Arenanet Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Arenanet RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Try Out Elite Specializations in Guild Wars 2 This Weekend Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:29:58 -0400 TheGreatManzini

With a new expansion coming to Guild Wars 2, the game's developer has been releasing steady news updates. Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire is set to release on September 22nd, but ArenaNet will be allowing players a sneak peek at the new Elite Specializations

The demo for these new skills will be available on for one weekend, August 18-20. According to a recent Developer Diary:

"...We’re launching a demo where you’ll be able to create and play new preview-exclusive characters in both Player vs. Player and World vs. World. These characters will come with each profession’s new elite specialization, so check them out!" 

The developers have expressed that they wish to create new avenues of play for the existing classes -- and in doing so, they have given a new life to an old profession. For example, the new Holosmith elite specialization will provide the Engineer class with a second melee class. Holosmiths will be equipped with swords and a Photon Forge mode that generates heat with the use of abilities. This heat will damage the player, but will also increase the effectiveness of utility skills. This addition takes what once was a ranged crowd control class, and turns it into a viable melee damage dealer.

If you wish to see the Elite Specializations in action, head on over to the Guild Wars 2 Developer Diary, where ArenaNet has posted demos videos of each new Elite Specialization.

Will you be trying out these specializations during the demo weekend? Which one are you most looking forward to trying out? Let me know down in the comments!

Guild Wars 2 Spring Update is Nearly Here Thu, 14 Apr 2016 14:13:29 -0400 ESpalding

Today, ArenaNet confirmed that the next big update for Guild Wars 2 will be coming out on April 19.

Even though many of the details for the update remain a secret, what we do know is that the Spring update will predominantly be aimed at improving gameplay by reducing the grind and clearing away some of the aspects of the game which some may consider tedious. Rewards will also see some improvement.

"Guilds Wars 2 should be about having fun rather than preparing to have fun, and the Spring update dropping on Tuesday is all about getting back to that core philosophy."

-- ArenaNet spokesperson

From previously released details, we know that there will be some changes to Fractals and the tiering structure. Some Fractal achievements are being removed to be replaced with new ones. There will also be some major changes to scribing costs. Material costs are going to be reduced, there will be lots of new supplies of Resonating Slivers, and drop rates for certain components will be increased.

Fans are also hoping to see the return of Alpine borderlands, but it has been confirmed that this will not happen in this update due to the complexity of bringing back old content. But there will be improvements to Desert to pave the way for Alpine's reintroduction when it is ready.

Super Adventure Box: A Guild Wars 2 April Fool's day Fri, 01 Apr 2016 04:46:29 -0400 Obitius

Guild Wars 2 is taking its April Fool’s day prank to a whole new level by releasing the Super Adventure Box. This Super Adventure Box is an 8-bit looking action/adventure game that occurs inside of the amazing graphical realism that is Guild Wars 2. From what the website has released, the game will play like any ordinary 8-bit adventure game. You will bounce and collect power up skills, much like Super Mario, and you can even challenge Lord Vanquish to earn unique rewards.

Super Adventure Box contains two entire worlds. World One appears to be a sunny forest-themed world with the end boss being a massive King Toad. Basically, World One is supposed to teach the players the new controls, and be pretty easy to get through. World Two is the mountain world, which increases the difficulty of the game. The end boss for this level is the mighty Storm Wizard.

By participating in this April Fool’s day adventure, you will have the chance to collect Super weapon skins in a bright orange color. And the chance to create your own super adventures in your guild hall with the new guild hall decorations.

Player will be able to participate in the Super Adventure Box from April 1 to April 19. For the rest of the details, check out AreaNet's website. Comment below to let me know what you think about this April Fool’s day prank.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns gets release date and trailer Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:06:11 -0400 Marshall Jenkins

At last and with little delay, Guild Wars 2's first expansion pack Heart of Thorns has had its release date revealed. Appearing at the popular PAX Prime event in Seattle, the trailer highlighted many of the features fans have already been craving. 

The Heart of Maguuma

This is a new region of the game for players to explore with a high amount of verticality that expects players to be at their best in terms of character movement. New storylines for lore-craving players to explore will be available, along with additional boss battles that add a greater challenge. 


Similar to the scrapped World of Warcraft concept Path of the Titans, the mastery system is a max level progression system that will give players addition options to gain power with their characters. Completing elements of the story, finding hard-to-find and hard-to-reach locations, defeating bosses and group challenges, exploring entire maps, and completing challenging achievements are ways of gaining mastery. 

A new profession, raiding, guild halls, new PvP options, and a great number of balance changes await players when the game releases on October 23rd.

What additions are you excited for? Let us know in the comments!

