1. #1

    Studio Update: Guild Wars 2 in 2023

    https://www.guildwars2.com/en/news/s...ars-2-in-2023/

    Hello, Guild Wars community,

    Before our holiday break, we wrapped up 2022 by reflecting on what a fantastic year it was for Guild Wars 2. In the time between that studio update and New Year’s Day, Guild Wars 2 and the ArenaNet team earned several end-of-year awards from top gaming press, including PC Gamer‘s Best Ongoing Game, MMORPG‘s Player’s Choice MMORPG of the Year, and MassivelyOP‘s Best MMO Studio (two years in a row!), Best MMO Expansion, and Best MMO Business Model. Those were some exciting presents to unwrap! Again, a heartfelt thank you to our fantastic community for helping make last year the success that it was. Let’s do it again.

    We closed the December Studio Update with a promise that we’d be back in early 2023 to talk about our long-term plans for Guild Wars 2. Today, we’ll be talking about some big changes we’re making to how we develop and deliver new content and features, including our approach to expansions, and we’ll share our next development roadmap. This blog is absolutely jam-packed with information, so let’s dig in.

    Defining the Problem
    Since 2021, we’ve put a renewed emphasis on developing Guild Wars 2 with a player-centric approach, where step one in our development process is to seek out and understand the problems and frustrations that MMO players face. This approach was first adopted at ArenaNet over 20 years ago and is at the core of the continued success of the Guild Wars® franchise.

    The conclusion of the Elder Dragon saga, a story told over the course of a decade, was an opportunity for our team to reflect on our past before moving forward. We evaluated what has and hasn’t worked over the years and used those insights to redefine how we develop and release content for our players. Our goals for the next phase of Guild Wars 2 are simple—we want to deliver content updates in a more timely and consistent manner, and we want to provide better support for the wide variety of systems and game modes that make up the Guild Wars 2 experience.

    Having the development bandwidth needed to iterate on core systems is especially important to us, and it’s something we’ve been making headway on over the last year with our quality-of-life improvement initiative. There are so many systems in Guild Wars 2 that have good bones, and they can be even better with just a bit of love.

    The Path Forward
    The first step toward accomplishing these goals was to rebalance how we allocate our development resources across the project. Historically, with few exceptions, Living World seasons have required the focus of nearly the entire Guild Wars 2 development team to deliver them at the size, quality, and cadence that our players expect. This made it difficult to simultaneously develop expansions while supporting the game with regular content updates. It also meant that many areas of the game went undersupported.

    In the next phase of Guild Wars 2‘s development, we’re taking a more balanced approach that will allow us to provide more support for popular game modes, make frequent quality-of-life improvements to core gameplay systems like professions, deliver new features, and expand the world of Tyria with satisfying, immersive story updates.

    What It Means for You
    Our future expansions for Guild Wars 2 will be the backbone of this new approach. Rather than launching an expansion every two to four years with a season of Living World in between, we’ll be releasing smaller expansions more frequently at a slightly reduced price and adding additional content for those expansions through quarterly updates, meaning that the next big release is only ever a few months away.

    The first release in an expansion cycle is the launch point for a new story arc, bringing with it two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards. In the following quarterly updates, we’ll add another open-world map, additional story chapters, challenge modes for the Strike Missions, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, new rewards, and additions to the new systems introduced in that expansion. Once that expansion’s story is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner.

    Spring Roadmap
    The next chapter of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons arrives on February 28. With familiar allies like Detective Rama and his hat at your side, you’ll travel to a new location in Cantha and come face-to-face with a deadly foe that resides deep within the Jade Sea. That storyline will conclude a few months later with an update that introduces additional playable space to the map, adds meta-events and boss encounters, and lays the groundwork for future to-be-announced adventures. Unlike a Living World release, all owners of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons will gain access to this content, meaning there’s no pressure to log in to unlock it and no gem cost for missed story chapter unlocks.

    In the first half of the year, we’ll release the Soo-Won legendary weapon skin variant collection, two profession balance updates, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, and multiple updates for World vs. World. Additionally, we’ll finish rolling out the DirectX11 and Chromium Embedded Framework upgrades and run our usual festival and bonus events. We also have some quality-of-life updates in the works, including a long-requested feature that will allow you to queue up for PvE maps when they’re full. We might have a few surprises in store for you as well.

    Here’s a high-level look at our upcoming releases. The timing for some of the updates and betas listed above will be announced closer to their release dates.

    February 14: Profession Balance Update, WvW Objective Reward Scaling, Chromium Embedded Framework Upgrade
    February 28: New Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons Map and Story Content, Soo-Won Legendary Variant
    March 28: Super Adventure Festival
    April 18: DX11 Upgrade Complete
    May 2: Profession Balance Update
    In the background, we’ll be quietly working on what’s to come in the second half of the year. We’ll have more to share on that later.

    Wrap Up
    We’re so excited about the next phase of Guild Wars 2—both the things we were able to share today and what’s just over the horizon. The changes we’ve outlined will allow us to provide a better experience to our fans, release new content updates more consistently, and ensure that Guild Wars 2 will be around for many, many years to come.

