GW2 Living World Season 4 Daybreak Release Developer AMA.
Link to the reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/7g7wds/living_world_season_4_daybreak_devs_here_ask_us/
Below are the important points from the AMA.
- Mike Zadorojny is replacing MO as the new Game Director of GW2
- Season 4 would follow approximately the same 2-3 month cadence as Season 3, so you can look for that
- What are you doing in Season 4 to try to make the narrative feel more cohesive? We’ve taken numerous proactive steps to increase frequency and depth of communication between the writers/narrative designers and the content designers, and we’ve added new roles that are specifically meant to facilitate better communication and track and guide continuity between the episode teams themselves and across the episodes. (For instance, say hi to LW Story Editor Jessica Price!) We expect these steps to make this season of Living World the most serialized and connected so far, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about that aspect.
- We don’t currently have any plans to convert unbound magic into volatile magic. We want to make sure that the rewards are tied to the content, while using unbound magic or providing a conversion both makes the rewards available without having to play the new content, as well as making imbalanced farming locations like Bitterfrost Frontier feel like it’s required to be efficient for earning season 4 rewards as well.
- Trailers that doesn’t show much content – We have a delicate dance in which we want to show as much of the new content as we can to our fans while we have a strong desire to not spoil any of the reveals and surprises within. We will take this feedback into consideration and look at how we make this dance a little better
- Not wanting to give away too much is part of it, but keep in mind as well that video game content isn’t like film content, where raw footage is usually available to be used in a trailer many months before the release of the movie itself. In making a video game, much of the refinement and polish comes pretty late in the process, so video assets may not yet be in a usable state by the time the marketing and cinematics teams start making the trailer. (And VO may not even have been recorded yet.) It’s a fun challenge to figure out what we can do to get players’ appetites whetted with the limited assets available that far in advance of the actual release.
- You’ll be able to enter Toypocalypse as a team this year! There will be two entrances, one for premade groups and one for players who want to be matchmade into a team like last year.
- We’ve been migrating services to Amazon over a period of months. Amazon has better peering relationships for its datacenters than we could hope to have individually. We’re also using newer, faster servers at Amazon than the ones we were using previously. In general we’ve seen a better play experience, lower latency, and fewer network outages to Amazon servers.
- Balance patches take a good amount of time to implement and even more time to vet and test the changes; that is a good chunk of why they’re on a quarterly cadence. Path of Fire shook quite a few things up and there have been talks internally about temporarily pushing changes out more frequently to address concerns that have arisen. To that end the Skills and Balance squad has been putting in solid work to prepare a small bonus balance patch that shouldn’t interfere with the regular cadence.
- Chak Egg Sac – It’s a very popular item and a rare drop, so it seems natural that it would be hard to obtain. Talking to the devs I don’t believe there’s any plan to make this more availlable, but I hasten to say that’s my impression and not an official “position statement.” I do think, as a player, that offering it through alternative ways could reduce the value for those who own it. I know if suddenly everybody could get a Dreamer or Kudzu on the cheap, I’d be less than amused.
- The Legendary Ring Collection ends in acquisition of the precursor, for now. Future updates will include the next steps on the patch to crafting Coalescence
- Regarding visual overload – We are conscious about not trying to add visual noise to the game, but at the same time we don’t want to reduce players’ abilities to recognize the investment of characters. It is something that we are balancing “visual epicness” vs “visual chaos”. We do hear what players like you are saying and will continue to keep a close eye on this.
- As we looked into how to support sigil swapping on Legendary Weapons it opened up the investigation to larger issues with the system as a whole. It is something I still would like us to address, but I want the design team to take the time to do it right
- We are planning to release raids with more regularity this season.
- Right now dungeons are not officially supported for new content updates, we have decided that fractals is where we should put the teams resources.
- Fractal instabilities – We are experimenting internally with putting them on a weekly random rotation. Though we also want more instabilities so the pool is larger.
- Infusions/Agony – The economic and gameplay impacts of removing agony as is would be astounding, not to mention I have no idea how we would even go about ripping out a system that is so integral. What happens to everyone’s infusions? What about people who invested tons of money for ascended gear? What happens to material prices if ascended gear is no longer required? It’s not a perfect system but I’m afraid were stuck with it.