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A Message from Andrew Gray

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  • Fenella.2634Fenella.2634 Member ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the update! :)

    2019 was a very tough game indeed, for the studio, but also for the game itself and the faith of the players. I really do hope that we are actually starting a much more promising year right now. :) The GW franchize and especially GW2 has a very solid foundation, has accomplished a lot and still has potential for the future. The latest preview for the balance patches also seem quite brave and confident, I hope that's true right now for the studio as a whole.

    However...
    If the Visions only start after PAX East, that means we certainly won't have a 2-3 months schedule on LW releases? That's a bit disappointing. I do hope the Visions will make up for it, though. Somehow.
    On Raids, I also don't think you are quite on the right track here. I don't think strike missions can really solve the issue. Maybe really take a look on how other games manage their endgame content?

  • I really hope Anet watches wooden patoes video on the current state of the game. He nailed it for me at least. I haven't played the game propperly in almost a year now if not longer. There is sadly not a lot that is keeping me there. Please Anet go watch it, if you haven't already and learn! Cheers

  • Adzekul.3104Adzekul.3104 Member ✭✭✭

    Thank you for taking the time to speak about the coming year, even if it is in vague terms. Sadly for me, the vaguest of hints were about WvW. Clearly the current focus for all competitive game play is the massive balance patch. It would be heartening to also hear something about WvW bonus week(end)s and Alliances and other things that are coming to the game mode over 2020.

  • New dungeons?
    Anyone?

  • Klypto.1703Klypto.1703 Member ✭✭✭

    The content of raids isn't the problem its dealing with other humans that is the problem. They can't speak in normal languages either its like we need a Delta F22EGXY84 and a Gamma 92DONUT456824-Z. Also with wvw concerned is it really necessary to bring back brainless condi spamming builds? I thought we were getting past the old we are going to make more counter play by bringing back the very thing that had no counter play. So far its looking like last year will be better than this year :(

  • Thank you for this post. Communication is important, and I think, even with this level of transparency, this is a good step.

    To those unfamiliar with raids, and saying the barrier of entry is too high due to how the LFG works, I highly suggest checking out https://snowcrows.com/raids/training/
    It's very easy to get into raiding with only exotics with the proper guidance. The biggest issue right now is people have a hard time finding their way to these resources, or are unwilling to take an extra step (like going through discord) rather than trying to jump into LFG which is mostly looking for experienced clears.>

    @TGDM.5908 said:

    In regards to using Strikes as stepping stone to Raids:

    • Have you guys considered adding a currency/token system for Strikes to help gear players up for raids? Both Fractals and Raids have RNG gear acquisition from completion and guaranteed tokens which can be used to acquire more gear as well. Strikes don't exactly pay out much for rewards in terms of raw gold or gear (aside from very rare cosmetic exotic rarity drops).
    • How will Strikes funnel players into raids in general? There doesn't seem to be any connection between the two or a call to action to enter the raids in general until a new wing comes out and players receive an in-game mail. What serves as the call to action?

    I agree with TGDM here. I think improving the overall gear acquisition from Strikes would help people gear up properly would be a good step. Raid loot is crazy good for gearing new characters, so while I dont think Strikes should reward close to that, I think even dropping relevant exotics so that people can raid with it would be good. Like exotics with stat selectable would be sufficient.

  • Traveller.7496Traveller.7496 Member ✭✭✭

    Lots of things coming ! Can't tell you what they are but trust us, it's on the table! Have some vague tidbits where actually nothing is being said!

  • a few years late, but nice i guess

  • Calisanna.8732Calisanna.8732 Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    First, I’d like to thank you for the communication. I truly believe the community needs to hear from our devs often, even if it’s just small responses or acknowledgements in forums.
    For this feeling like a “roadmap” and what’s to come in 2020, I’m very disappointed that WvW wasn’t mentioned, except as a feel for an upcoming pve map. I would be happy with a “hey, we haven’t forgotten about you, upcoming surprises in store”
    We might not be the largest part of the community, but we are still gw2 players and would like a roadmap for our game mode as well. Not all who WvW venture into pve land. What will keep us playing and excited about 2020? Can’t keep us going on hopes and “soon”.
    Thanks for your time.

    • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.

    What about if ArenaNet were to support some content creators and streamers who are, say, specifically teaching people and inviting their communities to join, because they see the raid community is shrinking and understand it's because of the xp-LFG loop? :thonk:

  • Leo Schrodingers Cat.2497Leo Schrodingers Cat.2497 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    I think you misunderstood the thing about the difficulty of raids. Its more on the lines that the raids themselves don't inspire build diversity or at least a solid understanding of classes. Or any stimulating gameplay.

    Look closely at the data that you get from those who do run the raids regularly, and you can see where it went wrong and what improvements can be made.

    So far. Most of the raids requires some sort of healer and boon spam followed by clumping together in one big heap. The biggest challenge is just watching out for mechanics and memorizing a dps rotation.. This gameplay is simple enough to passively play and watch netflix.

    Theres only a few encounters where I can say there was some difficulty and wbat I felt was fun. The twin assassins in the geninie's dungeon for example. Which forced players to split up and fight the bosses alone while racing against the map

  • Karma.3064Karma.3064 Member ✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    So while this is nice to finally hear something back from the Devs i feel like a important point is being missed........a reason to continue to raid after you have gotten into it. At this point, there just doesn't feel like a huge reason to continue doing raid content. You need Ascended gear? There are plenty of ways to get ascended gear without taking 2 hours to find a group and then find out if that group will even clear the content. The only real "carrot on a stick " is legendary armor and to be honest, it doesn't feel like enough to deal with the hassle that raids are at the moment. Or course this is coming from someone who has played since the game came out, so i have so many sets of armor and gear throughout my account that raids don't really provide me anything that i don't already have or have access to outside of raids.

    Thats just my 2 cents though. Bringing more players to raids will obviously make the wait time for a group to form less but it still doesn't provide anything new that you can really only get from raids. I mean it would neat and more worth it to me if there was a stupidly low chance of legendary armor/or weapons to drop from a boss. I dunno, i'm just spit balling at this point.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    @Fire Attunement.9835 said:

    • Between episodes two and three, we already mentioned we'll be releasing a special new type of content called Visions of the Past; we'll have more details on that at PAX East.

    So does this mean that Episode 3 won't make the 2-month release cadence? PAX East ends March 1st, and so far every S5 release has been in the middle of the month. For Visions of the Past to be before Ep3, that'd mean a March 3rd or March 10th release, unless Ep3 is not in the middle but at the end (or in April)?

    • I can't go into a ton of details on episodes three and four because, you know, spoilers and all, but I can tell you the map is meta-focused with a push-and-pull feel similar to WvW in a PvE setting. We want maps this season to bring something to them that makes them a permanent part of your play experience. That's why the culmination of Bjora Marches is a world boss and we're striving for high replayability for the episodes three and four map. We want it to be a unique, fun, and rewarding experience that will be part of your daily/weekly play cycle.

    So the next map will be more akin to Silverwastes? Silverwastes was modeled quite a bit after WvW, with forts, dolyak escorts, and sieges.

    This is not a bad thing, given Silverwastes is one of the strongest maps in this game in terms of replayability lifespan.

    • After episode four, again I'm going to be somewhat vague here, but we want to revisit some of the types of content we pioneered in the past. We learned a lot with Living World Season One and one thing it did very well was to bring the community into the story, and make their actions drive the plot forward. The Nightmare Tower, the election between Evon Gnashblade and Ellen Kiel – these things are memorable experiences because the community's combined efforts had an impact on the world. As you may have noticed, we've been testing tech with things like the boss rush event, that we hope to leverage later on in The Icebrood Saga to create a unique, community experience. But, learning lessons from Season 1, the bulk of this content will be built in a way that it is still playable after the Icebrood Saga comes to a close.

