Boy-howdy, you guys sure know how to bombard a man with questions! I had a truckload to ask and I can’t guarantee that I asked them all. If I missed yours off or haven’t included it I’m very sorry but either I couldn’t find time with the devs to ask them or the answer would have been too similar to another person’s question. Oh, and I ignored all of you who asked about the release date.
Game Design Questions:
Do engineers and elementalists have to unlock every skill in their backpack/attunement? @IanjPratt
Wasn’t sure about elementalists, but the engineers certainly don’t as the backpacks are counted as utility skills. Incidentally, Martin mentioned that they have changed the way they are unlocking utility skills now – but he didn’t go into any detail.
Can you tell us how the “Tome of Wisdom” Guardian Elite works? @SweetmyBro
Colin actually couldn’t remember this skill. So, erm, no.
What are the naming restrictions? @AngerinaGW2
Very similar to Guild Wars. In fact, pretty much the same from what I can gather. No numbers, obscenities or accented letters (unless you have a non-English account, which I’m sure a lot of you do – in that case there are certain accents which are allowed).
Are there any bind-on-pickup items?
No, but there are bind-on-equip ones.
Is there an in-game mail system? @SnakesSnakes
Yes, there is a little flashing symbol in the top left corner – looky here: One interesting piece of information which we gleaned from Martin was that when a new mail is received it is brought to you by carrier pigeon! Which I thought was pretty goddamn awesome.
How has player to player trade been improved? @SnakesSnakes
Colin told us about the marketplace. In the marketplace the player has the ability to not only buy and sell items like a traditional auction house, but also place “Wanted” ads in there stating which item they’d like and for what price. In this system a seller can activate the ad and the transaction will automatically occur with both items being removed from the two players inventories.
Similarly, personal player to player trade can be done through the in-game mail system (see above question for details). Unfortunately, there is no face-to-face trade (ala GW1) in the game at launch.
Are Guild Halls making a return? @Zhoriax
Nope, not at launch. Although Martin mentioned that there is talk of introducing Player Housing sometime after launch and if so it would be likely that Guild Halls would make a return then (but he said I shouldn’t hold him to that!).
Will home instances be more interactive than standard player housing in other MMOs? @WarrenCBennett
The structure, layout and design of your home instance is built from your personal story – right from the start (ie, character creation) and continues to change throughout the game. When you create a character the choices you make about your personality will influence how the home district looks in-game. For example, if you say you’re a human noble then you will be the owner of a grand manor, whereas if you choose a more humble upbringing the surroundings will be rather less grand. Similarly, at various points during your personal story you are faced with choices which will ultimately affect your home instance – “do you save the hospital or the orphanage?” is the classic example.
Any details on how the Hall of Monuments will be presented in the new game?
The Hall of Monuments is a feature which isn’t quite finalised yet, but Martin did confirm that we will be receiving a teleport item to allow us to travel there. CornishRocker did say he overheard that you will be able to view your GW1 avatar in your GW2 Hall of Monuments.
How are ANet trying to make big enemies “feel” big? @TheStormandGale
Big enemies must first of all be physically imposing, so they must make some kind of impact on the ambiance (ie, change the music, have loud and scary sound effects etc). Second, the skills they use must be “big” – so they will have large aggro areas and their skills will spread out over large areas. Finally, Colin mentioned that they’ve been working on shifting the camera perspectives for large boss fights to better frame the enemy in the player UI.
How are they ensuring that lower level events stay full later on in the game? @MerusDraconis
They recognise that this is a common problem in MMOs. Players never want to go back and replay events which are either below them or that they’ve played before when they were level-appropriate. However, in Guild Wars 2 there are a number of things which make replaying lower level events worthwhile for higher level players:
Chief amongst the incentives is the “sidekicking” system. Higher level players who want to go back and try low-level content will be booted down to a more appropriate level so that the event will still be challenging.
Will 8v8 HA be making a return?
Nope, in terms of structured PvP 5v5 is the limit. Martin stated that in GW1 they feel they split their PvP community out over far too many formats, and you could easily become proficient at one and be a total fail at another. It also meant that some formats languished with a very small player population whilst others flourished. It also made balancing a total pain the arse.
