Guildhail: First Guild Wars 2 Footage

By Kieron Gillen on August 20th, 2009 at 2:02 pm.

Party! Party!

The RPS-chat-room is broke by the cry: “Guild Wars 2 has splendid terrain!”. As we all know terrain is the single most important factor in PC Gaming. As such, I continue to be excited by Guild Wars. The first half of the video is slightly animated versions of the always beautiful Guild Wars concept art, so when the actual game footage arrives… well, it’s both a surprise and a joy. Clearly, I’ve taken a grab from the concept art section to avoid ruining the segue for you. The footage itself follows…

I think that’s neat. I think Guild Wars was the bravest and most interesting fantasy MMO design of the 00s, on every level. And before anyone says anything, I think that it’s even a question of whether it’s an MMO or not says more about how useless almost everyone else has been than Guild Wars itself. Everything which I’ve heard about Guild Wars 2 sounds like it’s a worthy successor, and even its retreats from some of its more radical stances sound intriguing. I really can’t wait to hear more.

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105 Comments »

  1. Tei says:

    This is great. I have GW with not expansion, and I am still level 11 or something, not soo much fun. I probably have the worst thing. The graphcs where nice, but theres particles everywhere, It feels fruity, but bland. And this is probably the only critic you can get for GW on the whole internet. This video is awesome, and the graphics seems moving the genre forward, and thats is saying much. Too bad (as other people say) this is a MMO. Imagine a RPG with this graphics!.

  2. CJohnson03 says:

    By the way, it’s still going to be no subscription.

    And for some people who complain GW1 has been abandoned, even though they do not add content anymore, they still do monthly updates and big holiday events.

    In the July Update, they totally rebalanced the Ritualist skill trees to make them much more interesting to play. This month they focussed on Elementalists, Rangers, Dervishes, and Assassins. So they do still continue to support this game, and I continue to play it because it has awesome pvp.

  3. Low Quality Beard says:

    People keep calling this an MMO, I was under the impression GW was set up like Diablo, am I missing something?

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    I still recommend the Nightfall add-on for Guild Wars. It’s really strong.

    KG

  5. Heliocentric says:

    I’m a monk, whatever else i’m the healer but in guild wars i don’t have to be just a healer, i can be the aura healer with a swarm of minions or the spell spamming elementalist healer.

    In every game, when i can i play the anti entropic role i will, but some games see fit to disempower healers.

    Thanks guild wars, by allowing healing to be a job i do, not how i am defined.

  6. CJohnson03 says:

    oh, and jumping and swimming, as well as crafting and all that stuff, is going to be in GW2. There’s a GW2 FAQ on the official site with all that information.

  7. Nick says:

    “Please tell me those armoured polar bears are an actual playable race.”

    Sort of, the Norn can turn into a bear, which is what that was.

  8. Heliocentric says:

    Other strong examples of empowered healers battlefield 2. There are 2 “healer” classes. A healer of flesh and a healer of steel. The medic’s first unlock is one of the best weapons in the game, and self healing is nigh immortality. The bf2 engineer can kill tanks with a little planning or by running up and droping the mine under the treads. But the spanner, i can be flying my jeep/helicopter/quadbike alongside a tank and make it tough, or even park up my own tank and quickly turn a burning wreck into a fresh off the factory line killer.

    I find the tf2 medic no fun at all. You are just a banana rider.

  9. kalidanthepalidan says:

    That made me very happy. :)

  10. Lim-Dul says:

    I was a Guild Wars player for around 2-3 years, including alpha testing.

    Truth be told I am not looking forward to GW2 that much.

    From everything I saw and read they will backpedal from many, many of the innovative features that were in GW1 just to get an even larger slice of the WoW pie – or rather all the generic and similar-ish MMORPGs that are out there.

    The reason why GW was so good wasn’t because it was free to play – it offered people who didn’t like traditional MMORPGs a refuge with a completely different gameplay experience while still giving them a fantasy setting, awesome spells and the possibility to meet thousands of players (well, millions actually ;-) and so on.

    There was grinding in Guild Wars but it was ONLY for prestige – to get titles, nicer looking equipment (but with the SAME exact stats as cheapo-stuff) etc. I didn’t care about that at all – I finished each of the campaigns and concentrated on PvP instead, which was absolutely amazing, since they managed to keep it incredibly balanced and based on PLAYER SKILL, not time/money invested in making your character better.

