World of Warcraft Player’s Guide to Guild Wars 2

There are still many misconceptions to the unreleased Guild Wars 2. Blogger-in-arms, Hunter, tackled many of these (especially the ones that irritated him) over at Hunter’s Insight. I’ve had this post in draft mode for awhile, and Hunter’s article finally pushed me to complete it.

So, you’ve heard about that Guild Wars game, and you’ve noticed that Guild Wars 2 is one of the most anticipated MMOs to launch. However, your digital home is World of Warcraft. Then this guide is for you!

There is a common misconception about Guild Wars 2 that lives even in the hardcore Guild Wars 2 communities: ArenaNet is WoW-ifying Guild Wars to make Guild Wars 2. They failed with their pseudo-MMO first offering, and now they are looking to the virtual sun in the MMO solar system to create a new game. Let’s start with that misconception.

Where It’s Closer

Guild Wars 2 should feel a lot more like a conventional MMO, such as World of Warcraft, for two reasons: persistence and progression.

Unlike the instance-filled Guild Wars, its successor, Guild Wars 2, will have a persistent open world. Guild Wars 2 will still use instances for storytelling your character’s personal story, updating your character’s home, and of course dungeons. That means when you are out killing worms in the field, you will see other players also killing worms, running down the roads, running from marauding centaurs, and so on. There will be loading screens between the zones, but the developers have said the zones are very large (estimated run time from end to end at fifteen minutes).

You might have also heard (or scoffed) about the max level in Guild Wars being level 20. Well scoff no more; the max level in Guild Wars 2 will be level 80. There are quite a few differences between a level in World of Warcraft and a level in Guild Wars 2. First, the curve for the time to level for each level is flat. That means if it took you an hour to level from level 51 to level 52, it should take you about an hour to level from level 61 to level 62. This is much different than World of Warcraft, which raises the amount of time required as you level higher.

The other big difference is the sidekick system in Guild Wars 2. A sidekick system, in this case, allows you to go up in power level or go down in power level depending on the person you are grouped with. There is a twist, in that even if ungrouped, you will be lowered in power level if you enter an open world area that you have out leveled. So if you are level 77 and you enter a zone with a level cap of 40, your power level will be reduced to 40. You will still be more powerful with level 77 traits and skill availabilities, but the power of your traits, skills, weapons, armor, etc. will be reduced to the level cap. The sidekicking/downleveling mechanic will also apply in dungeons, such as being lowered to about level 30 for Ascalon Catacombs.

Finally, there will be a stronger sense of gear progression in Guild Wars 2 that simply was not the case in Guild Wars. At level 40, you should have level 40 gear, which is statistically better than level 20 gear. The gear will be customizable with upgrade components similar to World of Warcraft’s enchanting and gems.

Where It’s Farther

There are plenty of differences between Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft, but I will try to focus on the three big ones: active combat, travel, and questless “questing.”

Coming off of progression similarities, especially with regard to items, there is a key difference to make with regard to item power importance. Guild Wars 2 combat will focus in large part on non-numerical activity. That means that rolling, battlefield placement, and small things like projectile blocking will play a significant role in combat. If a troll is going to swing a tree trunk at you, then dodge behind the troll. It won’t just roll some dice to see whether it auto-hits you regardless of your positioning. If a harpy throws a glob of poo at you, then duck behind a tree while the poo is mid-flight. It won’t magically pass through the tree because the dice were rolled upon poo launching. This will mean that gear progression will be less critical to facing higher level enemies if the player is more aware of the battlefield.

Movement is also very unrestricted in overworld traveling because there are instantaneous warp gates placed all around each zone. There is a small fee for using the warp, and the warp gates must be discovered. This allows players to quickly group up, hit active areas, and not spend time playing the MMO running game. As of yet, there has been no word on player-owned mounts, but ArenaNet has said that flying mounts are unlikely at launch.

Finally, there are no conventional quests. The open world will have dynamic events instead (current estimate at about 1500 on launch). Each event occurs in a location (the location can move during the event), where a sidebar screen shows the objective and progression of the event. Anybody can join, and the event will scale on the fly according to the amount of active players at the event. It can do this by upping a creature’s armor, adding more mobs on the next wave, or even giving a creature more skills.

The events will have real impact on the open world. For example, if players don’t stop some enemies from enslaving Skritt (rat people), then the Skritt will return to attack the area after they are brainwashed and warped. If the players, do stop the slavers, the Skritt might open up their city to the players for a little bit. The events will ultimately cycle, but there will be hidden and easter egg events too.

Rewards for the events will be based on player participation in the form of experience, gold, and karma. Karma is the untradeable, event-based currency that can be used to buy things from vendors. Almost everything that can be bought with karma can also be bought with gold. Some events will also have treasure chests or unique items as a reward.

