GW2 Pax Anniversary Bash coverage

Notes and transcripts for the GW2 Pax Anniversary Bash coverage occuring from 1:30 to 4:30 PM PDT.

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Tequatl Rising – September 17


  • LFG Tool – dungeons, fractal, open world content, living world dungeons, personal story, player vs player, world vs world. The LFG is region specific except for WvW and open world content which are server specific.
    • Support parties looking for group to merge, allow you to set custom message, you can see what classes are already in the party.
    • For those already in a party, the LFG tool will display groups that can merge into yours (i.e. if you are a group of 2, the LFG tool will display groups with 3 players or less for merge).
    • Groups started by friends, guild members will be at the top.
    • You can kick and report other players from your group.
    • Those who leave/join groups too often via the LFG tool will get a time out.

gw2-lfg-tool-pax-2

  • Tequatl the Sunless – Challenge in the open world
    • Revamped Tequatl with a new set of achievements. If you complete them you get a new title called The Sunbringer.

gw2-tequatl-rising-achievements

    • Rewards overhaul, rewards given at end of the event. The undead adds don’t drop anything.
    • Has chance to drop Ascended weapon, with a brand new reskin that are exclusive to Tequatl, and you can get a mini version of Tequatl as a rare drop!
    • Require a lot of friends and coordination to take it down. All waypoints near the area are contested and it will take you around 1 minute to run back from the nearest waypoint.
    • Megalaser and Hylek turrets are returning, and fight is designed so you can’t ignore them.
    • Need more than 80 players who are over L65+ and well geared.
    • Shockwave, can be jumped over to avoid damage, gets taller at 50% and you won’t be able to jump over it.

gw2-tequatl-rising-shockwaves

    • Poison puddles, make a lot of the playable spaces not useable. Hylek turrets have #3 skill that can cleanse the puddle.
    • Tequatl have Hardened Scales, which gain stacks, if too high he summons a bone wall. Hylek Turret can remove them.

gw2-tequatl-rising-hardened-scale

    • Hylek turret also have buffs and heals to give to other players.
    • 15 minute timer on Tequatl, if you take too long he flies away.
    • Turrets will get attacked by Tequatl Fingers and need protection by other players.
    • If Bone Walls goes up, Tequatl becomes immune to damage and you will need to destroy it, which takes time away from the timer.
    • Tequatl takes off in the middle of the fight and you will need to defend the Megalaser and the associated batteries. Risen mobs walk to the batteries and try to explode if they reach the battery. This event lasts for 1.5 minutes but the Tequatl timer stops when this event is active.
    • Jump pads around the Megalaser and associated batteries to allow you to jump to them quickly.

gw2-tequatl-rising-megalaser

    • When Tequatl returns, he will get shot by the Megalaser, which allow you to do increased damage to him for a small amount of time.
    • New ability past 75%, he will summon a vortex, if you get sucked into it you will appear in an underwater area and will need to swim out of it quickly or you will take constant damage.

gw2-tequatl-rising-vortex

Living World Panel


WvW Announcement – Devon

  • Bloodlust in the Borderlands to be introduced on September 17.
  • WvW season one announced – On October 4, running for 7 weeks, we will be creating from US and Euro worlds WvW leagues. (3 leagues of 9 worlds each for Euro servers and 2 leagues of 12 worlds each for US servers). We have created a schedule of match ups and each world will be matched at least one time against every other world in their league.
  • Results are tracked and those who participated will be rewarded at the end of the season according to their world’s performance.
  • There are weekly rewards and also rewards for worlds who win their leagues such as unique finishers.
  • New meta achievements for this season that give you a key to unlock your performance based rewards.

