Guilding It Bigger: Guild Wars 2 Interview

By Quintin Smith on August 31st, 2010 at 11:59 am.

Real life: still rubbish.

It’s not all glitz in the games industry. Sometimes, no matter how many times you ask “Do you know who I am?” in however many funny accents, you still won’t get an exclusive interview. My Guild Wars 2 interview with Global Brand Manager Chris Lye and Designer Jeff Grubb ended up being a round table affair, with a German guy, a German girl and a Russian guy. But since they were all asking smart questions, I’ve included their questions too. Ha!

Feast your eyes and brain on my four interviews for the price of one after the jump.

German Guy: In Guild Wars 1, even where the setting was familiar, you would discover things you had not seen in other games. For example, the little houses in the trees, or some other amazing ocean vista…

German Woman: Oh yes, you’d often be saying “where did they get that idea!”

Chris Lye: Well, absolutely. And it’s very easy to explain that. Daniel Dociu, who is our art director, he is absolutely intent on making sure that the fantasy world of Guild Wars doesn’t look like the fantasy world of any other game that you have seen.

Jeff Grubb: Look at the size and scope of Divinity City, this is an ultimate fantasy city. You go up to the upper city and you’re under a great glass dome, it’s filled with plasma and orreries with suns and planets and it’s moving around, and there are two huge buildings opposite. This is that kind of attraction, it’s the bit where people inhale breath and go “raaa!”

CL: The same is true of that big dam where the harpies are. It’s beautiful, and it’s not just a backdrop, you can go up onto the side of that and see just how big it is. We’ve always had these titanic, wonderful structures and our games development teams have always been capable of handling these things and bringing them into the game.

German Woman: I love the concept art, I have all the concept art, and I was really pleased to learn that the concept art was to be more a part of the game.

CL: This is part of Daniel’s philosophy. First of all: great concept art is something you want to use and expose people to. It doesn’t matter if it’s not a finished 3D render, because great art is just great art. We totally bought into that. The other thing is having an engine which can take the kind of stylised art and recreate it faithfully within a 3D environment is something that our old engines couldn’t quite do, and the new Guild Wars 2 engine can do incredibly well. Those two factors led the the game looking as it does.

JG: It’s is very much playing to our strengths, we do want to use the great art. This brings it into the game. We want more things that set us apart, and our art helps us with that.

RPS (aka English Guy): A related question- your trailers have had a lot of ArenaNet guys saying that you’re doing this or that differently, or this or that’s really new. I was wondering with this emphasis on being different, where you take your inspiration from?

CL: Well we’re not just designing an MMO. We don’t want to make the best MMO ever, we want to make the best game ever. We’re all gamers and you can see it when we analyse particular game mechanics, we’re looking at systems from other games, other video games, other pen and paper games, and we’re saying “does this component work? What happens if we change it? What has to change for standard RPG storytelling to work in an MMO world?” We can talk about moving under water: we had a traditional breath-bar and so on, which keeps people from going under water, it was punishing them for going under water, and we want people go under water. No one worries about how long Mario can hold his breath, so the same has to be true here. It just has to be fun.

JG: You know I think some game designers aren’t even aware of the constraints they place themselves under when they say “We’re gonna make an MMO, this is exactly how an MMO works.” We said “we want to make a really fun online world, how might that online world be fun?” Jeff talks a lot about this cross game influence, but look at the game trailer and cinematics guys. They don’t just look at game trailers, they look at movie trailers, TV commercials, anything. They are just asking “how do you do great visual storytelling on a screen?”

CL: And we are thinking in terms of the story first, as opposed to “is this constrained by the fact that we placed it in an MMO?” Consequently we have to think about how this sits with the mechanics and systems we are designing?

RPS: Which explains the home city instances…

CL: The home cities, the instancing, various characters, and people’s individual stories. Characters that have character, people who you will remember from your own story.

Russian Guy: I want to ask about PvP. What will it look like in Guild Wars 2? Will be that mixture of Magic The Gathering and Counter-Strike?

