Hello, everyone. I’m Chris Whiteside. I’m the Studio Design Director at ArenaNet.

Last week I wrote a blog post about our recent update, The Lost Shores, as well as provided you all with a peek of what we have in store for the future.

I’d like to take this opportunity to answer your questions as a follow-up to that blog post and discuss our philosophy for Guild Wars 2 moving forward.

So ask away!

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Hi Chris!

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.

Hi Otter,

Yes definitely. That is most certainly our intention, one that has been misrepresented in the itemization of the FotM.

Chris

Hey Chris

To follow up on your answer:

Hi Otter, Yes definitely. That is most certainly our intention, one that has been misrepresented in the itemization of the FotM. Chris

I, for one, love doing things in the normal zones like DEs, exploration and most importantly jumping puzzles. Collecting achievement points and titles is also very enjoyable.

Do you have any plans of making these activities into valid ways of getting high end gear and weapons? I mean, exotic gear (and even more so legendaries) surely would feel a lot more.. well, legendary if there was more 'personal' involvement in getting them, rather than simply buying 250 T6 this, 250 ecto that etc. It's really frustrating, that in-game gold, rather than your adventuring and your achievements, is at the moment the most important currency.

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

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.

Chris

Make waypoint travel to all the racial cities free. People are already doing this anyway via Heart of the Mists and Gate Hub Plaza. Make it official, repopulate the racial cities, and take all the strain off of Lion's Arch! :D

Indeed, there are many of us who do not use LA as anything but a travel hub, due to the way the Heart of the Mists works. If I want a group, I use my guild - I don't PuG, so to me, LA is just a super-laggy stop on my travel itinerary that I'd be thrilled to skip if it didn't cost so much to port "home."

Are there any plans to make WvW rewards coincide with strategically smart WvW play? Allow me to clarify this question with examples:

  • There is no reward for escorting a dolyak
  • There is no reward for trebbing down the walls of a tower
  • There is no reward for defending an unassaulted supply camp
  • There is a large reward for flipping a camp, tower, or keep

As a commander, the reward structure in WvW is infuriating because I am constantly having to convince people to do something that won't reward them. This causes most players to instead go on "karma trains" where they proceed to flip and forget a series of objectives. Are there any plans to incentivize people to follow sound WvW strategies, and if so, can you give us any details about any of these changes you plan to implement?

I think there's a problem with making a good implementation on some of these things that avoids exploitation.

For example, there used to be an event reward for escorting dolyaks, but it was found that bots were taking advantage of that and preventing legitimate players from joining WvW, so the reward was removed.

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.

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.

Chris

Ok thanks all for taking the time to discuss GW2. I am going to hop into the game and play a little before hitting the sack.

Keep the feedback coming and we will be sure to communicate more frequently with you all.

Keep making GW2 Great!

Chris

Are you guys planning on implementing any system to improve things for people who like to collect things (especially skins)? Some sort of way to save/store skins would be REALLY nice. Currently it is simply not possible to collect everything because there are more skins available than bank slots with every tab unlocked.

A simple implementation of a system that made it easier to store and use skins would give those of us that enjoy collecting a reason to play for a LONG time even with no new content.

Suggestion here: https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/game/suggestions/Improvements-for-Collectors/first#post499627

EDIT: These questions came from the non-redditing official forums community, and are not solely one persons input. Take as much time as necessary to answer them, we'll wait a week if we have to~

Items with italics = answered somewhere in the AMA. All provided answers to both the walls of questions will be kept here in the Google Docs version

Also, please upvote Chris's answers to these questions so that they don't get buried in all the kudos/grumpy posts below!

Elephants (In The Room):

  • E1: Can we get a direct, on-the-record answer on where vertical progression will be headed? Specifically as it applies to gear-checks, gated content, and the addition of gear tiers? Will there be an amendment to the manifesto, or plans to retro-actively align with the manifesto again?

  • E2:Ascended gears are making a lot of people worry about an ever-increasing gear treadmill. Many players did not want the exotic/legendary system to change, and they don't like ascended gears. Was this expected? Can this be something fixed in a painless way? Can it happen?

  • E3:How will future events be handled in regards to timing? Oceanic players are upset that the one-time-only events were skewed to arguably unfavorable times for them, and that many didn't get to participate.

  • E4:Can we expect to see other additions of tiered gears after ascended? Or have we finally set a hard baseline?

  • E5:With ascended gears only being available at FOTM - is it intended that players wishing to be at their best in WvW will have to first tune themselves with fractal rewards?

  • E6:Fractals have become the end-all for making your character stronger. Players are vanishing from maps everywhere to grind grind grind for the now-strongest items they can get ahold of. It's disruptive to the community, the fun, and the manifesto. What is being done about this?

  • E7: No one likes Trahearne. He's a spotlight stealing salad-head and when do we get to kill him?

  • E8:The agony system (as well as any other monster-only conditions added in the future) seems to encourage grinding for hard-to-get gears as opposed to skill-based progression promised in the manifesto, will this be remedied in the future?

  • E9: There are no ways to repair inside of fractals aside from cash shop items, providing an inherent advantage to people who pay for advantages. Can this be fixed?

  • E10:With the growing empty-map-syndrome, are there processes in development to get players back into the non-80 maps?

Player Development (Where do we go now?):

  • PD1: GW1 had hundreds of skills for each of it's classes. Can we expect skill additions for GW2 as well? If so, will they only be added in expansions? Are there plans to add them with major non-expansion content updates?

  • PD2: What is ANet's position on the current implementation of trait trees? Can we expect any overhauls to the implementation of the system?

  • PD3: A lot of professions have skills that no one wants to use (thief and ranger traps as an example). Are there plans on replacing or sprucing these up to make them more useful (being able to lay down 3 traps instead of 1 would be nice!)

  • PD4: What are the current plans for adding more usable weapon types & weapon/profession combinations in the future? Do you have any weapons (other then the previously addressed battle-axe type) that you're willing to share with us?

  • PD5: Less and less people are interested in running story-modes, which is hurting new players. What plans are there to fix this? Increasing the replayability value for players who have already run it as an example?

Specific Requests (We'd like these things):

  • SR1: Can we get a wardrobe system for PVE (similar to the SPVP)? Transmutation stones are clunky to use; they prevent players from changing gears (stagnant styles); and it requires A LOT of storage space to store soul-bound looks. Unlike the SPVP wardrobe, this one should be per-character (so that you don't unlock gear styles for all your characters and take the replay-ability out of content).

  • SR2: Can we get decreased waypoint transportation costs? We understand that they are a money-sink, but they are also demotivating towards exploring the world.

  • SR3: Can we get direct free transportation to Lion's Arch? The current way of going through the Mists is simply more loading screens than a lot of players want to deal with.

  • SR4: Can we get 'underflow servers' to consolidate multiple servers with under-populated maps? It could be like; player walks into empty/low-pop map, receives prompt “an underflow is available, would you like to join it?”

  • SR5: Can we get a method for changing character hair styles/skin color/hair color/underwear color? If so, will it be free or a cash shop item?

  • SR6: Can you remove the repair costs associated with dying in WvW? And reduce the costs of dying in dungeons (both story and exploration)?

  • SR7: Can we get a player test server in the future?

  • SR8: Can we get a more visible cursor? During large/animated fights like large bosses or WvW battles, the cursor tends to get lost in the colors & spell effects.

  • SR9: Can we get color-blind support for players who have issues distinguishing red/green AoE circles on the ground?

  • SR10: Can you give NPC’s in storymode dungeons a ‘downed state’ as opposed to an insta-defeated state?

  • SR11: We would like to make a choice on weapon skills, even between weapons we already have. Instead of say, 5 skills for a 2-handed weapon and 3 for a 1handed (or 2 for offhand) - how about 8 for a 2-hander (we have to choose 5), 5 for a 1 hander, and 3 for an off-hand? This would allow us more personalization/customization without nullifying the fact that the process of unlocking weapon skills is ultimately pointless..

  • SR12: Can we enable the option to turn off the auto-floating camera while downed/dead? It’s quite annoying that we have to keep reminding it to stop twirling around.

  • SR13:Can we have the weapon size of daggers/pistols/focuses (other tiny weapons) increased for Asura? There isn’t really a point to even getting weapon styles as a pistol/dagger/focus user since you can’t even see them.

  • SR14:Can we get a “Change display name” option for our accounts? Cash shop or otherwise?

Follow-Ups (Status Updates):

  • FO1: Can we get some metrics on the games population? How many people are actively playing? Is it lower/higher than at launch?

  • FO2: What's the current state of guesting? When can we expect to be able to try it out?

  • FO3: Player housing/guild halls - are these being actively worked on?

  • FO4: Can we get more details on the legendary pre-cursor scavenger events?

  • FO5: When will we be able to preview items in the TP?

  • FO6: What is the status on allowing ‘re-join’ for disconnected members of fractals and other dungeons?

  • FO7: What are the plans for compensating players who were unable to get Lost Shores event rewards even though they participated?

  • FO8:Is gear-clipping ever going to be remedied? People don’t like their characters heads being forcefully shaved to wear helmets and witches hats!

  • FO9: Now that dungeon queue’ing (sans fractals) has been fixed for players, and LFG is in the works - are there intentions of correcting the awfulness of a dungeon leader quitting the group (i.e. booting everyone out of the dungeon)?

Professions (Important!):

  • PR1: When can we expect this list of engi bugs to be fixed?

  • PR2: Will engi's ever get stat-scaling on their weapon bundles?

  • PR3: When can we expect [this list of necro bugs]((https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/necromancer/Necromancer-bugs-compilation-NB44-NT18-NP7/first)) to be fixed?

  • PR4: When can we expect this list of elementalist bugs to be fixed?

  • PR5:Are there any plans on improving scepter/staff elementalists?

  • PR6:Are ranger pets going to get a survivability buff? Also, according to the wiki on pets, bears far outclass any of the other pets - are there plans to normalize pet stats?

  • PR7:Can we get a "shut off ranger pet" option, as opposed to a temporary stow? They come out when we take fall damage, and its usually when we've previously shut them off because we don't want them out. This includes things like jumping puzzles, making videos or taking screenshots rapidly.

