For our latest Community Spotlight we’re going to deviate from our normal format slightly. Guest editorials, guild spotlights, and other things we’ve folded under the community spotlight umbrella will resume in the coming weeks, but as part of our Fan Appreciation Month here on GW2Hub I thought it would be fun to run an episode of the column that’s primarily focused on the awesome fans of Guild Wars 2.
Before we get started, I also wanted to announce the winner of last week’s Win a Signed Copy of GW2 giveaway. Congrats go out to kipsys who won the first of our two signed standard editions of the game! For those of you who didn’t win this time, never fear; we have a new giveaway kicking off each Wednesday this month with plenty of awesome prizes, so be sure to check back tomorrow night for details on our next giveaway.
Anecdotes from the GW2 Party
During the Guild Wars 2 party that took place in Seattle the weekend of PAX Prime, I spent the bulk of the night catching up with some of our friends on the ArenaNet development team, making new ones, and meeting various members of the community. Along the way I learned lots of interesting tidbits about GW2, including turning points in the game’s development, the initial reception by PC gamers, and even what characters some of the devs are playing.
For example, if any of you have had the opportunity to meet Jeff Grubb, it would come as no surprise to you that he’s playing a norn guardian. The jolly spirit of the norn race is a perfect match for Jeff’s upbeat attitude and all around pleasant demeanor. He’s also completely in his element when telling stories and talking lore with fans, and isn’t afraid to admit that he hopes GW2 makes the successful leap to becoming a true pop culture phenomenon.
I also learned another interesting piece of the GW2 combat puzzle that night. A couple of years back during another GW2 fan party, I discovered that the costume brawl in Guild Wars helped serve as a proof of concept that combat can still work and be incredibly fun without any dedicated healers. As GW fans will recall, the brawl featured a Smiting build for monks, and helped pave the way for the eventual smiting of the “holy trinity” when it comes to professions fulfilling specific combat roles in GW2.
During the recent GW2 party, I also learned that the turning point in GW2 combat that paved the way for the unique profession mechanics had its genesis with the warrior. In a nutshell, retaining the original Guild Wars adrenaline system didn’t prove to be all that fun with the new combat system. It not only created an additional resource to balance for in terms of skill usage, but also meant the warrior would always be diving into combat in a less than optimal state since a number of skills couldn’t even be used until enough adrenaline had been built up.
The decision to split off adrenaline from the main weapon skill slots and link it to activation of burst skills instead marked a major turning point in development of the combat system we’re now all enjoying in the live game. So the next time you change attunements, enter death shroud, or steal a glob of plasma, don’t forget to thank your friendly neighborhood warriors!
Gwen in a Box
MMOG fans come in many, many different flavors. Some may be hardcore PvP enthusiasts, while others enjoy nothing more than a relaxing evening of exploring their favorite virtual world with a few close friends. In some cases, fandom for a favorite game can have a direct and positive impact on our daily lives.
Amongst the many new faces I had the pleasure to see during the GW2 party, one couple instantly caught my attention. Before the floodgates opened for the evening, I had the opportunity to chat with Kristen Perry and congratulate her on the successful launch. Later on, while making my rounds to get our giveaway box copies of the game signed, I spotted a young couple patiently waiting for Kristen to sign one of the most unique items I’d seen that evening.
Curiosity obviously chose to kill my inner cat, so I took a moment to introduce myself to Andrea and her husband, and get a closer look at the killer clothing they were getting signed:
How awesome is that?
Chatting with Andrea a bit more, I also learned that their daughter is named after one of the most prominent and memorable of all the original Guild Wars NPCs, Gwen. While Gwen is still a bit too young, I’m putting my money on there being flute lessons somewhere in her future…
Andrea was also awesome enough to send me an image of what I consider to be one of the most hilarious and creative uses for the GW2 collector’s edition box I’ve seen to date. The image below is simply titled “Gwen in a Box” and wins my vote for one of the best fan images I’ve seen this year:
Thanks to the team at ArenaNet for hosting such a memorable event, and especially to the many awesome fans who attended!