ArenaNet’s John Stumme has explained on the developer’s blog how Guild Wars 2 is about more than just heroically battling monsters for the good of the people – it’s also about getting absurdly drunk on ale and smashing up a tavern. Magnificently unconcerned with setting a responsible example for bar dwellers everywhere, ArenaNet is including the “bar brawl” activity as one way in which players can relax and let off steam in between their epic, world-saving quests. According to Stumme, not only is it possible to “kick someone into a table, splintering it into pieces”, but if you really see yourself as a hardened criminal during your off duty hours, feel free to “use your broken bottle to shank people!”
This may be leading you to believe that the world of Guild Wars 2 is a much darker place than you had previously assumed, but that is not necessarily the case. Almost in the next breath, Stumme explains that the more law-abiding players can engage in carnival-style shooting contests with built-in special abilities that must be rationed effectively. Finally, for those that truly crave family-friendly fun in the cities of Tyria, why not enjoy the long-running Guild Wars tradition of a snowball fight? I’m honestly not sure which is more incongruous, the apparent horrifying violence lurking in every tavern or the carefree winter revelling occurring just outside.
Whichever activity you decide most accurately expresses your hero’s seemingly schizophrenic identity, I have no doubt that adding minigames and extracurricular activities will be to GW2s benefit. MMOs, in particular among games, are capable of offering a great deal more than just an awesome quest for a player to undertake (though I’m sure that will be present), due to the in-built social aspects of the genre. I, for one, will almost certainly spend as much of my time boozing and carousing across Tyria as I do endeavouring to protect it.