Before I begin with Guild Wars 2 news, be sure to check out the huge skill balancing update to Guild Wars 1. A lot of people worked very hard on balancing extremely popular (and therefore touchy) farming skills, buffing entire lines of skills, and working on the balance across the PvP formats a bit more. Then Linsey Murdock of the Guild Wars Live Team hints on Facebook that the next big patch will be a content patch, and she will have to kill people off. My guess is she might be planning to push forward with the timeline in Guild Wars. Now, on to the future.
The biggest news in the past few weeks is the official announcement coming from ArenaNet on the first Guild Wars novel: Ghosts of Ascalon. The book is set for release this summer, and it will detail the story behind the peace agreement between the charr and the humans set one year before the events of Guild Wars 2. The most fun way I’ve heard the book described was at PAX 2009 where they described it as ‘like Canterbury Tales with explosions.’ It’s described this way because not only will the main characters be dealing with the physical ghosts of Ascalon to retrieve the Khan-ur macguffin, but they will have to deal mentally with some of the ghosts of their pasts. It will only be available at the outset as a paperback, but Regina has said that if the books turn out to be popular a possible hardback reprint is a possibility. Check out the very thorough FAQ for the book on the Guild Wars website.
There were also two Guild Wars 2 interviews: one at IncGamers on a variety of questions from the community, and the other at TenTonHammer on Guild Wars 2 lore. The latter is a good interview with some new questions and questions that attempt to clarify those already asked. There are tidbits on possibly encountering the other Elder Dragons in expansions, faction-like orders that try to bridge racial gaps to combat the dragons, underwater asura labs, and hints at the importance of the snakelike Forgotten race. It’s worth the read.
The IncGamers interview has a bit more on mechanics. We get a hint at racial skills, such as the “Prayer to Kormyr” that can remove conditions, but not as well as the profession skills that can remove conditions. There will be “hot-button” PvP, which seems similar to the grab and go style of Random Arenas or Alliance Battles. Weapons will be restricted by profession, and the ability to chat with your guild via the internet when not in game. There are also some good lore questions on the norn and charr. The rate at which ArenaNet is dropping hints on gameplay is agonizing, but hopefully as things coalesce on their side we will get some more concrete information.
of course these things are contrivances