Guild Wars 2 Interview Part 1: Fighting Fires

By Kieron Gillen on April 28th, 2010 at 6:00 pm.


After the launch of their blog yesterday, Arenanet has just posted details about how combat will work in Guild Wars 2, plus the – er- elements of the Elementalist class. In the first half of our interview with Lead Designer Eric Flannum and Global Brand Director Chris Lye, we explore these areas, talking about these combat changes, how they’re approaching character classes generally, its unique pricing model, how they’re approaching the Player Versus Player elements and lots more….

RPS: Guild Wars, drawing on Magic the Gathering and putting building your own character to the forefront, really was unlike any game of its type. How are you changing it this time out? Any to what aim?

Eric Flannum: Our goal remained the same. We wanted to keep the customisability which Guild Wars had. If I’m a Ranger in Guild Wars, I can be a very different character. I could have a hammer and a pet and be a melee character or I could have a bow and interrupt and harass other characters. They’re very different play styles, and you can customise your plays tyle. That was really important to preserve in GW2.

RPS: So what’s changed?

Eric Flannum: One of the issues we always ran into is that some players are not good at building those characters. We went through making sure that we didn’t take the customisation out, but also made it so you can’t make a really, really bad character. In Guild Wars 2, for example, the first half of your skill-bar is determined by what you’re holding in your hand. So if I’m a warrior and I have a sword and a shield and then I switch to a great sword, my first five skills which change to reflect to show that I have a greatsword now. Those aren’t skills you drag to your skill-bar – they’re skills which are determined by your profession and what you’re holding. That way we’re sure that people have at least basic, useable skills which they can build on top of. The second 5 are ones you can slot yourself, and enhance your basic functionality.

RPS: Extrapolating from what you’ve said on the blog though, there’s still a structure there. Of the five remaining, one is a high-power ability slot, another is a healing slot which leaves three which you have something like total freedom with.

Eric Flannum: One of the things we did was dedicate one of the slots to what we call an Elite Skill – which is a super-powerful one. And one to a healing skill. But even in those categories you have a choice, based upon your class and your profession. So, for example, with an elementalist, there’s a channel skill which if you hold down will heal you, which works well for fire elementalists… because when you are one of them, you put an aura around yourself, so if anyone damages you, they take damage. So if you get in trouble, you can put that down – and you heal yourself [for a long period of time], then enemies will hit you… so you’re still hurting enemies while healing. But a water elementalist who has a lot more support skills may bring a healing skill which heals allies at the same time, because he doesn’t really need that really strong self-heal. He wants to be more support. He wants something in the healing slot that reinforces how he wants to play with the rest of his build.

RPS: I suspect one of the initially controversial decisions will be the loss of Secondary Careers, allowing you to choose from two sets of skills. However, it seems to be that the new ability to give your character a race – and opening up skills from that choice – seems to be somewhat functionally analogous to what the secondary skills did.

Eric Flannum: That’s totally true. The other reason we lost the secondary careers – and we actually did have them in the game for a while, and they were just causing us some issues. And the fact that the races kind of act like secondary careers did help us make the decision, and that maybe they aren’t necessary in GW2. The secondary careers… we tried them out. It was a pretty tough decision, as they were such a big part of GW1 – but we’re getting so much mileage from the races. We’re really pushing how unique each of the professions are. The elementalist has a mechanic where he atunes to different elements – we had a hard time reconciling this with the warrior, who’s another one of our professions, who uses an adrenaline mechanic in order to build up damage during the fight. It was hard for us to combine how the two worked – but it was pretty easy to make the races and the professions work together.

RPS: You say that you’re trying to bring more clarity to the combat. Care to elaborate on that? Guild Wars did tend to be a little confusing when everything was kicking off.

Eric Flannum: One of our priorities was to more visually advertise what an ability does. Let’s take fireball for example, which is a really basic skill. Fireball comes out. It blasts. But when it explodes there’s a really strong ring which shows where it’s going to hit – and everything which attacks an area has a similar effect which means you can just look and go “that’s the area”. You don’t have to look at a character to see whether they’re reacting to know whether they’re hit or not – not that they don’t react. You can just tell where your fireball hit. It’s things like that. A cone of fire will hit the exact area it looks like it is. We tried to make it so you can look at a skill and just know.

