It's been a torrid time for Guild Wars 2 maker ArenaNet. At the end of February, the studio cut a third of its workforce and people who had worked there for more than a decade walked away.
Through art and Guild Wars, a Romanian family finds the American Dream.
"It's a rare opportunity to do it when everything is going really well."
11th August 2017
27th July 2017
14th March 2015
19th February 2015
29th January 2015
24th January 2015
23rd January 2015
14th February 2014
24th September 2013
28th August 2013
22nd January 2013
15th January 2013
15th October 2012
18th September 2012
18th September 2012
11th September 2012
3rd September 2012
31st August 2012
31st August 2012
16th August 2012
12th July 2012
28th June 2012
28th June 2012
29th May 2012
24th May 2012
1st May 2012
27th April 2012
18th April 2012
21st March 2012
27th February 2012
22nd February 2012
15th February 2012
23rd January 2012
6th January 2012
15th December 2011
14th December 2011
27th September 2011
15th September 2011
27th June 2011
19th May 2011
18th May 2011
11th March 2011
3rd March 2011
10th August 2010
19th July 2010
29th April 2010
4th December 2009
18th February 2009
30th June 2008
26th February 2008
You might have glimpsed it at the end of the EGX Rezzed Guild Wars 2 developer session, but here it is in full: the game's second flying mount, a dragon, the Skyscale.
ArenaNet has disabled the purchase of gems in Guild Wars 2 for those in Belgium.
Last week, the firing of Jessica Price and Peter Fries from Guild Wars developer ArenaNet over comments made to a partnered Youtuber on Twitter shook the game development world. The firings came after significant online backlash against Price and Fries from Reddit users, and in the aftermath, many developers expressed fears the event would embolden fringe sections of game communities to feel they could demand the sacking of developers at will.
Former Guild Wars 2 writer Jessica Price was fired last week without, she has said, any warning.
UPDATE 2.30PM BST: I've received an official ArenaNet statement. It reads: "We strive to cultivate an atmosphere of transparency around the making of our games and encourage our teams to be involved in open, positive discussion with our community. Earlier this week, two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communication with our players and fans, and they are no longer with the company."
ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2 is an interesting beast. Since 2012, the Fantasy MMORPG has offered players the chance to delve into the world of Tyria any time they want without ever being charged a subscription fee. Not something we see very often.
You can play Guild Wars 2's new expansion for free this weekend.
Path of Fire has an open-world preview from today to Sunday 13th August. All players, new and existing, can play part of the opening story of the expansion and explore the Crystal Oasis map while on the raptor mount, developer ArenaNet said.
If you don't have an existing Guild Wars 2 account you can create a free one and jump into the demo immediately.
A second Guild Wars 2 expansion will be announced next week, Tuesday, 1st August.
A dedicated page on the Guild Wars 2 website says the expansion will be unveiled 9am PDT, which is 5pm in the UK (BST). You'll be able to watch the announcement on YouTube, Twitch or Facebook.
What the second Guild Wars 2 expansion will be about is teased in a cutscene at the end of the current Living World Season 3 content. In a nutshell, it looks to be set in the Crystal Desert and star the Elder Dragon who lives there, Kralkatorrik.
Did you end up following in your parents' footsteps? I wanted to be my own man but here I am, writing just like my dad did (only he won a BAFTA - I doubt I'll ever do
There's something big happening in Guild Wars 2 this month: Living World Season 3, which begins 26th July.
These seasons are how Guild Wars 2 does big story arcs, so we're at the beginning of another. Season 3 is intended for top-level players, level 80, but you can boost yourself there when you buy expansion Heart of Thorns, which you will need to play Living World Season 3. Remember, there is the option of playing the base Guild Wars 2 game completely free.
New episodes within Living World Season 3 will arrive every couple of months and are unlocked on your account, free, when you log in during their active period - whether you own Heart of Thorns or not. So log in and unlock them whether you intend to play them or not because they'll be be banked for future use. If you don't, you'll need to pay for the episodes as a season bundle at a later date (as with LWS2 now).
The first wing of the first ever raid in Guild Wars 2 has been opened. This is 10-person content designed to be the hardest in the game, and offers, as an ultimate reward, pieces for assembling legendary armour. This is not more powerful armour: it is exactly as powerful as existing top-end ascended armour, but allows you to swap stats - presumably stat templates - while out of combat.
The ultimate challenge for 10 people.
There's big news in the Guild Wars 2 camp today as ArenaNet announces the original game will be available for free, right now and for evermore.