    This will be interesting to see pulled off, and tbh, I'm a little concern. If it's a community-driven choice, then does this mean the community gets to re-choose for players who come in months or even years later? If not, how do the new players get to choose? Or do you simply mean that progressional stages will exist, which will require the community to complete one time, then it's always progressible for players?

    • I am personally committed to Fractals and see them as an area that deserves more focus and attention going forward. I'm happy to announce that Cameron Rich, who worked on Fractals during Season Three, will be taking the reins on a new Fractal as he rolls off his current duties. This Fractal will feature a challenge mode. Beyond that, I'm working with the Systems Design team on more plans to keep Fractals fresh and exciting. I'm excited and when everything is ready to share, we'll have more details.

    Does this suggest we'll have another "fractal arc" like, er, Arkk's arc?

    Also, I am curious if there has been any discussion about what to do with fractals once 25 unique fractals have been made. We are currently at 20/25. If a 26th is made, then we'll finally hit a point where a tier is missing a fractal.

    Once a full suite of strike missions is complete there should be a graceful ramp up to the existing raid content rather than the imposing leap that previously existed, and our hope is once that ramp is in place, the number of players participating in raids will go up.

    I have a question and a request in regards to the future strikes for this "ramp up":

    Question: Is there any invisioned "ideal number" that ArenaNet is planning to introduced with Season 5, or is it kind of a "we'll stop when we feel we finally hit that spot"?

    Request: Can strikes be added to older maps, so that they're not universally snow-themed, but cover other topics? It's rather odd that every strike is snow-themed. Adding a strike elsewhere in the world would also be a good opportunity to cover some loose plot threads without extensive storytelling. Might be a bit scrupulous to request, esp since I'm among those who don't really touch raids/strikes, but still I found myself going "another snow strike?" with the Shadow in the Ice trailer.

    All that said, glad to see an update, and some news about raids and fractals. Maybe all the naysayers proclaiming "not expansion content because no raids/fractals" will quiet down a bit now.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • What about.. That warclaw update?

    Holy Helmets of [Kazo] following Kazo doctrine guided by, Our Lord and Commander, Zudo in the holy Trinity of Him and his two firm glutes.

  • This is amazing!
    Thanks so much for informing us on what we can expect in the coming year!

  • Khisanth.2948Khisanth.2948 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I can tell you the map is meta-focused with a push-and-pull feel similar to WvW in a PvE setting

    This is basically the exact same description you guys gave for the Orr temples before the game's release.

    I don't think that goal was met for the temples. Hopefully lessons were learned and we don't get a repeat. The Drakkar fight seemingly committing mistakes that seems purposefully avoided during the Tequatl rework does not fill me with confidence here.

  • That WvW tease bait...

  • @MaiyahSlippy.9501 said:
    New dungeons?
    Anyone?

    I was wondering something similar. Are there going to be any updates to dungeons at all, ever? Sure, Fractals have taken over as the content of choice, but that's most likely due to the rewards (they are fun too, don't get me wrong. I love doing them also). Dungeon rewards were nerfed into the ground. I'm sure I'm not the only one who still enjoys them from time to time.

    Would love to see more content involving Guilds as a whole too. There's so much potential sitting there.

    Guild Leader of The Gryphons Aerie [REST], a NA-based, PvE family.

  • kurtosis.9526kurtosis.9526 Member
    edited February 3, 2020

    @Fire Attunement.9835 said:

    • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.

    One thing I wish ANet would explore for raids is making instanced versions of world maps for 40-60 man raid squads, with roughly the same world boss meta but more difficult mechanics requiring more skill, coordination, and max level gear.

    For example, imagine a super-difficult instanced version of Dragon's Stand, tuned for a full-Ascended, 60-person raid group (eg, no scaling but specifically tuned difficulty). The group divides into three 20-person squads to fight down each lane, kill the towers, and then finally Mordremoth.