    Less instancing? So that people can kill-steal, farm, gank like in other MMORPGs?

    Playable races besides humans? To be like every other MMORPG out there?

    Crafting? Why? So people can have jobs outside of their real-life jobs like in other MMORPGs? (Dofus is like that – it’s nice if you’re into that stuff but otherwise an incredible grindfest)

    I don’t know what all the “new” features which are invariably found in every other MMORPG contribute to Guild Wars and its concept – why not stick to the alternative formula that still managed to make Guild Wars one of the most popular MMORPG(ish) games out there and attracted players that didn’t like e.g. WoW.

  11. mister_d says:

    GW was fantastic (Prophecies at least). My biggest hope for GW2 is that there is a greater amount and variety of end-game content to keep me entertained until the next campaign. I played Prophecies to death and just couldn’t keep myself interested for the whole year until Factions came out. When it did, it was pretty hard to get back into after a break of a few months. After that I never bothered with Nightfall or the expansion. Hook me or lose me.

    Also, there better be Beta Weekend Events like there were for GW1!

  12. Azazel says:

    Guild Wars was and is a great game.

    Fair enough if they’ve felt they needed to make some concessions to the crowd who dismissed it simply because it wasn’t WoW. (No Jump button! OH NOES! How will we ever live without this CRUCIAL rpg game mechanic?) Of course a persistent world would be generally welcomed by most people I think.

    Looking forward to this one.

  13. Stupoider says:

    Less instancing? So that people can kill-steal, farm, gank like in other MMORPGs?

    That’s quite the generalisation. Not looking at the benefits, are you? The world becomes less isolated and feels more like am MMO, if you’re running into other adventurers on your journeys and what not. Sure those are bad aspects, but if you’re with the right kind of people then it’s fine. I’m certain Guild Wars already has that niche of players who love to gank and kill-steal, just like every other MMO.

  14. Stupoider says:

    My above comment was directed at Lim-Dul, btw! And the first part should be in quotation marks.

  15. plant42 says:

    Eh, not a huge fan of this art style. Detailed and lovingly crafted yes, but also suffering from that excessive need to one-up yourself that creates hideously improbable cities made of floating cubes. It reminds me of the Rob Leifield era of comic books with muscles on top of muscles and massive impossible breasts.

    Dunno, I just like more classic King-Arthur style fantasy that’s based on actual medieval weapons, armor etc and magic is exceedingly rare. It really bugs me when you have a setting where magic is so rampant that a level 1 mage can cast massive fireballs and lightning storms and whole cities are just floating over a lake. :/ Likewise World of Warcraft’s massive glowing shoulder pads, excessive spell effects, glowing portals, glowing runes, sparkling weapons, floating cities etc etc drive me up the wall.

  16. Wulf says:

    I’m terribly excited about Guild Wars again, and I think the thing I’m most excited about is the settting. It has one of those settings that pushes all the right buttons in my mind and makes it visual crack for me.

    A mix of high-fantasy and steampunk (with even high-technology elements), with tribal races, everything in between, and an environment that truly shows the impact of all these myriad races and their approaches, and how stunningly alien it can all be.

    And now I’m going to say one of those little things that’s going to make me unpopular, again.

    Yes, I realise that World of Warcraft tried to do this but it was a failure of epic proportions, the lore is hilarious, the reasons for the state of the World are hilarious, and the supposed culture of the races? That’s hilarious too. It’s like the kind of thing one would scrawl on a napkin, and Blizzard made a game out of that.

    It’s a commercial success, but it’s also a terrible joke.

    What I want to see is an MMO that has the depth of Uru when it comes to alien locales and the culture of any given race, and Guild Wars has always been promising with that, they’ve teased me with tantalising little elements that have whispered “This isn’t Warcraft.” And I’m excited because of that, I’m excited for well-written nonhuman races, and I’m excited for alien vistas which all mesh together well, all with rhyme and reason.

    I was terribly impressed by the first Guild Wars, it started off with high fantasy (la la la yawn) but the Charr were a very promising element, and then the Charr brings about armageddon, suddenly everything becomes very fascinating and I get the strong desire to get out there and explore, I found myself wishing to understand the Charr, and to discover the reasons for why they did what they did.

