NCsoft announced that its new PC MMORPG, Guild Wars, will be shown at E3 next month. This will represent the game's first showing to the public.
Developed in Seattle by NCsoft's ArenaNet studio, Guild Wars is the newest product from the minds of key Blizzard staff members. These same members were also responsible for the phenomenal Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series, not to mention the Battle.net architecture, and this stands to be their most ambitious project yet.
Guild Wars brings a number of new concepts to the MMORPG category. First, the game world will be constantly streamed and continually evolving, which will effectively negate the need to patch the game. Furthermore, the developers claim to have developed a play system that rewards a player's skill, rather than tailoring to those who have endless hours to spend leveling up.
The game is mission-based in both its single and multiplayer components, so individuals or groups can tackle quests together. In some cases players can even go up against one another, since Guild Wars boasts player versus player combat. In addition, missions are reported to be less scripted and more strategy/teamwork intensive. The game's producers have given assurances that characters will still have permanent rewards for completing their quests. To top it off, NCsoft has stated that the game will not require any sort of monthly charge in North America. Policies regarding fees are still pending for overseas gamers.
Guild Wars is currently in the final phases of alpha testing, but no details have been given about the beta test. The game is currently on track for release in the second half of 2004.