Where It’s Different

There are two places where Guild Wars 2 is just going to be plain different than World of Warcraft instead of some linear shade of gray: story and skills.

While I did say there are no conventional MMO quests, there will be a quest called your Personal Story. This branching quest starts during character creation when you decide on such things as whether you grew up as a noble, a commoner, or a street rat, and then in actual gameplay later on such as deciding to save an orphanage or a hospital. Each decision will have impact on your Personal Story, but it will not affect content access in the open world or dungeons. The story will heavily occur in instances tailored specifically to the choices you have made, and the instances can be shared with other players as guests in your personal story.

Finally, skills will be quite different from the conventional MMO dice roll. As stated above, combat, and therefore, skills are going to be much more active. For example, a shield block skill to protect those behind you will rely more on your battlefield placement than agro.

Similar to Guild Wars, the active, available skills will be limited to 10 (Guild Wars had 8).  The first 5 skills are dependent on weapon-type choice, and the last 5 are chosen by you. The first 5 skills are the base-build, and then there will be 3 utility skills, 1 healing skill, and 1 elite skill. The utility skills add effects and plug holes, the healing skill gives every profession a way to heal, and the elite skill is a high-powered, high-cooldown game changer.

While each player has a healing skill slot, it is important to note that most healing skills are very self-oriented. There is no “healing class” whose job it is to stand back and fight mob damage. Each player can switch two sets of weapons on the fly to instead change combat roles instantaneously. If you were playing a damage-heavy dual-wielding axe warrior, and you found you over-extended in a fight, then you could switch to a more defensive mace and shield setup to retreat safely and heal yourself.

Conclusion

Guild Wars 2 will definitely bring some of the more conventional MMO elements to the series that were missing in the original. It is safe to say that Guild Wars 2 can be easily called an MMO, whereas its predecessor was arguably not. However, Guild Wars 2 also will bring elements from other games like the active combat of an action-oriented adventure game, like God of War and the personal story of some cinematic role-playing games, like Dragon Age.  Finally, Guild Wars 2 is going to have a buy-the-box business model similar to many single-player games. So even if you keep World of Warcraft as your main home, Guild Wars 2 could be that nice summer home just a few hours away.

–Ravious

64 thoughts on “World of Warcraft Player’s Guide to Guild Wars 2”

  1. This is a great summary of most of the upcoming features of gw2. I’m surprised you managed to fit it all so cleanly into one article.

    Its interesting to see so many innovative ideas being put into one game, even if they’re only small adjustments in some cases.

  2. I’m surprised that you neglected to put that the original Guild Wars wasn’t a flop; in fact it sold somewhere in the realm of 6 million copies (ofc active players can’t be reliably counted so we know). That’s not a flop by any means.
    Really good summary of the new features that make GW2 the game to look for in 2011 (crossing fingers)

  3. That’s an excellent summary indeed. I found it both surprising and useful.

    I’ve been excited by what I’ve read about GW2 and have been looking forward to it very much, but seeing an image of what it will probably be like laid out so clearly in black and white has rather dashed cold water over my enthusiasm.

    I realise that I want “numerical activity”. I’m not a gamer, don’t want to be and never will be. I don’t have and have no interest in developing gaming skills. The attraction of the CRPG form has always been that the skills are in the character not the player. I’m absolutely content for my success or failure in avoiding being hit by a tree to be decided by a comparison of the Troll’s “To Hit” roll and my “Dodge” roll, with appropriate modifiers applied.

    I’m damn sure my character will get hit less often that way than if he relies on me paying attention to what’s happening and reacting swiftly and efficiently enough to move him out of the way. That doesn’t sound like fun AT ALL. It sounds like having a dog and barking yourself. It sounds like work.

    Most of the rest of it still sounds attractive, although significantly less attractive when I see it all laid out than I remembered it from the bits and pieces I’d read and half-remembered. Because of the Buy-and-play-free-forever payment model, I will certainly still be buying GW2, there’s no doubt at all about that. I am not at all sure any more, however, how much play it will get. It sounds exhausting and I play to relax, mainly.

    That said, I’m enjoying DCUO, which is very actiony. It’s also extremely easy, which is mainly why I’m enjoying it, so I guess it may come down to just how much skill GW2 requires. If its just hit-and-hope like DCUO then it will be fine. Other than that, I think I’m now more likely to stick with Rift, which has most of the aspects I was looking forward to in GW2 without the mechanisms of which I’m apprehensive.

