Guild Wars 2 exclusive interview
Take a look to this exclusive interview about Guild Wars 2.
Thanks for giving us the possibility to interview you about Guild Wars 2. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Matt Wuerffel: My name is Matt Wuerffel, and I’m a game designer here at ArenaNet. I’m a content designer, which means I work on a lot of different things: skills, giant boss fights, dynamic events, jumping puzzles, NPCs and more.
Crystin Cox: My name is Crystin Cox and I am the monetization producer for Guild Wars 2.
Jonathan Sharp: My name is Jonathan Sharp, and I’m one of the designers here at ArenaNet. I focus a lot on structured PvP and balance.
Mike Ferguson: My name is Mike Ferguson and I am the Lead Systems Designer for Guild Wars 2.
With the game recently released, which you think that are the features the players like more?
Jonathan Sharp: From what we can tell….all of them? WvW seems to have a huge demand, sPvP has a lot of players in it, and our PvE maps are seeing a constant stream of players. Seems a lot of players have spread out and explored the game!
Mike Ferguson: Our concurrency rates are staying extremely high and players tend to stay logged in for long periods of time, so it seems like people are finding quite a few things to like, which is really great to see. I’ve seen quite a few comments from players who are having fun finding all the vistas, some are enjoying the personal story, lots of people out there are really enjoying our pvp formats, and there are other folks who can’t get enough of the crafting systems or tossing items into the mystic forge.
We have seen that the game is huge, and it has lot of content, but we miss some high end PVE content. Will you launch raids or high end PVE content?
Matt Wuerffel: As we were working on Guild Wars 2, we wanted to be very intentional about how we approached the “endgame”. We didn’t want to teach players one game for all the levels from 1 to 79, and then give them a different game at level 80. To that end, we wanted to include traditional “endgame” elements throughout the entire process. Big boss fights, large open world encounters, challenging dungeons – we wanted each of these things to be present throughout the journey. As you get higher in level, the difficulty and complexity of the encounters increases, but you won’t suddenly find yourself playing a wildly different game.
A key component in this is the auto-leveling system. Regardless of your level, you can always travel to lower-level areas and your stats will be corrected to keep the content in those zones relevant and challenging, and you’ll continue to earn experience, gold, and loot. In that sense, you can’t out-level content; it will always be available to you if you travel back and explore the lower level areas. This same system is used in WvW to make sure that you can participate in player conflict on a massive scale, regardless of your level.
All that said, as we continue to iterate on the game, we’ll be adding more content throughout the world of Tyria. There will be new puzzles, new events, and new bosses spread across a wide range of locations and levels, and we’re really excited to get the chance to create and share new content with our community!
There are people complaining that the dungeons of the game are very difficult. This was designed in this way, or you have plans to reduce the difficulty?
Matt Wuerffel: Balancing a game this big is always tricky, and it’s something that we definitely will continue to look at as time goes by. We look at a lot of different factors when we make changes to the game, and it’s all part of an effort to keep things fun and fresh. That said, some of the individual encounters in dungeons have already been tweaked to adjust their difficulty up or down, as needed.
In general, story dungeons are intended to be completable by a pick-up group of players that may have never played together, and may not have tight communication and play strategies. Repeatable dungeons, on the other hand, are intended to be very difficult pieces of content that require high levels of coordination and player skill, both in execution (movement, mitigation, timing, combination fields) and in preparation (trait, utility, or weapon selection) for each encounter. Players can also take advantage of consumable buffs such as ítems created through crafting) or purchased from vendors or the trading post to give themselves an additional edge.
In the game, we have seen closed doors or paths to various areas. This is because you have expansions in mind? If it is so, can you give us some details of what we can expect?