JG: We have not revealed the full details of our PvP yet, we’re saving that for later. But what we can tell you now is that we will have two distinct modes of PvP. One will be the competitive PvP you are familiar with, where experience doesn’t matter and it’s purely down to player skill. And there’s the new element of PvP which we call “role versus role”, where one GW2 server will play against another GW2 server in something we call “the Myth”. It will be like a big RTS map with resource points and control points, and three servers will be going at it. Instead of units there will be players.

CL: It’s under development, we just aren’t able to say exactly “this is what it is” right now.

German Guy: The battle that we saw from the single player game demo seemed kind of chaotic, everyone doing their own thing. It seemed a bit unstructured with different player groups fighting the enemy. How are going to cope with that problem?

JG: We find that people are most aware of what is going on in their personal environment, they will tend to know they have someone near them who is, say, injured. They know people are valuable to them whether in your group or not. People will take the time to rez them because they know players are more valuable to them alive. We do intend for these battles to be chaotic, it’s going to be Saving Private Ryan rather than being neat rows of soldiers. That works well with The Shadower, because he is a dragon minion and he brings chaos where he is. And it’s worth pointing out that the way people die in GW2 means that they are not gone or ported off the battlefield, someone can come in and grab them and pull them up. The penalty for death is not so harsh, so trial and error is a viable way of working through these encounters.

German Woman: It seems that each of the classes in GW2 can do a lot of different things very well?

German Guy: Yes, the warrior can use bows in a very efficient way, is there things that the warrior cannot do well?

CL: The way this works is that each of the professions have something that they do very very well. With the warrior he is the master of weapons, the ranger has other skills. They can both use bows, of course, but the effect will be slightly different. A bow in the hands of a warrior will be different than a bow in the hands of a ranger. The necromancer has a death shroud that no one else has, for example, so each has a different experience, even if they might have overlapping features. We looked at people’s styles of play, say a healer, and we can see that there are people who like to offer support, run around and bring people back to life and so on. That’s viable for an elementalist, and for a ranger. We are rewarding playing styles without locking people in. I like to play warriors, but I don’t have to be up close to the giant monster. I can pull back and use the bow and still feel like a warrior, not a heavily armed warrior.

RPS: Death shroud?

CL: This is a special ability where you enter the death shroud, you become immune to knockdown, you have a different set of skills, and you can move around outside of your body. You are a black blur, a Dr Strange character. Your body is left behind, and you look like you are dead. You can use this to explore, that’s how I use it, and Chris tends to use it to lead the bad guys away from me. It also gives necromancers and extended life, because they go into the death shroud when they die.

RPS: And then people attack that?

CL: Yes, they attack the death shroud figure.

Russian Guy: Why increase the level cap to 80?

JG: People like to see the numbers go up? It might have been capped at 20 before, but people would still ask if we were raising the level cap. It’s still important to us that it’s anti-grind. We’re not going to do that that thing where it slows down to level as the levels get higher. We just want to have a good story going on. We are not afraid of people being at the highest level.

German Guy: How will the sidekick system which allows low level players to play with high level players work for rewards? What about if I am level 70 playing with my level 15 friend and I am sidekicking down? Is there a reward?

JG: So it’s interesting to look at how dynamic events are rewarded. You don’t get gear, you get things like gold, karma, and experience. You can never have too much of that stuff. But the real reward for sidekicking down is being able to play with someone you want to play with. If you are a social gamer then that’s the thing. If you are all “I must maximise my XP per hour!” then well you are probably not going back to help your friends anyway.

German Woman: Where do you get gear from if not from drops?

JG: You can buy it with gold or sometimes earn it through karma.

German Woman: But is there unique treasure you can find in the world?

CL: Rewards come from events. One of the events, for example, is to bring back old weapons from an armory. And in that situation the armory is selling more powerful weapons than would normally be available, so that’s a reward in itself, it’s not a random drop.

German Guy: So no repeating stuff to earn the right loot?

JG: There will be a form of repeatable content that is set within dungeons, but I don’t think we’ve said what the pure motivation for repeating a dungeon is. We need to talk about that in some detail at a later time.

RPS: I have a friend who is a terrible healer, so I was wondering: how accessible is that rally ability that lets you revive downed friends? Is that available to everyone?

CL: Yes, that’s available to everyone at all times. The ability to rally a friend is a fundamental.

German Guy: So it’s easy to do?

