This week in Guild Wars 2

After the massive premiere column last week, this week’s offerings are a bit less weighty (but still well worth your time to check out):

  • Arenanet BlogGuild Wars 2 Year End Development Update. “Hey, there! It’s time for another update on some of the new things we’ve been working on. Jon and I have a lot to talk about this time, so I’ll get started with our achievement system before I hand things over to Mr. Peters, who’ll talk about some more subtle combat refinements as well as recent changes to the thief.”
  • Nerdy bookahs and their travel guide — Now that the mesmer’s out: Which class do you want to play? “Did the reveal of the mesmer change your mind about which class you want to play first? Were you hoping for another class or is the mesmer all you ever wanted? Or are you now hoping your favourite class will make a return in an expansion? ;) In my case, I’d at some point hoped that the dervish will be introduced again but I knew this wouldn’t happen because the scythe wasn’t listed as weapon in the game (we did know which weapons will be in the game before we knew about all of the classes). “
  • — Synthesis: What’s known about the mesmer. “The release of the 8th and final profession — the Mesmer — was accompanied by a deluge of interviews. Through these interviews and the profession page, we have learned that the Mesmer is a magical-duelist who uses his or her illusions, and mental trickery to confuse a foe and setup situations beneficial only to the Mesmer. Although each interview in itself has given us only a brief glimpse into the Mesmer profession, the combination of different interviews gives us a more complete picture than meets the eye at first. So what have we learned about this profession? This article attempts to make sense of all the information.”
  • — December Wallpapers. “Today I’ve got 4 mesmerific wallpapers for you. Enjoy!”
  • MMORPG.COM — Interviews: Jonathan Sharp. “Last week, Arena.Net announced the final Guild Wars 2 profession, the Mesmer. We recently had the opportunity to sit down to chat with Guild Wars 2 Systems Designer Jonathan Sharp about all things Mesmer. Check it out and then leave us a comment or two.”
  • The Vigilant — Exclusive: Interview with Regina Buenaobra. “As the title suggests, we were recently given the honor of our first interview with Arena Net. Specifically community manager Regina Buenaobra. On behalf of the whole team here at Vigilant Fans I’d like to thank Regina and her co-workers for taking time out of their very busy schedules to answer these questions and wish them all a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! The interview in all its glory follows.”
  • MassivelyMassively talks Mesmer: Our exclusive interview with Guild Wars 2 designer Eric Flannum. “It’s been days since we got the official Guild Wars 2 Mesmer reveal, but the excitement is still running strong through the fan community. Here at Massively, we’re just as excited about it, so we took some time to sit down with game designer Eric Flannum and chat about some of the background and design details of the eighth and final Guild Wars 2 class. Follow along after the jump to see what he had to say!”
  • MassivelyFlameseeker Chronicles: Why must they starve us then drown us? “Today’s Flameseeker Chronicles title comes to you courtesy of one of Massively‘s livestream team members, echoing the wails of many news-starved fans of all things Tyrian. In a classic case of ‘be careful what you wish for,” we got the Guild Wars 2 Mesmer, two enormous Q&A sessions with the devs, a bit of closed beta news, and Wintersday and new costumes in Guild Wars 1, all in just a few short days. I need to lie down. While I do that, follow along after the jump for a rundown of all the excitement of last week.”
  • The Feral Engineer — The Excommunication of the Holy Trinity. “So onto the topic of the day. I think the most frequent comment I hear about GW2 is that they are revolutionizing the industry as far as MMOs go. In all honesty, I cannot say they are revolutionizing anything. SWTOR is in the form of cinematic quests which to me is a terrible idea. But what exactly is GW2 accomplishing that makes it revolutionary? Cross Class Combinations are definitely a step in the right direction. Rather than a quest system they have dynamic events that shape the way you play as you explore Tyria. Their dragons make the Blood Storm of RIFT look like pansies. But how unique is all this? Not really at all. Everything they are doing has been done in some type of fashion. The guild system originated in Final Fantasy XI, Cross Class combinations were seen in Chrono Trigger, Dynamic events work the same way as the invasion system in RIFT with a few minor nuances and badass dragons were seen since the first days of video games and even literature. What I will say is what Arena Net is doing is taking old designs and reworking them into something better.”
  • Guild Guardian is a Tumblr blog run by Hizashi Aoi (GW name) highlighting Guild Wars 2 concept artwork and fan-created items.
  • There’s also a YouTube channel called GuildWarsCommunity, specializing in posting Guild Wars 2 commentary. Drop by and see what’s on offer.
