This press release is full of information:
- Guild Wars has reached a milestone, having sold 3 millions units worldwide.
- The in-game Wintersday 2006 events will run from 20th December, 2006 to 1st January, 2007.
More importantly, there are two awesome and oft-requested new features that will be rolling out soon (emphasis in bold is mine):
Party Search — A brand new Party Search panel will be added to Guild Wars this December, which will allow players to more easily form groups. Casual and hard-core gamers alike will benefit from this new system, as it will make it easier for players to form parties for some of the tougher quests and missions in the game, find the last cog needed for a fearsome group that can tear through the PvP arenas, or just connect with old friends online to go explore the diverse Guild Wars world.
Reconnect After Disconnect — One of the most player-requested features comes to Guild Wars! If a player gets dropped from the game due to a connection problem, and that player can reconnect within ten minutes, the player’s character will be relocated to the spot of disconnection. If the character was performing an action, such as casting a spell or auto-attacking a target, that character will complete the action as if still connected. If a player is in a group when disconnected, the other members of the party will be notified about the player’s connection problems.
I am super excited about these new features for rather obvious reasons. The Party Search panel is a great addition to the already slick (IMO) Guild Wars interface. As quickly as one is able to find a party in Guild Wars (as compared to my experience WOW), the new feature may cut down on people spamming “LFP [Quest/Mission Title]!!!”* in General Chat. The auto-reconnect feature will be ace, too. I think every Guild Wars player has experienced the frustration of being disconnected or having a party member disconnect whilst in an instance and being unable to rejoin their party.
Wintersday is coming soon, which is also very exciting. I hope that we’ll be getting those super-useful Candy Canes as drops this year, too. I still have some from last year because I hoarded my small stash like there was no tomorrow. I am really really looking forward to PvP in the Snow Arenas. I absolutely loved the snowball fights last year.
EDIT: Alex Weekes, one of the Guild Wars Community Relations Managers has posted some additional details about the reconnect feature (found via this post on the Guild Wars LiveJournal Community):
Your character remains in-game for the full 10 minutes. It remains vulnerable for the full 10 minutes. In other words, while you are disconnected it is exactly the same as if you had got up from your PC and gone AFK.
Therefore, it cannot be exploited by trying to use a “reconnect ambush” (ala login ambushes common in some MMOs), and you cannot prevent a death by faking a disconnect.
There’s no death penalty automatically applied, although it will be incurred if your character is killed before you reconnect.
*Or “LFG Quest/Mission Title]!!!” if you play from American servers.