RPS: Regarding another aspect of the game, last time I talked when Guild Wars 2 was announced, you said that there was basically a total divorce between the Player Versus Player (PvP) part of the game and the Player Versus Environment (PvE) part. Is this still true?

Eric Flannum: We basically divided our PVE and our PvP… well, our PVP is divided into two sections. Firstly, we have what we refer to as our “competitive PvP” which all players can go into. You don’t make a PvP character. You just take your character to a place in the mists – which is our space between worlds – and when you’re in there, you have everything unlocked. You have all the skills, you’re max level, you have a set of equipment every player has access to. They’re on equal footing. And then it works how it would on a server based first-person shooter, where you browse for a game and then play. There’s no unlocking. We’re having automated tournaments and things like that. There’s a couple of ways to play that, but it’s all completely on an even foot.

Secondly, we have world versus world – which is what would be called servers or a shards in another game. That’s more if you want to think of it as an open world PvP, where levels matter and you can have unequal fights like 5 on 1 or 3 on 2 – or even 100 on 50. That’s where we have our epic castle sieges and that kind of thing. In both of those types of PvP, they’re separate from each other and separate from the PvE, but you have the same character you take between them.

RPS: The original Guild Wars developed for the Eastern and Western market simultaneously. In fact, it was one of the few MMOs where all the worlds were actually connected and you could abstractly play against anyone from anywhere in the world simultaneously. What’s your plans this time? What did you learn from attempting it?

Eric Flannum: It’s very tough. It’s actually something which was very, very difficult for us. Localisation, getting the languages, the gameplay differences and how they play. The Korean market is completely different from the western market. With GW2 we’re making it a little easier on ourselves, and we’re initially only releasing in the West, and following in Asia afterwards. We haven’t totally finalised dates or plans for that, but it was a big challenge in GW1. Just releasing in English and the European languages is also tough, so we figured that was a big enough challenge for us.

RPS: And just to make it clear, as people are always asking, what’s the pricing model for the new Guild Wars?

Eric Flannum: We’re basically the same pricing model as GW1. No monthly fee. Boxes, expansion and microtransactions for our revenue.

Chris Lye: : It’s very important to us to state emphatically that they’ll be no subscription for GW2.

RPS: One of the interesting trends in MMOs recently has been… well, MMOs get enormous sales from the boxes, but the subs drop almost immediately. It’s kind of like that everyone, whether they planned to do so or not, has been forced into adopting Guild Wars “We will get our money primarily from the boxed game” model, if you see what I mean.

Chris Lye: It certainly seem that way. We have a name for it over at Arenanet, those who worry about it. We call it “second subscription syndrome”. The fall off after the 30 day trial goes away…

Eric Flannum: James [Phiney, Arenanet’s Creative Director – Ed] described it as Social Gravity. Where it’s difficult to pull users away from a game. You have to get the majority of a group of friends to come over to your game, and you have to get them to stay and the key is to offer them a better experience than the game they’re leaving. We’re super-aware of that. While we do want to branch out to more than just MMO players, but to those who are playing an MMO, there are two things we’re thinking about – first… well, they don’t have to pay a subscription fee, so they may be more willing to play our game as well as another game. And the second thing is that the quality has to be there. You’re competing with a game which has been out for at least 5 years in the case of WoW. In the case of Warhammer or LoTR less than that… but they’ve been out for a while. They’ve been able to find themselves a lot. Your game has to be really high quality. We’re past the days where you can have a broken launch and have to patch it better afterwards. We’re super aware of that. We want GW2 to launch to just be a fantastic experience.

RPS: Still – there’s the two sides of making MMOs. There’s either the subscription-fee model or the free-with-microtransactions model. Guild Wars sits alone, between them. How does it feel?

Chris Lye: It feels pretty good.

Eric Flannum: We were really happy with how GW1 performed. We said it before, but it did better than we even expected it to. We carved out a pretty good niche with our fans, and we’ve got a lot of super loyal, super-fanatic fans. It’s time, with GW2, to take that next step and be even bigger.

RPS: I do wonder – why has no-one else tried it?

