Posted Thu, May 20, 2010 by Sardu
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Last month, a super secret switch was flipped at the ArenaNet HQ in Bellevue, Washington. The result has been veritable flood of new information on upcoming title Guild Wars 2, the bulk of which has been revealed through ArenaNet's newly created blog for the game. We'll take a closer look at some of the finer details from this week's two stellar updates today in Loading... Dynamic Duo
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This week saw not just one, but two excellent new updates to the official ArenaNet blog for Guild Wars 2. As a long time fan of all things Guild Wars, I found both to be incredibly interesting not just for their core topical focus, but also for some of the more subtle details they contain.
First up, an interview with Kristen Perry titled the Fashion of Guild Wars 2 gave us a glimpse into her processes for coming up with unique and interesting clothing and armor designs. While ArenaNet has previously stated that one of their goals with the new game is to allow it to be played on as many systems as possible, Kristen does describe some of the ways in which she's been able to expand upon design potentials in GW2 by use of certain elements such as normal maps.
Perhaps one of the most significant new tools is the use of normal maps. For the first time, we can make use of much higher modeling techniques to add richness to an otherwise modest poly budget. We do have more polys to throw around as well, but there’s a lot to be said for the smoke-and-mirror use of a good normal map. I think perhaps what I love the most, besides normals and the fun of 3D sculpting, would be the silhouette polys I can now add and the higher texture resolution that goes with it.
To get a better idea of what the end results may look like when GW2 launches, be sure to check out Ten Ton Hammer's recently added gallery featuring character renders of human females and males.
While it remains to be seen whether the armor/stat dynamic will be treated similar to the original game, one of the things I've always found fascinating is that Guild Wars proves that armor doesn't necessarily have to be a poorly disguised stat grind to be a desirable item for players to obtain. Yet the fact that players will still invest the time to obtain elite armor sets in GW speaks volumes to me about the strengths of Kristen’s design capabilities. Not only that, but it does also give weight to the notion that imporoving the visual aspects of our characters can be a strong motivator in and of itself.
The second kickass blog update for this week features Colin Johanson's answers to many of the questions that have been circulating on the Dynamic Events system in GW2. A quick read trough the answers Colin has provided reveals other minor, yet interesting gameplay elements that extend beyond the topical focus of dynamic events. For example, in the following quotes we learn that Guild Wars 2 will very likely feature some form of weather system as well as night and day cycles:
Some events only occur when specific conditions are met, like a snow storm rolls into the map, or night falls over the graveyard. If an event reaches one end of the chain, it could sit at that point for days, weeks, or months until a player comes along and decides to participate in the event chain. We’ve tried to vary the conditions that trigger events and change the length and variety of the event cycles so that everything feels organic and unique.
Events are not designed to occur at specific real world times; they're triggered by game conditions, player actions, and in-game time occurrences (like night falling in the game world). Players from all countries and time-zones in the world will never feel like they're missing out on content.
While seemingly minor on the surface, the mechanics mentioned above do most definitely reinforce the concept that the Tyria of Guild Wars 2 will have a vastly more “virtual world” feel than its predecessor.
I thoroughly recommend giving both the interview with Kristen Perry and Colin Johanson’s FAQ answers on Dynamic Events a read. Still no word on whether or not GW2 will feature the most awesome competitive online mini-game of all time, Rollerbeetle Racing, but we can certainly hope! While we wait to find out if it makes the transiion into the sequel, I'd love to hear your thoughts on either of the above topics, so grab your favorite fiery dragon sword and head on over to the Loading… forum. And if, like me, you consider yourself a fan of all things Guild Wars related, be sure to stop by Ten Ton Hammer's Guild Wars 2 forums and join in on the discussions!
4 new Ten Ton Hammer articles today! 71 Ten Ton Hammer features in May! 542 in 2010!GIVEAWAYS
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- Reuben "Sardu" Waters and the Ten Ton Hammer team