Guild Wars 2 is now straying from the standard that is expected of fantasy MMO's and aiming to provide you with mini-games and activities for a completely new experience to be had in the genre.

In a post on the ArenaNet blog, game designer John Stumme is calling out a fault that plagues many of fantasy MMO's currently on the market. The lack of freedom and entertainment in some of the virtual worlds to be explored in an MMO can be pretty shameful. Many games just require you to mindlessly kill enemies until you level up, or complete a plethora of quests for an item of desire. While this has been the standard that has worked for years, there is little variety in this mold. Just as in life you do more than just go to school or work, you should be able to do more than level up and perform quests in the virtual world. So ArenaNet is aiming to offer players the ability to play mini-games and enjoy activities for a break from the common MMO gameplay. What activities are being offered? Activities such as bar brawls and attending a shooting gallery.

These activities range from team based gameplay to a hectic free-for-all to a test of skill. In Guild Wars 2, you have five playable races, and in each of the capital cities you will find unique activities exclusive to that area. They will be independent of level, which is a fairly important feature to include. You will not have to worry about whether you are a novice going up against an elite in any activity, since they are based purely on skill and made for the sake of entertainment.

For example, the bar brawl activity was detailed and seems to be quite the attraction to many Guild Wars 2 fans. Since Guild Wars 2 Mini-Games were announced, bar brawl began to be speculated in the official forums as to what it would offer. In bar brawl, you are doing exactly what you expect to, fighting in a drunken rage with random people. The ale you drink while in the bar has an effect on you, whether helpful or detrimental. One effect of drinking a certain ale would be to make you burp a toxic gas that would be harmful to anyone in its area of effect. The more you indulge ale, the more drunk you become, and the greater your chance to land a critical hit becomes, although it also becomes harder to actually hit the opponent.

In bar brawl, you cannot use any outside weapons. This is how this particular activity is balanced to be fair to both experienced and novice players. Although you cannot use any outside weapons, you are able to use your hands, feet, kegs, bottles, chairs and tables. John Stumme spoke of slamming one into a table, causing it to splinter every where. This activity is meant to be hectic and an easy way to have fun. It clearly is not a calling for teamwork. You do not work with people to have some drunken team deathmatch. You are strictly an opportunist in this mode, if you see someone who is already in a fight, seize the opportunity and send a chair flying his way.

The shooting range is the second activity that was specifically detailed. In this mode, you compete with others to acquire the most points in a select amount of time. You have power ups, such as the ability to shoot multiple arrows at once or hastened shooting. You cannot spam these power-ups though, you have to time them to be able to take out the most targets at once, or your enemy can out-shoot you.

Guild Wars 2 is clearly aiming to provide the player with the best and most enjoyable experience possible. Instead of only allowing the player to drudge on, ArenaNet is offering mini-games and activities to take away from any menial or tedious grinding you may do.