By Regina Buenaobra July 27th, 2010 Comic-Con 2010 has come and gone! We had an amazing time in San Diego this year. Between our heavily-attended panel and our book signings, we got a chance to meet a lot of cool people. I’m here to recap all the exciting stuff that went on last week at Comic-Con – let’s get started! Our designers and artists love speaking to our fans, so they were thrilled to be at Comic-Con. A lot of enthusiastic fans turned up for the super-limited Ghosts of Ascalon book giveaway and signing and the Art of Guild Wars 2 giveaway and signing. We handed out free copies of Ghosts of Ascalon before the book’s release date on July 27, so a few lucky fans got their hands on a copy on Friday or Saturday. The Guild Wars 2 Panel Our panel, “Guild Wars 2: A New Type of Fantasy MMO,” took place on Saturday, the busiest day of the already busy con. The panel, moderated by our Global Brand Director Chris Lye, presented an overview of Guild Wars 2 for the more general interest crowd of Comic-Con. Game Designer Jeff Grubb set the stage by talking about the background of Guild Wars 2, the unique races of Tyria, the threat of the Elder Dragons, and some of the game’s signature features – like personal storylines and dynamic events. Design Director James Phinney, the architect behind many of the fundamental changes in Guild Wars 2, discussed the similarities and vast differences between Guild Wars 2 and the original game. He explained how the game was created to encourage social play and true cooperation between players, and how the combat system was designed to be accessible, streamlined, and visually impactful. After James talked about Guild Wars 2 design, Character Artist, Kristen Perry talked about her work on clothing design, which you all know is one of her favorite topics. The audience was treated to some brand new, exclusive information that was revealed at this panel: most of the NPC outfits you see in Guild Wars 2 are wearable by players! If you take a look back at Kristen’s blog interview about clothing you’ll see examples of clothing that your characters may be able to wear. Kristen went on to discuss the dye system in Guild Wars 2, which will be the subject of a future blog post. The dye system has greatly improved from Guild Wars, with up to three dye channels on articles of clothing or armor. There are more meaningful patterns on clothing, and with that in mind, Kristen wanted to make sure the effort to obtain certain dyes was worth it. Kristen spent weeks and weeks fine-tuning the dye system, which is better at defining different materials by retaining both color and sense of material. The saturation of the dye’s color depends on the material, for example, red dye will look different when it is applied to metal versus leather. Kristen will continue to refine the dye system right up to ship. Questions from the Audience Time was running short, so Chris moved on to the Q&A portion of the panel. Many of the questions on our Guild Wars 2 FAQ were asked, but I’ll recap them for you. The first question was asked by a little girl, and is probably our most-asked question. We hear this every day, so this wasn’t unexpected. The question was: “When is Guild Wars 2 coming out?” The audience and panel had a good laugh at this, because we know just how much you all want this game in your hands. As always, the answer was, “When it’s done!” One player asked about the decision to go with a single profession system in Guild Wars 2, rather than continue the dual profession system of Guild Wars. James reiterated what we’ve said in previous interviews, which was that going with a single profession system will allow for no shortage of choice. James acknowledge that going with a single profession system cuts down on the sheer number of potential combinations, however it will deliver a better balanced game, and players will still have a ton of variety and customization options. An audience member asked whether there would be a “Factions 2” or a “Nightfall 2.” Jeff Grubb explained that there are allusions to “current” events in Cantha and Elona in Guild Wars 2, but the heart and focus of Guild Wars 2 is Tyria. Another person asked whether the control system in Guild Wars 2 would be the same as in Guild Wars, specifically regarding the point-and-click aspect and auto-attacking. James replied by saying that the control are different, but more direct for players. However, the design team has tried to include a similar ease of play in their approach to the controls. One fan asked another common question, whether players would be able to go above level 20 in Guild Wars 2. The answer is “absolutely, yes.” James elaborated by saying that we’re going to make the game easy to play with friends no matter what level you are. Starting players will be able to jump into high level PvP, where every player fights on equal terms. A fan talked about how he enjoyed the humor in Guild Wars, and he asked whether humorous content would return in Guild Wars 2. Jeff replied that while there will be humor in Guild Wars 2, there will also be a wide range of stories, ranging from the heroic, to the dramatic, and yes, to the humorous. Jeff reminded us that Guild Wars 2 is a completely different game from the original, so not everything you’ve seen in Guild Wars will return in Guild Wars 2. The next fan asked how Heroes and Henchmen would work in Guild Wars 2. As we’ve noted before, we will not have the Heroes and Henchman features in Guild Wars 2. But fear not, there are options for people who like controlling allies, as we’ve seen from the ranger reveal. The next question was about the instancing system in Guild Wars. This player said that it was difficult to reconnect when disconnected, and he wondered about any changes in this reconnection issue for Guild Wars 2. James replied that our network architecture has been completely reworked for Guild Wars 2, so that wouldn’t be an issue in the future. A fan asked about whether there would be arena PvP in Guild Wars 2. We haven’t talked much about PvP as yet, but James reassured this fan that everyone from casual players to the most diehard PvPers will find an experience that they like in Guild Wars 2 PvP. The penultimate question was “Will Guild Wars 2 be fully voiced?” Jeff Grubb fielded this question, explaining that the game will be extensively voiced, and that so far we’ve completed several months of voiceover recording sessions. The voice and sound design are heavily integrated into the fabric of the game experience. And finally, the last question was whether characters from each of the five races would be able to play any profession. James answered that while this issue was the subject of much debate within the company, the outcome of that discussion was yes, every race will be able to play every profession. For us, Comic-Con was a fantastic opportunity to connect with the gaming public and share our excitement about Guild Wars 2. We didn’t just talk and give away books – we took pictures, too! Check out our Flickr page for our collection of pictures from Comic-Con! That was great, but now it’s time to get ready for August. Our next stop is gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and the first ever playable demo of Guild Wars 2. It’s going to be huge!