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Updates from the Systems Team

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  • ArenaNet Staff

Hi, everyone,

Today we want to talk to everyone about some team changes and our plans for balance going forward, as well as setting up some goals and expectations for the coming year. Let’s get started!

Systems Team Updates

Let’s welcome Cal “cmc” Cohen as the new Systems Team competitive designer. Some of you know him from his work on competitive content in QA, or even as a competitive PvP player. Cal has displayed great aptitude for competitive balance and systems, making him a great new addition to the overall team.

Ben Phongluangtham will transition to a new role as Design Manager for Guild Wars 2. We’ll always think of him as part of our team, but we look forward to seeing his continued success in his new role!

Skills and Balance

Balance is important to the entire game. In the past, we’ve split skill changes between the three core game modes: PvP, PvE, and WvW. Previously, skills designers oversaw all balance changes with sign-off from designers working on competitive content. PvE balance will remain in the hands of skills designers, but PvP and WvW balance will now be handled by competitive designers. This will give our competitive-focused team members a bit more control over how players interact with their content, and it will allow the skills designers to focus on PvE balance and other Systems work.


Balance changes for the different game modes are a type of content we feel comfortable discussing with the community before release. As a team, we want to increase our presence on the forums and be more open about upcoming changes to get feedback early. In the future, we’ll also begin calling out specific times when some of us will be present on the forums to collect feedback through targeted threads.

Ultimately, we want to be more open and available to the community, and we ask that, in return, you help provide constructive feedback and respectful discussion.

So, let’s recap:

  • There are some changes to the Systems Team as people move into new roles.
  • Skills designers will continue to own balance changes for PvE skills.
  • Competitive designers will now own balance changes for PvP and WvW.
  • The Systems Team plans to be more active on the forums.

We’ll talk to you soon!

–The GW2 Systems Team

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