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Guild Wars 2 Preview

Sorry for the nonstop GW2 news, but it's sorta dominating my MMO radar at the moment.

Eurogamer.net has more about GW2:

Guild Wars 2's switch from an almost entirely instanced game-world, where you would adventure with only your party members, to a persistent, fully-populated one like those in more conventional MMOs, is the driving force behind most of the changes in the gameplay. The quest system, for instance, has been completely overhauled, and will offer something quite different from its competitors. [...] "We actually don't have a traditional RPG/MMO quest system," Flannum continues. "Instead what we've got are Events. Think of them as group-orientated activities. This is one of the many things that will encourage the player to explore the world - you can wander through and never quite know what you're going to see. You might come across a fortress that's being attacked by centaurs, or it might be that the centaurs attacked half an hour before you got there and they hold it now. You might start walking along a road you've walked a hundred times and suddenly there's a caravan travelling along that road that you may not have seen, and you can go help that caravan out."[...]

There's also an attempt to introduce more variety into how the players can interact with this new, living world - and not just the welcome addition of a jump. [...] "We're definitely introducing crafting, as well as a few other things that are going to provide players with other things to do," assures Flannum, although he can't say what those other things are. "I don't want to say it'd take the focus off combat, but it's definitely not going to be the case that the only way to interact with someone in Guild Wars 2 is to hit them on the head with a sword."

Guild Wars 2 will also still be fully soloable. As with the Heroes in Guild Wars Nightfall, players will be able to use their own customisable companion as a henchman to help them through the game, and will receive buffs if they decline to use this option. "We can't fully explain the companions system yet, but we can say that the game will be soloable," says studio head Mike O'Brien.[...]

There are significant new areas, of course: most excitingly, the prospect of exploring an underwater continent. Flannum claims that there will be "a lot" of underwater exploration, and it will be possible for all races and players. "It's going to be really easy and accessible for players to go underwater. In a lot of other games you see the underwater environment as this really hostile environment where you have to worry about running out of air constantly and you're always on the verge of dying, and that tends to make the area less fun. We really want to emphasise the fun, the differences, the change of pace of going underwater, to encourage that exploration."[...]

Players are still going to be able to have multiple characters on one account, and though the professions system is still shrouded in secrecy, ArenaNet has been willing to share a few details about what differentiates character types.[...] ArenaNet can't tell us exactly what each race's special skills will entail at this stage, but we already know that the nine-foot Norn can transform into a bear for a huge boost in combat, and that the crafty, technologically-minded Asura will be able to use golems to fight for them.[...] Despite their differences, we won't be fighting players of other races. "Competition has always been consensual in Guild Wars, and we've retained that as one of our core tenets. It also goes along with accessibility and being able to play with your friends," says Flannum. "We looked into dividing the races early on, and we decided against that, specifically because we want you to be able to play the race that you want and also be able to play with your friends. We didn't want to fracture our player base by having a good-versus-evil vibe going on between the players themselves."[...]

In addition, there's also a new World PvP system, which lets you use your PvE character and equipment to play against other people on a more open battlefield, the Mists. "It's very casual PvP where you can gain levels and have ten-on-one fights or 100-on-20 fights or whatever, where everything flows naturally on the battlefield and there's no limits to how many players can be involved," elaborates Flannum [...]

It's clear that lessons have been learned from the first game, and that goes for the professions and skills too, although ArenaNet can't tell us specifics about how they will work. "I think that we allowed GW1 to get too complex, and with GW2 we have a new opportunity to make it a game that's easy to get into but which has the depth of mechanics that keeps people interested over a long time," says O'Brien. "To give a simple example, we eventually had 1200 skills in the game. And I think that through adding three campaigns and an expansion and having ten professions and the number of skills that it did, Guild Wars grew unwieldy.

BlizzCon, by the way, opened its doors today. Personlly, I want more info on Diablo III.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
There were times I wish GW had jumping, so I'm glad GW2 is adding it.
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