Guild Wars 2 has a new update incoming!
ArenaNet and NCSoft decided to share their plans for the Guild Wars 2 in 2019 and further in the future with the players and there are some interesting things to be excited about in GW2. Next expansion pack has not been announced, but Mike Zadorojny, the game director, unveiled some of the upcoming changes to the game and painted a picture of the large design philosophy as well as the direction they’re planning GW2 to go in.
Travel through Tyria in Guild Wars 2
It’s already almost seven years since the game’s launch in 2012 that allowed the players to become heroes of Tyria for the second time. It was one of the titles supposed to dethrone World of Warcraft as the leading fantasy MMORPG. Eventually Guild Wars 2 found somewhat different niche, becoming a beautiful game for some of the less hardcore players, focusing more on the horizontal, rather than vertical progression.
If you haven’t tried Guild Wars 2 yet, we strongly recommend you to do so. The basic version of the game is free to play and GW2 is still a fantastic MMO. Explore the gorgeous world of Tyria get to know its stories, collect new weapons and finally save the world from Elder Dragons.
The direction of GW2
We know that the sixth episode of the Living World season 4 will be its finale. There’s no release date yet, but it will be called “War Eternal”. Of course they didn’t talk much about the plot, to avoid spoiling the fun, but we guess that it might continue the showdown against the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik. The episode title for sure promises some huge scale conflict and we can’t wait to play it through! At the same time it will introduce a new mount - Skyscale!
ArenaNet also announced a new raid that will be released after season 4 finale and will further develop the story of the fire djinn Qadim. Both the introduction of a new raid and the continuation of an interesting storyline are great news for Guild Wars 2 community. There will also be some new open world content.
Moreover, the developers shared some more plans for the future. They’re not set in stone yet, but the players can get a general idea of what to expect. We can look forward to legendary runes and sigils. Max levels of cooking and later jewel crafting are going to be increased to 500. The next one is not revolutionary, but we may finally get the build templates which would a great quality of life upgrade. At the same time some minor changes are coming to Players vs Players system, both the WvW and sPvP. They’re even considering introducing some kind of PvP focused festival.
Guild Wars 2 design philosophy
There’s also some broad description of the path that the developers want Guild Wars 2 to follow. The most concrete one being the overall satisfaction with the Living World and plans to double down on this direction, as the story is currently one of the pillars of GW2 gaming experience.
The rest is mostly staying the course and keeping the Guild Wars 2 identity as a great fun MMORPG that’s casual players-friendly. They want to find new ways to protect the players’ freedom to do what they want to do, but at the same time promote cooperation and teamwork. The game will remain focused on horizontal progression which is a Guild Wars staple since the series begun.
Devs also announced that they’re restructuring the Guild Wars 2 content teams. There will be four more autonomous content teams, each one devoted to a different aspect of the game: Skills and Balance, World versus World and finally structured PvP.
It’s not a direct in-game change, but it will surely impact the way that game evolves in a long run. It’s good to see that ArenaNet is actively thinking about the ways they can keep the game fresh. It seems like they have already found their formula, but instead of resting on their laurels, they’re continuously perfecting it.
Guild Wars 2 keeps its identity
At the same time, there’s no announcement of a new expansion pack or anything like it. Most of the gameplay changes are pretty minor and the increased emphasis on the Living World might mean that the developers are happy to keep telling the story of Tyria this way entirely.
Lack of new expansion packs doesn’t have to be a bad thing for Guild Wars 2. It seems like the game entered the stage where devs don’t have to create new professions and items that often to keep the player base interested. Moreover, the players will get new raids and dungeons without having to reach for their wallets. We’re sure that there will be a time and place for a new expansion pack to eventually be released, maybe in 2020, maybe even later. Everything indicates that GW2 is not going anywhere and has a bright future ahead.
There’re still a lot of possibilities for Guild Wars 2. Path of Fire and Heart of Thorns were both great, especially the addition of mounts was a wonderful decision. But at the same time introducing that much new content might be a balancing hell (looking at you, specializations) and each new one makes it even more difficult. When the developers are clearly planning to encourage more and more people to play PvP, a short break in introducing new tough to balance elements is a great idea.
The road for GW2 expansion
The community reactions to the news are mixed. Most players are happy that ArenaNet started communicating with the players which is something that they were really bad at for a very long time. The response to planned addition of legendary runes and sigils as well as build templates is also super positive.
On the other hand, some of the players worry about the future of GW2. Next expansion pack would probably calm them down and ensure them that ArenaNet is going to remain focused on Guild Wars 2. Lack of new specializations and not that much of new gear seems kind of boring for people who don’t care about the story that much. While most of the fans are happy with the overall story, some of them believe that it’s progressing too slowly and that there’s not enough to do between the releases of subsequent episodes.
All said and done, it seems like ArenaNet and NCSoft are happy with the current shape of Guild Wars 2. The direction for the game remains pretty much the same and there are no groundbreaking changes coming any time soon.
Developers are focused on engaging the players in the continuous story of Tyria which is probably a good idea. One of the greatest accomplishments of Guild Wars 2 is creating a truly “Living World” where the environment constantly and significantly changes due to new events of the story. It’s probably the area in which GW2 stands out from the competition the most. This will definitely remain true with the direction that developers have set for Guild Wars 2.