Bold Prophecies

“According to tradition, the dragon embodies passion, independence, and ambition. We think it’s a perfect analogy for what we’re trying to accomplish with Guild Wars 2.”

ArenaNet have just updated their blog with an article that is somewhere between a promise and a call to arms, a mission statement and a battlecry.

Welcome to the Year of the Dragon,” they say, and proceed to lay out a general plan for what fans can expect in the next couple months of preparation for release.

There is no live date even hinted at, but ArenaNet have committed to ship this year.  This isn’t surprising – even the most level-headed of fans would likely have been taken aback had the team held off til 2013 – but it is tremendously pleasant.  There’s mention of increasingly-large beta testing in the coming months, all culminating in the hugely-anticipated release sometime later this year. 

It’s a fantastically direct article that falls in line with some of the earliest statements we heard about the game – this is not a team of people to speak shyly about the work that they are so evidently proud of.

So, welcome to the year of the Dragon.  It seems we shall all be in for quite a treat.

 

Thoughts on the Multi-Guild System:

During PAX Prime, among all of the demo and PvP playing there was also a myriad of panels from the ANet team. Most of the information wasn’t strictly news, but we did manage to snag some tidbits about the upcoming guild system. Although it is far from complete, the biggest announcement was the structuring of guilds and their relation to accounts.

Here’s the set of relevant information:

– Account belongs to a guild
– One Character can represent multiple guilds
– Can choose to not represent a guild
– Earn influence with guild
– Perks: storage, ect… bought with influence.
– Use influence to make keeps harder to take in WvWvW

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My oh my.. the New, New Guild Wars 2

Those were pretty much the words I had in my mind as I read through the blog post by Jon Peters on what the new demo at Gamescom/PAX will encompass.

Instantly, he starts off with:  As a company, we like to say that we iterate on our game—a lot.

And I was thinking of 2 things. First, this is going to be exciting. Little did I know how right I would be on so many levels. And second, ArenaNet, I love you guys, I really do, but you have to stop telling us in every single blog post that you guys “iterate and reiterate”. Seriously, it’s in almost every blog post. And frankly, I’m getting slightly annoyed.

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Guilds and Alliance Wishlist for Guild Wars 2

Authority Figure

One of our writers, Distilled, wrote a great blog post* on the state (or lack thereof) of guild information for GW2. That reminded me that I had this one sitting in pending for months.

In a game called Guild Wars, one would expect that the “guild” would play an large role within its world. Certainly, GW puts a big emphasis on the importance of this classic MMO brotherhood by offering halls with purchasable upgrades, a large selection of environments, and a few PvP options such as GvG tournaments and alliance battles only accessible through your hall. Unlike other MMOs, it’s very rare you find an unguilded player in GW.

When the Factions campaign came out, ANet gave us alliances; a unique feature which allows up to ten guilds to officially band together. Mechanical perks include visiting each other’s halls for free, an alliance chat, the ability to collectively own an outpost, and group up for gvg. The system gives power to smaller guilds by offering a larger community option without having to abandon the sometimes preferred tight-knit clan.

Even so, the guild and alliance features are surprisingly limited in control, which is one of the few major flaws I would attribute to the game. Ranks are limited to 3: leader, officer, and member. There are no real permissions offered; officers can invite and kick and that’s all. The leader is the only one who can purchase upgrades, change the hall, or update capes, and there is no way to deligate these tasks to an officer. And the alliance function has one major drawback: switching leaders basically requires a full disband and re-invitation.

Going forward to Guild Wars 2, I feel it’s safe to expect a much more polished and advanced system for guilds. There’s a lot to live up to, due to newer MMOs like Rift and even older ones,like WoW boasting some advanced and OCD worthy features and controls. But what exactly would be the bees knees for Guild Wars 2? What do we want and need to be able to do and have at our disposal?

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Do Sylvari Dream of Dragons?

Earlier today I was thinking about what we know about Guild Wars 2’s new race, the sylvari, compared to the existing ones. Each race so far has had its own strengths, but also its own inner turmoils. For the humans it is the tension between the Ministry Guard, the Shining Blade and the Seraph. For the norn it is their dealing with the Sons of Sanvir and for the charr it is the Flame Legion Shamans stirring up trouble.

For the sylvari the tension is likely to come from their dealing with the Nightmare Court.

On my own blog I mentioned how it’s possible that the Pale Tree has some wider connection to the welfare of the planet, and how it might be imploring the sylvari to deal with the growing threat (no pun intended) which the Elder Dragons pose.

The sylvari have popped up in the 23 years preceding the events of Guild Wars 2. They emerge from the Pale Tree fully grown and are forever linked to it. Whilst they are growing inside the tree they experience dreams through which they learn the knowledge of their race. They also report that they experience nightmares – however, most sylvari attempt to ignore or at least not pursue any further knowledge of them. The sylvari that do embrace these nightmares are called the Nightmare Court.

Guild Wars 2 Sylvari - Concept Art

Just chillin’ wit my peeps.

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Magnus the Bloody Handed: A Norn in a Changed World

A slow grin began to appear on Magnus’s face, extending into his eyes. “The people of Lion’s Arch are my people. I have chosen my battles. ” Magnus shook his head and laughed ruefully. “The world is changing, Eir Stegalkin. You must change with it. Perhaps I should ask you to join me. Get some sun on that lily skin.

The pirate city of Lion’s Arch is a place of great contradictions; mortal enemies walk side-by-side in relative peace, it is built upon the combined ruins of the former great and righteous Krytan capitol city and the lowly and broken debris of wrecked pirate ships –it is a city of heroes and a city of villains. It follows that the big cheese of such a place would be rife with contradictions of his own; Magnus the Bloody Handed is such a norn.

Norn Pirate

Thought to be Magnus (although, Magnus has 2 eyes, so possibly not!)

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There’s No Place Like Home?

You know, we gamers are a fortunate few…

No… REALLY!

We get to sit in the (sometimes) plush comfort of our homes, and travel the world with our fingertips. Often we will immerse ourselves so deeply that the journeys we undertake become embedded as tangible memories, with the associated emotional connections. This is especially true for those of us who consider ourselves “explorer types” in game! Think about how much joy you get finding a new place the devs have carefully laid out, seeing that awesome vista that a few artists worked hard to sculpt from their minds, and yes, finding that rare shiny on the mountain top that only someone brave/foolish enough to climb could ever claim. (The author raises his hand tentatively)

Yes, it is wonderful to travel… Even better when we do not need to leave our seats.

Guild Wars 2 Wiki- Divinity's Reach

One of these homes is mine, now to remember which one it is!

But what about our home away from home? What about the place we virtually hang our hats? Where does it rate in the grand scheme of things, in this world we have chosen to spend an undetermined amount of time per day or week exploring?

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