Interview with Colin Johanson by MMORPGITALIA and GW2 Italian Blog
English version of the interview with Colin Johanson by MMORPGITALIA and Guild Wars 2 Italian Blog (Gamescom 2011).
Q: Since you put great emphasis into lore and environment many italian players are worried about not being able to fully enjoy these aspects in the absence of a localization in their language. Is there a possibility that the game will support a full italian localization or at least texts and subtitles in this language?
A: We have not finalized the languages that we’re going to support for Guild Wars 2 yet at this point. We know for sure that there will be English, French and German. And beyond that, we are still trying to figure out what languages we can include. So at this point I can’t say for sure what else would be included on release.
Q: During the recent sylvari week you revealed that there will be racial restricted armors. Are these armors classified as light, medium and heavy like other armors of the game, and how many of them are you planning to include at the release? And finally, will there be also racial weapons?
A: Yes, there are racial armors. Generally there is one set per race. There are light, medium and heavy versions of all of those. They may end up being more than one set per race, but by now we know for sure that we’ll have one set per race. And then for racial weapons… any of the weapons in the game will be available to everybody. So if you want to get cool charr weapons or norn weapons, you can use those with characters of any different race.
Q: Are there crafting resources more difficult to obtain, similarly to globes of ectoplasm and other rare materials of the original Guild Wars? And what will be the impact of gathering and crafting on the in-game economy?
A: Gathering and crafting are going to play a big part in the in-game economy. We expetcted that people who are doing crafting rather than gathering for getting materials are going to play a big part in driving our marketplace, creating items and going to the marketplace as that stuff is up for sale at any given time [Not sure if this transcription is correct]. So that’s definitely a big part of what we are trying to do. And as for rare materials, we definitely will have rare materials for crafting just as we did in Guld Wars 1. Hopefully we will even have more of those and across a number of different crafting professions. Rare crafting materials play a really big part in helping make crafting: they allow you to have unique or rare items that you can craft and then sell. That helps to drive the economy as there are small numbers of specific items in the game. So we will definitely be doing that again.
Q: Will there be globes of ectoplasm in Guild Wars 2?
A: There might be globes of ectoplasm in Guild Wars 2. I can tell you that there are globes of ??? [I'm not able to decifrate the name he used] so far, and there might also be globes of ectoplasm.
Q: How the AI of enemies will work? Specifically, how enemies will chose their target? Will they be capable of complex behaviour and combat strategies?
A: That’s a great question, because it’s something we don’t necessarely get asked details a lot. There are very few creatures in the game right now that have kind of their final skills and abilities that we intended them to have. For example, in the demo that we’re getting here at Gamescom… the undead army in the high level map is probably the closest thing to what I would consider to be in an army that has a lot work done on it at this point. Our creatures are going to be getting a lot of work between now and release. We have really been focused mostly on the players side of things at this point and on getting all the contet put together on. So creature balance will be kind one of the next things that we tackle, and we’ll be moving army by army in trying to give them themes and skills and AI details to each army specifically. In regards to AI and aggro… simple creatures will use an AI system to determine who attack, and one of the most important criteria will be who is the closest target to them, but there are also criteria like who’s doing damage, how much damage they’ve done… and other things like that. These are basic things that most creatures would use. Then there will be unique AI for a number of different creatures that will use specific skills or the entire creatures will do different things than that. There may be creatures, for example, who attack the furthest away player in the party. There may be creatures who try to focus on people wearing medium armor or light armor, and try to chase them around. There may be creatures that run away, there may be creatures who get out of the way of attacks, there may be creatures who specifically only use skills on people at specifc times. So, all of these are aspect on which we’re going to work as we get closer to the release of the game.
Q: We know that in WvW there are four maps: one home-map for each server and a central neutral territory. How large are these maps, and are they separated by portals with loading screens?
A: We are going to talk more about WvW when we gets to the point where we are ready to reveal all the information on that. I will say that the central map is massive, it is a gargantually huge map, and the other side maps, that are the home-maps, are also very large. But the central map in particular is really huge. We’ll talk about how you travel between those and how all the gameplay balance work when we’ll get into the details of world versus world… versus world.
Q: What rewards structured PvP offers to players? Are some of these rewards specific for this PvP modality, or they will be the same that players can obtain doing PvE?
A: There will be a reward system for both the hot-join PvP and the tournament style, very competitive PvP. We’re not ready to talk about all the final details on how the reward system will work at this point, but there will definitely be functional reward systems for PvP as well in Guild Wars 2.
Q: What consequences the choice of the Cycle will have on the sylvari personal story? Can you give us some example?
A: The choice of Cycle you are born in actually does not directly affect your personal story. It affects more the look of your summer things in the home instance and the area that you go back to in the gardens. Beyond that it has no direct effect on your personal story. The other questions that you get asked are like ‘what did I see in my dream’, and ‘what do I believe from Ventari’s Tablet is the most important lesson to learn’. Those ones drive your initial personal story you experience in the game as a sylvari.
