ArenaNet have revelead have revealed details of what they're calling the 'extended experience' for Guild Wars 2. What this means is that you'll be able to follow your friends' in-game actions and interact with them via apps for smart phones and generic digital tablets. They're offering functionality far in advance of Blizzard's mobile armory and auction house - allowing you to track a friend's every move in-game. Read on for details.
The technology was demoed recently at PAX, and showed players following their friends' in-game activities through a top-down map view via a downloadable iPad app. The app connects to the Guild Wars 2 server directly, and shows the position of friends and enemies dynamically as they move around the game world. You can then start two way chat with your friends in the game, and even 'ping' locations on their in-game world map, letting you highlight useful information like the location of traders and the appearance of dynamic events like world boss attacks.
Future plans for the technology include a 'hero viewer' function that will let you tap on any player in the world and view their stats, kit and details of the quests they've completed so far. There will also be marketplace features that will let players participate live in auctions. Some of these features will be familiar to anyone who has used the World of Warcraft Mobile Armoury app, but what sets this technology apart is the real time connection to the game world itself, and the fact that information can be shared both ways. ArenaNet plan to allow players to use these services to access wiki content without having to exit the game and boot up a separate web browser.
While it's still impossible to play the game on a smart phone or an iPad, there will be more ways than ever to interact with the game while not actually playing it. For those without smart phones or iPads, ArenaNet have also announced that they plan to release web versions as well, so now there will be no excuse for missing raid night.