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GW2 What is Next for Guild Wars 2

Arenanet have released a roadmap of the new stuff to come for rest of the year.

Hey, everyone,

Over the past few weeks, most of our team has been focused on getting the next couple of releases ready, which will culminate in our Living World Season 4 finale. Meanwhile, we’re also looking toward the future.

Our Philosophy

I’ve been speaking with members of the team for a few months, examining the way we create content to make sure we continue to do what’s best for the game. Lately we’ve been scrutinizing not only our plans for Season 5, but our core development philosophy. Ultimately, we believe that our core pillars for Guild Wars 2 have not changed:

  • Encourage players to interact positively
  • Support player autonomy
  • Focus on horizontal progression instead of vertical
  • Build upon previous designs
  • Strive for the fun

The Living World of Guild Wars 2 is a great way for us to accomplish all of that. It’s the best way to provide our player community with regular content updates—great features, new horizons to explore, and an engaging story that brings our world and characters to life—without charging a subscription fee.

New Guild Wars 2 Team Structure

So, what does this mean for Guild Wars 2?

We are taking the opportunity now to reorganize ourselves into four fully staffed content teams with additional teams dedicated to supporting the core game like Skills and Balance, Rewards, WvW, and sPvP.

Content teams will have more flexibility to decide what makes sense for a given release—for example, we could focus on expanding the boundaries and content of an existing map if that would provide a better experience than creating a new one. Ultimately, this will mean a relatively steady release of new content that will allow us to continue telling the story of Tyria in exciting new ways.

The Next Few Months

So, what’s next? We released Super Adventure Festival so players can return to Moto’s game world and experience the homage to the games of yesteryear.

After that, the Current Activities Team has a release that will build toward the Season 4 finale.

We’re in the process of wrapping up Episode 6 now, and we’re excited to not only announce a release date, but also to play the finale alongside all of you. It won’t fall within the two-to-three-month window that we tried to target throughout Season 4 because of the adjustments we had to make in February, but stay tuned—more info is coming soon.

We’re currently adding more polish to the final encounter in the next raid, which continues the story of Qadim and will get its own release after Episode 6. We’re utilizing one of the new team’s efforts to build some additional small-scale open world content so all of our players will have something to celebrate with the release of the raid.

The Future

The commander’s tale will continue in Living World Season 5. As the teams get going and plans become more cemented, we’ll be able to talk a bit more on that topic.

We also have our sights set on a few features that have already been in development for some time. Please understand that these are all works in progress, so details can change between here and the final version, and we don’t have a timeline for the release of any of these. These features will ship when they are ready.

  • The rune and sigil salvaging release last year was in anticipation of releasing legendary runes and sigils—the final components of legendary core equipment.
  • Over the past few months, astute players have been noticing a trend of updates and improvements to how our skill-slotting system works and have accurately speculated that the long-requested feature of build templates is in the works.
  • We’d like to increase the max cooking level from 400 to 500. This crafting profession needs a refresh to make lower-tier foods important to the ecosystem and help reinvigorate various resources throughout the game.
  • We’ve mentioned in the past how important world restructuring is to our WvW initiatives, and that hasn’t changed. While the Programming Team is focused on this initiative, the team is also focusing on smaller updates that can temporarily change the game mode, like the No Downed State Week we’ve done in the past. We’re also talking about different types of reward structures for events.
  • Swiss tournament support is the next major feature the sPvP team is working on. This feature will be utilized by our structured tournaments moving forward.
Further Down the Road

Beyond all of this, here is some of what’s on our radar for the future. None of these have been fully designed and are even more subject to change—or being shelved:

  • For WvW, we’ve talked about changing the matches so that scoring matters in 8-hour intervals. This allows us to address gameplay in off-peak hours in a way that doesn’t invalidate the work of the most active populations.
  • After the cooking 500 update, jewel crafting is the last profession needing to be extended.
  • The Competitive Team has been working on the idea of building a festival that highlights both sPvP and WvW. It’s a fun concept that would allow us to focus on those game types and try new things.