CL: Sure it’s just a case of interacting with the fallen body while you are not getting kicked too hard by a monster. You will need some time and space to do it. But also if you are the one who is down you can still attack, and you can bring yourself back by killing one of the monsters. (That is so in Borderlands – Jim).

JG: So the thing with skills is: we don’t want to stop people who are good at something being more excellent than average, we just want to remove the part where people are tragically, tragically bad at something. We are going to have groups, and you will be able to see health, and if you are a bad healer like me, I can have an auto-health replenishment spell going on, but I won’t be as good as the guy who is working on targeted health for everyone.

Russian Guy: So what sort of group sizes should we expect? What sort of size raids…

JG: We haven’t really locked that down. One of the things we want to focus on is making small Guilds viable. When you place the emphasis on 20, 30 or 40-man raids within your game then you are basically making small guilds impossible. They can’t compete. If you want to belong to a big guild then high end play focused around small numbers doesn’t have to be an issue, because you still end up having more resources, more people to group with, and so on. We fully expect guilds to still exist, but it should be viable for you and four friends to play high level content together.

German Guy: Can I explore dungeons alone? Or with one friend?

CL: Yes you can. Well, you can go into them all by yourself, whether you can complete them is another thing. Dynamic events in the world will scale up from four people participating, but our dungeons will need to be designed around know we have five people coming in from this direction and they are going to do that, and the order of the creatures. If you go in with a single character you are probably going to have a very difficult time, and that’s because our dungeons are closer to our traditional instanced content where you go in with a limited number of people and encounter the creatures that are there.

German Woman: There’s very little armour in Guild Wars 1, will you have more options for armour in Guild Wars 2?

CL: We’re all about options and itemisation in Guild Wars 2, although I don’t believe we’ve really talked about this in any detail at the point. In Guild Wars 1 we didn’t give people as much option for things like armour as we’d hoped, and we will be providing greater options this time around. I think you will like what we’ve done this time.

RPS: With the dyanmic events you’re seeing people arrive, with the event getting tougher as you go, with everyone getting rewarded for their involvement in the event. But what’s to stop one character coming in, firing two bow shots at a boss and then running off?

JG: Well there will be a threshold for inclusion. If you do fire just two shots off and run then you might not make the threshold for that event. We haven’t revealed how participation works, and we may not because then people will already know how to play the game.

Russian Guy: When will you shut down Guild Wars 1?

JG: We have never said we will shut down Guild Wars 1, and I don’t expect we will any time soon. The servers are very efficient to run.

CL: I expect to see people playing both. You will have gamers playing GW1 with their Monday night group and GW2 with their Tuesday night group, and enjoy both.

German Guy: So if the Guild Wars 1 servers are more efficient to run, does that mean the persistent world of 2 will make them less efficient to run? You are still subscription free?

CL: I know that the programmers for this stuff have been given a very similar brief for server infrastructure to the one they were given for GW1, but I don’t have an answer for you I’m afraid. We don’t know enough about the technical side of what has changed versus the persistent world stuff for us to be able to give you a useful answer.

German Woman: So there have been paid-for outfits and other things introduced to Guild Wars 1 in the past years, are you planning on doing this for Guild Wars 2?

CL: Yes, we have been introducing microtransactions to Guild Wars 1 over the past few years, and we’ve been paying a lot of attention to what people like and don’t like about them. What feels like a correct purchase, what feels too close to affecting gameplay to be comfortable, etc. We’re using what we’ve learned and we will have microtransactions in GW2. We have GW1 as a test bed for this stuff and we are still learning.

RPS: All the respawning from waypoints, being rezzed by anyone, and so forth, it feels very smart, but isn’t it likely to endanger the tension of combat?

CL: We haven’t really noticed that in combat yet. When I am down and fighting for my life, I feel it.

RPS: And there’s no XP penalty?

JG: No, feeling stupid about dying and having to run back to the fight is punishment enough for most people.

CL: Having to pay off death by doing more in the future is unfair. We don’t want to annoy people further after having died.

RPS: So, Final Fantasy XIV has three capital cities and three factions to choose from, and they’re each finding unique audiences. A lot of female players go toward the relaxing city, businessmen go for the Machiavellian city, and the developers are changing their game’s content to suit these demographics. I thought that was interesting.