Chris Lye: MMOs are hugely expensive projects, at least the high end, so people consider them risky… so taking on a new business model is seen as risky. So publishers especially – and maybe also developers – go “Well – we know the subscription works. Or at least it’s worked for WoW. Let’s go with that”. Unfortunately what they then realise is that if they follow it too much in the prevailing business model they will never be able to beat or overshadow WoW.

RPS: If there was a trend in the last year, I suspect it’s in people realising that if you’re in the Fantasy MMO space you will never “beat” WoW. I remember when I was interviewing Jeff Strain back when Guild Wars came out, he wanted to see how World of Warcraft’s subs numbers would hold up. The idea that it would grow as much as it did… well, it was totally alien.

Eric Flannum: I mean, back when WoW first launched the conventional wisdom was that you couldn’t get a million subs to an MMO. The MMO audience was sort of tapped. And I don’t think anyone thinks that any more. As MMOs expand into other game types which aren’t WoW or even like us… you get stranger things or things in other genres. And then you see that people enjoy playing games with other people online. And that audience, I think, is just going to grow. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.

Chris Lye: Look at Farmville. I know it’s a dirty word to some people, but, you can’t argue with very impressive numbers.

Eric Flannum: We’re all social people. Social creatures, by our nature. I think playing games with each other is something we just naturally want to do.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Return tomorrow where in the second part of the interview, we talk about exactly how Arenanet plan to put that social element right in the heart of the player-versus-environment game, with details of their dynamic world and personalised quest systems. Which is, at least for this correspondent, the most exciting stuff he’s heard about the game.

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70 Comments »

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  1. Mr Labbes says:

    From the screenshots, it seems they are still going for the “Scantily-Clad Elementalist”, and I’m not sure I really like that.
    Still, I’m really looking forward to GW2, although a predetermined set of skills does make me a sad panda. I mean, you could really screw up your build in GW1, but a crappy player with an awesome build was still worth nothing, and there were PvP builds without an elite skill. Oh, well.

    • Rich says:

      It wouldn’t be fantasy game without a “Scantily-Clad Elementalist”. Or Scantily-Armoured Warrioress, or Scantily-Leather-Clad Theif/Archer/Rogue.

    • Nephilim Rising says:

      Because obviously women can’t fight as well as men and have to distract their foes >_>

      It’s one of those things that I *wish* would disappear from video games, but something we’ll have to deal with for a while coming.

    • Wulf says:

      @Nephilim Rising

      The problem seems to be caused (from my observations) by a majority of straight males heading up the art. The only cure would be to replace the staff with gay males, then you’d have properly dressed women and scantily clad men! Not that I’d object to that…

      (Disclaimer: I know tongue-in-cheek comments aren’t always obvious on the Internet, but this one was.)

    • cjlr says:

      Well, it’s a long time removed from the era where I could tell you the stats, material cost, and location of every armour in the game, I do recall that – as a rule – the armour sets for physical professions (warriors, rangers, paladins, assassins, dervishes) tended to be pretty good in terms of coverage; it was the casters’ armour (mesmer, elementalist, necromancer, ritualist, monk) that could veer into the 10% coverage zone.

      Which is the thick end of a thin justification, if you catch my meaning. It’s stupid to enter combat wearing a few scraps of cloth, but it makes more sense (though still not much) if you’re going to be standing 40 metres away and throwing fireballs than if you were wading around swinging pointy sticks.

      And give the ANet guys some credit; scantiness notwithstanding they’ve done a great job with churning out consistently aesthetically effective sets.

    • Arathain says:

      @ Nephilim Rising:

      Yeah, I hear you there. It’s enough to put me off buying games these days where the women aren’t at least semi-practically dressed.

      It’s not even the female objectification that I mind the most. No wait, it is. But I also really hate the assumptions about me as a male gamer, and you know what? It’s really distracting and immersion breaking. I just stop and think “you’re wearing that into a fight? Lord, how uncomfortable it must be! You don’t even get any real protection.”

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Hello.

      For anyone further interested in this subject, I present you with the following link.
      http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Armor_art

      I was surprised to see how many female warrior armors actually featured a hole directly above the chest. Seems to happen less with later expansions, though.

    • GT3000 says:

      It’s a fantasy game and a fantasy game about witches and dragons. Where every character is the shining example of physical beauty never-mind their clothing choices. It’s a game, fill that chip in your shoulder and just play. I’m all for equity not equality. Jeez.

