Guild Wars 2 Interview – Hall of Monuments
Questions by Tully Ackland, OnRPG Senior Editor
Answered by Eric Flannum, Lead Designer, Guild Wars 2
We had the opportunity for an exclusive chat with Eric Flannun, Lead Designer for Guild Wars 2 to talk about the newly announced Hall of Monuments feature! Tully asked him the following questions:
OnRPG: Firstly, for those that may not be familiar, could you please give a brief rundown of what the Hall of Monuments featured in Guild Wars: Eye of the North is and how it interacts with Guild Wars 2?
Eric: The Hall of Monuments is a personal instanced area in Guild Wars: Eye of the North that records a player’s achievements across many different areas of the game. We created the Hall of Monuments to serve as a bridge between Guild Wars 2 and the original Guild Wars, as a way of preserving the legacy and recognizing the achievements of Guild Wars players in the sequel. The trophies, titles, and achievements in the Hall of Monuments are all worth points that players can use to unlock special weapons, armor, animal companions, and more for their Guild Wars 2 characters.
OnRPG: You released Guild Wars: Eye of the North back in 2007 with the Hall of Monuments. Have you made any significant changes to how the two games will interact or have things gone according to the initial plan?
Eric: Things have for the most part gone according to plan. Guild Wars 2 takes place 250 years after the original Guild Wars and is a completely different game system, so we knew that players would create new characters and that many of the mechanics in the original game would not carry over directly into Guild Wars 2. However, we knew at a very early stage of development that we wanted a way for Guild Wars players to create a legacy that would benefit their new Guild Wars 2 characters, so we created the Hall of Monuments. We knew generally that we wanted achievements in Guild Wars to carry over, so it was just a question of incorporating that into the design of Guild Wars 2.
OnRPG: You’re unveiling the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator. How can a player see what they will be entitled to?
Eric: When you enter a valid character name from your Guild Wars account into the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator, it displays what rewards you’ve unlocked in Guild Wars 2. The Reward Calculator provides you with a breakdown of how the benefits are calculated and shows you how many points your character can still earn. It’s designed to make it very easy to figure out what other achievements you need in Guild Wars to earn more points.
OnRPG: Like most MMO gamers out there, I’m really interested in what kind of items I could gain by linking my characters together; could you give us a brief sneak peak on what we could be getting for our past achievements?
Eric: Let’s say you played a warrior in Guild Wars Factions and Guild Wars: Eye of the North. You enter your warrior’s name in the Rewards Calculator, which displays how many points you’ve earned and which Guild Wars 2 items on the Reward Meter you can obtain. If you play a warrior in Guild Wars 2, you could conceivably outfit him with a complete set of heavy Heritage Armor and may have also earned a vintage Wheelock Rifle. If you decided to play a ranger in Guild Wars 2, you may have unlocked a set of medium Heritage Armor and a vine-wrapped Living Shortbow or maybe a special Black Moa animal companion. You can only earn these rewards through the Hall of Monuments and we’ll give you the ability to keep using these special items as you advance to higher levels.
OnRPG: Will rewards earned be given to the entire account or to single specific characters?
Eric: Rewards are unlocked for an entire account and may be claimed by any character on that account. For example, if I make a ranger and a warrior, they can both claim the Ithas Longbow reward as long as it is unlocked for my account.
OnRPG: If I haven’t obtained all the monuments on my Guild Wars characters, will the reward calculator inform me to which I need to get?
Eric: Absolutely. The Rewards Calculator shows you how many points you’ve earned in the five different monuments inside the Hall. For instance, you can easily see how many weapon sets you’ve accumulated in the Monument to Valor, how many points the sets are worth, and what you still need to get.
OnRPG: Will monuments earned in Guild Wars after the release of Guild Wars 2 be reflected in the Hall of Monuments, and will they still be added for your GW2 characters at that point?
Eric: Yes, players will definitely be able to play Guild Wars and acquire achievements in the Hall of Monuments that will benefit their Guild Wars 2 characters, even after GW2 is released.
OnRPG: Is there a storyline connection for players who are rewarded in Guild Wars 2 for past efforts in the original Guild Wars?
Eric: We don’t want to create story content that is available to some Guild Wars 2 players and not others, so we haven’t created any specific in-game content that is tied to Hall of Monuments achievements.
Since Guild Wars 2 takes place long after the events in the original game and since a player may make a character of a very different race than their original Guild Wars character, we decided against trying to come up with a story connection between the original account and the Guild Wars 2 account. We felt that any such story would be overly convoluted and complicated. Instead, we try very hard to give players rewards that will give them a sense of nostalgia for the first game while still being usable by characters in Guild Wars2.
OnRPG: So, I’ve got a ton of awesome trophies and monuments, what ways can I brag to all my friends?
And lastly, when can we expect to see Guild Wars 2 on retail shelves?
With the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator, you’ll be able to impress your friends on Facebook and other social networks. After all, what good is a monument to your awesomeness if you can’t brag about it?
As to when Guild Wars 2 will be released, I’ll stick to our tried-and-true answer: when it’s ready!
Thanks Eric for taking the time to inform your fans via OnRPG.com!