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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2's Leah Hoyer discusses the importance of story

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Story: let's me and you fight.
It's fair to say that Guild Wars 2 sells its story pretty highly, as living world progress and story updates are a major part of its content strategy. Head of narrative Leah Hoyer stated in a recent interview that this is one of the core things that games as a whole need to embrace: Story is important in getting players invested. Hoyer went on to say that while story lacks the central importance in games that it has in media like television, it's still an important element of player investment.

Still, she argues, it's harder to tell a good story in a game than it is in a television show, simply because the latter is focused only on story while the former cannot be. This doesn't mean that it's less important, nor does Hoyer feel that it justifies using lore and background as an excuse for not telling a story; a good story requires immediacy. While she believes that lore is highly important, it should help support storytelling rather than replace it. There's a lot of interesting thoughts in the full interview, so whether you like Guild Wars 2's take on story or not, it's well worth a look.

Flameseeker Chronicles: Navigating Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths release

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

What a nice day for a war.
I was late playing Guild Wars 2's latest update, Tangled Paths, because I was on an airplane when it went live. That might be a better excuse than "the dog ate my homework," but I don't have one for "a dog ate my character," which is exactly what happened as soon as I got home and logged in.

Read on for the reason I actually welcome our vicious new dog overlords, as well as why Caithe and I need to have a long talk. You'll also find an exclusive photograph of Bellevue, Washington, taken from the roof of ArenaNet's studio, which is exciting primarily because I got the Seattle skyline in the very same shot without it coming out blurry, even on my awful camera phone. I'm proud of that and nobody can take it from me. As usual, spoiler warnings apply!

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Guild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Are you up to speed on Guild Wars 2's episodic living world content releases? If not, you might want to stop reading because there could be spoilers ahead. Last time around, players watched as Caithe made off with a fabled dragon egg that could be the key to defeating Mordremoth. In the newest episode, you'll have to catch Caithe, but first you can catch a preview of the release by clicking past the cut.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Guild Wars 2 streamlines PvP queuing, adds map voting

Fantasy, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

gw2
How can Guild Wars 2's PvP experience be improved? By streamlining the flow, baby!

A new dev diary posted today talks about how ArenaNet is working to improve match flow, starting with the elimination of PvP rosters and simply allowing players to queue solo or with a party. Other significant changes include replacing AFK players before matches begin, group voting on favorite maps, and using the dishonor system to ding those who leave or go AFK during matches.

To get into PvP matches, players will now be required to go to the Heart of the Mists, which is being outfitted with additional core services so that it can be a fun social hub between games.

Guild Wars 2's revamped sPvP rewards skillful play, not just wins

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

GW2
ArenaNet's Justin O'Dell is on dev blog duty today for Guild Wars 2, and his post is all about planned updates to the game's sPvP matchmaking and ladder ranking systems.

"We decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun," he explains. "We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it's a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times." The system will do its best to match players by skill level, rank, party size, and so forth.

Points awarded through the ladder ranking system are determined by final score and odds of victory in an attempt to ensure that playing well in spite of a loss is encouraged and that luck isn't the driving force in ranking.

"Imagine a world where everyone took the saying 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' seriously," O'Dell says. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Guild Wars 2 plans a big PvP patch for December 2nd

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Aw, right in the face.
On December 5th, the first World Tournament Series for Guild Wars 2 will conclude with a showdown between the four best teams across the United States, Europe, and China. Right before that, on December 2nd, the Guild Wars 2 team will be deploying several large-scale updates to the game's PvP. So if you've been watching the tournament with rapt interest, you'll have a number of shiny new systems to test out; if you haven't, you can still reap the benefits of an improved PvP system in the game.

Matchmaking is one of the biggest game mechanics seeing alterations. Players will be sorted by Glicko2 ratings for matchmaking purposes and subjected to a dishonor system that punishes behavior like leaving mid-match. The net result is a full ladder system for the game that will serve as a foundation for large-scale league play, with a test season planned for mid-December to make sure all of the parts work properly. There are more adjustments to be revealed over the next two weeks, but for now, dedicated PvP fans can rest easy knowing that more boosts are coming.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

Guild Wars 2's Tangled Paths update goes live today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Episode six of Guild Wars 2's second season of living world content, Tangled Paths, arrives on production servers today. The continuing storyline sends players on an epic dragon egg hunt through "newly discovered underground caverns" in the Silverwastes. Players who've been piecing together the carapace armor set this season can look forward to a pair of gloves this go-round.

Massively's GW2 expert, Anatoli Ingram, has been chronicling the seasonal plotline in his Flameseeker Chronicles column. Enjoy the fresh screenshots and slightly less fresh episode six video below.

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NCsoft's third quarter report is glowing; WildStar's revenues are not

Aion, Lineage, Lineage 2, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, WildStar

NCsoft
NCsoft's unaudited third quarter 2014 financial report is in. Do you want the good news first or the bad?

Let's get the bad out of the way. WildStar's revenues plummeted between the second and third quarters, down 42.9% (the sales units in the table above, please note, are in millions of Korean Won). Variable expense, NCsoft wrote, also fell "largely due to decreased box sales of WildStar." Guild Wars 2's revenues also fell slightly over the quarter, down 8.5%.

But the good news is that global sales and operating profit are very much up, up, up in total quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, thanks primarily to the continuing popularity of Aion and classic Lineage.