    Each encounter, from trash, to bosses, to final boss, can have more difficult mechanics than the open world version, and more coordination required between the three squads. Mechanics would be tuned for the dps and survivability of every player in full Ascended gear. No Agony, just encounters that pose a challenge to the aggregate dps, armor, health and healing of Ascended stats on every player. Tanky and healy roles also necessary, as with current 10-man raids.

    I suggest this b/c

    1. it solves the problem expressed above of difficulty gaps, since the open world version would be the preparation for the harder instanced version,
    2. it enables multiple difficulty levels for the instanced version, similar to WoW's raids with LFG, Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulties, where each difficulty level also serves as prep for the next, and rewards improve up the difficulty levels,
    3. it saves developer man-hours by reusing ANet's best content - expansive, multi-layered, intricate, and replayable world maps and map metas (hat tip to HoT maps especially, which people still do) - in new and interesting ways that still support large player base engagement,
    4. many of GW2's meta map events are already epic in scope and feel half-way to raids anyway, probably less work to get them all the way there than to make all-new raid content, enabling more dev hours on mechanics and rewards,
    5. it brings back 40+ man raids from the early days of MMORPGs, but perhaps in a more accessible way, which would be both fun and a differentiator from other mmorpg's and useful marketing tool (which GW2 needs more of in the absence of actual expansions),
    6. and it would give guilds renewed purpose and challenge, since the organizational requirements are a step up from open-world content.

    One of the most fun things about HoT's four meta maps is a massive "raid" group dividing into ~10-20 person squads roaming around defeating various bosses and events, all while coordinating across map chat with the other squads and prioritizing and adjusting on the fly. For example, timing Octovine and Blighting Towers are a simple but fun map-wide coordination requirements. Lots of space for creativity on that kind of thing in instanced versions.

    VB for example, where all the bosses are on the map and attackable at any time in any order, is dynamic in a way that WoW's scripted, railroaded, sequential trash-boss-trash-boss-trash-boss-etc raids aren't. It feels like a real battle, a great feeling of teamwork and large-scale coordination, which could be recreated even better in an instanced version.

    Especially if various events could be even lightly randomized, and the enemies could respond to player tactics by switching up the order of events, or having two mini-bosses attack one group instead of just staying in their lane in an attempt to surprise and overwhelm one group before others can rush across the map to reinforce it, etc.

    There are all sorts of ways to get creative with the mechanics here, and reusing major assets like GW2's amazing world maps frees up more time and creativity for mechanics and rewards. GW2 originally tried to do things differently and more creatively than other MMORPGs, and this would be a step back in that direction.

  • Klypto.1703Klypto.1703 Member ✭✭✭

    @Divirel.4953 said:
    What about.. That warclaw update?

    They are seeing if anyone is going to even play it anymore after their nerf hammer comes and all that is left is condi spam. The warclaw update is the longer you are mounted you keep getting boons stacking up on you and when the warclaw starts getting pissed off it corrupts all your boons and throws you off. All part of the return of the condi spam meta.

  • Ash.5274Ash.5274 Member ✭✭

    As someone who has recently returned to GW2 after a bit of a break, I find this really encouraging. I've been really enjoying the 2 new maps, and I like the plans for the next map in upcoming episodes. All in all there are a lot of positives to be drawn from this post, which is very welcome.

  • Jen.6021Jen.6021 Member ✭✭✭

    "Regardless of if that succeeds or not, we understand the importance of balancing our efforts between accessible content with broad appeal, and content that appeals to the more hard core audience, and recognize that we need to do a better job of supporting the latter."

    WOW, nice ANET!!!!!

  • What's this? Another year where you have no plans to improve your awful game engine so that it doesn't run like complete garbage on all hardware in existence? Why am i not surprised?

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    @Blackhearted.1264 said:
    What's this? Another year where you have no plans to improve your awful game engine so that it doesn't run like complete garbage on all hardware in existence? Why am i not surprised?

