Here you'll find Chris Whiteside's answers from his Reddit AMA, along with any other relevant info if necessary. I'll be updating this as the event goes on, so check frequently!
Question: What is your intention with Southsun Cove moving forward in terms of content and it counting towards map completion. also when is that fix for fractals coming?
Answer: Hi Kui,
Thanks for taking the time to get in touch. We will be evolving and building on all or our content in the game and do plan to build on Southsun Cove in the near future. In regard to the fractal fix, we are working on a fix right now and i would like to take this opportunity to apologies for the issue.
Question: That was the quote that sold a lot of people on Guild Wars 2. For years we waited for a game that would give us horizontal progression, not vertical progression. We were told that you were building the game around that.
Then, only a few short months after release, a new higher-stat gear grind was added. Why? Why cater to a sub-section of your playerbase who are cannot stop being, for lack of a better term, WoW-minded when it comes to progression? Why go back on your word to a loyal playerbase that supported you guys for so long?
Also, you stated there was a gap between Legendary and Exotic progression. There was no stat gap, so I can only assume you meant a time gap. But there was a filler -- unique Exotics that were harder to get than the normal, base ones. Please clarify what you meant by that gap.
Answer: Hi Landeyda,
Thanks for taking the time to post your questions. Mike O will respond to the top question and I will respond to the bottom section.
Ascended Gear is designed to fill the 'Time' gap in regard to the distance between exotic and Legendary in terms of progression and in retrospect would have been better to have been rolled out pre launch.
I would also like add that we have never said there would be no vertical progression. We do intent to focus on horizontal but we will have vertical progression moving forward with the focus on zero grind and a very low power curve.
Please understand that we see the community as a 'whole' and therefore are not intending to design again for one specific type of player over another. This is a misconception and one that is not promoted by the team. We will continue to develop the game for the community as a whole offering game play that caters to lots of different types of players in a unified approach that will evolve over time based on feedback and the direction the team as a whole wants to take.
Question: Hey there, I’ve been a Guild Wars player since GW1 Beta, needless to say I’m a huge fan. With that in mind I just wanted to thank you and the rest of arena.net for providing me with so much content over the years and so many great experiences. It’s great that I’m not forced to pay in order to keep playing and I really appreciate that your team sticks to that principle. Anyway with that said I have a few questions for you.
Answer: HI Cloud,
- I was one of the people who participated in the one time Karka event and ended up missing the end chest. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed. I know your team has mentioned plans to reward users who ran into these issues but I haven’t heard anything for a while on this. Do you have any update you could share?
- Obviously you can’t say much about expansions but is there ANYTHING you’d be willing to share? A tidbit? A smidgen?
- I have friends across multiple servers. Do you have plans
Great to hear that you are enjoying the game and thanks for your support.I will answer one of your questions in order to keep enough time for the rest of the community:
1: We are still working on getting the Karka event reward out to those players who participated but missed out.
Question: I'll put my hat in the ring for an ascended gear question: Ascended gear clearly goes against a lot of the expectations of the game's oldest following; long-time fans of the original Guild Wars series who truly bought into the belief that you could make an MMO last without forcing players to log on every day to grind. Whatever people's beliefs are about whether ascended gear is a good thing or a bad thing, it's a different thing. On behalf of those of us who are quite put off by the introduction of ascended quality gear to the game, I have a few quick questions.
Answer: Hi Soc,
Will ascended by the last new gear level we see? Your statement on the forum said you aren't interested in adding a new gear tier every three months, but a lot of people were unsatisfied with that answer.
Will it become easier to obtain ascended gear in the future? Many people are unwilling to grind FoTM to obtain gear that they consider necessary to keep up with other aspects of PvE, especially considering what many now are considering the advent of gear grouping in GW2 (ie, people are only accepting players into parties if they meet a required level/gear level/etc, something that didn't really exist before).
Thanks for taking the time to send in some questions. We do not believe we have gone against any of our principals, but we do understand the concern regarding potential grind. We absolutely design everything we do with minimal grind and will continue with this principal moving forward.
