The lights are on
NCSoft has been quietly working on Guild Wars 2 for a long time now, but we're just starting to see a trickle of a real (and very interesting) details on the game. Not content with sticking to the established norm for MMO design, developer ArenaNet has revealed on its website today that the company has some pretty revolutionary changes in mind when it comes to healing and death in its new game.
Guild Wars 2 designer Jon Peters wrote the post announcing several surprising design choices. First off, borrowing a note from Borderlands' "second wind," when a character's HP is lowered to 0, they enter "downed mode." In this mode, they have access to a special set of skills to give them a last chance to take down the enemy and survive the encounter.
In addition to the expected resurrection-type spells and skills, every single player will be able to walk up to a downed ally and revive them. Peters assures us, "Everyone, regardless of profession, can do this starting at Level 1." If you're downed multiple times in a row, of course, you'll take longer to revive each time.
If you are not revived or resurrected, you can choose to "release" and respawn at any waypoint you've discovered. The death penalty? A small amount of gold to revive at the waypoint...and that's it. Peters explains why ArenaNet isn't interested in the heavier death penalties that are common in other MMOs:
"Why should we debuff you, take away experience, or make you run around for five minutes as a ghost instead of letting you actually play the game? We couldn’t think of a reason. Well, we did actually think of a reason -- it just wasn’t a good one. Death penalties make death in-game a more tense experience. It just isn’t fun. We want to get you back into the action (fun) as quickly as possible. Defeat is the penalty; we don’t have to penalize you a second time."
The lack of death penalties isn't even the biggest shocker in this post, though. Peters also announces that Guild Wars 2 will not have a healing class. Rather than employ the MMORPG standard class triangle of healers, tanks, and DPS, ArenaNet has created its own similar but slightly different trio: damage, support, and control.
Damage is pretty self-explanatory, but support might require a bit more information. Peters is adamant that you not confuse it with traditional healing roles:
"Healing is the least dynamic kind of support there is. It is reactive instead of proactive. Healing is for when you are already losing. In Guild Wars 2 we prefer that you support your allies before they take a beating. Sure, there are some healing spells in Guild Wars 2, but they make up a small portion of the support lines that are spread throughout the professions. Other kinds of support include buffs, active defense, and cross-profession combinations."
Meanwhile, the control role seems like an even bigger break from the tanking role that it replaces. Rather than just having a huge health/armor pool and taking lots of damage, players who fall under the control category will actually mitigate enemy power by doing knockdowns, casting debuffs, stunning, and more.
ArenaNet's hope is that these tweaked class types will provide "a diverse and dynamic combat system that gives each player a toolbox to work with to solve any encounter we might throw their way."
For more details direct from Jon Peters, check out the full post on the Guild Wars 2 website.
Being different from the MMO crowd is why I still love the first Guild Wars
That sounds like a great idea. I'm happy a game developer finale get the true role of being a bad@ss in a game, and also how a team should work together healing, and helping each other.. People play games to feel how GW2 wants you to feel, and not be affraid of dieing, or losing skill points...
Sounds intriguing. Especially considering I put way too many hours into the first one. I hope it works out.
I wasn't interested in Guild Wars 2 due to SWTOR and FFXIV,but I think they have something going on here.
I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for this game.
yea running around as a ghost was annoying in wow and restarting whole mission in phantasy star was annoying.
If this game doesn't have a subscription fee (and if it runs on my less than gaming-ready computer) this could be the best MMO around for me. I love how they want to make battle a more interesting and dynamic encounter, and keep the focus on fun rather than penalties and such things. Never played the first one, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye on this.
So, am I the only person in favor of death penalties? If you have a penalty for dying, then people want to die less. Won't that lead to people being BETTER at their classes? With no death penalty, who cares if you die 100 times a day. Lame.
Meh, I guess I am posting a random complaint about MMOs to a specific article, about a specific game I probably won't play. I guess I'll bow out of here now.
Anyone interested should read their site. Lots of great information. For one, every class will have some kind of healing ability. Also they are toning down the massive amounts of skills to a more reasonable amount with a lot more versatility.
Not to mention my absolute favorite part - combining skills with other players to make sweet attacks happen. Like a mage creating a fire wall and an archer shooting an arrow through it to make a fire arrow. Tip of the iceberg there.
This game will be awesome.
I wanna try it!! This sounds like a great place for mmo beginners like me to start :D
I doubt these "revolutions" will sway me to play Guild Wars 2 instead of the Old Republic, but I've got to hand it to the developer for trying something new and intuitive.
The death penalty got extremely annoying in the first game, if you died so much you and got the maximum penalty of 60% it's impossible to move on in the more difficult parts of a quest.
I'm just happy to see GI still giving Gw2 some recognition, last thing i saw they wrote about it was just saying that there were some screenshots released a few issues ago. Not blaming you guys specifically cause ArenaNet and NCSoft have probably been keeping this stuff under wraps but i just hope to see more of it in the future.
Sounds great and I am delighted we have any news at all on it.
Intresting to say the least. If it get good review scores I might get it as I assume it won't have any monthly fees.
If youre reading this, you should go check out Ashen Empires. Its a FREE very fun mmorpg that has been out for ten years.
I don't own Guild Wars but have played it. I like it, and am interested in getting Guild Wars 2 so I don't fully see any downers here.