GW2 Reddit Developer AMA Summary

Summary of the GW2 Reddit Developer AMA with all the important points and hightlights.

Schedule

  • Next big quarterly update in April to reduce grind and improve rewards. After that we will do live beta tests of improvements to WvW
  • Raid Wing 3 will be launched in May or June and then LW3 and the next Quarterly update after.
  • 120 devs working on live game, 70 devs on expansion 2, 30 devs on core teams that support both. With in the live release/expansion groups we have the PvP team, the WvW team, the Fractals team, the Raids team, the Living World team, the Legendaries team, and a couple others
  • We will ship things when they are done and polished rather than on a hard schedule.
  • There are a couple things we’re focusing on going forward. First of all, sustainability. We don’t want to shift back and forth, so we need to make sure Expac2 doesn’t need us to pull down Live devs and vice-versa. Second, quality. When we’re shipping every two weeks, we just have to ship. But going forward it’s much more important for us to be proud of everything we ship, and for you to be proud of everything we ship, than to hit a specific cadence.
  • We can’t get back to the 2-week cadence, not only because we’re also working on an expansion pack at the same time, but also because shipping every two weeks forces us to sacrifice quality. However we do love to sprinkle little bits of stuff in there between releases.
  • The Story Journal was created as a way to provide story content to players in a way that they could control the pace at which they choose to play. We’re definitely looking to continue with that.
  • New Eite specializations are part of expansion packs.

Hot Maps

  • Current Hot Maps seems to push players to just do group event content rather than free-form exploration. That is not our intention. When we make maps we try to make them great both group events and exploration.
  • It is not our intention to kick players off a map with progression to one with no progression and we are working on ways to fix it.
  • Players should not have to take part in multiple hour long zergs. There’s a lot of content in HoT and we’re trying to make it rewarding to play in a variety of play styles.
  • With HoT we leaned more heavily on the organized content unfortunately at the cost of more casual experience. This is something that we plan on making adjustments to and are taking into account as we develop maps in the future.
  • Availability of Adventures is absolutely something we are addressing for the April release!
  • HoT daily achievements were overlooked during development. Expect to find these and some of their friends in an upcoming release.

Items

  • Studio has regularly conversations about differences between male and female armors. Things like skimpy male armors are being discussed.
  • We are working on bringing the Apostle and Tribal armor Old PvP skins back into the game.
  • There are some improvements on obtaining the new HoT gear in the April update but it won’t resolve the issue of having some builds difficult to gear than others until Living World Season 3.
  • Armor sets are one of the most time consuming things we make for GW2. Each set has an incredible amount of detail and customization, and then has to be fit to very disparate rigs. That’s a big part of why we did the number we did for HoT.That being said, there are plans for more reward armor sets in the future
  • It take about ten times the dev effort to make an armor set as to make an outfit.
  • We believe that armor sets make great rewards and the best place for them is earned, in-game rewards.We designed the rewards for raids around the acquisition of Legendary Armor and have no alternate plans for getting them.
  • We are working towards completing the entire set of 16 HoT legendary weapons (sorry underwater). Of the 13 left, they are all in various stages of concept, modeling and design, but the two that are furthest along in development are the Short Bow and the Mace. We will be releasing them as they are ready with each of the packaged releases.
  • Legendary armor are still being released as part of raid rewards, that has not changed.
  • We have delinked Fractal backpieces from the leaderboards and can release it sooner. It took sometime to undo the link to Fractal leaderboards and now we are testing it to make sure everything works correctly.

Story/Living World S3

  • Living World should come back around the time of the July quarterly update.
  • Living World Season 3 will require players to have purchased HoT
  • The story will definitely pick up in Season 3 where we left off in HoT. You will certainly hear more about Rata Novus, the egg, etc and we always look for ways to put in bonus and optional story for the folks who really want it
  • As we continue, we will absolutely have epic events like the ones in LS1 as some of our broad story goals
  • Team loves weaving long established lore into our new story, and we’re excited about a lot of ways that we will be doing that in upcoming releases. Magic in Tyria is broader than dragons.
  • We have a long term plan for the story and not just brainstorming things along the way. That being said, there are many ways for us to get to the big milestones along the way, and with every new release/season/xpac, we always do a lot of brainstorming on the best ways to get us there
  • Expect to see permanent changes in the world, that can happen in new maps or old maps
  • We also love telling stories in open world. We’re definitely looking at all the ways we can tell our story in upcoming Living World releases.

