ArenaNet devs talk parties, games, and map travel

July 9, 2010

ArenaNet must be feeling generous this week, because we’ve gotten another hefty dose of new information about Guild Wars 2, a mere day after the last round. After all that talk of death and healing, we’re venturing back to the lighter side with designers John Stumme and Ben Miller. We established not long ago that there’s an important lighter side to Guild Wars 2 — a part of the game that’s just for playing, having fun, and taking a break from the burdens of war.

Follow along after the jump for our take on ArenaNet’s look at activities in Guild Wars 2 and a bonus look at travel!

This update was exciting in that it contained lots of new information on minigames that we’ll see in Guild Wars 2. Are you playing a Norn and want to take advantage of that extra height? Pay a visit to Hoelbrak and play the Norn version of basketball. Of course Norn play basketball, they’re tall, right? Norn also love them some ale, so instead of a ball you’ve got a keg of ale. Perhaps the Dwarves left it lying around — if they’re made of stone they probably stopped drinking, so they wouldn’t have needed it. At any rate, the blog post leaves the door open for speculation regarding what happens to the ale when the game is over. Does the winning team get to drink? Or just the high-scorer?

Norn aren’t the only ones playing in Guild Wars 2. The second question was regarding Polymock: will it be back? We can’t tell whether the question was asked with hope or fear — it’s probably an even chance either way. The answer was interesting: Polymock was originally intended to be something very different, but the resources just weren’t there. That just might change in the future, says John. "Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we were able to do at the time with the resources we had, but it is something we can do with Guild Wars 2. So if you see Polymock making its return, it will be in a more robust implementation, to reflect what we had always wanted it to be."

What if Polymock isn’t your thing? It’s sort of a love-it-or-hate it deal, and there will be alternatives for the hate-it crowd. Head to the party in Divinity’s Reach and check out the one-man-band. John refers to it as a "giant festive jukebox," a prospect that sounds like fun and paves the way for so many questions. Jukebox indicates "pay." Will it cost? How much? What songs will there be (please let there be a selection of Jeremy Soule tunes)? Can we add songs to the selection? Will it be loud and intrusive, a sound worthy of such a huge, confetti-spewing contraption? The whole thing evokes memories of playing the flute in Lion’s Arch while disguised as Chibi Gwen, which is a fun addition to Guild Wars. Hopefully it will be a subtle addition like the flute music.

Speaking of parties, John had some good news for us. Special event celebrations will continue into Guild Wars 2. Wintersday, Halloween, even Talk-Like-a-Pirate day are well-loved traditions in Guild Wars, and many fans will be glad to know that they’ll be continuing in some form or another. "We’ll also be updating the holiday festivities to take advantage of the new tools we have at our disposal, so I hope you’ll be looking forward to them. Personally, as a fan of Halloween, I’m hoping that the Mad King will make a triumphant return to Tyria – and that after 250 years, his jokes will have managed to get even worse."

Ben took over at this point with some interesting discussion about traveling. There has been quite a bit of discussion regarding paid map travel, waypoints, and more, so it’s good to have some questions answered.

Ben pointed out that the small fee for traveling through waypoints provides something that Guild Wars has a severe lack of: "a minor, but highly repeatable way to drain money out of the economy." Gold sinks in Guild Wars have been an unbalanced element for quite a while, due in part to the game’s age. Adding a very small gold sink right from the beginning is a clever way to avoid this in the future. Normal maps will have between 10-20 waypoints, so it’s certainly a convenience feature if you’ve got limited time to spend running around.

Ben also pointed out that you can save some cash and enjoy the run, which naturally led to the question of how long that run is. How big is Tyria, anyway? Well, we don’t have any sort of numerical measurement, but Ben assures us that it’s much bigger than the Tyria we know at the moment. The cities themselves are larger, some large enough that they have their own instanced areas. Divinity’s Reach is a good example: "The actual Divinity’s Reach map has different sections that reflect the different social groups, sections devoted to the six human gods, a large carnival area, and several instanced areas like the Queen’s Palace or the headquarters of the Seraph that are their own smaller maps."

While you’ve always got the option to use waypoints, it sounds like things are going to warrant thorough exploration as you find the time. Between parties, games, events, and exploration, the team at ArenaNet has given us even more to anticipate. Check out the blog post for the full Q & A.

This post has been written by Rubi Bayer on Jul 9th 2010 at 7:00PM couresy of


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