Published on April 9th, 2011 | by Richard Motokovsky1
Guild Wars 2 Preview
In 2007, the sequel to one of NCsoft’s biggest franchises was announced. Guild Wars 2 uses the original game as a foundation and builds a new storyline, and new classes and races into an already rich lore-packed world. It’s now 2011 and the game is slowly edging towards a Beta (believed to be happening at some point this year) and then release.
The game takes place in the same universe but centuries in the future, and Tyria is a much-changed place. Following from the events of the Eye of the North expansion, when players saved the world from a Dwarven menace, five ancient dragons, masters and mistresses of specific elements and even undeath itself, have woken up and created chaos in their wake. Their re-emergence has ripped apart the continents and sent many species spiraling towards extinction. Post-Searing, the dragons have chased old races from their homes and great cities have fallen into ashes. Human civilization had been most effected but now races stand much more united and with a common language. But, when one door closes a window is always left open. Guild Wars 2 also introduces new ones but it has turned Tyria into a much more dangerous and bewitching place.
Race-wise, we can expect the return of humans, Charr and Asura, as well as the introduction of the gigantic Norn and the strange Dream-born Sylvari, the children of the Pale Tree. Similarly, the playable classes has also changed to reflect the different world. As of writing, ArenaNet have begun having themed race weeks – the first two focusing on humans and the Norn, allowing for more information specific to each race to be released. It’s not a great leap of the imagination to think it won’t be long before we have weeks focusing on the Charr, the Asura and the Sylvari.
After races, the next thing people want to know about are the classes you’re going to get to play. Five professions – as they are being called – have been announced so far: the Elementalist, the Warrior, the Ranger, the Necromancer and – most recently revealed – the Guardian. Each has its own pros, cons and play styles which echo the classic MMO archetypes but also give them a little twist which makes them new and inviting. That said, veterans will recognise the Tank, the Healer, the Mage and the long-range DPSer, even if all are dressed up with their own unique skills and abilities.
The Guardian, for example, is a master tactician, while the Necromancer can summon undead minions to do their bidding and feed on the lifeforce of others. The Ranger is excellent at long-range combat and comes with animal companions who can fight at their side. Then there’s the classic Tank, the powerful Warrior who relies on brute strength and armor to keep them alive during the harshest of battles. Finally there’s the magic-welding Elementalist, who uses the four elemental to devastate, which more than makes up for their squishy exterior.
Given how long Guild Wars 2 has been in development, ArenaNet has been working on updating the official wiki with information as well as slowly revealing new game and class information to the Guild Wars community. The official site is regularly updated with essays and posts on specific subjects, and the wiki is continually updated to reflect the post-Searing world. Will finally get their hands on the biggest release since Aion.
The game promises to offer much more, including dynamic events and choices which will leave marks upon Tyria and its people. Indeed, it feels like a single-player game, more like Oblivion or Dragon Age, than a traditional MMO in these moments. That said, the ability to not need to rely on other player characters in order to do quests, raid and progress was one of Guild Wars’ success stories, and it’ll be interesting to see how this addition of choice changes each player’s personal game experience.
Yet because of the slow build and the ever-increasing level of hype, Guild Wars 2 promises to be a revolutionary MMO, mixing the best of the original with new and exciting zones, fun classes and old and new races. The game promises so much but is also setting a precedent for MMO sequels. After all, this isn’t just a new expansion to a much-loved game, it’s a whole new stage in Guild Wars’ evolution. This means it’s a dangerous and exciting time for players, and anyone else who is keen to walk through Tyria with their friends. Here’s hoping it will deliver when Guild Wars 2 is eventually released – hopefully sometime before the end of this year.