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Fansite Friday #36
The March Beta Weekend Special Edition

07 January 2005

The March Beta Weekend Event is the penultimate BWE. What's on tap for this next-to-final event?

  • New PvP Characters We have completely revamped PvP-only characters to make them a more comprehensive solution for competitive gamers. Our goal is for players to be able to try many different character types and team builds in competition without having to continually level up new characters from 1 to 20.
     
  • New Guild Halls Looking for a prime piece of real estate that feels like a real home away from home? Want to find a domain that shines with the personality of your guild? Look no farther than the six lovely guild halls offered in this month's BWE! In addition, each of these half dozen new guild halls has particular defensive characteristics that encourage the use of different to besiege it or to defend it.
     
  • New Guild Battles All guild battles now place the participants in the role of attacker or defender in a very real sense. When you challenge another guild to a duel, you will siege their guild hall. When you are challenged, you are in a defensive mode in your own guild hall.
     
  • Henchmen Allowed in PvP Battles If you can't field a full team but still crave some PvP action, bring in a henchman or two. They are all Level 20, now.
     
  • More PvE Quests My last visit to Kingdom of Ascalon showed so many new quests, I was amazed! The content is definitely increasing, and you'll have a lot to keep you busy with all the quests opportunities offered. Remember, with the dynamic quest system, what you do, and what you don't do, will directly impact upon your future experiences. This isn't to say that you must do each quest, but simply that the path you choose is personalized for you by you.
     
  • New Character Creation Interface Wait until you see the look of the new interface for character creation. I will say nothing more except wow!

Will there still be premade PvP Characters?

We will continue to offer pre-made options to start a PvP character. But the design team has come up with an interesting concept to expand on PvP Character creation options. You can now custom create Level 20 PvP-only characters. But instead of being a standard build with a predetermined skill set, you "grow" your PvP character based on your other accomplishments. When you acquire a skill with your roleplaying characters, your PvP-only character will gain access to that skill. When you find an item in a PvM mission or quest, you can unlock the item's ability by using an Identification Kit on that item. When you do that, the item will become available to your PvP Character. Once you've unlocked a skill or magic item, it remains unlocked even if the roleplaying character used to unlock it is deleted.

This system will work nicely, I think, because anything you have earned, acquired, or attained with your roleplaying characters will be available to all of your PvP Characters. But at the same time, no one will have a free advantage over people bringing fully-leveled roleplaying characters into PvP.

Lastly, the templates the premade characters that you choose can be customized to your exact taste and play style by the process mentioned above. This means you could start a template character and customize it with the items found and the skills acquired via your roleplaying character. These new developments sound as if they truly offer the best of both worlds.

There's some concern about spending a lot of time with a roleplaying character and then finding that the profession choices aren't exactly the right mix for the individual player. Is this something that will or can be addressed?

Players soon not this BWE, but soon will have the opportunity to change secondary professions. In addition to the experimentation that you're allowed in Kingdom of Ascalon, where you can give every secondary profession a "trial run," you can now amend your character after you have reached Ascension. This means that a character into whom you've invested a goodly amount of time will be one that can be changed, rather than started anew. You don't need to recast, you can simply reconfigure by a method that is tied to the upper-level story of Guild Wars. It's like doing a re-spec, but better.

Another nice thing, according to one of our game designers, James Phinney, is that when you do choose a new secondary profession, you will keep all the skills that you have acquired with your other choices. So, if you selected Elementalist as a secondary profession when you first created the character, then changed to a Mesmer secondary, if in the future you decide to revisit the Elementalist again, you'll be stocked with all the skills that the character had on board before moving to that new profession.

The bottom line is that you could have a primary character who has experimented with all five available secondary professions. That character will likely have good stock of skills in each of those lines. In fact, that character could have every skill in each of the five available secondaries. The character then, in ways not yet to be revealed, will be able to shift to a different secondary and take advantage of a long history of roleplaying character development.