Ah yes, that infamous moment when the counter on GuildWars2.com hit zero and my buddy and I raced into the world of Tyria knowing the life we used to know is gone forever… and here I am giving ArenaNet another idea to keep me, and the rest of the Guild Was 2 community, glued in this alternate world.
Note: Not actual sizes; there are no giant frogs in Guild Wars
Long ago, some 250-odd years according to the Mouvelian calendar, a lone ranger and her amphibious friend, The Frog, would occasionally march into Lion’s Arch, the main city in the original Guild Wars. This ranger, all decked out in purple armour, and The Frog would cause every hero across the land to gather in this city to eat sweets, set off fireworks and most of all hear what these two mysterious beings had to say.
For those unfamiliar with the original Guild Wars, and me for that matter, it was Gail Grey, then the Community Relations Manager for ArenaNet, walking into Lion’s Arch as a level nine ranger and the person who sparked my interest in Community Management. What better way to interact with us, the players, then inside the game? Some players probably don’t use Twitter, or even — *gasp* — Facebook. How cool would it be to see Community Managers Regina Buenaobra or Martin Kerstein in Guild Wars 2 taking on your questions, hearing your thoughts or commenting on your ideas?
Another thing, bring back The Frog, or another riddle-speaking being. This omniscient frog would never directly say what he means, but offer hints and roundabout descriptions of new things to come in Guild Wars. Our amphibious informant also fit in so well within the lore of Tyria; The Frog essentially became the “fly on the wall” around the world, claiming he gets all his information through The Tad-Pole Network.
The Frog kept the players guessing and eager for the next update. It was common to see “what do you think The Frog meant by this?” or “dude, I think we’re getting <insert wanted item, functionality or fix here>!” in Guild and All chat after The Frog bid his farewell and gamers had a chance to read the chat log that was plastered over every fan site and forum around the WWW.
Between Gail Grey’s visits and The Frog’s riddles, it sent Guild Wars apart from other MMOs. It added a huge emotional attachment to Guild Wars by ArenaNet taking the time to come visit and, subsequently, tease us with new content information. Time and time again ArenaNet proved they want to listen to us by answering tweets, Facebook comments and Reddit posts, but at some point the developer needs to go where every player gathers — inside Guild Wars 2.
It’s been five years since ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 was under development. I remember it pretty clearly, and I didn’t like it.
“Guild Wars 2 Professions” by serphiroth101 on DeviantART
The popular Guild Wars community website, GuildMag, asked bloggers to reminisce on the 2007 announcement of Guild Wars 2 for its fourth Blog Carnival.
To be honest, at the time I didn’t like that ArenaNet was giving up on Guild Wars to create a sequel. At least that’s how I felt.
It had been only two years since I started playing the original and I had just started to feel comfortable in structured PvP. My guild — my home in Guild Wars — Inyurface Gaming was a constant sight in Heroes’ Accent; challenging and holding The Hall of Heroes. I had turned into a decent Monk for my team, evening helping my guild reach the top 40 on the Guild Ladder.
Mystical Sparkle decked out in Obsidian armor
After playing through the PvE campaign many times and spending a lot of time in Random Arenas (so to completely unlock every skill, rune and weapon mod for my account) I had many skills memorized. It had come to the point where the icon of a skill told me to run or attack an enemy; it allowed to me to focus on positional strategy over reading the skill’s description as the opposition casts it. This allowed me to use Healing Seed (when it was meta for a Monk to have it… yeah a long ass time ago) on a teammate and stand beside them as an enemy Necromancer is casting Spiteful Spirit, for example.
With the news of Guild Wars 2 broke, I will admit I was bummed out, let-down and, sadly, depressed. It meant I had to learn whole new game mechanics, skills and strategies. All the time and effort spent in Guild Wars was thrown out the window along with all my accomplishments; my tiger emote, all the cool weapons and armor I had purchased, gone. Just like that.
Okay, it wasn’t really gone, but it felt like everything I worked for was obsolete.
Luckily, ArenaNet introduced the Hall of Monuments in the same breath as Guild Wars 2. The HoM allows players to turn their achievements in the original game into rewards for the sequel. Although I can’t directly bring my tiger emote into Guild Wars 2 — the one title I worked the hardest on; some people may shake their head at that notion, but “rank” is the reward for success in one aspect of PvP in Guild Wars — but at least I am rewarded for the title and the cool armor and weapons I have collected over my time in Guild Wars.
Although the press release suggests Guild Wars 2 will go into Beta in the second half of 2008, it wasn’t until April 2012 that the public got their first Beta event. In that time (it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time, but we’re talking at least three years ago), my guild slowly started to move over to League of Legends; a game I’m not to fond of. I eventually traded my keyboard and mouse for an Xbox 360 controller; Call of Duty: Black Ops became my game of choice, along with a few other friends.
Today, I’m more than excited for the release of Guild Wars 2. I’ve swapped back to my trusty keyboard and mouse for the last public Beta event and stress test — on that note, I’d like to publicly thank the PR rep for ArenaNet for hooking me up with a Beta code — and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the game.
Being able to jump in Guild Wars 2 makes the game seem more free, and the same goes for being able to move while casting skills. Not to mention we finally have something similar to an Auction House (boy, was it annoying to sell or buy something through spamming a “WTS” or “WTB” message respectively). The new game play and the small part of my personal story that I got to play was so exciting that I didn’t want to stop playing — although I forced myself to; it’s unhealthy not to take a break.
In my opinion the announcement of Guild Wars 2 was premature, but I’m glad it took ArenaNet another five years to build a public Beta and another few months release the game (it officially launches this year on August 28). It allowed me some time to work on what I wanted to accomplish in Guild Wars; to compete in the highly competitive Guild versus Guild, to get the best looking armor for my toons and to become part of a tightly knit group of players.
Now it’s time to do it all over again and I’m excited to start!
What was your first thought on Guild Wars 2?
This post is apart of Guild Mag’s Blog Carnival. You can read the entry I did for the first Blog Carnival or read more blogs from this Carnival here.
There is a buzz going around the Guild Wars 2 community of a possible console port of the highly anticipated MMO. ArenaNet Community Manager, Martin Kerstein, responded to the wildfire of posts generated by a conference call with an investor on Guild Wars 2 Guru today:
I think “stay calm, don’t panic” will become my new mantra.
We stated multiple times in public that we have a small team working on a console version, but that we are fully dedicated to make the most kickass game for PC (I think the official statement did not use the word kickass, in case someone wants to semantically disect my post ).
Continue reading “Guild Wars 2 Could Have a Console Version” »
I just finished reading the second of two novels that explain how the Guild Wars world changed leading up to the MMO, Guild Wars 2. This one reads very differently than the first book, Ghosts of Ascalon. By differently, I mean poor. The characters lack personality (except the sylvari, Caithe, whom I though was very mysterious) and it’s a shame. This book explains a legendary group of characters in the history of Tyria.
Continue reading “Edge of Destiny Book Review: It could have been better” »
I just finished reading the first of two novels based on ArenaNet’s Guild Wars franchise. It did have its not-so-fun-to-read moments, but it kept my attention enough to get to the epic conclusion. All the action is left towards the end, but the reader learns a lot about the different species in the world of Tyria during the adventure.
Ghosts of Ascalon, book, review, guild wars, guildwars