Guild Wars 2 Expansions: New Professions vs New Races vs New Content

This is a pretty hot-topic that’s been coming out again and again over the past few months and got a little buzz recently due to some confusion over a “no stand-alone compaign” comment.

We’ve known ANet plans on adding expansions in one form or another for Guild Wars 2. Those sorts of things come naturally with most in this genre of gaming. But with their plans on bending MMO conventions, it’s fun to think about what exactly would an expansion entail. What sort of shiny, new gifts under the tree can we expect, or dare we desire, for future content? And how, exactly, should they be released?

Continue reading

‘Hyleket,’ Anyone?

This is about a rather trivial change in the language of Guild Wars 2, the name-change of the race of frog people from “heket” to “hylek,” and why it pleases me.

One word has changed. The nature of the hylek really hasn’t changed at all. They are a sentient people with which we as player characters may have peaceable relations or full-on warfare. We see that they still look very much like the frog-men we’ve all come to love stomping on. Their tribal culture seems relatively unaltered. They are still more or less behind on the technology curve, since they have to trade with other sentients for weapons and other goods. The hylek are in most ways indistinguishable from the heket – which leads many people to beg the question “why change the name at all?” What purpose does this serve?

Continue reading

It’s dance time!

/dance… Possibly the most used command in Guild Wars, except for /resign (which always bring a very bad mood so we won’t talk about it.)

It’s not a Guild Wars-only feature, but some nights in Kamadan really look like a disco!  For the non-GW players, once you type the /dance command in your chat, your character starts dancing (and each profession and gender has its own moves.)

Since GW2 is improving on nearly every aspect of GW and it looks like devs are not leaving anything to the fates, I wonder what they have in mind about dancing… 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

All I Want For Christmas Is Engaging PvP

One could say that PvP was the driving factor that provided Guild Wars 1 with such longevity. Guild vs. Guild matches, Heroes Ascent, Random Arena battles; one could spend their time doing nothing but PvP and keep themselves occupied in the game.

So why then is PvP one of the most hush-hush aspects of Guild Wars 2 we’ve heard about so far? Some negative Nancies have speculated Guild Wars 2 won’t focus nearly as much on PvP. I’ve even seen some people go so far as to say Arenanet is struggling with balance issues. Neither of these people have played the game yet, but the negative Nancies can’t help themselves.

Instead of talking about what Arenanet has talked about so far, isn’t it more fun to discuss  what we want to see? Who doesn’t love filling out a wishlist?

Here’s mine: Continue reading

The Guardian – Predictions, Predilections, and Prognostications

Most people who keep an eye cracked for Guild Wars 2 news have heard about the PC Gamer article that did some name-dropping in the caption of a GW2 image.  The “Blue Mace Lady” that we have all come to know and love has an official name: the guardian.

Until this coming Thursday, the newly-named profession remains shrouded in mystery.  Since speculation about this heavy-armor magic-user has run rampant for quite some time, however, the faithful (and frequently rabid) GW2 community has come up with plenty of hopes and theories.

Comparisons to other games have, naturally, cropped up ( – as well as cross-medium references to such heroes as the Green Lantern!)
Many forum-members across the fansites have been quick to point out the existence of a Guardian class in Lord of the Rings Online, a highly-defensive heavy tank that focuses on keeping aggro.  Since GW2 is hoping to do away with the conventional idea of tanking and replace it with an emphasis on control, the analogy couldn’t be perfect, but the defense (or support, to use GW2 verbiage) aspect of the LotRO Guardian has inspired comparisons.
NCSoft’s Aion has a moderately well-armoured melee magic-user called the Chanter, to whom tentative comparisons have also been drawn. Wielding a staff offensively and switching to a mace and shield for more defensive play, the Chanter offers effective DPS (and debuffs), player-based AoE buffs, and only minor direct healing.  Since many fans have long speculated that the BML is one of the options that will cater to those who enjoyed Monks in the original Guild Wars, the Chanter’s support-oriented blend seems like a likely parallel to the guardian’s theoretical role.
(In support of the guardian-Monk relation, folks have pointed out that the Monk skill “Guardian” seems to fit right in with what we’re expecting from the support in GW2.)
And, of course, one cannot talk about a heavy-armor support class without suddenly being hip-deep in references to WoW’s Paladin.  These gentlefolk are popular for their ability to withstand heavy damage, as well as providing support through their auras, blessings, and seals.
There are others. So many others.

Continue reading