Welcome to our Guild Wars 2 beta Q&A. This weekend we got the chance to hop in to the Guild Wars 2 beta and answer your questions about the upcoming MMORPG from ArenaNet. Many questions asked were about the specific gameplay mechanics of GW2, and since we've already previewed those aspects of the game before, this time around I chose to focus my answers on more general questions about the game's feel and style.
Read after the break for our full Guild Wars 2 beta question and answer session.
Keep in mind that since Guild Wars 2 is beta, some abilities, areas, features, etc., might be added or removed between now and the official release of the game. Meaning, the answers to your questions might change once the game actually launches.
Can whole guilds queue up for World versus World, or is there some size limitation to single queues?
For now, there is no size limitation on how many people can queue up for World versus World (WvW) player versus player (PvP). So yes, whole guilds can queue up for WvW. WvW offers competitive gameplay on a massive scale in Guild Wars 2, and rewards will be similar to Player versus Environment (PvE) awards that players get from completing dungeons and instances. On the other hand, organized PvP players will be rewarded with their own unique armor and weapons.
Do the combat controls really do something new, fun in the MMO space?
I've got to say that I had almost given up on expecting anything new and innovative in the combat space in MMOs, but Guild Wars 2 (and Tera) have brought welcome changes. The combat in GW2 is fast and fluid, no matter which profession you choose. If you favor a caster class, there isn't any mana in the game, so you're constantly determining which moves to used based on their cooldowns. Additionally, the recently introduced dodge mechanic allows you to completely nullify any incoming damage, which offers an interesting take on action combat.
Did you find that the game really does make you want to aid others during play?
Since most of the quests I found had you simply helping "Person A" by doing any of three things, it really facilitated my desire to help others around me. There was nothing to compete for, since everyone got experience for helping the quest giver, as well as loot and money. Plus, the more you help others, the faster you can help the questgiver out and get the best reward possible. It's yet another thing that seperates GW2 from most other MMOs, since everyone is on the same side.
With so many skills being available depending on weapon choice, attunement, environment, etc., do skill sets feel crowded, or is the diversity exciting?
There are so many skills to unlock within GW2 it's mind blowing. Depending on if the player is a MMO veteran or a casual player will change their outlook on the skill sets, but I think that the diversity is really exciting.
In Guild Wars 2, whenever you change your weapon you get a new set of skills. Even if you just change your offhand weapon you'll get new skills. Some classes can even change forms or attune themselves to different types of nature in order to cast new spells. I find that it's a lot to take in at first, but once you find the weapons and spells that you like, everything works just great. Plus, since the UI is so well designed it never feels crowded with ten rows of ability bars like you'll see in alot of other MMOs these days.
From what you've seen so far, is the world larger or smaller in comparison to WoW's Azeroth or Rift's Tellara?
From what I've seen so far (which isn't nearly enough) the world is very large and there's always something new to explore. What's great is the waypoint system, eliminating the need for a mount. The waypoints in Guild Wars 2 are essentially instant flight points that teleport you to places you've visited before for a small fee.
Aside from how big Guild Wars 2 is, I have to also point out how utterly gorgeous the world is as well. Every new landscape you visit is luscious, beautiful, thoughtful, and seems to fit right in perfectly. The team has crafted a world that's inspiring and shows a level of quality that's top notch.
Will casual gamers be able to enjoy the game?
ArenaNet has been extremely thoughtful when it comes to content for casual gamers to enjoy. Most of the content that I saw, whether it was for level 1 characters or level 30 characters was all soloable and enjoyable. Of course, you can do just about any quest, even story quests, with a group, but since the game is focused around your story in particular, you don't need others around to have fun.
If soloing is your thing, you can also try any of the many professions in Guild Wars 2 that offer pets, to make things even easier. Since GW2 also doesn't have the need for the holy trinity (i.e. a tank, healer, and three DPS) to do dungeons, you won't have to ever worry about looking for that perfect group to do anything.
What is going to keep me interested after 6 months of raiding?
This question is really in ArenaNet's hands, but from my point of view I can already see people playing this game for a very long time, and not just for raiding. As the game is focused around your characters story, anytime you might want to switch it up you can always create a new character to get a completely different take on things. Plus, after six months of raiding you could always try out PvP, which is to be a staple of the title.
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What's the unique hook that sets this game apart from other MMOs on the market or soon to come out?
To me there is a level of polish on GW2 that I haven't seen out of any MMO since World of Warcraft. The art and sound is exquisite, and everything flows quickly and in a way that makes sense. Lots of MMOs now have cutscenes and voice acting, fetch quests, and so on, but GW2 does it in a way that's interesting and lets me play how I want to. For example, many questgivers just need help, and it's up to you to decide if you want to help them by killing monsters, putting out fires, rescuing villagers, or if you just don't want to help at all you can walk away. No matter how much or little you help, you'll still get rewarded.
Will I have to have previous experience with MMO's to be able to play Guild Wars 2?
I think a little bit of experience with previous MMOs helps any new MMO player, regardless of which game they're getting in to and GW2 is no exception. There are tutorial missions for each race, but as of right now there aren't too many tutorials on how to use your abilities or how to get from one place to the next. I imagine they're going to add tutorials in at a later date, but right now there aren't any.
That said, GW2 is very welcoming and doesn't have much when it comes to death penalties. You don't lose experience or money from death, and most of the time there is a waypoint close enough to where you died that it's not too much of an issue to run back to where you were.
And there you have it. If you still have any burning questions about Guild Wars 2, leave a comment. From what you've read here, what do you think about the upcoming MMO?