JG: We do recognise that a certain kind of players are more attracted to a warlike faction than a noble, gentler faction. We’re designing with that in mind: people who can play just as humans, people who can play as Asura.

CL: Yeah, and we have different kinds of people working on this stuff too. The guys who are doing the big mechanical military stuff are quite different from those who want to work on the quiet vegetative areas and explore that that stuff is about.

JG: We have five very diverse player races, and I think that will cater for a wide range of tastes.

German Guy: But how quickly can my friend who is playing one race going to be able to meet me?

CL: Immediately. In the main city. We’ve thought about exactly that, and you can find each other pretty much straight away. There’s no waiting thirty levels before the worlds converge.

RPS: Thanks to everyone for their time.

__________________

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76 Comments »

  1. Novotny says:

    Ou est le jump?

  2. Legionary says:

    Er, what jump? :P Other than that, interesting interview. Holding out hope for GW2 being rather good.

  3. Garg says:

    Guild Wars 2 has finally completed it’s assimilation of the RPS website, and will now launch its invasion from the frontpage to the desktop of every computer in the world.

  4. Ian says:

    “RPS: I have a friend who is a terrible healer”

    Poor Walker.

  5. itsallcrap says:

    Has my browser gone mad or is this article supposed to be displayed in full on the front page?

    Serious question – I’m having to tolerate IE for the day…

  6. Melf_Himself says:

    Sounds like JG may have a lisp… it’s the “Mists”, not the “Myth” ;)

  7. Dexton says:

    RPS need to try and get the terrible healer in joke into more interviews

    • po says:

      Especially ones where healing is in no way part of the game being discussed ;)

    • stahlwerk says:

      “So, Sid, you were talking about the differences between quads and hexes as a strategic element. Now, you see, a friend of mine is a terrible, terrible healer and so I wondered…”

  8. Tei says:

    You can’t jump in Final Fantasy XIV, your bones are broken, and the engine, or the game, or the content, don’t let you jump. But GW2 looks like a able that is happy to let you use the SPACE BAR.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Yeah, jump, whee. :P

      Of all the reasons to not like Guild Wars, I have never understood why the inability to use the Space Bar(thanks, Tei, for your succinctness) was usually cited by people as to why they didn’t like Guild Wars.

    • Xercies says:

      I remember a PCG review on the third expansion and they were talking about the non jumping quite a bit more then was necessary. They even had a negative in there saying “not mario”. I thought it was quite funny.

    • BigJonno says:

      Not being able to jump is actually a massive reduction in the environmental interaction in a typical MMO. Putting monsters and stuff aside for a second, how do you interact with an MMO? You can run around, you can jump, you can harvest stuff from nodes and that’s about it, usually. Many MMOs don’t even have doors! That simple act of jumping adds a lot to the feel and tactility of the environment. Without it, everything feels kinda flat.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Jonno -

      I’m not questioning that the inability to jump(though you can, it’s just an emote in GW and not usable in any other way) is a turn-off for many people, it’s more that said inability is often the reason most people site for not liking the game. While there are many things missing from GW1 that I wish were there (mail, an auction system, etc… everybody has their own list), the inability to jump is very far down the list for me. Since this is a matter of preference, it is somewhat silly on my part to question why it and other things are important to others.

    • Tei says:

      Re: jumping in Final Fantasy

      The jumping can be used as a general idea of the designers intention making the game. Is this a world, or is a succesion of battles? The designers want me to go anywhere, or he want to control where I can go, and theres invisible walls everywhere?

      It also have practical and important effect:
      The path from A to B is very long,… can I shortcut it?
      My wizard is useless against these mobs that have poisonois stuns. Can I skip his area?
      I am very happy. Can I show my happynes with body gestures, withouth typing a emote?
      Is this dude AFK? he has not jumped in a while…

      Removing jumping is how the designer make the choice to remove freedom from you, to force you experience the game in the way he designed it. Is a big decission. He can undo part of the damage, adding other ways to express freedom, but none as direct like jumping. Jumping is moving in 3D in a 3D game.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      What Tei says sortof applies to GW1 as well. In GW1 the areas you visit consist of parts where you can walk and parts where you can’t. It’s like running into invisible walls. You can’t jump down places or take shortcuts or anything like that. Together with the heavy instancing that takes away from the feeling that you’re in an actual world. I went from GW1 to WoW and moving from one area to another there was a revelation compared to GW. So it’s a good thing they’re trying to remedy this in GW2.

