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ArenaNet Interview


Some time ago, we offered you the possibility to ask your questions to ArenaNet in one of our topic. There were a lot of those, showing that the Guild Wars 2 community really cares about the game, and want to improve it by all means, like here, with direct interaction with the developers. About twenty questions were selected and sent to ArenaNet. We received the answers of this interview last week, and you will be able to read it in the following article.

We would like to thank Isaiah Cartright and Bobby Stein, who have been kind and patient enough to answer our questions, and everybody who helped for the communication between the community and ArenaNet so that this interview could have been done.

PvE


Do you plan to add news dungeons or fractals in the near future ?

Isaiah Cartright : Yes we are currently working on both. We are always looking to improve our core game. : )

Chinese players have recently had the opportunity to discover Cantha through an article on the official website http://gw2.kongzhong.com. Can we hope to see the return of this continent in Guild Wars 2 in the near future ? If not, will players have an early access to some aspects of Cantha, like the Jade Sea or the Solid Ocean Fractal ?

Bobby Stein : With the Living World we can go all over and explore many different parts of the world, so you never know how the world will evolve. Fans have made it abundantly clear that they’d like to return to Cantha someday. We’re not actively working on anything related to Cantha at the moment, but this is a topic that is sometimes mentioned in internal discussions, including everything from what their architecture would look like to contemporary politics. Guild Wars Factions is special to a lot of us at ArenaNet, so if we can find a way to do that setting justice in Guild Wars 2 we’re open to the idea. But this is not to say that players will travel to Shing Jea Island anytime soon, if ever.

Before the game was released, you announced in various interviews that exploration-addict players wouldn't be at a disadvantage compared to the farm-addict players, when it come to rewards. However, this is not the case, and a lot of players do farm a lot (because it is more rewarding). Do you plan to improve the exploration system so that players who spend some time in a zone could get better rewards ?

Isaiah Cartright : We’re always looking to improve rewards, rewarding exploration is a tricky one, but this is definitely one we would like to improve.

About thirty activities were initially planned when the game would launch. Today, players are able to participate to one permanent activity (Keg's Brawl) and five temporary activities for Halloween, Wintersday, etc. Those activities have each time been very successful and kept the players in the game. Do you plan to give higher priority to the development of new permanent activities ? Can you give us more informations about Bar's Brawl, Circus Charricus car race, the bumper cars in Divinity's Reach, Polymock or this famous Battleship in the port of Lion's Arch ?

Isaiah Cartright : We have created a number of activities, but we don’t want to just keep adding more and more as it can easily fragment the player base. So we have built the activity system where only one activity is active at any time. As we do with all content we will monitor this system and if it’s successful, we will add more.

Is there something planned for the Orders, and, by extension, anything to improve the personal story and give it a greater impact? Also, a lot of questions about the game lore are left unanswered. For instance, will we be able to get more information about the Mursaats and the Seers ?

Bobby Stein : We’re always looking at ways to improve the Living World experience, including the story presentation. Later this year, we’re going to release an update to the UI that will make it easier for players to experience the content in the proper order, thus making it easier to digest the story bits. Future Living World releases may acknowledge certain choices that players made in their Personal Stories as well.

Do you plan to include a system that will allow us to replay cinematics, or even to replay missions from the personal story or the living story, by talking (for example) to an NPC located in our personal instance, similarly to Eye of the North, the expansion of the original Guild Wars ?

Bobby Stein : One of the biggest bits of feedback we hear about the Living World content is that people want the ability to play (or replay) it on their own time. While we aren’t ready to divulge our specific plans to address this, we are actively brainstorming solutions. It will take some time to solidify the designs and implement the necessary tech and art to pull it all together, but we’re working on it.

Note that we have created in game items to allow players to replay some newer cinematic but this is something we may rework on in the future.

As for extending the Personal Story, we do have plans to add to it but we’re not ready to discuss the details just yet.