    • Rich says:

      OK GT3000, calm down.
      It’s just a little silly, as people have said, because a few shiny metal domes and a chain male loin cloth don’t make for especially good protection in battle.

      Really it’s just an amusing cliché.

  2. Rich says:

    It sure looks pretty, but it’s been too long since my last coffee for that many words.
    If anything could have extinguished what interest I might have in this game, it would be the prospect of a subscription fee. No fee, but I’m sceptical of microtransactions.

    Not that I have the time or hardware for this kind of game anyway.

  3. westyfield says:

    The concept art is the game I want to play. Those screenshots look… plain, boring, I’m not sure, in comparison.

  4. Glenn says:

    Awwww. I enjoyed the class-combination thing that GW1 did. I’m sad to see it go, but if it doesn’t work, then it’s better that they take it out rather than cram it in awkwardly.

    Also, as Mr. Labbes said, I liked the fact that you could really screw yourself over in PvP with a bad build, but even the best skills did nothing if you weren’t good at the game. Ah well. I’m still more excited about this than I’ve been about any game in a while.

  5. Lord_Mordja says:

    Oh hey, way to not mention there’s a class page complete with actual videos.

    http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/elementalist/

    I… I will buy this game.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      Those videos are pretty awesome. I never played an elementalist in GW1, but the area control spells look pretty interesting.

    • Razz says:

      Wow, the sound effects and animations make it feel so.. visceral. So much “weight” behind that magic, very cool. The phoenix especially looks awesome.

    • Wulf says:

      This really is looking incredibly promising.

      I was all ready hyped about GW2, but they’re just kicking my excitement into overdrive with this stuff. Normally I don’t buy into hype, but for ANet I’ll make an exception.

  6. Lack_26 says:

    I really enjoyed GW, got a couple of hundred hours out of it at least, so I’m looking forward to the new one. It’s a bit of a shame I don’t have the same amount of disposable time I did when GW came out, but I’m sure I’ll get it anyway.
    I have to say that I’m not sure how I feel about the loss of the secondary profession and only really having 3 skills for customisation, ah well, it’ll work out in the end, right? Right?

    I’m sure mesmers will remain chronically underplayed outside of PVP, though.

    • kalidanthepalidan says:

      I loved my Mesmer. So fun. Next to my Monk that is. :)

    • Nick says:

      Well, I’m sure you have a choice of healing skill and elite skill, but I agree it is a little sad you are limited so much. Then again you pretty much always take an elite skill and more often than not some form of self healing/condition removal anyway so I suppose its not *that* different.

    • Seras says:

      “I’m sure mesmers will remain chronically underplayed outside of PVP, though.”

      actually they’re about to have a skill update in GW1 to make the mesmer more useful/powerful in PVE =)

      though honestly…my Me/N with Necrosis is pretty damn lethal in a Discord-way party, there’s very little that me and the 3 necros can’t plow through (when being smart/careful) :)

    • Wulf says:

      I plan on having a Charr Mesmer as my main for the amusement value alone.

  7. cyrenic says:

    The PvP details sound great. It was such a chore to find an exact group or 4 or 8 in the first one (I haven’t played in a while so I dunno if they resolved any of those issues). Assuming the “game browsing” concept works out as well as it does in online FPS’s.

  8. Schrodinger's Lolcat says:

    Did someone say scantily clad?

  9. Choca says:

    “We’re past the days where you can have a broken launch and have to patch it better afterwards.”

    Cryptic, Mythic, Funcom and other so-called veteran MMOs developers have a lot to learn from these guys.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Wichtel says:

    I am a bit worried about the shard/world thing combined with there answer to the “play with people all over the world” question.

    I met some lovely Australian people in guild wars and you never found someone playing the same game but on another server so you couldn’t play together.

    • Mr Labbes says:

      Most people didn’t use the International Channels anyway, although I personally loved them.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, but you can go from the international areas to america or elsewhere, I really hope it doesn’t lose that ability.

    • Wulf says:

      A past interview said that people would be able to hop freely between shards (or servers, if you like), much like how the current districts work. I don’t know if that’s changed, though, but I haven’t heard anything different since.

