What will your Guild Wars 2 persona inherit from your original Guild Wars characters? Kotaku talks to ArenaNet designer John Hargrove and lead designer Eric Flannum about the newly-launched Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator.
The Hall of Monuments, introduced in 2007's Eye of the North expansion pack, is a trophy vault commemorating each player's accomplishments in Guild Wars, from the original release forward. Three years ago ArenaNet delighted players with the prospect of those accomplishments unlocking special items in Guild Wars 2. With the launch of the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator today, players can get a glimpse of what will be waiting for them when they return to Tyria 250 years in the future.
Players need only enter a valid Guild Wars character name into the calculator to see how many points they've earned and, more importantly, what exclusive titles, animal companions, miniatures, and equipment their hard work has earned them.
Fans have been waiting for such a tool for years now, but then again so has Guild Wars 2 lead designer Eric Flannum. "We're excited about finally being able to release," he says. "It's a promise we made three years ago to players, and it's very cool to finally show them what they're going to get."
The calculator keeps track of all 50 points players can earn playing through Guild Wars, letting them know how many of the 56 unique rewards they've earned. Items like exclusive sets of armor, powerful weapons, and hunter pets, including the black widow spider and the lovely rainbow jellyfish.
Is it possible to get two rainbow jellyfish? Says designer John Hargrove," Well technically rangers can have three pets, so you could even have a triple rainbow jellyfish." What would that mean? We don't know.
Hargrove tells me that the rewards are balanced so the casual players have a good chance to score the items they want. "There's more prestige stuff (titles, for instance) at the top, but everything is geared towards the bottom because we wanted to appeal more to the casual players."
One would think this sort of skew would infuriate the more hardcore, but the team collected feedback from players with less than 100 hours of play time to those with more than 12,000 hours, and everyone seemed satisfied.
The first 30 points of rewards are items, and the team expects most people to consider themselves finished after the first 30 points, once the items run out. The final 20 points of rewards are all prestige. "We didn't want players to feel like we're asking them to do everything," explains Hargrove.
Entering a character name in the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator instantly tells a player what they've earned, but the app is more than just a reward revelation tool.
"The calculator is pretty full-featured and cool," says Flannum. "You can type any character's name in and see their rewards. You can share your information on Facebook, bragging to your friends. You can even use it as a to-do list. It tracks where you've been, what you've done, and it'll show you what you need to accomplish to unlock your points."
I gently prodded the pair for hints at Guild Wars 2's release window, but when I asked how long players would have to complete the Hall of Monuments before the sequel comes out, they just laugh.
"They'll be able to keep earning points even after Guild Wars 2 comes out," says Flannum. "We're not shutting down Guild Wars down any time soon."
The Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator is now open for business.