    Because they don't want to hold the entire devlopment of the game for over a year? lol
    Not sure what to tell you. Tweak your settings.

    I rather choose death.

  • memausz.7264memausz.7264 Member ✭✭✭

    @jasonorme.5014 said:
    I'd love to start raiding but It's too difficult for new raiders to join raids as groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because they want a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because... you see the problem?.

    EXACTLY! I see "500 G for Raid group" in LFG all the time, and the randoms can't seem to do a successful raid. That's why I've never done a raid.

  • Nero.3654Nero.3654 Member ✭✭

    Yes get rid of kp Li linking and give ingame DPS meter, simple one like (10.4) k numbers on portrait or something

  • UnDeadFun.5824UnDeadFun.5824 Member ✭✭✭

    @Fire Attunement.9835 said:
    Hey everybody, my name is Andrew Gray. I took over as Content Design Lead a few months back and I want to talk a bit about last year, this year, and what's on the horizon for Guild Wars 2.

    I'm excited for what's coming next. There's going to be more news coming out throughout this year that will make it pretty kitten clear why, but in the meantime, we're incredibly grateful for all your constructive feedback and continued support of the game.

    Thank you for the update. However, I can not muster up the excitement. Templates ... Yes, Templates. Anet unsticked the feedback thread and has left it to die. The obvious triple monetization and now lack of progress to address the issues is extremely discouraging.

  • @Fire Attunement.9835 said:
    Raids

    • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.

    I agree and disagree at the same time. I do think there isn't much to help people work their way up but I don't think that simply gradually increasing the difficulty of the strikes is the right approach - I feel that if you ONLY gradually increase the difficulty of the strikes all you will do is gradually cull out all people who aren't already raiders from participating in them because the game doesn't currently have any framework built in to it to teach or give players the tools they need to get better.

    I feel like there are several problems here - I think that the game doesn't really teach you to play well, nor does it give you any feedback on how well you're playing most of the time or even really encourage it outside of very small areas of the game. Plus there are vital mechanics which aren't taught at all - there isn't even a breakbar tutorial anywhere in the game yet and the mechanic was added something like 5 years ago, nor is there any explanation on the special action key, what a stun break is, how combo fields and finishers work... I could go on. A lot of the time information on important mechanics is only explained on some page that you need to know to look for in the first place on the wiki or in buried in patch notes, especially when stuff is added in a patch or expansion or classes are reworked, which most have been at this point. Vitally as well the game doesn't really tell you where you went wrong. If I'm doing the new strike mission and I die from being in the chains the only way for me to know what killed me is by going full CSI on my combat log, if it hasn't already been lost in the constant scrolling of combat data.

    As a player if I'm looking to improve at any game I need to find out what my character is capable of doing, I need to know how well I'm doing whatever role it is that I'm doing, I need to know what I'm doing wrong, and I need to be able to see a path to improve. If I want to know the answers to any of these questions right now in GW2 I need to exit the game - I have to go to wikis and build websites and look for youtube tutorials, find some discords, that sorta thing.

    So I think the first, quickest/easiest solution would be to include meters into the main game - A lot of what I've been getting at for the last few paragraphs is that people need information so they can actually know anything about their own play and they need it in game - if everyone can see metrics for themselves and their party/squad members natively they'll have direct feedback on their own performance. If you're able to toggle on a combat meter to check your DPS / Damage Taken / Boon Uptimes and that sorta thing you can see how well (or not) you're doing and figure out how to improve - it's pretty hard to know if you're doing something well or badly if you have to go out of your way to install a mod to do so when Anet officially doesn't even support them. I'm sure that sorta combat log reading meter can also work out stuff like "what killed me?" that functionality already exists in sPvP. This game does so well in boss design to make it very readable with telegraphs and has improved a lot with stuff like circles that fill to give a sense of timing and emotes and animations on bosses so you can react and read what's going on so it's a shame that to understand what's going on with myself and my team mates I need to go to external tools because the combat log is never gonna do it, there's just no way any human being can parse that kinda mess of data.

