Originally posted by EvilGeek
Unless you've been following the flood of information over the past few months it's easy to overlook and miss a lot of what we've come to discover. the intention of this thread is to try and centralise everything we know so that people can come here to get the basics. I'll start by listing what i know then ask you the community to correct me and provide more info, I'll update this original post as often as I can with your help :)
I don't want to go in to too much detail about everything and will endeavor to provide links, this is just the basics with a few examples to help clarify.
The demonstration of the game at gamescom has revealed a lot more info.
The Guild Wars 2 official Wiki
Set some 250 years after the original game. Tyria will be the only playable continent, the continents of Elona (Nightfall GW-Chapter 3) and Cantha (Factions – GW chapter 2) will not be included.
The game world is set to be much larger than the original game, much of the game play is said to be underwater. The lost land of Orr has risen from the depths and along with it the elder dragons have returned to pose a threat.
The majority of the world, with the exception of dungeons and personal storyline, is set in a persistent world and isn't heavily instanced like its predecessor.
The world will have day/night and weather cycles. Some events will be linked to the time of day and weather cycle, some events may even effect weather.
As well as language understandable by the player there will be translatable languages discoverable by players, source: The language of Guild Wars
You will need to buy the game but there will be no subscription charge, revenue will come from micro transactions similar to the current GW shop (make over, name change, fluff items and maybe skill/weapon unlocks) and by additional game content released further on.
Unlike GW1 you will be able to jump and swim. Movement will play an important role in combat.
In the demo at gamescom 2010 the tutorial was 20 minutes and culminated with a boss fight.
Map travel is possible using waypoints, you unlock waypoints by exploring and finding them. Players can open the map, choose an unlocked waypoint and teleport there. There is also an Asura gate system that allows travel between cities, these don't need to be unlocked. Both forms of travel will have a small currency cost.
It was revealed at PAX that GW2 will have a phone app, enabling you to keep in contact with your guild and friends and track their progress. It was stated at PAX this would be free, since then there has been no mention of cost. The game will also offer various web utilities including use of the auction house and guild chat.
Anet Blog - Rick Ellis talks about the extended experience
Extended Experience Q & A
Hall Of Monuments (only available to Guild Wars players)
The Hall of Monuments (HoM) is only available to the original GW players who own the expansion Eye of the North. The HoM is a place that celebrates your achievements in the original game, it has four monuments to unlock: Devotion, Fellowship, Resilience, and Valor. The monuments are completed by adding companions (heroes/hench with upgraded armour and certain combat pets), Mini Pets (non combat pets usually received as character birthday presents or as special promotional items), by gaining titles (completing content, vanquishing areas, playing PvP etc) and by attaining 'elite' armour sets.
GW Wiki Hall of Monuments
The HoM will bestow special items in GW2 for linked accounts, those items are based on your GW account achievements and will be available for all of your characters on your GW2 account. Current GW players can use the online calculator to see what rewards they have unlocked on their account and how they can progress.
GW2 HoM FAQ
GW2 HoM page and calculator
PvE and PvP
The world of Tyria will be PvE. There are no plans to have PvP servers.
PvP is supported and will include instanced, team based games and an area known as 'The Mists' which will have massive World vs World combat. You can jump in to team based games on an equal footing with the same character level and item quality as everyone else.
The Mists is a massive battlefield that players of all levels can jump in to and participate at their current level, Making gains in The Mists will unlock bonuses for your server. Players are allowed to switch servers but there will be limits to ensure balance for the Mists.
World V World PvP
World vs World, WvW, World PvP or Casual PvP, is a mode of Player versus Player combat which takes place in the Mists. Worlds, or servers, are randomly matched up against two other worlds. Those match-ups will be rotated every week to match worlds against those of similar strength. The combat is open and features many objectives and roles which players can do; "players may decide to fight alone against a supply caravan, join a single group and capture a mine or create a large alliance to assault one of the numerous fortress that could give an advantage in the zone." The battle is on a large scale, where hundreds of people can fight on each side in week-long battles.
Each opposing world starts out with castles, mercenary camps, mines, lumber mills and villages. Separating the starting zones are neutral zones controlled by no one, also containing fortresses, mines, and villages.
The resources gained from mines and lumber mills are used to rebuild walls, create siege engines, and generally defend the team's fortress.
These territories and control points will confer benefits to the world that controls them; "maybe everyone gets increased energy regeneration or healing rate or enhanced loot drop rate." Players can gain experience and level their character in World PvP. Guilds will be able to take and hold keeps.