  • PR8:A lot of elementalists liked 'Evasive Arcana' having a blast finisher. Can you bring it back?

  • PR9:What do you guys think of an idea for ranger pets, that involves customization, personalization, and possibly an evolution of different utilities? Maybe the pets grow, and either learn new skills, or their skills become more specialized?

  • PR10:Can we get ranger pet names to stick to the pets, rather than having their names default when you switch them?

  • PR11:What are ANet’s thoughts on the current incarnation of Stealth? Are there any changes to it in the forseeable future?

  • PR12:General profession bug updates; when can we expect those to take a high priority? Many players just want to see “ONE BIG PATCH” where all the bugs are fixed, without any added content, just to set the benchamark of functionality!

E9:There are no ways to repair inside of fractals aside from cash shop items, providing an inherent advantage to people who pay for advantages. Can this be fixed?

Well it certainly wasn't designed to be a monetization resource, however i do see your point. We wanted to get rid of rez rushing and focus more on parties working together to not die and die less (-: We will continue to monitor the need for repair in the fractals and go from there.

Sorry if i am not giving more details here but this is something i would like to get metrics on.

Chris

I honestly like not being able to repair; This would punish people who enjoys a challenge. Not being able to repair also means that when you reach high enough into fractals you will have a hard time and die a lot, and you can't retry forever i.e, you have to be careful and play well, instead of just being rich and tryng forever :)

It is great that you are italicizing questions that have been answered thanks. My intention is to answer as many question as possible and then when i get home tonight I will continue to answer questions:

E3: How will future events be handled in regards to timing? Oceanic players are upset that the one-time-only events were skewed to arguably unfavorable times for them, and that many didn't get to participate.

Moving forward we are going to do our best to design events that are accessible to the community as possible. We really should have thought about some of the ramifications of the design of the Karka event in more detail. In short its not something we wanted to happen and we will be rethinking how we do 1 time events moving forward.

chris

Do you think you will be able to continue delivering content updates once a month or do you plan to change the schedule to give you more time to work on these updates?

Hi Samurai,

I am going to take a quick break then answer one of your questions at a time then go pick another and come back to this list. Time permitting i will try to get as many done as possible.

Chris

Take all the time you need. The users for whom my questions represent would rather get a slow, succinct answer than a brief unsatisfying one!

Also, rather than talking around a subject, please tell directly if you just can't answer a question. We understand that you are not at liberty to tell us everything and that is okay, but it is really much better just to know that we are not supposed to know yet, rather than start guessing on things we should not be guessing on. :)

I thought you were going to completely ignore the community questions. Thank Lyssa you are not. Looking forward to your replies.

There we go. I was getting worried with the "one at at time" posts. These questions are very much representative of what the community is asking at this point, at least in my opinion.

Hi All,

Here is the reply to the second question:

E2:Ascended gears are making a lot of people worry about an ever-increasing gear treadmill. Many players did not want the exotic/legendary system to change, and they don't like ascended gears. Was this expected? Can this be something fixed in a painless way? Can it happen?

Yes the response was definitively expected. We did not intent for the information to come out this way. Going back to my previous answer the issue is that we believe in the vertical progression system we had pre launch and that the introduction of an element into the system post launch was going to cause concern but something we believe in. That is why there is no plan for new Rarity Tiers of loot but there are plans to enhance or gain items within the existing rarity design whose properties continue on a shallow power curve. This said we certainly don't want to create a system where itemization blocks progression in the game globally and we also need to be careful of this in areas such as FotM if the primary reward isn't available elsewhere in the game. So in short its an exciting problem but one that has been poorly communicated and handled.

And for this i take responsibility and apologies. However the future of this philosophy and the design challenges it throws up are going to lead to a pioneering world and one that we are very excited about.

So anyway i kind of went of topic here so in short. We don't intend to have an item rarity gear treadmill, we intend for the progression for gaining these rewards to have lots of different avenues for different types of player and where possible lower no fun grind within the whole of the game.

I hope this answers that question. I will be right back.

Chris

Good answer, but you pose another quite interesting question... If it was not intended for the information to come out this way, and you fully expected the backlash, why did it?

If I'm reading between the lines correctly here, 'something' prompted you to act quickly, and perhaps without the normal amount of thought and preparation that you would normally apply to such a contentious change.

As a player, there didn't seem to be anything wrong in the game. It was still vibrant, overflowing with people and we were all having a great time. Something prompted you to act rashly and quickly, what was it?

E6:Fractals have become the end-all for making your character stronger. Players are vanishing from maps everywhere to grind grind grind for the now-strongest items they can get ahold of. It's disruptive to the community, the fun, and the manifesto. What is being done about this?

This ties back to what i was saying earlier in which Ascended Gear and really any progression related reward mechanism that impacts the world globally should be introduced (Where possible) across the game and inside the different type of player's activities specifically. Allowing players to continue doing the things they love without focusing player migration to a specific part of the world. The introduction of the Ascended reward in one part of the game was a mistake and one that i don't want to make again.

Soon Ascended Gear will adhere to these rules.

Chris

Right i am back. Thanks for being so patient. I intend to answer questions well into the night so please bear with me.

E1: Can we get a direct, on-the-record answer on where vertical progression will be headed? Specifically as it applies to gear-checks, gated content, and the addition of gear tiers? Will there be an amendment to the manifesto, or plans to retro-actively align with the manifesto again?

First of all in retrospect it would have been better to have included Ascended Gear at launch. It is designed to give users a progression path that is between Exotic and Legendary (Legendary Items will be at the same power level as Ascended) and the gap between them in terms of time is very large.

So to the question of vertical progression. So as we know there is already vertical progression in the game and we do intend to keep moving forward with this philosophy. However we have no intention of adding a new Rarity of Gear such as Ascended. Instead and as we evolve the game existing Rarity's will evolve over time. However these will not be common occurrences, for example full Ascended gear will be introduced over a long period of time and will be earn able through lots of different parts/activities of the game. We had intended for example for the first release of acsended items come from other parts of the game but sadly it did not work out this way. Moving forward this is how it will work however.

In regard to gear checks specifically all increases in the power curve will be minimal and therefore there should be no straying from the intended power curve that you see in the game now, in terms of trajectory.

In regard to gated content via gear then i think that this is something we are going to give more thought to. Specifically if the reward at the end of the activity applies to players that are not just looking to do a specific type of content. Note that this statement is somewhat contradictory to the philosophy laid out above if the required items do not drop elsewhere or the ultimate rewards don't either. This is something we are going to fix.

Personally i do not feel that the latest changes are against what we said in the manifesto. I do however feel that we do have to be very careful in regard to progression design turning into grind and i believe there are some instances of this kind of grind that predate the launch of the game. It is for this reason that we are looking to revamp some aspects of the game whilst connecting other parts increase the overall experience of fun in our progression mechanics.

ok so there is one answer (-: I am going to head over to another question and then come back. Thanks for your patience and any typos.

Chris

Was ascended gear actually conceptualized before launch? The blog post that introduced it made it sound like something that you guys came up with just recently.

Hi Toy,

It was not specifically designed before launch. However the concept of progression rewards with a shallow curve bridging other rewards was. Hope that makes sense.

Chris

It does make sense. Thanks for the answer.

Would it be fair to say that you underestimated how quickly people would reach peak power, and this is all a reaction to that?

Ascended gear seems to me like a reactive measure to push the power plateau back to where you intended in the first place. People were reaching peak power faster than was intended, and since you can't very well take away everyone's exotics and re-balance that tier, a new one just above it is the other clear path to take there.

Personally, I'm still holding out hope that you guys are still working under the assumption of a single solid, definite "peak power," a model that worked so well in the past, with advancement being based on "sidegrades" and options rather than direct statistical upgrades. Moving the peak once and locking it there is infinitely less troubling than a potential ever-moving target.

To sum up for anyone that doesn't understand this awesome answer:

  1. Ascended gears should have existed at launch, and should have been in the place of what Exotics used to stand for (i.e. equal to legendary, the pinnacle of power), not exotics.

  2. They will not add any other tiers if they can help it.

  3. Ascended gears will be obtainable via different methods in the future, but their application being severely limited (such as resisting FOTM only debuffs) is being considered as it doesn't apply to anyone wanting to do other content with the same gears (WvW will not benefit from agony resistance as an example)

  4. Gear checks/gated content is being evaluated (they see something fishy about it too)

  5. The Manifesto is still the constitution of the game, and since this ascended gears were a post-launch "fix" to an issue, there are no further foreseeable infractions to the manifesto, which destroys the argument that ANet is implementing a "gear treadmill".

Correct me if I'm wrong on this Chris.

This is correct Samurai. Now onto your second question.

Chris

I think i have answered E10 with the other answers? Please let me know if you would like more details?

In short we want all new progression systems to tie into the rest of the world where appropriate and synergize with existing player play styles and activities.

Chris

PR8: Blast finishers were removed from all professions that have dodge-enhancing traits, don't make it just about Eles.

I'll upvote you for bringing that up. This list is mostly from player generated questions. I didn't say "your question isn't important enough/too biased to be on this list".

After reading over the list a bit, maybe you should have. Thank you so much for compiling this list, but I think that getting them from the forums was a bad idea. Allow me to explain myself.

A few of the questions (E5, E6, SR5, SR7) have already been answered elsewhere. Some of the questions (PD2, PR5, PR9, PR11, and others) are unanswerable (what are they supposed to say to a what-do-you-think? "uh...yep, it seems good to us" and they get blasted by people who don't like it, or "we're working on it" and they get blasted by impatient people). Several seem like general whining, such as lowering waypoint fees or outright removing repair costs. A lot of the suggestions add weeks and weeks of work to Anet's already busy schedule, which of course will invite more complaining about how long it takes to do stuff. A few are subjective (no one uses X skills, engi stat scaling, more abilities per weapon you must choose between). And some of them are good questions with good concerns and reasoning behind them.

I've found reddit to be much more...balanced between pessimism, optimism, and rational discussion than the forums. Any list of questions should be assembled here next time.

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay in the next question i have been answering some of the 'New' questions that have been coming through. I intend to answer questions tonight as well although i am sick at the moment and may fade later (-:

E5:With ascended gears only being available at FOTM - is it intended that players wishing to be at their best in WvW will have to first tune themselves with fractal rewards?