This sort of discussion of projects that we’ve kept under wraps until now is a departure from how we’ve been communicating for a while. It’s our hope that through posts like this we can help clarify for you what our priorities and goals are for the game. And while this isn’t everything we have planned for the game, it at least gives you better insight into its development. The team is passionate about not only supporting Guild Wars 2, but continuing to grow it alongside all of you.

Thanks for your time and see you in game!




By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

63 replies on “GW2 What is Next for Guild Wars 2”

To me this looks like the foreshadowing of maintenance mode. All the additions they talking about are great but they serve the role of filling short falls or gaps in existing systems. No mention of an expansion, no mention of introducing (or investing in) new mechanics like houses or new classes, no mention that Aurene is magically going to be okay – those are the 3 things of interest to me to keep me involved long term.

They going to polish the existing system as well as they can and that’s about it :/

I don’t think this necessarily indicates the game entering “maintenance mode”.

They have to finish up LS, because they started it. This doesn’t tell us much about the future of the game.

Adding new festivals for pvp and wvw could be slightly indicative — But I am thinking these areas of the game simply need attention, rather than anet trying to fill in the event calendar.

Build Templates, and wvw re-org are both highly anticipated QoL changes, and a way to expand the possibilities for wvw’s future. I think these don’t indicate much either.

All in all, we’ll see. I am still crossing my fingers for a Cantha xpac, but who knows.

Except that at the end of their design philosophy they state that they believe living world is the best way to deliver on all their promises. Whatever they manage to achieve, they’ve pretty much stated there will be no expacs :/

They committed to LS5 after LS4, and we don’t know why.
There could be an xpac planned after LS5, or they might be trying to conclude the story here. We frankly don’t know.
Keep in mind that they may need to do back-to-back LS to fit in enough narrative to bring us to a new location, and to give them more time to develop xpac features. But, it’s anyone’s guess.

Been playing this game since the game wide assault on the crazed karka queen on karka Island. They’ve always made their long term plans clear. They’ve thrown every initiative they currently working on, the ones which are kind of done and the initiatives they would like to do. An Expac is not mentioned. That they want to focus on living world is stated as the conclusion to their design philosophy.

This was an effort to promise every single thing they possibly could. As expansion isn’t there, even if they’d like to do one some year, it has not been worked on at all – plus if they do, it will be rushed like HoT, not polished like PoF.

Seems pretty maintenance mode after coming from the last announcement of mass layoffs. If you were to promote development of an expansion, you’d want a bigger team but they’ve downsized and even for Living World, the team is getting smaller.

Disagree. The company was working on 3 titles before the layoff. Now the company has halved in size and they working on one. Plus as soon as the layoffs hit they released the unidentified loot update which is a pure quality of life change which has been possible since PoF launched – implying they suddenly had extra hand to get it done.

I believe the game is heading towards stagnation without an expac to introduce new mechanics but i think they do have more people working on it then they’ve had in a while.

A new WvW season would be cool, with achivements and stuff. The problem is elitistic dickheads infecting that, PvP, raids and nowadays even fractals, rendering those areas unplayable to the masses.

Thank you for your contribution to this discussion.
We very much appreciate your input, and your opinion is of high value to us.

New players still can’t access Living World season 1 content but god forbid we can’t increase our cooking level to 500.

i upvoted you but …dude …it’s obvious we cant get that because the world changed. it’s useless. go watch a youtube of how it changeds. you’ll have fun and all. 😀 seriouysly. the lore is grerat. enjoy the ride. at least they dare to change the world and not add more stuff to an existing one. Now new content for old areas = topographic changes to old places? …i’dd stay to see that.

So nothing much ….

I would have liked to see a future new expansion but i guess Arenanet is surviving of selling chairs XD

There’s no Legendary chair yet.. wait for it..either you craft it.. or buy it as a gem store item for ~4000 gems (double coz legendary..! :p )

“The commander’s tale will continue in Living World Season 5”

Translation: “There will be no expansion release.”

Translation: They will release LS5 after LS4, like they previously announced. This isn’t new. What they have planned after LS5 is anyone’s guess.

This doesn’t mean that the game ends after LS5, they could have fit 2 LS into POF for purely narrative reasons. We don’t know.