    Second we need tutorials, starting with all the stuff I listed above - make them adventures and put in a collection for getting gold in all of the tutorial adventures, and give people some laurels or something for finishing it, or a skin or something if you're feeling generous, hell if you really want people to be motivated to get gold on all those tutorials make the collection reward a few hundred gems.

    Next up in complexity to implement but also effectiveness in creating more skilled players - it'd be great to have a series of class tutorials and challenges - again use adventures to create little tutorial courses - you're gonna need some people who are super knowledgable about each class and spec to figure out all the tricks and techniques and other important stuff that they can do - start with the basics and work up to the cool stuff that each class and elite spec can do with various combinations of weapons and utilities and talent choices. Most classes have some really deep stuff you can do but none of it is explained anywhere, people are just left to their own devices to figure it out and that takes a lot of effort, which most people aren't gonna put in to a game that for 99% of the gameplay doesn't require it. But you make it a series of adventures with a final exam or something... another set of achievements with a nice reward? Give people some title or other award once they gold all their class tutorials and challenges so they can show they graduated and learned all these lessons about their class mechanics and such and are now have their bachelors in being a mesmer or whatever. Hell you could tier it so there's the basic high school course, the associate's, the bachelors, the masters and finally the doctorate course or something.
    Instead of having a single insurmountable goal you have tons and tons of little steps that are achievable and build on one another and soon you'll be at the top of Mount Celeste.

    One thing the raiding and fractal communities really needs to do though - we need to come up with some builds that are simple but viable. And when I say viable I do just mean viable, capable of doing the content - good enough, there's a crazy perception in the community somehow that optimal==viable, and if something isn't optimal it's basically worthless and you should put on an elitist mocking attitude towards it, this attitude absolutely needs to be combated, when people say that they aren't good enough or are afraid to start this is the kinda stuff that keeps them away. We need to create a bank of builds with a low skill floor entry level builds we can hand to newbies, that we keep updated somewhere so there's always a build out there that works well enough for someone to run when they want to start learning. There are a lot of optimal builds out there, high level players in the community do great at figuring out perfect rotations and for optimal DPS builds and that's great, but often optimal builds have a high learning curve, a complicated rotation, tend to be optimised specifically for testing conditions or a specific raid comp, and often perform extremely badly when they aren't played at least quite well (high skill floor). If we can get every class some nice easy builds where you mash a bunch of buttons on cooldown and can't fail to get less than 10K dps and drop the gatekeeping attitude then we're already half way to getting everyone able to raid, because the big secret is that you don't actually need optimal dps for any endgame content - Dhuum CM is probably the closest thing to a hard dps check we have right now and even that doesn't need anything like benchmark numbers - you just need good mechanics and the game has actually done a great job with its telegraphing of mechanics and a lot of people have learned that sorta stuff from world bosses about jumping waves and standing in green circles and avoiding orange ones and telegraphed attacks. If we can give them some builds that are good enough that allow people to give over most of their concentration to the fight mechanics while still putting out an acceptable level of performance in their roles then maybe people will feel more empowered to get in to the content that we want more people in.

  • Bassdeff.1895Bassdeff.1895 Member ✭✭✭

    @Nero.3654 said:
    Yes get rid of kp Li linking and give ingame DPS meter, simple one like (10.4) k numbers on portrait or something

    No need for in game DPS meter. we have Arcdps which not only shows you DPS but logs can recreate a full replay of the fight so you can see everyone's positioning at any given time, how many mechanics they missed, how many boons they applied etc. etc. You can also analyze your rotation, see which skills failed to cast properly. There again, if you don;t have someone showing you how it works, learning it on your own can be a little daunting.

  • smitske.4912smitske.4912 Member ✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    @Fire Attunement.9835 said:
    Hey everybody, my name is Andrew Gray. I took over as Content Design Lead a few months back and I want to talk a bit about last year, this year, and what's on the horizon for Guild Wars 2.