Dungeons/Fractals

  • We’re continuing to focus on Fractals as our primary focus for 5-man content. However, given the reaction, we are taking a second look at the current dungeon rewards.
  • We didn’t need to nerf dungeons like that. But we also don’t have a dungeons team to keep dungeons updates. So that’s the dilemma. We have no current plan to staff a dungeons team; no free developers to staff one with.
  • No new dungeons. Just Raids and Fractals for the foreseeable future.
  • Development on Fractal Leaderboards has been suspended. The more we worked on Fractal Leaderboards the more we realized it just wouldn’t work with Fractals as they are right now.
  • We did come up with something else entirely that we really do like as an alternative, but that would take a lot of development work and we just have too many problems with Fractals in their current state before we can devote those kind of resources to a project like that.
  • We’re working on some new Fractals right now and also looking into making improvements to Fractals as a game mode. We can’t commit to a specific date, but we would really like to get some of these changes in for the next quarterly update, New fractals are still in early prototype state and won’t be ready for Q2.
  • We’re looking into making certain existing encounters into fractal content, and have found one that seems promising. Claw Island would be fun. Maybe at some point? Mechanically though, if we convert existing content into Fractals going forward they will definitely need a mechanical tune-up. What works well for a Living World instance doesn’t necessarily make a good Fractal.
  • New Fractals would replace existing levels.We don’t really want to add more levels past 100, because that opens up a whole new can of worms. For much, much later on, at some point I think we will need to simply change how Fractal Scales work. Maybe instead of having scales at all, you would just play Core Molten Duo or Casual Jade Maw or something like that, instead of Scale 40 and Scale 20.
  • To make high level fractals more challenging, we’re borrowing a page from Raids here with things like phase transitions and different attacks, which will then become more challenging at higher scales (e.g. larger AoEs, shorter breakbar windows, more punishing attacks when you fail to dodge, etc.) We are looking at both doing this for new Fractals and reworking old Fractals to incorporate these things as well. It will take us some time to get to all the old Fractals though.
  • Instabilities are one of the things we’re working on. We’re absolutely working on new Instabilities. We agree than many of the ones live right now are more frustrating than anything else. We really want Instabilities to be something that mixes up gameplay at higher scales and become something players need to interact or react to, and not just something which passively makes the Fractal harder.
  • As we develop new, better Instabilities we do plan on phasing out the old ones. We’ll likely end up with a mix of new and old Instabilities for a period though, at least until we develop enough new ones.
  • We are currently reworking Fractal instabilities, though we’re still in the very early stages of development on those.
  • We want to incentivize players to play all of our Fractals, not just the shortest/easiest ones. We have several ideas on how to tackle this, starting with changing how the Daily Achievements work
  • Random fractals like before were not accessible to everyone as you needed 1-2 hrs to sink into fractals. We want to make Fractals more accessible to new players and make sure it’s something that is easy to just pick up and play.
  • There are plans to increased Ascended drop rate.
  • We do want to rework how Agony and Agony Resistance works, but those are plans for far in the future, as we have other more pressing issues we need to work on first.
  • We really want to add more incentives to play a wider variety of different Fractals, though we do know there are some people who do enjoy it so we don’t want to nerf Swamp/Duo directly.
  • The primary goal for HoT fractal changes was to make them more accessible to new players. This was partially successful, but I think it came at too high a cost to players who loved Fractals as they were. In the future we want to make sure we can have Fractals that appeal to both crowds.
  • Ad Infinitum was held back because we were trying to work it into Fractal Leaderboards. The problem is Fractal Leaderboards, as a feature, ended up evolving into something else entirely that was taking way more development time than originally intended.

Raids

  • Raid teams are smaller than teams for Living World releases. For example, with Salvation Pass, we had only about 5-6 people working on it full time for 4 months.
  • Raids had always planned for 3 wings to encompass the first raid. So we had some stuff and ideas in progress before we ever shipped the first release. While it seems like it’s the priority over smaller group content, that is definitely not the case. We just got a head start is all.
  • Raid in MMOs are high-end content designed for the more hardcore player. However, from an analytics standpoint, the participation is higher than other games we’ve seen. This is likely due to the nature of our progression system in GW2.
  • We have multiple teams working on different types of content for Guild Wars 2 and raid content is just one of them. Expect to find a variety of content types of varying difficulty in future releases of Living World and Expansions.
  • Living World Season 3 should open some avenues for non-raiders to gear up with ascended equipment. This should also allow non-raiders to get the gear/stat combinations that are currently only available in the raids, like jewelry with the new HoT combinations.
  • One of the things you’ll see in Salvation Pass are some new achievements that force you to play the encounter differently. It’s one of the ways we are slowly exploring making encounters with opt in extra difficulty.
  • There will be variances between the raid releases regarding the number of encounters / bosses depending on complexity of development and design. Most raids will try to be of a consistent size.
  • There are no plans for a final boss that is only accessible after you cleared all 3 wings.
  • You will need one Gift of Craftsmanship to upgrade each piece of the final set of precursor armor to legendary. I’m still working on balancing the number of legendary insights you will need, though if you raid regularly and successfully, you should have enough to complete your armor without having to go back and grind more insights.We’re looking at making the provisioners easier to access to make it less of a hassle.
  • No plans for 5 man version of the raid or easier mode of the raid. We are working on solutions for finding raid groups such as adding raids to the LFG tool.
  • We’ve slowly started talks about what the raid after Forsaken Thicket is and where it will take place, but that’s the extent.

WvW

  • Stephen is the studio technical director of ArenaNet. He’ll be the new director for WvW and clear the log jam.
  • At a high level we plan to address core WvW issues such as population imbalance, scoring issues, and rewards. Of those, the first updates you’ll see will be related to population balance and rewards. As always, as we get closer to releasing an update we’ll be publishing a blog post including more details.
  • We are  set to live beta-test changes starting after we publish the April update .In a Live Beta, the beta feature is available on the live game servers, but we are able to quickly disable the feature in the event that it’s negatively impacting gameplay, or any other serious issues arise. Depending on the feature the length of a live beta can be highly variable, it may be a few hours, a weekend, or much longer. It’s an opportunity for us to gather feedback on the feature, from the entire playerbase, and update the feature before shipping it ‘for real’. The live beta will be available to everyone.
  • Right now our priorities are population imbalance and rewards. But they don’t have to be. I’ll contact WvW opinion leaders and put them in front of the team to make sure we’re working on the right things.
  • We overscoped a big “WvW 2.0″ awesome update that was taking forever … so now we will ship lots of small incremental improvements that get us to where we want to be, and so y’all know we are actually working on it! Some of the things done over the last year and a half are reusable, and we’ll get those to a ship-able state.
  • The WvW team’s current top priority is fixing population imbalance. It’s a really hard technical problem. It has taken us a long time to ship a solution, so it’s been a long time since we’ve shipped significant updates, and of course that hurts. Currently, we’re clearing the log-jam by making sure we can roll-out incremental updates to the Live servers. It will be nice to be back in a mode of shipping frequently.
  • Once we’ve released our blog, announcing the first part of the big WvW update, we’ll be able to be a lot more open when answering questions about our solutions to these big issues and how exactly the updated systems will work.
  • We are currently working on layout improvements to the Desert Borderlands map. Specifically, we are looking at changes that simplify navigation, reduce line of sight blockers, reduce/eliminate critical choke points (Fire Keep Lord Room), reduce lethal fall locations, etc.
  • We still intend to eventually bring back the Alpine Borderlands map, but it’s not as simple as just toggling it back on. We don’t have the tech for rotating between the two borderlands built yet, and the map itself required a significant amount of content updates to support all of the features that were added to WvW as part of the HoT update.
  • When we made the new borderlands we planned to be able to switch between it and the previous map, perhaps by round, or perhaps by ‘season’. But the tech to support that on-the-fly swap never worked; we kept thinking it shouldn’t be that hard, because we can redirect people to/from PVE and PVP maps with simple configuration changes. (One big problem is the overworld map can’t dynamically update). We didn’t mean to get into a place where there was only the new map but unfortunately we did.
  • We moved resets to Saturday because sometimes we do a build on Fridays and just about the time we wanted to activate the build was during the reset time. So we thought it would be better if there was no conflict in the timing of those things. Since people love Friday, but we might do a build on Friday, we need to talk about exactly what time of day would be good for the community, and then adjust based on that.

