Ree Soesbee

Guild Wars 2 lore designers on rebuilding the world, and why they keep blowing up cities

Chris Thursten at

Guild Wars 2 advances the story of Tyria 300 years beyond the first game, and in doing so substantially alters the status quo. The first game starred humans only: now, five races divide the world between them. The Charr - Guild Wars’ orc equivalent, a rampaging horde that players worked together to subdue in the original - are now allies. Many of Guild Wars’ major locations have been destroyed or reconfigured following a series of environmental disasters. During a recent trip to ArenaNet, I sat down with lore and continuity designers Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee to talk about the work that goes into building - and rebuilding - a setting that has to hold the attention of players for years at a time.


Guild Wars 2 writer on MMO storytelling and "sneakily getting the player to tell us what kind of game they want"

Chris Thursten at

Telling a coherent story in an MMO is no easy thing. It's difficult enough in a singleplayer game, where writers and designers only have to deal with a single perspective, a single set of player motivations. Telling a story to thousands of online players is like trying to deliver a speech to a crowd at a funfair: you'll get some people to listen, but you'll lose just as many if not more to the merry-go-rounds, the shooting galleries, the things they're really there for.

I spoke to ArenaNet lore and continuity designer Ree Soesbee about how the Guild Wars 2 writing team has chosen to approach that challenge, as well as the difficulty imposed by having a fully-voiced player character and the importance of providing light-hearted moments amongside drama and tragedy.


Guild Wars 2 Asura interview part two: Love and Inquest

Gavin Townsley at

Asura may be tiny, but this interview with ArenaNet's Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee (game and content designers for Guild Wars 2) was so large we had to split it into two parts. Part 1 focused on the magical floating city of Rata Sum. In this section we focus more on the lore of the minuscule warriors along with a few bonuses. Read on to get more info on the amazing race that connected all of Tyria.


Guild Wars 2 Asura interview part one: Rata Sum, the floating city

Gavin Townsley at

Yesterday, NCsoft and ArenaNet released a metric ton of info on the egotistical race of mini-geniuses known as the Asura, one of the many playable races in Guild Wars 2. Earlier this week, we sat down with Game and Content Designers Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee to talk about the smallest sentient beings of Tyria. In part one of this two-part post, we gleam insight on the Asura capital city, Rata Sum, and the golems that act as the brawn to the Asuras' brains.