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.
I was pleasantly surprised to find my twitter feed buzzing with excitement over the engineer profession release today, a fitting addition after discussing the idea of advanced vs standard gameplay mechanics. Fans have been predicting the 3rd adventurer class for years; as it turns out, pretty much everybody was right. The most common guesses were engineer, gunner, and alchemist. Lo and behold, it would seem we got all three jam packed into one.
The same way the mesmer was iconic to what made Guild Wars unique, I believe the engineer will become the icon of Guild Wars 2 (sorry Nox-hexwise). It’s as though the very style of the new engineer profession embodies the key changes that make GW2’s gameplay revolutionary, but at the same time pays homage to the classic Guild Wars mechanics we love so much, such as trapping and spirits.
Guild Wars offers a total of ten carefully fashioned professions that cover just about all your standard MMO needs, and then some. One thing you’ll notice when reading descriptions in the original manual is that some of these offer what ANet considers more advanced play-styles, a factor that attracted me to make a mesmer as my first character. What does that mean, though? Exactly how do you define standard and advanced, and how would such concepts fit, if at all, in Guild Wars 2? Let’s explore.
First off, we need to get rid of the notion that standard classes in Guild Wars are “ez mode”. What I consider standard is something that is accessible to new players, straight forward in their play, and flexible. This isn’t to say they take no skill to learn or that they don’t offer something for those with experience; the use of four sometimes very different attributes and the ability to combine your skills with a secondary profession are the bread and butter of what makes Guild Wars such a fantastic game to play. Generally speaking, the warrior and elementalist are most commonly referred to as standard.
ArenaNET threw us for a loop today when they surprised everybody with a full blown profession reveal of the Commando for Guild Wars 2. With the goal to make GW2 a genre-breaking redefinition of what it means to MMO, the Commando aims to seduce the FPS crowd, a notoriously hard to please demographic. Despite the challenge, Anet is confident that fans of games like Mass Effect, Call of Duty, Angry Birds, and Counter Strike will find a home in this one profession alone.
The commando, as one would expect, is well versed in technological warfare of the highest degree. With his finely honed skills, he can use advanced weaponry that the other professions can barely comprehend (and one might worry about the prowess of an Asuran commando). His cache includes a vast collection of varied hand grenades that can do everything from blind, blow stuff up, and explode into an army of kittens. His night vision goggles enhance his already super-human perception into hi-def, useful for night-time fighting, deep subterranean redstone farming, and other unsavory uses. Lastly, his impressive arsenal of vehicles ensures that the commando and his allies will be able to traverse any terrain the world can throw at him. Unnatural blizzards? Creepy forests of crystallized vegetation? Unforgiving whirlpools of impending demise? No problem, officer.
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 →
“What is your story?” If ever there was a tag-line that encompassed the major difference between Guild Wars 2 and its predecessor, it is this. It is not the new skill bar. It is not the new playable races. It is not even the new combat system. Quite simply: it is the story. All sequels and expansions address game play and add new content. Guild Wars 2 adds a something MMOs have been missing for a long time: Role-Playing.
Several months ago Ree Soesbee, Lore & Continuity Designer for GW2, wrote an article about the personal story of GW2. I recommend giving it a read, if you haven’t already, before you continue reading this article. Ree covers a lot of ground talking about how GW2 will be taking a lot of steps toward making our game play experience something, well, personal. Skipping over the dynamic events system for a moment, I would like to focus on the personal story and what it offers to both hardcore and green role-players alike. Continue reading →
The last big information release by Anet was about the fifth profession: the Guardian. Although Anet once again failed at disappointing us with another amazing profession, this time the reveal followed a completely different procedure, let’s take a look at what happened…
We are used not to get any bit of information about any new aspect of GW2 from any other source but the official Guild Wars 2 website, yet much of the information about the Guardian had been “leaked” all over the web… or had it not? Continue reading →