As a recently returning player, I have found that I am really enjoying GW2 again. However I can't help that a lot of the areas that I love exploring are deserving of many more players who have never explored Tyria before. That's where Steam comes into the picture. Please note this is all hypothetical, it should be pretty obvious but I want to include the disclaimer just in case anyone thinks I'm making this a matter of "when" and not "if" GW2 comes out on Steam.
If GW2 were offered through the Steam platform, I believe Anet could really have a hit - again- on their hands. They would just need to do their market research and not take shortcuts in presenting it as a FTP MMO on Steam with the options to purchase the expansions just like you currently do through GW2.com.
As a casual player myself, a few things I would recommend Anet to do before making such a step:
- Explain in crystal clear terms what all the modes are, how they differ from one another, and how to access them. I've had GW2 since near launch and I still don't have much of an idea of how WvW, PvP, Fractals, Mists, etc... work. Hardcore players seem like they naturally would understand these things, but casual players like myself might be confused or even turned off by not knowing what they are. I don't care if Anet links new players to existing guides on all those modes, as long as they have EASY access to them that would be fine.
- Make sure to explain that there's no rush to the end-game. Personally I am thoroughly enjoying sightseeing all the finely woven pieces of each zone and level of detail these locales present for the first time due to computer upgrades.
- MAKE DIFFERENT FORMS OF COMMUNICATION EASIER. Instead of having to type everything out, there should be an emote wheel (or something similar) that is displayed on the UI so that new players who don't have previous MMO experience can easily pull it out and start making friends with others by waving, bowing, dancing, burping, etc... with a few keystrokes instead of typed commands that need to be memorized. I think this alone will make it that much easier to be friendly with strangers. How often do you just have someone else in the same area as you, but they just do their business then carry on because one of you would actually need to type something in order to initiate a conversation. Imagine how that situation could improve if you had easy-to-access emotes that serve as icebreakers.
- Explanation of Living Story and Seasons. I should have included this in the first point, but I figure that it could also use its own section.
Anyway, I know these points could apply just as well to new players who are coming to GW2 today, but I really think and sense that Anet is at least in talks with Valve to get their game onto Steam, and if they DO, then here are just some things to consider before dropping the bomb upon release and not being able to recover. Sorry if my post sounds super rambly, I was really tired when typing this out.