It is absolutely not intended that Ascended will make a discernible difference in WvW. However it is the certainly the perception. Again however we would have much preferred to have released Ascended Gear across the whole of the game than in one area.

Players in WvW will be able to acquire Ascended items within that area of the game soon.

Chris

Players in WvW will be able to acquire Ascended items within that area of the game soon.

/hug

(btw, can we get a few more emotes? /hug included.)

E8:The agony system (as well as any other monster-only conditions added in the future) seems to encourage grinding for hard-to-get gears as opposed to skill-based progression promised in the manifesto, will this be remedied in the future?

I think the amount of materials required to make some of the gear is disproportionate to the amount of time the player wants to put in before he/she starts feeling like the goal is a grind and this skews the overall experience of the dungeon and the perception of the gear within it. I would like us to correct this and we will start working to this shortly.

In regard to future items the amount of work required to gain an item to allow players to experience content and continue having fun will be balanced appropriately.

chris

I'm disappointed that you skipped E7.

I liked Trahearne...Sort of reminded me of a plant version of William Shatner.

You avoided the main part of the question.

Why introduce gear gated content rather than skill gated content? The agony system is a lazy way of making content harder.

Thanks to everyone on the official forums and in my original reddit thread for helping by contributing all these amazing questions!

EDIT: Questions that have been answered somewhere in this AMA will be italicized instead of bolded. Just a headsup!

EDIT2: I'm at work right now too currently, so most of the updating will happen at 4PM PST. I'll compile all the answered questions into the original Google Docs document, and will post it both on the official forums as well as the reddit thread. Thank you for your patience.

Could you perhaps consider leaving a note at the top that this is the questions gathered from the community.. People seem to have an issue you have this many questions :p

I'll see if it fits. Space limits and whatnot.

Can we please stick to the questions about Rampart?

Excellent compilation of questions, thanks! Great handle too, made me lol.

PD1: GW1 had hundreds of skills for each of it's classes. Can we expect skill additions for GW2 as well? If so, will they only be added in expansions? Are there plans to add them with major non-expansion content updates?

A different aspect to this question is, instead of adding lots of skills, stick to the manifesto and only add meaningful skills, or more meta - add more meaning to more skills. I never played GW1, but I find the current skill system already as rich as WoW's (which lets you use all your skills, rather than limiting you to a subset as GW2 does). Combos, complementary skill chains, etc. are all very fun and interesting in GW2. Want more of that, not necessarily simply more skills.

SR2: Can we get decreased waypoint transportation costs? We understand that they are a money-sink, but they are also demotivating towards exploring the world.

Best suggestion I heard so far was scale wp costs to the zone level, not player level. That would incent higher levels to go back and play and help in lower level zones, making the game more friendly and welcoming to new players, helping bring them into the game community.

That is one hell of questions

1: Ranger changes? 2: Ranger... fixes? 3: Ranger... something?

Not trying to spam this, but this topic hasn't been discussed at all. Would very much appreciate ANY input on it, thank you.

Magic find and just drops in general (with or without MF gear) seems to have been greatly altered to a minimum. Also, in the most recent patch it was noted that Veterans/Champions should always drop something at least, irregardless of what quality. Is the system working as you intended since the update or are there most definitely problems with it as it stands? Also, if it is 'working as planned' why the huge change in drops? Coupled with diminishing rewards it is hard to farm legitly and almost points the player to the Cash Shop instead of relying on self-reliance. Thanks in advance!

Hi Sin,

So yep you are right this is the question i have been likely dodging the most? The reason being is that it requires investigation. Vet and Champs should give good loot and there are a number of reports on perceived decrease in the frequency of drops. I will be discussing this in depth with the Production and Design team tomorrow and we will hopefully have more info soon.

Chris

Oh thank God. I've stopped farming Orr (and actually decreased my play time) because of this. I used to get lots of blues/greens with my MF gear, and now it's an inventory full of whites with like 8 blues/greens for hours of farming. Vets/Champs have not changed for the better either. They rarely drop anything, and it's usually garbage when they do. Thanks so much for having a look at this.

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).

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.

Chris

I would like to see more "short stories" where you really get to know a character and interact with them over 4 to 7 missions. After that short story is completed maybe it could change your personal instance in some way-- a new person moving in, a new building, a garden, etc... Are additions to personal stories something you would do in a patch or only an expansion?

Great idea. I liked the random dynamic events that pop up referencing something more personal (e.g., risen taunting you with the death of your mentor) but they're so few and far between. Essentially, personal sidequests would be great.

Player Housing!

Furnishings in game available via different vendors and also make some for the gem store. Make it all available to everyone, no crazy mystic forge recipes involving 250 ectos or other super expensive mats. No bonus at all for different furniture items (as other games have incorporated). Simply offer lots of cosmetic variety for different furniture items. People will sink a lot of money into it. :)

I'd love to have more reasons to go to the home instance. It's kind of sad that the things I did in the story did really little to the instance itself. Some NPCs standing there... Couldn't they sell some unique skins, lore books (NPC-minor races),...

Couple it with the slayer achievement: the more arch-enemies to your minor-race you kill, the more skins your NPCs sell. (Kill enough harpies, your Ogres would sell you a nice Harpy-feather-headpiece + a transmutation stone)

Bringing in some new Minigames, the home instance could be a place where you could show off your rewards from those minigames. There could be a keg-brawl training ground where you would be able to train a few moves with your friends etc.

Are there any plans for the new crafting materials - karka shells, passion fruit, and candy corn - to be deposited as a collectible like the other crafting materials are? Currently they eat up a lot of precious space in my bank!!

Personally, I would like to see crafting slots for even the rare crafting materials. About 1/3 to 1/2 of my bank is full of slivers, globs, lodestones, etc. Even if it was purchasable via gems. I know that regular bank slots would work, but the 'deposit from anywhere' feature would be awesome for rare crafting materials.

So far we've had two monthly events and both have been scheduled between 3am and 6am Monday for Oceanic players depending on timezone, making participation impossible for most. To make matters worse, the latest event gave a guaranteed 20 slot bag and a chance at a legendary pre-cursor worth up to 300g.

On the issue of "night capping" in WvW, ArenaNet's official statement was:

We feel that everyone should have the ability to contribute no matter what time of the day it is. How we’ve came to this conclusion is that no player’s time is more valuable than another. Everyone has different off peak hours for whatever reason. Players should not be punished or unable to experience and view the same content as everyone else because they play at a different time. They too are paying customers.

Why does this position differ for one time events?

(Please don't use the "concurrency" excuse. That's blaming timezones for game design issues.)

As an Asura I feel that the weapon sizing is underwhelming, are there plans to look at this? Thank you!

There are certainly plans to have a look at that now and discuss it internally. Thanks for your feedback Shimp.

Chris

believe it or not, size DOES matter.

Longtime GW1 player here. A huge part of what made GW1 fun were builds. Constantly being able to tweak and modify your playstyle is what GW1 fun and long-lasting experience.

My problem with the direction GW2 is going to has nothing to do with grind, but a lack of options. There more time I invest in making my character stronger, the more I am forced to specialize and only play one particular build. When I buy expensive time-sink armor, I'm forced to play whatever build that armor is made for. It is discouraging, because you end up losing all of the flexibility traits, weapons, and utility skills bring when you are pigeonholed by your armor.

Hi Blue,

Really interesting comment that i agree with. I love the fact that i can create a really good build and would love the ability to swap between builds (armor and all). This is something we will be paying more attention to. Thanks for the post and support.

More news to come.

Chris

"Here’s what we believe: If someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can’t realistically acquire it, that rare item should be differentiated by its visual appearance and rarity alone, not by being more powerful than everything else in the game. Otherwise, your MMO becomes all about grinding to get the best gear. We don’t make grindy games — we leave the grind to other MMOs."

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.

Thank you.

Hi! I'll respond to the top part since it's a quote from me.

Obviously the key phrase I'm going to point you to in that quote is, "if someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can't realistically acquire it". That really is the litmus test we've used. That's why, at ship, we gave better stats to exotic gear and didn't give better stats to legendary gear.

More generally, I hope we've been clear that GW2 is not a game with virtually no stat progression in it like GW1 was. That's why GW2 shipped with a higher level cap, and with a hard separation between PvE and PvP. In GW1 we never advanced the level cap through four campaigns/expansions. The game design didn't allow for it. But GW2 was designed without those restrictions, and we've always expected that we will someday raise the level cap in GW2.

That's why we've always said that GW2 rewards players through both progression and collection, whereas GW1 primarily rewarded through collection. Presumably players aren't shocked that GW2 rewards through progression, since it has a level 80 cap.

I wonder if the core sentiment is more this: It's only been two-and-a-half months! We don't even all have exotics yet, and already you're introducing another tier. Is this the start of a power progression curve that I'll never be able to keep up with?

I certainly appreciate that worry. I myself don't want a constant struggle, as exists in some other games, to keep my equipment viable.

Then we're left with a balancing act. Some progression is ok, but pushing players onto gear treadmill isn't ok and isn't what the game is about.

So I would ask you to judge us by details, and not by making slippery-slope arguments. We introduced a ton of new content in November, and the sum total of new progression rewards we added to go with it provided a 5-10% stat increase in 2 of 12 slots. I hope you'll agree that that kind of very shallow and gradual progression does not force people onto a gear treadmill.

I think it's important for GW2 to be able to have this kind of gradual progression. Of course we made some mistakes with the way we introduced ascended gear. (See ChrisW's answers for details.) But those are addressable issues. I don't think they invalidate the fundamental concept that GW2 can have gradual stat progression without being a gear treadmill game.

~ MO

We introduced a ton of new content in November, and the sum total of new progression rewards we added to go with it provided a 5-10% stat increase in 2 of 12 slots.

Yes, and the cost of upgrading one of those slots is more than obtaining an entire exotic set.

And with the next content update, another 2 slots get added, so we need to grind them out as well - at the cost of a full set, for one slot, for one character. If I don't play the very latest thing that drops the new gear randomly, I'm left behind.

