GW2 Dev Livestream transcript for Jan 17, 2013 to discuss GW2’s future content with developers Jonathan Sharp, Matt Witter, and Mike.
Part 1 (Done)
Official Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jspkjoye-08 (looks like this got removed)
Twitch VOD: http://www.twitch.tv/guildwars2/b/357921586
What is our long term focus for PVE and how we are bringing life back to deserted zones
- New achievement system that plays into dailies/monthlies that adds new style of gameplay
- New achievements to encourager cooperative play – i.e. rezzing, rallying) – things that will help players better at understanding the concepts of our game.
- Allow players to filter back into some of the deserted zones (i.e. this month’s monthly achievement for jumping puzzles was used as an example)
- New content with the guilds – 4-5 different styles of content that show up in the world that guilds can go in to help kick off and pull other players into it as well.
- Adding tiers to guild economy/ear guild tabs, adding in new rewards for guild members to show off.
- >100 new rewards tied to the achievement system to allow players to show off some of the cool stuff they have done.
- Framework rolling out next couple months
- New Ascended items coming into play outside FOTM with the new achievement/reward system.
Philosophy on the dungeon
- Multiple phase change for the dungeons – first build – remove the idea of rez rushing (i.e. only way to beat some of the difficult encounters at the moment is to have dead players run back from nearby waypoints while players that are alive kite the mobs)
- You can no longer able to use the waypoint if someone in your group inside the dungeon is in combat
- We are nerfing some of the encounters that are a bit more challenging
- Phase 2 – go back and look at some of the encounters – retune and increase difficulty if necessary.
- New rewards (no details)
- We are working right now on a system that go across the board, not just for dungeons, sPvP, open world etc. Allow players to find other players who want to do similar activities. It is a bit far off.
- Working on custom arenas – need to make sure it is bug free, we are polishing them atm
- Working on leaderboards – see your progress against other people
- New player experience for PvP – better matchmaking system – play with players of your skill level.
- Working on a new 1 team vs 1 team version of our tournament system , will be paid tournament (but reduced the cost and reduced rewards). Winners stay in, losers kicked out to the lobby. (Current tournament system require 8 teams for a single tournament with 3 rounds so it is hard to get tournaments started at the moment)
- This new tournament version will be on Temple of Silent Storm map (this map has a lot of tournament potential).
- Adding more PvP specific armor skins – i..e skins that are available in PvE but not in PvP.
- Blog post coming up to talk more
- Looking into progression in WvW to give you some kind of character development and rewards
- Goal is to progression/rewards. Encourages more players to do WvW.
- Recently tested culling – we are doing great things with culling – running a lot of different tests/tweaks.
- Our WvW programmer talks about more on the official GW2 forums.
- Adding more PvP specific armor skins – i..e skins that are available in PvE but not in PvP.
AoE abilities balancing
- One of the issues brought up a lot in WvW./sPvP is AoE (Area of Effect). We feel like they are too strong at the moment and a lot of people in WvW are gaming the system using AoEs.
- For people that don’t know – max targets for siege weapons is 50 while max targets for AoE is 5.
- Reducing AoE effectiveness to bring them in line with the single target damage skills.
- Major update coming to all the AoE skills – make classes that are good at single target damage stand out a bit more.
- Same thing with dungeons – right now if you have a lot of AoE you can past encounters by just spamming AoE which is not what we want.
Why no specific dates for updates
- Sometimes codes interact weirdly and we don’t want to give you a date if stuff screws up and we have to push back. We will give you dates when we are in the final stages of testing.
- Same with buggy stuff – sometimes bug slip out.
Philosophy for weapons/traits & class balance
- We want every single class to feel like they have multiple options to deal with every situations, this doesn’t mean every class will have the exact same options.
- We want every single class to deal situations in an unique manner – we keep “purity” in certain skills/traits i.e. only mesmers and thieves have stealth to deal with some situations. Not everyone have stealth but every class have a defensive mechanism they can use if they don’t stealth.
