Fansite: Guild Wars OnlineWelten
Date: 1 October 2004
Question: Currently most of the events are optimized for American players, but recently the All Call for Europeans was added. How will you handle this after release? Will events be done twice (with 9 hours time-difference or something) to comfort non-US players? Will there maybe even be events in different languages like French, German or Italian? (Sorry to all the US-Players who don’t really need this question, but for the rest of the world it might be quite important.)
Answer: The Guild Wars world will be active 24/7. There will be tournaments running around the clock, and you’ll always be able to find someone with whom to play, no matter your level or your interest. If you want some random PvP action, head into one of the arenas, where you’ll be placed on a random team. If you want to do a little solo monster bashing, take to the Hunting Grounds. Is questing more your pleasure? Choose an outpost, click, and meet up with a group of players thinking along the very same lines. And if you want to see how far and how well you can do in a round-robin tournament, round up your party and visit the tournament outpost to take on those of a similar level in head-to-head gameplay.
Right now, all the functions I’ve mentioned above are fully active every hour of every day, but with the modest number of alpha testers, naturally we don’t find dozens of teams in the tournament area at the present time. The Mid-Day Alpha Testing Sessions have been very popular, and were designed specifically with European gamers in mind, so that they could enjoy the larger testing sessions more and contribute more meaningfully to the test. But every All Call Session – evening or mid-day – is just the tiniest miniature of what the game will be like on release. During the World Preview Event, you can be sure that you will be able to find all the PvP and PvM options available to you any time you choose. And for the large-scale tournaments that cross national or even continental lines, arrangements will be made to accommodate the different time zones so that everyone has a fair opportunity to participate at the highest levels.
As you know, Guild Wars will be offered in several languages. You will set your language choice when you create your account, and behind-the-scenes technology will place you amongst players who speak the same language. The beauty of this is that you will be able to then form or join a team with those who do speak your language and with whom you can take part in the world tournament.
Question: Will there be any benefits for guilds winning large (official) tournaments, besides the "fame" they gain and their Ladder-rank? For example a bigger Guildhall, which you can’t gain in any usual way or maybe some "real-life" prices like some free expansion-packs? Or maybe even a visit at the Arena.Net Studios (as it happened at the Community Day)? Will Solo-Players also have a chance to obtain such prizes?
Answer: We’ve been talking about some of the options for tournament play. Both in-game recognition and reward as well as possible real-world recognition are all factors that we’re considering. Your ideas are very good here, and I am sure that the Guild Wars community at a whole will contribute a lot of additional thoughts to help make our tournaments challenging and rewarding. As you know, Guild Wars will offer a rare opportunity for a team to be the best in the world, not simply the best in a shard or server or realm. After all, what’s the fun of saying “My guild is the best on Server #94 of the Something-Something Realm?”. Not all details are finalized, but we do have some very exciting plans in store, with meaningful outcomes for those who are ranked as the best amongst the best.
In thinking about the last part of your question, I honestly don’t know how solo players could be rewarded, since most rewards are obtained via competition and solo gameplay pretty much precludes competition. However, we’re certainly listening to the community about their hopes for Guild Wars and the features that it offers. So if good ideas about single player rewards are offered by fans via our many fansite forums, we’ll be sure to consider them all.
Question: Will there be a way for players to directly intervene with the game world? For example, a group of players tries to do mission X and accidentally does something really bad, like causing a big avalanche or earthquake, which destroys a part of the world, that is now changed or maybe even not accessible at all. Which scale could such interventions have?
Answer: One of the advantages of Guild Wars is that we can have things like earthquakes, avalanches or other literally “earth-shattering” events take place in our world. We do not have to worry about the parties who follow behind, because the instanced-mission world gives each party their own copy of the world. In a game that does not offer instanced missions, the developers have to consider “fairness” in what they design. They cannot allow a team to do things that will make it more difficult or impossible for any given party who comes along after them. For example, you can’t blow up a bridge in a traditional MMORPG, because that would create insurmountable obstacles for those parties and players who are behind you. If you level a forest in a traditional MMO, you can pretty much count on all the trees and vegetation respawning after a time, so that the next group coming along the way may not even know what happened in front of them. All the effects that you and your party bring to the world usually are required to be fixed within minutes, or those effects cannot be allowed to happen at all.
With instanced missions, you are encouraged to interact with the world on your own terms. Blow up a bridge, burn a building, block a path! Use creative means to cross a chasm and don’t worry – if the rickety log bridge you created breaks up and falls into the river below, as long as your party gets across, all is well. For it’s your world, and you make the calls.
Thanks so much to the crew at Guild Wars OnlineWelten for taking part in this week’s Fansite Friday!