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Guild Wars

Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

Bazaar of the Fours Winds content live for Guild Wars 2


How Bazaar! How Bazaar!
Jul 14
// Jason Cabral
Time to dust off that Tyrian merchant hat and polish up all of your excess junk that you don't want -- I mean, quality product that you would hate to part with -- because the Bazaar of the Four Winds content for Guild Wars 2 ...
Guild Wars 2 consoles photo
Guild Wars 2 consoles

This is why Guild Wars 2 is not coming to consoles


'Not something that we're actively pursuing'
Jul 05
// Chris Carter
At one point, Guild Wars 2 on consoles may have been a thing, as ArenaNet did some initial testing for it, but it appears as if the project has been scrapped. Speaking to Eurogamer, Lead content designer Mike Zadorojny explai...
Guild Wars 2 patches photo
Guild Wars 2 patches

ArenaNet aiming for bi-weekly updates for Guild Wars 2


The studio is still wholly committed to the game
Jun 26
// Chris Carter
Do you still play Guild Wars 2? I do, and ArenaNet is listening to the folks who want more updates. Specifically, it looks like they're going to target updates every two weeks instead of a three week timeline. Speaking to Gam...
Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 sheds a little off its price


Every bit helps
May 21
// Jordan Devore
Despite not playing as much Guild Wars 2 as I'd like to, that's okay -- it's not costing me anything. I can continue not playing free of guilt, which is the only way I can do MMO gaming any more, I've realized. ArenaNet has k...
Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet is working on a Guild Wars 2 expansion (Update)


Doesn't have the timing locked down yet
May 13
// Jordan Devore
[Update: Clarifying the comments made during the NCSoft earnings call, a representative reached out to confirm that ArenaNet is still "taking a wait-and-see stance" with regards to a possible Guild Wars 2 expansion. It is, as...
Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 April Fools' Day gag becomes a real game


Rytlock's Critter Rampage
Apr 19
// Jordan Devore
For April Fools' Day, ArenaNet devised Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Box update that went into the actual game as content folks could play. Part of the joke involved a commercial which briefly featured a kid p...
Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

A 'Looking for Group' tool is coming to Guild Wars 2


MMO standard coming later in 2013
Apr 10
// Chris Carter
If you were put off by having to manually locate a band of fellow adventurers in Guild Wars 2 without a third party add-on, it appears as if a late 2013 target has been set for an official "looking for group" tool. "As we&rsq...
No Guild Wars 2 expansion photo
No Guild Wars 2 expansion

There are no Guild Wars 2 expansions in the works


ArenaNet confirms focus on Guild Wars 2
Mar 05
// Chris Carter
Speaking to IGN, Guild Wars 2 director Colin Johanson stated that there are no expansions planned for the game at the current moment. While they haven't completely ruled any out, don't expect any soon. Johanson states, "expan...
Guild Wars 2 tournaments photo
Guild Wars 2 tournaments

Guild Wars 2 removing paid tournaments


Free fighting for everyone!
Feb 25
// Joshua Derocher
With the recent introduction of a ranked matching system, ArenaNet has decided to drop the current system in Guild Wars 2 of paying to participate in high-level player-versus-player matches. The earlier system -- ch...
Guild Wars 2 sale photo
Guild Wars 2 sale

ArenaNet's sale for Guild Wars 2 ends today


$39.99 for the non-subscription based game
Feb 25
// Chris Carter
If you've been on the fence in regards to checking out Guild Wars 2, now is a good time to take the plunge, as the digital and collector's editions are on sale for $39.99 and $54.99 respectively. Buying the game will grant yo...
Guilds in Guild Wars 2 photo
Guilds in Guild Wars 2

Chicken races? Guild Wars 2 gets guild missions next week


Get the band back together
Feb 22
// Jordan Devore
ArenaNet has shared a look at a new aspect of Guild Wars 2 called guild missions. "Our team’s primary goal was to create a solid foundation to support PvE guild play," writes content designer Leah Rivera. "We wanted t...
Guild Wars 2 PVP photo
Guild Wars 2 PVP

