Welcome to another issue of The Tyrian Chronicle. This week we’re talking to two of ArenaNet’s finest on the new Guild Wars 2 FriendShip campaign launching very soon. It’s not all star-crossed lovers hit by a stray shot from the Dreamer, players come together in all sorts of ways.
Shannon: Thank you for talking to us about the campaign. I suppose to introduce yourselves, what is your name and job at ArenaNet. Also because people are always curious, what race and specialization combo you main?
Mike Zadorojny: Mike Zadorojny, Guild Wars 2 Game Director, Asura/Daredevil or Asura/Deadeye depending on the game mode.
Elisabeth Cardy: I’m Elisabeth Cardy, I work on the brand team, and “main” is a tricky question for me – I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Sylvari Firebrand lately.
Shannon: How did the idea for this community spotlight come about? Was love just in the air as we got closer to Valentine’s Day?
Elisabeth Cardy: I think most of us who work here (certainly many of the people I’ve talked to around the studio) have been impacted by relationships that were made or fostered in video games and want to contribute to that culture. For myself, personally, the whole reason I got into video games is that I went to PAX 2010 in advance of the release of Guild Wars 2 to meet up with friends I’d made on the game’s unofficial forums. The ability of games, and MMOs in particular, to bring people together, is something I find fascinating, and something our team really wanted to celebrate. From the ground up, Guild Wars 2 was designed as a game where it’s a good thing to see other people, and that’s resulted in a friendly and connected community.
Shannon: Will the FriendShip microsite be staying up beyond the Valentine’s Day period or indeed longer than February?
Elisabeth Cardy: Yep! We’re excited to see all of the stories that come in throughout the celebration and we have a couple more that we’re going to highlight later on this month too.
Shannon: How do people share their stories to get them on the site? After all, I am sure that there has been more than a few friendships forged in Tyria over the last five years.
Elisabeth Cardy: If players post to the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page using #GW2FriendShips, or use that same hashtag on YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram, their stories will eventually make it to the site. The Friend/Ships page will also feature a submission form for folks who aren’t on those social media platforms.
Shannon: Does the development team get many stories from couples who met in Guild Wars 2? What about in the original Guild Wars?
Mike Zadorojny: We regularly receive fan mail at the office, in-game mail, post on our forums or on Reddit telling us wonderful stories about how friendships or romances have been made because of time spent within Tyria, both Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 versions.
Elisabeth Cardy: We’ll see fans talk about friendships or relationships that started in-game pretty regularity. Just in the last couple weeks before we announced this campaign, there was a sudden surge of wedding and engagement stories appearing on the GW2 subreddit – I thought that was particularly funny since the Friend/Ships celebration was taking up so much of my own attention.
Shannon: Have there been any relationships in ArenaNet that have come about because of GW2? I can think of a Streamer myself.
Elisabeth Cardy: Working on Guild Wars 2 has brought a lot of folks with coinciding interests together, and a bunch of folks at the studio have developed friendships that extend outside of working hours too.
Shannon: Have you made any friends in Guild Wars 2 (outside of the dev team) that have become real-life friends?
Mike Zadorojny: I’ve made a number of friends in Guild Wars 2 that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting when I travel around the world. It’s always great to finally put a face the names and voices of people you meet and chat over a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza and share stories from the game or see how life has been treating them.
Elisabeth Cardy: I mentioned that I went to PAX to meet friends from the Guild Wars 2 community before the game even shipped (truthfully, before it even went into beta) – and the number of friends Guild Wars 2 has brought into my life has only grown from there.
Whenever we’re at events like PAX or Gamescom, we try to hold community events to spend time with fans, which means that we often meet the same folks over the course of a few years and start looking forward to those events as a way to reconnect with friendly faces.
Shannon: Will there be anything happening in the game to go along with this special community highlight?
Elisabeth Cardy: The release on February 6 introduced an achievement players can get by visiting Lion’s Arch, which will grant them an endless tonic they can use to show the world how friendly they are.
There you have it. If there’s a special someone out there in Tyria for you and you want to show how friendly you are, be sure to head to Lions Arch after the patch today to get your hands on that tonic.
As for other friendships forged in Tyria, do you have any stories you will be adding to the microsite? Or do you want to spin a tale of love here in the comments? It’s always great to meet other people who have met friends and partners through the internet.Related: ArenaNet, Column, Guild Wars 2, Interview, The Tyrian Chronicle, Valentine's Day