PvP and WvW


During the evening, WvW queues are still a problem. Do you plan to fix this ? A system displaying our position in the queue, for example, was mentioned and would be a good idea, so that we could plan some activities in the mean time.

Isaiah Cartright : We do plan on addressing this, but it’s something I’ll let the WvW discuss when we get closer to releasing new information. I can say we are actively working on a solution.

A developer (Tyler Bearce) said on the official forum that PvP tournaments aren't tournaments anymore. Players who were looking for an Esport seem to think that you've given up about the idea of an Esport. What are your plans to reverse the tide ?

Isaiah Cartright : I think our latest PAX tournament shows we care a lot about esports and will continue to grow and support that community.

Can we expect to see new customization options for the Custom Arenas? If the answer is yes, could you give us a glimpse of what we can expect ?

Isaiah Cartright : The PvP team is always working on improving Custom Arenas but I have no spoilers about their plans at this time. : )

One of your employee revealed that ArenaNet was working on a MOBA. Shall we expect a new game mode in PvP for Guild Wars 2 or an independent game ?

Isaiah Cartright : I think this was a misunderstanding, as we are currently not working on a MOBA. We dabbled with some activities that had a similar feel, but it’s nothing we are currently working on.


Miscellaneous


Are you going to add new customisation options for character creation ? For example, the head and the body tattoos for Norn, tail's skins for Charr, ears for Asura, etc. And what about long hair disappearing whenever a helmet is worn ?

Isaiah Cartright : More customization in character creation is not our focus right now, but it’s something we may do in the future.

Do you plan on making city clothes available without having to use the Black Lion Trading Company ? Is it possible that racial armors could become skins like the ones from the Hall of Monuments ?

Isaiah Cartright : Not at this time. We feel that there is a bit of confusion between city clothes and normal armor, so we’re focusing on making that simpler and easier to understand.

Will we be someday able to access the Gem Store and the Trading Post from outside of the game ? You recently published a public API to help independent developers, but this kind of application can only be created with ArenaNet's help.

Isaiah Cartright : Someday maybe, but we are currently not working on this.

Will we see some new emotes or interactions with in-game objects ? For example, sit on a chair. We also think Charrs deserve a /tailrun emote, to make them ... run after their tail !

Isaiah Cartright : We do want to add more emotes and interactions with the world but all of these take a lot of time, so that’s something you may see in the future.

Will there ever be legendary Armors similar to legendary weapons ?

Isaiah Cartright: We do plan on making more legendary items so yes, at some point there will be legendary armors.

Why did you add back banners instead of guild capes ? Our community is aware that capes might be the victims of clipping, but it doesn't seem to be a bother them, so why weren’t they added ?

Isaiah Cartright : There are a number of issues with guild capes. We did some experiments early on to see if we could make them work and it just doesn’t play out well with different races, dodging, or some of the crazy movement skills we have.

Do you have plans to facilitate the Role-playing community's life ? For example by making more buildings open, similarly to the Ebonhawke inn? You mentioned working on a housing system.

Isaiah Cartright : We don’t have any specific plans for that, but we are always looking for better ways to immerse players in the world and that usually comes with more tools for the role-playing community.

Will you create NPCs or places giving more informations about the lore, especially about the events that occurred between GW1 and GW2 ?

Bobby Stein : We’re open to revisiting the events during and after the timeline of the original Guild Wars and exploring key moments in history, perhaps in a fractal or some other content, but there’d have to be a compelling reason to do so. Does this historical event have a direct impact on current happenings, or is it purely to establish closure? With every Living World release, we have to compare the needs of the stories and characters in the current timeline against older content. We do, on occasion, have the freedom to detour from current events and experiment (Super Adventure Box, Thaumanova Reactor, etc.) so it’s possible that we’d consider filling in some of the blanks from Tyria’s past.

When will we have a tool bar where we can put anything we’d like (items, etc.) ?

Isaiah Cartright : We’re unlikely to implement such a feature. We really try and keep the interface very streamlined we don’t want to add a lot of interface elements that pull players out of the world.

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