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Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Mar 16th 2010 11:48PM (Unverified) said

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That first pic looks like the Turkish flag.

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:01AM (Unverified) said

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It does look like a flag. I wonder if that intentional or has a hidden meaning?

If I remember correctly, I think ArenaNet change the name of the main city because it had some real world meaning in another culture / language.

ArenaNet does like to base areas of their game on real world locations...

Ascalon - Caucasian (medieval)
Cantha - China
Nightfall - Factions
Eye of the North - Norse (norn) / Asura (Aztec)

Perhaps the sequel has some middle-east elements of the game.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:32AM Cinnamoon said

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Crescent moons and stars are pretty ubiquitous symbols throughout history, religion, and fantasy. Heck, my own guild has used them, beginning in a sci-fi setting. My best guess is that it's meant to be Gandara, which in Nightfall was a crescent-moon-shaped fortress/island.

@photics: It would be unfair to characterize the expanshalones as being homogeneous to one culture or another. Factions' western areas have lovely blends of Chinese and Korean art, while the eastern areas are split between a Greek-inspired sea people, and a German Gothic black forest people. Ascalon, as you mention, is merely one of the areas in Prophecies' Tyria (subsequent areas include two Northern European-inspired locations, a fairly generic tribal area, a desert/jungle run by druids, a vast and empty desert wasteland, and a chain of volcanic islands.) Nightfall's continent of Elona blends several Northern African, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cultures from various time periods.

And the Asurans aren't Aztec. Most of the Asuran locations and art were actually intended for Utopia, the expanshalone that was scrapped (in favor of GW2) and replaced with the much-more-hurried GWEN. Extant art was reused. And Utopia wasn't Aztec-themed, it was Mayan.

The wonderful mix of fantastic locations and art is probably one of the best things about this series. It's so rare to see fantasy versions of some cultures in western games. More, please.

Guild Wars' art team has no betters. I am using art from the first game as wallpaper as I type this.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:57AM CyberNigma said

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Guild Wars Nightfall concept art
It's actually a city/bas ein Kourna called Gandara, the Moon Fortress. The Consulate Docks mission originally takes you there and the Pogahn Passage mission takes you back.

http://guildwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gandara,_the_Moon_Fortress
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=83394
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Posted: Mar 16th 2010 11:51PM (Unverified) said

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"stylistic interpretation" over photo-realism, I think that's a good decision. He's right about it aging better. Look at WoW. Also, there's the uncanny valley. Even though PC gaming is a lot more powerful now than in 2004-2005, there's still something unnatural about graphics that try to be too realistic.

...which leads into this...

"it's an MMO sequel, which is hard to find" ...EverQuest 2... one of the biggest games in the industry. I think the sequel did terrible things for that franchise. Even though the graphics were better, it fragmented the community. Even though EverQuest 2 looks great, the cartoony WoW reigned supreme. I'm concerned that the same thing is happening with Guild Wars. So much work is going into this project... the artwork is great... but what about the timing? When's the release date? What's the gameplay like?

It seems that ArenaNet gets the situation that they're in though...

>> There's also the expectations that
>> come with a sequel, the fact that
>> you've already set the bar pretty
>> high hopefully, and you are under
>> pressure to deliver and surpass
>> your own accomplishments.

The original Guild Wars was so revolutionary... no monthly fees, great graphics with low system specs, reduction of tedious gameplay... but what bullet point does the sequel have?

No monthly fees? World of Warcraft shows that most players don't care.
Great Graphics? We expect it to look great.
Grind elimination? Unclear. It could be more grindy than the original.

...so how long is ArenaNet going to drag this out? Where's the "wow" factor? Where's the video they release that makes all the other game companies jealous? Where's the press release that energizes the community? Where's the beta?

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:38AM Cinnamoon said

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To be fair -- well more than half of WoW's playerbase pays no subscription fee at all, and looking at the growing number of free-to-play games, that's going to become more of a trend in the west as well as time goes on. I'm sure DDO will continue trying to take the credit, but GW was definitely the pioneer there, and should be proud of its role going forward.

And SOE would disagree that EQ2 splintered their franchise. Indeed, SOE argued that EQ2 would bring people into EQ1 who'd never played. Certainly, if either game stopped being highly popular and profitable, they'd cease pumping out expansion after expansion for them both, as they have with some of their other games (like SWG).

As far as a bullet list, the GW2 site and popular GW forums have plenty of FAQs and information about what the game will bring. I'm sure it'll be done just as soon as it's done. If you're not wowed by the vids they've released already though, you might just be too jaded for this genre. :D
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 3:47AM ultimateq said

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I like to go for a nice stroll through the uncanny valley and picnic as I watch the people, unsure of whether or not to be frightened by our creations.

All joking aside. If nothing else. Guild Wars has a killer art team. That first image (at the top of the post) was rather awe inspiring.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 5:33AM Misterlee said

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People will always find something to moan about.

There's a fair bit of info about the new game play in GW2 if you bothered to look. And I'd say the rise in popularity of free to play games should tell you a little something about people's willingness to pay monthly subscriptions.

Also, you want a trailer... HERE'S a trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em0Sd60iI2w

The beta will be ready when it's ready, those that are genuinely interested in GW2 (which isn't you, that much is obvious) will be happy to wait till it's ready, knowing that ArenaNet are doing their very best to make an awesome game.


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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 9:03AM (Unverified) said

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Am I jaded on the genre? No.

...I'm disappointed with ArenaNet.

How does a company go from "beta sometime in the second half of 2008" to where they are now? Did they intentionally lie to the community? Did they completely mismanage the schedule?!

That alone wasn't enough to discourage me. But combined with my dislike of the lore, my enthusiasm in Guild Wars 2 has been ruined.

I was really excited about Guild Wars 2... 2-3 years ago. Think of all the big MMORPGs that came out recently. I don't know of any that I'm interested in. Does that make me jaded, or are the games simply not good enough?

I look back at EverQuest, Earth and Beyond, Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft with fondness. Those were some great adventures. Guild Wars, it doesn't have the same level of nostalgia with me. I think that's because I didn't stop playing when the game peaked in 2006. I knew that I would never top the experience of taking and holding Cavalon with a 1000 player alliance.Yet, with no monthly fee, I was free to visit Guild Wars at any time. I was free to watch an alliance deteriorate, with player inactivity time measured in years. I was free to run Kilroy's Punch-Out Extravaganza... over... and over... and over... and over again.

Articles like this one should have been more common in 2007-2008... when people were playing Eye of the North. Guild Wars 2 is supposed to have bigger pvp... right? Where's the information about that? What bothers me is knowing that there are thousands... perhaps millions... that would really enjoy an expansion of the original. So OK, ArenaNet blew the 2008 beta. Why not release a mini-expansion in 2009... in 2010? It makes no sense to me. The community could use new adventures and ArenaNet could have made more money.

How did ArenaNet get in this situation?

An MMORPG community is like a big rock. Just keep it rolling. With a constant stream of new content, it's easier for players to stay interested. But with the Guild Wars franchise... that big rock was allowed to stop... and erode.

I look back at the past two years. Other MMORPGs did not excite me. That doesn't make me jaded. Rather, I see a missed opportunity for ArenaNet. I see Guild Wars 2 on a collision course with SW:TOR. If both games are released at the same time, which one is going to win?
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 9:57PM (Unverified) said

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@photics:
"How does a company go from "beta sometime in the second half of 2008" to where they are now? Did they intentionally lie to the community? Did they completely mismanage the schedule?!"

NCSoft wanted to push Aion more than GW2, which is why it has taken so long. Companies make decisions based on what will make the most money (you know this, though), and Aion was a HUGE hit in Korea and Japan.



"I look back at EverQuest, Earth and Beyond, Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft with fondness. Those were some great adventures. Guild Wars, it doesn't have the same level of nostalgia with me. I think that's because I didn't stop playing when the game peaked in 2006."

I can't speak for EverQuest and DAoC, but WoW peaked at the same time as Guild Wars did with Factions. The Burning Crusade was the beginning of the end for many gamers who play(ed) the World of Warcraft.

"Yet, with no monthly fee, I was free to visit Guild Wars at any time. I was free to watch an alliance deteriorate, with player inactivity time measured in years. I was free to run Kilroy's Punch-Out Extravaganza... over... and over... and over... and over again."

