It looks like the new MMO concept of paying for the game and not the subscription is really paying off for NCSoft. Today they announced the first expansion for Guild Wars - Factions
Bellevue, Wash., Jan. 10, 2006 — NCsoft®, the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces Guild Wars®: Factions™, the next chapter in the critically acclaimed Guild Wars franchise from ArenaNet® studios. The Factions campaign will release in the second quarter of 2006. It offers players an incredible gameplay experience with many new choices, including new regions, professions, skills, missions, and monsters, along with expanded options for both Cooperative and Player-versus-Player (PvP) play, and enhanced features for guilds.
Players will get their first chance to experience the new campaign when ArenaNet opens its servers to everyone for the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend. This worldwide event—scheduled for January 20 through 22—is open to both existing Guild Wars players and to those who do not have a Guild Wars account. ArenaNet is distributing free access keys to the event at http://www.guildwars.com.
The event will enable players to experience two new professions being introduced in the campaign, the Assassin and the Ritualist. Participants will also be able to try out a number of the skills added to Guild Wars: Factions, including some of the deadly skills of the Assassin and the arcane spells of the spiritual Ritualist. They will also be able to get familiar with the new PvP continent, Battle Isles. Battle Isles will introduce players to new PvP experiences, new and expanded arenas, new quests, and a new explorable area as well.
Another feature available during the Guild Wars: Factions Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend is Observer Mode, where players who aren't participating in a battle can view the proceedings and check out the strategies and tactics used by top-ranked guilds as they fight for supremacy.
"We're excited to be offering this free preview of Guild Wars: Factions to players throughout the world," said Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of ArenaNet. "Factions is a huge step in the continued evolution of the game, and I think gamers are really going to be excited about the new features they're going to see!"