Andrew Gray is the new content designer for Guild Wars 2, and only having been in the job for a couple of months, he’s already opening channels of communication with players, something that has been lacking for a while. In a statement on the Guild Wars 2 forum, Gray discussed the game’s performance in 2019, what’s happening this year, and what the future holds.
The state of Guild Wars 2
Gray has been with ArenaNet for 15 years, but he said 2019 was the most challenging due to many layoffs and project cancellations. Apparently, the Guild Wars 2 team was mostly unaffected by the layoffs though, and they are “all determined to create an even better game moving forward.”
Last week, the team at ArenaNet released the second episode of its fifth Living World – Shadow in the Ice. While the Living World content is nice to have (and free), players have been wanting more from Guild Wars 2 for some time. Along those lines, Gray promises some pretty exciting developments for 2020 but isn’t ready to spill the beans yet.
The future of the Guild Wars 2 Living World
The next update from Guild Wars 2 will not be the next Living World episode, but rather a new type of content called Visions of the Past. More will be revealed about this at PAX East at the end of February.
As for episodes three and four of the current Living World, Gray revealed that the map will be meta-focused, being like WvW (World versus World) in a PvE setting. They are “striving for high replayability for the episodes three and four map.”
He’s vague about the plans for Guild Wars 2 after episode four, but he drops some hints about the type of content we might be getting. They want to revisit some of the content that has worked for them in the past, like how the first season of Living World brought players into the story with an impact on the game world. This time around, they want content to be replayable though.
The future of Fractals and Raids
Fractals are not going to disappear from the game, thankfully. There is a new Fractal in the works, which will have a challenge mode. As for Raids, there is concern about the skill level and commitment required to take on these challenges. There is a large gap between what is required to complete Fractals versus Raids. Gray believes Strike Missions are the answer. He is confident that once ArenaNet completes a full suite of Strike Missions (which gradually get harder as you progress), players will be able to make the jump from Fractals to raiding.
To that end, the Guild Wars 2 team is striving to make improvements to the Strike Missions. The team wants grouping to be easier and rewards to be better. Gray wraps up by saying something hardcore players will be very happy to hear, “We understand the importance of balancing our efforts between accessible content with broad appeal, and content that appeals to the more hard core audience, and recognize that we need to do a better job of supporting the latter.”
Guild Wars 2 is available for purchase on PC via the game’s website.