Home / Event Coverage / Guild Wars 2: An MMORPG for the Ages – Pax East 2011

Guild Wars 2: An MMORPG for the Ages – Pax East 2011

Written by Josh “JP” Perault

Briefly, let us recap the original Guild Wars.  ArenaNet released Guild Wars in 2005, sold about seven million copies, and (my favorite part) it is completely free to play. Guild Wars 2 Title That being said, ArenaNet decided to release a second Guild Wars and DAMN it looks phenomenal.  The way that this game runs and looks is absolutely amazing in every way.  Let’s break it down mates.

ArenaNet wanted to “put the RPG back in MMORPG.”  According to the ArenaNet team, they did not want Guild Wars 2 to play like any other run of the mill MMO.  Where is the creativity and uniqueness in creating another game that you walk to an NPC, read a block of text about something completely random (that face it, rarely anyone cares to read), and then complete some mundane task for XP.  Do you ever feel like it mattered to you as the player and did it ever feel like it made your character grow?  The main aspect of an RPG is to build on your legend, your custom made character, and define who you are in that game world.  In order to drive this point home, Guild Wars 2 questions you during character creation that defines some key points in who you are.  Are you cunning?  Guild Wars 2Did you get drunk in a bar and pass out?  Do you fight for anything?  Each of these questions directly changes the course of the game, from basic conversations to where you need to go in your game play.  What if you said you fought for glory, but yet you play as a coward?  ArenaNet designed a system that changes your game play according to your actions, but not on a good or evil scale.  Pretty nifty if I do say so myself.  In addition, your friends can join in on your own personal story, and you theirs.
Guild Wars 2 implemented a dynamic event system which has been seen in different games across the board, but none that I can think of in this particular magnitude.  Paraphrasing the Guild Wars 2 team, how exciting is it finding out that you need to save someone’s farm and walk out onto the farm seeing the enemies just walking around waiting to be slain?  Not too exciting right?  This is where dynamic events come into play.  Imagine the same scenario: farm, fire, enemies, save it, XP!  Guild Wars 2This time, however, when you walk out into the field, the enemies are ACTUALLY burning it down.  Much better, I say.  Now take it one step further.  What if you don’t feel like stopping the enemies?  In any other game usually, it won’t mean a thing.  You can just do the quest later, no worries.  Or abandon the quest, that works as well.  In Guild Wars 2, instead of it not mattering, those enemies may end up on another’s farm, burning it to the ground.  Whoa wait, why are they there?  Because you decided to tell the other farmer he wasn’t good enough to save.  Innovative?  Creative?  Glad we are on the same page.

The combat system has been evolved as well.  You can now dodge and use movement skills.  What this means for you is that when you run around an enemy and try to roll out of the way, you don’t necessarily get hit by default.  The environment can also be used as a weapon, which gives the player so many new options to vanquish his or her foes.  Oh, and on a particular side note that thrilled me thoroughly, you cannot steal anyone’s loot.  Anyone who took a part in the kill gets experience and has access to loot. Guild Wars 2 No more kill stealing!  This side note is actually a main point that ArenaNet wanted to put across, and that is the idea of teamwork and to have everyone working together.  To add on to this, ArenaNet even went as far as making everyone able to heal and resurrect each other and themselves.  The creation of groups will go quite smoothly in comparison because the need for a healer has been shot to hell.

The game has five races and two new classes, including the Guardian and Thief, similar to paladins and rogues.  Each class possesses different abilities that even base themselves on what weapons you equip.  Guild Wars 2 really goes above and beyond the idea of an MMO and truly injects the RPG element back into the experience.  Practically the entire team has agreed that this is close to the best gaming experience we have seen this weekend, if not the best.  I highly recommend taking a look into the game and apologizing to WoW now because I believe it will start to feel like a neglected child.


  1. I remember when i wanted to buy WoW but i didnt really have money to pay a monthly subscription, i looked into it and found Guild Wars factions, i bought 2 one for my GF and one for me.

    We really enjoyed the game, we finished factions and then bought nightfalls, we almost finished nightfalls but i got a job and with school i didnt have enough time to play it anymore.

    I still wish i could play it, i will buy GW2 when it comes out, even if i dont play it as often.

    Great Game, have been waiting for GW2 for a couple of years now. Any word on the release date?

  2. all the credits are for ARENA-net and not the ncsoft but just one small mistake:)

  3. Nice writeup. Always fun to see more glowing praise for this game as the development moves along. The only thing though is that the game is being developed by ArenaNet, not NCSoft. They are just the publisher. In fact, you can replace nearly every instance of the word NCSoft in the article and replace it with ArenaNet to make it a bit more factual.

    Credit where credit is due and all that. Currently, it's similar to attributing the success of WoW to Activision, and never mentioning Blizzard Entertainment.

  4. "NCsoft released Guild Wars in 2005"
    while NCsoft is the publisher and released Guild Wars, Arenanet is the developer.
    so the following statement your making must be corrected:"NCsoft wanted to “put the RPG back in MMORPG.” According to the NCsoft team" In these sentences NCsoft should be replaced by Arenanet.

    Aside from the mistakes, great artical and really sums up what Arenanet is trying to achieve.

    Kind Regards

  5. What bothers me with this article is that they are referring to NCsoft and "Guild Wars 2 team". NCsoft is "just" the publisher. The creators of the game or "Guild Wars 2 team" as they are called in the article are ArenaNet staff.

    Hector, if you would now have time to play GW2, I recommend you revisit GW. It's still around. And no word on release. The official word from ArenaNet is "When it's ready".

  6. Nice albeit generalised summary. One important thing to point out though; ArenaNet is the developers behind Guild Wars 2, the very same company who developed Guild Wars. NCsoft is merely the publisher for the Guild Wars 2, and they’ve given the developers a lot of freedom for developing this game. Just want to point out credit where credit is due.

    @Hector, no release date as of yet. For now the mantra for its release is simply “when it’s ready” and may probably be so for a little while.

  7. It's Arenanet that's developing the game, NCsoft is just the publisher. You wouldn't say that microsoft developed Halo: Reach, would you? I hope you wouldn't.

  8. My apologies everyone. The reason I put down NCsoft was due to the fact that it was at the NCsoft panel. It has been corrected, I would like to thank you all for pointing this out to me.

  9. Good thing you didnt use a comma instead of a period somewhere in the article. You have another dozen critics taking up comment space about something few care instead of real insightful commentary.

    • It's a pretty big factual inaccuracy that needed to be corrected (and quickly was), not something as trivial as a punctuation error. The author is a journalist and clearly understands and appreciates the difference and the relevance.

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