  9. Sobric says:

    I think the Server v Server area is called “The Mists” not “The Myth”.

    http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/World_PvP

    Also, is it just me or did German Guy seem really obsessed with efficiency?

  10. Ravious says:

    Very nice interview!. It’s “The Shatterer” instead of the “The Shadower” near the Saving Private Ryan bit. But, great stuff especially acknowledging the round table’r interview. :)

  11. Tei says:

    Well.. this is a great interview, congrats. All the people involved are true profesionals. One can say is very easy wen you have a very good product to sell, but these guys are also very honest wen can’t reply a question.
    The GW1 lifespan is also a great question, really.

    Theres some traces on truth on the “we are tryiing to make a good game, not just a good mmo”. One thing I have always made me think, is how good Artwork not always translate in good art in the final game. Is just polycount or something else? MDK1 is excellent, with a very low polycount, this make me think art direction is the key for a game to translate good artwork in great graphics.

    I an not impressed in the things the PR people here seems impresed. The glass buble has impressed me much less than the clear and pretty design of the icons, or the use of handdrawed portraits for NPC’s.

  12. Frye says:

    I actually liked being a healer in WoW and I enjoyed her a lot more than my mage.

    So those videos you guys keep posting make me feel like a weirdo!

    i quote from memory: ‘nobody likes to be a healer’. That’s so untrue!

    The truth of the matter is, there was a permanent shortage of them which was annoying, so not ENOUGH people liked it. It would be a disappointment if i couldn’t be a dedicated healer in GW2 and, by the looks of it, that really is the case.

    Healers weren’t all girls.
    Healers did not all have a subservient character.
    Healers were the second-most important class.
    Healing wasn’t as hard as people thought.
    Healing was a lot harder than tanks thought.
    Healers did get the blame for just about every death.
    And so healers were sticking together and more likely to pass on loot for a colleague.
    So healers were a class apart.
    So….fuck…

    i guess healers ARE weirdo’s. damn.

    • Dominic White says:

      It looks like you still have the option to spec your character to play a much more supportive role (a water elementalist has passive healing effects on teammates in a lot of situations), but the idea is that everyone can hold their own in a fight, and a dedicated healer is never required to make progress.

      Sounds like a fine way of doing things to me.

    • Tei says:

      RPG’s have followed that route, because are combat-oriented. But really, I would have concentrated all the magic powers in two type of magic users: sorcers and mages. Sorcers as killing machines, and mages as weak characters with a array of all type of magic available. Why can’t mages debuff + buff + heal + stun + CC + magic pets + adivination ? , all these CRPG have removed all magic skills from a mage, but one.. healing.

    • Guildenstern says:

      I wonder what kind of healing UI GW2 will have. I enjoyed healing in WoW on my priest, but I wouldn’t if it wasn’t for Grid and Clique.

    • Rinox says:

      Healers are the goalkeepers of MMORPG’s. Freakin’ weirdos. :-)

    • Arathain says:

      @ Tei: “Why can’t mages debuff + buff + heal + stun + CC + magic pets + adivination ?”

      You pretty much described my Dark/Dark Defender in City of Heroes (except I don’t know what adivination is). She can also put out a reasonable amount of AoE damage as well. Except I don’t know what adivination is. One certainly can have working, challenging games where players can support the group in multiple ways without being pigeon-holed as a ‘healer’.

      Look, there’s nothing really wrong with healing in team games. I may not like the mechanic much in context, but that’s personal. Healing is a great, noticeable way to help your team. The healer gets some nice satisfying green numbers. The healed character notices their green bar going up, and feels like the healer has their back. That’s cool. It is not, however, the only way one can mitigate damage in MMOs. Surely even healers must want to be able to do more than save their mana in case for propping up the tank- why not move away from a pure ‘healer’ towards a broader support role?

