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.
Huge amounts of new information and new videos available this week, thanks to the ArenaNet crew at GamesCom 2011.
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.
Part 2: Guild Wars news
- Reminder: If you’d like to keep track of the Guild Wars Beyond material, keep this page bookmarked.
- Reminder: Guild Wars official support forum. Here is the FAQ page for the forums.
Part 3: Guild Wars 2 news
- The current story on transmutation stones has changed: they will not be available for sale (in real world currency, anyway). They’ll be drops in-game instead. I guess ArenaNet got a lot of push-back on the idea of making that a micro-transaction item.
- Talk Tyria – Of Ronan, Ventari, and the Pale Tree: The Sylvari. “Written in the voice of Belzan Furu — I once knew the great centaur Ventari. We oft debated the human-centaur war over a campfire in Maguuma or the Tarnished Coast. He was wise and I learned a great deal from his teachings, even though our time together was short. He saw the conflicts between our races as wasteful and unnecessary considering the long history of peace our two races enjoyed. I was more concerned with the White Mantle and dodging roving packs of undead at the time. The centaurs were more of a nuisance to me than anything else.”
- Flameseeker Chronicles: Sylvari week wrap-up. “Guild Wars 2 Sylvari week is over, much to the relief of abused F5 keys everywhere. We’ve finally seen the redesign, we’ve read the lore, we’ve gotten more details about the culture, we’ve watched new videos, and best of all, we’ve talked the subject to death. Now that it’s all over and we’ve had a chance to process the infodump, it’s time for my standard post-race-week Flameseeker Chronicles analysis. Follow along after the jump, where I’ll recap a few of the high points of Sylvari week.”
- Guildmag: Cadeyrn’s Fall. “For the last day of Sylvari Week, we were treated to “Dream and Nightmare” by Ree Soesbee. It’s a generously long post that features the story of Cadeyrn, the first of the secondborn sylvari and future founder of the Nightmare Court. His story is told in several scenes, each an episode of the fall that made him a twisted example of the sylvari’s honor, curiosity, and empathy. The enigma of Cadeyrn becomes apparent when he says to Niamh, “Again the firstborn quote the Tablet when I ask for logic […] I do not agree.” How did Cadeyrn go from this humanist notion—suggesting that sylvari can determine their own ethics without the tablet’s guidance — to the Nightmare Court’s terrorism, causing harm specifically for the psychological effect? It’s worthy of closer inspection, lest we assume that the latter necessarily follows from the former. Thankfully, Ree gives us the answers and provides insight into Cadeyrn’s tragic character flaws: his determination of his own morals, his spite for the firstborn, and his belief that he is exceptional.”
- Very Distilled – Guild Wars 2: Where is the Guild in all of this? “Professions galore, race weeks, minor race articles, dynamic events, concept art, clothing, armour and weapons, dungeons, audio, lore and even a smattering of PvP. Any self respecting Guild Wars player must be asking themselves; where’s my Guild information?”
- Jon Peters on the New GamesCom Demo. “As a company, we like to say that we iterate on our game — a lot. There are three different ways that we can make changes: we can remove things, we can change things, and we can add things. Luckily for anyone playing the demo a second, third or twentieth time, we have done all three of these things to many aspects of the game. For me, the best part of these demos is how they let players see the iterative process. From PAX East and the introduction of thief, to Comic-Con where we tried an initiative system with cheaper costs and slower regeneration, and to GamesCom where the thief will use the original numbers once again. I’m sure that people are theory-crafting on which is better. Thankfully we don’t have to theorize; we can play it and see for ourselves. The slower-regen idea seemed so good on paper, but in practice the original design was just more fun. As we roll into this next demo season, there are a few major changes that we thought we should tell you about, and without further ado, here they are.”
- Talk Tyria: I swung a sword, I swung a sword again, I gained a new skill! “Pardon my obvious Colin reference, but I feel this new skill acquisition needs to be brought into further review even before the GamesCom demos begin. Allow me to further quote the man with the golden smile. “We just don’t want players to grind in Guild Wars 2. No one enjoys that, noone finds it fun; we want to change the way that people view combat.” – Colin Johanson, GW2 Manifesto. If this is the case, then why does this new skill system exist?”
- New Guild Wars 2 trailer for GamesCom 2011.
- GuildMag: Hands-on Guild Wars 2 at GamesCom 2011. “At the end of the demo tour we were shown a bit of what PvP would be like, but due to us only having access to 7 PCs we couldn’t try it out for ourselves. In this short introduction we were shown the hot-joinable selection screen which is just a pop-up screen like your inventory, hero menu and other screens. Here you can choose for yourself what server you’d like to join. The game then creates a player pool, which gets rotated after every battle to keep it fair for both sides. If you don’t like a certain server, you can just return to the PvP screen and choose a different server, just like in your average FPS. Speaking of FPSs, you can clearly see the influence of this game-category throughout the rest of the PvP areas as well. To create a new path or create cover, you can make use of the destructible environment to easily create a new setting from a destroyed building. Like with dynamic events, siege weapons in PvP will grant you new skills and access to the rotation mechanics of your siege weapon as well. Want to try and take out an enemy nearby silently? You can even break the glass to create a new entrance into a building to ambush people who are inside. All in all, movability is the key to PvP in Guild Wars 2.”