If this new gear would really be as simple to obtain as you want to make us believe, it wouldn't be any harder than getting exotics, so there was no point in introducing the new tier in the first place - unless there is a grind attached to it.

This is not how the game was advertised, and had I known about this beforehand, I wouldn't have bought this game.

I mostly agree. That's why I wrote that last paragraph. Introducing new rewards for playing new content doesn't have to lead to grind, but for two of the three examples (item types) we introduced in November, it did. The design team is aware of that and fixing it. See ChrisW's answers for more details.

~ MO

I think it's more than a few mistakes. The apparent change of direction was so abrupt that you actually had some of us wondering if you and the lead designers hadn't been purged from Arenanet in some sudden NCSoft take over. To be honest, the clarifications so far in this reddit haven't done much to address our fears.

I love the game. I've logged over 530 hours and mostly maintain my enthusiasm for the game by boycotting all the grindy areas of the "end game". Sadly, the areas I need to boycott seem to be growing like weeds, while the core of the game which actually fulfills the Manifesto languishes due to inattention.

You actually can play the game for hundreds of hours by embracing the saying that "the entire game is endgame". This new "end game" in a game that was supposed to have no such thing is a pretty hard pill to swallow for those of us who fell in love with the game that promised no "end game that is something completely different than what you've done on the way to that end game". (Paraphrased, but accurate).

I also don't get the argument that the end game progression was always implied. Legendaries were explicitly trumpeted for the fact that though they offered a long term goal for those who wanted to take up the task, the rewards were related to prestige and the desirable cosmetics. Legendaries did NOT have stats better than Exotics, even with the great amount of time, expense and effort attached. To suggest that the new stat progression was always implied and intended as a series of stepping stones between Exotic and Legendary items just doesn't mesh with reality. That Legendaries did NOT represent greater power just supported the belief that level 80 Exotics represented the end of the gear stat power curve and that that power curve would not ascend again unless that ascension was also tied to a level cap increase.

I'm hoping that this just comes down to a continuing issue with being able to properly communicate with the community and that with further discourse our fears will actually be put to rest, but so far most concerns seem to remain intact.

Mike you're being naive.

Any form of stat progression which is slowly and deliberately drop fed across the course of a year is a gear treadmill.

No matter how shallow, how few items, how trivial the effort required to obtain the new gear, the very fact it exists will compel the majority of your customers to acquire it, via the path of least resistance.

I can't believe you created such a wonderful game to begin with, and fundamentally changed it in this way without recognising a gear treadmill when you saw one, I just can't.

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.

Edit: Mike O's response is here.

chris

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.

Could you clarify what you mean by 'Time' gap? When I first heard the phrase, I thought the intent was for Ascended gear to be something you worked on alongside your Legendary after you got exotics, providing a series of intermittent rewards.

But the way it's actually worked out, if you want Ascended gear you have to channel resources into it that would be otherwise spent on a Legendary. Ascended doesn't fill the time gap so much as it extends it.

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.

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 ?

The problem with filling the time gap is that the current Ascended gear is more powerful then both Exotics and Legendary's. I know that Legendary's will have there stats bumped once Ascended weapons are released but the fact of the matter is that currently the Ascended gear is better then legendary gear as far as acquisition priority and character power. Currently best in slot does not require a legendary but does require ascended gear. Even mentioning best in slot on a GW2 post makes me so so sad...

what he is saying is only legendary items are safe from time degradation; you better grind for them because any other grind that isn't getting you more near a legendary is in fact getting you further away.

People are downvoting you, but you speak an unfortunate truth.

Zero grind? Have you tried getting an ascended item without grinding either FotM or for gold? If this is supposed to be zero grind, I can't imagine what it would be like with grind.

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.

That's a bit disappointing and disconcerting. I appreciate the focus on zero grind and low power curve, but why does the team feel the need for vertical progression?

I guess my question boils down to will there be more tiers (Above Ascended) as updates come along?

If you really don't think that you never said there wouldn't be vertical progression why do you think so many people believe you did?

from

not by being more powerful

to

we have never said there would be no vertical progression

Am I missing something?

It's not a time gap. It's a stat gap, first and foremost. It may take time to get the gear, but that's secondary to what the gear actually does. It's an insult that you're still selling it as a time gap. And you can say that ArenaNet never fully committed to horizontal progression only, but you can't ignore the fact easily 10,000 players are peeved with this change.

As a gamer, do you feel it's appropriate to gate content like this? Do you feel it's appropriate to have tiers that will later be invalidated by future content? Do you feel it's wise to funnel players into Fractals and give them no reason to journey into the beautiful world we've been offered?

Furthermore, in all due respect, you can't say you're focusing on zero grind. If that were the case, players wouldn't have to do the Fractals over and over again for a chance at drops. Nevermind the gating from later fractals here.

I get it, though, this is ArenaNet's game. I would have hoped that such a sweeping change wouldn't involve such a small fraction of the game's content. Obviously, your team feels otherwise.

In all honesty, your organization lost sight of the things that made Guild Wars great.

  1. Builds - I can't move my stats up and down.
  2. Player vs. Player - how many modes were in the first game? How many are in this game.

Granted, PVE has been improved upon. But if ArenaNet wanted to improve upon the PVE experience, why not add roleplaying elements to the game? I'm suggesting things like reputation items, languages, more instanced personalized quests.

This approach will fail. You can't satisfy all of the people all of the time.

Those who love vertical progression and "gear grind" will not be satisfied with year-long minor upgrades, ala Exotic->Ascended. They'll burn thru the content in days/weeks, and then complain there's nothing to do.

If you INCREASE the difference between tiers, and add more armor/weapon tiers, you'll upset (as you clearly have) the no-grind, horizontal progression folk.

A compromise (weak vertical progression) will only alienate BOTH audiences.

The original Guild Wars was all horizontal progression. Those of use who came from GW1 expected (and were promised) that in GW2. It seems to me that you obligation is to the fanbase that stuck with five years of nothing new, waiting for GW2 on faith.

Pandering to the WoW crowd will not make GW2 a success, because you'll alienate your original fanbase while failing to satisfy the grinder mindset.

I'm used to thinking of ArenaNet as really savvy to the industry, so it's baffling that they don't understand this. Even WoW couldn't keep fans of vertical progression happy, at a time when they were doing fairly regular updates, and the entire point of WoW is vertical progression at max level. I've defended them a lot of times, saying, "Okay, well there's no reason they can't make X work," but in this case talking about how they're going to design for everyone comes off as very naive.

Maybe if they had made that work for them so far and delivered 100% on everything they planned to do pre-launch, but they haven't. I mean no offense to Mr. Whiteside, but representatives for every single MMO say, "We have exciting plans which I know you'll love, look forward to them!" and if ArenaNet wants to get people behind this I think they're going to have to explain exactly how they plan to make this work.

Thanks for the honest response. As a WvW player, this has finalized my decision that I will no longer be making any gem purchases on this game moving forward.

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.

How exactly are bind on pickup RNG generated drops you can only roll for a limited number of times each day "zero grind" ? Especially after you have to grind up to level 10 in FOTM to be able to roll at all.

How is the sheer material cost of Ascended gear compatible with no grind ?

As for the focus on horizontal progression, the current system punishes people for transmuting back pieces if they then want to upgrade them.

Zero grind?! Have you tried grinding for a piece of Ascended yourself?

You will push all your players out of the early zones, they will be sitting around waiting to grind the next instance that must grind-ed day in and day out. They will not log alts unless to power level. The game will begin at 80! You are going to make a ghost town.

When you see the community as a whole and don't intend to design for one specific group of players, then why make the Karka Event one time and in a very bad timeframe for players from Australia or NZ?

...we will have vertical progression moving forward...

And there it is. At least they admit they are following the normal mmo model of treadmill for higher stats. As a GW1 player for many years, this is a disappointment.

Said I'd be skeptically trusting for now, and here we are. I guess they did decide to go this route.

Unfortunately it does seem so. A shame really.

"We take the best things you love about GW1 and bring them to GW2" - Mike O.

It would be silly to think that many didn't love the fact that vertical and not horizontal progression was one of the main things people LOVED about Guild Wars.

The fact that you are even introducing vertical progression with a very low power curve seems ridiculous and superfluous anyhow. If it's going to be very low - why have it at all? Why not focus on other methods of progression: introduction of new traits, new skills, new elite skills that offer us alternate forms of progression outside of statistical power creep.

I also find it hard to really believe the 'Time' argument as you could have added Ascended to the MF, the same as you do did with named weapons, to fill in the "gap" you so wanted to fix.

Fact is you don't see the community as a whole because this decision goes against the vast majority of that community. You've chosen a side of your 'community' and it is not the side that embraced and supported you through GW1.

While I can understand the hostility on some of the replies due to the 180° turn you took there I try to be a bit more constructive.

While I can understand the desire of a company to appeal to as many people as possible, after all there is a reason why great action moves are repeatedly ruined by adding a completely misplaced love triangle and horror flicks get edited till they get their pg13 rating, in this case you don't. And while listening to your manifesto and dev comments during development I thought you would know that.

But let me elaborate.

There is exactly one group of players that profits from power creep. People with a lot of time, no skill at all and no intention to ever develop any skill in the game. Those are the ones who like getting better without actually doing anything for it other than killing time.

Everyone else does not want power creep on the long run. Although I admit a lot of people don't realize it.

Because all that powercreep does at the end of the day is to make content easier over time and thus boring and eventually useless (when was the last time you ran zul gurub in WoW?), split the community (can't do this dungeon with you, you don't have the right equipment) and kill any kind of competitive environment in PvE (Who is better, the group beating fractal22 without agony resist or the group who beats fractal23 with agony resist?).

Don't get me wrong here. Progression is important and GW2 has some serious reward/risk/difficulty issues at the moment. Defense event zergs in cursed shore are very high reward and very low risk and difficulty for example. But neither rewards nor progression has to end in power creep.

For example if you would just have made ascended gear have the same item budget as exotics and put in an additional MF progression you would have had a progressing, tangible and useful reward without adding more power. The current MF gear idea does not work anyway. People just use them on event zergs where there is already zero risk to further increase their already way to high rewards.

When people ask for progression they usually mean progression in content, difficulty and rewards. They want to start out easy and tackle harder and harder tasks while being rewarded appropriately to the difficulty.

