GW2 Summary of AMA

Direct Copy from post on Reddit

 

There is some really interesting stuff on this post, We definitely need more communication like this.

General game design choices

  • John C, Linsey: Reasoning why GW1 Halls of Heroes and Tombs of Primeval Kings were not implemented in GW2
  • John S on behalf of Curtis: They believe that armor sets make great rewards for earning them in-game
  • Mo: Elite specializations are reserved for expansions
  • Mo: Impossible to go back to the previous 2-week release schedule. It will sacrifice too much quality
  • John C: Looking into bringing missing armor sets (previous PvP sets) back
  • Karl about team divisions for skill and balance, etc.
  • Matt: Armor sets are one of the most time expensive things they make for GW2; plans for more reward armor sets in the future
  • Mo: Armor pieces take more effort to make than outfits
  • Mike Z: Multiple teams working on different types of content; expect a variety of content types of varying difficulty in future releases of living world and expansions
  • Mo: No plans for improving underwater combat currently
  • Isaiah: Not fully against splitting skills between PvE/PvP/WvW, but it adds a lot of overhead to every balance and design decisions when moving forward
  • Paul: No plans for separate story instances without rewards for just the story itself
  • Mo: No plans for a keyring

Raids

  • Paul: Several encounters for the 3rd raid wing of the Forsaken Thicket are in a playable state
  • Paul: There will be variances between raid releases regarding the number of encounters depending on complexity of development and design, but most raids will be of a consistent size
  • Andrew: You’ll need one Gift of Craftsmanship to upgrade each piece of the final precursor armor set to legendary; amount of Legendary Insights required unknown
  • Andrew: Looking into making Provisioner Tokens easier to access
  • Paul: Currently no plans to make a raid boss that requires you to clear all three wings
  • Crystal: For Salvation Pass they only had 5-6 people working on it full time for 4 months, and they mostly worked on 2 raid releases
  • Crystal: Rewards are designed around the acquisition of legendary armor
  • Crystal: 3 wings for Spirit Vale were planned before the first wing release
  • Crystal: No planned 5-man-mode for raids
  • Crystal: Looking into adding raids to LFG
  • Crystal: Salvation Pass achievements will involve different playstyles
  • Paul: No plans for a casual mode
  • Crystal: When the raids team began, they committed to 3 wing releases for the Forsaken Thicket, but that doesn’t mean all raids get 3 wings.

Fractals

  • Sean (1, 2): Delinked the legendary fractal backpiece from the Fractal Leaderboards
  • Sean: Working on new fractals, and also on improvements to fractals as a game mode
  • Sean (1, 2, 3, 4): Working on new instabilities that will slowly phase out the old ones
  • Sean: No Rytlock’s adventures in fractals because they are quite story heavy
  • Sean: Abaddon fractal not currently worked on, maybe later
  • Sean (1, 2): Looking into putting existing encounters in fractals, but not a copy-paste
  • Sean: Upcoming changes hopefully in the next quarterly update, but no promises
  • Sean (1, 2, 3): Rework of the daily achievements is planned
  • Sean (1, 2): Plans to make fractals mechanically more interesting, some mechanics borrowed from raids
  • Sean: Looking into making rewards from fractals not reliant on lucky drops
  • Sean: Plans to rework agony and AR, but in the far future
  • Sean: No plans to reintroduce the 4 island mechanic, plans to increase the ascended drop rate, dipoles are not supposed to be unobtainable, work on Fractal Leaderboards has been suspended again (an alternative is being planned, but current issues are coming first)
  • Sean: Legendary fractal backpiece will unlock a unique glider skin
  • Sean (1, 2): New fractals are in early prototype and not to be expected in the April quarterly update

Dungeons

  • John S: Fractals are the primary focus, but taking a second look at dungeon rewards
  • Mo: Rewards nerf was unneeded, but they also don’t have the staff to occupy a dungeon team
  • Sean: No new dungeons currently

HoT

  • Mo, Mike Z: It wasn’t the intention to make HoT maps push for more group-orientated play than solo-play and they will keep trying to make maps great for both free-form exploration and groups
  • Mo: Planning to make HoT content rewarding to play in a variety of playstyles
  • Andrew: Some improvements in obtaining new HoT gear in the April quarterly release
  • Mike Z: Availability of adventures is being addressed in the April quarterly update
  • Mike Z: HoT specific daily achievements are coming in an upcoming release

