This week in Guild Wars 2

This week didn’t see any big news released (although, from past experience, if anything big is announced it’ll be about 5 minutes after I post this column…). While the folks at ArenaNet have been quiet in their preparations for the next beta event, the fan community certainly hasn’t been quiet. As you can see below, there’s still lots of interest and enthusiasm bubbling over.

On a personal note, I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few months trying to fill out my Hall of Monuments, which unfortunately also meant I was spending less time playing with fellow guildies and our allies. Last night I took a break to help a group of allies go through the Vloxen Excavations to kill Zoldark the Unholy. We were limited to normal mode, as we had a new player along, but we had lots of fun along the way. When we finished, I realized I’d probably been spending too much of my gaming time trying to achieve those HoM points and not enough time just playing for enjoyment.

After noticing a few fan fiction posts this week, I’ve added a new section for fan fiction (“fanfic”). If there’s enough material, we may break that out into a separate regular posting.

Some idiot (that’d be me) accidentally published an earlier version of this post and a few of you may have seen it on the site or showing up in your RSS feed. My apologies: I pulled it from the site as soon as I realized what had happened.

Official Guild Wars 2 news

  • ArenaNet blog — It Is On Like Pong: ArenaNet Hosts Penny Arcade. “Mens sana in corpore sano — when not working on developing Guild Wars 2, some of us here at ArenaNet like to engage in sports activities. You might know that we have a company soccer (Fussball) team, but in secret we have been working on assembling a ping pong squad that will make other game studios tremble.”
  • A couple of posts from Eric Flannum on the Guild Wars 2 Guru forums: one on the trinity, and a slightly longer post on why the trinity is dead.
  • Post Magazine — Audio for Games. “Creating multi-layered, multi-tiered experiences is not an easy feat.” [Raphia: An article in a PDF magazine, not a web page or blog posting. You can download the whole PDF if you prefer not to drag-and-zoom in the native interface.]

Recent GuildMag posts

  • Heroes Are Made, Not Born. “From finally seeing the mesmer in action all the way down to the few people buzzing about there finally being timestamps in the chat log, there has been a slew of new information since the Press Beta Weekend. There has been a torrential flow of intelligence gathered by my data-mining ninjas programmed to scout YouTube and the rest of the web about everything Guild Wars 2 including the reveal of the (somewhat) final state of traits and attributes.”
  • Jormag — Frigid Shadow of the North. “The Elder Ice Dragon is one of the world-shattering, draconic entities. Jormag commands over the domains of ice and mind, and uses it all too often to twist and corrupt his victims. The start of the Ice Serpent’s machinations reaches all the way back into the 11th century, when heroes from all around Tyria battled and defeated the Great Destroyer. Primordus, the Elder Fire Dragon, wasn’t the only one who made his influence felt and foreshadowed the dark days that were to come. Jormag, frozen and entombed somewhere in the farthest reaches of the north, harnessed power to bring forth his awakening, using a mysterious champion as a vanguard of his will.”

Fan articles and blog posts

  • Tales from the VoidGuild Wars 2: There are many reasons to like it, but these three are mine. “You know, there are a gzillion “reasons to love GW2” lists out there, naming 10-20 details from graphics, to music, to the “no holy trinity” combat model, but in defense of recent sidelong glances fearing that I might be going a little loopy in my fanaticism for the game, I felt the need for a short, pragmatic and largely straight, pure fact based list of my own. Even if half of the subjective hopes of quality and “sparkle” fall on their faces, here are my clear, calm reasons why this game will still be amazing and worth every bit of excitement being aimed at it.”
  • Guild Wars 2 Guru — The Sky Is Falling! Traits Are Here! “I don’t suppose that was the reaction ArenaNet were hoping for when they revealed the new trait system. After what has undoubtedly been months of development time spent fine tuning the intricacies of major and minor traits alongside trait lines, it has all been eclipsed by the prospect of having to return to your trainer to refund your points at the cost of a small fee. To add insult to injury, trait builds have already begun to appear that propose to revive the holy trinity (isn’t that just a horrible phrase?). As someone who’s heavily invested in Guild Wars 2 and who was fortunate enough to play it during the last beta phase, it’s been interesting to watch such developments unfold, not just the theorycraft behind such builds but the anger and hysteria from a very vocal minority that have overshadowed what is a wonderful system of customisation.” [Raphia: A very informative article, and well worth your time to read.]
  • Guild Wars 2 Live — Traits and Attributes. “This Tuesday, Anet flashed a plethora of information about attributes, traits, and of how they work together. Naturally, that means that it’s time to figuratively dissect the post, and see what it all means for gamers. Let’s start with attributes. Grouped in three categories, offense, support, and profession specific attributes, these new attributes co-exist with the older system of base attributes (power, vitality, precision, toughness). What sets them apart is that while all attributes are increased via gear and traits, the base attributes automatically increase upon level up.”
  • Dragon Season — ArenaNet Beta Development Update. “It’s been a while since “The Tyrian Times