Guild Wars 2 introduces the Spirit Watch PVP map


Bring out your Norns
Feb 18
// Chris Carter
ArenaNet has a new video out showcasing their new Norn-themed PVP map for Guild Wars 2, Spirit Watch. It promises huge idyllic vistas, crystal clear waters, and of course, deadly combat. The map will combine conquest g...
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Guild Wars 2 adjusting how dynamic levels work


More challenge and better rewards for all
Feb 04
// Joshua Derocher
Guild Wars 2 has a system in place that allows higher-level characters to revisit low-level zones. The player's level is scaled down to match the zone, so they can still get the same challenge. This means they don't...
Flame and Frost: Prelude photo
Flame and Frost: Prelude

Guild Wars 2 gets 'Flame and Frost: Prelude' this month


Prologue to 'multi-stage narrative'
Jan 22
// Jordan Devore
A new update for Guild Wars 2 dubbed "Flame and Frost: Prelude" will roll out on January 28, adding a variety of features and setting up what ArenaNet has called a "multi-stage narrative" planned for the MMO this year. Going ...
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Guild Wars 2 boasts 3 million in sales


Explore Tyria with company
Jan 15
// Chris Carter
Guild Wars 2 had a pretty tall order to fill when it was released. It sought to change up the MMO formula once and for all, and despite the fact that I wasn't a fan of the original Guild Wars, I think it succeeded in spades. ...
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'The Lost Shores' Guild Wars 2 event starts this week


Plus a free trial weekend
Nov 12
// Jordan Devore
It's another big month for Guild Wars 2 as ArenaNet prepares to kick off a one-time world event for the game dubbed "The Lost Shores." The official site offers a glimpse at this new storyline, which will begin at 12:00pm Paci...
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Guild Wars 2: Shadow of the Mad King starts today


Update celebrates Halloween
Oct 22
// Jordan Devore
If you've been neglecting Guild Wars 2 as I regrettably have, the latest content update should offer plenty of incentive for you to clear some time for ArenaNet's Halloween festivities. Shadow of the Mad King begins today wit...
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Paid tournaments, custom arenas next for Guild Wars 2 PvP


Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
In a blog post, Guild Wars 2 systems designer Jonathan Sharp has written at length about the future of the game's structured player versus player. In short, the team at ArenaNet has a lot in mind -- particularly when it comes...
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Unboxing the four-disc Guild Wars 2 soundtrack


Sep 28
// Jayson Napolitano
After showing off composer Jeremy Soule's amazing 4-disc soundtrack for Skyrim earlier this year, I thought I'd extend the same treatment to the recently released Guild Wars 2 Original Game Soundtrack. We featured a review o...
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Guild Wars 2 Mac beta client now available


Both versions will get simultaneous updates
Sep 18
// Jordan Devore
Upon seeing that Guild Wars 2 was getting a Mac version, I had to rub my eyes and look again. Turns out I read it correctly the first time -- the game is available for Mac OS X (Lion and Mountain Lion) right now. It'll be pla...
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Guild Wars 2 breaks over 2 million in sales in two weeks


Sep 13
// Dale North
2, 2, 2! In just two weeks, and despite a short sales halt to preserve the customer experience, MMO Guild Wars 2 has moved over two million copies.  In the first week, sales of the game played it at the top of the the li...
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Laugh and/or cry at this Godawful Guild Wars 2 trailer


Worst live-action trailer ever?
Sep 11
// Jim Sterling
ArenaNet is currently being laughed at throughout the Internet for releasing one of the silliest live-action trailers ever conceived. Such things are usually bad, but you'd have to work damn hard to come up with something mo...
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You can now buy Guild Wars 2 from ArenaNet again


First-party sales of the MMO repopen
Sep 10
// Jordan Devore
On August 30, ArenaNet ceased its sales of Guild Wars 2 and restocking of retail inventories as a measure to "ensure that players who bought the game would continue to have the best online experience possible." We knew people...
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Scammers attempting to crack Guild Wars 2 accounts