UPDATE 25TH JUNE: I followed the following statement up with ArenaNet: "In the future, if we release further Guild Wars 2 expansions, we plan to offer all of the prior expansions, the core game, and the latest expansion for one single purchase price."
I wasn't sure what it meant. Did it mean there will only be one purchase-option if/when another expansion comes out? No. "We could offer different SKU 'packages' just as we are currently with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns," ArenaNet said.
What it means is that for one price you will get the new expansion plus the original game and any previous expansions thrown in, an NCSoft spokesperson clarified. That's the same as with the £34.99/€44.99 Heart of Thorns bundle, in other words.
One Guild Wars 2 player who played outside of the rules has had a very public - and quite medieval - comeuppance.
UPDATE: We've uploaded ArenaNet's Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns developer session from Rezzed for your viewing pleasure.
The full thing is in the video at the bottom of this article. The video above it contains our first look at the World vs. World Desert Borderlands map.
ORIGINAL STORY: ArenaNet will show the first gameplay of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns' World vs. World Desert Borderlands map at 3pm today.
Heart of Thorns is the first expansion for MMO Guild Wars 2, and it was playable last week for the first time.
I captured footage as I took the new Revenant profession for a run and saw the densely detailed and vast new Maguuma Jungle for mein own eyes. I played the new Stronghold player versus player mode but unfortunately wasn't able to capture from it.
The Revenant is the profession that summons legends from Guild Wars history to use in battle. I tried the Legendary Dwarf Stance (Jalis Ironhammer) and the Legendary Demon Stance (Mallyx). It seems like you can switch between them without much cooldown, if any, allowing for some strong combination possibilities. There will be more legends to choose from eventually.
ArenaNet has shown off the changes it will make to Guild Wars 2's camera in March.
Guild Wars 2 will get a first-person camera mode on 10th March, NCSoft has announced.
In opening up about the new Guild Wars 2 profession (class) the Revenant, developer ArenaNet has also revealed brand new skill mechanics coming to the wider online game.
Revenants channel legendary characters from Guild Wars history, replacing the right half of their skill bar with a thematic set of abilities.
Revenants can slot two legends - from a pool of legends - for use. Only two have been revealed so far (more on them later). The resource governing their abilities is an energy bar. It starts half-full and fills over time.
Update: There's been a bit of confusion about the Heart of Thorns beta and my interpretation of what Colin Johanson said.
It's confirmed - Heart of Thorns will be the first expansion for massively-multiplayer online fantasy game Guild Wars 2, release date to be confirmed.
The level cap hasn't gone up; instead - and in genre-bending tradition - developer ArenaNet has thought up something new. It's a Mastery system that progresses players sideways rather than upwards. Officially it gives "new training opportunities for your max level character with a system focused on evolving the core philosophy that the journey should be the goal in the game," which is all a bit hippy.
"The Mastery system adds meaningful progression without invalidating your hard-earned levels and gear." It's also referred to as "a new model for endgame progression". I'll find out more about that in an interview with ArenaNet tomorrow.
UPDATE 23RD JANUARY: Whatever Heart of Thorns is, and I suspect it's an expansion, will probably be announced during the Guild Wars 2 PAX South bonanza tomorrow - conference is a such boring word. This kicks off 4.30PM GMT and you can watch it via the embedded Twitch stream below.
Coinciding with the news is a sale - pick up Guild Wars 2 for $10 this weekend (75 per cent off). The offer goes live tomorrow at 4pm GMT, and copies (downloadable) are sold directly through the Guild Wars 2 website.
ORIGINAL STORY 13TH JANUARY: Looks like a first full Guild Wars 2 expansion may be on the way - NCSoft has trademarked (via Reddit) Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
There's been a kerfuffle between Guild Wars 2 community and developer because of a patch that made surprise - and unfavourable - changes to the gem Currency Exchange.
It's not a $5m jackpot but Guild Wars 2 steps up to the eSports plate this December with its first worldwide tournament and a prize pool of $50,000.
There were questions asked of Guild Wars 2 and the Chinese launch has answered them.
"A sweeping range of new systems and feature enhancements" for Guild Wars 2 will arrive 15th April.
More traits! Simplified UI! Horizontal progression.
NCSoft's 2013 report shows Guild Wars 2 making steadily less money than it used to.
There's a dramatic difference between autumn 2013 ($32m) and autumn 2012 ($112m), but there would be, because Guild Wars 2 launched in late summer/autumn 2012.
Sales fell sharply at the start of 2013 then dwindled each quarter thereafter, with a tiny uptick at the end of the year. The net result: GW2 developer ArenaNet made 30 per cent less money in 2013 than in 2012.
