Get Ready—Camera Changes Are Coming!

by Branden Gee on 27th February, 2015

I’m Branden Gee, one of the gameplay programmers working on Guild Wars 2, and I’m excited to announce a bunch of new changes and features for the camera system that Ryan Diedrich, Joel Helmich, and I have been working on. Now, before we get carried away talking about some of this cool new tech we’ve been developing, I’d like to answer the two questions I’m sure you are going to scour this blog post to find.

Yes, we are adding a first-person camera view.

Yes, we are adding an option to adjust the field of view.

But there is a whole lot more coming to the camera options in March. In addition to the first-person camera and field-of-view options, we’ll be adding better control over the camera’s positional offsets, a solution to camera snapping, and other features that you can read about below.


The Position slider—which was previously responsible for offsetting the camera to the left or right of your character as well as slightly adjusting the height of the camera—has been split off into two different options: Horizontal Position and Vertical Position.

The Horizontal Position slider will offset the camera to the left or right. You can use this to create an over-the-shoulder view that keeps the center of the screen clear.

The Vertical Position slider is a little more complicated. This option sets the maximum camera height when the camera is at maximum distance from the character. The actual camera height will adjust with the zoom level to ensure that your character is always on the screen.

A new feature we’re excited about is something we’re calling Collision Sensitivity. We’ve all been there—you’re running along, happily dispatching ambient rabbits, when suddenly a small tree comes between your camera and your character, causing the camera to snap in very close and completely ruin your immersion. Well, we fixed this! When enabled, this setting will adjust how much stuff (trees, walls, rocks, etc.) needs to be between your character and your camera before the camera snaps in. When this feature ships, it will be automatically enabled in your camera options; if you’d like to disable this new functionality, simply move the slider all the way to the left and the old functionality will be restored.

When planning out these features, we delved through your feedback on the forums for extra improvements we could add to the camera. Because of this, the Zoom Sensitivity feature was added. It adjusts how many mouse-wheel clicks it takes to zoom fully in or out. Moving this slider to the left will cause the zoom level to change in smaller increments, meaning you’ll need to roll your mouse wheel 42 clicks to fully zoom, compared to the usual 7 clicks when the slider is set to the right.

A much requested feature, the Field of View slider is a setting that will allow you to adjust how much can be seen in the game world. Moving the slider left will shrink the field of view, and moving it right will make it larger. As an example, for those of you playing the game using multiple monitors, lowering the field of view should help with the fish-eye effect you may be experiencing.

When the Enable First-Person Camera feature is enabled, zooming in all the way will put the camera in first-person view. You can use the first-person camera mode while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP, or at any other time. There aren’t any restrictions for when and where the first-person view can be used, so enjoy it whenever you like. We’re looking forward to seeing the beautiful screenshots that you’re going to be taking!

Under the hood, we’re also changing which part of your character the camera focuses on. No matter your race or size, the camera will now focus on your character’s head. This is going to give norn players a relatively taller feeling than their asura-playing friends. We understand that for some of you this could potentially make things like jumping puzzles a bit more difficult. To counteract this, we have added the Adjust Camera to Character Height toggle. When it is unchecked, the camera will move to a consistent position above your character’s feet, regardless of how big or small your character may be.

With all of these changes coming to the camera, we realize that things could get a tad overwhelming. To ensure that you never get stuck in a camera configuration you don’t like, we’ve added a handy button called Restore Defaults that, as you might guess, resets your camera settings to defaults. The Restore Defaults button will only affect your camera settings and should help you navigate this new camera experience.

We really hope you find these new options and functionalities helpful as you enjoy the world of Tyria. We certainly know we’re excited for them!