The much anticipated update to World vs World has been delayed from its anticipated launch of February to March, with ArenaNet saying they want more time to test and polish the new content. Game Director Colin Johanson took to the forums to deliver the news, and to detail more of what we can expect for WvW updates in the future. WvW is the one major area of Guild Wars 2 (the other two being PvE and sPvP) that has not received much attention. While we’ve seen a new arena in sPvP and plenty of new content in PvE, WvW has soldiered on with only some balance changes since the release of GW2.
Some of the new content we can expect to see in March include a new progression system, new titles, and WvW specific bonuses and abilities. Johanson also laid out some other improvements we will be seeing for World vs World, not in March but in future updates beyond that. Those include…
- More work on the culling issue (where the engine cannot render models fast enough, leading to players being temporarily invisible. This is prevalent in other parts of the game, but hits WvW the hardest, where entire enemy groups remain hidden until you’re already dead.)
- More incentives to win in WvW beyond the point totals and the minor temporary bonuses that servers
- Ways to help more people play WvW, such as dealing with queue issues that occur on very active WvW servers
Specific details are sparse as of now, but Johanson tells us that more concrete information will be given as the updates get closer to launch. It’s apparent that ArenaNet are having trouble setting reasonable update timelines, as releases getting pushed back are becoming regular announcements. The “expansion worth of content in January and February” has turned in to February and March, for example. All of the free content has been awesome, but let’s hope the release date estimation improves in the future.
You can read the original forum post over on the Guild Wars 2 Forums
As you may or may not know, fellow Guild Warriors, there’s trouble on the farm with ArenaNet’s publisher NCsoft. Another NCsoft title, the MMO City of Heroes, has been shut down entirely, and now there are reports that restructuring and realignment are taking place at NCsoft’s offices in Seattle, which includes layoffs. NCsoft as a whole has seen a 12% decline in revenue not too long ago. In other parts of the video gaming press, there’s been a lot of questions raised as to how this is affecting ArenaNet and if Guild Wars 1 or 2 are in danger. We here at Guild Wars Insider have put together a part news, part editorial, part Written in Red to put these fears to rest.
Let’s put this in a bit of perspective, first. For one, NCsoft Seattle, also known as NCwest, is not ArenaNet. ArenaNet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NCsoft that happens to be in the Seattle area, and is insulated from the rest of NCsoft in just about ever aspect except publishing and distribution. The Guild Wars franchise is also the second largest piece of intellectual property NCsoft owns, behind only the big-in-Asia Lineage series. The almost 9 million in combined sales for Guild Wars 1 and 2 dwarfs all of the recently shut down NCsoft games, such as the aforementioned City of Heroes, Tabula Rasa, or even the North American Lineage servers. To put it another way, Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet are in no danger because they’re wildly successful. Head of Global Community Martin Kerstein confirmed in a forum post that the NCwest layoffs are not affecting ArenaNet and that ArenaNet is actually still hiring.
Any speculation regarding the demise of Guild Wars 2 is simply unfounded because it just doesn’t make business sense. The absolute worst case scenario is that ArenaNet would either be spun off or sold off, and even then that chance is so miniscule that, at this point, it’s not even worth speculating. ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 are the proverbial lynchpins of NCsoft’s North American and European operations. They’re safe. There is no reason to assume that the trouble at NCsoft will affect ArenaNet.
It may be more correct to question the future of the Guild Wars 1 servers. It’s a seven year old game and it has a sequel. We as a community shouldn’t be surprised when the day finally comes. At the same time, the way Guild Wars 1 was designed is radically different than other recently shut down NCsoft games, and that will go a long way towards lengthening the life of the game. For one, it’s not an MMO. ArenaNet uses the term Competitive/Cooperative Online Role Playing Game (CORPG). With how instanced GW1 is, it would really be quite similar to the Diablo series in structure if it weren’t for the very convincing elements of towns, outposts, and an interface that makes it look like an MMO. It probably has similar server requirements to the Diablo games as well, which means a tiny fraction of your average MMO. Couple this with the fact that the game is extremely bandwidth efficient (did you know GW1 is playable on 56k dial-up?) and you could probably move the Guild Wars 1 server software over to the Guild Wars 2 server cloud and never even notice a difference. Obviously this is all just speculation, but the technical side of Guild Wars 1 is truly a masterpiece, and I think that will go a long way in extending the life of the game.
In summary, Tyria is safe from the trouble at NCsoft. No matter what happens, ArenaNet is a very, very good game studio and they have the sales to prove it. You never throw that kind of thing away.
Studio Design Director Chris Whiteside will be taking any and all questions for an AMA on Monday, November the 26th. The AMA was announced as a response in a thread to the growing concern of the future of Guild Wars 2. With all the hubbub about the Ascended Gear being a treadmill, and the one-time events being dishearteningly unfair for EU players, this AMA will more than likely consist nearly entirely of questions concerning these aspects. The AMA will take place on Reddit at 12 PM PST, so be sure to head over and check it out or ask any questions that you might have. Here’s the quote from the thread, as well as a link to it.
Thanks for your feedback we really appreciate it. I would like to take the opportunity to answer your questions in an AMA on Reddit on Monday 26th (12pm PST- More details to follow) to talk about recent updates to the game and our philosophy for Guild Wars 2 moving forward.
Please keep in mind that there we are about to begin the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and are out of the office (and likely in game) until Monday. Happy Holidays everyone!
In a recent forum post, Game Designer Johnathan Sharp commented on how the PvP, WvW and Balance teams are structured… something that was questioned after a post by Jon Peters was taken out of context.
A while ago Jon Peters said something that has been taken out of context. He said that only two people were working on the things he was working on (which was true – but he meant it differently than how it was received) and people have taken that to mean that we only have 2 people working on balance, or PvP, or both (at this point it’s morphed into different things in different threads). Based on what was said, I understand how it could have been construed, so I wanted to be as transparent as I can be, so that you know what’s happening inside the studio.
He goes on further to explain how the teams work together and reach out to others to collaborate on projects
On the PvP team we have programmers, designers, QA and an environment artist (Darrin Claypool – he’s the guy who just finished making Temple of the Silent Storm). Many PvP features need all members of the team, but some are programmer intensive, or art intensive. For example, while we’re still working on custom arenas and other core features (which involve server programmers, UI programmers and gameplay programmers), designers and artists were able to build the recently released “Temple of the Silent Storm”. Because the map required no code, we simply worked with art, design and sound in order to support this map’s needs. Work on custom arenas requires zero environment art, so those two features (custom arenas and a new map) don’t impact one another greatly, as far as work flow goes.
For WvW, we have a similar setup. We have designers, QA, programmers and environment artists. WvW is a massive piece of the GW2 pie, and the WvW team is able to focus on WvW needs. While many of us in the company may give feedback/ideas/suggestions to the WvW team, they are the ones who actually implement and carry out those changes.
When it comes to balance, we have multiple people who give feedback/guidance/suggestions, even though a smaller subset actually implement those changes (which is what Jon was saying in his post). After we have balance meetings, a few of the designers implement the changes. If it’s a WvW change, the WvW designer will implement that change. If it’s a PvP change, one of the PvP designers implements it (again, this is what Jon was saying). If it’s strictly a balance change, then we have a designer do it that has the bandwidth (sometimes it’s me, sometime it’s even Izzy, but usually it’s Karl or Peters).
Find out more about the development within ArenaNet by reading Jonathan’s entire post located on the official GW2 forums.
No changes, just maintenance.
This article was probably a little pointless.