Arenanet ask Devs questions

  • Devon Carver-WvW coordinator, Chris Whiteside – Design Director, Colin Johanson – Game Director, Stephen Clarke-Wilson – Tech Director, James Ackley – Audio Director, Daniel Dociu – Art Director, Angel Mccoy – Narrative Designer, Joanna Frazer – Producer, Paul Belz – Living World QA
  • Colin: We had the idea of Living World before the game even came out. Dynamic events was the first step, Living World was the next step.
  • How does the Living World approach affects audio? Can you talk more about the important of game immersion in audio?
    • James: Immersion is a big thing we want to bring to this game, it something we paid a lot of attention to. Take Tequatl for example, all of the sounds change with amount of health a boss has, level of music change depending how close you are to him. We try to focus you on stuff that we think you should pay attention to at that time.
  • Dragon Bash and Clockwork Chaos had some unique cinematic, is this something we can expect going forward and your thoughts behind taking this artistic approach?
    • Daniel: People are apparently taken by surprise by the slight stylistic departure from what they have seen in the game in the past. Everybody is curious for the reasons and asking us to explain. It is a byproduct of many changes that we have gone through since launch. With nature of content changing, our storytelling needs to change. Our tools have changed, our team configuration have changed. We are still fine tuning and finding the perfect sweet spot. You can expect to see us to continue in this style for the immediately future until we finally find our creative stride.
  • What is the transition like going from monthly releases to every two weeks:
    • Stephen:GW1 had pretty regular releases so we had a system build for that but just not at the two week release rate. Six weeks around June was the transition to change from monthly to biweekly. We have changed every process in the company. We told everyone it was going to be hard and everyone stepped up. There was a fair bit amount of stress. We are over the main hump now and still fine tuning some tools.
  • What is it like to be a producer on a living world team?
    • Joanna: Producer is the keeper of the schedule, I help Living world teams to determine their dates and know when they need to hit their deadlines. Producer is also a facilitator and problem solver to remove road blocks – ask for new technology, more resources etc to make sure we can hit our expectations. If everything fails, Joanna smash.
  • How does it feel like to be a QA embedded on every Living World team?
    • Paul: There is a QA embed in every team and I work over them to make sure they have everything they need. it is fun but also a lot of work. Each team is in different stage of development so you have to be able to compartmentalize and keep track of each team’s progress and goals. You can see differences and the unique pace and culture in each of the four Living World teams. Each month is developed by a different Living World team with their own unique approach to make the monthly content different. If you pay really close attention you can see which team designed which month’s content.
  • Is it hard to cut content? What was the most disappointing thing you had to cut out?
    • Chris: From a high level point of view, we don’t really cut anything. We have a system of backlog where we look at what we created and thought about and prioritize things and eventually they will come out. That is one of the reasons why we can’t talk about so many things so frequently until we are confident that it is going to be released. When you get to the micro of Living Team releases, the overall goal for me is everything we do that comes out of the studio has to be of the highest quality which means that as the teams are spinning up, there would be instance we would take something out of a Living World release and it would be a modular component of the play experience. 9/10 of the time that will reappear. So there isn’t a single instance where I regret cutting something out because of the backlogs and it generally lead to a high quality release. The area that I am least patient on is that I know what is the pipe, I am like a kid in a candy shop. I want to get there sometimes before we are actually ready but the team keeps me in check.
  • As a narrative designer/lore person, we introduced a bunch of new characters in the new living world release. Do you have any favorites or can people expect any new characters coming out?
    • Angel: Favorite character – that is like asking a parent which child is your favorite. We put a lot of thought into each of the characters to make them as interesting, storyworthy, and as Tyrian as possible. We got Rox, Braham, Marjory, Canach,  Kasmeer, Kiel, and Evon Gnashblade (more of a secondary character). For villians we have Scarlet which you have recently met. The characters will be evolving and will be growing. We want them to change through the course of the story. You will see characters deaths, you will see character love, character challenges with family, a lot of interpersonal/interplay between characters. We are moving towards a bit more cohesive group of characters and start to bring them together so we can tell bigger stories.