Yup, it seems that way. They would be releasing what should have been the next expansion as Seasons. That would mean there will be no new Elite Spec. 🙁

It’s a lot of work and coming out of finding out that they just cut people from their workforce? Maintenance Mode seems pretty accurate.

This isn’t new? With the exception of the horrible business model of LS1, LS2 was followed by HoT, LS3 was followed by PoF, then LS4 is followed by LS5 and you say it isn’t new? What game have you been playing?

EDIT: The Path of Fire storyline is done at the death of Balthazar. There is no reason to have another LS under that banner.

They will go bankrupt before the end of Season 5 if they think they can live only from Gem Store microtransactions. It’s a known fact that their earnings are slowly decreasing, only an expantion could save Anet but they play deaf to this reasoning.

I just read a pretty in depth analysis of the whole situation. Gw has actually been maintaining good and steady profit. They had a bit of a drop in Q4 of 2018 which is likely what sparked the massive restructuring. It sounds like Anet is being commanded from above to stop messing around and wasting resources and focus back on what they are actually good at… delivering GW. GW2 has always been profitable and substantially so… even with the drop in Q4…. Its actually one of the strongest performers in Ncsoft West. I think this move was about refocusing Anet rather than trying to kill of GW2. I think it will now be shown to be a mistake to delay the next xpac but not necessarily one that they cant come back from. Anet was kinda trying to pull a fast one on us and NcSoft…. but theyve been taught a lesson here.. a heavy one… hopefully they will take the hint and get on with it.

We have season 5 before the next expansion, which is at least 1 year out. They didn’t announce the first expansion until it was almost ready to release. It’ll be fine.

Players rely too much on expansions without appreciating the fact that they only add so much to the game – PoF didn’t have that long of a lifespan, and split the playerbase between new zones to the extent that older zones could struggle to generate needed populations. It’s good that they’re adding content, and thus depth and dimension, to prior zones rather than generating 6 more maps to further divide populations. We’re obviously going to get Cantha at some point, and likely the sea zone as well. Not to mention wherever we’ll be fighting Primordus. There is a ton of content for them to explore, and freaking out about expansions in a game that never promised them in the first place is a waste of worry.

personally im glad to read this. I was feeling quite sketchy after the big shakeup. To me I think this is Anet trying to get back on track. For a while theyve been taking us fro granted and diverting energy into other things. I think they know now where their success is and will start taking it seriously again. This is a short / medium term projection…. Im not rly worried about the lack of mention of another xpac. Season 5 will see us well into next year. Its a bit early to start hyping xpacs. This is actually an unprecedented amount of communication from Anet. They have always been close to the chest and always like to save the big stuff to announce last minute. After reading this… Im not feeling so worried… Maybe well see an xpac for a christmas 2020 release. who knows lol

I am a bit worried how they worded a few things… They said they might increase the size of some zones, which is good, but at the same time I think it might be because they plan to do that over adding new zones. I hope this isn’t the case as that would indicate they are downgrading the quality of releases for some reason. I’m also a bit worried about the lack of news in regard to the next expansion, at least they could have mentioned something about it even if they haven’t started working on it yet. Chairs and mount skins can sustain them for a couple of years, but I would rather see an expansion and influx of player base that it would bring. Still, they did trash most of their useless projects when the big lay offs came in so I’m hoping that will let them refocus more on the LS releases and making the next expansion rather then some crap for phones etc… Also, not sure how I feel about legendary sigils, seems like vertical power progression rather than horizontal, unless they are about convenience and not stat increases. As for build templates… personally I never quite understood why so many people wanted them, but I’m glad that they are getting added in and making those people happy xD

It’s more along the line of not leaving dozens of dead zones in their wake. Meaning adding more value to zones that would otherwise be empty, helping people who are running events, replaying content, or are new to the content. That can still have the same level of new features and activities, just without yet another zone being tossed by the wayside. That doesn’t equate to a downgrade in quality, but rather extending the lifespan of past content.

Next expansion is after season 5, and that’s going to be a long way out. They went years before announcing the first expansion, they can at least build on what they have before releasing their third expansion. They’re focused on the right thing – prolonging lifespan and adding depth to content – rather than creating more dead spaces by churning out an expansion every 1-2 years (as seen in almost every other title..).

