In celebration of the game's fourth anniversary, Guild Wars lead designer James Phinney fields several questions about the original title and its upcoming sequel in a new interview on ZAM.
ZAM: What would you say are your three biggest accomplishments in Guild Wars?
James: First and foremost, we created a world that people care about, that they want to live in. Of all the things to accomplish with an RPG, that's the single most important one. It's a credit to our combination of beautiful artwork, strong lore, and, I believe, a belief in putting a fresh spin on traditional fantasy themes. Next, we created a game that is unique both in terms of core gameplay and character progression, ignoring the traditional grind-based power curve in favor of collection-based advancement and an emphasis on rewarding player skill. Taking such a unique design direction without turning your game into a niche title is trickier than you might think. Finally, we succeeded with a business model that others thought couldn't work: releasing a top-tier online RPG with no monthly fee. That says something about the leadership at ArenaNet, and also about the guys on the programming end who made it technologically possible.