Unless you're beating World of Warcraft you're a nobody, a not-quite, another MMO crashing against the impregnable fortress Blizzard built. Guild Wars 2 was a somebody, a real contender - the fastest-selling MMO ever, shifting 3m copies in nine months. But were this a race, WOW would now be comfortably out in front, racking up 5 million subscribers in a little over a year.
There's a new Guild Wars 2 update due to arrive on Tuesday next week. But before then - this week - there's an extended free trial and discounted game price to make use of.
The free trial starts this Friday (27th) and ends the Friday after (4th Oct). Doors open at 8am and you only need register a trial account to take part.
Guild Wars 2 usually costs rather a lot - £35 - but from this Friday and until Monday, 7th October, it will be £28.
Guild Wars 2 is the most-updated online world in the industry, according to developer ArenaNet.
In a blog post celebrating the MMORPG's first anniversary, development chief Mike O'Brien said the team is now updating Guild Wars 2 about five times as often as the typical MMO.
"So in this first year we've ramped up to make Guild Wars 2 the best-supported, most-updated online world in the industry," he said.
By selling 3 million copies in nine months, Guild Wars 2 has been crowned - by research company DFC Intelligence - the fastest-selling Western MMO of all time.
"NOW FOR YOU, INSECTS! BOLDLY, YOU SOUGHT THE POWER OF RAGNAROS. NOW YOU SHALL SEE IT FIRSTHAND!"
All crafting professions in Guild Wars 2 are going to rise from 400 to 500 this year, according to game director Colin Johanson. It means you'll be able to make your own ascended gear.
There are still people playing famed eight-year-old MMO Guild Wars 1, and developer ArenaNet has no intention of abandoning them.
Traditional MMOs have gone out of fashion lately. It used to be that every gaming brand had exciting untapped MMO potential and every publisher wanted an MMO in its stable, but the gold rush inspired by World of Warcraft yielded little precious metal, and a lot of publishers got burned in the process - especially Electronic Arts with Star Wars: The Old Republic - while the term "MMO" has become taboo when discussing a new breed of games that includes The Division and Destiny, even though in many respects they are both massively multiplayer and online.
Guild Wars 1 slapped the established face of the MMO genre in 2005 by requiring no monthly subscription. You bought the game and that was that. This was a time before micro-transactions, so the way publisher NCSoft and developer ArenaNet made money was by releasing significant paid standalone add-ons and eventually an expansion pack.
It worked; Guild Wars 1 was a success and by 2009, four years ago, the series had racked up 6 million sales. More importantly, it vindicated a very expensive, very enormous, very accomplished sequel.
Guild Wars 2 has no subscription fee either, but it won't, won't, have an expansion, neither this year nor next - and maybe not ever.
Not long ago, in February 2012, publisher NCSoft said during a conference call that Guild Wars 2 was "in the preparation stage" for console.
A chunky new content patch has just gone live in Guild Wars 2. It's the Flame & Frost: The Razing update.
The long and detailed patch notes can be poured over at your leisure.
Briefly, there's new story content, but more importantly the huge World vs. World battles have undergone some treatment. There's no more culling, which is the game hiding people in large battles in order to boost performance. You'll now see everyone.
January's big Guild Wars 2 game update will be Flame & Frost: Prelude, arriving Monday, 28th.
It's a prologue to a multi-stage narrative that "will bring big changes to Guild Wars 2 in the months to come", according to the official website.
Broadly, Flame & Frost: Prelude will bring daily achievements, new achievement rewards, new Ascended items and Infusions to spend those rewards on, and a week of paid tournaments on PVP map Temple of the Silent Storm.
Subscription-less MMO Guild Wars 2 has now sold more than 3 million copies, developer ArenaNet has announced.
Lead designer Colin Johanson also shared what lies ahead for the MMO in 2013.
What there won't be is another tier of equipment like Ascended. Because what a stink that caused.
The no-gear-grind philosophy of Guild Wars 2 has been called into question, so developer ArenaNet has responded on Reddit.
Guild Wars 2 maker ArenaNet has been criticised by players for having what looks like double-standards.
Guild Wars 2's first major content patch is nearly ready. It's the Halloween-themed Shadow of the Mad King and it's due out on 22nd October.
Players of Guild Wars 1 will know ArenaNet likes to go a wee bit overboard for Halloween.