Q: Will players be able to decorate and personaliza their home instance by acquiring particular objects from merchants or by creating them with crafting?
A: Right now we have no plans for players to be able to specifically their home instance. That’s not something that will probably get included in the initial release of the game. However, things like that are things that we’re costantly looking at as option for Guild Wars 2 in going forward.
Q: In some old concept art we saw a sylvari that controls a big plant-like creature. Does this means that sylvari have the ability to summon these vegetable-minions, maybe using a racial skill?
A: We have not finalized all the sylvari racial skills at this point so it’s entirely possible that they may be able to use something like that, but we shall see how the skill will play out. However these creature play a large part in the sylvari culture, and as you play through dynamic events in the sylvari lands, and particularly areas where sylvari lives, you actually get encounter a lot of creature like that. For example, sylvari towns are often defended by turrets that are little plants that grow up out of the ground and that throw projectile at people out of the plants, as they get close to them. The nightmare court has their own corrupted version of plants that they use to defend their territory as well, so you end up fighting against those if you’re fighting against the nightmare court. Also the sylvari have basically those oakheart, the large tree creature that you saw on that concept art. They sometime employ them and use them as basically almost pack-creatures, and you’ll see them on escort missions where merchant will be escorting one of those that will be covered in bags and boxes, and it’ll be carried all the supplies for the sylvari merchants as well.
Q: In addition to Golems and Gates, are there other interesting Asura creations with which players will be able to interact during the game?
A: Yes. The asura have a lot of different technology that you’ll run across exploring areas where asura live. For example in the asura starting map you gonna encounter areas where they’re doing experiments to research on how to control the weather and you’ll gonna be able to interact with those. There are also experiments where asura are experimenting on various uses of materials, and there are research on energy resourches, experiments that they’re doing in trying to build power plants using magical energy… and one of them may go terribly wrong. They are constantly experimenting on everything they can gets their hands on, and there are the bad asura, that are the asura who basically have no morals about what they’re willing to do the experiment on. They have experiments on living creature constantly and they’re trying to pull the souls out of creatures and put them into other things. So you’re gonna encounter a lot different magical creations outside of just Gates and Golems of the asura. Actually, one of your personal story questions as an asura is ‘what was my invention that I’m trying to work on’, and you can say you’re working out a weather creating device, an infinity ball or a golem, and based on the choice you make you can define the experiment that your character is working on in your personal story.
Q: What rewards players can obtain by doing in-game activities like the norn keg brawl?
A: The only thing that we have announced right now is that you can obtain a lot of fun. We haven’t announced final rewards for the activity stuff at this point, but we definitely will have many games in each one of the cities, and they will have some sort of reward mechanism that ties into them, for sure.
Q: We know that dungeons rewards players with tokens that they can exchange for weapons and armor pieces. But, are there also other rewards, such as crafting materials or particular achievements that player can obtain?
A: Dungeons will have other rewards for which you can exchange the token at the end. We know that there is a finite number of weapons and armors that you can collect from a dungeon and we want to give you reasons to keep playing those dungeons after you have collected all of that stuff. So there will definitely be other rewards you can get as well.
Q: How players can obtain mini-pets in Guild Wars 2? Will they be distributed as birthday presents like in the original Guild Wars, or will there be other ways, for example crafting?
A: We are not ready to talk about mini-pets yet at this point. I can say that they will play a larger role in Guild Wars 2 than that they have played in the original Guild Wars.
Q: Will players be able to hide some part of their equipments, like helms, engineer backpacks and quivers?
A: Right now you can unequip them, and that’s the quickest way, but you obviously lose the armor if you do that. We do realize that in the original Guild Wars people liked to be able to toggle when they want to show their helmet or not, and I’m sure it’s a kind of feature we will look at doing again, because it is nice to see you character face, even if you want to wear the helmet for armor purpose. For other types of objects you can wear we haven’t finalize how we’re going to handle them at this point but is entirely possible that we could do that.
Q: We tried the new combat system in the demo and we observed that now there is no energy and the players can dodge attacks using the “roll” action. However I think that the dodge button is not very easy to reach during combat, and also that is not easy to move around the enemy because you have to press the right mouse button to continue to face the enemy and attack him. Is this the final version of the combat system, or are you going to change some of these aspects in the future?
A: I can give you two answers. The first one is that you don’t need to press the dodge button to dodge: you can actually double-tap any of the directional keys to dodge as well. I found personally that I don’t ever click on the dodge button, but I just double-tap movement to be able to dodge. It’s much easier for me. You can try and see if that works better for you. For strafing interning the camera and how all of that is going to work, we are constantly iterating on combat and movement and the camera, and I can’t say for sure if this is the final version or not. Obviously just recently we changed combat a good deal, and we may do so again as we continue to play test the game. We are going to have beta and we’ll see what feedback we obtain in the beta process and we may continue iterating stuff from there. I would say at this point nothing is final, but we are always looking for feedback and comments on stuff.