ArenaNet warns users to create unique passwords
Sep 10
// Jim Sterling
ArenaNet has revealed that scammers have a list of usernames and passwords from other websites, and are systematically trying them all on Guild Wars 2. Ah, the fun world of MMOs.  The developer puts the responsibility on...
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3,000 Guild Wars 2 players banned for vendor exploit


Rules is rules
Aug 31
// Jim Sterling
ArenaNet has revealed that it banned 3,000 Guild Wars 2 players last night for knowingly exploiting a vendor error that saw them buying cheap gear and selling it on for economy-wrecking profit.  "The players we banned we...
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The DTOID Show: Hearthfire, CoD:BLOPScopters, & Lococycle


Aug 29
// Max Scoville
Here's the last episode of The Destructoid Show before we all go to Seattle for PAX oh my goodness I'm so excited it's just frustrating. Guild Wars 2 is a thing that is happening all of a sudden, Bethesda's newest Skyrim DLC ...

Impressions: Guild Wars 2

Aug 28 // Chris Carter
[embed]233601:44855:0[/embed] Guild Wars 2 (PC)Developer: ArenaNetPublisher: NCsoftReleased: August 28, 2012MSRP: $59.99 (No monthly fee) [For the purposes of these impressions, I have played the bulk of my testing time with a Sylvari Guardian, and I've dabbled in every other class in the game. I've played a fair amount of PvP and WvW as well.] Since our own Jonathan Ross already nailed down the basic mechanics of the game in this awesome guide, I'm going to stick to my own personal impressions as much as possible here, and not elongate too much on basic information. There are a few things you do need to remember, though. First off, this isn't your typical MMO. There are no dedicated healers and damage soakers (tanks). Each class can do everything, and every race can be every class. It's a seemingly small yet genius design decision that lets me play the game the exact way I want to play it. Typical restrictions are gone in both party composition and questing mechanics. You can visit anywhere you've previously explored at any point, and since the game scales your level down if you're in a lower area, you can even quest in low-level zones and still get the same amount of experience. I can't stress enough how much more fun MMOs are without those prior restrictions that have been in place for nearly decades. Being able to warp to any point on the map at anytime outside of combat is ingenious. It doesn't punish the player for wanting to explore additional areas, and circumvents the mount problem (where players will get mounts and simply rush through content from quest to quest). You simply go wherever you want to, at all times. You'll want to travel as much as possible as well, given the sheer amount of dynamic quests in the game. When I say "dynamic," I really mean dynamic. For example, one quest has a group of centaurs warring with a local human keep. If you push the centaurs back to their own camp, you can quell the rebellion for some time, and the map will reflect that. If you let them push, the keep will feel the attack, and the quest will change for subsequent visitors. Although it works very well at launch, I'm fairly skeptical that ArenaNet will be able to keep this magic up in the future, given how many high-level players will naturally gravitate towards more higher-end areas. However, ArenaNet has gone on record saying that they will take note of quests that need changing, and will provide hotfixes for problematic areas. These quests also aren't the only way to get your kicks: world events will be happening all the time. Numerous times throughout my travels (more than I can count), events just started happening around me. Sometimes I was the first person on location, fending off countless waves of enemies attacking a farm or fortification, only to be joined by a mass amount of players at the last minute. It's this entropic feeling that anything can happen that permeates nearly all of Guild Wars 2, and a sign that the development team succeeded with a true dynamic quest system. It's basically like Rift's Rift world event system, but better. For more than a few instances during my initial time with the game, I was running thin on quests to do in my starting zone to get to level fifteen in preparation for the next area. I was thinking "Aw nuts, I have to grind," like I had been doing in nearly every single other MMO since Ultima Online. It wasn't until eight hours into my session that I remembered, "Oh yeah! I can just go back and do all four other starting areas in the game, and get comparable experience." Since the game levels you down (scales) accordingly, you're able to go into nearly any area in the game and have at it. Although there is a limit on upwards level progression (for instance, you won't do well in a 15-30 zone as a level eight), the scaling system is brilliant, and best of all, it actually works. You're basically free to go wherever you want -- if you hate a certain area, no problem, just warp over from Lion's Arch (the capital city for all races) to another one of the five race's individual capital cities and go nuts. Speaking of traveling, Guild Wars 2's style of cartography is the best visualization of a world map that I've ever seen. When you hit "M", the map seamlessly transitions to a beautiful hand-drawn rendition of Tyria, with every single point of interest viewable on it. You can even freely move your character around on the map itself. For the first time in an MMO, I wanted to explore everything. The design team is absolutely brilliant, somehow packing in areas that make sense geographically, but also adding in a ton of easter eggs and secret areas or quests that aren't even marked on the world map. Skill point challenges, area discovery, and vista views will keep you busy for quite some time. Vistas are the main highlight here, as they're essentially elegant platforming puzzles that will test you to your limits. Like classic 3D platforming games of all, pure skill is rewarded here, as some of the city vista challenges are absolutely bonkers. You'll earn XP for just about every single thing in the game except structured PvP -- that includes XP for World