Guild Wars 2 Catch All

Michael Zenke wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Information is coming out at a decent rate for Guild Wars 2 now, I predict a fall, or holiday, release.

Not coming out until at least next year. They've been pretty vocal about that.

Ah, hadn't seen that. I think/hope it's pretty early in the year.

Michael Zenke wrote:

New information dropped today:

On Dynamic Events

In Guild Wars 2, our event system won't make you read a huge quest description to find out what's going on. You'll experience it by seeing and hearing things in the world. If a dragon is attacking, you won't read three paragraphs telling you about it, you'll see buildings exploding in giant balls of fire, and hear characters in the game world screaming about a dragon attack. You'll hear guards from nearby cities trying to recruit players to go help fight the dragon, and see huge clouds of smoke in the distance, rising from the village under siege.

Also did a nice interview with Eurogamer.

It would not be an understatement to say that between GW2, TOR, and asian games like TERA, I haven't been this excited for the MMO scene in years.

Sounding very good.

Read through the articles on the official website. They are trying some really ambitious things on all fronts.

To me those changes don't seem that ambitious. They seem pretty sensible and I only think they're noteworthy because it's a MMO. Any other type of game and everyone would be saying "so what?". If you're trying to make a living world, it's the way it should be.

I agree that this is the direction that MMORPGs should be going, and the concepts all look sound. Just thinking about all the work that gives substance to these concepts, though, makes me wish that there are many truly exceptional talents working for them. The dynamic events alone can introduce so many complications to players' experience. I've been asking myself many questions since reading their articles. Does each event offer specific rewards? Will the difficulty matter to players at different points of progression? And there are hundreds of such events, they claim. Some of which will be secret. How will those be kept secret under the constant presence of the internet? Won't it induce an initial rush from the players to be the first to experience those secret events on all servers as soon as they're discovered? Are they one time only? Will they be introduced at regular intervals to keep the game fresh? And they plan to scale difficulty according to number of participants. Makes sense, but that's a whole chunk of balancing chores right there, right alongside balance between professions. Unless they have a system established, they have to manually adjust all aspects of scaling difficulty for each event, all several hundreds of them.

I'm sure they've considered those problems and more. The technical challenges, I'm sure, are not as severe as the sheer logistics of it all. Best of luck to them, really.

I've been trying to keep abreast of this stuff, will try to answer questions.

Thirteenth wrote:

Does each event offer specific rewards?

It seems like yes. What will be interesting for me is how rewards reflect the content. Will players eventually get in the habit of 'letting' certain events play out in a given way because the loot is better?

Thirteenth wrote:

And there are hundreds of such events, they claim. Some of which will be secret. How will those be kept secret under the constant presence of the internet? Won't it induce an initial rush from the players to be the first to experience those secret events on all servers as soon as they're discovered? Are they one time only?

So, they're really clear about the cyclical nature of the events; chains lead into other chains that eventually loop around to the first, restoring the world to the original gamestate. There's no need to rush to experience things since you can go back and try to see things play out differently later. There aren't any one-time events, since everything eventually can be replayed - or played out differently.

And I'm sure that guildwars wiki will have all the chains mapped out within a week of launch. That's just the way of things.

Guild Wars 2 Guru has a great interview that gives a lot of details about character creation, skills, PvP and crafting.


So, despite time wasting busy work that will be keeping me away from stabbing critters in the face there is some pretty cool stuff here.

GW2Guru: Can you tell us about any of the ’structured PvP’ formats?

Ryan Scott – Game Designer: While we’re not ready to release all the details on structured PVP yet, there is some information we can share.

First of all, it’s important to clarify that Structured PvP and World versus World are very different beasts. WvW will take your current character – as is – and have them join an ongoing, large-scale battle to win rewards for their world. Structured PvP will equalize everyone’s character level and unlock all options from the start to have two teams fight in a fair, instanced game.

We’ve mentioned before that we’re taking some cues from first-person shooters with how we’ll handle PvP in GW2. This, specifically, means a few things:

‣ GW2’s PvP will use the same formats for both pick-up/random and tournament play. Gone are the days of different game modes for differing skill levels, so players can learn skills that are relevant in all levels of competition.

‣ Pick-up play is 100% hot-joinable. You can leave or join a game already in progress, and the game modes and types will be built to support this. This removes the catch-22 of groups disallowing newer players to join, when those same players can’t get better because they can’t find a group. Tournaments will also be supported, so arranged teams will be able to face off in a competitive setting.

‣ Since games are hot-join, we want to add support for micro-communities to have some control over the type of play environment they want, while in turn letting all players seek out the experience they enjoy. We’ll be releasing more details on how we’re doing this later this year.