"Halloween has a long history in Tyria, and in times past was always marked by the spirit of Mad King Thorn cavorting among the people unleashing his own brand of insanity," wrote ArenaNet. "However, it's been over 250 years since he was last seen, and for most people he is merely a figure of folklore. Despite this, rumours persist among the populace that something wicked this way comes."
Borderlands 2 took America by storm. Gearbox's celebrated co-op shooter RPG sold a whopping 1.82 million copies during September.
ArenaNet wants Guild Wars 2 to do eSports. And the first baby steps have been made.
NCsoft has announced a Mac version of Guild Wars 2, praise the lord.
The Mac version goes into beta testing today. Interestingly, the Mac beta is connected to the live game servers, so Mac players will play alongside the existing PC crowd.
If you want in on the Mac beta, pre-purchase a copy of the game, then use your game code to unlock the game client. Like a key!
Funny thing about expectations: they can blind you both ways. After claims that Guild Wars 2 would shake up the stagnant genre of massively multiplayer online games, many were surprised, and a little disappointed, to find that it looked and played just like an MMO. But deflated expectations can be just as deceptive as the hype that led to them.
It's true that you can hardly call Guild Wars 2 an iconoclast. From its high-fantasy head to its role-playing toes, it's an unashamed genre piece, an MMO through and through, a giant engine designed to grind out experience points and loot beneath the tattoo of a hundred thousand hotkeys. But don't let its familiarity blind you to the fact that this engine has been re-engineered from first principles, and purrs sweeter than any has before.
In fact, Guild Wars 2 is by far the most important - and plain enjoyable - massively multiplayer game since 2004's World of Warcraft. At long last, it's the changing of the guard.
Don't expect Guild Wars 2 professions to be tweaked and balanced with the same voracity that ArenaNet ironed out kinks post-launch.
It's the most nondescript day imaginable. 2pm on Thursday afternoon, and a spell of British anti-weather (sun like a cheap lightbulb) has me feeling neither warm nor cold. But I am sweating, and I am rapt.
A live action trailer by the director of V for Vendetta, James McTeigue - that's what Guild Wars 2 needed. And so, that's what Guild Wars 2 has been given.
Titled Our Time Is Now, the flashy trailer shows modern city people becoming their Guild Wars 2 characters. There's a liberal sprinkling of artistic interpretation, so you may be left scratching your head a bit.
The video coincides with Guild Wars 2 going back on sale on the game's official website, as well as retail stock being replenished. This was suspended on 30th August while ArenaNet doubled down to fixing growing pains with Guild Wars 2 immediately after launch.
The Guild Wars 2 Trading Post (auction house) is now available for everybody to use.
PC MMO Guild Wars 2 is top of the UK all-format chart, but sold less at retail than Star Wars: The Old Republic did at launch.
Still, Guild Wars 2 represents the second largest UK launch ever for a non-World of Warcraft PC MMO.
Exact sales figures were, as usual, not disclosed. It's also worth remembering that digital sales aren't counted.
Don't suppose you noticed that Guild Wars 2 had launched - hardly been anything written about it.
Yesterday evening I spoke to ArenaNet co-founder and boss, Mike O'Brien. I only had 20 minutes with him, and he sounded tired - maybe he's busy or something at the moment. Nevertheless, in that time we managed to talk about how launch went, the few niggling issues the game has, his thoughts on reviews and post-launch content.
Another night, another flurry of activity by Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet. An MMO community thrives on maker-to-mouth communication and, so far, ArenaNet has showed a healthy regard for just that.
There are three main points to cover here: the game's first "widespread" exploit; the suspension of game sales; and the latest status update. I'll tackle them in that order.
Incidentally, I interviewed ArenaNet co-founder Mike O'Brien yesterday evening, and the fruits of that chat I'll share with you later.
Guild Wars 2 has enjoyed a relatively smooth launch, but there are still teething problems - maybe they're unavoidable when launching a game and online service of this magnitude.
OK. Following those first few rickety hours where I was disappointed at how much of an MMORPG Guild Wars 2 is - as documented in our collective diary - I've since found that I do, in fact, have another MMORPG in me. This game twisted open my genre fatigue like a rich man presented with a cheap lobster, and has commenced slurping the free time from my reticent carapace.
I write this at eight in the morning on the day you will read it. I've been up all night, having spent almost an entire day in a new world.
Guild Wars 2 is officially out on Tuesday 28th August, but several Eurogamer writers have spent the UK bank holiday weekend running around the three-day Head Start period reporting on our experiences. We'll do a proper review of the game once we've had more time to play it, but in the meantime you can see what we made of the game as we got stuck into it.