1: I would prefer that we never say never but our intention is that in terms of 'Named Tier (Rarity) of Loot' Ascended will be with us for a long time and we will not introduce a higher tier of loot for the foreseeable future. There will be loot with different stats and new infusions within the current tier that will be spread over long periods of time (for example Ascended gear will be deployed over the whole of next year). 2: Ascended gear will be obtainable throughout the whole of the game aside from sPvP and in retrospect it would have been better to have rolled different acquisition methods out at the same time as the FotM.
Question: With regard to minimal Grind, how is going from 5 Ectos to 50 Ectos for a piece of gear minimal? 5 T6 items to 250 T6 items, minimal?
Answer: Good point Nacho. We are currently discussing these particular items and it is fair to say that we don't want have such big hikes in requirements moving forward.
Question: Thanks Chris, although I don't agree with your answer it's nice of you to have addressed it. Saying that you design everything you do with minimal grind is obviously very subjective. 1800+ FoTM tokens or 250 T6 materials/50 Globs of Ectoplasm for 1 piece of equipment is a huge grind (in my humble opinion, of course).
Answer: Hi Lothair,
Progression through tokens and mats is something we are having a good look at currently. Please keep the feedback coming as we move forward.
Question: The recent patch highlighted a split in two significant communities within GW2 - I won't claim which side represents what % of the total player base - just that each seems significant. One wants more vertical progression and ways the hardestcore can show off their accomplishments, and the other wants more horizontal progression and less hierarchy.
Does Anet really think they can satisfy both? I know the main philosophy of the Devs is to find a balance that makes the most happy, but I don't see this is possible when you have groups whose expectations are in such opposition.
Answer: Hi Joiry,
Really interesting question. Our intention is to deploy ascended components and gear across the whole of the game rather than focus it in one particular location. This was a a mistake and one that we will not be making moving forward. We do hope to find a balance and ensure that the world of Guild Wars 2 is as accessible and populated as possible and moving forward you will be able to see how we intend to execute on this goal.
I think with the support of the community we can continue building a world that does satisfy lots of different types of players in a fashion where everyone feels part of the same community and whose activities impact and interplay with those of differing player types.
Question: I really enjoy the idea of one-time events to reveal new content... but when it's major stuff like a new map, I would prefer to see those events drawn out over quite a few days, so I have some hope of participating. This presents its own kinds of challenges, of course. What's the team's thoughts on how to go forward with introducing new map areas?
One thing I find missing in GW2 these days is the non-combat items. Clothing & other ornaments are a perfect example. New areas could bring along with them the opportunity for not just new types of loot, food & resources to gather, but also vendors that cater to the local style. Do you see much chance for this, going forward?
I could go on and on about bosses and AI/difficulty/etc, but that's probably for a different post. :)
Thanks for your time and attention!
Answer: Hi Storm,
Thanks for your question. We are very aware over the concerns raised over the timing and one time nature of the Karka event. Moving forward we will be paying special attention to how we design these events to be as inclusive as possible.
Question: As an MMO, you are trying to please a huge player base. Some play a few hours a month while others stop playing to sleep for a few hours every day. Reward rates seem to be balanced for those who play constantly. This disparagy causes casual players to play a very different game from the hardcore. What are some ideas to keep the player base from fracturing?
Answer: This is an extremely interesting question and as you know the path down the road for a solution is highly complex. In fact myself and Mo were discussing this this morning. So please forgive me if my answer is somewhat lite or comes across as deflective but i would prefer the surroundings of a pub or meeting room to really get into this one.
I think online worlds are amazing in that they house different societies or player types if you like. I think it is only natural for players to gravitate to those who they feel are like minded, and i think it is also only natural and in some ways quite healthy to have a macro society or community that doesn't always agree with one another. I think that diversity is exciting but it can also fragment so a method in which different groups of players work with others in synergy each enjoying their own diverse game play that is rewarding because of the game play is certainly a step in the right direction. Reading this statement you will no doubt be thinking that the FotM doesn't utilize this philosophy and you would be correct. Moving forward progression and rewards will be inter woven appropriately into the core systems and social aspects of the game, allowing the diverse societies or player types to work together by playing the content that they love.
So in short something that is universally enjoyable as a progression system or a reward should be as accessible as possible and cater to the different ways our players consume the game but in a manner in which the Community of the world as a whole is contributing to each others overall experience.
If you would like to talk further then pm me and we can discuss in game.
