Guild Wars 2

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This article or section contains information about a Guild Wars game or feature which is still in development.
The information on this page could be subject to change on release.

Guild Wars 2 Logo

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 as well as changes to character development and the PvP system.

All released information regarding it has been compiled below. If you have a specific question in mind, please check the FAQ first.


(technical) There will be no monthly fee at all associated with Guild Wars 2, keeping up the tradition of the Guild Wars business model. Mike O'Brien has stated that expansions and/or mini-expansions are more likely than standalone campaigns, but a final decision has not been made yet. The game will be on multiple servers or "worlds," but players will not be bound to a world and may therefore change servers easily. The exact mechanic for this has not been announced. Guild Wars 2 will be designed to run on computers with mid-range gaming specifications, but will have higher requirements than the original Guild Wars.

(story) A teaser trailer, which made its debut at Gamescom '09, is available on the official website along with more recent videos, including a video featuring the main characters of each playable race, a teaser trailer for Gamescom '11, and videos featuring one of each race, among others.

(legacy) The original Guild Wars will continue to be supported after the release of Guild Wars 2. This will include continued holiday events and tournaments.

About the Game

A collector's edition of the game will be released. Although its contents have not been finalized yet, it has been confirmed that collector's edition will not contain The Art of Guild Wars 2, which was released in fall 2009.

Beta testing

  • In September, GW2 game designer Colin Johanson told Eurogamer that Guild Wars 2 closed beta testing will take place "by the end of 2011".[1]
    • ANet began a closed beta test in 2011 (the feedback from these tests will determine if and when any public beta might take place).[2]
  • A beta test for the press (and select players) will begin on February 17th and conclude on the 19th[3]

Release date

  • The game is to be released at an unknown date during 2012
  • Most recent i heard from gamestop that it will be released march 26th of 2012



Players finally got their chance to play the Guild Wars 2 demo at Gamescom (August 19-22, 2010) @Cologne, Germany, PAX Prime (September 3-5, 2010) @Seattle, USA, Paris Games Week (October 27-31, 2010) @Paris, France and CES (January 6-9, 2011) @Las Vegas, USA.

Demo participants were able to play as either a starter level Human (around L1) or a higher level Charr (around L40) and were able to play one of the four known professions: elementalist, warrior, ranger, or necromancer. The human area was a playable area around Divinity's Reach (what is now Shaemoor and the surrounding areas) in which players would fight a large earth elemental as the big boss battle. The playable area for the Charr was close to the ruins of Surmia, Serenity Temple, and the surrounding areas and culminated in a fight against the Shatterer, a dragon lieutenant. The demo had a time limit of 40 minutes.


The control & movement 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. Control of combat will be more active; including blocking skills that are "held down", ground-targeting for spells and attacks, and hit detection that allows one player to block area-based damage from reaching other players. Guild Wars 2 will be a true 3D environment which will allow characters to jump over obstacles as well as swim and dive underwater. New animation coding will allow separate tracks for upper and lower body components, allowing players to activate more skills while running or jumping for smoother combat immersion.

Flight will not be a featured character capability in Guild Wars 2.

Game engine

Guild Wars 2 uses a heavily modified Guild Wars game engine which includes support for true 3D environments, more detailed environments and models, better lighting and shadows, new animation and effects systems, plus new audio and cinematics engines and a more flexible combat and skill-casting system. It uses Havok to provide destructible environment and ragdoll animation of creatures and Umbra's Occlusion culling technology.

Gaile Gray has indicated the game will support DirectX 10, but not require it to play. Guild Wars 2 will use the Havok physics engine and occlusion culling technology licensed from Umbra Software. [5]


Jeremy Soule, who composed the soundtracks for the original Guild Wars series, will be returning to compose the music for Guild Wars 2.


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 game is designed to be viable for both solo and group play.

The level cap has been raised to 80[6]. There will be a plateau of power, where each level no longer adds as much to the power of the character. A side-kick system has been mentioned which would allow characters of a lower level to play with high level characters without disadvantage. Conversely, higher level characters will have their power scaled down in areas designed for lower level players.


