breathe every day IRL (in real life), so why should you have to work to breathe in a game — even underwater? There’s a huge amount of underwater content in Guild Wars 2, and we want you to be able to explore it all without stressing about drowning. When you dive underwater, a breathing apparatus is instantly put all up on your face. We provide you with a default breathing apparatus, but you can find all sorts of cool gear to help keep you exploring the depths of the ocean.”
- Guild Wars 2 has full-featured, distinct underwater combat (and we’ve played it!) “It’s time to ditch the snorkel–Guild Wars’ sequel lets us finally dive beneath the water’s surface, and there’s a deep and wonderful world beneath the waves. We went up to ArenaNet’s Seattle-based studio yesterday to swim around the ponds, oceans, rivers, and lakes of Tyria, meet it’s friendly and not-so-friendly aquatic inhabitants, and shoot them with our speargun.”
- Into the Dungeons! “Dungeons are multiplayer, instanced adventuring areas. Unlike most of the rest of Tyria, which can be explored by solo players, dungeons are designed to be played and enjoyed in pre-arranged groups, composed of either your regular guildies or a pick-up team. Whereas our event system creates a dynamic, ever-changing world and our personal story allows you to weave a tale unique to your character, dungeons represent an evolution of the original Guild Wars game experience: instanced areas with a single group of players running through them. [. . .] At the time of this writing, we have eight dungeons in Tyria. They are not beginner’s content; the earliest of them requires characters who’ve reached level 35.”
- Tweets from the Guild Wars 2 Fan Day:
- GuildMag‘s first round-up of items from GW2 Press Day (including a few already listed above). “Like you might have heard on other fansites, or on twitter, ArenaNet is having 2 open house days at their newest office! The first open house was for the Press, sites like PCGamer and MMORPG.com were invited over to come and play the latest demo build in which underwater exploration and the Catacombs played a major role. Below you can find a list of current newsposts around the web, but we’ll be sure to have another one up tomorrow to include all the stuff that the Fans, whom are currently at the office having a Fan day, will share with us.”
“Day and night cycle is currently two hours. 1:20 of daylight and 40 of night. Possibly will change before release. -Colin”
Eric talking about what they will expect from dungeons and underwater combat.
Underwater combat is different. Underwater skills, weapons, breathing apparatus. Downed: u lose life, regained when you surface
Dungeons have 2 modes-story & explorable. Most PUGs can do story mode well. Explorable is harder & needs a more organized group
Mike Z showing the fans our how content designers use our custom tool, Duo, to spawn monsters and such.
If you have read the books, you will see some nods to the books in the game.
#gw2fanday like being in A gallery http://lockerz.com/s/113718818
Character art room. Not only are there pirates in the game, but you can wear pirate outfits, too. =D #GW2FanDay ~RB
Charr can customize their pelts, so you can look like a tiger or an ocelot if you want. #GW2FanDay ~RB
Animators can get really creative with asura more so than the other races. Room for a bit of humor in movement. #GW2FanDay ~RB
Customizable body shape, facial features, charr body patterns, norn tattoos, sylvari patterns, asura ears. #gw2fanday At the least.
Cinematics take advantage of concept art for cinematics and story telling. Concept art layered w/ proprietary tool. #GW2FanDay ~RB
No pre rendered cinematics. Rendered in real time. Emotive story telling through our cinematics, using concept art. #GW2FanDay ~RB
[Neo] Incredible suit of armor looks incredible. http://yfrog.com/klnpthj
[Neo] Sylvari Camp. #GW2FanDay http://yfrog.com/kibsnuj