- Player versus Player overview. “For Guild Wars 2, we wanted to organize the PvP formats more clearly and simply. For pickup play, we’ve created a single place where all pickup players can play. It’s a server browser where “hot join” games are constantly running. We’ve also created a single, central place for competitive play in the form of automatic tournaments. These two play styles—pickup and competitive—share a lot of gameplay similarities, which allows players to easily transition from casual to more organized play. This is important, because both pickup and tournament play are independent of “world” choice. In other words, all Guild Wars 2 PvP players are in the same PvP games and are not segregated.”
- IGN: Fighting Dragons in Guild Wars 2. “From the beginnings of the game to its highest levels, you’ll encounter dynamic events that scale in difficulty depending on how many players are present. Even the low-level challenges are impressive, such as a giant warrior made of rock embedded in the wall of a cave near the very start of the Charr storyline. Brandishing a weapon and routinely causing players to run in terror, the warrior is easy to take down but at least feels satisfying thanks to the sense of scale. But nothing I played quite compares to the undead dragon battle in the high level Sparkfly Fen. “
- The Battle of Khylo – Jonathan Sharp on PvP. “Earlier this week Jon Peters talked about the core structure of PvP in Guild Wars 2. Today, I’d like to talk about the first map we’ll be revealing, the Battle of Kyhlo — a map you can play at the upcoming PAX and GamesCom shows. Let’s break down the map, some general tactics and strategy, and how each class can help their team.”
- Talk Tyria: GamesCom 2011 Day 0. “Karasu and MeWulf travel to GamesCom for TalkTyria in an attempt to play GW2, get swag, interrogate the minds behind GW2 and share their experiences with the fans at home.”
- Game Informer: Rabbits Versus Dragons In Guild Wars 2. “It was only a month ago at Comic-Con that I had my first hands-on time with Guild Wars 2 and walked away wildly impressed. Yesterday at Gamescom, I had the opportunity to sit down for two longer play sessions that showed off even more reasons to fall in love with this promising game.”
- Hunter’s Insight: The Guild Wars 2 Gamescom Videos You Have To See. “There are a lot of videos coming out and there will be a lot more, but so far today I would say that the following videos were the most interesting to watch.”
- Talk Tyria: GamesCom 2011 – Day 1 update. “As promised we sacrificed our precious sleep so we could upload yesterday’s video’s as soon as possible for you – not just because the line to play Diablo III would be significantly shorter before the Koelmesse doors open for public. Here they are: Three video’s of Sylvari Guardian gameplay. Notice the Asuran cuteness halfway the second video and the epic boss battle in the third.”
- Massively: Gamescom 2011: Guild Wars 2 shows off 40 minutes of gameplay. “Hey Guild Wars 2 fans, bummed that you’re not at Gamescom right now getting your paws, claws, or ferns on the game? We have the next best thing: nearly 40 minutes of video footage for you to digest.”
- G4TV: Guild Wars 2 PvP Details — Fighting For Glory Within Conquest’s Structured PvP Mode, “With the way Guild Wars 2 handles structured PvP, players will automatically be set to the maximum level and will get access to all of the necessary skills, items, etc., that they need in order to put everyone on an even playing field. “This makes player skill more important than time invested in a particular character,” said Peters. When you leave the PvP environment, your character will go back to the skill and gear it had in the PvE area of the game, but the game will automatically save your last PvP setup so that you don’t have to reconfigure everything each time you play. Guild Wars 2 will also let you store templates for builds so that you can try out new builds or return to the builds which you like the most.”
- Making the Battle of Kyhlo. “In my last blog post, I explained how to play the PvP map we’ll be showing at PAX and gamescom: the Battle of Kyhlo. I thought it would be fun to show how the various disciplines of game development work together. Game development is team based, and everyone pitches in to help create an amazing final product. Collaboration and iteration are the keys to making good games, and working well with people from other disciplines is crucial if you want a job in the game industry. Let’s take a look at how the various departments helped to bring this map to life!”
- Hunter’s Insight: We have the PvP technology. “You can a lot just from this image. You’ve got match size, naming your own match, filtering based on preference, I’m assuming adjustable time limits otherwise why note them, adjustable scores perhaps, a note about map rotation. Don’t quote me on some of these but it seems like some of this stuff is highly changeable.”
- Talk Tyria: GamesCom 2011 – Day 2. “The new demo introduces the new skill system and the very first PvP gameplay. Who better to put in front of the camera than Isaiah Cartwright. Questions involve the new skill system, scaling, balancing and what else we should expect from PvP.”