Player Questions

  • Q: Of the things you can discuss, what is QA’s favorite unintentional bug that we never saw. The example would be the airplane bug except we never saw.
    • Paul: The airplane bug is first, later on we incorporated the Norn animation for the riding boom during Halloween as a homage to that bug. Second one is being able to spin infinitely in some animations. Also sleep – jumps (??).
  • Q: Bigger stories and bigger events, the scale of the events have being bigger with last couple updates, can we expect them to be even bigger in the coming updates?
    • Angel: Maybe? Yes we are going to be telling bigger stories. We have not forgotten the dragons. Scarlet is quite a cosmic villian and she will have her fingers in a lot of different pots That is all I can tell you at this point.
    • Colin: Living World isn’t we are going to put something in for two weeks and then take it out. I know you guys saw some of that earlier this year and for some folks that feel like that is what it was. That is not what it is about. It is about putting in the content that changes the world for everyone with a story that drives the change and creates an experience for everyone to come together. We want to go bigger than the zone invasions you are seeing. We want create experiences, create landmasses, change landmases, change things you know really well in the game. You are going to see some of that even this year. The concept behind Southsun – the start of that really showed what Living World is about – players taking over the island and defeating the Karka Queen to claim the island as your own. That is the concept you are going to see. Tequatl is another example – change something you already know with Living World.
  • Q: GW1 had a lot of PvP variety, GW2 sPVP is lacking, will we get more varieties in the future?
    • Colin: Our focus right now is making a game type that is easy to watch and understand. That is one of the things we have accomplished so far and we want to keep that concept. This doesn’t mean we won’t introduce new game types in the future, we are playing around with a lot of game types right now. Some of the game types in GW1 we took them and applied to other areas in GW2 – i.e. WvW, minigames. A lot of GW1 game types are empty right now because we have too many and we don’t want that to happen. We want to support WvW and sPvP even more than we are right now and if we go add another game type it is at the cost of WvW/sPvP.PvE. It is something we have to becareful.
  • Q: In the recent update, people are making more money and the gap between the rich and poor are getting smaller. Is this intentional and is it smooth as you expected?
    • Chris: In speaking to players, we felt that the rewards were not on par with the risks & time consumed. There was a very big push to reward the players in better and more exciting ways. It was interesting to see how it affected the economy and shortened the divide between rich and poor players. Now we have seen the analytics for rewards vs risk and playtime, we have a benchmark now and can balance around that.
  • Q: Town clothes – we can make it so they don’t disappear if you take damages from fall damage etc.
    • Chris: Are you saying it is not realistic to jump off a cliff and at the bottom have your clothes automatically change? I guess we have to fix that! That is your answer.We are actively looking into what we want to do with town clothes. It is a limited system that doesn’t fit with how rest of our clothing work and we are actively discussing to see what we want to do to change that. I wish I can give more details but we haven’t finalized our plans.
  • Q: Why do the Living world reflect more the NPCs rather than the players
    • Angel: Those are discussions we have internally. Because there are so many of you, it is technically difficult to make each of you feel like you are the center of things. However, we are looking to do that and we have found some ways that we are going to start to incorporate in the upcoming releases. In the future you will be given choices (i..e recent elections) and we want to put you in the driver seat. We want you to feel that you are choosing your story and have NPCs react to you based on your character’s experience. It is a little bit of an uphill battle.
    • Chris: Heroes of Tyria will shape the world and you will change the course of history of Tyria as well. I am looking forward to all of that.
  • Q: Are you making to fix the Charr armor and make them look sexy?
    • Daniel: Providing better armor for all races is important to us. Charr is the least played race so we will need to distribute our manpower accordingly. Players who play humans and norn are more numerous and louder crowd. We feel for the Charrs, and given the time and resources we will make sure to do your justice.
  • Q: We know how Zhaitan have that weird serpent thingie coming out of his mouth. Can we expect all the dragons to be that freaky?
    • If Daniel has anything to say about it, they will all be freaky.
    • Daniel: Not tool long ago we have a dedicated team that does nothing but think of better ways of addressing major encounters – everything from the creature’s look, move, behave, fight, defeated state. Expect our creatures not just more freaky or scary but also to engage the players in ways we havn’t being able to in the past.
  • Q: See the next (Sylvari) tree before the next expansion or will we have to wait?
    • Angel: You will have to wait but when I say that I don’t mean that there is a timeline for any expansion type or content or appearance of another tree. However, Sylvari is one of my favorite races and as a loremaster I will do some cool stuff with them coming up next year.
  • Q: How with the Living story can we link to the previous stuff (Cantha, Elona)?
    • Angel: Cantha is a part of Tyria and the residents that are still living there are sealed off. I think it would be impossible to tell the full breath of Tyria without at least talking about Cantha/Elona. We know players love Cantha/Elona, they are still part of the world, part of the story, nothing is off the plate of possible.
  • Q: Guild Interface could use some improvements – like knowing when someone last logged in. Achievements – announce them to guild when an achievement is finished. I kinda missed that from WoW. Also for legendaries.
    • Colin: Those are all great suggestions.
  • Q: Do you have any insights to suggest that biweekly cycle is the best over monthly.
    • Colin: Players numbers and player login time, total hours played per week have consistently gone up since we did the biweekly cycle. This is even during the summer when MMO player population drops.
  • Arenanet: Any final words?
    • Audience: Polymock
  • ReMarkable

