Guild Wars 2

From Guild Wars 2 Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
GW2Logo new.png

Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the Guild Wars series of games by ArenaNet. Guild Wars 2 was released on August 28, 2012.[1] 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[edit]

An early logo, shown in the original magazine reveal.

Guild Wars 2 began development in the middle of 2006; it was first announced to the public in 2007. It began closed beta testing on 16 December 2011.[2] On 23 January 2012, ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 would launch by the end of that year, following beta tests throughout March and April.[3] On 28 June, ArenaNet announced that the game would launch on 28 August 2012.

ArenaNet began offering playable demos to convention attendees starting with Gamescom in 2010. 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.

Pre-purchase for Guild Wars 2 started on April 10th, 2012 allowing players to purchase one of three versions of the game before its launch: Digital Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector's Edition.


Primary article: Account#Free accounts

As of August 29, 2015 the original Guild Wars 2 content is free to play and does not require an initial purchase of the game or a subscription fee to play. Purchasable content is available in the form of expansions and episodical updates, labelled as Living World seasons, that expand the base/original game content. Guild Wars 2 has micro-transactions similar to those offered in Guild Wars.[4]

The core game can be freely acquired through the official website. Even though there is no monetary cost, an account is required to play. Free-to-play accounts have several restrictions, which are lifted with an expansion purchase. Players that purchased the game prior to August 29 2015 are considered to have a Guild Wars 2 "Core" account without the free-to-play restrictions. See for further information.

There is a "Partner Program" through which new purchases at current prices can also benefit your favorite content creator. "Content creators" are those who run a podcast, fansite, video channel or live stream channel which features GW2 news, how-tos, fan-art, etc. See Arenanet Partner Program for a list of current partners or to apply to become a partner. That site includes a short video describing the partner program.


There have been two substantial expansions released, each of which was available for purchase at the time of their release.

The third expansion is upcoming and available for prepurchase.

As of August 30th 2019, Heart of Thorns is included for free when the second expansion, Path of Fire is purchased.

The currently available editions of the game to new players are therefore:

  • Guild Wars 2 Core - Free to play which provides access to core Tyria maps, has limitations on certain features, such as the ability to use the Trading Post and Map Chat.
  • End of Dragons Expansion:
    • Standard Edition
    • Deluxe Edition
    • Ultimate Edition
    • Collection Standard Edition
    • Collection Deluxe Edition
    • Collection Ultimate Edition

See Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons#Purchasing for the full details on what is included in the different End of Dragons editions.

Historical Guild Wars 2 Editions[edit]

These editions of Guild Wars 2 are no longer sold by ArenaNet as of the release of Heart of Thorns, but any existing serial keys may still be redeemed.

Collector's Edition

GW2Logo new.png Core Game

While the Heroic Edition is no longer available for purchase, codes are often distributed during online promotions or handed out at conventions as physical codes.

  • Deluxe Edition, which includes special in-game features: a miniature, several one-time or short-term use items, and a special elite skill.
  • Collector's Edition, a disc-version of the above, which also comes 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, and a custom art frame. (Sold out in the Arenanet shop, some retailers still have this in stock)
Items Boxed Heroic Edition Deluxe Collector's Edition
Guild Wars 2 Game 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Suit of Legacy Armor 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Mithril Box 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
10 Experience Boosters 0No 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Miniature Rytlock (Account Bound) 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Golem Banker 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Chalice of Glory 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Tome of Influence 0No 0No 1Yes 1Yes
10-inch figurine of Rytlock 0No 0No 0No 1Yes
112 page Making of Guild Wars 2 book 0No 0No 0No 1Yes
Custom Art Frame 0No 0No 0No 1Yes
Art Portfolio and Five Art Prints 0No 0No 0No 1Yes
Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack CD 0No 0No 0No 1Yes

Digital Distribution
Two versions of the game were available in the past, but were discontinued.

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Deluxe Edition (There is still a Digital Deluxe Edition available, but the content of the digital package has been changed, The one in the table below reflects the old version)
Items Digital Edition Digital Deluxe Edition
Guild Wars 2 Game 1Yes 1Yes
Hero's Band (pre-purchase only) 1Yes 1Yes
3-day headstart (pre-purchase only) 1Yes 1Yes
Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill 0No 1Yes
Miniature Rytlock (Account Bound) 0No 1Yes
Golem Banker 0No 1Yes
Chalice of Glory 0No 1Yes
Tome of Influence 0No 1Yes

HoT Texture Centered Trans.png Heart of Thorns Expansion: - Included Heart of Maguuma maps and story. Required for Living World Season 3

  • Standard Edition ($49.99 / €44.99 / £34.99)
  • Deluxe Edition ($74.99 / €74.99 / £59.99)
  • Ultimate Edition ($99.99 / €99.99 / £79.99)
Items Standard Deluxe Ultimate
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns (expansion) 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Level-80 Boost 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Shared Inventory Slot 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Additional character slot 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Miniature Revenant Rytlock 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Revenant Finisher 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Mordremoth's Bane Guild Decoration 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Heart of Thorns Glider Skin 0No 1Yes 1Yes
4000 Gems ($50 / €50 / £42.50 value) 0No 0No 1Yes

PoF Texture Trans.png Path of Fire Expansion: - Included Path of Fire maps and story. Required for Living World Season 4

