Guild Wars 2 at GameSpot

April 29, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Posted in mmorpg | 5 Comments


The largest gaming site on the web wrangled Eric Flannum (surprise!) for an interview about Guild Wars 2.

It’s really difficult to paraphrase and summarize someone elses interview, while trying to provide commentary and insight into what they’re saying, without seeming unoriginal and a total ripoff artist. So bare with me.

The first thing of note is tactics. I think what they talk about here, and in much of the interview reflects on just how intricate some of the battles might become.

or example, you are using a skill that hits all targets in a straight line, you’ll want to line your targets up for maximum effect. A spell that affects a cone-shaped area may need to be aimed in such a way that the middle of the cone is between two targets in order to hit them both.

This immediately brings to mind Cone of Cold from Dragon Age. That spell saved my butt in that game so many times it’s unthinkable. It was the only way I could play through that game, I found some of the other crowd control spells to be useless. Back to GW2, I love the idea of tactical skill based fighting. Which is why I played GW in the first place, even though it sort of broke down into just clobbering stuff with powerful builds after a while.

There’s a few things they talk about that I’ve already covered but then they talk about how weapons affect gameplay.

If I am an elementalist and I equip a staff, my first five skills tend to be skills that are effective at long range. If I equip a scepter or focus [item], then my skills will change to shorter ranged skills.

This is new, nothing like that in GW. There, the only difference was what benefits your staff or scepter/focus brought you, and if you had the best of each there was no overall difference. Using them for different ranges doesn’t make a whole lot of lore sense, but it adds a tactical layer and an actual reason to use one or the other in GW2.

They go on from there to talk about environmental weapons again, like picking up a plank or rock to hit or throw at enemies. They’ve got a couple new examples though.

We’ve got an enemy called the Jotun, who wield these massive swords in one hand. They will sometimes throw these huge swords at players, and if they miss, players can grab the sword out of the ground and use it themselves


protect some beehives from a ravenous bear; if you succeed, you might be able to acquire a jar full of angry bees that you can throw at a target.

They also go on to mention conjuring weapons for you or group members to use. My question is just how effective are these weapons? If they give a boost to damage I can see ditching my own weapons and skills to grab this stuff. If it’s just going to slow me down I’m not sure how much I’d use them after the first time. How much use do you get out of a conjured weapon and just how useful would it be?

They also have an explanation for ditching the secondary profession.

We found that they complicated the game a bit too much and also restricted how unique we could make each profession. For example, elementalists can attune [themselves] to the different elements, which will change their skill bar. This gives them an added layer of complexity that wasn’t meshing well with how we wanted the warrior to play.

I’m not overly disappointed about the removal of secondary professions. In GW, I had many viable builds that didn’t use my secondary for any skills, let alone builds that used only one or two. Do what you got to do Anet.

Then we get into some racial skills pretty heavily, with great examples for each race.

Humans: Prayer to Dwayna, which heals the player or Summon the two fiery hounds of Balthazar to come to the player’s aid.

Asura: Arcane Blast, Radiation Field, or a magical Golem Battlesuit which you can climb into.

Charr: Shrapnel mine, Battle Roar, or call upon Warband Support for help.

Norn: Call upon the Raven to attack, or the Bear to increase health, or change into a Snow Leopard, which I’ve seen in the Races trailer though nobody believes me.

Sylvari: They can use Blessing of the Pale Tree, Take Root, or use Strength of the Dream to heal themselves from critical damage.

They then get into the Elementalist glyphs, signets, conjuring and area spells, there’s plenty of detail there so again, it’s worth going over to the actual interview, but there’s a couple things I’d like to talk about.

Signets are skills that have a passive, ongoing effect whenever they are equipped.

Again, for me anyway, this reminds me of Dragon Age, which by no means is a bad thing. Dragon Age is a great game, and many skills that you acquire are passive. You don’t have to equip them in DA, but I think it’s interesting when large game developers start moving in the same direction. I don’t think anyone’s ripping off anyone else here, people come up with similar ideas everywhere you go. Besides, Dragon Age has only been out a year. That’s not the last thing that reminds me of Dragon Age though.

One of my favorites is “dragon’s breath,” which pretty much turns your scepter into a flamethrower. Spewing out a giant cone of flame is never boring.

Cone of Flame (is that what it was called?) in DA was another favourite. Obviously these games won’t be entirely similar, but I enjoyed DA immensely and don’t see similarities as a bad thing.

Another interview down, and I’m not even getting carpal tunnel. Kind of weird when you consider how much time I’ve been spending hitting wasd in Mass Effect 2.



  1. It’s like the floodgates have opened and information is just pouring out about this game. Some of the descriptions reminded me of Dragon Age as well, even though I didn’t spend much time playing as a mage in that game.

    • Yeah, right now I’m wishing it was a constant low flowing stream, not desert and then flash flood. but I guess that works for them on a marketing level.

      I micromanaged my mages in DA but played as a rogue.

  2. What worries me is lag. In GW1 they had to remove alot of the positional stuff very early as people were getting blocked in (by pets for example), and getting very bad banding. Guess they think they’ve fixed that.

  3. They also say that the secondary was replaced by the racial, but i cant change from char to human with a drop down box. I am still positive about the whole thing but they should just come out and say we want normal builds for everyone so that you can concentrate on the flow of combat, not just casting your uber build and ignoring everything else.

    • Well with a whole new graphics engine I’m sure it won’t be a problem, plus you know, jumping.

      They have said that in one or two interviews in not so many words. Thigns like they want everyone to have a basically good skill bar no matter how they customize it.

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