src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90556/preview">

While ArenaNet may not have had
the same kind of massive floor presence
as it did for gamescom and PAX Prime, the developer nonetheless still
managed to make a huge splash with href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2">Guild
Wars 2

at href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/event/nycomiccon/2010">New
York Comic Con
2010. Not only was the rewards
calculator for the Hall of Monuments
revealed for those players of the original game who have been eager to
learn what shiny new things they can unlock for their GW2 characters,
but there were also numerous demo stations and an excellent panel
discussion for the game.

We also had the opportunity to
sit down with Lead Designer Eric Flannum
to discuss some of the design philosophy behind Guild
Wars 2
, including
an interesting look at how crafting will fit into the game and what
players can expect once they’ve reached the level cap.

src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89593/preview">

Ten
Ton Hammer:
We know that
there will be both PvP and PvE aspects to
the game. Once players hit level 80 to you expect to have more of a
focus on one type of gameplay over another such as competitive PvP?

style="border-left: 2px solid; margin: 10px; padding: 5px; width: 210px; float: right;">

"We
don't want to force a particular playstyle on you when we didn't ask
you to do that the whole time you were playing up to level 80"

Lead
Designer Eric Flannum:
Not
really.
Philosophically the thing we
think is that we don’t want to ask someone to play a
different game when they hit level 80 than they were playing to get to
that point. What that means I think is if you were a player who just
plays PvP – in World vs. World PvP it is possible to start as
a level 2 character and level all the way up to 80 – if you
did that we don’t want to force you to go do dungeons.

If you’re a player
that likes PvE and you really like
dungeons and mostly focus on them as you level up, we also
don’t want to force you to participate in World vs. World as
an endgame. World vs. World is kind of its own endgame, where
it’s a constantly evolving PvP game.  

For events, we have a system
where you can go back and experience them.
So if you really like events and enjoy playing through them, what you
can do there is take your level 80 character and go back to an area
that maybe you didn’t go to before. It’s a huge
game world, so let’s say you’re a human but you
never went to the Sylvari starter area. You can go back to that area
any time you want, even when you level past it and it will sidekick you
down automatically when you get there so that you can do those events.

You’ll still be
really powerful for that area, but
you’re powerful in a way that you won’t break the
events. Some will still be easier for you, but let’s say you
really like The Shatterer or maybe you never even fought it before, you
can go back and do that. As for dungeons, there are multiple dungeons
when you hit level 80 but even there you can do the same sort of thing
where you can go back to a dungeon and play through it at any time.

So the basic idea there is that
we don’t want to force a
particular playstyle on you when we didn’t ask you to do that
the whole time you were playing up to level 80. We want you to be able
to play the same game you enjoyed. Certainly you could decide to branch
out and try the World vs. World thing to see where it goes; we
don’t restrict you from experiencing different things either
in that sense.

style="width: 640px; height: 100px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"
border="0">
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84584"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84584/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84580"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84580/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;">


Ten
Ton Hammer:

What impact,
if any, does that have on your personal story in
terms of going back and experiencing some of the lower level content
you may have missed the first time through the area?

Eric:
Personal story is one area where we have to create more for you
to have more of it added for your character once you hit level 80. So
for personal story there are really two ways you can approach it once
you’ve reached level 80.

The first is obviously the
option to create another character, and you
can choose different things or even pick a completely different
background and will experience the story in a different way. You can
also go find lower level characters who are going through things you
might not have experienced yourself and you can see what their story is
like compared to your own.

For example if you’re
a level 80 human character but
you’ve never really saw what the charr stuff was like, you
can go and find a low level charr character who can sidekick you down
to their level so that you can go through and experience that story
with them. But if you really want to experience those things again for
yourself once you’ve reached level 80 you’ll have
to roll an alt.

Our business model also relies
on us releasing new content
occasionally, so we’ll be releasing more personal story that
way as well. There are actually questions that we do ask you and
decisions that you’ll make that have more of a minimal effect
on the game right now, so they don’t cause big huge branches.
We built those in kind of on purpose to give ourselves somewhere to go
when we do add personal story expansion.

src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90556/preview">

Ten
Ton Hammer:
Another design
philosophy question: are you expecting
to have crafted items like armor be
on par with, or in some way better
than normal loot you’d find?

Eric:
Our philosophy on that stuff is that we want it to be different,
but not superior or inferior to other items. We do want it to be the
case where say you’re an armorsmith, you can make stuff that
you want to wear and that other people will want to wear. But again
it’s also a thing where we don’t want to force
people into particular playstyles.

style="border-left: 2px solid; margin: 10px; padding: 5px; width: 210px; float: right;">

"Our
goal with crafting philosophically is that you'll never make an item
that is a throwaway item"

So there will be really good
gear obtainable through dungeons, through
your personal story, or from
random drops in the world, and then there
will also be really good gear obtainable that’s crafted.