Players are free to come and go from the battle as they please and there is no limit to the number of players entering. Players enter with a character of any level and use skills they have available to that character. Characters can enter as a sidekick which will allow them to play as a higher level character.
World PvP is intended as a casual form of PvP, designed to be a more relaxed bridging point between PvE and the tactics and pressure of structured PvP. It is hoped that players of any level or PvP experience can participate and be useful.
From the GW2 Wiki
There are five playable races and each will have its own starting city and have their own racial abilities, they are:
Humans - Once the dominant species Humans are now in decline, the capital city of Divinity's Reach in Kryta, ruled by Queen Jennah, is their last stronghold. They look to their allies and former enemies (The Charr) to secure their place in the world and overcome the dangers posed by the elder dragons.
Abilities: Most of the human abilities in the game call upon the power of their six gods. These abilities can ask for a small favor such as the "prayer to Dwayna," which heals the player. Some of the human abilities ask for major intervention from the gods, such as the one that summons the two fiery hounds of Balthazar to come to the player's aid.
Charr – originally the arch enemy of the humans, the Charr have ceased hostilities in an uneasy alliance to fight the greater foe
Abilities: The charr use technology, explosives, and sheer ferocity in battle. Whether laying down a "shrapnel mine" or using a mighty "battle roar," the charr are a force to be reckoned with. Charr also use advanced tactics, such as calling upon warband support to overwhelm their foes with numbers.
Charr walk on two legs while wielding weapons, without weapons they run on all fours.
Asura – small pointy eared creatures with a strong sense of self, who look down on other races and often each other. They have developed their own technology which includes the creation of magical, mechanical creatures known as golems. They originally rose from their underground dwellings during the story line of 'Eye of the North' the first and only true expansion for Guild Wars (EotN was the replacement for the 4th chapter which was abandoned after Anet decided to focus on the new game GW2)
Abilities:The abilities of the asura have a lot to do with golems and magic. An asura player might use a simple "arcane blast" or create a deadly "radiation field." If they are really in a bind, they can summon a magical "golem battlesuit" that they can climb into and use to devastate their foes.
Norn – a tall strong independent race who have the ability to shapeshift, they are a proud warrior race and also made their first appearance in EotN. The Norn skill bar will change to reflect the form they have shapeshifted to.
Abilities:The norn rely on individual feats of strength and their faith in the spirits of the wild. Their link to nature allows them to "call upon bear" to increase their health or "call upon raven" to attack their foes. When the situation calls for it, they can assume snow leopard form to wreak havoc on the field of battle.
Sylvari – a new 'emergent race' who developed from a magical tree which produced cocoons from which they emerged, these new creatures share a common consciousness, each is born from the same tree and emerges ready equipped with the knowledge of those Sylvari who have come before.
Abilities:The empathic nature of the sylvari allows them to call upon both other sylvari and all green and growing things. They can use the "blessing of the pale tree" to protect themselves or cause an enemy to "take root," immobilizing them. In times of great need, they can call upon the "strength of the dream" to heal themselves from critical damage.
Ability info from this gamespot article.
Video - Races of Tyria
There will be 8 professions in GW2, so far only the Elementalist, Warrior, Necromancer, Ranger and Guardian have been confirmed. There will NOT be a dedicated healing class. The books released to tell the story of the 250 year gap between GW and GW2 mention both the Assassin and Mesmer , speculation is that both these professions will be in and that the final class is a Gunner type profession - this is all speculation of course and not fact, Anet could still surprise us.
As mentioned previously there is no dedicated healing class, there will be support classes but it's expected these will be about prevention rather than cure, each profession will have it's own healing skills and is therefore expected to be self sufficient for healing. There are no ally targeted skills in GW2 Source
The demo allowed you to create your name with up to 16 characters and allowed for the use of spaces. If you own the original game (guild Wars) and have a character who has unlocked the Hall of Monuments, that characters name will be reserved for you in GW2 if the accounts are linked.
Death and the the 'downed' state
When a player gets close to being defeated they enter in to a 'downed state' their skill bar will change and they will have the ability to use special skills, these are your last chance skills, skills that could save you from death, rallying from this state will take you back to your original skill bar and get you back in to the fray. All players, from level 1 will have a revive skill to resurrect fallen players. The more times a player dies the longer it takes to revive them. If you die and aren't revived you will, for a small amount of gold, be resurrected at the nearest shrine with no further penalty.
healing + Death
The game will have a max level of 80, the first few levels will come quite quickly but after a point the difference in levels will plateau so that getting from say lvl 45-46 will take the same amount of time as getting from lvl 76-77.
