In the distance a horn trumpets through the air and the vibrations of the drums shake the surrounding earth. The call to arms has been sounded to rally the heroes of Tyria and take back the world from the Elder Dragons who are ravaging the surface, underground, and sea. Come join us in Guild Wars 2 and together we shall lay some epic smackdown upon these foul evildoers!!
*Cough* On a slightly more serious and informative note… Guild Wars 2. What is it, and Why should you care?
As the name implies, Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the original Guild Wars which was released about 7 years ago. Guild Wars 2 picks up about 250 years after the final content in Guild Wars takes place, but the basic plot is very easy to pick up even without having played the original. This game is a buy-to-play MMO with no subsequent subscription fee after the initial purchase. The game can be easily broken down into 3 parts…any one of which can be completely experienced from level 1 to 80 without ever having to participate in any of the other parts.
In which you are struggling, along with everyone else on your server, to fight back against the aforementioned Elder Dragons who are squatting on our land!
One of the most exciting things to me about PvE in this game are the Dynamic event chains, which have different success or fail states depending on how well you do your job. If you fail to protect the littlegirl from being abducted by pirates, they take her back to their base, and now you have to go raid the Pirate base on a rescue operation!
The entire last zone, Orr, is made up of nothing buch MASSIVE interlocking Dynamic Event webs. By webs I mean that failing on one part of one Dynamic event chain can actually change how a completely different Dynamic Event chain is working. All of these interlocking events culminate in opening up the final dungeon in which you can finally face Zhaitan…the big bad Elder Dragon of this particular story line.
That probably came out completely incomprehensible, but here are a few links that do a much better job of describing it:
A video with 2 content designers discussing endgame in general, and Orr in particular
World versus World versus World
This has been compared to the Realm v Realm from Daoc. Your server and 2 others wage brutal combat against each other for glory and crafting bonuses! Keeps, Warcamps, Neutral Allies, Supply Camps, Castles are all your to plunder, or to lose. This conflict last for 2 weeks before a winner is declared, and you are matched up against different servers, with a kind of ELO system in place to in order to fight people around your server’s competency level.
In this mode you are automatically leveled to 80, but keep all your current gear, traits, and skill points that you had in PvE. You actually continue to gain xp as you kill people, so my…err..your… craving for blood can be satisfied.
Standardized Player vs. Player
In this area you are also automatically leveled to 80, but it is with all the skills unlocked, and all your normal trait points available. Max level armor, runes and weapons are also free from the vendors in the area. Here is where your battleground like environments take place on everything from hot join playing fields to randomly generated tournaments, to weekly/monthyl/anually held prestige tournaments. With all gear and traits available to everyone, this is the area Guild Wars 2 is looking to enter into the eSports arena with.
Whether or not they will succeed remains to be seen, but it sure feels nice to know the Rank 10 Warrior with WAY too much time on his hands won’t come buy and crush me with a flick of his wrist just by virtue of having the +10,000 damage sword of DOOM. Also, all these kinds of battlegrounds are cross GAME, and operate sort of like a FPS server where when one game ends the next automatically starts, and people can come in and out (except for tournaments, of course). So there were absolutely no wait times.
If my incessant rambling didn’t scare you away, here is Areanet’s official overview for PvP.
This is a list of links I found especially informative or cool, and will be updated as I find more, or as you submit things that YOU find cool about Guild Wars 2!
A MUST see series of videos if you are at all interested in what kind of lore leads up to the current situation in Guild Wars 2. The narrator has done a wonderful job at summarizing 1000’s of years of lore. If you are really ambitious he has also chronicled playing through every campaign and beyond content. If you watch NOTHING else…just watch the first episode of this series.