This week in Guild Wars 2

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s roundup of Guild Wars 2 posts from the official site, professional journalists, and fan sites. I’ve been doing this kind of weekly summary for about a year for a smaller audience of my guild (The Nightwing Coven [TNC] in the SPQT alliance) plus non-gamers who happened to visit my blog. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to do the same thing for a larger audience of Guild Wars 2 fans as part of the team here at GuildMag.

As all fans are aware, ArenaNet tends to release new information on an irregular basis, with masses of new stuff followed by sometimes painfully long droughts. This week is a propitious one for me to start with, as it co-incides with the mesmer reveal and additional information coming out of ArenaNet. I’m lucky there’s so much to share, but past experience says it’ll dry up too quickly.

The first group of posts all pre-date the accidental leak of the mesmer skill video at a Danish fan site:

    • Guild Wars Insider — Hey Bookah! “Hello, unintelligible readers, if you didn’t know already, this is the first iteration of the Hey Bookah column. It’s a fairly simple process and set-up. First, you mail your query to After you complete that ridiculously complicated task, I will read your question and decide whether or not it is worthy of my genius. If I deem it unworthy, I will still answer your question and reply via e-mail. If your question is deemed worthy, however, I will feature it in one of my annual Wednesday Hey Bookah columns — lucky you!”
    • GW2Guru — We’ve finished recording our first track: The 12 Days of Wintersday! “It’s uh, uncensored, so keep that in mind.”
    • Guild Wars Insider — The Great Guild Wars 2 Profession Battle Begins. “So we’ve decided to start a battle of the professions here on GWI. It’s a simple contest where each week we pit two Guild Wars 2 professions against one another, and you decide the winner.”
    • Ten Ton Hammer — Most Anticipated Game of 2012 Finals Poll. “We asked our readers to vote for their most anticipated games in two categories: MMOGs and PC RPGs. After three weeks of intense voting that had communities warring against each other to score the most votes for their game, our Most Anticipated Games of 2012 finalists emerged. Now we’re asking you to vote for your most anticipated game overall. Will it be Guild Wars 2? Firefall? Diablo III? We can’t tell without your votes!”
    • Hunter’s Insight — Upcoming Mesmer and Beta. “We’ve heard about and been told that the closed beta for Guild Wars 2 would start before the end of the year, so that date must surely be approaching fast along with other information.”
    • Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars‘ elite areas — The Underworld. “All is still quiet on the Guild Wars 2 front, and I’m almost thankful since I was hoping to be able to go over The Underworld in Guild Wars this week. There’s a lot more to say about this area because it’s so much more difficult, but you can do it — I promise. The general tips I gave last week apply to this area as much as the others, so take a moment to skim through those as well.”
    • Guild Wars 2 Guru — When It’s Ready! “With the window for closed beta and the final profession reveal slowly shrinking, I’ve noticed that the community has been steadily growing more restless. In fact, I’d say it’s bordering on hysteria. And why not? We’re all excited to see beta finally come at long last. While we’re all sitting here rubbing our hands and licking our lips eagerly however I wanted to point out why all this waiting is a good thing.”
    • GuildWars2PvP — Team Arenanet Interview Part 5: Jonathan Sharp. “GuildWars2PvP is proud to present to you part 5 of our ‘Team ArenaNet’ interview series! We’ll be talking to all five members of the team ArenaNet fielded for the Guild Wars 2 ESL Exhibition Matches and PAX Developer Tournament.”
    • Attached to Keyboard — Searching For Skills. “I wrote this post a couple of weeks back and was really not sure if it was worth posting or not. There’s a lot of negativity bouncing around the Guild Wars 2 universe right now, some deserved, most not, and I didn’t think adding to it was the right thing to do. Re-reading it now, it seems less of a flamefest and more of a constructive criticism so it’s getting a posting.”
    • Flame Throwing — Content Gating: What is it and why is it good (or bad)? Part 1. “This is the first in a three post series about Content Gating in MMOs. I’m going to be looking at what Content Gating is, whether Content Gating is good for a game, and then take a look at Content Gating in Guild Wars 2.”
    • Ashenfold Cartel: Interview with Jeff Grubb and Eric Flannum!