Progression and Leveling
Skills can be changed at anytime while out of combat.
Skills will have tiers that can be unlocked as you progress.
There are no ally targeted skills in GW2 Source
The players skill bar will have ten skill slots, the first 5 skill slots are for weapon skills dependent on what the player is wielding (a warrior wielding a mace will have a different weapon skill set to a a warrior wielding a sword), if a player is wielding a sword and an off hand then the skills change accordingly while a two handed weapon will dictate all 5 slots , the player can also use 'environmental weapons' such as rocks which in turn change the weapon skill slots. The next 5 skill slots will be restricted by having one healing skill and one elite skill, the player is free to slot the remaining 3 of those 5 with class and racial skills.
The majority of skills can be obtained from skill traders while some Elite Skills will be world drops.
Skills will be interactive and offer a synergy between players, examples such as rangers firing arrows through an elementalist's fire wall will add burning damage and in the 'Manifesto' video a gun is seen to be firing through a static field to add electrical damage.
Trait lines are similar to the profession attribute lines in the original game (as an example, in GW a necromancer had the choice between Curses, Blood Magic, Soul Reaping and Death Magic dependent on attribute points spent). Traits are slottable and can be earned through quests, they are used to modify your skills and attributes, Traits can be used to increase your weapon mastery or decrease time between swapping weapons in combat . Each profession has a couple of 'trait lines' how you slot your traits defines how you choose to play your character.
I'm not clear on how attribute points will be attained. In the demo the available attribute types were as follows
Strength (melee power)
Agility (ranged power)
Intelligence (magic power)
Perception (critical chance)
Completing or mastering something will provide you with an achievement, some achievements will also provide you with a title that you will be able to display. Achievements are account based rather than character based as some, like mastering all weapons, can't be achieved by a single character. Achievements provide no game advantage.
(Thanks to Gmr Leon over on gw2guru whose post there contained this info and link)
The demo contained the following list of achievement groups
The achievement groups expanded to reveal multiple progress bars, for example the Weapon Master group had one progress bar for each weapon type.
The demo had a disabled feature for comparing achievements with other players
Combat in Guild Wars 2 is built around damage, control and support. Damage is simply decreasing the enemy's health, control is preventing the enemy from doing what it wants, and support consists of boosting the abilities of allies. Each profession is able to perform any of these roles.(Taken from Guild Wars2 wiki).
Combat will be tactical in terms of movement, taking advantage of the environment and by using cross-profession combos (see previous example of elementalist static field being fired through by a warrior using a gun to add electrical damage). There will be many environmental weapons littered about the world from simple rocks to a jar of bees that can be thrown at an enemy, some of these environmental weapons will react differently depending on which profession picks them up.
Body blocking can only be replicated through the use of skills, there is no collision between characters in GW2. Source
Players will be able to dodge attacks and projectiles.
Some skills will have tactical advantages when used from the side or behind an opponent, other skills will be directional, AoE or a mix of both meaning positioning will be important.
Combat on the official site
Further talk on combat
The type of Armour you wear depends on your profession type:
Scholars will wear Light Armour
Adventurers will wear Medium Armour
Soldiers will wear Heavy Armour
Each dungeon will have a minimum of one unique armour set for every armour type as a possible reward.
You will be able to dye your armour and players will be able to have 3 separate hues on each armour piece.
Dye System Demo
In the demo an armour upgrade item was rewarded from an event, it's looked like this system might be similar to the current GW Insignia system but instead of one upgrade, the item had several stat boosts. These items can be crafted.
The list of standard wieldable weapons is as follows:
One-Handed: Axe, dagger, mace, pistol, scepter, and sword.
Two-Handed: Greatsword, hammer, longbow, rifle, shortbow, and staff.
Offhand only: Focus, shield, torch, and warhorn.
Not all professions will be able to wield all weapons and some professions will be able to wield more weapons than others.
A weapon wielded as an off-hand will have different skills to that same weapon wielded in the main hand, not all professions will be able to wield a weapon as an off hand.
Environmental objects will also be able to be used as weapons and have their own skill set, which may differ depending on the profession wielding it.
Combat Part 2 guildwars2.com
The demo contained consumable items, there was no health potion but there was a mana potion. Consumable items that provided buffs were also in the demo.
Everything we know about the interface is taken from demo videos at gamescom. The devs have stated that it's a work in progress and that there will be some player customisation. Take this info only as rough guide.
1. Switch Weapon Set
2. Weapon Skills (first three are main hand, last two are off hand or all 5 for two handed weapon)
3. Build Up Bar, profession specific, Warriors have Adrenaline, Necromancers have Life Force
5. Energy Potions
6. Energy Bar
7. Five slots for profession/Race specific skills, heal and elite skill
This image is of the Equipment section of the hero panel.
1. First Weapon Set 2. Switch Weapon Set 3. Second weapon Set
4. Dye Panel 5. Pair of Earring Slots 6. Pendant Slot
7. Cloak Slot 8. Pair of Ring Slots 9. Helm Slot
10. Shoulder Slot 11. Chest Slot 12. Glove Slot
13. Leggings Slot 14. Boot Slot 15. Charisma Level
16. Dignity Level 17. Ferocity Level 18. Equipment
19. Traits 20. Personal Story 21. Achievements
The interface also had a compass at the bottom right of the screen, it showed pointers to the direction of current objectives.
Players will have the choice of either keeping their characters in the same guild or having different characters in different guilds. There will be guild achievements and guilds will be able to hold keeps in WvW PVP, there will be a guild calendar for coordinating events and you will be able to participate in guild chat from any web browser without logging in to the game.
A sidekick is when a character's level is modified to match the level of the other characters they are playing with. A character wanting to play higher level content will have their power scaled to similar to the higher level characters they are with. This also applies in reverse, a character wanting to play lower level content will have their level scaled down so they do not overly disrupt lower level content but can still experience content they may have missed when they were a lower level.
The sidekick system has been mentioned for characters entering World PvP and also for preventing griefing of low level PvE events by high level players.
From the GW2 wiki
Quests and the Dynamic Event system.
There will be no NPC's with exclamation marks above their heads, quests have been replaced with a dynamic events system. Instead of picking up a traditional quest players will need to pay attention to their environment, visual clues such as the appearance of invading hordes or an NPC running out to call for help as well as more subtle clues such as changes to the environment will be the entry points for players to join in these events. Events are set to scale depending on player numbers, player level will not bar successful and meaningful involvement in these events, a higher level player can join lower level events and will find their skill level adjusted so that, while still being a little over powered for the event, they shouldn't be able to steam roll the event.
Events are dynamic and one event will effect other events further down the line, players always have the choice as to their level of involvement and which events to get involved in. NPC's will remember when a player has helped them out in the past and react differently after the event.
Players do not need to party to gain rewards from participating in an event, all players who participate will receive a reward, the majority of these rewards will consist of Karma and Gold, the player is then free to choose what items to spend it on.
It has been stated this events system means a player could visit the same area several times and not find the same events happening.
The events system eliminates kill stealing and encourages group play through the scaling dynamic, the more players the more interesting the fight can become.
There is a 'scout' NPC that will be able to tell you of the potential trouble spots in the local area to help you find possible events
Centaurs may attack a village, players can help save the village or let it be captured, the centaurs could then set up base and try to expand without further player intervention in to surrounding territory. If the players defended the village there is nothing to say that the centaurs won't keep trying.
A player may return to a previously visited watermelon field to find the crops destroyed, the farmer may be calling for help to fight off an invader, at the same time the player has noticed the watermelons have gone because the field is over run by rabbits, on further investigation traps/cages may be found in that field, the player has the choice of either fending off the invading mob or help capture the rabbits.
Q&A: Dynamic Events 1
Q&A: Dynamic Events 2
GDC Vault - Designing Guild Wars 2 Dynamic Events
PAX Panel of Events: Designing a New Dynamic Event with the Developers
MumboJumbo spent some time researching info on events- see this post
Instances and Open World
The majority of the game will take place in a massive open world, each player also has their own personal storyline, these will be instanced but you can choose to invite friends to help you or just to come visit. Dungeons are also instanced.
Dungeons are designed for five players. Instead of random loot drops players players will be rewarded with tokens to spend on dungeon items. Each dungeon will have the minimum of one armour set for each armour type and a full range of weapons as possible rewards. Initial encounters in dungeons will come from following the story, subsequent entries in to dungeons will be in an 'explorable' mode, players will have the opportunity to take different routes and have different encounters in a more difficult version.
