With the onset of Guild Wars 2 getting closer into our hands, a few of us here took a step back and looked at why Guild Wars 2 is such a hit before any kind of widely accessible beta has occurred.  It’s no surprised that the community is probably the biggest reason why.  The community, by word of mouth (and the internet) in addition to Arenanet making quite possibly the best MMO to grace our computers in a very long time has turned this game into an international event.

We constantly see posts on Twitter from Arenanet written in german and it’s easy to see why:  Guild Wars has a HUGE following in Europe, specifically Germany.  One of their best fansites (elite, as Arenanet would put it) has been home to a rather large community that many here in the west would has missed had it not been for their awesome interview with Jeff Grubb and that incredible video about Why Developers Love GW2.We here at GuildWarsInsider thought that it was time that WarTower.de got some credit for making Guild Wars (and Guild Wars 2) a gleaming success in the sense of bringing people together.

The folks over at Wartower.de were kind enough to respond to a few of our questions about their site (found below). Interestingly enough,  they gave us some really incredible answers that hold true not over at Wartower but also on GW2 fansites abroad.

GWI:   When did Wartower.de get its start?

Wartower:  We consider February 18th, 2004 the somewhat official birthday.

GWI:  Also, who were the original creators of the site?

Wartower:  The original creator and owner of the site was, and still is Savage. Co-Creator was BFLanger.

GWI:  Has there been anyone that was a real big key towards your success or was it a team effort?
 
Wartower:  It was always a question of what you do and less of who does it. You need individuals willing to dedicate time and effort, but at our scale there is not a lot that can be done without the team. 

GWI:  It’s kind of hard to miss the overall size of your site, just how many members do you have?

Wartower:  About 110.000 and counting

 

GWI:  Are you seeing an increase in this membership as more and more details about Guild Wars 2 come out?
 
Wartower:  We are still constantly growing. There was some small bump during gamescom, but the press beta did not have any impact on user growth. Why would it? A person reading about Guild Wars on some website does not necessarily google for fansites right away. It is when people are playing the game that our numbers rise.
 
GWI:If we were new members, what areas or features of Wartower.de would you recommend for us to visit?

Wartower:  We recommend our trade section, which has a good set of well enforced rules. Buyers are held accountable and sellers cannot close threads because they just sold the item inside the game on a whim. We offer a large section where guilds showcase themselves, meaning people can easily find like-minded players. Our WTF Tool allows the community to ask us anything and I do mean anything. The Guild Wars 2 section is still growing and will undergo a lot of change in the coming months to accommodate discussions on all topics imaginable. It is also worth taking a look at our convention videos from the past and listen to our podcasts, some of which are in English.

 

GWI:  What is the overall feeling of your community towards Guild Wars 2?
 
Wartower:  The overwhelming majority is going to buy it, no doubt. But our community is not necessarily composed of people who only buy and play one game every five years. This leads to lots of lively discussions and comparisons, because Guild Wars is constantly compared to virtually every game on the market.
 
GWI:  What seems to be the biggest feature or aspect to GW2 that has your community most excited?
 
Wartower:  The existence of Guild Wars 2 is its biggest feature, as content seems to be king. Most requested for our Youtube channel are videos showcasing how to expertly play each class and show how to fulfill the various roles in combat. Apart from that everybody seems to have his own favorite detail. 

GWI:
 Your Guild Wars Trading Post section in your forums is immense. Do you plan to create one for GW2 as well?

Wartower:
 One of the reason our trade section got as big as it did were the ‘suboptimal’ trading options within Guild Wars 1. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it gave communities a reason to exist. GW2 seems to fix a lot of that, so I expect less trade activity, but I am sure there is a way for communities to modify the game and give people a reason to visit fansites.
 
GWI:  Where do you see MMO gaming going in the future?
 
Wartower:  Over the lifetime of Guild Wars 1, we saw the average bandwidth of users increase to the point, where asking people to download 5 GB became almost a non-issue. As a result, we now have 20GB Webinstallers for MMOs with insane amounts of video and sound data. However, beyond better graphics, there have not been that many game changing innovations. Right now, the average response time of Internet connections is getting lower and lower each year. This will allow MMOs to have more action based combat, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago, when Internet lines had an average Ping of 120 ms and more. Today, you have more input lag on your joypad, than server lag on your Internet connection. That will enable faster paced video game genres to be turned into MMOs.
 
GWI:  How do you see your site evolving in the future?
 
Wartower:  A large part of that depends on Guild Wars 2. It cannot be perfect in every way, so wherever the game has a rough spot, the community will do its best to come together and provide a solution that works for them, much like the trade situation in Guild Wars 1. But without the community really having played the game, it is everybody’s guess which feature that will be. From PvP tournaments, to organizing WvW, to socialization, to trade, to out-supporting the official support, we are on stand-by for a lot of things, but there is no way of knowing where the demand shaping our website will ultimately turn out to be.

 

If you have a moment, you should really check them out at their website: Wartower.de and for those who would be linguistically impaired – try Google Chrome for its translation feature. Before I sign off,  I’d like to thank the people over at Wartower for their time and we look foward to seeing you guys in Guild Wars 2.

This edition of the International Spotlight was brought to GWI through the combined efforts of Roland Daemon, Kefkah and Ethan Ethanson of GW2Evolution.com and of course, the helpful admins of Wartower.de