  • Standard Edition ($29.99 / €29,99 / £25.99)
  • Deluxe Edition ($54.99 / €54,99 / £47.99)
  • Ultimate Edition ($79.99 / €79,99 / £69.99)
Items Standard Deluxe Ultimate
Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire (expansion) 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns (expansion)[6] 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Level-80 Boost 1Yes 1Yes 1Yes
Additional character slot 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Identity Repair Kit 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Spearmarshal's Presence 0No 1Yes 1Yes
Lily of the Elon Permanent Pass 0No 1Yes 1Yes
4000 Gems ($50 / €50 / £42.50 value) 0No 0No 1Yes

Chinese release[edit]

Primary article: Guild Wars 2 China

Guild Wars 2 (Chinese: 激战2; pinyin: Jīzhàn 2; lit. 'fierce battle 2') published by KongZhong in Mainland China was launched on 15 May 2014.

A massive event was held in Beijing during the Chinese launch. ArenaNet and KongZhong took the stage alongside China's biggest stars and a 30-foot statue of Rytlock Brimstone. Jike Juan Yi, also known as Summer, was the event's most prominent celebrity performer. Summer created a music video combining live action and game play to debut a Chinese version of the Guild Wars 2 anthem Fear Not This Night

The game, which was originally released in China as a standalone client, is now distributed by Tencent via their client WeGame (as of 2020-06-16).

Differences between the original western release[edit]
  • The Chinese version is completely separated and runs on different servers.
  • Premium VIP membership known as Royal Club

System requirements[edit]

The current minimum requirements for Windows[7] are:

  • Windows 7 (64-bit only) or later
  • Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz, Core i3, AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS, AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 50 GB available HDD space
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse

The current minimum requirements for the 64-bit native Mac client[7] are (unsupported as of February 18, 2021[8]):

  • macOS Mavericks (Version 10.9) or later
  • Intel Core i5
  • 4 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M, AMD Radeon HD 6630M, Intel HD 3000
  • 50 GB available HDD space
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Keyboard and mouse


Primary article: Character

There are two fixed aspects to any character created: race and profession.

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[edit]

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 game's launch. [9]


Primary article: Combat

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 and dynamic; 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. Players can dodge enemy attacks to avoid damage and even what is done at the edge of death can change the outcome of the fight dramatically.

Player versus Environment[edit]

Primary article: Player versus Environment
Underwater exploration is a major part of Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2 features a zoned persistent game world which is split across multiple game servers.

Guild Wars 2 has a significantly larger world than that of Guild Wars.[10] 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.

Event system[edit]

Primary article: Dynamic event

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 (f.e. the availability of merchants). The events that occur are sometimes influenced by the latest available story updates, causing the events to change accordingly.

Personal story[edit]

Primary article: Personal story

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 millions of different story permutations possible.

Much of the story between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is elaborated on in the novels set in the intervening years; Ghosts of Ascalon, Edge of Destiny, and Sea of Sorrows.


Primary article: 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. These resources will also respawn after a specific amount of time.


Mini-game activities are provided in major towns and Lounges.

Player versus Player[edit]

Structured PvP[edit]

Primary article: 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 competitive MOBAs and first-person-shooters. Players entering organized PvP get a fixed level and any items necessary to ensure an even footing.

World versus World[edit]

Stonemist Castle under attack.jpg
Primary article: 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. The main goal is to obtain the most area points, which can only be done by collaborating with one another in bigger groups, as opposed to Structured PvP, which is only in a small group.


Primary article: Guild

A player may link up to 5 guilds to their account and may choose which guild they would like to represent on any character at any time. Only when "representing" a specific guild do they have access to the guild bank and any other guild perks. Some options available to support guilds include guild achievements and missions. The ultimate goal of a guild is to fully extend their guild hall, which will provide them with more benefits.

Originally, the player could only read and write into the guild chat of the one guild they were currently representing. Recent changes removed this restriction so that all the account's guilds' chat channels can be read and written to regardless of which is currently being represented.

Game engine[edit]

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.[11] It uses Havok to provide destructible environment and ragdoll animation of creatures[12] and Umbra's occlusion culling technology.[13]

There is not a "click-to-move" control system, [14] but target-locking is available.

Day and night[edit]

Primary article: Day and night

The game uses a 2-hour day-night cycle: day lasts for 70 minutes, night for 40 minutes, with dawn and dusk taking 5 minutes each. Some events only begin during one of these time periods, some NPCs only appear at certain times, and some food and equipment confers bonuses during either night or day. In addition, the explorable paths of five dungeons and six Fractals of the Mists always take place during the night; the others are always during the day. Maps can look completly different during daytime and nighttime.


There are weather patterns, and the interiors of many buildings in the environment are accessible. Weather does however not influence combat or movement. There are however environmental hazards that influence movement (i.e. walking slower in quicksand, slipping on icy surfaces etc.).


Jeremy Soule, composer for the Guild Wars series (and many other games) returned to compose the soundtrack for Guild Wars 2. Since the game's release, additional music has been composed by Maclaine Diemer, Stan LePard, and Lena Chappelle. Starting with the soundtrack for Shadow of the Mad King (Halloween 2012) most tracks can be found on Arena Net's soundcloud.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]