    Looks like an awesome fight, but is it enough for 2 weeks content?

    Yay for LFG tool

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      It is probably a permanent thingie rather than 2 weeks. You are not going to revamp a world boss for 2 weeks and have it go back to its original state heh

      • Sputti

        The SAB will also be available

        • narg

          with all old and new achievements, yay! :D

  • Harnace

    RIP gw2lfg.com :(

    • Ares Zax

      Yeah. Kudos to the site that’s offered us such amazing functionality for a year, but with an in-game tool now available, I think it’ll become completely deserted.

  • cellofrag

    Will we have more info ? other annoucement ? Decon carter said, huge revelation about WvW…

    • DisgruntledGW2Player

      We all know a new map is coming out with some stupid point capping features, but that’s about it. The only “revelation” I can think of is if they decide to separate skills in PvE, PvP, and WvW.

  • DisgruntledGW2Player

    That’s…. it? It’s literally nothing of value. Gee, thanks ArenaNet.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Not done yet, they are sorta taking a break with players playing the new Tequatl so nothing to write about until later.

  • Pantus

    Man, I sure hope they won’t stop with this at Tequati. World bosses need the love after a year.

    • Sigh Nigh

      esp. the Shatterer

  • Adamant

    “Need more than 80 players who are over L65+ and well geared”

    WTH – I know there is guesting but to morning players and low pop servers that depend on api readers this is a once a week at best then

    Thank for the info as always Dulfy

    • Floread

      Low pop servers and morning players will probably have to wait till weekends or stay up late just to get a chance.

      Meanwhile during the peak hours, think of those queues or overflow servers. :(

    • Raymond Hawkins

      Did you not just play the Clockwork Chaos content? If rewards are good and there’s a notification for it, players flock in the masses. I’d say the bigger problem will be getting in before the map is full.

  • Schiinch

    Well I think they didn’t reveal most of the stuff just the main part. I hope so at least. Thanks for you information Dulfy, as always. I hope some better and bigger things will be announced, such as new ways to get ascended, maybe even scavenger hunt for them :)

  • Ty

    Wow Dulfy! You’ve got some skills on the keyboard, good job putting this out so soon! :)

  • Evelynn

    thanks dulfy

  • Crimson Call

    A LFG tool makes me the most happy Charr ever.

  • Hurrrr

    “GW1 had pretty regular releases so we had a system build for that but
    just not at the two week release rate.”

    Yeah, and we all liked GW1 better in that regard.

    • hurr

      Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to go back to killing Elder Dragons with [2] instead of dealing with all this living story crap.

      • Ahuehue Huehuehue Huehue Huehu

        Amen to that. I wish they kept to the current lore (Elder Dragons. Centaurs/Ghosts/Inquest/Nightmare Court, Palawa Joko, Mursaat, Tengu, Cantha) instead of inventing relatively boring new stuff (Aetherblades, Scarlet, Molten Alliance).

    • Nick

      you know GW1 was in some way for hardcore fanbase.

      they cant just release something and 3 months later come up with something new.

      GW2 is fun but without constant updates its going to fall. so living story is the perfect way to go.

      i kinda dislike it too because i have to rush it sometimes but still its an okay way.

  • http://www.kingrpg.net/ KINGRPG

    I want to see a new dragon.

  • Jano Ris

    “Also sleep – jumps (??).” Sleep Jump was a bug from the beta. You were able to Jump while sleeping.
    Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMtDK-sKs2U

    People were doing huge sleep Jump Parties in LA. Couldn’t find any vid of that though

  • ju576

    I know by looking the screenshot that Tequatl Rising is in the Bosses tab, but will it an endless content or is part of the living world and remains for 15 days or 1 month ?
    Thank you!