  11. Dan says:

    The lack of customizable skills worries me a little, but i do remember setting my skill bar in GW very tedious at times. I get the impression GW 2 is going to be quite alot more user friendly and more directed at the casual player.

  12. Seras says:

    blarg…..reading about the skill bar changes just gutted my interest in the game.

    • tekDragon says:

      Fancy seeing you here.
      ..
      Ditto for skill bar.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wichtel says:

      Regarding skill bars (and I am talking PvP here):

      If you were a aword warrior you had to take the following skills to make a successful build:
      Rez. Signet/Bleeding Skill/Gash (bleeding ennemy = deep wound)/Attack Speed increase

      You could take an elite skill to take the place of one of those skills but basicly this was your build. That left four skills to you could take randomly. In the new version you have to take a heal/rez skill (everyone except monks had to have a rez anyway) and you can pick two weapons. What you are going to do is not only choosing 4 skills and a heal but those skills and two sets of 5 skills associated with a weapon.

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t think people are seeing the skill thing right though. I imagine it a little differently than I think most are. I think that if you have a sword, you don’t suddenly have the be all and end all set, there are many sets, and when a weapon drops it allots one of those hands (as in cards) to the weapon. So you could have two swords with different hands, but both hands are designed to work with that weapon.

      This and having three totally free and two semi-free slots doesn’t sound so bad to me, at all.

  13. tekDragon says:

    Hmm… I was looking forward to this, but the two things GW really had going was secondary professions that you could change on a whim and skill bars you could really tinker with.

    Both gone.

    The race skills might replpace the secondary profession but for only half your bar, and I presume you wont be able to change your race which means that now character creation wont be nearly as versatile as before (unless now you can just change class…. highly doubt it). The highly cynical individual within me thinks they’re just looking to microtransaction sell you more character slots. Big thumbs down.

    As for locking down half a skill bar, it’s probably great for noob hand holding but the great thing about guildwars was that you could craft together truly excelent synergies between different skillsets that worked across the entire skillbar. This will be severely restricted.

    So… I’m still looking forward to this but my level of aprehension that they’ll mess it up just hit high.

  14. Eric F says:

    Some of the same concerns came up on our fan forums and in our community manager Martin Kersteins words:

    Rest assured that our new skill system will still allow you tons of variety. Guild Wars had a gazillion different skills to make a build – but the amount of viable builds wasn’t actually that high. It was very easy for players to cripple themselves – for example, you could bring Gash without Sever Artery – which was pointless. If you rated builds on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being an incredibly effective build, what we did is make sure that all players will be equipped with a 5, at minimum.

    You will also be able to use different weapon combinations: If for example, you have an axe in your main hand, this will define your first three skills. Pick up a shield – this defines the next 2 skills. Switch to a mace in your offhand – those skills change, basically giving you a different set of combinations. Switch to a Greatsword and you get 5 completely different skills.

    All of this is then complimented by your free choice for the other 5 slots. Yes, one slot is reserved for a healing skill, and one for an elite skill – but we are not talking about one healing skill here, you will have a variety of different heal and elite skills to slot, each with their different flavors, each changing the way you actually play (aka your build).

    It all boils down to this: The amount of possible builds might be a little bit lower than in GW, but the amount of viable and useful builds you can actually use is much higher.

    • tekDragon says:

      Yore response is somewhat reassuring, but I think part of me will remain skeptical until I see the new system in action for myself.

      I really really appreciate the current GW skill bar. Making a terrible build isnt so much of a problem since you can immediately go to an outpost an fix it. I cant help but feel that imposed skills based on what you carry may inadvetantly stifle creativity. I’d be shocked it any of the original GW devs had anticipated 55 builds and the like. I just fear that some of the pre-sets will impeade the creation of some of the more outlandish yet functional builds that were a hallmark of GW.

      Then again without cross class skills what we have is a very different animal indeed. I am however worried that race/class lock-in will dampen people’s ability to really explore build combos, again, I’ll have to see it in action.

      GW2 is probably the game I’ve anticipated the most since I’ve heard about it.

    • manveruppd says:

      Well Mr. Flannum, I can’t say I’m entirely convinced by your reassurances – I’ll definitely miss the more freeform kind of variety that GW offered. And I think you’re too scared of letting people fail – after all, going in with a build that looked good on paper but failed miserably in execution was sometimes a fun lesson! :)

      However, I have to say that the whole history of GW was a series of ANet making seemingly impossible promises which nobody believed, and then delivering on them flawlessly against all our expectations, so I’d be a fool to write off GW2 without trying it out first! :) Good luck with the rest of development and I look forward to getting my hands on the game!

