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I'm a programmer at ArenaNet and I wrote a bunch of the emote code for #GuildWars2 .  Because I'm selfish I want everyone to use all the features that emotes support so here's my mini-guide to the lesser known features of emotes.

Synchronized Emotes
I didn't implement this feature but it's super awesome so you should use it.  It's most popular with the /dance emote, but it actually works for all of them.  In order to synchronize your emotes with other players type an asterisk after the emote like this:

/dance *

That will queue up your dance request.  The queue gets processed every 5 seconds so a little time will pass and then everyone who used a synchronized emote since the last pass will have their emotes kicked off.  The upshot is that if a bunch of people type /dance * at roughly the same time they'll all dance in perfect sync.  This is frequently awesome.

Targeted Emotes
I implemented this feature because in many other MMOs I've played I try to wave at a person but because I frequently forget that I have something targeted I generally end up waving at a mailbox instead.  Gw2 doesn't have mailboxes, so that problem was already solved, but I figured I'd just end up waving at some other random thing instead.  So in Gw2 if you want to target your emote at a specific player (or whatever else) you have to target that thing and then put and at symbol after your emote, like this:

/point @

If you have a target when you type that then you'll face that target, point, and "Habib Loew points at <target_name>" will appear in the chat.  Not all emotes have special text for when they're targeted, but many do.  That same emote without a target would say "Habib Loew points" in chat.

With our powers combined...
Of course you can combine synchronized and targeted emotes.  Say, for example, that you and a buddy both want to point at a friend at the same time (you know, like you do) if you both type

/point @*

Then you'll point at your targets at the same time.  Any combination of * and @ will work, just make sure you leave a space after the emote name.

Custom Emotes
The other thing you can do is make a custom emote.  It won't have any animations, of course, but you can always type something like this

/me loves emoting

Emote text will appear in chat that says "Habib Loew loves emoting".  /e and /emote are synonyms for /me so any of them will work.  Please remember that anything you type in an emote is still subject to our code of conduct so be nice about it :)

So that's how it works.  Go forth and emote!

Update 8/27/2012 3:05pm PDT
Because some people asked, here's a list of the currently available emotes:

/surprised    <--- especially good on a Charr!
dan mazz's profile photoDani Evans's profile photoGretchen M.'s profile photoHabib Loew's profile photo
wow, that's awesome :)
I found a list of some more emotes, going to try this out!

Wish there were a list of all emotes available, might be one on the Wiki. But I can't access that page at the time for some reason.
+Jesper Liljegren  I've updated this with a list of emotes for you :)  I also added a section about custom emotes.  Enjoy!
Thanks I was looking for a list!
In GW1, I think it was just beside the chat, you could press a button and see them all. Haven't seen that in GW2
The cupcakes were delicious, thank you! :)
great work with that and everything else of course. I'm not sure how easily extensible the code is, but the /rock, /paper, /scissors from GW1 was fun.
Totally did some emotes like _/me makes a huge Dagwood-style BLT with extra bacon!_  This rocks.
using /me always makes me think of IRC :)
Thanks! I really like to use them with other players.
Awesome, thanks for contributing to a great game.
Loving the emotes but last time I tried, the custom emotes didn't work with the @ or * modifiers which is a real shame.  It would be nice if I could just write @ without having to type in a weirdly spelled character name.
* Plum offers a cookie to @

It would be even nicer still if the target of the emote saw "you" instead of "Baconfist Hamclaw" :)
I'm looking forward to more emotes!
Maybe, but I'm not the one to ask anymore.  I left ArenaNet a couple months ago to pursue other projects.  I'd suggest posting your request on the official forums :)
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