|Game Name||Guild Wars 2|
|Original US Release||2012|
Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the games in the original Guild Wars franchise. GW2 is currently being developed by ArenaNet and is still retaining the original concept of having no monthly fees. The game uses a new engine with improved graphics over the original games, but is said to still run on moderate to high spec PCs. DirectX10 is supported but it is not required.
SkillsGuild Wars 2 is unique in that it has a ten slot skill bar, of which only five skills are determined by the player. The rest are determined by the character’s profession and weapon they currently have equipped. For example, a Warrior with a two-handed greatsword will always have the same first five skills (the weapon’s main damage dealing skills); with the latter five being drawn from a pool of healing, utility, and elite skills. These are customizable to best fit the player’s play style and current situation and each profession and race will have a wide variety of utility skills from which to choose.
Weapon skills are unlocked through use of their associated weapon, while non-weapon skills can be collected using a mechanic similar to the one found in the original Guild Wars.
InstancingUnlike the original game, which was completely instanced aside from towns and outposts, Guild Wars 2's world will be entirely persistent except for dungeons and some personal storyline quests. Instead of each area having a series of "districts" so that not too many people are on one server, there will be a list of "worlds," similar to most MMOs' server or "realm" setups. However, unlike most other MMOs, these "worlds" can be switched between very easily, with the caveat that some restrictions on World vs. World PvP will be in place after a transfer to prevent people from jumping ship to the winning side. Persistent areas will have new "dynamic events," essentially public quests that aren't always present but can be triggered as a result of the success or failure of other dynamic events in the area.
One of the most obvious new options for character creation is the addition of new non-human playable races. Each race has some unique abilities, such as the Norn, which can transform into Bears, or the Asura who can summon golems.
The only playable race in the original Guild Wars, the humans were the most prominent Tyrian race. The human kingdoms have suffered since the first game, however. After the rise of Orr from the bottom of the sea, most humans on the continent of Tyria died battling the invading undead armies. Orr's rise flooded the Krytan city of Lion's Arch completely. Centuries ago the king of Ascalon invoked the Foefire to prevent his kingdom from falling to the Charr. He saved his kingdom at a terrible price: Every living person in Ascalon was transformed into a ghost, and the ghosts haunt Ascalon City, defending their king in death. The remnants of Ascalon live in Ebonhawke, their last stronghold, and in the kingdom of Kryta, behind the walls of Divinity's Reach ruled by Queen Jennah. Since the defeat of Abbadon in the first Guild Wars and the rise of the dragons in the intervening centuries, the Six Gods have withdrawn from interfering with the Humans daily lives. The Gods are still worshipped by the humans and they do not feel abandoned by them, but rather tested. They know the Gods want humans to fend for themselves and solve their own problems.
The Asura are an incredibly intelligent race who lived beneath Tyria until they where forced out by the Destroyers during the events of GW:EN. Since then, they've built new lives for themselves on the surface. Asura are short, usually have grayish hair and skin and are commonly arrogant and proud, considering the other races of Tyria to be inferior. They created the Asura Gates, magical gateways that create portals from one gate to another, and they maintain strict control of these gates in the cities of all the other races. They have remained neutral with the other races, though they try to manipulate conflicts so they can gain power in the word of Tyria.
The Charr are a race of savage feline creatures that were responsible for the fall of the Kingdom of Ascalon. The Flame Legion, comprised mostly of shamans, were the leaders of the legions during the Searing of Ascalon, having made a bargain with false gods known as Titans to gain the power to invade the human kingdoms. After the Titans were killed by humans, the Flame Legion was thrown into disarray. They discovered the Desroyers and intended to make them their Gods, but a group of Charr led by Pyre Fierceshot felt the Charr should no longer depend on false gods, and with the help of a group of humans he killed the Shaman Caste leader and the Destroyers. Now the Charr are in control of everything east of the Shiverpeaks except the mighty fortress of Ebonhawke and the haunted Ascalon City. The Charr have four legions: The Blood Legion, the Iron Legion, the Ash Legion and the outcast Flame Legion (derisively called the Gold Legion by most other Charr).
AdventuringTeaming up and adventuring will be very different in Guild Wars 2. A sidekick system will be added, allowing for a character to join a party with much higher leveled characters. In addition, characters can take one cohort adventuring with them without penalty. If a character decides against this, they will be buffed instead. The professions system will be designed for both solo play and playing in an adventuring party. The game will be very solo-friendly with most of the content being soloable and difficulty being increased for a larger party. However, there is still a strong emphasis on teamwork and some challenges will require teaming up with others.
DungeonsDungeons in Guild Wars 2 are not beginner content and the earliest will require characters that have reached level 35. They will have two distinct modes that serve different purposes in terms of player progression and gameplay. The story mode of each dungeon is meant to exist as part of a greater narrative involving the story behind Destiny's Edge (the adventuring group that splits after the events of the Guild Wars 2 novel The Edge of Destiny) and the player's attempt to reunite the group once more to combat the Elder Dragons. Story mode is meant to be easy enough for a casual group of players to complete without much difficulty and can be repeated if desired.
Explorer mode, unlocked after the player has cleared the story mode of a dungeon once, shows the consequences of your previous actions in the area and will typically give the player's party three choices as to how the situation will be approached. Each of these three routes will create an entirely different version of the dungeon, with alternate pathways, areas, and enemies to conquer. As explorer mode is some of the most punishing content in the game, it will require a significant amount of planning and group coordination to overcome.
Both modes will demonstrate the dynamic event system though events that trigger based on location, player action, or chance. Also, while each dungeon will contain a unique set of weapons and armor, it will be no more powerful than gear found elsewhere in the game, providing only unique skins for increased customization of appearance. Tokens will be awarded to the player after completing a dungeon, and these will be exchangeable for items from that dungeon's set.
Player vs. PlayerThe much praised player versus player ( PvP) system in the original GW will also be revamped. There will still be a structured PvP system, allowing you to play at maximum level with everything (including all skills) unlocked. There will also be a World PvP system taking place in the Mists, the "area between world shards". This will allow characters of all levels to play against each other in massive battles. It is considered a bridge between PvE and PvP.
All servers will be constantly engaged in WvWvW combat, so people won't feel left out if their world happened not to be battling. There are always 3 worlds paired up against each other at once for a specific amount of time, up to two weeks. There are 4 maps in Wv WvW 3 home maps for each world and then a huge central map. The goal of Wv WvW is to capture fortresses, acquire resources and cut enemy supply lines. This in all order to gain points and obviously the more points you gain the better. If your world does well you gain bonus for everyone in world regardless of whether they participated or not. This could be an XP bonus or increased item drop rate. These bonuses are all based on how many points you gain, there is a minimum and maximum you can reach. Along with all of this there is world rankings, so the better your world does you will compete against worlds of similar rank. Migrating between servers is going to be restricted to decrease the amount of people changing servers just to gain awards.