For a while now the community has been speculating as to what the plans moving forward with the game will entail. A lot of fuss has been made over the fact that we wont be getting an expansion, instead moving directly into Living World Season 5. I would just like to share my input on the topic and speculate as to what the developers have got cooking.
People are worried that we won't even be seeing another expansion and I want to alleviate those concerns by saying that I do believe that the expansion is already in the works as we speak. The reason behind the release of season 5 before the next expansion will be to tide us over until the next expansion release, which will be a BIG one. Why do I think the next expansion will be a big one you ask? Well it all comes down to each 'Gimmick' each expansion has, and the new gimmick next expansion will bring.
In Heart Of Thorns we got the introduction of Elite Specialisations, a clever way of continuing progression and unlocking new play styles , a trend that will continue into other expansions moving forward. The Glider was also introduced, giving us a new way to traverse the world, and of course my favourite class (Revenant) was introduced.
In Path Of Fire we got our new Elite Specialisations following our trend from Heart Of Thorns, and the introduction of mounts. A hotly debated topic beforehand but generally accepted among the community, our new way of getting about.
So what other goodies are left? What will we get next expansion? Something Glider like would be a bit underwhelming and while new mounts would be a welcome addition, that was already the 'Gimmick' for Path Of Fire. There isn't much else we can add movement wise to the game. We can Glide, Surf, Leap, Teleport, Jump, ZOOM and arguably fly. So what's next?
That question leads me to the reason that I believe the next expansion will be a while off (but is most certainly in the works). Seeing as we don't have much else to add, I reckon the next thing we are going to get alongside our new set of Elite Specialisations is a brand new race, most likely the Tengu. Adding in a new race is a monumental task when you consider all the factors that go into adding them with reference to how Guild Wars 2 works. New Texture mapping for EVERY ITEM IN THE GAME and the new items introduced in the next expansion. Animations for every class, Personal story with all branching paths to be written, new Racial city, additions to the existing lore and so on.
All that just for our expansion 'gimmick', a lot more work than Gliders or Mounts that's for sure. That doesn't even take into account the new areas they will have to create, Elite Specialisations they will have to design and Lore they will have to write for our next expansion. The main point being, this will all take a fairly long time to test and produce and thinking in the long term, Arena Net has decided to keep us busy while we wait with the Introduction of Living World Season 5.
But hey, that's just my take and what I can gather. Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks to everyone that took the time to read it in its entirety. What do you think is coming in the future? Do you think I'm a raving loon and the game is just going to collapse in on itself? Let me know