“Dead Zones” are still better then no new zones as far as I’m concerned, I like exploring new places even if those places lose population further down the line. Last thing I want to see is another beautiful zone like Kessex Hills getting turned into a shit hole like they did in Season 1… I like the idea of them adding depth to content, I just don’t want them to go downgrade from releasing a new zone each episode, I’d rather they took more time per episode if it means better NEW zones with more depth. Also, the fact that they went years without releasing the first expansion is not a good thing, they lost half their player base in that time and the game almost went dead before they announced the first expansion. The two expansions within short time of each other and new zones and content each LS release is the only reason why the servers are still running and the game even managed to recover and gain popularity again. Old games like this don’t gain new players by extending life span of old content, they get new players from releasing NEW content that then gets hyped up and draws new players in. Furthermore even the established player base would rather see new content then depth added to past content.

a fair point of view but a refreshing of some areas and zones would tkae your old characters bnack to those areas,+ making some topographical changes to it based on Lore and the story might create better old areas, less flat like the Gendarran Fields or Queensdale (yuk) wil ldefinitely add mor fun to the game. the verticality of the game was aN AWERSOME addition with HoT yet some areas didnt had that nature so they where completely killed by it. a small change like that will get people back. add to this, the Build Templates feature (plzplzplzplz <3) Something ivbeen waiting since GW1. its too overwhelming a horizontal Progresion if there is way too much to do and no real FUN thing to do. Repetitive content like LW seassons won't chage the illness and boredom gw2 is driving right now.

I agree with this. Ive been saying for a while that I hope that they add more reasons for us to revisit existing maps. Im particularly hoping that they bring more to POF maps. They are great spaces yet woefully lacking in repeatable rewarding content. They could easily develop a series of quests that give us a chance to interact with the existing world in a new way and provide unique rewads. Even a little how they started with t2 legendaries.

It sounds to me like there will be a mix of adding new content to existing maps and creating new maps for story chapters. I think that up till now the Gameplay of GW2 has been quite stark and one dimensional. Im hoping that they will add more layers of uinique and interesting objectives around the world. Id like to see more characterful and frivolous quests that can grant cool items/features. I think this would really breathe some new life into the game as a whole.

There is way too much dead content in a game of this size and I know originally it was the plan to keep all content relevant by upgrading it over time. Perhaps they are finally getting around to it.

The main thing this game needs in a total reward overhaul. Bad rewards are the main reason for all the dead content. It would be so easy to adjust loot tables. Perhaps add ascended boxes to World Bosses etc. The current rewards in most cases are still the same as at release…. while some like dungeons have actually been nerfed. The economy has moved on. A guaranteed piece of rare gear is no longer epic loot. If they make each game mode uniquely rewarding it will again breathe life into them. Especially since they recently killed Istan farming… there needs to be a rebalance of ways to earn gold ingame. Right now there is just a big hole… a kind of austerity if you will.

I will be watching with interest to see how things play out in the upcoming months. I really love this game and am not ready to give up on it yet. How Anet handles this new era of GW will be the deciding point for me and i think for many. I really hope they rise to the occasion and deliver 🙂

I really love this game and am not ready to give up on it yet

Perfectly said. Im feeling very sad abpout this. not bewcausei think the game is dead. I still enjoy wander around the world. I do love to visitp laces i haven’t been ina while but the luckluster of killing a mob and getting a garbage that doesnh’t even ad a single copper to my wallet …well… its dissapointing. im not ready to giv up on this game yet. it’s a game that lives from a critical mass numnber of players. if it taskes the wronbg turn …this will be the end of Guild Wars 2. forever. so no. i dont want more expansions .I weant a refreshing sight of tyhe things. not more areas. Better areas. renew some Hearts, more rewarding to old players, renew the loot (adding ascended to loots would definitely not kill the gem store so stop being afraid of giving away some stuff. its been awhile since ascended-. its time to move to diferent things)

Build Templates will be great in this game as different game modes quite often require different gear set ups or traits. Right now you need to go in and adjust these things manually, with build templates you can just swap them with the click of a button. Will be really useful. Im just hoping they will also make somewhere to store extra pieces of gear so we can further clear up our bags. There were build templates in GW1, it was very useful. Im glad to see that they are finally coming to this game. Much needed imo.

