[tl;dr? Watch the videos. If you don't want to read the entire post after watching the videos...
check your pulse. You might be dead.]
Visit → this link ← to pre-purchase the game and get 3 days-early (August 25th)
access to the game prior to launch (August 28th), as well as a few other things that nobody really cares about![/B]
(Fan-made promo video inside! (mildly abrasive language warning)Register to see the NSFW content
For a long time, Guild Wars 2 wasn't getting the attention it deserves from the Final Fantasy XI community. Getting it that attention is the purpose of this thread. Guild Wars 2 had been in production for around 2 years when this thread was created. How did what we now know as a very high-profile game go so long with so little notice? Was it because it is believed that only games that demand $12-15 every month can be any good? Or perhaps because "Guild Wars", as a title, belies the great game that Guild Wars is? The latter was true for me back in 2004 when I was looking at a row of PC game boxes at a local electronics store, including Final Fantasy XI and Guild Wars. I made the decision then, based on my love of previous Final Fantasy titles, that FFXI was the one for me, and I'm still playing today.
In August of 2009, an in-game friend asked me to pick up a copy of Guild Wars so that we'd have something to do together after he would leave FFXI. Though I'm still playing FFXI, I am also concurrently playing Guild Wars -- sometimes at the same time as all the downtime in FFXI allows.
Having now played through every Guild Wars campaign, I can -- and do -- say with confidence that it is not the strictly-PvP game that many perceive it to be; the storytelling and depth of lore that ArenaNet have created is actually superior to many Final Fantasy titles.
A point apart from the great quality of story and gameplay in Guild Wars, its publisher is also a worthy consideration as a reason to love the game. We all know what it's like to deal with Square-Enix and their grievous design of intentional-timesink/planned-obsolescence on a daily basis.
ArenaNet is everything opposite.
This is the foremost reason to love Guild Wars. It is also why I'll be skipping Final Fantasy XIV in favor of Guild Wars 2. It'll be the first Final Fantasy game I've decided not to purchase since... well, ever. It's disheartening to see how much SE has changed since escaping the 'underdog' position in the industry. I don't want to make this into an enormous rant, but it seems all SE cares about is its profits.
Meanwhile, ArenaNet -- for nearly as many years as FFXI -- has had the same full team continuously working on doing whatever they can for their players, keeping their game balanced and updated, and also clearly informing players of the reason any changes are made... all-in-all, everything I always wished Square-Enix would do. One can imagine my enthusiasm when I discovered that an MMO publisher was doing things right and not charging a monthly fee for their top-quality game on top of it, saints that they are... and now there is an great wealth of information about Guild Wars 2 and there is not one negative review (not even a YouTube comment) among them.
· Get to know ArenaNet (Click to watch more related videos from GamerLive.tv)
· Get to know Guild Wars 2 (Click to watch more related videos from WoodenPotatoes)
Several other videos are posted at the game's official web site, including:
· The first official trailer
· The latest official trailer
· A brief introduction to Guild Wars 2's races
· The popular "ArenaNet MMO Manifesto" video (and its companion blog post)
· Numerous environment videos
· and of course, class/skill videos.
Regarding strictly hard facts about the game, not much is more concise (or true) than the FAQ at GuildWars2.com, but here are a few supplemental links.
· 90 Facts About Guild Wars 2 via VGRevolution.com.
· Google Video Search for Guild Wars 2 interviews limited to the past month sorted by relevance.
· GameSpy's "Guild Wars 2 Preview"
· Interview at OnlineWelten.com, Part 1.
· Interview at OnlineWelten.com, Part 2. Pages 1-3 of this article are the same interview written in German.
There's a lot more, but that's enough for the 'inaugural' post.
If you find yourself now interested in Guild Wars 2 and you're the type, like myself, to take an interest in lore, history and what-have-you, the "prequel" for Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars: Prophecies and Guild Wars: Eye of the North, can be purchased at Amazon.com for around $20-30.
After completing Prophecies and playing through a bit of Eye of the North, I was impressed enough with Guild Wars to also purchase both Factions and Nightfall. Factions was the only... let's just say "obviously low-budget" campaign, imo, but there are more positive features than negative. Nightfall marked the arrival of several new creative minds at ArenaNet, and it showed.
Then came Eye of the North, the chronological successor to Nightfall. It is specifically designed as ArenaNet's progression from the stories of Guild Wars 1 into those of Guild Wars 2. The many stories told by Eye of the North take place 250 years prior to Guild Wars 2 and several years after Guild Wars: Prophecies. Its story is 'the end' of Guild Wars 1 and the beginning of Guild Wars 2 and it serves its purpose well.
Something that astonishes me every day about either game is that Guild Wars 1 does not have a subscription fee and neither will Guild Wars 2. After watching the trailer and the many other videos online, I'm even further taken aback. Guild Wars 2's art direction (including the concept art and in-game art) is literally breathtaking. It's been far too long since there was a great adventure or role playing game that utilized hand-painted art in its scenery and for its characters -- think as far back as the King's Quest and Quest for Glory series or Legend of Kyrandia.
I'm hoping a lot of people will pick up Guild Wars 1 upon reading this. If you do, my primary character's name in Guild Wars 1 is Cadwallen Anueryn. I've completed all of the major parts of the game now, but I love going back to show new players the ropes as I did in Final Fantasy XI. If you decide to give it a try, let me know. I'll show you around when I have the time.
See you in Tyria?