From PC Gamer, posted on GW2 Guru
Nothing of 'end game' content has been mentioned, it may be that like the original game the harder instances (like The Deep and Urgoz's Warren) may have an increased player number or it may remain five person.
Personal Storyline and NPC interaction
At character creation you have the opportunity to make choices and develop a back story prior to entering the game, these choices will dictate how your personal story line plays out and how NPC's interact with you. Those choices will never lock you out of nor restrict your content in the open world and main story line.
Your instanced personal story line and the environment in your personal instance will change according to your choices. You could start off as a mild mannered type but later decide you have had enough and decide that the best way to get through is by force, choosing to punch your way to information rather than using diplomacy, that will earn you a reputation in the wider world, so while merchants may not like you they'll still do business with you. In the demo the three character traits that contributed to your personality development were:
Your choices in the instanced personal storyline also effects your environment within it. Inviting friends lets them experience a different side to the personal story that they may not have got to have seen.
Karma is a currency, develop it by doing good deeds, taking part in events and helping lower level players and you can use it to buy goods. During the demo successful completion of some events spawned a merchant NPC who sold special items for karma.
You can of course choose to ignore most of these RP elements and just get on with the game.
Personality in Guild wars 2
As part of the personal storyline players will have a home instance, this will be about the size of a city block within your racial city. Within that home instance players will have the racial equivalant of a house (Asura may have an Asuran lab). You will be able to invite other players in to your home.
Massively interview with Ree Soesbee
Crafting & Gathering
Crafting will play a very large role in Guild Wars 2, and while weapons and armor will be a big part of the base of the items that players create, we are doing our best to ensure that players don't have to make a lot of anything that they can use only one of. For example, in Guild Wars 2 you will not have to craft the same sword 10-20 times just to level up your crafting skill. Hopefully our players will find that the only reasons they have to craft any given item more than once are because they can actually use it more than once, because they want to give it to a friend, or because they want to sell it for profit. With this goal in mind it does of course mean we have our work cut out for us when it comes to other interesting items to craft, and we have already spent a lot of time exploring in areas such as upgrade components that can be used to improve existing items beyond the condition that they were originally found or crafted in.
In This article on the official blog mentions that resource nodes are spawned per player, if you spot a node it can't be stolen from you, you see it, it's yours, everyone else gets their own but once used for them its gone but remains for you if you haven't extracted from it. Tailors are also mentioned as being able to craft upgrade items, there are several crafting professions planned.
It has been stated that if an NPC is wearing it it's very likely you will be able to wear it too. This article on the official blog references transmutation stones which are bought from the item shop, they are used to put the look of one piece of gear on to another piece, that level 1 helm you loved can have its look transferred to that ugly lvl 80 helm of awesomeness, keeping the lvl 80 stats. It has been stated clearly that all armour, from start to end game will have good looks, no one will be forced to buy transmutation stones because of poorly designed armour.
Q&A on loot and items
Each major town will have it's own mini games, these are social activities that aren't dependant on character level, they will vary in their mechanics from complex games of skill, simple target practise, solo games, multiplayer and full on no rules bar brawls. They will carry rewards, for example during the bar brawl you may be rewarded by the local dentist by handing in teeth you've knocked out the mouth of your opponents. It's intended that these are fun past times that can step out side the normal rules of the wider game.
Activities - games within the game
There will be an auction house and it will be accessible from outside the game, you can monitor and bid from a web browser/phone app interface without entering the game.
The music is composed by the original GW composer Jeremy Soule.
There is extensive voice acting but not everything will be voiced.
A lot of care has been taken with audio to ensure the world sounds alive.
Video - Giving Tyria a Voice
Talking Heads - VO and dialogue in GW2
GW2 Debut Trailer
Races of Tyria
Voices of Tyria
Ranger Skill Videos: Spread Shot, Barrage, Hunter's Call, Whirling Defense, Serpent's Strike.
Elementalist Skill Videos: Water Trident, Static Field, Phoenix, Meteor Shower, Churning Earth.
Necromancer Skill Videos:Putrid Explosion, Locust Swarm, Grasping Dead, Life Siphon, Doom.
Warrior: Skill Compilation
Guardian: Skill Compilation
Concept Art Videos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
Dev walkthrough at Gamescom: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.
See cyphers excellent post for more gamescom videos and more in depth info on classes here