Some really excellent news is emerging from ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 today. After suffering probably its worst setback in years with the layoffs of a large portion of its workforce, the studio is bouncing back. The MMORPG has just announced its short and long term plans ahead to assure players that good things are indeed coming to Guild Wars 2. Among them are much anticipated updates, while others are being revealed for the first time. Here’s what you need to know and be hyped about.
Four Content Teams, Consistent Updates
Much have been made about the recent layoffs at ArenaNet, but it appears the studio is bouncing back to address concerns. The development team is restructuring into four fully staffed content teams with additional teams dedicated to supporting the core game. This includes areas such as Skills and Balance, Rewards, WvW and sPvP. Content teams will have more flexibility to decide what makes sense for a given release—for example, focusing 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 Guild Wars 2 to continue telling the story of Tyria in exciting new ways.
Near Future Plans Includes Episode 6 of Living World Season 4
It has been sometime since the release of Guild Wars 2’s last episode for its Living World Season 4. The dry spell in between hasn’t offered players much to do, say for the returning festivals and the recent release of the Warclaw WvW mount that brought back some much needed life into that game mode. The good news now is that the team are wrapping up Episode 6, so we know the story continues. How will the Commander and the squad cope with the loss of Aurene? What happens next with the saga involving the Elder Dragon that destroyed our hope? All these questions need answering in Episode 6. Additionally, more polish is being done to the final encounter in the next raid which continues the story of Qadim. This will arrive after Episode 6.
The Distant Future
Ultimately it’s what is coming down the line -hopefully this year – is what’s exciting players the most. Here’s a snippet of all that’s being planned for release, assuming the content teams are on schedule:
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.