Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the Guild Wars series which is currently in development by ArenaNet. The game will feature a new game engine, changes to character development and the PvP system. Guild Wars 2 is expected to go into beta test in the second half of 2008. No release date has been announced.
There will be no monthly fee associated with Guild Wars 2 to keep up the tradition of Guild Wars. Mike O'Brien has stated that expansions or mini-expansions are more likely than standalone campaigns, but a final decision hasn't been made yet.
Guild Wars 2 will be designed to run on computers with moderate specifications, but will have higher requirements than Guild Wars.
The original Guild Wars will continue to be supported after release of Guild Wars 2. This will include continued holiday events and tournaments.
The control system is going to be significantly changed (in particular mouse movement in the form "click to move" will be removed from the game), however target locking will still function. Guild Wars 2 will introduce a Z-axis to the game which will allow characters to jump over obstacles. Actions which have characters interacting with the environment, such as sliding and swimming, will also be introduced.
James Phinney indicated in his "Imagining Guild Wars 2" article that polygon counts and texture allowances have been increased so he expects it to look beautiful and "like a whole new game". Gaile Gray has indicated the game will support DirectX 10, but not require it to play.
The game will be on multiple servers or "worlds," but players will not be bound to a world and may therefore change worlds as they would districts, except that they encompass the entire game, instead of just an outpost.
There will be changes to instancing system used. Persistent areas, similar to those traditionally used in other online multiplayer games, will be introduced to Guild Wars which may allow players to meet and interact while exploring.
Instances will still be used for missions and dungeons.
An "Event System" will be used to notify players of big events in the world, the return of a dragon, for instance.
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 level cap will be raised. It has been suggested that this could be as much as 100 or even unlimited. There will be a plateau of power, where each level no longer adds as much to the power of the character. A sidekick system has been mentioned which would allow characters of a lower level to play with high level characters without disadvantage.
The skills system will be modified. There will be fewer, less complex skills which may behave differently in different situations, such as if the character is jumping or is surrounded by monsters. A system similar to the limited 8 skill system will be used.
The professions are being designed to be viable for both solo and group play. A primary and secondary profession system will be used. It is currently not known if any professions from the original Guild Wars will return, and the profession count is unknown, however, as of June 2007, all ten professions from the original Guild Wars were under consideration.
Guild Wars 2 will introduce several new playable races. The five playable races announced so far are:
The Asura are a race of diminutive artisans, who secretly dwelled below-ground for thousands of years, until the minions of the Great Destroyer forced them out of their underground homes 250 years ago. Since then, they have adapted to surface life and quickly established themselves as one of the most powerful races in Tyria. They control a complex Gate system which links all the areas of Tyria together via magically-created wormholes. They have good relations with all races, and guard their neutrality and trade routes jealously, never allowing the Asura Gates to be used to gain the upper hands in the wars between the other races.
The Asura believe that they are destined to rule the world, with the taller, less intelligent races under them. Instead of an organized government system, they prefer to utilize krewes, which are small, efficient task forces designed to let each individual Asura reach their own maximum potential in any particular
The Charr are a race of large, savage, beast-like creatures that occupy much of eastern Tyria. Charr society consists of four legions, three allied and one outcast. Each legion is then separated into different warbands. Hierarchy is no more organized than this for the Charr; their society has not been structured since the conclusion of the Flameseeker Prophecies and the death of the Titans, their fiery gods.
The Charr have always worshiped flame, so when the Titans were destroyed, Charr society almost fell apart. Hierophant Burntsoul, leader of the Flame Legion (now derogatorily referred to as the Gold Legion) managed to briefly unify the Charr once more under the Destroyers, who were also quickly exposed to be mortal by a leader of the Charr rebellion, Pyre Fierceshot. Since then, the Charr have rejected all gods, believing that they themselves are in control of their fate.
Although the Charr live in relative peace with one another and their neighbors to the west, the Norn, this does not mean that they do not have to defend their territories. Human resistance forces from the Blazeridge Mountains still strike out from their sole remaining fortress, and the ghosts of Ascalon City still zealously guard their home as if they might still have a chance against the might of the Charr legions. Meanwhile, the twisted servants of the dragon that rose from the Grothmar Wardowns and flew to the Crystal Desert are scattered around the Charr Homelands and Ascalon, killing any Charr that have the misfortune to encounter them.
Human is one of the playable races in Guild Wars 2. The primary and probably last human Kingdom is Kryta. Although once spread across the world, the humans control of Tyria has gradually slipped away over the last 250 years. Ascalon was lost to the Charr, the three states of Elona are under the control of the undead lord Palawa Joko and all links with Cantha were cut off after Orr rose, and the undead armies of an ancient power took control of the sea. One of the last areas that has humans living outside of Kryta is in Ascalon at the fortress Ebonhawke which is able to survive through the assistance of the Asura Gate located there.
The Norn are a race of nine-foot tall nordic warriors that currently inhabit parts of Kryta and the abandoned Dwarven fortresses in the Northern Shiverpeaks. They do not have armies, government or even a real society, only heroes. The Norn live for the hunt, so their tracking, stealth and killing skills make them invaluable allies in any combat situation. They were pushed southwards out of their homeland, the Far Shiverpeaks, by the servants of the great dragon that arose from an icy slumber in the cursed area around the Drakkar Lake that created the Nornbear. When they headed south, they entered conflict with the Dredge, a race that was enslaved by the Dwarves before the untimely demise of the Dwarven race. The hunt is on again, and the snow of the Shiverpeaks is once again tainted red by the blood of the heroes fighting atop the mountain range.
