Guild Wars 2’s Underwater Worlds

Well, I wasn’t expecting this. Guild Wars 2 apparently has a “huge” amount of underwater content, including unique underwater weapons and abilities and – according to developer Jon Peters talking in this Gamespot video, embedded below – entire underwater cities. The twenty minute shows some huge aquatic creatures, lots of combat, and some extremely atmospheric underwater and coastal areas. It’s fairly impressive, and certainly makes other MMOs’ brief dabbling with submerged areas look pretty, uh, shallow. Go take a look.


  1. WMain00 says:


  2. Jumwa says:

    I’m still not sold on the idea of water combat though. Blizzard and all its hordes of fans in Cataclysm beta made such a big deal about how awesome they had made water combat, and how they had undone all the crappiness of past water levels. But I still didn’t enjoy it and just found it really unsatisfying and slow feeling.

    I hesitate from making any big statements, as it’s just a video, but this didn’t convince me they’ve managed to make it as satisfying as ground combat. And the talk about how a large portion of the game is water based just makes me worry a bit. I’ll withhold judgement until I play it myself, but still, those are my impressions and thoughts.

    • gwathdring says:

      I think it’s more that they’ve made a ton of water content, not that a large percent of their content is underwater.

    • Chalky says:

      Well, there’s no movement penalty while under water, so hopefully that will resolve the issue of it feeling “slow” – that certainly has always been the biggest cause of underwater combat problems for me. That and drowning, but that’s done away with too!

  3. TheSaddestSort says:

    Can’t wait to swim with the fishes.

  4. Sunjammer says:

    OH god this video was boring to watch.

    • KauhuK says:

      Sure was boring. I thought they’d show us more things underwater but no. I still want this game quite badly though the underwater thingie in this video didnt actually make me impressed.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      One could hope that this was just a dev having a talk without intending to show how involving underwater environments will be.

      The land/water divide in skillsets is a neat touch, at any rate.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think part of the issue lies in the fact that water is basically the same as the rest of the game, apart from a few “tweaks”… so they can really only talk about those minor tweaks (as the guy said, if it was that much of a big thing then it’d be like playing two different games, which’d be bad)

    • alilsneaky says:

      It always does.

      Yet people are still going to go through this cycle where they hype the game and call it the best thing since warm water was invented, play it for a month then call it quits.

      Like with every single other mmo.
      Baffling how desperate and easily swayed the target audience for mmos is.

  5. Trelow says:

    Almost makes it a no buy for me.

    • Tams80 says:

      Well if you miss out on a great game don’t come back crying here.

      Really, I just dislike people who go “no buy”. It doesn’t even sound good as a phrase, let alone the closed mindedness of it.

    • Trelow says:

      I have a thing about deep water.

    • gwathdring says:

      I doubt anyone in-game is going to throw you into the sea.

    • Nick says:

      you don’t have to go into the water.

    • Harlander says:

      Does it have giant spiders too?

  6. Dexton says:

    Looks beautiful

  7. tameimpala says:

    Underwater? Isn’t that kind of unrealistic?

    • Dana says:

      Yeah ! Elves melt in the water ! lorelol !

    • Nick says:

      Giant steampunk fortresses, magic, fire breathing monsters and whatnot are pretty unrealistic too.

  8. Dana says:

    Vashj’ir ? I sure hope so.

  9. mkultra says:

    Would’ve been better with jetpacks.

  10. McDan says:

    Looks really good! Like, really good, I’m getting unsure if I’ll be able to run this now…

    • Wulf says:

      ArenaNet develop on 5-6 year old PCs (many of them lacking LCD monitors, even), so their statement is that if you could run Guild Wars the first at its highest settings, you will be able to run this on at least medium with the same computer.

    • pupsikaso says:

      I doubt that. From what I’ve seen so far they are really making good use of new technology. While I’m sure they’ll let you scale down the graphics to something pretty low, at the highest settings the game’s gonna look as gorgeous as only a PC game can. I’ve even recently upgraded my rig in anticipation of GW2.

  11. TimA says:

    Pretty, but oh gosh did he make the combat seem so tedious. Horrible video.

    Still, want this game.

    • Guerr3ro says:

      MMO combat isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to watch

    • gwathdring says:

      Sometimes it can still be exciting to play, though. Sometimes. Depends. Here’s hoping.

  12. DK says:

    This makes Guild Wars 2 look more like a standard hotbar click and watch MMO than anything else they’ve shown. I really hope the underwater content is optional (and I mean really optional not “you can choose not to do it but you’ll be gimped to uselessness).