    1. Bhagpuss, I think we can be pretty confident that, outside of dungeons and potentially a few specific dynamic events, most of the open world content will not be any harder than WoW open world content, i.e it will be pretty easy. Certainly playing the demo at PAX reinforced this impression.

      In your position, I would expect to be able to find areas to adventure in in GW2 that match your comfort level.

    2. I understand what you mean. I have played GW for years now and wouldn’t even begin to call myself a good player. I am not worried about GW2 in that manner. If you want to be a great player, that is what PvP is for. Otherwise, Anet has always made a couple good skill spammer builds for those of us who like to play but dont have the accuracy or reflexes to use a specific skill at a specific time. (In GW, I play a Spirit Spammer Ritualist, extremely easy to play a monkey could probably do it, yet one of the strongest builds for PvE ever, of course it is useless in PvP just as it should be.) They are really good about making the game enjoyable for all types of players and I am confident they will do the same for GW2. I agree with Zed, some dungeons I will probably get creamed in so bad I never go back. GW has a few of those as well, but with all the other great content, I never miss them.

    3. Bhagpuss, I know a game you’d love. It’s called Pachinko. You just flip the metal balls up to the top of the machine, and watch them fall down through the pins. If they happen to hit the right ones, you’re rewarded with more balls. Otherwise, they go down the drain. That’s all there is to it. You get a flashy show without having to make any effort or use your own abilities at all. Perfect for relaxation.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pachinko_parlour.jpg

    4. It seems like GW2 is putting emphasis on being observant enough to see what’s going on, and intelligent enough to recognize that it could be bad – rather than requiring you to have amazing reaction times.

      I’ve always found that “gamer skills” are very well approximated by a little bit of puzzle solving here and there – “hmm, I’m in the middle of 3 red names, perhaps I should dodge out. Oh look, they all just missed me!” tends to work just as well or better than “OMG MY 12 YEAR OLD REFLEXES SEE 3 ENEMIES CHARGING FIREBALLS DODGEDODGEDODGE.”

      But who knows, that’s just me. I tend to dislike really twitchy games, but I like those that involve fast-paced pattern recognition and tactical awareness, so those wind up being the terms I think in. In contrast, I find games where my success is based on hidden dice rolls to be pretty infuriating (and boring as sin), which is why I’m more interested in GW2 or DCUO than RIFT, despite RIFT’s great dynamic content.

      To each their own, right?

      1. From what I’ve seen gw2 is more of tactical awareness rather than reflects. Also gw2’s dynamic event look amazing! It should also be mentioned that while the events do reset eventually it will not happen until someone cones along and changes what has happened. Ex. A city gets overrun by undead, the undead will hold that city until someone kicks them out or until they move on to the next city.

  4. This is a great article. I have been following GW2 for years now and I never heard it put so clearly. Not even from Anet themselves. I agree with your overall feel in the article about WoW. Even Anet isn’t trying to build a WoW killer, if they did, they would fail miserably. But GW2 will be a success in its own right. WoW players can continue to enjoy WoW, but if they give GW2 a chance, they may be pleasantly surprised. I fully expect GW2 to have great effects on all MMO’s, I guess even WoW will want to take something from it. No more exclamation marks telling you to kill 10 wolves! I always hate killing all of a certain animal just to see them poof into existance out of the air like majic. Even GW never had that happen.

  5. “I’m damn sure my character will get hit less often that way than if he relies on me paying attention to what’s happening and reacting swiftly and efficiently enough to move him out of the way. That doesn’t sound like fun AT ALL. It sounds like having a dog and barking yourself. It sounds like work.”

    It doesn’t sound like work. It just sounds like you’re straight up lazy. Instead of applying yourself, you want the game to do as much of the work for you as possible. What a joke.

    1. I have a place where I apply myself all day – it’s called a “job”. I’m lucky, in that I enjoy what I do, and I’m well paid for it, but when I get home I want to relax, not pay for the privilege of putting in another day’s work.

      1. Exactly.

        Also, I am not a “gamer” and have no interest in being one. I’m interested in exploring virtual worlds, building a personal narrative and bantering. The fighting can be moderately amusing on occasion but it’s not a big part of why I’m there.

        Thanks for your commentary, Zed. That sounds like it will be fine.

        Pachinko appears to be much the same as Bagatelle, which I played a lot as a child. Great game.

        1. I think a lot of it depends on the nature of your job and other interests, too. I have a passion for real life tactical combat games/sports – be it fencing, martial arts, boxing, what have you. But my research job doesn’t really do much to scratch that itch, and there isn’t a great outlet for it IRL in my small town. So for me, coming home at the end of a day of work to engage is some fast-paced tactical combat in GW2 sounds just about right. For Bhagpuss – not so much. :)

          That said, I think comparing GW2’s combat to “work” isn’t exactly fair – I.e. you don’t get yelled at if you miss a dodge roll, so it can be a bit more playful. For me spreadsheet combat in WoW is very close to my work indeed, but it can still be fun if I’m in the mood for it. But if it’s not your cup of tea, or what you’re interested in at that time, then why deal with it when you just want to relax and do what you *do* enjoy?

