gw2shot ArenaNets Colin Johanson on upcoming plans for Guild Wars 2

For a game that has no monthly fee and is pretty light on the cash shop kind of experience, Guild Wars 2 has been getting a whole lot of updates. Major monthly events, additional content… and a lot more is on the way. So much more, in fact, that the title’s game director Colin Johanson has gone and made a pretty substantial post outlining what players can come to expect in the coming months. These are some aggressive plans as well, touching on everything from PVP to WvW to good old-fashioned PVE content – with a heavy emphasis on the dynamic nature of play that helped set Guild Wars 2 apart from the rest. We’ve got some highlights inside.

For those of you who don’t feel like going through the big list of planned changes on your own, I’ll pull out a few particular highlights. On the PVE front, most of the emphasis seems to be placed on the achievement system, and enjoying all of Guild Wars 2’s content. Accent on ‘all of it’, since remember, one of the nice things about Guild Wars 2 is that it was made in a way such that you could still gain experience and coin in the newbie zones, even if you were on a max-level character. As of right now, that doesn’t really work in practice – all things being equal, you tend to be better off doing higher level content than lower level. It looks like that’s going to be gotten around by making area achievements reward the player with tokens, which in turn can be spent on some pretty nice rewards – class equipment boxes and some pets are showing up as reward examples.

Guilds themselves are going to get some upgrades as well, which makes sense given the whole ‘they’re in the title of the game’ thing. Details are a bit lighter there, but the general plan seems to be to provide content specifically geared for guilds to complete. It’ll be interesting to see just what comes of this, as right now the main reason to be in a guild mostly cashes out to ‘a convenient chat channel for you and your friends’ and ‘you can get some nice passive buffs by being in one.’ Nice, but again – it’s called Guild Wars 2. There should be more about guilds in the game. (Perhaps even the ability to go to war with them.)

WvW and SPVP are also going to see some upgrades – again, a bit thinner on the details here, but the big hint is an addition of progressive rewards. That includes some WvW specific advancement, complete with talk of ‘WvW-only abilities’, which sounds very intriguing. Also cutting down on ‘culling’, but to be dead honest I’m not entirely sure what that refers to – running around with a large zerg and slaughtering tinier groups, perhaps? SPVP – that is, straight up team-v-team arena PVP – will also be getting attention, and reading between the lines, it sounds like the big goal here is to get more players just plain playing it at all. As of right now, this is probably the weakest part of Guild Wars 2: promising, but too shaky to stand on its own, which it needs to since it’s almost hermetically sealed off from the rest of the game in terms of value and payoff.

There’s more as well – lots of little changes and nuances – but those of you who are that interested will probably want to check out the full post. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Guild Wars 2’s developments, since their dev team seems to truly be doing some fresh things with the MMO concept, and with good results.