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Guild Wars Community Day 2004

July 9th 2004 - Page Three of Three

The Designer Round Table was conceived as a way for members of the fansites to ask questions and share fan suggestions with some of the key members of the Guild Wars Design Team, including Jess Lebow, Curtis Johnson, Mark Meier, and James Phinney. The discussion ranged from dual profession skills to storyline, from character customization to the party system. There were also quite a few questions about NPC’s, items, and the trade and guild interface. The Design Team members received a lot of excellent suggestions from the fansite guests, and in some cases you will see the results of that feedback implemented in Guild Wars upon its release.

In the early evening, just prior to dinner, the guests were treated to a demonstration of our map editor presented by Darrin Claypool. Darrin showed the crew what it was like to start with a bare screen and, using ArenaNet’s proprietary map editing tools, build a map, adding terrain features such as mountains, valleys, waterways and paths, and then adding props such as buildings, plants, rocks and other elements that make the area interesting and varied. The guests expressed admiration for the power of the tools and the complexity of the task of creating an exciting and vibrant game world.

After a Mexican buffet dinner and a chat in the office lunch room, it was time for the twice-weekly game testing that we’ve named our All Call Sessions. All Calls are where all members of the Guild Wars Alpha Test join up to spend about an hour of PvP play and then an second hour testing out the new PvM mission maps. This night’s session featured several bouts in the Coastal Guilds PvP map, designed for 8 players per side. After PvP, the team headed out to explore a new map very early in its generation.

The time flew by and it was a surprise for all of us to realize it was time conclude the visit. We decided to go ahead and play just a bit more and then chat for a few extra minutes before wrapping things up.

At the end of the evening, it was time to present our guests with, as they say on the game shows, “lovely parting gifts.” Each guest was given a personal signed copy of Guild Wars concept art, a tee-shirt, and a USB drive containing the game client and our press kit.

And with that, it was time to return the guests to their hotel for a well-earned night of slumber. Or of partying -- we’ll never tell. The next day, they all traveled back to their homes and began composing the reports that you may read on their individual sites:

Hosting our first Guild Wars Community Day was a great pleasure for all of us at ArenaNet. We enjoyed meeting some of our hardest-working and most dedicated fansite creators, and we look forward to many more Community Days in the future!

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