Like we have stated in an earlier blogpost, we would be getting a Q&A sessions with the developers over at ArenaNet. While I had hoped to get more of your questions answered, I think that all the questions together are sufficient enough for now. I have to note though, that I’ll be having a follow up interview to have more of your questions answered in the near future.
For now, please enjoy reading this transcription of the whole Video Q&A and be sure to head over to Attached To Keyboard where Tasha Darke has transcribed the other half of the Q&A!
GuildMag: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming PvP maps and specifically the underwater PvP map?
Eric Flannum: Upcoming PvP maps, I think we released a screenshot that showed a little bit of one the other day with the guardians and the warrior, both with hammers. So we’ve for 2 more PvP maps that we haven’t revealed yet, they’re both capture point, one of them… I don’t want to totally give them away ‘cos I think we’re planning on revealing them. One of them is actually going to be pretty nostalgic for GW1 players so you can expect that to be something that has a lot of familiar elements for GW1 players and the second one actually is a pretty cool one that has a lot of underwater combat and involves a pirate ship so those are both pretty cool and we’ll be talking more about those I think pretty soon.
Colin Johanson: Guild Wars 1 players are going to be pretty excited I think.
Jianji: You’re allowed to be a member of more than one guild at one time by a stating which one you’ll be representing. Is there going to be any form of restriction or penalty for continually changing your guild (during PvP)?
Eric Flannum: No, there won’t be any sort of penalty or restriction, placed on you as far as changing guilds. We kind of look at Guilds as groups of friends and the thing that led us to making the [guild system] the way it is, is the realisation that I have different groups of friends that I play the game with for different reasons and it’s nice to be able to join those friends for different ways. In Guild Wars 1, even though I had some friends who played the game, I had to choose whether I wanted to be in a guild with them or if I wanted to be in a guild with the people I worked with. That necessarily wasn’t any fun choice for me. So what we’ve done is that we’ve allowed it so that I can be in a guild with my friends from outside work, I can be in a guild with my friends from work, similarly if you go to school still, you got some random school friends who’d play, you can be in a guild with friends from school, or you could divide it between say, I’m in a guild but it’s PvP orientated, and I’m in a Guild that’s PvE orientated and I jump into a guild I kind of feel like playing in, depending on what I’m doing.
We really want to allow that freedom for players, so we don’t want to place any restrictions on it. Now we do realize that there’s nothing artificially tying you to a guild, and there’s that criticism that ‘well, guild membership doesn’t mean anything’, well, we kind of don’t buy that argument, and the reason we don’t buy that argument is because it’s not like my friendship with my friends doesn’t mean anything, there’s nothing binding me to have to be friends with the people I’m friends with at any given time, and I have different groups of friends. So what we wanted to do is to make a guild system that more closely mimicked sort of real human social interaction and a real human social structure, so that you didn’t need to forsake any group of friends for another group of friends. We feel that any kind of penalty to that is far outweigh by the positives to it. We’re not particularly worried about that system and we think that people will really, really like it, once they get in and start playing with it.
: How will people be ranked in structured PvP? Will the rank be given to a certain player, to a certain team of players, or to a guild itself? Or maybe to all three types of playtypes?
Eric Flannum: So in competitive PvP guilds are not really a thing that’s recognized as a particular unit, instead what you have is individual player recognition and team recognition. If all five of us here were part of a team, we would be recognized as that team, you people would be able to see what guild we would be part of, so it’s entirely possible that you get a famous team in which every single one of them is from a different guild, or more likely to be the case is that those people are going to join a guild and that’s kind of going to become their identity, it’s going to become their team name.
Again, the flexibility of the guild system means that if the five of us want to make a five person guild for our team, we can go ahead and do that, and we do not need to be in our regular guilds to do that. We just join into this other guild whenever we want to. You will be able to see in which guilds the various people are when you sort of look at how good they are as a team or how good they are individually, but guilds are not necessarily, sort of officially recognised the way they were in Guild Wars 1.
GuildWars2.pl: So there would be only a ladder for teams, not for the guilds?
Eric: Yes, not for guilds.
Colin Johanson: Guilds can claim keeps in World versus World PvP, so that’s kind of where we directed that area a little more. It’s a location for them to really band the whole guild together to do that stuff, because we think that’s a more involved process for everybody who plays at the same time, as to only having like, a group of five.
Mondes Persistants: You just said that you’d reveal two new maps, out of which one map would please the Guild Wars 1 players right?