        2. Oi mate,

          After reading what you wrote I would say minecraft sounds like the game for you.

          Its very laid back and very very fun.
          It has no real skill and is very relaxing and fun.

          It also helps your creativity and imagination.

          I for one love playing Minecraft after hard days only to relax, and hardcore raiding when I want a skill test ;)

      2. I’m kind of interested that you two consider ‘physical input’ into a game to be a chore, a job. I’d find it boring. Kind of like playing an Arcane Mage in WoW, where you don’t really need to use your brain, you can just mash 1,1,1,2,1,1,1,1,2 for hours.

  6. Guild wars 2 is a game, not a book with a spreadsheet :)

    It’s a living world where things happen, as such you need to up your ante as a player. If you’re not a gamer, then a role playing game is not your thing.

    Thank god guild wars 2 is looking to make MMO’s interesting again.

  7. I’m not sure this article explained the misconceptions, but rather listed things similar and different from WoW. The problem I see with misconceptions is that most who complain that GW2 is being dumbed down, don’t realize the level of complexity that is involved in GW2. Most notably the change of weapon-to-skill bar. There’s nothing dumb about it, They simply streamlined the game and threw out 90% of millions and millions of bad builds.

    While GW2 looks to be simplistic, it’s really not. The weapon-to-skill bar is absolutely brilliant solution to a very complicated problem that plagues GW1.

    Trying to explain that to many complainers and they just refuse to see it that way. I guess some people can never be convinced GW2 is not going to be a WoW clone.

    1. This article was for the purpose of making the comparisons to WoW. Hunter’s article was the one written to clear up misconceptions.

      The thing about the misconceptions is more that there are many who doubt the veracity of not only claims made about Guild Wars 2, but the actual content of the existing demo footage itself; that the ability to jump is still only a concept being knocked around by devs and not actually in the game proper yet, or that loading screens when teleporting locations means that everything is in an instance, etc.

      There are those who believe the demo footage to be carefully staged on-rails pageants driven by the devs, not realizing (or acknowledging) that hundreds of fans had actual hands-on time and access to the same content, or that there are plenty of more grainy, lesser-viewed videos of fans running off the rails to explore other locations and dynamic events and so on.

      They cannot be convinced that everything seen thus far is not an elaborate lie. They will be convinced when they get to play it (or will they?), but we will likely be going back and forth on it on the blogosphere and forums for as long as it takes for GW2 to actually come out.

      1. It’s really funny to watch people do this. They’ll insist that once people “actually play” GW2 – as if the demo didn’t exist – we’ll all realize that the dynamic events all take place in instances, or the world is elaborately phased. Despite both of these technologies being far more complex than the actual implementation of DEs in the game!

        1. That reaction, while misguided, is understandable when you notice that it is based on an unvoiced assumption that all quests must be available to every player in an equal manner (so that you can just grab a list from wiki and do them at your own pace). This is, of course, not true with the DE system but as long as people don’t get it they explain the system to themselves by starting from that false assumption and get false conclusions through nominally sound reasoning. If all quests *were* available all the time then instancing or phasing would indeed be required.

          The most brilliant ideas are often surprisingly simple :)

      2. That sounds like a conspiracy theory in the making. I’m betting once GW2 is launched they’ll be saying that anyone buying the game is kidnapped by black helicopters and replaced with an ArenaNet sooge. :D

  8. great read ty. I have played many games on and offline. I’ve always been looking for one that would allow me to role-play with friends without having to truley think about it and WOW didnt fill that for me. GW2 is looking like it will fit that hole. I never wanted to have to go look for an ! to try to find out what i need to do. That right there kills the rp factor (asking buddy if they have the same quest). The demo videos show a farm getting attacked RP time should we help? let them suffer? watch and see what develops? Hell, lets go have a beer in town. For those that might like to fight alot you can, if you dont like the fight there are other things to do.