Visit the Rebuilt Lion's Arch in Guild Wars 2 Today! Wed, 24 Jun 2015 20:28:07 -0400 Chai Chien Liang

Guild Wars 2 finally revealed the rebuilt Lion's Arch on June. Previously, the city was destroyed during an event finale where it was invaded by Scarlet Briar and her army. The city looks even better than before(feel free to take a look at the header image and/or the YouTube video released on the Guild Wars 2 website below for a quick overview of the reborn city!)

Not content with releasing a new look for Lion's Arch, there were plenty of changes made in the patch, with a new specialization system replacing the existing skills and traits system. Players will now choose from up to three different specializations depending on their level. Each specialization will offer a variety of traits that will provide passive abilities based on the way you play. Different specialization and traits can be chosen for each of the the main game modes: PvE (Player versus Environment), PvP (Player versus Player) and WvW (World versus World).

Changes were also made to combat with changes to attribute points and conditions. All conditions have been reworked to deliver proper damage in large scale combat and have their maximum stacks increased to 1500, which should not be reached under normal circumstances (players should be able reach that against world bosses though!). Many skills and traits for all classes have been updated, please refer to the patch notes for more details and for the full change list.

With these changes, Guild Wars 2 is gearing up for their next expansion, Heart of Thorns. After recent complaints regarding their standard pricing of USD $50 for the expansion pack (with base game bundled), ArenaNet announced that existing veteran players who registed the core Guild Wars 2 game before January would receive a new character slot (worth roughly USD $10 if purchased in-game) while players who bought the core game between January 23, 2015 and June 16, 2015 were entitled to a full refund of the core game upon pre-purchase of the expansion or account closure.

Will these be enough to placate the players to buy the expansion pack? Personally I will most likely buy the standard edition as I really admire their payment model with no monthly subscription fees and I have gotten more than my money's worth on the core game. I believe this payment model deserves our support considering how much we save on monthly subscription fees!

Transparency: How Honesty Isn't Always the Best Policy When Making a Game Fri, 13 Feb 2015 09:49:40 -0500 Larry Everett

Let’s not spend a lot of time with introductions here, but you should know who I am before diving into this column. My name is Larry Everett. I’ve been a writer at, GameBreaker.TV, and a few other places -- including GameSkinny a while back. I’ve covered mostly MMORPGs for the last five years professionally, and I’ve met many developers and key people who make games.

"Transparency" Column Investigates the Games Industry 

I wanted a place on the internet where I could share my thoughts about the current trends and where things are shaping up as a whole. I play a lot of games. Although I am a “journalist,” I play these games, and I love the industry, just like you. The staff at GameSkinny have been kind enough to give me an outlet for posting my thoughts about the industry, and I am calling that outlet Transparency.

Find all future entries in this series within the "Transparency column" tag.

In recent news, players have asked to know more about what was happening behind the scenes of some of their favorite studios. Not exactly in the fashion of wanting to know how their favorite games are made, but because many people believe -- rightfully so in some cases -- that gaming studios are not acting in the best interest of the players. In some cases, that fear is rational.

But I would like to take a contrary stance today and say that transparency isn’t always the best policy.

Sometimes, keeping secrets works.

Recently, I attended PAX South, which was great because it was smaller and less well-known studios were able to take center stage this year. One of the studios in my side of the industry that stole the show was ArenaNet. You might know them for making Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. Two games that have broken the mold when it comes to MMORPGs. There is a soft place in my heart for ANet because the developers really appear to love what they are doing, and the studio is not afraid to take risks. So having the main stage for a big announcement was very appropriate from my perspective.

In order to understand why this is a story of how the lack of transparency works, we have to go back a few months before PAX South to a time when Guild Wars 2 was not getting an expansion, or so we thought. The developers continued to suggest that the Living Story updates were how they were going to continue to give content to players.

The Living Story, as some of you might not know, was little pieces of story released over several months that eventually told a complete story. In fact, some bits of that story changed the literal lay of the land, like when a dragon destroyed the hub city of Lion’s Arch. Many of us believed that we would not see Guild Wars 2 take up the model that its predecessor, Guild Wars, had: releasing a paid expansion to tell the continued story.

Then we heard a rumor.

A Korean Investment company mentioned an expansion and how it would positively affect the game. Of course, by this time, there was rumor and speculation, but there was no announcement nor any indication from developers that an expansion might happen. But people inevitably began talking about it. Following that, fans found that ArenaNet had trademarked the name Heart of Thorns. The charr was out of the bag and the hype-train left the station. But ArenaNet said nothing official for at least a month.