The Sylvari are a young, inquisitive race of creatures spawned from a magical tree in Arbor Bay. The tree was planted by Ventari and Ronan, a Centaur and a human attempting to escape the violence that engulfed Tyria. The Sylvari still carry Ventari's beliefs and morals, despite his death long before the Firstborn Sylvari even appeared because of the Ventari Tablet.
The Sylvari have an innate bond with plants, and each other. They call this the Dream of Dreams. However, concealed within the Dream of Dreams are nightmares, something which the Sylvari do not yet understand. The Sylvari are a young race of nature spirits who had awakened with the dawn of a new age in Tyria. They are beings of light as they have yet to be corrupted by the knowledge of sorrow, suspicion, or hatred.
The system of companions and allies is being reworked. Companions will have customization similar to Heroes. Players will be allowed to bring a single companion with them, who will not take up a party slot and are considered an extension of the character. When a player chooses not to bring a companion, their character will instead be buffed so that they will not be disadvantaged by not bringing a companion.
Original Guild Wars characters
Characters from the original Guild Wars campaign will not be migrated to play in Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 will be a fresh start. Some of the items and titles will be available to players of Guild Wars 2 through a Hall of Monuments which is available to players who have Guild Wars Eye of the North. Names will also be reserved through this system.
The Guild Wars 2 story is set about 250 years after the events in the Eye of the North expansion. The world of Tyria is drastically changed from its original form. These changes are caused by ancient dragons resurfacing after millenia of slumber. The first of the dragons, called Primordus, awoke during Eye of the North and proceeded to take over the underground network of Asuran tunnels under Tyria, driving the Asuras to the surface. Other dragons also resurfaced during the intervening centuries; one rose about the sunken holy city of Arah in the ruined kingdom of Orr, and severed the sea route between Kryta and Cantha; another arose to the south of the Crystal Desert, cutting off the link to Elona; a third arose in the Far Shiverpeaks and pushed the Norn south into land previously controlled by the Dwarves.
The human faction is much reduced. The resurfacing dragons caused massive floods that destroyed many coastal cities in Kryta, including its capital city, Lion's Arch and the PvP Battle Isles. The humans have established a new capital in Divinity's Reach after moving north from the coast. They're governed by a constitutional monarch and senate which attempts to balance all the human factions there. Many refugees flocked to Kryta from the rest of Tyria; most importantly, the humans from Ascalon. Ascalon now belongs entirely to the Charr apart from a single fortress, Ebonhawke. Ascalon City itself is a ghost town, populated by the vengeful spirits of its former citizens who slay all who dare enter.
Besides the humans, the other sentient races have a comparatively better time. The Norn and the Charr continue to honor their peace formed from a mutual respect. The Asura have spread through all cities, maintaining a network of teleportation gates but also remaining strictly neutral. The Charr achieve victory over Ascalon and settle into the former human capital of Rin. A new race, the Sylvari, appear fully formed from the mysterious tree that the centaur Ventari tended to until his death.
The Dwarves, who pursued the Destroyers deep and long at the end of Eye of the North, are now deathless creatures of stone; the few who remain watch the ages go by, interacting little with the other sentient races, if at all.
Lion's Arch has been rebuilt from the floods and is the new portal into the Mists; it takes the place of the Battle Isles.
In Cantha, the successor of emperor Kisu defeated the Kurzick and Luxon factions and reunited Cantha under one banner. Cantha then became much more isolationist; all non-human races were pushed out and the borders fortified. With the ancient dragon's undead corsair fleet disrupting travel, there has been no contact with mainland Canthans for a generation.
In Elona, Palawa Joko successfully rebuilds his undead army and lays siege to Elona. Vabbi is all but destroyed, its former splendor ruined by a famine caused by Joko diverting the river Elon. The Sunspears are broken by Joko's armies. The land bridge between Elona and the Crystal Desert is blocked by Joko's minions and the dragon, and the only news that slips through is carried by the Order of Whispers, who are now spread over all of Tyria.
Guild Wars 2 PvE will still tell a story but will depart from a single monolithic storyline. It will instead use smaller story arcs - allowing the player more of a sandbox environment to play in.
World PvP will allow you to play characters of any level, using the skills that you have in your possession at that particular time. It is intended to be a more relaxed bridging point between PvE and structured PvP. It will be on a larger scale than the original Guild Wars PvP with large battles which could take place over a long period with people coming and going.
Each battle will have a number of different objectives which can be met such as taking guard towers or defending choke points or joining a larger battle to take a castle. Battles will take place in the Mists.
Victory in World PvP will confer benefits to your world. This may include improved drop rates, better energy regeneration or other bonuses.
Structured PvP is similar to today's GvG. It will allow you to enter the game at maximum level with all skills, races, items and classes automatically unlocked
Features under consideration
Below is a list of features known to be under consideration for implementation in Guild Wars 2. There are likely others, but no other features have been discussed in this nature.
Pet stable (ArenaNet:In-game talk/20071029).
Customizable guild halls (beyond NPCs) (Gaile/Frog Talk 2008-03-05).