  9. this actually sounds like a perfect game for me. now mind you, I’m by no means great, or heck even good at first person shooters. I often dodge and duck at just the wrong moment and I don’t always react as swiftly as I should, but the idea that I can, and the flexibility with which I can play is extremely attractive (unless there’s a possibility to get one shot by those attacks, but from what I understood, I have a choice of either being the agile dodge monkey or a sturdy, capable of absorbing the shock of attack slow hitter? ). scaling of your power to the area, dynamic events to participate in – it sounds like a lot of fun.

    and that’s coming from a person who ended up abandoning WoW for good after getting too frustrated by the Cataclysm expansion. paying attention to your surroundings is not stressful IMO. you can still relax while actively playing and thinking strategically

  10. One of the things that a lot of people tend to overlook, because it’s not talked about, is immersion. The ability to immerse yourself in a world. Some games motivate characters, others motivate players. As an example, if you’re a player, looking only to get enough points to level, you’re being motivated as a player, because levels shouldn’t exist in the world. I’m 49 years old and have no idea what level I am. No character in game will know they have a level at all, let alone what level they are. So for me, the trick is to motivate the character.

    Playing WoW I never felt motivated as a character. There was no real reason to do most of what I did. Worse still was when you’re running along doing some theoretically important quest, but you have time to stop and mine tin. I would love to see a version of Lord of the Rings where that happened. “Quick the orcs are gaining on us!” “But there’s TIN! I have to mine it. Go on without me guys!” Silly.

    Guild Wars was one of the first MMOs I’ve played that motivate me as a character. Pre-searing Ascalon was a lovely place, and then, BOOM, it’s gone. Up in flames. Who’s to blame? The charr. Man I hate charr, and have reason to hunt them. Or a mysterious ailment running through the Shing Jea Monastary area. Or Varesh Ossa consorting with demons, trying to bring about Nightfall. In Guild Wars, I always felt immersed in the world, not just like I was playing a game.

    The evolution of GW as a game has been to make it more and more this way. I see Guild Wars 2 as the culmination of that effort. For one thing, you’re not looking at a skill bar or interface, you’re looking at the world. The monster attacking you and what he’s doing. And a personal storyline is sure to add motivation for the character, not just the player. And the world responds to your choices, not just the initial questions you answer, but the choices you make along the way. Act like a ruffian, and NPCs will be scared of you. Act honorable and you’ll be treated with respect. This is very much the game I’ve been waiting for.

    Add to that the fact that walls of text have been replaced with sounds for most things, and you’ve got an immersive experience that will hopefully change the direction of the entire industry.

  11. Haha “dodging and paying attention to the game sounds like hard work” WTF LOL you’re right I love playing games I dont have to pay attention too! You like the game to play itself? If you don’t wanna put effort into something, don’t do it. Go for a walk in the park or something

  12. I share the point of view of Kaoz. I want to immerse with a world, want to be a part of it and change it as i play.

    Alone those DEs are the way to a better game.

    I hate text! I dont want to read a book to be able to do a *quest* – its all just said not lived out.

    In GW2, these Events show whats happening, the Mobs no longer react, they act. They mover on their own and are challenging the player and fight with him/her over how the virtual world is supposed to be.

    I read about the Kodans and have been excited since.
    I want to see them ingame. I want them to *judge* me, so that i really feel accepted in the virtual world.

    Its just so much more than an static world filled with bots who aren’t mentioned in lore or who only treat you as the ones who are supposed to slay them without meaning behind it.

    1. Oh yeah, the Kodan are really interesting. Who knew we saw them in the first trailer without realizing it.

  13. First of all, well written article.

    Secondly, I am very much looking forward GW2. Played GW1 + xpac 1 & 2, and it sounds like they are addressing nearly every one of my issues with the game. Good stuff.

    Thirdly, dynamic events don’t seem that exciting to me. The re-specing on the fly even in combat simply by changing stances/weapons, gorgeous environments (tall grass is so cool, gladiator says sup), creative item designs (weapons that change appearance and attributes based on day/night cycles? Amazing!) are what have me really excited for this game.

    Also, how can you be so sure there will be no dedicated healer when only half of the classes have been announced? Are you sure that the monk won’t be making it back? I only just started following the development so I easily could have missed the announcement saying he wouldn’t be. While it’s true that there are no dedicated tankers, there are 3 levels of armor for a reason. It will be advantageous for everyone to bring along a high armor character to try to take most of the blows for the team, even if he isn’t considered a “dedicated tank”. Of course it isn’t as strict as WoW, but we shouldn’t pretend like the concepts of healing and tanking are totally out the window. This isn’t a full on arpg.

    1. There is no dedicated heal class. If you see a situation going the wrong way anyone can do anything that the group needs them to be or be who you want to be. Ex. An ele can switch from fire (aoe) to water (heal/attack/freeze) on the fly. A warrior can go from sword and shield to mace and warhorn to become more of a helper. Anet said they wanted to get rid of the “holy trilogy” and add a more dynamic game style. They said to do this there would be no more dedicated healing profession.