Guns will be featured as new weapons; rifles and pistols have been specifically mentioned. Concept art depicting Charr wielding firearms can be seen at the Guild Wars 2 Website's art section here and here

The complete list of weapons featured in Guild Wars 2:

One-Handed: Axe, dagger, mace, pistol, scepter, and sword.

Two-Handed: Greatsword, hammer, longbow, shortbow, rifle, and staff.

Offhand only: Focus, shield, torch, and warhorn.

Weapons and Offhands can be sheathed (or strapped to the player's back), allowing a character to run faster than one who is combat-ready. The weapons a character has equipped will determine the character's first five skills, and environmental weapons, such as siege machines or beer mugs, will do the same when picked up. (See Skills).


Guild Wars 2 will introduce several new playable races. The five playable races are:

Different races will have different advantages and disadvantages through racial skills rather than specific stats being increased. For example, the norn will be able to shape-shift into a half-bestial half-norn form for various benefits, the asura will have the ability to control golems, and humans will be able to summon Hounds of Balthazar to the fight.

Each race will have unique choices to make at character creation which will provide a background story for that character. Examples are the social standing of the human and the sylvari "cycles". These will provide no advantage or disadvantage.


The eight professions in Guild Wars 2 are:

It has been mentioned that some professions (possibly limited to those mentioned above) will be carried over from the original Guild Wars, while others may be inspired by original professions but be cast under a different name (such as the thief, replacement for assassin). There will be three "types" of professions: three "scholar" professions (including the Elementalist, Mesmer and Necromancer), three "adventurer" professions (ranger, thief, and engineer), and two "soldier" professions (warrior and guardian). No secondary profession system will be used.

Different professions will have access to different weapons, armor, skills (excluding race-specific skills) and traits. For example, at least one profession will be able to use bows but not guns (the ranger), another will be able to use guns but not bows (the engineer), and a third will be able to use both (the warrior and thief). Armor is being scaled between profession types; scholar professions will use light armor, adventurer professions will use medium armor, and soldier professions will use heavy armor.

In two official blog postings, designers stated that the traditional MMORPG role for a backline "healer" class will be superseded with support mechanics that encourage or require direct involvement in combat. While one of these designers did confirm that players can fill up the majority of their skill bars with support skills, he asserted that these skills would require "judicious application", even while healing. Furthermore, heals that affect allies are said to be much weaker than a player's "self heal".


There will be fewer skills than the original, with the aim for quality rather than quantity. Skill animations and graphics should provide a clearer indication of the range and effect of a skill as it is used. A character will have a total of 10 skill slots, five of which are weapon and profession dependent and can only be changed by switching to a different type of weapon. The other five are dependent on profession and race and can be changed by the player whenever out of combat, with one skill being reserved for healing, and one for an elite. The goal of this change is to give more options for truly viable builds than Guild Wars allowed while at the same time decreasing the potential for less useful skill combinations (like bringing Gash without a skill that causes bleeding).

Each race will have a set of skills unique to it. These will be weaker than profession-specific skills, but could cover weaknesses that a character's profession may not be able to provide for.


Traits are abilities a character can obtain by completing specific challenges throughout the game. They will provide passive advantages such as increased attack power or armor, quicker weapon swaps, or adding special effects to attacks (like Swordsmanship, which makes all the user's sword attacks cause bleed). They are not intended to directly replace the attribute system. A certain number of traits may be equipped at once, but all can be re-slotted while out of combat (similar to skills).

Dye System

According to John Hargrove of ArenaNet, the dye system in Guild Wars 2 will be similar to the one enjoyed by players in Guild Wars today with a few upgrades. Specifically mentioned is the tripling of dye channels available on each piece of armor, allowing players almost limitless dyeing capabilities with over 400 different shades and colors. Dying will also be free, with dyes being gradually unlocked as a character progresses, and feature more than 100 colors for every piece of armor.[7] [8][9]

Guild Wars 1 characters

Characters from the original Guild Wars will not be migrated to play in Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 will be a fresh start. Some items and weapons players earn in the original Guild Wars campaign may be redeemed for rewards in Guild Wars 2 through the Hall of Monuments, which is available to players who have Guild Wars Eye of the North. However, players will not be able to migrate the exact items or titles they obtained in Guild Wars. Names will also be reserved through this system. Final details on what will be transferred are now available through the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator as mentioned on the ArenaNet Blog

Player versus environment

There will be changes to the 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 to further storytelling within the game and for missions and dungeons.