sPvP

  • Halls and Tombs were a huge part of GW1. While we loved those modes in GW1 we wanted to try something different for GW2.Guild Wars 2 PvP takes a new and different approach to PvP and overall is much more successful for it.
  • The old iteration of the leaderboard will not be returning, but we do have the Legendary Division Leaderboard which highlights our top Ranked Arena players as well as the Guild Challenger League which highlights our top guild teams.
  • We are definitely aware that there are some frustrating match-ups being made during this Season’s initial kick off period and we are actively working to improve this for Season 3, particularly during the start of the season.
  • No plans for a betting system for PvP esports games.
  • We believe that having distinct meta periods is healthy for the state of PvP, but keeping the meta constantly in flux is frustrating for most players, because things that were effective one day were ineffective the next week.
  • We use MMR for minor matchmaking considerations (like finding similarly skilled teammates), but it doesn’t really work as a determiner of which division you technically belong in for our specific league system. There is a lot of things involved in the League progress system, but sufficed to say, we’ve explored the idea of using MMR as the sole means of determining player positions and we identified enough pitfalls that we decided to opt for a different system instead.Right now, for the purposes of matchmaking, MMR is currently used when searching for players to be on your team (unless you’re in a pre-made group, of course). We do not plan on making any changes to matchmaking until after Season 2 has ended.
  • We are looking at ways to get higher tier players to where they need to be faster. In S2 we added win streaks which our data has shown has helped a lot to achieve this. Again, no solid plans yet but this is something that the team is keeping a close eye on.
  • It is definitely our intent to build new maps for PvP for both Conquest and Stronghold. Before we dig into that, we are taking a pass on making some improvements to our existing maps. We’ve had some feedback from some of our top players on how some existing maps could be adjusted to be more competitive. Expect to see some adjustments along those lines first.
  • No plans for 1v1 or 2v2 PvP gamemodes at the moment or plans for match sizes larger than 5v5 in PvP.
  • We’re aware that there are still existing pain points on the Battle of Champion’s Dusk map and we are actively working to address them.
  • Our currently supported gamemodes are Conquest and Stronghold. Courtyard still has a place in custom arenas, but it won’t be returning to Unranked or Ranked arena.
  • How players move between maps in PvP is different than in the rest of the game and because of that it there are technical limitations on our ability to have players queue from outside the Mists. If we can find a solution to the technical challenges around this we would love to be able to do this but it is a very difficult problem given how the code between these systems work.

Class Balance/Testing

  • We do have a team that works on skills. We focus on maintenance and balance of current skills, in addition to the implementation of new player skills down the road
  • Internal testing is a mix of Dev/Q.A./tester Hands-on interaction, and some automation.
  • When discussing changes for classes, we look to a variety of areas to determine what should happen. We use metrics from many areas of the game, feedback from a plethora of sources (yourselves included), along with our own spreadsheet comparisons and experiences. In addition, we have meetings with each feature team to discuss the issues in that we then investigate and come up with solutions for. We balance from many different perspectives, top tier pvp is included as well as Raids, Fractals, WvW roaming/group play, casual open world, huge map-wide encounters and a few more
  • We are not fully against skill splitting between the different game modes but it adds a lot of overhead to every balance and design decision. While it does give you another tool box it does lead to optimizing skills heavily for each game type which does make power creep.Its on the table and it’s something we may use in the future

Technical/Features

  • Extended Experience never really existed in the form promoted in that blog post and the team working on it was restructured to focus on other things. Don’t expect us to ship anything like what the blog post promised, it’s not a good use of our time. We decided a long time ago that it would be far better to have the community own the extended experience than for us to do it internally.
  • Character rendering API is still a “that would be awesome” sort of long-term goal
  • New Bug Tracker is intended to simply make our processes more transparent, it will display a highlight of all the bugs being worked on. It is to improve communication between QA and the customer base.
  • No plans for graphics engine update (i.e. no Direct X 12 or moving to Vulkan).
  • Mac version was done via a shield party shell to host the Windows version and isn’t a true Mac application. We are actively experimenting with getting native code that runs directly on the Mac with OpenGL etc
  • Guild Anthems weren’t fully polished so we pulled it from the HoT launch. We want to get back to but not actively working on it right now.
  • Megaserver/Taxi behavior is a very complex problem. The taxi system is not designed to be the primary way people make it into maps with their friends. That being said, we don’t think getting rid of the options gets us many benefits. There are two major problems with megaservers: the criteria for who your playing with is immense and it isn’t a load balancing problem in the normal sense. We can’t say specifically at this point what the final experience will be like, but I can say that it will be better. We’ve been at work for several months already. There will be very little random about the new system.
  • Keyrings is a cool suggestion but we are not working on that as we got our plates full with other developments.
  • We’ve experimented with public test servers and there are two problems for us: 1) much of our stuff is story driven, and not suitable for a public test server; and 2) the results from play patterns don’t match what we see later on live. Instead, we developed a system we used for HoT where we can beta test characters and maps on the Live servers with a cute little personal sandbox that surrounds beta characters.We will be exploring using that tech more so we can do public-test-server-like things but in the live game, so we get real useful results back
  • No plans for aerial combat. We like it but working on other things.

