On last week’s episode of the Guild Chat livestream, host Rubi Bayer invited several developer guests to talk about the Winter 2016 Quarterly Update. To kick off the episode, Rubi let players know that costs for the scribing profession will see adjustments in the future.
The first guest, Gameplay Programmer Joel Helmich, jumped at the chance to work on gliding in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ because he loves mobility in games. It isn’t much fun to come back to Central Tyria and plummet to your doom after soaring through the Heart of Maguuma, but the team didn’t have enough time to expand gliding to the entire open world before the expansion launched. Once it shipped, they went back to revisit it. Gliding isn’t available in Player vs. Player or World vs. World right now, but you’ll be able to glide in the Heart of the Mists. No-fly zones have been implemented at the ends of some jumping puzzles and will knock you out of flight if you ignore the warning to turn back. Joel also gave a brief explanation of how client-controlled gliding works in comparison to server-controlled gliding and why a switch was made to client-controlled so that lag wouldn’t cause delays in glider deployment.
Associate Game Director John Corpening was up next to talk about upcoming goals and changes to World vs. World. He said that the team has been very busy working on bug fixes and core balance, and there are a number of changes in the works. Adjustments to automatic upgrading will allow players to kill dolyaks to stop upgrades, and players who enjoy skirmishing will receive points for both kills and finishers in equal measure. People who have been fully defeated can no longer be resurrected by a player in combat in WvW, and the number of players who can rally off a single kill has been reduced to one, with the rally going to the player closest to the kill.
The items sold by the Heroics Notary will no longer require badges of honor, since it cost too many badges for players to obtain their hero points. Walls in Eternal Battlegrounds are occasionally bugged to either not take damage or to flicker, becoming “phantom walls”; fixes for both of these are in the works. Issues with lag in WvW are being addressed as well. John also said that banners were meant to “enhance the battle, not be the battle,” and they’ll be adjusted to bring them in line.
The next guest, Gameplay Programmer Jon Olson, discussed changes to the enhanced squad UI. Commanders can now appoint lieutenants to help them manage squad tasks, such as placing markers and inviting and removing members. In creating the map markers, Jon says the team used shapes and high contrast colors to create a simple visual language as well as allowing colorblind players to more easily identify the markers.
Finally, Game Designer Hugh Norfolk arrived to tell the story of how Tybalt Leftpaw arrived from the Mists to become Stronghold’s newest Mist Champion. Using apple-themed abilities, Tybalt will help you by cleansing conditions, defending your team, and even dropping rotten apples on enemies’ heads.
If you missed this episode, you can catch the video below!