So, Arenanet finally shared with us various information regarding the work on the third large-scale addition for the MMORPG Guild Wars 2, as well as other important aspects for the community. The former project director has returned to the team, and the developers plan to work more closely with the players.
The return of Colin Johanson.
Arenanet has quite ambitious plans for the future of Guild Wars 2. In order for the studio to achieve long-term goals and provide the gaming experience you deserve, former Guild Wars 2 game director Colin Johanson returns to the team, who will lead the studio together with JT.
Colin worked on the Guild Wars franchise for more than 11 years as a game designer and game director, but decided to leave in 2016. His last project was to lead the team at the stage of preparation for the production of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.
Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons
As the development of the add-on progressed and the problems in the real world of the last year and a half changed the way of life and the process of the team’s work, it became clear that the developers needed a little more time to implement Kanta’s creative vision. Therefore, they decided to postpone the release of the third expansion of Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons from the end of 2021 to the beginning of 2022.
The full announcement of the add-on, as before, is scheduled for July 27. The developers are preparing a trailer, information about various features, the timing of the beta test of elite specializations, details of the history, art, event design and much more. But they want to keep the secrets that the players will have to reveal on their own when they go to Kanta.
More live broadcasts are planned throughout the year dedicated to Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons, each of which will have more news about the addition.
The Living world
Guild Wars 2 is a large and complex game with many unique game features, including a live world, World vs modes. World, Player vs. Player, complex PVE activities and much more. Traditionally, the attention of the game director was divided between overseeing the development of the living world and additions. In order for the living world to attract the attention it deserves, Colin and JT created a new role. It will focus on leading the strategy of developing a living world and ensuring a constant and high-quality gaming experience. It is very important to find someone for this position who knows the franchise well and is a tireless defender of players. Therefore, Josh Davis (aka Grouch) returns to the team as the head of live operations.
This couple of months has been busy for the team of the living world, starting with the article Summer 2021 Live, which was published back in April. Sharing detailed update release dates so far in advance is not an easy task. From time to time, the development of a game can be a little unpredictable. But in general, Josh believes that the benefits outweigh the risks and they intend to promote this level of communication in the future as much as possible.
In addition to the return of the living world, this roadmap announced some important changes that will appear in the game this summer, namely the Twisted Marionette and the legendary arsenal. The developers have made these functions a priority, because they know how important they are for players. Now they want to share a few more updates that the community is looking forward to.
Optimizing client performance
The development team understands that Guild Wars 2 is suffering from low frame rate issues. They are actively working on updating the engine to DirectX 11 and hope that later this year they will be able to release it as a beta version. It is important to note that upgrading to DX11 is not in itself a magic tool to fix performance. Some players may not notice the difference at all. However, upgrading to DX11 opens up many opportunities for improving performance – for example, CPU multithreading. This also opens the way for some potential graphics updates in the future.
Alliances and restructuring of worlds in World vs. World
World Restructuring (also known as alliances) is a feature that aims to provide a more balanced World vs. World by dynamically creating matches using WvW guilds, alliances (a set of guilds created by players) and active WvW players as the basis. Compared to the current version, which relies on worlds and their unification, the new system will give developers more flexibility and detail when creating new matches, and will also help eliminate natural population fluctuations over time. It will also give players more freedom to choose who they want to play with on a regular basis.
The restructuring of the world is a big change for WvW and the team wants to do it right. ArenaNet has read a large number of reviews about the system. In the past, developers have sometimes made the mistake of releasing the “final” version of a feature and finding that it does not quite meet the expectations of the community, which means that they have wasted time and resources. To avoid such a situation, the team plans to do everything differently this time.
The world restructuring feature will be released through a multi-phase beta version. This means that the developers will release part of the new system, test it in a real game, collect feedback, and then finalize it for the next release. The components will be working, but not completely ready, which means that the studio will be able to respond more easily to player feedback without having to rewrite a large amount of code. Only after all this will the final version of the restructuring of the world appear. In August, they promise to share with us an overview of how the restructuring of the world works, and the timing of the first beta events.
In the past, development priorities shifted from WvW, which affected the development of this system. The new management team sees WvW as the cornerstone of Guild Wars 2 and it will be the focus of their attention in the future.