GW1 has a legacy of having strong PvP and competition, and we’re going to great lengths to make GW2 the best PvP MMO on the market by leaps and bounds.

GW2Guru: Crafting and gathering are hot topics right now, can you elaborate on either of those, and how they will impact a players experience?

Eric Flannum: It wasn’t really our intent to be coy with the FAQ and avoid answering the question about whether or not there’s crafting in the game so let me start by saying that there is definitely crafting in the game. We’re still designing many of the specifics but players should expect crafting to enhance their adventuring experience and not be a system that tries to replace it. What I mean when I say that is that crafting will not be something players can engage in as a career without ever going out and slaying monsters and being a hero. We think that systems that allow players to do that can be a lot of fun but just aren’t right for what we’re doing in GW2. Expect a crafting system that has multiple crafting professions, discourages player conflict over resource nodes, no “throw away” crafting of items that you don’t care about, and generally works with and enhances all of the other game systems in GW2.

GW2Guru: It’s been implied that there may not be a ‘dedicated healer’ class in the game. Is that a role that some classes will excel at filling, or will that form of defense be spread across a team?

Isaiah Cartwright – Game Designer: Healing in GW2 is different from most other MMO’s. One of our goals is that you should always be happy to see other players and this shouldn’t change based on their profession, race, skill choices, or anything else. Which means each player needs to be slightly more self sufficient so that one particular profession is not required to do any given type of content. It’s why we made the healing slot a required part of the skill bar. It allows us to make the heal skill powerful enough so players can take care of themselves. There will still be ways to support your allies and some professions will specialize in support but no single profession is always required.

Personal story overview

One of the challenges of a massively-multiplayer game is that in being inclusive to a vast number of people, it loses a lot of the personal interaction that makes single-player RPGs so much fun. When you're looking at the games on the store shelf, it seems you have only two options - a game that you can play with your friends, or a game that has a satisfying personal story. The Guild Wars 2 design team believes that a game should have both.
Scratched wrote:

The Guild Wars 2 design team believes that a game should have both.

I've been told that mmo's have pillars and that story should be one of them. Seems to be a theme lately.

I really don't want to get my hopes up too high to avoid being crushed, but if they pull off everything they say they are aiming for, GW2 may just be the best thing since sliced bread. I love their art direction (my goodness they have about the best artists working in the industry), and I liked many of the ideas in GW, but I could never actually play it for too long. There were enough minor annoyances and differences from a more traditional open-world MMO that I couldn't get into it the same way I could EQ or WoW. However, the design for GW2 seems like the perfect blend of what I want. I hope they pull it off in spades. I think everyone is going to hype SW:TOR to high heaven, and it's going to let a lot of people down (well I am pretty sure I am not going to like it, anyway), and hopefully GW2 is going to be there as the runaway sleeper hit next year.

If GW2 gets half of what they are talking about right the game could be a game changer in the MMO business.

I'm not super hyped, I want to avoid disappointment, but I'm definitely on board. And I was concerned that they were changing too much to be similar to other MMOs.

This game is shaping up to be awesome. I played a bit of the first Guild Wars, sans expansions. And I did enjoy it quite a bit. I spent long hours just walking around pre-searing Ascalon just marvelling at the environment. I never kept up and didn't go much farther than Kryta because my friends stopped playing after a while and PVP didn't appeal to me as much.

All these new mechanics are GOOD. I've always wanted to pick up a rock off the ground and chuck it at someone. If they can make that as seamless as pressing space to jump it will be a huge step in the right direction. Even if the game is a flop.

The Warrior class

Also spotted:

fighting other players in World PvP

Wow! This has totally amped me for GW2. It sounds like you can really flesh your character out to be how you want it and then traits will assure that its a viable build.

It seems the difference between "weak" and "strong" builds is how many extra traits are required to keep your build above the power curve. And it also seems like builds that require less traits won't be any more powerful with more traits just more versatile. So you can make versatile builds or specific builds and neither will be over powered.

I really hope they follow through on this. I also hope that the combat is good enough to make playing both versatile and specific builds enjoyable. Accomplishing both of these will be no easy task.

I'm really looking forwards to this now. I just wish they'd announce something like the GW1 beta weekends, just something so I can get my hands on it and see what it's like.

They will have the first hands on experiences at E3 next week so that may not be too far off.

We hope!

I thought ArenaNet said they didn't want to spend the time going to trade shows when they could spend it at conventions like PAX where the actual fans and players are. I haven't noticead any announcement for E3.

Gah, you are right. My bad.

The first hands on is scheduled for Gamescom in august. I got my MMO wires crossed.

Elementalist is up now too.

Its looking better and better.

