Arenanet Livestreams Developers

Guild Wars 2 developers Jonathan Sharp, Mike Zadorojny, and Matt Witter use a streamcast to discuss upcoming improvements to the game, including a new PvP mode, new PvE dailies, and WvW updates.

Three of the developers for Guild Wars 2 (Jonathan Sharp, Mike Zadorojny, and Matt Witter) conducted a livestream chat on TwitchTV to answer questions posed to the Arenanet team on their forums.  The actual stream is saved on their TwitchTV account, but for those of you who don’t particularly feel like watching it yourselves…

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PvE Updates

The first question they addressed was asking what they intend to do to make the PvE maps that players tend to avoid in favor of others more enjoyable for the players.  Mike responded that part of Arenanet’s plans for updating the awards and achievements include having daily quests that actually encourage players to play on these maps while simultaneously rewarding behavior that they’ve found tends to, long-term, help people become better players by guiding them to become familiar with some of the game’s less-intuitive mechanics, most notably by encouraging Guild Wars 2’s unique cooperative aspects such as reviving and rallying.

At the same time, they’ll be updating guild functionality to drastically improve how the guilds operate and are able to cooperate internally, further encouraging this cooperative play.

They will also be reducing the difficulty of some of the more challenging encounters in their dungeons to offset where they will be preventing the Rez-Rush tactic of fighting a boss, dieing, respawning, and running back to start fighting again while someone else kites that boss.

PvP Updates

First thing: leaderboards.  The ability to rate yourselves against each other is a priority.  Just behind that one, largely because of the significantly greater complexity of managing it, is reworking the way PvP works for new players so that they can more easily get into the game without immediately being overwhelmed, although no specific information was given as to what they’ll actually be doing to improve that situation.

Entirely new to PvP in Guild Wars 2 is that they will be adding a 1v1 version of their tournament system.  A standard tournament has eight teams, this variety will only have two.  They’ll be paid matches, meaning they will require the tickets used to enter paid tournaments, but the cost will be reduced.  As a counter, the rewards for winning (since you only have to beat one team to win) will also be reduced.

WvW Updates

Matt started by apologizing, stating that many of the details of the answers for many of the questions asked about world vs world play are things he cannot actually answer at the current date, but assured players that their concerns have been heard.

The main thing he did address is culling.  He noted that they’ve been working on it a great deal, trying to refine it to make sure all the clients in a given battle can actually handle the requirements being placed on them.  While they do not yet have a formula for it that they are satisfied with, he assured players that it’s something they are giving consistent attention to.

Jonathan actually takes the mic to address AoE skills in game, noting that in WvW they are simply far too strong, if only because it drastically reduces the power and effectiveness of single-target damagers in the massed PvP battles that world vs world promotes.

He also takes a very quick moment to explain that Arenanet doesn’t announce dates for updates to Guild Wars 2 so as to avoid causing disappointment if something causes them to miss those dates.

Closing Notes

Matt did clarify that it will not be possible to guest to a friend’s server to participate in world vs world PvP, you can only participate in WvW on your native server.

The Arenanet team in general is also working to better balance the different classes in Guild Wars 2, taking the traits that are weaker and the weapons that are weaker and giving them buffs so that classes have more competitively viable builds to choose from.

The future looks bright for Guild Wars 2.  Keep watching for more developer commentary, we’ll be sure to note when the updates discussed have more information.

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Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.