    And in Guild Wars 2, one can be the Charr, or the elusive Asura, and others which intrigue me and in the process we might find out more about their lore, not through poorly constructed quests, but through proper events (like in Guild Wars) and perhaps even through the documented history of each of the races, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to read up on.

    This is promising, this isn’t Mechanical Ostriches in Elfland, this has the promise of being a Hit-Thing-with-Sword MMO, but one that has something more.

    Colour me intrigued.

    Don’t screw this up, Arenanet.

  17. Marty Dodge says:

    Bit of Cthulhu inspiration there… city @ the bottom of the sea, big evil and his minions etc. Looks interesting though, wonder how it will turn out?

  18. The Great Wayne says:

    @Lim-dul

    Talk about seeing the glass half empty ^^

    They aren’t dropping the instanciation completely, they seem to be willing to use a AoC-esque system with several copy of a same zone, allowing a limited number of players to enter it.

    Also, injecting more freedom of movement in the game isn’t that bad, GW on this one was sometime a bit frustrating with the linearisation of the paths you were able to take in a given zone.

    Anyway, to at least approach the essence of the MMO genre the anounced changes are needed, for the best or the worst (UO/EvE being the best, WoW probably being the worst, from my pov).

    I’m pretty sure Anet will not push the social or economic interaction to the level of UO in GW2, but i’m also quite confident that they have a few tricks in their hat to differentiate their game from the rest and create the buzz once again.

    Wait and see, I guess.

  19. Psychopomp says:

    It would be a sin for this game not to have a tourist class, so I can just walk around and marvel at the world.

    “Eh, not a huge fan of this art style. Detailed and lovingly crafted yes, but also suffering from that excessive need to one-up yourself that creates hideously improbable cities made of floating cubes.”

    Yeah, fantasy should only have probably things, like shooting fireballs out of your hands, and dragons!

  20. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Daniel Dociu + Jeremy Soule = Paradise

  21. Cutman says:

    My video has been loading for 14 days, is this normal?

  22. Jim Rossignol says:

    Cutman, adblock seems to knock over the player in some cases.

  23. Isometric says:

    Jennifer Hale is wonderous i never get tired of her voice.

  24. Kieron Gillen says:

    plant42: You should play Darkfall.

    KG

  25. BigJonno says:

    MMOs seem to increasingly be a bunch of different games hung together with persistant characters and worlds; GW is just a lot more honest about it than most others.

    The whole PvP, deck-building-but-with-skills thing? Never tried it. To me, GW was a multiplayer RPG that I played with my wife and a friend. There just happened to be lots of people around whenever we went into a city.

    I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that MMOs are big enough to be niche now. I’d be perfectly happy with a sandboxy, roleplaying focused MMO with an emphasis on being a world rather than being a game. Other people want large scale raids, others want PvP. If MMOs stopped trying to be all things to all people and concentrated on being awesome at one aspect of the genre, they’d have a much greater chance of success.

    Remember when UT and Q3 were announced and no-one thought an MP-based FPS would work?

  26. Vinraith says:

    I loved Guild Wars. I’m a little concerned about some of the design choices in Guild Wars 2 (I love having my own instances and I love having a group of AI heroes to play with) but one thing I’m NOT concerned about is the art style. GW was insanely gorgeous (still it, really) and this looks to be even moreso.

  27. SwiftRanger says:

    @Lim-Dul: read the EG preview (which contrary to their super vague, Lionhead-fapping Fable III article is actually quite clear), GW2 is still about skill, not grinding, if you want to be competitive and even the non-instanced parts sound very interesting. Looking forward to this.

    Also, Trailer of the Year.

  28. Hirvox says:

    Oo, shiny. This will be a great game to watch while someone else plays it. I’m almost tempted to try it myself.

  29. plant42 says:

    Checking out Darkfall…

  30. SuperNashwan says:

    I know nothing about Guild Wars and I’m instantly intrigued about the sequel after watching that. Holy shit that’s a good looking game.

  31. Psychopomp says:

    So, after watching that trailer, I decided to give Guild Wars a try.

    Wow. I love the skill system, I love the sound of the wands, I love the art direction, and really, I think the instanced world is a bit of a godsend. MMO or not, it’s a damn fine RPG. I’m definitely picking it up at some point to scratch that PvP itch, that WoW just leaves enraged.

  32. DarkNoghri says:

    Ooo, purty.

    Anyone else think the logo looks like the one for Dragon Age?

