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News – Tuesday, April 22, 2003[edit | edit source]

Gamespot Preview

Bob Colayco of Gamespot paid us a visit last week to take a peek at Guild Wars. We showed him a rousingly good time going on a couple of Guild Wars missions and engaging in some exhilarating team-based free for alls. Then, we let him loose to explore the world on his own for a bit, interview the ArenaNet founders, examine the concept art, check out the mission editor, and jot copious notes for his preview. Presented today is the Gamespot Preview of Guild Wars, which you will find over here.

Guild Wars Announced

We're very excited to announce ArenaNet's first title. In today's press release, NCsoft and ArenaNet collaboratively announced Guild Wars, an online role-playing game that we hope will define a new high-water mark for Internet play. The game is designed from the ground up to offer balanced competitive play in addition to cooperative adventuring. It's built on ArenaNet's unique streaming technology, which allows players to enjoy all the latest game features. And all this without taking a chunk out of your wallet every month like many existing Internet games.

Our goal from the beginning was to create a game that rewards gamers for their skill rather than just for the number of hours they spent playing. At the same time, we wanted to enable balanced long-term competitive play, and avoid many of the problems found in other role-playing games, including the endless traveling, the loot stealing, the spawn camping, and the boring "line up and take a number" process often required to get a quest reward. We've done some of that by giving each party its own copy of the mission. You can meet up with friends in an Outpost and then head off to your own instance of the world, assuring an exciting quest and a fair division of the spoils.

Guild Wars takes place in a fantasy world, where guilds of characters of a wide range of professions can make a mark on history. The reason we chose the fantasy realm is that we wanted a place that was instantly familiar to gamers, and also one that offers us near-limitless opportunities for new and exciting types of friends and foes. Like the evolving worlds of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo that we helped to build over thwe years, we're creating a new place that we believe you’ll want to visit over and over.

As far as gameplay, if you like a solo game, you’ll find quests intended just for you. If you’re more of a small-team player, or the kind who likes to join up with a casual group on the fly, you can do so in Guild Wars. And if you favor the idea of the massive quests and long-term challenges – conquering the world, planting your guild flag on the castle – you have those opportunities as well. And, because your character is persistent, and because we're not breaking the world into shards, servers, or realms, you can play from anywhere in the world, with anyone in the world!

Another concern of today's gamers is cheating. Nothing spoils a game more than a ruined economy brought about by a cheesy exploit. Guild Wars has been designed to avoid this problem. Using technological advances that stream content right onto your computer, you'll have the newest version of Guild Wars every single time you log on. This, in turn, allows quick resolution of exploits and cheats while giving us a chance to provide regular updates, like adding in seasonal elements or giving tournament winners special status in the game – a crown, a banner, a trophy.

In many online games, you're forced to deal with player killers whether you want to or not. In Guild Wars, the way you play will be your choice alone. If you wish to engage in cooperative quests and fight against the world's monsters and the elements of nature it will be up to you. If you want to engage in a one-on-one duel, or hook up for a team-versus team game, you can make that choice too. Backstabbing won't leave you with a dead character and a stripped corpse.

As gamers ourselves, we wanted to make a great game that had real replayability and real immersiveness while not charging people a fee. So, Guild Wars will have no monthly fees in North America, and will offer a variety of pricing options for gamers in other parts of the world.

The guys who started the Guild Wars team have built excellent reputations in the games industry. Patrick Wyatt, Mike O'Brien, and Jeff Strain, while with Blizzard Entertainment, collectively racked up more than 17 years as key figures behind such blockbuster series as Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, not to mention one of the world's most successful gaming networks: They've assembled a cadre of other passionate game developers, and collectively they're working to create a game that you'll play every chance you get.

Read today's press release for information on Guild Wars, and be sure to check out our Gallery for cool images, and our FAQ for some questions and answers about the game. Plus, look for us at E3, where all of the NCsoft family will be featured at a major booth in the main hall. And in the coming months, we look forward to telling you more about Guild Wars!

For more news, see news.