That means a 30min fractal run on a level that requires a highly skilled group should have better rewards than a 30 min zerg farm of an event chain. That does not mean the rewards should offer a power increase which pretty much invalidates the warm fuzzy feeling you get by having achieved something really difficult if you never know how much of that was actually because of your gear.

Every major problem WoW has comes down to equipment progression. Abandoned raid instances, complains about lack of content midway into an expansion because once you are decked out stuff gets to easy to still be a challenge (and other raids are completely useless by now), high "entry fee". What one of you guys very well described as "we don't want you to prepare to have fun, we want you to have fun". Where is that guy now? Because agony resist sounds a lot like preparing to have fun.

Of course you are not as extreme in your power creep as WoW (yet) and downscaling helps a lot too. But they really only reduce a problem that should not exist in the first place. If you shoot yourself into the foot it still hurts a lot, even if you use a small caliber.

I bought this game because from experience with GW1 and your comments about your design philosophy I assumed 3 years from now we will have lots of "endgame" areas that will all still be viable and accessible quickly even for new players (if they bring the required skill of course). Similar to how Underworld and Fissure still were viable after DoA was released. Now I fear we will rather have lots of abandoned endgame zones because due to power progression only the most recent one will be viable anymore similar to how WoW works.

Btw, WoW at least has an excuse for their power creep. It won't work without. Since the combat system is pretty much non existent you need the power creep from gear to give people the feeling they actually get better because their own skill caps out pretty quickly. So if the combat system does not let them get noticeably better themselves the gear has to fill in.

But why did you do it? You are selling yourself short if you think your combat system can't handle a skill based progression. Just eliminate the zerging with better event scaling and encounter design and you really don't have to worry about that. The combat system has more than enough potential that you don't have to resort to cheap tricks to make people feel they get better, just let them actually get better themselves.

We do intent to focus on horizontal but we will have vertical progression moving forward

You do realise that the two are diametrically opposed, don't you?

What is your/ANet's definition of grind?

Serious question.

Repetitive game play that is not fun.

Chris

Fotm final reward, infused fractal capacitor takes, if my calculations are correct, 2850 tokens. That's 570 fractions. On later difficultys you get 6 or more tokens and some fractions take less than hour to complete (this also includes Pugs, some of which tend to be brain dead..) so in the end you get to around 300 hours of grind just to get tokens! There also that 500 ectos floating around...

Question is, do you think some of those things should cost less tokens? And ectos? I mean when you compare it to the rest of dungeon rewards its really ridiculous. On the other note, 20 slot bags should cost more tokens.

Thanks for all replies, we as community really appreciate this! :)

Here's kind of an odd question, but I feel like it will help me understand intent in design. I'll begin it with a statement:

As it currently stands, I'm most likely never going to get any ascended pieces of gear on any of my characters.

What is your reaction to that? Is that an intended thing, is that dismaying? Is your perceived end state of the game a large group of 80s with ascended gear, or 80s with a wide range of gear? No judgement one way or the other, just curious.

One thing that GW2 really lacks for me is the Template system to save builds. I really miss that feature since I am a veteran GW1 hero. Do you have any plans implementing it in near future?

Thanks.

Support/Community (Forums/Communication):

  • SC1: Profession specific forums are disconnected from Anet. This is exemplified with the lack of official response from Anet to any of the profession forums. Can we have more & more frequent contact/participtation from Anet here? A lot of times, discussions on bugs, improvements, additions, go unnoticed, and these sections of the community usually, and genuinely – are out to present improvements to the game that they would like to be acknowledged for.

  • SC2: With the start of the new “State of the Game/SPvP Tournaments” Johnathan Sharp is starting at the end of the month, and this AMA; can the playerbase get more involved with the development of the game? Something like “Voice of the Player” or “Submit your ideas” events on the forums with participation from the devs would be an amazing way to connect with the community, as well as get a temperature reading on what players are asking for.

Crafting & Gears:

  • CG1: As it currently stands; there are 3 legendary greatswords, and 1 of every other item type. How is the handling of other added legendary weapons going to go in the future?

  • CG2: What other methods are going to be available for obtaining ascended gears?

  • CG3: What are the chances of decreasing the amount of dungeon/rng grinding in order to obtain on ascended/legendary/exotic gears?

  • CG4: With the addition of ascended gears, are there any intentions to update crafting professions to be able to craft the higher-tiered gears at some point (ascended gears and maybe legendaries?). As it is right now, with exotics being the highest craftable tier, it will be oudated when the launch of the rest of the ascended set items come into existence.

  • CG5: Are there any plans for legendary back items?

  • CG6: You previously stated that there was a gap between exotic and legendary weapons that needs to be addressed; what does that mean?

  • CG7: Will future content be balanced around exotic or ascended/legendary stats?

  • CG8: Will ascended gear drops be obtainable in WvW/Open world content?

  • CG9: Any plans for new town clothing? How about weapon dyes?

  • CG10: Can we get karma-purchasable cultural gears, and not just gold purchasable?

  • CG11: Can you remove the 'ascended tier' from the game?

  • CG12: Why do NPC’s (weaponsmiths/armorsmiths) sell crappy gears even after the starting zone?

  • CG13:Magic Find Gears. Are there any plans to either disable this in dungeon groups, or to provide its benefits to the party as a whole?

The Future (Updates/Expansions/Events):

  • TF1: It's been previously stated that old content will receive new updates as content is released. What are the plans for updating maps like Orr, where they are seen more of as an “annoyance” then a "challenge"?

  • TF2: Will there be an increase to the level cap with new expansions?

  • TF3: Will we see more playable races with each expansion?

  • TF4: Will we see more playable professions with each expansion?

  • TF5: Tengu, Kodan and Largos – will/when will they be playable?

  • TF6: Cantha/Elona – will/when will they be explorable?

  • TF7: Aside from Halloween and Winter-festivities, what other holiday-based events can we expect (st. patricks day? new years? summer solstice?)

  • TF8: What steps are being taken to ensure that the lag/bug issues with the last two events does not happen in events moving forward?

  • TF9: With the implementation of Fractals. What are the plans to get players back out into the world again?

  • TF10: What kinds of plans are there for future 1-time events?

  • TF11: Should future events be tailored to suit different timezones, instead of a “one shot don't miss it” approach?

  • TF12:Can we get, or are there plans - for implementing more face/hair/beard styles? Also, why the lack of colorful hair options (even for Asura!)

WvW (The Anonymouse Kill-Fest!):

  • W1: What's the progress on improving player culling?

  • W2: We have 3 maps in the borderlines that are the 99% exact same. Any plans on making these unique from each other to spice things up?

  • W3: Money has become the most powerful asset in WvW. Whether a server is dominating or being dominated depends entirely on how much money each side is willing to spend. Are there plans for bringing the core assets of a successful server, mainly; good leadership, skillful players and strategy - back into the limelight?

  • W5: With the increasing stats on gears, are there plans on normalizing it for WvW to keep it balanced?

  • W6: Is Guild vs. Guild vs. Guild (or some incarnation of this concept) something ANet has considered doing in the future? If so, has there been any movement on it?

SPvP (Autobalance FTL!):

  • S1: Are there any future plans for new game modes aside from "capture the point"? Battle royale, free for all, last man standing?

  • S2: The people have spoken, we want spectator mode. You guys said before that all it would take to get started on it was enough people to say they wanted it! So how is development of spectator mode coming along?

  • S3: Also, where are the leaderboards???

  • S4: Also important! Where's our dueling feature??

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?

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.

Chris

If this all was a trial balloon for an even bigger departure from the originally presented game design doctrine, I hope you consider said balloon to have been shot down, burned, stomped on and tossed into an active volcano!

The puzzling thing is they did it knowing that we would hate it. I can't fathom that logic at all. Oh hey, thanks for supporting us for the last 5 years, in exchange: Stat Creep!!! XD

It's like a massive, elaborate troll.

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?

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.

However:

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.

chris

I think that's a really interesting answer and problem you're trying to solve. I'm personally a relatively casual player who plays in a hardcore guild (Mostly because I know them from my days as a pretty hardcore MMO player) and I felt like I might be able to shed some light on what it's like to be a casual in GW2.

Overall I actually think you guys have done a great job. I've never had a problem getting into a dungeon (Other than fractals but you already addressed that) and mostly I'm able to gear through leveling. I did however begin to notice a problem when I hit 80. For top tier gear the grind starts to become a lot more difficult. For example getting a full set of exotic armor meant one of three things, a rather unfulfilling buying it off the TP, farming the hell out of dungeons, or gaining a ton of karma.

Buying off the TP is what I did for my first set of armor but that pretty much made me broke and when I ended up changing my build later on made me very annoyed as my armor was no longer as good as it could have been.

Running dungeons became a bit of a huge undertaking which was sort of upsetting because I really wanted some of the dungeon armor. This was mostly due to the diminishing rewards system. While some days I could only do one path at best days where I did have time I was penalized for doing what I needed to do to get my reward. As far as karma goes that was at first a non-starter but the addition of jugs of karma and vials of karma has pretty much solved that problem and actually been one of my main motivators for logging in often.

With all this in mind it was like 1-80 I was always at max power doing well, but once I hit 80 it was like I was underpowered all of a sudden because getting acceptable armor(And weapons) was suddenly this huge task and hadn't been up until that point. Even more frustrating was once I changed my build I realized that to accomodate multiple builds I'd have to do this a couple times in order to have armor that matched each build. That was stopping me from doing other things I wanted to do (WvW, level a new alt, doing a dungeon that didn't get me the tokens I needed for my armor). I think it would be cool if rather than each dungeon having specific tokens dungeons just gave you a single reward type that could be used on any of the dungeon specific armors. This way as a casual player I'd be motivated to try multiple dungeons in general, when I have a lot of time I could gain tokens efficiently by running 2 or 3 different dungeons and multiple paths, and hardcores would be able to split up their grind by switching dungeons as well. I'd also say reducing some of the reward costs would be nice but that's just me being hopeful and I'm sure not something you'd want to do at this point :).