Five years in the making, and Guild Wars 2 is now only eight days from launch. Do you know which server you'll be playing on? There's a list to pick from below.
Guild Wars 2 opens for three-day head-start customers (pre-purchasers) on Saturday, 25th August at 8am UK time. Note, however, that ArenaNet may put the servers online anywhere up to three hours before that.
Guild Wars 2 opens for one-day head-start customers (pre-orderers) on Monday, 27th August at 8am UK time. Pre-order code registration is now live.
In Guild Wars 2 PVP, you will never come up against someone who has statistically stronger equipment than you, developer ArenaNet has stressed - it will always be a level playing field.
Update: That didn't take long! All of the beta keys have now been given out. We're very sorry if you didn't manage to get hold of one, slowcoach.
Original story: There's the final Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event later this month, and we've got keys for it.
Would you like one? We've got 500.
The munchkin asura and hippy sylvari races will be playable in Guild Wars 2 for the first time on July 20th-22nd - the next Beta Weekend Event.
So far, the betas have been limited to the human, norn and charr playable races.
The sylvari are "plant humanoids" and so live in the woods, where they probably eat leaves. They're a bit like the blue people from Avatar in that they flock around a central Pale Tree - their mother, essentially.
Sharp intake of breath - the Guild Wars 2 release date has been announced! It's 28th August 2012, NCsoft has bellowed.
That's a Tuesday. And that's a simultaneous US and European launch.
NCsoft also revealed dates for the final Beta Weekend Event: 20th to 22nd July. Anyone who's pre-purchased the game can join in.
Keenly-anticipated MMO sequel Guild Wars 2 holds a stress test next week, giving players another chance to check out ArenaNet's latest effort before its full launch later this year.
The second Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event begins at 8pm UK time on Friday 8th June, developer ArenaNet has announced.
Servers will stay open until 7.59am UK time on Monday morning.
Players who took part in the first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend will reunite with their existing characters. Warriors over level 35 can test out the Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon.
The second Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event is being held back until ArenaNet deploys "a lot of additional hardware in our datacenters".
The developer announced the news on Facebook, quashing hopes of a beta this Memorial Day weekend.
"Our Beta Weekend Event 1 was super successful," wrote community manager Martin Kerstein, "we exceeded our expectations.
"Hundreds of thousands" of people have already paid in full for - pre-purchased - Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has revealed.
There's a Guild Wars 2 stress test coming up that pre-purchasers (people who've already paid up front for the game) can join in on. It's a little bit like a beta, but not to be confused with a full beta weekend event.
Eurogamer.net Podcast host Tom Champion has been ill! He's been as sick as a dog. A rescue dog. A rescue dog with fleas, and with arthritis in its back legs. Poor mutt. But he's back now, and so is the podcast.
While this was a wet weekend for most people in the UK, my own windows liberally speckled by rainfall, the skies over Divinity's Reach remained a beautiful hue of blue throughout. The weather was perfect for a short break in the city and allowed me to enjoy some sedate shopping on the promenade, a carefree visit to the carnival and even a chance to marvel at the engineering extravagance that is Uzolan's Mechanical Orchestra. Of course, while the charming land of Tyria has a lot to see and is ideal for a quick getaway, many of you will be wondering whether it's worth a lengthier stay.
Well, before I can go on I absolutely have to get something out of my system, something I desperately want to blurt at you: Guild Wars 2 is gorgeous, at least sometimes. Quite often it's content to be a gently handsome game, but at certain moments it can just bowl you over. Even in a world saturated with HD graphics, high-res textures and triple-buffered VSync, it still boasts some truly splendid moments and it's not even supporting DirectX 11 yet.
This is as much a triumph of art and design as it is any technical achievement. The city of Divinity's Reach, the focal point for the humans, is the highest of high fantasy, with its thrusting towers, shining causeways and winding, leafy suburbs, all populated by uncommonly good-looking citizens. The jewel in this crown is a splendid greenhouse-cum-orrery chamber, where enormous golden spheres circle lazily about the ceiling in a wondrous aerial ballet. It is, quite simply, grandeur.
Digital copies of Guild Wars 2 are selling out in North America. They offer buyers a key for this weekend's beta test.
Developer ArenaNet has capped quantities on purpose to avoid servers being overloaded. Sales are "likely" to open back up again when the initial rush to play the Guild Wars 2 beta has subsided.
"We limit sales to ensure we have enough capacity for our customers," wrote community manager Regina Buenaobra on the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page.
Guild Wars 2 let's you swap worlds/servers that you play on - once a week, if you wish, but for a fee.
Through Eurogamer's eyes.