Eric Flannum: We said that one of them would be very nostalgic and familiar for Guild Wars 1 players. I don’t think I want to say more than that, it’s still a capture point map, so it’s not different, but the secondary mechanics will be very familiar to the people who played Guild Wars 1 PvP.
Colin Johanson: Can you tell them when it’s done?
Eric: Yeah, the map is not quite ready to sort of be revealed yet and I don’t really want to steal the thunder from our PvP team revealing it, but I think people will be very pleased with it.
Mondes Persistants: What do you want to say to your fans who aren’t very convinced about the capture point system as a primary objective for an eSport to succeed? Do you have anything to tell them to take away their fears?
Eric Flannum: It is the case that there aren’t any super popular PvP types that are straight death match. Counter Strike has secondary objectives, League of Legends has secondary objectives, DOTA like games in general have secondary objectives. The reason why we choose capture points as our primary-secondary objective mechanic is because we want there to be a score, we want it to be really easy to tell who is winning and who is losing. We also want to encourage movement across the map, we felt that capture points did that in a way that was very easy for people to understand and in a way that could be consistent and that could be used to get multiple types of games out of it. Capture points are extremely flexible and we think that as we start revealing more and more maps, people will be able to see how flexible capture points are as being able to encompass a lot of different sorts of playstyles, but still have that sort of capture point mechanic, as its core.
Univers-Virtuels: Will it be possible to create less perfect characters or older [characters]? Because your human especially, are very young and the female all are very pretty. So would it be possible to be more flexible in the character creations?
Kristen Perry: All of the characters creation and the different kinds of options that you have with your characters, all of the races have a lot of variety. We have facial sliders now, so that you want to have a larger nose, or smaller mouth or maybe a broader jaw, those are available for that and so in addition to that, we’re trying to also lay around different outings like charr. They have the fur that you can choose, there’s your base colour, but then there’s just a multitude of different kind of animal patterns that youll be able to put on them. The asura have similar things, the sylvari have similar things as well, the tattoos with norns and facial hair and different beards and everything like that, we always intended to have a various static and beautiful [character]. Visage for a lot of our character creation, but we’re also trying to give a lot of variety for the people to create what they want to look like.
Univers-Virtuels: So, at the moment the humans are very young and it’s not possible to make it older as a character, or it will be possible to turn off the make up for woman?
Kristen: I’m not sure, we have some variety in there, but largely we want an idealized beautiful base face, so I think the humans are probably going to remain within a certain spectrum.
Univers-Virtuels: So will it be possible to have no make-up for the womans?
Kristen: I think there are bases with different kinds of make-up on them, so you would be able to choose a face that we have more or less make-up on, if you want something a bit more natural and then use the facial sliders to customize it from there.
Aidan Taylor: So there’s no chance to make a really old ugly character then?
Colin Johanson: I’ve seen a few norn characters that looked pretty beat up.
Luna-Atra: The cross-combo profession – when two professions stick together, they make a cross-profession combo attack, but they can’t see the effect of the cross-profession combo. What solution do you have to help the player recognise this cross-profession combo?
Eric Flannum: there are a couple ways in which we try to help players see that they’re forming a cross- profession combo. The first is that we actually have an effect that plays of some sort like any key mentions. You can see the arrows catch fire or you can see the smoke going out if you do a stomp effect inside of a smoke cloud. The other thing which you get is a little pop-up that says ‘Combo’ whenever you’re performing a cross-profession combo, and it’s up to players to notice that we will probably do a little bit more refinement on it. I don’t know that is that noticeable just yet, but yeah, those are the two tools that we kind of want to rely on, it is the combo pop-up as well as the visual effects in the game.
We think that players will have players learning, which is a big part of the combat system, what the different combo’s do and figuring it out. We don’t actually spell out: ‘this does this, this does exactly this and this’ anywhere. We rely on players to kind of observe and figure things out like: ‘Okay, if I fire projectiles through a smoke field it looks like I’m getting a combo of some sort… Oh! It looks like those guys are getting blinded [by an attack that usually doesn’t blind people]’. So it’s up to you to notice those kind of things, we don’t spell it out. Other, I’m sure that for people who want to have things spelled out, it will be on the wiki, you know, a day after the game releases.
Manaflask: When you opened your website, you gave people a chance to opt-in for a beta invitation, I think you did get huge feedback and a lot of people are waiting to get their hands on the game. When are you starting to get more waves into the game and make it more accessible, and have people actually enjoy parts of the game themselves.
Regina Buenaobra: As far as I know for the past, the NDA will still remain in effect for those tests, certain numbers of the press did get exceptions to those particular tests, players will remain under NDA for those tests. However, it’s not to say that we do more events in the future that might not be under NDA, but we’re still kind of evaluating.
