The Four Core Concepts That Guild Wars 2 Is Built Upon

The Four Core Concepts That Guild Wars 2 Is Built Upon

Yesterday’s Q&A with Guild Wars 2 content designer Mike Zadorojny painted the development of next month’s blockbuster MMO in broad strokes. Today ArenaNet releases a series of videos that break the game’s design down to four core components: dynamic events, player versus player, personal story and combat.

A massively multiplayer online role-playing game is much more than players hitting monsters until they are dead, though that certainly plays an important part. If the combat was dull and lifeless it wouldn’t matter how compelling the rest of Guild Wars 2 was. Of the four pillars it’s probably the most traditionally important to existing MMO players.

PVP combat is important as well, especially in a game where war between player-made guilds is right there in the title. Guild Wars 2 helps lure in the less competitive players by levelling the playing field. When you go into PVP, you’re the same level as everyone else. You’ve got access to the same skills and equipment. It all boils down to how you play.

Dynamic events is something that’s new-ish to Guild Wars 2. Other games have had world events and local quests, but Guild Wars 2 does it a little differently. It helps that the game doesn’t penalise one player for hitting on another player’s enemies. Since there is no kill-stealing, everyone is free to pile into these dynamic events without fear of ticking anyone off.

And finally there’s the personal story each individual player will experience What ArenaNet has done is forged a more intimate bond between player and world through a series of story-driven quests filled with memorable characters and dramatic events. It’s like a single player game laced throughout the massively multiplayer one.

How do these four pillars come together? We’ll find out next month, when Guild Wars 2 goes live.

Video: The Pillars of Guild Wars 2 Gameplay [ArenaNet]


  • One question I’d like to ask is how does targeting work in GW2? Is everything auto-homing, plus mouse-controlled AoE placement? Is it tab-targeting? The early videos I’ve seen has been just face in the general direction and spam the skill key…

    • If you play as a range character, you will do some auto targeting if the enemy is near you with normal attack but melee characters only stand still and attack, except leaping skills or charging skills that charges towards the target. I guess this would be the anti bot mechanism they put up which i find quite annoying sometimes swinging sword to empty air while the enemy is slightly out of range lol

      • Unless the (melee) skill roots you to the ground, my experience was that I could run around my target, constantly stabbing (or missing if I wasnt aiming near enough)

      • Auto homing provided your targeting an enemy of course it your target dies and you keep attacking it selects a new enemy for you

    • There is a little bit of auto-homing going on on the range skills, but many of the other skills, including melee, are AoE. If there’s two guys up in your grill and you swing a sword, if the sword goes through both of them, you’ll deal damage to both of them.

    • It’s a combination of controlled AoE and tab targetting. Melee skills will hit anything in the direction you are facing. Ranged skills will hit the first thing the projectile connects will in the direction you fire. Selecting an enemy will obviously point you in the direction of that enemy when using your skills, but melee attacks will still hit anything in that general direction, and ranged skills will still connect with anything that gets in the way.

    • Here’s a high level summary:

      Ranged Projectile: Without a target you fire in whatever direction you’re facing and it will hit the first thing it comes into contact with. With a target, attacks are led. If your target maintains a constant velocity, it will be hit, if it changes it’s velocity while your porjectile is in the air, it will miss.

      Homing Projectile: Will home to your target, but cannot make sharp turns. Can be body blocked by target’s allies or environmental objects such as walls.

      Range LoS: No projectile, cannot be body blocked by target’s allies. However need to maintain LoS e.g. you can’t attack things behind walls.

      Ground Target AoE: Target with the mouse, self explanatory

      PB AoE: Self explanatory.

      Targetted AoE: Will cast AoE on target, requires a target before it can be cast.

      For Melee, all melee are essentially short range AoE. Can be triggered at any time without a target. Generally attacks the area in front of you, there are exceptions. Will hit anything within range. Some attacks are melee but moves either the attacker or the target, those that moves the attacker will move the attacker regardless of the target. If you’re not careful it is possible to overshoot your target.

      All skills can be triggered while on the move. Most can be used while moving, a few will root you once it’s triggered.

  • I was on the fence for a little while but the beta weekends sealed the deal. On my must play list, it was just a lot of fun and I can see this growing well too. Can’t beat free-2-play either.

    • Really it’s buy-2-play, because of the initial payment. But that still shits all over the subscription model.

  • So here’s the deal about the cost:

    It’s an nontraditional MMO in the regard that you pay for it up front but then there’s no subscription fee afterwards. There is a store, which when I checked had silly pets, silly cosmetic items, and leveling boosting items and etc (nothing that I deem necessary to pay for). The only things there that people have had the most gripes about were the extra character slots. You’re only given 5 of the 8 total character slots, and some people feel you shouldn’t have to pay for the extra 3 slots separately. I argue that I don’t see myself burning through 5 character slots anytime soon so I don’t see the rush to get them, but people play these kinda games at their own pace I guess. So far, only turn off I have for the game is that it costs $60. Course, I definitely see myself sinking hundred of hours into this game over the course of a few months so I feel like I’ll get my money out of it for sure.

    On a different note, there have been few MMOs after WoW that have done anything to re-invent the industry , and by that I mean the industry seems to think that the only way to build an MMO, aside from change the graphics and adjust the combat system, is to make it exactly like WoW. I can’t stand MMOs today that are basically exact copies of WoW with a different coating and a few minor tweaks. That’s not me bashing WoW, though I can’t say I was much of a fan, but that’s definitely me bashing the industry for letting itself get so stagnant and lazy in it’s design. I wanted Guild Wars 2 to not feel like an MMO, I wanted it to feel different. So after the beta weekend, I can say that it is the most interesting MMO I’ve played in a long time. All I can say is… Finally, I’ve been waiting for this moment! Looking forward to the 25th!

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