    We’ll see you in the game,

    Josh “Grouch” Davis
    Game Director
    TLDR:

    LS approach is done so they can focus on non-LS updates and expansions as well, now just big quarterly updates but sound like they're similar
    More frequent expansion releases, cheaper expansions
    First update is Feb. 28 with a new story arc, 2 maps, 2 strikes, masteries, and other stuff, less for the update after that (but still a fair amount). So sounds like the scope of the updates isn't dramatically changing necessarily, though.

    Kinda bummed in some ways, I liked the LS content delivery system. But at the same time since Colin and Josh came back it finally feels like Anet is getting back on track after a long, bumpy road and like a year+ where nobody knew who was running GW2/Anet really. Basically feels like a functional studio reboot in many ways, which is sure weird for a 2+ decade-old studio working on a decade-old game, but whatever, better than them still floundering around for direction.

  2. #2
    Is gw2 support recovering deleted chars again do i need to ask again next year?

  3. #3
    Since 2021, we’ve put a renewed emphasis on developing Guild Wars 2 with a player-centric approach, where step one in our development process is to seek out and understand the problems and frustrations that MMO players face.
    If they want to refine the game, the first thing they could do is remove agony resistance from Fractals. It makes no sense. Any player who joins GW2 is going to naturally think "oh, I do the 5-man instanced content (fractals) before I progress to 10-man instanced content (raids and strikes)", but fractals have a higher barrier of entry than 10 man content. You need to obtain ascended armor and acquire agony resistance, whereas with 10 man content you can just ding level 80, buy a set of exotic armor and runes off of the auction house, and jump in.


    Historically, with few exceptions, Living World seasons have required the focus of nearly the entire Guild Wars 2 development team to deliver them at the size, quality, and cadence that our players expect. This made it difficult to simultaneously develop expansions while supporting the game with regular content updates.
    Aka "no you're not getting quality AND quantity anymore, like you did from 2015 through 2019 where you got a complete episode with a brand new map every 60-90 days. We don't have the budget or the talent to deliever that any more".


    It also meant that many areas of the game went undersupported.
    New fractals, raids, WvW and SPvP maps when?


    Rather than launching an expansion every two to four years with a season of Living World in between, we’ll be releasing smaller expansions more frequently at a slightly reduced price and adding additional content for those expansions through quarterly updates, meaning that the next big release is only ever a few months away.
    End of Dragons was already an embarassingly content light expansion, with only 4 halfbaked PvE maps and new elite specs that are still broken one year later, and nothing else. If these new "expansions" are going to be even smaller, then what are we looking at here? 2 new halfbaked PvE maps with 3 broken elite specs or none at all?


    The first release in an expansion cycle is the launch point for a new story arc, bringing with it two new open-world maps, two Strike Missions, new gameplay and combat features, new Masteries, and new rewards. In the following quarterly updates, we’ll add another open-world map, additional story chapters, challenge modes for the Strike Missions, a new fractal dungeon and challenge mode, new rewards, and additions to the new systems introduced in that expansion. Once that expansion’s story is complete, the next expansion will be just around the corner.
    Oh. So it's 3 PvE maps and one fractal for your box purchase, and that's it. No new elite specs, no new raids, no new SPvP or WvW maps. Just asset reused story boss fights with higher tuning. Got it.


    The next chapter of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons arrives on February 28. With familiar allies like Detective Rama and his hat at your side, you’ll travel to a new location in Cantha and come face-to-face with a deadly foe that resides deep within the Jade Sea.
    That's a pleasant surprise.


    I hope this area is a strike platform against some other boss that isn't the Deep Sea Monster. If the Deep Sea Monster is not fought in the water, that will be quite disappointing. This area looks pretty cool, though. This is what I want out of my high fantasy RPGs.


    That storyline will conclude a few months later with an update that introduces additional playable space to the map
    Uh oh, they didn't say new map. Is this just going to be a piecemeal addition to a pre-existing map, like season 2 with Dry Top and Silverwastes?

    It still boggles my mind that we are regressing from "one new full map every 60-90 days from season 3 through season 4" back to "each patch adds a small section to a preexisting map ala Dry Top and Silverwastes in 2014".


    In the first half of the year, we’ll release the Soo-Won legendary weapon skin variant collection
    Hopefully there will be a final Dragonvoid legendary collection?


    two profession balance updates
    Fix Untamed please!


    multiple updates for World vs. World
    New map when?


    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    First update is Feb. 28 with a new story arc, 2 maps
    That's for paid expansions. The free February 28th patch is only bringing one new map.

  4. #4
    I log in most days and run around a bit, but I still haven't actually finished the story for End of Dragons and don't feel inspired to do so. Too many other non-gaming distractions for me to invest time into GW now.
    "I only feel two things Gary, nothing, and nothingness."

