Eurogamer: Is there a lifetime to these dynamic events, a point at which they finish or reset?
Colin Johanson: They don't necessarily have an end. They're cyclical in nature, so as the events chain across the map they can be pushed back the other way, or the chain will alter and then come back around. It always feels like a natural chain where the course of events makes sense.
Eurogamer: You say players are fed up of levelling. Why, then, has Guild Wars 2 ditched the appealingly low 20-level cap of Guild Wars 1 and raised the ceiling to an unconfirmed height - possibly hundreds?
Colin Johanson: At this time we're not ready to discuss how many levels the game is going to have.
Eurogamer: Is it over a hundred?
Colin Johanson: I can't say that at this point.
One thing I will clarify is that players aren't bored of levelling, they're bored of the content you need to do to level. Most MMOs these days make you grind and do really repetitive, boring content over and over again. There are moments of fun, but then you're back swinging your sword over and over again, chasing around a moth or an ogre that's standing around in the world doing nothing. That's the part of the genre we think players are done with. We want to make something that's better than that.
Eurogamer: Can I cruise through Guild Wars 2 playing only my personal story?
Colin Johanson: The two parts of the questing system, the dynamic events and the personal story, really go hand in hand. The personal story has you travelling all over the world and along the way you encounter all of these events happening so you stop and participate. You can stop and play mini-games in cities, you can go participate in dungeons, you can go run off to PVP any time you want. The idea is you can do all of this different content to have a really varied gameplay experience.
Eurogamer: What sort of effect can players have on the world outside of dynamic events? Can PVP turf wars change areas?
Colin Johanson: The are part of a strong system and we're really proud of them. We'll look at ways to put it anywhere in the game that will make it stronger. We're not ready to talk about PVP at this time. But we will do in the future.
Eurogamer: Are dynamic events the endgame raids of Guild Wars 2?
Colin Johanson: There will be endgame content where you can play in maps filled with dynamic events. There will be endgame content that we're calling dungeons, and many of these are high-level raids. And we're not ready to talk about those yet either, but they're a large part of our end-game content. PVP is a huge part of it.
Every big city in the game will be filled with all sorts of mini-games that you can play. Those provide a lot of repeatable end-game content. Players can compete in bar brawls and shooting galleries and perpetual snowball fights, and all sorts of fun mini-games like that.
Eurogamer: Are there rewards for the mini-games?
Colin Johanson: The bragging rights is obviously a big one! If you knock somebody out in a bar brawl hopefully you'll get a couple of their teeth or something. We'll also be giving rewards that are on a scale equal to other things you get in the game world. We want to make sure that every type of content we have in the game feels rewarding: that you're getting something for spending your time doing it. This allows players to play the game their way. You won't feel left out for playing some content.
Eurogamer: How's the development cycle on Guild Wars 2 going?
Colin Johanson: It's going really well. We're playing the game together constantly. We've seen the event system. It's functional and works extremely well. The core concepts of how we thought it would work are all working and we're having a blast building dynamic events. And, more importantly, we're having a blast playing this game together.
Eurogamer: When are the public going to play?
Colin Johanson: I'll have to turn that to Chris but I don't think we're ready to reveal that right now.
NCsoft PR: We haven't officially announced that but...
Eurogamer: This year?
NCsoft PR: You guys will be the first to know when we finally make that decision.
Eurogamer: Will press play the game at E3?
Chris Lye: We have not confirmed that we're attending E3 at this point.
Eurogamer: Oh. Are you attending E3?
Chris Lye: Haven't confirmed if we... ha!
Guild Wars 2 is in development for PC. The MMO has no release date.