    • Lightbulb says:

      The thing is that you expressed the problem yourself: There aren’t enough of them. It was so annoying to have to wait 30 minutes for a monk to turn up only to have them leave due to rage quit…

      GW2 seems to fix this problem. Not sure how it will work but at least they are TRYING to address the problem. :)

  13. DJ Phantoon says:

    “JG: We haven’t really locked that down. One of the things we want to focus on is making small Guilds viable. When you place the emphasis on 20, 30 or 40-man raids within your game then you are basically making small guilds impossible. They can’t compete.”

    Huh, someone figured that out finally!

    • ScubaMonster says:

      That was one thing I hated about WoW. I tried Raid guilds but I hated how you had to schedule your play time to do any raids at all. So my friends just had a small guild. Only problem is, we couldn’t raid. In WoW, nobody wants to raid with you if you don’t already have the achievements, etc. It really sucked.

  14. perilisk says:

    The dragon is the “Shatterer”, by the way, not the Shadower.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I put that, along with the other typos, to Quin’s well-documented iron problem.

      A bit more seriously, was this interview transcribed from a recording, or on the fly in a notebook?

  15. The Promised Landt says:

    I swear, if that headline is a build-up to “guild it and they will come” I will rend the very fabric of reality to pun-ish you.

  16. Butler` says:

    “We are rewarding playing styles without locking people in. I like to play warriors, but I don’t have to be up close to the giant monster. I can pull back and use the bow and still feel like a warrior, not a heavily armed warrior.”

    Yeah… a ranger then. Surely? :S

  17. Lobotomist says:

    This game can not be released soon enough :D

  18. Jake says:

    Why does The Russian think the PvP will be a mixture of Magic the Gathering and Counter-Strike? I can’t imagine what he means. A first person trading card combat system?

    Also it does sound a little like they haven’t figured out the raid content yet. As The German Guy says the dragon battle looks a bit chaotic, and with no death penalty it could end up as a bit of a zerg without much strategy besides shooting arrows through fires and other small combos. I am very interested to see what they decide about raid group size / guild size.

    I wonder if greater participation in boss fights will reward more or better loot.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Considering that MtG is analogy of choice to describe the active skill limit since launch, he’s asking how that system merges with the more shootery feel in GW2.

    • Crisp says:

      Counter-Strike + Magic the Gathering was how PvP was described in the first Guild Wars when it came out. Short, fast-paced rounds in an arena where your chosen skills (since you’re limited to 8) were essentially your “deck”. Mix and match skills to find the best combination.

    • Jake says:

      Hmm interesting, so the idea would be you could ‘sideboard’ in different spells after a round in order to be more effective versus your opponent? Like adding counterspells if you fight a caster or whatever? That actually sounds pretty great.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      In GW1, you are limited to the skills you choose before entering a PvE instance, same goes for PvP. It looks like something similar will be in GW2, although they have shown that for Elementalists, at least, by changing ‘attunements’, you change some of the skills. I imagine something similar will be available for the other professions, although if it will be stance or weapon based isn’t clear to me. So, it’s locked in GW1, and more open in GW2.

  19. ScubaMonster says:

    Hmm, this is a bit troubling:

    So if the Guild Wars 1 servers are more efficient to run, does that mean the persistent world of 2 will make them less efficient to run? You are still subscription free?\

    I know that the programmers for this stuff have been given a very similar brief for server infrastructure to the one they were given for GW1, but I don’t have an answer for you I’m afraid. We don’t know enough about the technical side of what has changed versus the persistent world stuff for us to be able to give you a useful answer.

    I can’t help but notice he avoided the question about the game remaining subscription free. I know they’ve stated in the past it would, but the impression I get is that they are undecided about that. I would hope with micro transactions they wouldn’t add a sub.

    That being said, this game looks awesome enough that I’d still play it if it required a sub, I just really hope it will be free to play like the first one.

    • Crisp says:

      No need to worry, there’s no subscription fee for Guild Wars 2. Check the official FAQ on the Guild Wars 2 website.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I think he was being honest in saying why he didn’t have an answer to the first question, and just didn’t answer the second one. ANet has a very well-earned reputation for delivering what they say will. After claiming that fun is their first priority, their second has always been a no-subscription policy. Could this change in the future? Sure it could, but I just don’t see it happening with GW2.

    • crooon says:

      I think it’s just a transcription misunderstanding, there should only be one question mark. As in “… seeing as you’re still subscription fee”, and then end of question.

