[GW2] Nose to the Asura Gybrasion Device

After the mega-cons, things have seemed slow from the Guild Wars 2 standpoint. There are a few interviews coming out of the smaller conventions, and a few blog posts showing off environmental concept art or the audio’s team trip to a never-used nuclear reactor have been posted. Perhaps the biggest drop in October was the grawl race’s lore posting. So, it’s been kind of slow on the news front.

I can’t help but feel that the ArenaNet team has shown the demo of their game, and now it’s time to get it done. The only mode of play that’s not been seen in action is World v. World (WvW), which I imagine to be similar in spirit to Dark Age of Camelot or Warhammer Online‘s RvR fronts. Things like WvW, other PvP maps, more dungeons, more events, and of course the elusive eighth profession have all been mentioned as being designed or refined in the Fall interviews.

Taking time to get all the demo bits out to the masses has not gone unnoticed. Currently Guild Wars 2 is the most anticipated game on mmorpg.com by nearly a whole point. That is a game without a release date being more anticipated than say Star Wars the Old Republic (SWTOR), which is going to release this year. I’d say the so-called “hype machine” has done it’s job.

ArenaNet has shown so much I can’t help but wonder what other mind-blowing arrows they have left. Lead Eric Flannum says that the eighth profession reveal is on track for some time this year, which makes sense since beta is also still on track for this year. I would imagine that holding a leak like the last profession through beta would be pretty darn hard. It would also be pretty cool to see WvW in play, but I am not sure how they would hold it since no big conventions really remain this year. ArenaNet also seems consistently against putting resources in to do a E3 for Everyone-style demo.

I think it is a smart move to slow down the marketing front to the year’s end. Holidays are coming. BioWare’s MMO is coming. I think that Guild Wars 2 could steal some of SWTOR’s thunder, but with North American pre-orders for that MMO nearing a million, it’s going to be hard fought sound stealing. Better in my uneducated opinion to just let the woolly mammoth of MMOs pass. Mostly though, I would guess that now is the time to cease disruption and get people in to a steady rhythm of Guild Wars 2 production.

–Ravious

EDIT: As if in a mirror world, Syp concurrently writes his same thoughts on the subject.

18 thoughts on “[GW2] Nose to the Asura Gybrasion Device”

  1. I’m not sure how I’d feel if they halted the propoganda train and redirected the resources into getting the game out (I know it doesn’t work like that, and the comms dep have resources of their own blah blah). On the one hand I’d have nothing to blog about (except stirring up arguements for no particular reason) but also it might mean the game was out faster!

    1. How many interviews/conventions have you seen where devs are involved? Sure marketing has their own resources as well… but it does kind of work like that.

      I don’t think the “propoganda train” has been halted. 1) ArenaNet likes to show as much, if not more than tell. For the rest of the year showing is not as viable. Plus SWTOR is going to be showing the whole game by year’s end. 2) There is news coming, it’s just at a slower, less disruptive pace. I quite enjoy the articles about the sound crew and concept art is always appreciated.

      I think now would also be a great time to get some very tech-y articles out from the network guys, the data guys, etc.

  2. I think you are correct that now is the time when they put the face to the grindstone and actually finish all these things they have hinted at being worked on, in time for the closed beta. Betas are testing, sure, and you don’t expect flawlessness from that, but fixing problems is always less efficient than anticipating them.

    SW:TOR did a good display of how you can leverage a beta recently. Their original item mod system was basically “all stats come from mods”. In the test phase that ended recently that was changed to “Only special types of items can be modded”. Leaks suggest that the next iteration is going to be somewhere in between, and dollars to donuts the beta data from the two previous passes determined how far in either direction that happy medium should be. The point is: you need to have a working mod system to get this type of experimental data.