versus World, reviving random players you come across during your travels, exploration, crafting, gathering, questing, and so on. Yep, that's right: you can even earn a significant amount of levels through crafting! GW2's fun factor isn't bullet proof, however, as you can experience the same "wear and tear" of RPG questing that you can find in just about any RPG. During one of my multiple eight-hour sessions, I started to get a tad bored of doing quests. The solution? I just jumped into World vs. World, PvP, or started exploring the world at my own pace without combat -- whether it was above or below ground. Structured PvP is also wonderfully done in Guild Wars 2, as ArenaNet has catered it towards the eSport crowd, while making it fairly simple to ease into as a casual fan. When you jump into PvP, you'll instantly be scaled up to level 80, and have every single skill at your disposal -- no more arguments like "Well, he had better gear" or "Well, I would PvP if I had better gear." Funnily enough, this design of instantly getting everything also makes it easier to test out different types of skills and weapons for Player-versus-Environment purposes. Battles themselves consist of a conquest mode, where players fight to control certain vantage points (just like Arathi Basin in World of Warcraft). Even though I'm not the biggest MMO PvP fan, I was able to appreciate just how much depth there is here in the PvP system, even outside of combat. Just because you already have all of your skills doesn't mean you can't earn anything: you can still buy cosmetic PvP items with glory points you earn, and even though you don't obtain proper XP, PvP has its own level ranking. ArenaNet will also be hosting tournaments from time to time, with buy-ins. Right now, Conquest is the only game mode available, but the team has said that other modes will be considered for the future. For those of you who are looking for a more relaxed PVP experience, WvW (World versus World) is your best bet. WvW is a game mode that basically puts you in the middle of a giant RTS battle featuring hundreds of real-life players, similar to a massive player-based Dynasty Warriors map. There's siege weapons, extra WvW-specific items, and special objectives that give it a different feel from the rest of the game. Heck, there are even jumping puzzles in WvW. The best part of all this is that you earn XP for your efforts, and there are a number of dynamic quests and NPCs in the WvW battlefield to mess around with. Even if your aim is to roleplay or experience a different PvE experience and you have no interest in actual PvP, you'll have a ton of fun here. In fact, most of my time spent in WvW is probably doing roleplay-type stuff, playing around with other people, doing mini sorties and the like. When I get bored, I can just jump out. But enough about combat and questing -- what about the lore? Well, there are no "horde vs. alliance" or similar implications to worry about here when picking a race -- every race for the purposes of the game, is locked in PvE with the same goals. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone gets along perfectly, as you'll see when enacting your personal story quests. For instance, as a Sylvari, I'm generally fairly partial in my moral choices, but I make it my personal mission to dump on the smug Asura every chance I get. The writers did an excellent job making you care about each race, and regardless of whether you decide to roleplay or not, you'll at least be remotely interesting in just about pretty much every major character story you meet. To drive this point home, a few months ago, I had the chance to sit down with Jeff Grubb, resident lore master of the Guild Wars series. It was clear that he was extremely passionate about his creations, so much that you can easily see his passion in the game without having to look too hard. There are so many details in the game's dialogue, world, and character models, you'll instantly want to become a part of Tyria. In terms of story delivery, Guild Wars 2 strikes a comfortable medium between World of Warcraft's endless quest log reading, and The Old Republic's excessive voice acting for mundane quests. Low-key quests will usually just be sprung on you without having to sit and wait to sift through a meaningless dialogue wheel. You simply enter the area, a quest log notification pops up on the top right of your screen, and you go. Personal quests will offer voice acting (see if you can listen for a few familiar ones), but segments will only be a few minutes total, so they don't wear on you at all. The amazing thing is that although it is kind of lame that your personal story is told through still-models talking on a static screen, said screen is filled with the beautiful concept art by ArenaNet's insanely talented artists. I usually tend to chalk up this type of static storytelling as lazy, but considering this is one of the only ways to see said art in action, that concession is well worth it. All of this can be augmented through the use of the micro-transaction marketplace, dubbed the Black Lion Trading Company in-game. The vast majority of what the Trading Company provides are mostly cosmetic upgrades, but there are also a few extra boosts, such as an XP boost from defeating enemies for an hour. Now, normally an XP boost for cash would bother me, but the stipulations are so stringent that this really can't be abused heavily. Additionally, Guild Wars 2 is a PvE-based game -- you want other people to get ahead, as it benefits you in the end. Ultimately, as long as the microtransaction hub doesn't get too brazen, and it supports the idea of no monthly subscription fee, I'm willing to support it. In summation, Guild Wars 2 is an MMO for people who both love and hate MMOs. Outside of living a fulfilling life entirely as a crafter (à la Ultima Online), you can pretty much find solace in anything you can imagine an RPG would provide.
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I was skeptical of Guild Wars 2. The original Guild Wars, by ArenaNet's own admission, was a Cooperative RPG (CORPG), and not an MMO. As a result, the game was heavily instanced, and even though it was a decent dungeon crawle...

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Guild Wars 2 level 80 cap reached by player before launch


Aug 28
// Jim Sterling
Guild Wars 2 hasn't even officially launched yet, but a dedicated player in the early access game has managed to grind his way to level 80 already. French user Surfeuze is officially the first player to hit the level cei...

Your guide to Guild Wars 2

Aug 24 // Aerox
If you have any familiarity with other fantasy MMOs, here's the most important thing you need to know when selecting a character: the Trinity is dead. There are no "tanks," or people whose job it is to soak up damage and manage aggro and threat, no dedicated "healers," and no classes whose purpose is to dump out damage and do nothing else. This seems to be the number one biggest thing that people don't understand, even when I explain it to them, so I want to reiterate: the Trinity is dead. Everything you know about tanks, healers, and DPS is wrong. When I say that, I should be clear about what I mean. It's not that there is a "different kind of tanking." There is no tanking. Monsters can and will regularly attack everyone in the party, and everyone has a responsibility to mitigate or avoid the damage. There's not a "different kind of healing." Everyone has a self heal, and can spec to also have some weak group heals on long cooldowns, but healing is not and will not be a central focus of your gameplay, beyond your own responsibility to occasionally heal yourself. Every class is capable of dealing serious damage, and every class has the ability to act in a support capacity, throwing buffs (positive status effects) on their allies and debuffs (negative status effects) on their enemies (called "boons" and "conditions" in Guild Wars 2). And most classes have the ability to hand out some minor healing or regeneration to allies. Despite the notion of everyone being able to do "everything," each class feels quite different from one other because of the weapons they are able to use and their unique mechanics, so the best thing for you to do is read up on the classes and pick which one sounds most interesting. Don't fall into the trap of trying to pick based on archetypes. If you normally enjoy tanking in WoW, don't think you have to pick a Warrior or a Guardian -- there's no tanking because there's no reliable threat management. If you normally play a dedicated healer, you're not going to be standing back and healing anyone in Guild Wars 2, so find a profession that sounds cool and try it it out. Unlike virtually every other MMO on the market, every race can play as every class without any penalty or stat differences, so play around until you find a class that works best for you. Once you have your character created and you've moved through the very short introduction section, you're somewhat unceremoniously dumped right outside your city's starting zone with little direction. You'll see one green star on your map, indicating a portion of your story quest, and not much else. An NPC will direct you to what also appear to be quests -- different hearts on the map indicating people who need help. Your first inclination may be to run straight to your story quests or toward the heart quests -- after all, that's what we've been conditioned to do in almost every MMO since EverQuest. DON'T DO IT! One of the biggest fundamental shifts in thinking you'll have to do when playing Guild Wars 2 is to understand that the game is about exploration, not just running in a straight line. In most games, the best way to level is to do as many quests or dungeons as possible in a short amount of time. In Guild Wars 2, it's much different; the more time you spend wandering around off the beaten path, the more things you'll find to do. In this game, there are many ways to earn experience. You get experience for finding waypoints and points of interest on the map. You get experience for killing things. You get experience for reviving other players. You get experience for World vs. World PvP. You get experience for gathering crafting materials and making things out of them. You can even go back to old zones you never completed and get experience from them -- the game downlevels you to whatever zone you're in so you can do the content without blowing through it, while getting appropriate exp rewards for your actual level. These aren't just tiny amounts of experience, either -- they're significant. It won't be immediately apparent out the gate, but the best way to level in Guild Wars 2 is to do as many different things as possible as you play. In fact, to earn your first level out of the tutorial/intro mission, I recommend turning around, going back inside your race's major city, and exploring the entire thing. When it comes to actual "questing," the majority of "quests" in the game are randomly occurring events. As you walk around and explore the map, events will suddenly begin, or you'll move into range of an in-progress event. These events form what will likely be the core of your PvE experience, and you should always be looking to participate. Again, the best way to find these events is to just wander around exploring the map -- those who only run in a straight line to the heart and story quests will miss out. Events will occupy much of your time in the game, but if you ever get tired of them, or if feel like you are too under-leveled to move forward (and, if you only do story and heart quests and nothing else, you'll hit this point pretty quickly), remember all the other things you can do. Spend some time gathering materials and crafting items, go check out the World vs. World combat, or even check out the other races' starting areas. (Getting to them is simple, although not obvious. Lion's Gate has portals to all five major cities, and can be reached either through the portal in your own city, or by entering the sPvP lobby through your Hero Menu and taking the portal found there.) Remember -- don't focus just on quests, don't be afraid to aimlessly wander and explore, and don't be afraid to check out other zones. The more you explore, the better off you'll be. One of the other aspects of Guild Wars 2 that will probably take some adjusting to is the fact that it's a social game. Not "social game" in the sense that you're spamming farming invites to your friends, but social in that there's a very real incentive to work with other players, and luckily, doing so is simple and generally doesn't require any futzing with parties or raids. Hell, you don't even have to technically talk to anyone, but you will have to work with other people. Again, it's not immediately clear, but working with people in this game is ALWAYS beneficial. There's no kill stealing or even kill tagging. You can't take loot meant for someone else. Even gathering nodes will be unique to your character, meaning no one will swoop in in front of you and snag that ore chunk you had your eye on. If you come across other players, help them! Start attacking their monsters -- they won't mind, since you'll both get experience and treasure. Happen upon a downed or dying player? You'll want to try to revive them, since there's a bit of experience in it for you. If you see a group of people wandering around, follow them. You'll all help each other out, and there's a good chance you'll come across a random event together as a group. Similarly, if you see a whole bunch of players all running in one direction, definitely follow them. A major event is probably about to start or already in progress, and you won't want to miss out. Later in the game at around Level 30, when dungeons become available to you, you WILL have to start dealing with a party system. The dungeons are all five-mans, but, again, remember that the Trinity is dead. It shouldn't be super difficult to find a group, because virtually any group composition should be able to clear any dungeon in the game. You don't have to sit around waiting for a tank or a healer -- you can grab the four nearest Engineers and still have a reasonable chance of completing the dungeon. Simply put, if you're the kind of person who tries to play MMOs solo (which, I admit, often describes me), you're going to have to shift your thinking, or you're not going to have much fun in this game. All that said, my experience in the beta weekend has been that once all the barriers to co-operation are removed, people generally seem to act a whole lot nicer to each other. Now, we get to the combat itself. First off, your main skill set is tied to the weapon you're currently using -- the first five skills on your hotbar correspond directly to your equipped weapon. You start with only one skill in each useable weapon, but they quickly unlock as you kill things -- within two or three hours of play, you should have unlocked most if not all of your weapon skills. Your other five slots are a healing skill, three utility skills, and an elite skill, all of which you can choose from a set that you will unlock as you level up. When it comes to actually killing, throw everything you know about priority systems and rotations out the window. Guild Wars 2 isn't the kind of game where you stand in one place mashing buttons; you need to be moving CONSTANTLY. Almost every skill can be used while moving, even most channeled ones, and as such you should be constantly strafing and circling your target. Generally speaking, you have less skills overall than in most other MMOs, and the skills you do have come with significantly longer cooldowns. The time you're not spending mashing skill buttons instead goes to combat positioning and avoidance. In addition to just moving around your opponent, you also need to learn to dodge. The dodge skill is absolutely critical to survival in the game, and once you move past the first few areas, you'll find that even basic monsters can easily kill you if you're not careful. Many enemies have extremely powerful attacks that can one-shot you, so you need to learn the tells so that you can dodge out of the way. In the event you do go down, don't worry! The downed state, which you should be introduced to in the tutorial, is an expected and normal part of the game. Being downed doesn't necessarily mean you've done something wrong (although there's a good chance you're down because you blew a dodge), and you should quickly be revived by another player in the area. You can also come back from being downed by contributing to an enemy kill while downed, and it will be obvious how to do so when you first enter the state. If you do end up dying, you'll just respawn at a waypoint. As you move through areas, keep an eye out on your map for other downed players -- reviving them will grant you some experience, and they'll certainly appreciate the help. Finally, a few notes about loot, dungeons, and the "end-game." The "end-game" concept central to most MMOs is not present here. In Guild Wars 2, the time it takes to gain a level is designed to be roughly equal, whether you're leveling from 29 to 30 or from 79 to 80. Rather than gating content at the level cap, the content is more evenly spread throughout the entire game. When you do ultimately hit the level cap, you have an opportunity to go back to all the areas you've missed and try them out -- because of the downscaling system, you won't be just blowing through them without a challenge. Five-man dungeons are present in the game, and the first isn't available until level 30, but they don't exist to gear you up. Equivalent versions of all of the loot from dungeons can be found out in the world or crafted -- they instead serve as cosmetic rewards. Loot in general is significantly scaled back from many other games, and you'll find that you're pretty naturally upgrading your gear as you move through the game without any kind of dungeon or raid grinding. Instanced raids don't exist at all, but many will find that some of the major area events serve as de facto, non-instanced, mini-raids, and these are available as early as the starting areas of each race. As should be clear from the above, I spent a significant amount of time in most of the beta events, and had a really positive experience. I think a lot of you, even if you don't normally like MMOs, will enjoy the game as well. That said, I'm sure it won't appeal to everyone, and sadly I think a lot of people may be turned off from it simply because they try to play it like World of Warcraft or Old Republic. That's not to crap on those games (I still have an active World of Warcraft account and a great guild), but it's just to note that you really do have to change the way you think about and play MMOs to really "get" Guild Wars 2. If you read this guide the entire way through, you should have a pretty good idea of how to do so. See you in Tyria! [Jordan, Chris Carter, and I are planning on rolling on the server Ferguson's Crossing, and we expect a few other editors will be playing there as well. We don't have any kind of solid plans for a guild at this point, but if you're looking for a server, feel free to join us!]
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With the Guild Wars 2 headstart beginning tomorrow, many of you will be playing the game for the first time. Some of you may still be on the fence about whether to purchase it or not (hint: you should). If you haven't played ...

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ArenaNet recaps what makes Guild Wars 2 stand out


Jul 26
// Jordan Devore
With the last beta weekend behind us for Guild Wars 2, there's about a month left of waiting before ArenaNet's anticipated MMO launches officially. The studio has put together four videos, each highlighting a distinct part o...

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