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ArenaNet | Official Site
CORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/26/05)  | Pub:NCSoft
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Fansite Friday Four & Interview

Posted by Richard Cox on Jul 03, 2004  | Comments

Fansite Friday Four & Interview -

Two new updates have been posted recently on the official Guild Wars website:

The newest Developer Q&A is presented over at Gamespot. The interview discusses guild features, the Guild Wars expansion model, and the game's four modes of play. It is illustrated with half a dozen screenshots:

GameSpot: "E3 for everyone" is finally over. How did the online event work out in terms of gameplay? Did you see many players exploiting loopholes or trying to create the single most powerful kind of character? How is the team going to use the information it gathered from the event to avoid these kinds of issues in the final game?

Jeff Strain: The event gave us an opportunity to see how many of our design directions actually worked with thousands of players online simultaneously. The core gameplay mechanics in Guild Wars differ substantially from traditional massively multiplayer games, and while our ongoing alpha test continues to generate valuable feedback, opening the doors to thousands of demanding gamers was a great way to discover the mechanics that really worked.

Guild Wars is designed to be a game of player skill rather than a game that rewards you strictly based on the amount of time you have played. Creating a game of true skill that also supports persistent characters is challenging, because you want your character to grow and progress over time, but that progression cannot result in "uber" characters that will inevitably defeat lower-level characters. In Guild Wars, your character grows over time by learning new skills and finding loot, which gives you more tactical diversity. In other words, you are gaining options, not power. During "E3 for Everyone," we were pleased to see that the teams that were successful in tournaments and combat arenas were those that organized themselves and developed custom strategies around its items and skills. Players who logged 48 hours trying to find every item in the game had fun, but they were less successful in player-versus-player (PvP) battles than those who spent their time learning to think and act strategically, which is exactly what we wanted to see!

We did see players trying to find the ultimate character class, and we encouraged them to do so. One of the hallmarks of a well-designed game is strategies emerge over time that were not foreseen by the designers, and this helps keep the game fresh and exciting. Of course, that's only a benefit if a counter-strategy does not emerge quickly. In other words, we want to avoid the possibility of having a "best" character or strategy, and therefore, we take skill and profession balance very seriously. The skill system in Guild Wars is built on formal mechanics designed by some of the most experienced designers in the industry, but there is just no substitute for playing the heck out of a game before release to ensure good balance.

You can read the full interview and view the screenshots by clicking here.

In the fourth in the series of Fansite Friday mini-interviews has been posted over on Guild Wars Warcry. The topics this week include weapon variety, new Guild Wars chapters, and mission previews:

You mentioned that you would be developing the game in 'chapters' which are expansions upon your previous chapters. How often will these chapters be published, how much will it cost, and will you have to travel to an electronics store to buy a box or can you just download them from a secure login location?

     Chapters of Guild Wars will come out about every six to nine months. The price hasn't been set, but they will be priced comparably to other games. As you have read before, unlike the usual expansion packs that have a nominal amount of content, the Guild Wars chapters will be very deep in content. I fully expect to see new professions, new spells, new missions, new monsters, new regions, and more. And here's a tidbit I think is really interesting about acquiring the next chapter: During the process of playing a chapter of Guild Wars, you will be receiving seamless downloads of the content that forms the upcoming chapter. On the day that the next chapter goes live, it will simply be a matter of "flipping a switch" for you to head into the new chapter. No driving to the store, no shipping fees or haunting the mailbox waiting for the package to arrive, and best of all, no huge download to access the new chapter.

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

You may also want to check out the latest issue of the monthly Photics ezine for more news about Guild Wars, and click here for the official Guild Wars site.

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