Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the Guild Wars series of games by ArenaNet. Guild Wars 2 was released on August 28, 2012. It has been in development since 2006. Many features have integrated into the game which align it with traditional MMORPGs, such as a persistent world and a level cap of 80, but the game has been described by ArenaNet as having non-traditional elements as well, because "it doesn’t make you spend hours preparing to have fun rather than just having fun."
This article provides an overview of the features of Guild Wars 2. For more detailed information, consult the fan FAQ or other articles available on this wiki.
Development progress and release information
Guild Wars 2 has been in development since the middle of 2006, but was first announced in 2007 to the public. The game has been in closed beta testing since 16 December 2011. On January 23rd, ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 would launch in 2012, following beta tests throughout March and April.
Since Gamescom in 2010, ArenaNet have made playable demos available to convention attendees. In each of these demos the game systems presented to players have increased and shown evolution and change. A YouTube search will uncover considerable footage of Guild Wars 2 gameplay from these conventions.
A collector's edition of the game was released and contained a 10-inch Rytlock figurine, 112 page Making of Guild Wars 2 book, Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD, art portfolio and five art prints, a custom art frame, Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite skill, Miniature Rytlock (Account Bound), Chalice of Glory, Tome of Influence and a Golem Banker.
Pre-purchase for Guild Wars 2 started on April 10th, 2012. There were three versions of the game that were up for pre-purchase: Digital Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector's Edition.
It was announced on June 28th, 2012 that Guild Wars 2 would launch on August 28th, 2012.
Guild Wars 2 editions
|Items||Digital Edition||Digital Deluxe Edition||Collectors Edition|
|Guild Wars 2 Game||1||1||1|
|Hero's Band (pre-purchase only)||1||1||1|
|3-day headstart (pre-purchase only)||1||1||1|
|Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill||0||1||1|
|Miniature Rytlock (Account Bound)||0||1||1|
|Chalice of Glory||0||1||1|
|Tome of Influence||0||1||1|
|10-inch figurine of Rytlock||0||0||1|
|112 page Making of Guild Wars 2 book||0||0||1|
|Custom Art Frame||0||0||1|
|Art Portfolio and Five Art Prints||0||0||1|
|Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD||0||0||1|
- See also: Character
The selection of one of five playable races determines the appearance of the character and gives a flavor to the character in combat with versatile racial skills and through a personal storyline with the unique themes and history of the race. The selection of one of eight available professions determines most of what the character is capable of doing. It restricts the armor type wearable, but more importantly determines how the skill bar is built through the unique game mechanics of the profession, the weapons that can be wielded, and the skills and ability modifiers available. The profession abilities have been emphasized over racial abilities to make sure that each race is equally able to play each profession. Professions are roughly analogous to what most other MMOs refer to as character classes.
A character can be used to play any game mode available in Guild Wars 2: PvE, Structured PvP and World PvP. A player may still have multiple characters. The game is designed to be viable for both solo and group play.
Guild Wars 1 characters
Characters from the original Guild Wars will not be migrated to play in Guild Wars 2, though some player achievements are translated through the Hall of Monuments, which grants titles and new items. Players also had the chance to reserve their character names up until the 31st of July 2012 before the games launch. 
Combat in Guild Wars 2 is built around three facets: damage, control and support. Damage is simply decreasing the enemy's health, control is preventing the enemy from doing what it wants, and support consists of working together with allies. Each profession is able to perform any of these roles. While some professions may be better at an aspect than others, no character is a specialist in a particular role. For example, there is no profession which focuses on the healing aspect of support - the best healing abilities available in the game are the compulsory self healing skills.
Combat is designed to be tactical; items in the environment can be used as weapons, body position can affect skills, and skills which allies use can interact with the player to create new effects. Even what is done at the edge of death can change the outcome of the fight dramatically.
Player versus Environment
- See also: Player versus Environment
Guild Wars 2 has a significantly larger world than that of Guild Wars. Underwater explorable areas are a significant part of some zones, some of which have over half of the area underwater. These underwater areas are designed to be easily accessible and fun places to explore for all players so there aren't any breath meters or time limits. The underwater areas have new friendly races and their own events.
A day/night cycle, faster than real-time, is present in the game and some events will occur and monsters appear depending on the in-game time. There are also weather effects. The interior of houses and buildings in the environment are accessible.
