Well, I’m a little insulted that I didn’t get an invitation, but I guess I don’t have enough visitors to be called “popular”, so… I’m still very grateful for all the information, pictures and even some videos we got. Underwater combat and dungeons. That’s what the official visit to the offices of Guild Wars 2 were all about. And let’s not forget the subject that is even closer to being released: the Winds of Change.
I picked up on the buzz right when the attendees where arriving in Seattle. Rubi was already playing and giving us some sweet tweets while I was getting up to date. I had noticed that something was going to happen, but in my rush and laziness, I didn’t pay attention to it, thinking that it was something trivial. Apparently, I was wrong.
The first day, we got some tweets and knew what was going to happen, but the attendees, weren’t allowed to share a lot of information until the next day. So, the follow day, we got to know all about underwater combat, the engineer and the dungeon “Ascalonian Catacombs”. Rubi was first to post 3 posts and give us 2 extensive galleries with screenshots of everything you can imagine (Yeay, HD screenshots). During the second day, they got a tour of the facilities and got to play the demo, featuring underwater combat, the engineer and the first dungeon ever.
Underwater combat is something I’m very unfamiliar with. I think I saw it once while playing LORTO, or at least its free demo, but the only thing I did was swim, no monsters involved. When thinking about underwater combat in Guild Wars 2, I wasn’t very excited. I had, of course, no idea that it could be that cool. The graphics are stunning, the amount of gaming content on the bottom of a lake seem to be huge and the possibilities seem endless. We even get different skills and weapons underwater. And it’s all so natural. When they were talking about underwater combat in the beginning, it immediately seemed stupid to me to throw fireballs underwater. That would be impossible, and apparently some games do this. Well, ArenaNet got it right and changed the skills to fit the environment. I can’t wait to see what might come out of it in the end, when we play the game.
Our attendees also got to be the first outsiders to go into a dungeon and defeat the main boss. In this case, they got to play the what I hear to be one of the favorite dungeon of the developers, the Catacombs of Ascalon. Here, the old, cursed ghosts of Ascalon reside, cursed by the Foefire. We got to read in Ghosts of Ascalon that these ghosts aren’t easy to defeat. And after reading some comments of the attendees, they actually are difficult to defeat. I didn’t read it anywhere, but when looking at the Gamescom demo, I saw that, like in the book, the ghosts become a mist when defeated and reform a while later. Now, I don’t know if this is still the case in the dungeon, but I hope that we don’t have to endlessly kill the same ghost. But of course not, it’s ArenaNet. Once finished in story mode, the dungeon can be redone in the explorable mode, in which you can explore the dungeon and encounter many different events.
The Catabombs of Ascalon seem great, we even got a video of combat in the dungeon. It seems really interesting to figure out how to defeat the bosses and enemies and get the reward. We are told that if we don’t cooperate enough and just think of ourselves, we will get killed very quickly. Thank god ArenaNet deleted “LF”‘ in Guild Wars 2. The explorable mode seems attractive to me, because of the fact that I just don’t wanna get in the middle of “You aren’t doing this good, you noob, you s*ck. Yeller has left the game.” And then the rest of the team is one man short. Maybe this will change in Guild Wars 2. Let’s wait and see.
The engineer was also available during this demo, although I personally think it wasn’t extensively looked into. From what we got to see, it is everything we thought it would be, and even more. The flametrower blew me away and I just couldn’t stop watching the animation. The mines weren’t seen, but I think that, whatever it turns out to be, I’ll have to withdraw my previous statements and say that the engineer is as awesome as the rest of the professions.
The tour also showed us quite some new stuff. We got to see an animation of an asuran guardian, which was as fierce as it was cute (he jumps into the air to attack), a glimpse of the character customization for the charr, the design of an sylvari themed dungeon, and some other things I forgot. What did we miss? The sylvari redesign. But the odds of us discovering the redesign before the sylvari week seems very unlikely. And the community is buzzing about the asuran week coming closer, so let’s hope we don’t have to wait for long.
Our lovely bloggers also got a look at the new quests in the Beyond series: the Winds of Change. We didn’t hear or see a lot about it, all I read was that we were getting 42 quests in the first part while Winds of Change consists of 3 parts. So that’s a whole lot of content. They say it’s comparable to a small expansion pack. Well, I’m ready for it, and it’s expected to be released before July 9, so maybe we will get an extra present at the final of the Dragon Festival, beside a nice mask. I’d really like to know what the Elder Dragons are going to do in Cantha and what the future holds for my favorite continent. Too bad that, apparently, the continent is getting isolated. But wth, I’m a loner anyway.
In the end, I was so happy with this information and so envious because I didn’t get to play the demo. The more footage, information and stories I see, the more I want to play the game and the more praising my blogs become. It made me even so excited that I’m considering going to Gamescom, which isn’t far anyway. So, who knows, maybe there will be a blog post of my experiences at Gamescom soon. At least we know one thing for sure: Guild Wars 2 is, sorry for the word, epic.
To top it all of, here is a list of galleries with pictures and screenshots: