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Dev Celebration Transcript -- 06 March 2018

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  • ArenaNet Staff

The following answers were given in response to player questions during the "A Bug in the System" developer chat on Reddit.


1 . This map was a challenge for us. We had a goal: Show off the enormous structure in the center of the map from as many viewpoints as possible.

Unfortunately, this meant that we had to compromise later in development by going through and marking certain objects to cull at specific distances, so that FPS wouldn't drop to extremely low levels on moderately powerful machines.

There's definitely lessons to be learned from this, and I want to point out that Dan Eibling, our map artist, did an incredible job with the tools available.

2 . Without going too deep, the charr originally started as a small side-attraction in the map. When their lore and culture was established, it was so well received we decided to incorporate them more heavily into the overall narrative.

I've personally been very nervous about today, and seeing the reception be so positive makes me incredibly happy. So glad to see you're enjoying this aspect of the story. :)


Rachel Robinson has been wonderful for us, and we thank her for her hard work. However, we've decided to take the character of Rox in another direction, and have cast Misty Lee to bring Rox on that journey.


Without getting too specific about future plans, we're fascinated by the Olmakhan — especially the different take they have on traditional charr culture — and by Rox's ongoing quest to find a group that feels like home to her. There's lots more to explore on both counts, for sure.

[Responding to a player request for more Nightmare Court lore:] RE the second question, we'll definitely take your thoughts into consideration. Keep in mind as well, we're conscious that every race has its fans and all those fans would love us to spread the story love around. We're always thinking about how we can re-foreground races that haven't gotten a spotlight recently; that's one reason this episode prominently features both charr and asura. So: more sylvari and Nightmare Court lore. Noted! Thanks!

Regarding the third question, one doesn't ride Aurene without permission. When and if she deigns to allow you to do so, she will let you know in no uncertain terms. ;-)


We did a lot of things this episode that were a bit risky and pushed the capabilities of the engine. We have a bunch of moving platforms, story instances that transfer directly to other story instances, wind/magnet/gravity tech, and lots of player-specific open world stuff. QA had their work cut out for them and were total troopers.


We're doing a bit of a mix. We're working on a new conquest map. We also have a new 2v2 in the works that we plan on launching shortly before we start doing special event tournaments. We launched a new custom arena version of Courtyard today that uses the arena ruleset.

As you noted, we're also making tweaks to older maps and we're looking to do more. We haven't hit Spirit Watch yet, but we want to do some changes to the orb mechanic. If you have ideas, feel free to post about them on the PvP forum!

As far as Stronghold, we've had a couple brainstorm meetings over the past month. We're going to prototype a few changes internally to see if our new ideas are fun. We have a lot on our plate though, so it's probably a ways down the line.

As far as a seasonal rotation, it's not a bad idea. I'm just not sure if the work to make that happen would be better spent elsewhere. We have a large backlog of things we'd like to do!

I never say never, but I think it's fairly unlikely Stronghold ever makes it into ranked play again, even after our future revisions. I've always felt it weird to use the same skill rating system for matchmaking in maps that have a very different play style.

That being said, I could see us running occasional Stronghold tournaments once we finally get swiss format in.


We didn't think it would do justice to Braham's character to have a really abrupt about-face in his relationship with the Commander, but his attitude is evolving. :-)

Everything here really is a team effort. The first time I saw the updated Inquest lab, and all the love art had put into what the writers and designers had come up with for the story, it blew my mind. :-)


API support is important to us because of the potential it has for community involvement. Just this morning the team met to triage a portion of the list of hot issues that have been plaguing the system recently. Mike Lewis and Ylan Salsbury have been monitoring the forums as well. If you have tickets in the github repository don't be surprised to see them come back with requests for more information to aid the devs in finding solutions.


In general people who absolutely hate random instabilities are people who hate instabilities in general, or hate certain combinations of instabilities, and that's not something we can solve without removing instabilities (we wont) or heavily reworking them, which is currently out of scope.

There are currently bugs and bad combinations, which we expected when we decided we wanted to ship this. We will be taking all feedback into account as we continue to polish this. For example, I am flagging the little Viirastra minions and anomalies in Shattered Observatory to be immune to last laugh, adrenaline rush, and toxic trails.

