Five years on from Guild Wars coming out and ten from Arenanet being formed, Guild Wars 2 has just launched their blog. Over the next few days, it's going to be releasing the first solid new information on the game in ages - and we've done a two part (probably) interview to tie in. However, the first post by Mike O’Brien teases much stuff. You can go and read it here, or go to my cheery bullet-point-fact-digest below.
- A lot of story personalisation, based on the character. You apparently fill out a bio which defines your background, which changes your path. Later choices alter the narrative. You interact with NPCs, adventure with them and have your moral dilemmas with them. In other words, a lot of stuff which we've traditionally more seen in Single-player RPGs.
- "Each time you play through the game, you can experience a different storyline".
- Rather than having static quests they have dynamic ones, so you learn about what needs to be done by seeing it. The example they use is that in a trad-MMO you'd discover a village is under attack by a bloke lying there with an exclamation mark over their head telling you about that. In GW2, you'll see the town is under attack and the people being slaughtered. You don't need to be told to realise what Mr Hero should be doing right now.
- While it includes traditional parties, it wants to make the game more co-operative PvE without it. They want to make people happy to see people appear in an area, rather than view them as competition for resources (like spawns, etc).
- "When I’m out hunting and suddenly there’s a huge explosion over the next hill – the ground is shaking and smoke is pouring into the sky – I’m going to want to investigate, and most other players in the area will too. Or if the sky darkens on a sunny day, and I look up and see a dragon circling overhead preparing to attack, I know I’d better fight or flee, and everyone around me knows that too. "
- Example of how they make people glad to help: Anyone who was 100% involved in a fight gets 100% of XP.
- "Everyone has the same objective, and if your world can get 501 people working for the same goal, that’s only going to be more helpful than 500 people."
- It keeps the flexible collectible-card-game-esque system, but is trying to make it more "visceral" and "immediate". I'd add "Transparent" to that - they're talking about the visual effects showing exactly what's going on, and making the process of discovering combos and counters easier.
- All players now select their races, which gives new abilities which they can select for their build.
- "Dozens" of environmental weapons. Remember the catapults? Lots more like that, apparently.
- Implication that physical positioning will be key. "Avoid the Oakheart’s roots as they creep out of the ground looking to entangle you. Launch yourself on a sweeping attack that takes you behind your enemy. Smash open the garrison gate and begin your assault. Dodge out of the way before the Drake Broodmother unleashes her fire attack."
- Other stuff. Go read!
In short: Hurrah! Guild Wars 2! Come back tomorrow and tomorrow-tomorrow to see our interviews with Lead Designer Eric "Sacrifice" Flannum.