Being away from the game shouldnt necessarily dictate that you cant talk to your in-game friends. The Extended Experience Team over at ArenaNet seems to agree and they have recently revealed a whole suite of features in Guild Wars 2 that will allow communication with the game while youre outside of the game world. Whether you are on your PC or on your mobile you will be able to keep in touch and even explore a bit of the game world while the client sits pleasantly closed.
Long Distance Connections
One of the really neat things about the original StarCraft was the ability to talk to your friends within the game using third-party chat clients thatd use your serial key to hook you straight into battle.net (or steal your serial key like many programs related to StarCraft did). I really liked using it to see who was online and avoid the long and arduous process opening the client and instead rely on a quick IM like program to see who was on, what they were doing, and if theyre up for a game.
Thats something most MMOGs lack. Second Life had a program called SLim that allowed you to chat with your friends within the game (even over voice). The program met its end in March of 2010, but was a great example of allowing in-world communication outside of the world. Guild Wars 2 will feature something similar, but will also be available on your mobile as we can see here:
The most prominent features for mobile and web users will probably stem from the ability to stay connected to the game world and, more importantly, your friends and guildies. Well be doing as much as we can to remove the communication barrier that exists between in-game players and out-of-game players. How many times have you been away from your computer on raid night and wished you could connect up with your guild, monitor their progress, share your insights, and ultimately share in their victory?
This gets major points from me on a few points. First its nice to know that you can safely, conveniently, and easily pull out your phone and alert your guild or your friends that you might be a bit late logging on tonight or just to chat to pass time. Second its even nicer to be able to keep things in-game without having to involve risky things like phone numbers or screennames.
The only downside I could see would be an awkward situation arising when one of your guildies has a bit too much to drink at the bar and has found guild chat on their mobile. Thats not necessarily much different than most nights for a lot of guilds when someone has had a bit too much to drink at home and wont stop talking about it. The good news here is that mobile phones arent exactly the easiest thing to type on while inebriated.
The World on the Go
Another cool feature seems to be the ability to explore the game world while outside of the game. Mobile maps that will show player stats and locations seem like something awesome to play with while bored and a great tool to use at home for reference. Lost a friend somewhere far away? Pull out your iPad and locate them, keeping it on your table as a point of reference as you make your way there.
Looking up players and gear is also another neat feature. Even neater is the ability to see what part of a players personal story did that piece of gear come from or where exactly they got it from. That isnt necessarily groundbreaking stuff, but its a cool value added feature in my book. Of course, being able to ping the minimap for your friends isnt, but Im going to assume that there will be some abuse control added in.
Sure its not something that you have to have (and I hope it never is), but at the same time its something that adds to the value of the game. Assuming the applications dont cost too much or dont carry heavy fees with them, of course.
Overall though, this isnt a requirement to a game in my opinion, but another cherry on the top thats helping drive Guild Wars 2 from a great MMOG to something legendary. I cant wait to see what else ArenaNet has ready to cook up for both in-game and out of the game.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.