Question: Hey Chris, thanks for coming. My question is about home instances and personal story. From your promo material prior to release I was led to believe these would be key features in pve. As of release, it seems like these, specifically home instances, have been largely ignored.
The pitch on how awesome home instaces would be: pve progression via characters and things added to your personal world, was the reason I bought this game. Are there plans to bring these features in line with the marketing material or is your game focus going to be primarily dungeons and pvp (both things I don't care for).
Answer: Hi Tyrjala,
Thanks for taking the time to post your question. Both personal story and home instances are ares that i wish we had spent more time on already in terms of content since release. However we will be building on them as we move forward and would love to hear more of your thoughts in regard to the direction you would like to see them move in. In short you can expect to see big things.
Question: Is there a patch in the works addressing the numerous bugs and broken events riddled throughout the game (in addition to much-needed class buffs/balances)? I am thoroughly enjoying myself with Guild Wars 2, I just hate to see so much hard work and potential wasted due to neglected bugs.
Answer: Hi Horde,
I totally get what you are saying and we are working very hard on not only addressing the bugs in the game, but building on new areas and trying to ensure that new content is as bug free as possible. This is very big ticket item for all of us, so in the same way as the work we did on bots you can expect to see big improvements soon.
Question: Could we have a clear answer on where vertical progression is headed in the future of GW2. What prompted the change in philosophy from launch to the Lost Shores update with regard to end game gear and will there be an amendment to the game's design manifesto from here out?
Answer: Hi Idredd,
Thanks for taking the time to post your question.
I will try to be as clear as possible:
- We do not intend to deploy another tier/rarity of loot such as Rare>Exotic. However we also do not intend to make promises that can be misinterpreted moving forward.
- Ascended Gear will be introduced throughout next year,and accessible through many game play activities rather than just on. -Through infusions and existing Tiers there will be the opportunity to increase stats or abilities on a low power curve through multiple types of gameplay in GW2.
- The opportunity to enhance existing tiers of loot will not be through a regular cadence of monthly updates instead it is more likely to come from expansions or very big drops of content.
- In retrospect Ascended should have been deployed pre launch and earn able throughout most activities in the game (which is how we are moving forward).
Question: I noticed that a good portion of this AMA has been about some of the game mechanics involving the new content with FotM and Ascended gear and things of the sort, but I have a question, and I want an answer. HUNDREDS of people have been on the forums about the Arah bugs, a majority of people wonder how many have actually completed the story whether due to not wanting to deal with the overdrawn meta to get into Arah, or the fact it's been bugged for months, and i've been through all of them and not seen a single response from Anet. People are saying that they don't ever want to spend another cent on Anet, and some of these things have discouraged many people from buying the game. I am a Guild Wars Beta player who has been waiting for this since i bought Nightfall and there was a little postcard inside that simply said "Guild Wars 2". And I want to know why none of you are addressing this problem or at least talking to us as to why we can't finish our personal stories. And dont give me the crap about this not being a support page, which is where the bug reports should go. This is a question for you, the Design Director because apparently your support team has their heads crammed in the dirt (explain that too why don't ya). Why did we wait years, and pay 60 dollars, for a game we cannot even complete? Fix it, or refund it. because though you guys said "it's be ready when it's ready" it obviously wasn't yet and you sold millions of people unfinished product.
Answer: Hi PunkGP,
It really is shame to see you so angry at a team of people who work extremely hard to provide the best experience we possibly can. Whilst i understand your frustration saying that the team isn't listening to or working on bugs is just plain wrong and disrespectful. This is without doubt the best team i have worked and we will continue to give our heart and soul when it comes to making the very best game we can.
So with that out of the way let me address some of your concerns. A number of bugs that we see in game that relate to event progression or story progression are extremely complex and were not present before we launched. We have a team that works on just these kind of bugs and on a daily basis make fixes to very complex issues. Whilst i understand how frustrating this can be please understand this is a live game and one fix can cause a new issue. No matter how much we test for this variance we will miss issues.
We are doing everything humanly possible to fix issues that present themselves but it does take time.
Question: As someone who loves pretty much every map in PvE, do you have plans for making lower and middle levels attractive again for players who've reached the level cap? Many low- and mid-level zones are relatively "dead" at the moment, which is unfortunate because obviously so much work was put into them, and they're fun! I am frequently soloing content that was meant for groups.