Something easily prevented by effectively LEADING your alliance. A community needs events or some sort of element that draws its members together repeatedly. The game is old, yes...War Machine, The Last Pride, and even The Lazy Nation are gone, but there are still plenty of active and thriving guilds. If you see a stagnant or inactive in the alliance, find a newer and more enthusiastic guild to replace them.


"Why not release a mini-expansion in 2009... in 2010? It makes no sense to me."

They don't have the resources to, simple enough.

"The community could use new adventures and ArenaNet could have made more money."

You don't know that for a fact.

"But with the Guild Wars franchise... that big rock was allowed to stop... and erode."

A moving rock erodes faster than a still one...Maybe MMOs aren't like rocks after all. ;)

"I see Guild Wars 2 on a collision course with SW:TOR. If both games are released at the same time, which one is going to win?"

The consumer decides that answer, don't they? I know that as much as I like Star Wars, Guild Wars 2 will be my purchase. Why? Because Bioware isn't as amazing as they are played out to be (opinion).
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Posted: Mar 19th 2010 11:34PM (Unverified) said

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>> NCSoft wanted to push Aion
>> more than GW2, which is why
>> it has taken so long. Companies
>> make decisions based on what
>> will make the most money (you
>> know this, though), and Aion was
>> a HUGE hit in Korea and Japan.

True, I don't think NCsoft wanted Aion and Guild Wars to compete with each other... but then why release expansions for Lineage? If you listen to the latest conference call with NCsoft (in English) it's filled with glowing praise for the update to Lineage. NCsoft listened to the community and added life to an old game. Why can't ArenaNet do the same thing?

_________________

>> Something easily prevented by
>> effectively LEADING your alliance.
>> A community needs events or some
>> sort of element that draws its members
>> together repeatedly.

Didn't we do this debate already Ken? :-)

You can give someone a cardboard box and they could have a lot of fun with it... make a fort, break dancing in the street, build a robot suit for Halloween... but do you think the makers of cardboard boxes are depending on the imagination of their customers... or are they doing things like marketing and building better boxes?

If my leadership was to blame, then why wouldn't they even log on and find another Guild? Players who think they're under lousy leadership are free to leave for more exciting guilds. That's not what happened with so many players. They simply lost interest in the game.

________________

>> The game is old, yes...War Machine,
>> The Last Pride, and even The Lazy
>> Nation are gone, but there are still
>> plenty of active and thriving guilds.

Yes, there are players who are interested in Guild Wars today... but how many of them started playing Guild Wars over six years ago? If you wandered into 7-Eleven and picked up the game for $20, Guild Wars can be a pleasant surprise. For veterans who remember the days of Alpha, how open ArenaNet used to be as a company, who remember the E3 for Everyone, who remember being amazed by the graphics announcement in January 2004... Guild Wars 2 might seems incredibly dull.

"What's your story" ...if ArenaNet announced a way for players to enjoy an MMORPG more like the way they want... with more player freedom... I think I might be excited about that. I don't like the lore, I'd rather make my own. I'd rather team up with like-minded players who say, "Nah... I don't want my character kneeling to false gods... and yeah, the humans shouldn't group with the Charr." ...and together we build our own city. We make our online hangout... a place that's fun - even when we're not fighting. You know... like "Cheers" ...but in an MMORPG.

Guild Wars is terribly lacking in social activities. For less than the cost of a Black dye, you can have a Guild Hall. There's nothing terribly special about teaming up in Guild Wars... no in-game mail system, no major Guild Hall activities, no epic quests, no PvE raids. That's the main reason why I think players are more prone to burnout and leave the game.

I run my own online RPG. I regularly get requests for more content. I don't think I'd be responding with phrased like "Be more imaginative" or "You need better leadership". I think that would be insulting to them and it wouldn't be much help in building the community. I like to keep the players happy, so I listen to feedback from the community. ArenaNet used to be responsive to player feedback... not super fast, but fast enough. But for the last three years, it's been awful.

__________________

>> They don't have the
>> resources to, simple
>> enough.

If they have the resources to nerf skills, they can add a new map or an epic quest.

__________________

>>>> The community could use
>>>> new adventures and ArenaNet
>>>> could have made more money.