    • Tacroy says:

      You do realize that if this system is too inflexible (which it may very well be), there’s nothing keeping them from putting in some sort of blacksmithing system that lets you pick which skills go on your weapons, or high-level items that remove the “one healing and one elite” skill requirement, or whatever. Newbies still wouldn’t be able to make stupid mistakes that are frustrating to fix, but experienced players could make their crazy builds. It might even be better, because you could swap weapons and have an almost entirely different skill set.

      It’s not like the game is set in stone on release and they’ll never ever change it ever.

  15. Seras says:

    I wonder how this whole “your first 5 skills are locked to what your holding in your hand” thing will apply to caster classes.

    hold a flame staff and you get 5 flame spells?

    hold flame staff B and you get a diff set of 5 flame spells?

    I guess that wouldn’t be quite so bad, more or less packages those skills in bundles that you can swap..

    but ya, seems to be killing a lot of the fun in discovering new synergies and combos.

    overall i agree that they definitely seem to be going the “pander to noobs, alienate the hardcore”.

  16. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Looks and sounds great, despite the fact that I never got too deep into Guild Wars (for reasons they’re apparently addressing in the sequel). That’s what really has my interest — that the problems ArenaNet has identified and are changing the game to fix are exactly the same problems that I found, pretty much to a T.

    As for the fear of losing secondary professions and a pre-set 5 buttons, plus an Elite slot and a Healing slot:

    If you played any pub Guild Wars at all, you’ll know how completely, utterly awful a vast majority of the playerbase was (just like any free-to-play MMORPG). Like, worse than WoW awful.

    I blame this entirely on dual-classing and the 150ish (I think?) skills each individual class had. Many of the skills looked cool on paper but only had very specific use in practice (to the tune of “The Majority of Skills”), so inevitably you end up grouping with morons who fill their bar with these essentially novelty skills and just totally suck at the game. Indeed, they’ve never done well enough to know how to play.

    Combine this with the fact that Guild Wars is next to impossible to solo, (they have competent bots now, but until that expansion the only option was to have an extremely limited playstyle or PUG with bads, assuming your mates weren’t on), and you have a very frustrating experience.

    My favorite Guild Wars experience was the pre-Searing (essentially a tutorial) zones. You could dual-class, but each class only had about ten skills available to it… and each one was almost unconditionally useful. It was almost impossible to screw up. To require 5/10 of your skill bar to be these unconditionally useful skills is a fantastic idea.

    Guild Wars is one of the few games that gave you too many choices. Worse, the effects of these choices were often not immediately obvious.

    • Nick says:

      Um, it was entirely possible to hench the whole of factions and prophecies before the changes. Even Thunderhead Keep and Shiro were doable.

    • Wulf says:

      I agree with Nick. Getting through Prophecies with henchies is easy, the bonuses of some missions might be impossible to pick up with henchpeople due to the need to split up the party, which wasn’t possible back then, but it was still possible to solo the entire campaign, start to end, with just about any set of skills one could imagine.

    • manveruppd says:

      Yeah, you’re right, pugging through PvE was an utter pain, but f the creativity that the 8-slot skillbar and the primary/secondary professions allowed when you were putting togehter an 8-man team for PvP more than outweighed the frustration of having to pug through Thunderhead Keep with some clueless 12-year-old. For me, that WAS the game, PvE was a pleasant distraction for when there was no PvP to do, and sacrificing the best and most ingenious hook of your game just to lower the barrier of entry is a really bad idea. I hope the race-specific skills are varied enoguh to make up for it!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah, I got well into prophecies solo with Henchies.

      KG

  17. Premium User Badge

    Wichtel says:

    After I read what Eric F read it works like this:

    If you equip a tow handed weapon it has 5 skills associated with it.
    If you equip a main hand weapon it has 3 skills associated with it.
    If you equip an offhand weapon/shield it has 2 skills associated with it.

    I give an example:
    As an elementalist you could equip a fire wand (main) and a water focus (off) and use a fire staff (2hand) in your second weapon set.

