Hrnk, Ive been waiting for this game for 6 years... Though I didnt really like Eye of the North, which is meant to be the pre-amble before GW2... so I'll probably wait til it comes out before getting it, yknow, in case its rubbish XD
I really think this is going to be a fucking BLAST! The RvR system alone makes it a must buy, and it seems much better than Torchlight 2 (sorry Blizz North, you're just not catching my attention). I'm really considering the digital LE too.
Now I wish I still had my limited edition GW2 art book from PAX'09 signed by a dozen of the game's artists... =/
I also have this prepurchased. The pve stuff doesn't seem that interesting to me, but the WvW stuff looks fantastic. I had a blast in vanilla WoW's Alterac Valley, and those keep siege videos that have come out really bring that back for me.
I don't know if it's really fair to compare it to Torchlight II or Diablo III; they are totally different games.
Yeah, I kinda see what you're saying... but... They're both loot centric, class based, action RPGs with an emphasis on multiplayer. Regarding gameplay, D3 is taking a similar approach to tactics with a limit to 6 simultaneous skills with a huge variety of supposedly evenly balanced runes. It seems pretty close to Guild War's limited skill set. I think the biggest difference comes from its persistent, open world implications, but despite those, I couldn't say they're "totally" different. I know GW2 is going for a the MMO crowd, but I still get the feeling it will play similarly enough to GW1 that it feels like a Diablo-inspired game.
TL2 is the odd one out for being a purely traditional dungeon crawler sticking with the tried-and-true stat/skill tree system for high levels of customization, as well as a charge bar for dynamic battlefield gameplay.
You'll be surprised -- Guild Wars 2 is REALLY stepping back from loot. It's in the game, and provides small boosts, but it's nowhere near the upgrade-fest that WoW or SWTOR or really any other MMO are. Pretty much all the significant loot in the game is cosmetic -- a lot of this is because of the level scaling system. If you're a higher level than the area you're in, at any time, you're automatically scaled down to the appropriate level for the quests in the area, so you can do them but still have it be a challenge. Competitive PvP everyone uses standard equipment -- loot is really going to only matter in WvW, and even in those cases it seems like the decision is going to be more about what rune set you chose for your gear rather than if you've farmed all the right shit from a dungeon.
It also really doesn't play much like GW1 at all. The lore and the zones and some of the old classes are there, but it feels much more "MMO"ish, if that makes sense.
Yeah, moving through the zones (they're all pretty awesome -- even the start areas aren't boring shit like WoW 1-10 zones), dungeons don't even start until around 30-35. World PvP can be accessed at any time and you automatically get kicked up to level 80, but natural 80s have a slight advantage over 50s kicked to 80, who have an advantage over level 10s kicked to 80, etc.
Basically think WoW, except the zones are technically instanced (as well as the cities). For example, the entire Level 1-15 zone is just one single zone, so you'll see tons of people in it as you go around and do your stuff.
I don't know the hard numbers on how many players can be in an area at a time, but it's a decent number (at least 100, very likely more). If for whatever reason the area you want to be in is completely full, you're automatically transferred to another server (actual game server) until yours frees up.
Pretty much every single quest in the game, except for the story quests, are designed to be group events, except you don't need to party up or anything -- you just show up. Stuff happens, and everyone in the area will run over to it and start participating. I think they said their design philosophy was that they wanted to take the idea of raids and raid bosses, but make that the entire game instead of a single event that occurs at the end of a max-level dungeon.
Holy crap, it is an MMO! And the quest design sounds exactly like a lot of the DAoC player interactions! DAoC consisted of entirely shared areas, dungeons included, and people sort of jumped in and out of groups/battlegroups to get things done. If people were grinding mobs, they'd basically camp a location and would pull from two or three nearby groups of constantly respawning mobs and this was repeated throughout a whole area or dungeon - not that it's fun to grind, but the completely open/non-instanced nature of the whole game was very inviting and people would always be welcome to jump into groups when they passed by. Later, ToA expansion featured tons of on-the-fly complete-able trials that were usually done in huge groups after someone decided to ask for help in the zone chat, and most of the entire zone would want to participate -- which sounds like what you described for GW2!
I really hope the world PvP/RvR/WvW can be as large scale and awe inspiring as DAoC's old frontiers were, because this game seems to be taking all of its best elements and combining it into an amazing F2P MMO. The ability to jump into endgame battles at any level is a huge benefit for encouraging the bigger scale, and I love that fully leveled characters have an inherently stronger chance.
Did you get super early beta access to GW2, Aerox? You seem very knowledgeable on this game.
From the dungeon I ran, it's fun, but it's a HUGE adjustment. Everyone has to be super aware of their aggro and health at pretty much all times -- the majority of healing is going to be your self heal (which is on a fairly long timer -- only a couple classes even have the ability to heal others and even then it's usually under specific circumstances). With only one dungeon run take it with a grain of salt, but I think overall it's going to be a lot more challenging and rewarding than standard MMO 5 man stuff.
One nice benefit is that you don't have to stand around looking for tanks/healers. Theoretically any combination of classes can beat the dungeons -- we did ours with two guardians, two engineers, and an elementalist. Don't mistake that to mean the dungeons are easy though -- they're not.
How many total people are there in one zone? Do they have any plans for end game content aside form the dynamic world PvP? The last one has me curious since the game isn't loot-centric. Any more details about that PvP/RvR/WvW would be appreciate too.
You may be able to answer some of my questions but if not:
-- The Guild PVP system in GW1 lore was based of rival guilds and competition with one another but you never felt any real sense of rivalry with other guilds per se... just random battles on your guild hall. Has this changed at all in GW2? IF so how?
-- Guild Hall... any enhancements in GW2? Guild halls in 1 were just empty environments in GW1 to pvp essentially. Is there any real personalization this time around with Vendors? Pets? Or specific NPC recruitment for your "Town"???
Finally this is more of a direct question... but I think it's generally universal that the Guild Wars 1 expansions weren't as well received as the main game. Thoughts? Did this effect Guild Wars 2 development / philosophy at all?
*Sort of my worry that they're still building on what they had done in the expansions which I didn't like at all... just didn't think they were fun. Though the "Hero" companion gig was pretty cool.