  20. brian says:

    For me, it wasn’t so much about the inability to jump as the inability to traverse terrain which my 2 year old can handle.

  21. Joras says:

    You call this an interview? “where you take your inspiration from?” Seriously? It’s your journalistic duty to ask the hard questions, like how Anet plan to fix the mounting federal deficit, prevent deflation, and save the puppies from the chainsaws!

    Nice job. GW2 looks better and better every week. Guess I should get started on that Hall of Monuments.

  22. Wulf says:

    Did anyone else find the…

    So, will there be lots of phat lewt? 8D
    No.
    Will there be any phat lewt?
    No.
    Wi… Will there be phat lewt?
    No.
    YES BUT WILL THERE BE PHAT LEWT???
    No.
    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUU– >8C

    …segment of the interview as funny as I did?

    A few things ArenaNet have confirmed in past interviews.

    - End-game stuff will be for teams of no more than 5 people (they hinted at that, but they’ve outright confirmed it before).
    - There will be mercenaries available to you that you can hire or get the services of via other means, I suspect these will be able to accompany you into dungeons. This will be similar to the GW1 henchman system.
    - You’ll never have to do repeated dungeon runs to get the gear you want.

    So I suspected that the repeated dungeon stuff he’s talking about will be for titles, party favours, and cosmetic things, a la how it was in Guild Wars 1. Probably offering the same kind of rewards for optional grind that they’ll have up on the store for people who’d prefer to just buy ‘em instead.

    And I’m perfectly okay with that!

    This really is going to be the game for people who want an online RPG, and not an MMORPG. Really, this is what many of us will have been hoping an MMORPG might be whenever we approach one, I suspect, but never is. An MMORPG is a static, dead thing that you devote your life to. This is everything but, this is a story, in a dynamic world, with no bloody grinding or soul-sucking raiding.

    Good on ya, ArenaNet.

    (Footnote: I see the electrobullet-shooting Charr in one of those pictures! Yay Quinns!)

    • Antilogic says:

      - There will be mercenaries available to you that you can hire or get the services of via other means, I suspect these will be able to accompany you into dungeons. This will be similar to the GW1 henchman system.

      Incorrect, Arenanet have stated that there will be no henchman system.

      Also with your endgame stuff, a large part of it still includes open world events- such as taking on the elder dragons in the world.

    • Wulf says:

      Do not correct me on Guild Wars 2, for someone who follows it as obsessively as I do will always have the latest info. >_>

      You’re talking about the partner system, originally ArenaNet were going to have a partner system where you could have a buddy NPC that would cost you part of your power, eventually they took that out because they couldn’t get it to work properly with the scaling of events.

      However, in a later interview it was mentioned that they were instead putting in NPCs whom you could earn the trust of (karma?) or simply buy the services of, and they would accompany you into battle and offer their aid, this interview was quite recent, as in, in August. It was recently mentioned on the GWG2 site.

      So, incorrect? NO U. :P

    • Wulf says:

      Also, they have not said, in any interview that the Elder Dragons will be an open world event. In fact they haven’t said anything about them at all. They keep saying that the Elder Dragons are something they’re not prepared to talk about yet.

    • Wulf says:

      Want a citation? <_<

      "For example, in the persistent world you may find a norn mercenary who likes your style and decides to follow you exclusively for a while, without charging his normal fee."

      Source: The ArenaNet Blog, dated August 3rd.

      Top that!

      And I’m interested to see if you can show me where ArenaNet said that the Elder Dragons would be open world events!

    • Jake says:

      So at level 80 you will have 5-person instances to run, but you won’t need to run them multiple times to get items, only novelty things like titles. There will inevitably be Elder Dragons at 80 but they would be either open world or 5-person instances. Is that about right?

      It sounds a bit like you will have one great PvE playthrough where you do everything once and get a good sense of your character’s story – like an RPG. But then unless you do PvP it does sound a bit like the endgame content will be a bit limited. Just purely going on what is mentioned here and obviously they might change this.

      Personally speaking I would rather have WoW style raiding than 5-player raids. 5 player is too small to have any intricate boss fights that take weeks to master. And grinding only for cosmetic items is not going to keep more hardcore players happy.