;tldr, How do you intend to address spreading out the community across the entire world of Tyria vs. making only certain areas, like FotM or Orr, worth playing for most players?
Answer: Hi Horakhti,
Thanks for taking the time to post your question. Well we already have a down leveling system and with it we intend to refresh content and reward/progression systems to make these areas constantly desirable. This is something we are working on for a release in the near future and will keep you posted as we get closer to the release date.
Question: Hi Chris, my question is about the major cities. Are there any plans in the works for attracting people there? Since you decided to make LA the main city, we feel the other major cities are being left out: Divinitys Reach, Black Citadel, Rata Sum, The Grove and Hoelbrak. If you were to give each city an unique activity, do you honestly think that will fix the problem of ghost-capitals?
In GW1 there were several poles of main cities, for several reasons, and that worked astounding! Lions arch, Ascalon city (where the new guys, lowlevels gathered) Great Temple of Balthazar, Hall of heroes, Temple of Ages, Domain of Anguish, Eye of the North, Kaineng City, Kamadan (the main commerce city).
Perhaps moving the krytan dungeons to a waypoint in Divinitys reach and the ascalonian to Black Citadel, and so on? Having populated cities is always a strong factor in strenghtning bonds between people, and raising communities. Thank you for your time
Answer: Hi Quick,
We have been discussion this topic for a while. There are lots of things we have brainstormed but are not firmed up on a direction yet. However here are some ideas to wet your appetite or not:
Events and activities related to town clothes Cities as dungeons! Player created events and activities. Non confrontational material gathering for crafting.
These are just a few of the top of head.
Question: when meeting about the ascended gear tier, did it ever occur to you that this decision could uproar the community and offend GW1 fans, or raise concerns about the direction of the game? or did this surprise you completely?
Answer: No we were acutely aware of the what the reaction was going to be.
It is also great to see all the feedback as it helps us to answer and navigate larger questions we have in terms of the direction of the game moving forward.
Question: Any plans to have high-end items feel more like adventure than grind/trading post? I like to go to zones and do cool things, battle through a DE chain I've never seen before, things like that. Piling up stacks of 250 high-end items and dumping them into the Mystic Forge really isn't my thing.
Answer: Hi Otter,
Yes definitely. That is most certainly our intention, one that has been misrepresented in the itemization of the FotM.
Question: Chris, i think you have answered the questions regarding ascended gear well enough. Thanks for that. Put some of my worries to ease, i think.
Could you address the fractal lvling system? I have made my peace with ascended gear and only want to run fractals of the mists because it is so fun. But it is becoming harder and harder to find low level groups. I love fotm but soon i wont be able to run it at all due to lack of players. I just want to run the dungeon and have it get harder each time i do it. But i dont want to have to keep up with everyones fractal levels.
Answer: Hi Cesmode,
Yep there is no doubt that the fractal level system is causing fragmentation. We are currently looking at solutions, one of which is to set the levels into tiers whereby all those within that tier say 1-5 can participate. This has implications on reward and difficulty which is why we are still looking into it.
Question: I am really disappointed, there is not any information about plans for PvP. As a player who would like to play GW2 on the competitive level, I have one important question:
1) Can we really expect the arrival of eSport?
I am one of those players who came into this game because of a big plans for PvP. I even expected that the things like Ladder, Paid t., Spectator mode, Custom tournaments were supposed to be there at the beginning. But it seems to me that you are a lot more focused on PvE content. How long we have to wait for content that will allow us to play this game on the competitive level?
Answer: Hi Dark,
I understand your frustration regarding questions on PvP but i simply cant answer all the questions. We have a separate PvP team working on that section of the game and we are building toward the functionality you describe currently. There should be more news regarding PvP shortly.
Question: Ascended gear widens the time gap between exotic and Legendary weapons by making Legendary ingredients more expensive. Since Ascended gear is so expensive, the time gap between Ascended and Legendary looks to be larger than the pre-Lost Shores gap between exotic and Legendary.
How does that make sense ?
Answer: Hi Bila,
I agree that the crafting materials required for Ascended Gear are to much of a grind and we are looking to balance the requirements in a manner that is fair for all involved and we had always intended for their to be multiple ways to get Ascended Gear it just didn't make it the FotM build.