The Pace & Interactivity of GW2 — Guild Wars 2 Forums

The Pace & Interactivity of GW2

So I made a previous post to this AFC, my first, actually, and all of my questions were about story, the world, and the future of the franchise. I spent well over an hour putting a lot of thought into these questions, to be (politely) told that my questions can’t be answered. I’m sure that’s happened to many fans before, and I’m sure there’s some good reasoning for this, but this leads me to a few other, more serious questions.

  1. Why can’t we actually ask any question, within reason, and get at least a vague answer to it?

When asking this, I’m thinking of the player’s interest in the game long-term.
New content for GW2 comes at a significantly slower pace than GW1, which my next question will go into more, but this is a problem because it’s hard to keep a persons interest in a single game for several years. You want the playerbase to be constantly excited for something new, whilst having consistent content to keep them entertained, which I’m sure is beyond difficult.
But one or the things that helps players with this is excitement.
Currently, we have regular patches, updates, and some festivals, but the real content comes from Living World and expansions. Each episode is 2-4 months apart with little to no information on any of its upcoming content or when it’ll actually be released. So after this good size of content, which most players can play through in a week or less, things go back to the norm with us having nothing specific to look forward to.
And I guess my main point here is that, the specifics matter.
I’m not saying we need tons of info. I’m not saying we need to know exact details in advance. I’m just saying that if we had some minor hints, like maybe Easter eggs hinting at the next location for the upcoming LW episode or expansion, or anything really, it would help to keep more players interested for longer.
Of course, we don’t want HUGE spoilers. But sometimes a small one here or there would be nice to give us something to look forward to.

  1. Why IS GW2 progressing at such a slow pace?

Consider GW1. In the original game, we got the base campaign, followed by the next two campaigns, which were both an entire continent filled with lore and rich detail, all within the first two years of the games initial release.
I know GW2 is much more advanced in some ways, with its updated art style, larger scale, and open world, so that makes development slower. But still, when you think back to the first game and fast forward to now, you see that in 6ish years, we are just beginning to accomplish the same amount we did with the first games base expansions, and we even have one less continent to explore.
Not only that, but the time between killing Elder Dragons has been about 3 years each. I get wanting to give the game longevity, but that is so incredibly slow. People lose interest in the months and years between.

I hope none of this comes as overly negative or hating on the devs. I love ArenaNet and I love the Guild Wars franchise, and that’s why I’m asking these questions. Because I know these are pretty big issues for a portion of the community, and like I said, I am new to these sorts of forum posts, but I haven’t seen these topics covered before, so I genuinely hope there is some good insight that you, as developers, may have on this stuff,

And as always, thank you for all of your hard work on Guild Wars 2. Without ArenaNet, one of my favorite fictional worlds wouldn’t even exist.

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  • edited January 18, 2019

    @MattTheWarrior.1236 said:
    So I made a previous post to this AFC, my first, actually, and all of my questions were about story, the world, and the future of the franchise. I spent well over an hour putting a lot of thought into these questions, to be (politely) told that my questions can’t be answered. I’m sure that’s happened to many fans before, and I’m sure there’s some good reasoning for this, but this leads me to a few other, more serious questions.

    1. Why can’t we actually ask any question, within reason, and get at least a vague answer to it?

    When asking this, I’m thinking of the player’s interest in the game long-term.
    New content for GW2 comes at a significantly slower pace than GW1, which my next question will go into more, but this is a problem because it’s hard to keep a persons interest in a single game for several years. You want the playerbase to be constantly excited for something new, whilst having consistent content to keep them entertained, which I’m sure is beyond difficult.
    But one or the things that helps players with this is excitement.
    Currently, we have regular patches, updates, and some festivals, but the real content comes from Living World and expansions. Each episode is 2-4 months apart with little to no information on any of its upcoming content or when it’ll actually be released. So after this good size of content, which most players can play through in a week or less, things go back to the norm with us having nothing specific to look forward to.
    And I guess my main point here is that, the specifics matter.
    I’m not saying we need tons of info. I’m not saying we need to know exact details in advance. I’m just saying that if we had some minor hints, like maybe Easter eggs hinting at the next location for the upcoming LW episode or expansion, or anything really, it would help to keep more players interested for longer.
    Of course, we don’t want HUGE spoilers. But sometimes a small one here or there would be nice to give us something to look forward to.

    1. Why IS GW2 progressing at such a slow pace?

    Consider GW1. In the original game, we got the base campaign, followed by the next two campaigns, which were both an entire continent filled with lore and rich detail, all within the first two years of the games initial release.
    I know GW2 is much more advanced in some ways, with its updated art style, larger scale, and open world, so that makes development slower. But still, when you think back to the first game and fast forward to now, you see that in 6ish years, we are just beginning to accomplish the same amount we did with the first games base expansions, and we even have one less continent to explore.
    Not only that, but the time between killing Elder Dragons has been about 3 years each. I get wanting to give the game longevity, but that is so incredibly slow. People lose interest in the months and years between.

    I hope none of this comes as overly negative or hating on the devs. I love ArenaNet and I love the Guild Wars franchise, and that’s why I’m asking these questions. Because I know these are pretty big issues for a portion of the community, and like I said, I am new to these sorts of forum posts, but I haven’t seen these topics covered before, so I genuinely hope there is some good insight that you, as developers, may have on this stuff,

    And as always, thank you for all of your hard work on Guild Wars 2. Without ArenaNet, one of my favorite fictional worlds wouldn’t even exist.