- We want to bring up all the weak weapons/traits on par with strong weapons/builds/traits in addition to reduce AoE effectiveness.
- A lot of classes have 1-2 good builds while some have 5-6 builds , we want to bring up all the classes to 5-6 good and viable builds.
Part 2 (Very rough draft)
Q & A session
Q: How close do you feel each class fulfill the class philosophy
- We use one set of balance numbers for wvw, pve, and spvp. We do this because people get acclimated to characters – we want people to play a class in a certain situation and feel comfortable in another
- Some classes are filling their roles, some are not
- We are brining up the weaker builds to be on par with the good builds.
- So yes they are but there are more work to be done.
Q: Expain what you mean by progress in WvW
- We are encourage people to defend, to get involved, to break away from large mass mentality of zerging
- Reward the individual player for what they are doing rather than contribute scoring via server
Q: Culling fixes available in WvW, sPvP, or PvE, when?
- Depends on testing – WvW atm is bad, PvP is not an issue, PvE affected for large scale events (i.e. Lost Shores, Shatter event)
- We are testing the system in WvW and hopefully it will affect all across the board.
- Adding reconnect to fractals, and coming up a solution for the level restrictions – those are coming up in the next build.
- Able to start at the highest fractal level achieved by any group member – it will advance everyone who is eligible for advancement up one tier
- You will be rewarded based on your personal level, not the level of the fractal you are in (i.e. if you are not 10+, you can’t get ascended rings by doing higher fractals etc)
Q: Dynamic system in open worlds – how will it evolve – make it more understandable, more rewards
- Changes to Orr at end of month – adding some new effects, environment zones, rewards
- Continue building lore/story – between content patches we will add in new events, new guild stuff.
Q: Stance on allowing people to see enemy nameplates in WvW
- Mixed feeling – we want server to viewed as a whole and not introduce bitterness to individual players
- Not completely opposed to the idea – be interesting to get bragging rights, more competitive nature
- Not sure how to design around that at the moment – maybe add it as a reward?
- Need to make it voluntary, prevent harassment issues
- WvW is about large scale massive battle mentality where individual players are not as important
Q: Advancement/prestige design for wvw
- We want to keep things consistent – similar to some other stuff in the game. Can;’t talk much
Q: How does dev priorize development time – new content or old content bug fixes?
- We want to to do bug fixes first then add in new content.
- We looked at dungeons across the board, fractal bosses are more interesting – environment affect them etc. We want to do the same to the original dungeon bosses.
- Specific teams to focus on different areas of the game to make sure no area is left behind.
Q: Do you think classes will have more weapon combinations sometime in the future? (i.e. Eles using greatswords)
- Great question, you might be able to see it in the future – can’t comment more
Q: Examples to make boss more interesting
- Different mechanics when bosses get to a different health stage etc like some of the fractal bosses.
- We now have more better tools to develop boss scripts.
Q: WvW and ascended gear?
- It is an idea being tossed around – use the badge system perhaps.
- I am hopeful that we will see Ascended gear in WvW
Q: Custom areans – new game modes? cost to host?
- Yes, cost money to host, you rent server from us.
- You can’t create an entirely new gamemode but you can turn some features on/off.
- I know you guys want new gamemodes like CTF
Q: GvG – Guild vs Guild
- Guilds battle in guild halls – you had a flag, a guild lord etc in GW1.
- We see it more as the team 5vs 5 stuff in GW2 and in custom arenas
Q: New game modes?
- We want to use conquest as the base and develop around it, we are talking about deathmath, CTF and see if they can fit our game.
- Maybe we can implement some elements from other gamemodes.
- Why do we keep to conquest? If you want something to grow, to do Esport, you want something that people can pick up and familiar with.
- New mode – pushing the boundaries of what conquest can do arriving sometime before the death of the universe.
Q will GW2 become a ESPORT?