A day/night cycle, faster than real-time, is being added to the game. Some events and monster appearances will depend on that in-game time. There will be weather effects in-game. Persistent explorable areas will be larger than those of GW1. The interior of houses and buildings in the environment will be accessible to players.


The energy mechanic has been completely reworked. Skills no longer cost energy to activate[10], and energy is now only required for dodging.


Lead Developer Eric Flannum has stated that there will be crafting, but players should expect crafting to enhance their adventuring experience, not replace it. Crafting will not be something players can engage in as a career without ever going out and slaying monsters. There are eight crafting disciplines in Guild Wars 2:

  • Weaponsmith - craft melee weapons, such as swords, axes and hammers.
  • Huntsman - craft ranged weapons like bows and pistol, as well as torches and warhorns.
  • Artificer - craft magical weapons such as staves and scepters.
  • Armorsmith - craft heavy armor pieces.
  • Leatherworker - craft medium armor pieces.
  • Tailor - craft light armor pieces.
  • Jewelcrafter - craft jewelry, such as rings and necklaces.
  • Cook - prepare food which characters can eat for temporary combat buffs.

Players may pick two of these as their disciplines. At the same time however, players are allowed to switch between disciplines at a cost. When the player switches disciplines, they will retain the skill level and all of their recipes in the old one. The price of changing disciplines increases with higher discipline level.

According to John Hargrove, there are a multitude of "ore nodes (including copper), plants, and the like" across the world. These nodes can be interacted with on a per-character basis in order to prevent farming and quick stealing. This means when you use a node or plant, it only disappears for you, so your group and other adventurers can harvest the same resource too. [9]

Event system

Guild Wars 2 will use a very different system for quests than Guild Wars 1. Instead of the standard green exclamation point above an NPC's head to mark a possible quest, Guild Wars 2 will use a new Event system. In this system, events will happen with or without the presence of the player, and if a player happens to be present at the time of the event, then the player can complete the event by participating in it, and the outcome of the event may affect if, or what kind of, an event may happen soon thereafter. Three examples were provided to illustrate how this system may work.

The first example shows the arrival of a dragon near a particular town or village. The players nearby that town or village can choose to fight the dragon. If they are successful, the dragon may flee or die, and the players involved are rewarded by the village elder; if the players fail, the dragon destroys a bridge vital to the village. At that time, the village people attempt to build a new bridge, and the players may help them by fending off a group of bandits that see the opportunity to attack.

In the second example, if a player happens to be inside a garrison when a scouting party returns, they may overhear the scouts warning of an approaching column of centaurs, intent on destroying the garrison. The players can then participate in defending the garrison from the attacking centaurs. If the players are successful, the garrison may ask them to participate in a counterattack. If they are not successful, or if they weren't at the garrison in time to save the garrison, they may join other soldiers from a nearby town attempting to recapture the garrison.

The third example involves a player walking along a familiar road, but this time they happen upon a caravan traveling along the road. They can choose to travel with the caravan, and defend it from roving bandits, or not.

These events may overlap. For example, you are asked to escort the caravan to the garrison. But when you arrive at the garrison you find out it is being attacked by the centaurs. The two events may have nothing to do with each other, but in order to receive the rewards for escorting the caravan, you would have to fend off the centaurs from the garrison, resulting in you doing two events at once.

Underwater exploration

In late 2009, it was officially announced that it will be possible to explore, fight, and breathe underwater in Tyria. Developers say that creating the underwater "continents" is one of the things that is delaying the game. The teaser trailer shows footage of an underwater area and creatures swimming in the waters. Developers have stated that the ability to breathe underwater will be granted via the use of an easily obtainable consumable item.