ANet are really hoping that the 5v5 hot-joinable PvP which they’ve demoed over the past few expos and the WvWvW we’ve yet to see will fill the holes left by the formats they have cut.
How will the Observer mode work in GW2? @MrX1001
They haven’t finalised this particular area of the game yet, but we’ll know when they do.
Considering the races start in different zones, when can players of different races first join up? @Demoon39
Lions Arch, of course!
Will there be mounts? @MrX1001
Not at launch. It was a sort of “not at launch and we aren’t sure whether there will be ever”, but possibly!
(bare in mind that there were no specific lore developers there – ie, Ree Soesby, Jeff Grubb etc)
How did Rytlock get hold of Sohothin?
*SPOILER ALERT* This is part of your personal storyline, so we can’t really mention it here.
How do the races interact in terms of trade? Are the aloof asura even interested in items from other races?
Of course they are! The asuran recognise that they have expertise when it comes to magical and alchemical items, but if you want true industrial expertise you have to go to the charr and visa versa. Each race has certain areas of skill and proficiency so they are all very interested in taking advantage of trade. This isn’t to say that any one race will be more proficient at any in-game crafting area, each race is equal in terms of game design.
What does asuran skin feel like? @Tasha_Darke @CornishRocker @Elera_Mortis @Paeroka & just about everyone else too
Both Colin and Martin agreed that it was probably more rubbery like a frog’s skin (but not slimy) rather than furry like a peach. I totally never thought they were furry anyway, pfft, I was just like… joking and stuff.
Any news on the Collector’s Edition? @EarthenLie
Nope. That decision will come much much MUCH closer to launch. I got the impression it’s not really anything they’re thinking about at the moment.
Can you tell us a little bit about the internship program?
Martin said he wasn’t an expert on the subject, but he said it was a great chance for talented individuals to get a really hands-on experience of what it is really like to work in a game design environment.
Are ANet doing anything to smooth over high latency scenarios for players in the southern Hemisphere?
They haven’t finalised their server structure yet and due to expenses they can’t guarantee that there will be a server farm near every player population. But, sure, if there is a lot of players in Australia they would consider putting in resources to ensure a good connection.
Will there be support for player-led events?
They are still developing ideas on this. Currently there isn’t any kind of in-game “noticeboard” as it would be so ripe for abuse by trolls and griefers and would take some sort of in-game moderation to sort it out. However, both Regina and Martin were keen to emphasise that as community managers they are always interested in what is going on in-game, and I know I’ve already seen them getting involved in helping to promote a good cause. Regina asked me and Matt (Cornish) if we could think of any ideas how they could better support the community, and I think we might have stumbled out some ideas – but that at least shows that they are always open to suggestions, which can only be a good thing!
For Regina and Martin – Describe a typical day at the office. @Melila_JOL
I managed to pin down Martin for this one. He laughed when I asked him and stated that they never have a typical day at the office. Usually it involves starting by browsing the boards, forums, twitter and blogs and responding where it is appropriate to respond. Secondly, their role involves coordinating all the out of game events, for example they are currently working hard on the resources for the Halloween Art Contest. Martin stated that it isn’t as simple as just putting up a webpage, taking in submissions and dolling out prizes, there are legal requirements, permissions and a whole gamut of processes they need to go through to make the whole thing work.
All in all, their days are never the same one to the next as it depends on what is going on in the community, what events are coming up and what issues they need to respond to.
I had great time at Eurogamer, met some great people and played some great (and not so great *cough* Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn *cough* wow, sorry about that) games. Hope I did a half-decent job fielding your questions, once again, apologies if I missed yours, there is still 2 days of the expo to go and I’m sure if you bothered one of the other attendees they’d be happy to ask them for you!
So, what do you think was the juiciest piece of information? What do YOU think asuran skin feels like?
About the author: Distilled (Will) has been playing Guild Wars for almost 6 years, he works as a clinical researcher in the UK but has aspirations of getting into social research. In his spare time he enjoys a the ranger greatsword skills, battling gigantic undead sharks and causing the Guild Wars 2 demo to crash 22 minutes into his first ever play . He writes regularly on Guild Wars and gaming over at Distilled Willpower. You can also follow him on Twitter at @Distilledwill!