    • Sithis

      Endless… the boss is already in the game.

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  • Yadua

    “Need more than 80 players who are over L65+ and well geared”, really? My past encounters with world boss looked like this…. constant slideshow…. taking into account that they added achievements which require skill i doubt that I will get those or other people who also had drop in fps at worls bosses

  • Gab

    Yet an other boring zerg fest, Zerg Wars 2 ftw. Srsly why on Earth would they prioritize revamping a world boss over more meaningful content.

    • Sithis

      Bcoz ppl (like me) don’t like how the current world boss mechanics work.

  • Michael Gordon

    While I like some of the changes for Tequatl, but some of the added changes are just stupid. 80+ players? Time limit where he flies away? 1 minute to return from a waypoint?… I don’t mind them making changes but seriously use the KISS principal! Keep it simple stupid!

    • DarkChaosGames

      These are just measures being made so people can’t simply zerg the boss; taking from any sort of challenge. Tequatl is supposed to be a grand and epic fight, and if it scaled down to too few people it would lack mechanics that would make it feel meaningful, thus requiring 80+. The time limit is such that the event CAN fail, you can’t just take your precious little time and whittle it down slowly until you get a guaranteed, non-accomplished victory. Finally, the waypoint distance is so there is an actual punishment for death, yet again going against the total zerg mentality. All of this together will require people to work together and perhaps even better the community because of it.

      The requirement for some skill and effort may very well make this fight actually interesting beyond simply, “oh look, free loot. Let me just stand here auto-attacking for a minute…”.

    • D-bag

      I agree with the 1 minute to return. Contested waypoints are the worst idea ever! When I get defeated, my personal demoralization is punishment enough. All I know is I’m just going to lie there dead like a douche until someone rezzes me. And there will be a whole lot of dead bodies that won’t waypoint.

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  • Bankstercide

    IMHO, a better scaling mechanic to deal with zergs is to unlock additional objectives/targets that have to be achieved AT THE SAME TIME. This forces larger zergs into more manageable groups. This mechanic already exists (somewhat) in certain boss fights where you need to kill the targets at roughly the same time.

    Furthermore, providing more objectives means more targets which means more opportunities for Condition Builds.

    PS: Tequatl wasn’t the most boring of the Chest Boss fights. Fire Shaman, Golem and Jormaga are far worse. And what about making MegaDestroyer actually worth doing?

    • Ares Zax

      ANet has said they’re looking at the Dragon fights first to make them more memorable, but here’s hoping that the other World Bosses will get similar revamps. (Even ones in low-level zones. I’m wary of making things like the Fire Elemental as hard as it used to be, but there’s nothing very memorable about showing up to a huge zerg that just pounds the Maw Shaman until he dies, and you can’t even see him most of the time in the huge cloud of SFX.)

      • Bankstercide

        Speaking of which, can I get a better Effects filter? The Goggles they gave us, they do NOTHING!

      • sam

        yo the fire elemental was the most thrilling thing in the beta. it took the entire map to finish! XD and i loved it

  • D-bag

    No one asked why Rox is the only cute female Charr. She’s the only Charr with enlarged eyes and tons of facial plastic surgery. The female Charr we’re allowed to make are hideous.

  • John Doe

    This event will be toned down , this wont be a zerg farm , it will require alot of coordination as it looks nobody will complete it.

  • Ares Zax

    Dulfy, do you happen to know if the Tequatl Rising release is going to be permanent content? That is, the rewards and achievements will remain completable even after the two week period is up? I’m presuming it would be, since it would rather silly of it to revert back to its old form, but I’ve been surprised in the past too with the removal of the Aetherized Shoulder rewards from the Not So Secret JP after Sky Pirates was over.

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      They didn’t say but I would assume it is permanent like Karka Queen content.

  • Bankstercide

    “We had the idea of Living World before the game even came out. Dynamic events was the first step, Living World was the next step.”

    Then they screwed up. Right now Living World is overwriting Dynamic Events instead of synergizing with each other.

    • sam

      your wrong, sir.

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