Fluff

  • Colin is leaving due to a new opportunity that allow him to see his family more and support his wife on a project. Also less commune for him.
  • Game directors coordinate it all, set the long-term direction, set the anchors that teams use to make decisions, and generally ensure that the finished product is more than the sum of its parts.
  • Official fashion contests are a nice idea that the team can discuss and see if it fits.
  • Weapon design contests like we did for GW1 are tricky due to legal issues that restricts who can enter and can take a lot of work to implement. The team will be happy to discuss this possibility in the future.
  • Original designer of the crafting system was in love with fishing and it had more documentation than the rest of the crafting system. Unfortunately we never had the plans to do it and the guy left the company 5 years ago. This designer is actually the husband of the current crafting designer. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be fishing in the near future but she will keep bringing it up.
  • Roy is now a team lead on creatures and working on Expansion 2.
  • QA at launch had a very large group of 60ish people in house but it is more leaner now.
  • The hardest part of writing any music for the game is making sure it matches the intent of the rest of the team, from the artists to the writers to the designers. The other difficult part is making sure it feels “Guild Wars-y”, for lack of a better term. There is room to grow and expand what that means, but I’m always very aware of the legacy of Jeremy Soule and what he means to the world of Guild Wars
  • Jesse Wan

    Fish+ rice=sushi. DO IT!

  • lore

    So disappointed in the dungeon news. I enjoyed the dungeons and was looking for more in HOT. Fractals are OK, but it is basically running the same dungeon over and over with a twist… After the nerf, no one does dungeons anymore. Wish they would have focused on new dungeons/paths instead of the raids.

    I don’t find the raids nearly as much fun as the dungeons and the dungeons were a part of the story. The raids seem “tacked on.” I am also surprised that they are waiting so long to start LS3. I expected it much sooner.

    • Phobia256

      The taxi system is basically a work-around for a serious flaw in the megaserver system. It doesn’t account for hard world bosses and meta-event progression. Until they come up with a solution to that I am afraid will have to rely on it to get into decent maps.

      • lore

        I know it is a “band-aid” fix. I just think they should leave it in place until they come up with a really successful solution for the problem

  • Asda

    “120 devs” working AND THEY CAN’T FIX the tiny little armor texture/dye channel bugs that have been in since release that would take literally 15 seconds worth of time to correct? So infuriating.

    • Braghez

      15 worth of time to correct, lols.

  • Krazy Karl

    This always seems like the thing with this game. There is always big talk but how and when it is released never lives up to these plans. I really want to be engrossed in this game like I once was but I know this hype to get me disappointed again. Sorry for being negative :(.

    • guest

      Completely agree. Since A-net announced HoT last year they couldn’t keep up at all. Even before that it wasn’t a perfect situation but at least a whole lot better than now.

      LS every few months? That won’t keep all players in the game. Especially not the ones that know how often content was delivered in the past. Fractal legendary back seems like a far away dream now, too. No new fractals for quite a while either.

      • Braghez

        Main problem was the resource management up until now. They had everyone on HoT up until launch…then they went back to LS, but practically had to start working again on stuff that was left here for 1y almost.
        In theory with the new management and distribution once we hit LS3 it should go a bit better since there won’t be anymore big dead times between LS, xpac and other stuff. That said, we ll see.

        I’m kinda glad for this dead time XD will have some more time for The Division at least ahahahah.

        • guest

          True. That’s the benefit of a game without subscription model. Although I still rather would like to have stuff to do in a game that was one of my favorites for most of its lifetime.

          But at least until new content is released I can still check it out every now and then without having to pay a full month.

      • Ivan

        LS sucked season 1, they attempted way too many creative tropes instead of actually being creative

        e.g. gay characters are nice, and Caithe + Faolain was awesome, but Kasmeer and Marjory are pretty vomit-inducing because it’s so forced and shallow between those two. Rox and Braham are just cringeworthy

        • guest

          and what exactly does that have to do with my comment? I never said it was perfect. I merely mentioned that the release-circle they plan now is a pretty bad idea if they actually want to keep the size of the player base and not just want to get some money from the store every 3 months when people come back for the new chapter.

          Besides that’s that LS1 sucked is entirely your opinion. I enjoyed it more than LS2 but at least that was still better than what we got after the HoT announcement(nothing followed by an farm-oriented expansion followed by two spvp seasons).

          • Ivan

            my point was you liking shitty content, thats my opinion

            • Guest

              The funny part is I never even mentioned S1 specifically. You for some reason brought on that topic.

              And whether I like content or not doesn’t really matter to my point either. The planned release circle is a problem either way.

              But I congratulate you on expressing your opinion. It totally missed the point but thank you for enlightening me with your “opinion”.

  • OK

    So we went from bi-weekly living world updates to once in 8-9 months.

    • Phobia256

      A quarter of a year is 3 months… plus some minor updates in between.

      • Mike Kelly

        I think he was talking about the next living world update being in Q3.

        Season 2 ended January 2015, then no new content until HoT launched 9 months later, now it’s going to be July or later for Season 3, which is 9+ months after HoT launched.

        I don’t know what if any other new content we can expect before then. I suspect it’ll only be raid wings. Everything else sounds like it’s not coming any time soon.

  • Majmo Mendez

    “We really like the idea of XY b-b-but development and development team so it ain’t gonna happen” is becoming the theme of this game

  • Alot

    Rage Bar just dropped by 3 points. Stating what the developers are working on doesn’t increase the snail pace of delivery but knowing 120 devs are grouped under “current content” is good to know.
    I guess I should desist in all HoT grinding until April. Possibly check off all those Fractal backpack achievements?

  • Noname

    Real cute, but the reality is three quarters managers and one quarter workers. Out of which one third are yield and monetize oriented.
    *Its quite simple, aggregate wvw to 5 -6 tiers. Give a reward track for wvw.
    *Fix fractals to 3 tiers each with vast difficulty and drop rate rewards difference and give fractals content loot related rewards. Moll fractal = moll loot.
    *Remove all the staff working on eSports PVP bs and instead task them with the actual game, at this stage dreaming for a gold toilet, while barely scrapping food bits is not working.
    *Make an incentive for people to do dungeons again.
    *Hire more workers to work on the game, instead of gliders every 5 days.

    • Braghez

      Esport employees are nothing more than a marketing team, lol… Not that actually removing and sending them to do something else will actually help, since they’re not programmers, probably. At most they gave have some audio or video technicians. Honestly It’s not like they develop anything exclusive to esport matches. At most I could accept the fact that they “lose” money in prizes for the tournaments, but they did before too with official tournaments even without esport.