I’m thankful that they’re trusting the community enough to give a roadmap, as most devs avoid talking about anything before it’s pretty much finalized due to the out of control reactions/expectations of the community.

To worry about an expansion right now is a waste of energy. It’s not the right time for one, and there’s a reason they didn’t initially launch the game with an expansion plan. Adding a new zone to draw players out of core, HoT and PoF zones isn’t going to benefit the player experience. Adding depth to the zones we already have will add to overall longevity.

What you’re essentially proposing is to go back to the Dark Ages of GW2,
aka as LWS1 and LWS2, when the game lost almost all it’s player base.
They didn’t launch this game without a lot of things in mind, mounts and
gliding for one were things it launched without, only to realise later
that they had to put them in anyway because their “original” plan was
crap and upopular. The way you keep people in old zones is by adding
better rewards for them, not flooding them with content that would just
be out of place with what the zone was originally designed for.

the Dark Ages of GW2,
aka as LWS1 and LWS2, when the game lost almost all it’s player base

the fuck you are talking about. most ppl i know and myself included still think lws1 was the best story the game had, the permament changes to the world (despite all the etchnical issues it came with) like the karka-invasion and the destruction of ls were much more interesting than adding 1 single zone with 3 hearts and some shitty grind we get nowadays. not to mention the population was still at its peak, the bleeding started much later. so no, their original plan wasnt unpopular at all, they just couldnt keep it up. trying to appeal to the wow-growd with healers and mounts didnt help either. ppl just keep playing wow.

i agree to your point regarding old zones. there literally is no reason to go back there once u have verything u wanted.

i hope we can finally finish up Coalescense with the next raid wing, the precursor has been sitting on my bank for a couple years now.

Also i´m still hoping that the definitive fate of certain character isnt final, it would be a extremely dick move to end it like that after they milked so much money out of her with so many merchandise

Another mediocre changes with no real content. Just more skins and novelties for your invisible wardrobe. People waited new expantion with new features (like mount system, elite specs etc), but looks like the lack of new ideas the main reason they not gonna release this and concentraiting on living story episodes. cooking lvl 500? Why? We can craft any food right now for any levels, what do they want to do? Make a craft chain of 10-20 different food you must craft 1 by 1 (from lvl 1 to 80) to get the meta food? This is only the way to force people use all the components every time. Jevelery? ascended rings and amulets are pretty easy to get, I’m terrified what do they want to do with current way to obtain it to force people craft it. Better spend your currencyes right now and buy all the accestores you need for a future characters.
No way they gonna release functional housing or Hall of monuments analog to put your collections and novelties (especially thouse chairs) into it or mercenary system from GW1 to collect your dragon watch members and use them as real henchments, not like useless observers who need for story speeches only.
Or another way: toggle option to ALWAYS teleport the same mirror as your squad/group leader or even option to teleport into exactly mirror you want (like other games provide). The current state can be usefull if you trying to finde SW mirror with 90% progress, thets why I asked toggle option.
Only argument against thouse changes I saw is: “Oh no, GW2 is not like other MMOs, we have a specific atmosphere here”. And banal: “Me Hulk, me struck mobs, me need strong weapon to hit, me no need thouse useless stuff which can’t help me hit bosses and PvP opponents harder, me don’t care about it”.

i still cant belive,they never even started 3rd expansion,thats literaly only thing ppl looking forward,new specs,new armor sets,metas and shit. well,gl gw 2 you gona need it.

Did they confirm that they didn’t start working on an xpac somewhere?
If this is the case, that’s really disappointing. I’ve definitely been looking forward to this much more than smaller LW releases. I want to buy an ultimate edition, with all of the rich content — not just gemstore items.