Scratched wrote:

I thought ArenaNet said they didn't want to spend the time going to trade shows when they could spend it at conventions like PAX where the actual fans and players are. I haven't noticead any announcement for E3.

Further to this:

* E3 – First, let’s get one of the most-asked questions out of the way. We are NOT going to be on the floor at E3.
* San Diego Comic-Con (July 22-25)
* gamescom (August 19-22)
* PAX Prime (September 3-5)

And I thought elementalist was the first thing they revealed.

We are solidly into the pre-launch hype building phase of the MMO cycle.

DevilStick wrote:

We are solidly into the pre-launch hype building phase of the MMO cycle. ;)

True, and it's the first time I've gotten on the train so early. The only time I got into a new MMO was WAR, and it was on impulse, everything else I joined later.

I like how "tactile" the combat feels. The mobs respond to warriors' every blow pretty believably. There sure was an awful lot of camera panning though.

The combat for the warrior and elementalist is very readable, and I think that's what they were aiming for, you can tell what's happening by watching, not by learning what a particular colour effect means, or learn the symbol above someone's head.

Thirteenth wrote:

I like how "tactile" the combat feels. The mobs respond to warriors' every blow pretty believably. There sure was an awful lot of camera panning though.

I agree, it looks a lot more solid and meaty than the melee combat in most MMOs. I also liked how mobile the warrior seemed with the different leap and charge attacks shown in the videos.

You have to be careful what you wish for with highly reactionary combat animations. There are some major pitfalls even with just fractions of seconds where you take control away from the player.

One the one hand, it can nullify challenge by permitting stun lock without any stuns. Even if these abilities are on longish cool downs, if you get a group of people with this ability they can chain cast it until the first persons cool down is up. Another problem is that even if it is on a once or twice per fight cool down, if you have half second reactions to most of your abilities, the monster will be stunned for 1/2 or 1/3 of the fight. That gimmick loses its luster after about 15 minutes when the lack of challenge leads to boredom.

On the other hand it is always a negative to take away control from the player, so it had better be something pretty spectacular that you can show off in very short order. AoC had to incorporate invulnerability when the 2 second long fatalities were triggered. This can be a minor advantage in that your cool downs are still counting down while you are invulnerable. And I believe if you have any DoT or bleed effects running on your targets, you get 2 seconds worth of impunity while still killing. And even worse is the alternative where you don't have impunity so whatever is attacking you gets 2 seconds worth of undefended attacks on you. This can be compounded if the game gives bonuses for attacking from the sides or rear.

AoC fatalities have adverse effects too. If you are in a tough fight and want to finish a couple of opponents off quickly, triggered a fatality adds 2 seconds to the fight. In these 2 seconds you could easily attract the attention of a wanderer and be in a no way out but death situation. Fatalities also change your characters facing such that if you trigger a fatality on the first hit of the combo, the second through fourth hits will miss because your characters facing has broken line of sight on your second target.

From the ArenaNet blog: Activities – Games Within the Game

The bar brawl and shooting gallery sound like a good way to wind down after a long session of questing. Considering I spent at least 4 or 5 hours playing the gambling minigames in RDR, I could see myself spending several hours on GW2 minigames too.

Annnnd another update! All about death, dying, healing, and group makeup.

Here are the important details:

- When you die you're not 'dead', you're 'down'. They're stealing the rally mechanic from Borderlands; kill a dude with one of your special 'downed' tray powers and you return to the fight.
- Everyone can rally an ally from level one, and every class has special powers that allows them to heal/rally their allies.
- There is *no* dedicated 'healing' class. Instead, every class has healing-type powers and there is a huge focus on tanking/dps/control roles.


This game just keeps sounding better and better.

Even in GW1 I found the 15% per death debuff stacking to be a good way of telling you you might be out of your depth/lacking the right tactics to tackle an area, but if you just got unlucky and died once you could get rid of it and continue. Getting rid of it in GW2 is great as well for less frustration, you don't have to grind mobs to remove it.

Not the lack of a healer, but the omnipresence of potential healers makes me happy too.

I really can't wait for this game. I like Tycho's take on it.

I've read and re-read every article that breaks the surface of the refurbished Guild Wars 2 presence. I don't care if they ever launch the game at this point. It's already contributed to the health of the genre simply by being a judging, omnipresent force.

I like Scott's comics, certainly, and I like Scott, but they're dropping some ridiculously heavy science in the articles proper - so heavy that I'm curious about its chemical make-up. Every update they reveal has knuckles, with skin stretched taut between them. There is no clemency for assumptions of any kind, other than the assumption that the massively multiplayer genre as it stands is reeking necropolis of sh*t.

Even if the game isn't everything we hope for it has the potential to change the MMO genre.