According to the Guild Wars 2 panel at PAX East, the new massively multiplayer role playing game, developed by ArenaNet, is bringing things that MMO fans crave: something brand new, something extremely innovative, something absolutely beautiful, and most of all, something intriguing and fun.
We’ve talked about Guild Wars 2 before and touched on interesting aspects such as how you create your character’s personal biography rather than just their look at the start of the game. We’ve also previewed how Guild Wars 2 will feature dynamic events, where your actions will completely change the world around you.
At PAX East, those same themes were discussed again. But this time, several developers from Guild Wars 2 spoke specifically to fans and answered their questions about the most anticipated MMO coming out in the next year.
One thing that the developers heavily focused on was the game's combat. We got to watch the Thief profession video that was released at GDC, and Game Designer Jon Peters explained that combat in Guild Wars 2 is extremely important to the developers.
“People are pretty tired of looking for groups, not being able to dodge missiles, and monotonous healing,” he said.
Combat in GW2 will let you play your character however you want to play it. Everyone can heal, deal damage, and tank at the same time, which isn’t exactly possible in any other MMO out at the moment. Your role in Guild Wars 2 is how you play your class, not what your class does.
Once the Q&A section started, we learned even more about the intricacies within GW2. Not only will there be over 1,000 dynamic events, but there will also be 60 “feature films worth” of spoken dialogue recorded for the title.
It’s interesting to note that the dynamic events will offer rewards and karma (in game currency) to players who participate on a scale from bronze to gold. For example, let’s say I see a town being attacked, and I kill one enemy then go off on my merry way. Then you come to the town and want to be a hero, so you stay for a long time making sure to kill off every last enemy. You’re awesome, I get it. In this instance, I’d get bronze participation and only a small reward, whereas you’d get a larger reward and reap more benefits. Therefore, you can’t just idle your way through content if you want the best rewards; you have to actually try. It’s also nice that you don’t have to be in the area to get the rewards, either.
On the issue of end game value and replayability, the developers mentioned that all of the races have very different stories, and depending on how you play your characters, you could possibly never experience the same game twice. There will also be dungeons with a story mode and a repeatable mode. The story mode will be the same for everyone, and the repeatable dungeons will allow players to take different paths in the same dungeon, and the enemies will get harder depending how many times you do the dungeon. They’re also introducing mini-games where players can compete in fun little events like bar brawls, where you have to run kegs back and forth to try to score the most points.
They also touched on competitive player vs. player activities. There will be two different types of PvP in Guild Wars 2: a competitive, 5v5, highly organized rated version and a world vs. world, giant, unbalanced version that drops loot. The 5v5 seems standard enough, but the world vs. world (server vs. server) PvP will consist of three servers duking it out continuously. The developers said, “We don’t care if it’s 30 vs. 300." This area isn’t about balance, and it’s about growing your community and respecting and playing with people from your server to become the best. How cool is that? Plus, players will get experience from participating in world vs. world PvP and can go from level one to max level just through this system.
Everything I had heard up to this point sounded great, and then they talked about the sidekick system, and my jaw dropped. Sidekicking works two ways: the first allows you to kick back down to a lower level to help your friend quest in a low level zone. Your skills and gear scale back, but it wasn’t made clear how the experience scales once you’re done helping out. You can also kick your friend up to the level you’re playing at, even if they’re level one and you’re level 20. If this works, it will be incredible, because it will allow friends to play with one another all the time, and there will be no need to wait on others because they’re slower or faster at leveling.
MMORPG’s have been too scared to take risks over the past six years which has caused the genre to become less and less interesting. Guild Wars 2 is the first MMO willing to bite the bullet and take that risk to try and break the mold and do something absolutely different from everything else. If the game delivers on all of its concepts, it truly could be the biggest breakthrough in MMO gaming since World of Warcraft.
Guild Wars 2 is for the PC, will have no monthly fee, and currently does not have a scheduled release date.