I have explained in great detail how feverish the GW2 fans were waiting for the expansion. At PAX South, as the GW2 fans waited, it took zero prompting from the emcee for the audience to cheer and holler every time it even looked like a developer might take the stage. No one seemed to care that ANet had led us around by a chain, giving us misdirected clues and remaining mum on the subject we were asking for. But it worked. I don’t know an MMO expansion that people are more excited for that wasn’t World of Warcraft.

Unfortunately, the other side of the coin can be tragic.

What happens when too much information is given to an audience?

Enter Landmark.

I will do my best not to kick someone while they are down. I have a lot of respect for the former Sony Online Entertainment, now Daybreak. I have always believed that as a whole it has been the most transparent to it community, involving the community in game-making decisions, even letting the community help develop the game. Tools to create negative voxals (the building blocks in Landmark) and designs of elven architecture for EverQuest Next were both built by the community, for example.

Unfortunately, earlier this week, much of Daybreak’s community team was let go including many long-term team members like Linda Carlson, Tiffany Spence, and Aimee Rekoske.

However, the biggest direct blow to Landmark was David Georgeson, the creative director for the whole EverQuest franchise.

Good for community; bad for business.

The release of these key people tells me that the model being used to work with the community might have been wonderful for a member of the community, but it did not work as a business model. I don’t think Landmark had made any real money for at least a year, and there was no real prospect for it to make money in the immediate future.

Landmark, as you might remember, allowed players to buy into the alpha and beta of the game. The community was key to the direction of the game. Nearly every week, the developers would produce a live show explaining where the project was going and what the Landmark team was working on. The community team and Georgeson were key players in this initiative.

However, the coverage became stale, and in my opinion, it was over saturated. People lost interest. People were not interested in how that sausage was made. They just wanted it smoked and sitting on their plates. Unfortunately, this disinterest helped lead to reduction in staff at Daybreak. Transparency isn’t always a good thing.

Next week, we’ll end this column with less of a downer because although transparency does have its flaws there are certainly good things about it. And maybe, just maybe, if more people practiced transparency well, we’d have a \ more amazing games industry.

League of Legends Player 'Dexter' Not Allowed Into America Mon, 06 Jan 2014 07:49:50 -0500 Wokendreamer

There are dozens of stories of people being denied entry into the United States for seemingly silly or mysterious reasons.  Now, we can add the world of eSports to the list of communities affected by homeland security.  Marcel Feldkamp, Counter Logic Gaming's jungler 'Dexter', attempted to enter the U.S. to take part in a League of Legends tournament.  He was stopped, detained, and eventually turned away at the border.

America did recently expand athlete visas to include eSports, but Feldkamp was still waiting for his to get approved.  To participate in this tournament, he and Counter Logic Gaming had acquired a legal waiver, essentially a one-time pass, to allow him into the country.  Obviously, the border security decided this waiver was insufficient for reasons that are as of yet unknown.

It was an experience Feldkamp has stated was "...literally the worst experience of my life."  He spent the night in a cell before being sent home, and CLG has confirmed he will be unable to enter the country until his visa is finally approved.

Tower of Nightmares Coming to Guild Wars 2 Tue, 22 Oct 2013 13:32:24 -0400 Wokendreamer

The Blood and Madness event for Guild Wars 2 is in full swing, with candy corn and plastic spiders everywhere.  Halloween has two sides to it, however.  It has a festive, candy-coated side, and it has a dark, nightmarish side.  Arenanet has released the trailer for the less-pleasant side of Halloween in Tyria this year, the Tower of Nightmares.

Apparently the Krait have been working on something more sinister than usual in Kessex Hills.  They have been building behind a concealing shroud of illusions, and the fruits of their labors are beginning to near completion.

This cannot be a good thing.

The Tower of Nightmares content will go live on October 29, and while most of that content is anyone's guess at the moment, some of the rewards are already known.  There is a new healing skill up for grabs usable by any class, which is able to remove several types of conditions, including cleansing something called 'toxins' which I assume is going to be part of the event.  Players can also earn a Krait Obelisk Shard for their home instance, letting them charge Quartz Crystals, possibly another new thing with the vent, and even providing a skill point.

The developers will be doing a livestream event on their channel to talk about the event in more detail on October 28, so anyone wanting a one-day sneak peek can catch it then.