If you try to satisfy all of the people all of the time, you will likely fail. No matter how shallow it is, a long-term gear progression will upset and drive away those who want horizontal progression; if you make the gear growth curve too shallow, it won't satisfy the progressionists. Half measures often fail in the long run -- or you get boring crap like the modern urban assault vehicle. :)

Consider this: I drive a full-size pickup truck, because it satisfies my business and personal needs. My daughter drives a small, compact, fuel-efficient car because it server her needs. If ANet were designing cars, you'd try to make some sort of hybrid, say, a small vehicle with moderate efficiency and moderate cargo capacity, which would satisfy NEITHER myself nor my daughter. The Subaru "Brat" comes to mind -- not enough seating to be a real car, too small and weak to make a decent truck.

Pick a direction, make a choice, and decide who you want playing your game: The fickle WoW refugees who wander from new game to new game, or the dedicated core fans who waited five years on faith, and who pre-ordered based on past statements of horizontal progression by ANet employees.

Oh -- and no offense, but "chris's" response sounds like a first-year PR student's drivel. I know it when I hear it; I've been in business for 30+ years, often as the communication person.

With the addition of the new Ascended gear, you have also created a massive shift in the demand for Ectoplasms (among other T6 materials.) The price has skyrocketed, both due to bots being banned as well as the new gear. Were you guys expecting this? Also, will you be doing anything to bring the prices back to a reasonable price?

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.

Thanks!

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.

Chris

ArenaNet has designed a breathtakingly beautiful world. What are your plans to make sure that the bulk of that world doesn't become a desolate wasteland?

Right now, a level 80 player with 100% map completion has basically no incentive to leave the comfort of Lion's Arch, since all the best rewards come from Fractals.

Even if you have a social incentive to venture out into the world (for example, a level 30 friend who you want to play with), you're basically relegated to being little more than a babysitter. There aren't enough events going on to keep you constantly occupied, so at least half your time will be spent twiddling your thumbs while your friend grinds hearts and tags POI/waypoints/vistas.

Will roleplayers get any updates in the future? (eg. sitting in chairs, 1st person recording, etc..)

Yes, PLEASE! There are so many great things in this game that it makes it such a joy to RP in, but it would be nice if we could get some actual RP-oriented updates too.

Especially sitting in chairs and such. It's one of the things I love about LotRO and other games similar to that.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

Are there any plans to standardize how information is disseminated to players?

I think that a lot of the recent drama could have been abated somewhat by giving direct statements to the players, rather than leaking incomplete information to third-party sites.

This AMA is great, but it's a few weeks late.

Hi Plaid,

I agree whole heatedly and this is something we have and are continuing to have multiple discussions about.

Chris

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.

  1. 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?
  2. Obviously you can’t say much about expansions but is there ANYTHING you’d be willing to share? A tidbit? A smidgen?
  3. I have friends across multiple servers. Do you have plans

HI Cloud,

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.

Chris

In regards to this quote that you made around an hour ago Chris: "That is why there is no plan for new Rarity Tiers of loot but there are plans to enhance or gain items within the existing rarity design whose properties continue on a shallow power curve."

People on the forums are quickly becoming alarmed by this statement, and I think we would heavily benefit from a bit of clarification.

For example, some people are construing this statement as that there will be ascended "tier 1", which is the stuff we have now, and ascended "tier 2" will come in later, which has higher stats.

Can you please clarify this statement? Will there be better statted gear with the same rarity level? Or just different combinations? Will it be like that ascended ring that has 31 to each stat (and the exotic version) compared to current rings which has less accumulative stats, or... what?

Thanks; answering this may help soothe some of the forum community a bit!

Hey Chris,

Are you sick of answering questions about vertical progression yet?

hehe no keep them coming. I understand that the frustration behind the fact that i am not able to reveal the exact plans for what we plan to do but am answering as many as i can (-:

Chris

Any thoughts on these suggestions for WvW? Any hints on what upcoming changes may be in store for WvW? As someone who spends ~ 40 hours a week in WvW, (along with a large group of players) it'd be good to hear some upcoming changes.

  • Squad management with objective icons. Allow commander to assign groups to objectives. Full visibility of all members on the map.

  • WvW player ranking system with badge rewards for specific levels. Level 80 Exotics to at lower levels similar to 80 karma stats, Ascended items and precursors for purchase at highest ranks. Finishers, WvW specific back items (ex: Sashimono http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashimono with guild emblem.) can also be purchased.

  • Add skins for WvW that are battle specific, showing rank (from above).

  • Auto loot for all bags or change graphic, notification to alert player.

  • 6 man limit for yak defense and restore previous reward incentives.

  • Jumping Puzzle instanced, when logging in you are removed from the WvW queue.

  • Pause on filling queue for DC’d players

  • Replace Orbs to area wide buffs only, to be carried into battle (and possibly lost). Fix orb altar to only allow damage when entry is already physically possible. (or lord is dead).

  • Guild control of keep allows resource holding (split 1/2 with non guild members) that can be used for upgrades.

  • Guild control of keep or tower gives currency rewards to be spent on siege (or just badges).

  • Siege account bound.

more: https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/pvp/wuvwuv/WvW-Suggestions-2/first#post860924

hi nn776,

These are all cool ideas for WvW and you can expect to see some significant content dropping in this area of the game in the near future.

I would like to be more precise but can't be but rest assured we are working a lot on not just new content for this area of the game but also progression, reward and beacon mechanics.

Chris

I'm very sorry but I read that as bacon mechanics.

Hi Chris. Here's another question that has recently come up on the forums:

How are runes/sigils going to be handled with ascended armor and weapons? While ascended accessories include the gem, it appears that that solution would not work very well for weapons or armor due to the massive variety of viable runes and sigils that are available for weapons and armor.

Can you tell us: Will we be allowed to put in our own runes/sigils into ascended armor/weapons? Or will it be included in some manner like ascended accessories?

If you don't know or can't release that info yet, a quick heads up would still be nice.

Thanks a lot Chris!

Hi Time,

We are still finalizing the design on both your question and your suggestion. If we were to discuss it it would likely change and therefore be misleading info. I think that moving forward we should be more communicative about our design once we have a good idea of our plans before it is executed upon. This is just an off the cuff idea but i can certainly see its value.

chris

This is certainly not as important as other questions in this thread, but I want to ask anyway. Do you think (sorry, I'm a huge RP nerd) we'll be able to sit in chairs? I would seriously sit down and buy some chair sitting DLC or something. I'm not even kidding.

I don't even care about chairs, yet I can't not upvote this.

Hi!

Im very interested to hear more about this "precursor scavenger hunt". When will we see this? 1-2 months? 6 months? Will it be like the Moa Chick mini form Gw1, that you could solo, or will I need a group doing this.

Can you share any information on your plans for this?

Thanks :)

Fractals of the Mists gave us two fractals with some of the best light / dark effects and interactions, as well as some weather effects that really pushed the extremes. The net effect is that we got moments of profound claustrophobia in an "open" space, and the personality of the environment itself felt more menacing than the creatures that may have been using that environment to their own advantage.

What are the chances that we'll see the (open) world of Tyria given tweaks and attention (severe storms, darker caves, more intense winds, biting cold, debilitating heat, distinct day versus night experiences) so that the environments can feel more menacing and more oppositional?

The tech appears to be there, and I have to believe the most important character in the game is Tyria herself. She deserves a a bit more attitude!

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?

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.

Chris

Hi Chris - Great game. Any chance we will be able to sort gear by type (Light, Med, Heavy) on the TP anytime soon?

I would certainly like this. But seriously we are going to be doing some quality of life improvements to the TP in the non to distant future so watch this space.

Chris

Also, the ability to preview armor/weapons in the TP would be awesome!

You have said in several comments here that you are maintaining your commitment to "zero grind." Can you please explain what that phrase means to you?

I sort of got the answer I was looking for here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/13tuac/im_the_studio_design_director_on_guild_wars_2_ama/c774dpu

Chris indicated that the 50 ecto + 250 T6 mat requirements for ascended items are excessive; "we don't want to have such big hikes in requirements moving forward."

Hello Chris In recent patch (lost shores) there's been mention about increasing drop rates from vets and champ

for past 4 or 5 days I been farming champions and world bosses such as claw of jormag and shatterer.

those drops been awful most champions does not even drop coins and they are not even worth doing.

and dragon's chests drops barely cover waypoint cost is this bug or stealth nerf to drop rates and when are you going to address this?

there is huge topic on forums yet again without answer Right now I have no will to level alts or even doing 100% world completion as I spent more on travelling that I earn in that zone ...

thank you!

Does ArenaNet plan to do anything about the fact that the current "fractal leveling" mechanic penalizes players for cooperating and assisting with people of lower "fractal level"?

Never have I seen 20 people standing in one place looking for the same dungeon but refusing to group with one another due to lack of mutual advantage.

Two Questions:

A) There was a rumor that Cantha was forbidden from being added to GW2, or at least that there are no plans whatsoever to add it in any future content. Is this true? Have we seen the last of the land introduced in Factions? Not looking so much for spoilers of future expansions, as much as a "Yes, we are open to using Cantha again" or "No, we are done with Cantha".

B) Are you guys happy with where Engineer turrets are at? I can't tell you how happy I would be to see a trait added for them that changed turret cooldown to make it more viable. >_>

Currently if you pick up a turret, it goes on CD (rather high CD at that...) and heals the turret to full health. An EXCELLENT option would be to add a trait that caused the turrets to not get healed when picked up (persistent HP, basically) and have no cooldown when picked up. The cooldown would instead trigger when the turret is destroyed.

This would make turret / toolbelt engineers an extremely valid and worthwhile build to play...

Was it your intention to alienate the casual player? I haven't even got a full exotic set yet, and now there is more powerful gear available which takes even longer to get.

This is what I liked about GW1, and what was promised in the development phases of GW2. And don't say you never did promise that, it was a major part of your entire manifesto that you wanted to remove the 'grind for more gear' part of the MMO. This is also a large part of the reason I purchased the game. Now, I feel foolish and betrayed because of what has happened.

It's now virtually impossible for me to get the gear I want, because almost nobody runs the dungeon I need to do anymore. I don't have, or want, to spend more time standing around trying to find 5 people interested in running the dungeon. I tried this last night, and that is exactly what happened.