    The extend the analogy to GW2, you need to have a firm grip on what you want to do with the 8th profession, especially their unique mechanic, if you want to draw benefit from seeing more classes interacting outside the presumably more strictly controlled, if not in purpose, then at least in scale, alpha tests

    They need to be mostly done for the beta to really help them get fully done. And that is, I think, where the energy is going these days. I hope they put out more of the behind-the-scenes stuff meanwhile. I didn’t understand an inch of the sound blogs technobabble, and strangely enjoyed them more than most of the big reveals.

    Incidently it has also done wonders for my own productivity to not have to keep up with the convention-torrent of news anymore :)

  3. ArenaNet has to hit a very sweet spot in that respect. Personally, being absolutely sure that this game is simply going to be awesome, I wouldn’t mind them just shutting the flood gates again until Open Beta. But I also see our users over at Onlinewelten becoming a little nervous already. There definitely exists that portion of the community which doesn’t want behind-the-scenes, lore and such, but rather information on ‘the real game’. Allocating the marketing resources so that these people get just enough to keep them calm seems like a challenge to me.

      1. I can prove SWTOR’s financial viability in 6 words:

        Star Wars, Bioware, Storyline, No Auto-attack

        Its a ten ton Rancor that will take a huge bite out of the carcass of WoW. How appropriate that WoWs new mascot is a slow animal with poor senses that would have gone extinct without human coddling.

        There will be no alternative for subs-only elitists except Kung WoW Pandas. What obnoxious male teenager is going to play a Panda MMO?

        My predictions for SWTOR’s first year:
        3+ million sales, 1+ million subs – almost all at the expense of WoW

        1. Oh, and: “What obnoxious male teenager is going to play a Panda MMO?”

          I think you just casually presented the best argument ever to come back to WoW.

  4. For a while I was certain the last profession had to be Mesmer, but there’s been so much secrecy and build-up around it now that it’s hard to believe it will just be another revamped GW1 class. I’m coming to suspect they have something really surprising waiting in the wings there. No idea what it could be though. (Golemancer?)

    1. I think the issue is that they know that if they dont create a good mesmer class a legion of unhappy devotees will storm Seattle, tar and feather all the employees and burn their new offices to the ground. They are being very careful to be sure they have a solid mesmer class from fear of the massive lashback if it is not. Its the iconic class unique to Guild Wars and needs to be done right for Guild Wars 2.

      1. Agreed, if the profession releases are supposed to be getting progressively more complex, it makes sense for the mesmer to be the most complicated style of play – especially turning them into a reasonable all-rounder for GW2’s style. I still think it will be a mesmer, but I can’t wait to see what mechanics they’ve developed for the new version of the class!

  5. Is the beta actually confirmed for this year? I really hope so because, unless they are planning a humungous old-school six-month-to-a-year beta, which I very much doubt, then we would still be on track for a Spring launch.

    I really, really want a Spring launch.

    1. Ugh spring is so late. A spring launch means I won’t be able to play the game for it’s first 6-9 months. That makes me so sad. I think it is time to end the hype train and get this game out.

  6. Well the ArenaNet hype machine sure slowed down for the end of 2011 but they have two more things to reveal before the year is over: the last profession and the start of closed beta.

    Closed Beta: It has been stated countless times by ArenaNet developers that we will see this before 2012. Once we get into 2012 they will have an open beta and the feedback received from both beta tests will determine the release date.

    Last Profession: There is one scholar profession left to be revealed; it’s confirmed to be a returning Guild Wars profession. This last profession is “kind of complex and definitely plays differently than other professions”, and will also best fulfill the expectations of mesmer fans.

    So I think ArenaNet has just done quiet to work on those two things. Mesmer especially. With all the changes they have made to the combat system and them even mentioning how complex the last profession is I’m sure ArenaNet had to go and change some stuff again.

    I’ll be patient and wait to see what ArenaNet has left in store for 2011.

    1. Has Anet said they will REVEAL the closed beta?

      I’m sure that the closed beta will happen this year as they said, but I see no reason why they would announce anything about it.

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