Blood and Madness Event for Guild Wars 2 Revealed Wed, 09 Oct 2013 12:35:48 -0400 Wokendreamer

Last year's Halloween saw the Mad King Thorn proving he was real to all of Tyria by opening doors to his labyrinth, and generally giving us wanderers of Guild Wars 2 various and sundry holiday-themed events to partake in.  This year's festivities look to be bringing back some of the favorite activities from before, with a twist.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

This year, it isn't the Mad King who is opening doors to his realm, but his son the Bloody Prince.  Some of the events are familiar enough.  We will have the same doors opening throughout Kryta, inviting players into the Mad King's realm.  There is a jumping puzzle to be completed, and I can tell you from experience such is likely to only be made many times harder by having other characters bumping and shoving each other off narrow ledges while trying to complete the platforming puzzle.

Not All Fun and Games

Even more exciting to the PvP crowd, there is going to be a PvP event going on: the Lunatic Inquisition.  Take the roles of either scared villagers or lunatic inquisitors trying to hunt or be hunted through the Mad King's labyrinth.

As one would expect, the various events will all have unique Halloween-themed rewards including material for crafting event weapons and armor, a unique mask as an event reward, and event pets and additions to players' home instances.

Get your costumes ready, ladies and gentlemen.  The Bloody Prince is coming!

Prepare for the Twilight Assault in Guild Wars 2 Tue, 24 Sep 2013 11:49:39 -0400 Wokendreamer

The Living Story in Guild Wars 2 has taken players through some great new content.  Easily the most exciting and enjoyable of this content has been the clockwork horror invasions of the forces of Scarlet Briar.  Time limits, hordes of enemies, loot for the money-hungry, and unique item skins all combined with a bit of actual storyline that actually matters to the world of Tyria itself.  As exciting as the events were, Scarlet herself managed to avoid capture throughout it all, implying strongly that we would see more of her soon.

Soon appears to be defined best as 'very'.

The update, coming on October 1, 2013, will be called the Twilight Assault and it will be bringing players to one of my personal favorite places in the game, Caledon Forest.  Caithe is worried about some disturbing things she has seen in the forest, and is calling for players to look into it.

It all looks to be a new level 80 dungeon for everyone to enjoy with guards, traps, and a big monster at the end.  The preview video strongly implies Scarlet is behind whatever this monster is, so be ready for Guild Wars 2's newest villain to make another appearance.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the Twilight Assault!

Guild Wars 2 Leaked Patch Notes for October 1st Sun, 15 Sep 2013 21:50:31 -0400 EmilyOrange

The Guild Wars 2 community has been carefully analyzing some new patch notes that were leaked this weekend from the developers. I highly recommend reading them if you normally check out the weekly changes that ArenaNet posts. Nobody should have seen the list of updates until October 1st, but they were released two weeks early from an unknown source. Players have been intensely speculating about the source of the update list since it became public.

An Accidental Leak

Some players are convinced that the leak is genuine and ArenaNet made a mistake by letting it slip out into the forums early. If this is the case then not only does ArenaNet have a huge security problem, but players have a huge opportunity. The notes describe mainly changes to skills so if people are using anything from a turret engineer to a minion necromancer they are going to need to rework their builds to stay effective in competitive play. This gives players a chance to think about their skills before everything changes in two weeks.

An Intentional Leak

The patch notes address so many balance issues in the game that some players theorize that the leak came directly from Jonathan "Chaplan" Sharp or another high-level developer on the balance team at ArenaNet who wants to gauge player reaction to the changes. The player versus player metagame will be dramatically different if these patch notes take effect so player reactions to changes in every profession will be important for balance. By releasing the notes early Chap could adjust the numbers based on how enthusiastic players are about certain skills. This seems a bit mean to me -- to rile up the community just to gauge anger -- but I can see the use of it.

A Forgery

It's possible that the patch notes aren't real at all. Some player could have made them up based on what they thought the developers were working on and posted them all over the internet just to troll the community. In that case they wasted your time and mine and I'm disappointed. I doubt this conclusion based on the specificity of the one hundred and thirty-one updates. Who could come up with that many bugs and skills that needed changing other than the devs? I think it's real and it's worth looking into.

Guild Wars 2: Power Creep Problems? Fri, 30 Aug 2013 23:37:19 -0400 EmilyOrange

Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet put out a report today by their economist John Smith basically saying that they are aware that the addition of ascended crafting and the removal of magic find bonuses will entirely disrupt the player-built economy in the days and weeks following the next update on September 3rd.

These changes will bring dire issues you should read about and understand, but there may be a bigger problem that ArenaNet have yet to deal with publicly. The issue is power creep, and I'm facing it in my daily gaming sessions more and more.

What's Power Creep?

The best description I've ever seen of power creep was on a web show by Penny Arcade. It succinctly explains that power creep is the issue that most games have wherein they continually add harder content with bigger rewards just to please the player. It sounds great to have more epic loot all the time, but it gradually unbalances a game and makes it so nobody plays old maps, dungeons, and other content because the new stuff is so much more awesome.