It's only going to get harder for me going forward in this manner. I'm going to have worse gear than other people, and find things get harder as the world scales to take this more powerful gear into account. Do you have any plans to address this matter, or do you only care for the new statgrind players that didn't even exist in GW1?

Edit: Got a little snarky at the end there, sorry about that. Is there plans for any kind of 'Looking for Party' menu system? We can already enter the same instance from different servers, we should be able to ask in different servers for interested people without having to be in random-chance overflow.

Edit 2: Been reading over other responses, and it looks like some of my fears are assuaged. Ascended gear makes sense from an acquiry timeframe, and from what I understand is that Anet will do their best to not release any further gear with increased stats. While this is not a direct 'no', it works for now.

So the question I would like an answer to, after checking other responses: Looking for Party?

Hi all,

I am going to drive home and will be back online in 30 minutes. for those that have just posted questions please repost them then and i will speak to you soon.

chris

During the Karka finale, many players seemed unable (no matter how hard they tried) to get kill credit off the karka mobs spawning during the event. That means no XP, and no potential for a loot drops during the entire event. This seems to be a problem that occurs frequently during events where a large number of players are present.

In fact, if players need to be responsible for at least 5% of the damage resulting in the death of a monster in order to receive credit, it seems like any time there are more than 20 players attacking the same monster there are going to be people who are left out no matter what. 25 people dealing 4% of the damage each would seem to create a situation where nobody receives kill credit on a target. And in the Karka finale the number of players participating in the battle was closer to 50+, creating a situation where a whole lot of people were consistently losing out.

Participating in a 2+ hour event like this, wracking up repair debts, and receiving no credit for any karka kills was simply not fun because of this situation. Are you planning to address this problem?

Hi FaitheV,

Thanks for taking the time to post. This was a bug and was not intended. The bug will be fixed moving forward.

Chris

Great job making an awesome game!!

Hello there, thanks for doing this AMA. As for my question:

Fun impacts decisions. Every time you finish a dungeon you get tokens you can trade in for reward items that you want, rather than having a small chance of getting it as a drop, because it’s more fun to always get rewarded for finishing with something you want to have!

This was a statement that was made previous to the release of the game, which many of us believed reflected your philosophy regarding fun and loot/reward acquisition. In light of the method of acquisition for ascended rings (and their importance to further fractal progression) my question is the following: Do you consider this philosophy to have changed? If not, how do you reconciliate this philosophy to the way the ascended rings were implemented?

1 - is the revamping of the dungeons planning to make them more in line with the fractals in terms of mechanics, or is it just a tweak/exploit pass?

2 - Any plans to actually replace the Legendary farmer grind with actual "Legends" and epic questing post 80? Right now the vaunted Legendaries are a display of farming skill, not of actual game accomplishment. More gifts from achievements other than exploration and battle would be a great step.

3 - WvW, PvE, Dungeons, etc all work in very different ways. Can we get get (even buy through the BLTC) skill sets to swap between?

4 - Magic Find is a terrible stat that puts a burden on other party members in dungeons, and has no real repercussions in karma farming zergs - can we drop the stat and have it tied to our world exploration? I mean "I have traveled the world, so I have an idea where to look for the items"

5 - Fractals are fun, but I am stuck behind the curve because of disconnects from other players, PuGs not having enough time, etc. I have actually completed the monthly achievement without advancing over level 1! Can you please add in something that keeps a running total to level. At this point I do not care if 5 separate level 1 fractals equals level 1 complete, but some way to advance individually when faced with a constant stream of PuG failures.

Good afternoon everyone. I hope you had a lovely holiday. Looking forward to your questions and comments.

Chris

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.

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.

Chris

The SPVP players have felt let down since the beginning of the game's launch. The have little features for SPVP and lack many essential elements that are needed to foster a great SPVP community, let alone to grow into esports.There is also the horrendous endless loading bug.

Jon P. and Chap read the forums and intend to implement more features, but work is progressing so slowly. It seems there is much more programmers dedicated to PVE rather than SPVP. Things feel like they are moving at a snails pace and many dedicated, loyal PVPer's grow impatient. There are so many great suggestions in the SPVP forums.

Does Anet plan to move more workers to the SPVP side? Many SPVPer's (some who spent over $60 dollars solely for the SPVP game) are leaving because they are seeing that GW2 is primarily concerned with PVE and WvW, not SPVP. Are you guys aware of the great opportunity you have because the PVP in this game is unique and there is a big demand for it, as long as we actually see more SPVP dedication from Anet.

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!

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.

Chris

Are there any plans to ease the divide that the FoM creates? I took a break from GW2 last week for thanksgiving to be with family and play other games and just because I can. When I left I was only FoM level 2. I suspect that If I log in tonight my guild will be much further along than I am and It will be very hard to convince them to go down in levels to help me catch up.

In a patch you had said this:

“The drop rarity of Rare and Exotic weapons from certain places in the world (champions, veterans, and players in WvW) has been increased. Rares and Exotics should be much more likely to drop and every champion should be guaranteed to drop loot. This was to ensure that world loot drops were not a significantly worse way of acquiring rare and exotic items than crafting and running dungeons.”

I am not seeing any loot from champions etc.. Is there possibly a bug in the loot code?

Are you aware of any loot issues?

As a player whom loved (LOVED) being able to flip builds around often, I had multiple sets of exotics. If I understand correctly, with ascended tier I will now need multiple sets of this, more expensive and harder/longer to acquire gear to operated a peek. Exotics already cost enough, that having multiple sets is a bit of a burden. At the current prices and time this becomes night impossible with ascended.

Is there anything going to be done with this barrier to changing roles in the future, or will people be pigonholed by whatever gear they pick?

Hi, Chris,

As design director, how aware are you of the tweaks that go out in the patches that we get? Would you care to highlight any one change that you and proud of or enthusiastic about that is definitely going to be pushed to us in the next patch?

Chris, I am impressed you are participating in this for so long. I commend you.

Two questions: -If Ascended Gear and the Fractal of the Mist leveling system was not rolled out in the way you intended(being that theres only one way currently to obtain the gear, and the leveling system fragments the playerbase), why was it rolled out in the first place? I thought Arenanet was big on "When its ready", however this sounds like it was not ready but rushed out the door.

-Ive seen, and agree with, some posts concerning the aesthetic look of Medium gear compared to Light and ultimately Heavy(which looks the best hands down). Honestly, medium gear while leveling is terrible looking and there are only a small number of dungeon sets that you dont look like a pirate or something from MechWarrior. Are there plans to specifically overhaul the MEDIUM armor looks?

Hi cesmode,

If you don't mind i will just answer the first question as the second is something that would be discussed at work. And thanks for taking the time to submit the questions.

So in regard to question 1: We had/have a plan to seed ascended through the game. It affects many many areas and systems and we wanted to essentially rewire aspects of reward progression. This is an ongoing priority. However this is a multi phase plan and during the creation of the FotM I wanted to roll out a subset of the plan to the community. The progression/reward system was not correctly deployed but the Dungeon was, at least in my opinion as i think the guys have done an amazing job. The reward system that was rolled out was also not 'as designed' due to some dependencies in other areas of the game. I made the decision to continue with the roll out and here we are today.

This is my responsibility, it was a bad call, but i have to say that whilst this could of been handled better i am still truly excited for what the future will bring and i wouldn't be doing this job if i didn't want to learn from extreme challenges and work with amazing people.

I very much appreciate the chance to connect with everyone not just in regard to this issue but the game as a whole. I am hoping to do this once a month with more team members and keep up more meaningful communication channels.

I hope this answers your question, going into anymore detail would take time away from answering other questions.

Chris

Chris, will the Ascended rings continue to be "double random"?

What I mean is that not only do you have to beat the RNG in order to receive a ring, but you also have to beat the RNG to get a ring that is useful to your build. I have received 2 ascended rings, and both of them have the exact same stats (Berserker's) whereas all of my other gear is Solider's.

Would it be possible to replace the ring drop with a ring token that could be used at an additional vendor? Or perhaps a mystic forge recipe that would convert rings into other stat packages?

Thanks for staying up so late to chat with us :)

We were talking about this this afternoon Red and we certainly believe that some method of meaningful replacement would be a good idea. we didn't however come to a conclusion yet so there is no more detail.

Chris

Thank you! Persistence pays off, 3rd time I've asked. Just keep grinding the AMA guys!

In your blog post, you mentioned:

Adding more variation to creatures, enhancing our open world scaling system, as well as evolving many events and experiences across Tyria.

Does that include making Champion-level mobs more interesting to fight? Right now, when I see a Champion I cringe and run away, because they're simply not worth fighting. Engaging a Champion is essentially pledging 5-15 minutes of "dodge-whack-dodge-whack-dodge" to be rewarded less than you would by simply doing 2-3 regular events in the same timeframe.

Anything in the pipeline that might address this problem?

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?

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).

I believe there has been no change to our philosophy regarding end game gear. We have learnt lessons for sure which is one of the main advantages of a live game and no doubt we will learn lessons moving forward. This does not however dilute our commitment to create a pioneering, accessible and fun world for players as we continue to build out GW2. And we very much rely on your and the communities feedback as we execute on these philosophy.

Chris

there has been no change to our philosophy regarding end game gear

Can you clearly (re)state what this philosophy is? I think most of the questions come from a misunderstanding of this principle.

Less than three months after launch you jettisoned the oft repeated design philosophy that Exotic gear would represent a stat cap, would be relatively easy to obtain and once obtained you's never have to worry about getting better gear again. "No gear inflation treadmill" was a clear statement of GW2 core design. How can this not represent a change of design philosophy?

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.

I understand that you want to appeal to the 'whole' community, not just the portion that loved the game how it was before November, participated in the Beta Weekends and so on, you want to attract and keep new customers too, I get that.

However, by what basis are you measuring what the community as a 'whole' wants?

Prior to the survey we just got, the last time The Community as a Whole was asked their opinion was at the end of BWE3. How did you come to the conclusion that the whole of us wanted a new gear tier, by polling the forums? Just the 'Suggestions' section of the official forum? Something more sophisticated like a social media temperature report?

