Developed by ArenaNet, and published by NCsoft (of Blade & Soul and Aion fame) comes the sequel to the popular Guild Wars. Taking place some 250 years after the original Guild Wars, the world of Tyria sees the rise of new powers, races, and technologies. The story goes that the five races of the world warred with one another, until the great dragons awoke. Summoning their minions, they spread destruction and chaos about, forcing the five races to cooperate to conquer the threat. Start playing here.
Much like the original Guild Wars, Guild Wars II will be subscription free. So playing will be as simple as buying the game and playing online.
The five races of the world of Tyria are:
- The good old resilient Humans, fighting to protect the nation Kryta.
- Charr, massive beast-headed warmongers, who use steampunk-esque technologies to advance their conquests
- Norn, the massive, human-like race of shape-shifters from the frozen north
- The tiny Asura, brilliant little people with a perchant for creating magical technologies and weapons
- The Sylvari, a race of plant-like people, spiritual and elf-like.
Interestingly, Guild War II is being developed with soloing in mind, allowing players to play to max level without ever having to join a party. Of course, because Guild Wars II is a MMORPG, some challenge will also be designed with party play in mind, allowing for a good variety of play-styles, should the player choose to utilize them.
Speaking of levels, Guild Wars II is designing it’s game in such a way that it avoids the tedious grind that many MMORPGs suffer from. The developers also intend to include a system that allows players of significantly different levels to play together by implementing a “strong sidekick” system, similar to what is featured in City of Heroes. This philosophy is also being extended into competitive (PvP) play. Within the organized PvP area, all players will have access to the same equips, and be of the same power level.
An interesting feature to Guild Wars II is what is called the “Hall of Monuments”, which rewards certain accomplishments players achieved in the original Guild Wars. It will also reserve your character names from the original game, and has other features that will be revealed at a later date.
There is no set release date for the title. Also, while beta testing for the original Guild Wars began relatively early in the games development cycle, Guild Wars II is expected to commence its beta testing much closer to the games release.