Where is the Power Creeping?

The announcement today about ascended crafting is textbook power creep. By leveling up crafting levels from 400 to 500 the designers feel like they are helping the players by giving them more interesting weapons. In fact, all they are doing is making anyone who doesn't have a level 500 weaponsmith and a bunch of ascended swords completely irrelevant in team play. This means even level 80 characters will be scorned by their peers for not having the shiniest new toy. 

When was the last time you tried to do anything in Orr? I was doing a bit of map completion there recently and found the place a ghost-town filled with only undead and nobody to help. This is also due to power creep. You can get so much loot from the living story that old content like Orr maps that used to be popular to farm in are now totally deserted. It means players that missed the boat on map completion will never be able to finish because everyone will be off playing the more powerful new content.

Is It Really Bad?

Yes. I said this was a bigger problem than the fact that they are taking away an integral stat on armor because I meant it.

A luck bar sounds like a bad idea because all of your hard-earned armor is going to be useless in a few days, but the escalating level of the game is a bigger long-term problem. The ascended weapons and armor that were announced today are a slippery slope to fall down. ArenaNet needs to stop where they are and be sure to add incomparable weapons instead of better ones.

My MLG Mom Sun, 25 Aug 2013 01:25:24 -0400 EmilyOrange

The picture above is of mother and me dancing on the Charr diving board of Lion’s Arch from the game Guild Wars 2. I play almost every day and she plays nearly twice as much as I do. It always surprises me when I am reminded of her skill because she didn’t play a single game until I was fifteen. Now that she is so awesome at Guild Wars I thought I’d ask her how her relationship with gaming has changed.

Q: Why is Guild Wars 2 your favorite game?

A: It’s the only game I ever played.

Q: What made you decide to play it?

A: You (my daughter) really liked the game and used to make me play it when I didn’t really want to.

Q: What were the biggest challenges getting started playing Guild Wars?

A: I didn’t know how to move the character. The mechanics of using WASD were really hard for me. I just ran into things. I didn’t have any of the instincts that people who have been playing the game for a long time have for what to do next. I would get stuck. That was the hardest thing. I didn’t have any instinct about what was likely to happen next because I had no experience with games.

Q: What changed to make you play it without me?

A: Once I could move the character and I understood enough to get what the quests were I got hooked into wanting to do the next thing. I got into going to new areas and realizing there was more and more and more.

Q: How did meeting the developers of Guild Wars on my Make-a-Wish in 2009 change the way you thought about the game?

A: Meeting them made me curious about what they created. Their pride in what they were doing made me want to go in the game and see all the things they were talking about. That continues to be cool. Now when I see neat things in the game I wonder who thought of them. I would really like to tell them all the things I like. I wish there was a way they could know about my appreciation of the game, but that doesn’t normally happen.

Q: What are some of your favorite things in Guild Wars 2?

A: I have a whole list. I wrote it for the developers.

  1. “Sell junk”
  3. Vistas
  4. Getting XP for exploring
  5. Crafting, especially cooking
  6. “Deposit all collectibles”
  7. Not having to level up each pet
  8. Waterfalls
  9. Swimming
  10. Jumping  puzzles –although I am horrible.  Takes me hours
  11. Quaggan loves me.  Ooooooo
  12. You can stink at combat and get in a big crowd and no one notices
  13. A random person stopping to resurrect you
  14. Really awesome scenery everywhere, especially underwater
  15. Water drops on your camera after being under water
  16. Fighting until you are in your underpants
  17. Sylvari
  18. Clever statements by NPCs (e.g. – Occam saying it was the simplest solution..)
  19. The way the Charr run.  Lope, lope
  20. The logic of where to find ingredients
  21. How high an Asuran can jump
  22. The grass moving as you run through it
  23. The goggles at the Charr diving board
  24. Silly Heart Quests like carrying chickens or playing with puppies.
  25. Getting killed by fireflies.  Actually not really, but it makes me laugh.

I like it that the game is fun for PvE. You can play it as an adventurer. You can play the story by yourself and have a great time.

Q: Do you consider yourself a gamer?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: I’ve only ever played one game.

Q: Why have you never played other games?

A: I just don’t have any interest in playing another game. I’ve thought about this. I think it’s because what I like about Guild Wars is what I like about gaming and my needs are met by that so I don’t feel like I need anything else. I want to go on and do my dailies. After that I don’t need to just play a game. I’m done.

Q: How do people react, though, when they find out that you play that one game?

A: They are shocked. I get a little embarrassed.