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. Many of these changes are caused by Elder Dragons resurfacing after millennia of slumber. The first of the dragons, Primordus, awoke fifty years after Eye of the North and took over the Depths of Tyria, driving the asura, skritt and other creatures to the surface. After another fifty years, Jormag arose in the Far Shiverpeaks, shattering the mountains and pushed the norn south into the Northern Shiverpeaks; a third dragon, Zhaitan, woke up underneath the sunken holy city of Arah in the ruined kingdom of Orr and rose it above the sea again and it severed the sea route to Cantha and Elona. Finally, Kralkatorrik awoke in the Charr Homelands and flew over Ascalon, creating the Dragonbrand as it traveled to the Crystal Desert, cutting off land access to Elona. An unnamed dragon awoke in the deepest seas as well, but has not directly influenced Tyria.

The human race is greatly reduced. The resurfacing dragons caused massive floods that destroyed many coastal cities in Kryta, including its capital city Lion's Arch, and the 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, primarily from Ascalon but also Elona and Cantha with an undead fleet. 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, killed in the Foefire, who slay all who dare enter.

The other sentient races have a comparatively better time. Though pushed from their homelands, the norn thrive in their new lands; the norn and the charr continue to honor their peace formed from a mutual respect. The charr achieve victory over Ascalon and settle into the former human capital of Rin. The asura have spread through all cities, maintaining a network of teleportation gates but also remaining strictly neutral. 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 ageless 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 home to a new portal into the Mists, taking 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 isolationist once again as all non-human races were pushed out, trade stopped, and the borders fortified. With Zhaitan's undead fleet disrupting travel, there has been no contact with mainland Canthans for nearly a century.

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 were broken by Joko's armies, those wishing to live recruited as his elite guard. The Crystal Desert has become a battleground between Joko's minions and Zhaitan's forces, and the only news that slips through is carried by the Order of Whispers, who are now spread over all of Tyria and the only ones who know how to travel to Elona.

Much of the story between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is elaborated upon in the novels Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny.

Guild Wars 2 PvE will still tell a story but will depart from a single monolithic storyline. It will instead use smaller, mutually exclusive, story arcs allowing the player more of a sandbox environment to play in.

Player versus Player

There will be two types of PvP available in Guild Wars 2; World PvP and Structured PvP.

World PvP

World PvP will allow you to play characters of any level, using the skills that you have in your possession at that particular time. This level discrepancy will be relaxed by a side-kicking system intended to provide a bridging point between PvE and structured PvP. It will be on a larger scale than the original Guild Wars PvP with large battles which take place over a long period with people coming and going.

The battle has been likened to an RTS and 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

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.


Old GW2 logo prior to release of the official trailer.
  • In March 2007, Gaile Gray said that Guild Wars 2 will have holiday events too.
  • As seen here, Arena Net are releasing three books. The first, Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon, is written by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb. Ghosts of Ascalon is about the 250 years between Guild Wars 1 and 2 and is considered canon. Ghosts of Ascalon was released in North America and Europe on July 27th, 2010. The second, Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny is written by J. Robert King, and was released on December 28th, 2010. The release date and title for the third book have not been made public.
  • On January 30th, 2009, Regina Buenaobra stated that she has played Guild Wars 2.
  • A companion system was planned, with which a character would be able to bring an ally as an extension of their character, or, should they choose not to bring the companion, receive a buff to compensate. This feature has been removed from development.

See also

External links



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Gw2logo.png The Guild Wars 2 Wiki also has an article on Guild Wars 2.
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ ArenaNet® Licenses Umbra for Guild Wars 2, Umbra Software
  6. ^ Progression and Leveling in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet Blog
  7. ^ - Dye at Gamescom2010 - Demo armor piece.
  8. ^ Live and Let Dye – Kristen Perry on the GW2 Dye System, ArenaNet Blog
  9. ^ ab A Rewarding Experience – John Hargrove Talks About Loot, ArenaNet Blog
  10. ^ Jon Peters on the New Gamescom Demo, ArenaNet Blog