Guild Wars 2 Demo Review and the Guardian

Months behind, I know, I know, but I wanted to dedicate lots of time and effort to this article because it most certainly deserved it.

Back at Pax East 2011, I finally got a chance to try out the new re-hashed demo. After comically standing in line for a small eternity, it was like that first sip of peyote after wandering the Sahara for days. I seriously could not believe I was actually playing Guild Wars 2.

Ridiculous gloating aside… wow. Pretty much everything I have heard and read about this demo turned out to be true. At first glance, the game is visually stunning. Of course we can attribute bad-ass hardware for a lot of that, too. Like many of you out there, I am still curious to see how the game will play on older computers with less of the bells and whistles. Still, Guild Wars 2 is a feast for the eyes, combining art and immersion with gameplay in a way that echos its predecessor.

Facing your opponent is key.

Continue reading

The Iterative Process, or “how we plan to bring you the best game possible”

Iteration, or the iterative process, is something ANet has discussed many times. It accounts for changes between versions of their games. Each GW update involves iteration and iteration accounts for the content and mechanic changes we see between GW2 status updates. Put simply, the iterative process is simultaneously responsible for what makes the Guild Wars franchise worth playing and what is delaying the release of GW2. Over the past years and coming months (I refuse to think of GW2 as over a year away) we have enjoyed teasers, concept art, videos, updates, interviews, profession reveals, and demos of GW2. One thing has remained constant about the information we receive about GW2: nothing is set in stone.

Isaiah "Izzy" Cartwright (left) and Martin Kerstein (right) at Gamescom in 2010 (from ANet's Flickr)

Continue reading

Hypnotized, Mesmerized…By What the Fans Believe

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

GW2 Death & Ressurection is non-existent?

It’s been forever since I’ve covered the future Love of My Life, Guild Wars 2, and what a lame way to treat it.

There’s been a ton of information released of late, and it feels like with each new piece of information ArenaNET releases to the masses, the more and more evident the level of game-breaking innovation we see coming from this major project. Even Tycho from Penny Arcade said that the mere “presence” of GW2 is a force to be reckoned with, and I couldn’t agree more. I think all fans of the Guild Wars Classic are swelling with more than a little pride right now. I know I am.

Over the next few days I’m going to be covering as much of the info as possible and put my thoughts into it.
Today we will cover the dreaded….

Death and Rebirth
ArenaNET Finally released information on death and resurrection in GW2 and gave us the interesting notion that there is none. Oh yes, you heard right.

There is no technial death in Guild Wars 2.

They recognize the need for ‘dying’, or being ‘defeated’ as they call it, as a necessary element in any mmo: it’s there to force players to think about what they are doing, and thus build skill, as well as add drama to combat. However, they don’t want it to be a tedious punishment as it can be in current games. So they changed it.  No more corpse runs, no movement slowing death illness, and, by the light of Dwayna, no freaking Death Penalty. Instead, defeat in GW2 will have an extra step called ‘downed mode’ which means you’ve run out of HP, but you have one last chance to redeem yourself. Your skill bars will change, and if you are able to somehow defeat your enemy in this handicapped state, you will rally and come back to full ability.

If you’re unable to do so, you will then be defeated, which is more akin to passing out. Then you can wait to be revived by an ally (all characters will start with the ability to revive, regardless of race or profession, from day one!) or revive yourself at a waypoint for a little bit of gold. The only punishment that will be instilled is an internal timer. If you pass out repeatedly in succession, it will take longer and longer to be revived. This is likely to keep players from corpse-running to areas they shouldn’t be going at their level.

I love this idea of a Last Stand. It’s going to make combat so much more fun and and ‘dynamic’, the golden word for GW2. The implications for PvP, especially, gets me excited to think about. Try imagining this Downed Mode working with how GvG functions right now, in which dying is a long-term experience. Instead of being completely out of the game, downed allies have a chance to still make an effort or comeback. Such a system could really change

I do question, though, how much time they would have to do so. The downed skills are weak, and I would imagine if in PvP you have a focus (such as killing the support first), they would continue focusing a downed target until they are fully defeated. Is there some sort of protective buff they would get? We do know that PvPers get a special finishing move on Downed opponents, suggesting that maybe a downed player is un-defeatable unless this move is used. I dunno, it’s pretty weird.

The community is still a little iffy on the subject right now, as expected with something new like this. Although not new to multiplayer games (Borderlands, LFD, etc), it’s still a pretty unique concept to instill in a progressive MMORPG.

Well, once again ArenaNET has dropped the ball and is supplying us left and right with new and stunning info on their game. Here’s to a whole lot more bizzare, genre-bending mechanics!

What -will- they come up with next?