Q: Has Guild Wars influenced your life in any way? Something people don’t understand?

A: Yes. Now I have something so that when I have free time I know automatically what to do. I still like to do other things. I like to garden, read books, swim, but when I’m done with work I like to get my dailies. It gives me something fun to look forward to.

I’m glad my mom plays Guild Wars 2. Since she started playing we’ve gotten a lot closer. I think she is a happier person now that she has something fun to do every day and we certainly have more to talk about. Saving the world with my mom in Tyria is one of the best things we do together. I’m glad I put in the time to teach her to not run into every rock so that now we can kill enemies together.

Birthday Weekend for Guild Wars 2 Means Presents For You! Thu, 22 Aug 2013 21:26:29 -0400 Raven Hathcock

ArenaNet is handing out free trials of their fantasy MMO Guild Wars 2 this weekend for the game's first birthday. It's like a hobbit's birthday party and we will be getting the presents!

Guild Wars 2 usually sells at full price with a free subscription. It's birthday should grab some more subscribers for the fastest selling Western MMO. The game has sold about 1.8 million units so far in the world since its release last year.

The free trial weekend is open to all players in North America and Europe. It will be starting at 12:01 a.m. PT, Friday, August 23 and ending at 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday. A registration page  is available for trial players.

A 'Digital Heroic Edition' has also been announced for $49.99. This edition includes an armor pack, storage box and experience boosters. The 'Digital Deluxe Edition,' which is priced $20 more does include more items, but for this deal, I feel like the 'Digital Heroic Edition,' is worth it.

If you haven't tried Guild Wars 2, I suggest taking advantage of this birthday weekend. Who knows, you might find your new favorite MMO.

Guild Wars 2 at Gamescom 2013 Tue, 20 Aug 2013 22:11:13 -0400 EmilyOrange

There have been some big updates so far from Cologne, Germany about all sorts of games. World of Warplanes gave a release date, Battlefield 4 will have a new premium mode, and Terminators: The Video Game was announced. That's all good, but I was interested in finding out if there was any news about my favorite game: Guild Wars 2. Unfortunately, no. 

ArenaNet, the makers of Guild Was 2, announced that three designers will go to Gamescom from their company. Daniel Dociu, Isaiah Cartwright, and Matt Wuerffel will represent the game, but they are doing very little that will be exciting to players. There won't be any news that will change the game even though we likely will see many new interviews. This is fairly dissapointing considering that Gamescom was so important for ArenaNet last year. We will have to wait for news about potential changes to Guild Wars 2.

The Game Director, Colin Johanson, announced that although the presence from ArenaNet at Gamescom is light the representatives at PAX in two weeks will be large and there will be a big announcement. Many players are looking forward to the news that ArenaNet are developing an expansion or building a new continent, but that is definitely not happenning at Gamescom or PAX. It is more likely a change to Player versus Player, World versus World, or a new dungeon.

If NCSoft, the parent company of ArenaNet, was not making a major announcement about the subscription model for their game WildStar then ArenaNet might not have gone at all. As it is, don't expect anything too world-changing in the next few days about Guild Wars 2. There will be lots of news about other games, but ArenaNet are staying quiet at present.

Guild Wars 2 Daily Slay: Balloon Tower Tourist Wed, 14 Aug 2013 23:49:48 -0400 EmilyOrange

Today, to get my dailies in Guild Wars 2, I completed the Living World achievement Balloon Tower Tourist. I've been working on it with my mother for three days and I finally have my pretty red balloon. Now that I've found all thirty hot air balloons I'm reflecting on whether the hours I spent escorting emissaries to their destination was really worth it for the achievement points and aesthetic reward. 

My problem with the content wasn't the two bugged balloons I encountered or the fact that it was almost impossible to solo. My issue with the achievement was that it reminded me of the old days in Guild Wars Factions when you would be doing missions and Master Togo would suddenly run into a massive mob with a death wish and make you restart because his life was necessary. I don't mind the challenge of keeping a reckless AI alive, but I hate doing it thirty times. Both that old Factions content and the new Jubilee require you to repeatedly do escort quests with really stupid AI that aggros every pack of wolves, tribe of ettin, and group of wurms it comes across without even talking about the Aetherblades you are supposed to be fighting. Instead of being a fun dynamic event, the overly aggressive AI turns the escort quest into a miserable grind against multiple veterans which is not particularly difficult, but takes a steady application of stability to stay alive.

