GW2: Colin Johanson livestream transcript

A transcript of the GW2 Colin Johanson July 16 livestream where questions from the community and the Living World content will be discussed.

Livestream link:

Living World

  • More permanent impact to the world, really make a difference to the players.
  • Use it as a vessel to improve part of the game and have a story to go with it
  • Second half of the year: update dungeons, fractals to make them more fun and exciting to play with a  story to go along.
  • Outcome of this vote in next patch will bring in back some of the minigames. They will be on a rotation with each day of the week there is a minigame going on tied to the daily achievement of that day. The holiday minigames won’t come back but basically all the other ones will. They will become permanent additions as result of the vote
  • New fractals are built from the scratch as a result of this vote.
  • Aetherblade Retreat and Molten Facility will both come back same time as the new fractals at some point at end of the year.
  • Focus on permanently upgrading and changing the world. Temporary story but permanent changes.
  • Early part of the year we just had one team, they did flame and frost. Team got expanded with Rox and Braham. Now we have four teams, rotating and releasing each month.
  • We have a core portfolio of content we can bring back (i.e. SAB, Zephyr Sanctum, Holiday Festivals). Now we can expand on them instead of building them from scratch and focus on even bigger releases.
  • We have more teams than just our four Living World teams, we have other teams that will be described by a new blog post coming out on Thursday to talk about what they are working on from now on until end of the year. . Living World teams are only small part of the company.


  • Q: We are approaching the first year, when will you bring dragons back into the world?
    • A: It is part of a big question. People ask what is going on with expansions. Storyline and dragon would be part of an expansion in the traditional model. We havn’t decided if we are going with a tradition expansion or we will do something unique to Guild Wars. New areas, races, dragons, are not off the table. We need to figure out if we want to do it with Living World or traditional boxed expansion. You won’t see a new giant dragon this year but we will add it in the future.
  • Q: Biweekly update schedule = smaller content patches?
    •  A: Early of the year we had a very small Living World team but as we start ramping up to our fourth team, you will find bigger and bigger releases (i.e. June released bigger than May, July was bigger than June). Rotating teams give us more time to polish content as well to make sure they are bug free. Rolling schedule allow us to take on bigger projects than possible previously.
  • Q: Changes in Tyria different depends on the server you play on?
    •  A: In the short term no but it is something we may do in the future. There is a lot of pros and cons to that.
  • Q: Any chances future update provide us access to Crystal Desert/Elona
    • A: Traditionally a new region would be added via expansion but we havn’t decided if we want to do expansion or Living World. It is something we are interested. Storyline you experienced this year have a clear point that is is leading to. We will add additional areas to the game either from expansions or Living world, some of those new areas will be based on GW1
  • Q: Any dungeons/fractals based on lore in GW1?
    • A: Certainly, Fall of Abaddon is based on GW1, Reactor is based on period between GW1 and GW2. Also once a storyline is completed (i..e Molten Facility/Aetherblade Retreat), we may add some of that content back into the fractals as permanent.
  • Q LFG tool, why is it not out yet?
    • A: We are building it right now, we just had a playtest of it yesterday and it is looking pretty good. It is absolutely going to come out this year.
  • Q: Idea of the world changes on Biweekly basis but atm most of the content is not replayable. Any plan to allow players to replay some of the old story content?
    • A: Aetherblade dungeons, Molten Facility will come back as fractals. Minigames coming back on their own rotation. For future we want to make temporary stories that leave behind a permanent change in the world. Early this year we took out too much stuff we put in and it didn’t create a sense of true impact. We will put in some stuff to help people keep track of the stories.
  • Q: More personal story or living story replaced it?
    • A: definitely more personal story, it depends on if we do it via boxed expansions or via Living world updates. Living World storyline is carrying the timeline now until we can get to the next personal story update
  • Q: What do you think of temporary content that stress out players with the two week schedule?
    • A: With monthly releases in the past, player activity dropped after 2 weeks and people posted they want more stuff to do so our 2 week release is designed to address that. We need to make sure there is enough permanent and time limited updates so people can come back and experience stuff later if they miss it but not always (with regards to story content).
    • Taking over Karka Island is really compelling from a story point and an experience we want to repeat.
  • Q: What are your plans for future professions/races.
    • A: Races, no promises of which race to do first. New profession is a lot harder, a lot of the core archtype is covered. We might do additional weapons/skills for current professions before putting in new professions. We have 8 now so if we want to do a new profession is it is probably a 3rd heavy armor to balance it out. New profession is probably the furthest thing out.
  • Q: Any plans for next gen consoles?
    • A: No, not right now. It is interesting to see how many game companies into the new consoles for MMOs. We want to focus on being the best possible PC game. The regularity we update are extremely hard to do on console. We can’t just update the game whenever we want. A second reason is if you look in the East, which we havn’t launched yet. We sold 3 million copies and not even in some of the most populated MMO market yet. There is very little console players in Asia, China etc.
  • Q: How would elections in the next update work?
    • A: Tokens given for new content and as rare drops. This is not an American election, this is a pirate election so anything goes. Dirty stuff, bribery etc are expected. Pirates elect very different and players should be prepared for anything and everything.
  • Q: Will Living world be affected down the road or this is just a vote and forget?
    • A: Whoever wins this becomes a member of the council. So absolutely this can play in the future as they can decide on important decisions. Years from now this person could still have an effect.