  13. Kadayi says:

    Looks beautiful and underwhelming at the same time.

    • gwathdring says:

      Sort of my feelings. I’m not looking forward to underwater combat, but I love that they thought about what weapons would work underwater and I love to look of things. I want to explore the under water areas … but I don’t want to spend that much time fighting a giant drake just to do so.

      Of course, I’m sure there are lower-level underwater areas with easier enemies … but still … when the primary benefit of these areas is the aesthetic, that seemed awfully combat heavy. Hopefully this will be better at release.

  14. Fatbubba says:

    The underwater areas are some of my least favorite areas in Champions Online and WoW. I can’t say I’m looking forward to this part in GW2

  15. Valvarexart says:

    Quit complaining. They seem to be doing underwater better than anyone else has done it yet. It’s really beautiful and I can’t wait to explore it. The only thing that worries me, though, is that there seems to be enemies EVERYWHERE. How tedious.

    • Jake says:

      quit complaining, they seem to be putting enemies around better than anyone else has done it yet. The thing that worries me most is that that was the first Guild Wars 2 video that was so boring I had to stop watching it.

      It did look beautiful though.

  16. Arglebargle says:

    If you can use bows and guns underwater, its going to make me go ‘iiiick!’.

    If they can pull it off, its an area that has rarely been done well.

    • Deccan says:

      Over on their blog they have some art for harpoon guns; I guess this is what your regular bow/gun will be replaced with when you dive.

    • Arglebargle says:

      @Deccan. That would be swift of them. You just so rarely see that sort of thing. Hopefully Arenanet is ahead of the curve. I am thinking of Rift, with all its weapons working underwater. The new patch is underwater centered iirc. Wonder how the bows work there?

  17. Rii says:

    Well, this looks about as good as one could reasonably expect underwater combat to look, which isn’t to say I’m looking forward to it. Didn’t game developers learn anything from Thunderball?

    The only water-based combat I’m interested in is in Depth. And, hypothetically, Bioshock 3.

  18. pupsikaso says:

    Every time I read or watch anything GW2 related I no longer want to play any other games I have.

    I WANT GW2 NAO!!!

    • Wulf says:

      I’ve been innovating with old games to get out of my malaise. I’ve been playing a lot of Morrowind as a thief. I have no weapons, no armour, no spells, and do you know what else I don’t have? ANYTHING TO LOSE. Ahem, sorry. Anyway, I’ve been playing it like that and… it’s been interesting. I’m the Khajiit who never kills unless there’s no other option. I freed all the slaves in one plantation simply by knocking someone out.

      My character is sort of like a Khajiit version of Garritt, meets Dread Pirate Robins, meets Saxton Hale. This approach to playing the game, along with a number of good mods (currently doing a mix of Brother Juniper’s Twin Lamps along with Ahnassi’s romance, including the simply sublime additions of Smooth Moves Ahnassi, and ManaUser’s Ahnassi quest, which I’m actually doing right now), has completely revitalised the game for me. It’s amazing. It just feels like a modern game, it’s such a new experience.

      Oh, why thief? I have non-lethal ranged weapons, but I also have a mod that zooms in when I use them, and becomes increasingly more wobbly over time, just like Thief. It’s so bloody awesome!

      I’m having such a blast that I’d absolutely love to just upload my take on Morrowind for everyone to play, but that would lead to a lot of pissed off modders, and since I absolutely love the Bethesda mod community to bits (they are truly excellent people, they honestly are, some of the best)… I won’t be doing that. Still, I might put together a download list eventually or something.

      (Of course, the best part about this is that people live, get up, and some remain really pissed off at me. So when walking from some places I have a lot of running away to do. I feel like the Doctor Who of the Morrowind world. Well, if the Doctor was more into non-lethal fisticuffs. Thankfully I have my guar whose back I can hop upon to ride off into the sunset, away from those chasing miscreants. They all give up eventually. They’ll never catch me.)

  19. soldant says:

    Guild Wars was the only other game apart from TF2 which I could play online, so I definitely want to play this.

  20. Wulf says:

    One thing I can tell from this is that underwater combat is clearly slower than the on-land combat shown by people actually playing the game demo at cons. I think the reason for this is perhaps that they’re trying to simulate the feel of being underwater, where movement is slower, and you have to put more of an emphasis on tactics rather than movement.

    Whether this is a good thing or not though? Only time will tell.