Within the hundreds of hours of content an MMO offers, a million different stories can be told. But behind every MMO there are hundreds of stories often left untold. They are the stories of the makers.
Guild Wars 2 isn't out and doesn't have a release date, but already developer ArenaNet has "development plans in our back pocket for literally years to come".
The first beta weekend for keenly-anticipated MMO sequel Guild Wars 2 takes place from 27th to 29th April.
Developer Arenanet broke the news via its Twitter feed earlier today, promising that it'll update soon with details of how to download the client and what exactly you'll be playing.
Those who haven't already got their name down for the trial can get involved by pre-purchasing the full game now.
The Collector's Edition of Guild Wars 2 costs €150/£130 here. But in North America it costs $150, which converts at today's rates to £95/€115.
Check it OUT! God DAMN! We're SLAMMING Eurogamer Podcast 106 out right now! BAAAAAM!
We've just visited ArenaNet - report soon!
Guild Wars 2 won't have a monthly subscription fee but will have micro-transactions, and developer ArenaNet has shared more information on how that will work.
Guild Wars 1 had micro-transactions as an "afterthought", wrote ArenaNet co-founder Mike O'Brien 2 - Guild Wars 2 has them at its foundations.
"We believe in micro-transactions because they fund ongoing development of the game in a very straightforward and open way," O'Brien added.
Pre-purchase (pay the full amount ahead of launch) any version of Guild Wars 2 and receive guaranteed entry into all beta weekends, plus three days head start on the live servers at launch.
Sign-up for the impending Guild Wars 2 open beta is now underway over on the game's official site.
To be in with a chance of making the cut, you'll need to put your name down by 6.00pm (UK time) on Friday 24th February. The beta is expected to go live some time in March.
Developer ArenaNet has posted an exhaustive FAQ explaining how the beta will work.
Exploring more of ArenaNet's world.
Guild Wars 2 world vs. world battles consist of three entire servers fighting against each other in battles that last two weeks, and rage on maps that support more than 300 players.
A console version of MMO Guild Wars 2 is "in the preparation stage", NCsoft has said.
Speaking in a financial conference call today, reported by Guild Wars Insider, NCsoft executives confirmed - for the first time - a console version of the exciting fantasy online game.
In response to an analyst question about console versions of its games, NCsoft replied: "When it comes to Guild Wars 2 as we have announced already, we are in the preparation stage."
The Guild Wars 2 open beta launches in March, ArenaNet has announced.
"We recently finished our first closed beta test, and we're now ready to hold progressively larger events," ArenaNet founder and president Mike O'Brien wrote on the Guild Wars 2 blog (via VG247).
"In February we'll invite select press to participate in beta testing, and in March and April we'll aggressively ramp up the size of our beta test events so that many of you will have a chance to participate."
Tom's already offered you a rundown of this year's Actual New Games - the ones that are offering, in their own ways, something unique - and now here's the slightly less glamorous look at the other side of the coin.
They're big business, these blockbuster sequels, and for all that we lament the lack of innovation it's these big-budget series that inevitably garner the most attention and inspire the most devotion from the majority. That's nothing to be scorned - iteration's an important thing in games development and indeed the development of games - and a composite of evolved features designed to fulfil a particular desire, be that the needs of a sports fan or those wanting a fresh shooter fix, can be just as important to the progression of the medium as the advent of a new game mechanic or control concept.
Sequels take many forms and capture our attention for many reasons. Some build their features up year by year, like FIFA and Call of Duty, and will continue to be brilliant when we encounter them later in 2012. Others build on the storytelling or world-building of games a few years past, like Gearbox's brilliant-looking Borderlands 2 or the sure-to-be-spectacular finale to the Shepard's tale in Mass Effect 3. And some are interesting because of their circumstances - Halo 4, for example, is another big-budget sequel on the near horizon, and with a new and as-yet unproven developer filling Bungie's big boots, we're just interested in that out of morbid curiosity as devotion to the series.
ArenaNet has announced that Guild Wars 2 will officially enter closed beta tomorrow - Friday, 16th December.
The news spilled on Reddit from GW2 systems designer Jon Peters, who answered questions from fans.
"We will officially enter Closed Beta Testing this Friday," wrote Peters. "It will be marked with an increase in our pool of testers.
ArenaNet reveals MMO's narrative system.
Guild Wars 2 was a major draw at this year's Eurogamer Expo, and yesterday we named it as our Editors' Game of the Show. Below, John Bedford tries out player-versus-player and discusses it with lead content designer Colin Johanson; on page 3, Robert Purchese interviews Johanson about dungeons, the endgame and Guild Wars 2's distinctive dynamic events.
