San Diego Comic Con 2011 - Guild Wars 2: Interview with Colin Johanson

Will Guild Wars 2 maintain the level 20 cap?
Guild Wars 2 is going to have 80 levels. The Core philosophy focused on the player experience to avoid the level grind.  Traditional RPG fans felt more of a pinch and were less inclined to keep playing.  Could have kept it, but want to increase sense of character, giving you more time to learn about the world. Flatten out the level gain after level 20 so you don't have to spend hours grinding at the high end. Very important to us that you feel a sense of achievement. At every level lots of content. Always plenty of content at any level.

Guild Wars offered a wonderful PvE and PvP experience. How much of that has changed?
Expanded upon that intense experience. Held onto the core elements and  let them grow. Open persistent world now. You will be out there with hundreds of players. You can now jump and swim as well. Oceans have lots of content to be explored. New underwater combat has been added, and it's full of critters. For PvP there are two types, traditional Guild Wars style (GvG) and now Ranked play for PvP. Hot join-able play, which handles more like a traditional FPS. Games recycle as they are played through. Competitive PvP offers the new World vs. World. This means that your server goes against two other servers. This is a competition of Castle sieges verses battles, resources and many other things. The trio battle for two weeks and the highest score wins. The constant matches are balanced to keep players engaged. If your server doesn't do as well they are matched to other servers of the same ranking.

Any hints as to what the Hall of Monuments will be giving players from Guild Wars to Guild Wars 2?
All released on the Guild Wars website. Both what you have and can get with effort are shown by typing in your account name Unique clothing is offered in the lower tiers of this, like what one saw on the covers of the Guild Wars game. As you progress further down the rewards tree, more mini-pets and unique pets for Rangers. Really far down the line gives the player unique titles. Guild Wars 2 will allow for constant transfer of information from the first Guild Wars. You can always carry it over.

So far two Guild Wars books have been released, are there more in the works?
One more book for sure. Lead into Guild Wars 2. Beyond that, no announcement. Originally intended trilogy.  Ghost of Ascalon up for Game Fantasy Novel of the year.

Guild Wars changed greatly with its unique expansion system, are there plans like that for Guild Wars 2?
Undecided. Focused just on the release for now. The Guild Wars Expansion Eye Of The North worked the best. We had to redo the entire starting experience with Nightfall and Factions. Learned a lot from it as it cut into the development time and we really wanted to put toward other things.

Will Guilds from Guild Wars come forward to Guild Wars 2 or will they need to be re-established?
We're still figuring that out. You can reserve character names from the first Guild Wars. No guild infomation just yet. The guild system has changed though. There were things you could do to improve your guild hall. We wanted to make the guild system with a massive progression, for a sense of achievement. Always we want you to be able to do something to improve the guild, feel a sense of community. We want people to feel they can achieve things for their guild specifically.

Will Guild Wars 2 have a similar PvP option as Guild Wars did?
Yes. In competitive PvP can dive right in with everything. Before had to earn faction, starting only with the base skills. Now you have everything from start. In World versus World you can level up all the way to 80. The experience is the same progression as in PvE.

You have the new class, Engineer, just what, will  this be doing?
All about the key things: Control of area, dropping turrets with Area of Effect pulsing hits. With these you can create area lock downs. The Engineer's Basic weapon types are rifle and pistols. They do ranged support with lots of skills for control. Some rifle shots have blow back, knocking down both the target and the Engineer. The Glue gun is another option, holding foes in place. The profession has a lot of stuff about gadgets with lots of utility skills. One interesting one is an Elixir with random buff effects. They also have Kits they can use, kits can swap out the weapons you're using: like Flame-throwers. The grenade kit freeze, shrapnel, lots of variety.

How versatile is it going to be?
Extremely. They can hang back for ranged support,  they can do crowd control, mid-range or melee. They offer lots of different options. They can ever do some healing by drop heal kits.

What, if you can say, is the unique skill for the Engineer?
Kits. The grenade kit, healing kit, flamethrower etc.