    2. You should read the articles as well as the the Q&As about healing and death if ur interested in this stuff:
      http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/combat/healing-death/
      http://www.arena.net/blog/jon-peters-answers-your-first-batch-of-healing-and-death-questions
      http://www.arena.net/blog/jon-peters-answers-more-healing-and-death-questions

      While there is no designated healer the guys in Bellevue said that there will be a class which will appeal to the current monk-players, so it will probably be a bit more laid out towards (active) protecting and buffing then the other classes. In the second novel, Destiniy’s Edge, Logan Thackerey seems to be of that class, supposedly called Guardian.

  14. I much preferred the classic or original combat style, throwing in character placement to that will, in my opinion, make it far more complicated and difficult. You also missed one of the biggest differences and also in my opinion the most important difference between WoW and GW2, the graphics. The WoW graphics were a huge put off for me, a game HAS to have good graphics for it to be, well, good. That’s a main reason I stopped playing Oblivion.

  15. I can’t say I will be missing the stats based gameplay, however much of it will be missing when/if I move to guild wars 2.

    If you want to role play, then drat-it-all you should be role playing not abusing the numbers.

    I hope we see a trend here.

    If you see goblins with ropes and nets coming at you, you better know that your uber mace isn’t going to be useful beyond the first couple of goblins you bludgeon(which would be pointless given the number of them) before they tie you up and haul you away– It would serve you right too, it wouldn’t have been role playing, you were just carelessly macing stuff to death with some seemingly over powered item.

  16. I also wont miss the monks. 8v8 pvping was like pulling teeth to elemenate your opponents, the game became too much about the small niches of character builds that dealt insane amounts of dps to overcome all the healing. The clever tricks to manipulate the opponents became obfuscated by the focus of pure dps.

    I think this whole system of moving to a more “you have some responsibility to take care of yourself now because battle is also about being effective on your own rather than being a mass of collective destruction” is an important insight gleaned from the original.

  17. I don’t quite understand why anyone compares WoW with anything, people say WoW clone all the time, does that mean that Lineage II or Everquest didn’t exist before WoW, that it was simply my own imagination when I saw a crappy graphic version of L2, I didn’t start spewing of that it WoW was a L2 or EQ clone, and GW2 sure as hell isn’t either.
    what is the differences between the two, who cares, no offence to the article writer, it was a good article. but that people compare it with WoW, who cares about WoW, so the game world is open, L2 is open, no one started WoW for making it open as well.
    GW2 is a new game, if anything you should compare it with GW as it is the same developers. GW2 is going to be in a whole other hemisphere than other mmo’s on the market

      1. You mentioned the buy the box business model but you neglected to mention a lot of premium non-stat effecting features will be delegated to the online store such as the ability to customise armour appearance independent of stats. Players buying the game expecting to get access to the full features will be surprised to find some of them are only available to people who want to pay each time they want to use them.

        1. The transmutation stones, as the tools for this process are called, should be accessible in the game it self according to the ArenaNet. After they broke lose hell of a storm on the forums after declaring transmutation stones to be only available via the shop they backed off from their standpoint and switched to “looking into it how we can make them accessible in the game”. Let’s hope it was not just to calm the plebus.

          As for heritage items, their skin will be transferable to other items as well, but with a different system. At least we know they are free.

          But in general you are right: GW2 is going to be far more Item Shop heavy in regards to customization.

        2. Well first there was a huge backlash, and I wouldn’t hold it past ArenaNet to reconsider some of the T-stones effects/costs.

          Secondly, players will be able to fully play the game without cash shop items. They might just not get all the luxury customization items they want.

          IOW: there are too many unknowns to reasonably discuss it now, IMHO.

          1. Firstly, I wouldnt even consider ArenaNet as the ones pressing the shop. Sure, they aint no saints, first thing in a company’s always the money. Still, I consider NCsoft being far more eager to milk the cow where- and whenever possible. LOTRO is such a fine bait for falling into this pattern. So I think ArenaNet would possibly step down from not letting the players get the stones in a orderly fashion in the game, but I doubt NCsoft to let this pass.

            Secondly is exactly what I said:
            “And I dont know if you read the comment, but cheese was talking about costumization – non-stat-effecting stuff. Shure, I dont need this very skin that I like to complete the game, since there are others with better stats. Shure, I dont need to be able to have unlocked this and that color set. I would be able to play the whole game in b/w and it would certainly be possible to go without 3D graphics. We could be back to this april fools day in GW where we all became stickmen.
            Fact is, a lot of people enjoy playing the virtual barbie game with their character. I do, too. We know that, and ArenaNet knows that as well, otherwise they wouldnt put that item in the store. If noone or just very few would want it, it wouldnt generate money and they could leave it in game itself or just leave it out completely, since noone would be interested in the first hand.”

