While attending the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) I got the chance to speak to Ben Miller lead designer of the Guild Wars about the new Eye of the North expansion. I want to thank Eric for taking the time from the busy day to answer my questions.
Questions from Gareth Von Kallenbach
Skewed and Reviewed
1.) What is the background and setting for the game please?
It is set in the original Continent Tyrian and four major regions such as frigid, Charr homeland, Tarnish Coast which is overgrown jungle and the Depths with are cavernous tombs.
2.) What are some of the new character classes, weapons, and locales?
There are no new professions but there are tons and tons of new items. We were shooting for an expansion not to make the game more complex and as such we have over 40 new armor sets. There is even a Ninja mask that can be worn by any profession. While weapons are not profession specific, some will of course be better suited for some classes than others.
3.) What can you tell the readers about the Hall of Monuments?
The hall keeps track of great accomplishments in the game that players achieve over time. The hall will also change visually and look cooler as you achieve more. The hall will also allow you to port over what you have accomplished to Guild Wars 2 when it is released.
4.) What new races will gamers encounter?
Norn, Asura, Charr. While the last is not really new, there will be much more depth given to them.
5.) Has the graphic engine been enhanced in any way for this release, and if so, what are some of the new features players can look forward to?
The game is more beautiful thanks to use of new shader technology. The game also looks great on lower end machines. We wanted the game to have a high range of access from the ground up and we pushed the graphic limits of the engine.
6.) What can you tell the readers about the multi level dungeons, as they seem to be just what veteran players have been looking for.
We included all the elements of a cool dungeon such as traps, monsters, loot, and unique and cool experiences. We have big, badass boss monsters and unique stores as we wanted this to be the most rewarding thing in the game.
7.) Since Guild Wars has been a huge success, is it harder with each release to create new adventures that drive the story forward and still keep he fans happy? Also, what have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced with Eye of the North?
We had the first game to draw on and as such it motivated us to do even more. We now have 4 games total with Guild Wars 2 and itself reinforces a spirit of creativity.
8.) As a follow up, to what do you attribute the success of the series and the continued loyalty of the fans with each new release? As with many games, the fan base can decrease over time with each new release but Guild Wars keeps growing.
It is a great game with solid craftsmanship on all levels. It is also a beautiful game that is fun to play.
9.) Since Eye of the North is aimed at Veteran Players, will new players be able to jump into the game, and if so, what features will the game offer them?
Players must have a level 20 character or better to access the new features. GW:EN is designed to make the game engaging and accessible to all styles of play be it casual or hardcore, and points in between even if you are a fairly new player on a seasoned vet.
10.) Were there any features you wished to add the release but were unable to?
Scope is an issue. In GW:EN, we were able to get in all of the fun things we wanted to. We took a step back and looked at the goals to make cool and fun stuff, and as such we were able to with nothing having to be left out.