What was it that led you to believe the community as a whole wanted Ascended gear to be added to the game, and now that you've received such an overwhelming rejection of the concept from literally thousands of us, will you reconsider how you judge what The Community as a Whole actually wants?

The lost shores survey was a great step in the right direction, but lacked any question about the new gear tier. What were you afraid of finding out?

There has been a lot of work gone into recent updates for the game. One thing I personally was really looking forward to was an extensive town clothing system. My question is: are there any plans to add a variety of town clothing including NPC clothes and tailor able clothes, will clothes be strictly purchasable through the black lion trading company, or can we look forward to a town clothing system where articles are purchasable through npcs, bltc and obtainable through quest as well? Perhaps town clothes are on the back burner at the moment? Thanks in advance, I am personally really enjoying the current state of the game.

Hey! My question is.. when can we expect more costumes in the gem store? RP'ers of Guild Wars 2 want things like.. different casual clothes, bridal clothes, things you hold in your hands (a cane, lollipop, etc). Hope you find the time to answer :)

The studio previously stated that building a legendary should be like a "scavenger hunt." However, it's not currently working that way-- the stacks of 250 T6 mats are too laborious/boring to farm personally, so they generally must be bought-- and since bots were banned and ascended backpieces were added to the mystic forge, the price on those ingredients-- bloods, for example-- has skyrocketed. This just makes the process of getting a legendary feel more like a boring farming grind, not a celebration of how dedicated or skilled you are as a player.

Are you planning on adding more drop sources for some of the more-boring-to-farm legendary ingredients? Are you planning to add some way for skilled players to acquire them that doesn't involve mindless farming, to make it seem more like an actual scavenger hunt? Right now it's just a money sink and a farming grind, and doesn't really relate to how good you are or how much you actually play (since you could be playing something, like WvW, that doesn't really drop high amounts of T6 mats)

Why was the high-res screenshot option removed, and will it ever be re-added?

Also, is there any estimate on when the makeover kit will be released?

Waypoint and repair costs scale with level while rewards are implemented by area. Mid level areas lack the cities that cause low level areas to stay populated, and seem desolate. Are there ideas being considered to keep players spread out through the world?

Can you give answers in a more direct sense then Soon(tm)? For example, what kind of progress have you made so far on bugs, what is delaying the release of fixes, what kind of process do you go through? These kind of things don't give a hard timeline that you will feel held to, but give players a much more firm understanding of what's going on with the game to relieve their frustration.

I think you'll find the community much more intelligent then we seem to be getting credit for, and indirect, vague marketing-speak responses are disrespectful.

The Halloween event was a lot of fun and was relatively well implemented. However, there was a LOT of frustration regarding The Lost Shores event, particularly with the amount of bugs (and limited time to finish the content post bug-fix) and the VERY limited timeframe that the Sunday event finale was offered. It was impossible for many players to attend the Sunday finale due to real life commitments (like work, family obligations) and/or time zone differences and missed out on the opportunity to obtain some hefty high-cost rewards (including a shot at a legendary precursor!). Those of who missed out were very disappointed and I for one have concerns that these types of limited-engagement high-reward events will create "haves" (who are lucky to attend these events) and "have nots."

  1. What lessons have you learned from The Lost Shores event and what feedback from the playerbse can we expect to see incorporated into future events?

  2. What steps (if any) are you taking to expand your limited engagement events to include more of the playerbase?

  3. What steps (if any) are you taking to prevent these events from creating "haves" and "have nots."

Hi Chris-

First off, incredible game. Kudos to you and everyone at ArenaNet.

Second, the question: With the addition of Ascended gear, your team has added a new "tier" of gear to GW2. Personally, I don't have a problem with the new tier; games of this scope grow and change post-release in ways their communities (and sometimes even the devs!) don't expect.

What concerns me is the tremendous amount of time it takes to achieve these new items based on the drop rate (and thus TP price) of the materials required to get them. I work a 40+ hour week and I have a family, so my average time to game is fairly low when compared to the more dedicated members of the community.

The current gem/gold exchange rate makes it economically infeasible for me to buy gold with which to purchase the materals (~30s for Powerful Blood * 250 = ~75g, which at current exchange = ~80 USD).

Are there any plans to better accommodate your less-than-hardcore players (there are a lot of us) with an easier, possibly less-fancy-looking means to maintain a competitive level of stats? Right now I just feel discouraged about this whole thing.

Thanks for your time.

Hi. I would like to ask some clarification on a previous statement "•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)."

This being the case, why was'nt it annouced at launch as something that was coming down the line but you didnt have time to include?

That would have prevented a whole lot of hassle and lost reputation

Seems you are acknowledging the problems in making Ascended items accessible only through one outlet and requiring massive grind. The more time passes before you'll try to fix it, the more discontent it will create among those that already managed to get them. So, how fast can we expect you to address this ingame? Are we talking days, weeks, months?

Hello ArenaNet,

I don't get to play much because of other responsibilities, but I have a question(s) regarding "our philosophy for Guild Wars 2 moving forward."

Will there be additions to the storyline in the future? How soon can I expect to see something like this? I don't mean a simple done-in-one-day storyline like from a weekend event, I mean a full on action packed storyline! The holiday/limited event stuff is not what I'm talking about.

My Girlfriend and I feel the most fun we've had in this game was doing personal Story quests together. Once that ended, we felt like we needed more. I'd personally like it to be something that we can do together and not be something separated like the beginning racial story lines.

We really enjoyed saving the world and I cannot picture anything that would make us more happy than to see something else that we can take on together. We are not interested in farming endless dungeons for silly stat items, we just want to enjoy playing the game, like we're watching a movie together.

P.S. My girlfriend, she has a crazy addiction to collecting colors and squeals with joy when she gets a new one! Any insight into even the simpilist of future for colors (new additions maybe) would excite her so much.

With love, "Community"; WarFreak guild; Sanctum of Rall server.

Hi Chris, I think I reposted my question prematurely, so here it is again. It's a unique one, and it's something I think is seriously affecting several builds and sets across professions, so any insight you could give would be much appreciated.

My question pertains to an apparent design issue with GCD/attack chains (or maybe just a bug) that is currently 'kittening' some ranged weapons across professions by making the #1 skills auto-fire more slowly than seemingly intended. Obviously, this would mean those sets are weaker than they should be. This is why there are so many complaints about Pistols on the Thief forum and Longbows on the Ranger forum, for example. Rifles seem to be less affected, and I'm not sure about Staffs and Scepters but see complaints about them as well.

Do you have any insight into this or if it's being looked into? Thanks again for doing this!

Hi Einlanzer,

Thanks for taking the time to post. To do this question justice i would have to chat with our system designers. So would you mind pm'ing me and I will take the question to them and reply to you personally.

Chris

Thanks for the time you and your crew have put into the game. We are having a great time!

Are we going to see an increase to the regularity of community communications, like a weekly newsletter? Is it possible to have more direct involvement with fansites or non-commercial sites with this increase of information flow?

A regular release of insights and info may help relieve some of the need to do a 10 hr AMA in the future. :)

Hi Grayn,

i love the goal here and it is an area i have been thinking about a lot today. Specifically a more frequent conversation between the community and the team. Still brainstorming around it, so watch this space.

chris

Hi Chris,

  1. High level cotent such as FOTM and dungeons require a lot of time to finish, often in hours end including finding a group, is there a plan to design and implement content that needs shorter time to finish but equally challanging?
  2. Any plans to implement content that does not need group to run and finish? (single player dungeon, instanced quest outside of personal story)
    As casual player I often does not have enough time to finish content that require a lot of time. Thank you in advance.

Hi cixz,

Forgive my shortness in the reply but the answers are easy but the information is not something we would be prepared to talk about yet.

1: Yes 2: Its an interesting design proposition.

Hope you aren't to angry about the lack of info and thanks for taking the time to get involved in the conversation.

chris

Not sure if you can answer this, but I'm curious on some current stats.

1) What percentage of characters are level 80?

2) What's the most played class?

3) What's the most played race?

4) Design question. As i'm more of a programmer than an artist (used to sketch in highschool), my drawing process isn't as good as my ideas for programming. I've started creating SVG graphics that I want to use in a 2d game. Do you find it's best to conceptualize even basic ideas on paper, then do it on the computer, or is there another process that works well? Thanks! :D

When can we get ladder or matchmaking in sPVP? Paid tournaments are rarely used (often take 30m+ to form), and free tournaments have such a disparity of skill level. We need a way to see if we are getting better or worse, and a ladder/leaderboard would be a simple solution.

I realize new content is important to retain player base, as well as lure new players to the game. However, there are still many glaring issues with the game, concerning bugs, unfinished content, imbalanced content, etc. For anyone who endures these from day to day, is there any hope that they will be addressed, or be pushed onto the back burner? (Temple of Balthazar bugs/balance, the legendary Eternity being incomplete and unremarkable, dungeons that to this day are very exploitable, along with a host of other things)

My question is: What are the plans for more social content that may have already been worked on or are new additions entirely going forward?

In interviews it was talked about hosting that community in capital cities and they were so well built mainly because you wanted to have player hubs were people could just hang out. 29 of the supposed 30 activities which were supposed to launch with the game and critical to the above never made it in. But I can see at least 9 of them in game sitting idle.

There's also a dozen emotes that seem "half in". They don't return an emote nor do they tell you that it's an unknown command and a lot of them seem to be from old Guild Wars like /flute. Also, town clothes, as has been discussed extensively, seems to have gotten left behind somewhere.

I feel like giving players this social experience was something very important and that a seperate development team was made for this.

For anyone else who's curious, I made this post on MMORPG.com recently: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5424003/9-Activities-Coming-to-you-Soon-ish-Maybe.html#5424003

Please don't respond to the link here, I just posted it because a lot of people seem to be unaware of this.

Is there much focus being put on cosmetic updates (e.g. town clothes, new hair styles, and faces)?

Are there any plans on improving drop rates or fine tuning them for the open world (non-dungeon) PVE? With the introduction of ascended gear and bots being banned, certain materials are just much harder to farm especially in the open world. I am worried this is adding a lot of grind to the game that makes it very tiring.

Are there any improvements for the chat system on the horizon? I feel very restricted in who I'm allowed to chat with, being stuck with only one guild chat at a time.