Following the successful launch of the original Guild Wars back in 2005, developer ArenaNet announced a follow-up to the popular massively-multiplayer game, simply letting us know the existence of Guild Wars 2. Five years have passed, and we now know the official release date, and it's coming soon: August 28th, a Tuesday. ArenaNet has since provided the public with many juicy details about their exciting new game.


The first thing that the developers want to get across is this: Guild Wars 2 is an ambitious title that hopes to revolutions and revitalize the MMO genre, starting with an increased focus on story. The focus on narrative applies to many aspects of the game, noticeable from the get-go. When choosing a class, you are asked to define your character through backstory, who you are, what you plan to be, the whole she-bang. It's an exciting approach that helps to give a feeling of importance in the game's expansive world.


Building off of this "enhanced narrative" idea, gameplay works out in a similar way. Developers AN have eschewed the concept of traditional quests, in favor of random one-off events. The world dynamically changes in a way that naturally plays off of things. Instead of being given quests by static NPCs throughout the world, random encounters and tasks are given that play off one another. If you had to clear a festering group of pest birds in a cave, another event may trigger that shows a mighty troll had been disturbed, by you clearing away the pests. You then have to fight the troll, but it's given in such a way that it doesn't feel like a boring, scripted quest.


Getting in to talking about the combat, another aspect of the game that should help for newcomers such as yselfe and others who aren't familiar with the workings of an MMO, is that the structure of the game was created in such a way that the necessity to "group" with strangers is abandoned, in a way. Instead, combat encounters often lead to players grouping together simply because they can and want to, as intentions and actions are verbally expressed by ArenaNet's advanced animation system on characters.


Furthermore, within each of these groups that players are surely to come to form, will be extremely varied player classes. This is done by attributing class skills to weapon sets, rather than the player itself. The player's choice of weapons will further vary the playstyle, and worrying about what points to give to weapons is rewarding in the long run. By this, we can safely assume that an immense amount of character builds will be available and possible.



In turn, this means that dedicated roles are in a way, partially eliminated. Gone are the days of tanks and dedicated healers. Players have equal responsibility to juggle with each other in groups, and with each player having a choice of weapon will act appropriately based on how they've grown. An example of this is that combat is built in such a way that classes can build off of and support each other. The interesting new Mesmer class can play as it wants to; using illusions and magic. However, other classes have abilities to buff the Mesmer, along with receiving their own perks that make every player benefit from the situation.


If you want further proof of class diversity and growth, another example we've seen is that hotbar skills correspond to weapon sets that the player uses. If one wants to use a greatsword and a staff, skills swap out in real time for those weapons, essentially giving the player ten different skills, rather than five. The diversity can only accumulate, thus reinforcing the notion that not one person will be the same to another.


Ensuring that the game is still accessible to newer players despite complicated systems and such, a new mechanic that's been added is "fight to survive". If you as the player die in combat, you don't actually respawn at the nearest save point, but can instead fight one enemy away to revive yourself. It's a good mechanic that helps avoid dramatic punishment during gameplay.


Oh, and in case you're worried that you won't have enough time to play the game and ultimately fall behind everyone else, daily achievements seek to remedy your problem. These daily achievements help reward the player instantly, with incentive to come back in the first several hours in the game. Essentially, you can always earn a new weapon, gear set, or enchantment, even if you don't have the time to go and loot thousands of monsters like some others do. Players do not have to grind, but can play at their own pace and still receive awards. Yay for thoughtful game development!


If you're really interested in buying this greatly anticipated MMO, it releases on August, 28th. Good incentive to buy? There is no subscription fee! Later, gamers.



~ GoldvsSilver