            Sure, since we don’t know the real extent of the shop, discussing the actual items is hardly possible. But discussing philosphies is something we can do. And that I do. I question the (formerly intended?) way of taking something away a Guild Wars player right has – freedom of skin, with a few greenie exceptions – and making it a pay-per-use feature. I question the way these informations were presented – kinda underhanded and with no preparation to the storm that followed. Well, that’s just a grave error in the PR department though, can’t blame the designers for it.
            Thing is, I see a certain tendency in the way the shop is going. It started with the costumes, it went over to some colors and to the transmutation stones and I doubt it will stop there. I just don’t like the direction I see the shop marching into.

  18. hahaha, you are referring to the crystal or whichever it was which was mentioned, it also mentioned that it would become a possibility to get it ingame, furthermore they weren’t sure if it would be an item to buy in the gw2-store.
    dunno if you read the interviews of gw2, or if you’ve never played gw, but they have promised to keep the store as it is in gw, which means that you can’t get an advantage over other players, plus it won’t be like you have to unlock characters,classes or areas by buying them which is the full feature.

    1. As said above, they are called Transmutation Stones and no, they did not say that they would make em accessible in the game and not just in the shop (which IS definite. This item WILL be in the shop. Considering this, since they want to make money out of this, in the game the stones will be accessible either in a very limited number or in a very complicated way which takes so much time and/or effort that there is still some motivation to buy them in the shop)

      They said they would look if and how they could do this, but they did not say that they were definitely in there. It can still just be sweet talk to calm the fires that broke out on the forums after releasing the very sparse infos on the stones.

      And I dont know if you read the comment, but cheese was talking about costumization – non-stat-effecting stuff. Shure, I dont need this very skin that I like to complete the game, since there are others with better stats. Shure, I dont need to be able to have unlocked this and that color set. I would be able to play the whole game in b/w and it would certainly be possible to go without 3D graphics. Wo could be back to this april fools day in GW where we all became stickmen.
      Fact is, a lot of people enjoy playing the virtual barbie game with their character. I do, too. We know that, and ArenaNet knows that as well, otherwise they wouldnt put that item in the store. If noone or just very few would want it, it wouldnt generate money and they could leave it in game itself or just leave it out completely, since noone would be interested in the first hand.

      Fact is, these stones are a tax on not looking like a patched up retard while leveling that you are because the stats of the item fit, even if the skin sucks. Fact is, they are a step backwards from the current system where nearly all skins are available at max lvl, so you can very much look the way you want. Fact is too, they way ArenaNet presented color sets and transmutation stones as shop items seems extremely underhanded to many, like they tried to hide this fact the best way possible. Otherwise, mentioning these facts in just a small side note in a wall of text would be hardly explainable.

        1. Oh I did, I did until I coughed it up.
          In your first link, the only point where the shop comes into play, althogh not spelled out concretely is the point where she mentiones that colors would be unlockable both in and outside of the game. Guess what outside means. And you can be quite shure that there will be sets or colors that are shop-exclusive, since that fits perfectly with the whole “not needed to play” thingy.
          Second link has nothing to do with our little argument here. Noone ever discussed what the stones would actually do (which I know very well).
          Third link says exactly what I said, so it seems I aint the one who either did not read it or did not understand it.

          1. you don’t know arenanet at all do you? have you ever even played GW?
            obviously they’ll prob make you the opportunity to buy the colours through the store as there will be so many, but you’ll also be able to get them ingame

            Q: Will all of the most desirable armors in the game have crappy stats, thus “requiring” the expenditure of real money to acquire transmutation stones in order for our characters to wear the armors we want?

            Eric: Absolutely not. We’re not changing the way we make armor at all because of this system. Guild Wars 2 starts players off with basic but very attractive armor (as seen in our demo) and from there the armor only gets cooler. In fact, we have a ton of very cool armor at the high end of the game, which means that many players will never use a transmutation stone since they’ll want to keep the appearance of the new gear that they find.

            Q: How much will transmutation stones cost? Will they be available outside of the in-game store?

            Eric: We haven’t finalized the pricing structure on transmutation stones. We’re not certain at this time whether or not transmutation stones will be available outside of the in-game store. Philosophically we believe that players should have a way to acquire items like transmutation stones through the course of playing the game and not just through purchase in the in-game store. We’ll talk in greater detail about how we plan to accomplish this when we arrive at a final paradigm.

            1. Do you even read what other guys are writing? Reading your answers I suppose you don’t.

              I know ArenaNet as well as any other gamer can – a sparse look from the outside. And oh well, I played GW a little bit. Something of 7000h and of course 50pts in the HoM. So I know very well what I’m talking about.