  • For German-speaking fans, there’s the Guild Wars 2 section of, carrying discussions about the game. Lead writer King_Dom explains: “Aside from in many cases one of the fastest German news coverage, we in many cases had the fastest or even only translations of GW2 related content, such as interviews, lore and design article from the Anet blog, etc. A current example would be the translation of the dev live chat on Wednesday, which within half an hour after the end of the chat wasn’t just the fastest but is to my knowledge still the only German translation. In addition, we have a Podcast which just released its 9th episode, various commentaries like an article for your last blog carnival, and for its size pretty respectable community discussions on our forum.”
  • — Mesmer – Master of the Mind. “Finally, the last profession for Guild Wars 2 has been revealed! In a way I was hoping for something new, rather than just an old profession coming back, but I must say, ArenaNet sure has out done itself yet again with the Mesmer. Some of the professions are those that are returning from the first game, such as the Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist and Necromancer. What was nice is that all these professions got a much needed facelift, even though they did very well for the old age of RPG games. Guild Wars 2 is focusing on a new way for MMOs to be made and played. But today, we are talking about the Mesmer, so let me tell (and show) what I like about the returning veteran.”
  • Guild Wars Insider — GWI Podcast EP10: The Purple Bard. “This podcast was obviously recorded before the Mesmer reveal, as Seven and Gallo have a lengthy debate about how the last profession should have been a Bard… or even an 80′s hairband rocker. Don’t ask… just listen”
  • Relics of Orr — Episode 44, Underwater Combat and Environments. “I am joined by Csquirrelrun to summarize Guild Wars 2 underwater environment information so far.”
  • — Clone Call. “At present (and despite developer interviews to the contrary) clones strike me as incredibly limited in their viability, for several reasons. The first is their use in both PvE and PvP and how some of their purpose (to distract) simply won’t be possible in PvE (unless ArenaNet purposefully factor in clones for every enemies AI routine) and will be negligible in PvP on the basis that as players, differentiating human from AI in any and all game genres is a relatively easy exercise.”
  • Guild Wars Insider — Hey Bookah! “Hey there, silly bookahs! I am displeased to present another wonderfully mind-boggling rendition of Hey Bookah! I give a half-hearted apology for missing last week’s deadline. There were many experiments to be done and inventions to be invented, and it seems time slipped away from me. Speaking of time, Peter Chan had a great question relative to the subject!”
  • — Year End Roundup. “Phew! What a busy years its been for Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet. Globe trotting, countless conventions, profession reveal after profession reveal (including the mesmer!), the sylvari, iteration after iteration, cinematics reworked from the ground up (complete with lip syncing) underwater combat and an announcement about closed beta.”
  • Hunter’s Insight — Year End Progress. “I guess it’s cool to see that Arenanet update us on significant changes in the game from what we’ve seen. It certainly helps fill the voids in between major info dumps. For me though there is nothing particular chat worthy about this particular blog post.”
  • Hunter’s Insight — LFG in GW2. “I don’t find group tools to be very useful. I think this mostly stems from bad experiences with Pick Up Groups. Guild Wars did have a basic group tool, but does Guild Wars 2 need one? I can’t recall if they’ve ever mentioned one. I prefer playing with friends. If I stop playing your MMO it’s probably because I didn’t really connect with anyone in it. For that reason alone I’m sure most MMO studios seriously consider a Looking For Group tool.”
  • GuildMag — The 8 Professions. “Ever wanted a quick and compiled source of info on all the professions? In video form? I’m Alexridiculous and I’ve been releasing one video a day on each of the professions in Guild Wars 2. Check out the first 4 in my series — the Warrior, Guardian, Thief, and Ranger — after the break!”
  • Dragon Season — Unraveling the mysteries of the Elder Dragons and the Expansions. “The following text incorporates information extracted from the original Guild Wars 2 books, Edge of Destiny and Ghosts of Ascalon. It is intended as a synopsis of what we know so far about the Elder Dragons, and a preface of what may possibly be revealed to us in the coming expansions. If you have not read these books and do not wish to have the game’s mystery spoiled for you, please read no further.”
  • — Interview teaser – More Live Team Q&A coming soon! “I had the chance to submit a set of questions for the Guild Wars Live Team a few weeks ago and wants to share the rest of the answers of that interview with you very soon. John Stumme and Robert Gee have given us information about the development of Winds of Change that you have probably not read anywhere else yet and will talk about the upcoming Elementalist update too. The following two questions do not fit the theme of the rest of the interview, so I will share them with you as a teaser of “more things to come
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