Guild Wars Theorycrafting: What is Arenanet Working On?

I’m not really sure whether this counts as a Theorycrafting article. On one hand, it has lots of theories and theory-related things. On the other, it doesn’t discuss lore. But on the third hand (I have a lot of hands), I haven’t posted a Theorycrafting article in a while. Hmm…

Ah, that wonderful time of year is almost upon us: Halloween. Soon, Guild Wars players will descend into the realm of the Mad King Thorn, in order to fend off his army of gargoyles and candy corn elementals. Screams of absolute terror will fill Tyria’s skies as the Lunatic Court begins it yearly hunt… good times, good times.

Unfortunately, those good times won’t last for very long. As I just found out, the Halloween festivities will begin on October 21 and conclude on November 4. Meaning: we only get two weeks of plastic spider-bashing, less than what was granted to us last year, and we won’t be getting any additional content for another three weeks. By the time this rolls around, it will have been over two months since The Dragon’s Reach: Part 2.

I had my fingers crossed for an earlier Halloween this year in order to offset the content drought that appeared in the wake of The Dragon’s Reach. The fact that we won’t be getting that is a little disappointing, and it probably isn’t going to help with the community backlash A-net has been getting lately. If you’ve been on the forums lately, you know what I mean. 

If you haven’t hear’s what I’m talking about: due to the overall lack of content in the past month or so (to be more specific, outrage over the fact that Arenanet isn’t currently working on the Super Adventure Box), the forums and Reddit have exploded with anti-Arenanet sentiment. I’ve spent the past few weeks staying the hell away from it and enjoying the game like Abaddon intended; I have places to farm, backpieces to get. Besides, I just hate it when forum posts get too toxic—it dredges up some uncomfortable memories from my World of Warcraft days.

Despite the lingering poison, though, the content thing is a problem. Guild Wars 2 relies on new doses of content every few weeks to keep things fresh. Without it, the endgame suffers. However, I’m the person to err on the lighter, more optimistic side of things. And while the game may be a bit stale now, I believe this lack of content is but a precursor to something greater. 

Think about it. Arenanet has 250+ employees. All of them are still working as usual. Frankly, the fact that they’re still working this hard despite a sizable portion of their community frothing at the mouth is moderately impressive. Even though those 250+ people aren’t putting anything out for us to play, they’re all still working on Guild Wars 2 behind closed doors. We just don’t know what it is they’re doing yet.

Theories abound. Are we getting a new WvW map? A revamp of some old zones? Playable tengu?

…Playable quaggan?

I’m not the only one to speculate on this. Popular Youtuber Woodenpotatoes believes that an expansion is in the works. I don’t believe that, for reasons I’ll get into, but they definitely have something, and that something is sizable.

Put on your thinking caps, folks. It’s speculation time.

First, it’s not going to be an expansion. In numerous interviews (such as this one) numerous devs and Arenanet’s president, Mike O’Brien, have stated that they aren’t focusing on expansions. While that doesn’t mean that there won’t be one in the future, it does mean that they aren’t funneling the necessary resources into developing one. We also know that it isn’t the fabled Super Adventure Box World 3, as the fact they aren’t working on that is what caused the vocal minority to explode with such vigor. 

But we don’t want to know what it isn’t, we want to know what it is. And we do have a pretty big clue, courtesy of notable dataminer That_Shaman. As Woodenpotatoes pointed out in this video, this brave soul ventured into the depths of Guild Wars’ code and came out with an uncovered treasure: several new PvP maps. But these maps are more than just regular Conquest maps… they look curiously similar to the GvG maps from Guild Wars 1.

GvG (Guild vs Guild) was a PvP gamemode in the first game that pitted two guilds against each other. Their goal? Enter the opposing team’s keep and assassinate a powerful NPC leader. It was extremely popular and people have been clamoring for it to be added to Guild Wars 2. It looks like Arenanet may finally be granting that wish.

That is my theory: a much-needed PvP revamp. No longer will Conquest be the only gamemode on which to ‘pwn noobs’! I’m going to be perfectly honest right now: I want this. I want this bad.

As exciting as this news may be to the more PvP-minded among you, bear in mind that none of this is official at all. Arenanet might change their plans, and have done it in the past. Near the end of Living World Season 1, That_Shaman leaked some data that revealed Majory was slated to die on the Breachmaker. Afterward, they changed the ending so Marjory could live. 

Either way, though, if this is what Arenanet has been working on as opposed to Living World, the content gap will have been totally worth it.

If you enjoyed my hysterical rant, don’t forget to give this post a like or a reblog. If you enjoy discussions of lore or the occasional piece of mediocre fanfiction, then why not follow me? Loyal servants of Abaddon have a great dental plan.

gw2-juriia

gw2-juriia:

grand-tactician-vek:

another gw2 blog noticed me in game. I NOW FEEL POWERFUL and it grows more with each passing moment.

(Also Rahn is awesome.)

Gosh, I’m still surprised I just managed to accidently click you in a huge zerg WHILE FIGHTING ENEMIES.

