But enough writing about what I can’t write about, and let’s focus on what I should write about, meaning the video conference with the game creators. Before it even started, each one of us received a very nice, black sweatshirt with the GW2 logo on the back. It’s really nice, sadly, I lost mine as soon as I stepped back into my house (Em can be really demanding sometimes :( ). Killian and I were hoping to get two or three questions answered each, unfortunately, with the limited time we had, each community representative only got to ask a single question – which, of course, that’s better than nothing. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
We sat down in the conference hall, and we could see all the people we were about to talk to (Eric Flannum, Colin Johanson, Ree Soesbee, Kristen Perry, Regina Buenaobra and Josh Petrie). After a short greeting we started asking questions. To be frank, I don’t remember who went first, but it doesn’t really matter. Let me sum up all the info we got, because not all of it made it to ArenaNet’s twitter.
We asked about pretty much every aspect of the game, like the guild system, lore, character creation and PvP rules. Somebody even asked the creators about what they think might go wrong and what is it they are most afraid of. We were told that pretty much everything can go wrong and it’s hard to know what’s going to happen in the future, so they need to be prepared for anything in order to provide the players with the best experience they can.
As far as technical and beta stuff goes – the amount of content available during the next beta weekends will be bigger, but it’s impossible to tell at this point if they will include the sylvari and asura starting areas and weather we’ll be able to see those races in action before game launch. But, if a particular beta event is going to include something new, the players will be notified of it earlier. The same goes for the NDA – it may be lifted off of some of the content, however it’s impossible to say at this point if that’s going to happen at all, or what part of the game it’s going to affect. And the next beta event is going to happen – you guessed it! – “when it’s ready”.
We also asked about the launch date of the official forum, and what languages are they going to support. Forums probably won’t be available before game is launched, and they will most likely support the languages available in the game. This does not mean that fan pages will lose their significance. On the contrary, because fan sites always contain info not available on official boards. So there’s no need to worry.
We also found out why we probably won’t be able to play an ugly, 80 year old grandmother. Yes, the game engine allows the player to modify the character look a lot, but they are still confined to certain aesthetic boundaries. It’s probably for the best. It’s a similar case with player made choices – the player is a hero, so he can’t be a villain. The game forces you to make difficult choices, for example you need to choose what you’re going to save from a bandit raid: a hospital or an orphanage. This choice will matter in the future. However, you can’t say “let the bandits burn everything down, there’s nobody of importance living here anyway”.
When it comes to fighting, there are a lot of combos between professions. There’s a big emphasis on discovering them. When one of your abilities creates an additional effect, one that you were not expecting, you will get an additional message on the screen that you just created a combo. The visual effect of the corresponding abilities will also be changed.
I’d like to calm down those of you worried about the crafting system. In accordance with the equality policy, the items created by the players will not have super-stats and will not be more powerful from the ones you can get by killing mobs or other players. There will, however, be unique looking armour and weapon skills that you can only get by creating them yourself. This is also true for dungeons and WvW fights – you can also get unique item skins there.
Both WvW and PvE were prepared in such a way, that the player always has fun and a sense challenge, no matter where he goes. Character level is going to scale to match the location he is currently at. The rule is simple – if it’s PvE, the level is only scaled down, so a level 80 player can still go and help his friends who are just starting the adventure, but without one-shotting everything in his path. In PvP the character level is always increased to max, so each player has an equal chance of victory.