Final words

  • We are trying something innovative with this game, this means we will take risks. Our Living World initiative is an embodiment of this idea.
  • Thursday, don’t miss the blog post. There is a lot of juicy and meaty stuff about where we are taking the game to.
  • Stay Classy and vote for Kiel!
  • Random

    “Stay Classy and vote for Kiel!” Sure he said Evon

  • LiveSpartan235

    Team Evon! For Abaddon!!!

  • Giles Marchand

    I personally don’t care about the Thaurmanova Reactor, Abbadon wins and Evon gets my vote! I should add that every other change is pretty trivial considering it’ll only be for 4 weeks.

  • Q: Any dungeons/fractals based on lore in GW1?
    A: Certainly, Fall of Abaddon is based on GW1

    I think it’s important for people to know that it’s PRE Guild Wars 1. Thus meaning that it’s about the story how abaddon got imprisoned and that the fractal will not be a remake from the Nightfall boss fight.
    This story will clarify the fall of abaddon:

    (quoted from the GW1 wiki)
    In 1 BE, he spread magic to the races of Tyria, and thus indirectly responsible for the wars that came afterward. King Doric pleaded to the gods and they rendered magic into the five Bloodstones, diluting their gift. Abaddon was incensed and went to war with the others, and he was eventually struck down at the Mouth of Torment, in a blow that turned the Crystal Sea into a desert. There, Abaddon was sealed within the Realm of Torment and the city of Morah was established to watch over the spot where he fell. Shortly after his defeat, the gods left the world in an act that came to be known as the Exodus.

    here is my topic about this subject:

    Vote for Evon!

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  • Ares Zax

    Mmm… While I very much would like to see the Fall of Abaddon, I have a TREMENDOUS dislike for Evon’s kitten-blasted RNG boxes. Plus, Kiel looks fantastic in a captain’s outfit. :3 Conflicted here!

    • Balthazerg

      Same here :

  • Firebird

    2 questions were not asked and they need to be. Dulfy you seem to have some interaction from time to time with the devs. Please remember these and could you ask them sometime.

    1 Are they not afraid that the dev teams doing this 2 weekly release schedual (over the course of the month), will run out of fresh ideas long term?

    2 Are they not afraid of players burning out on content ie: always rushing to complete achievements only to have to rush again for the next lot and on and on and on?

    A smarter idea would have been continue with a 1 month release schedual but make achievements and content within that month time locked and every few days unlock a new achievement. Have the ones that take longer to do start earlier in the month and the quicker ones towards the end of the month.

    • Vin Dy

      I fully agree with your points here, Firebird.

      In addition, I would just like to point something out to ANet. (I know this isn’t the proper venue for this, but I don’t know how to relay this to them. If you know, please teach me how and I will gladly send this feedback personally to them.)

      It doesn’t mean when most of the player activity are done within 2 weeks and people are clamoring about nothing to do that ANet will have to do what these people want and please them. Who are these people anyway? The ex-WoW players? The hardcores? The elitists? What about the casual players? What about those who are still playing GW1 for HoM points? Why are these groups not being heard or are being unduly punished or penalized? Why not just improve and make a release that will really have players play or enjoy it for a whole month? There are many options to consider here. Such move by ANet is very unbecoming and inconsiderate of them.

      And besides, it doesn’t mean when people try to finish the new release or new set of achievements in 2 weeks that it is only because they were so bored and got nothing to do. Not all of us are privileged enough to play GW2 80-90% of the time. Some – or even most of us – might just want to get these out of the way fast so that we can enjoy other aspects and stuff in the game (i.e. WvW or PvP) or life in general. I hope ANet takes heed of this. No one likes being rushed about doing things, especially not when playing their game.

      TLDR: It seems that in a move to very much please the ex-WoW, hardcore and elitist type of players, ANet has pretty much gone blind or forgotten that there are casual players who struggle with this set-up. Month by month, GW2 is becoming more like of a work rather than a game one can enjoy playing casually.