>> You don't know that for a fact.

"Could" is the keyword. It was possible. I don't know it as a fact that they would have made money, but I think a profit would have been very likely. By the same logic, Guild Wars 2 could be a failure. Why even try? Why even bother making games?

I think it's because the people in this industry have a passion for making and playing games. There's another article floating around massively.com... would you want to work in this industry? More specifically... would you want to work for ArenaNet? Jeff Strain bailed. That's a pretty big warning sign to me.

Heh... but he also bailed on World of Warcraft... and I think that game turned out OK.

Regina was here saying how she didn't like speculation. The problem is, it's a natural reaction to a lack of information. ArenaNet is leaving a lot of blanks. When's the release date? Is the game going to be good? In 2007, I was incredibly excited about Guild Wars 2. In 2010... I'm doubting if I'm going to buy the game at all. From Massively, it seems that a common response is to blame me, that I might be jaded, that I'm not showing enough leadership, that I'm not being creative enough. To me, this is the wrong answer. It should be like... "Hey, that guy was a huge Guild Wars fan. Why doesn't he like the game now?"

Sure, lots of posts here show love the artwork... and there are plenty of people are excited about the game. Yet, there are plenty of other people who seem skeptical. And then there are others that are like... "Where's my dervish?"

Why's it so hard to get some straight answers?

"Mike, you're going to hate the sequel. It's more of the lore stuff you hate and the Guild Hall features aren't that much better."

or...

"Mike, you're going to love the sequel. 'What's your story' wasn't just some catchy marketing phrase. We're doing some pretty awesome stuff here.

How hard is it to say stuff like that? If ArenaNet says, "Yes, you will be able to play a Dervish." or "No, you won't be able to play as a Dervish." ...is Blizzard Entertainment somehow going to get a hold of this information and dramatically alter their business plan? It seems unlikely to me... but I wouldn't be surprised if they already have moles in Bellevue. What's worse is to see the erosion of a once mighty community.

ArenaNet has the right to run the game the way they see fit... heh, within the law of course ...but will they be surprised if people are unimpressed when the game is finally launched, opting to play SW: TOR instead? ArenaNet set the expectations pretty high and I don't think they're meeting them.

Yes, the art looks great... but it's 2010 and it's not that much different from 2004. If ArenaNet wants to stay competitive in this industry, I think they'd do a lot better with stronger community relations and regular game updates rather than postponed betas and occasional releases of artwork.

-- Start an official forum
-- Update the original series if the sequel is too far away
-- Add stuff for Guilds, so that groups of people are "empowered" to encourage others to play Guild Wars

Thanks to heroes, Guild Wars is pretty much a single player game that you play online. I remember when Guild Wars was supposed to have 50 vs 50 gaming. Again, how did ArenaNet get here? How do you go from 50 vs 50 to... "OK Koss, go get me some more Moss for Nicholas the Traveler."

_____________

>> Maybe MMOs aren't like rocks after all. ;)

Maybe it's like a snowball... getting bigger as it rolls.

_____________

>> The consumer decides that answer, don't they?
>> I know that as much as I like Star Wars, Guild
>> Wars 2 will be my purchase. Why? Because
>> Bioware isn't as amazing as they are played
>> out to be (opinion).

SW:TOR, I think that's more likely to be a hit than not. I think Bioware did an amazing job with Knights of the Old Republic on the XBOX. I think the game was far FAR better at storytelling than what was done in the pitiful prequels. I thought that the franchise was ruined after seeing "Jar-Jar", I was becoming embarrassed to admit I was a Star Wars fan, but Bioware brought back respect to the franchise. While I wasn't blown away by games like Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic was a lot of fun for me.

What does this have to do with Guild Wars? Players generally have one of two things... money or time. It's rare to see a gamer with an excess of both. That means players might find themselves in a position to choose... Guild Wars 2 or The Old Republic. If ArenaNet met their beta in 2008 date, this wouldn't be an option.

Even with the release of Aion, that left ArenaNet with a pretty large window. What could be so important that the beta was pushed back approximately two years... or even more?

This is a good article. I like the Guild Wars artwork. Yet, it doesn't make me forget the huge concerns I have about the success of Guild Wars 2.
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Posted: Mar 16th 2010 11:51PM Valdur said

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As always,those concept art are magnificent,I wonder if the background noise are the one we will have in the final product.

