Over the past few weeks, most of our team has been focused on getting the next couple of releases ready, which will culminate in our Living World Season 4 finale. Meanwhile, we’re also looking toward the future.
I’ve been speaking with members of the team for a few months, examining the way we create content to make sure we continue to do what’s best for the game. Lately we’ve been scrutinizing not only our plans for Season 5, but our core development philosophy. Ultimately, we believe that our core pillars for Guild Wars 2 have not changed:
- Encourage players to interact positively
- Support player autonomy
- Focus on horizontal progression instead of vertical
- Build upon previous designs
- Strive for the fun
The Living World of Guild Wars 2 is a great way for us to accomplish all of that. It’s the best way to provide our player community with regular content updates—great features, new horizons to explore, and an engaging story that brings our world and characters to life—without charging a subscription fee.
New Guild Wars 2 Team Structure
So, what does this mean for Guild Wars 2?
We are taking the opportunity now to reorganize ourselves into four fully staffed content teams with additional teams dedicated to supporting the core game like Skills and Balance, Rewards, WvW, and sPvP.
Content teams will have more flexibility to decide what makes sense for a given release—for example, we could focus on expanding the boundaries and content of an existing map if that would provide a better experience than creating a new one. Ultimately, this will mean a relatively steady release of new content that will allow us to continue telling the story of Tyria in exciting new ways.
The Next Few Months
So, what’s next? We released Super Adventure Festival so players can return to Moto’s game world and experience the homage to the games of yesteryear.
After that, the Current Activities Team has a release that will build toward the Season 4 finale.
We’re in the process of wrapping up Episode 6 now, and we’re excited to not only announce a release date, but also to play the finale alongside all of you. It won’t fall within the two-to-three-month window that we tried to target throughout Season 4 because of the adjustments we had to make in February, but stay tuned—more info is coming soon.
We’re currently adding more polish to the final encounter in the next raid, which continues the story of Qadim and will get its own release after Episode 6. We’re utilizing one of the new team’s efforts to build some additional small-scale open world content so all of our players will have something to celebrate with the release of the raid.
The commander’s tale will continue in Living World Season 5. As the teams get going and plans become more cemented, we’ll be able to talk a bit more on that topic.
We also have our sights set on a few features that have already been in development for some time. Please understand that these are all works in progress, so details can change between here and the final version, and we don’t have a timeline for the release of any of these. These features will ship when they are ready.
- The rune and sigil salvaging release last year was in anticipation of releasing legendary runes and sigils—the final components of legendary core equipment.
- Over the past few months, astute players have been noticing a trend of updates and improvements to how our skill-slotting system works and have accurately speculated that the long-requested feature of build templates is in the works.
- We’d like to increase the max cooking level from 400 to 500. This crafting profession needs a refresh to make lower-tier foods important to the ecosystem and help reinvigorate various resources throughout the game.
- We’ve mentioned in the past how important world restructuring is to our WvW initiatives, and that hasn’t changed. While the Programming Team is focused on this initiative, the team is also focusing on smaller updates that can temporarily change the game mode, like the No Downed State Week we’ve done in the past. We’re also talking about different types of reward structures for events.
- Swiss tournament support is the next major feature the sPvP team is working on. This feature will be utilized by our structured tournaments moving forward.
Further Down the Road
Beyond all of this, here is some of what’s on our radar for the future. None of these have been fully designed and are even more subject to change—or being shelved:
- For WvW, we’ve talked about changing the matches so that scoring matters in 8-hour intervals. This allows us to address gameplay in off-peak hours in a way that doesn’t invalidate the work of the most active populations.
- After the cooking 500 update, jewel crafting is the last profession needing to be extended.
- The Competitive Team has been working on the idea of building a festival that highlights both sPvP and WvW. It’s a fun concept that would allow us to focus on those game types and try new things.
This sort of discussion of projects that we’ve kept under wraps until now is a departure from how we’ve been communicating for a while. It’s our hope that through posts like this we can help clarify for you what our priorities and goals are for the game. And while this isn’t everything we have planned for the game, it at least gives you better insight into its development. The team is passionate about not only supporting Guild Wars 2, but continuing to grow it alongside all of you.
Thanks for your time and see you in game!