I find the failure of this content especially frustrating because other Living World updates have shown that ArenaNet knows how to do a treasure hunt without making it boring and repetitive. Both the Sea of Sorrows scavenger hunt during Sky Pirates of Tyria and the Learn to Kite achievement that came with Bazaar of the Four Winds were extremely fun things that forced the player to explore large swaths of the PvE world. The difference between those successful treasure hunts and this terrible one was that in previous update rewards have been hard to get to or difficult to acquire, but they have never been available only after the completion of an event. That slight difference made this such a grind. I kept turning to my mother and saying, "I'll be happy when this is over," as we were in yet another battle of attrition. 

The developers at ArenaNet have promised since the release of Guild Wars 2 that they will avoid grind at all costs. They are usually successful because they give players choices of how to complete goals. This particular achievement, though, doesn't even pretend to have variety. Sometimes you get to kill a champion instead of doing an escort, but those times are rare. If you want that pretty red balloon you should count on running fifteen maps and doing twenty-five escorts. That is too many times to do the same thing.

Even with all these gripes about the Balloon Tower Tourist achievement I have to say I'd do it again. One of my favorite things about Guild Wars is that is doesn't take itself too seriously. There is an event where you turn into a chicken and another that involves flying cows. Having the flying balloon above the head of my ferocious Charr makes me laugh every time I see it. It was worth it for me to grind for that reward even though I hated it while it was happening. I want ArenaNet to keep adding kites, balloons, lollipops, and quaggans into their game because those are amazing. I just want them to let me have all of those things in a fun way that causes me slightly less rage.

Guild Wars 2 Makes Its Way Into The Dragon Slayer Awards Sun, 04 Aug 2013 19:36:54 -0400 Tony Monster

Guild Launch is hosting its annual Dragon Slayer Awards. These awards are given out to the stars that outshine the rest in their respective categories. But, how do they get these awards? From wonderful voters such as yourself. You have the power in your hands when it comes to who comes out on top. So go and give your voice a reason to be heard and let your choice know that you want them to win! 

Let's bring you a category that shines bright with color.

The Most Passionate Fan Base

Guild Wars 2 just so happens to be a part of this years Dragon Slayer Awards, and needs your help to come out on top. They have been nominated for this category and with a wonderful community, it's no wonder that we see their name on this list.

ArenaNet (the developers of Guild Wars 2) has created a phenomenal game and it is us, the fans, who create the world. Being given the option to change the way the game stands is truly something extraordinary, and due to these options, it allows the players to vote and affect how things turn out for the future of the game. With this type of driving power, it gives more passion to the fans as what they say and do causes an outcome that change the future of the game.

How Is The Interaction In-Game?

In this world, you are never truly alone. With a shared arena type game, everywhere you go has someone who can help you take out the next threat. If you encounter a boss, within minutes you will see a community of players racing towards the area to initiate a large scale battle to help. 

In WvW (World versus World), players from around the world are pit against each other in a large and unending king of the hill style war. Players besiege keeps and towers with siege weapons and fight for resources, all in order to win rewards and bonuses for their world and for themselves.This type of interaction allows the gamers from different servers to show off their skills as the fight to hold their ground.

With what ArenaNet has done, it will forever drive their fans to continue having fun. Causing competition and friendship to happen all over the world. 

So get on over to the Dragon Slayer Awards, and vote for Guild Wars 2. This process will continue til September 2nd, so spread the word for your favorite game to win!

Back to nominees.

Dragon Slayer Award Nominee: Martin Kerstein Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:48:05 -0400 oosah


Martin Kerstein has held several positions within the video game community. It all began in January of 2006 at NCSoft Europe where he held the title of Community Coordinator for Guild Wars. In May of 2007 he achieved Community Team Lead, and in December of 2008 he took on the role of Territorial Franchise Coordinator. NCSoft announced the termination of NCSoft Europe in favor of NCSoft West in late 2008. Despite this, Martin stayed on and 'held down the fort' until April 2009.


Martin now works at ArenaNet's Bellevue Office after he scooped up the position of German Community Manager in April of 2009. In December of 2010 Martin received the additional title of Head of Community for ArenaNet. He currently retains both of these titles, and is an active member of the community for Guild Wars 2.

In the last week alone, Martin has made 17 posts to the forums. Most of these messages were answering questions from players who were confused about upcoming features to the game. For players, having a direct connection to someone knowledgeable about game content is invaluable. Also, it doesn't hurt that Martin showed up to wear pink in a Guild Wars event known as "Pink Day in LA." The event supports breast cancer awareness and raises money for the cause. 

Click here to vote for Martin in the Dragon Slayer Awards!

Guild Wars 2's Living Story Getting Personal Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:31:50 -0400 Wokendreamer

Guild Wars 2's Living Story is a concept so simple it is hard to believe it is so unique.