      Please do not get me wrong here. New content is always fun, but please do not take the “fun” out of how we want to do them or the way we can do them (not referring to exploits here; just the gameplay).

    • David Gingerich

      Another good question> Are there going to be any updates to help
      track the Dungeons Levels you have completed? I have a few that are 3
      of 4, 2 of 3 etc. Would be nice if you could expand and it would tell
      you which one you need (Path 3, Up-Up, etc)

  • Shifted

    Reading the Q&A brought a smile to my face. Anet is admitting they were going derp with no perma content ant they’re fixing it. Love it.

    • Mohamabamma

      my thoughts exactly… this shows that they at least WANT to make the game better.
      IMHO the have just been listening to the wrong people: “hardcore-gamer-kiddies in grindmode that want to feel special by having content noone else has” -.-… problem is that those kids are a lot LOUDER than the laid back casual gamer majority and therefore much more likely to be heard by A-net and thus such brainfarts as the non permanent content and the biweekly updates.
      But even though one of these brainfarts is just about to hit the game I’m still more than pleased that they are getting rid of the other one at the same time.

      • Shifted

        Well, I guess I am a “hardcore-gamer-kiddie” since I was upset about having nothing to do at 80, and disappearing content was not helping the case. Quite honestly I couldn’t care less about the story in an MMO, so as long as there is new gameplay being permanently added I’m fine with that.

  • TheWach

    Since I am quite poor at the moment(it sucks to be in school and have no job ;_;), I certainly hope “boxed expansions” doesn’t mean I am required to pay in order to access more content

    • Firebird

      Of Course it does mean that.

      However IF Anet takes a page from the original Devs of GW’s 1 it wont affect you in the way you might think. In the Original GW’s 1 you didn’t have to have Prophecies to play Factions or Nightfall as each game was an expansion AND a seperate game. They could pull that off here as well if they wanted to. Not easily I’m sure but I think it can be done. So while it might mean you don’t get the new lands you still get to play in Tyria.

      • TheWach

        Oh well, I hope its cheap then :/

        • narg

          if they make expansion like in old GW1, its will be standalone playable content, sold for full price. expansion may bring new continent, class etc and you dont need first game to play this expansion, but concurrently you cant go to old world before buy first basic game

      • Kane

        That worked on GW1 cause it was pretty much instanced. IDK if that can be done on GW2’s open world. Or how they could pull it off to be at least seamless for those who bought it…

  • True or not it’s IMO :)

    tbh the more I see from GW2 devs the more I wonder if they actually have a clue what they are doing, this bi-weekly release keeps the QQ’ers happy that are playing 6-10 hours daily but ignore the majority of the playerbase (a.k.a casuals) and the very premise of the game was to cater to the casual market hence the reason why the engine is so cpu over gpu intensive (casual rarely buy higher end gaming machines so having a game built thus enables a wider spectrum and less complaining about having to achieve a certain spec)

    I have honestly never seen an MMO which is so shallow at end game and I honestly think it is more cash shop orientated than just about every other MMO out there (despite having a box purchase to begin with)

    living world = more cash shop skins = more updates = more cash shop skins = glosses over the glaring problem with the game in it’s current form as the devs keep waving the newest shiny content in front of people and hope they forget about the horrible class balance, the choppy game engine and the 95% of content you leave behind whilst levelling

    They touted GW2 as the next-gen MMO doing something different from everyone else… where is that game because I certainly haven’t been playing it lol

    The game has so many elements stolen/appropriated (use whatever metaphor you wish) from other MMOs and smashed together with a tenuous link to GW1, GW1 was ground breaking in it’s own way and with regard to game mechanics is actually better than it’s so called successor GW2 which should have really been entitled mish-mash bland zerg wars to realistically reflect the game they have served up.

    I actually wonder if any MMO to be released in the next few years will give anything different or live up to the hype it surrounds itself in, hate to say it but WoW is still the only MMO with any longevity the only NcSoft title that is worht playing despite all it’s flaws remains either GW1 or Aion

    • bitchfucker

      who the fuck is QQing now, casual scum?

  • Balthazerg

    I really hope that Anet would come to their senses and start working on an Expansion.
    I’m sure the majority of the Guild Wars player base are going to agree with the idea of an Expansion.

  • tinnic

    Dear Dulfy,

    Please collect the transcript to indicate who Colin actually endorsed: Evon Gnashblade! He even had an Evon Gnashblade button on! Thanks!

    PS. Go Team Gnashblade!

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  • Micke

    Lol at election q answer, didn’t Coin just describe a typical american election? XD

  • Cynical Possum

    Kiel stinks, vote for Evon! lol

    • erg

      Evon stinks of wet cat…Kiel ftw

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