So here we are; the finale of our Guild Wars 2 review. We’ve got a few more things to cover before we give our final judgement, but if you need a re-cap, or if have only just stumbled upon our review, you can navigate your way around our coverage by using the mini-hub below (with all sections within previous parts of the review re-labelled for your viewing ease.)
Human Start Area + Area Events | McGarnagle’s Story Part 1 + Vista Viewpoints | McGarnagle’s Story Part 2 + Skill Points | McGarnagle’s Story Part 3 + Shadow Behemoth | Jump Puzzles + More Vista Viewpoints
Right then. If you’re all sitting comfortably, let’s finish this.
The original Guild Wars contained a rather extensive PvE section, but the longevity was in its PvP side. Unfortunately there was a little bit of a snag for those that wished to get their hands dirty fighting other players; you were forced to play the PvE sections to unlock abilities. ArenaNet have eliminated this problem in both aspects of the PvP this time around, so let’s take a look at the quick-fire Competitive PvP first to see how they have achieved this.Click here to read more...
If there’s one thing I can count on, it’s that the ArenaNet developers always give out some meaty answers to the questions they recieve. A collective that loves their craft and their work, it reflects not only in the end results but in the enthusiasm of their answers. I’ve tried to edit down the following transcription, but it almost seems impossible to omit any of the details. So buckle up for a rather colossal ride, filled to the brim with interesting morsels of information.
Via a video conference call, me and several other journalists had to chance to attend a Q&A session with some of the key personal involved with Guild Wars 2. Lead Game Designer Eric Flannum, Lead Content Designer Colin Johanson, Writer and Lore & Continuity Designer Ree Soesbee, Character Artist Kristen Perry, and Lead Engineer Josh Petrie were on hand to answer an barrage of questions on the upcoming MMO, starting with perhaps the most obvious one…
Is there a release date yet?
Eric Flannum: It’s still what we said [before], which is sometime this year, but other than that it will be ‘when it is ready.’ It’s getting closer, but we still don’t have a release date for it.
You’ve said that you want to build a social community based on respect, that is friendly and inviting. How have you achieved this in-game?
EF: So the main way we wanted to make the game all about respect and user friendliness is we had pretty everything in the game designed to provide a co-operative experience for the players. So, a lot of MMO’s in the past. Players would see other players and immediately think “Oh, this player’s here to steal something from me,” and I’m not just talking about games that have player vs player combat. So because of the way quests are structured where I kill 10 of these creatures, and there are only 8 of them spawned, [the other player] is going to kill some of those and they are going to make it longer for me to accomplish what I want to do.Click here to read more...
After granting me access to the previous Beta weekend event, I was invited to an NCsoft event in Brighton to take another look at ArenaNet’s upcoming MMORPG Guild Wars 2. Considering the huge scope of the game, and the sheer amount of content I had left untouched, I jumped at the chance to find out more about the game. So, amongst a group of journalists in a basement filled with computers, I dove back in to the virtual world of Tyria.
To begin with I decided to compare the human start area, which I had previously experienced as an Engineer, with a Thief character to see what difference in play style there was between the two. So Winstone, named after the greatest Ray in the world, started his brief journey where I immediately felt a change in mechanics compared to my previous experience. Unlike other classes, Thief abilities do not use a cooldown per say, instead having their moves depending on an energy bar called Initiative. This allows players to chain together a series of moves to unleash powerful combos, but with each skill costing a certain amount of Initiative it means players must choose wisely to achieve the best results, even though the Initiative bar refills steadily.Click here to read more...
This year's Gamescom brought about a lot of new information regarding the gameplay mechanics of Guild Wars 2, including the long-awaited PvP aspects of the game (which you can read about here.) Of course, being told about how a game will play is not exactly the same as playing it for yourself, seeing if the promises do indeed match up to the reality. Thankfully, I was lucky to be invited to a world first hands-on with the Competative PvP portion of the game at Eurogamer Expo last month. After such a grand presentation at Gamescom, I had high expectations for the upcoming MMO.
After a short wait to get the computer stations filled with willing combatants, we were let loose into the game to pick our race and class. Much like with Guild Wars 1, PvP takes place with top level characters, but unlike its predecessor all abilities will be available to start with upon creating a PVP avatar, and not require playing through the storyline to unlock; a player could launch himself into PvP warfare right off the install if they so wished. So with everything (bar the final, unannounced class) at my disposal, I decided to make myself an Asuran Ranger for comical effect, and gave him the name of the greatest detective to ever not-live, McGarnagle.
With McGarnagle ready to unleash hell, myself and the rest of the blue team waited in a pre-match state, applying buffs and checking out our abilities, giving me a chance to check out my surroundings and the interface. The arena we were previewing, The Battle of Kyhlo, involved two teams of up to 5 players fighting across a map to capture control points which build up your team’s score, with the first to get to a set amount of points declared the winner. Standard stuff really, however ArenaNet have been working on making their PvP in GW2 a more fluid and accessible affair, which is something that really shows when the action gets going.Click here to read more...
As the presentation continued, ArenaNet Global Brand Manager Christopher Lye moved the on-screen demo to a different area of the game, this time featuring a higher level Asura character, to demonstrate some of the higher level content such as the open world dynamic events. The Asura, which are the small and highly magical race, were introduced in the Eye Of The North expansion for the original Guild Wars, however they will be playable in the upcoming sequel. The profession on show was the Guardian, a heavy-armour-wearing spellcaster capable of doing heavy damage to their foes, as well as helping to protect them. It was at the point that Lye pointed out that because the dynamic events happen randomly, each demonstration during the many press sessions had been different each time, so they had no clue which event would occur in the area.
The game loaded up into an area called Sparkfly Fen, a high level coastal area that is always under siege by the undead. The area we were dropped into was under attack by ghost pirates from a ship called the Ash Horizon. As part of a nine event chain, we were shown a small section of the different states the area could be in. With “lots of things to do during the larger scale events,” such as manning catapults to attack the Ash Horizon directly, a progress bar will show players how far through an event is, as well as how well the other players are doing at completing the objectives.
Click here to read more on dynamic events & the first look at the PvP modes!
For those not familiar with the series, Guild Wars is an online Role Playing Game that provides two main forms of play; the co-operative Player Vs Environment instanced story areas and the competitive Player Vs Player aspect which itself had several modes in which to fight other against other teams. Selling over 7 million copies, as well as hosting three expansion packs, Guild Wars managed to carve its way into the online gaming world, which was a great achievement for an unknown development team.
And now ArenaNet are ready to make even bigger waves on the gaming scene with Guild Wars 2. With more playable races and even more classes, including the recently revealed Engineer, along with its unique art style which is inspired by water colour paintings, ArenaNet aim to make a product that can stand up to the behemoths of the MMO realm. Dealspwn were lucky enough to be invited to a press session being headed by Global Brand Manager Christopher Lye to see the latest progress from the upcoming title.
Lye began by stating that ArenaNet had admitted there were some issues in the original Guild Wars, specifically with the use of instancing and a lack of large persistent spaces. It’s an issue that caused a divide in opinion as to whether the game was in fact an MMO at all, although the developers have always chosen to designate it as a CORPG instead. Thankfully ArenaNet have rectified this with Guild Wars 2 and Lye emphasised during the press session that it would definitely be a fully featured MMO built on a “fully persistent MMO engine.”
Click here to read more...