ArenaNet has vowed to never sell Guild Wars 2 players anything "evil" in the micro-transaction cash shop. And by "evil", the developer means anything that could make a character more powerful.
A Guild Wars 2 closed beta test may be only months away - developer ArenaNet said the accolade-scooping MMO will enter closed beta this year "for sure".
The last time ArenaNet talked to us about a beta was in May.
Late last week, a French site translated a Korean report (via MMOCrunch) about Guild Wars 2 being shown at Korean game show G-Star (November 10th to 13th), "following the start of the Beta West". November, then?
Guild Wars 2 has been selected by Eurogamer.net editorial staff as Editors' Game of the Show at Eurogamer Expo 2011.
Eurogamer is delighted to announce the 10 nominees for its Game of the Show, Eurogamer Expo 2011.
BioWare Doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will headline Eurogamer Expo 2011's developer sessions with a keynote panel discussing upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.
MMO sizzler Guild Wars 2 will apparently let gamers create and host their own PVP servers with their own sets of rules.
NCsoft's other RPG progressing well.
Future fantasy MMO from ex-Blizzard devs.
The forest-dwelling folk.
Eurogamer is proud to announce a new partnership with award-winning gaming PC brand Alienware, which will be the headline sponsor of Eurogamer Expo 2011.
NCsoft's exciting massively multiplayer online game Guild Wars 2 will be playable at Eurogamer Expo 2011 in London this September.
NCsoft MMO shows its teeth.
Dive beneath the Guild Wars 2 seas and your hero switches automatically to underwater weapons, underwater skills and underwater breathing apparatus.
In Guild Wars 2, there's plenty to do under the sea.
Breathing apparatus comes as default, explained systems designer Jonathan Sharp on the Guild Wars 2 blog.
The Engineer has become the penultimate profession revealed for Guild Wars 2.
The Engineer uses gadgets, explosives (bombs, mines, grenades), elixirs (alchemic weaponry) and deployable devices (turrets) to gain the upper hand.
The Engineer uses one weapon set at a time but compliments this with utility and healing kits.
Coming along leaps and bounds.
The Guild Wars 2 beta will begin in the second half of 2011, NCsoft has announced.
During a conference call, chief financial officer Jaeho Lee also heavily hinted at a 2012 release for the game.
"Starting from year 2012, we believe substantial growth will be driven by new blockbuster titles like [Blade & Soul] and Guild Wars 2," announced Lee to investors.
Lion's Arch a pit stop for all five races.
NCSoft shows their MM-Meow.
"Since it's not fighting for your $15 a month, Guild Wars 2 can happily co-exist with World of Warcraft. The question, really, is whether World of Warcraft, in all its undeniable but ageing glory, can co-exist with Guild Wars 2," I wrote about NCsoft's radical new MMO last month.
"We don't intend to be number two this time. We certainly have our sights set on number one."
Guild Wars 2 uses a discovery crafting system, whereby blindly or experimentally combining up to four types of material can reward a recipe - so the item can be remade.
10 minutes of monsters vs. magic.
NCsoft and ArenaNet have revealed the sixth Guild Wars 2 profession: The Thief.
The Thief is said to be "deadly in combat", particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves have low armour and health, but they're quick and evasive.
They can "travel through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons". Sounds nifty.
The Mesmer and Assassin are not confirmed to appear in Guild Wars 2, but NCsoft has told Eurogamer that fans of those play-styles "will be happy".
The Norn identity.
NCsoft shows off the Norn race.
Would a female warrior really charge at the opposing ranks wearing a metal Basque, boobs wobbling enticingly and legs flashing alluringly?
NCsoft tours the game's world.
ArenaNet has revealed the fifth of eight professions you can pick to play as in new MMO Guild Wars 2: the Guardian.
ArenaNet's rags to riches tale.
Paid-for dungeon content in Guild Wars 2 isn't a done deal; the feature may not happen. It depends what you lot want, developer ArenaNet has said.
Any awards or achievements you picked up in the original Guild Wars can be cashed in for new items in Guild Wars 2, developer ArenaNet has announced.
We wouldn't be seen dead with one.
ArenaNet is confident. Confident enough to proclaim it's the best MMO developer around and its upcoming game Guild Wars 2 is the most ambitious online world ever.
Guild Wars 2 will have no dedicated healing class, no "tanking" in the classic sense, an intermediary stage between defeat and death and almost no death penalty, developer ArenaNet has revealed.