    First, 2019 was hard. I've been with ArenaNet since 2004 and I can say without question that 2019 was the studio's most challenging. Many of the people who left in 2019 were not involved in the day-to-day development of Guild Wars 2, that much is true--but they were our friends, colleagues, and in some cases literally family. All the teams were affected by saying goodbye to so many colleagues. I'm proud of what we were able to ship under the circumstances, but we also understand the legacy we are trying to carry forward with Guild Wars 2; rather than slip into a status quo, we are all determined to create an even better game moving forward.

    We've got our footing and we have exciting plans for the future of GW2. I can't talk about what I'm most excited for yet, but I can tell you 2020 is laying the groundwork for an exciting future. Here are some of the highlights:

    Living World

    • Between episodes two and three, we already mentioned we'll be releasing a special new type of content called Visions of the Past; we'll have more details on that at PAX East.
    • I can't go into a ton of details on episodes three and four because, you know, spoilers and all, but I can tell you the map is meta-focused with a push-and-pull feel similar to WvW in a PvE setting. We want maps this season to bring something to them that makes them a permanent part of your play experience. That's why the culmination of Bjora Marches is a world boss and we're striving for high replayability for the episodes three and four map. We want it to be a unique, fun, and rewarding experience that will be part of your daily/weekly play cycle.
    • After episode four, again I'm going to be somewhat vague here, but we want to revisit some of the types of content we pioneered in the past. We learned a lot with Living World Season One and one thing it did very well was to bring the community into the story, and make their actions drive the plot forward. The Nightmare Tower, the election between Evon Gnashblade and Ellen Kiel – these things are memorable experiences because the community's combined efforts had an impact on the world. As you may have noticed, we've been testing tech with things like the boss rush event, that we hope to leverage later on in The Icebrood Saga to create a unique, community experience. But, learning lessons from Season 1, the bulk of this content will be built in a way that it is still playable after the Icebrood Saga comes to a close.
    • Generally, as a team, we are placing a greater emphasis on repeatable content (open world events, world bosses, WvW, and yes, even Fractals (hint hint)). We want to make the types of content that have a lasting, positive impact on the game, so expect that design approach to focus on that more going forward.

    On the topic of Fractals…

    • Reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated, though I apologize that our silence on the topic raised that concern.
    • I am personally committed to Fractals and see them as an area that deserves more focus and attention going forward. I'm happy to announce that Cameron Rich, who worked on Fractals during Season Three, will be taking the reins on a new Fractal as he rolls off his current duties. This Fractal will feature a challenge mode. Beyond that, I'm working with the Systems Design team on more plans to keep Fractals fresh and exciting. I'm excited and when everything is ready to share, we'll have more details.

    Raids

    • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.
    • Our intention was for Strike Missions to be that intermediary step into 10-person content. As we've mentioned before and you've likely noticed, strike missions are getting harder. Once a full suite of strike missions is complete there should be a graceful ramp up to the existing raid content rather than the imposing leap that previously existed, and our hope is once that ramp is in place, the number of players participating in raids will go up. In addition to that, we're striving to make improvements to Strike Missions themselves to make grouping easier, and to improve the rewards. We hope this will help introduce more people to 10-person content, which will in turn increase the number of people interested in Raids.
    • Regardless of if that succeeds or not, we understand the importance of balancing our efforts between accessible content with broad appeal, and content that appeals to the more hard core audience, and recognize that we need to do a better job of supporting the latter.

    I'm excited for what's coming next. There's going to be more news coming out throughout this year that will make it pretty kitten clear why, but in the meantime, we're incredibly grateful for all your constructive feedback and continued support of the game.

    Laying the groundwork, so dead and buried after its initial release like so many things that were about laying the groundwork.

  • @Blocki.4931 said:

    Because they don't want to hold the entire devlopment of the game for over a year? lol
    Not sure what to tell you. Tweak your settings.

