The Prime Strikes Back: A (literal) discussion on PAX Prime 2011

Guest article written by Guido Sarducci

Guild Wars is over six years old. Wow! Has it been that long? Has it really been that long since I first answered Adelbern’s call? I joined 2 months after the game was released, but early enough to remember refund points that were needed when changing stats. After joining/leaving/being kicked from a few guilds, I joined DRGN, a guild that included my sons and my wife, and I dragged along a co-worker as well. I made online friends and watched as they graduated high school, attended college, and graduated from there as well. I have been part of the same guild that lost an officer to a tragic ‘real-world’ accident in 2008. I was involved with the first “Pink Day in LA” in support of breast cancer awareness, where DRGN gave out red and silver dyes (trying to approximate pink dye) and we filled 3 international districts.

Pink Day was started by a couple of officers in our guild, one of whom writes for TalkTyria; my son, Connor, The Lazy Geek. Yep, I’m proud to say we are related. This idea, where, if only for a brief moment, gaming stops and as a community we focus on something larger than the virtual world where we play, is pretty unique in the gaming world. Pink Day has grown to something utterly amazing, especially when the never ending ball of energy, M A L I B U Barbie and GW-EN, together with TalkTyria and many other guilds and alliances, raised over $10,000 in 2010. And, for the first time, ANET did something unheard of in support of a community event; they produced a Pink Dye for Breast Cancer awareness. It was the entire Guild Wars community that made last year’s Pink Day such a success; I am very honored to be a small part of this active and interesting community!

PAX 2011

PAX Prime 2011 has come and gone. What a whirlwind of activity; unplanned stays at a gracious host’s home, an ANET Party held at their HQ, the playable GW2 demo, a sheep named ‘Sheila,’ and many interesting panels. So, what was learned about GW2?
What follows will be a, “conversation,” between father (Guido) and son The Lazy Geek. Continue reading

Guild Wars 2 PAX Prime Report: Frenzy + Healing Signet

Day 1

Another PAX Prime has come and gone from our city of Seattle. Fortunately we managed to avoid the H1Nerd1 outbreak like we had a few years ago but as always, PAX can be a very draining experience. Just like Frenzy + Healing Signet: it’s awesome and hilarious, and probably will leave you wiped. There’s so much to see and so much excitement in the air! NCSoft has always had a large presence at PAX, typically having a large space with huge murals of the games on display along with tons of demo stations. While they did just announce their new MMO Wildstar, GW2 was really the star of the show; so much in fact that it had 3 different locations dedicated to it (Alienware and Logitech). Even with more floor space than probably any other single game aside from Halo, the Guild Wars 2 stations and booths were always completely packed for all three days, literally from opening to closing.

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Gamescon 2011 and Pax-Prime 2011 Guild Wars 2 Pictures

I’d like to point out how extremely thrilled and proud I am at the extensive coverage that our fabulous krewe and friends have provided us over the past few weeks. Namely, Karasu &  MeWulf for Gamescon and Elixabeth & Kaae for Pax-Prime. If you ever catch these fine ladies and gents at a con, be sure to buy them a round for their amazing efforts. Don’t fret: there is still more to come from PAX  and there are plenty of outlets for you to find the latest and greatest in information, media, and conversation about what was seen and learned these past 2 weekends.

I thought I’d post a few of my personal favorite images from the events and share with you guys are galleries for both. Also, be sure to check out our buddies over at GuildWars2PvP for extensive discussion on competitive information and GuildWars2Live.com for some amazing HD videos of gameplay, panels, and parties!

Check out our full Gamescon 2011 Gallery!
  
  

Check out our full Pax-Prime 2011 Gallery! (more pictures soon!)
  
  

#GW2PAX Day 2

I’m having a hard time balancing how very full and exhaustingly interesting the second day of PAX was against how incredibly quickly it seemed to fly by.

I was incredibly lucky enough to not be bucking for a shirt or a party pass by the time day 2 rolled around, which meant that while I was far from the first person to the booth (I’m guessing it was closer to number 200 or so), I was one of the first people to the demo stations themselves. This means my day started off right off the bat with a spin through the high-level asura engineer.

It’s been mentioned that some classes, like the guardian and the engineer, can take a bit more finesse and mastery to play to their fullest extent than other, possibly more straight-forward, classes.  From my experience, and the experience of a few other fans I spoke with, that’s very much the case.  I enjoyed the engineer, but I was never expecting it to be my favored class anyway, and I think it’d take a while longer playing the game to get really comfortable with the profession.  That said, I did very much enjoy my time in the land of flamethrowers and equipment packs.

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#GW2Pax Day 1

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!

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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)

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Pax-East Pre-Show | TalkTyria, Guild Mag, and Friends!

Well as you guys know, Pax-East is coming in less than a week. The fabulous team over at ArenaNet will be attending, and the east coast rejoiced!

I’ll be heading up to my sister city to the north for the weekend to enjoy the festivities and try to get in on the new Guild Wars demo. I’ll be representing GuildMag &  TalkTyria. I’m extremely excited to see what they’ll have to offer this time around and hope to get as many images and as much info to you guys as possible.

Here’s a quick low-down on the whos, what’s, where, when, and why, gods, why’s of the convention! Continue reading