    Also, am I the only one getting the same darned Wolfenstein ad before every single RPS ™ video? I was asking people the other day, and at least one was getting no ads.

  33. Orange says:

    Can’t wait for it, Arenanet got the basics spot on in GW in terms of gameplay balance and the graphical look, so looking forward to seeing what new things they will bring in.

  34. Duke Nasty VI says:

    Brilliant! I loved the graphics in the first one. They managed to make a game that looked really, really good. Not because of the engine’s technical features, but because of great art. And it seems they’re doing the same thing this time.

    Can’t wait to give GW2 a try.

  35. vasagi says:

    Ahem

    been playing nowt but GW for the past month, tis ace

    trailer is great but the eurogamer article gave me a chubby

    the degree of charecter skill creation is awsome plus the fact that you can change 2nd prof when ever after a certain point is full of win

    pretty good rpg story fair as well

  36. roBurky says:

    The in-game stuff is very nice, but that trailer mostly makes me yearn for a game built using the puppet style animation of that intro sequence.

  37. Solaris says:

    I am glad that Anet still says they want to reward skill, but after pvp balance being neglected or just plain ignored for so long, I am not sure I trust them anymore. There is an great post on the Team Quitter forums about how skillful play is less rewarded now than it was at release.
    http://www.teamquitter.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12862

    I would warn anyone who is just trying to get into pvp right now that Anet has all but stopped supporting guild wars 1 with updates that add meaningful content or correct skill imbalance. There is a fair amount of pve content to be had though and nightfall is probably the best place to go for that.

  38. Stupoider says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but the trailer reminded me of the cutscenes in Thief: Deadly Shadows. Fantastic stuff! But I can’t say I’m going to get this game.

  39. malkav11 says:

    ArenaNet has always had killer artists. Even screenshots of their games make great wallpaper. I’m not excited about a lot of the elements they’re dumping from the original Guild Wars, though, and I’d really have liked more expansion of that game over a sequel. At least, for a few more expansions worth of content.

    Then again, I’m a long, long way from finishing the stuff they already put out. So I think I’ll lurk over in my quiet little corner, try to lure someone into playing GW with me, and in a couple years I’ll poke at Guild Wars 2 and see what’s what.

  40. PaulMorel says:

    great trailer. It’s hard for me to get excited about another fantasy RPG, but with landscapes like those …

  41. majorbromly says:

    My expectations have been ravaged, cast into the gutter and beaten savagely by a homeless woman. Guild Wars 2; I love you.

  42. Gabe says:

    Call me a traitor if you will, but I’ve actually been bored of WoW for a while now. Honestly, the only thing that has kept me around is the lore. Of all the games I’ve ever played, the Warcraft series has to have the most interesting and epic lore I’ve come across.

    But now, not even the lore is enough. I’ve been looking at Champions Online, and I’m hoping it turns out to be great or near it (and just needing a few more patches and whatnot), but with the news of a Guild Wars 2 (keeping in mind I never actually played the first GW), I have to say, I’m curious.

  43. Argh says:

    Now thats one epic trailer. Bioware can learn a thing or two from these ArenaNet chaps.

  44. Cutman says:

    I disabled all ad/pop-up/etc. blocking stuff on my firefox, and it still infinitely loads. Not a huge deal though, as this is the internet and one can find the same video spread all throughout the vast internet super dump truck.

  45. vasagi says:

    @solaris

    there was a skill balance patch just 10 days ago

  46. seras says:

    ya solaris is way off…there’s been very nicely thought out monthly skill balances for a while now. both to balance and to keep the metagame pushing forward(as opposed to build X dominating for months on end). even on the pve end they’ve been rewarding build diversification and primary focus.

    and ever since the pve/pvp skill split there’s been a lot less complaining about ‘they nerfed this!’, ‘they overpowered that!’.

  47. The Great Wayne says:

    @Argh

    ArenaNet founders were guys from the core Blizzard team, although right now only O’brien remains iirc, so I think many companies can learn a thing or two from their work on GW, trailers and the rest ;)

    @Gabe

    Considering the Warcraft lore is mostly a patchwork of existing universes (warhammer especially), and that it has been frankly sold out to the hardcore carebears in WoW, I can only advise you to try GW (as said before, Nightfall is a solid standalone) or even LOTRO, which are far more solid and interesting, background wise.
    EvE too has a nice background if you want to devote some time exploring it, but you have to like sci fi and internet spaceship games.