- See also: Event system
Instead of a traditional quest system, there are dynamic events. As the world is explored, objectives become revealed by occurrences around the player. For example, a town under attack is identifiable by the destruction caused by enemies and townspeople fleeing. Participating in defending the town gives rewards whether the event succeeds or fails. There are over 1500 events that can occur in a dynamic system based on player action or inaction in the world. Participation in these events thus affects the state of the world.
- See also: Personal storyline
In the 250 years since the events of Guild Wars, the Elder Dragons have awoken. As massive forces of nature, these dragons have wrought destruction across the continent of Tyria, forever changing its face and its inhabitants. The player is thrown into the midst of this destruction. Each character has its own biography which affects the story and how non-player characters react. As the game progresses, organizations can be joined and situations approached in different ways; these influences change the experience of the story as it advances towards the final confrontation with the Elder Dragon, Zhaitan. There are therefore thousands of different story permutations possible.
- See also: Crafting
Guild Wars 2 has a robust crafting system of eight different disciplines which can be changed at any time without losing progress. Leveling the disciplines is designed to allow the player to craft items for themselves as they progress through the game without grinding for specific gear types. Gathering doesn't prevent other players from also gathering from the same resource.
Mini-game activities are provided in major towns.
Player versus Player
- See also: Structured PvP
There are two main forms of organized PvP: a tournament based game with evenly organized teams, and pick-up play where individuals or groups can hot-join a map depending on a variety of settings similar to some first-person shooter. Players entering organized PvP get a fixed level and any items necessary to ensure an even footing.
World versus World
- See also: World versus World
World versus World is a casual but competitive player versus player mode featuring large, continuous, objective-based battles between a few matched servers. Players of any level can come and go, using the skills and equipment that they currently have. The winning worlds gain particular benefits, such as better prices at merchants.
- See also: Guild
A player may link as many guilds as they would like to their account, and may choose which guild they would like to represent on any character at any time. Some options available to support guilds include guild achievements, a calendar, and the ability to join guild chat from a web browser.
As with Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 will require the initial purchase of the game but no subscription fee to play. Further purchasable content will be made available over time. Guild Wars 2 will have micro-transactions similar to those offered in Guild Wars.
When pre-purchasing the game through the official website or through select retailers, there are three available tiers.
- Digital Edition ($59.99 USD) (note: Digital downloads have been frozen by Arena Net effective August 30th, 2012)
- Digital Deluxe ($79.99 USD) (note: Digital downloads have been frozen by Arena Net effective August 30th, 2012)
- Collector's Edition ($149.99 USD)
See guildwars2.com for further information.
Guild Wars 2 uses a heavily modified Guild Wars game engine which includes support for true 3D environments, more detailed environments and models, better lighting and shadows, new animation and effects systems, plus new audio and cinematics engines and a more flexible combat and skill-casting system. It uses Havok to provide destructible environment and ragdoll animation of creatures and Umbra's occlusion culling technology.
There will not be a "click-to-move" control system,  but target-locking will be available.
The current minimum requirements are as follows:
- Windows XP Service Pack 2 or better
- Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon 64 X2 or better
- NVIDIA GeForce 7800, ATI Radeon X1800, Intel HD 3000 or better (256MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better)
- 2 GB RAM
- 25 GB available HDD space
- Broadband Internet connection
- Keyboard and mouse
- Official Guild Wars 2 website
- Guild Wars 2 Wiki Page on the official wiki of Guild Wars
- Frequently Asked Questions on the official site, written by ArenaNet
- ^ Guild Wars 2: Get Ready, ArenaNet's channel on YouTube
- ^ I’m a Guild Wars 2 Developer: AMA about professions, Reddit
- ^ Welcome to the Year of the Dragon, ArenaNet blog
- ^ Reserve Your Guild Wars Character Name for Guild Wars 2 by July 31, ArenaNet blog.
- ^ Pure Artistic Vision - A Guild Wars 2 Concept Art Q&A with Daniel Dociu, Ten Ton Hammer
- ^ GCO9: Guild Wars 2 Interview, Gamereactor
- ^ GC 2009: Guild Wars 2 - First Details and Q&A, IGN
- ^ Important Guild Wars 2 Questions Answered, ZAM
- ^ ArenaNet® Licenses Umbra for Guild Wars 2, Umbra Software
- ^ Guild Wars 2 (magazine article transcription), PC Gamer
- ^ Pre-purchase page, guildwars2.com