ArenaNet has long since been one of my favorite game developers. I've followed them since they were founded 10 years ago, and immensely enjoyed their first title Guild Wars. It's with this same excitement that I'm happy to update everyone on the progress of Guild Wars 2, thanks to a post by ArenaNet on their brand-new blog.
Mike O'Brien, President and co-founder of ArenaNet and the original creator of Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net, spills the beans on a few core features coming with Guild Wars 2.
"So five years ago we released Guild Wars, which was really a new thing. It was an RPG, but it also had elements of a strategy game; unlike most RPGs it was inspired more by M:tG than D&D; it was an online world with no monthly fees. We called it a CORPG but the ‘net raged with debates about whether or not it was an MMORPG. However you categorized it didn’t matter; it was a fun, new, different experience. We thought we could sell a million copies, and we ended up selling over 6 million," O'Brien says.
But ArenaNet isn't planning to rest on their laurels with the success of the original game. On the contrary, Guild Wars 2 will be a dramatically different game and looks to shake up the very foundation of what makes an MMORPG. O'Brien and the entire team wants to make MMOs about captivating stories, social engagements and visceral combat that players find a joy to participate in.
Some of the things we can expect from Guild Wars 2, based on this manifesto, are:
- No subscription fee. Yes, you read that right, a mass-market, enormous MMORPG without a monthly cost.
- Engaging stories based around your character, heavily focused on the biography you set up at character creation.
- Quests that naturally happen and you take part in, not started by an NPC standing idly by while his village is burned to the ground.
- Visceral combat where players can work in tandem to create new effects, such as an Elementalist's fire wall allowing projectiles that pass through it to cause additional effects.
- No more group boundaries for participating in content; all players who engage in a battle are rewarded equally.
"It all gets back to our basic design philosophy. Our games aren’t about preparing to have fun, or about grinding for a future fun reward. Our games are designed to be fun from moment to momentOur games are designed to be fun from moment to moment," O'Brien says when closing out the article. And indeed, Guild Wars was a game you could jump into and have fun immediately if you wanted.
Expect a lot more from the ArenaNet blog over the coming weeks, as O'Brien mentions a few upcoming posts, including an in-depth look at the game's combat system from Eric Flannum -- Guild Wars 2's lead designer.