[i]Guild Wars[/i] developer ArenaNet and publisher, NC Soft, announced today that the next chapter in the [i]Guild Wars[/i] saga, titled [i]Factions[/i], will ship in the second quarter of 2006. The game will include two new character classes- the Ritualist and the Assassin- as well as new environments and quests. A free preview of the pack will be held on January 20-22, and will be free to both existing PlayNC account holders as well as to new players interested in learning more about the game. The press release did not confirm whether or not the new add-on pack would be free, like previous [i]Guild Wars[/i] enhancements, or would carry a separate fee. [i]Guild Wars[/i] charges no monthly fee to play online, unlike other traditional MMOs.
PlayNC?s full press release is copied below. Check back with MyGamer in late January for our impressions of this latest [i]Guild Wars[/i] offering.
[i]NCsoft(r), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announces Guild Wars(r): Factions(tm), the next chapter in the critically acclaimed Guild Wars franchise from ArenaNet(r) studios. The Factions campaign will release
in the second quarter of 2006. It offers players an incredible gameplay
experience with many new choices, including new regions, professions,
skills, missions, and monsters, along with expanded options for both
Cooperative and Player-versus-Player (PvP) play, and enhanced features
Players will get their first chance to experience the new campaign when
ArenaNet opens its servers to everyone for the Guild Wars: Factions
Global Free-for-All PvP Weekend. This worldwide event-scheduled for
January 20 through 22-is open to both existing Guild Wars players and to
those who do not have a Guild Wars account. ArenaNet is distributing
free access keys to the event on the [a]http://www.guildwars.com[aa]Guild Wars web site[/a].
The event will enable players to experience two new professions being
introduced in the campaign, the Assassin and the Ritualist. Participants
will also be able to try out a number of the skills added to Guild Wars:
Factions, including some of the deadly skills of the Assassin and the
arcane spells of the spiritual Ritualist. They will also be able to get
familiar with the new PvP continent, Battle Isles. Battle Isles will
introduce players to new PvP experiences, new and expanded arenas, new
quests, and a new explorable area as well.
Another feature available during the Guild Wars: Factions Global
Free-for-All PvP Weekend is Observer Mode, where players who aren’t
participating in a battle can view the proceedings and check out the
strategies and tactics used by top-ranked guilds as they fight for
“We’re excited to be offering this free preview of Guild Wars: Factions
to players throughout the world,” said Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of
ArenaNet. “Factions is a huge step in the continued evolution of the
game, and I think gamers are really going to be excited about the new
features they’re going to see!”[/i]