Sending out a note to celebrate Chinese New Year, ArenaNet Founder and President Mike O’Brien stated that, "Last year, thousands of you joined us at shows and events all over the world to try Guild Wars 2 for yourself. This year, you’ll finally be able to immerse yourself in the vast, diverse world of Tyria."
Fans looking forward to being able to beta test the game won;t have to wait much longer as O’Brien further expalins, "We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we’re now ready to hold progressively larger events. In February we’ll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we’ll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate. And of course, this all leads to the release of Guild Wars 2 later this year. "
While Guild Wars 2 adds a persistent world, it retains the unique characteristics of the original game, including a strong narrative, extensive instanced game play, an anti-grind design philosophy, and strong support for competitive play.
As a race that has recently emerged, the Sylvari are still finding their place in the world. But as fast learners in the ways and cultures of Tyria, the Sylvari will play a prominent role in the events about to unfold in the upcoming story of Guild Wars 2.
The combat highlights include:
- Visual and dynamic combat - Manoeuvre around an opponent to strike for maximum damage or send them flying through the air. Create giant crushing stone hands, turn into a massive tornado, or summon a flock of vicious birds of prey to swarm your enemies.
- Cross-profession combos - Combine attacks from different professions for extra damage, like shooting arrows through a flaming wall to create a barrage of fiery projectiles, or sending pets through a cloud of poison so they spread the toxin among the enemy.
- Environmental weapons - In the hands of a skilled Elementalist, a simple boulder can be turned into a meteor storm. Or save the day by taking control of a siege weapon on the battlefield!
- A skill system that is easy to learn and rewarding to master - In Guild Wars 2, you start with a strong base set of skills, but the game allows for deep player customisation. You get your base skills from the weapons you wield and then customise your skill-set with racial skills, healing skills, profession skills, and even a devastating elite skill.
An innovative skill system, unique profession mechanics, and extensive customisation combine to make combat in Guild Wars 2 an immersive, exciting experience.
In addition to humans, Guild Wars 2 players will be able to create, customize, and play a variety of non-human races.
- Charr - The conquerors of Ascalon, the charr are ferocious, warmongering creatures—the intractable foes of humanity. Now, as greater dangers threaten their conquests, the charr legions and their war machines prepare for war.
- Norn - The norn are half-giant brawlers from the frigid northern lands who can shape shift into mighty bestial forms. Driven from their homeland by a force beyond reckoning, the norn have regrouped among the dwarven ruins of the Shiverpeaks.
- Asura - The asura, who once ruled the caverns and tunnels below Tyria, are an advanced race of small size and great intellect. Now that they have risen from below, the asura aim to rule the surface world with their powerful golems and ingenious plans.
- Sylvari - Not much is known of the sylvari, save that they are a race of sentient plant-beings, newly blossomed into the world. The sylvari are the youngest of the races, bound together by a common dream and awesome power.
Guild Wars 2 will have the kind of extensive character advancement appropriate to a persistent world RPG. Our goal is to avoid forcing players into the grind-based gameplay that too often accompanies a high level cap.
Also, to allow players the freedom to play together even if their friends are at a much higher (or lower) level, we are planning to implement a strong sidekick system, similar to that used in City of Heroes.
We're applying this same philosophy to competitive play. Players will be able to engage in organized, balanced PvP (similar to GvG in the original Guild Wars) without first leveling up characters, finding equipment, and unlocking skills. While inside the organized PvP area, all characters will be the same power level and will have access to the same equipment.
In GW 2 you will be able to advance your character to the maximum level without ever joining a group if you so desire. Most content will be designed in a solo-friendly way, though often with mechanisms for scaling up in difficulty when more players are involved. This will give players the option to experience the game however they prefer.
At the same time, it is important for an MMO community to join together to overcome challenges.Guild Wars 2 will feature some challenges that require players join forces to conquer.
Because Guild Wars 2 is a whole new game with different professions and races, new technology, and expanded game play, it would not be possible to directly use an original Guild Wars character.
However, your original Guild Wars character names will be reserved for your use in Guild Wars 2. The Hall of Monuments in Guild Wars 2 recognizes the accomplishments commemorated by your original Guild Wars characters and provides you with unique rewards to showcase those achievements.
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