Just one thing I absolutely love about the GW2-corner of Tumblr - there’s so many unique characters you see around here, and even if you don’t personally know the person well you just recognize some characters right away!

The Epic Saga of Mawdrey: An Improvement to Guild Wars’ Endgame

image

As I may have mentioned a few times before, I’ve been a very busy Branded for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been pushing out content on my blog, putting more hours into my part-time, and taking online courses. I’m even taking a stab at that writing contest Chronicles of Tyria is doing. I haven’t sent in my submission yet (I sent it to a close friend of mine for a second opinion and I’m waiting for her to get back to me) but it’s finished and, if I don’t win, will be uploaded here for all to cringe at.

In the middle of all of this, I’ve chosen to spend my free time getting the backpieces that were released with the Dragon’s Reach patches. And now, after raiding tombs, breaking into asuran labs, and all sorts of other wacky hijinks, I’ve finally upgraded to the Cultivated Vine. I’m now one step closer to getting Mawdrey. And after that, my bank tab filled with Bloodstone Dust shall be cleared out once and for all! *Insert diabolical laughter here* 

In the interest of celebration, I’m going to take a short break from lore recapsamateur fanfiction, and wild speculation. Instead, I’m going to take a moment to talk about my experience on this epic journey so far, and explain how the addition of Mawdrey has vastly improved Guild Wars 2’s endgame content. Because despite it being a relatively small addition to the game, I think this item was a very important one.

image

As an item, Mawdrey and his lesser brothers, the Mysterious and Cutlivated Vines, are unique. Most ascended items (that aren’t trinkets or rings) are crafted at the Mystic Forge with rare materials you get from achieving something in the game, such as world completion. With Mawdrey, you not only have to get these items by completed Living World chapters, but you have to bring them to somewhere in Tyria and attune them. Usually, that place is somewhere hard to reach, like a jumping puzzle or minidungeon, forcing you to go on a bit of an adventure to charge up your materials.

The old system was decent, but a lot less fun. With most crafting materials, you can either grind content to get them directly, or farm Southsun for a few days and just buy them on the Trading Post. The only things that required you to really go out and do something are the really, really high end materials, like the Gifts. Grinding on the Frostgorge champ train to get rare materials? Not very fun.

Going on an epic journey across Tyria to get rare materials? That is fun. Just yesterday, I found myself wandering through an asuran lab in Fireheart Rise that I had no idea even existed. Along with a ranger compatriot, I destroyed rampaging test subjects, crept through automated security, and did battle with the golem end boss above a pool filled with sharks. All so I could charge up the Ley-Line Dust I got from the Mordrem champion that attacked Taimi. And before that, I climbed a glacier in Frostgorge Sound, fighting trolls and ice elementals, so I could reach the spring at the top and collect some of its water. 

image

I’ve always had a problem with traditional questing in MMO’s. The term ‘quest’ is supposed to convey the idea of an epic journey or goal. Instead, it usually turns out to be something along the lines of ‘collect ten bear asses for that shady dwarf over there’. This, on the other hand, actually feels epic. I’m not crossing things off of a checklist here. I see my next goal and think to myself ‘Yeah! I’m gonna go on a f*cking adventure!’

That sort of feeling was Arenanet’s stated goal for this game from the beginning. That’s why they replaced the traditional quest system with hearts and events—to promote exploration and adventure in their game. This new alternative to the usual endgame grind does that. It gives players a reason to go back to lower-level zones, and experience content they probably haven’t before. And so, Arenanet, if you’re reading this article, I have some advice: add more things like Mawdrey. I don’t care if it has an added effect, like the whole ‘eats Bloostone Dust’ effect that makes me want it so much. As long as it has the same general dynamic I just praised with Mawdrey, giving me another reason to run around Tyria and adventure, I’ll be fine.

There are plenty of places where this sort of content can be added. A prime contender: Precursors. Fans of the game have been waiting for craftable Precursor weapons for a long time now. This is your chance. Give each weapon unique crafting materials and seed those materials into the game. For example, leave something we need to craft the Chaos Gun at the end of the Chaos Crystal Caverns jumping puzzle. Force us to fight the Shatterer in order to get what we need to make Zap. Wanna get your hands on Dusk? First you must triumph over Tequatl the Sunless. 

image

Giving us something like that will not only make fans very happy, but make the crafting of Legendary weapons more… legendary. It’ll add a bunch of new endgame content, and flesh out Tyria a lot. This will even provide a chance to add more jumping puzzles and minidungeons to areas of the game that have nothing to do with the Living Story, which would flesh the game out even more.

To conclude: Mawdrey was a very well-designed slice of content. I hope Arenanet adds more content like that into the game. And if they decide to do that with Precursors like I’ve suggested… well, I won’t complain.

Now, please excuse me. I’m about to embark on an expedition into the heart of a raging volcano, where I shall do battle with the fearsome Megadestroyer and steal its heart. Tell me that last sentence didn’t sound metal as hell. Go on, I dare you.

I hope you enjoyed my mad ravings. If you did, please feel free to like or reblog. Do it for craftable Precursors!