    I’m still intrigued, and it still looks truly beautiful, the art direction is always there. They could sell me this game on the art direction alone, and simply having the chance to walk my character through all of these locales would be enough to justify the box price.

    • cjlr says:

      That’s the part that interests me most; you can’t strike underwater. Have you ever tried fighting underwater? I’ve done some neck-deep sparring, and it’s pure finesse work. Even most holds don’t work because you need to do techniques that rely purely on force against your opponent’s body.

      Er, but I suppose weapons would make some difference. But you’d be reduced to slow, delicate cuts. No swinging a sword – better get out that dagger. The best option is some sort of harpoon gun, ideally pneumatic, but you might get something spring-loaded to work. I’m really curious as to how much realism we’ll get out of it….

  21. notjasonlee says:

    how is she throwing that same spear over and over? invisible boomerang spear?

    also: no need to breathe underwater? at least make us cast a spell of enduring breath, guys.

    this game really needs some help with its suspension of disbelief.

    • unlimitedgiants says:

      Casting a buf spell to allow yourself the ability to breathe underwater isn’t fun. If it’s not fun, it shouldn’t be in the game.

      Besides, there is magic in the game – why do you need more of suspension of disbelief? You can believe in fireballs, but not in scuba gear?

    • Vinraith says:

      Unexplained underwater breathing is immersion breaking, and things which break immersion are not fun. If it’s not fun, it shouldn’t be in the game.

      Fantasy settings don’t have to follow the rules of the real world, but they do have to set up an internally consistent world logic of their own. Is it just that everyone can breathe water in this world? That’s kind of dull, a spell or other mechanic would be more interesting.

    • pupsikaso says:

      So I’m guessing none of you noticed that breathing device that he specifically pointed out that lets you breathe underwater? You know, after he explained about why they don’t have a “breath timer”? And then he even showed it on the character’s face?

      I know of people that can read a passage and not understand what’s written… but people that watch a clip and don’t see what’s shown? That’s just on a whole new level…

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Guys the explanation for the water breathing is, uh, in the video.

    • unlimitedgiants says:

      > pupsikaso says:
      > So I’m guessing none of you noticed that breathing
      > device that he specifically pointed out that lets you
      > breathe underwater? You know, after he explained
      > about why they don’t have a “breath timer”? And
      > then he even showed it on the character’s face?

      That’s why I mentioned scuba gear.

    • Wulf says:

      I think this comes down solely to… quite simply…

      I’m-a gunna troll based on 5 seconds of a video without watching it!

      I’ve seen so many people now comment on how nothing is needed to breathe underwater in Guild Wars 2 that it’s getting ridiculous, despite the video directly contradicting such opinions.

      I have no problems with opinions. I just hate misinformation. And like stupidity, misinformation is unfortunately everywhere.

      (Unlim & pupsik – Indeed. It is definitely not beyond the ability of the charr to jury-rig some breathing apparatus together. Or did no one else notice the charr industrial revolution?)

  22. Laurentius says:

    omg i was hyped for this game but fight in this movie looks so tedious, nothing like elegant system of GW.

  23. aircool says:

    Citizens of Atlantis, there is no need to panic…. Captain Nemo to the Escape Pod! Captain Nemo to the Escape Pod!

  24. Vexing Vision says:

    More hitpoint trading. :(

    I can’t see any of the cool combat features they talked about the other videos.

  25. BeamSplashX says:

    It would be funny if the game just turned into Terror from the Deep when you reached a certain depth.

    Funny in the “I didn’t believe I could die that fast” way.

  26. Dajs says:

    Guys, the game is still in development, they just wanted to show you some bits about how the underwater looks, combat will probably get worked on before release. We want this to be a good game, and they want it too.

  27. Strangineer says:

    Isn’t a spear that’s made to be used in water a harpoon?

  28. Robert says:

    I absolutely adore the art direction, but I fear disappointments. It has been suggested so many times that this game will revolutionize certain aspects of MMO’s, but I haven’t seen it yet in the video’s.

    Am I too cynical, or are there too many fanboys?

    • Dominic White says:

      You’re too cynical. You’re trying to pass greater judgement on the game on a video that only shows a 50 square meter stretch of coast, without any quests, and is purely designed as a quick look at how gameplay transfers from land to sea without slowing stuff down.

      Watch the actual full gameplay walkthroughs and you’ll see why people are excited.

  29. flem says:

    This is really interesting and really beautiful. I like. I’m truly grateful and really impressed.