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So.....next up season 5 or xpac?

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@Rasimir.6239 said:

@Brimstone.3807 said:Is it even confirmed the xpac model will continue? I haven't read anything to indicate that.I believe they did say they want to focus on expanding existing maps instead of introducing new ones for LW seasons. Which honestly sounds kind of bleak in combination with the lack of an xpac.

Anet almost never announce their long-term plans (because people then expect it all to happen very soon and complain when it doesn't) so it's not unusual that all they've said is that season 5 is up next. We know nothing beyond that but because it's not unusual there's no reason to think they won't announce more details about season 5 when it's starting and announce the next thing (expansion, more living story, something else...) once that season is done.

Cant blame the community honestly, anet should do a better job at having a healthy time period between announcement and release. They havent hit that sweet spot yet.And they never will. There will always be people that think 4 weeks is too long and people that think 4 months is too short. No matter when ANet announces their plans (and the way their development process seems to work I suspect even four weeks is sometimes too long for them to make accurate announcements, as they have no way to be sure what they're planning will work out), some players somewhere will make a big drama out of it.

Nah i think to some extend this is right but Anet should regardless strive for better comunication.

We have examples of announcements being made too early and announcements being made too late and not letting the hype develope better. I think a pretty good announcement was the new raid.

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@Rasimir.6239 said:Oh, those numbers still roughly fit those 9 accounts I mentioned above ;) . But that wasn't my point. My point is that those numbers alone don't have a strong correlation to the amount of players actively in game and the revenue they generate. There are a lot more factors involved.

There is a strong correlation between those numbers and Arenanet's revenue though... The lower those numbers, the lower the revenue. With some curious variations, specifically Q4 2018 had no episode release at all, All or Nothing was delayed, and as a result Q4 2018 is the weakest for the game since POF was released. Meanwhile, Q3 2018 had a little bump (there were 3 releases, 2 episodes and 1 festival, in just 4 months). You can see that revenue is constantly dropping, unless we deal with a content drought (further drop) or content influx (some increase)

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ArenaNet doesn't seem to have a grasp of what they need to do so that people continue to play their game between "big" content releases. Even the Achievements and content that releases with each Living World Episode isn't enough to fill the gap between episodes. They don't even run events consistently enough to keep people interested and playing. They have done slightly better with this, they've done a few events like the Open World Boss ones and the No Downstate event in WvW as well as this Mystic Forge one they've recently had. Its all well and good and that is an improvement...but they are still very scarce and rather spread out.

Compare GW2 and its release, event and update schedule/practices to some other games that either fall into the same genre or have a similarly sized team.

Warframe, for one, is very transparent with its releases and its development tasks that they are working on. Every week they have a Dev Livestream where they go over things they are working on, with the appropriate "No promises" taglines, as well as sometimes addressing blatant issues with content or balance problems with the game that the community, and the devs, also feel need addressing at some point. This is a sort of rapport they've created with their community and its honestly lead to Warframe growing and expanding and evolving as well as it has over the 6+ years that it has been out, so much so that these Devs also freely admit when they mess up and make mistakes because thats part of being human and also a big part of game development. They also maintain rather frequent updates because of this, events are pretty frequent, even if they are repeats, but those repeated events have items and rewards that are specific to them and are only available when these events are active. So them repeating these events gives players who might have missed a past one the chance to earn the rewards they want. These rewards are no small thing either, not some RNG box that has some 0.0001% chance of an actual worthwhile item to be dropped from it. Tangibly desirable items like with Warframe's current Plague Star event where you can earn special parts for the games "customizable" melee weapons that they call "Zaws" and some of these parts can create some of the strongest melee weapons in the game.

Next there is Black Desert Online, like it or hate it thats irrelevant, where yes the game is grindy and it appeals to a niche audience, though apparently one that has a larger streamer base and stream viewer interest than GW2 does, however this game does do something better than GW2 at least in my eyes. There is always some form of event active on Black Desert Online. Always. Whether is just be some special log-in reward for the next month coupled with the regular log-in rewards or it being some special event to grind monsters, fish, or gather for a chance at an item you can turn in for other special or more valuable items. Or an event where you just need to be logged in for a couple hours to get some items that have some value to them. There is always something going on with Black Desert Online. However while they might not be as transparent with their release intentions on as a consistent basis as Warframe's Devs might be they still allow for people to get a heads up on upcoming content and give it a test run. Yeah, thats right, even Black Desert, a game less than half the age of GW2, has a test server for upcoming content and patches including any balance changes intended to be added to the live environment.

What can ArenaNet learn from these two games and their Developers? A lot. Primarily in the transparency department. We have no idea what is coming for GW2. We have a vague idea, that they are working on Season 5 of Living World before possibly jumping into another Expansion. We know that WvW has its Alliance System in the works, but we have no idea on the progress of it or if they are even directing attention to it because of the recent work environment shakeup at ArenaNet. We know that sPvP will be getting "swiss style" tournaments "at some point" but we don't know the progress on that nor any other details. I understand the desire to be vague and not make any promises that you might not be able to keep with any of this upcoming content but they should at least be letting the community know what they've even been doing, giving some form of status update, giving us an idea of future plans and foremost acknowledging when they make mistakes and what they intend to do to rectify them. There is this very odd, cringey and weird feeling I have with ArenaNet that their mistakes and mess ups somehow don't exist, like "if we don't talk about it then they didn't happen" but they did happen...they are still happening.

A big step in the right direction, mostly because balance is a tragedy in this game even more so than others and I'm someone who plays Black Desert Online where gear is an important part of PvP, would be to do what they did. Add a test server. ArenaNet has its own internal developer environment that very clearly is either on a completely different cluster of servers or is separate to the live environment in some way. Why not duplicate that environment onto some servers, new or existing, and make it available for players to access? I was told once after having asked one of the Devs why there is no test server for the game and I was told "there are tech constraints that we can't overcome" and honestly...yeah I don't buy that. Not when we have seen them play on their own internal developer environment. I'm not saying they shouldn't have that, I'm saying that it would help tons if they started allowing players to properly test and abuse upcoming balance changes so that the devs can have a much broader spectrum in which to assess changes that is not on the live servers where it would take them either 1 or more months to even address it, if they address it at all.

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