On the most recent episode of Guild Chat, Game Designers Andrew Gray, McKenna Berdrow, and Sean Hughes talked about their work on the updated Shatterer fight, while Game Director Colin Johanson discussed the recent Winter Quarterly Update and what’s coming in the future.
Colin said that the next quarterly update will address player feedback received since the launch of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™. While the developers are happy with the level of challenge in the jungle’s open world, one of the expansion’s major goals was for players to be able to play for a short amount of time and still make meaningful progress. Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns content will be reviewed to bring it in line with that goal while preserving the challenge.
The updates to the Shatterer battle began with a fix to an issue which blocked progress on a legendary journey. The Shatterer was the only world boss which could be permanently blinded, and that prevented players from being hit by its crystalizing attack. Players could also stand in certain parts of the battlefield to be safe throughout the fight. Fixing those issues alone would have been simple to implement, but after the team learned the release date for the Winter Quarterly Update, they decided to work on making the fight more fun.
The new encounter is meant to be more challenging while still being level appropriate for the Blazeridge Steppes zone. Beating the Shatterer isn’t as difficult as some of the other open-world fights, such as Triple Trouble, but the achievements are harder than defeating the dragon itself. McKenna said that they wanted to make sure that the new achievements helped guide players through the encounter and directed them to things that have changed.
Sean talked about the new Branded enemies. The rock dog and devourer are dangerous, but they’re not as deadly as the more elite minotaur and griffon. The griffon is considerably more powerful in the air, but it now has a defiance bar that can force it to the ground and make it easier to fight. Sean’s favorite is the minotaur, which charges up a knockdown effect that can take a player down quickly if they don’t break out of it.
Andrew designed many of the Shatterer’s new skills, added the new enemies, implemented gliding as part of the fight, and made siege weapons more user friendly. Turrets now move more quickly, allow players to provide efficient healing for their allies, and have crowd-control abilities to assist with bringing down defiance bars. Andrew said that his favorite part of working on the updated fight was adding gliding, which let him give people airborne bombardier and healing skills. Since he didn’t want to create a new safe zone in the air, there’s plenty of opportunity for the Shatterer to bring flying aces down—which will turn you into a living bomb if you land on your friends!
If you missed this week’s episode, you can check out a recording below.