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Guild Wars 2 Interviews: Exclusive Interview

By Garrett Fuller on December 08, 2009

MMORPG.com:

The new game trailer gives some insight into the races. What storyline is your favorite of the group and why?

Ree Soesbee:

Favorite?! We love them all!

Each of the races have their own challenges and their own story. In the end, however, they all share a common world--and therefore a common danger. Zhaitan, the dragon of Orr, plans to destroy all life on Tyria, and the other dragons are not far behind him in power. No matter where the individual races begin their story, all of them must come to see that their survival against these powerful foes is inextricably tied together.

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MMORPG.com:

There is such a huge canvas for developers to work with. Can you talk about some of the environments in Guild Wars 2?

Dave Beetlestone:

If you've had a chance to look at some of the concept art, it's pretty clear that we're trying to stretch the canvas as far as we can while staying true to the environments that have helped define the Guild Wars world. By giving the player the ability to jump and swim, the amount of accessible locations has grown exponentially, creating an even greater challenge for both the art and design departments. We've worked together really closely to make sure that each new environment creates a memorable experience for the player, while ensuring that the different areas seam up and transition smoothly to help foster a sense of exploration and discovery. Trying to turn your typical swamp, snow, and forested areas into something that is unique to Guild Wars is a constant challenge, but it allows us to push our creativity on a daily basis.

MMORPG.com:

The game looks like it is truly taking on an epic feel. Can you tell us the scope of the world you are working with?

Dave Beetlestone:

With five playable races, we've worked to create distinct starting areas for each race that support the back story, while making sure that each area has its own unique feel. The amount of thought and creativity that goes into defining these cultures is epic in itself. For each race we've had to design and build the core assets for the main city, including all the services a player will need. We've also had to provide details for villages, houses, sheds, and tents that all need to be filled with smaller components to differentiate them from one another. Then there are the underwater areas to consider. Each starting area has some form of water, whether it's a lake, river, or ocean. All these aquatic areas have their own distinct topology, plant life, creatures, and destinations, which essentially makes all of the underwater places into their own sub-regions. Since the environment team ends up building everything from castles to candlesticks, the amount of different concepts that we have to generate just to begin the process is staggering.


Screenshot

MMORPG.com:

Can you talk about the relationships between the races?

Ree Soesbee:

Sure! As most fans know, the charr and the humans have a rocky relationship. Ascalon is ruled by the charr, but the human fortification of Ebonhawke still stands against them. Many charr and humans still dwell on old enmities and hatreds and are not willing to give up their feud even in the face of mutual destruction.

On the other side of the world, the young race of sylvari arose and began to explore the world--finding first the cunning asura. Among the asura, the sylvari experienced an initial lesson in trust--or mistrust--which they will not easily forget. The asura treated them like expendable helpers at best and experiments at worst, leading to a mistrust between the two races that is not easily overcome.

The norn have a sense of independence that keeps them somewhat apart from such matters, but also makes them distant and less informed about the larger movements in the world. They admire the charr for their boldness and find the human queen weak because she is compassionate, but they do not interfere in Ascalon. They feel the other races must stand alone--even as the norn do.

MMORPG.com:

Will there be deeper story lines for players to follow leading up to the game?

Eric Flannum:

One of the things that has made developing Guild Wars 2 so much fun is that we get to take past events in our world and extrapolate their consequences into the era of Guild Wars 2. The 250 year period between the two games is rich with major events, interesting characters, and important plot lines. One way we plan to explore some of this is through the Guild Wars novels, and we've already seen some things in Guild Wars 1 that lead into the second game. As we get closer to launch, I think we'll definitely see more things both in Guild Wars 1 and outside of it that hint at things to come.

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