    Hello! I'm sorry we couldn't get you more specifics on your previous answers. I'll try to find those and see if I can add anything to them, but for your comments above:

    I think what you are describing, if I understand correctly, is just having a clear road map or some breadcrumbs that can help you stay interested and excited between major patches. I would like to note that some players do that with fractals and festivals and long term goals like legendaries. I do understand that if those things don't interest you then it can feel a bit barren. I will say ArenaNet loves feedback from fans and we take as much as we can into consideration. I don't have specifics on their plans to address the feedback you're describing but I do think it's in our interest, I just think it can be hard to do. That's also not to say we don't either. We have given out teases to new and upcoming maps and we've run some fun promotions to get individuals excited about future content. There is also something to be said about theory crafting and letting players breathe a bit and give them time to discuss and speculate. I know myself went NUTS with Metal Gear 3 on the forums when everyone was trying to figure if we were playing Solid Snake or Big Boss. Stuff like that holds a lot of weight and builds investment into the game as well.

    Sorry, it isn't lost on me that I gave you another vague answer, I just don't want you to think we don't see it and I appreciate you taking the time to write a thoughtful question!

    1. I don't think we can compare GW1 to GW2, honestly. They really are apples and oranges. They are built and content is made differently. We have different standards and conventions. We are also killing Elder Dragons which are huuuuuuge undertakings from a development stand point. It may feel like we are taking our time, but that may not be a bad thing either. We don't want to rush things in terms of story and we want specific moments to have the time and build up it deserves. I don't want to come off defensive because I love feedback, but if you look at this episode we took on a Lich and an Elder Dragon. That's pretty big :)
  • @MattTheWarrior.1236 said:
    1. Why can’t we actually ask any question, within reason, and get at least a vague answer to it?

    Short answer: the community

    Long answer: Don't misinterpret the answer as saying the community is awful, far from it. This game has a rather nice community but I still think the community shot itself in the foot in this regard. I play Guild Wars 2 for over 6 years now and can say that "We might do this"/"We have a look at this feature" etc answers from Anet mostly lead to "Anet lied to us"/"Anet breaks promises" etc posts because something was changed in development and wasn't exactly delivered as previously thought (yup, thought, often not even specificially said so by Anet) of by parts of the community. If glimpses you give lead to backlash (often from a vocal minority I would say but that is another topic) you will stop giving hinds, ideas etc. There sure is more to it but I would say this is definitly part of problem.
    On a different note, there are other problems the game has which causes players to lose interest. Current balance/powercreep is on for me and a reason why I currently take a break from the game. Anet could learn much in this regard from other games and companies.

    Just my view, but I hope it gives some insight.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    There's also been feedback, that we are rushing through too much. HoT had a big complaint about how quickly we rushed to kill the Dragon, LS3 was criticised for cramming too many stories in and LS4 has been criticised a lot for killing off Joko too early (alongside the manner of his death).

    I think (2) is impossible for ANet to answer simply because some see it as slow, others like me, see us rushing through things far too quickly. It's a no win situation because the community is very split on points like this

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2019

    @Schnuschnu.9857 said:

    @MattTheWarrior.1236 said:
    1. Why can’t we actually ask any question, within reason, and get at least a vague answer to it?

    Short answer: the community

    Long answer: Don't misinterpret the answer as saying the community is awful, far from it. This game has a rather nice community but I still think the community shot itself in the foot in this regard. I play Guild Wars 2 for over 6 years now and can say that "We might do this"/"We have a look at this feature" etc answers from Anet mostly lead to "Anet lied to us"/"Anet breaks promises" etc posts because something was changed in development and wasn't exactly delivered as previously thought (yup, thought, often not even specificially said so by Anet) of by parts of the community. If glimpses you give lead to backlash (often from a vocal minority I would say but that is another topic) you will stop giving hinds, ideas etc. There sure is more to it but I would say this is definitly part of problem.
    On a different note, there are other problems the game has which causes players to lose interest. Current balance/powercreep is on for me and a reason why I currently take a break from the game. Anet could learn much in this regard from other games and companies.

    Just my view, but I hope it gives some insight.

    Multiple games are in a position to announce or even give dates on when stuff's comming and how much of it. Obv development isnt a perfect thing that goes right every time but thats common sense and i should be expected.

    Anet shouldn't use the idea that some players didnt react well to it in the past to excuse keeping us for the majority of the year in the dark. Players shouldn't excuse and promote it either.

    Nothing will improve if all they have around them are yes men.

    Its a given ofc that that doesnt mean talking about stuff that are so far off all the hype will die by the time said stuff is out.

  • I think your comparison with GW1 is a little off-base: IIRC, the game was released with the intention of releasing a new campaign every six months. Factions came a year later, then Nightfall made the six month deadline but did not ship with all of its content ready (DoA wasn't ready till December, I think), and then after that debacle they shifted to the GW2 idea and it was just under a year from Nightfall till EotN, which was just an expansion. Point is, the game plan they tried to meet on GW1 was impossible for them to meet even then, let alone with a much larger game like GW2. And with GW2 you still do get the living story updates and added various other content--for free, which makes a difference in this whole discussion to me, as far as expectations go--every couple of months, plus festivals etc. The only thing I'd add would be the regular special weekends like they used to have (double HoT mastery exp, double WvW exp, double fractal relics, whatever) and some more long term goals to match the missing hunt for GWAMM. But their current system isn't really wanting, IMO, and the risk/reward calculation for leaking tidbits is probably not in favor of what you want.

  • Thank you @Schnuschnu.9857 for your answer. That reasoning makes sense and it's nice to know their thoughts behind not sharing info with us.
    However... I agree with @zealex.9410 that that reasoning isn't good enough to excuse them keeping us in the dark. The many shouldn't be punished for the crimes of the few. More importantly, long delays between updates and not giving players previews will lead to may being unhappy and quitting. I also agree that balancing is important too.

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