Guild Wars developer ArenaNet launches its new blog in grand fashion today, with a design manifesto detailing all the ways that they're raising the MMO bar for Guild Wars 2, from exciting combat to a novel solution to kill stealing.

The more I read about ArenaNet's goals in developing the follow-up to Guild Wars, the more excited I get, and the design manifesto posted by studio head Mike O'Brien on the newly-launched blog is no different. O'Brien talks about the importance of story and actual role-playing in the game, visual combat cues and environmental weapons, and a very intriguing way to lessen the need for parties while strengthening the game community as a whole.

Of course GW2 has great support for parties, but they just don't feel as necessary as they do in other MMOs, because your interests are always aligned with all other nearby players anyway. When someone kills a monster, not just that player's party but everyone who was seriously involved in the fight gets 100% of the XP and loot for the kill. When an event is happening in the world โ€“ when the bandits are terrorizing a village โ€“ everyone in the area has the same motivation, and when the event ends, everyone gets rewarded.

Perhaps not that interesting to folks who aren't into the massively-multiplayer scene, but for those who've played their fair share, that's a pretty groundbreaking development. If you're fighting a large creature in most games, and someone comes up and starts whaling on it, that means you could either lose the kill entirely, or lose some experience points for it. That, or the other player walks away with nothing.

This system encourages cooperation without having to do the whole awkwardly meeting new people thing. It's social and anti-social at the same time! I love it.

Check out the full article below, and be sure to add ArenaNet's blog to your feed reader. If the rest of the posts are half as interesting as this one, it'll be worth your while.

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Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto [ArenaNet]