Our goal with our crafting
philosophically is that you’ll
never make an item that is a throwaway item. You’ll always be
making something that is going to be valuable to someone. Whether
it’s for yourself, whether it’s to put on the
auction house, whether it’s a consumable that people want,
there’s never a time when you’re just making
something to increase your skill and then you’re just going
to vendor it or chuck it or whatever else you’d do with it
afterwards.

Ten
Ton Hammer:
So far
we’ve
seen both the humans and the
charr, and both look simply incredible. In Guild
Wars 1
you had only
the one race so it was fairly easy to have those epic sweeping journeys
that spanned entire continents, but will that still be the case with
Guild Wars 2
where you have five unique races?

Eric:
Oh yeah, absolutely. You can tell a little bit by scrolling out
on the world map and seeing that that’s like, but it spans
more than even what Prophecies covered, so it covers more area.
It’s this big sweeping story that all of the races eventually
get caught up into and leads you eventually to the lost continent of
Orr which
is a pretty cool endgame area.

style="width: 640px; height: 100px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"
border="0">
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84581"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84581/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84587"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84587/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;">


Ten
Ton Hammer:
Each of
the
playable races will also have a unique home
city, but will there also be a neutral city that serves somewhat as a
gathering nexus for players regardless of which race they chose for
their characters?

Eric:
Yep, that’s Lion’s Arch. At about level 30
everybody’s personal story leads them to Lion’s
Arch. It’s the city that we expect will be the main gathering
point for players in the world kind of in the same way that
Lion’s Arch is in Prophecies, so we’re building it
with that in mind.

It’s a very
cosmopolitan city, it houses all of the races and
everyone is treated as equal based on their abilities. So
it’s very interesting. When you get to Lion’s Arch
you’ll get to see charr working with asura doing crazy,
wonderful things that they could never do on their own and that sort of
thing. So Lion’s Arch is very much that kind of city for
everyone.

src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90556/preview">

Ten
Ton Hammer:

Another hot topic with the community is the
Transmutation Stones. There’s some concern about the extent
of the microtransactions in the game, but I’m not going to
ask you that question since I know you’re not there quite
yet. But folks are wondering if things will remain mostly in the
‘services’ category, or if we’ll see
other items for sale such as consumables or things of that nature.

Eric:
I think we want to keep it in the vein of purely cosmetic stuff.
Where that line is, is obviously arguable. For example I’ve
seen places where a lot of people think Transmutation Stones
aren’t purely cosmetic, but clearly we think it is.
It’s almost like your definition of grind. It can be
difficult to go to that point.

style="border-left: 2px solid; margin: 10px; padding: 5px; width: 210px; float: right;">

"We've
already said what our leveling curve is like, so we're not going to
turn around now and say we changed our minds and will be selling
experience potions and scrolls. We're not going to do that."

A better way to phrase that is
that it is not our intent to make it
where people feel they have to purchase things to play the game, or
feel like they need to spend money on additional things. For example
we’ve gotten the question regarding transmutation stones of,
“does this mean that you guys are making armors really ugly
at higher levels because then that will force us to
transmute.” Our answer was of course no, we would never do
that. We’re considering this a convenience for players and a
cool thing; we’re not going to cripple the game just to make
a buck.

We’ve already said
what our leveling curve is like, so
we’re not going to turn around now and say we changed our
minds and will be selling experience potions and scrolls.
We’re not going to do that.

I mean, I can understand why
there are trepidations about it. And the
thing is we’re not asking people to just take our word for
it, because we’ll release more details as soon as
we’re ready to release them. The big thing I would
say is
that I hope they take it as a sign of integrity that we talked about
the fact that transmutation stones are mostly available through the
in-game store. The thing was we debated this internally where we said
we really need to talk about the transmutation stones if
we’re going to talk about how our items work and all of that.
And our thought was that we really should because otherwise it would
seem very much like a bait and switch if we never really bothered
mentioning they’ll be available in the in-game store, and
people will feel like we’re lying to them and we
don’t want to do that.

style="width: 640px; height: 100px; text-align: left; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"
border="0">
href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84578"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84578/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/84575"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84575/preview"
style="border: 2px solid ; width: 300px;">


So we ended up mentioning it,
and maybe we didn’t mentioning
them in the best way that we possibly could have but we also
weren’t just trying to sneak it in. But hopefully players
will at least be able to see that we were being honest with them and we
will continue to be. And again, we want to continue our trend where we
don’t release details until we’re pretty sure about
them, because we don’t want to get into a situation where we
promise something or say this works this way when we really know
there’s a good chance it’s not going to work that
way. Again, that feels like being untruthful to us so we
don’t want to do that to our players.

Ten
Ton Hammer:

Another common
obsession amongst our forum dwellers is
Prince Rurik. Have we seen the last of him in Guild
Wars
?

Eric:
I never want to say never, but we may have seen the last of
Prince Rurik. He came back enough, so it would be a little mean to him
to make him come back again. *laughs* Also the same for Gwen I think,
but you never know.

src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/89593/preview">

src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/84322/preview">


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Sardu 1
Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.

Comments