Q: What is the general maturation rate of a charr, the age they are considered adults, and when do they join the military?

Jeff Grubb: Charr mature at about the same rate as humans, though they are active in the military from a very young age. Once a cub is weaned, he or she is placed in a fahrar, a group of cubs of similar ages, under the leadership of an older charr, who treats the group as a military unit. This fahrar is the cubs’ first warband, and the ties formed here will continue into adulthood. There is no exact moment when a charr is considered an adult, though most fahrars consider it to be when they no longer need adult supervision and are treated as a full military unit. There is no moment that the charr joins the legions — legion and charr are one in the same.”

Q: Will the game give some tools to the strategic-minded players in the WvW, such as marking a target, tracing a route, or things like that?

Eric Flannum: For players at the group level they will be able to ping the map, draw on the map, and call targets just like they did in the original Guild Wars. For coordinating larger groups of people we’re developing some new systems which we’ll be able to talk about once they’ve undergone a bit more development.”

This post arrived after the embargo leak on Monday, but before the full reveal:

  • Hunter’s Insight – Mesmer Skill Video Breakdown. “After each Guild Wars 2 profession reveal I try pick through their skill videos to scope out anything I can. As we’ve learned more about the game, in depth study has become far less necessary, but I’ll still do my best I don’t think I’ve done this without being able to name the skills before, and the leak certainly takes some of the context away from the official mesmer reveal tomorrow. Although I’m sure we can guess at some of them.”

And these are all post-reveal posts:

  • ArenaNet — The mesmer. “Mesmers are magical duelists who rely on deception and confusion to keep their opponents in check. Indecision is their greatest ally. Using powerful illusions to distract, they make sure they never go toe to toe with an enemy; they use their powers and tactics to set up an unfair fight. Just when you think you’ve figured out what the mesmer is doing, illusions begin to shatter, clones start to fade away, and you realize you’ve been swinging at empty air all along. It’s hard to keep your eye on the real mesmer.”
  • Massively — ArenaNet unveils the Guild Wars 2 Mesmer. “Broken embargoes and leaked videos aside, longtime fans of Guild Wars 2 are expressing a complete lack of surprise at today’s Mesmer reveal. ArenaNet finally unveiled the long-awaited eighth class this morning: the iconic Mesmer, the class that’s been nearly synonymous with the Guild Wars name since 2005. OK, maybe that’s a little on the dramatic side, but after fans waited through seven other classes, two books, and quite literally years of development news, it’s Kind of a Big Deal. Now it’s finally here, so what’s it like? Let’s take a closer look at the Guild Wars 2 Mesmer class.”
  • Game Informer – Lifting The Veil On Guild Wars 2‘s Mysterious Mesmer Profession. “News that the mesmer would be returning as the eighth and final class in Guild Wars 2 leaked earlier this week, but you may not yet understand the complex mechanics that make this such an interesting addition to the GW2 roster. I spoke with ArenaNet game designer Jon Peters and system designer Jonathan Sharp to get a better sense what makes the mesmer special.”
  • Now GamerGuild Wars 2 Mesmer Reveal: ArenaNet Interview. “Guild Wars 2 is on track to really shake up the online RPG market in 2012, and the reveal of the Mesmer — the 8th and final profession — underlines just how much effort has gone into ArenaNet’s sprawling epic. We caught up with Guild Wars 2 lead designer Eric Flannum to discuss the Mesmer class and why he feels that the game will raise the bar for all online RPG titles to follow.”
  • — Head to Head: Mesmer vs Thief. “With the mesmer right off from the press, I thought I’d do a head to head with it. And who best to compare with than the … thief? What was I thinking? Well, in a recent interview, a dev described the mesmer as “a fencing, dueling, finesse, mind game profession
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