Legendary weapons

  • Paul: They are working on it, no time estimation yet
  • Blonk: Special care to address issues that were introduced with the previous new legendary weapons
  • Matt: The 13 remaining weapons are in various stages of concept, modeling and design, with the furthest along in development being the short bow and mace
  • Matt: Releasing the new legendary weapons as packages when they are ready
  • Matt: Looking at the problem of the amalgamated gemstones

Living world season 3

  • Nellie (1, 2): Living world season 3 will start after the third raid wing
  • Nellie: Expect to see permanent changes to the world, possibly both old and new maps
  • Leah: Living world season 3 will pick up where HoT left off; expect Rata Novus, the egg, etc.
  • Nellie about the collaborative process of how the story is being developed
  • Paul: Requires HoT
  • Andrew: Living world season 3 will open up some avenues for non-raiders to acquire gear/stat combinations that are unique to raids (also ascended)

PvP

  • Erik, Hugh: They are aware that there are some frustrating match-ups during the kick-off of season 2 and they are working on improving it for season 3
  • Erik: MMR is not adjusting down enough when losing from higher rated opponents
  • Hugh: Old leaderboards are not returning, the Legendary Division Leaderboard is the replacement
  • John C: No plans for a betting system
  • Erik: MMR is used for minor matchmaking considerations, but doesn’t really work as a determiner of which division a player technically belongs
  • John C: Team is evaluating what to do during off-seasons
  • John C: They want to create new PvP maps for both conquest and stronghold, but they are making some improvements to existing maps first
  • Erik: Courtyard won’t be returning to unranked or ranked
  • Erik (1, 2): No plans for PvP teams to be bigger than 5v5, or exactly 1v1 or 2v2
  • Erik: They believe that distinct meta periods is healthy for PvP, but changing the meta too much was frustrating for most players; they are willing to improve the health mid-season, but don’t want to constantly change the meta during a season in general
  • John C: Queueing for PvP outside HotM has a technical limitation

WvW

  • Shuai: They are changing some of the core architectural components that will provide them a foundation for more flexibility in the future
  • Tyler (1, 2): No ‘whens’, but first we’ll see updates related to population balance and rewards, later regarding scoring issues, etc. There will be a blog post later when they are ready to tell us
  • Tyler, Stephen: Working on layout improvements in the Desert Borderlands, like simplifying navigation, reducing line of sight blockers, reducing/eliminating critical choke points, reducing lethal fall locations, etc. There are still intentions to bring back the Alpine Borderlands, but there’s currently no support for rotating between the borderlands and the Alpine Borderlands required a significant amount of content updates to support new features in HoT
  • Tyler: Involved in WvW development for 6 years, some history
  • Mo: Current top priority is fixing population imbalance, and that has caused the stalling of other significant updates
  • Stephen: Iterated too much for WvW “2.0” by continuously adding and changing more and more which caused a delayed release. They are clearing out the log jam, focus on shippable pieces and push it to the live servers as soon as possible
  • Tyler: Ready to talk about the upcoming changes after the blog post about the first part of the big WvW update
  • Tyler: In a Live Beta the beta feature is available on the live game servers, just like the HoT beta weekends
  • Mike: Everyone will be able to beta test
  • Stephen (1, 2): Plans to release in small patches to acquire player feedback
  • Stephen: Regarding the WvW resets shift from Friday to Saturday; basically the reason is that they sometimes release a new build on Friday that would interfere with WvW

Client

  • Stephen: They are actively working on a proper Mac version of GW2 and this week they finally got it compiling, linking and starting up, but it crashed at the login screen; no ETA
  • Jon: No plans for updating to a newer graphics API, like DX12 or Vulkan

Server

  • John S (1, 2): Megaserver system is being reworked; in development for several months
  • Stephen: Megaservers are basically GW1 districts, but automatically; solving the megaserver issues in relation to guilds is hard, open to suggestions

SAB

  • Mo: Some day

API

  • Pat: Extended Experience is scrapped and character rendering is still a “that would be awesome” sort of long-term goal

Colin

  • Colin (1, 2): He got an opportunity that allows him to see his family far more and support his wife on a project after her supporting him for years (good luck on your future endeavors /u/ArenaColin!)

Other

  • Lindsey: Fishing…
  • Maclaine: Hardest part of developing music for GW2
  • Lance, Ester, Dara, Lance (1, 2): Some info about QA
  • Stephen: No public test servers, but using and improving the HoT beta tech instead
  • According to Colin, Mo can now set both policy and game direct simultaneously
  • Some lore and LW3 stuff by Leah that I can’t fit in anywhere: 1, 2, 3, 4,
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