The original idea seemed to be to let the players feel like they were a real part of the game's story, rather than just supporting characters at best.  This has always been a problem with MMO storylines by necessity.  It is very difficult to make each one of several million players feel like they are a genuinely important part of the story.

ArenaNet might have found a way to do exactly that, however.  A recent interview with Colin Johanson, game director for Guild Wars 2, sheds some light on how the Living Story will make the players a part of the story in the long-term not only as individuals, but as a community.

The difference is?

The distinction is subtle in application, but one of the long-held understandings about MMO success is the feeling of community between the players of a given game while still giving each player a sense of individual accomplishment.

One of the reasons regularly pointed to as a cause of World of Warcraft losing so many subscribers is the convenience of its dungeon and raid-finder mechanics across multiple servers allowing players to bypass any sort of actual interaction.  No community is formed because none is necessary, so when someone loses interest there is no one else there whose company keeps them enthralled in the game.

At the same time, one of the fundamental issues many people have with FInal Fantasy XI is how group-based it is.  It is effectively impossible to progress (as anything but a Beastmaster) without a group of others helping you along.  There is no impact on the overall world or sense of actual triumph on an individual basis.

So the Living Story is different how?

The latest update to the Living Story is pointed out by Colin Johanson as a good example of something that could effect the overall plot development for Guild Wars 2 on both levels.  Players are tasked with voting (via events) for who fills a recently and violently vacated political seat in Lion's Arch.

You're voting to determine who this character will be that will be on the Lion's Arch council and the outcome of that vote will permanently put that character on the council where they will be deciding things about the future of the game constantly in the future. The council will vote on whether or not they'll be involved in wars, whether Lion's Arch is going to sign peace treaties or sign trade treaties. Whoever you vote in? They're going to be part of those decisions and these things can have ramifications for years to come and affect the entire game.

The actual effect of the player-driven decision will be up to ArenaNet, but Johanson, at least, seems to be keen on the idea of the eventual decision having a serious impact on how the future story of the world of Guild Wars 2 develops.

Player Community-Driven

On the large scale, this set-up creates a situation perfect for actual factions to form within the player community.  Multiple choices?  Check.  Permanent effect on the game?  Check.  Ability for players to feel directly connected to the world around them?  Check.

When the voting is all completed, the fact it will change how the story develops from then on lets players feel honestly responsible for the world they game in.  It gives them a connection to it most MMOs really cannot manage to do, simply because the player is simply following along with the story.  Being able to actually help determine it is an exciting prospect.

Community Player-Driven

Johanson also clearly specifed ArenaNet is looking to incorporate elements of each individual player's personal story into future installments of the Living Story.  This takes things a step in an entirely different direction from the community participation and sense of ownership and also adds individual ownership.  If the choices each player makes through their own progression come up in the constantly-developing Living Story, it makes both stories significantly more personal and exciting.

As a player, the potential of the Living Story gets more and more exciting.  I am hoping more than ever before that ArenaNet delivers on all this potential, and for a change in the world of modern gaming, I think the game company might actually be able to do it.

Details on the Upcoming Guild Wars 2 PvP Tournaments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:42:28 -0400 MirandaCB

Have you spent hours becoming a PvP master in Guild Wars 2? Assemble a team and show off your mettle at the Invitational and Regional Qualifying Tournaments for a slew of prizes, including cash.

The Regional Qualifying Tournaments

The European Tournament will be held July 27-28, 2013.

The North American Tournament is August 3-4, 2013.

The Invitational Tournament

PAX Prime Weekend, August 31, 2013 at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle, WA.

The Setup

Come up a with a five-person team to compete in the five vs. five matches. Follow the eligibility guidelines to make sure everyone qualifies. Then register your team ASAP.

What to Expect

At the Regional:

Single match elimination. Teams compete in five vs. five matches, which consist of best two out of three games. The map rotation will be: Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, and Battle of Kyhlo.

Prizes include:

Team placement at the Invitational at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle.

Airfare for each teammate to Seattle, WA.

Hotel accommodations, two rooms per team.

Four-day passes for PAX Prime 2013 for each teammate.

A studio tour of ArenaNet.

At the Invitational:

There will be single match elimination, five vs five matches consisting of best three out of five games.

The map rotation will be Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, Battle of Kyhlo, Forest of Niflhel, and Legacy of the Foefire.


First place: $7,500 cash prize

Second place: $2,500 cash prize.


Like watching PvP or exciting game tournaments from the comfort of your desk? You'll be able to see a livestream of the invitational from here. More information on the regional qualifying broadcasts will be updated soon. Check the Guild Wars 2 site for complete details and updates. 

So what are you waiting for? Get your best players together and dominate.