              They did NOT say all the colors will be available in the game. Sure, a lot will, but not all. I think I remember some forum post indicating some will be shop-exclusive, but I might be wrong there. Well, I’ll be happy if I am.

              Again with your rambling about BS? The first question is rediculous crap that NOONE ever acclaimed them of doing. Still they kept repeating that shit over and over. But it is a fact that it is impossible for them to meet everyones taste in a way that everyones favorite armor (favorite in a way of optics. I know, there are a lot out there that fancy whatever is expensive, growing their lil e-weener.) will be the end game ones. So a lot of people will certainly be forced to either spend real money (if the stones don’t become available ingame in a considerable number) or have to run around in a not-their-favorite armor.

              In the second part, “should” and “not certain” are the magical words. In the first days after releasing the info, they were still certain of the stones only being shop items. So it is very well possible that this change in their standpoint is only to calm the forum fires. I would at least consider it a possibility. But I guess that is something a fanboy can’t understand, right?

            2. ~~ I don’t care about endgame armour, as long as it looks neat,
              I’m simply being optimistic, and from what information there is to go from so far, your opinion seems less valid. Obviously I can’t know for certain, but I’d be darned if I’m not right in my claims when the game have been revealed

            3. As a mere pundit, I am like 60/40 that some dyes will be in-store exclusives. Just makes sense really from a fiscal standpoint. People don’t *need* in-store emerald green if forest green is free.

  19. Great Article, very nice to Read,
    I just missed the information about the “downed state”, as seen in games like Left4Dead for example, where you get a chance to fight yourself back up to standing or by the aid of your fellow players rise before you “die”..

    1. Ah, yes. Unfortunately the primary goal was to keep it short. There is so much more to add, and downed state would definitely be one of the first.

  20. Brilliantly written, as a WoW fanatic i was skeptical about the new MMO, especially after how poorly executed i found the first game.
    After reading the article however i feel tempted to try GW2.

  21. Indeed, a well written article.
    Having invested over five-thousand hours into the original game myself, I’ve been a long-time fan of Arena Net’s Guild Wars and it’s several expansions.
    I have also spent a good many hours playing World of Warcraft over the past year or so.
    Having played and enjoyed both games, often going between them relatively often, I have perspective on the elements that make each game what they are.

    I agree with the several comments made as to the advent of Guild Wars 2 signifying a much-needed change in the direction MMO’s have taken over the course of their existence.
    Already, Blizzard with their flag-ship World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, has benefited from the minds at Arena Net.
    Back in 2007 Arena Net announced Guild Wars 2, with it’s geographically-altered landscape as result of dragons emerging from beneath the earth and sea. Also, with this emergence of dragons rose the sunken army of Orr and with it plans were announced for underwater zones and combat.
    With World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King being released in late 2008, three more years would pass before Cataclysm’s release date, leaving a four-year span between Arena Net’s announcement of dragons and underwater zones, and Blizzard’s implementation of just such ‘suggestions’ from Arena Net. (Insert ‘ironic’ humor.)

    Indeed, one could say that Blizzard was among the first of many companies who would act (and have acted) upon the designs and direction of those at Arena Net; this that they might conform their own games so as to exist in even the shadow of greatness that is to be, Guild Wars 2.

  22. Wow you know that makes lots of sense.

    Warhammer Online tried their hand at Dynamic Events as well.
    Rift, now, is attempting to implement them as well.
    Guild Wars 2’s graphics showing such improvements over the original prompted Blizzard to implement to some small degree DirectX 11.

    The thing that will make Guild Wars 2 stand out like a shining star among the black sky is the fact that, not only did all the ideas for an amazing MMO COME from them, but they’re THE only company implementing all of them in a game, together.
    Nearly everything being audio and voice, doing away with text all together.
    Combat actually being combat, and not just hitting skills in an order calculated to achieve best DPS, or maintaining a simple aggro-mechanic on a boss or group of enemies via threat-generation.

    The true allure to MMO’s at their time of origin, was the idea that you could impact a world as though you were there in that world yourself, doing things you would do, being what you would have been.
    Guild Wars 2 puts that awe and feeling back where it belongs.
    You want to MOVE away from the swinging log, not just hit a skill that will absorb the damage.
    You want to save the people in the burning village, not just kill a few of the ‘attackers’ (just to have them re-spawn magically and the village remain on fire for years to come).

    Truly, when Guild Wars 2 is released in full, it will speak for itself.

    IGN even said something to the degree of, ‘If Guild Wars 2 lives up to what the Demo has shown, every RPG on the market, not only MMO’s, will have a serious run for their money.’

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