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:41AM Yoh said

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It's refreshing to see that kind of art.
To know I'm going down the right track with my own.

I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there.
I hope you had fun at GDC Rubi.
Sure seems like it.

~Yoh

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 3:18AM TheJackman said

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Yeah yeah nice Drawing.... however..... I want see the ingame base on this drawings I can also put some paint job together but that not make the mmo great.... Guild Wars apart of being a huge grind fest with a storyline in the middle.

Everyone in the same class wearing the same armor! And yeah I known you can paint it and there are like 3 types of armor.... but they not look so good when most of the players look the same!

The real world trading of Guild Wars did make the game the worst AH ever!

Guild Wars did use the hub town and instants way.... no jumping! Why do I wanna jump in a game? Well to not have to run like a retard around a tree or be unable to jump off a small step...

So far Guild Wars 2 is just a lot of bla bla the trailer did not show more them some nice cut out art and some 3D graphics that may or may not be showed as the ingame.... Unlikely however.. Are they even pass a state of Alpha with the build of Guild Wars 2.... I did not see anything saying so...?!

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 5:19AM (Unverified) said

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Jack,

1. Guild Wars will never be a grindfest. They pointed this out time after time after time.
2. Yes, there are only three types of armor (light, medium and heavy) but who says we won't have 30 different armors per 'armor class'?
3. Agreed. But seeing as they already once had plans to implement an AH into GW1, I don't see why they wouldn't do it in GW2.
4. Because jumping is fun. I'm sorry that you don't want more freedom, but some people want to do what they want in a game.
5. The two trailers BOTH had quite a bit of in-game made clips, however without the HUD. But does that really mean anything?

Just wait 'till we get some more information about the gameplay, classes etc.
Your comment sounds like a typical doomsayer's.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 5:00AM fatpanda said

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@Cinnamoon "To be fair -- well more than half of WoW's playerbase pays no subscription fee at all"
How do you figure? If you mean people playing the trial only that's not really the playerbase.

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 11:35AM Randomessa said

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I believe the commentor is referring to the Asian playerbase of WoW, which accounts for several million of its active subscribers and who do not pay a subscription fee.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 12:41PM mmark said

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While they don't pay a monthly fee, they do pay for WoW based based on play time.
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Posted: Mar 17th 2010 11:20AM (Unverified) said

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The problem is, with Guild Wars, Arenanet and the game were pretty unknown. They only had a small community, so they opened Beta quite early.

Now that Arenanet is creating Guild Wars 2, the community has expanded many, many times and there are hundreds of thousands of players waiting for beta to start. The majority (over 99.9%) are not going to play that beta to help test the game, but to get a taste of the game before it is officially released. If Guild Wars 2 isn't at least finished by that time (I mean finished in that the game works more or less, but plenty of bugfixing and balancing are still to be done), they are going to be disappointed. That's why Arenanet keeps postponing the beta; they want the game to be more or less ready by the time the players get to experience it for the very first time.

And it's not like I'm not used to things like this. Valve shamelessly delayed the Orange Box, which contained the games Team Fortress 2, Portal and Half-Life 2: Episode Two. But by delaying it, they could improve all three games, and in the end the game Portal on its own was worth the wait (and then I'm not even talking about HL2:Ep2 and TF2 yet). Arenanet have already done this amazing thing with Guild Wars; I have full confidence that, if they say the game is not yet ready for beta, they have a good reason for it.

That said, the slideshow of art in that video really fired up my anticipation again. I am dying to hear more specifics about gameplay; I want to know what classes return. I'm pretty sure Warrior and Necromancer will still exist, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Dervish...

Posted: Mar 17th 2010 2:10PM (Unverified) said

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It is a shame that Anet haven't gotten anything released since GWEN, it may be they missed an opportunity to retain a few peoples interest, however I would rather wait and let Anet take their time. We know what they are like regarding information, I can trust that when they tell me something it will be true, better that than concepts that change or content not ready for the public eye. For someone reason I trust them, they haven't ever given me reason otherwise.

Loving the art, no surprise the quality is as good as it gets, such a great team.



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