      Obviously you could make a new alt and play through the great levelling experience again, and I am not trying to knock the game, it does sound fantastic, but it sounds like the game stops at level 80, while WoW really begins at the level cap.

      Also I realise I am totally going to be on my own in liking grinding. Although maybe not mandatory grinds.

    • Tei says:

      I think I have spot in a video that you can hire the hechmen in a tabern.
      I remenber it as a nice touch, because one of the hechmen was angry at the player, because the player pushed him (probably just a tiny script based on distance, but still awesome). Is one of the ideas that made GW1, so I think would be foolish to abandon it for a game called GW2.

      Is awesome to see Wulf happy about the game. We rarelly see good and polished MMORPG games release… in years.

    • Lacero says:

      RPS should interview Wulf about Guild Wars 2. He can tell us all about paw pads and speculate intelligently on the remaining four classes :)

    • Sobric says:

      @ Jake

      Anet are really pushing the not-like-WoW aspects of their game, because for a lot of people the end-game of WoW was the biggest turn off.

      Added to that, in the original, once you turned lvl 20 the game really begins as well – but you’re far from finished with regards to the content. I hope there is something similar planned for GW 2, but really the levels are just a number that goes up. It doesn’t make much of a difference.

      People wanting a sub-free WoW (and this isn’t really aimed at you Jake; I’m sure there are many, many people who are looking for a sub-free WoW) should really look elsewhere. “End-game” content in GW was largely title-grinding with little impact other than cosmetic (with one or two really notable exceptions; and I don’t think Anet will be making those mistakes again) – I fully expect GW 2 to be the same.

    • Jake says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I am totally happy if GW2 is nothing like WoW, it looks like it will be it’s own thing and it’s own thing will be good fun. But I am also looking for a WoW replacement, like a next generation of WoW. Subs don’t really come into it for me personally, I just loved WoW’s competitive raid game and would like to see it in a new engine with some new mechanics, because unfortunately WoW has become very stale after 5 years, and it is uncertain as to whether an expansion pack will be enough to revitalise it.

    • perilisk says:

      “Obviously you could make a new alt and play through the great levelling experience again, and I am not trying to knock the game, it does sound fantastic, but it sounds like the game stops at level 80, while WoW really begins at the level cap.”

      If it’s anything like GW1, doubtful. Even in the first campaign, you tended to hit max level with a several missions ahead of you. With the next two standalone campaigns, you probably hit max level before you were a quarter of the way through the main storyline. The expansion was nothing but max level content.

      With eighty levels, you’ll probably take a lot longer to hit the endgame stuff, but the time to gain levels is supposed to stay fairly constant, so I wouldn’t surprised if you hit level 80 well before the end of the campaign, much less the optional challenge dungeons and so on.

  23. Fumarole says:

    Jeff Grubb is involved with this? Each time I read something about this game on RPS I inch closer to a purchase decision.

  24. stahlwerk says:

    That’s all nice and everything, but are they widening the corridors and adding more lanes?

    • Vinraith says:

      Also are they building a limited edition? Are they accepting orders for pendant key chains?

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      stahlwerk -

      Am I correct in assuming you gave up on GW after the first ‘campaign’ (ANet speak for the expandalones)?

    • stahlwerk says:

      @Vinraith it was useless to resist it, wasn’t it? ;-)

      @Ignorant Texan my post was expanding on the reference in the post title, or at least on what I think might have been it’s origin. Haven’t played GW at all, but I’m glad to hear corridors were widened and lanes added in or after the second campaing!

      GW2 looks fantastic, cheers!

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      @stalhlwerk

      Very well played! Your punning went over the head of this poorly educated, atavistic savage.

      /salute

    • Thants says:

      I’m getting this as long as I can dress up like a sultan in my onion head hat.

  25. Vinraith says:

    @stahlwerk

    Dude!

  26. ET says:

    That’s it, this is the first MMO I’m going to buy and I’m going to be happy about it. As an exploration player and a lover of art and stories, they seemed to have made this game just for me (or my player niche, but you know). It’s so gorgeous, so well thought out, and no subscription fees! I cannot see how this could fail to work.

  27. Kadayi says:

    Game looks and sounds great. Day one for sure.

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