      Still, they should totally hire more people. The scope of what they would like to do is far bigger than what they can with their numbers.

  • Ares Zax

    I think that ANet’s decision to stick with Legendary armor only being available via Raids is a short-sighted one. Look, one of the main problems with WvW is how “populations are dropping” and “rewards are dismal”, yes? Seems to me that one easy way to incentivize tons more players to show up in WvW, is to give players another set of Legendary armor they can work towards via WvW, similar to how you can get a Legendary backpiece from Fractals AND PvP.

    Obviously the WvW Legendary armor wouldn’t have the same skin as the Raid armor, but for people who are too casual (either in terms of skill or available time) to find raid groups or just dislike raids for whatever reason now have an alternate path they can work on. If anyone doubts this idea would work, remember the HORDES of PvE players that flooded into WvW when the last WvW season was on, only to disappear again once the season was over and the AP/shinies were no longer to be found? I guarantee you that if people could also earn a Legendary armor set via WvW, you will have no shortage of people in there.

    Just consider it, ANet.

    • Phobia256

      The problem I see with that is that you end with players only playing for the rewards and not give a damn about the gamemode itself. So they will be gone again once they’ve got their precious loot. Undoubtedly that happens to Ranked atm as well, players only caring about the backpiece will be gone once they got it.

      • Mekun

        Loot i spart of the game, no rewards= why bother. Whats the carrot to keep me moving?

        • Phobia256

          You’re forgetting that this a game and not a job.

          • Mekun

            Your confused with what you find fun and what i find as fun.

      • Ares Zax

        That is a fair point, but I think the unfortunate reality is that that’s just the way it is for the vast majority of MMO players. Right now if you look at the people doing the various metas in the HoT maps, people are either doing it to farm currencies they need for skins or Legendaries (TD and DS, primarily), or just for stuff to sell for gold (mainly AB). Only a tiny fraction are there simply because they like the meta itself. Likewise, as you pointed out, the vast majority of people playing Ranked right now are also there to farm APs and to get the Legendary backpiece; I played Ranked both during and after the last season, and I could tell populations sharply dropped off because I ended up playing with the same group of people match after match.

        All the devs can really do is to hopefully keep players there long enough so that they properly experience the gamemode and, if the gamemode itself is enough fun, some people will go “Hey, this is actually fun to play!” and end up staying. I’d say only 20 – 25% will end up staying, but that’s enough to inject life into the gamemode and retain interest long enough for new players to come by in the endless cycle of turnover, to replace people who eventually get bored or burned out and move on.

        • Phobia256

          Yep, we’re so focussed on working towards a goal that we forget to have fun. Though repetitive content can only entertain you for so long, that is were the rewards come in.

        • rskoc

          Ok, but you didn’t play Ranked after the last season ended, because it was locked. You played with the same people over and over again in Unranked because Unranked matchmaking is through mmr.

          Putting PvE rewards in WvW might temporarily bring in new people, sure, but to what end? Previously, such gimmicks brought people into a thriving game mode. In WvW’s current state, it would bring them into a dead, 2-blob k-train. There is so much that needs to be corrected in WvW that I hardly see a hamfisted attempt to cram in uninterested players for loot grinding as providing any real solution.

      • Pajry

        So what they don’t give a damn about gamemode? I don’t give rats ass about pve yet i’m forced to do it for equipment/food. The thing is that there is enough pve walls before “WvW only” players so if you add another big one for legendary armor it might not end well.

      • Ashleigh

        When you needed map completion in WvW for legendaries it brought in a lot of new players in WvW not caring about the game mode. When you needed to complete achievements for the first three WvW tournaments it brought in a lot of new blood not caring about the game mode. Inevitably, some of that new blood sticks around because they end up enjoying it. Now there is no new blood and the population cannot sustain itself with the veteren players moving on or quitting. I would support this, anything, to revive interest and fun in WvW.

  • guest

    hmm OK I understand their point with the fractal leaderbords BUT when are going to get our legendary fractal back now? Seeing all that I’m really glad I didn’t rush it a few weeks back when I was still doing fractals every day because I would sit on the precursor with way too much gold spent on it while still having to wait for the release of the legendary -.-

    • Braghez

      They said that they divided it from the leaderboard…but guess it ll come later on…like q3 or late q2.

  • Noisrevbus

    The biggest issue with the WvW talk is that they still can not express themselves in a concrete manner.

    Saying “population imbalance” is very abstract and it is as worrysome that they seem unable to put that in the concrete terms of “stability issue” + “scoring system”.

    That’s like 90% of the population imbalance right there. They directly caused the gameplay imbalance when they changed stability in april 2015. They changed it to include a numbers (+/-) component that scale differently over differently sized groups.

    The scoring imbalance has been there from the start but isn’t as complicated as MO suggests. They just have to find some way to make score relatively valuable to any numbers disparity (encouraging off-hour communities to spread over servers same as any prime-time communities, rather than hard-capping it and alienating those communities).

    Bam, it’s solved. Anything beyond that can be improved with small tweaks and creative additions from a positive starting point.

    • Crsk

      Yes, plus nine-hundred, ninety-nine times more yes.

  • Anon

    SKIMPY MALE ARMOR
    TRIBAL ARMOR
    HYPE

    • Nitrobacter

      How about some skimpy female medium armor before you make the gay once? You can count the nice leather stuff with 1 hand!

    • dudeguy

      ffs they haven’t made skimpy FEMALE armor since launch. Why the hell they wanna focus on the microscopic subset that wants skimpy male armor first?

  • Raizel

    What are Q1/Q2/Q3?1

    • Sergil

      eh…. you realy dont know? Quarters of a year? Q1 = January, February, March? and so on ?

  • Ivan

    Lots of good talk, but we all know the cliche, talk is………….

    • Ivan

      ……………. gemstore items

  • http://riot-geeks.com Ra.

    Darn. As a player who is it in for the story and play literally with one other person, HoT didn’t have enough reason to spend that much money… but now I’ll NEED it for LS3… and I am super freaking sad. Why, why, why.

