Wartower.de’s interview with Martin Kerstein (from GamesCom 2011)

Wartower.de, a German Guild Wars fansite, published an interview from al’Ellisande with Martin Kerstein, who’s the German community manager of ArenaNet. The topic was, of course, Guild Wars 2. As it’s in German, I thought I’d offer a short English translation (not literally but so you get the gist).

Whenever you see (( )), that’s where I’ve added my own thoughts or additional information. ;)

1. When we’re at max level, will end game be horizontal or vertical? Or will I just try to get items faster?
– There is content in the game meant for max level, e.g. instances or events. He wasn’t sure what she’d meant with “getting items faster”. He mentions the possibility to (automatically) downscale your character and look at lower level content that you might have not seen so far. And PvP, of course.

2. The goal of the game isn’t to get to max level before you can “really” start playing the game and have fun. Your path is your goal. Have fun while levelling.

3. She talks about how lots of players are altoholics in Guild Wars and enjoy having/playing all classes. Then she asks if it can or will be the same in GW2.
– Especially with the personal story, it will be interesting to play several classes because the story will branch out at different points. So playing again with a different character will be interesting because it won’t be the same. Martin also says he’s an altoholic. ;)

4. In Guild Wars, you can leave the game for a while and when you return, you can get back into the game without having to get some specific armour or weapon first. Will GW2 be the same?
– The way Guild Wars 2 is built speaks against this concept. You shouldn’t need to get certain items or certain stuff in order to play with others. You can specialise/finetune with items but won’t have to get certain things first.

5. Underwater combat: Will you be able to avoid underwater areas without having any disadvantages? ((<– This question actually came from me. I AM terrified of dark water, whales, sharks, squids and whatever else you can find in dark water. I will get this game no matter what, but I’d prefer not having to go underwater if I can avoid it))
– Martin doesn’t think it happens often that a RL phobia transpires into the game ((I disagree. Sorry. Have seen and heard of enough people with phobias that had to fight with them in games. Not always, but it happens more often than he thinks, I guess ^^)). However, they don’t want to force players to do something they don’t want to do. He has to speculate as he’s not sure but he thinks it should be possible to avoid.
((Again, a comment from me at this point: I’d asked Stéphane Lo Presti the same question. Partly because, of course, it’s important for me personally but also because a friend wouldn’t even buy this game if she had to do any underwater stuff. He wasn’t sure either but so far, he hasn’t encountered anything in game that forced him to go underwater. This included the parts of personal story quests he’d done already while testing the game. So again, not a 100% “Yes, you can avoid it!” but also not a “No way, you need to do that!”))

6. She talks again about changeable underwear ((which I’ve written about here)) and they’re probably happy to hear that they have the best underwear in games. ;)

7. Weapons in underwater combat. What about environmental items/useable objects, a bottle, for example?
He can’t answer that question. He speculates that you might let this item drop once you go underwater. Also, specific utility skills might not work underwater. The first time you go underwater, you decide for specific underwater skills which will be activated by default whenever you go underwater again.

8. Nothing about guild halls yet. Nothing about the guild system so far.

9. Jeremy Soule is again creating the music for the game.

10. They talk about the music system. You can add your own playlist to your game. Even in a way that music will change dynamically depending on what happens. They’ve written about the audio team recently in their blog.

11. GW2 will not be playable on tablet PCs. ;)

12. Marketplace/auction house. Not talking about details yet. They are thinking about adding the possibility for players to list items that they want to buy (instead of just listing items they want to sell).

13. They are in friends and family alpha testing. He’s talking about longtime resources management but he doesn’t know what the designers are planning.


  1. sounds good especially that you can add your own playlists that change dynamically with the game. Not that i will use it much though the game’s music itself is way to awesome.

    im actually looking forward alot to underwater content


    1. I usually turn off the music after having heard the songs a few times. ;)

      I will try to work against my phobia. It’s been annoying me for so long and I do want to see the underwater world. So… great motivation. ;)


      1. I have no special knowledge on this topic but, is it possible that the absence of a “breath bar” will help? Visibility seems to be pretty good, and you never have to focus on breathing at all… I don’t know… it just seems like that might be helpful to overcoming some of the issue with that particular environment.

        ANet is a big proponent of “not forcing players to do what they don’t want to do” so hopefully that will be the case in this instance as well, or perhaps the way it’s done might actually serve as a means for personal growth / overcoming a personal obstacle for you. (?)


        1. Having a breath bar visible – like in WoW – makes me feel slightly uncomfortable but not much. The worst thing really is all the inhabitants in the water. Whales, sharks, even bigger sea turtles (if combined with dark water or rifts on the ground).

          There was one GW2 trailer that had something appear on the screen at the very end – floating in from the right side. Lotro, for example, is great because there is nothing in the water (you also can’t dive). That helps greatly. ^^

          I’m trying to work with what I learned at university to overcome phobias and maybe it works. Not only so I can play Guild Wars 2 but also so I don’t get scared of every single water picture/scene I’m confronted with (on TV, advertisements etc.).


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