    I am pretty sure their wont be 2 fire wands with diffrent skills, but if i got it correctly there should be a difference between a fire staff (2 hand) and a fire wand (main) + and a fire focus (off).

  18. malkav11 says:

    Please have a free trial available at or very soon after launch. Other MMOs, because they’re interested in hooking you for the subscription fee, can have early dramatic reductions on box price. I’ve paid as little as $2.50 for an MMO box, depending. But to ask me to risk $50 on an unknown (or worse yet, $60)? Not likely to happen.

    • Wulf says:

      I believe the original campaign was released for £29.99 in most places in the UK, and discounted to £24.99. I expect it’ll just be £29.99 this time around, which calculates to about 45 of your yankee-doodle-dandy currency units. That might be rounded up to $50, but I really can’t see it being $60.

    • malkav11 says:

      Every one of the Guild Wars campaign releases was $50, and didn’t drop for a loooooong time thereafter. I hope they won’t jump to $60, but I’d point out that certain companies (Activision, Ubisoft) seem to think it’s a good new standard price point for PC games.

  19. ascagnel says:

    Related story #1: “Games of 2008: Guild Wars 2″

    A bit late, chaps?

  20. Stabby says:

    I’m just worried that, with the loss of the secondary profession, PvP will lose much of the creativity that fueled the meta game. Combinations constantly evolving and being discovered were part of what made Guild Wars awesome, and if they’re simplifying that, I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed.

    Half the fun was seeing an Assassin using a scythe with Dervish attack skills, or a monk using warrior stances to stay alive, or Rangers using Necromancer health-stealing touch skills, made cheaper by their primary attribute Expertise.. These are things you just won’t see any more :(

    • Wulf says:

      I disagree. I believe that weapons aren’t profession-locked in Guild Wars 2, so consider: If an Assassin was to equip a Scythe, they’d get a deck of five Scythe relevant skills, and therefore you’d have a decent simile of the Assassin/Dervish you described.

      Furthermore, they seem to be describing the vast majority of skills that can be used in the three-skill space as unlinked from professions. So if a monk had some defensive stances slotted in there, you’d get a simile of the Monk/Warrior.

      It’s my estimate that everything that could be done can still be done, just in a different way.

    • cjlr says:

      @Wulf
      But that eliminates much of the point to classes at all, doesn’t it? If any class can use any item equally effectively, then you’re eliminating much of the possible variety.

      Of course, we know very little at this point, so much speculation is futile. We have no idea how attributes will work, f’r’ex. Or racial v class-based abilities. Or the levelling up process. And so on.

      Still, given how much fun I had with GW1 (and ~600 hours, which is nothing compared to the hardcore, but still a hell of a lot), I’m not just at a default level of anticipation (for me, a sort of cautious optimism), but more towards full-on excitement (albeit not without a number of reservations).

    • Wulf says:

      @cjr
      I’m sure that they’ll come up with something to make it work, but at this point–with everything I’ve heard previously, this RPS review included–it sounds like they’re using a Champions Online-like framework, where you have classes laid out, and you have synergies between powers, but people aren’t locked into a class.
       
      It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out, regardless.

  21. Premium User Badge

    skalpadda says:

    Out of curiosity, since there seems to be a whole bunch of people here who have played Guild Wars a lot, how was the PvE part of the game? This thing has me mildly interested, the world looks fun and from what they’ve shown the combat looks above most things you find in MMOs, but I doubt I’d be able to get too excited about a game where all the good stuff is in the PvP game.

    • seras says:

      i enjoyed it a lot, played for 3 years, only stopped a 2-3 months ago.

      was in a guild but did the vast majority of gaming alone with my heroes and henchman. i really enjoyed being able to not only build my character but also have a team build for my party…swap out heroes based on the mission to adapt my party to the diff circumstance.

      from a mechanics point of view it remains one of my all time fav rpg (online or off) and the setting/art is gorgeous.