    • PJ

      Yeah why support a game you love… literally no reason to do that

      • Ivan

        you realise Anet uses funds to develop other games like wildstar right?

        edit: profits from GW2 are used to work on other games that are not gw2 related

        • OK

          Anet has nothing to do with Wildstar.

          • Ivan

            but their owners ncsoft do

            • Doublemint Dave

              Although ArenaNet is still a subsidiary of NCSoft, the studio has a fair degree of independence and they also publish the game on their own now. How much money is reinvested into other IPs by NCSoft is anyone’s guess, but it’s highly unlikely that the parent company would stiff one of their most profitable properties. I would argue that the vast majority of revenue stays with ArenaNet.

              • Braghez

                Do not think the majority is kept for Anet, but still they won’t send too many of them in a game that isn’t doing so well…if the games proves to be recovering well enough after the f2p transition, they could, but right now i guess not.

        • PJ

          The horror, a company using profits to invest in new IPs

      • http://riot-geeks.com Ra.

        You are completely right. I should have been looking at it like that.

    • [Bee]

      It is not something new. We knew this already even before HoT was released.

      However this: “Expect to see permanent changes in the world, that can happen in new maps or old maps” – is BS.
      If the LS3 is linked to owning HoT, then it cannot change the old maps, or how are they planning to do that with all those free accounts around? They are going to just stand around and watch and cannot interfere with things, while HoT-players will have some “great” fun? Besides, I cannot imagine this even more, if they are sticking to the LS2 scheme and have the LS in instances… not in the open world.?!

      • lithlius

        Just because you need HoT doesnt mean the story wont move across all Tyria. Itd be Stupid to concentrate new story simply on 4 new maps, that would be bad storytelling when so many plot points are around the main maps still. WE have whats going on with the pale tree as well as everything else with the dragons on other areas, So Yes It is Linked to HoT and YES it CAN change other areas also

      • Braghez

        Well, they can change even old zones, they just won’t have access to story and rewards probably…or maybe put multiple zones ? We got the megaserver system too, they could work something for making “historycal maps” ? Who knows…there’re many workarounds.

    • lithlius

      Lets see. The story Follows up on the events of HoT. That alone should be reason enough to understand why youll probably need HoT for LW3. It makes perfect sense. You say there wasnt enough story for you o spend money on HoT? well now there will be. imagine an expancion as a “Season pass” , a proper one you pay for a core set of stuff AND future added content related to that core stuff. simple as that. You really expected to just play the core game and get all the LW updated content? im baffled you actually expected that.

  • Aen

    Ascended trinkets with new stats as a reward in Living World? Why? It’s a reward for doing hard content, one of the many reasons to do the raids. Giving it for some achis in LW certainly won’t encourage people to raid.

    • Constellations

      What you are saying while is totally true, things have changed. GW2 went free to play, meaning nobody will buy the core game anymore, only the bundle with HoT. Many people out there, say and I’d be one of them, “oh I’ll be just fine with the core game”. And we were just fine with the core game for years, so that’s really a huge possibility.

      But when something new happens, something exciting, everyone wants to join to that. And so you got your reason. To play LW3, you must buy HoT. To have access to unique new asceneded stuff, you have to play LW3.

      Being realistic, most of the f2p players won’t care about ascended items, until the lack of it doesn’t restrict them anywhere, and core Tyria isn’t really the place where you need ascended items at all. But when these players reach the point we reached a long time ago, the “what to do now?” point, ascended gear is a target for many that come from traditional MMOs, being used to the gear treadmill. Sooner than later they’ll realize how big of a grind it is to get one if they did not collect lots of laurels, gold, ectos, various other materials from fractals (that later on needs ascended items on it’s own), they’ll look to the store and see:

      We have this cool expansion here, and also gives you an easier way to grab that stuff, and also that’s how’ll access LW3!

      So… yeah, I don’t have anything against that. I like that the new upcoming things are restricted by HoT paywall, because I hated that everything went free with HoT relase, and we got a few new maps and that’s it. The more content is HoT only, the better for me. The more content is HoT only, the better for the devs because people will buy HoT. The more people buying HoT means better for us, because the devs have more resources to create content.

  • FelixTC

    Them pissing and moaning about the difficulty to make armor moves me not. HoT was anti-solo and anti-Fasion Wars, not seeing much of a change for the future. Give me a good variety of cosmetic armor that can be earned through game play rather than bought with gold or gems and they can have my money again.

  • snowgim

    The thing about armour sets having
    “an incredible amount of detail and customization, and
    then has to be fit to very disparate rigs.”
    and
    “It take about ten times the dev effort to make an armor set as to make an outfit.”
    doesn’t seem like a good explanation.
    So outfits have less detail, less customisation (colour slots?), and has to fit fewer or less disparate rigs? That doesn’t sound right. They seem pretty similar to me, seems like the only difference is separating the pieces and adding separate colour slots for each.
    But I don’t know their process, so I guess it could be true.

    • Bremy

      consider to model that in 3D, 6 different pieces x 5 races x 3 type of armor (light, medium, heavy), combine all of these cut pieces with a model neutral, so those pieces have to be modeled very well on the body of characters since they don’t have to be weird with your char animation and with the rest of the body because they must be adapt on your custom character (example: you can’t do high heels on female chars since it would change the pose/anatomy of your character) + work with programmers for let ppl change dye on each pieces. Compare this with a 1 simple outfit that doesn’t ask anything that before and indeed now you can make female chars with heels since you don’t care about change a little the anatomy of the character (you can’t hide any piece of it a part the head) and plus, put only the work for the dye job. Well, it’s a lot of less work. :)
      this is only the general process, i only said that to let you think about how much work means, I do not want to justify their actions :)

      • FelixTC

        How many years did they spend on GW2 before release and they came up with how many sets? Seems a little hollow to say how hard they are when they did so many originally. I think they had a like a serious go to guy for it and he has since moved on and so now Fasion Wars 2 is basically over.

      • snowgim

        Ok, I didn’t really consider the light/medium/heavy issue, that does kind of triple the workload, since they’re usually completely different designs too.