  48. Urthman says:

    Is Guild Wars worth getting as a single-player game? Do you have to be online to play? What is the gameplay like – is it pretty much the same as Diablo or Titan Quest? Or more like Dungeon Siege or something?

  49. seras says:

    you do have to be online but other than for pvp and the really high end stuff I play it mostly single player.

  50. m.p. says:

    @Solaris: that’s not fair really! I played no Guild Wars for nealy a year, and went back to it 2-3 months ago, and there was a lot of new stuff for pvp! Those Zaishen quests have managed to revitalise parts of pvp that were never seeing play at all (like those competitive missions in Factions). Plus they do occasionally shake things up with skill balances – in fact, I just read they buffed Divine Boon, meaning I can be a boon prot again like I was all the way back in the first championship season! :) I was just about to log in and try it, in fact! The only thing that’s “dead” is Team Arenas, but Random Arenas are going strong.

    That being said, it IS a lot harder to get into pvp now than it was 4 years ago, simply because most of the people still playing are very very good by now. The level of skill that got my guild into the top-300 3 years ago (and very briefly in the top-100, after a very lucky win against RusCorp, who were ranked no. 3 at the time and therefore gave us lots of points for beating them ;p ) wouldn’t even put us in the top-1000 now!

    Anyway, GW2: I was stupidly, ecstatically happy to see this! With all the trouble NCsoft West have been having (Tabula Rasa and Motorstorm closing, for instance, they must have bled money badly from those!) and Jeff Strain recently leaving, I was beginning to wonder if maybe GW2 would never materialise. I’m happy it has and I’ll be first in line to buy it.

    At everyone who was asking how the instancing in the original Guild Wars works: basically, the hubs (cities, outposts, villages) are public. You can get hundreds of people in them at the same time, and frequently multiple copies of each of them. But when you go out into the wilds, it’s just you and your party against the world.

    The advantages aren’t just restricted to the ones people already listed (no queues to kill quest mobs or waiting for a boss to respawn, no ganking, no griefing). For me, the most important advantage instancing had was the stuff that it allowed them to do with storytelling. You can have an important NPC tagging along to help you with the mission. You could have horrible high level monsters wandering around a lowbie zone simply because you’re at that point in the game’s plot where armageddon has basically happened and you need to clean up the mess. There’s something very deeply disturbing about seeing a green, idyllic place where you spent a couple of happy levels a few weeks ago suddenly terrorised by absurdly powerful monstrosities! And, without wishing to spoil anything, everyone who has seen the Searing in the first game experienced a powerfully visceral sense of shock and dislocation which I doubt ANY other MMO can provide! Most games, you struggle valiantly when you’re level 30 to save the little village of Boghampton from the smelly sewer monsters, butchering hordes and hordes of them and killing their king, who dropped a blue +3 plunger of malice for you. Then, months later, when you’re level 400, you happen to pass through Boghampton again. Do they hail you as a conquering hero and decorate you with toilet roll? Do they line the streets to cheer you as you ride through their green fields? Nope, they’re still holed up behind their walls with sewer monsters wandering around bored and miserable outside, and there’s probably a repeatable quest to kill 900 of them for 300XP that you can pick up. Not so with instancing: if you carve up your game, you can grill each slice of it to each player’s exact taste!

    Plus, from a pvp standpoint, instancing gives amazingly low latency, so you can have the fastest, most fluid and amazing gameplay I’ve ever seen in an online game! I don’t think any other MMO expects people to be able to consistently interrupt skills with activation times of 0.75″, or their healers to have a reaction time of 0.25″ in order to save them from certain death!

    I am a little concerned that there’ll be a persistent world, tbh, because I don’t see how you can do it without affecting balance. Guild Wars was built for teams, and the fact that you had to define your skillbar and pick 8 skills to carry before leaving town (not just for yourself but for your AI henchmen too, since Nightfall introduced customisable ones) was crucial for balance, because Guild Wars relies on the fact that no build can be an allrounder: you’re built to do something specific, and each of your teammates has to fulfil a different role. If in GW2 you’re sent out into the world alone, you’ll have to be more of a generalist, and that’s worrying, as it implies they might have changed some fundamental game mechanics. I know the EG article said you can have a sidekick, but it specified that you only have one and can opt to not bring him at all if you like! I hope they haven’t messed with the 8-skill build!