  22. manveruppd says:

    I have to say, I’m kinda upset about the loss of secondary professions as well… Putting together a 64-skill build was so much fun, such an utter joy coming up with weird ridiculous combos, arguing over them with your guildies, tweaking them, having your guild leader shoot them down saying “It’s silly, it’d never work”, and then 2 days later seeing Last Pride doing pretty much exactly what you suggested on observer mode and ripping through the opposition! :P Or when LuM used a bonds monk against War Machine in the world championships – so batty and unexpected that it almost worked! The metagame and the creativity of build-crafting was more than half the fun for me, and it looks like that part of it will be hugely diminished.

  23. Magic H8 Ball says:

    malkav11 said:
    Every one of the Guild Wars campaign releases was $50, and didn’t drop for a loooooong time thereafter. I hope they won’t jump to $60, but I’d point out that certain companies (Activision, Ubisoft) seem to think it’s a good new standard price point for PC games.

    You seem to forget Guild Wars didn’t have a monthly fee. There’s a difference between charing $50 for five hour long FPS and charging $50 for a (more or less) persistent online game.

  24. Lobotomist says:

    This game blows my mind :D

  25. OMG says:

    All those news! Boom! Boom! Boom!

    I just have one orgasm after the other!

    I WANT THIS F* GAME NOW!

    Mommmmmmmmmiiiiii! pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase!

  26. Tr0n says:

    So when is the second part? It’s already 7pm here in Europe. :)

  27. Wulf says:

    Regarding the skill-bar, I figured everyone might be interested in this:

    http://www.iloveguildwars.com/2010/04/29/10-skills-a-diagram/

    • Wulf says:

      D’oh, I miss edit.
       
      Anyway, I think a lot of people will be happy about this, since the ‘deck’ you get with a weapon is based on both the weapon and the profession, this lends credence to the idea that the three slots which you can slot any skill into aren’t limited by profession alone, since profession instead comes into how the weapon hand is dealt, and the three skills also include elements like racial skills, healing skills, and so on. So this could lead to some really creative builds.

  28. Aly says:

    People are too hung up on the skills.

    1) In GW1, you choose 8 skills. Those are the only skills you can use without going back to an outpost (and resetting whatever you were working on.) In GW2, you have 10 skills, five of which can be changed mid-fight with the switch of a weapon.

    2) GW2 is about more than just button mashing. You don’t just get to play with your skill setup. You get to try out combos with other players…like the example of a ranger using an ele’s firewall to set their arrows on fire. It’s a much more versatile, dynamic play style that, again, goes beyond button mashing.

  29. Serenegoose says:

    Just because I feel compelled to post. The armour issue (though dormant in this thread for days) in RPGs particularly bugs me because it is unequal stylism. When you’re sexualising one of the genders, but the other gets a pass. The male gets to be a heroic warrior, and look appropriate. The female gets to be a heroic warrior, and -look like a joke-. Because that’s what it is. It’s completely immersion breaking in the worst possible way. It’s not attractive, or stylistic, it’s just sexist rubbish. Even if it wasn’t sexist, it would still be rubbish, because I just can’t take my warrior seriously, and I don’t even get -the choice- to fix it, if I still want a female character.

  30. Rickster says:

    The PvP details sound great,…, but for all of us PVE lovers, I just hope there are even more boundless amount of Quests, Missions, lots of landscapes and places to discover and conquer, lots ‘o Dragons to slay.
    Beatiful yet deadly monster-infested Mountains, and valleys, and deserts, and rivers, with nights, and days, and twilights of never-ending explorable continents. …
    I guess ya, that’s also what a Fantasy RPGMMO is all about, and it’s called Guild Wars 2
    This will all be in HD right ?
    :)
    I can’t wait. Thanks.

  31. renger says:

    I read a blog, it turns out that you can not learn a second professor. I thought that the first 5 on the main pros and the rest of the other and, moreover, several srazu.Kombinatsiya professions was super chip Games. Only had to do to make Skill could take from several trades at once, rather than a secondary. That is, Bild from a combination of three professions.

  32. renger says:

    Sorry. The translation program, but it does not translate all the words.

  33. renger says:

    It was necessary to them, not to deprive of us the second trades, and to give the chance to us, to take the press from 3 trades.

  34. renger says:

    Friends, you know that the game will not SPC – Heroes (those that you take with you to the detachment and taught the profession)? Now you are one (!) Against the whole gang!

    Dear game developers, please do not miss the company of friends at NPTS.-Heroes! Bring them into the game, please! Give ourselves decide whom to run on personal history, character.