        But I’ve actually done some 3D character modelling, and from my experience it seems that everything you have to do to model a normal armor set, you’d have to do for an outfit too. Outfits have to work with all races and body sizes, and have to work with all the animations, just like armour sets. The process for modelling a 6 piece set would be almost exactly the same as for an outfit: if you look at most outfits, they could easily be divided into separate pieces with hardly any extra work. And technically, there are already dye slots on each of the outfit ‘pieces’ since they all change colour, they’re just locked over the entire outfit instead of separate for each piece. And I’m not sure what you said about high heels on female chars is true, the pose/anatomy can’t change, even for outfits, since they still have to work with all the same animations.
        Anyway, I guess they’re right and it is a lot more work to add in 3 armor sets instead of 1 outfit. But they could put in a little extra work and make the outfits work a bit more like armour with extra dye slots and the ability to toggle shoulders, gloves and boots instead of just helmets. And maybe make some attainable through playing the game rather than just through the gemstore. That would be a nice compromise.

        • Braghez

          I think that the main problem is that they want to put those set with a “sense” aka a set in a certain zone with a certain theme about it. So the effort of putting those into the game skyrocket not only for the models themselves, but because they have to create the setting and a “fun” method to acquire them too.
          So putting a method to make them attainable in game…could prove the same problem as making them aviable in the game via playing….unluckily people nagged about armor sets being aviable in the gemstore…so now we have to deal with sucky outfits…I mean, i can make gold anyway xD give them even with the gemstore, i’m fine, lol.

          Still i would love to see more of them too…I know they had little time, but for example an exalted armor could have been easily fittable in the expansion.

      • dudeguy

        The only major saving they get is with the armor weights. The whole “the armors need to fit together & not clip” thing is mostly bogus. Half the current armors don’t fit right with other sets & clip. Also, I have to take issue with the # of armor sets they made for the base game (*along with* making the entire game world) being made at a FAR faster rate than they made the ones in HoT. if they worked on HoT for 1 year (which all the Anet white knights say they worked on it for 2+) then they should have had FAR more armor sets in the expansion.
        No, I don’t buy the pathetically low # of armor sets in HoT being a resource & time thing. It was Gem Store focused.

  • Pink Popstar Ahri

    basically almost nothing is going to be done about dungeons and we will never go back to the days of new content every two weeks.

    I keep hoping for good news but with every news update they bring out on these subjects it is looking worse and worse.

    • OK

      I know, right? New director but same message – “It’s on the table, just wait”.

    • Braghez

      Well, about the content every two weeks we still have to see. If they deliver more and better done…even if the releases have a longer gap, it could be fine. For example a bigger story release with maybe a map or big changes every quarter could still do, at least for me. Unluckily it’s something that we will only be able to check once this LS start. No way to tell before hand :/

      For the dungeons i don’t care much xD but they said that they’reconsidering a reward revamp at least, so it’s better than nothing…never liked them anyway, but it’s something nice for players that liked them.

  • commentor

    Colin is leaving? I wish it were Karl instead.

    • Gerald Tarrant

      Man. you aren’t kidding there. How this guy still has a job in the gaming world is beyond reason to me; his “balance” updates are an abortion every time they come out.

  • burntorangenavyblue

    Looking back from GW2’s release, this game had so much going for it. Sadly, it seems they bit off more than they can chew with being able to evenly distribute their efforts with making this game appealing for all spectrum. The change of gem store tactics and practice also somewhat tarnished the identity of what this game is trying to establish.

    The to-do list and the timeline that they have with tackling it is getting out of hand now. Many of the bugs and broken mechanics that have been around since launch is now a glaring mountain swept under the rug that Anet is tripping itself over. By adding or changing more game modes or ideas without addressing old problems will make this game wear out or bottom out like a sink hole or iceberg.

    I love this game through and through, but there are too many baskets of game elements, not enough eggs and resources being allocated properly to execute this game to its true potential.

  • Gerald Tarrant

    Sounds like the hammering of the nail in the coffin for one of the best “what could have been” titles in gaming history. This is what happens when your organization lacks the leadership to bring the original vision to life; we’re not talking slight deviations here and there, but a complete departure from the original manifesto. It happens when, for example, you surround yourselves with people who, rather than use data driven arguments to affect balance changes, instead indulge the “we feel” mantra to try to level the playing field; a venture at which Karl McKlain has failed utterly to date. Indeed, the dev team of Arena Net as a whole have shown themselves to be arrogant, close minded and unable to execute a stable game evolution; a scatterbrained effort by an inadequate team, ever moving helplessly further from shore.
    This is all pretty sad, really, because it could have been something great, and indeed, had the potential out of the gate to be just that.

    Let a child take the steering wheel of a sports car, and you eventually end up with nothing but scrap.

    RIP GW2.

  • nadrian3k

    “We have delinked Fractal backpieces from the leaderboards” Can someone explain this for me please? I don’t get what’s up with the connection between a backpiece and ladderboards?

  • Aiko

    “No plans for 5 man version of the raid or easier mode of the raid. We are working on solutions for finding raid groups such as adding raids to the LFG tool.” Why would they work first on adding a raid LFG tool, I mean if we do get this tool and most groups are still not able to clear the encounters, how useful will this really be? Should they not work 1st on making atleast the 1st wing of the raid more acessible to casual players and only then work on the raid LFG tool?

    • viguiry

      In the first place, raids arn’t for casual players.

      • Aiko

        But this game has for 3 years pretty much only had casual pve content…

        • viguiry

          Exacly, that’s why raids have been made: for non casual players.

          • Aiko

            My point is, if they adressed the issue by creating a hardmode version of raids and a casual version this content would be played by many more players, I am not saying I am against hardcore content. I am saying having this option would simply make raids available for more people and therefore more people would use the new raid lfg tool. The casual mode wouldn’t have the same rewards but it would make the game more enjoyable for more players, since they will finally get to play this new content. I do not see how making that content available for casual players is a bad thing. After all arenanet always tried to make content available to a variety of different types of players, unlike other games they make it possible to level through pvp or wvw and I think that is a really good thing and the reason why so many people enjoy guild wars 2. I do not see why they need to change this design philosophy they had into what is in my opinion a worse design philosophy which is designing pve content for ONLY hardcore pve players. Having a casual raid mode, would also make it possible for players who prefer more supporting or tanky build/stats combinations to play those builds and just have fun instead of having to play a dps build because otherwise your group is just not going to make it before the enrage timer ends. Not that it is impossible to do but it definetly limits the builds/stats and even professions that are currently accepted in raid groups.