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    Kinda bummed in some ways, I liked the LS content delivery system. But at the same time since Colin and Josh came back it finally feels like Anet is getting back on track after a long, bumpy road and like a year+ where nobody knew who was running GW2/Anet really. Basically feels like a functional studio reboot in many ways, which is sure weird for a 2+ decade-old studio working on a decade-old game, but whatever, better than them still floundering around for direction.
    GW2 has always been a great game suffering from a bit of an identity crisis, trying to be the "different one" in a market space that has built up extremely rigid expectations of what a game "should be". So it's no shock that they have regular upheavals and course corrections.

    It's a shame because the game still feels relatively "new" to me in a lot of ways. I still look back at the insane level of anticipation I had for this fresh new idea of a game, and still think of it in that light. So I still have very positive feelings toward it, I just also know that it's not something I want to go back and play anymore.

  6. #6
    Merely a Setback PACOX's Avatar
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    I reserve all judgement until they close out EOD and showcase the new expansion because this new workflow could be amazing or it could be awful.


    Iiked the expac - > living world system but obviously it never worked as intended and was confusing to new people joining the game, always punished you for not logging in even though the game has no sub fee.


    My fear is that this sounds like their pitch for season 5,which imo actually started well and then went to all hell - some of it was Anets fault and some of it was out of their control. So we shall see.

    Grouch/Josh Davis seems a lot more committed to the game than Mike O'Brien and then interim game director(s?) was. He actually plays the game quite often which is a plus.
    Last edited by PACOX; 2023-02-13 at 09:25 PM.

    Resident Cosplay Progressive

  7. #7
    They are going they Destiny 2 route, or the ESO route. I am cool with that, smaller expansions with quarterly releases, if you compare this to other mmos it is still well above most other options besides WoW and FFXIV.
    World of Warcraft: Shadowblands
    Diablo Bore.

  8. #8
    Seems interesting, definitely feels like the ESO model. Of course, execution is key. We'll have to see how it goes overall.

  9. #9
    I liked the living world + expansion. Now we gonna get basically 2 slightly bigger living worlds for double the price of an expansion.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty123456 View Post
    I liked the living world + expansion. Now we gonna get basically 2 slightly bigger living worlds for double the price of an expansion.
    A lot of people liked it, but as the blog post says, it's not exactly a lucrative or viable strategy for Arenanet, with this new yearly system, you pay...20 bucks maybe for roughly an EoDs worth of stuff over a year.
    World of Warcraft: Shadowblands
    Diablo Bore.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    If they want to refine the game, the first thing they could do is remove agony resistance from Fractals. It makes no sense. Any player who joins GW2 is going to naturally think "oh, I do the 5-man instanced content (fractals) before I progress to 10-man instanced content (raids and strikes)", but fractals have a higher barrier of entry than 10 man content. You need to obtain ascended armor and acquire agony resistance, whereas with 10 man content you can just ding level 80, buy a set of exotic armor and runes off of the auction house, and jump in.




    Aka "no you're not getting quality AND quantity anymore, like you did from 2015 through 2019 where you got a complete episode with a brand new map every 60-90 days. We don't have the budget or the talent to deliever that any more".




    New fractals, raids, WvW and SPvP maps when?




    End of Dragons was already an embarassingly content light expansion, with only 4 halfbaked PvE maps and new elite specs that are still broken one year later, and nothing else. If these new "expansions" are going to be even smaller, then what are we looking at here? 2 new halfbaked PvE maps with 3 broken elite specs or none at all?




    Oh. So it's 3 PvE maps and one fractal for your box purchase, and that's it. No new elite specs, no new raids, no new SPvP or WvW maps. Just asset reused story boss fights with higher tuning. Got it.




    That's a pleasant surprise.




    I hope this area is a strike platform against some other boss that isn't the Deep Sea Monster. If the Deep Sea Monster is not fought in the water, that will be quite disappointing. This area looks pretty cool, though. This is what I want out of my high fantasy RPGs.




    Uh oh, they didn't say new map. Is this just going to be a piecemeal addition to a pre-existing map, like season 2 with Dry Top and Silverwastes?

    It still boggles my mind that we are regressing from "one new full map every 60-90 days from season 3 through season 4" back to "each patch adds a small section to a preexisting map ala Dry Top and Silverwastes in 2014".




    Hopefully there will be a final Dragonvoid legendary collection?




    Fix Untamed please!




    New map when?




    That's for paid expansions. The free February 28th patch is only bringing one new map.
    ааа апрк ы
    Last edited by Glopoz; 2023-02-19 at 08:19 PM.

  12. #12
    Not sure I like this approach as i didn't need to spend money with LS chapters, while i will likely be charged 15-20 bucks per expansion plus adding their heavy focus on the cash shop which surprisingly enough had no mention over how their dev team resources is spreaded huh

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Sesethi View Post
    Not sure I like this approach as i didn't need to spend money with LS chapters, while i will likely be charged 15-20 bucks per expansion plus adding their heavy focus on the cash shop which surprisingly enough had no mention over how their dev team resources is spreaded huh
    Cash shop doesn't exactly take up a lot of core development time as it's largely cosmetic and convenience based.

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