Flameseeker Chronicles: Learning from Tyria's past in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Below the cut is one of the worst jokes I've ever made. Sorry, Trahearne.
The latest Guild Wars 2 living world release, Echoes of the Past, seems to be a big hit. It's nice to see fans so unreservedly happy with an update since the past few months have been a little rocky for GW2, but ArenaNet has hit it out of the park this time.

If you haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, I strongly recommend checking it out before reading further, if possible. There are spoilers below the cut, and hardly anybody likes spoilers. Except me: the guy who flips to the end of the book sometimes. I'm a monster.

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Guild Wars 2 previews the Tangled Path for November 18th

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Lore, Previews, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

I'm thinking... omelette.  Anyone else thinking that?  Maybe with onions?
A dragon egg exists in Tyria. Yes, we know, dragons are overdone, but the existence of one of their eggs in Tyria is extremely rare, as evidenced in no small part by the fact that the main enemies of the setting are the six elder dragons. So everyone wants that egg... including Mordremoth, the main antagonist of Guild Wars 2's second season of Living World content. And that means that everyone who can try to get that egg will try to get that egg.

Yes, the next Living Story update is one big egg hunt, but it's one with pretty high stakes. The trailer just past the cut is short, but it should get players excited for when the update goes live on November 18th. And who wouldn't want a dragon egg of his very own? We recommend naming it Lord Snugglescale; that'll keep it on your side for sure.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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The Daily Grind: How do you diverge from conventional MMO wisdom?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, The Daily Grind, ArcheAge

I was reading some forum reviews of ArcheAge recently, and had I not played it extensively myself, I would have come away with the impression that it's a grindy gankfest with crappy combat and a hacker infestation so vast that it's actually unplayable. Needless to say, I disagree with all of those assertions.

Similarly, most if not all of my MMO-playing friends and co-workers swear by Guild Wars 2's combat. It's so fluid and actiony, they say, to which I usually smile, nod, and think, if it really was all that, I probably would've played the game for more than a week! I'm likely in the minority on that one, though, which leads into today's Daily Grind.

How do you diverge from what passes as conventional MMO wisdom?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Guild Wars 2's Echoes of the Past goes live today

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

It's release day for Guild Wars 2's Echoes of the Past update. The patch picks up "from a cliff-hanger ending that had the world of Tyria fighting the rise of the Elder Dragon Mordremoth," says ArenaNet.

If the living world isn't your cup of tea, take heart because the update also features gameplay tweaks including the new Silverwastes locale. ANet says that "mysterious ruins in the area will provide key battleground locations in the ongoing war against Mordremoth's expanding armies. Players will fight to hold strategic locations, call in pact allies for aid and take a stand against the growing threat." The update also boasts new Bandit Crests, which can be vendored in exchange for recipes, materials, and armor pieces.

Massively's Anatoli Ingram spoke to ArenaNet last month about the lore unfolding in these next chapters. Enjoy the new screenshots in the gallery below.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

A dragon hourglass commemorates Guild Wars 2's Echoes of the Past

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Humor, Buy-to-Play

We aren't sure why the skeleton is there. He just kind of showed up, and it would have been awkward to ask him to leave.
In advance of the next chapter of Guild Wars 2's living world story, Echoes of the Past, ArenaNet sent us a totally rad hourglass with dragons on it. While this thoughtful gesture may seem straightforward, there's a mystery afoot: A few days earlier, we had received a box that contained a shattered hourglass, as well as a very heavy marble base inscribed with a quote from the Pale Tree: "I've known since the moment we heard the roar."

Is it a coincidence that the coda of the Echoes of the Past trailer shows an hourglass shattering? Was this perhaps some kind of warning? Is the hourglass a time-traveling device that warped reality, allowing the present and past versions of the item to co-exist? Or was it just the tragic natural consequence of a five-pound marble base versus a delicate glass item in the same box? Whatever it is, we've been using the hourglass to count down the minutes until GW2's story starts again on November 4th. As of this writing, we've turned it over 4,329 times.

One Shots: Jolly pumpkins

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Miscellaneous

wow
Halloween may be over, but its spirit remains alive in MMOs! Alive, that is, as long as there are spooky locales to explore and a population that's more than willing to dress up in costume and face down the terrors that slip between the shadows.

Our friend David here may be taking Halloween at face value in World of Warcraft, but can you really blame him? He and his demonic minion look to be having a heck of a time. Plus, there's a whole-hearted embrace of a pumpkin motif that will be all but extict come December. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots may not be creepy in the least, but they do all share the same jolly attitude that exists in this moment. In a world that brought back One Shots, really anything is possible!

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Guild Wars 2, Torchlight 2 slash box prices for Halloween

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Promotions, Miscellaneous, Buy-to-Play

gw2
If you're looking for a subscription-free MMO to spend Halloween in, ArenaNet has an offer for you: The studio's slashed the price on Guild Wars 2's digital edition by 50%, making the cheapest version of the game just under 20 bucks.

If OARPGs are more your style, then check out Torchlight and Torchlight II; both are half off until November 3rd, Runic announced this afternoon.

We included a bunch of other Halloween-related sales in this morning's MMO Halloween roundup, and we expect more to keep rolling in today and tomorrow. Most games with cash shops are running some sort of promotion... just remember, you're a person, not a wallet.

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