Whining over free content and demanding expansions, yet playing GW2 over WoW because f2p. Wow…

No more expansions please. It’s already hard enough getting into parties with elitist retards and all their meta whinefaggotism.

you are so demented that im gona explain this to you,expansions MAKE THEM MOST MONEY,THEY NEED MONEY DUMMY,TO KEEP FREE CONTENT COMMING. also you obviously confusing MAPS META EVENTS,WITH CURENT FRACTAL/RAID META BUILDS,which makes you even more demented than i though at start… also you assuming that ftp game is worse than p2p? how demented are you rly? so i can play for free basicly any MOBA game and im gona buy bf 5/cod 4 bcs its payed? are you rly that dumb?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but expansions are paid for once and it’s not enough to keep a steady influx of money. The gem shop in a F2P game fulfills this, they’ve been releasing new cosmetics every month, but it’s not enough to keep the game alive. So what’s driving players away from the game? And away from the gem shop?

Seems like they’re entering a slow dying phase. Maybe NCSoft has plans for a new MMO to take over and shutting down Arenanet. All we know so far is that Arenanet just finished a downsize of their work force which puts strain on those working for potential content moving forward. This is eerily bad news.

man theres so much complaining on here.

they literally just went through losing all those people, its great that theyre even able to keep soldiering forward.

we know theres more LW stuff, and frankly im plenty happy about that. theyve been really nice lately and given us a lot of new things so an xpac isnt really missed. theyre taking their time to do it right and thats great.

build templates, legendary runes/sigils, cooking and jewelry overhaul, and new kinds of annual events are all really great news. theyre not dying, not yet. remember, were not playing WoW here.

The problem with horizontal progression is that it just means endlessly playing cat and mouse over “meta” builds. Anet buffs a skill, the meta finds and exploit, so something else gets a little rub. Over and over; lather, rinse, repeat.

Their drive to create “balance” has led to anything but…

Sort of agree. There are 3 corners to keeping the frothing masses entertained. You need to give the rabble new tools to use, new situations to use those tools in and new rewards to be obtained from those situations – to justify people getting the new tools to use on said situations. Horizontal progression covers the “new tools” point and frankly I still love that my gear never goes obsolete even if it isn’t “meta”.

Seeing as I have all the rewards I need from and for GW2’s current systems, there are no rewards left for me to obtain and without new mechanics to engage in, the new situations we get all feel rather dull to me. So for me, without an expansion, GW2 is unlikely to ever score higher then 1.5/3 again -.-

Making it all about wardrobe was a mistake (especially since most of what gets released is fairly lackluster.) All these years and we still can’t recolor weapons? Yeah.I guess there’s chasing legendaries, but the payoff isn’t worth the time/coin investment.

I like the wardrobe. If the engine was a few years newer they may have even been able to produce enough pieces to placate people (as they have some outdated issues such as overly constricting skeletons and a complete mess of colour pallate on armors (which isn’t a problem on the newer outfit system)).

And there is the issue, the only thing I had left was grinding spvp to get a set of legendary armor. The freedom would have been worth it if we were getting another expansion to play around with it in. But to grind out a set of legendary armor for living world episodes. Seems a bit over the top 🙁

I like the wardrobe a lot, and collecting skins. But I think they have a lot of options for progression that could’ve been done better. Horizontal progression can occur through new skills and abilities, access to new zones. The problem is they want this game very accessible so skills and access to new zones are typically very easy to get. Same thing with all mounts (aside from Griffon), they were either too easy, or just given to us straight.

You can’t avoid the meta problem either way. You will have to throw diversity out the window and make everything play the same. You just don’t design everything around min-maxers .You give them their piece such as raiding , fractal or whatever they like to mix max around and let it play its course. Of course both balancing and bug testing has always been an ongoing process


We got nothing new, so we’re just doing lazy improvements on existing system that could’ve been done in 60 minutes 6 years ago by any low-class programmer. Thanks for being our loyal eaters of lazy shit we produce and keep coming for more! <3

Downhill race incoming.
Well, this how it is i suppose.
The box of ideas is empty probably.
Time to move on .

The idea of a pvp/wvw festival does amuse me for an offbeat reason. Like the yearly salmon rush, the festival would mark a date in which the mists would be flushed with noobs – which pvpers seem to enjoy and wvwers seem to loath ^^

Though I do recall a distant announcement in which the team said they’d decided to stop pushing festivals as it interfered with the production schedule. Hopefully that was mitigated by new tech – seeing as we now into festivals unending.

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