    Other MMOs have made improvements to their engines as well as adopted modern API's that make proper use of of modern hardware without having to halt any and all content development. I don't know why you think that would have to be any different here. Perhaps you're just making excuses since you seem to think that "tweaking your settings" is an acceptable solution to a 7.5 year old game running with very sub-par performance on pretty much every machine out there.

  • Balthzar.3807Balthzar.3807 Member ✭✭✭

    Long live NCSOFT West

    RIP WvW oh wait long live the OP warclaw. people really need to learn to use evade and dodge roll

    though I appreciate the post its gotten to the point that I don't believe a whole lot anymore

    please stop posting about things that are so far in the future that they may never happen for example WvW alliances, changes to the build loadout system to make them actual templates. just give us something

  • Jables.4659Jables.4659 Member ✭✭✭

    @jasonorme.5014 said:
    I'd love to start raiding but It's too difficult for new raiders to join raids as groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because they want a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because groups want proof of experience with a currency we are unable to get because we can't get into a raid group because... you see the problem?.

    Watch an extensive guide for the raid wing you want to do. Determine which role you are going to fulfil in the meta by checking snowcrows or another resource freely available to you. Make a post for your own training group on the lfg, and preferably have a discord set up for the players to join. Get your team comp setup, help explain the mechanics to the other players, and give it a go. You will get kills eventually, but not with every group. After a while, you can start joining or making semi-experienced groups for these same bosses, and slowly work your way through. Its time consuming, I know, but it does work. Its the same thing but easier for fractal CMs since the party size is more manageable.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2020

    @Astralporing.1957 said:

    @Fire Attunement.9835 said:
    Raids

    • Raids are a trickier beast. They're a unique experience and community that we want to find better ways to support, the biggest challenge in creating more is the small audience they attract. We gathered data to determine why, and the most common answer was that there is a giant leap in difficulty between raids and other endgame content, and there isn't anything to help players work their way up.
    • Our intention was for Strike Missions to be that intermediary step into 10-person content. As we've mentioned before and you've likely noticed, strike missions are getting harder. Once a full suite of strike missions is complete there should be a graceful ramp up to the existing raid content rather than the imposing leap that previously existed, and our hope is once that ramp is in place, the number of players participating in raids will go up. In addition to that, we're striving to make improvements to Strike Missions themselves to make grouping easier, and to improve the rewards. We hope this will help introduce more people to 10-person content, which will in turn increase the number of people interested in Raids.

    I'm afraid it's not that simple. The gap exists not because there's no middle content (although there isn't one, which is bad - and strikes do not bridge that gap, for a multitude of reasons, one of them due to them being a 10-man content). It exists, because the game system magnifies even tiny differences in gear, build and skill. The game as it is cannot realistically help players bridge that gap. All it can do (and what you're doing with strikes) is to try to incentivize players to get better. Problem is, the players need to learn how to get better on their own - and those players that know how to do that (and have a mindset that is required to follow through with that learning, which most players do not have) are improving already, without the need for strikes. For everyone else, it will just be more and more aggravating, as they will just see more and more content placed in front of them, but just outside their reach.

    Was already quote once, I will re-quote again because Astralporing has nailed the issue.

    I do believe a few more players could be motivated to raid once they realize that 10 player content is to their liking, the question is: how many?

    There is a reluctance in part of this player base to improve or even reach a minimal baseline of skill. Which is fine imo, that's what many players have grown accustomed to in open world content. It does create the great performance difference between players we have now though, issues which at their core can only be solved by players WANTING to improve (or potentially a complete overhaul of the combat system, which in turn could again alienate other players).

    Maybe a personal toggle able damage meter could help here so players actually have some feedback on their performance. That could also terribly backfire once players realize how weak their performance actually is (and most important, this feature would have to be personal and toggle able only).

    Otherwise, the feedback is very much appreciated. Thank you!