Matt Wuerffel: Tyria is a big, big place, and we definitely want to leave locations open for more content. Going forward, we’ve definitely got some plans for various areas throughout the game, but right now, we’re really just focusing on making Guild Wars 2 the best game that it can be. We’ve already formed Live teams that are working on expanding and improving content throughout Tyria; we’ve got grand festivals, new dynamic events, dangerous areas to explore, devious jumping puzzles, and more! We’re looking forward to sharing some of these exciting new adventures with our community and players in the near future.
Now we'll talk about PvP. To begin with, Can you talk a little about one of the more interesting features of the game, the WvWvW?
Mike Ferguson: We are thrilled with how many people are excited to play WvW and are trying to fight for their world, but we are not thrilled with how long queues can be on some worlds. There are people having quite a lot of fun in WvW when they are able to play, but we won’t be happy until more people are able to play without waiting for long periods of time to do it. We are focusing our efforts on queue issues at the moment and will hopefully have some good news about our progress in the coming weeks.
We also have a few other fixes we are working on to address some the other issues being discussed in the community, but unfortunately none of them are really quick fixes that will be ready for a little while longer, so unfortunately I can’t be more specific than that right now, but as we continue to work on these improvements we will have more information to share with everyone.
We are also watching how players are adapting and reacting to the game as they become more familiar with the various mechanics of WvW, so that we can more easily determine what things we need to make adjustments on as the game matures. We want people to be able to enjoy fighting in WvW for years so we are very conscious about using the feedback we are getting from the players to help guide our decisions.
In WvWvW the more populated servers, have advantage over the rest?
Mike Ferguson: In single engagements, there can be some advantages to having more players, but smart tactics can beat superior numbers. You also need much fewer players to stop an assault dead in its tracks. It’s quite common to see a few players absolutely wipe larger groups if they understand proper siege usage and have good communication.
The biggest advantage that more players can provide is additional coverage over a full 24 hour period. In a persistent game like WvW, having players involved at all hours is key for long term success. We are already seeing how important this is with our first set of 7 day matches, and as we continue to have more matches over a longer period of time, we should see the servers that have better 24 hour coverage will begin to float higher in the rankings as they beat worlds that do not.
The game also features instanced PvP. Do you have in mind to launch more battlegrounds soon?
Jonathan Sharp: We will launch more battlegrounds down the road, but right now the focus is on supporting the player-base with additional features that will help grow the community as well as ESports.
In the future, we would like to see some features as the housing, or the wars between guilds. Is this possible?
Mike Ferguson: Anything is possible given enough time, demand, and resources, and we are going to continue to expand the game for years to come, but it’s not yet time for us to talk about any upcoming new features ;)
We love the Kodan! In the future, is it possible to play with this or any other NPC races?
Mike Ferguson: I love the kodan too, but we are not announcing any plans for new playable races.
The game features a micro-transaction system. It affects the balance of the game? You are going expand the selection of the store over time?
Crystin Cox: We have tried to ensure that the items players can purchase in the gem store do not affect the competitive balance of the game in any way. We have focused on creating items that enhance a player’s fun, provide convenience, and add customization options. And with the Currency Exchange, we allow players to freely trade gold for gems with other players so all players have access to the items in the gem store. We definitely plan to keep expanding with lots of new items and brand new features as well. We have been very excited by the response to the gem store from players and are taking the feedback we’ve received to heart as we plan what’s next. Seasonal items, permanent additions, and variations are all coming very soon.
Jonathan Sharp: For sPvP we won’t be adding any power to the game that might affect balance, but we do plan on adding a lot of fun things to the store that sPvP players will care about. Once they’re ready, we’ll talk about them more in depth!
Thank you for all you answers. Would you add something?
Jonathan Sharp: Thank you for all of your support…we had no idea the game would be THIS big this fast. It’s very humbling…..thank you! We want to keep working hard to make the game as good as it can be, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our fans! ☺
Mike Ferguson: We are truly overjoyed and humbled by the reaction from our fans, and would like to thank you all for both your kind words and your constructive criticism as we work towards making your adventures in Tyria even more enjoyable. We hope that we can continue to provide you with entertainment for years to come!