We also are considering switching to daily instead of weekly rotation. So if a particular bad combination comes up, you aren't inclined to skip the fractal for a whole week. (Feedback encouraged on this idea as well.)

[Regarding the Social Awkwardness Mistlock Instability:] We are discussing a rework for it. As you said, it goes against core Gw2 combat philosophy and that isn't good. Either we change it drastically, or replace it with something else.

One idea that was mentioned that I am fond of is changing it to be more like flux bomb, where it turns on every minute or so for a few seconds, accompanied with little orange circles around every player. So it is more of a situational move away mechanic rather than being something that just permanently punishes stacking.


[On why the Nightmare Court didn't play a bigger role in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns:] This is a bit of a non-answer, but it should help you understand our thought process when we're developing the story. If we feel a specific story thread would work well with an upcoming release, we explore how that might play out. In regards to the Nightmare Court and HoT, it was out of scope and tangential to the main plot so it got cut.

So we can't say with any certainty that we will return to the Nightmare Court anytime soon, but if it makes sense to make it a part of a future release we'll discuss it. I can't say more than that.


The Avocado Smoothie is currently a top level food (but shouldn't be), and has next to top level stats (level 75). The level will be updated in the near future. The goal for that food was to provide a much more accessible, but deliberately 'B' tier option for power builds. There weren't any other options in this regard, and we also didn't want to hurt the Butternut Squash Soup too much.

[Regarding legendary weapon effects:] The weapon assets themselves were never changed. Some deep level code change caused this to stop happening. We are investigating how to get it working again.

[On legendary weapon crafting:] We decided very early on in season 3 (when it became clear we wouldn't be finishing the legendary set by the end) that we wanted to do the thing that would be the most generous to the players, particularly those that strive for legendary weapons. As it required a mastery that was being unlocked regardless of which expansion someone owned, we wanted to allow you to craft it while playing in whichever space you preferred.


[On the Bond of Life Mastery:] The beauty of this mastery is that it allows the user a lot of flexibility on when to use it. In general they could use it right before they land from a fall to stay mounted or if they are running through a ton of enemies attacking to last long enough to get through it.

Another use, specific to our map, are toxic areas that apply dot damage. With the mastery, players will be able to survive long enough to get through those areas, collect the shiny rewards and get out. :)


[On adding Current Events to new maps:] Current Events: There's not a general rule against current events in the expansion areas, but content in the core Tyria maps is accessible to players equally so we favor it. When it makes the most sense, like with the Caladbolg quest, there's nothing stopping us from adding events to expansion maps.


[On what caused the episode delay:] It was an odd one caused by replaying the final mission. Because of the way that boss fight works it would change your current objective in the middle of it.

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  • ArenaNet Staff

@"Randulf.7614" said:Thanks Gaile. There is a forum chat on the episode this week as well right?

Correct. Thursday and Friday of this week. We have four devs scheduled, and they're very knowledgeable about the content and will be able to answer a lot of questions.

Edit: Thanks for the reminder. I updated the original thread and gave some particulars about our first chat!

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@"Gaile Gray.6029" said:[On the Bond of Life Mastery:] The beauty of this mastery is that it allows the user a lot of flexibility on when to use it. In general they could use it right before they land from a fall to stay mounted or if they are running through a ton of enemies attacking to last long enough to get through it.This makes me question if the developers even play the game. You guys are clearly romanticising this mastery a little bit to much. First of this mastery is almost useless when it comes to "running through a ton of enemies attacking", wanna know why? Because the Adroit Evasion mastery alredy takes care of it. And useing it "right before they land from a fall to stay mounted"? Is this suppost to be a joke? This would be pretty much risking death vs. just dismounting when the only place where this would be remotly usefull gets alredy covert by Masterful Descent, not to mention that you probably want to use the griffon anyway if you're that far up in which case it wouldn't even matter.

@"Gaile Gray.6029" said:Another use, specific to our map, are toxic areas that apply dot damage. With the mastery, players will be able to survive long enough to get through those areas, collect the shiny rewards and get out. :)Ah the one part where it actually does have some uses, to bad that it's another case of "to map dependent to be a good mastery", a simple heal HP up to 100% or "DoT" immunity would have achieved the same thing without any of the drawbacks.

Well at least it's better then the episode one mastery but TBH this is not much of an accomplishment...

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