Can't see those vocal samples getting annoying.
Guild Wars 2 players will be asked "several detailed questions" about their character's personality, history and background that will shape their personal stories, their homes and the way they interact with NPCs.
A confident ArenaNet has told Eurogamer that Guild Wars 2 will epitomise what players hoped the MMO genre could be.
ArenaNet took chances with Guild Wars, scrapping all fees past game and expansion purchases, establishing an obtainable level cap (that even I reached, twice) and insisting on an instance-led approach where cities and outposts were the only evidence of a massively multiplayer world. It was and is unique. And it worked; the game initially scored higher than World of Warcraft, Blizzard's behemoth that had launched a couple of months prior, and WOW never trampled Guild Wars into the ground.
Guild Wars 2 retains the hotbar skill-slot system of Guild Wars, but offers the player less direct control over what skills go in.
There are 10 slots to fill, wrote Flannum on the official Guild Wars 2 website. The first five, however, are filled for you, depending on your profession and the weapons in your hands.
A Warrior with a shield may use defenseive abilities while a Warrior with a greatsword will make a mess. Similarly, a Warrior with a sword will behave differently to another profession using the same weapon. And as most professions can choose two sets of weapons (perhaps a ranged accompaniment), there are lots of possibilities.
NCsoft has indicated that it doesn't expect to release its MMO sequel Guild Wars 2 until 2011, although it might get as far as closed beta testing in 2010.
Since the game's announcement in 2007, NCsoft's Seattle-based developer ArenaNet has been quiet about what's been going on behind its doors with Guild Wars 2. With today's trailer, we get our first glimpse of the developer's re-imagining of this phenomenally popular online RPG. A lot has changed, but the developer's vision remains true to what made Guild Wars such a refreshing experience in the first place: accessibility, flexibility and incomparable value for money.
Jeff Strain, a founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet who became a senior executive of NCsoft West in its reorganisation, has left the company, according to MMORPG.com.
Following Monday's reports that Guild Wars 2 was slated for release much later than expected - in 2010 or 2011, according to an NCsoft financial report - developer ArenaNet has explained to fans that this isn't actually a delay.
In an open letter to fans, ArenaNet boss Mike O'Brien underlined that the game has never had a firm release date, and still doesn't. He said that NCsoft's expectations were based on the understanding that the game would be released "when it's done".
"On Friday, NCsoft released investor materials that showed a very broad release window for Guild Wars 2, with the explanation that release timing is still 'to be announced'," O'Brien said. "ArenaNet has never given a release date for Guild Wars 2 other than 'when it's done'. NCsoft's investor materials are a reflection of that philosophy."
NCsoft has pushed the launch of Guild Wars 2 back to "TBA 2010/2011".
ArenaNet has said Guild Wars 2 will not enter beta testing this year, pushing hopes of a launch into the latter stages of 2009.
The developer said it's unwilling to open the beta as early as it did for Guild Wars 1, because expectations are much higher this time around.
"Although we publicly alpha- and beta-tested the original Guild Wars while it was still in early development, with Guild Wars 2 we will commence beta testing closer to the game's release," reads the recently updated Guild Wars 2 FAQ.
NCsoft has told Eurogamer that it has no plans to force its freshly-invented NCcoin system into MMOs with an incompatible business model, like Guild Wars.
NCsoft is celebrating after sales of its Guild Wars series topped 5 million units worldwide.
The series is comprised of the original Guild Wars game, campaign add-ons Factions and Nightfall plus recent expansion Eye of the North.
Guild Wars launched in May 2005 in the face of competition from none other than World of Warcraft.
If you're remotely interested in videogames (and that's a safe assumption, we hope, unless you mistyped EuroGardener.net and just wanted to know if it's a good idea to fertilise petunias with coffee grounds), you may well feel somewhat swamped in massively multiplayer games at the moment.
NCsoft has just revealed that the Guild Wars franchise has sold over four million copies around the world since launching just over two years ago, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Jeff Strain, co-founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet, has said that MMO studios should focus on creating new worlds instead of basing games on books, TV and films.
NCsoft has revealed that Guild Wars: Eye of the North will be available on 31st August for GBP 24.99.
Guild Wars began as three people's big idea, an MMORPG to break the mould, and one that would feature no monthly subscription fees - something many of us predicted would certainly lead to an early demise, especially against such fierce opposition.
Guild Wars 2's top designers have said that the game will be one for existing fans, rather than a different game trying to entice a new audience.
ArenaNet has revealed details of Guild Wars 2, as well as a new expansion for the existing game.