- Yes, we are working on things that GW2 needs to be an esport – i..e custom arenas, Spector mode, better streaming support
- Releases later in the year.
Q: Do you agreee with the statement the current metagame is boring
- Current metagame is boring, could use some expansion
- Bunker – a class is a class that hold down a position, has a lot of healing and self-survability (i.e. a tank). We don’t want the bunker to go away completely. Bunkers give you an anchor in the map.
- We don’t want to be case that every team needs a bunker.
- Bring builds to all classes to what the bunkers are currently.
- Eles are tough, guardians are tough, mesmers are hard to take care of, so are thieves.
Q: Do you find any profession to be out of balance like Ele bunker, roamer, thief one shot combo, mesmer portal?
- Ele bunker is really strong, on our watchlist
- Mesmer portal is giving us problems –giving that tool onto other classes maybe?
Q: Reward screen for the new crowns for the achievements
- If you are playing a specific class, you have a reward that can be tailoring to your class
- A chest containing stuff that your class that you can use.
- Not class specific armor etc.
Q: Get crowns are achievement we already have?
- First build only have crowns for daily and monthly achievements
- Later phase will have crowns are other achievement.
- New daily and monthly achievements tied to new content – allow to pick specific rewards you care about.
- Feb’s monthly will reward crowns
- Crowns are a new type of currency but these won’t take up inventory space (i.e. it will be like karma/gold)
Q: Elaborate your plans for changing AoEs
- This is not a quick fix, we are getting a lot of data.
- If your skil does 10 damage to a single target, if you have another skill that have the same opportunity cost but deals 8 damage to 5 targets, the AoE skill is better – we don’t want you to use AoE skills on single target mobs.
- Maybe add a new mechanic where mobs are resistant to AoE damage.
- In PvP and WvW we see people using AOEs on enemy players rezzing other etc
Part 3 (Dev responses to common concerns)
Just wanted to let you guys know that we’re reading this thread.
Your logic, reasons, anecdotes and ideas are being listened to. Also keep in mind, that as I said yesterday, a skill can be a balance problem in one area of the game, but underpowered in another. That’s the nature of using one set of #‘s to balance across all areas of the game. So we’re keeping that in mind as we look at this. We may need to do different tweaks in different areas of the game.
We’re also not going to make a knee jerk reaction to this. We’re still gathering data, watching player trends, and having meetings on all possible ramifications from possible changes.
There are a few different knobs we can turn in regards to AoE some of the bigger ones being:
Radius of the AoE
Frequency of the AoE Damage
Damage of the AoE
Max Targets of the AoE
Currently, some players causing the AoE are able to do more damage to one person while also controlling a portion of the field, compared to a player with single target damage.
In our balance discussions we always look at what these changes could do to PvE as well as PvP. Any changes we make will undergo a lot of testing, both internal and by our trusted alpha team. It is important to understand that we are not doing a blanket nerf to all AE’s or a dramatic adjustment of the damage AoE’s can do. There may be some cases where players can build for AoE damage, but are just not viable or other cases where AoE is clearly the dominate way to build, and as such the other builds get left on the side lines. Its these classes/builds that we are concerned about.
I agree. We’ve done some of the core stuff we wanted to nail w/ the conquest format, so now we’ll start getting into different secondaries that provide new types of gameplay.
Also, I think it’s ok to have some “just for fun” maps and “competitive/serious/tournament” maps. So let’s say we come up with a secondary that may appeal to more casual players, but not as much to hardcore players. I think that’s ok. It will just be known (and other games do this), that some maps are more for casual audiences, and others are for the hard core players.
Thanks for all the feedback guys. We’re looking forward to the 1 team vs 1 team test coming up and seeing your feedback.
We plan to do other tests down the road, depending on how it goes. So that’ll be a great place for us to try some new ideas! And as I said, once we feel we have a strong core of “normal” conquest maps, I think it’s totally fine for us to branch off and try some other things that may not make it into tournament play.