            • viguiry

              But there is no point for this content to be played by many more players; The point of raids arn’t to be available for a lot of players but instead, it puts the difficulty higher, to push people to train themself. I was quit bored before raids, and it intertained me a bit. But in the end, raids arn’t that hard.

              The thing you don’t understand here is that there wasn’t anything designed in gw2 for none casual players. That’s why raids have been created, for them, and to give a higher goal for common players.

              Casual mode would just open the door for all the troll builds/stuff. If you think a bit of your build and how you play, with a bit of training raids are easely downable. Right now all raids can be done with full exotics armor teams (look on youtube), i even saw team of 5 people who did it.

              And supports and tanks have their own place in the raid, i don’t know what are you talking about? You looks like someone who never really raided.

              So no, the enrage timer is not a problem. The problem simply lies in if the player knows his rotations/how to dodge/how to play.
              I’ve done a lot of raids and every class are accepted.

              • Aiko

                You are the one not understanding my point; I don’t want the raids as they are to be gone and I don’t want them to stop making hardcore content. I just do not see why casual players can not enjoy this content aswell. As I explained above my suggestion was to have a hardmode (as it is now, for hardcore players) PLUS a casual mode (for players who play the game more casually). This does not mean I want to see the hardcore raids gone but simply, a casual or “normal” mode added. This would also give the opportunity for more casual players to have more of a progression when it comes to raiding; where they start with the “normal” mode raids and then progress to a harder version when they are ready for it, this would also help new players getting started with raids. I know supports and tanks have their own place in a raid, but the profession balance at the moment just makes it so some tanks and healers are prefered to others and some raid leaders (if you also raid, like I do, you will know this) just do not accept and will not invite some professions and some build/stat combinations.

              • viguiry

                Casuals can not enjoy this because it is not designed for them. It’s like you’re saying beginners can’t enjoy content made for senior players. That’s normal? And then you’re asking to do an easy version of the “hard” content. This is irrevelant since everything else in gw2 is made for casual players.

                Casual players don’t need “more of a progression when it comes to raiding” since it’s designed for experienced players.
                As an example, it’s like you would say Ferrarri should create a sportive car for young drivers so they can have more progression when it comes to drive a sportive car. “This would also help new driver getting started with sportive cars” That’s illogical.

                Which tanks and which healers are you talking about? And it’s normal that some professions are better to do something specific than others ?

                If Raid Leaders don’t accept, that’s their own choice. Which professions are you talking about? And build/stat combinations that’s normal, again if a players has a shitty build/wrong combinations he doesn’t have his place in raid. This rule applys in PvP and WvW too.

              • Aiko

                I do not see how this is irrelevant when part (if not the majority) of the pve players in the game simply do not get to play this content. I speak for those players and I do not see how it would affect you if the game had a normal and hard mode for raids. You can still play the hard mode if you want to, with your guild or your friends, but this would mean players who don’t have a guild or friends that play this game would have an equal chance of clearing it, instead of rolling the dice in the lfg system and getting a bad group that just can not clear it or even teach them how to do it.
                They would be simply giving the opportunity for people who are more casual to also play this content, I still do not see how this affects you and how is it a bad thing to have more people playing the content. In the end of the day, arenanet designs content for players, right?
                If you do not consider yourself a casual player how do you know what they need?
                All professions and builds/stats not on metabattle right now have a very hard chance of getting a spot in a raid group.

                Arenanet stated at the start players should be able to play the profession/build they enjoy in whatever game mode they want. You are basically saying if the build they enjoy is not the current meta they shouldn’t get to play the content and just because a build is not in the meta it does not mean it is wrong, this is how new meta builds are made, by players that go against the current trend. Same for pvp and wvw the difference is, people do not necessarily need a group to be able to do pvp or wvw so they can play whatever builds they want.

                So yes in this case I think it’s rather important and not irrelevant that arenanet reviews their design choices. I sincerely do not believe most of the pve community in this game is made of hardcore players, I actually think it’s quite the opposite and again I don’t understand why it bothers you if casual players get to play this content or non-hardcore version of it. You would still be able to play the hardmode just like you have so far, it wouldn’t affect you at all.

              • viguiry

                Well it is irevelant because doing an easy mode would be contrary of the core principle of raid: which is to train yourself, organise the team, chose a role and doing it properly, know how your character works and using it fully.

                As i stated before, raids simply arn’t for casual players as the ferrarri/ sportive car is for young drivers.

                I’ve done many times raids without my guild/friends and we cleared it. Every players are already equal on that side. We’re not rolling dice in the lfg, 99% of the time you will be asked for your stuff and your legendary insignia. If you have an ascended stuff without exp, you can be accepted. But if you have neither exp or the stuff, it’s obvious that you won’t be accepted. it’s like wanting to do a fractal 100 without agony resist. Or going in the front lane in WvW without a tanky stuff.
                Players arn’t equal on mastering their own character, which relate to themself and not the game.

                It’s not about me, as i stated first, what you’re asking for is contrary of the raid itself. I know everything what they did/could/will do since i’ve already did it. You appear to be a casual player.

                You don’t need metabattle to go in raid. Which professions and build/stats are you talking about? I’ve already asked you this and you didnt answer, give examples to pinpoint your argument.

                I don’t know if what you say there about what stated arena really occured. However players can actually right now play the profession/build they enjoy in whatever game mode they want.

                You are the one talking about meta. I never talked even once about meta. I actually said that beginners or casual players who don’t understand raids arn’t ready for this part of the game right now. Because it is not designed for them.

                I played a lot, with different group and different builds; So explain me your “meta” thing, what you are talking about?

                You do not necessary need a premade group in raid. Plus what you are saying is true only at a low level in pvp and wvw.

                “I sincerely do not believe most of the pve community in this game is made of hardcore players, I actually think it’s quite the opposite” This is exacly why raid has been made, for the 5% of non casual players left.
                So 100% of the population of Gw2 has something approppriate for them to do.

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