Manaflask: Okay, but we’re not going to see a huge wave of invitations coming in the very near future then?
Regina: If you pre-purchase the game, you will get guaranteed access to Beta Weekend Events. If you signed up during the 48 hour period a couple months ago, you have a chance to get into those Beta Weekend Events, but it’s not guaranteed. So the best way to get in, is to pre-purchase the game.
Colin Johanson: The next beta event will be when it is ready.
Guild Wars 2 Journal: I’ve already seen the upgrades and the resource for guilds, and that was pretty impressive, but I was also wondering about a few more features that you may be able to say something about. Like alliance chat for guilds in World versus World, or in general what kinds of benefits a guild can get through World versus World?
Eric Flannum: I think we’ve shown a piece of guild chat, we’ve shown the guilds influence system with Guild Halls and all those things, Guild Emblems , different guild permissions – those are basically the features I think we’re going to ship with, and again, we don’t consider guilds done by any stretch of imagination, when we ship, we expect that we will be enhancing guilds. There are a lot of features that I think we could add, and a lot of features I think we want to add. I don’t know exactly when, since we haven’t developed a timeline exactly for those features, but I think that, just to throw one out, I think we’d love to see something like a guild calendar where you can put guild events down and things like that, which should be totally cool. That’s not the sort of thing will make it in for launch, but that is the sort of feature that we will be doing in the future at some point.
So I can’t say when exactly but I think the features that are in the guilds now, you can expect them to be refined and improved and will be done before launch, but I don’t think you’ll be seeing any big new features for guilds. So things like alliances, all of those things, we’ll have to look at how much we think that [those are needed]. We have to launch the game, then prioritize based on feedback from players and what we think the state of the game is, this is more important than that to add, we’ll try to have things that, based on importance we think they have for players. Like what do players really need as far as guild features go. So yeah, I think we will definitely release more guild features, but the features that are in right now are the ones that we’ll have at launch.
GW2.fr: I played PvP in Guild Wars 1, and I really liked the emotes related to the titles, so I was wondering if there will be some emotes in Guild Wars 2 for the PvP? Will it be tied to the PvP rank?
Eric Flannum: No, there will be no rank emotes, if you’re talking about the deer and all of that, so no rank emotes this time around for Guild Wars 2.
GW2.fr: Will there be any special emotes in Guild Wars 2?
Eric: There are no special emotes for PvP, but I guess that if you consider finishing someone an emote, we do plan on eventually coming out with hopefully more finishing moves somewhere in the future, but for right now, there are no special emotes. People have not seen dances yet, which will be pretty spectacular cool, they will be like they were in Guild Wars 1, which is very involved. We’ve got a couple of emotes that we haven’t revealed yet. By and large there will not be any kind of special emotes just for PvP or just for one particular kind of gameplay or the other.
GW2Blog.com: Hi guys! Just a little question about races, the missing races. Will these be playable in future betas, or not?
Eric Flannum: The different races, like the sylvari and the asura? We basically haven’t talked about what content we’ll have in future beta events. We do plan on expanding the content that’s available in future beta events. What we have to do is to sort of draw a line of revealing too much so that things are spoiled to people alongside trying to get more people testing various areas. We have some kind of a [team with]core testers that have access to the entire game so there’s a lot of testing going on for the game. And these beta events where we invited tons of people are more for stress testing and getting a lot of people on the areas. So we do want to keep things fresh and keep expanding the content that’s available on beta weekends, but at the same time we don’t want to get away too much, so I’m not sure exactly how we’re going to go with that. You may see additional races available, and you may not. I think there are lots of distinctions that have to be made, and we’ll be announcing those before each particular events, all the new things that are going to be available on these events, so you guys will have some warning if the sylvari and the asura become playable in the future.
Millenium: Hi guys! So you spoke about observer view in PvP. Can you tell us more about this?
Eric Flannum: Since that feature is not in yet, it’s really hard to say anything about it. We thought it was a great feature in Guild Wars 1 and we want the game to be really watchable, so in the future we’ll definitely have something like that. It’s not going to make it in for the release of the game, but sometime after release. But it’s not a feature we can talk too much about, because quite frankly it doesn’t exist yet. So we’ll definitely talk about it once we’ve got any work in. That whole thing about we don’t like to talk about things is because I could speculate on what it might be like, but it could end up completely different from that, and so I really don’t want to do that because I don’t want that you guys get gaming expectations in one way, and we actually go into another way. So we really can’t speculate on that yet. But it is something we definitely want to have on the game after release.