1. What is the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack? How many levels does it include? How does it fit within the Guild Wars universe?
The Bonus Mission Pack is a four mission collection we're giving away as a thank you to players who've spent at least $29 (€26/£17) or purchased Guild Wars: Eye of the North during our in-game store and PlayNC promotion (note: this promotion ends October 31, 2007). In it, players relive four great moments in Guild Wars history by playing iconic characters during the events that turned them into legends.
The mission pack provides four solo "story" missions. Each story is tied to one of our Guild Wars games. The original Guild Wars story tells the tale of how Saul D'Alessio and the White Mantle drove the invading Charr army from Kryta with the help of their unseen gods, the Mursaat. In the Guild Wars Factions story, we see a young Togo fight betrayal to bring an end to the Tengu Wars. The Guild Wars Nightfall adventure puts the player in the role of Turai Ossa at the Battle of Jahai, where the leaders of the two greatest armies in Elonian history squared off in a battle to the death. Lastly, players will experience Gwen's escape from her Charr captors and initiate her first meeting with the Ebon Vanguard from Guild Wars: Eye of the North.
2. What sets the Bonus Mission Pack apart from existing Guild Wars missions?
A number of factors make these missions unique. Players begin their journeys when they receive a book from a historian. The first few pages introduce the story and provide background lore that leads up to the event they are about to re-live. Our concept artists have created custom artwork for each page. It's not often that concept art makes it into a game in its original form—generally you only see it on loading screens—so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the jaw-dropping talent of our artists in new ways.
Each tome stands as a self-contained piece of lore, as additional pages get added when you finish the tale, completing the story. The new pages summarize the event you just played through and highlight its effect upon the world of Tyria.
When it comes to the actual gameplay, the mission pack stands apart from just about anything else we've ever done. Each mission is a single-player adventure that lets you play as the historical character—Gwen, Turai Ossa, Master Togo, and Saul D'Alessio—complete with a custom Skill Bar and specialized attributes created just for that legendary personality.
These customized toolbars provide us, as designers, the unique opportunity to create new and interesting types of scenarios because we have the ability to give every player the right tools for the task at hand. Our monster guru has even been building special enemies for players to fight under unique circumstances, so players will need to make effective use of each skill available to them.
Of course, some hardcore Guild Wars players, upon viewing the custom Skill Bar for a particular character, may say, "Wow! Anet is total noobz! They put "Otyugh's Cry" on my skill bar. GG lamers!!1!" Hold on! We custom-tailored BMP encounters so that each skill will be useful against enemies. Then, when you're done with the mission, you can brag to all your friends, co-workers, neighbors, family, and random people on the street how you "pwnd some monsters with Otyugh's Cry." I mean, people talk like that, right?
In all seriousness, in addition to tweaking encounters to work well with the provided skills, we've also created some new specialty skills. Ever wanted Spectral Agony on your Skill Bar? How about the ability to feign death as an enemy walks past? If you've been yearning for new PvE experiences, we think you'll enjoy the many surprises we have in store.
To check out the entire interview, head over to the Bonus Mission Pack Interview!