The first day of the Penny Arcade Expo is winding down, and what a day it has been! ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 are a major presence at this convention – between the panels that seem to be constantly running in room 2B, the massively popular PvP matches at the Alienware booth, the Guild Wars 2 booth itself, and the advertisements and t-shirts everywhere, it seems like one can hardly turn around without being reminded that Seattle is Arenanet’s ‘hood.
My day started at the Guild Wars 2 booth, waiting in line for the demo. I didn’t have any particular fire to get out of bed at 6 to get in line in time to be part of the first massive wave into the expo hall, but with only three people in front of me, I felt pretty good about my wait for my turn with the newest demo build. While in line I ran into a couple folks from the Guild Wars twitter community (big thanks to BigCat72 for holding my spot while I ran a couple errands!) and got to chat with a few devs. It was a really neat experience, personally, coming back to the second year of PAX and seeing devs again: PAX is such a bizarre little universe unto itself, there was an odd sense of continuity that really messed with my sense of time. Wasn’t it just a while ago that I was here, talking to these devs, wasn’t it just weeks ago that the first GW2 trailer was released? Aren’t these the same lines I waited in just a while ago?
The demo quickly debunked me of that notion: time has passed, and the ANet staff have been busy in that time!
This is actually a reaction post to episode 55 of TWIMMO where Gary talks about the GW2 panel at SDCC with Pokket and Mike B.
Yeah, I know this post is very late but I do hope you’ll read it anyway.
So you guys must be wondering, what has this got to do with whether ArenaNet is doing enough, and enough of what? These are good and valid questions and I’ll address those at the end. But for now, join me as I walk through possibly the most painful 25 minutes of my life as a GW2 fan.
I want to clarify beforehand that as much as I’m a GW2 fan, I don’t think I can be considered very hardcore because I tend to forget the source of my information and I only vaguely remember so-and-so saying such-and-such in some interview. I can’t compare to veterans like Izzie or Rubi from GuildCast where they have photographic memory where GW2 is concerned.
Pardon my obvious Colin reference, but I feel this new skill acquisition needs to be brought into further review even before the Gamescom demos begin. Allow me to further quote the man with the golden smile.
“We just don’t want players to grind in Guild Wars 2. Noone enjoys that, noone finds it fun; we want to change the way that people view combat.” – Colin Johanson, GW2 Manifesto
If this is the case, then why does this new skill system exist?
I once knew the great centaur Ventari. We oft debated the human-centaur war over a campfire in Maguuma or the Tarnished Coast. He was wise and I learned a great deal from his teachings, even though our time together was short. He saw the conflicts between our races as wasteful and unnecessary considering the long history of peace our two races enjoyed. I was more concerned with the White Mantle and dodging roving packs of undead at the time. The centaurs were more of a nuisance to me than anything else.
Ventari and me under the Pale Tree sprout, circa 1078 AE (in game GW footage)
His words changed my opinion of conflicts in general. We had a common enemy in the White Mantle, yet we continued to battle each other. Ventari argued that the centaur were too proud to back down, while I rebutted that the humans were survivors. Neither of us could easily determine the reason for one race’s enmity for the other. Sadly, over a century after Ventari’s passing, the human-centaur conflict hasn’t changed.
What has changed, however, is the Pale Tree. Long after Ronan planted his seed; long after Ventari cared for it and laid his marble tablet at its base; the tree began to sprout…uh…children. These children are called “sylvari” and they have begun to make a name for themselves. I took some time this week to talk with as many sylvari as would sit with me over a cup of toadstool tea about their race, Ventari’s teachings, and their thoughts on Tyria and the Elder Dragons.
My experience of going through the Catacombs dungeon at ArenaNet’s recent Fan Day was perhaps the single most enlightening experience of the entire wonderful day . It had everything – the companionship, the fun, and the visible fulfillment of many promises and bold statements on behalf of the developers. It was, effectively, a microcosm of the event as a whole: in it, one could find all the elements which defined the success of the entire venture.
Mesmers are an iconic profession in Guild Wars. You either love them or you hate them, but it wouldn’t be Guild Wars without them. The same is true, in this author’s opinion, for Guild Wars 2. Three professions have yet to be revealed and ANet has all but announced that we will see mesmers making a return in Guild Wars 2. Many fans are eagerly awaiting more information about this profession and are hopeful for their return. This article serves as part introduction, part discussion, part speculation, and part homage to mesmers old and new. Continue reading →