Guild Wars 2 News (8/9)

Lots of Guild Wars 2 news has been dropping as the energy for the game ramps up to the first public hands-on demo of Guild Wars 2 at gamescom next week.  Thanks as always to the community at Guild Wars 2 Guru for keeping super up to date on any Guild Wars 2 rustling in the internet.

First up is a small note.  The guys at Penny Arcade and Scott Kurtz of PvP Online were invited by ArenaNet to play Guild Wars 2.  Later on the UStream channel for PvPTV, Scott talked briefly about his play experience. One interesting point he made was how there was usually a watermelon collecting event at a farm, but when he got to the farm it was instead overrun by rabbits.  There were no instructions as to what to do with the rabbits, but with a moment’s search he found a cage to put the rabbits in.  It should be noted that he completely ignored the ongoing “large” event where some big monster was attacking and NPCs were running to defend.  In other words, he played how he wanted to with all the ongoing events.

As I said above, gamescom is the big event on the horizon, and ArenaNet wants to keep everybody around the world up on the vast amount of Guild Wars 2 information that will flow out of the convention.  For starters, ArenaNet will have 45 demo stations at the convention in Germany for the lucky fans able to attend.  They are also going to have quite a few panel discussions with the developers about Guild Wars 2, the game design process, and the amazing Guild Wars concept art.  For those of us stuck at our desks in not-Cologne-Germany, ArenaNet will be updating on Twitter and Facebook as usual, but they will also have a constant live video stream of everything happening at the NCSoft booth! Check out the schedule of events.

Speaking of Guild Wars concept art, ArenaNet has released a YouTube video of the slide show from Daniel Dociu’s China GDC 2010 presentation with new Guild Wars 2 music from Jeremy Soule accompanying the video.  There is some amazing new concept art, and the music is a great teaser for what will undoubtedly come.  I really like the music starting at 7:35 of the video, but they are all very good. Within the video is this concept piece of what looks to be a dragon with Dragonbrand-type energy.  Martin Kerstein, Guild Wars 2 community manager, said the concept piece was not Kralkatorrik (an Elder Dragon), and he has a feeling that we might learn what it is this week.

So what about this week before the convention? Well over the weekend the busy community managers started dropping hints on a new reveal, with more to come today.  Most think that we will get a new profession reveal (4 of 8) this week since ArenaNet said we would learn about one more before gamescom and PAX.  We are also supposed to learn about the specifics of the hands-on demo some time before gamescom; so this week or possibly early next week.  Going to be some exciting times.


9 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 News (8/9)”

  1. Great summary of what’s going on, Ravious! This is definitely going to be an exciting week.

  2. I only hope my F5 button can survive it untill I play the actual game at GamesCom. Going to be there for 3 or 4 days :).

  3. “There were no instructions as to what to do with the rabbits, but with a moment’s search he found a cage to put the rabbits in.”

    Things like this sound great. I love that you can look around the game world and find solutions to problems that you randomly come across (rather than getting a quest from a distressed farmer who tells you to kill 10 of the rabbits (that then respawn right behind you anyway)).

    I have to wonder, though, what a situation like this would be like when you have a couple hundred people running around the same area. Would you have the time to look around and find the cages? Would you feel like you are part of what is happening, or would you feel like you are always playing catch-up and racing the crowd to find a solution?

    I look forward to seeing how the experience holds up under less controlled conditions. I know it is unlikely, but if the playable demo at Gamescom and PAX had multiple groups of people in the same area at the same time, the result would interest me more than just seeing individuals exploring the demo.

    1. They have said while this is a demo for fans, they also intend to watch how players interract with the [starting] areas to help with further adjusting population imbalances, respawns, etc.

      1. Good to know. Most of my concerns from the start are centered on the way the population, rather than the game, will shape our experiences. I mean, if 50 people rush at the same time to save a kitten trapped in a tree, all we’ll end up with is a splintered tree, a crushed kitten, and lots of “environmental weapons” we can use to smack each other for ruining the event. :)

    2. The thing is, you can’t balance for the 1% of a game’s life where the starting zones are completely overrun by new people. WAR did it, and it resulted in some amazingly fun play during the head start (when numbers were ideal), but then at launch everything turned into a madhouse.

      Then within a week, everything was dead, and you couldn’t do most of the content.

      Granted this was exacerbated by the horrible grind they implemented in tier 3 and 4, which shifted focus away from making alts. Due to GW2’s apparent alt-friendliness, I don’t think there will be quite as much of an issue with zones being ghost towns down the line.

      That said, I think Anet’s best plan is to tune for relatively low density. Remember, as players, we have a lot of options in GW2. If the starting area for the humans is too crowded, they’ve said it’s easy to move to one of the other race’s zones. I have a feeling the Asura area will pretty much always be relatively light on players, given the typical player enthusiasm for the short, ugly race. And if it’s just too crowded everywhere, we can go off and PvP instantly from level 1, doing WvW or competitive PvP or just hot-joinable pickup games.

      I think it’s easy to worry about this when we think about GW2 as we do other MMOs. But again, think of the tools we’ll have. If I want to go PvP but my friend starts leveling, it’s not the end of the world – he can come back and play with me, and get sidekicked down to roughly my level. We can both go play WvW or PvP together on a pretty even playing field. There may be a system where if I go with him into his personal story, I get sidekicked UP to his level… I wouldn’t be surprised, anyway.

      I think Anet has this whole issue under control pretty well. I’m still worried about things like PvP game types and balance, but personally I’m pretty confident about PvE from what they’ve explained so far.

      And as always, Ravious, great writeup.

      1. In seeking ideal populations, one could take the Champions approach of setting a target zone population and then instancing it when you get multiples of that target. It sounds like Guild Wars 2 is less amenable to that treatment than Guild Wars 1, with less instancing, greater persistence, and more opportunities to lose members of that ideal population with bunny-catching side-quests while others are trying to form up against the invading army.

  4. GW2 is the only game that’s on my radar. Things pique my interest here and there when I’m bored but as far as MMOs go, I have nothing until then. I like what I’m hearing about the game but I’ve also lived through the wonderful open/shared content (public quests in WAR) which are great with perfect #s, tediously boring when over populated and impossible to complete when the crowds go home. I hope AN is able to strike a better balance.

    All they really needed to do for me to play it for real this time was remove instancing outside of raid dungeons, let me walk freely and jump, and I’ve been happy. :-)

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