Guild Wars 2 Guru today hosted an IRC chat with the developers of Guild Wars 2. The participants from ArenaNet were Eric Flannum, Isaiah Cartwright and Jon Peters. The transcript is now available, with a recap of the chat.
Not surprisingly, the first question was about the newly revealed Guardian profession and whether or not ArenaNet was ready to share information on the Elite Skills available. “Yes, Guardians have elite skills. Here is one I can tell you about,” Peters wrote before describing the skill ‘Sanctuary.’ “It creates a bubble around the guardian that keeps enemies from entering it. While it exists allies can enter the bubble to regenerate health, but cannot use skills inside of it.”
The next question regarding the Guardian profession was related to how it performs in solo combat. “We balance every every profession so that they are effective solo and in groups,” Peters wrote, “The Guardian Virtues are built specifically to be held when soloing or used when in a group.” There are of course virtues that you won’t need to be grouped with other players to use — while still affecting friendly players, NPCs and pets alike.
Then there was a question about underwater combat — often loathed in MMOs — and how targeted abilities will be affected by it. “There is no ground targeting in underwater combat because we can’t guarantee that there is any ground around to target,” Peters wrote. “We understand that underwater combat is very different in nature so we aren’t just going to translate our ground combat into 3D space.” And there was much rejoicing by gamers near and far.
Interestingly, rather than having skills that scale, ArenaNet is going with the old fashioned way of introducing new ‘tiers’ of a skill every so often. “How tiers work is that roughly every 10 levels a new tier of a skill becomes available at a trainer. Players can then visit the trainer and learn the new tier,” Peters wrote. “This will generally improve the damage of a skill or the power of the condition or boon that it uses.”
“Previewing armor before you buy it is certainly something that we’d like to add to the game,” Eric Flannum wrote when asked whether or not players will have the option to preview an item’s look on their character prior to purchasing it. “It’s on our wishlist so if we end up shipping without it I would imagine that we’ll add it some time after launch.”
The game’s ‘aggro’ mechanics seem to incorporate many criteria into deciding who a creature will focus its attacks on. “Currently it’s a combination of DPS, Positional, and a bunch of other factors. Currently how close you are to the enemy is the biggest factor,” Cartwright wrote. Unfortunately “a bunch of other factors” doesn’t provide a solid idea of the mechanics, because if there truly are ‘a bunch’ then it goes well beyond what any other MMO has done before with regards to an NPC’s ‘hate’ list.
When asked whether they are concerned about the Guardian being too popular, due to how often the Warrior/Monk combination is used in the original Guild Wars game, Cartwright had this to say: “Like all our professions we need to make sure no profession is over powered. Guardians are going to be a popular support class but from the start we’ve made sure they are not the next healer or some invincible tank.”
Overall it was a fairly informative chat, even considering the technical hurdles that appeared near the beginning. More than 880 participants joined in to submit their questions to the Guild Wars 2 Guru team.